Monday, July 10, 2006

Got Nukes?

I’m confused about this whole North Korea situation going on right now. As I am sure all of you are aware North Korea tested at least six long range missiles on the 4th of July. Since the testing of these missiles the rhetoric from all countries has been deafening, with the most hostile rhetoric coming from Japan where Japanese officials have called for a debate to see whether a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s missile bases violates Japan’s constitution.

Now I understand the argument that is made concerning North Korea and Iran possessing nuclear technology and how they could pass on this technology to the so called “terrorists”. Even so I have yet to see one news report of this actually occurring, unless someone out there knows something or has seen something that I haven’t. Yet we still label North Korea and Iran as two of the greatest threats facing our national security at the moment.

Now compare this stance in U.S. foreign policy to the stance we have taken with our so called “allies” in Pakistan. Thanks in large part to Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions they have started a brand new nuclear arms race with India. India just this weekend tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range that would make a nuclear strike against China possible. Back in 1998 the U.S. imposed temporary sanctions against India for nuclear testing, but I am guessing our response to these tests won’t be remotely similar since President Bush recently agreed to share nuclear technology with India.

Brand new nuclear arms races aside it is also well document that A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, has provided nuclear technology to such “terrorist” states as Libya, Iran and North Korea. And in response to Khan’s admission of providing nuclear technologies to “terrorist” states, General Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan for any crimes that were committed. And yet according to U.S. policy and our current administration Pakistan is a vital ally in the “war against terror”.

So basically I don’t get it, will someone out here in blogger world please explain to me how the current U.S. policy concerning nuclear non-proliferation is anything more then the one giant hypocrisy that I currently perceive it to be?

See also: What To Do About Iran?


PiedPiper said...

The thing about nuclear non-proliferation and foreign policy is that it cannot be boiled simplistically. One cannot expect to treat each country the same, and expect the same result to occur. It's a dangerous game to start saying, "Well, we let nukes slide with Pakistan and India, so maybe we should let nukes slide with Iran and North Korea." All four of those countries pose different challenges to the US from a foreign policy perspective, and all four of them pose very different threats to global peace and security.

That being said, the only way, in my humblest opinion, to get serious about non-proliferation is to make concessions with our massive arsenal as well. We cannot simultaneously hold enough nuclear weapons to blow the Milky Way to smithereens and expect countries to listen to us when we say they're a bad thing to have. The lure of nukes is that they bring small and undeveloped countries very quickly up to parity - more or less - with large and developed countries. So the question is not why do we insist on a no-nukes policy with Iran, but offer India help with nuclear technology, but why not reduce our unnecessarily large nuclear force while multilaterally (gasp!) working with other countries to pull the plug out of the nuclear boat, so to speak. Thus, we lower the overall nuclear weapons capacity while still maintaining our strategic edge and we achieve some uniformity in confronting nuclear challenges in foreign policy.

BTW, for the most extensive AQ Khan covereage, check out a cover story The Atlantic ran last November:

Also, who did you pay to get 8 votes in the Pie-Eyed Poll? It's a mockery of an esteemed institution, and like, this aggression will not stand. Man.

A Green Cowboy said...

So many solid conversations at once. This blog is a beautiful thing.

Anti-Everything said...

pie i couldn't agree with you more concerning the nuke dilemna...also I just checked the total tonight, people must have really missed me when i was gone.

Ilya said...

This challenge to U.S. hypocrisy is I think flawed in its premise that states should act consistently in the arena of international affairs. It is not only true that as a matter of fact states tend to do what they think is in their interest without considering other concerns, but that there are advantages to being hypocritical, which is just another term for being unpredictable. And in war, it is necessary to be unpredictable to throw off your enemies' strategies. And politics, especially international politics, is much more like conducting a war than anything else.

Anti-Everything said...

So we support regimes that provide nuclear technology to our “enemies” all in the name of remaining unpredictable? Seems rather asinine to me.

Mandingo said...

Anti, does ballot-stuffing translate into, "people must have really missed me when I was gone"?

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I just think that this it is interesting that you would describe Japan's rhetoric as hostile. Especially as you wash over North Korea. Kim Jong Il has raped and plundered his country, meanwhile, a couple million people have starved to death. All this time he has been the one doing the saber rattling. Should Japan construe his missile launches over their air space as a friendly gesture. I think not. In this context Japan's discussion of preemption should be considered as eminently reasonable.

Anti-Everything said...
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