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夏威夷“乌龙”警报背后:真实的核战争风险

更新时间:2018-1-15 19:39:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War
夏威夷“乌龙”警报背后:真实的核战争风险

Nuclear experts are warning, using some of their most urgent language since President Donald Trump took office, that Hawaii’s false alarm, in which state agencies alerted locals to a nonexistent missile attack, underscores a growing risk of unintended nuclear war with North Korea.

核专家警告称,夏威夷错误警报,也就是国家机构向当地居民发出并不存在的导弹袭击警报事件,突显出与朝鲜发生意外核战争的风险在不断加大,专家们使用了自唐纳德·特朗普总统上任以来最为紧迫的措辞。

To understand the connection, which might not be obvious, you need to go back to the tragedy of Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

要理解这两者间的联系——这种联系可能不太明显——你需要重温大韩航空公司(Korean Air Lines)007航班的悲剧。

In 1983, a Korean airliner bound from Anchorage, Alaska, to Seoul, South Korea, strayed into Soviet airspace. Air defense officers, mistaking it for a U.S. spy plane that had been loitering nearby, tried to establish contact. They fired warning shots. When no response came, they shot it down, killing all 269 people on board.

1983年,一架原定从阿拉斯加安克雷奇飞往韩国首尔的韩国客机偏离航线,飞入了苏联领空。苏联防空官员们误以为它是在附近游荡的美国侦察机,试图与它联系。他们开火示警。由于没有收到回应,他们就把飞机击落了,导致机上的269人丧生。

But the graver lesson may be what happened next. Though it was quickly evident that the downing had been a mistake, mutual distrust and the logic of nuclear deterrence — more so than the deaths themselves — set Washington and Moscow heading toward a conflict neither wanted.

不过,更严重的教训可能是接下来发生的事情。尽管双方很快明白,击落飞机是个失误,但互不信任和核威慑逻辑——更甚于死亡本身——使得华盛顿和莫斯科陷入了双方都不想要的冲突。

The story illustrated how imperfect information, aggressive defense postures and minutes-long response times brought both sides hurtling toward possible nuclear war — a set of dynamics that can feel disconcertingly familiar today.

这个故事表明,不完整的信息、侵略性的防御姿态和很短的反应时间将双方拉向了可能的核战争——这种情况跟如今的态势令人不安地相似。

Ronald Reagan had taken office in 1981 pledging to confront the Soviet Union. Though he intended to deter Soviet aggression, Moscow read his threats and condemnations — he had declared its government an “evil empire” that must be brought to an end — as preludes to war.

罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)1981年上任时承诺要与苏联对抗。虽然他是打算遏制苏联的进攻,但莫斯科将他的威胁和谴责——他宣称苏联政府是“邪恶的帝国”,必须被终结——视为战争的前奏。

Trump’s White House has issued its own threats against North Korea, suggesting that it might pursue war to halt the country’s nuclear weapons development.

特朗普的白宫也对朝鲜发出了威胁,暗示它可能会发动战争,阻止朝鲜的核武器发展计划。

The 1983 shooting down, on its own, might have passed as a terrible mistake. But the superpowers had only fragmentary understanding of something that had happened on the far fringes of Soviet territory. In an atmosphere of distrust, technical and bureaucratic snafus drove each to suspect the other of deception.

1983年的飞机击落事件本身可能是一个可怕的失误。但这两个超级大国对这个发生在苏联领土边缘的事情的理解是片面的。在不信任的气氛中,技术和官僚的混乱促使双方都怀疑另一方在欺瞒。

Moscow received contradictory reports as to whether its pilots had shot down an airliner or a spy plane, and Soviet leaders were biased toward trusting their own. So when they declared it a legal interception of a U.S. military incursion, U.S. leaders, who knew this to be false, assumed Soviet leaders were lying. Moscow had downed the airliner deliberately, some concluded, in an act of undeclared war.

对于该国战机击落的是客机还是侦察机,莫斯科方面收到了一些相互矛盾的报告,而苏联领导人倾向于相信自己人的报告。因此,当他们宣称那是对美国军事入侵的合法拦截时,知道那并非事实的美国领导人认为苏联领导人在撒谎。有些人认为,莫斯科故意击落了那架客机,是一种不宣而战的行为。

At the same time, Washington made a nearly perfect mirror-image set of mistakes — suggesting that such misreadings are not just possible, but dangerously likely.

与此同时,华盛顿犯了几乎一模一样的错误——认为这种误读不仅是可能的,而且是有预料到的。

Reagan, furious at the loss of life, accused Moscow of deliberately targeting the civilian airliner. He denounced Soviet society itself as rotten and in pursuit of world domination.

里根为那些逝去的生命感到愤怒,指责莫斯科故意袭击民航客机。他谴责苏联社会本身是腐朽的,企图统治世界。

In fact, a CIA assessment, included in the president’s daily briefing that morning, had concluded the incident was likely an error. Reagan appeared to have simply missed it.

事实上,CIA的评估,包括当天上午在总统每日简报中的陈述,已经得出结论,这一事件很可能是个失误。可是里根似乎没有看到这个结论。

The result was that the United States and the Soviet Union repeatedly went to the brink of war over provocations or even technical misreadings. Often, officials had mere minutes to decide whether to retaliate against seemingly real or impending attacks without being able to fully verify whether an attack was actually underway. In the logic of nuclear deterrence, firing would have been the rational choice.

其结果是,美国和苏联一再因挑衅行为甚至技术误读而走向战争的边缘。通常,官员们只有几分钟时间决定是否对看似真实或即将发生的袭击进行报复,无法完全核实攻击是否正在进行。在核威慑的逻辑中,开火将是理性的选择。

That dynamic is heightened with North Korea, which is thought to have only a few dozen warheads and so must fire them immediately to prevent their destruction in the event of war.

朝鲜的态势更加紧张。一旦开战,被认为只有几十枚核弹头的朝鲜只有立即开火才能防止自身被摧毁。

“Today’s false alarm in Hawaii a reminder of the big risks we continue to run by relying on nuclear deterrence/prompt launch nuclear posture,” Kingston Reif, an analyst with the Arms Control Association, wrote on Twitter, referring to the strategy of firing quickly in a war. “And while deterring/containing North Korea is far preferable to preventive war, it’s not risk free. And it could fail.”

“夏威夷今天这次错误警报提醒了人们,依靠核威慑/随时准备发射核武器的姿态从来都是承担着风险的,”美国军控协会(Arms Control Association)分析师金斯顿·里夫(Kingston Reif)在Twitter上谈到战争中迅速开火的策略时说。“并且,虽然威慑/遏制朝鲜要远远好过预防性战争,但也不是没有风险。并且可能失败。”

If similar misunderstandings seem implausible today, consider that an initial White House statement called Hawaii’s alert an exercise — though state officials say it was operator error. Consider that 38 minutes elapsed before emergency systems sent a second message announcing the mistake. If even Washington was misreading events, the confusion in Pyongyang must have been far greater.

如果类似的误解在当今看起来难以置信,请想想白宫最初一则将其称为演习的声明——尽管夏威夷州的官员称其为操作失误。想想在应急机制发送第二条消息宣布这是一次失误之前过去的38分钟。如果连华盛顿方面都误读了本次事件,平壤的困惑想必要大得多。

Had the turmoil unfolded during a major crisis or period of heightened threats, North Korean leaders could have misread the Hawaiian warning as cover for an attack, much as the Soviets had done in 1983. U.S. officials have been warning for weeks that they might attack North Korea. Though some analysts consider this a likely bluff, officials in Pyongyang have little room for error.

如果这次混乱出现在有着重大危机或威胁加重的时期,朝鲜的领导人或许就会把夏威夷的错误警报误读为对袭击的掩护,和1983年苏联的做法一样。美国官员数周以来一直在警告称美国可能会攻打朝鲜。尽管一些分析人士认为这是在虚张声势,但平壤的官员容不得半点失误。

Vipin Narang, a nuclear scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggested another possible scenario, using shorthand terms to refer to the president and his nuclear command systems, which Trump has nearby at all times.

用缩略语指代总统以及随身携带的核指挥系统的麻省理工学院(MIT)核问题专家维平·纳兰(Vipin Narang)提出了另一种可能。

“POTUS sees alert on his phone about an incoming toward Hawaii, pulls out the biscuit, turns to his military aide with the football and issues a valid and authentic order to launch nuclear weapons at North Korea,” Narang wrote on Twitter, adding, “Think it can’t happen?”

“POTUS从手机上看到了袭击夏威夷的警告,抽出‘饼干’,找到拿着‘足球’的军方助手,发出真实有效的命令要求向朝鲜发射核武器,”纳兰在Twitter上写道,还说,“觉得这不可能?”

Unlike in 1983, no one died in Hawaii’s false alarm. But deaths are not necessary for a mistake to lead to war. Just three months after the airliner was shot down, a Soviet early warning system falsely registered a massive U.S. launch. Nuclear war may have only been averted because the Soviet officer in charge, operating purely on a hunch, reported it as an error.

和1983年不同的是,在夏威夷的错误警报中无人死亡。但死亡并非是错误导致战争的必需。在韩国客机被击落的三个月前,苏联的一个预警系统错误预报了美国将有大规模发射。若不是当时值班的苏联官员单纯地凭直觉操作,将其报告为一起失误,核战争或许难以避免。

William J. Perry, a defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, called the false alarm in Hawaii a reminder that “the risk of accidental nuclear war is not hypothetical — accidents have happened in the past, and humans will err again.”

比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)政府的国防部长威廉·J·佩里(William J. Perry)称夏威夷的错误警报是在提醒人们“意外的核战争的风险并非假想——过去有过这样的事故,而人类也会再次犯错。”

Reagan concluded the same, writing in his memoirs, “The KAL incident demonstrated how close the world had come to the nuclear precipice and how much we needed nuclear arms control.”

里根也曾有过同样的判断,在回忆录中,他写道,“大韩航空公司的事故证明世界正处在核武器的危险边缘,以及我们有多么需要核武器管制。”

Mikhail Gorbachev, who soon after took over the Soviet Union, had the same response, later telling journalist David Hoffman, “A war could start not because of a political decision, but just because of some technical failure.”

不久后上台的米哈伊尔·戈尔巴乔夫(Mikhail Gorbachev)后来也有相同的回应,他告诉记者大卫·霍夫曼(David Hoffman),“不只有政治决定能使战争爆发,仅仅因为技术故障也可以。”

Gorbachev and Reagan reduced their country’s stockpiles and repeatedly sought, though never quite reached, an agreement to banish nuclear weapons from the world.

戈尔巴乔夫和里根各自减少了国内的核武器储备,并一再在销毁世界核武器方面寻求共识,尽管始终未能如愿。

But Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, remain locked in 1983, issuing provocations and threats of nuclear strikes on push-button alert, gambling that their luck, and ours, will continue to hold.

但特朗普和朝鲜领导人金正恩仍然陷在1983年,借着核按钮警戒发起核攻击的挑衅和威胁,他们在赌他们——以及我们——的好运能持续下去。

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