I recently came across a video in my YouTube scrollings that stopped me dead on my Macbook’s trackpad; a stark, animated explainer on what a modern nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Russia would look like. Though “modern” may be a bad choice of words.
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In case you missed it:
“The hard truth is, since 1949, there’s only one response the U.S. has planned for. It’s Major Attack Option 1,” our narrator tells us. What follows is an astonishingly detailed look at every nuclear asset in each country, with lots of unsettling animations, sound effects, klaxons, unemotional narration and music that sounds like you’re about to be attacked in Skyrim. In other words, fascinating and more than a little anxiety inducing.
The whole video is absolutely riveting, especially if you’re interested in nuclear and military history, or if you’re interested in the Cold War era. I just happen to tick all three of those boxes.
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The video goes into deep detail about America’s plan for thermo-nuclear war—Major Attack Option-1—part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan or SIOP, as well as Russia’s response. The detail is astounding, down to listing every base and instillation on both sides and specifically numbering how many war heads are on each missile, what their kiloton yield is and their likely targets:
There is a shorter version on this channel, but I suggest watching the entire nearly 30 minute video. It’s a great gut punch for a Friday afternoon. Live it up this weekend friends, you never know when the hellfire will come!
The channel its posted on, however, is also a fairly curious. It comes, not from a history or policy channel, but from Modern Muscle, a fairly popular YouTube channel with around 306,000 subscribers and several videos with views in the millions. From what I can tell, 99 percent of his content is car related. Beside a video about banned shoes and, of course, the absolutely harrowing video on nuclear war, it seems Modern Muscle makes its bag from automotive listicles (no shame). From videos like 5 Car Mods You Should Never Buy! you can hear its the same narrator, though with a definite tone shift:
I reached out to Modern Muscle via the channels YouTube page just to ask so, what’s up with this? But haven’t received a reply. Yet. However, I hold out hope, because anyone this into both cars and nuclear policy has to be gold star friendship material.