Going soft on the regime likeliest to use nukes

Dr. Norman Bailey

Only one country has serious thoughts of triggering Armageddon, and it isn't Russia or China.

Recently, commentators have been competing with each other to warn about the possibility of nuclear war, for the first time since 1962. Their concerns involve either Russia using nuclear weapons against Ukraine or China invading Taiwan, leading to a war with the US, and eventually the use of nuclear missiles.

In reality, how likely is anything of the kind to happen? Putin is certainly a bad person, but he is not insane. If Russia were to nuke Ukraine, it would trigger a nuclear holocaust which would leave Russia is ruins, whatever it did to any other country. We know that once before in Soviet history the military refused to trigger a nuclear attack when the
Soviet leadership miscalculated the intentions of the NATO countries in their field maneuvers. Even in the highly unlikely event of Putin ordering a nuclear attack, it is unlikely that his order would be carried out, and in fact it would almost certainly result in his removal from office.

Not only is the PRC unlikely to provoke a nuclear reaction, it is unlikely to invade Taiwan. Why? Because the takeover of the island could much more cheaply and safely be accomplished by a sea and air blockade, which would be relatively easy to enforce. In fact, military experts tell us that the recent Chinese military exercises in response to Speaker of the House Pelosi's reckless visit were designed precisely to that end -preparing for a blockade, not an invasion.

Which brings us to a very important point: Ukraine is a sovereign state, recognized as such by the entire international community. The unprovoked Russian invasion of February was a grossly illegal act under international law (as were the previous attacks on Ukraine and Georgia) and any other country has the perfect right under international law to assist Ukraine in any way it can, especially since the UN Security Council cannot act because Russia has the veto.

Taiwan is not a sovereign state. In fact, the formal name of what we call Taiwan is The Republic of China. When the Chinese communists completed the conquest of the Chinese mainland, the Nationalist government of the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan, which both they and the communists assert is part of China. In other words, were China to move to take over Taiwan, whether by invasion or blockade, no other country would have the right under international law to intervene.

Thus Armageddon is unlikely either in eastern Europe or the Far East. All bets are off, however, if Iran develops a nuclear capacity, since that country is ruled by religious fanatics who want Armageddon because they believe it will trigger the return to earth of the seventh or twelfth imam (depending on which sect of Shia Islam you belong to). Nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them is, in the hands of such fanatics, a real threat to the entire world.

Which makes the Biden administration's incomprehensible determination to reach a new "deal" with the ayatollahs even stranger, not to say reprehensible.

Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute, and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 25, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

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