I’d be the first to agree that the world would be a safer place if Iran did not have nuclear weapons, that seems like a “no brainer” to me. But I’d also be first to recognize that an Iranian might see my “no brainer” as easy to say, coming as I do from a country with a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons.
If I were an Israeli I could easily wish Iran would not develop a nuclear capability. I don’t know that I could say that I didn’t understand, offensively and defensively, why it might be impelled to develop one. My own country is “understood” to have nuclear weapons although it does not openly acknowledge that it does. Whether it does or doesn’t, the fact that it is widely perceived to have them is surely a deterrent against attack from others. Wouldn’t it still be a deterrent if Iran had nuclear weapons? If both have them does it fate us (Israel) to a small-scale – but still large and costly – war with Iran because neither of us wants to confront a nuclear war?
Aren’t nuclear weapons a deterrent to their own use? As far as I know, there is no nuclear weapon use that can truly be precisely targeted. Radiation persists, is caught up in wind and water and spreads as nature rather than nations would wish. Despite some of the regimes that have nuclear weapons being among the least stable in our world, all I’ve been able to read suggests that they behave very responsibly about their weapons.
Once all the “responsible states” (especially those that already have nuclear weapons) begin to say that “Iran must not secure a nuclear weapons capability” are they not setting the stage, within Iran, for an absolute determination to get them? Pick another powerful state that would respond differently to others telling it what it must and must not do!
Most of what’s published on this blog is just my opinion, often based on little more than other blogs I read and the MSM. And, although I uphold the idea of contrariness for its own sake, most of what’s here is not greatly beyond the mainstream. Arguing for why Iran should get nuclear weapons and would get them inevitably was, in late January when I posted about it, contrary to all the received opinion I was seeing. The article linked below is by someone with some genuine expertise in the Middle East. It is nice to see that I am not the only person who thinks that, however undesirable it might be for Iran to have nuclear weapons, the sky will not fall.
We Can Live With a Nuclear Iran by Paul Pillar in The Washington Monthly
Romney has repeatedly said that “Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.” He often has emphasized that the option of attacking Tehran’s nuclear facilities is “on the table.” In that sense, his position is no different than Obama’s, who in his State of the Union speech said, “Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.”
via Will Romney’s promises match national security realities? – The Washington Post.
Once again, don’t US national security realities indicate that, if Iran wants atomic weapons, we and our allies are powerless to do more than delay their development? Changing the regime would mean war and a long term commitment in the area. Americans will fight wars but tend to lose patience with long term commitments in other areas of the world. A war strategy would also require assessing how other countries in the Middle East would respond to our once more taking military action there. Those who can be influenced toward violence toward us and our allies would have another recruiting tool. Would even the most reasonable of Muslims in 2001 when we were attacked might, in the aftermath of Iraq, the continuation or aftermath of Afghanistan (depending on timing), see one more war initiative by the US as different from a “crusade syndrome?”
Isn’t the question whether any of the candidates promise national security strategies, policies that match national security realities?