Friday, January 30, 2015

Are Nuclear Weapons for Defense or Slaughter?

Instapundit notes that given the threats Israel is under, he'd build a doomsday device to give the world incentive to keep Iran from nuking Israel one day. Israel has a regional doomsday device, I'd say.

Citing Israel's loss of security pillars, Instapundit writes, "If I were the Israelis, I’d build a doomsday device, to give everyone a stake in my survival. Maybe several devices. But that’s just me. . . ."

If Israel has somewhere near 80 or so nuclear weapons, Israel has a doomsday device. If they use them that way.

And as I wrote almost nine years ago, if Iran hits Israel with a nuclear weapon (or multiple warheads), how does Israel respond? With a Samson Option?

Obviously, if Iran strikes Israel, deterrence has failed. At that point a nuclear strike on Iran is about revenge. Although you can argue that retaliation against Iran will strengthen deterrence against other less-nutso states who might want nukes.

If striking Iran is just about revenge, how does that really help the survivors in Israel? Isn't an Israel crippled by Iranian nuclear weapons vulnerable to conventional military defeat?

We have to consider whether Arab states might pounce on a wounded Israel. We have to consider whether Israel might think about that possibility even if no Arab state is thinking about striking at the time of Iran's attack.

Maybe Israel will think holding back some nuclear weapons from the Iran retaliation will protect them from conventional invasion. Will it?

Will they even be thinking rationally enough under those circumstances to weigh the risks of not expanding the nuclear war?

So if nuclear weapons are a means of national defense and not just a means of revenge killing, wouldn't Israel have to consider using some nuclear weapons to cripple potential Arab invaders (and their wealthy backers) in addition to hitting Iran?

Which might mean that if Iran gets nukes, regional states have more incentive to have their own nukes than just worrying about Iran with nukes. How do we stop proliferation under those circumstances?

Our president continues to seek a nuclear deal with Iran that will leave them with the capability of going nuclear. He got a Nobel Peace Prize for his potential for leading nuclear disarmament, recall.

You don't really think our president will strike a good deal, do you? (That's my comment in the update.)

Have a super sparkly day.