web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


For Israel, What Next In The Matter Of Iran? (2 of 3)


Iran’s vice president and the chief of its nuclear-energy agency Fereydoon Abbasi

Iran’s vice president and the chief of its nuclear-energy agency Fereydoon Abbasi
Photo Credit: IRNA

Finally, as a newly nuclear Iran could sometime decide to share some of its fissile materials and technologies with assorted terrorist groups, Israel’s leaders will also have to deal with the prospect of irrational nuclear enemies at the sub-state level. This perilous prospect is more likely than that of encountering irrationality at the national or state level. At the same time, at least in principle, the harms suffered from any such instances of nuclear terror would probably be on a tangibly lower order of magnitude.

Soon, if it has already decided against preemption, Israel will need to select appropriately refined and workable options for dealing with two separate, but interpenetrating, levels of danger. Should Iranian leaders be judged to meet the usual tests of rationality in world politics, Israel will then have to focus on reducing its longstanding nuclear ambiguity, or, on taking its bomb out of the “basement.” It will also need to operationalize an adequate retaliatory force that is recognizably hardened, multiplied, and dispersed.

Recognizability is critical, because the only reality that will be real in its deterrence consequences is perceived reality. In the language of philosophy, we would call this a “phenomenological” as opposed to a “behavioral” or “positivist” perspective.

Now, this visibly second-strike nuclear force should be made ready to inflict “assured destruction” against certain precisely identifiable enemy cities. In military parlance, therefore, Israel will need to convince Iran that its strategic targeting doctrine is “counter value,” not “counterforce.” It may also have to communicate to Iran certain partial and very general information about the sea basing of selected Israeli second-strike forces.

Ironically, an Iranian perception of Israeli nuclear weapons as uniformly too large, or too powerful, could conceivably weaken Israel’s nuclear deterrence posture. For example, Iranian perceptions of exclusively mega-destructive Israeli nuclear weapons could effectively undermine the credibility of Israel’s nuclear deterrent. Though counter-intuitive, Israel’s credibility in certain confrontational circumstances could actually vary inversely with the perceived destructiveness of its nuclear arms.

(Continued Next Week)

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “For Israel, What Next In The Matter Of Iran? (2 of 3)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Megillat Esther
The Origins of Purim
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/for-israel-what-next-in-the-matter-of-iran-second-of-three-parts/2012/12/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: