Here is what we know now: the United States and Russia each have an actual Doomsday Machine… These two systems still risk doomsday: both are still on hair-trigger alert that makes their joint existence unstable. They are susceptible to being triggered on a false alarm, a terrorist action, unauthorized launch, or a desperate decision to escalate. They would kill billions of humans, perhaps ending complex life on earth.


Does any nation on earth have a right to possess such a capability? A right to threaten—by its simple possession of that capability—the continued existence of all other nations and their populations, their cities, and civilization as a whole?

Excerpt from The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, USA, 2017.

In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant to the Department of Defense and the White House, drafted Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war. Later he leaked the Pentagon Papers.