Monday, August 24, 2009

Conceiving of Iranian AND Israeli National Security

Both sides in the Iranian-Israeli nuclear dispute have gotten themselves into the mental trap of visualizing the dispute as zero-sum. That might of course be true; the trap is assuming it to be true and thus no longer thinking about it. Were decision-makers to start thinking, they would quickly realize it also might not be true.

If we open our minds to alternate possibilities, questions start popping up.

Can we define a situation in which Iran and Israel both simultaneously increase their national security?

Beginning of an answer:

The global community of relevant players agree that Iran shall have Russian defensive ground-to-air missiles in return for accepting verifiable constraints on its technical capabilities in long-range missiles, plutonium production, and warhead design. Israel, for its part, accepts verifiable controls over its nuclear-capable submarines, AWACS, and aerial refueling capabilities, while returning its bunker-buster bombs to the U.S.

The issue of how Israel and Iran will share regional power remains, but each country has become more secure because the other has less ability to commit aggression.

Note: All are encouraged to use this idea with citation, with one exception. Obama can use it in his next Mideast address for free.

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