Just imagine an Iranian-Israeli diplomatic meeting in which each side says, “Tell me how I can help you feel more secure. Let’s just see how far we can go.” This earthshaking little idea was broached here and slightly expanded here. Note also the perspective of former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami on “Owning Up to Israel’s Bomb” and my comment to that article. Further thoughts follow.
In a simple-minded zero-sum competition, anything good for you is bad for me. In a nuclear world, we need decision-makers smart enough to realize the madness of such a competition. When we pile up weapons even as we raise the probability of nuclear war, our "security" is declining. Simply put, we can each eat our own little "security pie" (filled with nice, crunchy tanks and missiles but lacking protection against nuclear chaos) or we can share a single much larger security pie that includes nuclear security.
In a positive-sum competition, we can both win. Can
If the goal is military hegemony over the
If one side wants to dominate, then it will oppose anything that strengthens the opponent. For example, to the degree that
This argument seems pretty elemental, but there are several possible explanations for the willingness of politicians to pursue confrontational paths of incredible danger. Some politicians clearly cannot resist the personal career benefits of waving the bloody flag of fear. In
So the mutual commitment to a suicidal zero-sum vision continues.Yet there clearly is another way, and I can't help but wonder what some current or future Iranian leadership team might offer in return for international acceptance of some measure of Iranian national security.