In a universe where news consists lof hashing out acerbic tweets and opinion consists of horoscopes, chances for serious discussion shrink. But as Gary Nunn once said in his wonderful Texas Homesick Blues, chances will be taken. There is a bigger threat in #nuclear than North Korea. It is the result of efforts in the Obama years to modernize our arsenal. Modernize we did and the result is a situation that virtually no one out of specialty journals knows. Read the full article at the link that accompanies the tweet below.

The long and short

The article cites the conclusion of three experts that the US can now destroy all Russian ICBM silos.

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The experts are Hans Kristensen, of the American Federation of Scientists, Matthew McKinzie of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a physicist who is also a ballistic missile expert named Theodore Postol. This capacity is a game changer as I shall try to explain. The findings of the three men were published originally in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. March 1, 2117.

Context

The bombs that killed some 215,000 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 15 and 18 kilotons each respectively. The current weapons in the US arsenal are 100 kt. or more with one, the W88, 475-kt. Mutuality is longer part of the nuclear equation, We might still have MAD -- Mutually Assured Destruction, but it would be a free-for-all caused by accident or design. It would reflect a huge imbalance. As indicated at the outset, the US can now destroy, that is to say, penetrate the housing of and obliterate, all Russian ICBMs.

Russia

It is not unthinkable that underlying all of the noise around Trump and Russia, there is on the Putin side an acute awareness of this fact.

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This makes Trump's casual and possibly ignorant talk about nuclear issues all the more cause for concern.

Remedies

Everything you need to pursue this in detail is at the link above. Conn Hellman who authored that piece recommends two ways activists might help reduce the threat of accidental or intended nuclear harm. Currently, our nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger status They should be taken off to reduce the chances of a complete and disastrous accident. We have no idea how close we have come in the past or how close we might come now. Another suggestion is to pledge no first use.

Virtually every president at the end of their time in the office says they wish they had done more to reduce the nuclear threat. We should join them in that wish and insist that it be done in fact. #North Korea #Global Security