Alien Anthropology

Nuclear Weapons are Stupid

Context: Bombs and the Bikini Atoll

I recently saw an interview with US Gen (ret.) Colin Powell discussing this technology. His assessment seems to be accurate – these weapons are so powerful and of such vast consequence that they are effectively and completely useless. If any one side or warhead-or-sabre-rattling power were to launch a comprehensive strike, including in scope to some extent a limited exchange over Kashmir, the downstream consequences would be so severe – Globally – that any even vague pretense to victory would ring more hollow than these things usually do.

If the rationale and logic for the possession of a weapon of such magnitude, let alone the numbers of them that currently (still) exist, is that it is a necessary deterrent to anyone else using them, you really have to wonder what rational argument could ever possibly be made for the kinds of global havoc, radioactive fallout, nuclear winter and assorted catastrophes they would inflict, if used. Whether or not anyone wins armed conflict beyond quite limited definitions is always up for debate, as is the open philosophical question as to the nature of a “just war”, but in as far as nuclear warfare is concerned – no one wins. Now that, I dare say, is a fair – if not the – definition of stupidity.

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