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How A War Game Brought The World To The Brink Of Nuclear Disaster

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/02/nato-war-game-nuclear-disaster

Chilling new evidence that Britain and America came close to provoking the Soviet Union into launching a nuclear attack has emerged in former classified documents written at the height of the cold war.

Cabinet memos and briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a major war games exercise, Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility.

When intelligence filtered back to the Tory government on the Russians' reaction to the exercise, the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, ordered her officials to lobby the Americans to make sure that such a mistake could never happen again. Anti-nuclear proliferation campaigners have credited the move with changing how the UK and the US thought about their relationship with the Soviet Union and beginning a thaw in relations between east and west.

The papers were obtained by Peter Burt, director of the Nuclear Information Service (NIS), an organisation that campaigns against nuclear proliferation, who said that the documents showed just how risky the cold war became for both sides.

A slow news day? Didn't this exercise have any observers to monitor it?

Although I thought it was well know that we supposedly approached the brink in 80's.

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/02/nato-war-game-nuclear-disaster

A slow news day? Didn't this exercise have any observers to monitor it?

Although I thought it was well know that we supposedly approached the brink in 80's.

It as a close escape, and only a couple of momths earlier something else had happened.

September 26, 1983: A false alarm occurred on the Soviet nuclear early warning system, showing the launch of American Minuteman ICBMs from bases in the United States. The potential for an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western allies was prevented by Stanislav Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces, who intuited the scale and recent system upgrades meant the system had simply had a malfunction (which was borne out by later investigations).

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It as a close escape, and only a couple of momths earlier something else had happened.

September 26, 1983: A false alarm occurred on the Soviet nuclear early warning system, showing the launch of American Minuteman ICBMs from bases in the United States. The potential for an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western allies was prevented by Stanislav Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces, who intuited the scale and recent system upgrades meant the system had simply had a malfunction (which was borne out by later investigations).

That's a bloke that showed some sense! I wish we all did! ;)

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