Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry warns that the world is on the knife edge of nuclear catastrophe. Such catastrophe can result accidentally from electronic failures or glitches in warning systems and from the recklessly aggressive and unnecessary force buildup against Russia. Conn Hallinan discusses these issues...
“Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War,” warns William Perry, “and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”
A former U.S. defense secretary from 1994 to 1997, Perry has been an inside player in the business of nuclear weapons for over 60 years. And his book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, is a sober read. It’s also a powerful counterpoint to NATO’s current European strategy, which envisions nuclear weapons as a deterrent to war: The purpose of nukes “is to prevent major war, not to wage wars,” argues the Alliance’s magazine, NATO Review.
But as Perry points out, it’s only by chance that the world has avoided a nuclear war — sometimes by nothing more than dumb luck — and, rather than enhancing our security, nukes “now endanger it.”
The 1962 Cuban missile crisis is generally represented as a dangerous standoff resolved by sober diplomacy. In fact, it was a single man — Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov — who countermanded orders to launch a nuclear torpedo at an American destroyer that could have set off a full-scale nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States.
There were numerous other incidents that brought the world to the brink. On a quiet morning in November 1979, a NORAD computer reported a full-scale Russian sneak attack with land and sea-based missiles, which led to scrambling U.S. bombers and alerting U.S. missile silos to prepare to launch. But it turned out there was no Soviet attack — just an errant test tape.
Lest anyone think the incident was an anomaly, a little more than six months later NORAD computers erroneously announced that Soviet submarines had launched 220 missiles at the United States. This time the cause was a defective chip that cost 49 cents — again resulting in scrambling interceptors and putting the silos on alert.
But don’t these examples prove that accidental nuclear war is unlikely? That conclusion is a dangerous illusion, argues Perry, because the price of being mistaken is so high — and because the world is a more dangerous place than it was in 1980.
I doubt Hallinan is correct about Washington’s military predominance. This is Washington’s view, and this view makes Washington confident that it holds the aces. It is a mistake for Hallinan to encourage Washington in this view. Nevertheless, Hallinan makes it clear that we could all be vaporized at any minute. This extremely high risk has been created entirely by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes in which zionist neoconservatives have controlled foreign and military policies.
It is tiresome to hear the argument that nuclear war won’t happen because it makes no sense. William Perry points out that the failure of a 49-cent computer chip resulted in NORAD’s computers signaling that the Soviets had launched 220 nuclear missiles at the United States. Just think about all the failures and glitches in our own personal computers, even the best ones.
Human miscalculation is also an enormous risk. Miscalculation is a dominant human trait. Consider that 50 percent of Americans’ choices of marriage partner are miscalculations as established by the divorce rate.
The mere existence of nuclear weapons means the nonexistence of life on earth. It will happen sooner or later. To raise the risk as the crazed American government is doing with irresponsible provocations of the Russians and Chinese is the ultimate criminal act.
There is no greater threat to human rights than to endanger all life, and that is what Washington and its two-bit punk NATO vassals are doing by increasing tensions between nuclear powers.
The neoconservatives in Washington have replaced nuclear disarmament with a new nuclear arms race. All of the hard work and accomplishments of previous US administrations to ease tensions and to reduce the stockpiles of nuclear weapons has been thrown away by the psychopaths who control the government in Washington.