Vol. 1 No. 2 (2013): CISS Insight Bimonthly News & Views, April-May 2013

NFU: Impact on Proliferation and Nuclear Stability

Ms. Farzana Siddique
Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published June 10, 2013
How to Cite
Ms. Farzana Siddique. (2013). NFU: Impact on Proliferation and Nuclear Stability. CISS Insight Journal, 1(2), P16-26. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/99


Advent of nuclear weapons have irrevocably changed warfare. These weapons of mass destruction have also deeply impacted threat perception of states forcing reorientation of their security doctrines. A number of states have developed nuclear weapons since they were first used in 1945. Rationale generally offered for acquisition of nuclear weapons by states is that they provide security, particularly, if the opponent is also equipped with the same kind of weapons.

Because of lethality of their effect and universal opposition to their use, the task for a state to rationalize the use of nuclear weapons at doctrinal level is a complex one. The stated purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter possible aggression. To meet this challenge a nuclear weapon state has to build a narrative that addresses security needs of that state besides projecting its intention of being a responsible member of the international community. The existing international order demands of states that their nuclear policy supports non-proliferation and disarmament and arms control goals.

A number of measures have been taken at multilateral level and also unilaterally by certain states to stop nuclear proliferation, exercise arms control and to achieve disarmament. But the graph of both horizontal and vertical proliferation is rising continuously. At collective level NPT which is the only legally binding international framework on nuclear non-proliferation has failed to achieve its stated objectives. Options like No First Use (NFU), minimizing strategic stockpiles, redefining strategic force structure are available to states but their implementation poses complications due to states’ commitments to their nuclear policies.