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Why Deterrence Won't Work Anymore
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A repost here, of a comment of mine on Electrolite:

Andrew Brown wrote: "If deterrence works on Hizbollah, why won't it work on Saddam?"

Cold War strategy just isn't gonna work in the 21st century, for a lot of reasons. The only worry of Saddam with nukes isn't him launching an attack on mainland America.

There are the additional threats that he could:

1) Share the technology with others (e.g. Syria), or even more dangerously, with non-state entities. People counter with, "If Saddam had nukes, why would he give them away?" One simple answer is, to avoid the consequences. I admit not being completely clear on the technology here. If a nuke went off in Chicago tomorrow (not delivered from an ICBM or dropped from a plane, but presumably a suitcase nuke), would there be any way to tell where it came from?

2) Iraq could resume its aggressive stance with renewed power. What happens with the following scenario: Iraq announces it has nukes. Then it reinvades Kuwait. The formulation changes quite a bit from the Gulf War then, doesn't it?

You get the idea. The only danger of Iraq achieving nuclear power isn't a direct, imminent threat to the US. There are very real regional dangers and ramifications to long-term proliferation.

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