‘Failsafe’ (1964)   Or, as in “Kerry: Any Iran deal will be ‘failsafe'”

If anyone recalls the film of that title (Henry Fonda, Dan O’Herlihy, Walther Matthau) it’s fair to say that the ending was not one of those ‘happily ever after’ affairs.

Due to a combination of glitches, mistakes and procedural deficiencies, America initiates a nuclear attack on Moscow and a thermonuclear exchange is avoided only because the US president then orders that New York be ‘taken out’ in much the same manner as the Russian capitol.

It’s a classic example of a ‘quid pro quo’ but not the kind anyone would wish to give or receive in the ordinary course of events. Fortunately this was nothing but a work of fiction and, as stressed by military authorities at the time, it could never become a reality under safeguards and protocols then in place.

But, maybe, a similar scenario could be updated and transferred from the ’60s silver screen to that of the present day.

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Here, if ‘mistakes’ are made and luck doesn’t hold, the results can become the most far-reaching and dramatic ever seen. Having thus recalibrated the mindsets of all but a rapidly diminishing band of ‘old school’ die-hards, everyone involved would soon be demanding that many ‘traditional’ forms of redress be consigned to the scrapheap and that far more careful and coordinated measures are to be used instead.

And this development must significantly improve the odds on delivery of a much better future for the region as a whole  – and the rest of mankind. ..