Millennium Bug Unlikely to Trigger Accidental Nuclear Launch in Russia

By Garris, Mark | National Defense, April 1999 | Go to article overview

Millennium Bug Unlikely to Trigger Accidental Nuclear Launch in Russia


Garris, Mark, National Defense


During a recent hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) said the Y2K problem is "the ultimate form of Russian-roulette."

Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-OK) agreed. "I can't think of one [issue] that's more significant."

Y2K, also known as the millennium bug, refers to the ability of computers to recognize the year 2000 when the date rolls from 99 to 00.

Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre and Gen. John A. Gordon, deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told the panel that they are confident U.S. critical systems will be ready for Y2K. They expressed concern, however, that other countries' failure to update their computers could have serious implications for U.S. national security.

"It's offshore where some serious problems remain for us," said Dodd.

Of most concern, officials agreed, are potential glitches in the computers that run Russia's nuclear arsenal.

Throughout the Third World, additionally, many nations that will fail to upgrade their computers to be Y2K compliant may leave their populations without water, telephone service or electricity.

According to government sources. Beijing will probably experience failures in key sectors such as telecommunications, electric power and banking.

Russia, meanwhile, is plagued by financial troubles that are dramatically slowing down the pace of Y2K upgrades. Alexander Krupnov, chairman of the Russian Central Telecommunications Commission, estimated it would cost $3 billion to resolve the Y2K problem.

Russia's Gazprom natural gas pipeline network is also said to be susceptible to Y2K outages, said Gordon. That would be particularly dreadful because few people could survive the harsh Russian winter without heat.

The Russian predicament can, in part, be attributed to procrastination, said Hamre. That nation, as well as others, "did not take the Y2K Issue seriously and now have little time left. '

Even bigger problems loom when it comes to military computer failures.

Surveillance, early missile detection systems, nuclear reactors, air traffic controls-all could be effected by the Y2K bug.

"Russia has increasingly grown reliant on nuclear weapons both as a political tool and military tool, but at the same time increased economic pressure has shrunk the size of its forces," said Dodd, Following recent discussions with the Russian Minister of Defense, the senator said he is "encouraged" by what he has heard. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Millennium Bug Unlikely to Trigger Accidental Nuclear Launch in Russia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.