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How To Safeguard Loose Nukes

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the in-the-wrong-hands dept.

Earth 167

Lasrick writes "The Bulletin has an interesting article about the likelihood of terrorists obtaining nuclear material. 'Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has logged roughly 2,000 cases of illicit or unauthorized trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material. Thirty illicit radioactive trafficking incidents were reported in the former Soviet region alone from 2009 to 2011. As Obama said in December, "Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it."'"

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The real worry is 3D printing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962145)

Soon, with the whole periodic table available in one giant print cartridge, people will be able to 3D print nuclear weapons. If someone manages to download plans for the Tsar Bomba, we're cooked.

this is funny... (-1, Troll)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962901)

not troll

Re:The real worry is 3D printing (2)

letherial (1302031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963913)

Well considering that most material that is made, this includes all of earth and every molecule in your body was at one time a bunch of hydrogen under very intense pressured being cooked together basically, and most materials cannot be just made without these conditions...i think we are safe from terrorist printing nukes in the foreseeable future.

Obama also said he would close Gitmo (3, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962155)

Seriously, what's the point of that Obama quote?

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962237)

Seriously, what's the point of that Obama quote?

"Be afraid, be very afraid! That all you need to know" - seems like a good point to me (even if it's not necessary good for me or, for the matter, for the rest of about 7 billions with the exception of the people in power).

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962383)

Too laterz! Jooz already gots one nukez!

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962393)

About the only part not gutted, is the GWB popularized phrase "make no mistake." Which makes sense given Obama's record -- why just embrace and extend GWB's policies when you can use his phrasification as well?

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962477)

About the only part not gutted, is the GWB popularized phrase "make no mistake." Which makes sense given Obama's record -- why just embrace and extend GWB's policies when you can use his phrasification as well?

Hmmm... I don't know [ww2poster.co.uk] , I was expecting a bit of a higher "class" from him [typepad.com] .

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962831)

We can't really help that you're a sucker can we?

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962895)

We can't really help that you're a sucker can we?

Define "we".

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962513)

Seriously, what's the point of that Obama quote?

To continue the fascade that a bunch of people who kick it out in the desert and shoot their guns in the air at weekend training camps are evil because they're muslims or whatever, as opposed to people who kick it up in the woods and shoot their guns in the air at weekend training camps here, but aren't? Just a thought.

I'm sure there are terrorists out there... but I'm also reasonably sure they are so few in number as to not be a serious threat. Even if a 9/11 happened every year, it wouldn't be serious, in terms of economic damage and loss of life. However, there are legions of people who have been labelled as such because it's the only way to justify spending trillions of dollars... I mean, what if there were only 300 terrorists in the whole world. What then? We spend a trillion dollars to "contain" them... when we really ought to just pay them 3 billion dollars each to move to a secluded island and live out their remaining days in luxury. Bonus: It would be cheaper than what we've been doing so far...

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962647)

when we really ought to just pay them 3 billion dollars each to move to a secluded island and live out their remaining days in luxury.

Wow, that's a great idea. Why don't you fly over to Pakistan, ask around and present the idea to the terrorists in person.

Hint: they don't want luxury and they don't want peace, until their flags are flying over all corners of the civilized world and their ideas about Islam (not just any brand of Islam either) dominate.

They are America's sworn enemies. We can't wish or negotiate that away, we have to defend ourselves. And the best defense is a good offense. That's why Obama's administration deserves huge props for taking out Bin Laden. That's how it's done, Dubya. That's how it must always be done.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962671)

You are right. They are the Bogeyman, and if you don't behave they will come for you when you are sleeping.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962713)

Hint: they don't want luxury and they don't want peace, until their flags are flying over all corners of the civilized world and their ideas about Islam (not just any brand of Islam either) dominate.

Three billion dollars buys a lot of change in thinking. You can get a Congressman to sell his soul for a lot less.

They are America's sworn enemies. We can't wish or negotiate that away, we have to defend ourselves. And the best defense is a good offense. That's why Obama's administration deserves huge props for taking out Bin Laden. That's how it's done, Dubya. That's how it must always be done.

Yes! We must bomb them! shoot them! Drop nukes! At a cost of many trillions of dollars! Because they don't want money! They don't want to be rich! They're poor, living in mud huts in the desert, and don't wanna change! Not ever! Not one single one! So passionate is their belief, they would happily choose suicide over spending the rest of their days rolling in hundred dollar bills naked! YES! I BELIEVE YOU!

Also, your fly is down.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962869)

A good chunk of them would be perfectly happy if the US just stopped meddling in the Middle East, as they have been for forty years or more. A good chunk of the rest of them are motivated out of nothing more than anger at this meddling. Very few of them are really religiously motivated, aside from when that religion can be used to motivate others -- which, that last part, is no different than the US.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963693)

Given how important the Middle East is currently to the rest of the world, why shouldn't the rest of the world meddle?

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962935)

try looking at the facts... obama had NOTHING to do with taking bin laden out. in fact he would have stopped it from happening if he had more info and had a chance....

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

boundary (1226600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963119)

They hate your freedom.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963297)

The only problem is that the current methods for taking them out end up just creating more of them. For every terrorist killed a dozen new ones sign up to fight America, since they've just seen their family/friends become collateral damage.

Sure in the short term that's fine - the new guys are untrained cannon fodder. But it does mean that the war on terror will have to continue indefinitely - it can never actually defeat the terrorists, just divert their attention to 'easy' targets, such as US personnel in the terrorist's back yard.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962841)

Idiot. Bin Laden wasn't short on money. Your plan of giving away money would accomplish exactly nothing.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963127)

This whole thread is like a whole troop of monkeys trying to fuck the same football.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963801)

To be fair, Obama's approach has been much more effective than GWB so far. I would like to see our forces completely withdrawn from the region and replaced by small specialized forces to hunt down the actual terrorists (yes, even using drones) while NOT shooting up the countryside and generally convincing common people that the terrorists are right about us.

Sadly, nearly anything would be cheaper and more effective than our invasion has been.

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (3)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42964727)

To continue the fascade that a bunch of people who kick it out in the desert and shoot their guns in the air at weekend training camps are evil because they're muslims or whatever[...]

Yes. They are (doing) evil (things) because of their religion. Like some christians. Religion is the problem here.

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

-Steven Weinberg

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962763)

The point of Obama quote is 'I do not know how to handle Pakistan and terrorism breeding there.'

Re:Obama also said he would close Gitmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963553)

He's absolutely right. (cf. 8-6-45)

As Obama said in December, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962177)

"Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it."

This coming from the world's biggest terrorist, the Drone Ranger

Re:As Obama said in December, (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962303)

"Make no mistake,

Translation [photobucket.com]

Re:As Obama said in December, (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962789)

"Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it."

The same goes for all governments that acquire nukes for the first time.

An initial demonstration is almost always necessary to make others believe your threat is real

Re:As Obama said in December, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42964763)

Except for Israel, because the USA, in total defiance of non-proliferation, just gave them some.

AC for obvious reasons.

Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962203)

People need to stop conflating radioactive materials and nuclear weapons. The only 3 isotopes that matter for nuclear weapons are U-233, U-235, and Pu-239. These are the fissile nuclides. Get enough of these together and you can level a city. Contrast this with any dirty bomb material. If you get enough of that together and blow it up, you've simply provided contractors with 3 months of decontamination work with pressure washers. Not the same thing.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (2, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962221)

You're forgetting, panic = ratings

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962677)

Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons

You're forgetting, panic = ratings

Both true. Panic is useful (for the enemy). For a (potential) victim, perception may be enough to cause action.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (4, Interesting)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962349)

And dont forget, it better be a pretty damn small city, and you need a way to get the (not small...) bomb to correct altitude, AND it would have to work..

It would probably be much more effective, and one hell of a lot easier to mail what ever fissile material you have to the local media, claiming to have a bomb...

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962745)

It would probably be much more effective, and one hell of a lot easier to mail what ever fissile material you have to the local media, claiming to have a bomb...

You're telling me it would be too hard for someone to take a big pile of conventional explosives, grind up the fissile material, and then load it into a rental truck and drive it downtown? Why do you think a bomb means "big mushroom cloud of doom"? It could just be a conventional explosive used against a soft target, but with the added collateral damage of having the entire area contaminated with radioactive debris. And once you're done, claim you'll do it again in 48 hours unless (insert terrorist demand here).

Yes. I can see how the average terrorist would find this plan to be dizzyingly complex, and would opt instead to simply drop it in the post with a note saying "me haz big bang, woo woo."

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (1)

clemdoc (624639) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963999)

The point was, I think, "level a city". For doing that, you need a really "big bang". Things that have mushroom clouds as a byproduct help with that.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (4, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962503)

Contrast this with any dirty bomb material. If you get enough of that together and blow it up, you've simply provided contractors with 3 months of decontamination work with pressure washers.

"The Federation of American Scientists...says a bomb made using just one piece of radioactive cobalt [of the sort used in food irradiation] could make [New York] city uninhabitable for decades, and seriously contaminate one thousand square kilometres of the states of New Jersey, Connecticut and New York." [independent.co.uk]

Rejecting reality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962663)

Assuming more cobalt-60 than has been produced, no decontamination, and the *OMFG NUCULAR* reactionaries...

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962771)

I read that and I find that rather stupid. I'll tell you why.

You see, I just spent part of this week getting a new Cobalt-60 source exactly like is described in the article installed in the facility where I work. 2500 Curies. You definitely don't want to be around it when it is exposed. If you were to steal it, grind it up, and evenly dust it over a thousand square kilometers, you'd have 2.5 Ci per sq kilometer, or 2.5 microCuries per square meter, or about 3700 dpm/m^2.

Just so that you know, the typical standard of cleanliness when cleaning up an area which has been exposed to a Co-60 spill is about 200 dpm per 100 cm^2, or about 20000 dpm/m^2. In other words, the dirty bomb scenario described in the paper would be barely within the limits of detection, and if someone performed a contamination test, the area would register as "clean".

Now, of course, in real life the dust would not be spread evenly, but then we aren't talking 1000 sq km as the article said, now are we? In real life, it would also be fairly easy to clean up as well, at least to a livable standard.

I get really tired of dealing with all the locks, alarm systems, etc. that are now required just to have one of these sources on site. I totally understand and approve safety precautions like interlocks, etc. But having to get a key to unlock the key box to get the other key that unlocks the bunker where the source is, when it takes 12 hours to install or remove the source, just so that phantom terrorists don't steal it is a daily pain in my ass.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963111)

Brits are as loony about spreading fear as our local media/authorities in the US. Actual advice [fco.gov.uk] from British F&C Office for tourists to US:

There is a general threat from terrorism in the United States. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. We remind British nationals of the global threat of terrorism and need to remain vigilant.

I happen to live in the NYC, and there are marines with machine guns stationed all over the place.... so it must be true.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (4, Informative)

Bomazi (1875554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962635)

Neptunium-237 [fas.org] is weapon-usable as well.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962879)

I agree. Someday, somewhere, someone will use a dirty bomb. And it will kill a few people (same as a regular bomb), and everyone will flee the area. There will be a brief period of doom and gloom as the media presents the area as "lost for decades". Then it will rain. The rest will be cleaned up the hard way. Afterwards people will see how much of a non-issue it is, and no one will be afraid of dirty bombs anymore.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (2)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963423)

Afterwards people will see how much of a non-issue it is, and no one will be afraid of dirty bombs anymore.

Yes, in exactly the same way that nobody is afraid of terrorists getting on airliners any more.

Let me rephrase because the sarcasm didn't really work. If there is a successful attack with fissile material, America will lose its mind so hard that the post-9/11 insanity that persists today will seem like a happy memory.

Re:Radioactive material != Nuclear weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962961)

Hypothetically, heavy lithium on its own might be interesting if somebody can figure out how to build a portable overunity hot-fusion reactor. The trick is to break the lithium down and saturate the fusion reaction with the resulting hydrogen isotopes without quenching the fusion process itself. It's likely something at the edge of known theory, and currently fissile devices are needed for the energy necessary to trigger the rest of this kind of reaction in the meantime.

Then again, I'm probably just some lamer with seemingly too far-fetched ideas after reading some interesting sci-fi.

However if somebody actually does figure that kind of "holy grail" out, the current nuclear governments would be shitting themselves over what to do about practically untracable nuclear weapons.

As Obama said in December (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962205)

"Make no mistake, if [guys] get [pornographic material], they will use it."

It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962223)

If we didn't keep building nukes, forcing other countries to keep building nukes to compete, then there wouldn't be so many nukes out there. Sure, we here in the USA might be able to keep our stuff out of other peoples hands, but we can't control Russia, China, UK, or France, and that's not talking about what Israel, India or Pakistan really have. Of course, North Korea is now maybe testing weapons.

Not to mention the USA policy of bullying other nations into doing what it wants? I think the problem is that the USA government knows that everyone is getting fed up with them and people are going to start doing something about it.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962267)

Abstinence is the key. If the nukes weren't so loose...

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962315)

Yeah, let's just sit around complacently and wait for the next 9/11.

You dumbass.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962359)

Yeah, let's just sit around complacently and wait for the next 9/11.

You dumbass.

considering how much rights the people of the united states lost due to laws after 9/11, I don't think we could handle another one. They have no choice but to lock up everyone since taking away our rights wouldn't of worked.

9/11, we get attack by "terrorist" so we go invade a country that has nothing to do with it.

Like I said, the USA is a bully.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962447)

9/11, we get attack by "terrorist" so we go invade a country that has nothing to do with it

9/11 and Iraq were two different events. Yes, Bush and the Republicans conflated the two, at least at the time. More intelligent Americans didn't, but we weren't in the majority until about five years later.

Let's talk about 9/11. The foreign policy of the USA can NEVER, EVER be, "let's just mind our own business and try to help out where we can, and then for the most part other countries will leave us alone." That didn't work for the US in 1917 or 1941 or 2001. It completely ignores history. Anybody who proposes pacifism is either not concerned with the best interests of the US, or is a dumbass.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962463)

I agree with the idea that America can't survive another terrorist attack -- I don't mean of course, the political entity, I mean the ideals America is supposed to be built on -- things like privacy, the right to a fair trial before the government kills you or executes you, the right to travel ... you know, freedom.

In fact, if you really think about it, it seems we didn't survive 9/11.

And of course, 80% of the populace likes it this way.

What will be interesting is whether after the next terrorist attack -- there will be one because it is completely impossible to prevent every such possible instance of terrorism -- is whether we will just overtly shift into police state mode. The unitary executive theory will sure prove handy to whoever is president at that time.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962631)

I dont think that 80% "like it this way" I think that most are more worried about the new "ohh shiney" instead of the things that could happen. I lost 16 friends/ family members in the WTC collapse, and I dont think I could handle that now (i was 16 in 01) but to say that such a high number think that we are better off... id say the majority of those you claim think we are better off are just passive and dont pay attention one way or another. Id say the number who want us to be weak are much lower

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962703)

Most people are worthless, unintelligent followers. If someone passively accepts violations of freedom, then they are just as unintelligent as those who support it.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962733)

i would say 80% of us here agree with that..... ;)

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42964327)

America only survives if we embrace the possibility of MULTIPLE additional terrorist attacks as a necessary & inevitable cost of maintaining our freedom.

Terrorism has by all rights INCREASED, despite all compromises on civil liberties we have made collectively in exchange for empty promises. Suffice it to say, the "bad men" continue to exist as a slightly-larger, yet still statistically irrelevant, threat to our safety. The reassurances were without credibility then, and this will always be the case.

Reacting to terrorism by spending atrocious amount of money chasing shadows is taking the piss hook line and sinker. Asymmetrical warfare is not a new concept. It is utterly amazing to me that anyone is surprised by the current fiscal deficit when we have spent the last decade punching ourselves in the wallet and calling it CPR.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963925)

What right could we possibly lose, the right to bear nuclear arms?!

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962403)

Wasn't the next 9/11 the next Pearl Harbor? And wasn't that the next Nimitz? Or something. "Never again" is used way too often as an excuse.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (5, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962357)

If we didn't keep building nukes, forcing other countries to keep building nukes to compete....

We haven't built any new nuclear weapons in decades. In fact, we've been gradually decomissioning them, in step with Russia, as we reach new treaty agreements.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962375)

I say we light em all off next 4 july. Get rid of em all at once.

in pyongyang (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962567)

in pyongyang

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962499)

And the real issue isn't nuclear weapons that anyone has built in the past. The big issue is the nuclear material shared around the world by the US under the "Atoms for Peace" program. Highly enriched uranium - meant for use in reactors - shared with "friendly" (at the time) nations around the world. It has not made the mainstream media much, but since 2008 the NNSA has been working tirelessly to repatriate as much of this stuff as possible, but there is a lot of material not accounted for.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962709)

We haven't built any new nuclear weapons in decades. In fact, we've been gradually decomissioning them, in step with Russia, as we reach new treaty agreements.

How about "bunker-busting" tactical nukes, which the US claims, are exempt from current treaties?

Or how about armor-piercing depleted uranium ammo? Granted, that last one probably wouldn't qualify as a nuclear weapon, but at least, don't tell me that a tactical nuke is not a nuclear weapon.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962813)

"Bunker-busting" tactical nukes were never actually developed. They were theorized and funded when conventional bunker-busters (then recently made relevant with the advent of smart bomb accuracy) entered the spotlight, but was ultimately shelved due to lack of targets and impracticality. (Deeper/bigger targets required impractically large nuclear payloads, conventional bunker-busters got the job done well enough by simply target ventilation systems and it was obvious that the enemy would react by building large numbers of smaller bunkers instead of a few, huge/deep bunkers.)

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963729)

Or how about armor-piercing depleted uranium ammo? Granted, that last one probably wouldn't qualify as a nuclear weapon

It wouldn't and you should know that. Nuclear weapons aren't stuff that just has uranium in it.

How about "bunker-busting" tactical nukes,

Ok, how about them? I see that the US has yet to dare use one.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (3, Insightful)

NalosLayor (958307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962367)

How many nuclear weapons do you think the US has built in the last twenty years? Hint: It's zero.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962731)

What about the so-called "bunker-busting" tactical nukes? The US claims those types of nukes are exempt from existing treaties.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

NalosLayor (958307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962769)

Pretty sure those never actually got built.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962909)

This is slashdot. In this reality they were built, and it's fine to hammer america with it. This is slashdot. Repeat.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963383)

Are you kidding me? I know this is Slashdot, but it wouldn't hurt you to google once in a while. There is not any controversy that those tactical nukes do exist and are not being counted in the official statistics.

Check out my previous post for the citation.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963357)

Pretty sure those never actually got built.

I'm pretty sure they were. [google.com] .

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963597)

[citation needed]

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962405)

If you didn't keep building nukes, you'd have three eyes and you'd be speaking Russian.

The French do it because they're arrogant and want to prove they're not just cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (2, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962479)

The USSR built nearly twice as many warheads as the US.

Informative chart [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962993)

Yeah, but the only thing that really matters at that point, is that it makes it that many more nukes that can potentially get lost. The US and the USSR towards the end of the '80s had so many nukes that they could have unilaterally dismantled most of them and still had enough in reserves to blast the other one into oblivion if they needed to.

Re:It's the USA's fault there are so many nukes (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962973)

right...its all our fault, because being a nuke power for 70 years, and only dropping them on one country (regardless of if you agree or not) negates everything else. we can argue whether or not the USA is right, its not always right, concerning world issues, but regardless of if we are right or not, just because we have something than can destroy an entire city, we should just let everyone have one right? hell some people want to take some types of guns away from americans, yet usually these same people have no issue with other countries having nukes?? disarm america, yet arm the world... thats a great idea right?

it's like obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962319)

you're definitely getting taxed. you might even get healthcare.

Not IF but WHEN (2)

asifyoucare (302582) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962387)

The terrorists will one day obtain enough fissionable material to make a bomb. Given that there were about 2,000 cases of unauthorised trading and probably even more unknown cases, and they might have it already. Hopefully they'll blow themselves up accidentally. Does anyone trust that Pakistan will never donate weapons-grade Uranium to terrorists, even if central government persists? If Pakistan collapses we're all in deep trouble.

Re:Not IF but WHEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42964507)

Terrorists kill hundreds of Pakistani soldiers and govt. workers every year. Why do you think the Pakistani govt. wants to slip them some nukes?

Sane foreign policy... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962441)

The US needs to adopt sane foreign policy, our entire stance on nuclear weapons is this mythical idea that no country other than allies of the US can reproduce an invention from the 1940s. If a third-world country wants to be assured that it won't be invaded by the US, it needs to have nuclear weapons.

Consider the different attitude the US has when discussing negotiations with nuclear-armed states and states without nuclear weapons. Nuclear-armed states are treated with much more respect and resort to diplomacy rather than outright invasion.

Re:Sane foreign policy... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962575)

Nuclear-armed states are treated with much more respect and resort to diplomacy rather than outright invasion.

Maybe that explains why the US is so chummy with Saudi Arabia

Re:Sane foreign policy... (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962645)

There are three countries that are not allies with the US that have nuclear weapons; Russia, China and North Korea. All of these countries have large armies to back up the nuclear threat.Even without nuclear weapons these countries would be a bloodbath to invade.

Re:Sane foreign policy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963439)

N.Korea just may lob a nuke at S.Korea, Japan, or the US. Castro almost pushed the button during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ironically, many conservatives probably wish he did knowing what DC has became these days. Hindsight 20/20 and all. Pakistan is filled with oppressive Islamist where God commands them to kill the infidel. India would thing twice about making them cats take another spin around the wheel of life...etc

Never project your own morals and beliefs onto others. Culture isn't just a word. It really means something. In some cases, some cultures are completely alien to another.

Re:Sane foreign policy... (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963641)

In some cases, some cultures are completely alien to another.

It's worth noting that none of the cultures you mention count. There's two problems that people often don't get about nukes. One is the crazy person with nukes. For whatever reason, including the above mentioned "completely alien" culture, you could have someone far more willing to use nukes than you would expect.

Another is extremely short decision time frames. There are countries which because they are near one another, have only a few minutes to decide whether some blips on a screen (or the equivalent) are either innocuous (could be flaws in the detector hardware, rocket test, whatever) or the end of their civilization. The faster this decision needs to be made, the more likely it is that someone makes a bad choice, such as launching a retaliatory strike.

Proliferation increases the chances that either of the above potential problems becomes an actual problem that kills lots of people.

Re:Sane foreign policy... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963943)

So the US has an insane foreign policy compared to Saddam's Iraq (invaded, fought, or threatened pretty much every country around them), North Korea (hurl missiles and threats against it neighbors), Iran (covert operations against governments of many countries in region, threaten others, including barely veiled genocide against former ally Israel)?

So could you explain why it is that you think the United States wants to invade sane [youtube.com] , peace loving [youtube.com] North Korea - a genuine light to the world [sciencephoto.com] guided by the enlightened Kims [youtube.com] ? Is it for the nonexistent oil? And how does it plan to invade? The US has about half of a division there - it is outnumbered about 50:1. And since they have been pursuing nuclear weapons since the 1960s, do you think they can see into a future where they will be called part of the "Axis of Evil"? Or do you think it might be that they are pursuing their own goals independent of what the US does - perish the thought! The US has technically been at war with North Korea for nearly 60 years - why invade now?

I would also like to hear your ideas about why the breakdown of the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty and a world-wide nuclear arms race among third world nations is a good idea?

I'm not sure you are really qualified to identify what is sane, or even a good idea. You seem to want to empower third world thugs, dictators, and genocidal maniacs againt what you apparently claim as your own country. Why is that? Some sort of pathology?

Re:Sane foreign policy... (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42964407)

So the US has an insane foreign policy compared to Saddam's Iraq (invaded, fought, or threatened pretty much every country around them), North Korea (hurl missiles and threats against it neighbors), Iran (covert operations against governments of many countries in region, threaten others, including barely veiled genocide against former ally Israel)?

Well, worded like that it actually not dissimilar to the foreign policy of the United States of America.

Invasion and covert operation against countries in the region? Check (Bay of Pigs, Iran-Contra affair, invasion of Grenada)

Threating others? Check (aw come on, you really need examples for that?)

Including barely veiled genocide against former ally? Check (Operation Dropshot, Plan Totality - basically plans to wipe out three quarters of Soviet citizens).

Obama catch phrases (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962557)

"Make no mistake" is what Obama says so you'll think he's serious. When he tells someone they're wrong, he says, "let me be clear." "It will not be easy" means you should vote for him (the voting booth is just down the street, you can do it!), and when he says, "here's the deal" who knows what it means.

Re:Obama catch phrases (1)

gregOfTheWeb (398142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962845)

It's a drinking game, what will President Erkel say next.

Re:Obama catch phrases (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963139)

So like George "Read-my-lips" Bush?

Re:Obama catch phrases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963479)

Yes. Characters. All of them.

obama also said... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962611)

republicans want to let grandma eat dogfood and kill social security.... sorry if i take anything he says with a grain of salt.... posting anon because I know the /. crowd.....

Re:obama also said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963969)

? Sorry, but I can't take an unsourced, ungoogleable statement seriously.

Isn't the correct answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962623)

to nuke the nukes from orbit since it's the only way to be sure?? Only half joking

According to Bayes ... (1)

mxxspii (2846877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962707)

P(terrorist, nuclear) = P(terrorist | nuclear) * P(nuclear)
Because "Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it."
P(terrorist | nuclear) = 1
P(terrorist, nuclear) = P(nuclear)
we are doomed ...

Loose nukes (1)

bug1 (96678) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962827)

How To Safeguard Loose Nukes

Tie them down good with rope, and remember, if you cant tie knots, tie lots.

Or maybe put them in boxes, they shouldnt roll away then.

the [] (1)

Americium (1343605) | about a year and a half ago | (#42962871)

did he really say "if get, they will use it" ?

star wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42962977)

Kim shot first

Duck tape this gerbil of a program. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963029)

Ummm... based on first glance at title, I'd guess there's no such thing as led lined duck tape.

North Korea (2)

PerMolestiasEruditio (1118269) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963105)

1/ They have the bomb.
2/ They are desperate for money, and have few qualms, and seemingly little good judgement about doing whatever it takes to get money to maintain their fucked up internal power structure. $2 billion per year exports at moment, but $3 billion imports and $20 billion external debt
3/ There are numerous groups in the world who do not like the west (some 'terrorists', some countries) who could probably raise a few hundred million to a billion dollars to buy a nuclear bomb.
4/ Short of hitting them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike North Korea cannot be invaded/stopped without massive risk/destruction to South Korea, Japan, and possibly USA (nuclear weapons + ICBM), also huge danger from China if it comes to a shooting war/invasion.

Pretty good chance that North Korea will sell a bomb to someone to use on a western city. Iran and pakistan are also moderately dangerous. I wouldn't feel particularly safe living in coastal USA cities, or Israel for that matter in the next 20 years.

Re:North Korea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963193)

I wouldn't feel particularly safe living in coastal USA cities

These are constitution-free cities you are talking about. We feel very safe here. Our phone calls and Slashdot posts are logged, and enemy combatants get detained and sent to torture chambers sooner than they can detonate their underwear, or call a lawyer for that matter.

Hold on a second, someone's at the door...

Frist 4sot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963903)

that has grow8 up

the article is very biased (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42964073)

A very realistic point of view: this article is trying to heighten tension and create more chaos
The world has been under threat from nuclear weapons since 1945 and we coped fine
The terrorists possess Hiroshima like abilities, not US/USSR doomsday power
Life goes on, even if NYC is nucked by the Tsar bomba

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