The unguarded Minuteman missile silo site N-10 near Trolly, North Dakota, on July 25, 2011, four weeks after the worst flooding to hit the state’s Souris River in 130 years. The silo was dubbed “Mudhole missile" in 1988 by Nukewatch volunteers. Photo...
Nukewatch, an anti-nuclear group based in Luck, Wisconsin, has just released a revised edition of its book Nuclear Heartland, mapping the location of 450 land-based nuclear missiles in the United States.
Helen Caldicott, a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, calls this compendium “one of the most frightening books that I have ever read.” She urges others to face the horror it presents, then “rise to their full moral and spiritual height to take on the treasonous entities that now imperial our survival.”
Terror. Treason. The threat of total destruction. And just in time for holiday gift-giving.
Nuclear Heartland: Revised was co-edited by Nukewatch staffers John LaForge and Arianne Peterson and includes a foreword by Matthew Rothschild, formerly of The Progressive.
“Becoming aware of these hideous weapons in our midst is the first step toward arousing people to take another run at nuclear disarmament, and that’s why Nuclear Heartland is so vitally important today,” Rothschild writes. “It shows us where the weapons are, and how they’ve almost become a part of the landscape.” Land-based missiles, he notes, represent just a slice of the pie; in all, the United States has 7,000 nuclear warheads, including 1,800 on “hair-trigger” alert.
The original edition of Nuclear Heartland, which LaForge also had a role in creating, was published in 1988. This is the first revision. Co-editor Peterson says the group was able to update its database using public records and, surprisingly, a popular Internet tool.
“We relied a lot on Google Earth,” Peterson says. “They are all marked on Google Earth, using names that Nukewatch gave them in 1988.”
A revised edition was needed because the number of active underground missile silos has changed dramatically over time. In 1988, the group reported about 1,000 land-based missiles in eight states. But three of the six major fields have since been decommissioned, leaving 450 missiles in three fields: One in North Dakota, one in Montana and one that includes parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado.
Moreover, the missiles have been reduced in destructive power from three warheads each to one. But because each warhead is a 335-kiloton hydrogen bomb, that’s still enough to wipe out every major city on earth. “Any one of these missiles could destroy an entire city,” LaForge says.
The book is available from Nukewatch for $25 per copy plus $5 each for postage and handling. Order using PayPal at www.nukewatchinfo.org or send payment to: Nukewatch, 740A Round Lake Road, Luck, WI 54853.