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Old 04-11-2006, 06:09 PM   #14
Adept Havelock Adept Havelock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
I'm not sure why you would be more concerned with surplus "Soviet" nukes than Iranian nukes.

Easy. I know former Soviet nukes currently exist and are taken as the most serious threat by most of the "players" in NBC terror prevention. At least, according to the overwhelming majority of declassified literature on the subject, and the few professionals I know in that field.

"Soviet-era" nukes currently exist, and are a real threat. "Iranian" nukes currently do not, and are not as of yet. Call me a pragmatist. That, and I think those in the arms "black market" are considerably less concerned with realpolitik than the Iranian leadership.

BTW- What makes you think Pakistan's capability came as surprise? They made no secret of their intentions since the first Indian nuclear test in '76. IMO, it was likely as about as big a surprise to the US leadership in the 90's as the complex at Dimona was to the US leadership in the 60's and 70's.

As for MAD, what's the option? Becoming the only nation in history to launch nuclear attacks on two different nations? Yes, it depends on "rational actors". So does the entire breadth of international relations. Do you really think that the Soviet Leadership was any less of a threat, or less bent on hegemony, than the Iranian leadership? The Iranian leadership is fully aware, as were the Soviets, that any attack that can be traced back to their reactors would be followed by "massive retaliation", to use a quaint phrase. Even the nutjob Ahmadinejad realizes that it's kind of difficult to lead the Caliphite into a new era when it's primary nation (and it's leadership) is a plain of smoldering glass. JMO.

The world went through several other crises in nuclear diplomacy due to poor decision making like Hussien's in the example you cited. Study up on the superpowers' response to the Hungarian Revolution/Suez crisis in '56, the Cuban Crisis of '62, the Czech crisis of '68, the Yom Kippur War in '73, and the Soviet fears generated by the NATO "Able Archer" exercise of 1983. We're still here. In an insane nuclear armed world, MAD is the only sane option, apparently.

It certainly doesn't help that the threat of a rogue Soviet-era weapon was raised by the draw-down in controls funding by the Bush administration untill national attention was focused on it briefly during the runup to the '04 campaign.
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Last edited by Adept Havelock; 04-11-2006 at 07:06 PM..
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