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Subject: New Nuke Plan
FalloutBoy    3/12/2002 8:53:20 PM
I know many of you don't want to hear this, but some of the aspects of the new nuclear contingency plan are rather stupid. I agree with the parts about deterrence, retaliation, etc. However, the use of nuclear weapons in response to "suprising military developments" seems to stray from the mutually-assured-destruction doctrine that has prevented the use of nukes post-WW2. If we adopt this doctrine, Russia and China will also in reciprocity. Couldn't Russia declare the Chechen rebellion a "suprising military development" and nuke (the remnants) of Grozny? Couldn't China declare a Filipino military presence on the Spratleys a "suprising military development" and fire some IRBMs at Manila? Or even more disturbing would be if the Middle Eastern and South Asian nations adopted this policy. What if India had this policy when Pakistani troops assisted the Kashmiris in taking over key Himalayan peaks along the LOC? There would have been hundreds of millions of casualties.... . My point is, this new plan could cause tactical and even strategic weapons to be supplements to conventional weaponry on the modern battlefield. We would be ignorant to think that we would be the only nation to adopt this policy... and the other countries that may adopt are not only unstable, but irresponsible. Again, I agree with the targets and the aspects of retaliation and detterence, but using nuclear weapons for tactical purposes with no WMD provocation could be disastrous for the entire planet.
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pfd    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/13/2002 11:33:35 AM
no fear... the use of wmd is not politically viable. It is just an invitation to 'open season'. No nation worthy of the name would open itself to being slagged down to eliminate a temporary irritant. The response (at best) would be that of SP perriah or lost cause nation. Trade would evaporate and all contacts would be considered poison. Good bye nation state- hail the new chief. Game over
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Radioactive Man    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/13/2002 12:29:11 PM
Falloutboy, a “surprising military developments” doesn’t mean suddenly you have stronger resistance then you expected. It is more like some nation develops and uses a weapon system that makes all other US weapon systems vulnerable. (like an EMP type of system that makes electronics useless.) Another example could be some how an enemy manages to take out the entire pacific fleet. These are of course fairly far fetched ideas, but what it basically says is that no matter what anyone else might be able to pull off against our forces we reserve the right to bitch slap them with our nukes to before the stone age.
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Jeff from Michigan    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/13/2002 7:48:04 PM
Fallout, Very good points. I don't necessarily agree that the use of nukes has to be a reactionary thing. I believe that if we knew where Iran, Syria, North Korea had such weapons we could take them out in a first strike based on events that are happening. I am thinking a general war between Israel and one of it's neighbors and Iran poised to intervene. In other words it would be like cauterizing a wound. I believe that this information got out delibrately to cause a pause in somebody's thought process. A warning saying just because you have something doesn't mean we will let you use it. Lets get real. If Al Quada had nukes they would have used them. If they get them, they will use them. On us not France, not Britain, not Brazil or Japan or China. But you are right in that other nations with less developed nuclear strategies could be tempted to expand their proposed use. This is something that our diplomatic (and Europe's) corps are going to have to work hard at explaining the meaning and ramifications of such a use. Our military leadership could also play a role. In short good points and objections but I believe that the strategy is correct.
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bsl    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/13/2002 7:51:10 PM
FB, I haven't read the original, so I'm only reacting to excerpts... I can think of scenarios where use of nuclear weapons would be contemplated that are reasonable. Notably, under the present circumstances, an enemy launches a substantial chemical or biological, but not nuclear, attack. Especially one on American civilians in America. This is use of WMD, but not nuclear weapons. How do you respond. We HAVE no offensive biological weapons, and we're in the process of destroying our chemical weapons. The idea would be that a WMD attack deserves a WMD response. Another example would be NOT the "kill the enemy leader in the deeply buried bunker" thing floating around the media, these days. It would be the "How the hell do we destroy the WMD facility deeply buried underground?" Especially, "How do we destroy a chemical or biological facility without contaminating half the enemy country for generations?" Ten thousand degree plasma has a nice way of ripping atoms from molecules, which pretty well takes care of bacteria, viruses, and most chemicals of any sort. Don't waste time worrying about battlefield use. This is nothing more than a planning exercise. It isn't going to happen in any conceivable conventional circumstances. Not so long as the enemy army in question isn't actually INSIDE the United States or about to overrun a close ally. IOW, essentially the same circumstances as has been American policy for three generations.
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pfd    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/14/2002 8:59:30 AM
As to the last post, I tend to agree. Also the asymetrical thing is very big these days in theory land. Much counting of rocks sissors and stones. Freeman Dyson once (in the early 80's I believe) felt that PGMs were supplanting nukes in the long range attack business. The past 20 odd years has proved his point. If your neighbor is running his lawnmower at odd hours, a shotgun may not be the cleverest response. I feel that the world is moving away from mass armies and massive weapons. The approach seems to be more slendicular than direct. In this case butter can be more devastating than guns. The bottom line is first use could be devastating to the attacker. Justification would be almost impossible. The rebuilding of ANY diplomatic structure would take decades. Lastly, as to offensive bio-war-this is a heavily veiled subject. Being that I live in a nation where Botulism is used to stop women's faces from wrinkling up too quickly....I think we could catch up very quickly if necessary.
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bsl    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/14/2002 6:20:27 PM
pfd, I know who Dyson was. I'm not familiar with that idea. If he had in mind strategic bombing in the WW2 sense, then, yes, PGMs HAVE become an effective alternative to area bombing. That's not an issue. Just look not only at the money America is investing in them, but how the Europeans are almost drooling over them. However, they are certainly in no sense replacements for the ability to destroy whole cities. City-busters, in the Cold War sense were not so much intended in the pre-nuclear, "strategic" sense of destroying an enemy's economic and military installations, as they were intended to, quite literally, rip an enemy's nation to tiny bits. Especially so when you take into account that by the mid1950s, the planning had taken into account a Soviet first strike which had melted a substantial portion of America to slag. It was INTENDED that the retaliation be in kind, and do to the Soviet Union what had just been done to America. Not to single out purely military and some productive targets with surgical precision. There's a lot more detail and history involved, and ideas changes along with technology and the balance of power, but this is a fair first approximation. As for today, PGMs have many applications and, on whole, not only give us an advantage, but make war, generally, less bloody than it has been. However, don't confuse issues. If America was struck with WMD causing huge casualties, we would very likely look to a retaliation in kind. Not to kill only the man who made the decision to attack us, but to cause damage on at least as large a scale as had been done to us. To do otherwise would be to, in effect, INVITE such attacks in the future. The "assymetrical war" which would be in effect would be "Kill half our country, lose one man". See the point? You simply can't establish a condition where enemies can kill whole cities of yours, while risking only a handful of their own casualties. You tend to run out of your own country with that approach. As for offensive biological weapons, as things stand, today, we don't have them and wouldn't use them if we did. You're concerned about the imprecision of deaths caused by NUCLEAR weapons? Nukes are models of precision compared to bio weapons. ESPECIALLY today, when we have proved, in actual fact, that we have enemies not only eager to use WMD against us, but who have been working to develop, purchase, and steal those weapons, we need to have an idea how to respond to such an attack ready. That does NOT mean we take an attack which kills a hundred thousand, then organize a commission to study possible responses and recommend that Congress fund a program to that end. bsl
Quote    Reply    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/15/2002 2:08:38 AM
Getting nukes will become easier as the years pass (as science advances things like high speed centrifuges become cheaper and easier to build) and nations (or groups) that you nuked in the past are not likely to forget. If you make a point in nuking someones nuklear capabilities to prevent further nuking you are going in the wrong direction. The only possible sollution is lasting world peace (or utter and total annihilation of all opposition which results in the same).
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pfd    bsl's last post   3/15/2002 10:57:42 AM
Since the US is not likely to bury it's capability in this area soon, the argument is thin. Deterrence is an accepted doctrine. It one likely to stay in place for many decades. What kicked this off was the idea that first use was justifiable. Since a 1980's 'bolt from the blue' attack is pretty much gone-(and just as bankrupt a concept then). First use remains a politically and more important morally unjust -ifable concept. The current situation is based on anational groups. They have no capitol or industrial base. To vaporize millions of innocent people who are disintrested in the current 'problem' of the week would be an act of gross foolishness/madness. To use a possibility- a lunatic band grabs an elderly backpack nuke (sans PAL) and toasts a major US urban center. Gosh, blow the lids off the silos and trash the town one of their Grandmothers came from? Teach 'em a good lesson? -Not viable. This just makes folks want to have the 'long reach' just to keep madness like this from becoming realizable. We would not demolish Northern Ireland because of if an IRA attack against the US. The British response could very well be more than we could handle. Welcome to the assymetrical approach. In this case, good HUMINT on the ground and a couple of silenced Colt .22 woodsmans and the problem maybe stopped before it started. Sad to say, the glorious big stick will never get it's signature piece but we are going to wallow in a very dirty and murky universe. One where cash is king and loyalties shift overnight. As to Bio warfare, Biology has become one of the most cutting edge industries in the past decades. Physics was hot in the '30s, Cosmology in the 80's 90's. The uncoding of the Genom is just the tip of the iceburg. Proteins are now the hot topic. It ain't the 50's no more. This creeps me out more than MR NUKE.
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pfd    RE:bsl's last post   3/15/2002 11:01:18 AM
ps I enjoy your posts alot. Thank you for forcing me to think.
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bsl    RE:New Nuke Plan   3/15/2002 5:08:03 PM
M, "Getting nukes will become easier as the years pass (as science advances...." Exactly so. "If you make a point in nuking someones nuklear capabilities to prevent further nuking you are going in the wrong direction." This is not what's under discussion. Totally wrong. No one has proposed using nuclear weapons on anyone who tries to acquire nuclear weapons. If that was true, the stories you've read would have had paragraphs about the strategic planning to attack Great Britain and France. What's under discussion is attacking nuclear facilities in context of a war. If we're in a war with Iraq, or know that Iraq is about to begin a war and use it's nuclear weapons it certainly IS reasonable and responsible to see if anything can be done to destroy that nuclear capability before it is demonstrated somewhere like Chicago or Washington. " The only possible sollution is lasting world peace" Oh, golly. When can we start??? Tell you what; I propose that you go out there and talk to all those evil people who don't see things your way. You don't need military capabilities. "Our puny armies, navies, air forces, and Weapons of Mass Destruction are no match for your superior soul." " (or utter and total annihilation of all opposition which results in the same). " Which more or less returns us to the theology of "The Lord favors those with the biggest guns".
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