Suppose that nuclear weapons had proliferated widely soon after their invention, such that every national government possessed a nuclear arsenal of at least a few warheads.
How many times would they have been used from 1950 to present? Since world war II there have been a number of great power proxy wars, conflicts between regional powers such as India and Pakistan, and many Civil Wars + wars for independence see e.g. here.
I have the sense that conventional wisdom says the Cold War was a "close call" in terms of nuclear aggression, which would suggest that our observation of no nuclear conflicts could be explained by lack of proliferation. But supposing there had been proliferation, would the threat of "Global Policing" by US++ have prevented use? Or have their been conflicts in which one side of the other is sufficiently crazy to use them? Or maybe a skeptical take that nuclear weapons aren't that useful, as I understand is roughly the view here, is correct?
Interested in assessing the impact of proliferation on risk from WMDs for a differential technology strategy project.
Would be cool to get some guesses of the expected number of conflicts which had at least one nuclear detonation killing someone, your 80% CI of the same, and / or the likelihood of at least 1 nuclear detonation killing someone in this alternative world.