Kroenig 09 – (Mathew Kroenig is an Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University and Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, “Beyond Optimism and Pessimism: The Differential Effects of Nuclear Proliferation”, November 2, 2009, http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Beyond-Optimism-and-Pessimism.pdf>)//SQR
Nuclear proliferation undermines the alliance structures of power-projecting states because the spread of nuclear weapons reduces the value of the security guarantees that power-projecting states extend to their allies. Power-projecting states use the promise of military protection as a way to cement their alliance structures and to cultivate patron-client relationships. The client states are asymmetrically dependent on a relationship that ensures their survival, allowing power-projecting states influence over their clients’ foreign policies. Power-projecting states can dangle, and threaten to retract, the security guarantee cannot prevent client states from acting contrary to their interests. As nuclear weapons spread, however, alliances held together by promises of military protection are weakened in two ways. First, client states may doubt the credibility of their patron’s commitments to provide a military defense against nuclear-armed states, leading them to weaken ties with their patron. Second, nuclear proliferation could encourage client states to acquire nuclear weapons themselves, making them less dependable allies. If client states have their own nuclear arsenal, their need for an external security guarantee is reduced, giving them greater security independence and making them less compliant to their patron’s demands.