A RICHARDS speaks for many who feel it ridiculous in times of recession to spend billions on our nuclear weapons system, especially when one questions their reliance to bring peace and security in the world. Are we fully aware of the extreme lethal danger to which the existence of these weapons exposes us all?
Many are on high alert, ready to launch at the press of a button, relying on information from electronic warning systems, of which several false alarms have been recorded.
Accidents, misjudgments and mistakes which nearly lead to nuclear war have and are still occurring.
We know of the Cuban missile crisis. Who has heard of Stanislav Petrov, a Russian colonel, who by common sense and a cool head, under enormous pressure and stress during the Cold War saved the lives of hundreds of millions? He decided not to believe an electric alarm indicating, not once, but five times, an on-going nuclear attack by America. His judgement was acknowledged in January 2006 when he received a special World Citizens Award.
Further evidence of nuclear accidents is provided by Scott Sagan, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, USA. In his book, “The Limits of Safety”, he tells of his extensive research of formerly classified archive material, from which he discovered a frightening history of near disasters.
This well researched evidence challenges the misguided view of political leaders that “deterrence” works. .