Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Other Saudi Nuclear Option?

I've noted that Saudi-Pakistan nuclear and defense cooperation could easily extend to Pakistan providing their "Islamic bomb" to the caretakers of Islam's holy places. Is there another source?

Yes, Pakistan could provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons.

But is there another source?

Consider that the news has reported intensified cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia over Iran's nuclear ambitions and the conviction by both countries that America will do nothing to stop Iran from going nuclear.

The assumption seems to be that Saudi Arabia would make its air space and possibly territory available for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities as a last resort.

But what if Israel considers supplying Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons to deter Iran?

Seriously. Stay with me.

What if Israel, despite its rhetoric, does not believe they can strike Iran absent an American green light? A green light that an America determined to score a final deal with Iran will not provide.

If Israel can't risk alienating us by striking Iran and is sure that Saudi Arabia will get nuclear weapons from Pakistan in response to a nuclear Iran, might not Israel provide nukes that perhaps have safeguards built in to them to prevent them from being launched at any target but Iran?

If Israel hard wires them for whatever targets in Iran that Saudi Arabia is willing to target, could the warheads be locked up so they can't be reprogrammed or disassembled for their raw materials?

Could the weapons be designed to degrade to inert condition within a couple years (they do, anyway, because of a special gas required--in our designs, anyway), requiring Saudi Arabia to rotate the weapons back to Israel for replacement that often?

For Saudi Arabia, they'd have better quality nukes than Iran's North Korean- and Pakistan-derived design, and would not risk antagonizing India over nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.

And maybe other states in the region would feel safer with Saudi nukes that can only be fired at Iran, thus stopping post-nuclear Iran nuclear proliferation at one more--Saudi Arabia.

Shoot. We might even be quietly relieved that Saudi Arabia doesn't go the Pakistan route if we accept Saudi nuclear ambitions as readily as we accept Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Desperate people do desperate things. How desperate is Israel?