â€œHenry County and the Cold Warâ€�
The “Cold War� terminology came from the fact that it never became a shooting war per se,
but more of a cat and mouse game.  When the United States became a nuclear power during WWII it
was Premier Stalin’s wish to be like them with this power in Russia.  By the late 1940’s the
Soviet Union became a nuclear power through defection and espionage.  And with them being a
communist nation and with an ideology opposite that of the democratic United States an arms race
would ensue.
Here in Henry County children were taught in the 1950’s and 1960’s how to “duck and
coverâ€� in case of nuclear attack.  Henry County would send many of her son’s and daughters
to be the front line against Communist expansion.  Russia was expanding into the European nations
and Communist China was spreading into other Asian countries.
There was nuclear bomb testing above and below ground.  People here were planning for the bomb
with shelters and putting up food in case of attack.
The closest our nation came to nuclear conflict was during October 1962 with the Cuban Missile
Crisis.  The arms build up would continue and planes, ships, and all sorts of weapons would be
devised during the Cold War.
The United States and the Soviet Union would promote propaganda about each sides positions.  The
Korean War, Viet Nam War, and the Berlin Wall were all products of the Cold War.
By the time the 1980’s came about, President Reagan finally confronted the Soviets by putting
direct pressure on the government.  He devised a plan known as Star Wars to build a defense system
in orbit around our planet.  He labeled them the Evil Empire.
The Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union of Countries broke up into individual nations
beginning in 1991.  It would not end the Cold War completely.  This year the old Russian ideology of
military  build up has come to fruition again.  They have sent a fleet to the back door of the United
States once more and trying to push again to see how far they can go.  Henry County’s young
men and women are on all fronts around the world and they will be faced once more with an old foe
that continues to exert pressure on their neighbors today.  New faces but the same names of a sixty
year conflict of ideology.
                                   Doomsday Clock Overview

The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative
midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these
include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new
developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm.

The nuclear age dawned in the 1940s when scientists learned how to release the energy stored
within the atom. Immediately, they thought of two potential uses--an unparalleled weapon and a new
energy source. The United States built the first atomic bombs during World War II, which they used
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Within two decades, Britain, the Soviet Union, China,
and France had also established nuclear weapon programs. Since then, Israel, India, Pakistan, and
North Korea have built nuclear weapons as well.

For most of the Cold War, overt hostility between the United States and Soviet Union, coupled with
their enormous nuclear arsenals, defined the nuclear threat. The U.S. arsenal peaked at about
30,000 warheads in the mid-1960s and the Soviet arsenal at 40,000 warheads in the 1980s,
dwarfing all other nuclear weapon states. The scenario for nuclear holocaust was simple: Heightened
tensions between the two jittery superpowers would lead to an all-out nuclear exchange. Today, the
potential for an accidental or inadvertent nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia
remains, with both countries anachronistically maintaining more than 1,000 warheads on high alert,
ready to launch within tens of minutes, even though a deliberate attack by Russia or the United
States on the other seems improbable.

Unfortunately, however, in a globalized world with porous national borders, rapid communications,
and expanded commerce in dual-use technologies, nuclear know-how and materials travel more
widely and easily than before--raising the possibility that terrorists could obtain such materials and
crudely construct a nuclear device of their own. The materials necessary to construct a bomb
pervade the world--in part due to programs initiated by the United States and Soviet Union to
spread civilian nuclear power technology and research reactors during the Cold War.

As a result, according to the International Panel on Fissile Materials, substantial quantities of highly
enriched uranium, one of the materials necessary for a bomb, remain in more than 40 non-weapon
states. Save for Antarctica, every continent contains at least one country with civilian highly enriched
uranium. Even with the improvement of nuclear reactor design and international controls provided by
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), proliferation concerns persist, as the components
and infrastructure for a civilian nuclear power program can also be used to construct nuclear

Much of the recent discussions focuses on Iran and its pursuit of a civilian nuclear power capability,
but Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA director general, estimates that another 20 to 30 countries
possess the capabilities, if not the intent, to pursue the bomb. Meanwhile, the original nuclear
weapon states (in particular, Britain, France, Russia, and the United States) continue to modernize
their nuclear arsenals, with little effort to relinquish these weapons. All of which leads many to
believe that the world is embarking on a second nuclear age.

2007: The world stands at the brink of a second nuclear age. The United States and Russia remain
ready to stage a nuclear attack within minutes, North Korea conducts a nuclear test, and many in the
international community worry that Iran plans to acquire the Bomb. Climate change also presents a
dire challenge to humanity. Damage to ecosystems is already taking place; flooding, destructive
storms, increased drought, and polar ice melt are causing loss of life and property.

2002: Concerns regarding a nuclear terrorist attack underscore the enormous amount of
unsecured--and sometimes unaccounted for--weapon-grade nuclear materials located throughout
the world. Meanwhile, the United States expresses a desire to design new nuclear weapons, with an
emphasis on those able to destroy hardened and deeply buried targets. It also rejects a series of
arms control treaties and announces it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1998: India and Pakistan stage nuclear weapons tests only three weeks apart. "The tests are a
symptom of the failure of the international community to fully commit itself to control the spread of
nuclear weapons--and to work toward substantial reductions in the numbers of these weapons," a
dismayed Bulletin reports. Russia and the United States continue to serve as poor examples to the
rest of the world. Together, they still maintain 7,000 warheads ready to fire at each other within 15

1995: Hopes for a large post-Cold War peace dividend and a renouncing of nuclear weapons fade.
Particularly in the United States, hard-liners seem reluctant to soften their rhetoric or actions, as they
claim that a resurgent Russia could provide as much of a threat as the Soviet Union. Such talk slows
the rollback in global nuclear forces; more than 40,000 nuclear weapons remain worldwide. There is
also concern that terrorists could exploit poorly secured nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union.

1991: With the Cold War officially over, the United States and Russia begin making deep cuts to
their nuclear arsenals. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty greatly reduces the number of strategic
nuclear weapons deployed by the two former adversaries. Better still, a series of unilateral initiatives
remove most of the intercontinental ballistic missiles and bombers in both countries from hair-trigger
alert. "The illusion that tens of thousands of nuclear weapons are a guarantor of national security has
been stripped away," the Bulletin declares.

1990: As one Eastern European country after another (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania)
frees itself from Soviet control, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev refuses to intervene,
halting the ideological battle for Europe and significantly diminishing the risk of all-out nuclear war. In
late 1989, the Berlin Wall falls, symbolically ending the Cold War. "Forty-four years after Winston
Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech, the myth of monolithic communism has been shattered for all to
see," the Bulletin proclaims.

1988: The United States and Soviet Union sign the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces
Treaty, the first agreement to actually ban a whole category of nuclear weapons. The leadership
shown by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev makes the treaty a
reality, but public opposition to U.S. nuclear weapons in Western Europe inspires it. For years, such
intermediate-range missiles had kept Western Europe in the crosshairs of the two superpowers.

1984: U.S.-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades. Dialogue between the two
superpowers virtually stops. "Every channel of communications has been constricted or shut down;
every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations have been
reduced to a species of propaganda," a concerned Bulletin informs readers. The United States
seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based
anti-ballistic missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin.

1981: The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan hardens the U.S. nuclear posture. Before he leaves office,
President Jimmy Carter pulls the United States from the Olympics Games in Moscow and considers
ways in which the United States could win a nuclear war. The rhetoric only intensifies with the
election of Ronald Reagan as president. Reagan scraps any talk of arms control and proposes that
the best way to end the Cold War is for the United States to win it.

1980: Thirty-five years after the start of the nuclear age and after some promising disarmament
gains, the United States and the Soviet Union still view nuclear weapons as an integral component of
their national security. This stalled progress discourages the Bulletin: "[The Soviet Union and United
States have] been behaving like what may best be described as 'nucleoholics'--drunks who continue
to insist that the drink being consumed is positively 'the last one,' but who can always find a good
excuse for 'just one more round.'"

1974: South Asia gets the Bomb, as India tests its first nuclear device. And any gains in previous
arms control agreements seem like a mirage. The United States and Soviet Union appear to be
modernizing their nuclear forces, not reducing them. Thanks to the deployment of multiple
independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), both countries can now load their intercontinental
ballistic missiles with more nuclear warheads than before.

1972: The United States and Soviet Union attempt to curb the race for nuclear superiority by signing
the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The two
treaties force a nuclear parity of sorts. SALT limits the number of ballistic missile launchers either
country can possess, and the ABM Treaty stops an arms race in defensive weaponry from

1969: Nearly all of the world's nations come together to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The deal is simple--the nuclear weapon states vow to help the treaty's non-nuclear weapon
signatories develop nuclear power if they promise to forego producing nuclear weapons. The
nuclear weapon states also pledge to abolish their own arsenals when political conditions allow for it.
Although Israel, India, and Pakistan refuse to sign the treaty, the Bulletin is cautiously optimistic:
"The great powers have made the first step. They must proceed without delay to the next one--the
dismantling, gradually, of their own oversized military establishments."

1968: Regional wars rage. U.S. involvement in Vietnam intensifies, India and Pakistan battle in
1965, and Israel and its Arab neighbors renew hostilities in 1967. Worse yet, France and China
develop nuclear weapons to assert themselves as global players. "There is little reason to feel
sanguine about the future of our society on the world scale," the Bulletin laments. "There is a mass
revulsion against war, yes; but no sign of conscious intellectual leadership in a rebellion against the
deadly heritage of international anarchy."

1963: After a decade of almost non-stop nuclear tests, the United States and Soviet Union sign the
Partial Test Ban Treaty, which ends all atmospheric nuclear testing. While it does not outlaw
underground testing, the treaty represents progress in at least slowing the arms race. It also signals
awareness among the Soviets and United States that they need to work together to prevent nuclear

1960: Political actions belie the tough talk of "massive retaliation." For the first time, the United
States and Soviet Union appear eager to avoid direct confrontation in regional conflicts such as the
1956 Egyptian-Israeli dispute. Joint projects that build trust and constructive dialogue between third
parties also quell diplomatic hostilities. Scientists initiate many of these measures, helping establish
the International Geophysical Year, a series of coordinated, worldwide scientific observations, and
the Pugwash Conferences, which allow Soviet and American scientists to interact.

1953: After much debate, the United States decides to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far
more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952, the United States tests its first
thermonuclear device, obliterating a Pacific Ocean islet in the process; nine months later, the Soviets
test an H-bomb of their own. "The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again," the Bulletin
announces. "Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic
explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization."

1949: The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public
that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. "We do not advise
Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their
heads a month or year from now," the Bulletin explains. "But we think they have reason to be deeply
alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions."

1947: As the Bulletin evolves from a newsletter into a magazine, the Clock appears on the cover for
the first time. It symbolizes the urgency of the nuclear dangers that the magazine's founders--and the
broader scientific community--are trying to convey to the public and political leaders around the
The Berlin Wall