Problem

Government secrecy concerning nuclear weapons testing

Other Names:
Secret weapons development
Clandestine space weapons
False claims for weapons performance
Nature:
The secrecy surrounding nuclear weapons developments leads the nuclear powers to infer the 'worst case' which heightens mistrust, hinders international arms reduction talks, and accelerates the arms race. In addition, secrecy may cover up nuclear accidents and their causes, and also prevent accountability of the public cost of enriching arms manufacturers.
Incidence:
In 1993 the Congress of the USA was investigating evidence that the Pentagon had faked missile tests in 1984 to persuade Congress to invest billions of dollars in the Strategic Defence Initiative. It was also announced that since 1951 the USA had conducted more than 200 underground atomic weapons tests that had never previously been made known to the public.
Counter Claim:
Government secrecy regarding weapons performance is a necessary part of any propaganda campaign against potential enemies. Such a campaign may usefully include some form of disinformation that would lure the potential enemy costly errors, notably the expenditure of funds in response to non-existent weapons.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
14.03.1997 – 00:00 CET