The Bulletin, Victor Gilinsky Author,
Victor Gilinsky has for many years been an independent consultant, mainly on nuclear issues. He earlier served two terms on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The world relies too much on the indefinite continuation of the post-1945 taboo on military use of nuclear weapons. It was never a secure bar to such use, but now official statements and academic writings indicate a perceptible weakening of it. If a nuclear weapon country used its weapons in anger, anywhere, even on a relatively small scale, it would signal that nuclear war was no longer a theoretical possibility, but a reality. That realization is likely to have far-reaching political and social consequences worldwide. Yet it is hard to find any examination of what these consequences may be.
I don’t mean studies on the effects of nuclear weapons, or of a nuclear Armageddon, of which there is no lack. Anyone can access web-based graphic displays to estimate the devastation of a nuclear bomb dropping on his or her city. I have never heard of anyone moving out of one of those cities out of fear of a nuclear attack, but if a real nuclear bomb dropped somewhere, even far off, people are likely to think about it differently.