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The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces$
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Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001

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The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Chapter:
(p.508) 29 The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Source:
The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces
Author(s):

Andrew Futter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198790501.003.0030

Since the end of the cold war, the global landscape of weapons of mass destruction has changed considerably. Three additional states have openly acquired a nuclear capability—India, Pakistan, and North Korea—and a fourth, Iran, may be trying to do the same. Meanwhile, other states were forced to give up or agreed to abandon their nuclear capabilities or ambitions. At the same time, the threat of ‘loose nukes’ and the associated challenge of nuclear security have acquired existential significance given the possibility of nuclear terrorism, the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the damage caused by the A. Q. Khan network. Europe remains a key ‘nuclear theatre’ with UK, French, Russian, and NATO nuclear forces deployed in the region, and this seems unlikely to change anytime soon. The aim of this chapter is to explore the nature and implications of a second nuclear age for European military thinking and strategy.

Keywords:   weapons of mass destruction, WMD, nuclear weapons, proliferation, disarmament

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