A Podcast And More

The Globe and Mail’s “The Decibel” podcast interviewed me on nuclear weapons. I think it’s a pretty good primer on nuclear weapons effects.

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I will not link to William Arkin’s article in Newsweek based on his interviews with STRATCOM personnel. It is in honor of this article that I chose the header photo. I am engaging with the article only because people I respect have retweeted it.

There’s a great deal wrong with it, but I’ll stick with three points for now.

  1. In this country, the military reports ultimately to the President. It’s not up to them to argue with him publicly. Further, STRATCOM is not “the military,” as the article implies, but a specialized part of it. It’s not even clear that the people Arkin quotes are representative of STRATCOM.
  2. It’s more than irresponsible to imply that Jake Sullivan has threatened Vladimir Putin with “a decapitation strike to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin.” It’s inconsistent with US policy and everything Joe Biden has said on the subject.
  3. The business about an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack hovers on the edge of fanaticism. It’s true that a general nuclear attack might begin with an EMP blast, but EMP alone is not the devastating killer that Newt Gingrich made it out to be.

Arkin is talking to a few people in a very narrow part of “the military,” who have blinkered viewpoints.

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Putin’s speech this morning did less to rattle his nukes than some of his previous speeches. It’s not at all clear that he would use nukes to defend his new “People’s Republics.” Yes, he used those words. I’ll have more to say later, but for now here’s my Twitter thread and one observation from this morning.

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money