A Blatant and Illustrative Nuclear 33

In today's NYTimes no less.

Note the little blurb on the front online page for the Op-Ed:

331 nukes!

The article makes the case that the US only needs 331 (or 311, see below) nukes, despite the fact that we now have 5,113 nukes.

Note, the official title of the piece is "An Arsenal We Can All Live With". The title is NOT 331 nukes as cited by the front page link screen shot shown above.

When you read the dang piece, the funny part is how most of the article talks about 311 nukes! And as they talk about how they calculate the number of nukes needed, their number indeed adds up to 311, not 331--

100 land based nuclear missiles (in silos)
192 submarine based nuclear missiles (Trident subs)
19 plane-based nuclear missiles (B-2 bomber)

That's 311.

But then they write "our 331-missile plan", as their sum of the number of missiles needed. (Note, this has now been changed to "our 311-missile plan" in the current version of the piece)

In the NEXT PARAGRAPH, they write 311 nuclear weapons are what is needed.

Clearly, someone was trying to have a 33 there-- a 33 they advertised on the front page. But they actually refer to 311 five times and 331 only once (later zero times) in the piece!

The piece was written by "Gary Schaub Jr. is an assistant professor of strategy at the Air War College and James Forsyth Jr. is a professor of strategy at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies."

I think this incident should clear up any lingering doubts about the significance of "33", and the desire for certain people to insert 33's into their writings.

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