Dr. Theodore Postol, an MIT Professor, published an insightful report on the increasing likelihood of accidental nuclear war with Russia. The report, How the US Nuclear Weapons Modernization Program is Increasing the Chances of Accidental Nuclear War With Russia, details how the increasingly potent preemptive strike abilities of the US paradoxically increases the likelihood of war. Russia’s inability to modernize their nuclear weapons program at a similar pace with the US forces Russia to compensate with streamlined launch authority protocols. These streamlined launch authority protocols increase the chances that Russia will misconstrue events as grounds to launch nuclear forces.
By D-Ray, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
While considering Dr. Postol’s report, it is important to recall the incident of Stanislav Petrov. In 1983, Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defense Forces, received an early warning report that five American ICBMs were headed to strike the Soviet Union. The report was, of course, delivered in error. Petrov was suspicious of the report and refused to inform his superiors of the ‘incoming ICBMs’. Had Petrov acted on the false report, the Soviet Union would have likely sent a ‘retaliatory’ strike leading to large scale nuclear war. In today’s climate, Petrov would have been under increased pressure to act quickly and decisively. This pressure might lead Russia to accidentally set off nuclear warheads.
Although the Cold War is over, it may be more important now to foster amicable relations with Russia. As Dr. Postol notes, nuclear war has no winners. The best way to “win” a nuclear war is by not getting in one. At this point, America’s best bet is to begin clear, decisive communication with Russia. If the US can avoid antagonisms with Russia and mitigate concerns of potential aggression, we can reduce the likelihood of an ‘accidental’ nuclear strike.