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Theodore Postol: ‘Atomic Armageddon Is Just 30 Minutes Away’

Dec. 7, 2015 (EIRNS)—Theodore "Ted" Postol, MIT Professor, nuclear weapons expert and former advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, was interviewed by Sophie Shevardnadze on RT today, presenting the most devastating warning to date from official layers that Obama is taking us recklessly towards a nuclear war with Russia.b

Postal said that Obama was expanding the nuclear arsenal, surrounding Russia with threatening ABM systems, and, although he says a nuclear war would could only happen "accidentally," he makes clear that it is being set up intentionally by Obama.

Postol says:

"I do think that an accidental nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia is possible ..., I do think we are in danger....

"The problem is that as long as forces are on alert, at a high level, there’s always the possibility of a series of unexpected accidents that could lead to nuclear exchange, and I think, that’s the real danger. I think, anybody who is rational and understands pretty much, in a dim way, the consequences of nuclear weapons, would not rationally use nuclear weapons. The problem is that if you have a crisis situation when one or both sides have no understanding of what is actually happening on the other side, and people are exhausted because it was going on over time, and somebody makes a bad decision with incomplete information, which is almost certainly what happens in the real world—information is never complete—you could have a massive use of nuclear weapons, and that, of course, would end civilization as we know it and might, although we can’t be sure, but might actually end human life on the planet."

Implied, of course, is that the current Commander in Chief, who is far from "rational," could indeed launch such a war.

He points out that the launch-on-warning system in place today means that missiles can be launched within 40-60 seconds. Postol gives "10 or 15 minutes" for the President and the military leaders to assess a warning of a launch by Russia and push the button, about five minutes of powered flight before the missiles releases their warheads, and another 20-28 minutes to target. One bomb, more than 100 times the power of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, would wipe out most of New York or Moscow, Postol says—and of course there would be several bombs targeting each.

Postol worries that the forces controlling the U.S. nuclear arsenal are suffering from a "catastrophic falling of morale," that the weapons are not well maintained, and that some of the computers are 40 or 50 years old.

Postal writes that one of the few ongoing efforts to modernize the computer system—to be able to more rapidly find other targets for Minuteman missiles while the first round is flying—is very dangerous, since

"to Russian military planners, it looks like you’re trying to prepare to fight and win a nuclear war against Russia."

Without naming the "Prompt Global Strike" or "Air-Sea Battle" first strike policies now in play under Obama, Postol says:

"Of course, it’s not possible to win a nuclear war.... The problem is, if you have another adversary, you’re a military person, you’re evaluating the actions of the other adversary, and you see the adversary doing things that look like they believe that they can fight and win ..., it raises concerns that they might actually believe that, or in a crisis might actuallity exercise options created by these technical changes."

On Obama ordering 40 new ballistic missiles to the arsenal, Postol says there is no technical justification,

"but I can see how the political leadership in Russia believes that it has to respond to what it sees as America’s continued encroachment and planning to intimidate."

On the continued expansion of missile defense, Postol said that "I think the President has not behaved, has not shown leadership in this particular area.... The Russian military have to understand that the American missile defense is not viable—that’s to say, it does not have any capability ..., it’s a technical joke in terms of what it can do—but the Russian military has almost no choice but to treat it as if it is a serious concern."