Current research on a new generation of nuclear weapons has stirred up some controversy. For example, will new bombs create an incentive to renew nuclear testing abroad?.
The seed of the story, however, is that the new bombs are "reliable replacement warheads" - not designed for greater blast or range, but designed to be able to sit on a shelf unused for longer periods without becoming dangerous.
In our new, relatively peaceful world, we are now designing neuclear weapons explicitly to be mothballed!
Although there may be something to be said for mutually-assured destruction, I am reminded of a song from long ago:
The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools
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As a followup to yesterday's rather idealistic post...
The reality is that the genie has been out of the bottle for a very long time now. A member of the nuclear club can't afford to let its weapons 'rust' to the point of being unusable, because this would weaken that nation's deterrence ability. One does not want to be without nuclear weapons if one's potentially belligerent neighbour has them, if only to ensure that these weapons are (likely!) never used... that is the reality of our time, and is the reason for creating weapons with a long shelf life.
As far as I can tell, there is nothing stopping me from asking and demanding that ALL world powers dismantle their nuclear weapons NOW and make the planet nuclear 'bombs' free. I am doing just that here and whereever else I can.
Why is every body else not asking and demanding that world powers dismantle ALL the nuclear weapons on the planet NOW? Does everyone else know something I don't? Is it not worldchanging enough or is it too blase?
Once a coalition of the willing is formed, they can storm each recalcitrant country and force the issue or stop trading wth them. Alternatively, stack all the weapons up on leased land under global control (not UN) - may be falkland islands? or in the last country to dismantle as a penalty for being the last?
These might appear to be silly notions now. The impetus to do something will certainly surface as soon as the next nuclear blast happens. But does it have to be so?