Whether or not this specific report turns out to be accurate, it is clearly the case that the Gulf Arabs feel betrayed by the Obama administration’s facilitation of an Iranian nuclear program, not to mention our slow-motion withdrawal from the role of securing commerce in the Persian Gulf, and our abandonment of an ally in Yemen. It stands to reason that the Gulf Arabs will want nukes of their own, and they have not been shy about broadcasting that fact. So the result of Obama’s extension of an olive branch to the mullahs, his pursuit of realignment and peace in the Middle East, is a regional nuclear arms race.
At about 3 A.M. local time last Tuesday, ships of the Finnish Navy dropped depth charges into the waters near Helsinki in the vicinity of what has been reported to be a possible Russian submarine. The Finns initially refused to confirm that this “possible underwater object” was in fact a submarine, let alone a Russian submarine, and a spokesman was later quick to emphasize that the depth charges were “not intended to damage the target,” but to “let the target know that it has been noticed.”
Depth charges will do that.
The Obama administration’s decision to seek a “reset” of relations with Russia was, in the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a “brilliant stroke” that “worked.” And she’s obviously right. This explains why Russian is threatening to use “nuclear force” if NATO takes steps to prevent Russian aggression in the Baltic states:
It is a testament to the reputation Bill and Hillary Clinton have acquired over the years that the answer to this question is “Yeah, probably. [Shrug.]”
For some time now, it has been acceptable to argue in polite company that a conflict between major powers is unlikely. Terrorism, state collapse, and ungoverned regions—all combined with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—constitute, in this consensus, the clearest and most present dangers to the security of America and the liberal world order.
How would a major power, theoretically led by rational actors, actually hope to achieve anything by military aggression against a peer, given that a major war is very likely to wreck the global economy, not to mention the devastating possibility than such a conflict could quickly escalate to involve WMDs? As noted military theorist Lt. Commander Ron Hunter once put the matter, “In the nuclear world, the true enemy is war itself.”