So after I posted my thought experiment strictly on the idea of using nukes to retaliate against nuclear first strikes, I had a lot of backlash. Mostly that aimed towards the deterrence argument, despite me very plainly saying that the experiment was not about this. One such outburst from someone I can only describe as “incapable” has been the inspiration for this post.
He posted a quote to defend the idea of deterrence. Here it is;
This quote right here has got me thinking an awful lot. Not because its deep or clever or even correct, but because I don’t believe that the world has constantly got guns pointed at each other’s heads, while they squint and say “Go ahead, make my day”.
I don’t know a single person who wants to fire a nuke at another country, and so the ‘deterrents’ of other countries aren’t the only thing stopping them from wanting that. There’s a lot more than the threat of nuclear annihilation stopping us from committing these kind of atrocities. Rightly so I say, if we actually lived in a world where the only way we could get by and survive is to threaten to take anyone and everyone out with us when we go – then we wouldn’t actually feel safe at all. But we do feel safe, and it’s not because of a deterrent, it’s because we have no reason to fear nuclear attacks against our country regardless of our own capabilities to strike back.
Yes, Trident may have been functioning as a deterrent for 50+ years, but unless it’s literally the only thing stopping us from imminent nuclear annihilation, then it isn’t our only option. We have good ties with the rest of the world, and holding knives at each other’s throats waiting for the slightest sensation of a slice isn’t anyway to improve them. Disarmament could mean stronger relationships and foster less mistrust between nations, meaning there will be even less reason for nuclear deterrents.
So there you go Jim, I addressed the idea of nuclear deterrence, just for you buddy.