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There is a serious possibility that the US will have to face this question if not now, sometime in the not too distant future.

Is it worth risking nuclear war to preserve freedom?

  • 5 votes
  • 11 votes
Reignmond 7 Feb 24

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First, "risk" does not mean certainty.

Second, what is meant by "nuclear war?" Full scale Armageddon? Or limited use of tactical weapons?

I don't think it's worth destroying all complex life on Earth to stop Putin, but I seriously doubt that it will come to that.

I do think that we should never give in to a crooked little thug.

A good thing has resulted from this war in Ukraine. Everyone now knows Russia is no where near as powerful as we all feared....and Putin also knows it and knows we know it. The calculus has now changed.


For those that voted No, What will you do when Putin/Russia attacks America? Because it is coming.

It's well known fact that if less than 5% of the present arsenal of nuclear weapons is unleashed and detonated...that it probably would end ALL life on the planet - not just human life but almost all animal life on land and in the sea.

Evolution will be set back hundreds of millions of years.

Are you encouraging that?

"Less than one percent of the nuclear weapons in the world could disrupt the global climate and threaten as many as two billion people with starvation in a nuclear famine. The thousands of nuclear weapons possessed by the US and Russia could bring about a nuclear winter, destroying the essential ecosystems on which all life depends."

In case you'd like to read the whole thing...


@Robecology I grew-up as a skrawny white kid in an all black ghetto during the Race Riots. Then later, I was a White kid in a Puerto Rican Neighborhood with street gangs. Later I had to defend my Mother from her drunk abusive Husband (a Chief Pretty Officer ). At about the same time I would walk kids home who were being bullied in High School. I am by nature a very peaceful person, but I learned that if you turn the other cheek you will only get the shit kicked out of you or worse. I will always fight for freedom and peace

What makes you naively believe that Putin would not simply use nukes if we just "cooperate" and allow him to dominate? Incidentally, because of my science background in school and because I am a nerd, I was the tech advisor to my local chapter of the Peace Coalition in college. Pacifists are victims in waiting. If you truly want peace you have to be willing to fight for it. Everytime we backed down from Putin we only embodened him. He is the monster we encouraged him to be.

@Reignmond So why the long history of your upbringing? And a tech advisor?

Kudos...I think?

But what's your point?

You're sounding awfully defensive for nuclear strike returns and slam-dunk tough stuff. I guess you feel justified due to your harsh upbringing?

Sound's like you fear/abhor pacifists.

I don't consider myself a pacifist. But I do consider myself a scientist and agnostic.

You assume a nuclear attack on the U.S. is coming. I don't.

I think Putin's ignorant...but not stupid.

He knows that he'd be poisoning the whole earth.

But we - the west, most of Europe - are attacking him - and the Russians who side with him (fewer every day) in every possible way EXCEPT no aircraft, and no nukes.

I'm sure you've read about the Russian warship that sank. I'm sure you read about Sweden and Finland considering NATO. I'm guessing you've read about the cruise anti-tank missiles that are being sent to Ukraine's defense.

We will win this. Russia will back down. Putin will "go away".

Here's my reasoning behind the wait-and-see/no nukes strategy (not pacifist ).

Putin's getting old.

He wants to retire...and he has daughters with kids of their he's not that insane.

We will get through this without nukes, and without Pacifism.

We will punish him and his ilk with a thousand little stings - which will send him a message to drop his hostility and aggression.

@Robecology No one ever wins a war. If they are lucky, one side only loses less. But if you don't fight back aggressively you lose most, if not everything. For far too long Putin has bullied the world (North Korea and China do the same) by threatening violence, and the world "negotiates" with them. When that happens, they always win some, and everyone else loses some...and so their intentions ratchet forward, and everyone else's ratchets back. This is a loopsided process. Negotiations should only be used when there are shared interests, or when the acknowledged weaker side has nothing to lose. If we (the World) assert ourselves against the aggressors as a single front (not even necessarily united) we would have a lot more peace in the world. Countries like Russia with leaders like Putin will never stop until they are shown they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by a seeking dominion and conquest.

As food for thought about Nukes, consider the separate effects of Fire Bombing Japan and Nuking Japan. Japan never gave up even while fire bombing (which did more damage than 2 nukes) was devastating their nation and people. Japan didn't give up after Hiroshima was destroyed with a nuke. They only gave up after Nagasaki was nuked Incidentally, there was a third nuke ready and 9 more in the works, and there was a planned amphibious invasion of Japan because the US military knew the Japanese were tenacious. Millions of lives and countless suffering were likely saved by dropping those nukes, but they were only the straw that broke the camel's back. Today, Japan is a close ally of The US.

The alternative would have been to left ourselves be conquered by Japan. I think we did the right thing.

@Reignmond I concur; we did the right thing in 1945...but things are different now.

You've suggested that Putin is likely to use nuclear weapons Now?

I don't think either side will do that.

Not now or ever in the future.

We've all read/learned about Sagan's Nuclear winter.

from 1983; []

Yes...Russia will try almost everything...Putin and his band of power hungry folk are desperate...I suspect cyber warfare coming...power grid failures. Internet failures.

Perhaps we'll sneak a few more "cruise" missiles in.

Have you read how they work? They explode over the top of the tank.


But nukes?

No way.

Again...we should do many things...but we don't dare go near the nuclear or chemical or biological war fare button.

I'm surprised you think otherwise.

Russia has already practiced information warfare by infiltrating social media to sow division and sway our elections. And they have been hacking the computers that run our physical infrastructure. We already are at war.

@Flyingsaucesir Add to that probing our airspace, especially around Alaska; and aggressive close encounters between our Navy and Air Force by Russian ships and planes.



I voted yes because oppressive totalitarian governments always become more oppressive even after they achieve their objectives. Their success only emboldens them. In our current situation, if we allow Putin to rebuild the Russian Empire, he will be in a better position to challenge the US. Remember, Alaska was part of Russia at one time. And it is not just a question of governance or or national borders. Putin is an evil leader. And evil leaders are almost never replaced by anything other than evil leaders.


I voted yes because I weigh the risk as basically 0.00001%. The other option of letting him have all of Eastern Europe is a much greater risk.


Better us than some small country that has nothing to lose. If we allow the conquer of sovereign nations, how long until one of them defends themselves with a nuke? If I was a small country about to be conquered and I had the ability to nuke my aggressors in a bid to try to save myself, why should I just roll over?


There's no guarantee that risking nuclear war would preserve our freedom. Democracy is under fire in our own country.

Both statements are sadly true. But then, do we just accept that we will eventually lose our freedom, so why fight to save it?

@Reignmond Preserving our freedom does not necessarily involve nuclear war, not at all domestically, and our biggest fight may be on the homefront. I'm saying let's not get ahead of ourselves. We all stand to lose in the face of nuclear war. We don't even necessarily know how other countries are provisioned.

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