Thursday, January 05, 2006

America's Nuclear Ticking Bomb

By Jorge Hirsch
This guy knows what he's talking about.

...Russia and China have sided with Iran in that it is legally entitled under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for nonmilitary purposes. The United States adamantly opposes Iran's restarting of any uranium-enrichment-related activities and is pushing for Iran to be referred to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions. The United States has explicitly not ruled out its own military option against Iran and has recently exercised that option against a state (Iraq) suspected of having weapons of mass destruction and of sponsoring terrorism. Iran certainly falls in that category.

If only conventional bombs are used in an unprovoked U.S. or Israeli aerial attack against Iran's facilities, Iran is likely to retaliate with missiles against coalition forces in Iraq and against Israel, as well as possibly a ground invasion of southern Iraq, that the 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq would not be able to withstand. Iranian missiles could potentially contain chemical warheads, and it certainly would be impossible to rule out such possibility. Iran has signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (in 1993 and 1997 respectively), however it is still likely to have supplies, as determined by the U.S. State Department in August 2005.

Early use by the United States of low-yield nuclear bombs with better bunker-busting ability than conventional bombs targeting Iranian nuclear, chemical and missile installations would be consistent with the new U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine and could be argued to be necessary to protect the lives of 150,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq and of Israeli citizens. It would also send a clear message to Iran that any response would be answered by a far more devastating nuclear attack, thus potentially saving both American and Iranian lives.

However, the nuclear threshold is a line of no return. Once the United States uses a nuclear weapon against a nonnuclear adversary, the 182 countries that are signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty will rightly feel at risk, and many of them will rush to develop their own nuclear deterrent while they can. A new world with many more nuclear countries, and a high risk of any regional conflict exploding into all-out nuclear war, will be the consequence... (more)
Chris at Americablog has this related tidbit also

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