Will Humans Be the Next ‘Freedom Fries’? By Ray McGovern

One thing U.S. policy makers may want to consider. Russian early-warning radar systems aren’t that good, so there is a nontrivial possibility of an accident that leads to a Russian nuclear launch. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

U.S. pundits and strategic experts seem blissfully unaware of how close we all are to being fried in a nuclear strike by Russia. (Fair Labeling: if you are simply looking for yet another reason to demonize Putin, rather than to understand where he is coming from, save time and read no further.)

Here’s the thing: the Russians have good reason to be on hair-trigger alert. Their early-warning radar system is so inadequate that there are situations (including those involving innocent rocket launches) under which Russian President Putin would have only a few minutes – if that – to decide whether or not to launch nuclear missiles to destroy the rest of the world – on the suspicion that Russia was under nuclear attack.

“If that”? Yes, launch-to-target time is now so short that it is altogether likely that the authority to launch nuclear weapons is now vested in subordinate commanders “in the field,” so to speak. Readers of Daniel Ellsberg’s Doomsday Machine are aware of how the US actually devolved this authority during the days of the first cold war. I, for one, was shocked to learn that. Worse: today the subordinate commanders might be non-commissioned computers.

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