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Nuclear question: what would happen?

Winner

Diverse in Unity
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Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
Imagine the following situation: a nuke goes off in a Western city (preferably in USA, France or Britain, because they have their own nuclear weapons).


Hundreds of thousands of people die, millions are injured. Hospitals in the country are unable to cope with the disaster. Firestorm consumes the rest of the devastated city and firefighters are completely powerless against it. EMP shuts down power grids in the whole region, people are confused and don't know what happened. Chaos is starting to spread. Fallout is being blown away by the wind and deposited around the countryside.

Investigation reveals, that the nuke was build in -Insert random islamist country-, which has probably secretly given it to an international terrorist organization. The terrorists smuggled the nuke into the country and detonated it. The evidence for that is solid.

The military asks the President/Prime minister what to do. Should he authorize a nuclear retaliation against the country where the nuke came from? Should he resort only to a conventional response? Or should he do something different?

What do you think?
 
The use of nuclear weapons are only justified to prevent a prolonged war with even more deaths and not to take revenge on the populace for the atrocities of their government.
The response should be a conventional war and the execution of every official who had anything to do with this attack.
 
nuking would be overkill, as I'm assuming the county doesn't have the means to pull of a stunt like that again and a nuke would only kill more innocents.
Conventional strike with invasion to pull down the government and punish those responsible is what I'd support. It would take a strong leader to do this though, as the death toll in the random country would be less than that of the nuked city.
 
You should not only think about what would be the right response, but what would be the real response.

You're a leader of a country which has been attacked harder than any other country in history. Hundreds of thousands are dead, millions are injured and many of them will die too in few weeks because of radiation poisoning and other injuries.

Your people are at first terrified, then they demand revenge. They want it quick, they don't give a damn about who's innocent and who's not.

So, what would, rather than should, happen?
 
I would retaliate with nukes, but not blindly: not just to kill as many people as possible, but try to get intelligence on the wereabouts of the leaders of the attacking country, and use a nuke just big enough to obliteratet them. Because
a) No need to kill the poor peasant
b) We need to be sure we don't miss the men who give the orders.

The goal is to say: you nuke my people, I nule you.

A conventional war could damage the civilians to.

And using only conventional retalation would give the message that the attacker can start again.
 
Just arm every warhead you have, aim them at the nation in question and Mecca, the Holy City, go to war with the nation and say that as soon as your country hears of Islamic terrorism again, you'll fire your own nukes.

You give fair warning so that the people can get out of Mecca, but the terrorists might value it.
 
It would be overkill do use nukes in retaliation because there would be no targets large enough to justify using a nuke and using nukes would not stop the terrorists from attacking.

Of course the exact course of action depends on the country the nuke came from and a host of other considerations.
 
Just arm every warhead you have, aim them at the nation in question and Mecca, the Holy City, go to war with the nation and say that as soon as your country hears of Islamic terrorism again, you'll fire your own nukes.

You give fair warning so that the people can get out of Mecca, but the terrorists might value it.

Why not detonate some nukes outside Mecca? Not close enough to destroy it but enough to scare some people. Perhaps in a barren part of the desert in easy sight of the city. That way we show what we're capable of and what's at stake for them.
 
Investigation reveals, that the nuke was build in -Insert random islamist country-, which has probably secretly given it to an international terrorist organization. The terrorists smuggled the nuke into the country and detonated it. The evidence for that is solid.

The military asks the President/Prime minister what to do. Should he authorize a nuclear retaliation against the country where the nuke came from? Should he resort only to a conventional response? Or should he do something different?

Target every city in the country and turn it into a parking lot.

IMO, that should be our standing policy. Don't waste time trying to prevent all those countries like Iran from getting the bomb, just make it very clear that if you attack us with nukes, you can kiss your country goodbye.
 
Depends really, can I only say what I would do.

1 - Full activation of the armed services and reserves. Every last member 65 and under regardless.

2 - Get a full and formal state of war declared and force our Allies to step in as well. Funny thing about the US declareing war, it keeps more people out of the war by not making a full and formal declaration. Expand this thing, you'll more than likely see this happen in Europe as well.

3 - Make a full and no bs case in the UN and not ask for premission to do anything from them. Tell them " this is x y and z. Cause of a b and c "

4 - Retaliate with whatever looked to be the best option, and not all at once. No reason to go running into anything after Iraq, if it's Iran and it turns into a real shooting war it's going to need the draft.
 
Target every city in the country and turn it into a parking lot.

IMO, that should be our standing policy. Don't waste time trying to prevent all those countries like Iran from getting the bomb, just make it very clear that if you attack us with nukes, you can kiss your country goodbye.

Well that is the policy isnt it, massive retaliation?

but in this case there would have to be unequivocal prrof of where it came from. If it was Saudi they wouldnt destroy the entire country because they need it.
 
I would retaliate with nukes, but not blindly: not just to kill as many people as possible, but try to get intelligence on the wereabouts of the leaders of the attacking country, and use a nuke just big enough to obliteratet them. Because
a) No need to kill the poor peasant
b) We need to be sure we don't miss the men who give the orders.

The goal is to say: you nuke my people, I nule you.

A conventional war could damage the civilians to.

And using only conventional retalation would give the message that the attacker can start again.
Quoted for Truth
Full activation of the armed services and reserves. Every last member 65 and under regardless.

2 - Get a full and formal state of war declared and force our Allies to step in as well. Funny thing about the US declareing war, it keeps more people out of the war by not making a full and formal declaration. Expand this thing, you'll more than likely see this happen in Europe as well.

3 - Make a full and no bs case in the UN and not ask for premission to do anything from them. Tell them " this is x y and z. Cause of a b and c "

4 - Retaliate with whatever looked to be the best option, and not all at once. No reason to go running into anything after Iraq, if it's Iran and it turns into a real shooting war it's going to need the draft.
Quoted for truth



I would prepare, invade and meanwhile nuke the leader(s)
 
Wait, what type of nuke is it?
A small yield WWII era nuke, or a modern multi-megaton nuke?
If it was small yield, I would just do intense carpet bombing of the capital and major industrial centers, then do a ground invasion.
If it was a multi-megaton I would turn their country into a nuclear wasteland.
 
I would nuke the country until everything inside it's borders turned to dust.

Then I would go after the terrorist organization, wherever it hid.
 
few people seem to have a problem with killing millions of innocents without even a gain for the own people - you guys really thought about this?
 
few people seem to have a problem with killing millions of innocents without even a gain for the own people - you guys really thought about this?

It is a deterrent. Provide these types of weapons to terrorists and you will suffer the same fate.
 
Just arm every warhead you have, aim them at the nation in question and Mecca, the Holy City, go to war with the nation and say that as soon as your country hears of Islamic terrorism again, you'll fire your own nukes.

You give fair warning so that the people can get out of Mecca, but the terrorists might value it.

You see, we're not, and have never been, and certainly aren't in this situation, at war with all of Islam. It's still only the extremists who hate us. By nuking Mecca, you can be sure that every last of those 1.2 Billion Muslims who never cared about the US before will hate us with aveangance until the Second Coming.
 
It is a deterrent. Provide these types of weapons to terrorists and you will suffer the same fate.

yeah, so here's an idea - how about punishing all those people using/producing/providing the weapons as well as all those who knew about it. With a nuke you'll hit those, but as a fraction of about 0,0001% of the people you're hitting...
 
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