September 29, 2006

Russian Nukes for Sale, Terrorists Inquire Within

On September 26, 2006, is a day that you should learn about. Had the judgement of one man failed, the world as we know it would no longer exist. In fact, the world as we know it would consist of the smoldering nuclear ashes of the US and the Soviet Union. That man was Stanislav Petrov, and he stopped a nuclear retaliation against a faulty warning by the USSR’s computer systems. Unfortunately, if our current policy towards former Russian nuclear scientists continue, no one man will be able to stop nuclear destruction.

The problem is that since that day onwards, the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. However, their nuclear arsenal, still ready to be used at a moment’s notice and powerful enough to wipe cities off the map, are readily available. Compounding the problem of shoddy security, corruption, and the general unworthy character of the Russians is the fact that Russian nuclear scientists are unemployed and willing to work for very low pay. How low? Al Qaeda could afford to hire them.

Now, it doesn’t take a genuis to realize that starving Russian nuclear specialists + terrorists with money = nuclear terrorists. Clearly then, since a nuclear program by a terrorist organization would be catastrophic, the United States, in its vaulted war on terror, would be working to stop these Russian scientists from not having work? Not anymore. Now with no program in place to hire former Soviet scientists, their knowledge goes to the top bidder, and despite the elapsed time, Soviet nuclear technology is still as potent as it once was.

What I’m saying is this: that the if Russian scientists are not given employment, they will do anything to get money to feed their families and themselves. People are willing to survive no matter what the cost, even if it means giving terrorists the technology to make 9/11 look like a game of paintball. What I ask, then, is that you never cease to remember that should effort be made to contain this threat the world will literally end.

This isn’t hard to do. It’d take less money than funding the Iraq War and does more to make the world safer. So why aren’t we doing it?

Alex Zhao is foxchasefive’s self-appointed expert on nuclear proliferation.

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