Alexandra Bell Profile picture
May 21, 2018 25 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Tonight's @MadamSecretary finale takes on a nuclear nightmare. I will be live tweeting this intense episode, adding context, historical notes, & links to info about how we can reduce nuclear threats together. #MadamSecretary
Breathtaking monuments in DC riddled with bored teenagers looking at their phones. While not nuclear policy-related, I can confirm this is accurate. #MadamSecretary
Japan gave us 3000 cherry trees in 1912. In 2012, we sent 3000 dogwood trees to Japan as a symbol of our friendship. I saw some of them when I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki.… #MadamSecretary
In '61, JFK warned that we all live under the sword of Damocles that hangs "by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness." With 15K nukes still in the world, we still do.… #MadamSecretary
A decision to launch a nuclear counter strike would have to be made within minutes & often with incomplete info like why would country X start a nuclear war. Here’s outline of the timeline.… #MadamSecretary
NSA Hill posits that volatility of the Russian President could be to blame for nuke strike. We’ve had lots of experience with volatile leaders in control of nukes, but they’ve never been suicidal. Of course, we may have just been lucky.… #MadamSecretary
Currently the Russians have 1444 strategic warheads on 527 deployed missiles and bombers. We’ve got 1350 strategic warheads on 652 deployed delivery vehicles. A full strike from either side is the beginning of the end of the world. #MadamSecretary…
"Does anyone have any reason to believe that our systems could be wrong?" The answer is always YES. As Douglas Adams said, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." #MadamSecretary
Football - drink! The President doesn’t go anywhere without "the football" – a briefcase with info & equipment that allows military leaders to communicate w/POTUS & contains pre-planned nuclear strike options. #MadamSecretary…
Within minutes of learning of a nuclear strike, POTUS would be choosing a nuclear counterstrike. Even with assets like "the hotline," it’s not likely POTUS would have time to talk to leaders of the attacking nation. #MadamSecretary
Triad- drink! "The Triad" refers to our three nuclear delivery platforms - land-based missiles, bombers & subs. Interestingly, the term didn’t really appear until the 1970s, right about the time we started talking about seriously reducing nuclear forces. #MadamSecretary
The rush to strike back w/ICBMs relates to the idea that if we don’t "use 'em, we lose ‘em." (Think of our ICBM fields like a big nuclear sponge.) But if we lost our land-based missiles, we still have stealthy subs & bombers. #MadamSecretary…
"Nuclear winter is a theory." Welp, you could say that. You could also say gravity is a theory, but in both cases, there is science to back it up. Learn more:… or listen:… #MadamSecretary
The scary truth is that nuclear policy and warfighting is all theoretical since, fortunately, we’ve never fought a nuclear war. It’s all guessing. End of the world, kill everyone on the planet guessing. #MadamSecretary…
SecDef Becker says a major nuclear strike is the only way for POTUS to fulfill his Constitutional obligations. That’s the dilemma– POTUS is obligated to defend Americans from further attack, but a counterstrike will end the world. What's the win in that situation? #MadamSecretary
Biscuit- drink! The "biscuit" is a card the President carries with alphanumeric codes that allow the President to prove his identity when ordering a nuclear strike. It’s been reported that President Clinton once lost the biscuit.… #MadamSecretary
Once the President gives and authenticates nuclear strike orders with the Pentagon, @US_Stratcom, located in Nebraska, begins the launch process. #MadamSecretary
The U.S. and Russia test missiles & launch satellites often. To make sure it doesn’t look like an attack, they notify each other through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers. #MadamSecretary
That doesn’t always work.… #MadamSecretary
The Personnel Reliability Program ensures the military personnel handling nukes are reliable, trustworthy, and have their head in the game. Good call. #MadamSecretary…
"There’s no turning back now." Once ICBMs are launched, there is no way to bring them back. #MadamSecretary….
Great representation of a Launch Control Center. Got to visit one just like it at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The process depiction is also spot on.
Missileers have a tough job, pulling 24 hour shifts, 100 feet beneath the earth, waiting for orders they hope never come. #MadamSecretary
Missileers work in pairs and both are needed to launch a weapon. Makes you wonder why that rule is not applied at the top.… #MadamSecretary
Mount Weather is a real place. #MadamSecretary

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Alexandra Bell

Alexandra Bell Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!