There are serious concerns about an arms race in the Middle East. Fear exists that, if Iran is capable of building a nuclear weapon, then Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other countries will look to build their own nuclear arsenals.
To some, there is a belief this could create a scenario with the return of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). MAD was born of the Cold War and it centered on the notion that the United States and the old Soviet Union would not actually go to war because war would do nothing more than lead to the destruction on both sides. As a result, peace is achieved in a perverse way. The pointing of nuclear missiles at targets in various countries can decrease the use of this weapon.
In order for MAD to exist, there needs to be more than one country with nuclear weapons. Also, a nuclear armed nation must have retaliatory powers that are reliable. In other words, even if struck by nuclear missiles, the targeted nation must have the potential to strike back.
The notion that world peace in the Middle East can be achieved by MAD is not a very realistic outlook to the situation. For one, no one can fully predict how different nations will react in any given situation. There has also been quite a significant level of instability in the Middle East in recent years. Radical factions could gain control of nuclear weapons or even enough material to create a dirty bomb.
Truthfully, MAD is only a successful strategy if no one uses nuclear weapons, which is never a guaranteed outcome in any scenario.
The new film ‘Crow Hill’ that takes a look at these issues is currently funding at Kickstarter.
A live stream event of Edward Snowden on Monday, March 10 at 11:00 CST addressing SXSW can be viewed here.