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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

Will Humans Be the Next 'Freedom Fries'?

• by Ray McGovern

Here's the thing: the Russians have good reason to be on hair-trigger alert. Their early-warning radar system is so inadequate that there are situations (including those involving innocent rocket launches) under which Russian President Putin would have only a few minutes – if that – to decide whether or not to launch nuclear missiles to destroy the rest of the world – on the suspicion that Russia was under nuclear attack.

"If that"? Yes, launch-to-target time is now so short that it is altogether likely that the authority to launch nuclear weapons is now vested in subordinate commanders "in the field," so to speak. Readers of Daniel Ellsberg's Doomsday Machine are aware of how the US actually devolved this authority during the days of the first cold war. I, for one, was shocked to learn that. Worse: today the subordinate commanders might be non-commissioned computers.

Russia, of course, is not about to admit that its early-warning system is far inferior to the US's world-wide, satellite-based capability. But such is the case. The implications could not be more serious.