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Keep nuclear weapons secure

Published: Thu, October 31, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News: For more than 40 years, the United States and the Soviet Union stared at each other across a line that Winston Churchill dubbed the “Iron Curtain.” Opposing aims and ambitions between the Soviets and the West kept the world on the edge of real war throughout the Cold War.

The most terrifying aspect of those years was the threat of nuclear war. After both sides obtained “the bomb,” many feared that confrontation would lead to an all-out exchange in which both sides would empty their nuclear arsenals and life as we know it would cease to exist on Planet Earth.

The easing of tensions that came with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact was a great relief. But both sides continued to maintain their nuclear arsenals, and nuclear weapons have proliferated around the world.

It is certain that the weapons intended to protect the U.S. must never be turned against it.

Air Force officers tasked with overseeing ICBMs were discovered doing that — literally. Blast doors to underground command posts were left open against regulations. The doors were far from the only defense for these command posts against terrorism. But now isn’t the time to become lackadaisical about security. Although peacetime discipline can be difficult to maintain, this isn’t exactly peacetime.

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