Thursday, May 07, 2015

Relying on Rational Iran

Iran is not a martyr state? Okay. But could any martyr-types get control of nukes? And what about their rational calculations of gain and loss?

We shouldn't worry about Iran having nuclear weapons because Iran is a rational state and not a martyr state eager to sacrifice Iran in order to destroy Israel, according to this author.

But what if martyrs gain control of some nukes? Are we really supposed to set aside worries even if 99% of Iranians are rational and support rational foreign policies?

Funny enough, the author points to our Cold War-era General LeMay as a potential nuclear loose cannon as a contrast to Iran's lack of such a man.

But how do we know there aren't many like that over there? Or won't be one day? Or won't make an uncharacteristically non-rational decision?

Iran is certainly rational--mostly. It was irrational for Iran to provoke American intervention in the Tanker War in 1987. For years Iran was rational and did nothing to draw us into the war. Until they did to their utter misfortune.

And even if Iran is mostly rational, do we know who will be in a position to make the decision about using nukes? We know that Iran isn't rational all the time. Do we have confidence that all factions of Iran will be rational all the time? Do they really believe we would retaliate with nukes at all? Do they really believe that Israel can retaliate with enough power to destroy Iran?

Further, how do they define "rational?" How many involuntary martyrs would fanatics rationally calculate (by their definition of rational and not our definition) is acceptable?

And what exactly are Iran's rational calculations about deterrence and nuking Israel?

Further, even if Iran never uses nukes, how much more aggressive will they be behind the shield of nuclear weapons? Remember, the basic problem is that nuts even without nukes are a threat to us and the region.

Finally, what will the Middle East region look like with nuclear missiles in Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and India?

You really have to be a smart guy to talk yourself into reasons not to worry about Iranian nukes. I say fans of Iran's rationality have to be right 100% of the time while my worries are justified if Iran isn't 100% rational 100% of the time.

But most basically, Iran doesn't have to be suicidal to use nuclear weapons--just wrong in the calculations about what happens if they use nuclear weapons.

But just you wait for the even brainier types to explain why to be safer we need to help Iran administer their nuclear weapons and scale back our objectives in the region.