Erik Larson

Oct 4, 2009

MAD for Iran

We can say: “Don’t let ‘um have nukes” is the West’s current strategy with regard to Iran. But what about: “Give ‘um all nukes”? Is there a mutual assured destruction model for the Middle East? Suppose Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yeman, Oman, Kuwait, et cetera all had nukes (say, by redirecting the West’s money and time away from detection and protection towards some distribution of nuclear capabilities for all Middle East countries). Now, for example, Iraq can’t just go “tribal” on Kuwait, storming in with conventional forces like in the Gulf War. It faces nuclear retaliation. And so on for other conflicts with other countries. The Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) model has kept the rest of the world out of catastrophe since the beginnings of the Cold War. Why not in the Middle East? Do we really think the leaders of these countries would be quick to fire nuclear weapons at each other, thus extinguishing vast populations of people, poisioning there own lands for generations to come, and in general bringing any possibility of progress or reconciliation to a screeching halt? Or, would some group of Muslim-countries point their newly minted nuclear missles at the hated Jew-country? Would Israel adopt the policy of pre-emptive strike? Would MAD fail?