PODCAST UPDATE: Are we safer now from nuclear war than we were after 1945? – Buchanan and Manning

Trinity Detonation T&B. Manhattan Project, 1945.

In this the eighth episode of A View from Afar for 2023, political scientist Dr Paul Buchanan and Selwyn Manning examine the risks of a 21st century nuclear war.

The movie Oppenheimer has renewed interest in the dawn of the nuclear era. Almost 80 years later, are we safer from nuclear war than we were in the years immediately after 1945?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock hand to 90 seconds before midnight, the highest threat level since the Cuban Missile Crisis.What does that say about contemporary international security affairs?

No new nuclear arms limitation agreements have been signed in over a decade, several have lapsed and most nuclear armed countries are not signatories to them anyway.

Countries like China are rapidly expanding their arsenals and others like North Korea and Iran are seeking to join the nuclear armed club.

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Has nuclear arms control failed?

What is the future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Although conventions against the use of chemical and biological weapons are widely recognised, violations of the prohibitions have occurred regularly, most recently in Syria. Weapons like white phosphorus and cluster munitions continue to be used by many states.

The Questions include:

  • Has non-nuclear arms control failed as well?
  • Russia’s Putin Regime has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine and NATO. Is the nuclear genie about to come out of the bottle, even in a tactical use?
  • Are we seeing the return of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)?
  • Are we on the brink of Oppenheimer’s nightmare: nuclear Armageddon?
  • And importantly, what are the solutions to this most serious and dangerous threat?


Paul and Selwyn encourage their live audience to interact while they are live with questions and comments.

To interact during the live recording of this podcast, go to Youtube.com/c/EveningReport/

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For the on-demand audience, you can also keep the conversation going on this debate by clicking on one of the social media channels below:

RECOGNITION: The MIL Network’s podcast A View from Afar was Nominated as a Top Defence Security Podcast by Threat.Technology – a London-based cyber security news publication. Threat.Technology placed A View from Afar at 9th in its 20 Best Defence Security Podcasts of 2021 category.

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  1. The US is pushing the world to nuclear armageddon. Putin in a speech before the overthrow of the elected govt of Ukraine in 2014 said that the west meaning the US is accelerating a nuclear catastrophe by interceding and usurping nations sovereignties.

    He outline the measures that Russia is taking to defend its borders and revealed weapons capabilities that the west meaning the US can’t stop and wanted talks to stop nuclear proliferation. However the US refuse and cancelled its short range nuclear treaty with Russia.

  2. I’m a huge fan of the drug, Ecstasy. Here’s why.
    Also: Netflix
    I think kids flagged for psychopathy at school should be given a junior dose at 10 years old. Yea, I’m fucking serious! Because in twenty years time the little shits will be unbridled thirty year old psychopaths often found holding positions of power enabled by wealth and some of whom will want to get their little dicks out and spurt up a bomb just to impress scary mommy and absent daddy.
    Wanting to create a weapon like that, much less to use it within the atmosphere of our only biosphere is beyond my comprehension of psychopathic insanity, I dunno about you lot.
    So, nip risky nippers in the bud and love them up.
    Back in the Golden Days of well before the Christchurch Earthquake’s I was given several little yellow pills with, if I remember correctly, a flower stamped into them. I was schooled in what to expect during the initial blow-up phase as my dear friend at the time kept an eye on me as I reached a new level of emotional clarity founded upon pure joy. That experience of euphoria enabled me to move amongst my brothers, sisters and no doubt well camoflagued aliens at the music venue we went to in joyous, peaceful harmony but most importantly, with a sober clarity. Igniting a nuclear weapon to vaporise microbiomes, plants, animals and human beings could not be done when [enabled] by such a thing as a God-Drug like Ecstasy and I’m no God botherer.
    After that experience I came to the realisation that we lot, us humans and wee beasties, are being governed by morons and sadists. To not allow us free access to what ever we want to take but most importantly to KNOW what we’re taking is a crime against humanity for the profits of psychopaths. Think Big tobacco, Big breweries and Big sugar.
    A-Bombs are psycho jizz and that should terrify us all.

  3. Nobody has ever ‘uninvented’ a weapon and the best that the non-proliferation treaty can do is slow down the inevitable. The technology is now nearly 80 years old and well within the reach of many minor nations should they wish to take that route.

    Contrary to what Stephen is claiming, Ukraine is an example of how the LACK of a nuclear weapon made Ukraine weak and vulnerable to invasion. With hindsight Ukraine was naive to allow its weapons stockpile to be destroyed.

    • It didnt have its conventional weapon stockpile destroyed, and it never had nukes.It had the missiles installed, but Russia retained the nuclear codes.Russia was the successor state of the Soviet Union, so it was in charge of the nuclear arms which were returned to its territory.
      Heaven help us if a corrupt country like Ukraine had been allowed to develop its own nuclear program.

  4. The most dangerous time for humanity was between 1945, and 1948, closely followed by 1948-1955.

    It is well-documented that under plans like Operation Dropshot, the American monsters planned to launch a nuclear first strike to annihilate the Russian people, because of the hatred that their bosses had for Slavic people. They launched a crash program to build enough nukes to allow them to destroy the Soviet industrial base. Only the production of a significant number of nuclear weapons, in excess of those that the Americans could readily destroy, prevented this.

  5. There is no such weapon called a tactical nuclear bomb. All nuclear bombs are of equal status as last resort weapons of mass destruction.

    The Russians will not drop any nuclear weapon for the retaliation in the first instant will be a total nuclear strike on the two targets the Russians cannot afford to loose. St Petersburg and Moscow.

    Those 16 USA, 6 British and 3 French nuclear armed submarines in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, equipped with more than 10 missiles each, will send a wave of nuclear destruction on those two cities.

    Air defense will not be enough as only one missile needs to get through to each target. Judging by the lack of air defenses to stop drone attacks, the Russians will not stop the first barrage. Second barrage from strike aircraft from NATO air bases will ensure not much of central Moscow or St Peterburg remains standing.

    Even if the Russians gambled and carry out total nuclear warfare on Europe and the USA, they will not survive the retaliation. Or as Kennedy so aptly said “We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of a worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth — but neither shall we shrink from that risk any time it must be faced.”

    No commentators seems to mention the Budapest Memorandum. Worth discussing?


  6. Ah yes the Budapest memorandum…non binding ..as Belarus came to find in 2013 when the US broke the conditions by laying sanctions on Belarus as a means to meddle in the internal affairs of Belarus.
    The US also breached it when interfering mightily in the internal politics of Ukraine in 2014.

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