Yesterday, negotiations over Iran's nuclear program failed to meet the deadline. Talks have been extended, but already an emerging chorus of "I told you so" says that it's pointless to negotiate with a fanatical religious regime that views nuclear war as holy martyrdom. It's time to put this myth to rest.
It came up the other night as dinner conversation. "Where do you think the next nuclear war will break out?" I asked. Everybody had an opinion.
Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a "moral" and "sane" weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell.
Some government screw-ups are so epic that they require decades of effort. Such was the case for the recently cancelled plan to convert surplus weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel. Not only did the U.S. waste $4 billion dollars, it increased the likelihood that terrorists could obtain bomb-making materials.
When you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And if you have several thousand nuclear warheads just lying around, it seems a shame not to put them to good use. Here are ten of the most bizarre proposals for nuclear bomb use over the decades.