Nuclear Weapons: Prospects For Deterrence and Proliferation in the Modern Era

Date of Graduation

Spring 2000


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Since the success of the Manhattan Project the nuclear weapon has dominated the international politics and strategies of the great powers. The ending of the Cold War seemed to promise a lessening of the importance of nuclear weapons. However, a dominating feature of this time has been concern over the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Along with this spread has come the concern that this will also end the nuclear taboo that has developed with over fifty years of non-use of nuclear weapons. This threat has coincided with a U.S. policy to reduce and marginalize its nuclear weapons and dismantle the nuclear infrastructre of the United States. This thesis analyzes the current threat provided by nuclear weaons by studying the status and trends of the nuclear powers and those who are trying to attain such a capability. The thesis examines and suggests courses of action for the United States if it desires to maintain the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence and cope with the possibility of nuclear proliferation.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Andrew D Kennedy