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Dark Clouds are Looming Over Us...

A Harvard professor has warned that the world is dangerously close to nuclear war at a time when leading experts key to preventing such conflicts are "aging".

Izvor: Njuzvik

Dark Clouds are Looming Over Us...
Shutterstock/inv.amin baktash


At the same time, he asked the leaders to urgently seek help from the new generation of scientists and engineers.

Matthew Bunn, a professor of energy, national security, and foreign policy, said "The risk of nuclear war has not been this high since the Cuban Missile Crisis" in 1962.

"Dark clouds loom on the nuclear horizon, with threats from all directions," he wrote in an editorial for the scientific journal Science, published Thursday. "The world may soon face an unlimited arms race for the first time in more than five decades, and a more complex one involving more countries and more technologies," he wrote, as reported by Newsweek.

In his editorial, Boone warned that the 2010 New START treaty is the last remaining agreement limiting the nuclear forces of the US and Russia, but it expires in 2026, with Russia blocking required inspections and no new talks underway.

He noted that the global landscape is marked by heightened nuclear tensions, including Russia's nuclear threats in the conflict in Ukraine, China's construction of numerous missile silos, North Korea's missile testing, the ongoing nuclear rivalry between India and Pakistan, and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

In response to these events, US policymakers are considering a potential increase in nuclear weapons. In addition, advances in technologies such as hypersonic missiles and artificial intelligence are further destabilizing the military balance, according to Boone.

It is recalled that as of 2024, there are more than 12,000 nuclear warheads around the world.

"The United States, Russia and China must find ways to build predictability, reduce hostility and avoid the dangers and costs of unbridled competition," he added. "All three sides need to end their reliance on the 'launch on warning' policy and withdraw their missiles from standby mode so that decisions about the life or death of millions of human beings do not have to be made in minutes," Boone said.

Boone also suggests that initial steps should focus on reducing US tensions with China, Russia and North Korea, as well as establishing communication and risk mitigation measures.

"Governments need the help of scientists and engineers both in understanding the dangers that nuclear weapons continue to pose and in finding ways to reduce them. Those who did much of this work are aging. A new generation of scientists and engineers, working across national borders, can help," Boone said.

Other experts in the field agree with Boone, such as Becky Alexis-Martin, a lecturer in Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford in the UK, who said there is indeed a real risk of nuclear war.

Robert M. Dover, a professor of intelligence and national security at Britain's University of Hull, told Newsweek that Boone failed to mention one key step.

"As conventional forces are reduced, the escalation ladder is shorter, and the danger is greater," Dover said. "Similarly, many commentators argue the remoteness of the threat because it represents a suicide pact, but that relies on the quality of official indoctrination in the use of these technologies and threat mitigation," he said.


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