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Nuclear Accountability

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Magazine Article - Technology Review

Nuclear Accountability

Scenario one: If North Korea fired a nuclear-armed missile that devastated an American city, how would the U.S. government respond? The state-sponsored attack would fit within the Cold War paradigm; therefore, the certain American response would be an overwhelming retaliation aimed at destroying Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il's nuclear and missile programs, and North Korea's million-man army. Such a response would result in enormous collateral damage, killing millions of North Koreans. Despite reservations about the morality of such a response, those who established the Cold War nuclear doctrine recognized -- and accepted -- the unintended deaths of millions of innocents. Whoever occupied the White House during such a nuclear attack would understand this also.