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Just a little bit of nuke deterrence?

February 5, 2017



VOX POPULI: Just a little bit of nuclear annihilation is a mad idea



Making smaller nuclear weapons to create a greater deterrence is a preposterous idea.


Tatsuichiro Akizuki, a doctor who survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, has just penned his thoughts after watching the initial screening of a documentary depicting the nuclear destruction of that city and Hiroshima in 1945.


The film shows a desolate landscape with heaps of charred roof tiles lying amid the ruined city.


But some viewers have complained that scenes showing humans are scarce.


“You can't describe the atomic-bombed Nagasaki or Hiroshima without human victims,” one said.


Later, scenes of survivors receiving medical treatment were added, but Akizuki was not happy with the result. There were images of patients with burns covering their entire bodies and also people with horrific wounds.


In the aftermath of the atomic bombing, however, “the earth and rivers were filled with throngs of such people,” Akizuki wrote.


There were certain aspects of the devastation that could not be described in the film.


More then 70 years since the atomic bombs were dropped on the cities, there are still huge arsenals of nuclear weapons in the world and something called a "nuclear strategy" is being developed. The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump recently unveiled nuclear policy guidelines for the next five to 10 years.


The new U.S. nuclear strategy calls for developing smaller nuclear weapons in that their use will be more acceptable. The idea being that if they are "easier to use" it enhances the U.S. nuclear deterrent.


Some news reports have said these smaller nukes would have a quarter of the destructive power of the bomb that devastated Nagasaki.


The military logic of considering such nuclear arms as “easier to use” is simply shocking.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once rejected this kind of thinking.


“No sane leader would ever want to cross that line to using nuclear weapons,” Powell said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun about five years ago. “And, if you are not going to cross that line, then these things are basically useless.”


The vision of a world without nuclear weapons was an extension of his line of reasoning.

The current U.S. administration has taken its thinking in the opposite direction and argued that if nuclear weapons are hard to use they should be made easier to use.


The administration claims the new nuclear policy is a strategic response to nuclear threats from Russia and other nations that have indicated their willingness to use nuclear arms.


Does the Trump administration intend to start a nuclear game of chicken in which players more willing to push the nuclear button win?


Is there any room for humans in this view?



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