Some six decades after the Cuban missile crisis had Americans fearing a nuclear winter, talk of an atomic apocalypse is once again rising, this time on a global scale.
Much of this recent concern has come to us on account of two of the world’s largest and most authoritarian nations, Russia and China, who continue to spout a number of nuclear threats aimed at the western world.
This rapidly escalating rhetoric is just one of the reasons why the United Nations is now issuing a rather bleak analysis of the international nuclear situation.
UN head Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the world faced ‘a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War’ and was just ‘one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.’
‘We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict,’ Guterres said at the start of a conference of countries belonging to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
‘Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,’ he said, calling on nations to ‘put humanity on a new path towards a world free of nuclear weapons.’Advertisement - story continues below
‘Eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee they will never be used,’ the secretary-general implored, adding that he would visit Hiroshima for the anniversary of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese city by the United States.
‘Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world. All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening,’ Guterres added.
Russia’s nuclear threats have been backed by their own military protocols that state that such a weapon could be used in an offensive manner should there be any “threat” to the existence of Russia as a whole.
Given just how belligerently Vladimir Putin has been acting of late, it wouldn’t take much for the Russia President to arbitrarily decide that just such a threat exists.