Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Five Nuclear Emergencies And How President Trump Would Have Handled Them

On June 3, 1980, President Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski learned that Soviet submarines had launched 220 missiles at the United States. Subsequent reports told him that the launch notice had been in error - 2,200 missiles were actually on their way. Nuclear bombers and missile crews began scrambling, and Brzezinski started attempting to call the president to recommend a counterstrike. Just then, new data came. The incident was a false alarm. "The culprit? A defective computer chip that was replaced for under a dollar." - Nuclear Threat Initiative
Trump Response: Call Soviet premier on the red phone and insult his parentage. Launch a limited nuclear strike to "show we're not weak." Threaten to sue.

On October 27, 1962, deep into the Cuban Missile Crisis, an American spy plane accidentally crossed into Soviet airspace. Worried the intruder could be a nuclear bomber, Soviets sent fighter jets to destroy it. The USAF responded with its own fighters, and the situation threatened to touch off World War II. The pilot of the spy plane, which had no fuel, somehow managed to glide out of Soviet airspace in time. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis the following day. - History Channel Website
Trump Response: Sink several Soviet ships and one Canadian vessel. Hold press conference promising to "keep the heat on those assholes." Threaten to sue.

"U.S. and NATO officers practiced the procedures they would have to follow to authorize and conduct nuclear strikes in an unpublicized exercise called Able Archer 83, shifting their headquarters as the game escalated toward chemical and nuclear warfare... In a coincidence that could have proved catastrophic, the script for the maneuvers dovetailed snugly and perilously with the Soviets' fears that they were under threat, coupled with nagging doubts about their ability to protect themselves from U.S. military might." - The Atlantic
Trump Response: Loudly brag to American reporters that "we're going to totally destroy those Russian jerks - just you wait." Threaten to limit credit for "anyone whose name ends in 'V'" at American casinos and racetracks. Launch nuclear strike on Beijing to "keep them guessing."

During the Kennedy administration, a nuclear bomber on an exercise flight broke apart in mid-air and released its payload over a small rural area in North Carolina:
"The locking pins came out of one of the nuclear weapons, and the bomb fell from the plane. Despite precautions, the bomb behaved as if it had been released above a target... Incredibly, the bomb did not explode. Every safety mechanism designed to prevent detonation failed except one. A single safety switch prevented a nuclear catastrophe. Had it exploded, the bomb – which had the power of 250 Hiroshimas  – would have caused lethal radioactive fallout over Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City – and forced an evacuation of Washington, D.C." - Nuclear Threat Initiative (A photo of one of the bombs in a field is above. Link here.)
Trump Response: Preemptive nuclear strikes on Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Threaten state of North Carolina with "the biggest class action case you ever saw."

During the Suez Crisis in 1956, the US military command received intelligence of multiple indications of a Soviet strike, including a swarm of unknown aircraft over Turkey along with a mass of aircraft over Syria which had been positively identified as Soviet MiG-15s. Another report came in that a British bomber had been downed over Syria at the same time, and that the Russian fleet was moving through the Dardanelles. The strait links the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, and was thought to be key to an attack on the region. The Americans eventually learned that the Syrian MiGs were a small escort force, the Russian fleet was conducting training exercises, the British bomber had experienced a mechanical failure, and the unknown planes were a flock of geese. - "Instabilities in the Control of Nuclear Forces" by Paul Bracken
Trump Response: Full-scale nuclear war with Turkey and USSR. British mechanical companies sued. Press statement issued about "how lousy the Dardanelles are... Seriously, I wouldn't take a cruise there if you paid me." Geese outlawed.


  1. This is clearly ridiculous. You're assuming that Trump would wait for an excuse to start bombing.

  2. He'd handle them terrifically. His solution would be YOOOOOGE.


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