The Saudi Bomb

Richard Fernandez passes along a BBC report that Saudi Arabia is already a virtual nuclear power. In collaboration with Pakistan, the Kingdom has assembled a nuclear arsenal (complete with CSS-2 delivery systems), which is presently distributed according to diplomatic convenience, with the war-heads held in Pakistan. Assuming that this report is roughly accurate, the chain-reaction of nuclear dominoes pushing the proliferation through South Asia into the heart of the Middle East has been all but completed, with only superficial formalities yet to be concluded.

It’s late, and I’m off to bed, so I’ll simply repeat: It’s late. Everything people care about is going to be side-lined by international events.

November 10, 2013admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :World

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19 Responses to this entry

  • VXXC Says:

    Long past time to continue upholding the Carter Doctrine. That was Desert Storm and all the rest since…defend the Kingdom.

    GOOD.RIDDANCE.

    Let them have their 30 Years War in 30 minutes. Nothing to be missed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2013 at 5:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    Is the fact that all these unstable, fundamentally hostile states have been allowed to turn themselves into nuclear powers another example of a rough triangles play? Or is it just another example of the total state of ineptitude that the Cathedral has reduced international relations to?

    I’m finding it really hard to tell…

    [Reply]

    orlandu84 Reply:

    @ Rasputin’s

    “I’m finding it really hard to tell…”

    If anyone of us could tell, then we would have gained intellectual domination over the Cathedral. One of Moldbug’s great insights is his conception of the Cathedral as a system. The thing is so vast that even it does not understand itself most of the time. All that matters is that it sets a framework for which the masses are allowed to operate within. To use a computer analogy, the Cathedral is the operating system whereas individual countries and corporations are programs. What the programs do in particular is not so important as whether those programs operate within the operating system’s bounds.

    Accordingly, Saudi Arabia gaining nuclear weapons is not a paradigm shift. Don’t misread me; it is an important development. Saudi Arabia getting a non-USG backed agent to use a nuclear weapon, however, would be paradigm shift. At that point the Cathedral would no longer have full control over the world’s arsenal and that would lead to powers operating truly independent of the Cathedral.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2013 at 5:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    The only salvation from that Kingdom is when they are destroyed, and the Holy Places restored to places of pilgrimage …their normal historical role.

    ==================================================
    O/T – reference the matter of UP – the Void…space…

    What if the only path for the Professionally ambitious but personally lacking in talent or desire for commerce is UP?

    What if the only government functions of USG are defense, borders, and matters minor external and especially internal?

    No powers but UP

    No room to expand but UP

    The drive will point UP

    Corral them hither so forcing UP.

    I hate the idea of Progs in Space, as much as I would love to see them devoured in the belly of a Zoloth. But since most of them are merely ambitious…and America in particular needs a Frontier as men need God and a soul…and since killing them all will unnerve the squeamish…it must all be pointed somewhere.

    Nothing is perfect. And there are airlocks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2013 at 10:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Coincidentally, I was just reading this:

    http://geopolicraticus.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/on-the-cusp-of-qualitative-strikes/

    I think it’s worth the length. If you don’t, I’ll summarize:

    Armies do not want to level population centres. They do that if they have to, but if they can do precision strikes, they’ll do that instead. (He doesn’t bring it up, but one reason is that if you only take one bomb to destroy a strategically-relevant target and the enemy takes ten, you win.)

    If the Saudis are getting precision weapons, you don’t need to worry unless you bunk in a munitions factory. If they’re getting dumb weapons, you don’t need to worry, because we can still crush them like a bug.

    You know MAD was basically a farce, right? Since the KGB and State were in each other’s pockets, plus the fact that they’d have had to risk their own skins to kick off the festivities, there was essentially never any chance of an intentional exchange. It was all sabre-rattling to rattle the peasants. Worked, too.

    No Saudi aristo will authorize a nuclear strike if there’s any chance they’ll get a thermobaric tan in return.

    Sadly I can’t find the article I read debunking nuclear winter. I wanted to review it for accuracy. I’ve confirmed that the original paper was trash, though.

    What I’m trying to get at: nuclear weapons aren’t anything like as dangerous as the press would make them out to be. They’ve been a negative truth-indicator on every other fearsome topic, why not this one too?

    That said, I’m sure it does put egg on the faces of some USG foreign policy drivers. That said I don’t see why incompetent bureaucrats are surprising.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 12:52 am Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    Well, the idea of modern international security is that non-civil wars occur in the absence of everyone being sovereign (nuclear-armed) or the client / satrapy / suzerain of a sovereign able and willing to defend them with nuclear arms. No nation will use the things openly against another nations with protection. So everyone sticks with what Luttwak calls “geoeconomic” tactics.

    The fears are 1. Covert, non-attributable use, perhaps by terrorist-proxy, 2. Capture of a device by non-deterrable non-state actors, and 3. The inability of the true Great Power sovereigns to project power against the newcomers, or entice them with nuclear-umbrella-alliances.

    To fears 1 and 2, it’s worth noting that Pakistan has had nukes for many years, are not very secure or anti-jihadist, and yet it hasn’t happened there.

    3 leads to dominoes (Saudi, Turkey, perhaps Egypt), which probably won’t lead to nuclear war, but will be particularly bad for the US and no nation there needs the US for defense and what they do need – trade and access to the international banking system – they’ll be able to get from China and/or Russia.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 1:20 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ Alrenous, Handle

    Neither of you seem to think the risk of a nuclear accident is large enough to factor into calculations — is that right?

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    I avoided the issue on purpose. I don’t have a good threat model.

    But forty years with no accident means the odds have to be pretty low…though a % per year is not an accurate model for this kind of risk. It’s a multi-layer risk – the risk of accidentally going DEFCON 1 is dependent on the risk of getting to DEFCON 2 and on the odds of de-escalating down to DEFCON 3 before it can escalate again. Or something like that.

    The other thing is that you don’t accidentally shoot a saturation barrage. Technically it can’t have a zero percent chance…also, technically I don’t have a zero percent chance of quantum tunneling into China. It’s zero.

    So how does Russia respond to the accidental launching of one of their missiles? How does America respond to the incoming barrage of one? How can I possibly know these things? Even America doesn’t know.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 1:41 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Let International Shift Happen.

    Handle – don’t you think it might be good for America if USG loses it’s Empire? They’ve quite convinced me they don’t have the _____ for it. Anything. What they have is inertia .

    And breaking the dollar breaks our chains. In any case they’ve reamed Madam Dollar out.

    ===============================================
    O/T

    But look here…one could run a simulation. NationStates sim game.

    http://www.nationstates.net/

    I doubt neo-reaction is an option but I’ll give it a whirl.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 9:28 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    And it’s supposed to be hard to tell whether it’s ruled by a sleek efficient government or a conglomerate of corporations. Some things are best left vague. I’m going to work on the socially progressive part [this seems to be a default of the program]. He’s also under the impression I’m good on Civil Rights. I’m about to clarify… don’t worry, I’ll blog the rest elsewhere. This will be fun.

    http://www.nationstates.net/nation=dec_vxxc

    “The Armed Republic of DEC VXXC is a fledgling, socially progressive nation, renowned for its barren, inhospitable landscape. Its hard-nosed, hard-working population of 5 million are either ruled by a sleek, efficient government or a conglomerate of multinational corporations; it’s difficult to tell which.

    The tiny, pro-business government juggles the competing demands of Law & Order, Religion & Spirituality, and Commerce. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 12%. A large private sector is led by the Trout Farming, Beef-Based Agriculture, and Arms Manufacturing industries.”

    Crime is a major problem. DEC VXXC’s national animal is the Direwolf, which teeters on the brink of extinction due to widespread deforestation, and its currency is the Rifle.”

    [Reply]

    Inane Rambler Reply:

    If you want to manipulate your state’s title better here’s a good chart I found in an unrelated topic.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/Updated_NS_Graph.png/663px-Updated_NS_Graph.png

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 9:54 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    On Thread – Obama seems to be making a deal with Iran, dumping Saudi and Israel.

    Which is on balance wise.

    The Cathedral will do Israel in like Rhodesia if it can. They’re better off without us.

    Israel can take care of itself better.

    The Kingdom of KSA should only be the object of our malice if we address it at all. We should. But that should be our only policy. KSA is of course quite the personal revenue stream for Cathedral appratchiks.

    Saudi has the same potential for the bomb it’s had for years.

    We have boundless energy under our very feet in America. We don’t need these congenital thieves and tricksters. GOOD RIDDANCE.

    The International security system is Cathedral Core. Good Riddance.

    The petrodollar is core to the Cathedral system of Finance.

    The policy of their Finance system as regards Americans is debt slavery. It’s the Irish rack rent system with debt as the potato. Many levels of pyramid debt with minimum payments being dependent on the Irish produce. When it was blighted genocide happened. We Americans are now the Irish. The time to disrupt and destroy this system of debt serfdom is now before we’re all living on scraps and the food dole [TANF, SNAP, EBT]. Since they just proved 5 years ago that in a crunch they’ll employ the crisis to lock finance and anything else they can into statist control, with the American serfs getting no debt relief but more food stamps, we are being sucked into a vortex of debt slavery with food scraps thrown our way.

    If it comes to a choice between their precious portfolios vanishing or the people being crushed under debt, for the Cathedral it’s WIN/WIN, for Americans it’s LOSE/STARVE.

    Let the petrodollar be crushed. Mushroom clouds over Saudi and Iran are a bonus – for Americans.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Harsh but sound.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 at 4:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Saudi Arabia and Iran can nuke each other into the Stone Age for all I care. I don’t see how that side-lines everything I care about.

    I do wonder if Pakistan would deliver the bombs. The Saudis have already paid, they don’t have much of a hand in enforcing delivery, and there’s many incentives for USG and other agents to persuade Pakistan not to.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You think major countries could carry on with domestic business as usual (or even better, as unusual) with a nuclear war going on in the global gas station? I’m not seeing it.

    If the Saudis sought to take delivery, and the US made some serious effort to stop them, things would get interesting fast. The alternative, of course, if not quite raw Armageddon, is at least a Sushi fore-taste.

    Whilst very hazy about what is going on here, it looks to me like Saudi public diplomacy, more than a straightforward military initiative. The message is: Unless you stop Iran, you get nuclear proliferation into the Arab world. (If it comes to a game of bluff between the Obama administration and the Kingdom, I have no doubt at all who folds first.)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Most Middle East oil goes to Asia, so if the flow stops, is China who gets screwed.

    Have you seen the Chinese panic about Iran’s bomb? That should tell you something.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    So China reacts, and you’ve got your world war right there.

    Orthodox Reply:

    Russia would dominate Europe and Asia. China and Europe would have to buy Russian oil and Russian grain, but high transportation costs would kill their exports to the U.S.

    The big issue to worry about besides oil is India/Pakistan. That’s the fault-line that will blow up the world.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Pakistan is a junction box, plugging two geostrategic nightmare regions together. (Pakistani demographic projections are almost as surreal as Nigeria’s.)

    Russia dominating Europe and Asia? There aren’t enough Russians for that.

    Posted on November 12th, 2013 at 6:02 am Reply | Quote

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