Incidents in history when a nuclear war almost started
In 1945, nuclear weapons were created in the USA. The scientists who worked on it believed that they were creating a means of protection against Nazi Germany. However, the American imperialists saw in him, first of all, a means of intimidation and the conquest of world domination.
The United States not only immediately used the newly created atomic bombs to bombard Japanese cities, but also began to increase its reserves, counting with its help to defeat the USSR. Russia began to accumulate nuclear weapons in response.
Incidents when the nuclear war almost started
As a result, the world soon found itself in a dangerous situation in which the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States could have turned into a nuclear war that would have killed millions of people in a matter of hours, and even countries that did not directly participate in the war would have suffered a global cooling and radioactive fallout.
There is an opinion that it was the presence of nuclear weapons that prevented the third world war. Indeed, it is foolish to start such a war, knowing that the enemy can inflict colossal, completely unacceptable damage on your country. But how real is the danger of nuclear war really, can we be sure that common sense will prevent politicians and the military from starting it? Alas, as history shows, the world has already been on the brink of nuclear war more than once, and we are very lucky that it has not yet happened.
Back in 1945, American militarists began to make plans for an attack on the USSR. They understood that they had no chance of defeating the Soviet army in a conventional war, so the main stake was placed on the use of nuclear weapons. The Americans, one by one, adopted plans for a war against the USSR, in each of which the number of atomic bombs that they were going to use was increasing. The first plan, developed at the end of 1945, envisaged 20 targets for atomic bombing on the territory of the USSR, but by the 50th their number had grown to several hundred.
Although in 1949 the USSR also created nuclear weapons, for a long time the United States significantly surpassed the country in the number of atomic bombs, as well as in their delivery capabilities. This gave rise to the confidence among the Americans that the USSR would in no way be able to harm them in return. Having accumulated a sufficient number of atomic bombs, the Americans developed the Dropshot plan, in which a specific date for the attack on the USSR was scheduled - January 1, 1957.
As part of this plan, it was supposed to use over 300 atomic bombs, as well as 250 thousand tons of conventional bombs. The bombings were supposed to destroy 85% of the industrial potential of the USSR and kill 45 million people. However, the Soviet leadership found out about the plan and took emergency measures to disrupt it. In the 1956 September, there was a system of systems to have a bomber in the worship, who was inhabited by the time of the time. Frightened by a retaliatory strike, the American leadership did not dare to put the Dropshot plan into action.
In 1962, relations between the USSR and the USA were still very tense. The Americans continued to surround the USSR with their bases with nuclear weapons, in particular, they deployed nuclear missiles in Turkey, not far from the borders of the USSR. In response, the USSR decided to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba. But when the Americans found out about this, they raised an incredible hysteria. Part of the US military believed that the United States should immediately attack Cuba. Congress made the same recommendation to President Kennedy. The United States began preparations for the invasion of the island, and the American Navy announced a naval blockade of Cuba.
In response, the USSR stated that the blockade was illegal, and Soviet ships would not comply with it. The Soviet troops stationed in Cuba had not only medium-range missiles, but also tactical nuclear weapons, which would definitely be used in the event of a US invasion. The scenario of the beginning of the third world war became quite real, on both sides there were enough supporters of "decisive" actions.
On October 27, Soviet air defenses shot down an American aircraft over Cuba. Only at the very last moment Khrushchev and Kennedy were able to agree and prevent the war. The USSR removed the missiles from Cuba, and the USA from Turkey, while promising not to attack Cuba.
The risk management of the nuclear war is not a risk, and several incidents occurred during the Caribbean crisis on October 27-28, each of which led to a nuclear war.
Incident report B-59
At the time of the Caribbean crisis, several Soviet submarines were directed to Cuba. The American fleet, the full command of the sea blockade, the war against the country and the provocation. Just on October 27, the Kyby pod B-59 was shot down by American snipers and then dropped by a deep-seated bomb. However, the B-59 was equipped with nuclear torpedoes, and the American commander ordered them to be used. Nuclear power was only used in the first place, except for the captain of the pod, the senior commander of the group of the pod Arkhipov.
The incident U-2
And this day there was another incident. The American spy plane U-2 was supposed to intercept the test in the air near Novaya Zemlya and return to the territory of the United States. However, the pilot got lost and the plane crashed in the airspace of the USSR near Chykotkoy. It was not enough to direct two Soviet destroyers, and the Americans directed two U-2s of their own. Moreover, in connection with the crisis, the American anti-missile missile is not equipped with nuclear weapons. Only a few were destroyed, they crashed, and the U-2 pilot was able to turn around and return to the ground.
The incident in Okinawa
On October 28, a major war took place on the American base in Okinawa, and almost everything was destroyed. There have been calculations with nuclear missiles, and today the base has a multi-command command of nuclear missiles that are deployed in the USSR and China. The commander was Captain William Bassett, and the war ended only thanks to his good health. For this reason, Basset is not ready, because it is a pre-order, it is a pre-order, and it has to be prepared in the higher level.
In fact, the commanding officer expressed the view that this order could not be given directly or indirectly because of the opponents posted. I'm sorry, Bassett's request for a confirmation order is very expensive. Some of them have already fired or coded a nuclear missile. However, he ordered the captain to carry out the order, and he had to direct the automaton from the commander's calculation, to collect the nuclear missile.
The basset command just shoots it if it tries to do it. After this, the captain directly called the central administration and requested to transfer the order to bring it to a higher level of leadership, or to correct the order. In some time base, the encrypted code is sent to the command line. The United States claimed that the missile was ordered to be fired earlier this year, and information about the incident was withheld from the public until 2015.
The next incident occurred in 1967. On May 23, the U.S. base in Greenland was intercepted by the robotic radar system. The American military decided that the USSR had specially sent nuclear weapons to the United States. This was announced, strategic bombers were preparing to take off. However, someone is going to ask for a summary of solar activity. It turns out that at this time, the Sun produces a flash, cuts and destroys the radar.
At 3:00 a.m. on November 9, 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was the adviser to the president of the United States on national security, received a phone call. The representative of NORAD reported that the USSR fired 2,200 nuclear missiles at America. It was announced, how to prepare for the dry MBR, airborne missiles and a special plane for the president. No steel test satellites and systems for early warning, anti-missile, anti-missile, and police. The causes of anxiety can be eliminated and fixed.
It turned out that one of the computers connected to the NORAD network was successfully installed with a program that simulated a mass rocket launch. The incident was widely reported in the press, and Brezhnev even wrote a letter to the President of the United States, Carter, about it. Also, for the following two systems, NORAD removed several false predation or missile attacks on the side of the USSR.
Glare on the clouds
In 1983 the newest missile system of the USSR "Oko", designed for the fixation of missile missiles on the territory of the United States. At that time, the president of the USA, Reagan, who called the so-called USSR imperial evil, shut down the program "Star Wars" and broadcast it live, so that there was no direct order to bomb the USSR. Relations between the USSR and the USA were very tense. In these languages, September 26, 1983. and the Soviet command post system pre-emptive or anti-missile defense system siren.
The system consists of several MBRs with the territory of the United States. Colonel Petrov, who is in the command post, has to decide whether to pass on the information to the authorities or not. Thinking about it, he came to conclusion, that the United States has a de facto nuclear solution, it is massive, a dry rocket, it was a mistake. The exact result was that the MBR system received light from the Sun and the clouds. A in 2006 Petrov received a special award for the preparation of the nuclear war.
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Nuclear weapons and nuclear war: proliferation and possession
The risk of an unintentional nuclear war between Russia, the United States and NATO, which has resurfaced in the past decade but at first seemed far from reality, no longer seems so.
Everything you need to know about nuclear war
The relationship between nuclear proliferation and nuclear war - and thus the role of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing nuclear war - is a very complex issue.
Possession of Nuclear Weapons
First of all, it is not proliferation that is important, but the possession of nuclear weapons - not those who seek to create them, but those who already have them. It is also important what weapons these countries have and what doctrines determine the strategy for their use. Nuclear proliferation is an indirect factor: it is implied that if those wishing to acquire nuclear weapons were to achieve their goals, then an increase in the number of nuclear powers would exponentially increase the risk of nuclear war.
But this is just a simplified description of the relationship. The action of the first two factors, direct and indirect, is determined by the third factor - the state of the world at a particular moment in time. How does this three-factor matrix affect the likelihood of nuclear war?
The multipolar nuclear world
Let's start with the first factor: the modern multipolar nuclear world opens up new, more complex and dangerous paths to nuclear war. This happens at three levels: geopolitically, the world of nuclear powers has not only grown to nine countries, but also contains a number of tense nuclear dyads (USA and Russia, USA and China, India and Pakistan) and triangles (India - Pakistan - China and USA - China - Russia).
Technological change occurs in three areas. These are the modernization or creation of nuclear triads on land, at sea or in the air by the five most significant nuclear powers, the opening of new fronts, in particular space and cybernetic ones, and new technologies - from strategic high-precision conventional weapons to directed energy weapons, from hypersonic winged and ballistic systems to advances in sensor technology, as well as the integration of artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
At a conceptual level, there is a shift in nuclear doctrines and strategies towards so-called "limited nuclear options" that include smaller, lower-yield, and more usable nuclear weapons. As a result of the convergence of these factors, in the words of former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, “the risk that nuclear weapons will be used now is as great, if not greater, than at any peak crisis point of the Cold War.”
The risk of nuclear war
Now let's move on to the second factor, the link between nuclear proliferation and the risk of nuclear war. On the one hand, it seems that the world has moved far from the problems of the 1960s that pushed states to conclude the NPT. At that time, the main impetus was the mutual American-Soviet desire to prevent West Germany from joining the nuclear club. In 1960, US attempts to prevent France from acquiring nuclear weapons failed, and in 1964, the Soviet Union's attempts to stop the Chinese nuclear program failed in the same way.
As a result, West Germany remained the main concern. To secure its acceptance of a potential NPT, the United States proposed the creation of a Multilateral Force (MLF), a joint sea-launched ballistic missile system jointly operated by NATO allies, including Germany. The Soviet Union actively objected, and this had two long-term consequences.
First, in exchange for the US relinquishing the MLF, the Soviet Union agreed to the stationing of US nuclear weapons in West Germany and other NATO allies on the condition that those weapons remain under the exclusive control of the US.
Given the Soviet Union's initial agreement, Russia's subsequent objections to these weapons as violations of the NPT seem unconvincing. However, it, combined with Russia's arsenal of 2,000 sub-strategic nuclear weapons in and around Europe, poses the perpetual problem of the emergence of a nuclear threat in a confrontation like the one currently taking place in Ukraine.
NATO and US nuclear umbrella
Secondly, the result of nuclear non-proliferation has been the increased desire of NATO allies for the US nuclear umbrella. This has made extended deterrence a critical component of US nuclear policy. And extended deterrence is a critical asymmetry that distinguishes the configuration of US and Russian nuclear forces, and also greatly complicates the process of controlling strategic nuclear weapons. It stems from fundamentally different strategic goals facing the two countries: Russia must defend itself, the United States must defend its allies.
This has led Russia to its current "aerospace warfare" approach, and the US and its NATO allies to defend against Russia's growing capability to "restrict and deny access and maneuver" (A2/AD). The discrepancy between the two positions not only raises the risk of unintentional nuclear war to a much higher level, but also makes the weapons intended for these missions much less amenable to arms control measures.
In the half century since the NPT was opened for signature, the nuclear non-proliferation regime has gone through a series of stages, from early fears about the rapid growth of the number of nuclear powers, coinciding with the launch of the Brazilian and South African programs, to preoccupation with a specific region - the Middle East, as well as Separately, North Korea. However, today we have come to a new point where two arrows are pointing in the wrong direction at once.
One is the well-known problems of North Korea's nuclear program and the prospect of a nuclear Iran, with all the implications for further nuclear proliferation.
Case of Japan and Korea
Another new factor is the return to the issue of nuclear weapons for US allies. This time we are talking not only about Germany, but also about Japan and South Korea. In Germany, of course, this is not a near future prospect, but if Europe returns to an era of rough confrontation and the United States becomes increasingly preoccupied with other regions, German thinking may change. In the case of Japan and South Korea, growing concerns about North Korea's aggressive nuclear plans and China's rapid transformation of its nuclear arsenal are no doubt fueling debate over their non-nuclear status.
The danger of an unintentional nuclear war
In the sixty years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the danger of a deliberately unleashed nuclear war has steadily declined. As well as the danger of an unintentional nuclear war, with the exception of the situation during the Arab-Israeli war in October 1973 and the panic in the fall of 1983 during the NATO exercise AbleArcher. However, the situation has changed over the past decade. As noted earlier, the danger of nuclear war, generated by direct and indirect factors, depends on the state of the world, in particular, on the state of relations between major nuclear powers.
The slow deterioration at this third level now, after February 24, 2022, has suddenly taken a dramatic turn.
The likelihood of such a war growing out of what is happening in Ukraine could have some positive impact, bringing caution to the growing strategic rivalry between the United States and China, easing the path to more serious strategic dialogue between them and to a mutual desire to better manage their nuclear relationship. In addition, the ominous lessons of the Ukraine conflict may make India and Pakistan, as well as India and China, think that they are playing with fire every time they take up arms.
However, the most important bilateral nuclear relationship remains the one between the United States and Russia, and here the effect will almost certainly be to halt progress on nuclear arms control and ruin the prospect of joint action to protect the nuclear non-proliferation regime, let alone strengthen it. . The Strategic Stability Dialogue and its two working groups, launched after the Geneva summit in June, have been suspended. When serious talks can begin between the two countries over control of the increasingly ambitious nuclear weapons programs, it is unclear, as well as whether anything will come after the expiration of the extended New START. More importantly, the risk of an unintentional nuclear war between Russia, the United States, and NATO, which has resurfaced in the last decade but seemed far from reality at first, no longer seems so.