With all the hand-wringing about Iran developing nuclear weapons (and North Korea developing missiles with which to deliver them) and thus vying for membership in the ever so exclusive nuclear club, one has to wonder who will be next.
There have been rumblings from various countries singing the praises of nuclear weapons. There have even been statements from some in Japan claiming the need to develop nuclear weapons. What madness is this?
Perhaps a more appropriate question is - Just who (or what countries) are leading the rest of the world, like lemmings, toward the omnicidal cliff???
The U.S. and Russia still have vast nuclear arsenals. Sure, they are much smaller than they were at the height of the Cold War. And yet, what both nations have kept are the premier weapons. In the case of the U.S. those weapons would be the warheads mounted on Trident submarine launched ballistic missiles and those on the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Besides the sophistication of the weapons themselves, it appears that most, if not all, the major nuclear powers are modernizing not only their weapons and delivery systems, but also the infrastructure that develops, builds and maintains them.
Just in the U.S. we have built (or are building) brand new facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Y-12), Kansas City. Others are in planning. Besides "life extension" programs for warheads, submarines and more, the Navy is planning to build twelve new ballistic missile submarines.
It should then come as no surprise that other nations ponder going nuclear. After all; who (or what country) is going to mess with a nuclear-armed nation? Of course those of us involved in the effort to build a nuclear weapons-free world know that it's not that simple. The more weapons there are and the longer they exist, the greater the chance of one big nuclear mess (also known as a nuclear holocaust).
And just as an aside - Why are we screaming about North Korea shooting off missiles when the U.S. regularly tests (unarmed) Trident and Minuteman III missiles every year??? Can you say "HYPOCRISY???"
Talk about a horrible role model!!! But I digress.
Perhaps Tom Lehrer's timeless song "Who's Next" can provide some perspective as people start contemplating digging bomb shelters. It may not be a song of the holidays, but what the heck; give it a chance. It's truly a classic of the nuclear age.
Should the major nuclear powers continue on their current path with respect to nuclear weapons I might have to start a contest to guess Who's Next. The grand prize could be a custom bomb shelter. It would certainly come in handy if we continue arming ourselves to death.