Lessons from a nuclear life

Jackson Lears in Harper’s:

The war in Ukraine has resurrected the ultimate technocratic fantasy: a winnable nuclear war. Intellectuals at the Hoover Institution are urging American strategists to “think nuclearly again,” reestablishing the idea that nuclear weapons are tools to assert U.S. primacy over Russia and China. This isn’t just talk. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently noted “steadily increasing U.S. bomber operations in Europe”—some near the Russian border. Though most Americans are unaware of it, escalation toward nuclear conflict is already under way.

In this strange atmosphere, I feel moved to revisit my own experience as a naval officer on a nuclear-armed ship more than fifty years ago. My story is all too relevant today. As Daniel Ellsberg demonstrates in The Doomsday Machine, the shape of U.S. nuclear strategy has remained unchanged since the early Sixties.

More here.