Morning Joe: Disarmament for Hawks

Stories we're following today:

The Hawkish Case for Nuclear Disarmament – Los Angeles Times [link]

  • If the abolition of nuclear weapons is a fantasy, it's one that ought to excite the country's hawks as much as its doves.
  • Traditionally, military power was measured in relative, not absolute, terms, meaning that your security was a function not of how many weapons you had, but of how many more you had than your enemy. The advent of nuclear weapons skewed that calculation. Because it would take only a few nuclear weapons to destroy a civilization, the atomic bomb became an equalizer for Davids confronting Goliath-sized enemies.
  • Abolishing nuclear weapons would obviously not make conflict with [Russia or China] a good idea, but it would dramatically increase American freedom of action in a crisis. That should make hawks, with their strong faith in the efficacy of American military power, very happy.

Iran Attempts an End-Run around the IAEA – Newsweek [link]

  • Iran, its semiofficial news agency Fars has announced, is seeking a U.N. resolution banning military strikes against nuclear targets. [...] It's safe to say that this request to the IAEA will get nowhere.
  • But the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is up for review at a conference under United Nations auspices in New York next May, and Iran may reasonably hope for a more supportive audience there. A sizable bloc of "nonaligned" nations use these NPT reviews to target the nuclear programs of the United States and Israel.
  • The realists' bet must be that Iran's letter to the IAEA is the first shot in its campaign to derail Obama's agenda in New York.

North Korea to Reopen Its Border to the South – New York Times [link]

  • The conciliatory move, coming just after the high-profile releases of two American journalists and a South Korean worker detained by the North, seemed likely to ease the growing anxiety on the Korean peninsula.
  • Analysts have said North Korea is eager to re-establish contacts with Washington and Seoul in hopes of undermining the United Nations’ sanctions over its nuclear program.

The Nuclear Posture Landmine: An Interview with Joe Cirincione – Daily Kos [link

  • Obama has put forth the most comprehensive, progressive, and effective nuclear policy of any president.  This policy could be world-transformational. It could be a true, historic progression. But, it hasn't happened yet, and I think it's going to require - as the President himself points out - more than him making a speech, more than him signing a treaty.

A View from the Dark Side

A Laser Defense Hit – Wall Street Journal [link]

  • With time, and inevitable setbacks, the technology to make layered missile defenses a reality is being proven to work. The Airborne Laser could be—unless prematurely vaporized—an important part of a system to protect America and its allies from rogue states and their nuclear missiles.