Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nuclear Shrinkage

On the campaign trail, President Obama promised to reform America's nuclear weapons programs with the ultimate goal of drastically reducing worldwide nuclear stockpiles. And unlike some of his other promises (closing Gitmo, letting gay soldiers not live a lie, allowing me to touch his beautiful abs just one more time), he seems to be hell-bent on keeping this one. The last couple of weeks have seen a new nonproliferation treaty with Russia, and the White House just announced new defense guidelines that limit the U.S.'s usage of nuclear weapons in retaliatory strikes. Specifically, we're no longer allowed to nuke the everloving shit out of non-nuclear countries in compliance with the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if those countries attack America with biological weapons. According to Obama, we live in a new age where huge nuclear stockpiles are an anachronism considering our greatest threats aren't massive national military forces so much as cave-dwelling psychopaths with expense accounts. However, our new policy does leave a loophole when dealing with Iran or North Korea. Because, you know, they're fucking crazy. And personally, I'm glad Obama's on the nonproliferation track. Though this means hack science fiction writers are going to have to get creative for their post-apocalypse scenarios. Instead of a nuclear wasteland, maybe our Mad Max protagonists can stoically make their way through a barren world that suddenly ran out of Wendy's Baconators? I don't know. There's got to be some kind of horrible thing that could kill us in droves. More details here.