Nukes vs. Peace May 27, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
So our esteemed president recently visited Hiroshima, and had this to say:
President Barack Obama called on nations to “escape the logic of fear” and reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons as he became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima, Japan Friday.
Now, no sensible person wants to have nuclear weapons, but since World War II there are many very sensible people who have appreciated the necessity of nuclear weapons. President Obama doesn’t seem to share that appreciation, so I was wondering: “Have the nuclear stockpile reductions over the past 30 years reduced the threat of nuclear war?”
So here’s a chart I found at The Economist, which shows the total number of nukes in the world, as well as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock. So now you can see, year by year, how the threat of nuclear war correlates with the number of nuclear weapons (US warheads are in blue, Russkies’ are in commie reddish-orange):
As you can see, since 1995 the danger of nuclear war has increased from 17 minutes to midnight to 3 minutes to midnight, even though the number of nuclear weapons has dropped by 2/3. That suggests, to me at least, that reducing our nuclear stockpiles has not made the world a safer place, and may even have made it much more dangerous.
A second point is that from 1960 to 1995, the threat level seems to closely track the number of Soviet Union/Russian nukes, and then from 1995 forward, the correlation is still strong, but negative. The number of US warheads doesn’t seem to matter much.
As you can also see, the number of US warheads was decreased during the Bush years, with very little reduction during President Obama’s terms. This, despite the fact that our current president has been much more critical of nuclear weapons, and has taken a lot of credit for significantly reducing our stockpile.
So I don’t think a state of peace and harmony is going to be achieved by following the president’s wishful thinking. It’s a policy you might encounter at a dope-addled college bull session instead of one produced by careful and informed thinking.
Like so many others in this administration.