J27FKX Washington, DC, USA. 25th Apr, 2017. A military aide carries the "nuclear football" on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2017. Credit: Olivier Douliery/Pool via CNP - NO WIRE SERVICE- Photo: Olivier Douliery/Consolidated News Photos/Olivier Douliery - Pool via CNP/dpa/Alamy Live News

A suitcase, nicknamed the “football”, contains the launch codes for a US nuclear strike

Olivier Douliery/Pool via CNP/dpa/Alamy

Nuclear War: A scenario
Annie Jacobsen (Torva)

IN 1985, US President Ronald Reagan and USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev declared in a joint statement that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. A year later, the number of atomic weapons globally began to fall from a peak of nearly 70,000. By 1989, the cold war was ending, and the world rejoiced at being less likely to die in a flash of light at 100…

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