concerned veterans for america

Nuclear danger

There are a lot of reasons why it’s in everyone’s best interest for most countries not to have nuclear weapons. This story is one example. On 25 Jan 1995, Russia’s early-warning defense radar detected an unexpected missile launch near Norway, and Russian military command estimates the missile to be only minutes from impact on Moscow. Moments later, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, his defense minister, and his chief of staff were informed of the missile launch. The nuclear command systems switched to combat mode, and the nuclear suitcases carried by Yeltsin and his top commander were activated for the first time in the history of the Soviet-made weapons system. Five minutes after the launch detection, Russian command determined that the missile’s impact point would be outside Russia’s borders. Three more minutes passed, and Yeltsin was informed that the launching was likely not part of a surprise nuclear strike by Western nuclear submarines.
These conclusions came minutes before Yeltsin and his commanders should have ordered a nuclear response based on standard launch on warning protocols. Later, it was revealed that the missile, launched from Spitzbergen, Norway, was actually carrying instruments for scientific measurements. Nine days before, Norway had notified 35 countries, including Russia, of the exact details of the planned launch. The Russian Defense Ministry had received Norway’s announcement but had neglected to inform the on-duty personnel at the early-warning center of the imminent launch. The event raised serious concerns about the quality of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear systems.

Join the discussion

Further reading

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for February

Troops, your viewing assignment for February is to watch the short film Alternative Math. A well-meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post...

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for January

Troops, your viewing assignment for the month of January is to watch Cape May County. Johnnie Walker retired in Cape May County, a lifelong dream...

Get Denny's Newsletter

Receive news and updates from Denny