Should we worry about nuclear bomb?

The transfer of nuclear weapons from Russia to Belarus has stirred comment about the possibility of a nuclear war.

Since invading the Ukraine, Putin has said repeatedly that Russia would use nuclear weapons if it became necessary.

NATO said that it did not see any need to adjust its nuclear strategy, although the military alliance casts Putin’s rhetoric as “dangerous and irresponsible.”

Putin Talks Tough

Defense analyst Richard Weitz, a foreign policy wonk in Washington, noted that there was tough talk by the Russians about the risk of nuclear war if NATO gave Patriot missiles or F-16 fighters to the Ukraine. Weitz had been talking to Al Jazeera and its news agencies.

“It’s a way to remind the West that Russia is a great nuclear power and that the West better be careful lest it stumble into a nuclear war,” Weitz observed.

Writing for Business Insider, Aria Bendix and Taylor Ardrey have said that “the chance that a nuclear bomb with strike a U.S. city is slim, but nuclear experts say it’s not out of the question.”

8 Countries Have Bombs

At the present time, eight countries have enough bombs to destroy the planet. They include Russia with 6,255 nuclear warheads, the United States with 5,550, China with 350, France with 290, United Kingdom with 225, Pakistan with 165, India with 156 and Israel with 90.

North Korea doesn’t yet have the bomb, but it has the resources to build around 50.

The numbers aren’t important because Israel’s 90 bombs would be enough to demolish the earth. That would leave Russia and the United States with yard sales to dispose of their unexpected surpluses.

Captives of Insanity

The world is a captive of the sanity (or insanity) of every leader in the eight countries. Is it possible for any of these countries to spin out of control? We have to remember that a handful of crazies almost overthrew the government of the United States on January 6. If that can happen here, what about the other seven countries?

Irwin Redlener of Columbia University claims that there isn’t a single government in the United States with an adequate plan equal to the task. He suggests that the likely targets of nuclear bombs would be New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Back in the 1950s and ’60s, every state had a Civil Defense Survival Agency planning for enemy attacks.

The NoDak Plan

(One of the jobs I had in my work history was a contract with the agency to help write the North Dakota survival plan.)

At the time, the federal planners notified us that Minot and Grand Forks would be likely targets because of the air bases. But this brought complaints from Fargo and Bismarck, who thought they were important enough to be bombed, so we ended up with four targets.

Initially, our plans were supposed to provide for evacuation of the radioactive fallout areas. The radioactive dust reaches the ground in 15 minutes after detonation which made the planners doubt that thousands of cars would get through.

Running or Digging

Reconsideration meant a change of plans. Instead of “run” it was changed to “dig.” That’s when everyone in the state was supposed to have an underground bunker stocked with crackers and water.

It wasn’t long until Americans rose to the middle class, where they had middle class values. Water and crackers were for poor people. The middle class deserved Papa Murphy’s pizza and port wine.

So it’s true. We have no plans for an enemy attack. When the warning siren shrieks through the air, we will all be on our own with the options of running or digging.

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.


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