A new nuclear equation

The world needs a policeman who doesn’t follow rules or worry about being politically correct.

February 9, 2018 04:02
3 minute read.
A PAKISTAN ARMY vehicle carrying the long-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missile

A PAKISTAN ARMY vehicle carrying the long-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missile passes a portrait of the nation’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in 1999.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The greater the number of countries around the world with nuclear capacity, the harder it becomes to conduct decision- making processes that will lead to nuclear deterrence and prevent nuclear war from breaking out. This concern will be even more pressing when Iran and North Korea join this group.

At the end of World War II, there was only one nuclear power in the world. With only one nuclear center, the strategy for creating deterrence was much simpler: The single power simply dictated its will on the rest of the world. Indeed, the US attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought about the end of WWII. At the time, the Germans were on the verge of developing nuclear power. Had they succeeded in time, there would have been counter nuclear pressure from the Germans and it would have changed the outcome of the war.

In later years, the Soviet Union became a nuclear power. In those years, a classic and simple form of deterrence existed between the US and the Soviet Union. These two powers on either side of the Atlantic Ocean each owned a large array of missiles, planes and submarines with nuclear capability.

Both had access to a red telephone line whose purpose was to prevent catastrophic errors from being made and the rules of the game were accepted by both sides. Both the US and the Soviets had second-strike capability, which assured that each side could respond powerfully to a nuclear attack in a timely manner.

Every so often there were volatile days, but the deterrence remained in place because both the US and the Soviet Union were led by sane and calculating leaders. Both sides adopted strategies of nuclear deterrence – a strategy whose longterm goal was to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

Over the years, other nuclear powers have emerged, such as China, India and Pakistan, while North Korea and Iran work to set up nuclear missile systems of their own.

When China, India and Pakistan joined the club, things were still manageable, especially until the fall of the Soviet Union. During that time, China was a Soviet cohort, and India and Pakistan were wrapped up in their own closed circuit. In other words, there were now three parties involved in maintaining deterrence: the East, the West, plus the India/ Pakistan element.

This system was still manageable.

But since that time, a number of changes have occurred that have disrupted this matrix of nuclear deterrence. First, following the downfall of the Soviet Union, China gained strength and turned into its own power center, and then Pakistan ceased to function as a clear American ally, also turning into a separate nuclear-armed power to be reckoned with. And now, North Korea and Iran – countries considered to be crazy, or at least following crazy strategies – are also on their way to becoming nuclear entities.

Likewise, it won’t be long before a newly Islamicized Europe achieves nuclear capabilities, too. In other words, we are on the brink of a new, multi-player arrangement that will be impossible to control, with a constant threat of nuclear war. Strategic analysts, who rely on statistics and research, would say that assuming Iran and North Korea gain nuclear capability, the probability of a nuclear war breaking out in the upcoming 20 years is close to 99%.

If North Korea and Iran weren’t in the picture, the chances would be considerably lower. These two entities completely change the algorithm that helps us make decisions in times of crisis. If we add the rigid political and economic policies that currently exist in the world to this model, we will certainly reach the conclusion that the war to end all wars is likely to take place.

The only way to reduce the chances of such a catastrophe would be to eliminate North Korea’s and Iran’s military and nuclear threat. Who can achieve this? An Islamicized Europe? A Russia that is so absorbed in its own complicated economy? A China that has its own twisted relationship with North Korea? Probably not.

The world needs a policeman who doesn’t follow rules or worry about being politically correct.

Someone who isn’t afraid to strike the Iranians and North Koreans.

That person just might be Donald Trump. To take on crazy countries such as Iran and North Korea, which are causing the old Western world to wet its pants, the world is in dire need of a leader who is ready to put forward his own crazy strategy, to speak their language and to neutralize them.

The author is an IDF brigadier-general (res.) and a member of the Reserve Officers for Israel association.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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