Experts: Nuclear War Risk Rising
On Sunday, Nov. 28, Californians watched with bemusement and in some cases alarm as a bright light moved across the sky. It wasn't a UFO. It was a U.S. Navy Trident ballistic missile.
It was, of course, just a test — the first of two in three days. They coincided with tough talk from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who earlier that month had criticized Russia for engaging in "challenging activities" at sea and air, in space and cyberspace. Days earlier, he had been in the South China Sea aboard an aircraft carrier, sending a similarly robust message to China about its actions in the disputed region.
I was eight years old when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. No sooner had I become even barely aware of the threat of nuclear war than it was gone, apparently forever.
Now, however, it has quietly returned.
The Project for Study of the 21st Century recently published its survey of major conflict risk. Over six months, we polled 50 national security experts on the risk of a variety of potential wars.The results make interesting reading. The most striking thing, though, is not the numbers themselves — it is the fact that there now seem to be multiple potential routes to a variety of potentially devastating state-on-state wars.