posted on Jul, 16 2006 @ 12:09 PM
Considering the current climate of paranoia and pre-emptive action built only on suspicion of a threat, I would say that the use of a nuclear device
is not only possible, but highly likely.
After the 2nd world war that saw the use of nuclear weapons on Japan, a number of governments around the world immediately realised that it would be
prudent to develop their own nuclear capability as quickly as possible. Although scientists knew of the power that is unleashed from these devices,
there was still much to learn regarding the effects. Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the study centers, whilst the arms race slowly began to to gather
However, it wasn't until the 50s that the cold war really took a grip upon the hearts and minds of the people of both the East and the West, and thus
the age of paranoia was born. By the 1980s, both America and the Soviet Union had built and strategically placed nuclear missles around the globe,
whilst other countries such as the UK, China, France, South Africa and Israel, acheived their own smaller nuclear arsenals. Between them, they could
annihilate life on the planet many times over, and this capability still exists today.
Two things have enabled man to stave off nuclear conflict since the end of WW2, and those were the actual use of nukes on Japan, and the principle of
M.A.D (Mutual-Assured-Destruction). It is probable that without 'little boy' and 'fat man' being used on Japan, man in his ignorance would have
used nukes in one of the many conflicts to have arisen since WW2. Without what has been learned from Japan, the world today might be a wholly lifeless
planet in the grip of a nuclear winter.
As the awful and very wide-ranging effects of nuclear weapons became known over the years, past governments saw the 'insanity' behind ever allowing
the nukes to used and unleashed, and thus they developed policies and compromises from political philosophies aimed at keeping a lid on them. It
became 'unthinkable' even to suggest their use, as the cost was beyond what man could actually pay, for if they were ever used, he would pay with
his extinction: Two thirds of the worlds population would be wiped out in the initial attacks, and the rest, including most other life forms, would
die out over the ensuing years. You would not want to survive an all-out nuclear conflict, for if you did, the physical and psychological effects
would make you envy the dead.
Today, those policies designed to stave off the 'thinkable' use of nukes have been brushed aside by politicians whom have been gripped by fear and
paranoia. Today, they openly discuss the strategic use of nukes not only as a retalitory response, but also as a pre-emptive one. The problem is,
M.A.D. is still in place, and nukes being the wholesale devastation that they are, countries cannot anticipate or hesistate in unleashing their own
nukes whilst awaiting to be potentially attacked. Bush's open policy of having a self-proclaimed right to pre-emptive action against not only an
actual attack, but the threat of one, has brought nuclear use within the realm of high-probability. The unthinkable has not only become thinkable, but
The original question for this thread was are we now closer to nuclear conflict than at any time in the past? The question can be sub-divided into
questions of premeditated or accidental use. On the premeditative side, I would say yes we are, probably as close to nuclear conflict as say the Bay
of Pigs, but on the accidental side, we are no more closer than we ever have been.