April 19, 2008

A New Era of Nuclear Fear

Justin Katz

Charles Krauthammer broached a chilling subject yesterday:

The era of nonproliferation is over. During the first half-century of the nuclear age, safety lay in restricting the weaponry to major powers and keeping it out of the hands of rogue states. This strategy was inevitability going to break down. The inevitable has arrived. ...

The "international community" is prepared to do nothing of consequence to halt nuclear proliferation. Which is why we must face reality and begin thinking how we live with the unthinkable.

There are four ways to deal with rogue states going nuclear: preemption, deterrence, missile defense, and regime change.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was not the end of the story; it was the beginning of an even more complicated test. The world's leaders, it seems to me, have failed.

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Krauthamel never tells us how to define a "rogue state". He declares Iran and North Korea as two, but never explains why he does. I know that they are not U.S. allies, but does that make them rogue? Israel, for example, has extensive nuclear capabilities which it acquired surreptitiously in defiance of the U.N., but somehow he does not see the Israelis as "rogue".

The "logic" seems to work like this: State has nuclear capabilities and is our ally, therefore not = rogue. State has nuclear capabilities and is not our ally, therefore = rogue.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at April 19, 2008 10:07 AM

The Three Conjectures at the Belmont Club, on nuclear proliferation


Posted by: chuckR at April 20, 2008 8:15 PM
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