reply to post by Dromadus
Yes, I wasn't around then (60s), but I have heard/seen a lot about the Cuban missile crisis, it seems to be widely regarded as the closest we came to
the buttons being pushed. Of course the public involvement, with siren practices and 'duck-and-cover' drills in schools and so-on must have made it
much more terrifyingly real than anyone has experienced since (they did stop doing that in the US right?)
My point of view, obviously influenced by my experiences and childhood introduction to the situation in the eighties, is to wonder whether due to
growth and expansion of the arsenals (pre-Regan INF and subsequent arms reduction treaties) and the advances in power and delivery of warheads, it
was in some ways becoming a more dangerous situation, in terms of more substantially assured global destruction, than may have been the case in
earlier years, it felt like the stakes just kept rising.
Also, I think that my generation encountered it's own psychological issues. Being born ten years after the Cuba crisis, then gradually becoming
aware of the MAD situation still present all around us more than twenty years after Cuba, to learn that the same terrifying situation had in fact been
allowed to develop and grow, and back then, at times like say 'Able Archer 83' there were still 'moments' when things got hairy, and as now, the
man on the street didn't really know what info tPTB were dealing with within at the secret/strategic level at any time, so the perception was still
pretty grim if you ask me. Back then, it seemed like MAD might end up being the only end to the stand off too, that the Soviet Union may stay around
for a long time.
From what I remember, there also seemed to be some movement in the western perception to do with growing information and understanding within the
public domain about what had really been going on in development of nuclear capabilities (for energy and arms), and a more thorough and slightly
militant development of understanding, or investigation, into the true implications of nuclear conflict on the public - as I say, 'Threads'
represents a part of this, but there were also building stories about nuclear 'accidents' etc...coming out...I'm sure ATS would have been in the
thick of it all had it existed.
There are still an awful lot of nuclear weapons out there, it seems for now we're not expecting them all to go off at once. Unfortunately, just one
or a fraction could be devastating...then there are all the other nasties, oh grief, time for bed I think...