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There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

The marijuana dialog in not related to pacifism. Lots of US soldiers have smoked marijuana, particularly post-Vietnam.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

The marijuana dialog in not related to pacifism. Lots of soldiers have smoked marijuana, particularly post-Vietnam.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

The marijuana dialog in not related to pacifism. Lots of US soldiers have smoked marijuana, particularly post-Vietnam.

4 added 205 characters in body
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There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

The marijuana dialog in not related to pacifism. Lots of soldiers have smoked marijuana, particularly post-Vietnam.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

The marijuana dialog in not related to pacifism. Lots of soldiers have smoked marijuana, particularly post-Vietnam.

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There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

There is quite of bit of room between being a pacifist and being unwilling to participate in the death of several hundred million people simply because you've been ordered to. One might be a dedicated soldier convinced that the nuclear arsenal is vital for the purpose of deterrence, and equally convinced that actually launching the weapons was pointless and criminal one deterrence failed.

Also, note that the simulation was a so-called "bolt from the blue", tensions had not been particularly high immediately before the simulation, so the missile officer has to wonder if this is an actual attack, a system failure, or an illegal order. Not an easy decision to make when a billion lives are on the line. Thus Lawson's attempt to reach higher command before proceeding with the launch.

This sets up the motivating tension for the movie. Wouldn't it be great to replace unreliable (if well meaning) soldiers with computers, which will follow any order they're given? The movie then points out the downside of this.

This is not a fictional issue. We recently celebrated Stanislav Petrov Day. Stanislav Petrov was a Soviet missile officer who arguably saved the world when he correctly identified an apparent first strike on the USSR by the US as a false alarm. The USSR's early warning system indicated that the US had launched tens of ICBMS at the USSR. At that time the USSR nuclear strategy was believed to be "launch on warning". Petrov believed that the apparent US attack made no sense and correctly classified it as a false alarm, apparently against standing orders and Soviet military doctrine.

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