Originally Posted by Spook
MAD worked because, in theory, all actors with nukes were rational actors. Mutually assured destruction cows rational actors into forgoing the use of nuclear weapons against other actors with nuclear weapons. In fact, it's supposed to cow rational actors into not attacking other actors with nuclear weapons at all, for fear of escalating a spat into a full blown nuclear war.
The thinking goes that Iran isn't a rational actor, and thus wouldn't be constrained by MAD. Others believe that acquiring a nuclear weapon makes the regime more rational, since nuclear reprisal is now in the cards. Pakistan and North Korea, however, haven't been moderated in the least since acquiring nuclear weapons.
The bigger issue is proliferation. We want to rid the world of nukes, not have every country armed with them. Even assuming Iran would "behave" better if it had a nuclear weapon, there's no assurance that Iran's command and control systems are sufficiently secure to prevent accidental or unauthorized launches or the loss of a weapon to a non-state actor like Al Qaeda (for the sake of example. If anything, the nuke would be given to Hezbollah, the shia group).
That's the root of the problem. There's also the Republican fear of brown people with technology, but let's put that aside.
Pakistan and North Korea are really just entirely different situations. Not all countries fit in the same box. Noth Korea doesn't act rationally because they're crazy poor and lead by a person who was literally crazy
Pakistan has that whole Pakistan/India Muslim hindu history, and is also poor
Iran is well off, not very ethnically diverse, and generally, though there is a desire for change coming from the young, isn't in danger of all out tribal civil war like in Pakistan
I agree we should be trying to get rid of nukes, however, is it wothk it to pursue that goal above all else if it means backing Israel - yet again - on their quest to be an unopposed apartheid power, to the extent we would go into an unnecessary war? Because I do believe Iran would act rationally with a nuke, and for a time it would probably cause Israel to act more diplomatically, perhaps giving peace a legitimate chance to spring up
Then, when things cooled back down, we could get Israel to admit its nuke ownership in the light of day, and get everyone to disarm
Because once peak oil hits, as rain dog talks about, and the wars over water and oil and food begin, I wouldn't want Israel with their oodles of nukes to be unconcerned about nuclear retaliation were they to use them against their enemies