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 Nuclear War
Imperial Arts
post Oct 3 2010, 02:19 AM
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I recently read an article by some high-ranking Russian nuclear strategists that assesses the state of nuclear weaponry in the US and Russia. I was horrified. No one expects to find this sort of paper full of humor and cheer, but it did give new definition to the sort of menace nuclear warfare continues to present.

Aside from my initial response to the article, and the contents themselves (which you can read in "Foreign Affairs" this month) I want to throw some ideas about nuclear weapons on the table for you to consider.

According to both US and Russian sources, no fewer than 300 targets would be on the first-strike list within each country. So it would not be "They nuked New York!" but instead nearly every city in the country would be simultaneously destroyed, and nearly all remaining areas fouled by toxic debris and extremely limited resources. That's more than just bad, it's a catastrophe we could barely imagine.

Yet this is precisely the sort of catastrophe which could happen, and which has been looming for decades. I think it is time for the entire threat to stop. It may be folly to create these devastating weapons, but it is pure insanity to trust their management to guys who were elected because of their superior TV commercials. Although it seems unlikely, the president of the US or Russia could choose to initiate such a strike, resulting in hundreds of millions of deaths. It seems equally unlikely that the public has given due consideration to the grave responsibility their elected officials retain.

Casualties of war are something of a grim but predictable feature of human existence. Wars happen, and people die. Sometimes, lots of people die and many innocents are among them. Nuclear weapons are not an innovation upon this scheme, they are a totally different game. With nuclear weapons, the whole world, or at least a whole nation, can be obliterated in a day. This was never the case before. As bloody as the past battles were, they had no chance to wipe out everyone and everything on the whim of a furious despot or a bullied president. Wars are often instigated on some false pretext, and the standard mode for nuclear attack is swift surprise from which there is no return or further diplomatic possibility. Do you really trust the president of this or any other country with such a responsibility?

A man who owns a gun, and has a concealed weapons permit, cannot own an automatic weapon. Not even one! It is deemed too dangerous to allow a private citizen to own such machinery, no matter what their level of integrity. With this logic in mind, and remember most countries do not allow for concealed firearm permits, one could compare nations to private citizens. No matter what sort of regulatory body observes national stockpiles, the sneak-attack method will not be hampered unless the nations have no access to the weapons. They simply cannot be trusted, and I am appalled that the other nations of the world have not attempted international litigation to prevent the "super powers" from possessing such instruments of death or the right to use them.

There are emerging threats from other nations who may wish to expand their nuclear arsenals, the supposed threat of terrorists, and other factors that might make total disarmament less likely. There is also the very real possibility that, even if launches were delayed into off-ready mode (they are currently poised to strike at a moment's notice), the government would keep a few ready to go just in case. Responding to attack by a terrorist does not require nuclear attack against his homeland. Destroying most of Afghanistan would not stop a suicide bomber in America, and might even encourage others to increase their efforts. Something might be found to deal with these and other lower level threats, but none of it requires thousands of missiles pointed and ready to fire between Russia and the USA.

The military has given us a credible reason to develop massive engineering and technology projects. That need not stop, and they can continue to build bombers they won't use just to give those guys jobs and maintain stock values. But the nuclear weapons have got to go: it is too much power, entrusted to too few people, and there is too much risk of immediate global destruction. If the bombs were simply destroyed - all of them - it would require too much work for them to be redeveloped without attracting the notice of an international oversight agency. They could be reserved for special needs (maybe UFO attacks, asteroids, anything), and there could be a credible deterrent preserved only or the sake of rogue nations and terrorist states, and these provisions are lamentable if necessary.

So, you wizards and witches, and whoever else might care to do so, what can be done to rid the world of the nuclear threat? What can you do?


This post has been edited by Imperial Arts: Oct 3 2010, 10:02 AM


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Draw
post Oct 3 2010, 04:23 AM
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Living in England i'm primarily pissed off over my government spending VAST amounts of money buying American Trident missiles.
For a fraction of the price we could have build our own!! we have amazing engineers an the ones we brought where incredibly overpriced.

I would love to say 'ban the bomb'! but it's inevitable that some country's will have these weapons, an i would much rather i lived in a country that had some.

IMO if your country hasn't got Nuclear Weapons it will be bullied an intimidated by country's that do.

If Afghanistan ACTUALLY had weapons of mass destruction do you think we would have invaded them? i think not.

It's the governments themselves that need re-structuring, while they are unintelligent and separate they will need strength/fear to maintain their identity.
Forming intelligent governments would probably solve a lot of issues, international one's as well as domestic.

This post has been edited by Draw: Oct 3 2010, 05:11 AM

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Myrna
post Oct 3 2010, 06:43 AM
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Come on Imperial Arts, don't you have faith in MAD? It even worked great in the 80s, when Ray-gun was in power.

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Goibniu
post Oct 4 2010, 01:55 AM
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If there ever is a nuclear war between the USA and Russia, Canada would be totally wiped out. I remember thinking during the Cold War when someone from the USA would talk about protecting Canada under a nuclear umbrella that they were talking through their ass. The route from the USA and Russia is directly through the middle of Canada. Both sides hoped to shoot down missiles before they managed to reach their respective territories. Guess where both sides wanted to blow up the other's missiles? That's right. The USA has always thought of Canadian territory as a shield to hide behind. We were never given to option of saying no. But the USA saying that they were protecting us reminds me of the saying, "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." Now that the Cold War is over maybe they can use someplace else as a shield.


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ellmaring
post Oct 4 2010, 07:03 AM
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I am of the opinion, and one could quite easily call it naive, that neither country would allow a nuclear fallout to happen; in the end, what is truly gained? The effects of a nuclear winter would I think be far more devastating for the global community, even on just an economic level, than at simply a national level. Are the bombs going to go? Possibly one day. Big countries are always going to wave big things at each other, political leverage is an important commodity - but I don't think the majority truly believe that these items are good things.

On that note, I do agree that more does need to be done with regards to nuclear disarmament. Unfortunately smaller powers can only do so much; really it is the citizens of the big 'superpowers' that will make the most difference. 'Citizens' includes those of the elite as well as those poor souls at the bottom however. With such things as the recent economic crisis and the very bold talk coming from countries such as Iran, I unfortunately don't see anything good happening within my life time at least.

What can I do about it? Not at lot, but I like to think opinion is worth a grain of salt. Add it all up and people's voices can go a long way. It's just a matter of waiting until the right time comes.


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Kirie
post Oct 4 2010, 10:32 AM
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Russia would hardly disarm and I don't trust them enough to hope the US disarms.

I'm more concerned about one of those little bipolar countries like North Korea building a nuke than the status quo changing. They'd have fewer qualms, not to mention rational thought processes, about dropping it.

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Acid09
post Oct 4 2010, 09:06 PM
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Fundamentalist don't care about MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction, for those who don't know). Arguably, such fundamentalist welcome a nuclear apacolypse. Personally I think its a good thing we have nuclear weapons in the US. They help assure that China won't invade. Or get very far if they ever did. Interesting fact I learned not long ago: My county, where I live with less than 250,000 people, has more nuclear weapons than the rest of the world's arsenal outside of the greater US and Russia. On the other hand in light of dwindling resources and economic super powers rising like China and India, it seems that sooner or later armed conflict will result if we just continue with business as usual. Between the USA and Russia we have enough nuclear weapons to kill the population of the Earth 6 times over. But if it wasn't nuclear weapons, it germs. If not germs then chemicals like sarin gas.

I do think there is still some hope. I think if leading nations like the US and the EU pioneer renewable resources and stream line their infrastructure to support a growing population, other nations can adopt new technologies as well. The problem is getting these technologies to the point where they are not only affordable, but profitable too. And right now the oil industry doesn't want to compete with solar or wind power. The way I read the climate we are at the brink of the point of no return. A fork in the road where if we go one direction billions will die in a global war humans have never seen before. The other path, though longer to travel, leads to a more stable world where our respective populations can eke out a living.


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Petrus
post Oct 5 2010, 12:46 AM
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If there's one point which practically all of the channelled material I've read has been consistent on, it is that global nuclear war is not going to happen, simply because that is possibly the only thing that will categorically not be permitted to happen. This might initially seem Pollyanna-ish and fluffy, but I'd invite you to go and read Chomsky in particular, where he writes about how many near misses we've had. There have also been a number of reported incidents of UFOs being seen near nuclear silos, and said silos being at least temporarily disabled, or otherwise rendered inert.

Human beings might want nuclear war; I'm not dismissing that for a moment. However, another thing that has been consistently implied by the UFO community, tying in with the above, is that the main reason for the increased level of UFO activity, starting in around 1947, was that it coincided with being two years after the culmination of the Manhattan Project and the end of the second world war. There is a consistent implication that a number of extraterrestrial interests are exceptionally concerned about human nuclear capability, (the damage of which, even if only applied to the terrestrial surface, could apparently still have dire consequences elsewhere as well) and are therefore highly vigilant in taking steps to ensure that a global nuclear conflict is not a possibility.

As a result, personally I have not feared a global nuclear scenario since probably the fall of the Berlin Wall. Given a particular dream I had once, I am inclined to believe that there could be a limited exchange between Israel in particular, and one of the other powers; but that that is a remote possibility, and also that even if that did occur, it would not be permitted to spread.

This is not intended as an anti-Semitic statement, but in my opinion the Israeli government is probably the single greatest impediment to global peace, currently, even moreso than Washington; whether in nuclear terms or otherwise.

This post has been edited by Petrus: Oct 5 2010, 12:52 AM


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Acid09
post Oct 5 2010, 09:09 PM
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Given that humans creating a super virus and unleashing it on the world or use other technologies for mass destruction (like anti-matter or singularity weapons) I find it hard to believe aliens have much interest in our nuclear arms. I think the rapid progression of our technology in general may prove to be more of a threat. I mean terminator, although the story line about time travel is science fictation, a world ruled by machines is not necessarily out of the ball park. I definetly don't believe an all out nuclear war will ever occur. But a rouge state like N. Korea or Al Qaeda may get ahold of a nuclear device and use it for mass destruction. Or worse - unleash a new strain of small pox that is resistant to medication. That could be used to kill billions around the world. There is still the very real possibility of a global war over resources too. That could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. Even then I think an all out nuclear conflict is unlikely.


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