15 July 2005

Living in a nukyular world

Chinese Major General Zhu Chenghu, speaking at an official briefing, recently warned that, “If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.”

The craven mavens of the blogosphere have weighed in on the issue with knee-jerk nationalist reactions. The typical Chinese reaction can be found at GongGong Stupid: "I have been to America. They have tons of issues on racism, sex, political, economic and social issues. They could not even manage their own problem and they are trying to stick their small head into every hole they find." This post's mirror image can be found at JunkYard Blog: "Texas cowboys and countries run by Texas cowboys don't take kindly to threats."

I don't quite get what the suggestion is here. Are we to "nuke 'em" till they cry uncle? Yeah, right. But apart from the bravado, the threat brings up something that I've never quite understood. We've been told that the U.S. military is by far the mightiest in the world, that it could kick butt on anybody. But I don't get what this means in a nuclear world. If we killed ever single person in Russia but allowed a single Russian nuclear submarine to survive, wouldn't it virtually destroy the U.S. as we know it? I realize that 's nuclear arsenal is considerably smaller, but is there any scenario in which we'd come out of a battle without all our major cities bombed?

Of course, leaders on both side realize this and thus we have the nuclear "deterrent." In spite of this, I'm sure that at some point, the major powers will use nukes. Probably not on each other but rather on some country that doesn't have them. Hopefully, I'm wrong. Such a weapon would kill so many innocent people that I think its use is difficult to justify in any scenario.


Tran Sient said...

We will be in a new Cold War within the next 20 years. The sad part is that we are funding the other side. I think we will be back to 'mutually assured destruction' within our lifetimes.

Karlo said...

Aren't we there already?