The devil's due
Neither deterrence nor statesmanship saved the world during the Cold War, just plain dumb luck. Walter Laqueur writing in the Opinion Journal summarizes the thesis of former assistant secretary of defense Fred Ikle's book, Annihilation from Within who argues that modern society has made a Faustian bargain with technology, which has now given individuals the power to annihilate cities. It's been a good life so far but the hands of the clock are edging toward midnight.
It's gratifying to see Ikle's book noticed somewhere else. It was the subject of a Belmont Club post a few days back. And the frightening thing about its thesis, in common with Huntington's thesis about the clash of civilizations, is that the probelem he describes is built into the fabric of our modern world. It is neither Clinton's nor Bush's fault. It's not anyone's fault. The risk of destruction is the price of harnessing the power of technology. I suppose we knew that already. We are our own blessing; and our own curse.