2002 October 01 Tuesday
Stanley Kurtz Sums Up Preemption Argument

Stanley Kurtz continues to find much to agree with in Kenneth Pollack's book The Threatening Storm. In Kurtz's latest he explains that the argument for preemption is not being made clearly and the political reasons why this is so. First, the argument for why preemption is necessary:

There are two reasons why Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons: First, because he may pass them to terrorists, or his own intelligence agents, for use against the United States. Second, because once in possession of nuclear weapons, Saddam will move to take control of the Gulf and subject America to nuclear blackmail. Some believe that Saddam's fear of nuclear retaliation will make him hold back from another move on Kuwait. But Saddam sees the matter in reverse. If he takes Kuwait before we can stop him, he will force the United States to decide between ceding him control of the region's oil supplies, and an invasion that would surely result in a nuclear strike by Saddam against either our troops, our cities, the Saudi oil fields, or all of these. Thus threatened, the United States may indeed be forced to back down and grant Saddam control of the world's oil. This is why Saddam has sacrificed all in pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Also see my previous posts (here and here and here and here and here) on the arguments of Stanley Kurtz, Marc Trachtenberg, and Kenneth Pollack on preemption, deterrence, and containment.

UPDATE: Also see this link on Pollack. If you go into the ParaPundit September Archive you will find other posts on deterrence, preemption, and containment.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 01 01:09 AM  US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment


Comments
Steve Sailer said at October 1, 2002 11:59 PM:

Kurtz is nuts about Saddam retaking Kuwait when builds an atomic bomb. He CAN'T GET TO KUWAIT. If he sent every tank he has south toward Kuwait, I doubt if 5% of them would even get out of Iraq because they have to drive through the No Fly Zone where the good guys have utter air superiority. His insurmountable problem is that he lacks an airforce (remember that he sent them all to Iran in 1991?). And, they were absolutely no competition for the U.S. in 1991 and the imbalance has gotten much larger since.

godlesscapitalist said at October 2, 2002 7:33 AM:

Steve:

He could threaten to nuke us or one of our allies if we didn't stop patrolling the no-fly zone.


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