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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on June 16th, 2008 (All posts by )

    The optimal situation would be the preservation of nonproliferation — what Barack Obama calls “a world without nuclear weapons”. Unfortunately a nonproliferation regime in practice means a nuclear monopoly by a select few and the disarmament of the rest.
     
    Think about it. The two models of law and order are either to concentrate force in the police and disarm everyone else; or allow a universally armed society like the Wild West where the peace is preserved because because even granny’s packing.
     
    Barack Obama’s idea is that creating a world without nuclear weapons should begin with an American disarmament, which is a little bit like arguing that a neighborhood without guns starts with the police disarming themselves. Ha, ha ha.
     
    So what Barack Obama’s policy will probably result in is an acceleration of the collapse in nonproliferation which is already under way. AQ Khan did his damage a long time ago.
     
    So through technological diffusion and polic[y] idiocy, the odds are that nonproliferation will collapse sooner or later. Then what will we have then? I claim that once nonproliferation implodes everyone will want to get a nuke and won’t be shy about using it.

    Wretchard

     

    6 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. david foster Says:

      Related: The Swiss government has found, on a laptop and deeply encrypted, designs for a nuclear weapon compact enough to fit on a ballistic missile. It isn’t known who else has a copy, but there are of course concerns about both North Korea and Iran.

      This was the top story in yesterday’s Washington Post. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention in the blogosphere.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      You beat me to it with this quote. The mirage of a “world free of nuclear weapons” is perhaps the most dangerous of all liberal delusions. We lived in that world, from 1914-1945.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      Obama’s belief that we can kick start nuclear disarmament by first disarming ourselves reveals a lot about his world view. It shows that he views the rest of humanity as mere stage props in our own internal political dramas. He believes that others never act, they merely react to whatever we do. He believes we can exert fine tune control over the actions of others by careful control of our own actions.

      In Obama’s mind, if the U.S. had abandoned nuclear research, say after FDR lost the 1944 election, then Stalin would have never sought them even if he new for certain they worked. He simply cannot conceive of world in which others make decisions based on their own needs, histories, ideologies or other imperatives.

      People want nukes because nukes grant power. If aliens beemed the entire Developed world into another dimension tomorrow, the remainder of humanity would still want nukes. Obama is in the grip of that narcissistic vision of the articulate intellectual wherein all problems can be solved by talking.

      *sigh* Where going to be a long time cleaning up his messes.

    4. Lexington Green Says:

      “People want nukes because nukes grant power.” Absolutely right, and as you say, this would be true if the USA were to disappear tomorrow.

      But more specifically, and relevantly to today, nuclear weapons provide a cheap, effective deterrant to US conventional power. I remember after Gulf War I, a Pakistani general said that the whole world had learned its lesson from Desert Storm: Do not go to war with the United States unless you have nuclear weapons.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Eventually we will probably have to fight another country that has nuclear weapons. In that case I am sure that we will find a way to adapt.

      Eventually it is likely that one or more of the parties to a conflict will use nuclear weapons. However terrible it will be, one side will win and the other will lose. I think that we should try to figure out how to win if we get involved in such a conflict. Preventive war looks pretty good in this context.

      I suspect that our military is on top of such issues, but many members of our political class are obviously clueless.

      Nuclear (and other WMD) terrorism by independent groups is a frightening prospect. However, such groups do not exist in a social or political vacuum. There is always a state sponsor against whom we have leverage. This is likely to be particularly true for nuclear terrorism, for which substantial resources are required.

      Deterrence isn’t all-or-none, it is incremental. It is easily lost if the target of aggression does not respond adequately to threats and probes. It takes a long time to establish, and to reestablish if it is lost. It must be built up over time, by responding to provocations on all levels. There are no shortcuts. We have to be willing to fight and to lose people, to forestall much worse losses in the future. At some level our policy-making apparatus does not fully understand this point, and this lack of understanding is widespread among our allies. The Royal Navy’s mishandling of the kidnapped sailors is a case in point, the Gaza withdrawal is another, and we have done equally stupid things.

    6. peter jackson Says:

      He simply cannot conceive of world in which others make decisions based on their own needs, histories, ideologies or other imperatives.

      There it is right there. Most arguments I have against war opponents sooner or later come down to me trying to impress upon them that maybe, just maybe there exists other people in the world with their own values and world-views based upon those values that we don’t and possibly can never really understand. And again quite possibly, these same people have the ability to act on their own, in a way logically consistent with their own premises. If this is possible, then certainly it is possible that someone somewhere might choose to harm us or others based upon their own strange (to us) beliefs. And if that is possible, then it’s possible that we do indeed confront a self-professed enemy, and if so, what is the most intelligent response? Maybe…self-defense?

      yours/
      peter.