Courtesy Reuters

Spurred by the progress of weapons programs in North Korea and Iran, nuclear proliferation is once again at the top of the U.S. national security agenda. Practically all of the discussion about the issue has centered on how to prevent proliferation. Hawks have pushed for regime change or military strikes, whereas doves have favored arms control and negotiation. Even though none of these measures is likely to solve the problem, few observers have spent much time considering what a postproliferation world would look like.

Those who have done so can be divided into pessimists and optimists. The pessimists assume

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