America will be first nation to use Nuclear warheads.

Discussion in 'World Events' started by EmptyForceOfChi, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    They were pretty highly regarded before WWII as well - owing to their rapid development in the early part of the 20th century, first defeat of a modern European military by an Asian one, etc. WWII was something of an aberration in terms of the view of Japan, I'd say.
     
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  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    That's eminently "Stalinist".
    Soviet military theory never recognised a "nuclear threshold", hence their deployment of Scuds, FROGs etc (with optional conventional/ nuclear warheads).
     
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  5. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Yeah, and their GALOSH ABM system used nukes to destroy inbound nukes. I guess this is quite pragmatic, detonating an exospheric nuke is better than having one go off over Moscow. Plus is makes the intercept window a lot larger and more doable.
     
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    True: but even though Soviet theory never recognized such a threshold (hey, EFC, you listening?) NATO did have any number of tactical nukes. I don't see them using those weapons as a stab across the firebreak that they thought would lead to wholesale strategic nuclear exchange.
     
  8. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    The next nuke will most likely be set off by terrorists and only god knows where that would be.
    Second most likely, Pakistan vs. India. Can't say who would jumps first.

    Third most likely, Israel vs. anyone who F's with them. Just because.

    I'm no expert but that's what I see as the most realistic answer to the OP.
     
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    This thread had unpromising beginnings but has unexpectedly evolved in interesting directions.

    With nuclear weapons gradually becoming more ubiquitous, I think that it's only a matter of time before they are detonated in anger somewhere. How much time is difficult to say. The end of the Cold War was definitely a very positive development in that regard, but the spread of nuclear weapons into less and less stable hands isn't.

    I don't really see the US, Britain, France, Russia or China using nukes or letting any of their nukes escape into terrorist hands. Russia might be the biggest worry among this group regarding nuclear stockpile security. China might be the biggest worry regarding nuclear adventures. I can imagine them launching a war of conquest against Taiwan, the US entering the war on Taiwan's side, and then China detonating a nuclear weapon, perhaps in a demonstration shot to warn us off. But having said that, I'm inclined to think that a Taiwan war going nuclear is a relatively low-probability scenario. It's something that needs to be planned for though.

    New York would be my guess. I think that nuclear terrorism is one of the higher probability scenarios. The question then is where the terrorists would acquire their nuclear weapon. That will be the difficult part, provided that all the nuclear weapon states retain a tight grip on their stockpiles.

    I think that I'd rate India pretty high on the nuclear stability scale. It's not unlike China in that regard, and I don't really see India getting into any nuclear adventures on its own initiative. If India ever uses nukes in anger, it would probably be as retaliation against a Pakistani nuclear strike.

    Pakistan is something entirely different and a bit of a nuclear wild-card. It's a weird volatile mixture of a modern and a medieval state, locked in a deadly internal struggle for its own soul. Whole parts of the country are already effectively outside the central government's control. Radicals have infiltrated everywhere. Civilian government is wobbly and weak, but so far Pakistan's military seems to have held together reasonably well. But if that ever changes, as it very well might, then all bets are off.

    So I guess that I'd say that the chances of an India-Pakistan nuclear war might be less than the chances of Pakistan simply imploding and its military and government falling apart. Which would leave Pakistan a failed state... with nukes. What's more, it would be a failed state in which whole sections of the country are dominated by precisely the kind of Islamic fanatics and associated terrorist groups (including OBL's) that are most motivated to launch nuclear terrorism against the West. Not a pretty picture.

    I think that Israel is very stable in terms of its stockpile security and command and control. But geographically it's a tiny country and very vulnerable. If the state of Israel ever faces annihilation, whether from (Iranian?) nuclear attack or from the Muslim world's conventional forces, then it would probably go nuclear. It's a very real danger.

    That brings up the topic of Iran. It's a country that's run by militants, supports terrorists and at least rhetorically promotes a very aggressive line. If Israel ever gets into a war with another nuclear state, it will probably be them. But it's difficult to know what Iran's real intentions are or how they might use the nuclear weapons that they will almost certainly have in a year or so. A worst case scenario pictures them trying to dominate the Persian Gulf (which contains a majority of the world's proven oil reserves) and using nuclear weapons to threaten anyone who challenges that dominance. They likely see control of the world's oil supplies as their path to becoming an Islamic super-power.

    The last problem spot is North Korea, the world's closest approximation to George Orwell's vision in '1984'. This one is the real wild-card, since there's a very real possibility that the "Dear Leader" might be suffering from psychiatric problems. So there's an ever-present danger that he will launch some nuclear adventure, probably against South Korea and the US forces there, in response to the voices in his head. If he detonated a nuclear weapon in Seoul, I'm not sure how the US would respond. We might reply with tactical nuclear weapons against his military installations. But then again we might not, given that North Korea borders China and we would have to remain cognizant of Chinese sensibilities.
     
  11. Edmilson Registered Member

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    Yes,What the reality is the words that I like to repeat time and again just to indicate the real approach of the USA behind the War on terrorism.Blood is thinner than Oil.Yes,USA has this mindset to crap out of an enemy who they can't defeat.
    Orlando Fitness boot camp
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  12. fedr808 1100101 Valued Senior Member

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    I'm sorry, but who are you?
     
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    Kind of a niche area, I'd say.

    Sure, if one side doesn't have any nuclear weapons. It still gets everybody all pissed off at you, though, and greatly increases the danger of escalation in any conflict between nuclear powers.

    If it were possible, it would have been done by now. It's not like various powers haven't had in their possession large arsenals of tactical nukes, along with generals and advisers vigorously advocating their use, for a long time.

    The real use for tactical nukes is when you're already going to have a strategic exchange anyway, but need to destroy some particular targets in specific, nearby locations in the meantime (those Soviet tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap, say). I.e.,: tactical aspects of a strategic exchange.
     
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    Come on man, that's crazy. That kind of "demonstration" would be an open invitation for the US to launch a first strike. Which is why they won't try to invade Taiwan, absent some breakdown in their decision-making abilities or some agreement with the US that we won't back Taiwan.
     
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Hate to say it... but the Seawolf and Los Angeles class SSN's would probably whoop most of the Russian and Chinese Navy by themselves... much less the US Virginia classes (in construction) or the British Trafalger classes... both of which are faster, quieter, and sport better weapons and sonar...

    Plus, the US Carrier forces are still a major power multiplier... even IF china has their "super-secret" anti-carrier missile, there is a metric f***-tonne of anti-missile defenses it would have to get through, including the Aegis-class's missile interception systems, the Tichonderoga's AMWS, and the carriers on-board AMS...

    Failing all that, do remember that there is a lot about the US military tech that simply isn't open to public eyes... I admit to being incredibly curious about where their LABM (Laser Anti Ballistic Missile) systems stand at this point... cause you know they are far more refined than they would ever actually admit...
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I included China in the class of nuclear powers (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China) whose nuclear weapons are least likely to be used. I'm inclined to add India to that list as well, but there's a chance that an imploding Pakistan might somehow provoke a nuclear confrontation with them. So I'd put India into a middle-liklihood category with Israel. Israel's vulnerable enough that it's conceivable that its survival could be thrown into question, leading to use of its nuclear weapons.

    I do think that China is probably the most likely of these least-likely states to create a situation that threatens to go nuclear. That would be their acting on their often-repeated threats to invade Taiwan if Taiwan continues to reject Beijing party hegemony.

    The scenario envisions Beijing launching some kind of adventure, a Normandy-style amphibious landing if they are up to it, a sea and air blockade if they aren't. Then the US enters the conflict, either to help repel Chinese invaders or to protect Taiwanese trade and commerce.

    China may or may not be able to respond to that with conventional means. They are clearly building up their own military capabilities with this kind of scenario in mind.

    Let's assume that China can't match the United States, the Taiwanese and whatever other allies those two attract to their cause (like Japan perhaps) in conventional battle.

    That's where a nuclear demonstration might be contemplated. One of the possible uses that nuclear nations might find for their arsenals is as hoped-for 'equalizers' - allowing under-gunned adversaries to punch above their weight. In this case, the Chinese would be demonstrating to the US that the Chinese nuclear threshhold had been crossed and America's continued defense of Taiwan will bring about a larger-scale nuclear exchange between China and the US that would very likely cripple or destroy both countries. The Chinese would be indicating that incorporating Taiwan (and as they see it restoring their national integrity) is a life-or-death non-negotiable issue for them. The hoped-for result would be Washington deciding that defending Taiwan isn't worth the danger of losing American cities and would reluctantly back off to avoid a full-scale nuclear exchange.

    Admittedly that's an unlikely scenario. But its probability is well above zero and Pentagon planners will have to generate contingency plans for it.

    My gut tells me that the country most likely to play this 'equalizer' game might be Iran. Their geographical location and angry Islamic militancy kind of suggest the possibiity. Iran's relatively weak in military terms and its conventional forces would probably stand little chance in war against the US. The potential Iranian nuclear scenario is that if they can acquire a few dozen ICBMs capable of reaching North America, then they may conceivably contemplate trying to seize the various Gulf emirates and maybe even Saudi Arabia. They could gain control of the majority of the world's proven oil reserves, while threatening that if the US tries to interfere we risk losing New York, Washington DC and anything else Tehran can hit. And once they have control of the world's oil, their leaders would have control of the world's economy and the power to pick winners and losers.

    Again, that might be an unlikely scenario, but I suspect that it's likely enough that it keeps the Pentagon up at night.
     
  17. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Theoretically. But if one was launched at invading troops in the field then the situation could be negotiated down politically, theoretically?



    Oh yes. But do remember UK, France and China have enough warheads to cause damage, and all have ballistic missile capable subs. The USSR had many more warheads than the US, though they have cut back to simlilar levels to the US now. Both floating around 10,000. The other three notables run at around 250 a piece give or take. India, Pakistan, Israel around 100. North Korea, more and more if they wish.

    Remember, one nuke on a city is pretty conclusive.



    Not so easy to wipe out retaliatory capabilities. Hence the zero chance any significant power will ever go for it.

    Only real worry is North Korea. I personally think China needs to step up and sort out what they have fostered/perpetuated.

    Of course nations with ICBMs are on a different level. All these countries are capable of striking the cities of any foe. US, Russia, Uk, France, India, China all have IC capability. North Korea must never be allowed to achieve this level of capability, in my opinion. Second Korean War could be on the cards. But who will China and Russia back this time? Attitudes are changing.



    USA are far ahead in so many ways. But any ability to defend against ICBMs is unproven in its effectiveness. The test would be the reality.

    Do not fool yourself that this fear amounts to anything other than prevention.



    http://www.moderaterisk.net/images/scispace115.jpg
    http://www.detector-pro.com/2008/09/realtime-locate-or-track-all-satellites.html

    You wouldn't know if they were. A USSR satellite with a nuclear reactor burnt up over Canada. I believe the US knew nothing of THIS capability. Tech can be concealed within satellites no problem it seems.

    I am not claiming knowledge, just keeping all channels of possibility open. No knowledge is no knowledge. Not proof either way.
     
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    But that only works against an adversary that lacks a superior nuclear arsenal. Employed against an adversary who possesses nuclear primacy vis-a-vis yourself, it is suicide. If you cross the nuclear threshold against an enemy that is capable of wiping out your capacity for nuclear retaliation with a first strike, you will suffer devastating defeat. Only question will be whether you accept the terms being dictated to you before or after your cities and infrastructure are annihilated.

    This assumes that a state of mutually-assured-destruction exists between the USA and China. It does not. The USA is in a position of nuclear primacy - able to launch a first strike that would, with very high probability, eliminate China's ability to retaliate via nuclear strikes on the USA. At which point, China is completely hosed. So they won't do this, absent some outbreak of irrationality or qualitative advances in their nuclear arsenal.

    Well, they also need to acquire nuclear warheads, and ones compact and robust enough to fit on those missiles. And then they'll need to expand their arsenal by multiple orders of magnitude, and develop a variety of stealth and submarine technology, to have any chance of challenging American nuclear primacy. Possessing a few warheads and a few ICBMs does not add up to a nuclear deterrent against the USA, in that sense. It might be enough to deter a conventional invasion by the USA. But it is nowhere near enough to cover aggressive actions that would flirt with the nuclear threshold - try that, and the USA has no reason not to launch a first strike that would wipe out your ICBMs. At which point, you're screwed: you're in a nuclear war, without any capacity to retaliate. Only question, again, is exactly how much devastation you will suffer before capitulating.
     
  19. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    It really depends on the nuclear balance between the parties to the conflict. If one of them has nuclear primacy, then crossing the threshold just means that the other one gets wiped out. You might take some more enemies with you than otherwise, but it wouldn't change the political outcome.

    In a situation where the parties exhibit nuclear parity, I suppose there some theoretical edge case where such a display of determination/insanity, in the correct circumstances, could lead to a change in political outcome. But much more likely is that you just end up with a lot of mutual destruction.

    A single warhead is enough to "cause damage."

    The strategic question is whether a country has sufficient warheads, and sufficiently robust and distributed delivery systems, to credibly emerge from a first-strike against them with significant retaliatory capability intact. The only country in that position, vis-a-vis the USA is Russia - and even then, there's some question marks hanging over the issue. A few warheads and missiles (and subs) is not some magical bullet, when adversaries possess tens of thousands of warheads and advanced stealth delivery systems. The arsenals of most countries (except for USA and Russia) aren't good for anything other than deterring a conventional invasion of your country.

    But they are way, way behind on stealth technology, submarines, detection and control technologies, etc. The USA has been running with this stuff for 20 years, as if the Cold War never ended. Russia is struggling with the costs of maintaining the old Soviet systems. And so the gap between nuclear capabilities continues to widen every year.

    Sure, but not the conclusion you're thinking of, in most cases. If someone nukes an American city, the conclusion will be an overwhelming nuclear retaliation.

    I didn't say it was "easy," as such. That it is not easy, is exactly why the USA has spent decades and mountains of money developing a gigantic arsenal with advanced stealth capabilities. There is little dispute that an American first strike could reliably eliminate the retaliatory capabilities of any nuclear power other than Russia - and even in the case of Russia, it's an open question.

    The reason for the very small chances is not that it can't be done, but that it would generate unacceptable international political opprobrium unless done in response to some clear justification. And since everyone knows this, everyone is very careful not to provide any such justification to any power with such capabilities. So, China will not risk crossing the nuclear threshold in a conflict with the USA, etc.

    The bare ability to strike whoever doesn't necessarily add up to a lot. It's a good deterrent against conventional invasion. But if you try it - or even threaten it - against a power with nuclear primacy over you, it's suicide.

    It isn't "defend against ICBMs" so much as "blow up all enemy ICBMs before he has a chance to launch them at you." If you have enough warheads, and stealthy enough ways of delivering them, then this becomes feasible.

    Except you were talking about technology that doesn't even exist on the ground to begin with. A nuclear reactor is in a different category entirely.

    Except that I do have relevant knowledge. I've worked in exactly this area, and know dozens of others who spent careers on it. Including people who did extensive technical exchanges with the Russians on these technologies, after the Cold War ended.
     
  20. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    This is erroneous. How can you wipe out submarines when you have no idea where they are?

    Also if UK launched a comprehensive first strike on cities of any country, to do as much damage as possible (forget missile silos), the devastation would be extreme enough. To say this is of no regard because a retaliatory strike would wipe you out is stupid. Any nuclear strike against a nuclear enemy is kamikaze on a subjective national scale, period.



    True enough, but they still have operational subs. Subs capable of, in sync with land based ICBMs, a pretty conclusive outcome.



    Against what? Subs that have already long disappeared? A nuclear war can eliminate ground targets: cities, missile silos, military bases. Where's the subs?



    I didn't say that you said it was easy. I was just pointing out the obvious.

    A USA first strike is only effective if it can destroy its enemies subs. And considering the armed forces of a country are not privy to the locations of their own subs, let alone the theoretical enemy, your assertion is wrong. One sub could do a lot of damage, and kill millions of people.



    I think you aren't really in tune with this at all. Of course it can't be done. No first strike can remove sufficient enemy capability to protect a country from devastating retaliation. In all out nuclear war international disapproval is not top of the worry list.

    No one risks crossing the nuclear threshold with any country with mobile launch capability. Why do you think the UK relies on subs instead of land based launch sites?


    Any nuclear tennis match between the top 5 nations would be suicide. There are differing levels of destruction that can be meted out, I'll give you, but a nuke on each main city of ones country is really bad?

    Uk has 4 subs with this capability I believe? Each missile has a range of 7,000 miles.

    "Each submarine carries 16 Trident II D-5 missiles, which can each carry up to twelve warheads." (wiki)

    I think this would give the Russians or the US a "bad hair day"? Do you really think this capability is of little regard? Do you think a first strike of any country could remove this capability?


    You what? I refer to defending against a first strike, you refer to a first strike. Both have relevance, or are you just seeking to be disagreeable for its own sake?

    Stealth doesn't help when you have no target.

    Russia and China and France all have subs too.

    Thorium reactors are a reality, and I believe laser technology is further along than we realise. Nuclear reactors have already been put into space. But of course I was being conjectural on this tech. My point (which you falsely disagreed with; my point still holds) is that the US and Russia have stuff in space which their opposite numbers have no info on. So therefore it is POSSIBLE a missile launch platform could be up there somewhere.


    You have no knowledge of what the Russians have in orbit, who does?

    Words are being twisted. I wasn't attacking your knowledge, just saying that there are some satellites up there that are not public knowledge. It isn't impossible that a satellite could have dual function. The fact the US had no knowledge of the USSR's satellite with a reactor on board (and this was in a low orbit hence its burning up) doesn't really add to any confidence in US or Russia having enough knowledge of each others activities in space to rule out my unsubstantiated suggestion/conjecture.
     
  21. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    You figure out where they are, obviously.

    I don't dispute that one can't launch a first strike on a country that has deployed SLBM subs that you don't know the locations of. I do dispute that realistic nuclear opponents of the USA have sufficient numbers of sufficiently-stealthy submarines, kept on patrol sufficiently often, to present much impediment to a US first strike. Russia's subs barely get out of port these days, China only has like 2 SLBMs to begin with, etc. These things cost an absolute fortune, after all.

    Extreme enough for what? If you don't take out the enemy silos, it's nowhere near extreme enough to prevent the UK from being obliterated in short order. That's why nuclear targetting doesn't concern itself with devestating cities so much - the top-priority targets are enemy nuclear retaliation capabilities, command and control, etc. You only go after the cities once they have no way to retaliate in kind, supposing they haven't just surrendered outright by that point (which they'd be crazy not to do).

    And that is exactly why such a scenrio is of no regard. Nation-states aren't in the business of kamikaze attacks on that scale.

    I don't think that's such a big concern these days. It's not the 1980s when they could still afford an impressive, modern force, and deploy it constantly. This is discussed in detail in the Foreign Affairs article I linked earlier, although viewing such requires membership.

    The Russian subs get fried while sitting in the dock, where they are right now.

    I agree that if the subs manage to get away before your missiles hit them, your first strike has failed (absent some qualitative improvement in missile-intercept systems, anyway). Point is that Russia can no longer afford to maintain a credible sub deterrent. France and the UK are probably different stories - but still can only afford a very limited number of subs. You manage to find and sink them, they're sitting ducks.

    Of course - the first strike must destroy essentially all enemy nuclear weapons systems with international reach, or it fails. Again, absent some qualitative improvement in anti-missile systems.

    Except that everyone knows where Russia's subs are: sitting in port, collecting rust.

    True enough - but it's not necessarily crazy to run the risk of losing a few cities, if you stand to win a strategic nuclear war. It would have to be an extreme situation to justify such risks, of course.

    Depends on the enemy capabilities in question. Russia is kind of on the edge of that distinction, wrt the USA. Everyone else faces the prospect of an American first strike eliminating their (rather limited) capabilities for striking the USA in retaliation. Again, the referenced Foreign Affairs article gets into this in detail.

    And, again, a couple of nukes hitting targets in the USA is not "devestating retaliation" in the context of a strategic nuclear exchange. We'd survive that. You have to be able to land dozens and dozens of warheads to get into the "devestation" range. It's a big country, with a population that is not so concentrated in any one place.

    Sure, but it's second-from-the-top. It does little good to prevail in a strategic nuclear exchange, if the result is that the entire world sees you as an unacceptable threat to international relations and bands together to come after you. That's why the USA doesn't just go around nuking any of the various non-nuclear or weakly-nuclear countries that it has serious disputes with.

    Sure they do - that's why we've had various nuclear crises over the years.

    Makes for a more credible deterrent obviously - but hardly an impenetrable one. As it is, the UK also maintains close alliance with most of the powers that might credibly threaten them with first strike.

    Nah. USA vs. Russia is probably suicide. USA vs. China, maybe not. USA vs France or UK is one-sided - just a matter of tracking down a submarine or two, and then it's game over.

    But only one is out on patrol at any given time. If you can find and target that one sub, it's game over. Which would still be a problem for a lot of countries, but the USA has the navy for it. And knows exactly where the bases for said subs are located.

    Of course not - it is a vital target in any first strike.

    My point is that it is not a sufficient force to ensure first-strike survivability against an opponent with the kind of massive nuclear and military and intelligence resources the USA has.

    Yes. It's a matter of locating and destroying a single submarine.

    Compare that to what you'd have to do to pull off a first strike against the USA: dozens of subs, hundreds of stealth strategic bombers, hundreds of ICBM silos, all connected to the most advanced command-and-control and monitoring systems in the world.

    But not enough subs. If you can keep, say, 10 SLBM subs out on patrol at all times, there's not much prospect of a successful first strike against you. Deploying a single submarine is insufficient, at least against a country that rules the high seas (and is working steadily on anti-ballistic-missile defenses).

    So?

    I don't think anyone has developed a workable space laser system that would be effective at ballistic missile defense.

    That things that have long existed on the ground, have been put into space, is not much evidence that things that don't exist on the ground have been put into space.

    I didn't say I have knowledge of what they have in orbit. I said I have knowledge of what technologies they have, anywhere. The probability that they possess some unknown advanced technology is very low. The probability that they not only possess such, but have secretly deployed it in orbit is much small than that.

    I wasn't disputing the fact that both sides have secret satellites with military applications.

    I was disputing the conjecture that such contain revolutionary technologies that are not known to exist on the ground, let alone in a suitably compact, robust package for deployment in orbit.

    Or were you suggesting they have nuclear missile launchers in orbit? That's nuts. Such a thing would be massive and easily detected long ago (and violates a whole bunch of treaties). It would be a massive liability.
     
  22. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    If UK puts its 4 ICBM subs out, and the rest of its subs, all which carry tomahawks that can deliver nuclear warheads, that is a successful first strike on the US. Virtually, if not every major city hit. Retaliation is a given.

    UK has more than one sub out at any given time (other classes with tomahawks) so your assertion of a one sub scenario is false

    This is contrary to the post I took issue with.


    If US was a threat to UK we would keep all our subs out (to avoid stealth attack). Our actual possible enemies do not have the ability to hit us without our knowing so some are kept in dock. This is obvious.

    If UK hit the US (as a hypothetical untrusted party) with a first strike it would be devastating. If UK didn't trust US we wouldn't be following present deployment trends.



    If UK were worried (about US) and put out a good complement of subs then it would be enough to hit all major cities in the US. The fact you would then obliterate us doesn't mean a damn in suicidal scenario.



    This is one of the scenarios we are discussing; now you say it is of no regard?


    So you believe the Russians have no subs capable of delivering nuclear warheads to a target?

    .
    What?? You do not know where they are period.

    Finding subs that do not want to be found is VERY hard.



    Not doable.

    If UK and US had bad relations and UK kept many more subs in the field then it would be more than a 'few' cities. Take a look at UK's full sub fleet. All are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. We have 4 trident subs, and I am not sure how many armed with tomahawks (deliver nuke 1300 miles). I think you aren't being realistic enough. US are not as impervious as you think. I agree the US have the best capabilities by far, but the nukes the UK military could deliver given need would really mess up the US.



    Only within a scenario, that you hold in your mind, that would never exist. If UK was worried about nuclear war with US then it would be a whole different ball game.

    A full barrage from the UK would cripple the US. Every major city.

    Sure. With UK subs such a first strike is possible.



    In nuclear war, with all your major cities gone, politics is out. That was the context.



    You what?? No one has crossed the threshold. That was my meaning.



    Tell me how you are going to find a sub that is hidden and that only rises to launch. You ain't, plain and simple.
    Exactly. But you are saying that US possesses unquestionable power. I say no. If UK was at odds with US then 'hurt real' bad' comes to mind.



    One sided means what? That losing all your major cities is acceptable? LOL. Tracking down subs is not easy at all. Tracking all UK's active subs (active now) would be tricky. Tracking down UK's full complement even more so.



    Wrong. What about our other subs?

    Also: not in US v UK scenario. UK understands US stealth ability. Would never be so relaxed if China or Russia had same.

    IF is a big word. But like I said, only US can hit our docked subs before they can scramble. If US and UK had bad relations then those subs would be active. It's school boy level tactics. (we have other subs out at any given time that can deliver tomahawks).

    US doesn't have the navy to find subs that want to remain hidden. Knowing where bases are has no relevance when all the subs seek to do is hide and launch missiles over a short time frame.

    BS. If UK had all our subs out because we feared US your first strike would not hurt UK retaliatory ability. In fact US nuking UK would focus the minds of the many submarine crews all the more. (at present we have more than one sub out at any given time).

    Why would US attack its ally? If UK and US were not allies then the scenario would be different. Your scenario of US needing to find a single sub is BS. 1, because we have more than one class of sub that can deliver nukes. 2, If something like this was on the cards many more if not all subs would be out at all times.

    In suicide mission you do not worry about retaliation, you just inflict maximum damage regardless of the cost. A first strike could hit many major cities. Subsequent launches over a couple hour time frame would bring US cities to their knees. Attacking US military would be pointless, what would it achieve? The cities would be hit, and hit hard.


    Again I was conjecturalising. Something you seem eager to ignore for some unknown reason.



    You referred to what I said about 'knowledge'. You misunderstood my context, that was why I corrected you.

    I have already said I was CONJECTURALISING (jocosely I might add). Can't let it go huh?



    Fine.


    Not nuts. And well yeah, I think I was. You think it would be massive? LOL. Massive ICBM style rockets are not needed in a vacuum; that's basic physics right there. Use your imagination.

    You get the bomb/missile over the window, it reenters atmosphere, small thrust corrections for accuracy on way down, bingo. Very plausible I'd say, and with older technology. Doing the majority of the positioning in space means a very small design could be used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  23. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    The nation that runs the biggest risk of being the first to use nukes against a meaningful target (not test) is North Korea, I reckon.
     

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