You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. BBC News‘ North America editor Mark Mardell has some interesting thoughts, however:
It is eerie to walk so close to a weapon of mass destruction.
The B-52 bomber is one of the ultimate expressions of American power. If the president decides to drop a nuclear bomb, this is the sort of aircraft that would do it.
I am careful not to step over the red line around the plane. A sign painted on the ground warns lethal force can be used against those who cross it without authorisation.
I’ve come to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, filming for the new BBC One programme The Editors.
The programme aims to get the BBC’s on-air editors to explore – and hopefully answer – a big question. My chosen subject is the decline of American power.
There’s little evidence of it at the base, where the sign above the gate reads: “Only the best come North”.
An old Minute Man missile stands to one side of the entrance.
The road names here are a testimony to the base’s purpose – Ballistic Avenue and Cruise Missile Lane. It is home to two arms of America’s nuclear strike force, the Fifth Bomb Wing – known as the Warbirds – and the 91st missile wing, the Rough Riders.
As I talk to a group of very normal, bright and cheerful men and women from both units, I am awed by the potential nature of their job.
I joke that when things are really stressful and going very wrong, some people in my business say: “It’s only television.” They can hardly say: “It’s only nuclear war.”…
[continues at BBC News]
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