The Burr in Iran’s Saddle: Selective Enforcement of the NPT

In a disturbing interview with CNN about Iran, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said:

“My biggest worry is they will miscalculate our resolve.”

What Iran really has trouble calculating is how Western signatories of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, such as the United States, can insist that Iran refrain from proliferation (one of the requirements of a signatory such as Iran) while itself refusing to initiate substantive disarmament (another requirement of a signatory). In other words, people who live in glass disarmament houses shouldn’t throw nonproliferation stones.

Gen. Dempsey also said:

… there is no guarantee that Israel will give the United States warning if it decides to attack Iran. But America is sharing intelligence with Israel, Dempsey said.

“We are trying to establish some confidence on the part of the Israelis that we recognize their concerns and are collaborating with them on addressing them,” he said.

First, one can’t help but think that the general is trying to weave a spell of plausible deniability in case Israel attacks unilaterally. But the alacrity with which the attack becomes multilateral breaks the spell. Who really believes that as soon as Israel gets in over its head and its soil is retaliated against by tens of thousands of missiles that America won’t come to its rescue?

Of course, since Israel and the United States are BFFs (Bickering Friends Forever), that’s to be expected. That’s why the collaboration with Israel on its concerns about Iran should entail warning Israel in terms that couldn’t be more uncertain against attacking Iran.