Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 41478
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2018/04/26 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2006/1/22-24 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iran, Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Others] UID:41478 Activity:high
1/21    "India must not allow itself to be dragooned into joining the
         Washington-led nuclear lynch mob against Iran," The Hindu, one
         of India's most influential newspapers, cautioned Thursday.
         http://tinyurl.com/baa48
         Iran Sanctions Could Drive Oil Past $100
         Looks like US and Bush admin addiction to oil is compromising
         our abililty to impose sanctions without hurting ourselves.
         $100 oil will tip US into recession.
         \_ Trolling at its finest.
         \_ Simple answer--India wants gas.  Iran has lots of it.  Viz.
            China and Sudan.  -John
            \_ Iran supplys something like 18% of petro to China.  and
               Iran is only major oil-producing nation which China has
               big investment in it.   To ask China to mess around with
               Iran is like asking USA to mess around with Saudi's.
               \_ Sort of my point, isn't it?  The only difference is that
                  some nations exhibit more scruples about the types of
                  government maintained by their energy suppliers (at least
                  when it suits them to do so.)  -John
                  \_ absolute monarchy which export extreme version of Islam?
                     FYI, China deals a lot of nasty government for its
                     energy needs (Sudan, for example).  But Iran is *NOT*
                     one of those 'nasty' governments.
                     \_ I'm pretty sure everyone here but you would consider
                        mainland China to be one of those 'nasty' governments.
                     \_ Uhm, wow...chicom troll doublethink at its finest.
                     \_ Chicom troll, I am sad.  After all my intensive troll
                        training, your reading comprehension still equals your
                        grammar skills and no more.  -John
                        \_ care to explain how US-Saudi relationship is morally
                           more superior than China-Iran relationship?
                           ^more
                           \_ Why should I?  You did catch the "when it suits
                              them" part, right?  You may also have noted a
                              mildly sarcastic tone in my post.  Back to
                              reading comp 101, grasshopper.  -John
         \_ To the person worried about Pakistan as a greater proliferation
            threat than Iran, one of the key problems with Iran getting
            nukes is they're a terrorist state and, unlike Pakistan, would
            be very likely to try directly or help their proxy terrorist
            armies smuggle a nuke into some other country's harbor.  There
            can't be any retaliation for such an act since it would be
            impossible to prove who nuked the city.  That city could be any
            coastal city with a port (all of them) in the world, or any city
            reachable easily by land due to lax boarders.  "Iran getting a
            nuke just isn't that big a deal" is a stupid concept for this and
            many other reasons.  This whole thread is troll heaven.  Have fun.
            \_ Iran is not a terrorist state.  They support certain group to
            \_ Iran is *NOT* a terrorist state.  They support certain group to
               achieve their foreign policy.  If anything, USA has outdo Iran
               in Afganstan in the 1980s, both in terms of amount of money
               involved, and the degree of extremism which the group receiving
               the aid.  Iran, though eccentric from our point of view, is
               nevertheless a rational State.  No rational state would give
               out nuclear weapon to any group just because chances of getting
               backfired is very high.  Pakistan is a problem because their
               intelligent service, one of the best in the world, has close
               tie to Pushtuns/Taliban in Afganistan.  N.Korea is a problem
               because they have an army which is one million strong but
               could barely eat two meals a day... and that they don't
               really need any delivery mechanism to do some harm across the
               38th parallel.  By comparison, Iran is a much less of a problem,
               as their youth is demanding more and more reform and open policy
               in the near future.
            \- It is extremely unlikely any state would as *a matter of policy*
               give away nukes. Schelling and Waltz [see links below] agree
               with this position and the scenario you spell out seems
               ridiculous ... iran would give one of its only nukes to a
               "terrorist army" to do whatever it wanted with it ... something
               that doesnt really advance iranian state aims in any concrete
               way but does run massive risks of getting caught and in
               which case iran faces a gret likelihood of this getting traced
               back to them. so the "policy" of xfer to terrorists scenario
               is not likely. the "loose nukes" -> terrorists scenario seems
               more likely and the more reasonable threats there are russia
               [lots of nukes], pak [state meltdown] or nkorea selling nuke
               tech. again the issue isnt "should we be happy or sad about
               iran getting nukes" but "what should he us policy be" and
               the policy formation stage depends on your beliefs about how
               this changes iran's "intentions and capabilities".
         \- What does a nuclear Iran with a small number of bombs with
            limited delivery options let Iran do that it cant do now,
            except significantly deter say bombing Tehran. This is a
            serious question and I have some ideas but I want to hear
            what other people think first. --thehindu@soda
            \_ much of US' attitude toward Iran is irrational.  We
               overthrow their democratic government in the 1950's, then
               the Shah we installed got overthrown, and we were angry at
               Iran ever since.  So, answer your question, a nuclear
               Iran is probably less problematic than Nuclear N.Korea or
               Pakistan.   By the way, India were on the side of USA last
               time UN voted on this matter.
                    \- i didnt ask "why is the us concerned about iran"
                       [which would be a foreign policy question], i asked
                       "how is the iran+nukes scenario different from
                       the iran-nonukes scenario" which is a question
                       about prediction or capabilities. anyway, one
                       scenario which i suppose is possible is that
                       the new iranian leader will feel a little more
                       emboldened to pursue low level terrorism sponsorship
                       [unlike libya or syria now] with nukes than without.
                       btw, aside from anti-western fatatics, you can hardly
                       blame reasonable iranians for being pissed off about
                       how the us handled the aftermath of the vincennes
                       shooting down the iranian airliner.
               \_ Hi pro-Iranian Troll!  No one gave a shit about the Shah.
                  Are you totally unaware of that little thing we called
                  The Hostage Crisis that went on for a few hundred days?
                  \_ no one give a shit about Shah?  The demand *WAS* about
                     1. apologize the overthrow of Mosaddeq and
                     2. hand over Shah back to Iran so USA won't try to
                        install him again.
                     This is typical... memory selectively failed on
                     all the wrong doings beforehand, then react violently
                     to the repercussion in the name of self-defense.
            \_ Threaten to hit southern Europe.  I don't understand how this
               isn't obvious.
               \_ why Iran want to bomb southern Europe again?  it's not
                  obvious at all.
                  \_ I'll rephrase it from the other point of view: if you
                     were in south europe would it concern you if the crazies
                     in Iran got nukes?  (yes, you're in reach in S.E.)  Crazy
                     people should not have nukes.  That should be obvious.
                     \_ it is *NOT* obvious that Iran is a "crazy" state.
                        Just because USA doesn't like Iran doesn't make it
                        crazy.  There are plenty of nations having plenty of
                        normal bilateral relationships with Iran.  They are
                        no less / no more diff than any other countries in the
                        region.  In fact, if anything, Iran is a much normal
                        state than, let say, Saudi Arabia.
                        \_ BUD DAY does *NOT* like your tone, son.
               \- So if Iran gets 10 nuclear bombs they may threaten
                  to nuke Athens? Rome? Nice? Can you spell out this
                  obvious scenario a little more? I would be helpful
                  if you signed your name since I want to know if I am
                  speaking to the same person in a followup. Just out of
                  curiosity, why isnt Pakistan interested in hitting
                  southern europe. Obviously it is implicit in my question
                  "what could they do and would have some interest in
                  doing".
                  \_ I think I'm being trolled so my answer will be brief:
                     Pakistan is a secular dictatorship who wants nukes
                     because their long term enemy next door has them.
                     Pakistan also doesn't have the range to hit most of India
                     much less Europe so that isn't an issue even if they
                     wanted to do so.
                     Iran is run by religious fundmentalist Muslims who
                     believe it is their duty to spread their form of Islam
                     over the entire world.
                     Europe is a secular super nation/state and happens to be
                     the closest interesting area to Iran.
                     Finally, what is the point of asking for my name when you
                     don't give yours?  How do I know any responses will be
                     you?
                     \_ Two additions.  They are willing to spread Islam
                        by murder/conquest if necessary, and they seem to
                        think it would be a good idea to nuke Israel. -!pp
                        \_ you are mixing up Iran with Saudi Arabia.
                           Further, USA spread democracy by murder/conquest if
                           necessary too, right?
                           \_ When did you stop beating your wife?
                              \_ My eyes, they see only happy things!
                                 \_ You and chicom troll, man.  Maybe you
                                    should switch to a lower dosage....
            \_ Some possibilities that I can think of:
               1. Nuke strategic targets in Israel. I do not think that
                  Iran has sufficient conventional weapons that can be
                  delivered as far as Israel and cause serious damage.
               2. Give the nukes to Iran friendly factions currently
                  fighting in Iraq or Afganistan. Iran's conventional
                  capability, again, is probably insufficient to signif-
                  icantly affect American forces.
               3. Give the nukes to Pakistan for use against India (or
                  perhaps direct use against India).
               --yaHindu@soda.
                        \_ Seriously, each of your points are so dumb,
                           you really need to stay out of this discussion.
                           What does a faction struggling for political
                           control need a nuclear bomb for?  Given that
                           Pakistan already has nukes and Iran doesn't,
                           doesnt it seem a little odd to be talking about
                           Iran -> Pak nuke xfer.  And what does Iran get out
                           of seriously pissing off India?  Are you are troll
                           or are you an idiot?  To be ignorant of politics
                           is ok, but to be so dumb as to wade into a
                           conversation where you have no grasp of any of
                           the relevant facts, is just ...
                           the relevant fact, is just ...
                           India and Iran are on decent terms.  Khatami was
                           the guest of honor at the 2003 Republic Day
                           festivities. Later this week, this year's chief
                           guest will be the Saudi king.
               \_ Do you seriously think there would be anything left of
                  the place formerly known as "Iran" within several hours
                  of a nuclear attack on Israel?  Israel almost certainly
                  \- or france, or italy or ...
                  has the H-bomb, and presumably already has everything in
                  Iran targeted with the finger on the button, and one would
                  imagine that Iran knows this.  I would also hope, as an
                  American, that if they ever used a nuclear weapon on Israel
                  and  Israel was unable to retaliate for some reason, that
                  the U.S. would level their country.
                  \_ Do you seriously think the nutheads running Iran share
                     your belief in Mutally Assured Destruction theories or
                     your western view of the value of life?  Willing to bet
                     a few million lives on it?  Not even the Iranians are
                     willing to try to push that line.  Their entire public
                     stance is that this is about peaceful energy sources
                     for their own country which is a crock since they're
                     the fourth largest oil producer in the world and have
                     relatively tiny energy needs.
                                \- yes the public stance is a lie but the
                                   bush administration also knew that the
                                   steel tarriffs were illegal. and the us
                                   signing on to plank ii of the NPT is also
                                   a "crock". the rhetoric is not important.
                                   whether you would choose to bet on it is
                                   also not important, since preventing this
                                   is not a free choice. the question is
                                   what should the us do about it, and then
                                   three categories are accept that it will
                                   happen [not necesarily quietly], try to
                                   prevent it without military action, try
                                   to prevent it with military action.
                                   i personally think the us will not be able
                                   to prevent iran from getting nukes although
                                   it is possible some actions can make it
                                   take say 10yrs instead of 5. i also dont
                                   think the mullahs actually in power are
                                   as irrational as you seem to think they are.
                                   this isnt an especially great interview
                                   but it is from a long time commentator on
                                   nukes who isnt a liberal fruitcake on this
                                   exactly question. BTW Schelling also won the
                                   Econ nobel last year, in part for this work
                                   on nuclear deterrence theory:
                                     http://csua.org/u/eql
                                   After stumbling on that article i searched
                                   for some other good names. see the last
                                   page of this article:
                                     http://csua.org/u/eqm
                                  Nicely put: "the us worries as much
                                  about being deterred as being attacked".
                                  Well i dunno about the "as much" but
                                  if you factor probabilities in, that is
                                  probably true. Waltz is ex-UCB and
                                  "The world's most influential International
                                  Relations scholar" and "most cited book
                                  ever written in the field of International
                                  Relations". Mearshimer is also a pretty
                                  interesting fellow. Allison is a little
                                  airy-fairy. Jervis is solid. I am not
                                  familar with the other fellow.
                                   BTW, do you think the people advocating
                                   SDI dont believe in MAD? do you think they
                                   are willing to bet millions of lives on
                                   SDI/ABM technology?
                                  Relations scholar" and author of "the most
                                  cited book ever written in the field of
                                  International Relations". Mearshimer is
                                  also a pretty interesting fellow. Allison
                                  is a little airy-fairy. Jervis is solid.
                                  I am not familar with the other fellow.
                  \- look the "iran nukes X" scenario is ridiculous.
                     one thing that is possible is they will be
                     emboldened to more aggressively pursue low level
                     terrorism and figure the US is less likely to
                     bomb tehran in retaliation [along the likes of
                     Raygun bombing Khadafi]. i actually think the pakistani
                     bomb is more dangerous than the iran bomb because
                     a meltdown of the pakistani state in the crazy direction
                     is a lot more likely and then you may have loose nukes.
                     if pakistan has a meltdown in the next 10 yrs ... say
                     their maximum leader is assassinated and different
                     military generals start a violent struggle and one
                     tries to ally with a fundamentalist faction ... it will
                     be an interesting question whether india or the united
                     states will freak out more.
                     \_ How would a "meltdown of the pakistani state in the
                        crazy direction" look any different from what Iran
                        already is?
                        \- iran is not an anarchy. i would worry more about
                           the period of anarchy than the aftermath. that's
                           what i mean by "loose nukes". nuclear weapons are
                           good for deterring threats against the homeland.
                           the big problem with the is the problem of
                           accidents and proliferation to non-state actors.
                           what effects nukes have lower of the "ladder of
                           escalation" is unclear. like would the iran-
                           iraq war have looked different if one side had
                           5-10 bombs? i dont think that is clear. if both
                           sides had 5-10 nukes do you think it would have
                           happened at all?
                           \_ Pakistan is a different issue and is not
                              currently 3 months from having nukes running
                              around loose.  And even if Pakistan was in
                              the midst of chaos the Iran situation would
                              remain a problem and need to be dealt with.
                              I don't understand this "we can only deal with
                              or think about one problem at a time and the
                              worst problem makes the second worst problem
                              ok and acceptable by comparison."  This sort of
                              deflection is the second weakest form of
                              rhetorical debate tactic.
                              \- i'm not the one saying "we can only
                                 deal with one problem at a time" and i
                                 am not sure anybody else here is.
                                 my position is:
                                 1. i think iran will get nukes
                                 2. i think from their point of view it makes
                                    sense for them to get nukes [just like it
                                    makes sense for pakistan and the israelis,
                                    and note "makes sense/is rational" !=
                                    "is a good thing/makes me happy"]
                                 3. i would personally be more worried about
                                    the PAK nukes[#4], but that is a estimation
                                    of risks not a policy prescription ...
                                    i might think Las Vegas real estate will
                                    do better than Phoenix real estate but
                                    that doesnt mean i am suggesting buying
                                    into Vega$.
                                 4. in gereral i think the concern about
                                    proliferation is really about "loose
                                    nukes" rather than states we dont line
                                    having the bomb. so the problem is
                                    stability and competence more than
                                    ideology.
                                  [once again, you may wish to see the
                                  adelphi paper "the spread of nuclear weapons,
                                  more may be better", written by a now
                                  fmr ucb prof kenneth waltz.]
                                  5. sure iran is doing lots of lying but
                                     guess what, that's standard in diplomacy.
                                     if country A asks country B, are you
                                     spying on us, what are they supposed to
                                     do, answer the question completely and
                                     truthfully? when the us signed the non-
                                     proliferation treaty which says the
                                     nuclear states should eventually be
                                     pursuing the goal of total disarmamanet
                                     did the us lie?
            \_ Sell their oil to whomever they wish, continue with theocracy
               without fear of US inteference, etc. Nukes are a deterrent.
               They say leave us the hell alone.
               \_ No one is invading Iran.  Their 18 year effort to get nukes
                  and the lies they've told about it are not about getting a
                  deterrent.
                  \_ Instead of speaking in negatives, how about explaining
                     what Iran is doing, then?
                  \_ Various elements in the Bush Administration have
                     threatened Iran with invasion and Bush included them
                     in his "axis of evil" so I think it is reasonable that
                     they are concerned about an invasion. If things had
                     gone well in Iraq, Bush proabably would have invaded
                     Iran by now.
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Cache (7045 bytes)
tinyurl.com/baa48 -> biz.yahoo.com/ap/060122/iran_nuclear_the_oil_weapon.html?.v=4
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Both have strong economic and strategic ties to Iran, with China a large oil consumer and drilling partner and Russia a key supplier of arms and nuclear technology and services for what Tehran says is a peaceful program. Additionally, oil-rich Russia would benefit from higher prices and increased demand for its crude if Iran's oil were off the market. Influential India, which imports 75 percent of the crude it consumes, some from Iran, is a wild card in the referral struggle. It joined the US, Britain, France and Germany in September to back an IAEA resolution that set the stage for reporting Iran for violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. But pressure is building on the Indian government not to vote against Iran when the 35-nation IAEA board meets Feb. "India must not allow itself to be dragooned into joining the Washington-led nuclear lynch mob against Iran," The Hindu, one of India's most influential newspapers, cautioned Thursday. "Aside from the lack of any legal basis for threatening Iran with sanctions, India should consider what the US pressure on Tehran will do to international oil prices as well as to the overall security scenario in West Asia." The United States and its allies are thought to have the majority behind them on any vote for referral. Still they would like to see India, China and Russia on board -- all three countries carry weight among other IAEA board nations, and Moscow and Beijing have a vote on the Security Council on what to do about Iran, once it is referred. Associated Press Writers Alex Nicholson in Moscow, Constant Brand in Brussels, Laurence Frost in Paris, Nirmala George in New Delhi and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran contributed to this report. Brad Foss reported from Washington, George Jahn from Vienna, Austria. Currency Data Solution Need currency data for your application? This Xignite web service provides all the data you need in one reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-integrate XML/SOAP-enabled solution. Heritage Rare Coins and Currency Heritage buys, sells and auctions for great prices among more than 132,000 members, including images and descriptions, research data and over 525,000 past auction prices. Try 4 weeks risk-free of the FT and get Currencies and more. If you like it, subscribe for just $99 for one year (306 issues) - a savings of 79% off the cover price. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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NOBEL LAUREATES PLUS 10-27-2005 IRANIAN USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPON ON ISRAEL WOULD BE 'SUICIDE BOMB' Thomas C Schelling was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics for 2005. A professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, Schelling has long been active on nuclear-weapons issues. He spoke with Nobel Laureates Plus editor Nathan Gardels on Thursday, Oct. By Thomas C Schelling NATHAN GARDELS: There has been no nuclear war for six decades -- mostly due to the Cold War balance of terror, or deterrence, as well as the "taboo" of universal moral revulsion. However, as more and more players get the bomb -- India, Pakistan and now perhaps Iran or North Korea as well as terrorist groups, and as the US plans to build "bunker busters" for battlefield use -- isn't that bound to change? THOMAS SCHELLING: The hope for the future rests on the fact that, despite plenty of opportunities to use the bomb in these past few decades -- whether the US in Korea or Vietnam, or Israel when Egyptian troops crossed the Suez in 1973, or the Soviets in Afghanistan -- it wasn't used. This reality ought to impress India or Pakistan or anyone else who acquires nuclear weapons. By looking at these foregone opportunities, they will realize for their own case that using the bomb would incur universal opprobrium, if not bring devastation down on their own house. By calling this record to the attention of the Iranian leadership in particular, I hope they will see that any actual use of nuclear weapons other than holding them in reserve for deterrence would cause them to lose any friend they have and multiply their enemies. GARDELS: Iran is on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon. And now President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for "wiping Israel off the map." Doesn't this combination of capacity and intent call for Bush-style preemption instead of old-fashioned deterrence? SCHELLING: I don't think the ayatollahs or anyone else in Iran wants their own nation wiped off the map. They know that Israel has enough nuclear weapons and delivery systems to utterly destroy Iran in retaliation for any attack on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. GARDELS: And suicide bombing is not a tactic that works for nations or cultures. I'm sure they are studying the history of the past six decades, and of the Indian and Pakistan bombs, to see what nuclear weapons are good for -- defense and deterrence -- and what they are not -- actual use. GARDELS: Deterrence and fear of opprobrium may work for those with rational geopolitical calculations, but what about the al-Qaidas or Aum Shinrikyos who are either nihilists or make their calculations in some metaphysical realm? SCHELLING: I don't know if deterrence fits somehow into their metaphysics, but these groups are not likely to have much physical competence. Aum Shinrikyo did a lousy job of trying to poison people in the subway. They don't strike me as the kind of people who could put together a nuclear weapon if they had the fissile material. They might not be able to recognize if fissile material bought on the black market was really any good. Most terrorist groups would have a hard time finding people who actually have the technical competence in making a bomb who would be willing to devote themselves to doing so -- going off into seclusion, leaving their jobs and families for long periods and risk, in the end, being vilified as the bomb builder. It is simply too hard to recruit topflight scientists, engineers and machinists needed to do the job. And if they were able to do that, they would have put together an intellectual team that would have a hard time submitting to terrorist goals. Once such a group managed to put together a bomb, they would likely find it too precious to use and instead try to leverage influence from its threatened use. GARDELS: Doesn't the stated US intent to build a new generation of nuclear weapons, like the bunker buster that can be used on the battlefield, undermine the taboo that has kept the nuclear peace? SCHELLING: The US government ought to recognize the taboo is in its favor. I'm afraid a lot of people in the Pentagon think, "We are so rich in nuclear weapons, it is a shame not to use them." They should learn we are so rich in people and infrastructure that we will risk losing that if we encourage others, by our own example, to look positively on the use of nuclear weapons. That is why, among other things, it is important to get the United States Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty -- not because testing is important, but because that treaty is a pillar of the taboo, another nail in the coffin of the idea of weapons use. The US, above all, should never say nuclear weapons should be used preemptively. GARDELS: Well before Iran argued that global "nuclear apartheid" was unfair, the Indians made this argument in the long years they built up to testing. After the end of the Cold War, is there any justification for some to have nuclear weapons while others can't? SCHELLING: I don't think the US has a convincing argument against this Iranian charge of nuclear apartheid -- especially since we've been allies of Israel for many decades knowing they have nuclear weapons. Although, the Iranians should recognize clearly the limits on Israel -- even when it had the perfect target for tactical nuclear weapons of Egyptian troops as sitting ducks out in the Sinai desert in 1973, Golda Meir didn't use them. I don't know if there is any way to stop the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons. If they do, we should try to persuade them to declare -- as the Indians and Pakistanis have done -- that they are for deterrence and defense, not for offensive use. Further, we should assist the Iranians in making sure custody of their weapons are secure in any time of disruption. In the case of a riot in the streets, will the weapons be safe? It is important for the Iranians to understand -- and have access to -- technology like we have in the US that disables bombs if they get into the wrong hands. US weapons, for example, have "permissive action links"-- a radio signal code that arms weapons but that will also automatically disarm them it if launched at an unauthorized target. This will be a big dilemma for the US If the Iranians get weapons, will we be willing to share the technology to ensure the security of their use? NOBEL LAUREATES PLUS Distributed by Tribune Media ServiceS INC.
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Ideas Left: Pakistan's Ghauri missile, shown being tested in May 2002, has a range of 900 miles and can carry nuclear warheads. Right: A March 2002 satellite image shows the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea. North Korea announced in February that it had manufactured nuclear weapons to protect itself against a US attack. Left: Pakistan's Ghauri missile, shown being tested in May 2002, has a range of 900 miles and can carry nuclear warheads. Right: A March 2002 satellite image shows the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea. North Korea announced in February that it had manufactured nuclear weapons to protect itself against a US attack. The Boston Globe Give nukes a chance March 20, 2005 Page 3 of 3 -- John J Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and another preeminent realist thinker, describes himself as closer to Waltz than to Allison on the issue. Mearsheimer agrees with Waltz, for example, that nuclear states, no matter how ''rogue,'' are unlikely to give their weapons to terrorists. Whatever its sympathies, Mearsheimer argues, ''Iran is highly unlikely to give nuclear weapons to terrorists, in large part because they would be putting weapons into the hands of people who they ultimately did not control, and there's a reasonably good chance that they would get Iran incinerated'' if the weapon was traced back to the regime in Tehran. The problem of ''loose nukes''-in particular, Russia's inability in the years since the Cold War to keep track of all its nuclear materials-shows that even a country's strong interest in maintaining control of its nuclear weapons is no guarantee that some won't fall into the wrong hands, raising the threat of nuclear terrorism. Nevertheless, thinkers like Waltz and Mearsheimer, with their dogged focus on the calculus of national advantage and interest, raise a question that tends to get lost in much of the news coverage of proliferation: Do nuclear states like the United States oppose proliferation simply out of concern for their citizens' safety, or is there something more strategic at work? In Waltz's formulation, nations acquire nuclear weapons not to menace their neighbors but to protect themselves. And to the governments of North Korea and Iran, the primary threat is the United States. The United States, in other words, worries as much about being deterred as being attacked. According to political scientist Robert Jervis, Waltz's colleague at Columbia, ''We can't threaten to invade them. As Jervis notes, Washington's deep and vocal concern over proliferation only enhances the perceived value of such weapons. Whether or not nuclear weapons make the world a more dangerous place, they certainly make it a more humbling one, and their spread only narrows the options of the world's sole superpower. TOP E-MAILED ARTICLES India's long-range Agni II missile, shown in January 2000, can carry conventional or nuclear warheads and reach targets deep inside neighboring Pakistan and China. India's long-range Agni II missile, shown in January 2000, can carry conventional or nuclear warheads and reach targets deep inside neighboring Pakistan and China.