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CAN WE SURVIVE A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST? WITH ANYONE? RHETORICAL QUESTION – PLEASE – AIN’T NOTHING WORSE

August 3, 2017

Editorial Commentary:  CAN WE SURVIVE A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST? WITH ANYONE? RHETORICAL QUESTION – PLEASE – AIN’T NOTHING WORSE

“Why  we continue throughout the life span of people of my generation, actually since I was born, I cannot fathom because it is such a fatalistic conundrum  where life itself is snuffed out indiscriminately.  There can be survivors but what will the quality of life be like for whoever is left on earth?  How devastating will be the impact be on everything that is larger than a peanut?  Yet here it is explicitly and tantalizingly proposed as an ultimate challenge.  We are vulnerable and always have been to fanatics.  The world unilaterally views America as a principle actor in creating Armageddon.   How dare anyone have the audacity to propose that we have a right to destroy anything or anyone?  All nuclear proliferation of armaments should inevitably be destroyed and once and for all let us decide to resolve conflicts with reconciliation and without the threats of  retribution.  Let us have at least a Department of Peace,  dedicated to sharing the wealth and resources of the earth.”

 

OZY Senior Columnist John McLaughlin teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004. Follow him on Twitter: @jmclaughlinSAIS.

Time to manage our expectations. Having most likely lost the battle to keep nukes out of North Korean hands, the problem turns now to dealing with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

The U.S. military still has options, but it’s increasingly likely that one of them is not a pre-emptive strike to neutralize North Korea’s capability. Why?

  • The program is now too large, too advanced and too dispersed, with much of it hidden deep underground.
  • The North has the ability to retaliate with massive artillery strikes on heavily populated areas in South Korea.
  • Pyongyang has an intermediate-range missile force that can hit the South, Japan and other neighbors. Many of its missiles are mobile, making them harder to track and target. It is also starting to use solid fuel in some of them, which makes them more agile because it can dispense with transporting cumbersome liquid fuel. Finally, it already may have the capability to mount nuclear warheads on some of its intermediate-range missiles.
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