Australia's Des Ball praised | Bangkok Post: news

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From Cold War to the 'Tor Chor Dor'

Desmond Ball, the professor who helped avert nuclear holocaust during the global arms race and exposed the workings of US military installations in Australia, is also one of the foremost experts on ethnic conflict in Myanmar and Thailand's dizzying array of border paramilitaries

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At the height of the nuclear arms race during the Cold War, US military strategists theorised that if tensions escalated, controlled nuclear strikes against the Soviets could force them to back down. 

It took an Australian academic, professor Desmond Ball, to point out that nuclear war was inherently uncontrollable; once control centres were neutralised, a superpower would likely retaliate with as much of its arsenal as it could mobilise.

Mr Ball worked as a consultant for US president Jimmy Carter and secretary of state Robert McNamara, and his rational warnings about missile escalations may have helped avert a nuclear holocaust.

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