The Possibility of Nuclear War Should Inform Your Vote

George F. Will on what Annie Jacobsen's new book teaches us
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2024 12:50 PM CDT
The Possibility of Nuclear War Should Inform Your Vote
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George F. Will has read Annie Jacobsen's new book—Nuclear War: A Scenario—so you don't have to. But his top-level summary of it does leave you with an ask: Think carefully about who you vote to put in the White House this November. (You might also end up inclined to grab a copy of the book, which sounds terrifyingly interesting.) In the scenario Jacobsen lays out, North Korea launches a single nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile at the Pentagon, and civilization is all but done for in two hours, explains Will at the Washington Post.

Will shares shudder-worthy details as penned by Jacobsen: heat so potent metal liquefies; winds stronger than those of a hurricane; swarms of disease-ridden mosquitoes that take over with no birds left to rein them in. Jacobsen cites 1983 nuclear-themed war games ordered by President Reagan that, over the course of two weeks, determined that every single scenario ended with at least 500 million people dead. "There is no such thing as de-escalation," she writes. Which leaves us with this, from Will: "Everything—everything—depends on deterrence holding, forever." Jacobsen makes a powerful case that "humanity's survival depends on statesmanship and luck—as much the latter as the former," writes Will. "Remember that on Nov. 5." (Read his full column here.)

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