How to Find a Missing H-Bomb
This story originally appeared on April 20, 2015. When a routine Cold War operation went terribly wrong, two planes and seven men died, a village got contaminated and a hydrogen bomb disappeared. The search and cleanup required 1,400 American and Spanish personnel, a dozen aircraft, 27 U.S. Navy ships... Read more
This Is How the World Could Have Ended
This story first appeared on Jan. 14, 2014. This is a plan for the end of the world, dated 1970. The arrows are armies and the red vertical symbols are nuclear bombs, all part of a part of Cold War contingency plan crafted by the Soviet Union and its... Read more
Those Who Witnessed Castle Bravo Looked Into Armageddon
This story originally appeared on Feb. 28, 2015. More than 60 years ago on an island in the South Pacific, scientists and military officers, fishermen and Marshall Islands natives observed first-hand what Armageddon would be like. And it almost killed them all. The Atomic Energy Commission code-named the nuclear... Read more
Dr. Strangelove in the Pentagon
If you’re having trouble sleeping thanks to, well, you know who … you’re not alone. But don’t despair. A breakthrough remedy has just gone on the market. It has no chemically induced side effects and, best of all, will cost you nothing, thanks to the Department of Defense. It’s... Read more
Making Nuclear Weapons Usable Again
Maybe you thought America’s nuclear arsenal, with its thousands of city-busting, potentially civilization-destroying thermonuclear warheads, was plenty big enough to deter any imaginable adversary from attacking the United States with nukes of their own. Well, it turns out you were wrong. The Pentagon has been fretting that the arsenal... Read more
When to Shoot a Nuclear Bomb With Your Gun
This story originally appeared on Jan. 30, 2015. The year is 1960 and a congressional delegation is touring military bases in Western Europe to evaluate custody and safety issues associated with U.S. nuclear weapons. With the delegation is a scientist named Harold Agnew—and he’s not just another congressional staffer.... Read more
Massive Overkill

Massive Overkill

WIB politics November 15, 2017

This piece has been updated and adapted from William Hartung’s “Nuclear Politics,” in Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation, edited by Helen Caldicott and published by New Press. Until recently, few of us woke up worrying about the threat of nuclear war. Such dangers seemed like Cold... Read more
The Man Who Wanted to Nuke a Hurricane
This story originally appeared on Aug. 19, 2015. There are few natural forces that kill so many and cost so much as the hurricane. Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,500 people and Hurricane Sandy flooded lower Manhattan. Neither New Orleans nor New York City have completely recovered. We can’t... Read more
In 1990, the U.S. Government Accidentally Gave Up a Nuclear Secret
In mid-February 2016, the U.S. government finally admitted what observers had long known — that the Pentagon stashed atomic weapons on the Japanese island of Okinawa during the Cold War. This despite repeated official denials and Tokyo’s long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons. The National Security Archive at George Washington... Read more
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