By Anatoly Gromyko
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There were 1,152 “moderately serious false alarms” between 1977 and 1984, in US systems alone. (4) To protect against unintended nuclear war, these systems have builtin redundancy. That is, there are systems to check on systems. There is also radar to check the readings of satellites, and satellites to verify the readings of radar, and if one does not confirm the other, then it is assumed there is no real attack. Nevertheless, the probability that satellite error will overlap radar error and create two wrong messages of missiles on the way cannot be at all excluded.
The Soviet Union is now engaged in one of the most intensive efforts to bring about change in its history. “Glasnost” and “perestroika,” openness and restructuring, are intimately related. The movement of Soviet society toward decentralization is revolutionary. (41) There are multicandidate elections going on at local party levels, elections of managers in factories, multicandidate elections for local soviets. There are newspapers engaging in criticisms of officials as part of the new democratization.
No matter how improbable each may be individually, the cumulative probability that one or another will lead to war is not small at all. It is absolutely certain if we continue in our present mode. 6 / Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking All these sources of risk stem from a single mind-set, the mind-set of war: War is possible, even acceptable, if need be. That mind-set breeds a multitude of preparations, no one of which is great in its risk, but which together make the risk overwhelming. That is the new reality of the nuclear age.