Monday, August 1, 2011

Protecting the World From Nuclear Disaster

Imagine a religious state that aspires to have nuclear arms, vigorously exports extremist religious ideology, supports its religious crusade with violence or at least looks the other way when its religious partners use violence internationally, and is vigorously contesting leadership of the Mideast by employing not just political and economic means but also military means. (Readers may wish to see how many Mideast states meet the above criteria.) My question is this:

Should the U.S. be providing privileged* nuclear assistance to such a state?

*By privileged I mean nuclear assistance (aid, technology, knowledge, or defense guarantees) not available to all other states in the region.

When developing your answer, consider whether or not such privileged nuclear assistance damps down regional nuclear rivalry or provokes it. Consider whether such nuclear assistance might be replaced by some sort of regional guarantees against any possession or use of weapons of mass destruction.

the possibility of initiating formal negotiations, potentially without demanding that Riyadh accept key nonproliferation pledges embraced by one of its neighbors, the United Arab Emirates, in its own 2009 trade arrangement with Washington [Global Security Newswire, 7/28/11.]

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Friday she was "astonished" the administration would even consider the move. She called Saudi Arabia an unstable country in an unstable region. [CBS News, 7/29/11.]

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