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The Use of Nuclear Weapons is Authorized...

Think about it, 25 years ago we were still ready for the birds of death to come flying over us and rain down upon our heads an atomic wave of death on the nation. The threat of a force touching the life of every single man woman and child on the earth was something that was at the time, a very real threat.

So what happens if one of those things would go off today?

Who would we start to look to in order to place the blame?

And why in the hell am I even typing about this?

Well it would seem today, Sept. 5, 2007, nuclear weapons flew over the United State of America. (Click the link to read about the huge frak-up http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20427730/?GT1=10357) So what's the big deal, we should be able to move our weapons at will at any point one would say. And I will agree with that to an extent. A country should not be limited in it's ability to move forces, whether they be arms or troops, from one location to another. but what does that movement mean to other nations?

Looking at the munitions that we have today, it doesn't relaly matter what coast we keep them on, they can reach out and touch someone. hell, they can be in the center of the frakkin country and they will still get to their assigned destination. so why does moving them mean anything? well with news out that we have moved them, i do not doubt that another nation will call this accident an act of hidden aggression on their sovereign nation. so who might make this claim? well placing the weapons in the north now lets North Korea and Russia hold this claim. Just a few months ago we were having problems with Russia when we were trying to push a missile defense plan for Europe. And of course the bad Korea is on the checklist of places that pose a threat. So now we have just given two powerful places a means to make for thier case of US aggression.

I write these words and I worry about them, because I think of what some of my old army friends would have said, and their response would have been that it doesn't matter, because we could just go in and f--- them up. I am not one to agree with this. While I feel that victory would be possible, it would not be worth the price. We go to war with Russia and we then get to see how good our missile defense is. We go to war with North Korea, and we have huge issues, such as no exit plan. Sound familiar? So then we look like an even bigger bully on the block, going around throwing our weight and not caring the outcome. I am sure that die hard supporters of this administration are not seeing the problem at all in moving the weapons. There are other things to consider outside of what could happen in retaliation.

What happens when the plane that is carrying the weapons has a mechanical failure and crashes? I know there are safeguards on teh weapons that ensure they would survive such a crash, but lets also consider that there are safeguards in place to make sure planes and helicopters don't crash either, and those things fall from the sky my friends.

So imagine this, you are sitting at work, and someone comes in and says to go check out cnn.com
you go to the site to hear that what appears to be a nuclear device has gone off in the midwest and the president, vice-president, and cabinet have now retreated to an undisclosed location.
Next on the list of things for is that the joint chiefs will be advising the president on what action to take next. there would be an alert level put out so that in only about an hour and a half, every single military post, reserve, and guard center, would have armed guards at the units, all of which would be authorized the use of deadly force.

parents would be rushing to schools to get their children, people would start leaving the city, stores would be clogged with people buying milk, eggs, and bread, because for some reason those things are going to save your life, and families would be tied to the television to see what would happene next.

here is where things would get tricky. given the location of where the missile would go, there is the chance that it could be in a region where we have one of our old nuke sites. if that would be a place that got hit, it would almost be safe to assume that we would blame Russia, who had our old sites targeted from the Cold War, for the detonation of the device. If that were the case we would probably then be on a path of brinkmanship, accusing the Russians of attacking us.

The next few moments of dialogue would be precious and who knows what would happen. It almost happened once, and with the kind of irresponsiblity that we displayed today, could very well happen again, and possibly even to the next level. The people that moved these weapons are supposed to be professionals. and yes, even the pros can make mistakes, but can we afford and explanation such as human error when it is a matter of the security of the world?

Actions such as these worry me.

please feel free to add what you like. Steve and Bob, I am sure you both have comments. Fire at will.

Comments

I frakkin called that one! some douchehat stole my idea. but it is reassuring to see there are some people out there like myself that are able to see that apple is going to create the humanoid cylons.
In an ideal world, they'd be banned outright... oh wait;

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968,
signed by the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and 184 other nations.

"Article VI. The states undertake to pursue "negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament", and towards a "Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control"."

Now, you might say, "Steve, you shockingly handsome pie in the sky idealist, while we may have signed that treaty saying we'd disarm, this is the real world, and in the real world, the Ruskies would never disarm, so neither will we, no matter what some piece of paper 189 nations signed says."

It is true, total disarmament, while being the only sane and rational course of action, is unlikely to occur since statesmen love power, and nukes confer it. However, since the end of the cold war, Russia has entreated the United States to enter into an agreement whereby each nation would scale back the size of its nuclear arsenal and de-target the other's infrastructure. The US would scale down from 10,000 (that's right, we have 10,000 nuclear warheads, most on hair triggers) to 1,500. The Russians would scale down to 1,500 as well from their current total of 16,000.

Luckily for us, presidents Bush and Clinton aren't pussies, and neither of them would fall for this devious commie ploy. Not only that, but Putin has stopped making the offer, is moving to update the Russian nuclear program and the US is lobbying hard and investing money in a missile shield in eastern Europe.

While a ban won't happen anytime soon, proliferation could be checked by negotiations undertaken "in good faith" could greatly lessen the problems associated with city killing bombs. Here's what negotiations and good faith could easily fix.
1. reduce the # of Russian missiles that could easily fall through post-soviet crumbling infrastructure into the wrong hands.
2. Take nukes off of hair triggers that could be launched by a President's bad dream, a general's paranoia about his bodily fluids or a flock of birds that radar operators think is an ICBM.
3. Reduce the operational knowledge base that rogue states tap into to create their own nuclear programs.
4. Save us a ton of money on paying for the upkeep of an arsenal that could, within seconds, eliminate our entire civilization. Wait, I guess that one is two.

If even warmonger Robert McNamara can see that these things need to be banned, then why can't we at least reduce a useless and dangerous component of our armed forces. I totally agree with you ken. Madness.

Learn more here: International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons
I am really interested to see what news stories will be breaking now and if they are in response to the incident, such as troop movements in nations that are not in friendly status, or if there will now be a big focus on the rise/decline of violence in Iraq.

my bet is this one gets buried fast and when the full report is released it won't even get a soundbite.
I really don't think that we're going to see any kind of response by anyone. If we had flown Nukes over a foreign nation/airspace, that may have been a different story. I equate this to the military parades of communist past, I don't think that Washington had the entire U.S. armed forces on alert every year when the Soviets rolled through Red Square with their missiles and tanks and such.

You do highlight an interesting point: I'm surprised this was even mentioned in the news at all, since it's a military matter and nobody was injured. If the plane had crashed or if peripheral events had occurred, I could have seen news coverage, but the fact that the Air Force voluntarily surrendered information what could be considered to be a significant SNAFU when it could have quietly been omitted from public awareness? Fishy.

In other news: The U.S. Army moves a Helicopter from the East side of the base to the West side of the base.
Reply to Ken

Nuclear conflict is something that used to bother me a lot, then I learned to stop worrying about it and love the bomb(There's my Kubrick reference). I did a lot of reading about it, including this which I found very informative: The Effects of a Nuclear Weapon Over Detroit or Leningrad: A Tutorial On The Effects Of Nuclear Weapons

I guess the biggest concern that I have about the entire thing is that it highlights a failing of our country's military security, you don't just pop open the fridge and pull out a nuclear warhead. There has to be a process or procedures by which access to nuclear weapons is achieved, and if so, reassessment of that process and the security of that process must occur in the shortest possible time. I find it ironic that a passenger can't take a bottle of shampoo onto an airline, that I can't take my Gerber Multi-Tool to the roof of the Empire State Building, but a B-52 can "accidentally" fly a few nuclear warheads over the nation? Oops. And if you can "Oops" a nuclear flyover, you might be able to "Oops" a warhead disappearing.

My largest fear would be a nuclear incident on American soil. I've read many articles about Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, I find it fascinating and terrifying all at once. I try to envision what it would really entail, how we could even being to possibly deal with the situation, the scope and the scale. I believe that the possibility of nuclear terrorism is real, and I wonder how the U.S. would respond to a nuclear terrorist incident. Nuclearly? Against who and why?

I believe that the concern for nuclear incident should focus upon India, Pakistan, Israel, as well as North Korea, although any country possessing weapons is a candidate for disaster. Actions like this: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2937031.ece and this http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5c880pdp8fS4M5-vVocPVMii0lA concern me because in my mind, all it will take is a few more incidents to complete a sentence ending with nuclear event.

But in the end, what is worrying about it going to do? I have resolved myself to be concerned with it when it occurs, instead of if.

October 2007

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