What can the United States do to thwart the nuclear ambitions of its allies?  Looking to the past, the U.S. was able to leverage its alliance commitments to stop some friendly states from going nuclear.  Looking to the future, Iran's possible nuclear acquisition and China’s military ascendancy may tempt key U.S. allies in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and East Asia (South Korea, Japan) to consider reducing their reliance on American security guarantees by acquiring independent nuclear deterrents.  When planning a response to the nuclear pursuit by these friends, the U.S. can draw lessons from the successes (Taiwan, South Korea) and failures (Israel, Pakistan) of its nonproliferation efforts against its Cold War-era allies.

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