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Saturday, February 21, 2009


When we ask nations not to develop nuclear arms, is that a principled position or a pragmatic position. In other words, encouraging democracy, I think, is a principled position because I honestly believe democracy is a better form of government. I think it generally improves the lives of the citizens, etc.

While we continue to be armed to the teeth, when we ask other nations not to pursue weapons of mass destruction, we are just looking to maintain our advantage, right?


Josh Gentry said...

Correct. Which is also why there is no reason for them to listen to us, unless there is serious carrot or stick. All the nuclear non-proliferation stuff is completely self-serving.

shadowfax said...

Though, giving the Devil his due, I read that W reduced the US's nukyular warhead stockpile by a staggering amount (well ahead of the schedule required by START or which ever the hell treaty obligates warhead reductions). We are down from 25K warheads to "only" a couple thousand. Still a lot, but while not exactly "disarming" we are also reducing the degree to which we are armed. If you take it as agreed that nukes are inherently bad, then I would argue that our actions match our rhetoric in this case.

Josh Gentry said...

25k or 4k, does it matter to someone who has none?

I'm not saying its an evil position, but its pragmatically self-serving. We will never not have nukes, because we would leave ourselves terribly vulnerable to anyone who did. At the same time, we want as few actors to have the capability to hurt us or our interests to that massive degree. Completely rational. Not an argument for anyone else not to arm, however.

Josh Gentry said...

By the way, Daniel Abraham's series, The Long Price, has this tension at its center. It is the driving force behind the big events in the series, and there are some big events.