Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World Nonproliferation Is Politically Asinine


It is true that in the hands of dictators or terrorists groups, nuclear weapons endanger peace and other nations. A policy of nonproliferation pointedly directed at dictatorships such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria is wise and momentous. However, for Obama, Europe, and the UN, the goal of nonproliferation applies generally to all nations, including democracies. This is the asinine fruit of soft political realism. Historically, realism in foreign policy assumes all nations, including democracies, are driven by the lust for power. Developing and maintaining stable power balances are then the diplomacy of international politics, and peacekeeping.

Democracies, however, rely on their nukes for protection, mainly to deter attacks on them. During the Cold War, the U.S declared that a nuclear counterstrike would meet any nuclear attack on the U.S. or Europe. This kept the peace. Without American nukes, the Soviet Union might well have invaded Europe leading to World War III. Or conflicts elsewhere, as in Korea, Vietnam, or China could have also led to global war

All the nuclear powers, U.S, UK, USSR, France, USSR, China, Iindia, and yes, even Pakistan, mindful of the consequences of a nuclear war, walked on eggs in their conflicts. Their claws were generally retracted in a serious crisis, or even a limited war, such as over Cuba, Berlin, Bosnia, Iraq, or Afghanistan. The sheer horror of nuclear war kept the larger peace.

Next, consider democratic Israel’s 200+ nuclear warheads. These now maintain her security and her life. No major Middle Eastern nation would endanger Israel’s existence and risk nuclear destruction of her major cities, with the possible exception of fanatic Islamofacist Iran.

Assume now that this analysis is faulty. Nonproliferation is still crazy. Democracies do not make war on each other. So, if they have nukes, they do not endanger other democracies. Thus, eliminating nukes only removes their protection from nondemocracies.

The only informed and logical policy then, is to assure nonproliferation among the thug regimes of the world.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is more the asinine fruit of - too often uncontradicted - leftism, often ideas originally promulgated by - well by the Soviet Union really.

    "Peace" movements having been around saying this for maybe 60 years already. Part of the problem I think has been an unwillingness to flatly distinguish between regimes. The Soviet Union always of course claimed to be a democracy, especially under Stalin.

    Think back to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

    In how many places in how many ways have has the possession of nuclear weapons been treated as if it the same thing in all countries equally?

    When a President calls a different government an "evil empire" there are people who get riled up against him.

    Now this has mainly been a fashion in academia. But it has consequences, and it may for some presidents at least provide the wrong starting off point.

    I think Obama knows better - he knows possession by Iran is quite different than presumed possession by Israel, and possession by the United states is not the same as Russia, but still this stuff creeps into rhetoric and even into policy,

    By the way one problem is that some people want to avoid an argument over whether some regime is evil or not. and it is so self-centered, s arrigant to say we are better...

    Maybe I haven't captured this right.