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[Podcast]

How to Start a Nuclear War

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Any day could be doomsday—and why that’s bad

When both war and the military-industrial complex hum unchallenged in the background of American life, it turns out that a fighter pilot, in the right circumstances, has the ability to launch a nuclear attack. Barack Obama’s commitment to “modernize” the US nuclear arsenal over the next twenty-five years at a cost of at least $1.2 trillion failed to generate public outrage; now that Donald Trump is president, the call to reevaluate Cold War procedures has become freshly urgent.

In his August issue story “How to Start a Nuclear War,” Washington Editor Andrew Cockburn reveals just how few controls stand between the president and a nuclear launch. Cockburn joins Web Editor Violet Lucca to discuss why we’re still so close to nuclear war—and what it would take to step back from the brink.

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