A new article published in the Journal of Contemporary Security Policy endeavors to explore the impact of Trump’s Presidency on nuclear proliferation. Specifically, it brings to light the changing nature of US alliances with non-nuclear defense partners. Since the cold war, non-nuclear defense partners have been under a construct known as the nuclear umbrella. Under this arrangement, the United States gives defensive assurances to partner states. As a result, the United States is able to exert regional influence and discourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Trump has since challenged the existence of this paradigm by demanding NATO members pay more. Even more surprising is Trump’s suggestion that Japan and South Korea acquire their own nuclear weapons.
By D-Ray, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
A superficial examination of nuclear umbrella deterrence and President Trump’s comments indicate we will see partner states developing their own nuclear programs in the next few years. Upon further examination, this conclusion is not entirely accurate. The paper notes that even if the Trump Administration wanted to, it could not unilaterally abrogate defensive partnerships with allied states. In this regard, the nuclear umbrella can only be weakened. It will always exist under Trump’s State Department.
Additionally, the partial withdrawal of United State defense assurances would not compel all states to pursue their own nuclear defense programs. Some states have no desire to build their own nuclear program for a variety of ethical reasons. Moreover, some states find that the security costs of pursuing an independent nuclear program are too high.
In any case, it would seem, at least according to this article, that international nuclear paradigms will change little under Trump’s Presidency. Nuclear deterrence arrangements constitute a very strong institution. Contrary to what some pundits claim, the world is not going to go “totally nuclear” under Trump’s Administration.
Do you agree with the conclusion of this article? How do you see nuclear paradigms changing in the next four years?