So, Labour peer John Gilbert calls for nuking the Pakistan-Afghan border, amongst other places:
In this context I draw your Lordships' attention to what used to be called the neutron bomb. It is a very misleading description. It was not necessary a bomb. It was a warhead that could be attached to a torpedo or a missile. The main thing was that it was not a standard nuclear warhead. Its full title was the ERRB-enhanced radiation reduced blast weapon. I can think of many uses for it in this day and age. It is something that we could go and talk to the Chinese about. Building on the example that I just gave your Lordships about the Straits of Magellan, you could use an enhanced radiation reduced blast warhead to create cordons sanitaire along various borders where people are causing trouble.
I will give an example. Your Lordships may say that this is impractical, but nobody lives up in the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan except for a few goats and a handful of people herding them. If you told them that some ERRB warheads were going to be dropped there and that it would be a very unpleasant place to go, they would not go there. You would greatly reduce your problem of protecting those borders from infiltration from one side or another. These things are not talked about, but they should be, because there are great possibilities for deterrence in using the weapons that we already have in that respect.
I have already taken up half my time, and that is probably quite enough today. I am very relieved to say that I do not have any fears whatever of being confronted with a nuclear-free world so long as we have the French, God bless them.
Via. In part, this is just one of his Lordships doing his loveable eccentric thing. But it’s also classic cold war theorizing in the Herman Kahn let’s make nuclear war thinkable vein. The idea that if we make it clear to the little brown people that they’ll die if they stay where they are was also Samuel Huntington’s rationale for free fire zones in Vietnam. It’s not all that strange considered as political heritage of a cold war era Labour right winger. The fact that it seems crazy now is maybe evidence that the world is in some respects a slightly less crazy place.
Still, good game: ‘borders where people are causing trouble’ as a nuclear opportunity. Now let’s see...