As world commerce grows and countries economic performance is more linked with each other, governments will search for more covert methods to attack other countries. A country with strong economic ties to the United States or China will not blatantly deploy weapons of mass destructions against an economic ally. Still countries may feel the need to create fear or panic in this countries general public. This is where the use of state sponsored terrorism will thrive. Countries could covertly deploy terrorist groups with biological or chemical technology that the state developed to attack the “ally” country. At the same time the country sponsoring these actions puts on a pleasant political face to the world and may even offer a hand in friendship to the attacked country.
This is the case of what occurred in this scenario. Most countries, even countries such as Iran, North Korea or Syria do not want to be the initiator in the deployment of WMDs. They do not want to feel the repercussions from the world arena by deploying such weapons even if it is in response to a military buildup threatening their existence. More so, they do not want to be receptive to the US military might if these weapons are deployed against US interests. That is why countries will do these style of attacks through covert means, such as the Taliban government hosting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. While the Taliban may not have funded the Al Qaeda attacks, they certainly did not reject them.
Scott Stewart stated that “since Iran does not yet possess a nuclear arsenal, these (Hezbollah) threats are the closest thing it has to a “real nuclear option.” As such, they are threats that Iran will make good on only as a last resort.” Mr. Stewart is correct that since Iran does not have a nuclear deterrence, its deterrence is the fear of terror attacks. However, this fear does not end when a country obtains nuclear weapons, it grows.
Nuclear capable countries could claim insurgents gained control of their nuclear weapons and launched an attack without state permission. How could the world community prove a country wrong? North Korea could launch an attack and claim it was due to internal terrorists that gained control of the weapons and they have hence put down the insurrection. This would seem perfectly acceptable.
Moreover, the nuclear deterrence does not mean a country would be willing to use them, even in their own self defense. If a country wants to covertly attack another, the deployment of nuclear weapons is not the answer, even if they try to claim terrorists’ control. A covert method of attack would be through the use of terrorists’ organizations in the other country and the deployment of biological, chemical or radiological devices. It would appear to the world community that these terror organizations were acting on their own in support of their own ideology. Even if they were a state was behind and covertly sponsored the terror organization.