Sunday, December 05, 2010

Unspoken Nuclear Weapons

This degree of toadying clearly poses problems for the Americans. The dispatches repeat genuine appreciation of Britain's unique loyalty as an ally. But LeBaron was typically shrewd to call this behaviour "corrosive".

The American diplomats are smart enough to know that buttering up the Americans is a routine which incoming British leaders think they have to perform, and that most of them privately resent it. They do it largely for reasons the state department understands only too well. Britain's "independent" nuclear deterrent flies the threadbare rags which are all that remain of the United Kingdom's lost "Great Power" status. But its manufacture and use are in reality dependent on the supply of American technology and American strategic decisions.
More here.

One might expect the United States to find an arsenal consisting of an estimated 200 nuclear warheads worthy of notice. One might also expect Israelis to take comfort in the knowledge that, alone among nations in the region, they hold at the ready such massively destructive power. Instead, Washington pretends that the Israeli arsenal doesn't exist, thereby opening itself to charges of entertaining a double standard. Meanwhile, Israelis nurse feelings of vulnerability as if the Jewish state were still David surrounded by a host of Goliaths.
And here.

It was easy to believe, once the Soviet Union dissolved, that we didn't have to think about nuclear weapons any more. But they lurk in the back of most international relationships.

More to say about this, but I don't have time just now.

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