April 13, 2010
THE ARGUMENT FOR FIRST STRIKES:
What Obama’s Nuclear-Weapons Conference Misses (William Pfaff, 4/13/10, TruthDig)
The specific inspiration for weapons proliferation (or for countries to achieve “last-stage” status, which is to say a complete technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, able to be activated if needed) is deterrence.
Japan is thought to possess last-stage status, and many think that this is the status Iran seeks. Israel is an (undeclared) major nuclear power and is determined to remain one. North Korea presents itself as a nuclear-weapons power, and may be one.
The most important force at work among vulnerable third-world states is the desire to have a nuclear deterrent against invasion or attack by the United States (or in the Iran case, Israel), or by some other nation in the future. Iran seeks to protect itself while re-establishing its regional influence.
As Mr. Pfaff accidentally points out, the great failure of deterrence came when the US failed to nuke states that developed nuclear weapons, which would have demonstrated that they have no deterrent effect on us. There's still time to teach the lesson though. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2010 6:12 PM