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Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


During the past decade, computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating. The social, economic, and political impacts – although less well known – would also be crippling and would reverberate throughout the world. Efforts to use “Armageddon estimates” to scare the people of India and Pakistan have thus far not significantly reduced the risk of nuclear weapons use in this turbulent region. However, the increasing penetration of television and social media may give members of the public a better grasp of the scale of potential devastation. Combined with educational efforts targeted at media elites, increased public awareness of the consequences of a nuclear attack may help to reduce the pressure on political leaders to exercise the nuclear option.


This is the Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on 21 June 2017, available online: