During October 1962, the U.S. came the closest that we have ever been to a nuclear war. The ultimate factor that stopped the confrontation was the backing down of the Soviet Union. They literally turned their ships around so that they would not be running the U.S. naval blockade. The confrontation that would have occurred had they not turned around has been commonly accepted as open warfare between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the placement of nuclear weapons in Cuba. Eventually, a deal was reached that allowed both sides to ‘save face’. The leader of the Soviet Union lost his job just two years later. The leader of the U.S. lost his life just a little over a year later.
The point that I would like to make here is that although it is less likely today that a confrontation between nuclear powers will get to the same level that we were at in October 1962, the possibility of deployment of nuclear weapons is actually much higher today than in 1962. The Soviet Union proved that they are interested in raising their grandchildren. A nuclear exchange would have meant virtual suicide for all of the parties involved and many bystanders as well. Maybe humanity would not be able to survive a full-scale nuclear exchange. The point here is that even though the Soviet Union represented our greatest enemy, both sides are not interested in fighting a war that would probably result in their own destruction. This risk is inherent in ALL wars, but the nuclear weapon makes the probability very likely, not to mention the speed of the event. Today’s Islamic enemies have no such scruples.
I have drawn a similarity between the repeated suicide attacks of today and that of the only prior occurrence in human history: That of Japan in the 1940’s. As with most comparisons, many differences and similarities exist. A point here is: Can you imagine Japan NOT using a nuclear weapon if they had one in 1945? The United States DID use our weapons, as many others would have. A major difference between this situation and 1962 was that open warfare already existed between the two combatants. In any case, the use of repeated suicide attack leads me to believe that not only do our enemies consider themselves to be already at war against us, but that the restraint of mutual survival does not exist today like it did in 1962.
I cannot imagine leaders of Islamic ideology ‘turning their ships around’ like the Soviet Union did in 1962. Another major problem we face today is that it is only a matter of time before one of these Islamic groups obtains an effective WMD. I find it more than likely that it (Or they) will be deployed as soon as practical.