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17-04-13 Noam Chomsky: How Close the World is to Nuclear War

17-04-13 Noam Chomsky: How Close the World is to Nuclear War

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Published by William J Greenberg
There is another possibility that, I think, is not to be dismissed: nuclear terror. Like a dirty bomb in New York City, let’s say. It wouldn’t take tremendous facility to do that. I know US intelligence or people like Graham Allison at Harvard who works on this, they regard it as very likely in the coming years—and who knows what kind of reaction there would be to that. So, I think there are plenty of possibilities. I think it is getting worse. Just like the proliferation problem is getting worse.
There is another possibility that, I think, is not to be dismissed: nuclear terror. Like a dirty bomb in New York City, let’s say. It wouldn’t take tremendous facility to do that. I know US intelligence or people like Graham Allison at Harvard who works on this, they regard it as very likely in the coming years—and who knows what kind of reaction there would be to that. So, I think there are plenty of possibilities. I think it is getting worse. Just like the proliferation problem is getting worse.

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Apr 20, 2013
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Home > Noam Chomsky: How Close the World s to Nu!lear War 
"e#en "tories Press /
By 
 
[1] 
[2] 
Noam Chomsky: How Close the World Is to Nuclear War 
 April 17, 2013
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The folloin! is an e"#erpt from the ne $ook N%#lear &ar an' (n)ironmental Catastrophe 
[3] 
, $y Noam Chomsky an' Laray Polk, hi#h takes the form of a series of inter)ies ith *+T Professor Noam Chomsky -e)en -tories, 2013./
Laray Polk:
What immediate tensions do you per!ei#e that !ould lead to nu!lear war% How !lose are we%
Noam Chomsky:
 &!tually' nu!lear war has !ome unpleasantly !lose many times sin!e *+. ,here are literally do-ens o o!!asions in whi!h there was a signii!ant threat o nu!lear war. ,here was one time in 0 when it was #ery !lose' and urthermore' it1s not 2ust the 3nited "tates. ndia and Pakistan ha#e !ome !lose to nu!lear war se#eral times' and the issues remain. 4oth ndia and Pakistan are e5panding their nu!lear arsenals with 3" support. ,here are serious possibilities in#ol#ed with ran6not ranian nu!lear weapons' but 2ust atta!king ran6and other things !an 2ust go wrong. t1s a #ery tense system' always has been. ,here are plenty o times when automated systems in the 3nited "tates6 and in 7ussia'it1s probably worse6ha#e warned o a nu!lear atta!k whi!h would set o an automati! response e5!ept that human inter#ention happened to take pla!e in time' and sometimes in a matter o minutes. ,hat1s playing with ire. ,hat1s a low8probability e#ent' but with low8probability e#ents o#er a long period' the probability is not low.,here is another possibility that'  think' is not to be dismissed: nu!lear terror. 9ike a dirty bomb in New ork City' let1s say. t wouldn1t take tremendous
 
a!ility to do that.  know 3" intelligen!e or people like ;raham &llison at Har#ard who works on this' they regard it as #ery likely in the !oming years6and who knows what kind o rea!tion there would be to that. "o'  think there are plenty o possibilities.  think it is getting worse. <ust like the prolieration problem is getting worse. ,ake a !ouple o !ases: n "eptember 0==' the "e!urity Coun!il did pass a resolution' "/7"/??@' whi!h was interpreted here as a resolution against ran. n part it was' but it also !alled on all states to 2oin the Non8Prolieration ,reaty. ,hat1s three states: ndia' Pakistan' and srael. ,he Abama administration immediately inormed ndia that this didn1t apply to themB it inormed srael that it doesn1t apply to them. ndia e5pands its nu!lear !apa!ity' Pakistan almost has toB it !an1t !ompete with ndia with !on#entional or!es. Not surprisingly' Pakistan de#eloped its nu!lear weapons with indire!t 3" support. ,he 7eagan administration pretended they didn1t know anything about it' whi!h o !ourse they did. ndia rea!ted to resolution ??@ by announ!ing that they !ould now produ!e nu!lear weapons with the same yield as the superpowers. & year beore' the 3nited "tates had signed a deal with ndia' whi!h broke the pre8e5isting regime and enabled the 3" to pro#ide them with nu!lear te!hnology6though they hadn1t signed the Non8Prolieration ,reaty. ,hat1s in #iolation o !ongressional legislation going ba!k to ndia1s irst bomb'  suppose around @* or so. ,he 3nited "tates kind o rammed it through the Nu!lear "uppliers ;roup' and that opens a lot o doors. China rea!ted by sending nu!lear te!hnology to Pakistan. &nd though the !laim is that the te!hnology or ndia is or !i#ilian use' that doesn1t mean mu!h e#en i ndia doesn1t transer that to nu!lear weapons. t means they1re ree to transer what they would ha#e spent on !i#ilian use to nu!lear weapons. &nd then !omes this announ!ement in 0== that the nternational &tomi! nergy &gen!y has been repeatedly trying to get srael to open its a!ilities to inspe!tion. ,he 3" along with urope usually has been able to blo!k it. &nd more signii!ant is the eort in the international agen!ies to try to mo#e toward a nu!lear8weapon8ree -one in the iddle ast' whi!h would be Duite signii!ant. t wouldn1t sol#e all the problems' but whate#er threat ran may be assumed to pose6and that1s a #ery interesting Duestion in itsel' but let1s suppose or the moment that there is a threat6it would !ertainly be mitigated and might be ended by a nu!lear8weapon8ree -one' but the 3" is blo!king it e#ery step o the way.
Laray Polk:
 Now that ran1s rea!tor at 4ushehr is running' the !urrent ear is that they1re going to use the plutonium produ!ed rom the uel !y!le to make
 
weapons. ,he Duestions raised about ran1s possible nu!lear weapons program are similar to those asked o srael88
Noam Chomsky:
"in!e the =s. &nd in a!t' the Ni5on administration made an unwritten agreement with srael that it wouldn1t do anything to !ompel srael' or e#en indu!e them' to drop what they !all their ambiguity poli!y6not saying whether or not they ha#e them. ,hat1s now #ery ali#e be!ause there1s this regular i#e8year Non8Prolieration 7e#iew Coneren!e.n +' under strong pressure rom the &rab states' gypt primarily' there was an agreement that they would mo#e toward a nu!lear8weapon8ree -one and the Clinton administration signed on. t was reiterated in 0===. n 0==+ the 4ush administration 2ust essentially undermined the whole meeting. ,hey basi!ally said' EWhy do anything%Ft !ame up again in ay 0==. gypt is now speaking or the Non8&ligned o#ement' ? !ountries' they1re this year1s representati#e' and they pressed pretty hard or a mo#e in that dire!tion. ,he pressure was so strong that the 3nited "tates a!!epted it in prin!iple and !laims to be !ommitted to it' but Hillary Clinton said the time1s Enot ripe or establishing the -one.F &nd the administration 2ust endorsed srael1s position' essentially saying' Ees' but only ater a !omprehensi#e pea!e agreement in the region'F whi!h the 3" and srael !an delay indeinitely. "o' that1s basi!ally saying' Eit1s ine' but it1s ne#er going to happen.F &nd this is barely e#er reported' so nobody knowsabout it. <ust as almost nobody knows about Abama inorming ndia and srael that the resolutions don1t apply to them. &ll o this 2ust in!reases the risk o nu!lear war.t1s more than that a!tually. ou know' the threats against ran are nontri#ial and that' o !ourse' indu!e them to mo#e toward nu!lear weapons as a deterrent. Abama in parti!ular has strongly in!reased the oensi#e !apa!ity that the 3" has on the island o Giego ;ar!ia' whi!h is a ma2or military base they use or bombing the iddle ast and Central &sia. n Ge!ember 0==' the na#y dispat!hed a submarine tender or nu!lear submarines in Giego ;ar!ia. Presumably they were already there' but this is going to e5pand their !apa!ity' and they !ertainly ha#e the !apa!ity to atta!k ran with nu!lear weapons. &nd he also sharply in!reased the de#elopment o deep8penetration bombs' a program that mostly languished under the 4ush administration. &s soon as Abama !ame in' he a!!elerated it' and it was Duietly announ!ed6but  think not reported here6that they put a !ouple o hundred o them in Giego ;ar!ia. ,hat1s all aimed at ran. ,hose are all pretty serious threats.

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