A Program of the Stanley Foundation

Program Details

An understanding of the security choices facing policymakers in the post-Cold War world and the place of the Strategies for National Security (SNS) program in addressing those dilemmas requires some background on the evolution of the two schools of thought and their various methodologies since 1990. Currently the US national security policymaking agenda is defined by two apparently contradictory and conflicting philosophies:

  • A "counterproliferation," military-based approach based upon a flexible mix of deterrence, compellance, coercive diplomacy, global military superiority, and the preventive or preemptive use of military force.

  • A "nonproliferation," legal regime-based approach that stresses cooperative, binding multilateral agreements and verification mechanisms at the global and regional levels as the best routes to peace and stability.

Couterproliferation vs. Cooperative Security: A Summary and Analysis
Michael Kraig
March 2003