Iran getting its hands on a nuclear bomb may be the best possible outcome, writes Kenneth Waltz, a senior research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies.
What has destabilized the Middle East – as much as anything else – is Israel’s nuclear monopoly, he says.
Israel fears Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, and the U.S. has argued nuclear bombs should not be in the hands of irrational regimes. Waltz writes this off.
“Such language is typical of major powers, which have historically gotten riled up whenever another country has begun to develop a nuclear weapon of its own,” Waltz writes. “Yet so far, every time another country has managed to shoulder its way into the nuclear club, the other members have always changed tack and decided to live with it. In fact, by reducing imbalances in military power, new nuclear states generally produce more regional and international stability, not less.”
Click here to read Waltz controversial piece. He says that historically, once a nation is bent on getting a nuke, it often gets one and it’s really no big deal since no two nuclear-armed states have ever attacked each other.
To me, it is disturbing to see these powerful weapons in Iran, but they are also in the hands of Pakistan, North Korea, China and Russia. And in these states we are forced to deploy diplomacy instead of tactical weapons strikes. Click here for a list of nuclear powers.
It would be nice to keep nukes from spreading further, but maybe Pandora’s box was opened a long time ago. And maybe, more than anything else, an Iranian nuclear bomb is an obstacle to our real goal for the Middle East – to consume all of its oil.
Click here for a segment debating the issue on the PBS Newshour.
Read Waltz piece and tell me your thoughts.