The Mesopotamian Balance of Terror

Ross Douthat being smart on the subject of Iran's nuclear program. I'm looking forward to his many debates with Roger Cohen:

I think we need to be clear-eyed about what a Mesopotamian balance of terror is likely to mean for U.S. policy in the region. Saying that we can live with a nuclear-armed Iran is the beginning of managing the problem, not the end of it. Deterrence proposed is easier than deterrence implemented. In an earlier post on the subject, Massie expressed the hope that "the United States retains (I trust!) sufficient institutional memory as to be able to play the nuclear game with rather more finesse, subtlety and confidence than it has sometimes shown in more assymetric struggles." I hope so too! But that game isn't an easy one to play, and it has tendency to enmesh you in ever-deeper layers of regional commitment, with all the difficulties that such commitments entail.