22 October 2012

Speculating on Iran-Israel nuclear conflict: this way insanity waits

Boys usually indulge in fantasies of a "military" type, probably from the moment they are able to construct sentences of the "If... then..." type. So a boy saying to himself  "If I had a stick with a stone tied to its end, then this jerk from the next house will really get it" and then considering an additional turn of events, like "But if that jerk had a slingshot, he will be able to get me from afar" - such boy is really a picture of male normalcy.

As we grow up, that habit of fantasizing stays with us. Indeed, as women and psychologists say, we, the males, don't change a lot. Aside from an added impossibility to leave us with the babysitter, we keep our endearing traits, warmongering included. This is why we finance various so called "think tanks", where those of us equipped with a better writing style and Ivy League diplomas, fiddle with various scenarios of all kinds of wars - from a puny local ones to all-inclusive Armageddon.

Times of Israel published a monologue of this kind recently: an article by Taylor Dinerman, titled An Iranian nuclear attack — how would it play out? In the article, the author plays around with largely imaginary numbers of nuclear devices and delivery means on both sides, with (largely based on hearsay) defensive tools at their disposal and creates a largely imaginary scenario, with the number of dead in Israel estimated from 200,000 to 800,000.

The estimate is less optimistic than the one made by Israeli professor Isaac Ben-Israel:

In Tel Aviv, 20 to 30,000 people live in a 500 meter radius, a number equivalent to the total count of casualties in all of Israel's wars until today. And all of this in one bomb. In any case, just like earthquakes we've seen, it doesn't destroy a state in which seven million people live.
I had an opportunity to deconstruct the overly optimistic numbers in this article and came to an inevitable conclusion: the nation will not survive the economic, moral and other consequences of such an event.

Taylor Dinerman makes a more pessimistic estimate - but comes to the same conclusion that prof. Ben-Israel reached:
The country would probably have lost up to 30 percent of its Jewish population, but the other 70% would be in a position to rebuild the nation and reconstitute its armed forces, including its nuclear forces.
Yeah. Both authors are united in their denial of sheer impossibility that the remaining 70% will face when dealing with hundreds of thousands still living victims of radiation exposure. The nation will become a charity case, fully dependent on the good will of others, which was rarely shown to go very far.

There is only one scenario that ensures survival of Israel: not to let Iran, or anyone else for that matter, to perform a nuclear strike. No alternatives exist. As for playing with different scenarios of such strike and counterstrike: as long as we recognize that childish game for what it is - a game - we could remain sane. Otherwise...

And, since we are dealing with childish games: here is another example, from the same Times of Israel. On September 9, 2012, Aaron Kalman publishes an article Israel could send Iran ‘back to the stone age’ with electromagnetic bomb.
Israel could destroy Iran’s electric network with a specially designed electromagnetic bomb in the event of a military conflict between the countries, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
There even is a picture of that device, looking like a... well, check it out.

Then, on October 14, 2012, a piece titled An electromagnetic pulse attack — the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat, appears to respond to the previous one:
While political scientists and world leaders ..., there is a third plausible scenario: The use of a nuclear weapon by Iran to carry out an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against Israel, the US, or Europe. Such an attack could cause severe damage to the electrical grid in the targeted nations, to the extent that the routines of daily life — centered around the use of electrical power — could be halted, for a short or even long period of time.
Now you can see why I've started this post with a reference to the good old boyish habit of fantasizing about various kinds of weaponry and its application?

Boys will be boys...


Dick Stanley said...

Coincidentally...It's not a scenario, per se, just a nuke expert on bombs and delivery "systems." He's leaving the aftermath scenario up to others.


KatieNorcross said...

When Iran gets a nuke you can be assured they will use it on Israel. That is the problem all along. Preventing Iran from getting a nuke prevents the murder of thousands of Jews.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Left a message on your place.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Or frightening them enough to prevent them from using it ever. But yes, I like your version more.

Stan said...

I have heard many pundits talk about MAD (mutually assured destruction) being the outcome of Iranian nuclear capability. The pundits claim that MAD will keep everything in balance, and point to the U.S./ Soviet MAD era as a model. One of the things these people ignore is that during the MAD era millions of people were killed in proxy wars fought across the world. Even the 6 day and Yom Kippour wars were arguably proxy wars.
Another flaw in the MAD argument relates to the sampling size. We have a sampling size of one in regards to emerging from MAD without a nuclear attack. We cannot point to one example of no nuclear attacks, and universally conclude that it would not happen in a difference instance. The ongoing MAD experiment in relation to Pakistan and India has not concluded. We do not know if it will successfully end without a nuclear attack.
Besides MAD, there are issues with nuclear blackmail (as perfected by North Korea), a regional arms race including unstable regimes, accidental explosions, theft of weapons etc. etc..
In the end, there is one solution. Iran has to be stopped from obtaining nuclear capability.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

That is true, and Iran enjoys fomenting unrest and terror even without the additional protection of the nukes. With nukes it will be practically unstoppable.