Involve unconventional weapons which could prompt

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: tment of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, 09 James A. Russell, senior lecturer in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Spring 09, [“Strategic Stability Reconsidered: Prospects for Escalation and Nuclear War in the Middle East,” Institut Français des Relations Internationales, Spring 2009, http://www.analystnetwork.com/articles/141/StrategicStabilityReconsideredProspectsforEscalationandNuclearWarintheMiddleEast.pdf] Strategic stability in the region is thus undermined by various factors: (1) asymmetric interests in the bargaining framework that can introduce unpredictable behavior from actors; (2) the presence of non-state actors that introduce unpredictability into relationships between the antagonists; (3) incompatible assumptions about the structure of the deterrent relationship that makes the bargaining framework strategically unstable; (4) perceptions by Israel and the United States that its window of opportunity for military action is closing, which could prompt a preventive attack; (5) the prospect that Iran’s response to pre-emptive attacks could involve unconventional weapons, which could prompt escalation by Israel and/or the United States; (6) the lack of a communications framework to build trust and cooperation among framework participants. These systemic weaknesses in the coercive bargaining framework all suggest that escalation by any the parties could happen either on purpose or as a result of miscalculation or the pressures of wartime circumstance. Given these factors , it is disturbingly easy to imagine scenarios under which a conflict could quickly escalate in which the regional antagonists would consider the use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. It would be a mistake to believe the nuclear taboo can somehow magically keep nuclear weapons from being used in the context of an unstable strategic framework. Systemic asymmetries between actors in fact suggest a certain increase in the probability of war – a war in which escalation could happen quickly and from a variety of participants. Once such a war starts, events would likely develop a momentum all their own and decision-making would consequently be shaped in unpredictable ways. The international community must take this possibility seriously, and muster every tool at its disposal to prevent such an outcome, which would be an unprecedented disaster for the peoples of the region, with substantial risk for the entire world. 117 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 Iran Tensions Now 118 Oil DDW 2012 1 Saudi-Iran tensions in the Gulf are rising now – That threatens to cause war Terrill, SSI’s Middle East spet served as a Middle East nonproliferation analyst for the International Assessments Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 11 W. Andrew Terrill, SSI’s Middle East spet. Prior to his appointment, he served as a Middle East nonproliferation analyst for the International Assessm...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 01/30/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Burke during the Spring '13 term at Southern Arkansas University.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online