Saturday, September 1, 2012
Thank you, Mr. Krauthammer
Charles Krauthammer has written the following article in the Washington Post. The discussion on the death of MAD has finally hit the main stream media. Let us hope it will wake enough people up.
There are few foreign-policy positions more silly than the assertion without context that “deterrence works.” It is like saying air power works. Well, it worked for Kosovo; it didn’t work over
It’s like saying city-bombing works. It worked in
1945 ( Japan through Tokyo Nagasaki).
It didn’t in the blitz. London
The idea that some military technique “works” is meaningless. It depends on the time, the circumstances, the nature of the adversaries. The longbow worked for Henry V. At El Alamein, however,
chose tanks. Montgomery
Yet a significant school of American “realists” remains absolutist on deterrence and is increasingly annoyed with those troublesome Israelis who are sowing fear, rattling world markets and risking regional war by threatening a preemptive strike to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Don’t they understand that their fears are grossly exaggerated? After all, didn’t deterrence work during 40 years of Cold War?
Indeed, a few months ago, columnist Fareed Zakaria made that case by citing me writing in defense of deterrence in the early 1980s at the time of the nuclear freeze movement. And yet now, writes Zakaria, Krauthammer (and others on the right) “has decided that deterrence is a lie.”
Nonsense. What I have decided is that deterring
different from deterring the Iran . You could
rely on the latter but not on the former. Soviet Union
The reasons are obvious and threefold:
(1) The nature of the regime.
in its 70 years ever
deploy a suicide bomber? For Soviet Union Iran,
as for other jihadists, suicide bombing is routine. Hence the
trail of self-immolation, from the 1983 Marine barracks attack in to the Beirut Bulgaria bombing of
For all its global aspirations, the
intensely nationalist. The Islamic Republic sees itself as
an instrument of its own brand of Shiite millenarianism — the messianic return
of the “hidden Imam.” Soviet
It’s one thing to live in a state of mutual assured destruction with Stalin or Brezhnev, leaders of a philosophically materialist, historically grounded, deeply here-and-now regime. It’s quite another to be in a situation of mutual destruction with apocalyptic clerics who believe in the imminent advent of the Mahdi, the supremacy of the afterlife and holy war as the ultimate avenue to achieving it.
The classic formulation comes from
fellow (and rival Sunni) jihadist al-Qaeda: “You love life and we love death.”
Try deterring that. Tehran
(2) The nature of the grievance.
The Soviet quarrel with
ideological. America ’s
quarrel with Iran is
existential. The Soviets never proclaimed a desire to annihilate the American
people. For Israel ,
the very existence of a Jewish state on Muslim land is a crime, an abomination,
a cancer with which
no negotiation, no coexistence, no accommodation is possible. Iran
(3) The nature of the target.
In U.S.-Soviet deterrence, both sides knew that a nuclear war would destroy them mutually. The mullahs have thought the unthinkable to a different conclusion. They know about the Israeli arsenal. They also know, as Rafsanjani said, that in any exchange Israel would be destroyed instantly and forever, whereas the ummah — the Muslim world of 1.8 billion people whose redemption is the ultimate purpose of the Iranian revolution — would survive damaged but almost entirely intact.
This doesn’t mean that the mullahs will necessarily risk terrible carnage to their country in order to destroy
But it does mean that the blithe assurance to the contrary — because the
Soviets never struck first — is nonsense. The mullahs have a radically
different worldview, a radically different grievance and a radically different
calculation of the consequences of nuclear war. Israel
The confident belief that they are like the Soviets is a fantasy. That’s why
a preemptive strike. Israel refuses to
trust its very existence to the convenient theories of comfortable analysts
living Israel 6,000
its Ground Zero.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 10:22 AM