When I was still a young political science professor, back in the 1970s, the term "crazy state" was used sparingly in the lexicon of academic nuclear strategy. More precisely, it was referenced in assorted learned discussions of countries that may sometime be controlled by irrational national leaders, and could therefore depart from usual rules of mutual deterrence. The potential consequence of any such departure, we had already understood, could have included nuclear aggression, or perhaps even nuclear war.

A ready example, back then, would have been a nuclear Iraq (remember Saddam Hussein and Osirak?).


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