State Sponsored Nuclear Proliferation: Why States Share Nuclear Weapons Technology

Professor Greg Koblentz of the GMU Biodefense Program has a new piece in Global Studies Review:

State-sponsored nuclear proliferation, defined as a government’s intentional assistance to another state to acquire the means of producing nuclear weapons, including the transfer of weapons-grade fissile material, the technology to produce weapons-grade fissile material, or warhead design information, has had a crucial influence on the spread of nuclear weapons. The nuclear warhead design supplied to Libya by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan was initially obtained from China which was itself the recipient of extensive nuclear assistance from the Soviet Union. Iraq, Libya, and Syria might have become members of the nuclear club thanks to sensitive nuclear assistance from other states if outside intervention had not stopped their programs. The current nuclear crises with Iran and North Korea were triggered by the transfer of uranium enrichment technology from Pakistan. Iran is now offering to engage in ostensibly peaceful nuclear cooperation with countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan, and Venezuela.

Link to the full piece is here.

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