The Evolving Nuclear Threat

From Mutually Assured Destruction to Terrorist Attacks

Before the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union imploded, we feared mutually assured destruction. From the 1950s until some 40 years later, the threat of nuclear war was ever present, inspiring nightmares among children and adults alike. In fact, for years, being a serious survivalist required having a bomb shelter.

Little did we know that these were the “good ol’ days” when we knew who our enemy was and they were not religious fanatics who would welcome mutual destruction.

But with the fall of communism and the Eastern Bloc, the threat of global thermonuclear war diminished, but the threat of a nuclear attack or accident did not.

A modern muclear bomb explosion in the desert.While we may not have to fear thousands of nuclear warheads raining down on our centers of population and industry, the threat of a “suitcase” nuclear bomb carried into place by suicidal terrorists is more real than ever. Our intelligence agencies tell us that Al Queda and other terrorist organizations are looking to buy or build bombs, and the old Soviet system has left thousands of trained scientists with no way to earn a living. Countries like Iran and North Korea have aggressive nuclear weapon development programs and North Korea has tested bombs and missiles. Terrorist like ISIS threaten us with inhalation. Iran wishes to wipe Israel off the map. Even “friendly” countries like Pakistan have nuclear arsenals that may, through a coup or even an election, one day fall into control of hands that are not friendly to the U.S. Or Pakistan could enter into a nuclear conflict with their neighbor India.

On the home front, tensions with Russia are rising again, as Putin appears willing to start the cold war or possibly even a warm one. Relations with China are also rocky as they become more aggressive on the world stage and in the South China Sea where we are obligated to defend our allies. China is building its military capability and has a growing nuclear arsenal, including missiles that can reach the U.S.

The threat of a suicide attack on a nuclear power plant still remains, as does the possibility of an accident or a natural disaster, such as we saw with the Tsunami in Japan. The possibility of a rogue nation lobbing a few missiles at us, or at our allies in Europe cannot be ignored.

The bad news is that preppers must once again consider how to protect ourselves from a nuclear disaster. The good news is that we can probably worry less about blast shelters that protect us from the overpressure of a 20 megaton bomb and focus more on protecting ourselves from the fallout caused by a smaller bomb, an attack on a nuclear plant, or a “dirty bomb” that relies on conventional explosives to spread radiation.

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