Friday, September 22, 2006

Real Threats

While the U.S. frets over the possibility of Iranian nukes leftover nightmares from the cold war persist.


One issue is accidental launch of nuclear weapons, a subject visited by Pavel Podvig in the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces' blog. Here are some their concerns:

"There are several scenarios that can lead to an unintended launch of nuclear-armed missiles. It can be an unauthorized launch of a missile or a group of missiles (e.g. missile regiment or a submarine), a malfunction of a command and control system component that triggers missile launch, or an authorized launch in response to a warning provided by the early-warning system."

Another new problem is the American idea to put conventional warheads on ballistic missiles as part of the "war on terrorism". Concerns with this include the idea that countries will not be able to differentiate between nuke carrying missiles and the conventional warheads leading to nuclear catastrophe .Donald Rumsfeld is a big proponent of this idea which is not so far being enthusiastcally endorsed by other nuclear powers.

"Tell me what keeps you up at night and I'll tell you why it should."

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