SEARCH BLOG: NUCLEAR.
From The New York Times:
There is also a small group of people who still believe fervently in nuclear weapons. President Obama had to buy passage of the New START treaty with Russia, in 2010, with a promise to spend $185 billion to modernize warheads and delivery systems over 10 years — revealing that while support for nuclear weapons may not be broad, it runs deep. That support endures because of five widely held myths.First, let's start with the "small group of people" thought. On what basis is that statement made? Perhaps wishful thinking?
Nuclear weapons are not weapons of choice; they are weapons of the very last resort.
... new research by the historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and other scholars shows that Japan surrendered not because of the atom bomb but because the Soviets renounced neutrality and joined the war.Bombs dropped; war ended. No cause and effect there. That despite the vast number of historians who have pointed out that the Japanese military was prepared to fight to the last man and make all of Japan a bloodbath. Dying for the Emperor was consistent with being martyred for Allah. Sixty-five years or so can alter one's memory.
Building ever more destructive weapons simply increases the horror of war, not the certainty of ending it.No, the use of overwhelming technologically superior weapons of mass destruction destroys the will to continue fighting. If both sides have and use similar technology, then it is a matter of exhaustion not despair. Germany was bombed into submission by exhaustion.
The nuclear umbrella claim ought to have been dropped at the same time, but there was too much American foreign policy riding on it for anyone to make this argument. After all, if Britain couldn’t deter an attack on its own far-flung islands, how could deterrence prevent attacks on other countries?A total non-sequitur. The fact that a country has nuclear weapons does not mean it would use such weapons for every territorial dispute. The British-Argentinian dispute over some minor islands in the south Atlantic hardly qualifies as an argument that nuclear weapons are not formidable deterrence.
Fourth is the myth of the long peace: the argument that the absence of nuclear war since 1945 means nuclear weapons have “kept the peace.”This, again, falls into the "preventing attacks" nonsense. Most conflicts have been between non-nuclear opponents or attacks that could be contained without the extreme nuclear option. Does anyone truly believe that nuclear-armed Israel has ever felt pushed far enough by the Palestinians or Lebanese to use their nuclear arsenal? Does anyone truly believe that a nuclear-armed Iran would attack Israel knowing that it faced retaliation with 200 nuclear warheads? Unless nations are truly suicidal, it is the nuclear option that constrains conflict, not escalates it.
The last and most stubborn myth is that of irreversibility. Whenever idealists say that they want to abolish nuclear weapons, so-called realists shake their heads and say, in tones of patient condescension. “You can’t stuff the nuclear genie back in the bottle.”Conversely, there is no evidence that you can. Such ethical and conscientious nations such as North Korea, Pakistan, and [soon] Iran show that the genie not only won't go back into the bottle, but that the bottle has been irreversibly broken. One can argue "how much is enough," but one cannot argue that "none is possible."