Nuclear Weapons: Harmful to Your Health
February 23 2010
Why should anyone in
There are good reasons for the Colombian Foreign Ministry to urge nuclear weapons abolition: 1) accidental war, 2) nuclear winter, 3) terrorism, and 4) poverty elimination.
Seldom spoken in the defense establishment is the
probability for accidental war. Referring to nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary
Robert McNamara observed that the nuclear powers have been lucky rather than
smart. On September 26, 1983, the world came close to a nuclear exchange when
the Soviet Air Defense identified one, then later four more missiles headed to
Not a single intelligence agency had any idea how close the world had come to nuclear war. It was only in the 1990s when Coronel General Yury Votintsev, a one time Soviet Air Defense Missile Defense Unit commander, published his memoirs that the world learned about the incident.
Some scientists project that in a nuclear war between the United States and Russia that a nuclear winter would result in pushing temperatures below freezing during the summer in major agricultural areas reducing the world food supply, causing a terrible death to billions.
With some 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world, terrorists have a ready supply of less secure sites and corrupt officials to help their search for an atom bomb.
At the World Peace Conference in
A Nuclear Free World
On January 4, 2007 and again on January 15, 2008,
George P. Schultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn wrote
articles in the Wall Street Journal asking for a nuclear free world. They also offered practical measures to this
lofty goal including intermediate steps to improve the world’s security until
then. The January 15, 2008 article
refers to president Ronald Reagan’s desire and his
efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
These men are neither hippies nor Quakers. Mr. Shultz was secretary of state from 1982 to
1989. Mr. Perry was secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Kissinger was
secretary of state from 1973 to 1977. Mr. Nunn is former chairman of the Senate
Armed Services Committee.
Now it is time for President Uribe and other world leaders to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. The sooner, the better.