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Topic: U.S. considers sharp cuts to nuclear force

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All Forums : [GENERAL] : General Discussion : Current Events > U.S. considers sharp cuts to nuclear force
15 FEB 2012 at 11:53am

ActionJack

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...

 No final decision has been made, but the administration is considering at least three options for lower total numbers of deployed strategic nuclear weapons cutting to around 1,000 to 1,100, 700 to 800, or 300 to 400, according to a former government official and a congressional staffer. Both spoke on condition of anonymity in order to reveal internal administration deliberations.

 

The potential cuts would be from a current treaty limit of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57378154/u.s-considers-sharp-cuts-to-nuclear-force/

 


"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."  Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850

 

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Last edited by ActionJack : 15 FEB 2012 11:58am
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15 FEB 2012 at 12:55pm

phantom

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How many do you need? - I seem to recall 2 sorted out the last war.



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15 FEB 2012 at 12:59pm

ActionJack

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Originally Posted By phantom (15 FEB 2012 12:55pm)

How many do you need? - I seem to recall 2 sorted out the last war.

You tell me.  Does two seem a reasonable number to you; not even two per nuclear threat?  How about a number equivalent to a potential strike on the U.S. from just one potential nuclear armed threat?  I don't have the answer but I thought a discussion might reveal one.  Guess not!

 

 


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15 FEB 2012 at 6:17pm

Epee1

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We do not at this time, and probably not under this current regieme have the capability to prevent a nuclear attack, be it delivered by missles or brought in a suitcase or ship container.

 

You must maintain a credible force of all types of weapons in order to assure a deterrence against any and all possible attacks.  To reduce our weapon systems below the capability of our enemies is foolish. The sole reason for having a government in the first place is for protection from our enemies.  I don't believe in second place on any level.

 

If a weapon of mass destruction was ever released on the United States, I would want to be able to turn my lights off at night and read by the glow of the offending country.

 

At the moment MAD works for me, until a better solution comes along.  So the answer to your two is I up you four.  Have a nice day.


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15 FEB 2012 at 6:49pm

HarleyRider

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Y'all are all missing the point.

 

In BarryWorld ... Nuclear Deterrent is a moot issue.  Barry's not worried about international threats to American sovereignty.  Barry's concerned about internal threats to his authority.

 

Besides - a glassed North America doesn't need an activist anyway.  In that case, Barry will just take his talents to The Hague.


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15 FEB 2012 at 8:49pm

Epee1

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Yeah, you are right again Harley.  Thanks for the insight.


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16 FEB 2012 at 6:24am

Eyebiter

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Just clearing the old stock of obsolete weapons.  This allows the next Republican president to authorize a new generation of neutron tactical designs.  Smaller and more efficient instead of overpowered planet busters.


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16 FEB 2012 at 6:54pm

Epee1

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I like it Eyebiter!


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17 FEB 2012 at 3:39pm

GDS Starfury

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most people miss the point that when you get below a certain number of nukes they become viable weapons again because the numbers to wreck the planet arent there anymore.


 

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17 FEB 2012 at 5:00pm

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I'm concerned that the ink is barely dry on the recent START treaty and we're considering further deeper reductions without allowing some time to absorb the current dismantlement work and verify treaty compliance by the other fellows.  That old BOYD cycle (observe-orient-decide-act) is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow.  We're considering going from decide to decide again without the act-observe-orient part.  Not a wise move.



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17 FEB 2012 at 8:22pm

ActionJack

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Originally Posted By pzgndr (17 FEB 2012 5:00pm)

I'm concerned that the ink is barely dry on the recent START treaty and we're considering further deeper reductions without allowing some time to absorb the current dismantlement work and verify treaty compliance by the other fellows.  That old BOYD cycle (observe-orient-decide-act) is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow.  We're considering going from decide to decide again without the act-observe-orient part.  Not a wise move.

It does seem that ideology is driving this bus.  Be interesting what the Navy and Air Force chiefs have to say.

 


"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."  Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850

 

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17 FEB 2012 at 8:27pm

HarleyRider

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As long as Barry is in charge ... any sitting Chief will toe the Party line.  Any dissenters will trade away their highest career ambitions in return for a small amount of self satisfaction.

 

I'm not really making much of a prediction.  I'm just reading straight from historical precedent.


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18 FEB 2012 at 12:06am

danlongman

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Nothing new and certainly no insight here. President Obama's evil plan to turn

America into a nation of little girls unfolds.  The jihadists will nuke the west as

soon as they can and they will be overjoyed at the assuredly inappropriate

response.  As for the rogue states who knows?  They are wild cards.  We also have

a nuclear armed Pakistan and we don't even know which side they are on.

I would imagine enough deterrent will be retained vis-a-vis Russia and China.

Some people talk all too casually about the megadeath that would ensue if anybody

starts tossing nukes about.  The world is a small place and it would be lovely if

a well placed weapon or two could eliminate potential threats...just hope they aren't

upwind of you or your loved ones.  Or that things do not spiral out of control...

or not go as imagined by the potential nuclear warriors. 


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19 FEB 2012 at 1:56pm

HarleyRider

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On one hand ... it's really easy to just ignore stuff like that Dan.

 

The problem is ... it allows people like you to assume you actually HAD that last word - when your last word was simply ignored.


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20 FEB 2012 at 7:46am

medck

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Originally Posted By ActionJack (15 FEB 2012 12:59pm)

Originally Posted By phantom (15 FEB 2012 12:55pm)

How many do you need? - I seem to recall 2 sorted out the last war.

You tell me.  Does two seem a reasonable number to you; not even two per nuclear threat?  How about a number equivalent to a potential strike on the U.S. from just one potential nuclear armed threat?  I don't have the answer but I thought a discussion might reveal one.  Guess not!

 

 

The number of 300 in the RAND study and the related figure of 311 from an article in the Air Force journal Stratgeic Studies Quarterly are based on this sort of discussion.  They are worth a read.  The Strategic Studies Quarterly article is here:

 

http://www.au.af.mil/au/ssq/2010/spring/forsythsaltzmanschaub.pdf

 

The three authors (Forsyth, Saltzman, Schaub) are the former dean of the Air Command and Staff College, a colonel who is head of the Strategic Plans and Policy division at HQ Air Force, and a professor at the Air War College (now a professor at the Centre for Military, Univ Copenhagen) who focuses on issues of nuclear deterrence and coercion.  So these are guys who do actually spend their jobs thinking about these issues.

 

Now, their figure of 311 is a bit of a PR sales job, as it resembles 911 and, perhaps, 411, and it has some basis in existing bureuacratic politics: 100 Minuteman missiles, 192 de-MIRVed Trident D-5 SLBMs on a rotating basis on 12 Ohio class subamrines, and ALCMs from our 19 B-2 bombers.  

 

Still, the issue is whether it will deter an adversary and that answer is yes.  There should be enough here to hit 100-200 targets (counter-value or counter-force) in a country and still leave a nuclear reserve.  It's also enough to absorb a nuclear first strike and be able to retaliate with over 100 nuclear devices.  That's enough for any major state threat which is essentially Russia or maybe China.  In the case of Russia, if things got that bad you could probably count on British and French nuclear deterrence as well if the threat was in Europe.  If the threat was not in Europe, then their nuclear detterents could continue to deter any aggression from the Russians if we used some of our nucs on China, say.  North Korea or Iran scenarios probably entail using numbers rather closer to 2.

 

Then you have to add in the US conventional deterrence -- that is if no one had nuclear weapons things would look pretty good for the US militarily.  We're worried that a handful of nucs in North Korea or a few in Iran would deter *us*.  That suggests that even a handful of nuclear devices are a suitable deterrent, doesn't it?

 

I'd actually be more worried that the taboo on nuclear weapons is akin to the taboo in WWII on chemical weapons.  In that case, you need an ability to respond at the sub-nuclear level since the nuclear level is has too much of an onus on it.



Last edited by medck : 20 FEB 2012 7:48am
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