Australian news, and some related international items

Australia as a target, in nuclear war

Hawaii’s false alarm: we’re right to question our safety from nuclear annihilation, Brisbane Times, By Smriti Keshari, Hawaiians recently experienced the most unimaginable nightmare, when an accidental alert went out a statewide warning of a “ballistic missile system” heading to the island. It happened at 8.07am on a Saturday.

Distraught residents did their best to find safety, parents drove miles to see their children one last time and some surfers even decided to paddle out for what they imagined was their last wave.

It was a false alarm, caused by human error, when a technician clicked on the wrong prompt on a computer screen.

Yet it served as a global wake-up call, and many around the world have begun to question the reality of whether their own country could be vulnerable to a similar incident.

In Australia, statewide emergency systems regularly use text alerts and landline phone messages to warn about bushfires, floods and other natural disasters. But could residents be woken one day by the threat of a missile headed towards Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne or the Pine Gap military facility near Alice Springs?

With no nuclear weapons of its own and no real nuclear-armed adversaries, the idea of an atomic-bomb attack may seem abstract to most Australians. But no country is safe from the nuclear threat. Defence analysts believe North Korea’s longest-range missiles could reach Australia. And although Australia’s geographic location makes it seem safe, experts say it is vulnerable to the effects of an all-out nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

Additionally, as an ally of the United States, relying not only on the protection of America’s nuclear umbrella but also home to a strategic site in the US missile-defense system, Australia could be among the first targets to be hit in a surprise nuclear attack against the US………

And the effects of nuclear weapons testing have had a lasting effect on the environment and countless communities around the world. In Australia, from 1953 to 1957, Britain’s nuclear tests caused lingering effects that affected the livelihood and health of Aboriginals years later.

Smriti Keshari is co-creator of the multimedia presentation the bomb, which featured during the Sydney Festival last week.

January 29, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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