Nuclear War “Chicken Game” Between the U.S. and North Korea
by John Lewallen
Dec. 7, 2017
Ending the game of “Nuclear Chicken” between the United States and North Korea without the catastrophe both sides threaten, actual nuclear war, is the greatest survival issue facing our nation and the world right now.
The concept of a nuclear confrontation of escalating threat between two nuclear-capable powers has been extensively studied by the tiny group of people who actually think about nuclear strategy. As Daniel Ellsberg noted in his interview on “Democracy Now” yesterday, this is clearly a case of “nuclear chicken,” with two nuclear-armed nations, in a cycle of escalating threat and counter-threat, rush toward actual nuclear attack like two hot-rodders zooming head-on toward each other.
It’s easy for anyone with common sense to understand the literally insane suicidal and omnicidal risk of this game on the level of nuclear war. As Ellsberg noted, to be effective, the nuclear commander must seem to be insane, or possibly insane, and both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump qualify.
I’m afraid that our actual nuclear commanders realize that, if there really is a nuclear war, the winner, if there is one, is the side that strikes first. To repeat, I believe all nuclear powers are prepared to make a preemptive first-strike on their opponents. Since this would be destructive of everything, no one will do a nuclear first-strike unless they are quite sure they must to avoid imminent attack on their arsenal.
Sometimes called the “use it or lose it” fear, this puts both sides at increasing terror of being attacked as the escalation increases.
We are all hostages in this crazy game. As I write this, the U.S. is doing mock invasion military exercises with South Korea near the borders of North Korea, and North Korea recently tested a missile capable of making a nuclear strike anywhere in the United States, or carrying a nuclear bomb to detonate high above the U.S., damaging or destroying electronic civilization without initially hurting anyone.
This madness must end by de-escalation and negotiation now!