THE DEPROLIFERATOR — As you no doubt know, deterrence is the product of a balance of power — nuclear arsenals, in other words, that are roughly equal. Constrained by the eye-for-an-eye principle, but to the umpteenth power, states armed with nuclear weapons, such as the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and India and Pakistan today, keep their nukes holstered.
But terrorists, according to conventional thinking, are immune to deterrence. If they ever obtained nuclear weapons, they’d suffer few qualms about using them. First, they’re secure in the knowledge that they’re ostensibly stateless. It’s unlikely that the state which they’ve attacked with nuclear weapons, such as the United States, would retaliate against the state which served as their command center for the attack. (Can’t speak for another possible target, Israel, though.) Continue reading