Reporting on the yet-unpublished Bob Woodward and Robert Costa book, “Peril,” tells of Gen. Mark Milley’s actions to prevent nuclear war with China. He was apparently worried that President Trump would order a sudden strike, so he called his counterpart in their military to offer reassurance. This is a stunning action if true.

The United States, China, Russia and other nuclear powers have huge arsenals pointed at each other. This is the norm for most of those living today. It is easy to forget the “duck and cover” and fallout shelter exercises of the 1950s when this threat was new and terrifying. The threat has changed little since, and arguably it is worse today. All it takes is one impulsive or poorly reasoned act to kill billions and place surviving life in a decade or more of nuclear winter.

There are some who believe that nuclear war is winnable. The reasoning goes that an overwhelming first strike can knock out an enemy’s ability to respond. Was this under consideration in the Trump administration? Was China worried? Were they considering a first strike against us?

There is no winnable nuclear war. A strike limited to one nation would be tantamount to the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs; all on Earth would suffer. I am thankful for the Gen. Milleys of today; tomorrow depends on their patriotism.

Tom Meuser
Portland

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