Nuclear Politics in Asia
Primarily due to the controversial nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, nuclear proliferation in Asia is a hot topic right now. In this course we will take a closer look at questions like WHY many Asian countries want nukes and WHY efforts at nonproliferation have been so ineffective. We will also discuss the existing nuclear powers in Asia, the potential for a dozen new Asian nuclear states and the growing importance of anti-satellite and space warfare in order to help us better understand future developments in the region and the world.

Course Description:

"Nuclear Politics in Asia looks at Asia through the lens of international relations, emphasizing issues of nuclear proliferation and nuclear strategy in an effort to understand both the internal and external geopolitics of Asia. The course will begin with a basic introduction to international relations theory and international protocols and treaties related to the nuclear issue, then move on to study the diplomatic and strategic situations of the various nuclear powers within Asia. We will begin by examining the Declared Nuclear Powers of Asia – Russia, China, India and Pakistan – and their roles in Asian geopolitics, including the effects of Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan network on nuclear proliferation. We will, of course, focus much of our interest on the controversial proto-nuclear states of North Korea and Iran, following their cases as they develop. Finally, we will explore some of the future implications of nuclear proliferation in Asia, including the nuclear ambitions of Japan and much of central Asia, as well as China’s emphasis on anti-satellite and space warfare as a counter to Western nuclear power."

This course will be heavily influenced by current events, requiring students to keep up with the latest news through online and cable news sources. Other course requirements will likely include regular blogging in response to readings and online assignments, periodic short assessments and a final paper or project. Creative projects, especially including artistic and/or online projects, will be encouraged in lieu of the final paper in this course. Mr. Nicholson will work with other teachers of history electives to ensure that the difficulty level of this course is comparable to other spring term history electives, and may modify the course requirements as necessary to ensure that this is the case.

A North Korean nuclear-capable missile being paraded through the streets of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. A similar missile was test-fired over the city of Tokyo into the ocean on the other side of Japan... A Chinese missile similar to the one which recently shot an outdated Chinese satellite out of orbit, the first successful test of an anti-satellite system by any nation.