Friday, September 07, 2007

Nukes

Yes, I know, no entries for I don't know how long. But I thought it'd be fun to share this thought.

The US, victor in the cold war, recently flew a nuclear armed B-52 cross country by accident. This not long after Russia, who lost the cold war, resumed long range nuclear bomber flights. So is it worse to do this sort of thing on purpose or by accident? And why are the winners the ones making the mistake?

While we're at it, why is Russian President Putin putting bombers back in the air with nothing for them to do but grandstand, when everyone concerned (European governments, Washington, etc) are already more frightened than they're prepared to admit about Russian revanchism? And aren't their truckloads of international law intended to prevent this sort of thing?

Lastly, why the high hell are we so worked up about the nuclear weapons program Iran might have, when the two most powerful states in recent history (or maybe all of it) are unwilling or unable to keep their own nuclear stockpiles under lock and key?

I saw retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire speak a while back, and he cited nuclear weapons as the big under-discussed issue in international security. And he wasn't just talking about Iran. He meant everyone that has them or might down the line. Given a half century or more to get used to having them the best in the business, often with decent intentions, seem to still have trouble handling them safely. Maybe the end of the cold war cost us something. Maybe more than a little fear of these things is healthy.
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