The debate over the merits of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran should turn on whether enhanced sanctions could break Iran’s will, if not lead to regime change. If that possibility seams remote, then the interim agreement and what is likely to follow will be good deals in an imperfect world.
In his scholarship, Waltz asked the tough questions about the difficult and important issues. He was motivated by both theoretical and policy questions, the latter often setting the agenda for the former. He was intellectually courageous, usually staking out iconoclastic positions -- some of which were initially derided, many of which ended up becoming mainstream thinking. No matter what one’s theoretical persuasion, he was an intellectual force that had to be reckoned with.
Halting Iran's progress toward a bomb will require the United States to make credible promises and credible threats simultaneously -- an exceedingly difficult trick to pull off. For coercive diplomacy to work, Washington may need to put more of its cards on the table.
Under the Bush administration, U.S. nuclear strategy is shifting from deterrence to defense. In The Price of Dominance, Jan Lodal argues that this is a mistake and explains why multilateral cooperation is crucial for a sensible post-Cold War nuclear strategy.