He goes on to note a substantial list of actors that have had nuclear weapons and not used them. I think that the following are worth emphasizing: North Korea, India, and Pakistan.
Much of the debate about Iran is predicated on two premises: first that their leadership is unstable, if not insane, and second that they are driven by (and therefore blinded by) religious and ethnic hatreds.
Now, we have two test cases for contrast: in North Korea the precise stability of the previous rule, King Jong Il, was a legitimate question. Certainly his was case in which the appearance to the rest of the world was of a egomaniac who made any number of questionable, if not downright strange, decisions. However: no use of nukes. North Korea is also a case of a system of highly concentrated power in the hands of the Supreme Leader (note the title) and yet, their general behavior falls into basic category of a rational state actor (even their “crazy” behavior, like some of the attacks on the South, were clearly calculated to achieve certain goals, which were often achieved). We like to talk colloquially about “crazy” states and “irrational” leaders, but we do so without much in the way of evidence. Yes, people like Ahmajinedad says some “crazy” things—but the proof is not in the rhetoric, it is in the actions of states.
The other example, India-Pakistan, lends significant credence to the notion that even states whose basis of animosity is grounded in ethno-religious conflict will behave the way that basic deterrence theory assumes that they will behave. That is to say that the leadership in question will calculate that the losses from a nuclear exchange far outweigh any gains to be had from engaging in a first strike. Where is the evidence to suggest that Iran will behave any differently? I would note, too, that there appears to be plenty of religious ideologues in the Pakistani government.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 00:46