August 06, 2005

Using Nukes

Recently, we passed the 60th anniversary of the use of the atomic bomb in WW II. I've been thinking about that usage and today's situation where people do talk about "nuking Mecca" and other nuclear weapons uses.

It's become clear that the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki was largely based on communications intercepts which demonstrated that Japan would not surrender and were prepared to fight to the finish. That fight would have created huge casualties and might well have caused a repeat of Germany's WW I situation, where the war was ended in a negotiated settlement with the loser in control of their own territory. That would have been a terrible and bloody solution and set us up for WW III around 1970 as the cycle of war and peace repeated again. The decision to drop the bomb was justified.

I would expect that, at a bare minimum, if the jihadists were to gain the power to create mass casualty events that exceeded the death toll of small nuclear weapons that nuclear warfare would once again be on the list of realistic policy responses. We're a long way away from that but I expect that within my lifetime we'll get there. I just hope that we have a significant gene pool off this planet when we do.

Posted by TMLutas at August 6, 2005 04:08 PM