Monday, November 26, 2012

Worse Than an Economic Collapse: Nuclear War and Dark Ages

This article was first published on Al Fin blog

A post-nuclear war collapse of civilisation and dark ages, perhaps?

We are entering a new nuclear age -- alien to previous thinking. Smaller and smaller states are aspiring to join the nuclear club. And at least some of these new players intend to use their new toys.
World map with nuclear weapons development statusrepresented by color.
  Five "nuclear weapons states" from the NPT
  Other states known to possess nuclear weapons
  States formerly possessing nuclear weapons
  States suspected of being in the process of developing nuclear weapons and/or nuclear programs
  States which at one point had nuclear weapons and/or nuclear weapons research programs
  States that possess nuclear weapons, but have not widely adopted them
Nuclear weapons are being acquired and built by more and more nations around the world. And it is the nature of modern nuclear proliferation that almost guarantees that nuclear weapons will be used in the future.

India vs. Pakistan. North Korea vs. South Korea or Japan. Iran vs. Israel. Saudi Arabia vs. Iran. And so on, as the wheel of proliferation rolls on and on -- with the cheerful assistance of Russia (and China), and the complaisant indifference of Obama's US.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s -- and with the ongoing collapse of Russia -- there is the promise of a huge nuclear arsenal with global reach coming onto world arms markets. Massive corruption infests every part of Russia's government and military -- everything is up for grabs, if the price is right. Suddenly nations do not have to develop and build their own nuclear weapons -- they can buy them or trade gold, diamonds, or other goodies.

The United Nations is certainly a failure, in terms of controlling global conflict. Given the utter corruption of the UN, that may be for the best.

China and Russia have shown no indication of wanting to step in to promote stability -- as opposed to their traditional role of fomenting instability. And as the ability and the will of the USA to block nuclear proliferation becomes blunted by America's own growing internal corruption, international incompetence, and domestic dysfunction, the nuclear aspirants of the emerging and third worlds will come out to play.

Once the US made the decision to allow itself to grow weaker internationally -- from 2009 onward and now at a more rapid pace -- any future threats of US intervention to prevent nuclear proliferation will likely be ignored. And if the US becomes too insistent on enforcing non-proliferation treaties, the ability to unleash an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to disable the US (causing up to 90% US population casualties over one year) is coming within the easy reach of more and more of the US' enemies.

America was stunned after 9/11, with the loss of thousands of lives. New Orleans was knocked into pathetic helplessness by a tropical hurricane, and much of New York City was thrown into the dark, with rampant looting and lawlessness -- by a relatively small and transient tidal surge.

If the US power grid is knocked down by a large scale EMP attack, it would require several months at the least to restore full power. During that time, millions would die, and the US as a whole (and much of Canada) would be essentially paralysed.

And what would be happening outside North America all this time? Nothing good. With the removal of the moderating influence of the US, simmering hatreds and antagonisms would flare wildly. Europe itself would likely be the recipient of either EMP attacks or worse.

Within the dark zones, ethnic - religious - and cultural violence would ignite and spread. In the lieu of prompt intervention by well armed and organised forces, a flood of violent anarchy would flow like a bloody river.

Modern civilised people have no internal gauge or sense by which they can measure the true impact of such swiftly spreading chaotic events. And so they instinctively dismiss the possibility as absurd and impossible.

But a US growing rapidly weak and wobbly, combined with an increasingly bold and belligerent China -- and a Russia growing more desperate as it sees its future unfolding before it -- this particular evolution of the great nuclear powers along with a nuclear proliferation in the Muslim world, the third world, and the emerging world, could quickly convert the "inconceivable" into the present reality.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

And keep in mind that even the best armed and prepped personal, family, or community survival compound would be quickly overrun and destroyed by just a moderate-sized unit of the Los Zetas drug cartel para-military organisation, or the equivalent. Best think very deeply when you think "preparation," and keep your assets concealed.

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