Do They Speak for You?
The increased or decreased risk of nuclear war is often determined by people who speak for us when proposals regarding nuclear weapons are presented at organizations like the UN. In 2008, the US, UK and France voted against removing nuclear weapons from high-alert status, over the objections of 134 nations. Removing these weapons from high-alert status would in fact have been one of the simplest and surest ways of increasing the security of American citizens by eliminating the greatest danger today posed by these weapons: the possibility of them being launched by accident or because of a misread warning.
Arguing– as the US did– to keep these weapons on high-alert– is so stunningly senseless that one has to wonder what is the “end game” in mind for these people who are “speaking for us”.
The following text is the rebuttal to the US decision that the 134 nations together wrote, which may spark debate on whether or not increased security for American citizens was achieved or lost through the US decision:
“It is clear from the historical record that the US and Russia maintain hundreds of ballistic missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads which can be launched with only a few minutes warning. Common sense tells us that any weapon which can be used immediately is inherently more dangerous, and more susceptible to use, than one which requires time to prepare for use.
Thus the US (with allies, the UK and the French) ask the world to accept their claim, on the basis of faith alone, that they have constructed and operate complex nuclear weapon systems which are invulnerable to the risk of unintentional or accidental use. This assertion is made without providing any documentation or evidence, except for the fact that no obvious failure of these systems (resulting in launch) has yet occurred.
However, common sense also tells us that there is no way to construct a command and control system– that employs thousands of human beings and computers– which is completely impervious to failure. Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.
Furthermore, claiming that nuclear weapon systems ‘are no longer targeted at states’ is disingenuous and misleading. Most experts agree that de-targeting agreements do not slow down the launch process, because it only requires about 10 seconds to install launch coordinates in a normal launch sequence.
Slight changes in the alert status, which do not in any significant way diminish the capacity to ‘Launch-on-Warning’ nuclear weapon systems, makes no meaningful contribution to lessening the danger of accidental nuclear war based upon a false warning. And the possibility of deliberate sabotage and terrorism (designed to cause the launch of nuclear weapons) adds an increased level of risk which is impossible to calculate or ignore.
Recent authoritative scientific studies predict that if the US/Russian high-alert missiles are ever launched, and their warheads detonated over cities, the environmental consequences of this nuclear war would cause the destruction of most, if not all, human beings. This is unacceptable because there is not now and has never been a national or political goal that justifies the complete destruction of all nations and peoples.
Regardless of the degree of risk, however small it might be, it is immoral and illogical to take this chance. No nation or nations have the right to jeopardize the survival of humanity and life on Earth.”