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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



Reconciling contradictions in United States foreign policy: the spread of democracy versus an export policy of technology denial.
Sanborn, Daniel W.
Report 2001 S516 Public Affairs Library

Despite a lack of consensus in the scholarly literature as to the causes of democratization, theory and experience have shown us that economic development, especially with respect to the Third World, is an essential component of sustaining a country's transition to democracy. The recent experience of the United States and those countries considered the success stories of development in the Third World (Taiwan, India, and Brazil) has also indicated that dual-use technologies are a driving force behind the technological innovations sparking economic growth in the information age. Thus, to the extent that economic growth is an important component of economic development, having access to dual-use technologies is an important factor in establishing an environment conducive to democratic transition. As a result, the United States export policies of technology denial, which deny countries access to critical dual-use technologies, hamper the ability of countries to effectively transition to democracy, and thus are antithetical to its stated nation interest of promoting democratization.

In order to address the national security concerns of the United States with respect to the proliferation of WMD in a manner which is more consistent with its stated national interest of democratization, the George W. Bush Administration should end the current United States export policy of technology denial as follows:

1. Loosen export restrictions: Biological and Chemical Technologies Unrestricted access to dual-use machinery, processes, chemical precursors, and vaccine formulas, with reporting requirements designed for monitoring / statistical purposes only Maintain restricted access to uncommon biological materials, all weaponizing processes, and all weaponizing machinery (if not dual-use) Nuclear Technologies Increase access to machine tools with proven commercial applications Maintain current policy of denying access to complete nuclear power plants unless a country agrees to IAEA safeguards 2. Undercut countries' desire for WMD acquisition by providing security assurances and developing theater missile defenses 3. Pledge that any use of WMD against the United States or its allies will be responded to with an immediate and devastating conventional and potentially nuclear strike 4. Work towards the elimination of all WMD stockpiles