World nu­clear af­fairs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

I am writ­ing to bring at­ten­tion to im­por­tant days of re­mem­brance com­ing up soon. Aug. 6 and 9 will be the 72nd an­niver­sary of the Hiroshima and Na­gasaki bomb­ings, the only times nu­clear weapons have been used on civil­ian pop­u­la­tions. As we ob­serve these days, we re­mem­ber the dev­as­ta­tion caused, the lives lost, and re­flect on the cur­rent state of nu­clear af­fairs in the world.

The cur­rent state of nu­clear af­fairs finds a world with roughly 4,000 ac­tive war­heads and 10,100 to­tal. Nine coun­tries are be­lieved to have nu­clear weapons, and ten­sions seem to be ris­ing. As a vet­eran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I find it trou­bling to see we’re pri­or­i­tiz­ing show of force over strate­gic force. We used 59 small bombs on an air­field, fail­ing to dam­age the run­ways, when proper tar­get­ing would have used one large bomb in the mid­dle of each to dis­able them. We used the largest non-nu­clear bomb in our arse­nal on a cave that was just one of dozens in the area for the sole pur­pose of putting on a show. I find these ac­tions to be dis­turbingly par­al­lel to the ac­tions in 1945 when the use of these weapons and their tar­gets were cho­sen based on the shock value they would achieve rather than for strate­gic means of dis­abling mil­i­tary tar­gets.

If we truly want to es­tab­lish our­selves as a world leader, we should try do­ing so in the are­nas of peace and nu­clear disarmament.

MICHAEL D. VAUGHN

Lit­tle Rock

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