Threat of Nuclear War Is Increasing

Editor, News-Register:

Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis have we been as close to a nuclear war as we are now. Can you imagine Trump being president then?

President Trump recently tweeted, in rebuke to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s efforts to negotiate with Kim Jong Un’s regime, that Tillerson’s efforts were essentially useless. Trump tweeted: “I told Rex Tillerson … that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said recently “Trump is setting the country on the path to World War III.”

The fallback to diplomacy is war. A war on the Korean Peninsula would be to horrible to think about. It has been estimated that two million South Koreans would be killed; tens of millions if nuclear weapons are used.

And it looks like we will probably soon be in a similar state of a very possible major war with Iran.

It appears Trump is going to walk away from the six-nation nuclear agreement entered into by the United Nations Security Council (U.S., Russia, U.K., France, and China) and also Germany. Iran agreed to and is complying with the agreement to stop its nuclear bomb development.

If this nuclear agreement is abrogated by the United States, I believe Iran will soon develop a nuclear weapon that could fit on one of their missiles capable of hitting Israel and thereby drag us into a horrible Middle East War with Iran, a nation four times bigger and with four times the population of Iraq.

Don’t think this is just some other country’s problem. We tell ourselves “no one would dare drop a nuclear bomb on America.” Get real! It just isn’t realistic to think America might never be hit by a nuclear bomb.

Nine countries (United States, Russia, China, India, Israel, France, North Korea, Pakistan and the United Kingdom) together possess around 15,000 nuclear weapons. Most of them have delivery capability, or soon will have, to hit anywhere. Almost all of the 15,000 warheads are many times more powerful than the two atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Japan. Those two “small” nukes killed as many as 200,000 people.

Many of the intercontinental missiles are Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) fitted, and this means midway in flight, multiple warheads on a single missile could go in any direction, thereby defeating the so-called unproven “star wars” anti-missile system on which we have wasted, and continue to squander, hundreds of billions trying to do the impossible. Russia just tested a missile (RS-28 Sarmat) capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads that could annihilate our country with just one missile .

The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status — ready to be launched within minutes of a warning. A false warning was only barely noticed by a Russian technician’s intuition questioning the false signal and thereby prevented a nuclear conflagration between the Russia and the United States, where 100 million Americans would have been killed..

Under President Obama, the U.S. prioritized stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, didn’t consider Russia, China, or North Korea as a threat, and maintained that the U.S. shouldn’t build any new nuclear platforms. Unlike President Obama, President Trump’s ongoing nuclear posture review will undoubtedly (Trump has already said so) conclude that the U.S. should create new nuclear weapons for the first time in decades. That alone could increase the chances of nuclear war.

There is some good news that should give us a little hope. The group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a Geneva-based coalition of disarmament activists, was honored with the Noble Peace Prize. “The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement.

We must all join with ICAN and get involved to prevent a nuclear war nightmare. At least tell your senators and congressmen to vote against Trump’s massive expansion of our nuclear weapons arsenal.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville