In addition to Michael Oren's and Yossi Klein's excellent, must-read article on Israel's (and frankly the world's) worst nightmare mentioned here, Nobel Prize mathematician, Professor Yisroel (Robert) Aumann, of Hebrew University presented another must read (and learn from) paper last week at a conference on the Balance of Israel's National Security. Aumann, whose specialty is game theory, of course spoke about Iran's threat. But, differentiating between dealing with Iran directly and with those shadowy groups Iran supports, he points out
there is a different danger in Iran's nuclear armament-more tangible and more threatening, although more indirect. This danger is hidden in the possibility that nuclear technology will be transferred from Iran to terrorist groups such as Al Qa'ida or others-groups whose identities are indistinct, who have no address. Even these groups are not insane; they act consistently, rationally, and sophisticated in order to achieve their goals. But because they have no address, direct deterrence policy is not effective in their case. Thus, if they succeed in obtaining nuclear weapons, it is unclear how we will be able to deter them from using it against us.
How to prevent Iran, either directly or indirectly, from passing on their nuclear technology?
One is to create strong and tangible motivation for the government of Iran to prevent at all costs the transfer of nuclear technology and materials to groups that do not function under its auspices. The second and less effective way is to give strong and tangible motivation to these terrorist groups we have mentioned not to use nuclear weapons against Israel, even if they have obtained such weapons. As we have said, this type of deterrence is not easy because these groups have no address, but they have goals and they have an ideological identity, and it is possible to create adequate incentives on this backdrop.
After discussing the enemies' motivations, he analyzes how Israel can counter them; discussing Israel's motivations--aside from annihilation of course. While his specific conclusions are applicable to Israel's specific situation some generalities are relevant to all those working to counter the world's nightmare.
...now a few words about a third threat, which is perhaps the greatest of all. It does not come from Iran, nor from terrorist groups, nor from any external source. It comes from within us. "We have met the enemy, and it is us." Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, your humble servant makes his living from game theory-among other things, very serious games: games of life and death and of existence and annihilation. The name of the game in game theory is motivation, incentives. Earlier, we discussed the motivations of those standing on the opposite side. Motivating ourselves is the most important thing, and the thing we are losing the most. Without motivation, we will not endure. What are we doing here? Why are we here? What are we aspiring to here?....
...I think it was Churchill who said, "If you want peace, prepare for war." The preparation includes material preparation, a fantastic army, effective tools of war, but above all, we are talking about spiritual preparation, about spiritual readiness to go to war.
Roadmaps, capitulation, gestures, disengagements, convergences, deportations, and so forth do not bring peace. On the contrary, they bring war, just as we saw last summer. These things send a clear signal to our "cousins" that we are tired, that we no longer have spiritual strength, that we have no time, that we are calling for a time-out. They only whet their appetites. It only encourages them to pressure us more, to demand more, and not to give up on anything. These things stem from simple theoretical considerations and also from straight thinking. But it's not just theory: it has been proven and re-proven in the field over thousands of years. I returned today from a trip to India, where we heard about historical stories that illustrate the same. Capitulations bring about war; determination and readiness bring about peace.
Certainly, this is not what those oh so sincere, oh so wrong, feel good, hate filled anti war demonstrators want to hear. But then the truth is always painful. However the alternative is worse.