Thinking About Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
This monograph provides an overview and analysis of thinking in Iraq on the issue of nuclear power. Nuclear power has long held a special fascination for Iraq, and despite past controversies, this issue continues to draw the attention of numerous influential Iraqis in the post-Saddam era. Informed public opinion in Iraq today is clearly a more important factor for understanding the background of decisionmaking than it was during the Saddam era, so that this monograph addresses the views of all the sectors of Iraqi society likely to have an input into decisionmaking in this arena. There is an emerging Iraqi consensus on the desirability of a peaceful nuclear program, with arguments supported by the expected benefits for electric power generation, agriculture, and medicine, as well as an eventual transition from oil. National pride is also a motivating factor, as nuclear power is viewed as an indicator of modernity and as proof of being able to keep up with regional neighbors. As for a military application of nuclear power, those expressing a positive view-all outside the current government-see nuclear weapons as an effective political and military instrument and as necessary to balance Israels nuclear arsenal, although their support is voiced on behalf of the Arabs in general rather than using the more sensitive term, Iraq. The belief in the effectiveness of a balance of terror in ensuring security and stability is widespread. Perceptions about a prospective Iranian nuclear weapon, however, most often break down along confessional lines, with most Shia welcoming the prospect as a boost to the Shia communitys security, while Sunnis continue earlier views of a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat.
- Nuclear Power Plants and Fission Reactor Engineering