Fear: Nuke Treaty Dies, USA, France, Russia Test Nuke Capable Missiles Within Hours of One Another
Your editor is a child of The Cold War. I grew up on naval bases with a father who was a naval officer. By the time I was 8 or so, and likely before that, I was fully cognizant of the nuclear threat to the world. I remember talking with friends about the fact that we were actually pretty lucky because in the event of a strike from the Soviet Union, given our proximity to many military bases, we'd likely experience little more than a flash of light before being vaporized. Better to go quick than to suffer through the aftermath of fallout and God only knows what else. It was a pretty macabre way to enter adolescence.
Then the Soviet Union imploded and I was overjoyed. The whole western world was. It was as if a massive burden had been lifted from all of our backs collectively. Though the nukes were still there sitting in their silos there seemed much less reason for them. Communism had been defeated. Peace seemed the way forward, at least for a good stretch. And that was the case. Let us hope it remains the case. War is hell. Nuclear war is, well, it's hard to even contemplate.
First, the French military said Tuesday that its air force conducted a rare test Monday of the nuclear-capable medium-range air-to-surface missile (ASMP). The U.S. then fired a nuclear-capable Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) later Tuesday night in local time and, about an hour and a half later, the Russian armed forces fired a nuclear-capable RS-24 Yars ICBM.
Though none of the tests were said to have been equipped with nuclear warheads and all were likely scheduled far ahead of time, they came at a period of major uncertainty as key nonproliferation agreements were dismantled.