A Saudi nuclear option?

Authors
Citation
Rl. Russell, A Saudi nuclear option?, SURVIVAL, 43(2), 2001, pp. 69
Citations number
22
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Politucal Science & public Administration
Journal title
SURVIVAL
ISSN journal
0039-6338 → ACNP
Volume
43
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Database
ISI
SICI code
0039-6338(200122)43:2<69:ASNO>2.0.ZU;2-C
Abstract
The debate over missile and nuclear proliferation has been clouded by some misplaced liberal assumptions. To focus on 'rogue' states with malignant de signs is to misdiagnose nuclear proliferation as a 'disease'. Nuclear proli feration is much more a 'symptom' of the struggle for power that characteri ses international relations, with or without superpower conflict. One such area of proliferation may be right under our noses, not in a so-called rogu e state, but in a key American ally in the Persian Gulf - Saudi Arabia. The re is no direct evidence that Saudi Arabia has already chosen a nuclear opt ion. However, the Saudis already have in place a foundation for building a nuclear deterrent. They could work clandestinely to develop a nuclear capab ility, much as they did to procure ballistic missiles. Washington should no t assume that a close regional ally such as Saudi Arabia would be loath to jeopardise that relationship by working at cross-purposes with declared Ame rican policy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and b allistic missiles. Such an assumption would profoundly overestimate the Sau di confidence in US protection, and would fail to recognise that security i nterests - not in any sense an innate friendship - are the driving forces b ehind policy in international politics.