US to slash nuclear weapons?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by RedRalph, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Then if it was just a typo, you should perhaps have a look back at the site you linked.
    Because as I said in the previous post, according to this site, even a third of a 1 Mt is sufficient to largely annihilate a whole city (I'm talking about an agglomeration of roughly 500 000 to 800 000 inhabitants), and you would certainly not need dozens of them to raze even metropolises.
     
  2. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Hmm.. when I refer to city, I mean the cities most likely to be targeted, for example, Chicago. Sure, a 1mt. bomb could send downtown and 1-2 million people into a living hell, but what about the rest of the 6 million people in the surrounding suburbs? To completely wipe out an urban area, your going to need about a dozen bombs. And this would go for any major city around the world that has suburban sprawl circling it.
     
  3. Counterclaw

    Counterclaw Prince

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    Right. Because no one's ever done it before! Oh...wait.
    Didn't we just have an important anniversary?
     
  4. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    9/11 wasn't an invasion, just a terrorist attack.
     
  5. choxorn

    choxorn Watermelon Headcrab

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    Yeah, there haven't been any real invasions for the past 200 years or so. :p
     
  6. Counterclaw

    Counterclaw Prince

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    in⋅va⋅sion
      /ɪnˈveɪʒən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-vey-zhuhn]
    –noun

    1. an act or instance of invading or entering as an enemy, esp. by an army.
    2. the entrance or advent of anything troublesome or harmful, as disease.

    I beg to differ!
     
  7. Maxxie

    Maxxie Chieftain

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    A dictionary gives a meaning based on an assumption that you interpret the words logically. You can't just change it to whatever you want and expect actually to communicate anything. This is such a basic concept its hard to explain any more. You've misinterpreted your own definition Counterclaw.

    In case you're wondering, the "about 200 years" is a reference to the war of 1812. With the exception of the Philippines and maybe a few other old colonial possessions "inherited" from Spain, that was the last time any territory of the U.S. was actually invaded.
     
  8. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Which is definitely not what I am saying, so your analogy fails again.

    I don't say that a nuke is just a big bomb and using it is no different from using other weapons, these are your word you put into my mouth.

    Your problem is that you believe that the psychological dimension of using a nuclear weapon would dictate the way a nuclear war would be fought, which is a bullcrap. Both sides have plans for a nuclear war, prepared in advance in a very cold and calculating manner, rehearsed and polished all over again. These plans didn't include "oh noes, it's end of the world, let's mass murder enemy civvies!". These plans were made to reduce the damage the other side could cause, which dictated that the enemy nuclear arsenal and the means of delivery were main targets.

    The trouble is it would almost never go like this. Achieving a total surprise is very unlikely if both sides have working early warning systems. So, in reality, when the US EWS detects a Russian launch, the US nuclear missiles are launched against enemy silos, airbases, submarine bases and other vital military infrastructure. After the first round of nuclear exchange, both militaries will be in a state of ruin. There is no reason for both sides to continue massacring each other, because the war is practically over now and they both lost.

    And even if the ideal surprise was achieved and the strike succeeded in taking out most of enemy nukes, it is unlikely the winning and the defeated side would want to continue in the nuclear exchange either. The winning side would have no reason to corner the enemy into launching nukes at its cities, and the losing side would have no reason to commit suicide by doing so (because the retaliation would inevitably annihilate what's left of it).

    So you still failed in proving that cities would inevitably be targeted. There is no military reason for that and there is no common sense reason for that either. I don't say a launch against cities is impossible, just highly unlikely.

    You can say it million times if you like, but it won't prove anything unless you can add some solid reasoning. Cities are secondary targets, which might be targeted only in a state of total desperation. In most realistic nuclear war scenarios, the belligerents would avoid wasting nukes for enemy cities.
     
  9. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I didn't say that cities were the "only targets", I did say they were "among the main targets".
    And the psychological dimension being such a large part of the nukes, of course they would at least partially influencehow a war with them will be fougth.
    I didn't "failed", you just refuse to compute it. And your whole explanation, though sound on a strict military point of view, fails also to include it.

    So I'll say it again : the power of the nukes is, above all, deterrence. Targetting cities is the best way to deter someone from using nuke on you. A country can survive with its military devastated, it can't with its cities nuked.
    Nukes (nowaday) aren't a weapon to win a war, they are a scarecrow to prevent the NBC war to even start. As such they simply have to include cities in their targets, which is sufficient to keep in check everyone but the most suicidal fanatics from using them.
     
  10. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    You quite clearly implied that cities would be nuked from the outset, or alternatively that during a nuclear war, bombing would inevitably be switched to cities according to the countervalue strategy.

    If you suddenly want to change your position, I suggest you first clearly state what is it you're saying.

    So now it's "at least partially"? Again, tell me what the heck is your position, because I am getting lost in your statements.

    So, as I see you're now mixing two different things together - the peacetime role of nuclear arsenal and the wartime strategy for nuclear warfare.

    There is the threat that a nuclear armed country can choose to trump Hitler in making its place in history as the country which killed the most enemy civilians, but neither Russia or the US would actually do anything like that if push came to shove.

    In war, military considerations take precedence and it's military logic what directs it, not some urban myths about how it is supposed to look like. Therefore, launching nukes against purely civilian targets of little or no military value remains a desperate measure.

    On a side note, it makes little sense to group nuclear weapons with other forms of WMDs, although it's often being done.
     
  11. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    God, are you unable to read and understand simple english ?

    "Cities are among the main targets". I fail to see how it can be clearer. For those lacking reading comprehension, it means that there is "main targets", i.e. the ones you will nuke in priority ; there is, of course, the nukes and military important points (factories, refineries, silos, troop concentrations, etc.), and there is also cities.
    How hard it is to understand that ?
    This is absurd. The peacetime role is due to what you will actually do with the nukes. The very principle of a deterrent is that it's used to prevent something, and it will BE used if this something happens - or else where is the deterrence ?
    Well, you again fail at understanding what a deterrent is. Of course nukes will also be used against military targets of value, but their point as a deterrent is based on their use against civilian targets.
    No, it doesn't, because all three are the same kind of weapons : weapon of terror and deterrence.

    You seem to be totally obnubiled by a military by-the-book reasoning, and largely oblivious to whatever spills out of this very narrow point of view. Makes lots of your affirmation feels completely naive, while your goal is probably the opposite - thinking "not naive".
     
  12. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    As has been stated to you over a dozen times, you saying doesn't make it so. You have yet to provide any logical reason for what you predict to transpire.

    As to your magical "psycological" reason, see what Winner said. Deterance is based on the THREAT of violence. Once violence actually breaks out and deterance has failed, there is no reason whatsoever to maintain that posture in the new enviroment. Deterence having failed, what purpose does nuking cities with no military value over forces actively seeking your destuction serve?

    Well then I suppose every nuclear forces commander and major politician from the 1960's on in both Russia and the US thought like McArther, because couther force targeting has ruled the day for the last 50 years on both sides.

    Just as a little history lesson for you, nobody disagreed with McArthur that his stategy would achieve military victory in Korea. What the disagreed with was that in the means he was attempting to use were not proportional to the ends he was aiming for.

    No, it rests on whether or not your opponents believe you are capable of doing such a thing, not whether or not you actually will. Your position still makes no sense though, as even a counter force strike would devestate a country to such an extent and kill so many civilians anyway that there really is no relevant difference in the level of fear induced in the average citizen when discussing the difference between the two strategies. Its like asking someone if they would rather be shot with a .40 or a .45.
     
  13. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

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    Getting way off topic here lads
     
  14. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

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    OK, I'm not 100% right, but hey hey, folks...

    from BBC

     
  15. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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  16. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Then that statement is clearly wrong - cities are not prioritized as nuclear targets (targets for nuclear strikes).

    What's absurd here is how much you insist on your amateurish understanding of nuclear deterrence and how much you refuse to understand arguments which are being given to you.

    Otherwise, read what Patroklos said in reaction to this, and I suggest you do it more than once.

    No, it's not. Civ4 isn't a reliable source for this kind of information, no matter how hard you believe in the opposite.

    Aren't you tired of being wrong all the time?

    Chemical and biological weapons are incomparable with nuclear weapons because of their very nature. They may be used as a terror weapon, but hardly as a deterrence against anything. Nuclear weapons can be very precisely targeted and their effects are so devastating, that their possession really changes the position of the country which acquired them.

    On the other hand, chemical weapons are unstable, their effects greatly depending on conditions you can't control (winds, temperature, humidity etc. etc. etc.) and their simple possession is hardly a deterrence against an attack. BTW, all major countries fighting WW2 had vast stockpiles of them, but they didn't use them (except isolated incidents) against each other and they didn't stop countries from going to war.

    Biological weapons are even more volatile. They don't incapacitate the enemy fast enough, they are even harder to control, they are essentially unusable against anything but unsuspecting civilian populations. As far as I know, no country bases its deterrence on threats of biological retaliation.

    Which is why it makes no sense to put nuclear weapons in the same category.

    Look, you've proven time and again that you don't know anything about this issue. You're knowledge isn't based on any research, reading, study or objective sources, it's just your vague belief that the public fear of nuclear weapons somehow dictates the nuclear policy of countries which possess them. And that is so wrong, arrogant and childish, that the only thing I can say to that is this: we're done here. Come back when you learn something about the issue you want to discuss.

    /Akka
     
  17. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Weeeell, if you say so.
    Considering the basis of MAD was targeting the population and industrial centers, and that it's not until Carter's administration that a doctrine considering a possibility to not target them was developped and codified - and it still didn't reject entirely the concept of MAD, just wanted to find alternatives to not have a "all or nothing" doctrine -, you're welcome to wallow in your arrogance and pretentiousness. I'll, myself, stick with historical facts.
     
  18. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Largest population centers, such as Moscow, Leningrad, etc. would be targeted obviously. Their military value is too big to leave them intact.
     
  19. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

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    So, what do ye think of Gordon Brown's decision?
     
  20. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Makes a lot of sense.

    This graphic shows how much sense it makes:

     

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