Friday, April 18, 2008

Krauthammer op-ed

This crap op-ed by Charles Krauthammer got me thinking about the nuclear club.  He claims the successful program in North Korea, and ongoing work in Iran mark the "end of the era of non-proliferation."  Really?  Let's look at the numbers:

Country/Year of successful weapon test

  • US, 1945
  • USSR, 1949
  • Britain, 1952
  • France, 1960
  • China, 1964
  • India, 1974
  • Israel, prior to 1979
  • South Africa, 1979
  • Pakistan, 1998
  • North Korea, 2006

Nearly every decade since the creation of the bomb has seen a nation, quietly or loudly, enter the nuclear club.  And with the arguable exception of Britain every one of those countries conducted the R&D work in strictest secrecy.  Secrecy in this context is not a sign of nefariousness, it is simply the way successful nuclear weapons programs get done. 

The idea that Iran's program marks some huge breach with the past is absurd, it would be a greater discontinuity if countries stopped trying to get nuclear weapons.

Snarkage:  Krauthammer on regime change:

Total safety comes only from regime change. During the Cold War, we worried about Soviet nukes, but never French or British nukes. Weapons don't kill people; people kill people. Regime change will surely come to both North Korea and Iran. That is the ultimate salvation.

Regime change equals remaking a country into Britain or France!  TOTAL SAFETY!

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