background preloader

Nuclear "Close Calls"

Facebook Twitter

List of nuclear close calls - Wikipedia. The Cuban Missile Crisis – how close to nuclear war did we get? On 28 October 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis came to an end.

The Cuban Missile Crisis – how close to nuclear war did we get?

Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev announced on Radio Moscow that the USSR would be removing the nuclear missiles it had stationed on the Caribbean island of Cuba, roughly 90 miles from Florida. In the words of the then US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, "We were eyeball-to-eyeball and the other fellow just blinked. " The USA already had a fractious relationship with the island state of Cuba before the crisis. In 1961, a CIA-sponsored invasion attempt to overthrow the communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro had failed miserably in the Bay of Pigs. Castro wanted to be defended against a full-scale US invasion but Khrushchev's main reason for placing the missiles with his communist comrade was that there were American missiles stationed in Turkey, close to the USSR.

It was a game of political brinkmanship, but to this day remains the closest we have ever got to nuclear annihilation. Accidental Nuclear War: a Timeline of Close Calls - Future of Life Institute. Anthony Aguirre: Perhaps it’s breaking the rules, but I would say the constellation of incidents *around* (and including) the Cuban missile crisis — so many!

Accidental Nuclear War: a Timeline of Close Calls - Future of Life Institute

Crise de Suez de 1956. Prémices de la crise de Suez La crise de Suez est née de la rencontre de plusieurs facteurs.

Crise de Suez de 1956

Elle est déclenchée dans le contexte de la guerre froide et du rapprochement de l’Egypte avec l’Union Soviétique. Ce rapprochement est lié à la conclusion du Pacte de Bagdad en février 1955 et qui pousse l’Égypte à se tourner vers l’URSS. Les manifestations en sont les ventes d’armes effectuées par la Tchécoslovaquie. L’Égypte renforce son dispositif par la signature d’un pacte militaire en octobre 1955 entre cette dernière, la Syrie, l’Arabie Saoudite rejoints en avril 1956 par le Yémen.

Dans le même temps, dans le cadre de la mise en valeur économique du pays, Nasser souhaite construire un barrage sur le Nil, afin de réguler le fleuve. Cette nationalisation suscite les réactions occidentales et celles d’Israël. Ces dix minutes où l’humanité a frôlé la guerre nucléaire. L’explosion de Ivy Mike, la première bombe à hydrogène américaine en 1952. © Wikimedia Commons En 1967, des perturbations sur les radars américains sèment le doute.

Ces dix minutes où l’humanité a frôlé la guerre nucléaire

Une attaque des Soviétiques ? Pendant quelques minutes, le monde est à deux doigts de la destruction. Le 23 mai 1967, en pleine guerre froide, les Américains constatent une défaillance de leurs radars installés au niveau du cercle polaire. 5 Cold War Close Calls - History Lists. On October 27, 1962, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis was reaching its boiling point, an American U-2 spy plane took off from Alaska en route to a routine reconnaissance mission near the North Pole.

5 Cold War Close Calls - History Lists

Pilot Charles Maultsby was supposed to use celestial navigation to find his way, but halfway through the trip his view of the night sky became hopelessly obscured by the glow of the aurora borealis, or “northern lights.” With no visual markers to guide him, Maultsby soon drifted far off course and inadvertently crossed the border into the Soviet Union. Because the situation in Cuba still rested on a knife-edge, Maultsby’s accidental detour carried possibly catastrophic consequences. Worried the U-2 could be a nuclear bomber, the Soviets scrambled several MiG fighter jets and sent them on a course to destroy the intruding aircraft.

The Air Force responded by dispatching two F-102 fighters armed with nuclear-tipped missiles to shepherd Maultsby back to Alaska. On September 26, 1983, Lt. Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew. The proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used – accidentally or by decision – defies credibility”.

Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew

This unanimous statement was published by the Canberra Commission in 1996. Among the commission members were internationally known former ministers of defense and of foreign affairs and generals. 13 times the world came close to firing nuclear weapons. Since the first nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki bringing an end to the Second World War, the world has been bracing itself for a devastating reoccurrence.

13 times the world came close to firing nuclear weapons

Theresa May will take a chilling nuclear decision today as she’s sworn in But while we have successfully avoided blowing ourselves to oblivion in the intervening years, there have been moments when it has been extremely close. In a study on cases of near nuclear use, Catham House highlighted 13 occasions when the button was almost pressed. Escalation of conflict is the most common cause but more alarmingly there have been occasions when miscommunication, technical error or a faulty computer chip could have led to nuclear disaster.

Reason: Miscommunication Operation Anadyr was the Soviet mission to deploy ballistic missiles, medium-range bombers and thousands of personnel in Cuba, in what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. 7 Close Calls in the Nuclear Age. Here's a formula for fun: Arm two superpowers to the teeth with thousands of nuclear warheads.

7 Close Calls in the Nuclear Age

Make sure they are deeply hostile and suspicious of each other. Now, cut off diplomatic communication, stir in about 50 smaller countries with their own agendas on each side, and you've got yourself a cold war! 1. 5 Frightening Nuclear Weapons Close-calls. When working to eliminate nuclear weapons is your day job, you often hear frightening accounts of nuclear accidents, malfunctions and mishaps.

5 Frightening Nuclear Weapons Close-calls

So in the Halloween tradition of scary storytelling, here are five close calls from the past 50 years -- because nothing is scarier than living in a world with over 15,000 nuclear weapons. 1. The 3AM Phone Call One of the most notorious close calls happened on November 9, 1979. U.S. As Brzezinski prepared to phone President Jimmy Carter to plan a full-scale response, he received a third call: It was a false alarm. Imagine what might have happened had the mistake not been caught in time... 2. Okay, we've cheated a bit. Elsewhere, the Soviets dispatched MiG fighters to shoot down a U.S. spy plane that had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Soviet airspace. Meanwhile, U.S. destroyers used depth charges to force a Soviet submarine to the surface. 3. #facepalm 4. Close calls: We were closer to nuclear destruction than we knew.

“The proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used — accidentally or by decision — defies credibility” This unanimous statement was published by the Canberra Commission in 1996.

Close calls: We were closer to nuclear destruction than we knew.

Among the commission members were internationally known former ministers of defense and of foreign affairs and generals. The nuclear-weapon states do not intend to abolish their nuclear weapons.