Advanced search

To think that people have become irrationally comfortable with nuclear weapons and MAD

(39 Posts)
PumpkinPiloter Sat 03-Jun-17 12:51:16

Jeremy Corbyn has been given a really tough time in the press regarding his stance on nuclear weapons.

I have also read many comments on here on various political threads recently that seem to suggest that Mutually Assured Destruction has been a positive force that keeps the western world peaceful.

I am a long way from being an expert on nuclear weapons but even I am aware that there have been many if not dozens of close calls concerning nuclear missiles from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Titan II missile explosion in Damascus, Ark.

185 out of a total of 195 countries seem to survive perfectly well without nuclear weapons. There is also the argument that by having nuclear weapons we become a target and it becomes much easier for us to be drawn into some form of global conflict simply by owning them.

The risk of nuclear weapons falling into the hands/control of a terrorist organisation or someone with mental health issues is real.

I really can not get my head around why people feel these horrific weapons make them any safer in the UK.

I keep hearing people talk about the magic money tree and that there is no money. Am I being unreasonable to think we can't justify spending 200 billion on something so dangerous when we seem not have enough money for health care social care and education?

SilentlyScreamingAgain Sat 03-Jun-17 13:13:18

Of course you're quite right but it's a lie that people have been swallowing for a long time and no one likes to think that they might have been wrong.

PaperdollCartoon Sat 03-Jun-17 13:14:47

I never knew people were so obsessed with whether their leaders would blow up millions of people until this election.

ballerinabelle Sat 03-Jun-17 13:15:50

Do you want to be the first country in the world to disarm?

SilentlyScreamingAgain Sat 03-Jun-17 13:21:34

Why wouldn't the UK want to be the first country in the world to disarm?

ToastDemon Sat 03-Jun-17 13:24:00

Because a lot of people are fundamentally posturing twats.

UncontrolledImmigrant Sat 03-Jun-17 13:24:03

if we can't destroy millions of lives and poison the planet at the touch of a button, as it were, how will we know how important we are on the world stage?

allegretto Sat 03-Jun-17 13:26:57

I really can't imagine a scenario where it would be alright to launch a nuclear strike. I have never been ok with nuclear weapons and have never understood why people are willing to spend milliins on something that can only cause misery and destruction.

PumpkinPiloter Sat 03-Jun-17 13:46:45

"Do you want to be the first country in the world to disarm?"

Actually I would. It would not even be that strange. The world has less nuclear weapons than we did 20 years ago. I can not remember the exact figures but I believe we are down to around 30% of the total we had in the mid 80's.

There has been a general move towards reduction of amounts of nuclear weapons which seems to have slowed in recent years.

meditrina Sat 03-Jun-17 13:54:08

You can't uninvent them.

So as they exist, finding a balance that stops proliferation seems the only sensible option.

I was watching the reruns of TOTP from the mid80s last night, and was struck by how much more apparent was the shadow of potential war. That has ebbed significantly. I'd like to see the holding pattern that reduced it stay in place.

(I don't agree with how you have presented the numbers, btw, as it does not allow for blocs which can reasonably rely on the arms of one member to defend each and every - a formal part of the NATO agreements, and pragmatically existing for others. So the number of states which 'have' is rather higher if you include those which have by proxy)

witsender Sat 03-Jun-17 13:55:02

Nuclear weapons are such a fucked up idea.

Kursk Sat 03-Jun-17 14:00:19

Nuclear weapons at best prevent a war, at worst they minimize the damage caused by war.

PumpkinPiloter Sat 03-Jun-17 14:20:28

"Nuclear weapons at best prevent a war, at worst they minimize the damage caused by war."


Surely at worst they make huge areas of the planet virtually uninhabitable, kill millions and partially melt and cause radiation sickness to many millions more?

Modern nuclear weapons are vastly more powerful than those used in WWII and consequently the destruction the would cause would be horrific.

Can you not see any scenarios where they could cause wars as opposed to avoid them? If you can is that a price we are willing to pay?

I find it astonishing that Donald Trump never leaves the vicinity of a "nuclear football" where he has a simplified set of nuclear strike options.

scaryteacher Sat 03-Jun-17 15:12:16

Obama was never out of reach of the football either Pumpkin, it's US protocol. Totally agree with Kursk.

squishysquirmy Sat 03-Jun-17 15:25:52

"Do you want to be the first country in the world to disarm?"

Corbyn is not proposing unilateral nuclear disarmament anyway, which is a fact that seems to be completely lost in the anti-Corbyn rhetoric. Trident will continue to exist if he is elected, all he has said is that he would be reluctant to press a button that would murder millions of innocent people. And that the scenario in which he would be required to make that choice is an appallingly awful one. Can't see why that is seen as such a terrible thing.

Some of those people on QT last night seemed to be really angry at the idea that North Korean/Iranian children might not be annihilated, if British children were to be murdered. (Not that either NK or Iran have the ability to reach the UK anyway).

MusterMark Sat 03-Jun-17 15:35:06

Until 1945 war between advanced countries was seen as a legitimate policy tool. If nuclear weapons were to suddenly disappear, there is no reason to suppose this would not become the norm again.

Take the cold war for example. Without nuclear weapons the chance of another war in Europe would have been much higher (I would say inevitable).

squishysquirmy Sat 03-Jun-17 15:48:47

I think that the peace we've experienced in the West probably was due in part to MAD, but that there were other reasons too (progress, the EU, economic cooperation, even the hated "globablisation").
Its also quite a gamble; Yes, the higher stakes that come with nuclear arms make war a less attractive prospect, but the stakes are so high. The opposite of peace without nuclear weapons is war, but between nuclear armed nations the opposite of peace is annihilation.

We can look back at the cold war and say that nuclear arms helped prevent an all out war with the USSR, but it was one heck of a risk - history always seems inevitable with hindsight, but if a few tiny details had been different, nuclear war could have broken out. We will probably never know all the times, or how close, we came to nuclear war in the past. Heard of Stanislav Petrov?

squishysquirmy Sat 03-Jun-17 15:52:13

Of course, in response to the benefits of MAD there's always been the "what if a thin skinned, unpredictable, lunatic takes control of a powerful, nuclear armed nation" argument. But best not to go there, I suppose.

Elendon Sat 03-Jun-17 15:55:44

Germany are not allowed weapons of mass destruction, although they are in NATO. As a country it does have the capability to proliferate these weapons but chooses not to.

Elendon Sat 03-Jun-17 15:59:50

Nuclear weapons at best provide employment and err, that's it.

No one, no one, is ever, is ever, going to press the button. EVER. Please be aware of this. It simply provides employment. Weapons of mass destruction are not a deterrent. They are exactly what they say on the tin.

Chchchchangeabout Sat 03-Jun-17 16:08:39

I would rather live in a world without them, and without worry that some countries would deploy them. But we don't.

WalkingOnLeg0 Sat 03-Jun-17 16:40:11

I dont think anyone actually likes nuclear weapons. But the reality is that they exist and unless you only want tyrannical dictators and terrorists to have them then we need to keep ours working. And what is the point in having them if you have a leader who refuses to push the big red button and tells everyone he wont press the big red button. Our defense has to be the first priority of any government I will vote for.

StarryCorpulentCunt Sat 03-Jun-17 16:41:44

I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of MAD than I am with the idea of being without nuclear weapons. The UK is feeling like a pretty vulnerable place atm but we are still a major nuclear power. IDK, it gives me a sense of security. Perhaps a false one but no one can ever say for certain that no one will ever press the button and that in itself is a deterrent imo.

WalkingOnLeg0 Sat 03-Jun-17 16:50:21

Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons and Russia annexed part of their country. I would happily have taken the bet that Russia would not have done that had Ukraine had kept their nuclear deterrent.

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Jun-17 17:01:30

our defence has to be the first priority of any government I will vote for

Oh wonderful, so who would be annihilated first? If it came to tit for tat, do you really think ANYONE would be the winner? Effing ridiculous.

I suppose if we don't flood the world we'll blow it up. Humans really are the end (in all senses of the word). I despair.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: