The optimal situation would be the preservation of nonproliferation — what Barack Obama calls “a world without nuclear weapons”. Unfortunately a nonproliferation regime in practice means a nuclear monopoly by a select few and the disarmament of the rest.
Think about it. The two models of law and order are either to concentrate force in the police and disarm everyone else; or allow a universally armed society like the Wild West where the peace is preserved because because even granny’s packing.
Barack Obama’s idea is that creating a world without nuclear weapons should begin with an American disarmament, which is a little bit like arguing that a neighborhood without guns starts with the police disarming themselves. Ha, ha ha.
So what Barack Obama’s policy will probably result in is an acceleration of the collapse in nonproliferation which is already under way. AQ Khan did his damage a long time ago.
So through technological diffusion and polic[y] idiocy, the odds are that nonproliferation will collapse sooner or later. Then what will we have then? I claim that once nonproliferation implodes everyone will want to get a nuke and won’t be shy about using it.