Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Must read

Billmon: Mutually Assured Dementia


Billmon has always been a must-read, especially his economics posts (

Posted by Hans Versluys : 4/12/2006 03:40:00 PM

Seems to me the the world is looking more and more like Ken Macleod's Fall Revolution books. If the yanks do nuke Iran, how long before some former USSR stan starts selling nuclear insurance to nations without their own deterrent?

Posted by Anonymous : 4/12/2006 09:20:00 PM

Probably quite a while. The only former Soviet state still with nukes is Russia; the others (Ukraine, Belarus and Kazhakstan) gave them up in 1996. And it's not much of a deterrant. There's been a couple of scary articles recently in Foreign Affairs and International Security [PDF] about the nuclear balance of power. Basically, Russia's nuclear forces are so decayed and the US's so advanced that the latter could successfully launch a disarming pre-emptive strike with a very high degree of total success. I'm sure there are commenters who will welcome this, but the reason it is scary is because a) no balance of power means no restraint (and we're already seeing the effects of that); and b) this will cause other nuclear powers to adopt riskier nuclear postures and "launch on warning" strategies, heightening the risk of nuclear war (whether deliberate or accidental).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/12/2006 11:50:00 PM