A policy that does not work is wrong. Yet the West persists in its non-proliferation approach. International condemnation and sanctions have prevented no country from developing nuclear weapons.

Pakistan and North Korea are extremely unstable, hostile regimes. No one knows the exact number of nuclear bombs they have, let alone the whereabouts of the bombs. Pakistan is a confirmed nuclear proliferator which has helped scores of rogue regimes—including North Korea, Iran, and Libya—to develop nuclear weapons. The father of the Pakistani nuclear program, Ahmad Khan, wages his private jihad against the West, deliberately disseminating nuclear technology and sending Pakistani nuclear scientists abroad. While formally ousted from his leading position at the Pakistani nuclear conglomerate, Khan continues to control the enterprise to the extent of using military planes for private trips. Intelligence services cannot account for at least twenty nuclear bombs produced in Pakistan.

North Korea is dirt poor, hostile, fearless, and opportunistic. It would sell the bomb to any cash bidder.

India has at least ten bombs unaccounted for by foreign agencies. Though the country is embroiled in religious strife with Muslims, it is not inherently pro-Israeli. India voted for the “Zionism is racism” UN resolution, and has great tensions with America. India critically depends on foreign trade and won’t engage in military conflict with the West, but it could deliver nukes and technology to others. The same is true of Russia, a long-time proliferator sufficiently unscrupulous to assist Iran in its nuclear program. There are at least 16,000, and possibly as many as 27,000 nuclear warheads decaying in the hands of the notoriously corrupt Russian military, which will steal and sell anything for cash. It is nothing less than a miracle that Russian security services have so far managed to preserve their nuclear stocks intact from black-market operators. Such a situation cannot continue indefinitely, and Russian nuclear weapons are certain to reach terrorists and rogue states.

China is a big question. It is traditionally isolationist, but won’t hesitate to supply nuclear weapons to foreign strategic partners. China has shown complete invulnerability to economic sanctions and would disregard the threat of military reprisal; it has lost many more people in civil wars than could die in a retaliatory attack. Like Russia, China unashamedly aids rogue regimes in their nuclear programs.

Saudi Arabia almost certainly possess some of the Pakistani nuclear warheads smuggled by Ahmad Khan, as well as the Pakistani ballistic rockets capable of delivering them into Israel. The US ignores the confirmed WMD capabilities of its economic partner.

Egypt most certainly has nuclear capability. It is uncertain whether it has actually built the bombs. The Muslim Brotherhood already constitutes the largest faction in the Egyptian parliament, and would proceed to building nuclear weapons upon coming to power.

The terrorist state of Libya either possesses nuclear weapons or is very close to building them. Unable to influence Libya, the West accepted its ludicrous assurances that it would end its nuclear program.

There is also credible evidence of nuclear research in Algeria.

Argentina and Brazil remain on the brink of developing nuclear weapons. Both countries deter each other from taking the final step, but significant worsening of their bilateral relations would create two more nuclear states hostile to Israel and the US. Brazil barred the IAEA from monitoring its uranium enrichment facilities; the only sensible reason to do so is to produce weapons-grade uranium.

Scores of other countries could develop nuclear weapons in one to three years. Some of them are non-threatening, such as South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Norway, and Taiwan. Some are cash-hungry and unscrupulous, notably Poland and Romania. Some, like Morocco and Malaysia, are very dangerous.

The West must reestablish the credibility of its opposition to nuclear proliferation. Nuclear weapons lack an apocalyptic effect for large countries, but their danger nevertheless justifies a truly mad reaction to their possession by unstable and hostile regimes. Forget the trade sanctions. Bomb the proliferators into the Stone Age.