International relations aren't looking so hot between America and the rest of the world right now. In order to prevent the next nuclear arms race, we can take a look at past events and the theoretical psychology of world leaders. We can take a look at game theory in order to see were the current president is coming from when he uses language like "America first" or the insidious line from the White House website "peace through strength". If another nuclear arms race does take place, we can at least be less disappointed, with an idea of why it may have happened. (Death is a likely possibility too.)
First, what is a security dilemma in the context of international relations?
The video bellow is Allen Sens's Explanation of what a security dilemma is through political realism. He talks about security dilemmas through the eyes of a political realist. Realists believe that there isn't an international power to govern all of the countries, so possible interactions such as war, are left to the imagination. World leaders who look at politics with a realist mindset are usually more interested in benefiting their own country over others (I.e. exploiting third world countries for their resources). They are also more concerned with security, and tend not to be trustworthy of other countries. When talking about political theory, anarchy doesn't necessarily mean no government at all. It just means that the actions of other countries cannot be completely determined because there isn't a higher power over all of the countries to set a standard. This is were the security dilemma comes into play.
The security dilemma is when a country makes a security decision like beefing up their military. Let's say country A plans to strengthen their military. They don't have any plans to attack anyone, but they just want to be safe. The problem with this country B doesn't know what country A's intentions are. All country B knows is that country A strengthened their military. In response to the perceived threat of country A, country B also starts strengthening their military. This process of "OMG, what are they doing?!" goes back and forth and eventually forms a nuclear arms race.
Now, imagine that state A is America, and state B is Iran.
That awkward moment when America becomes a unipolar Hegemon at the perceived end of the cold war. Lolz.
This means that there is no state that can currently balance power with the U.S. International laws also mean nothing if the primary power of the U.N. is with the U.S.