“One thing that becomes clear, touring the various historic sites around Oak Ridge, is the magnitude of effort needed to manufacture nuclear weapons. This is not something where a couple centrifuges can be turned on in a basement and voilà! you have material to build a bomb. The undertaking is complicated, laborious and time-consuming — and this is a good thing. The skill sets needed to preserve and maintain a credible stockpile are scarce — and this is not so good of a thing (I’ll cover this in “stockpile management” below).
This creates a taxonomy of “Nuclear Powers”:
- Those that have it
- Those that want to have it
- Those that don’t want it
- Those who can never make it
Obviously, those in the first category want to preserve their “exclusivity” — because after all, the logic of nuclear warfare is that you can never logically use them. This led to policies like the Baruch Plan after World War II (which the Soviets rejected because, in their opinion, it would have preserved the U.S. nuclear monopoly) and today’s proper emphasis on nuclear non-proliferation (a great success to date, in my opinion).”
Read the rest here.