Fear of Nuclear Winter –Diaries from The Past

More than two decades ago, the World went into deep shock when Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that previous day he had activated his “Cheget” (Nuclear Briefcase). This was one of the most dangerous nuclear moment in the post-cold war world. On 25 January 1995, Russian radar systems detected a fast-moving incoming missile to Russia. Their missile trajectory seemed to be carrying it towards Moscow. President Boris Yeltsin had his nuclear briefcase in his hands in minutes, and Russian nuclear troops were placed on high alert. Russian military authorities have an obligation to initiate a missile attack within 10 minutes of the permission of political authorities in case of a possible nuclear threat on Russia. Eight minutes after the alarm was first sounded, the incoming object fell into the seas. It was decided to avert the conduct a retaliation nuclear strike. Later it was discovered that the moving object was a Norwegian-U.S. joint research rocket, Black Brant XII, which was launched to study the Northern lights. The Russian government had been informed of the launch weeks before, but no one had informed the radar team.

Kargil war  the sole instance of direct, conventional warfare between two nuclear states (Pakistan and India) . In early May 1999, Pakistani troops—disguised as Kashmiri militants infiltrated on the Indian side of the LoC and seized Kargil. The disaster unfolded quickly. Pakistani army officer summoned US Ambassador, William Bryant Milam to a meeting in Islamabad and admitted the Kargil attackers were regular Pakistani army troops in disguise. Stunned Bill Millam, sent cables to Washington, reporting that Pakistan had started a war. According to Bruce Riedel in his book Avoiding Armageddon, President Clinton urged Sharif to pull back and sent the commander of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), General Anthony Zinni to Islamabad with the message. Panicked, Mr Nawaz Sharif, tried to seek support from Beijing. Beijing received him in late June but did not supported. Sharif called the White House and requested an emergency meeting with Clinton in Washington. Clinton agreed for the meeting with the condition that if Sharif came to Washington, he would have to announce a complete and unconditional withdrawal from Kargil. Sharif came to US on July 4, 1999. Before the two leaders met, the CIA briefed the President an alarming news “Pakistan might be preparing its nuclear forces for deployment”. Pakistan’s army was developing nuclear-tipped missiles to launch against India if required, according to CIA information. Sharif hesitantly decided to withdraw.

Nuclear threat was averted. United States played a very crucial and responsible role in balancing the Global Peace. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), at the start of 2020, the nine nuclear-armed states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)—had a total of 13 400 nuclear bombs. Russia and United States account for 90% of global nuclear arsenals.

Bureau Galactik Views

Related articles