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July 15, 2009

The Power Of Example And Hard Cases Like Iran And North Korea
Posted by David Shorr

Our hard-liner friends are having a grand old time ridiculing the idea that reductions in US and Russian nuclear arsenals will help induce greater cooperation from Tehran and Pyongyang. The slam is popping up in so many places all at once that you start to wonder about a spin campaign. I don't know anyone who believes that nuclear arms cuts will cause a spontaneous change of heart in Iranian or North Korean leaders, but here's what I do believe:

  • that disarmament moves by the nuclear 'haves' will serve the ball into their court, lessening US policy as the topic of focus in nonproliferation diplomacy and putting the spotlight squarely on the nuclear wannabes
  • that living up to our end of the bargain will give us a strong argument to draw greater international support and increased pressure on Iran and North Korea
  • that no regime is immune to outside pressure and that such regimes have countervailing interests that weigh against building nuclear arsenals (otherwise there wouldn't be such a hot debate in Iran over relations with the West)
  • that moral authority must be combined with tough diplomacy and the remote but implicit threat of hard (conventional armed) power
  • that we have many times more nuclear weapons than can be reasonably justified
  • and that taking a hard line -- preserving military strength regardless of strategic rationale, issuing demands rather than bargaining hard over possible solutions -- makes even less of an impact and offers zero possibility of inducing cooperation.

In other words, we have no choice.

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Comments

I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work.

Mr. David Shorr

Strange, no mention of Israel!
This country has been immune to such pressure, or perhaps there wasn't any pressure at all, but rather a bit of quiet assent and encouragement.
What moral authority?
American,Israeli,British?
"Remote" threat of conventional power?
Remote, means like next week?
Against women and children?
Sorry, I mean collateral damage by drones guided by video game fanatics in Nevada, or other military installations.
It seems strange to me that most people never take into account what others are thinking, particularly in the case of Iran.
Iran has had a tragic historical experience with Britain and America, yet this is not mention by most commentators.
I wonder why?

I am very interested in it, could you please tell me some more imformation? Thank you!

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

Great comments! You are so nice, man! You never know how much i like'em!

Yes, that's cool. The device is amazing! Waiting for your next one!

Hi,
Great post.It is generally believed that Iran’s efforts are focused on uranium enrichment, though there are some indications of work on a parallel plutonium effort...

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The slam is popping up in so many places all at once that you start to wonder about a spin campaign. I don't know anyone who believes that nuclear arms cuts will cause a spontaneous change of heart in Iranian or North Korean leaders, but here's what I do believe
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