The risk of escalation forces intense scrutiny, preventing accidental war Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, 1995, p. 111
Deterrence is also a considerable guarantee against accidents, since it causes countries to take good care of their weapons, and against anonymous use, since those firing the weapons can neither know that they will be undetected nor what form of punishment detection might bring. In life, uncertainties abound. In a conventional world,they more easily lead to war because less is at stake. Even so, it is difficult to think of wars that have started by accident even before nuclear weapons were invented. It is hard to believe that nuclear war may begin accidentally, when less frightening conventional wars have rarely done so. Thousands of launch histories prove zero risk – Not a single miscalc incident in 40 yrs Payne 8(Keith, Natl Inst for Pub Pol, S. HRG. 110–205, Nuclear And Strategic Policy Options, p. 88)
But with regard to that question, let me just mention that the United States has, according to all the unclassified sources, over 1,100 at-sea launches of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) in the test program over the years. Through 1988, we had no notification provisions to the Soviet Union. After 1988, we had notification provisions established, and we carried through with those notifications to the Soviet Union that we would be launching a SLBM in the appropriate timeframe, in the appropriate direction. So, there’s a long, long history of U.S./Soviet and now U.S./Russian relations with regard to notification for the safe launching of nonnuclear ballistic missiles, and there’s been no problem, there’s been no misinterpretation, there have been no problems such as folks have mentioned with regard to a possible Russian misinterpretation. I wouldn’t be as confident in this, other than I look back, with 1,100 launches, open-sea launches of SLBMs, and we have provisions, since 1988, of notifying the Russians—Soviets then, Russians now—in that regard, as do the British have provisions for notifying the Russians with regard to their at-sea launches. So, I understand the concern. I agree we need to absolutely minimize the concern of a Russian misinterpretation. I’m also confident that we’ve already gone a long way towards that over the last 40 years.
Russian accidental launch is very unlikely Kerr 8 (Paul, non-prolif expert, Congressional Research Service, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons and Missiles: Status and Trends)
Moscow’s strategic forces are designed to deter nuclear and conventional aggression, but Russia “is prepared to conduct limited nuclear strikes” to repel an enemy or change the course of battle. An unauthorized or accidental nuclear launch of a Russian strategic missile is deemed highly unlikely.
Strict controls and organizational doctrine prevent East-West Institute 9 (Reframing Nuclear De-Alert, p. 6)
Russian opponents of de-alerting assert that neither country’s systems are targeted at the other; in fact, highalert levels have not prevented the two countries from building a strategic partnership. Nuclear weapons are under strict technical and organizational control, which excludes the possibility of accidental or unauthorized use. “The issue of the possibility of an ‘accidental’ nuclear war itself is hypothetical. Bothstateshave developed and implemented constructive organizational and technical measures that practically exclude launches resulting from unauthorized action of personnel or terrorists. Nuclear weapons are maintained under very strict system of control that excludes any accidental or unauthorized use and guarantees that these weapons can only be used provided that there is an appropriate authorization by the national leadership.
Defense !—F-35—A2: Fails
All major plane programs suffered technical setbacks in development – The F-35 will still be awesome Air Force Magazine 10 (http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=181132)
This article sounds like an assault on the Air Force’s F-22 and F-35 fighter programs, but it isn’t new at all. Rather, it is from April 8, 1982. Levin was not chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as he is today, but a low-ranking member. The aircraft purchase he was objecting to was the F-15, which in decades to come would prove to be one of the most successful combat aircraft in history. To be fair, Congressional critics at the time were complaining about Air Force plans to purchase large numbers of F-15s for defense of the continental US, while many felt the Navy F-14 could do that job at a lower price. But this news piece from the past points out a basic fact of warplane development. For 30 years, most new models have been the subject of caustic criticism. Technical setbacks are treated as surprises which threaten a system’s viability—or its very existence. Airframes always seem to be too complicated, too high-tech, too expensive, and not what the US really needs. That’s the criticism, at least. Lost in the volume is recognition of the fact that modern warplanes are among the most complex machines ever designed. It takes patience and hard work to make them deployment-ready. Many of today’s Air Force legacy systems came out of "a long, arduous, and turbulent process," notes a RAND Corp. monograph on fighter acquisition. "Nonetheless, these often vitriolic debates ended in the design and development of several of the world’s most capable fighters."