Patterico's Pontifications


Can Our Politicians’ Irresponsibility on Budget Matters Lead to Worldwide Nuclear War? Why, Yes!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:12 am

A comment I left last night illustrates part of the reason I think dealing with the federal budget is so important:

Recipe for nuclear war:

1. Keep doing what we’re doing with the U.S. federal budget.

2. World economy collapses.

. . . .


I’m not joking, however much that might read like a South Park style joke.

I’ll add that doing nothing about Iran’s obtaining a nuclear weapon is not going to help matters any. Hey, aren’t we about to nominate Chuck “let’s talk to Iran” Hagel to Defense? Good idea!

But the precipitating factor for nuclear war will probably be the collapse of the world economy once the world loses confidence in the United States.


  1. Hope they don’t kill my dog.

    Comment by f1guyus (647d76) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:58 am

  2. f1guyus – Hope Obama doesn’t eat your dog.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:10 am

  3. The ones I worry about are: 1) China attacks Taiwan, 2) Japan and China mix it up over those stupid little islands; 3) Nuclear terror.

    I think (3) is pretty much inevitable; the challenge will be keeping a “small” nuclear terror attack from escalating into a full-scale strategic exchange.

    Comment by gp (5a38d9) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:12 am

  4. There was an episode of ‘Castle’ that followed a similar premise, abduct or kill a high ranking Chinese business, they pull the plug on lending,
    a series of brushwires escalate into a nuclear exchange.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:12 am

  5. There are so many people running around telling us about the oncoming devastation of global warming. Even if it were real, the devastation of World War III is one hundred times closer.

    Comment by George (012711) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:24 am

  6. I will mention Godwin’s Law and point to pre-WWII Germany.

    I think it’s a lack of imagination to think nothing bad will happen to us when we so violate economic law.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:26 am

  7. Anything that increases instability, that increases the belief of regional powers that they can run wild with all their imperial dreams, increases the likelihood of nuclear war.

    Comment by Rob Crawford (c55962) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:27 am

  8. peace in our time…

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 1/10/2013 @ 11:44 am

  9. Global trade, with a minimum of restrictions, leads to economic prosperity, and geo-political stability ATBE.

    The occasional rogue-state, like the unscrupulous businessman, still requires a little “market discipline” to remind them that the world does not revolve around them.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/10/2013 @ 11:53 am

  10. We are already carrying beyond wartime level debt. There is no way we can sustain a long conflict.

    Any future conflict would have to be short, or a surrender.

    Comment by Amphipolis (e01538) — 1/10/2013 @ 2:59 pm

  11. The USA can no longer afford to field such a powerful military force. Given our looming economic troubles, there is no way that we will be able to keep paying for it. The regional powers are already factoring that into their future plans. Russia, China, India, Iran, all expect the USA to withdraw from it’s world policeman role.

    As that happens, nuclear war will become inevitable as regional conflicts ignite. Pakistan/India. China/Japan (or China/USA if we interfere). Iran/Saudi Arabia, Iran/Israel.

    Comment by iconoclast (3db71e) — 1/10/2013 @ 3:15 pm

  12. What is extreme;y dangerous is letting somebody get away with the use of nuclear weapons. There are some areas where this might happen on a small scale and nothing would be done.

    The most dangerous things in the world are

    1) A civil war where the incumbent government is evil, the opposition in a weak position, but strong enough to hold some territory for a while, but cannot bring down the government, and the regime decides not to tolerate the opposition, and has access to nuclear weapons (could be Pakistan, could be Iran, could be Syria maybe)

    2) Hatred of Israel

    3) The delegitimization of the independence of Taiwan.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/10/2013 @ 4:26 pm

  13. How do you prevent someone from using a Nuke?

    Do you threaten to Nuke them?

    And once the Genie has been loosed, what then?

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/10/2013 @ 4:37 pm

  14. Comment by gp (5a38d9) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:12 am

    3.The ones I worry about are: 1) China attacks Taiwan, 2) Japan and China mix it up over those stupid little islands; 3) Nuclear terror.

    I think (3) is pretty much inevitable; the challenge will be keeping a “small” nuclear terror attack from escalating into a full-scale strategic exchange.


    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/10/2013 @ 4:38 pm

  15. Comment by gp (5a38d9) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:12 am

    3.The ones I worry about are: 1) China attacks Taiwan, 2) Japan and China mix it up over those stupid little islands; 3) Nuclear terror.

    I think (3) is pretty much inevitable; the challenge will be keeping a “small” nuclear terror attack from escalating into a full-scale strategic exchange.

    If in the case of 3 those who used the bomb remain in positions of authority, the balance of terror is dead.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/10/2013 @ 4:39 pm

  16. You merely need to do what the United States is doiung right nbow with regard to Syria’s chemical weapons.

    You threaten anybody involved with prosecution, or death, and mean it.

    It ios not necessary to nuke anyone or anything but it is necessary they do not stay in power.

    This can mean conventional war.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/10/2013 @ 4:41 pm

  17. Clowns are scary.

    Obama and the Democrats in Congress are an incredible bunch of clowns, wrecking our economy, avoiding addressing the nation’s problems and contributing to instability in the world.

    Proof positive of their inability to lead is advancing the Soupy Sales worthy trillion dollar coin solution to avoid debating the debt ceiling and fiscal discipline. Even Portugal, Italy and Greece had to talk fiscal discipline. Democrats in the U.S. hide their heads in the sand.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:30 pm

  18. I am such a quibbler. This is a quibble.

    I agree entirely with our host that there is a serious and nontrivial threat to our civilization — not just America, and not just the western democracies — from unexpected wars, civil and otherwise, and from spectacular violence and civil disorder that might fall short of the formal notion of war.

    Moreover, I note that among even the present nuclear powers, there are highly unstable states whose actions and reactions are very hard to predict and which have historically included irrational and self-destructive acts. (As I write that, I’m looking at you, Pakistan and North Korea, but I’m not not looking at you, too, China.) Especially if one broadens ones definitions of “nuclear war” to include things like dirty bombs, perhaps delivered through non-state actors like al Qaeda — and those are both entirely reasonable premises — then it’s undoubtedly fair to worry about cross-complications between financial collapse/global depression (on the one hand) and terrorism (on the other).

    But the risks of catastrophe from financial collapse/global depression are so enormous on their own that the specifically nuclear aspects of those risks, considered in isolation or in combination, don’t fundamentally change the picture in my view. We ought not need the specter of a nuclear war to persuade us of the calamitous dangers of a global fiscal collapse of the sort toward which we surely are headed, toward which indeed Obama and the Dems continue to willfully accelerate.

    It was often said during the Cold War — much less since, though — that it might turn out that those who instantly or in the first few days after a global nuclear exchange between the superpowers would end up being, in many grim senses, “the lucky ones” as civilization collapsed. But the effects of a global fiscal collapse might actually be harder to escape or overcome.

    Comment by Beldar (ba40d6) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:35 pm

  19. “those who instantly or in the first few days after a global nuclear exchange” ought to have read “those who perish instantly or in the first few days after a global nuclear exchange.” Apologies for the confusion.

    Comment by Beldar (ba40d6) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:37 pm

  20. I think one of the great stumbling blocks in current geo-politics is the seeming inability of the Left to realize that our current threat (Iran/Pakistan) are not rational actors such as the Soviets, who knew what devastation was (The Great Patriotic War) and would do all they could to forestall it.
    In Iran, we have an ideology that welcomes Armegeddon instead of fearing it.
    That is scary!
    But the Left says we’re the irrational ones.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:42 pm

  21. No, they didn’t understand the Soviets either, they opposed every measure that Reagan pushed to check them, at best they mimed the KGB’s desinformatya,
    at worst like Kennedy, the openly cooperated, Biden was for the nuclear freeze, Obama thought it didn’t go far enough, Kerry was a dummy for the Sandinistas,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/10/2013 @ 8:57 pm

  22. At least the Soviets were somewhat rational in how they responded to MAD.
    The Left….that’s another story.
    They’re all just a bunch of pantie-wetters, who really resent the fact that the great unwashed don’t extend the respect that they (the Left) knows they deserves.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:02 pm

  23. Well was that true of Suslov, the Party ideologist or Andropov, Operation Ryan, which F/X has interesting taken a sympathetic view in their new series, the Americans, about a KGB sleeper team,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/10/2013 @ 9:08 pm

  24. All to possible. If you do not think so, consider the parallels with World War I. Then explain to me how the assassination of a 5th rate political figure by a 7th rate anarchist spawned the bloodbath known as WW I.

    Comment by Jay Stevens (e296a7) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:00 pm

  25. Jay Stevens. Archduke Franz Ferdinan, was CNN’s reason for WWI. World War II, did not start on December 7, 1941. Further, the American Marxists/teachers unions, DO NOT EACH our children that Japan and Germany were aggressive and EXTREME WAR CRIMINALS.
    LIBERALS LIE. All of the time.

    Comment by gus (694db4) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:08 pm

  26. Askeptic. Sting, or Stink, told us so accurately…… THE RUSSIANS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN TOO!!
    To the common LIBTARD, “SOCIAL JUSTICE” on their terms, is RELIGION. They are always good. The BAD GUY is always, CONSERVATISM in the U.S..
    It’s MORONIC.

    Comment by gus (694db4) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:11 pm

  27. Comment by Jay Stevens (e296a7) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:00 pm

    Then explain to me how the assassination of a 5th rate political figure by a 7th rate anarchist spawned the bloodbath known as WW I.

    Germany lied to Austria Hungary and told it that mobilizing against Russia would not start a European War, but the plans of the German General Staff called for an invasion of France – through Belgium – in response to a mere mobilization by Russia against Germany.

    And even in the process of mobilization, Germany crossed the border of Luxembourg.

    Russia had no plans for mobilizing just against Austria-Hungary and not Germany.

    Now there was one important Austrian figure who would have known not to believe Germany. That was the Austrian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (a69e24) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:28 pm

  28. I think Archduke Franz Ferdinand had prevented World War I a couple of years before 1914.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (a69e24) — 1/10/2013 @ 10:30 pm

  29. As for the questionable stability of the nuclear-armed Chinese government in these times of economic uncertainty, this is cogent and terrifying.

    Comment by Beldar (ba40d6) — 1/10/2013 @ 11:00 pm

  30. 29- Yes, the bubble is bursting in China.
    They could be just a small disruption or two away from a full-blown civil crisis.
    BTW- did you see the “mystery” photos of a new facility being built in China’s SW that some think is for an “Orion” project?
    H/T- Insty

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 1/10/2013 @ 11:27 pm

  31. Caroline Glick has the right take about Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense:—its-the-anti-ame.php

    ….Israel and its American friends however can take heart that Israel will not be Hagel’s chief concern.

    Hagel — and Obama — have bigger fish to fry than Israel. They are looking to take on the US military. They will slash military budgets, they will slash pensions and medical benefits for veterans in order to save a couple dollars and demoralize the military. They will unilaterally disarm the US to the point where America’s antiquated nuclear arsenal will become a complete joke. And I don’t see the military capable of stopping it. Anyone remember the F-22?

    I find the whole Israel angle on Hagel irritating because of this. Yes, Hagel will be bad to Israel. But we can minimize the damage by diversifying our own arsenal and weaning ourselves off of US military handouts….I’ve been advocating ending US military aid to Israel for more than a decade, but better late than wait until we find ourselves at war and out of spare parts because Hagel and Obama won’t sign the requisition orders to Boeing and Lockheed.

    Unlike Israel, the US military cannot minimize the damage that Hagel and Obama will cause.

    America’s capabilities will suffer at the hands of the duly reelected Commander in Chief and his duly appointed Defense Secretary. The only chance to dodge that bullet was on Election Day and the American people blew it.

    By making this a story about Hagel the anti-Semite, nice senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain are obfuscating the main problem. The main reason Hagel shouldn’t be appointed is not because he hates Israel. It is because he hates a strong America.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/17/2013 @ 12:18 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2064 secs.