[thechat] Your Opinion is Required

John Handelaar john at userfrenzy.com
Wed May 29 11:40:10 CDT 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: thechat-admin at lists.evolt.org
> [mailto:thechat-admin at lists.evolt.org]On Behalf Of Madhu Menon
> Sent: 29 May 2002 16:08
> To: thechat at lists.evolt.org
> Subject: RE: [thechat] Your Opinion is Required
> A nuclear weapon's primary purpose is as a deterrent. It's a "if
> you attack
> me, I'll blast you arse" veiled threat. (If you forget USA, of
> course - the
> only country ever to use a nuclear weapon.)

In this case there can be no deterrent effect, because the
threat isn't credible.  The US threatening to lob weapons
around Europe was at least believably unsuicidal (if you were
dumb enough to believe in it)... this isn't.

"Nuclear deterrence" is basically a crock, in the same way
that religion is a crock.  There's no evidence to support
the idea that it worked in Europe (given that there was a
balance of conventional forces at the time and neither
side had any interest in going to war).  It stands up to
no logical analysis - for deterrence to work I need to
believe you're going to use the weapons, and I *know* that
you won't because you'll kill yourself and that'd be stupid.

So it went for Europe, now politicians in South Asia are
repeating the same old crap, except it's even less credible
there because the two adversaries are a) living in each other's
pockets and b) in dispute primarily over a disputed territory
which will be the first thing to get destroyed if anything

No deterrence.

I agree, though, that it's very unlikely to escalate to that
degree.  The *reason* for that however I think is the exact
opposite of what you're suggesting :-)

John Handelaar

T +44 20 8933 1494       M +44 7930 681789
F +44 870 169 7657   E john at userfrenzy.com

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