By Michael Miner
Michael is one of AIDemocracy’s 2010-2011 Issue Analysts. Find out more about Michael below or take a look at the  Student Issue Analysts.

Nuclear non-proliferation is an issue spanning generations. From policy makers of the Cold War on through deciders in the new millennium, the nuclear dilemma has touched every generation since the dawn of the Atomic Age. Consequentially the next generation of Americans will play a defining role in twenty-first century nuclear policy.

How and why states seek nuclear capabilities or to prevent proliferation are long-term policy conundrums. Status quo nation-states align along similar trajectories in the interest of reduction, while other states seek to redefine their own standing in the world by achieving recognized (or unrecognized) nuclear status. Nuclear proliferation constructs the modern political and security structure of all great power nation-states and plays a strong role in the security development of critical middling powers. Scientists and nonstate actors play supporting and destabilizing roles between these two extremes, simultaneously representing potential threats to society and unexplored avenues of cooperation toward reducing the spread of fissile material.

Nuclear expansion or reduction defines the future as its primary operating environment impacting current and future generations. Citizen education and comprehension can play a vital role shaping civil societies cognizant of realities at play. A better-versed population will accurately identify real and unrealistic dangers inherent in nuclear proliferation and encourage policies seeking to curb actual threats to humanity. Addressing these threats will lead to a more stable political, social, and economic environment for all nation-states and allow for mankind to solve one of the greatest manmade problems that continues to cast a dark shadow on humanity.

Michael Miner is our resident analyst covering nuclear weapons and associated research areas including security studies, globalization, and political stability in the Persian Gulf. Mr. Miner previously worked for an international communications firm based in Washington DC and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Chatham House, and the Royal United Services Institute. He is pursuing a master’s degree at Dartmouth College and is a visiting graduate scholar at Harvard University. Outside of the academy he can be found training under the United States Olympic Judo Team while desperately trying to brew the perfect cup of coffee.