Re: Chas. Handy "Beyond Certainty" LO2800

Jesse W. White (
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 16:16:41 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO2765 --


I am a firm believer in peace. My two francs worth are simple. Atomic
weaponry has no ethical basis on this or any other planet. Ethics.

That is the key word.

Not intelligence or knowledge.

What wisdom is there to own this type of weaponry? As a U.S. citizen, I
suppose that I have littleroom to talk. However, my (primarily Scottish)
ancestry learned to do things differently (I am here) or at least not
wipe everyone off the face of the Earth.

I hope my children live in a haronious world. Perhaps the city-states of
Greece are returning. Perhaps Plato was correct.

Host's Note: I've distributed Jess's and Bernard's messages because I felt
they had relevance to our discussion about learning organizations. I am
concerned that this will generate a flow of comments about the recent
French nuclear testing which will *not* be a fit for our focus. (For what
it's worth, I've already rejected a couple of messages negative about
French testing.)

On Tue, 12 Sep 1995, Bernard Girard wrote:

> About uncertainty and the strategic planning process in the Army.
> A good example of uncertainty would be the defense policy of France. We
> had an "enemy" : USSR. To prevent it from attacking us, we developed the
> atomic bomb and the strategy of diissuasion (we are the weakest, but if
> you attack us we can bite back and hurt you badly, so badly it's not in
> your interest to attack us). This enemy just vanished without prior notice
> in the early 90's. This was what we can call uncertainty.
> Because we had rare resources and an atomic bomb we did not develop
> conventional forces, and our soldiers who fight in ex-Yugoslavia need
> american helicopters.
> Problem : what do we do now? Do we keep our atomic bomb? that's what
> Chirac decided, but nobody sees any enemy. Do we abandon it? But what
> happens if an agressive right wing governement comes to power in Russia?
> Who is to decide? the experts? but they are experts in conventional
> weapons (and they want conventional weapons) or in atomic weapons (and
> they want them to be tested)? The politicians? but they can only make an
> act of faith.

Jesse W. White