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Andreas Kluth

A Successful U.S. Missile Intercept Ends the Era of Nuclear Stability

Deterrence no longer works when one power can shoot down incoming nukes. This makes disarmament talks even more urgent.

Ready to intercept.

Ready to intercept.

Photographer: U.S. Navy/Getty Images

This month, an intercontinental ballistic missile was fired in the general direction of the Hawaiian islands. During its descent a few minutes later, still outside the earth’s atmosphere, it was struck by another missile that destroyed it.

With that detonation, the world’s tenuous nuclear balance suddenly threatened to come out of kilter. The danger of atom bombs being used again was already increasing. Now it’s grown once more.