Friday, 5 January 2018

dawn’s early light or up and atom

Over a decade ago a cadre of staunch Cold Warriors including Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn publicly reversed their stance on classical nuclear deterrence and disavowed the strategy that arms race made the world a safer place but rather was making it a far more dangerous one—propelling another round of decommissioning.
Reaching back further to 1981, Harvard Law Professor Roger D Fisher, a specialist in negotiations and conflict management, suggested unflinchingly in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, that should the President of the United States of America want to active his or her nuclear arsenal—rather than having the codes kept at arm’s length in the nuclear football which the president could access whenever the impulse possesses him or her (Reagan preferred to keep the codes in his jacket pocket)—the Commander-in-Chief ought to be made fully aware of the gravity of the decision, which would result in the death of millions of innocent civilians if not the whole of humanity. The launch codes rather ought to be implanted in the heart of a volunteer attaché that accompanies the president at all times with a large knife. To retrieve the launch codes means that the president must personally kill and butcher one person that represents all those faceless millions that chauvinism and phoney patriotism make into abstractions. I wonder if such a theoretical volunteer would be a willing martyr or if Trump would even be dissuaded by such measures.