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Archive for the ‘Nuclear Weapons’ Category

North Korea announced yesterday that it will test launch another long-range rocket for the commemoration of the one year anniversary of the death of the former leader Kim Jong-Il. This launch is said to take place any time from December 10 to December 22. The report mentions how this announcement was made after Chinese delegation went to visit North Korea. It was speculated that China had sent a delegation to speak with North Korea about halting launches of test missiles. Critics say that this launch is a cover for testing intercontinental ballistic missiles. South Korea and the United States see this test launch as a provocation from North Korea.

“In Washington, the Obama administration also denounced the planned launching. A North Korean ‘satellite’ launching would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region,” Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Saturday. She added that the United States was consulting with allies on the issue.”

This article reflects my points covered in my North Korean Nuclear Proliferation research paper. It demonstrates the argument I made of North Korea’s “two faced” actions. North Korea says the missile launch is a form of celebrating the memory of previous leader Kim Jong-Il as it did in April when it launched a missile to remember Kim Il-Sung the creator the Korean nation. When in reality these launches are actual missile testing under the disguise of commemoration for previous leaders. Though the April launch was a failed launch, this new launch is said to be full of hope for success as previous errors were corrected. This announcement by North Korea only elevates the tension between North and South Korea and inevitably a concern for the United States even though North Korea may not be a priority on America’s foreign policy check list right now, though it is there as a concern. North Korea seems to be using in my opinion these test launches as a form of leverage for negotiations for economic aid and to serve as a reminder to other countries the potential it could have with its missile launches and its continued focus on the production of weapons of mass destruction.

 

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http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/19/new_poll_egyptians_turning_toward_iran_want_nuclear_weapons

This article talks about a poll taken in Egypt which had some disconcerting results. Foremost of which was that there was an overwhelming desire to obtain a nuclear bomb from Iran. Israel was seen as a racist and evil place and the U.S. and Obama and administration was more for Israel than arabs in general. Mitt Romney‘s statements about Obama letting our relations with Israel deteriorate were seen as false. That was of course after many asked who Mitt Romney was. Hillary Clinton actually had fairly positive reviews for some reason. However, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad had garnered a large amount for support. It’s unclear to me as to what specifically caused Egyptians to develop these ideas but it is alarming that they feel this way.

Nuclear proliferation is something to be concerned about. While more than a few countries have the technology today, for the most part, they’re stable. In the future some political scientist will probably come up with some fancy title for Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and then maybe Egypt developing nuclear weapons. For now its unnamed but this trend is seeming very disconcerting. Egypt isn’t fully stable yet and it’s political actors are’t all in favor of peace with the west, much less peace with Israel. This would only seem to add concern over the Iranian nuclear program. They’ve already said they would help other states achieve nuclear weapons as a deterrent against Israel.

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I know it’s obvious that Israel isn’t just a trouble maker in the region. It is in fact involved in numerous bilateral conflicts wherein other nations and groups attack them too. I post this in reaction to an idea I had. With Iran and it’s nuclear development program, we hear a lot of panic from Israel. However, we haven’t heard much about why specifically they fear Iran. I know there are good reasons but it seemed like a good time to post a reminder as to Israel’s justification for concern. (In case anyone forgot that Iran and Israel aren’t friends)

According to the article in the link, Hezbollah has been using drones provided by Iran to invade Israel’s airspace. What’s worse is that these drones have the capabilities to bombard targets. Israel does of course have an anti-drone air defense grid. It’s just that their grid doesn’t seem to be able to stop these drones. This is deeply disturbing for the Israel’s. In a logical next step, one of these drones could be loaded with a nuclear weapon, sneak into Israeli airspace, and launch a strike on an unsuspecting city. It seems as though this latest turn of events will do nothing but further the threat level in Israel over the Iranian nuclear program.

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http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20121009/OPINION02/121008018

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Please excuse my shameless attempt to attract attention with a cool video. My post is in response to a discussion my group had about option 7 from the article we read. Basically, there was disagreement as to whether or not the U.S. would follow Israel into a war with Iran. I’m hoping the whole situation is resolved peacefully. However, if it is not, the article above cites interviews with high ranking leaders in the U.S. military as well as the former head to the Mossad that believe a solo attack by Israel would not be able to sufficiently destroy Iran’s nuclear program. In fact it would simply ignite the region in a war that would involve the U.S. What’s more, it’s believed that it could spark a dramatic increase in terrorist activities all around the world. I accept that it’s possible that this article is a bit more alarmist than it needs to be and I acknowledge the possible war hawking that may have gone on in the interviews. However it is an article saying that if Israel goes to war, so will the U.S.
As we spoke about the 8 ways to deal with Iran article, I realized that none of the options presented seemed to be very desirable short of Iran capitulating, which it won’t do. Perhaps in a best case scenario, a clandestine preemptive strike on Iran would be effective. But the U.S. would have to do it as Israel doesn’t have the bombs capable of fully destroying Iran’s nuclear sites. Therefore internationally, even that, the best option, would have a negative affect on foreign relations. Perhaps the author just framed his article in a way that it seemed like the sky was falling. That’s what I noticed about it when I first read it. Even still, it seems like no matter what happens, it would be viewed as a failure for the Obama administration and U.S. foreign policy. But when North Korea got nuclear weapons, it wasn’t as big of an issue. Perhaps it’s a difference in the political makeup of the two regions. Maybe it has to do with the other issues at the time. Really, I have no idea.

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I bring up this topic in response to the Hadley article. Just to start off, his statements under the “the problems posed by the Iranian regime” section, to say it’s needlessly blunt is an understatement. I specifically refer to the section about Iran not interfering in the affairs of its neighbors as an example but the wording of the others is also without nuance or any kind of the political double talk that you can expect when dealing with other countries. I sight this example specifically because it is a gross attack against Iranian sovereignty. That’s an old concept but to tell one state they can’t meddle in the affairs of their neighbors? Aside from being a little hypocritical, the same could be said about our number one ally in the region, Israel. I realize that this piece in and of itself could be simply one big love letter from the author to Israel.  It’s all about no tolerance and political rhetoric. Not once does he note ways that historically nuclear proliferation problems sort themselves out. Moreover, the entire piece tries to indicate that if we don’t stop Iran’s nuclear program in every conceivable way, immediately, well he doesn’t really say what’ll happen, he just says that they must be stopped. He even brings up taking out the leadership. This isn’t the Cold War anymore Mr. Hadley, we don’t topple governments just because  they don’t agree with us. In fact, it’s that very practice that got us the current anti-American Iran. It isn’t even until option eight that he allows for the thought of allowing Iran to build its bomb and it is interestingly enough, the shortest and most under explained section. It’s as if he didn’t even think that option was worth speaking about. But it is because that is the option that will inevitably occur. The U.S. cannot and will not invade another country looking for weapons of mass destruction. No more land wars in Asia! And if Israel cannot find a way to accomplish peace with their neighbors and war is their only option, then maybe their government needs to reevaluate its priorities.

Simply put, the author needs to come down off his soapbox; things have changed, this isn’t the Bush administration anymore.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19753800Image

As a response to Melissa’s post on the Entebbe Option, Iran has made it clear that not only is it willing to retaliate to any Israeli military action, but it is also fully capable of doing so. Israel‘s prime minister told the UN that Iran might have the capability to make a nuclear bomb by the middle of next year and the only way to prevent Iran from continuing is to set a “red line”. In his eyes “red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war”. This directly relates to the flow diagram Professor Klunk drew on the board today in class because now the world knows that Iran will not capitulate, but rather fight back with force if attacked. This provides America with some definitive answers that will help foreign policy advisers figure out the available options and weigh the costs of each. Obama says he has not completely ruled out military action, but that “sanctions and multilateral negotiations with Iran must still be given time to work.”

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U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpil...

U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945–2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found an article that discussed the United States plan during the Cold War and during the nuclear conflict that they faced. As the article explained what they were doing to try to prevent as well as win this nuclear war, it reminded me of the process tree we went through today in class with Iran and the United States. Reading through the article, I found some key factors that would play into the decision making for the United States and for the Soviet Union. Apparently during this time the Soviet Union were considering the belief that they might be able to survive a nuclear war, and the United States tried to influence them into thinking that a nuclear war would be not winnable. Tensions were so high that Soviet leaders considered in a crisis launching nuclear forces before the United States to to reduce the threat of the United State forces. These decisions that the United States and the Soviets made prevent nuclear war from happening. Had they done anything differently, there could have potentially been a nuclear war, and this shows and is a good example of how important leaders decisions are.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/27/nuclear_fight_club

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