The Arabs of the 21st century
Here's an idea I read that I hadn't heard before a few weeks ago, but thought was interesting.
It was described in the New Yorker a few weeks ago by a British scientist who has been accused of (but never really gotten in trouble for) assisting Iran in nuclear weapons development.
Paraphrasing from memory, he described the nuclear-armed countries (USA, Israel, Pakistan, France, yadayadayada) as using nonproliferation as a red herring.
The real goal is for them to be the sole providers of nuclear power - after the coming "long emergency" when oil reserves are depleted to the point of it no longer being cost-effective to mine it. When that happens, the world will have to switch to a nuclear energy based economy, and the current nuclear club will reap the benefits. He used the phrase "Arabs of the 21st century."
A few days after I read this I was talking to a girl whose father was a in-the-process-of-retiring oil company executive, and while we were on the topic of intragenerational political differences (he's more conservative than she is), I ran this idea by her. She said that that was exactly what her dad believed. So now whenever I hear of a proposal to "do something" before one country or another can develop the bomb, I think there may be a subtext of energy company executives scheming to advance a future advantage in a gazillion dollar (or euro/ yen/ whatever) industry.