Mark’s latest post on pre-empting Iran’s nukes is thorough and well-reasoned (though of course I think it’s all wrong), and I don’t have too much to add to our intra-blog ruckus for now.
But I can’t help noticing one thing in it. Scroll down to his point 6, which includes this:
We needn’t imagine a truly crazy Iranian regime to worry about its actually using its nukes once it had them, only an Iranian regime run by someone as crazy as John Foster Dulles or Donald Rumsfeld [emphasis added].
Er, who exactly would be in charge of this pre-emptive attack again?
Compare the doctrine of Mark’s teacher Thomas Schelling: that a rational nuclear strategist might want to make the world think he was crazy. One might have trusted JFK with such a strategy—or not. But when the President (reportedly) enthusiastic about it was Nixon, who didn’t have to pretend very much…