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Old 10-08-2017, 06:20 PM
 
7,251 posts, read 7,360,465 times
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I heard this on NPR that I thought maybe it might interest a few people here.

The first part of this Radio Lab program caught my attention by featuring the story of a guy who had the unbelievable bad luck to get caught both at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the second part is about an Air Force Major entrusted with launching nuclear weapons who, while appreciating all the safeguards at his end, starting to wonder about safeguards up the line. When he asked, there was blowback.

Nukes - Radiolab
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas area
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The various safeguards are to ensure that order implementing the use of nuclear weapons arrives in the proper format via at least one of numerous redundant means, and is properly authenticated and executed However, the whole process requires trust in the National Command Authority -- the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, and their duly designated alternates.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:25 AM
 
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If a Major in the 1970s had to question the safeguards above him, as stated in the article, he really should have had negative career implications. If he didn't know the safeguards he shouldn't be doing what he was doing. He clearly was not right for the job

Nothing happens in a vacuum. We have had good people in place at both ends for a long time.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:11 AM
 
15,399 posts, read 7,801,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
If a Major in the 1970s had to question the safeguards above him, as stated in the article, he really should have had negative career implications. If he didn't know the safeguards he shouldn't be doing what he was doing. He clearly was not right for the job

Nothing happens in a vacuum. We have had good people in place at both ends for a long time.
Yes. They are thoroughly trained in how that entire chain of command operates. He was likely asking questions specific to the individuals who were in the various roles.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:25 AM
 
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Here's an article discussing reticence to 'push the button' further up the chain. In fact, at the very top - the President.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.4e361b38e078

What I found particularly interesting was a comment by Henry Kissinger. Early into his Presidency, Richard Nixon was fully briefed on SIOP. He came away so horrified that Kissinger (then the National Security Advisor) doubted that Nixon would ever order the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, period.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:34 AM
 
15,399 posts, read 7,801,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulsker 1856 View Post
Here's an article discussing reticence to 'push the button' further up the chain. In fact, at the very top - the President.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.4e361b38e078

What I found particularly interesting was a comment by Henry Kissinger. Early into his Presidency, Richard Nixon was fully briefed on SIOP. He came away so horrified that Kissinger (then the National Security Advisor) doubted that Nixon would ever order the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, period.
Yep. From where I sat during the Cold War, going through those exercises (in which I was always a presumed fatality), that reticence existed all the way down the line.


Quote:
Contemplating the reality of World War III in 1983 led Ronald Reagan to dramatically shift his approach to the Cold War. That fall, he finally sat through a SIOP exercise — he’d long delayed it, saying there wasn’t much point in practicing nuclear war — and also watched the ABC doomsday movie “The Day After.” The much-hyped film starred Jason Robards and followed the residents of Lawrence, Kan., through the awful process of piecing society back together after a nuclear attack obliterates America; graphic and violent in ways that were new for TV depictions of nuclear war, the movie’s four-minute attack sequence and the death, maiming and destruction that followed were meant to leave viewers unsettled. And the film deeply affected Reagan. “It is powerfully done,” he wrote in his diary. “It’s very effective and left me greatly depressed. . . . My own reaction was one of our having to do all we can to have a deterrent & see there is never a nuclear war.” Reagan biographer Edmund Morris later reported that it was the “first and only admission I have been able to find in his papers” that the president was ever “depressed.” Reckoning with war as he did that fall led Reagan to dramatically alter course, toning down his “evil empire” rhetoric about the Soviet Union.

It wasn't that television program. At the very same time, so ironically, ABLE ARCHER 83 also happened. That was a US nuclear war exercise--the most complex, all-encompassing, grandiose nuclear war exercise we'd ever attempted. The Soviets reacted to the exercise--they flushed their ballistic missile submarines out to sea, they opened silos, they sent their mobile nuclear forces out into the forests.


Where I sat in the Strategic Air Command underground command post, we went through four days of sheer fear--furiously moving forward with nuclear war plans and praying that we'd all get pulled back from the ledge.


President Reagan later said that he had never before realized that to the Soviets, the US was the "bad guy" that would actually launch first.


And that's what scares me about the current situation: To Kim Jong Un, it is the US and President Trump who are the evil villains who would strike first.

Last edited by Ralph_Kirk; 10-18-2017 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Removing dead squirrel from dryer vent
1,204 posts, read 259,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Yep. From where I sat during the Cold War, going through those exercises (in which I was always a presumed fatality), that reticence existed all the way down the line.





It wasn't that television program. At the very same time, so ironically, ABLE ARCHER 83 also happened. That was a US nuclear war exercise--the most complex, all-encompassing, grandiose nuclear war exercise we'd ever attempted. The Soviets reacted to the exercise--they flushed their ballistic missile submarines out to sea, they opened silos, they sent their mobile nuclear forces out into the forests.


Where I sat in the Strategic Air Command underground command post, we went through four days of sheer fear--furiously moving forward with nuclear war plans and praying that we'd all get pulled back from the ledge.


President Reagan later said that he had never before realized that to the Soviets, the US was the "bad guy" that would actually launch first.


And that's what scares me about the current situation: To Kim Jong Un, it is the US and President Trump who are the evil villains who would strike first.

"President Reagan later said that he
had never before realized that to the
Soviets, the US was the "bad guy" that
would actually launch first.


And that's what scares me about the current
situation: To Kim Jong Un, it is the US and
President Trump who are the evil villains who
would strike first.
"


That right there suggests why, in polls taken in many other nations and not just in NoKo, citizens of those nations view the UNITED STATES as the greatest threat to world peace and the continued existence of the human race. You know what they say about the 'bully in the barroom'....
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:29 PM
 
7,251 posts, read 7,360,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoggieMatic View Post
The various safeguards are to ensure that order implementing the use of nuclear weapons arrives in the proper format via at least one of numerous redundant means, and is properly authenticated and executed However, the whole process requires trust in the National Command Authority -- the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, and their duly designated alternates.
Sorry, but I have the feeling that you posted that without listening to the material. The issue was that the person started worrying that there were insufficient safeguards at the top - which is indeed becoming a broader concern lately.
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