My feeling is, as a child of the cold war, you know the one that was told that to survive a nuclear attack all I had to do was "duck and cover", is that then, as compared to now, we knew who our enemies were, where they were, who else might be sympathetic to them, and we could prepare for the worst. I remember being eight years old and worrying about noises in the skies, actually planes on their approach to Kennedy International Airport, that these were missiles flying through the skies to rain fire and death upon New York City.
Yes, even when I was a young boy, the early to mid sixties, we knew it was not a matter of if New York City would be attacked, but when. We knew who would attack it, how the weapons would be delivered, and what our response would be. They knew too-a complete retaliatory strike that probably would have destroyed the world as we know it. MAD-Mutual Assured Destruction.
It worked. Although on several occasions we came to the brink of atomic war, the Cuban missile crisis comes to mind, The United States of America and The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics, never fired a shot at each other. We lived our lives under a giant sword of Damocles . A sharp, two sided sword that cut both ways-devastating, not survivable.
The plan is simple. At last count, but then who is counting, the USA has approximately fifty seven hundred and thirty six active nuclear weapons in our current arsenal. We have approximately thirty six hundred and thirty seven weapons in part of our responsive force-In essence a screwdriver turn away from becoming fully operational. Ninety nine hundred and sixty two weapons in all. Our current active mega tonnage is twenty three hundred and thirty, as compared to our all time high in 1960 of twenty thousand four hundred and ninety one. In 1991, at the end of the cold war, our arsenal was down to twenty three thousand as compared to an all time high of seventy thousand nuclear weapons. ( I do not want to go into what the other nuclear powers claim to have or have not. Israel for example, has at estimate, four hundred nuclear weapons, just a screwdriver turn away from becoming operational. India, Pakistan, North Korea, China, Russia and it's surviving satellites, Britain, France and soon Iran.)
"The Plan"-Arm everyone. Give Iran a 1 kiloton nuclear weapon. Give North Korea a 1 kiloton nuclear weapon. Give Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia et al, a one 1 kiloton old technology atomic weapon. The nuclear genie has been out of the bottle for over sixty years, high school kids write their senior papers on it off information freely available over the internet-GIVE it away. With the understanding that if they use it except for self defense, the retaliation will be complete. And then move on to feeding the poor, discovering a cure for cancer, finding a cure for AIDS.
Crazy reasoning huh? The understanding must also include that if a country that accepts this "gift", has the responsibility of maintaining and safeguarding it. Everyone, including the citizens of that particular country, need to know that if a closely monitored weapon such as this, disappears and is used, they will face complete annihilation. So everyone will keep close tabs on the "treasure" they so desperately want.
As a matter of record, Israel developed their atomic program under the guise of peaceful nuclear electricity generation in the 1960's . Iran should realize that if they launched an attack on Israel, Iran would cease to exist. MAD.
Getting back to our current threat. We do not know how a terrorist organization will attack us again. There is no doubt they will-just a matter of time. Perhaps they will radiationalize our food supply so we can die like the former Russian KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, or biologically. Or perhaps a backpack atomic bomb.
But try strapping a four ton atomic weapon to your back.