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DogOnPorch

Is Nuclear War Inevitable?

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More players at this card game than ever...and more on the way. Have we become desensitized to the still looming threat? Are delivery methods becoming too stealthy for a good night's sleep? What of MAD when apocalyptic religions are on the rise...and armed with hydrogen bombs?? You get the idea...

In this thread, feel free to discuss all things related to the possible use of nuclear weapons. Or perhaps how to put the genie back in the bottle...hah. 

This 'fun' little site is still online for now....

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/

B-61_bomb.jpg.3f17ca6f474801d829dc367ee493a051.jpg

The B61 weighs in at a whopping 700 lbs...and packs a 400 kt punch at maximum yield. 

That's about 27 Hiroshimas in one wee bomb.

 

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Break the ice...

Growing-up, we'd have Civil Defence drills complete with moaning air raid sirens in my city frequently. We always seemed to be on the eve of destruction. Then, Red China would lite-off a big one and the radioactive plume would hit Canada...yay. If you're born before 1963, there's strontium 90 in your bones from the open air test blasts...

What was your town like if you recall those heady days?

 

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I don't remember anything about it growing up in Yorkshire.  It must have been there, but I don't remember it.

I've always thought that the most reassuring evidence that MAD still works was the India/Pakistan situation.  If they don't go at it, few will. 

Not extending that to Iran, of course.

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3 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

I don't remember anything about it growing up in Yorkshire.  It must have been there, but I don't remember it.

I've always thought that the most reassuring evidence that MAD still works was the India/Pakistan situation.  If they don't go at it, few will. 

Not extending that to Iran, of course.

 

As you might recall, I spent a year in Blackburn way back. There wasn't much of the same urgency, I recall. Though, that big nuclear plant not far away was certainly a target for some big weapons...several in case of duds. 

My hometown was on what was called the Pinetree Line and the Canadian Military had a big base with much Cold War drama. So I'm sure that had much to do with me living like Tweek on South Park for much of my childhood and formative years.

 

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A thermonuclear conflagration a la Cold War is less likely today for several reasons, but the chances for attacks with high yield devices and/or radiological (dirty) bombs is expected as part of any garden variety disaster preparation plan.    

The West has long feared an "Arab Bomb"....good thing Iranians ain't Arabs !

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3 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

A thermonuclear conflagration a la Cold War is less likely today for several reasons, but the chances for attacks with high yield devices and/or radiological (dirty) bombs is expected as part of any garden variety disaster preparation plan.    

The West has long feared an "Arab Bomb"....good thing Iranians ain't Arabs !

 

Iran has shown interest in several delivery methods that are generally frowned upon by the international community re: nuke decorum. Keeping one or more in orbit under the guise of science satellites being rumored as a future goal. And of course....the tramp freighter. 

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2 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

Iran has shown interest in several delivery methods that are generally frowned upon by the international community re: nuke decorum. Keeping one or more in orbit under the guise of science satellites being rumored as a future goal. And of course....the tramp freighter. 

 

Most of Iran's sabre rattling is for regional and domestic consumption.  Nothing Israel can't handle if/when required.

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And as you say...economics trumps virtue...AQ Khan was able to put aside his differences with Shia Iran's religious outlook for suitcases full of cash. Iran likely has at least one working example of someone else's bombs...Pakistan. But, let's just say they at least have all the bits needed....just to be conservative.

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Most of Iran's sabre rattling is for regional and domestic consumption.  Nothing Israel can't handle if/when required.

 

Their ballistic missile slash space program is real enough. As is their perfection of the reentry shroud...gotta keep those monkeys alive...science you see.

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2 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

Their ballistic missile slash space program is real enough. As is their perfection of the reentry shroud...gotta keep those monkeys alive...science you see.

 

Even assuming all goes well and the Iranians can achieve late 1950's performance, it is not scalable to a strategic level.   It has been mostly limited chemical attacks realized during the post WW2 "nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological" threat era.   Conventional conflicts with pea shooters and HE ordnance have remained quite popular and profitable.

 

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Even assuming all goes well and the Iranians can achieve late 1950's performance, it is not scalable to a strategic level.   It has been mostly limited chemical attacks realized during the post WW2 "nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological" threat era.   Conventional conflicts with pea shooters and HE ordnance have remained quite popular and profitable.

 

 

The CEP is too crappy on most ballistic missiles for anything other than a nuke or chemical weapons. USA and Russia being exceptions and exceptional when it comes to rocketry. China still has accuracy problems...thus the mega yield weapons still in service.

 

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12 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

Yes...very transitional...my first patrol was on the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) with Polaris A3 missiles...but we were still using punch cards for targeting.

The Special Projects Office (SPO) in D.C. was pushed hard to get a survivable nuclear deterrent at sea, and Admiral Rickover provided the power plant that made Regulus diesel boats obsolete.    Radar picket subs would remain for a while.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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2 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Yes...very transitional...my first patrol was on the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) with Polaris A3 missiles...but we were still using punch cards for targeting.

The Special Projects Office (SPO) in D.C. was pushed hard to get a survivable nuclear deterrent at sea, and Admiral Rickover provided the power plant that Regulus diesel boats obsolete.    Radar picket subs would remain for a while.

 

The only one I've seen with my own eyes was the USS Skipjack...very swanky tear drop...new at the time.

Edit...newish.

Edited by DogOnPorch

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34 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

A thermonuclear conflagration a la Cold War is less likely today for several reasons, but the chances for attacks with high yield devices and/or radiological (dirty) bombs is expected as part of any garden variety disaster preparation plan.    

The West has long feared an "Arab Bomb"....good thing Iranians ain't Arabs !

But only a strategic exchange is a existential threat, and only a countervalue strategic exchange is end of civilization, so while less likely, that remains the primary threat.  Not even in a deliberate sense, but in the sense that they climb the escalatory ladder again and get themselves wrapped up in a pretzel at the brink, and then somebody makes a mistake, which at hair trigger alert, could be difficult to un ring that bell once rung.

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4 minutes ago, Dougie93 said:

But only a strategic exchange is a existential threat, and only a countervalue strategic exchange is end of civilization, so while less likely, that remains the primary threat.  Not even in a deliberate sense, but in the sense that they climb the escalatory ladder again and get themselves wrapped up in a pretzel at the brink, and then somebody makes a mistake, which at hair trigger alert, could be difficult to un ring that bell once rung.

 

Nevertheless, the USA and allies continue to field weapons and strategies for "limited" tactical nuclear warfare with intermediate range weapons.   There are still over 100 American warheads forward deployed in Europe (NATO).  There are far fewer of these than before, but are required for military and political expediencies.

I can tell you from experience that the care and feeding of nuclear weapons (of any kind) is a major pain in the ass.

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2 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Nevertheless, the USA and allies continue to field weapons and strategies for "limited" tactical nuclear warfare with intermediate range weapons.   There are still over 100 American warheads forward deployed in Europe (NATO).  There are far fewer of these than before, but are required for military and political expediencies.

I can tell you from experience that the care and feeding of nuclear weapons (of any kind) is a major pain in the ass.

 

Much like building them, maintaining them is practically an art form + science. You can't forget how or you'll have to start from square 1.

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2 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

Much like building them, maintaining them is practically an art form + science. You can't forget how or you'll have to start from square 1.

 

Yes, and it is even a pain to de-mil them, recovering their "physics packages" (warhead pit).  

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24 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

The CEP is too crappy on most ballistic missiles for anything other than a nuke or chemical weapons. USA and Russia being exceptions and exceptional when it comes to rocketry. China still has accuracy problems...thus the mega yield weapons still in service.

 

But those MIRV's are legacy platforms, technology is not static, the whole concept of Prompt Global Strike is ICBM quick response with PGM accuracy, they haven't even started building the next generation of MIRV's yet, but at some point they will on the current Cold War 2.0 trajectory.

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2 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Yes, and it is even a pain to de-mil them, recovering their "physics packages" (warhead pit).  

 

Yes, those self contained devices aren't really meant to be torn open. Other than perhaps topping-up the tritium, you didn't need to do much as long as the pit was still within its shelf life. At least that's my understanding.

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I mean, if you combine Big Data to find dispersed and concealed targets by probability to narrow their locations down, with Prompt Global Strike, Aegis Ashore with TLAM option,  and comprehensive BMD?

That's a counterforce force, there is no other reason to have  that except in support of a counterforce, and that is what set the Russians off in the first place.

Edited by Dougie93

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1 minute ago, Dougie93 said:

But those MIRV's are legacy platforms, technology is not static, the whole concept of Prompt Global Strike is ICBM quick response with PGM accuracy, they haven't even started building the next generation of MIRV's yet, but at some point they will on the current Cold War 2.0 trajectory.

 

As I mention, both Russia and the USA are exceptions in the rocketry department. China pretends to be on par...just look at their fabulous space program.

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But nobody except the Russians and the USA are likely to incite a strategic exchange on a grand scale, so I tend to pay attention to them.   If India and Pakistan blow each other up, that's actually quite survivable for civilization as we know it.  Assuming it didn't escalate laterally into a vortex.

Edited by Dougie93

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1 minute ago, Dougie93 said:

I mean, if you combine Big Data to find dispersed and concealed targets by probability to narrow their locations down, with Prompt Global Strike, Aegis Ashore with TLAM option,  and comprehensive BMD?

That's a counterforce force, there is no other reason to have  that except in support of a counterforce, and that is what set the Russians in the first place.

 

It is destabilizing for the Rooskies (much like Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative aka "Star Wars"), but that is not the main purpose.   So called rogue states and actors are more of a threat, so we get layered BMD and hypersonic warhead platforms.

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1 minute ago, Dougie93 said:

But nobody except the Russians and the USA are likely to incite a strategic exchange on a grand scale, so I tend to pay attention to them.   If India and Pakistan blow each other up, that's actually quite survivable for civilization as we know it.  Assuming it didn't escalate laterally into a vortex.

 

By 'nuclear war' I mean any exchange or detonation of nuclear weapons. Be it terrorism or a lone MRBM aimed at Tel Aviv.

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