|this nations posture in the post-Cold War World, and all that stuff. Harrumph, I agree that its lamentable and steps definitely should be taken . . . .|
NO I CANNOT FAKE IT ANY LONGER; I HAVE TO COME CLEAN. I didnt know that, not until I heard the recent presentation by Stansfield Turner, former director of the CIA, at one of the periodic seminars sponsored by North Carolinas Triangle Institute for Security Studies. I had not been aware of the fact that 30,000 nuclear warheads are still available for use worldwide. Thirty thousand!
I had assumed without giving it any thought that now, in 1998, years after the end of the war the Cold War, that is we in the West and our former adversaries on the other side of the Iron Curtain had progressed very much farther than evidently we have in defusing the nuclear standoff that the we lived through for all those decades.
Some of these devices are bigger than others, but every single one of them has unimaginable destructive power. Still around they are, whether armed and aimed or in storage, posing all-too-obvious dangers that emanate not only from the perhaps eight organized nation states that hold membership in the Nuclear Club, but potentially even more so from extremist political groups.
More than 10,000 of these warheads remain in Russia, where safeguarding is increasingly questionable. Under current conditions in the former Soviet Union, temptations clearly exist for security forces and scientists to sell the technology or the weaponry itself to the highest bidders, including countries not noted for their peaceful proclivities.
Figures set forth by Admiral Turner in his recent book, Caging the Nuclear Genie (1997), serve to heighten awareness of the danger. The numbers are mind-boggling.
How much really do the nations of the world need for defense or deterrence purposes? Negotiations at the beginning of this decade resulted in nuclear arsenals being cut in half, but in more recent years, U.S., Russian, and other world leaders have exhibited no great sense of urgency about further reductions. This state of affairs, whether or not the result of lessened tensions and a resultant reduced sense of urgency, cannot be allowed to continue. Its simply too scary.
Probably an effort to reduce the global holdings of nuclear warheads to zero would be both unwise and impractical, but reaching a total far, far lower than 30,000 seems indicated as a vital first step toward sanity in the arms reduction arena.
~ Henry E. Mattox, Editor