The Letter of Last Resort

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Sven Sven's picture
The Letter of Last Resort

This article from Slate is quite thought-provoking.  It reminds me of the "Doomsday Machine" from Dr. Strangelove, with one important difference: The Doomsday Machine doesn't exist while the "Letter of Last Resort" does.

The author raises a very interesting moral paradox: For a nuclear arsenal to be an effective deterrent, one's enemies need to believe that if struck first, the nuclear arsenal will be used in a devastating counter-attack against that enemy.  But, once your country is destroyed, most would agree that a counter-attack against the enemy would be immoral.  The paradox is that a moral actor would (presumably) refrain from using a nuclear arsenal in a counter-attack, but if one's enemy knows that, then the possession of the nuclear arsenal provides no deterrence and the enemy could stike with impunity.

Sven Sven's picture

Gawd, I hate the fact that an OP cannot be edited!!  grrrrrrr!!  I misspelled arsenal and cannot correct it.

The "new and improved" babble is so wonderful.

______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Maysie Maysie's picture

I fixed the spellos. All you had to do was ask nicely. 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Maysie wrote:

I fixed the spellos. All you had to do was ask nicely.

Thanks.  Didn't know the mods could change OPs either.  Still, it's a bit of a hassle.  Is that (the ability of the OP poster to edit the OP) one of the proposed fixes for the software?

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

jacki-mo

But why would your counter-attack be immoral?

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21652]Pentagon lost communication with 50 intercontinental nuclear warheads[/url] US Air Force officer tweeted the news