Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Zakaria on Deterring Iran

In this morning's Washington Post (here), Fareed Zakaria explains that Iran's Revolutionary Guard have replaced the clerical elite at the center of power, and why that might not be such a bad thing from the point of view of the US and its allies. Indeed, it might be a good thing assuming Iran continues on its path toward the development of nuclear weapons because, as Zakaria notes, "Military regimes are calculating. They act in ways that keep themselves in power. That instinct for self-preservation is what will make a containment strategy work." In other words, military leaders are more likely than religious zealots to realize that the strategic value of nuclear weapons lies entirely in the threat they create, not their actual use, which would invite immediate and devastating retaliation. 

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