Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Robert Joseph


deterrence, International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear energy, nuclear nonproliferation regime, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, strategy, United Nations Security Council

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The continued vitality and effectiveness of the nuclear non-proliferation regime (NPR) is threatened on several fronts. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), charged with monitoring compliance of states‟ nonproliferation obligations, has been incapable of enforcing these commitments or applying sufficient pressure to uncooperative states. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has been weakened by North Korea‟s abuse of the right to withdraw from the treaty. Iran and Syria have provided stubborn and incomplete cooperation in IAEA investigations of their activities, citing their right to acquire peaceful nuclear energy under the NPT. Other states seem likely to follow some of their examples. Reversing the negative trajectory of the NPR requires a fundamental rethink of how nonproliferation is effectively enforced. The IAEA requires major reforms to enhance its legitimacy and capability. A comprehensive strategy of incentives and consequences must be developed to deter further states from pursuing the North Korean or Iranian models of proliferation. Establishing nuclear fuel banks, repossessing nuclear technology from noncompliant states, and targeted isolation and embargoes are necessary actions to preserving the NPR, which helps safeguard international peace and stability by limiting the number of states with nuclear weapons.


© Sean David Varner

Campus Only