cAfter reading the book Hiroshima, please relate the message of this book to a hypothetical current world event, such as the use of a nuclear weapon by Iran against Israel at some point in the near future. Be CREATIVe when you try to analyze the book's implications for today's world events.
Use your imagination!!!
If a nuclear device were detonated in Washington D. C., the city would be destroyed; national agencies located there would be compromised; nuclear fallout would threaten other cities; and the death toll would eventually reach the hundreds of thousands. It would affect nearly everyone in the U. S. in some manner--from friends in the area who died to the many famed monuments and buildings that would be gone forever to the chaos it would cause politically, financially and medically.
I would say that a nuclear attack by Israel against Iran is far more likely than the scenario mentioned in the original question, in fact it has been cited as a way to destroy Iran's allegedly developing nuclear capability. There is a tradeoff, as post 3 mentions, it is highly unlikely that a nuclear attack on the US would generate the kind of WWIII scenario we remember from the Cold War. If Al-Qaida was responsible, I suspect the result would be much like what happened in the aftermath of 9/11. There is much debate, in any case, whether an individual, or small group of individuals, could actually carry out such an attack. More likely is a so-called "dirty bomb."
I think if the attack were to happen in Moscow Russia would invade North Korea or Iran and turn it into a neo-USSR satellite nation. I think if it happened in the United States there would be a definite retaliatory strike, but I the next step would be trickier. An attack of retribution at the hands of the US would be much more scrutinized than a similar return of fire by Russia.
It really would not start WWIII. Who would we fight in this WWIII? North Korea? They don't have enough nuclear weapons to cause any sort of a major war. The kind of thing that the previous post is describing might have happened in the Cold War, but not today.
If Al Qaeda exploded a nuclear weapon in Moscow or Washington, it would be very clear that it had not via a missile. Therefore, there would be no immediate response since it would not be clear who to attack in retaliation.
If you want to create a doomsday scenario, I guess you can say that we would attack North Korea and that China would then attack us. But it's completely far fetched to imagine this.
It would probably start World War III. The problem is that many of the technologies of modern warfare require instantaneous decision making of the sort that precludes humans being in the loop. Thus the response depends to a great degree on contingency programming, which is probably geared to launching all weapons before an opposing force can destroy them.