James R. Slater
To the editor:
In 1945, America was the country that first let the genie out of the bottle. This event led to the end the second world war, and left America supreme over other nations on this planet militarily. The fateful event was the detonation of a nuclear device.
Since then, a number of other countries have done the same, even those who say they haven’t. The weapons got bigger in yield, but became smaller later as better delivery systems were developed.
In earlier wars, the politicians and military leaders could stand back and direct the battles in relatively safe areas, but Genie changed all of that. From all of this was born Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). You hit us, and we’ll hit you. Everyone loses. Safe areas ceased to exist.
Since the late 1960s, the safety margins politicians and military leaders had in the past, were gone. Genie made the whole world a potential battlefield, sparing no one from its deadly force.
For almost 70 years, this world has seen no world wars. We’ve been close a couple of times, but Genie made the human race think more than once before launching its missiles and bombers.
There are people who want to try and put Genie back into the bottle. The gains from this would be monumental. No chance of vaporized cities, billions of people won’t die, and the planet earth will not suffer a nuclear winter. On the other hand, politicians and military leaders will rediscover that WAR, without the Genie, is now a survivable thing — there will be safe areas to plan and plot.
So, how badly do we want to try and put the Genie back into the bottle?