The Historical Uncertainty of Middle Eastern Nuclear Proliferation

There seems to be one area of agreement between hawks and doves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program:  the veritable certainty of a nuclear proliferation “casacade” in the Middle East whereby Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and others respond to an Iranian nuclear weapon with nuclear programs of their own.  Fears of that scenario were understandably raised recently when Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family and former head of Saudi intelligence, explicitly stated that the Kingdom would consider pursuing its own nuclear capability were Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon of its own.  Max Boot cited . . .
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Libya and the responsibility to protect

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has finally lost it. Following days of massive protests in several large Libyan cities, the old dictator decided to strike back using African mercenaries and the Libyan air force. We do not know the true extent of the carnage in Libya, and the latest speech from Gaddafi Tuesday evening promises no lessening of violence. Unless the military turns on their leader, this will not end well. The rapidly deteriorating situation in Libya represents the first true test of the international community following the recent upheavals in the Middle East. While we saw some violence in both Egypt . . .
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Egypt and the limits of U.S. power

Friday saw the culmination of 18 days of protests in Egypt. One day after President Hosni Mubarak’s defiant/insane speech, he was gone – pushed out by the military. There has been some partisan snark comparing the Obama administration’s handling of Egypt (and Tunisia) to the Bush administration’s democracy effort. This is a bit of political point-scoring, to be sure, but there is also some truth to it. The events and the eventual outcome in Egypt reveal the true extent of the United States’ power and influence in the Middle East. It is, in fact, limited.

Though not everything is . . .
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The neocons and Israel

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic notes something interesting today regarding the neoconservatives and Israel – at least right-wing Israeli politicians and pundits. There appears to be a very real split between the two on what is happening in Egypt.

The New York Times reported a few days ago that Israeli was concerned about developments in Egypt. President Hosni Mubarak has been one of the few allies in the region, and the fear is that any regime change would threaten the peace agreement between the two countries and change the balance of power in the region.

Israeli pundits have also . . .
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