If anything demonstrates the cowardice of the average politician it’s nuclear weaponry. Politicians have no quarrel sending other people’s sons and daughters off to die in a foreign land. But the second their lives are threatened they sudden have a strong desire to use diplomacy. Nuclear weapons are the tool that can strike directly at politicians, which is why they’re in such a hurry to prevent more countries from getting them. Once a country becomes a nuclear power it can strike directly at the politicians of foreign nations and that takes the option of invasion off of the table.
Based on this I’m beginning to think that the path to world peace involves nuclear weapons. Imagine if every country was armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. History has demonstrated that nuclear armed countries don’t suffer foreign invasions. Even the United States and the Soviet Union, two of histories most bitter enemies, refrained from direct military engagement.
The most common rebuttal to this idea is that there are political leaders who want to immanentize the eschaton. This is a common concern expressed by those who believe it is necessary to use whatever means necessary to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I don’t give such rebuttals much concern. Immanetizing the eschaton requires a willingness to sacrifice one’s own life. I have never seen a politician who is willing to sacrifice themselves. They’re always quick to sacrifice others but when their own skin is on the line they topple like a house of card. Until I see a politician willing to sacrifice themselves for political or religious gain I won’t consider any such concerns seriously.
Perhaps we need to encourage more countries to join the nuclear club. It may be the only thing that makes politicians reconsider declaring war.