Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nuclear Proliferation

For years we endured the Cold War as the United States and Russia competed to stockpile enough nuclear warheads to destroy the world many times over. We read in the papers almost daily about the numbers of those terrible death dealing weapons that each nation possessed. Nuclear non-proliferation treaties were the talk of the day.

As the twentieth century came to a close nuclear proliferation was beginning to build a new head of steam. Israel, India, and Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons. Iraq had, at one time, made an attempt at beginning the process of developing nuclear material, and it was rumored that other nations, particularly in the Middle East were in the process of developing the capability of enriching uranium.

The Bush Administration embarked on a new, more dangerous route that, instead of curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, actually encouraged their development . The "Axis of Evil" was identified, and, in typical Bush fashion, these same countries were branded as enemies, and threats against them were made. This type of shoot first and talk later foreign policy only poured fuel on the fire and made those countries even more eager to complete the process and develop nuclear weapons. Our un-provoked attack on Iraq, citing weapons of mass destruction as the reason, made clear the fact that the United States would no longer use its military might simply as a deterrent for war.

These newly branded enemies of the free world would, naturally, feel threatened by a country that simply stated that Iraq had WMD and attacked. That threat, combined with an already militant and irresponsible nature heightened their desire to speed up development of a weapon, they could only hope would lessen the threat posed by a militant Bush administration. At the same time nuclear capability would make them a player on the world stage. Add the independent and very dangerous terrorist organizations, who also desire nuclear materials, and the world has quickly stepped to the brink once again.

When Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is factored into the equation, it is easy to see the various Arab nations' desire for an equalizer. With the United States' support, Israel seems to have Carte Blanche to attack when they wish or can claim a threat from a particular Arab entity. Combine the Israeli threat with a militant United States Administration and the Middle East becomes an even more dangerous powder keg.

It is a dangerous and very unpredictable world that the new "Leader of the Free World" will face next year. The next administration is going to be charged with beginning a world diplomatic process to dampen this nuclear threat from the Third World. Then there are the terrorist organizations such as Al Quaida, who may already possess the nuclear materials to produce a dirty bomb. It is certain that they desire to possess these materials. Instead of "staying the course" in Iraq, he must step up the pursuit of Bin Laden and bring him either to justice or oblivion. If our soldiers must die in the Middle East, they must die ending the real threat of terror, not as we languish in Iraq.

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