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Nuclear Specter Returns: 'threat Of War Is Higher Than In The Cold War'

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http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/munich-conference-warns-of-greater-threat-of-nuclear-conflict-a-1018357.html#spRedirectedFrom=www&referrrer

The Ukraine crisis has dramatically worsened relations between NATO and Russia. With cooperation on nuclear security now suspended and the lack of a "red telephone," experts at the Munich Security Conference warn any escalation in tensions could grow deadly.

The scientists had no idea that their experiment could spell the end of civilization. On Jan. 25, 1995, Norwegian and American researchers fired a rocket into the skies of northwestern Norway to study the Northern Lights. But the four-stage rocket flew directly through the same corridor that American Minuteman III missiles, equipped with nuclear warheads, would use to travel from the United States to Moscow.

The rocket's speed and flight pattern very closely matched what the Russians expected from a Trident missile that would be fired from a US submarine and detonated at high altitude, with the aim of blinding the Russian early-warning system to prepare for a large-scale nuclear attack by the United States. The Russian military was placed on high alert, and then President Boris Yeltsin activated the keys to launch nuclear weapons. He had less than 10 minutes to decide whether to issue the order to fire.

Yeltsin left the Russian missiles in their silos, probably in part because relations between Russian and the United States were relatively trusting in 1995. But if a similar incident occurred today, as US arms expert Theodore Postol warned recently, it could quite possibly lead to nuclear catastrophe.

Deep Mistrust

"Five or six minutes can be enough time, if you have trust, if you have communication and if you can put this machinery immediately to work," former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on the sidelines of last weekend's Munich Security Conference. Unfortunately, he argued, this machinery works very poorly today, and there is great mistrust.

When asked what would happen today if the 1995 missile incident happened again, Ivanov responded, "I cannot be sure if the right decision would be taken."

Deep mistrust has developed between the West and Russia, and it is having a massive effect on cooperation on security matters.

In November 2014, the Russians announced that they would boycott the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in the United States. In December, the US Congress voted, for the first time in 25 years, not to approve funding to safeguard nuclear materials in the Russian Federation. A few days later, the Russians terminated cooperation in almost all aspects of nuclear security. The two sides had cooperated successfully for almost two decades. But that is now a thing of the past.

Instead, Russia and the United States are investing giant sums of money to modernize their nuclear arsenals, and NATO recently announced that it was rethinking its nuclear strategy. At the same time, risky encounters between Eastern and Western troops, especially in the air, are becoming more and more common, a report by the European Leadership Network (ELN) recently concluded.

Great news for perpetual war.

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About time someone pointed out that the Bear still has enough nukes to turn the planet into a glowing cinder...

The likes of Wee Willy Hague need to rewatch Threads and the War Game.

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Good. Nuke humanity from orbit.

Nice thought but for the likes of Bush and Blair sitting it out in the bunkers :(

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About time someone pointed out that the Bear still has enough nukes to turn the planet into a glowing cinder...

But as in the '60s the second they actually launch some ICBMs they'll be getting an equal (if not larger) number coming back in their direction. I don't believe that there will ever be a large scale nuclear war between the nations of Earth.

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But as in the '60s the second they actually launch some ICBMs they'll be getting an equal (if not larger) number coming back in their direction. I don't believe that there will ever be a large scale nuclear war between the nations of Earth.

The whole nuclear deterrent thing is based on that assumption but it's also based on the assumption that if pushed hard enough they will be launched - if everyone knows you're bluffing it's no deterrent. How far does anyone dare push? The whole thing is crazy and anyone trying anything half significant on the assumption that "they wouldn't dare" is an idiot.

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At least it will be a short war.

What? Over by Christmas? :blink:

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I don't believe that there will ever be a large scale nuclear war between the nations of Earth.

And, a hundred and a few years ago, few people could believe there would be a World War, either.

The Fundies must be creaming their pants at how close they are to starting WWIII so they can be Raptured Away.

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Guest Jemmy Button

WW3? It's about time. My disgust with the greed and the cesspit known as the human race has reached saturation level. I no longer fear WW3 - I welcome it. I am a dolphin slaughtered in the seas of Japan...

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WW3? It's about time. My disgust with the greed and the cesspit known as the human race has reached saturation level. I no longer fear WW3 - I welcome it. I am a dolphin slaughtered in the seas of Japan...

Yep, pretty much agree with that. The big downside is that it would trash a lot more than the human race though.

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Does ISDN still exist?

Yes. We still have some ISDN lines at work to talk to really old customer systems.

Heck, we still use X.25 in some of our systems, though it goes over the Internet these days.

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But as in the '60s the second they actually launch some ICBMs they'll be getting an equal (if not larger) number coming back in their direction. I don't believe that there will ever be a large scale nuclear war between the nations of Earth.

Far worse than that, WWIII was nearly triggered by a US warship aggressively pinging a Soviet sub during the cuban missile crisis, it was only through the 2nd in command winning the debate with the captain and the political officer onboard that stopped a nuclear armed torpedo being launched. Lesson for all politicians is you are never fully in control.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/27/vasili-arkhipov-stopped-nuclear-war

If you were born before 27 October 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov saved your life. It was the most dangerous day in history. An American spy plane had been shot down over Cuba while another U2 had got lost and strayed into Soviet airspace. As these dramas ratcheted tensions beyond breaking point, an American destroyer, the USS Beale, began to drop depth charges on the B-59, a Soviet submarine armed with a nuclear weapon.

The captain of the B-59, Valentin Savitsky, had no way of knowing that the depth charges were non-lethal "practice" rounds intended as warning shots to force the B-59 to surface. The Beale was joined by other US destroyers who piled in to pummel the submerged B-59 with more explosives. The exhausted Savitsky assumed that his submarine was doomed and that world war three had broken out. He ordered the B-59's ten kiloton nuclear torpedo to be prepared for firing. Its target was the USS Randolf, the giant aircraft carrier leading the task force.

If the B-59's torpedo had vaporised the Randolf, the nuclear clouds would quickly have spread from sea to land. The first targets would have been Moscow, London, the airbases of East Anglia and troop concentrations in Germany. The next wave of bombs would have wiped out "economic targets", a euphemism for civilian populations – more than half the UK population would have died. Meanwhile, the Pentagon's SIOP, Single Integrated Operational Plan – a doomsday scenario that echoed Dr Strangelove's orgiastic Götterdämmerung – would have hurled 5,500 nuclear weapons against a thousand targets, including ones in non-belligerent states such as Albania and China.

What would have happened to the US itself is uncertain. The very reason that Khrushchev sent missiles to Cuba was because the Soviet Union lacked a credible long range ICBM deterrent against a possible US attack. It seems likely that America would have suffered far fewer casualties than its European allies. The fact that Britain and western Europe were regarded by some in the Pentagon as expendable pawn sacrifices was the great unmentionable of the cold war.

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WW3? It's about time. My disgust with the greed and the cesspit known as the human race has reached saturation level. I no longer fear WW3 - I welcome it. I am a dolphin slaughtered in the seas of Japan...

WW4 will be cavemen versus mutant dolphins.

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WW4 will be cavemen versus mutant dolphins.

It says "free range organic tuna" on the tin! ^_^

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WW4 will be cavemen versus mutant dolphins.

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Einstein.

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I'm worried ISDN might come here and blow up synagogues!

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