Friday, July 13, 2018

How To Start A Nuclear War

Serving as a US Air Force launch control officer for intercontinental missiles in the early Seventies, First Lieutenant Bruce Blair figured out how to start a nuclear war and kill a few hundred million people. His unit, stationed in the vast missile fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, oversaw one of four squadrons of Minuteman II ­ICBMs, each missile topped by a W56 thermonuclear warhead with an explosive force of 1.2 megatons - eighty times that of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. In theory, the missiles could be fired only by order of the president of the United States, and required mutual cooperation by the two men on duty in each of the launch control centers, of which there were five for each squadron.

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I have heard similar rumors about submarine launched nuclear missiles, but I have no idea whether or not the rumors are true. I wasn't a weapons guy.

If nuclear weapons are really so dangerous, then why hasn't such a thing happened already? I would guess it's because the controls (physical and mental) are actually far more effective than this report appears to claim.

Or maybe we're sitting on the verge of death all the time. There is no way for outsiders to know.

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