The Pity of Future Wars

It takes someone who wrote a history of WWI called The Pity of War to come up with a scenario like this one:

This [wasted diplomatic effort by the EU3] gave the Iranians all the time they needed to produce weapons-grade enriched uranium at Natanz. The dream of nuclear non-proliferation, already interrupted by Israel, Pakistan and India, was definitively shattered. Now Teheran had a nuclear missile pointed at Tel-Aviv. And the new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu had a missile pointed right back at Teheran.

The optimists argued that the Cuban Missile Crisis would replay itself in the Middle East. Both sides would threaten war – and then both sides would blink. That was Secretary Rice’s hope – indeed, her prayer – as she shuttled between the capitals. But it was not to be.

The devastating nuclear exchange of August 2007 represented not only the failure of diplomacy, it marked the end of the oil age. Some even said it marked the twilight of the West. Certainly, that was one way of interpreting the subsequent spread of the conflict as Iraq’s Shi’ite population overran the remaining American bases in their country and the Chinese threatened to intervene on the side of Teheran.


That’s British author and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson writing for the Telegraph. I suggest you read the whole thing.



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