There Is a New Urgency to the Threat of Nuclear Annihilation

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, South Korea's Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (Photo: South Korea Defense Ministry via NUR)A Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise in South Korea on September 4, 2017. South Korea’s military says it conducted a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site, in response to the latter nation’s latest nuclear test. (Photo: South Korea Defense Ministry via NUR)

For a while, it may have seemed that the threat of nuclear war had diminished. But Donald Trump’s vow to increase and “upgrade” the United States nuclear arsenal, tensions between the US and North Korea, and the unsecured stockpiles of aging weapons around the globe make it clear we still need to be concerned about this apocalyptic danger. Order the timely new anthology Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation by donating to Truthout now!

In the following excerpt from her introduction to Sleepwalking to Armageddon, pioneering anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott explains why nuclear catastrophe is still a very real and pressing danger to humanity.

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to seal the US border and eradicate ISIS, the real terrorists of the world today are the United States and Russia. They possess 94 percent of the nuclear weapons on the planet, and they hold the rest of the world hostage to their provocative and self-serving foreign policies and misadventures. As a result, we are closer to nuclear war now, at the start of the twenty-first century, than we’ve ever been before, even during the height of the Cold War.

While we must be concerned about global warming — the other existential threat to the planet — it is imperative that we do not take our eyes off the nuclear threat. To do so is to risk sleepwalking to Armageddon. Nine countries around the globe are known to have nuclear weapons, many of them on hair-trigger alert. In at least five separate locations in the world, two or more nuclear-armed countries are in actual or proxy wars or standoffs that could escalate at any time. And the United States has elected to the presidency…

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