Stop before a nuclear holocaust

Source: Israel Hayom | Stop before a nuclear holocaust

Dr. Gabi Avital

About two decades ago, a senior Israeli security official said that Iraq couldn’t even build a screwdriver. Needless to say, this sort of arrogance is far from the truth. It took the West many years to go from treating the technological capabilities of the East — specifically China, India and Pakistan — with contempt, to recognizing the ever expanding capabilities of these countries. In the meantime, North Korea set a goal for itself: To become a nuclear power. They put all their resources into this project.

After taking confident steps, sometimes out in the open and even in extravagant displays, North Korea currently has the ability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, no less. Older readers will immediately associate ICBMs with the Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the U.S., especially during the late 1950s, but the globe has not changed much. The distance between North Korea and the U.S. remains the same, some 6,400 miles away, and the day is not far off before more countries are engaged in cold war.

Why does North Korea need a nuclear weapon that sucks up the majority of the country’s economic and social resources? The answer is that while the people of North Korea have no need of such a weapon, the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, does. How is he supposed to secure his reign? By bringing North Korea to the forefront of the world stage thanks to its ability to launch long-range missiles, specifically those carrying nuclear warheads.

The moment Kim decides to threaten one U.S. city with nuclear weapons, just one, the rules of the game between the two countries will completely change. The practical threat will no longer be unilateral. There will no longer be an obvious American offensive advantage, but rather a mutual balance of fear: mutually assured destruction. This is a cold war in the old sense of the word, from 60 years ago. From past experience at least, such a move by North Korea promises to create a balance where the U.S. will refrain from attacking North Korea, even though America would surely emerge victorious. The price would simply be too great to bear.

So how does this new reality affect our region? First, even though we do not have a direct conflict with North Korea, the range of the new missiles covers Israel as well. Second, while Iran’s effort to launch missiles carrying satellites may have failed, the joy in Iran is palpable. The joy over the ICMBs could be seen on screens in North Korea, and certainly on the faces of Iran’s leaders. This spurs Iran on to forge ahead with its nuclear program, as success comes after failure. This is the nature of engineering, backed by funding, faith and especially collaboration.

Even though the nuclear map will expand once North Korea gains long-range missile capability, but North Korea will only have established its capability in a few years, once it completes building enough missiles, launchers and nuclear warheads. But the balance will be different. Once Kim, or another leader, joins the nuclear deterrence axis, which would mean the complete destruction of North Korea in the event of a nuclear attack, there will be no testing of the nuclear waters. The stature and power that come with possession of nuclear capability will be enough, without anyone having to launch a missile. The recent test, the only one as of yet, was done in the hopes that an escalation can stop before a nuclear holocaust is unleashed.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s