Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The consequences of Iran and MAD

There is a growing camp of people who believe that mutually assured destruction (MAD), the theory that kept the U.S. and U.S.S.R. from a nuclear war during the cold war, would work with Iran. I'm not of that camp, but if you are or are inclined to be, consider this. While MAD did prevent the outbreak of nuclear hostilities between the two superpowers, it also kept millions of people under Moscow's brutal authoritarian thumb. It wasn't just that we couldn't help nations like Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia; it was that they had any and all self determination stripped from them living under the Soviet nuclear umbrella. The Soviets just rolled in with their tanks, and there were no consequences for them doing so. Take that and transfer it to Iran. With a nuclear deterrent, the Iranians would be able to rapidly acquire client states in the Middle East before the remaining nations could acquire their own nuclear deterrents to Iran. We would be helpless to do much about it, lest we trigger Iran's use of their nuclear weapons. If you enjoy your nice cushy lifestyle, if you enjoy being able to drive a vehicle, that is a possibility that should terrify you. If Iran could control more oil producing states and also the Persian Gulf, oil prices would cripple the world economy to an extent most people living today in the West cannot understand because they've never experienced it. By doing so, Iran would effectively level the playing field of world power by bringing the rest of the world down to their level, creating a very, very strong position for themselves on the world stage.

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