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Letter: False alarm in Hawaii should be wake-up call

False alarm in Hawaii should be wake-up call

The recent false alarm in Hawaii about an imminent nuclear attack makes clear our vulnerability to nuclear war and disaster. World War III could begin by mistake. According to Vern Miyagi, the administrator of Hawaii’s emergency agency, “the problem is not that someone made a mistake; it is that we made it too easy for a simple mistake to have very serious consequences.”

What’s more, former Defense Secretary General William Kelly warns there have been false alarms before. Fortunately, those errors were caught in time. We may not always be so lucky.

Kelly reminds us that a nuclear attack launched by the president cannot be called back. What’s more, the vulnerability of defense and communications to hackers makes the world more vulnerable to false alarms than ever.

Congress, the Department of Defense and President Trump should immediately perfect our nuclear control system, including how the decision to launch weapons is made.

Quick decision-making by one or even a few people would have dire and indeed fatal consequences for millions, if not everyone, on earth.

Forget partisan distractions and name-calling across the political aisle and in the media. Our lives and the survival of our world depend on the control and, ultimately, the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Barbara Mierzwa

Buffalo

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