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Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:35 PM

Slate - "Americans are disturbingly unbothered by the idea of striking first with nuclear weapons."

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2017/08/sagan_and_valentino_study_shows_americans_would_likely_support_nuclear_first.html

The Real Nuclear Option

Americans are disturbingly unbothered by the idea of striking first with nuclear weapons.

By Fred Kaplan

As President Trump rails against North Korea, threatening to rain down “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it so much as tests another long-range missile, the world can’t help but wonder: Would he really do this? Would he order a nuclear strike, the ultimate fire and fury, against a country that hadn’t attacked us first?


Many are doubtful. His top security advisers would oppose such a move. So would the American people who, though they have no formal say in the matter, would impose constraints on a president’s actions—or so goes the conventional wisdom. Some scholars have written of a “nuclear taboo” ingrained in our sensibilities since the bombing of Hiroshima. Others detect a growing revulsion against the killing of noncombatants even with conventional weapons.

However, a new study suggests that these comforting notions are mistaken.

In the latest issue of the journal International Security, Scott Sagan and Benjamin Valentino, respectively professors at Stanford University and Dartmouth College, conclude that the American public is “unlikely to serve as a serious constraint on any president who might consider using nuclear weapons in the crucible of war.” In fact, under pressures similar to those facing President Harry Truman at the end of World War II, a clear majority of the public would support the first use of nuclear weapons now, just as it did back then.

Some opinion polls appear at first glance to show otherwise. A majority of Americans now say that Truman was wrong to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But Sagan and Valentino regard those polls as “a misleading guide” to understanding Americans’ “real views” on the use of nuclear weapons and the killing of civilians.


snip - read the rest at the link above

12 replies, 2175 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Slate - "Americans are disturbingly unbothered by the idea of striking first with nuclear weapons." (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Aug 2017 OP
ciaobaby Aug 2017 #1
NRaleighLiberal Aug 2017 #2
Freethinker65 Aug 2017 #5
Solly Mack Aug 2017 #10
The Velveteen Ocelot Aug 2017 #3
NRaleighLiberal Aug 2017 #6
bdamomma Aug 2017 #4
bluestarone Aug 2017 #7
BootinUp Aug 2017 #8
NRaleighLiberal Aug 2017 #11
Saboburns Aug 2017 #9
Coventina Aug 2017 #12

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:38 PM

1. Not this American.

 

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Response to ciaobaby (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:38 PM

2. I'm with ya!

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Response to ciaobaby (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:47 PM

5. +1

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Response to ciaobaby (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:21 PM

10. Yeppers

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:39 PM

3. Nobody asked my opinion.

And I am very bothered by the idea.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:51 PM

6. I think it is a pretty accurate generality. We here are kind of different!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:45 PM

4. Nuclear war

the unspeakable event. I am totally not an advocate of destroying this world and life.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:08 PM

7. oh yea for sure

It's really hard to understand people today they just have no clue until everything melts

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:12 PM

8. Maybe all other nuclear powers strike us first

Most of us won't suffer too long.

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:24 PM

11. my wife and I actually say that if the shit hits the fan, let the first one fall on our house.

We will want to be out of here.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:19 PM

9. It doesn't matter that US citizens are unconcerned re. a nuclear first strike

What is important is that China and Russia have bunches of ICBMs and bunches of thermonuclear bombs to put on top of them. If we fire nukes at NK then China will fire nukes at us, Russia too in all likelihood.

Don't kid yourself thats how this game is played. Them's the rules, and everybody knows them.

Now we might get away with a conventional attack on NK without reprisal, Maybe. Depends on what precipitated our attack. If Nk launches a missile anywhere towards US territory, I expect we will strike back very hard with a conventional attack.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:27 PM

12. WTF? I don't remember being asked about this.

Let me say right now I am deeply disturbed by the idea!

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