So, all kinds of American election races are going on... and here's my prediction. About 20 years from now, the vast majority of you won't even think of these elections as a footnote in history. Instead, November 2006 will be remembered as the month that made atomic war all but inevitable, and ushered in a new age of world history.
In Britain's The Times Online, Richard Beeston reports that 4-6 Arab states announced that they were embarking on programs to master atomic technology [also RCI]:
"The countries involved were named by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Tunisia and the UAE have also shown interest...."
Mark Fitzpatrick, an expert on nuclear proliferation... "If Iran was not on the path to a nuclear weapons capability you would probably not see this sudden rush [in the Arab world]," he said.
He's almost right. If Iran was not on the path to a nuclear weapons capability with no meaningful checks in sight and none even imagined by the majority of Western policy-makers, plus tacit support from Russia and China, you probably would not see this sudden rush. But it is, and they do, and you're seeing it. And if you believe the bit about powering de-salination plants, you're dumber than all the dirt in Arabia.
Back in October 2003, I penned "Fibonacci's Nukes: Is Proliferation Unstoppable?" noting the accelerating failure of global non-proliferation mechanisms. That failure is now all but certain.
Corollary: As these regimes pursue their programs, the probability of atomic war rises toward 100% in our lifetime. Note the regimes, and their prospects:
- Algeria - major natural gas exporter to Europe, exploration and export infrastructure a bit weak but partly mortgaged to Russia in a major arms deal. Large al-Qaeda affiliate in country and on the other side of a long-running civil war. The government has the upper hand for now.
- Morocco - fairly stable, Algeria's rival. Wouldn't let Algeria pursue a key military technology without responding in kind.
- Egypt - a famously corrupt and inefficient state that has been Islamizing underneath for decades, while issues like maintaining standard of living and even adequate food production remain questionable into the future. Meanwhile, the population continues to grow. The major alternative to the government is The Muslim Brotherhood, the fore-runners of al-Qaeda; the Mubarak regime cynically stokes associated sentiments and hopes to divert them outward against Jews, the West, et. al., in order to prolong its existence. See my December 2004 article "Egypt: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Mubarak?" Many experts doubt that Egypt can avoid long-term collapse.
- Saudi Arabia... no shortage of predictions from intelligence sources and others that give the House of Saud less than 10 years of survival; large segments of its population supportive of al-Qaeda. Helped finance Pakistan's drive for the bomb; probably expects and may have already received help in return.
That's 3 of the 4 with future prospects that range from shaky to dubious to deeply dubious, and a takeover by al-Qaeda itself or a very similar movement as the alternative futures. The implications of seeking "stability" through such allies are rarely pondered, rarest of all by those who laughably call themselves "foreign policy realists." If you think Pakistan was bad, just wait until we're faced with a world where several even less stable Islamic states have nuclear weapons, still others are spurred to follow, and all it takes is one failure to essentially hand al-Qaeda the nuclear weapons it has promised that it will use.
Assuming, of course, that nothing else goes wrong, from an intra-Muslim war, to escalation involving Israel that invokes the "Samson Strategy" of destroying all of its enemies as it goes down, to a breakdown of control within these famously fragmented and corrupt societies that ends up handing a weapon over to the Chechens or some such.
Wretchard's famous 3 conjectures, and related posts, talked about the current window of time as equivalent to "the golden hour" during which a trauma patient can still be saved and death averted. This announcement tells us, very clearly and in no uncertain terms, that The Golden Hour has just about passed us by. Welcome to a future in which the use of nuclear weapons in war approaches certainty, followed by the inevitable responses. Welcome, in other words, to Fibonacci's propagating nuclear spiral of a multi-proliferation future. One that features nuclear weapons in the hands of death-cult barbarians, the vast majority of whom grew up in an atmosphere glorifying suicide-martyrdom as mankind's greatest moral achievement.
The world in which your children will live.
I reiterate my prediction of 10-100 million dead within the next 2 decades. Or maybe numbers don't do it for you, and you'd rather read this story as a kind of mental intro. to the sorts of futures to prepare for.
Have a nice day.