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By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
When I was in college, in the early 1980s, I invited Ronald Reagan’s defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger, to give a speech on campus. At the time, U.S. colleges were hotbeds of opposition to the Reagan administration, especially to its defense policies. Sure enough, as Weinberger began to speak, a series of students stood up and began to heckle. One after another, they rose and chanted a single line, “Deterrence is a lie!”
I am reminded of that turbulent meeting as I listen to the debates over Iran’s nuclear ambitions because it highlights a strange role reversal in today’s foreign policy discourse. It used to be the left that refused to accept the idea of deterrence – searching instead for options such as a nuclear freeze. And it used to be those on the right who would patiently explain the practical virtues of deterrence.
The conservative thinker Charles Krauthammer wrote in the New Republic in 1984. “Deterrence, like old age, is intolerable, until one considers the alternative.”
Yet today it is the right that has decided that deterrence is a lie. Krauthammer, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and others denounce containment and deterrence and would lead us instead to a policy that culminates in a preventive war. It is the right’s version of the nuclear freeze – a simple solution that actually doesn’t solve anything. Strikes on Iran would probably delay its program a few years while driving up domestic support for the government in Tehran and providing it with a much stronger rationale for pursuing nuclear weapons. Yet sophisticated conservatives insist that this route is preferable to deterrence.
Deterrence is a difficult concept to accept because it is counter-intuitive: The prospect of destruction produces peace. And yet its record is remarkable. Great powers went to war with brutal regularity for hundreds of years. Then came nuclear weapons, and there has not been a war between great powers since 1945 – the longest period of peace between great powers in history. The United States and the Soviet Union had a more intense and far-reaching rivalry than almost any two great powers ever. Each thought the other wanted to destroy its way of life. And yet, this rivalry did not result in war. Both sides were deterred.
So also with Pakistan and India, which fought three Wars before they had Nukes and none in the forty years since.
If deterrence doesn’t work, then why are we not preparing preventive war against Russia, which still has a fearsome arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles? Or against Pakistan, home to a military-intelligence regime that has been implicated in more major acts of terrorism in the past 10 years than Iran has in the past hundred? The argument that Iran would be deterred does not rest on its reasonableness but on the regime’s desire to survive. “Rulers want to have a country that they can continue to rule,” says Kenneth Waltz, one of the most distinguished theorists of international relations.
To gain credibility with his conservative critics and with the current Israeli government, President Obama has gone along with them, ruled out containment, insisted that he does not bluff and spoken of a “window” of opportunity for negotiations. This might prove a serious error: It boxes in the United States, limits Obama’s options and forces him on a path that could push him into an unnecessary, preventive war.
Anguish over the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon is understandable. It would be better for Israel, the Middle East and the world if Tehran does not acquire such weapons. The U.S. effort, in collaboration with almost the entire international community, to prevent this from happening and to put tremendous pressure on Tehran, is the right policy. But were Tehran to persist, were its regime to accept the global isolation and crippling costs that would come from its decision, a robust policy of containment and deterrence would work toward Iran as it did against Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Kim Jong Il’s North Korea and the Pakistani military.
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Fareed Zakaria has explained the Nukes, War, Foreign Policy re Nuclear States perfectly – except for a few “WHYS”:
1 - Why do Israel and the USA persist in War Threats, generally followed by actual Attack, Invasion, and Regime Change?
2 – And why don’t they follow that scenario with Nuclear Powers like North Korea, China, Russia and Pakistan?
WHY & WHY NOT
1 – If Israel and the USA already know that Deterrence is 100% effective whereas War only works to delay the inevitable (and both do know that fact), then obviously National Security and World Peace are NOT their Primary Goals! Only FOOLS follow a Path demonstrated to fail and ignore a Path proven to succeed. Neither the USA nor Israel are Fools!
The reason they pursue this Failed Policy is obvious. They pursue a Capitalistic Path of WAR FOR PROFIT, which necessitates Taxpayers financing the Debt Repayment to China after China supplies the actual Dollar$ by loaning the USA the Money in the first place.
Obviously that Policy benefits the Chinese also with none of the liabilities. China doesn’t engage in these Wars and does not risk Retaliation. Yet it sits back and collects that Interest while growing Capitalistically FAT!
As the Rothschilds financed Europe’s War against Napoleon in the 1800s, the Chinese finance the USA against Muslim OIL producers of our choosing. Note we never chose to even threaten Saudi Arabia, which produced 16 of the 19 Major Terrorists of 9/11 (including Osama bin Laden, who was Saudi).
Yes, Readers, we pursue a LONG TERM FAILED POLICY because it suits our SHORT TERM FINANCIAL GREED! Our Leaders, both Republican and Democrat (Republicrat & Democan), are legislating AGAINST AMERICA’S NATIONAL SECURITY to BENEFIT THE WAR PROFITEERS all over the planet! The Self-Interests of We The People plays no part in their actions!
2 – We know that Nuclear Powers don’t attack one another. That would be MUTUAL SUICIDE!
We also KNOW ISRAEL HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS (read Jimmy Carter’s book if you don’t already know this!)
So why is Israel so afraid of Nuclear Armament by Iran when Iran KNOWS Israel has Nukes already? Israel is NOT AFRAID of Iran’s Nuclear Potential. Yes, Terrorists could buy or steal Nukes and use them on Israel. But they could obtain these WMDs from Russia, North Korea or even the USA, not just Iran.
American Capitalists in the past have sold illicit armaments to the highest bidders. The USA financed Saddam Hussein’s Biological Terrorism against his own people. How hypocritical of our Political Leaders to pretend they never knew that when they claimed Saddam had committed Genocide against his own people!
In Summation, both the USA and Israel are hypocrites! And Israel is the USA’s ATTACK DOG in the Middle East. We do it for PROFIT, not NATIONAL SECURITY!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.