Archive for February 13, 2014

COMMAND AND CONTROL by ERIC SCHLOSSER

Having just completed reading the above book, I’m consumed by memories which I’ll discuss later in this piece.

This work deals with the birth of the nuclear weapon and its subsequent proliferation in both this country and others.  I found the early proliferation of these weapons in the U.S. to be extremely interesting.  One of the aspects at the beginning of deployment was which agency should control them, the military or the government.  The safety of these weapons is also discussed in detail along with the measures necessary in handling these weapons is covered in depth.  After reading this book, one wonders how some of the newly emerging nuclear powers, North Korea and Pakistan for instance, safeguards and controls their arsenal.  Having these weapons, they may be prone to blowing themselves up rather than their enemies.

Past accidents with nuclear weapons are also discussed.  To say we have been lucky thus far is to put it mildly.

The memories stirred by this work were the result of one accident the book follows in great detail.  That accident was the explosive destruction of a Titan II missile complex located near Little Rock, Arkansas in 1980.  My interest was due to the fact I served, from 1970 to 1973, as first a deputy commander and then commander of a Titan II missile complex outside of Wichita, Kansas.

For three years, every three or four days I would pull 24 hour alerts.  I knew the layout of the complex and the hazards involved and that’s why reading this book induced a flood of memories.

I highly recommend this book.  It is an outstanding history of the safety and development of nuclear weapons.

February 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment


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