Why Iran Should Get the Bomb
Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability
Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy
Waltz: 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...new nuclear states generally produce more regional and international stability, not less.
Mr. Waltz is assuming that future outcomes will be identical to past ones. In sum, such an assumption ignores the different dynamics at play e.g., how rivals will view the development. Second, his analysis misses the exception of North Korea. North Korea has continued to play a destabilizing role and has not become a stabilizing entity since acquiring nuclear weapons. North Korea's conduct has not changed toward a materially more stabilizing role.
Waltz: Although it is impossible to be certain of Iranian intentions, it is far more likely that if Iran desires nuclear weapons, it is for the purpose of providing for its own security, not to improve its offensive capabilities...
This is speculation. He acknowledges that Iran's intentions are uncertain, yet makes a conclusion that assumes relative certainty.
Waltz: Another oft-touted worry is that if Iran obtains the bomb, other states in the region will follow suit, leading to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. But the nuclear age is now almost 70 years old, and so far, fears of proliferation have proved to be unfounded.
Again, he is assuming a perfect match between the past and future, while ignoring the intense rivalries that exist in the Middle East. The India-Pakistan rivalry is relevant. Back in 1965, Pakistan's Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto declared that if India built nuclear weapons, Pakistan would follow suit. India tested its first nuclear device in 1974. Pakistan developed nuclear weapons in the 1980s. Already, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have explicitly indicated that they would not be indifferent to a situation under which Iran could attain a nuclear weapons capability. The India-Pakistan case suggests that one should not automatically assume Egypt and/or Saudi Arabia are merely posturing.
In sum, his piece is speculative. It misses a number of nuances in the historical record that undercut his thesis.
Last edited by donsutherland1; 06-09-15 at 12:27 PM.