The Agency That Launches America's Nuclear Missiles Just Messed Up a Tweet

H-bomb test; radioactive clouds at the Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956. (AP Photo)
H-bomb test; radioactive clouds at the Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956. (AP Photo)

As North Korea and the US keep escalating their war of words, the world sits on the brink of nuclear destruction. So you’d hope that the people in charge of America’s nukes are keeping a cool head under pressure. But the latest tweet from US Strategic Command doesn’t give much confidence in that.


US Stratcom, which makes sure that America’s nuclear weapons are always ready to fire, just sent out a tweet about two new satellites. But the tweet was cut off, seemingly mid-sentence.

“Two new satellites now operational, expand U.S. space situational awar,” the tweet from just a few minutes ago reads. We’re going to guess that the last word, “awar,” was supposed to be “awareness.” And it’s not clear if the sentence was supposed to continue after that.

Now, yes, there’s a big difference between sending a tweet and starting a nuclear war. But with the world on a razor’s edge, stuff like this is a terrifying reminder that the only thing standing between us and nuclear war are a lot of imperfect machines and very fallible humans. Very, very fallible humans.

It doesn’t help that the two most important humans in this equation, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, are ratcheting up the rhetoric with each passing day. Trump has said that he may have to “totally destroy” North Korea, while North Korea says that talk like that is a declaration of war.

US Strategic Command has yet to delete the tweet and issue a correction, as of the time of this post. But let’s just hope that their next flub isn’t with the country’s nuclear arsenal. There’s no “delete” button on nuclear weapons—unless you’re talking about the bombs’ targets.


Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog



Why didn’t you just delete this article? Waste of space and time.