A WMD (weapon of mass destruction) is any weapon that can kill or harm a large number of people or structures or the biosphere. A WMD can be radiological, chemical, or biological. The most fearsome WMD is the nuclear weapon … the H-bomb.
HAVE WE FORGOTTEN? August 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 (which was far less potent than today’s hydrogen bombs). This should remind us of the horror of nuclear war.
Back in the olden days of the nuclear age, Stanley Kubrick released one of his best films, DR. STRANGELOVE (a satirical farce subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”). At that time, in addition to launching from the ground, the delivery system of choice was the B-52 bomber.
Nuclear bombs can still be launched from ground or air, but now there is another delivery system, unseen by human eyes, and perhaps not even recognized as a delivery system: the nuclear submarine.
At left above: The actor Slim Pickens in 1964’s DR. STRANGELOVE joyfully riding a nuclear bomb released from a B-52 bomber onto the Soviet Union. At right: The 2012 test of a Trident II D-5 ballistic missile (an SLBM, or submarine-launched ballistic missile) from a Vanguard-class submarine.
Nine nations now have nuclear weapons: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel (undeclared). Iran has the potential to develop nuclear weapons. Under the U.N. nuclear nonproliferation treaty, nations have been reducing their nuclear stockpiles, but recently Vladimir Putin of Russia announced his intention to develop new ICBMS (intercontinental ballistic missiles). Every effort must be made to prevent this rupture of the nuclear nonproliferation process.
It is my understanding that the nuclear countries regard these weapons as a deterrent and that nobody in any of those countries intends actually to use them. For 70 years no one has done so. Scroll down to “Leave a Reply” to send me your comment.