The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 91 21:59:30 EST
Well, I know several people who've whistled in the dark & still gotten
mugged. There's no reason to believe whistling deters anything. On the
other hand, I know of no nuclear attacks (since Aug, 1945). And I can think
of *lots* of reasons why nuclear deterrence should work.
Deterrence works only under certain conditions:
Deterrence doesn't work under other, more common, conditions:
- A lack of a crisis or confrontation.
- Rational leaders.
- Ample time for reflection.
- One side considering a first strike.
- That first strike must not be able to destroy all retaliatory weapons.
- Survival is not always considered the highest value.
- Decision-makers not always thoroughly rational.
- Human error or miscalculation could trigger war.
- Technical malfunction could precipitate war.
- A combination of factors could touch off a war.
- Military power more provocative than deterrent (military escalation
increases the deterrent value, but it also provocates a response.)
- Vertical proliferation stimulates horizontal proliferation (as we
increase our stockpiles, other nations create their own. )
Last modified: Thu Jul 27 10:51:23 EDT 2000