Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Got Nukes?

Everyone is jumping at the chance to comment on the revelations about Iran's nuclear-program-that-isn't. This all well and good, but remember that they have potential.

However, even if Iran did go nuclear, is it a major worry? Nukes in the hands of Islamic revolutionaries sounds spooky, but consider the real application of nuclear weapons: deterrence.

If Iran were nuclear, then she could not be attacked with nuclear weapons for fear of reprisal. That's the result, welcome to the club. If Iran launched on Israel, or almost any other state for that matter, she would be eliminated. If her nuclear materials were used by a terrorist cell, she would be eliminated. In a sense, going nuclear would almost usher Iran into the big-boy realm of international politics and force her to be a rational actor, and less of a mouthy tart.

Fewer nukes in the world is always a good thing, there can be no illusion of this fact. However, proliferation is going to happen, and some of it we are thinking of sponsoring (India). As long as the "nuclear taboo" is respected, then nuclear states will still fight conventional wars with little incentive to use their nuclear arsenal. To do so is suicide.

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