Greg Mello, secretary and executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, was asked how many people would die on the first day of a nuclear war.
“Everybody in the world would die. Some people in the southern hemisphere might survive, but probably not even them, he responded.
Noting that the whole system was “very fragile,” Mello said that, “Even a couple of nuclear weapons could end the United States as a government and an economy,” destroying the financial markets and the Internet.
Even if nuclear exchanges were limited, with just ICBM silos and airfields being targeted, the fallout would wipe out the entire U.S. Midwest, including big cities like Chicago, according to Mello.
Nuclear power plants would also meltdown, unleashing a wave of Fukushima-style disasters across the country, he added.
“Nuclear war means nuclear winter. It means the collapse of very fragile electronic, financial, governmental, administrative systems that keep everyone alive. We’d be lucky to reboot in the early 19th century. And if enough weapons are detonated, the collapse of the Earth’s ozone layer would mean that every form of life that has eyes could be blinded. The combined effects of a US-Russian nuclear war would mean that pretty much every terrestrial mammal, and many plants, would become extinct. There would be a dramatic biological thinning,” said Mello.
Mello blamed Democrats for engaging in “Russia-baiting and “neo-McCarthyite hyperbole,” adding that U.S. weapons manufacturers stand to make trillions as a result of tensions between Washington and Moscow.
Noting that Vladimir Putin may retaliate against another U.S. attack on Syria if Russian troops are killed, Mello warned that could result in U.S. aircraft being shot down.
“Geopolitically, the situation in Syria has gone so far towards Assad remaining in power and the terrorists being pushed out that a serious US attack on Syria would either fail, or else it would really damage Russian interests, humiliate Russia and kill her soldiers along with Assad’s, and therefore tilt the balance toward WWIII,” said Mello.
The expert doubted the official narrative that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, pointing out that Assad is “winning militarily and politically”.
Mello said he has talked to people on the National Security Council who mistakenly think that Russia will just back down. He wants “Cold War era veteran diplomats from the realist school” to be brought back to deal with the issue.