Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Thomas Schelling: Nuclear Weapons Are Like the Log-Plume Ride...

...the anticipation is scarier than the realization (HT2MR):
In summary, a "world without nuclear weapons" would be a world in which the United States, Russia, Israel, China, and half a dozen or a dozen other countries would have hair-trigger mobilization plans to rebuild nuclear weapons and mobilize or commandeer delivery systems, and would have prepared targets to preempt other nations' nuclear facilities, all in a high-alert status, with practice drills and secure emergency communications. Every crisis would be a nuclear crisis, any war could become a nuclear war. The urge to preempt would dominate; whoever gets the first few weapons will coerce or preempt. It would be a nervous world.
Now before you lecture me on unstable equilibria in the comments, please realize I am objecting not to Schelling's overall conclusion--that the desire to ban nuclear weapons overlooks many strategic considerations--but rather I am pointing out that the particular argument above is silly.

Why would a country just not destroy all their weapons if this is the final outcome? If that is his argument he should have said that a world without nuclear weapons was impossible because some country would have the incentive to keep some to control the world.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]