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Subject: Last laugh option
Sikman    3/11/2003 11:13:52 PM
Although it is clear that Chinese and North Korean radar stations can detect incoming nuclear tipped ICBMs, it is essential that the US first nuclear strike against them is not detectable by rader. The US is the only country with possession of a fleet of long range stealth bombers. Since these cannot be detected by enemy radar they can be used to carry out a first strike against NK and with production of a few additional planes would be able to totally annhialate China. Without consequence!!!! If anyone can think of some holes in this theory(there are probably many) please share them with me
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Final Historian    RE:Last laugh option   3/11/2003 11:45:04 PM
There are plenty. First off, Stealth planes are a misnomer. They should be called "really hard to see planes." They are very hard to detect, which is why the are called stealthy, but they aren't invisible. The idea behind the Stealth Bomber was to create a nuclear platform that could navigate through the Russian radar detection system they set up. The CCCP had perhaps the best air defense system in teh world, no conventional plane could hope to get through. Stealth Bombers were designed so that they mostly reflect radar, and thus can only be detected when they get close to Radar stations and there is too much EMR for them to block it. The idea was to use radar detection systems to navigate through the air defense network, by finding spots that had weaker overlapping coverage and thus get past them into the Soviet heartland. The problem with your plan is that to guarantee no nuclear response, you would have to destroy a country's nuclear aresnal. While that might be possible against NK, it wouldn't work against the PRC. They have enough space to spread their weapons out, and most importantly they have plenty of short range missiles which can hit Taiwan. So while the US mainland might not be hit, Taiwan and perhaps Japan could be severely damaged by a Chinese response.
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displacedjim    RE:Last laugh option   3/13/2003 3:54:50 PM
Actually, I'm not so sure whether the B-2s currently have a nuclear role, but even if they do, we wouldn't need them. We could easily take out all their ICBMs with a first strike from our own ICBMs. I seriously question whether the PRC could react in time to lauch their own before ours hit. Otherwise, I bet we could use our B-2s and accomplish the same mission before they knew what was up. However, as Mr. Historian points out, the PRC has many, many hundreds of short range nuclear missiles such that we could not guarantee the destruction of enough of them to avoid a devastating strike against Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan should the PRC so choose. That being said, can anyone actually believe an American president would order such a massive nuclear strike against any foreign country just on his own whim? It's one thing to go it alone into Iraq, I think it's quite another to lob 100 thermonuclear weaheads at China. It's a completely implausible scenario as far as I'm concerned. Jim Habermehl
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Kalashnikov    Critical Damage? Yes. Annihilation? No.   4/5/2003 2:57:05 PM
As Final Historian has pointed out, a stealth bomber is not totally invisible. Although an assault by air using nuclear free-falls would be devastating to the PRC, America could not hope to crush it using nuclear might alone. (And with a regular army numbering over 3 million and reserves of about 1.6 million, a ground invasion seems also highly unlikely) I would also like to point out the power gap between a plane-dropped nuke and an ICBM.. Take a standard 50 megaton free-fall nuke and compare it to a 500 kiloton missile. The probability of a nuclear air assault against China is unlikely, even with a stealth bomber, which I might add, have a smaller payload than most conventional bombers, besides the B-1B Lancer which is semi-stealth.
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Belisarius    Destroy China's nukes? Maybe...   7/7/2003 2:39:18 PM
...but from what I've read, they have only a very few missile silos. A lot of their missiles are liquid-fuel ICBMs stored DEEP in caves in the mountains. Takes a few hours to prep for launch, but it also takes several nukes to burrow down and kill them... per cave, if we can locate them all. This website was linked to from's WMD guide... therefore I think it's at least moderately reliable. "Taken into account of the rupture zone around the crater and the likely penetration depth of warheads, at least three 500-kiloton warheads will have to land on the same spot sequen tially in order to penetrate the 1-kilometer thick earth cover and destroy the tunnel underneath. Even with the monster 20-megeton warhead on Russia's single-warhead SS-18, at least two warheads have to land on the same spot. Moreover, one would destroy less than 300 meters of a tunnel using three warheads. Assuming the underground tunnel network under the Tai-Hei Mountain Range is only 1,000 kilometer long, one would need to use 10,000 (ten thousand) 500-kiloton warheads in order to make sure the tunnel network is completely destroyed." Don't have to destroy the entire network, just all the entrances... but still... NOT an easy task.
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Horse Soldier    RE:Critical Damage? Yes. Annihilation? No.   7/7/2003 3:30:39 PM
>>Although an assault by air using nuclear free-falls would be devastating to the PRC, America could not hope to crush it using nuclear might alone. << Just to review a bit of fairly recent history (1945 to the present), both the US and USSR developed nuclear arsenals to the point of absurdity during the Cold War. While both the US and Russia have reduced their stockpiles, both retain sizeable nuclear forces. While a US nuclear strike on China is wildly improbable, if it were to happen, assuming US carte blanche to pile on the megatonnage as needed and such, China could be and would be annihilated.
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