I’m pleased to offer a different perspective here from blogfriend Charles Cameron of Hipbone Games who blogs at Forensic Theology. Charles has a deep academic background in comparative theological studies and he is offering insight into the mindset of millenarian religious radicals and what their motivations might mean for the concept of nuclear deterrence. Cameron seeks to address an aspect that is, surprisingly, seldom highlighted properly in the media despite the U.S. having been at war with Islamist terrorists since 2001. The number of voices who have also tried to do so – Gilles Kepel, Olivier Roy, Tim Furnish and Michael Scheuer – have focused exclusively on radical Salafist and Mahdist Islamism while Cameron puts these in context with all eschatological religious extremists, mythic archetypes and other primal currents of human culture.
Charles Cameron’s post is really an 18 page paper of considerable intellectual depth and subtlety and I offer it here to readers with a strong endorsement for your careful consideration.
“I read about Cheryl Rofer’s invitation to the blogosphere of 18 December, suggesting that we should form a “blog-tank” on nuclear policy, on my blog-friend Zenpundit’s blog. My purpose here is to offer as background to that ongoing discussion of nuclear policy, some reminders from the spheres of religion and mythology.
It is my purpose here to suggest that the actions, plans and motives of those who are subject to religious drivers, and in particular drivers of an apocalyptic or “end times” nature, are, by reason of their seeming irrationality and fringe quality, often overlooked by those whose specialties revolve around such things as centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium, short-range missiles and their forward deployment, and so forth – and that a theological understanding of the place of nuclear weapons in the eschatological thinking of radical religionists of a variety of stripes is one of the key desiderata in an effort to come to grips with the realities of proliferation and peace”.
Read the rest here (PDF)