Presentation Title

The Perception Gap: The effects of perception on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

Faculty Mentor

Lisa Koch

Start Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:15 AM

Location

15-1823

Session

Humanities 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

This article explores how perceptions of nuclear capabilities play a role in nuclear proliferation within the Middle East. While a lot has been written on the subject of nuclear proliferation within the Middle East, the literature on the role of perceptions is absent. I hypothesize that rival countries will misconstrue the intent of each other's latent nuclear program and therefore will increase their means of nuclear proliferation. To test this hypothesize, this paper reviews the Iran-Iraq nuclear build up from 1970-1979. In calculating if perceptions played a role, this article uses unclassified cables from US security personnel and first-hand accounts from the Saddam tapes to determine how nuclear proliferation was shaped during this period. It was concluded that rival states would partake in a nuclear arms races when the terms of latent nuclear power are ambiguous, and the states are in a hegemonic struggle to shape the region. The implications of this study can be used in discussing the current Iran and Saudi Arabia nuclear climate and the future role the United States should play in preventing nuclear proliferation.

Summary of research results to be presented

Conventional wisdom about nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is wrong because it is based on a short-term analysis. Over a period, nuclear perceptions and misperceptions drive state actors to proliferate to maintain a balance of powers within the region. After reviewing Iran and Iraq's nuclear proliferation in the 1970's it was concluded that ambiguous nuclear capabilities along with competing for regional power would drive countries to proceed in nuclear proliferation. The perception gap is a self-fulfilling prophecy and will continue to lead to nuclear proliferation unless the terms of nuclear capabilities are well defined.

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Nov 18th, 11:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:15 AM

The Perception Gap: The effects of perception on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

15-1823

This article explores how perceptions of nuclear capabilities play a role in nuclear proliferation within the Middle East. While a lot has been written on the subject of nuclear proliferation within the Middle East, the literature on the role of perceptions is absent. I hypothesize that rival countries will misconstrue the intent of each other's latent nuclear program and therefore will increase their means of nuclear proliferation. To test this hypothesize, this paper reviews the Iran-Iraq nuclear build up from 1970-1979. In calculating if perceptions played a role, this article uses unclassified cables from US security personnel and first-hand accounts from the Saddam tapes to determine how nuclear proliferation was shaped during this period. It was concluded that rival states would partake in a nuclear arms races when the terms of latent nuclear power are ambiguous, and the states are in a hegemonic struggle to shape the region. The implications of this study can be used in discussing the current Iran and Saudi Arabia nuclear climate and the future role the United States should play in preventing nuclear proliferation.