Thursday, September 13, 2007

Children of the Cold War

It's not a nuclear bomb, but the esthetic of yesterday's Russian thermobaric test has a taste of déjà-vu. To atomic test ban campaign veterans such as me, it inevitably reminds the relatively old days of nuclear weapons testing.

For the time being, it seems that it's only a media mind bomb targetted at Russian voters.

But precisely because these are not nuclear bombs, thermobaric devices are in some ways more dangerous: they're not part of any nuclear deterrence strategy, so it's likely there will be less obstacles to their launch in real warfare.

The US call their own thermobaric bomb "the Mother of All Bombs", and the Russians call their "the Father of All Bombs" because it is more powerful. Well, with this sort of verbal escalation (let alone the macho rhetoric) what's clear is that they're both Children of the Cold War.

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