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Why should traditional Nuclear Deterrence fail?

Reader comment on item: Deterring Tehran
in response to reader comment: A 4th Option.....

Submitted by Al Wilner (Canada), May 10, 2006 at 11:34

One Realist projection from IR theory is based on the notion that rational actors (those that weigh the costs & benefits of their actions before deciding on a given behavioral path) is evident in statecraft, and thus, decision-makers and the states they lead are rational by extension.

This notion, when applied to nuclear proliferation, leads to the controversial claim that: "more nukes will stabilize international relations and power rivalries", because the cost of the wrong action in a nuclear rivalry leads to the worst possible endgame for all actors involved. As a conclusion, most people reject this idea from the start - it is, or at least sounds, rather ‘backwards’.

But historical lessons have added their weight to the theory: The Cold War, Pakistan-India, France-Britain, India-China, Egypt/Syria-Israel (with Israel's suspected program post-67) - most ended in stability.

Would not a nuclearized Iran, countered with a committed program of massive second strike retaliation by Israel (they have, after all, acquired 3 new German-built subs (2000) that are capable of launching nuclear missiles) be innately stable.?

The 'Samson Option' for the 21 Century. W. Sturm is right, if only following a little finessing.

Submitting....

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