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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on February 9th, 2005 (All posts by )

    But the situation will be even more dangerous than Coll suggests. Long before a faculty lounge in Islamabad or Riyadh realizes it can build a bomb alone and secretly, the same thought will have occurred to individuals in Tel Aviv, New Delhi or Palo Alto. Any Islamic group that believes it can attack New York deniably should convince itself that no similar group can nuke Mecca at the height of the pilgrim season. In fact, the whole problem that Coll describes should be generalized. The only thing worse than discovering that New York has been destroyed by persons unknown is to find that Islamabad has been vaporized by a group we’ve never heard of.

    Wretchard

     

    6 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Ken Says:

      Anything that allows cheap, easy-to-build nukes could also allow cheap, rapid travel and population dispersal – if the authorities allow it. Higher energy density cuts both ways.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      I think that technology that makes certain weapons easier to make also makes them easier to detect and defend against. It might be much easier in the future to make a bomb but it will also be much harder to deliver it to a target, by whatever means, and escape detection.

      Short term there is only one true defense. Make sure that the nation states where such plots might be hatched are fully cognizant that they will be held responsible for any such attack originating from their area of control.

      For example, I think we should announce a doctrine of massive retaliation against Iran for any use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons traced to them. Let the mullah’s sweat through that.

    3. Dave Schuler Says:

      For example, I think we should announce a doctrine of massive retaliation against Iran for any use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons traced to them. Let the mullah’s sweat through that.

      Yes, I argued for much the same thing here.

    4. Bill Hight Says:

      Both Iran and North Korea should expect massive destruction if the US is ever attacked with WMDs, regardless of origin. Both countries should be made aware of such consequences, and the retaliation should be immediate, without any delay to investigate the source. All effort should be made to determine the source of the attack, but by then the countries of Iran and North Korea would have long since ceased to exist.

      Once a comprehensive determination of guilt had been made, additional guilty groups, persons, and countries could be dealt with. That would also be a good time to deal with Saudi Arabia’s Wahabist problem.

    5. Ronald Coleman Says:

      I was thinking about this just the other day: Wny not leave a standing understanding out there, that Mecca is on Ground Zero if anything nuclear happens to our cities, etc. I don’t think it works. There are too many asymmetries — morally, politically, etc.

    6. ATM Says:

      Of course the Wahabbi’s don’t like shrines and holy places (though they don’t mind declaring an entire peninsula of limits to non-Muslims), so they might not really care.