Osama made a mistake on 9/11/01. He hit us too soon. He really should have waited. I sent an e-mail to the White House (Yea, like it will really make much difference) where I pointed out that if the attack on Washington D.C. on 9/11/01 had been with a nuclear device, our government would have been decapitated. Both houses of Congress were in session, as was the Supreme Court of the U.S. The military of this country reports to the civilian government, so it stands to reason the most, if not all of the top ‘Brass’ was in D.C that day as well. After all, at that level military officers are almost as political as they are generals. The military would have survived in better shape. The organization is designed to run even if portions are destroyed. It would have still been injured. I believe that this is the reason why the Bush administration developed that ‘shadow’ government that we used to hear about. This was a concept from the 1950’s with a modern twist. With the telecommunications of today, key elements of the government do not have to be physically present to conduct the business of the country. In at least one way, the threat of nuclear war is actually much higher today than during the worst days of the Soviet Union. Not because of the number of weapons, but because of the likelihood of use of them if they ever become available to the other side.
The Soviet Union was not interested in suicide. In 1963, it was the Russians who turned their ships around to avoid a nuclear confrontation. Granted, the war that could have resulted could arguably have ended human life on this planet. The war today probably will not, even if terrorists were able to successfully deploy multiple nuclear weapons. Talk about a punitive war. I would expect retaliation from us in this event. No such thing as ‘innocent’ civilians when we discuss this type of warfare. In any case, it will be far more difficult for terrorists to attempt a strike like 9/11/01 with nuclear weapons now that we have been alerted. Surprise has always been a major ingredient in successful military attacks. They will most likely have to use some other method.