While experts predict that a massive nuclear attack on the United States is unlikely, that doesn’t mean won’t happen.
And what if it does?
According to Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, “When people look really hard at what three 100 kiloton bombs would really do to Washington DC, they are not going to like it. You cannot imagine there is planning that could account for it. The people who die in the blast will be the lucky ones, against all the people who will die slowly.”
And that’s just three nuclear bombs. What if dozens of nukes hit the United States?
Take an example of, let’s say, a nuclear war between Pakistan and India involving about 100 warheads. It would “directly kill 20 million people and starve another billion as smoke and dust would cripple global agriculture for several years, by obscuring sunlight and dropping global temperatures.”
Such a scenario could play out in America if North Korea is allowed to continue nuclear weapons development for another five years and then attacks the United States.
Obviously, the United States would launch a nuclear missile attack back at North Korea. And what then, if China or Russia happened to mistake those “US missiles headed for North Korea as an attack on their nuclear arsenals”?
It could trigger “full-scale use of thousands of very powerful hydrogen bombs” — which would wipe out humanity” altogether.
In fact, something like that nearly happened on September 26, 1983 when “the nuclear early-warning system of the Soviet Union reported the launch of multiple USAF Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the United States.”
Fortunately, “these missile attack warnings were correctly identified as a false alarm by Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces. This decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack based on erroneous data on the United States and its NATO allies, which would have probably resulted in immediate escalation of the cold-war stalemate to a full-scale nuclear war.”