How to prevent nuclear war

Roger Fisher on how to prevent nuclear war. From Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Mar 1981.

There is a young man, probably a Navy officer, who accompanies the President. This young man has a black attache case which contains the codes that are needed to fire nuclear weapons. I could see the President at a staff meeting considering nuclear war as an abstract question. He might conclude: "On SIOP Plan One, the decision is affirmative. Communicate the Alpha line XYZ." Such jargon holds what is involved at a distance.

My suggestion was quite simple: Put that needed code number in a little capsule, and then implant that capsule right next to the heart of a volunteer. The volunteer would carry with him a big, heavy butcher knife as he accompanied the President. If ever the President wanted to fire nuclear weapons, the only way he could do so would be for him first, with his own hands, to kill one human being. The President says, "George, I'm sorry but tens of millions must die." He has to look at someone and realize what death is — what an innocent death is. Blood on the White House carpet. It's reality brought home.

When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, "My God, that's terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President's judgment. He might never push the button."
     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 09, 2015
     Category: War | Weapons | Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters | 1980s

Well, that may just work but just because getting blown to smithereens and not retaliating isn't war it also isn't what I'd call "a good idea".

Now, if we (they) had listened to Patton there may not have been a threat of nuclear war.

Anyhow, we're going to make a pact with Iran so they don't build the bomb and blow us all up so no worries.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 07/09/15 at 08:54 AM
Sounds like this was ripped right out of the "Dr. Strangelove" script.

President Merkin Muffley: I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolf Hitler!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American People than with your image in the history books.
Posted by KDP on 07/09/15 at 09:55 AM
That would NEVER work! The guy holding the codes would be ordered to kill himself or a secret service agent would be ordered to kill him.

If you really want to prevent it, put the capsule containing the codes next to the PRESIDENT'S heart and force him to sacrifice himself! That's the only way that scenario would work.
Posted by Kyle Morgan on 07/09/15 at 11:35 AM
Until the other side DOESN'T.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 07/09/15 at 12:42 PM
The danger in that plan is that there are zealots in the world who deeply believe that killing and dying for their Cause is a 'good' thing, and now they can rise to positions of power with access to nuclear weapons.
Posted by tadchem on 07/09/15 at 12:50 PM
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