McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Linda Trottier

Trottier.JPG

Major and Classification

International Relations

Faculty Mentor

  • Wayne Glass, Ph.D.

Department

  • International Relations

McNair Project

"Theocratic Nukes: How religion affects the nuclear policies of India and Pakistan"

The destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons compel debate on how to deal with them. In one camp, there are scholars who believe that that best way is to do away with all nukes while others believe that peace can only be maintain through mutually assured destruction - thus the more states have nukes the less chance for nuclear warfare. Though both camps have their degree of correctness in their theories, both sides have yet to deal with how to secure and maintain accountability to nuclear weapons and nuclear materials produced. The goal of this investigative paper is not to find the policy that will rid the world of nuclear weapons. The goal is to study how a nuclear arms race is more nuanced, such as that of India and Pakistan and the importance of not taking sides, especially for the United States, but to ensure that the weapons produced in both states are accounted for and its material secure. To do so, this paper studies how the Cold War between the United States escalated to a nuclear arms race and the effects of it after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Then the paper will turn to the India-Pakistani conflict and how, if the world is not careful, can lead to the same security issues from the Cold War.