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Old 13th March 2019, 12:35 PM   #201
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And yet so many seem to think it's a real possibility, at least in the sense that one side could hurt the other more than it gets hurt itself.
I'm not sure I follow your reasoning here. I was talking about "all-out nuclear war" - MAD scenarios. I don't think anyone thinks those scenarios are a real possibility. That's the whole point of the MAD doctrine, after all.

I think there are other, limited nuclear war scenarios where one side would definitely come out way ahead of the other. But I'm pretty sure almost everyone prefers to conflate them with the MAD scenarios, and so nobody thinks those are real possibilities, either.

Certainly, in the context of this thread, it seems like nobody thinks they're realistic scenarios. There's been a lot of talk about what might or might not happen if Trump actually pushed the button, but very little serious concern about whether he's actually close to pushing the button.

Maybe I should have titled the thread, "how close are we, really, to President Trump starting a major war in a fit of pique over not getting his way politically?" Too much cultural baggage around nukes. I probably shouldn't have introduced them to the discussion.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:42 PM   #202
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the 1983 film WarGames.
In the beginning of the film, they run a drill but the the missile wing controllers do not know that it is a drill and think it is a real war. Many simply refuse to follow their given orders of launching a nuclear missile so they decide to leave humans out of the equation completely and leave the launching decisions up to a super computer instead.

Anyway, it is the scenario that many are describing: the refusal to follow orders if asked to launch a nuclear ICBM. I think that is more a feature than a bug.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:43 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
If Trump gave any indication that he was about to launch nukes unilaterally, and against the advice of everyone around him and everyone in the upper echelons of the chain of command, then a 25th Amendment action would take place so fast, his feet would not hit the ground.

POTUS has the sole right to authorise the use of nukes, but he cannot execute a launch order on his own. If SecDef and/or CJCS, do not concur, the launch order will proceed no further.

Any such attempt by POTUS against all the advice of his security and military staff would make it clear that he has gone cuckoo. He would be restrained and treated immediately, and the Vice President would assume the duties of POTUS under 25A, with Speaker of the House assuming the VP Role.

Why do you insist on making these claims? Action under the 25th Amendment requires the agreement of the VP and a majority of the Cabinet, all of whom are loyalists appointed by the President. How long do you think it would take for all of these people to meet, debate, and finally agree to remove their President? Do you really think they would? Meanwhile, the launch orders have long since been issued and executed. And the JCS is an advisory body. They are not part of the chain of command even under normal circumstances. The SecDef cannot block or overrule a Presidential order.

I'm willing to grant that if Trump announced that he was blowing up Paris because they won't put his name on the Eiffel Tower, somebody would probably step up. But if he announced that North Korea is an immediate threat to Asia and the U.S., or Iran's nuclear program endangers us, or "I'm gonna get rid of ISIS once and for all!," who would stop him? How? There is no legal or practical mechanism to do so.

Why don't you believe VP Cheney? Why don't you believe Trump himself?
Quote:
“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked at one point if we had them why can’t we use them,” Scarborough said on his “Morning Joe” program.
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/03/trum...h-reports.html
https://thinkprogress.org/9-terrifyi...-99f6290bc32a/
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:48 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the 1983 film WarGames.
In the beginning of the film, they run a drill but the the missile wing controllers do not know that it is a drill and think it is a real war. Many simply refuse to follow their given orders of launching a nuclear missile so they decide to leave humans out of the equation completely and leave the launching decisions up to a super computer instead.

Anyway, it is the scenario that many are describing: the refusal to follow orders if asked to launch a nuclear ICBM. I think that is more a feature than a bug.
It's a difficult question.

MAD doctrine is based on the assurance that if you launch, the other guy launches too. You destroy his economy (and most of his country), he'll do the same to you without hesitation. Nobody starts the war, because everyone is guaranteed to lose. Take away that guarantee, and then there's no constraint. If you're convinced that your enemy lacks the guts to retaliate, then suddenly it's a whole other risk-reward calculus, and launching your nukes starts to look like a viable option.

So, regardless of what's actually going on at Launch Control, it's absolutely vital that the other guy remain convinced that you'd launch without hesitation. The best thing you can do as a private citizen, to prevent all-out nuclear war, is remain publicly and unshakably committed to the MAD doctrine.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:49 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
If Trump gave any indication that he was about to launch nukes unilaterally, and against the advice of everyone around him and everyone in the upper echelons of the chain of command, then a 25th Amendment action would take place so fast, his feet would not hit the ground.

POTUS has the sole right to authorise the use of nukes, but he cannot execute a launch order on his own. If SecDef and/or CJCS, do not concur, the launch order will proceed no further.
Got an actual source for that as opposed to all the sources I have posted that say they have no authority to veto the presidents orders? They can advise the president not to do it but they have no ability to prevent the action.
Quote:
Any such attempt by POTUS against all the advice of his security and military staff would make it clear that he has gone cuckoo. He would be restrained and treated immediately, and the Vice President would assume the duties of POTUS under 25A, with Speaker of the House assuming the VP Role.
Yes yes yes, of course there would be a military coup that is the solution for everything.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:51 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the 1983 film WarGames.
In the beginning of the film, they run a drill but the the missile wing controllers do not know that it is a drill and think it is a real war. Many simply refuse to follow their given orders of launching a nuclear missile so they decide to leave humans out of the equation completely and leave the launching decisions up to a super computer instead.

Anyway, it is the scenario that many are describing: the refusal to follow orders if asked to launch a nuclear ICBM. I think that is more a feature than a bug.
Except of course citing fiction is hardly a good reason to justify a belief about reality. Real missile launch personnel have always said they would launch if the order came.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:52 PM   #207
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The president is POTUS...the highest command authoritary in the US..and he can give a direct order for a nuclear strike without consulting the Sec of Defense, the JCS, or anybody else.
The 25th Amendment simply does not change that.
It is a problem. The whole idea of deterrence is based upon the idea that the Other Guy will not launch a nuclear attack because knows there is no way he can get away with it..the instant we detece the missiles have laucnched and are heading for us, we launch ours. That requires the POTUS to have the power to order an instant response without having to go through the usual channels.
Which is why having a mentally unstable individual as POTUS is so scary.
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Old 13th March 2019, 12:57 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The president is POTUS...the highest command authoritary in the US..and he can give a direct order for a nuclear strike without consulting the Sec of Defense, the JCS, or anybody else.
The 25th Amendment simply does not change that.
It is a problem. The whole idea of deterrence is based upon the idea that the Other Guy will not launch a nuclear attack because knows there is no way he can get away with it..the instant we detece the missiles have laucnched and are heading for us, we launch ours. That requires the POTUS to have the power to order an instant response without having to go through the usual channels.
Which is why having a mentally unstable individual as POTUS is so scary.
Look clearly we can count on the military to overthrow the elected government any day now, nothing to worry about. It isn't like they take the idea of civilian control of the military serious.
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Old 13th March 2019, 01:03 PM   #209
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The only reason why Trump can't order a nuclear strike is because he literally can't. Unless someone takes him through every step of the way, at most he will manage to use the Biscuit to jimmy open a hotel room door.
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Old 14th March 2019, 01:25 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The president is POTUS...the highest command authoritary in the US..and he can give a direct order for a nuclear strike without consulting the Sec of Defense, the JCS, or anybody else.
The 25th Amendment simply does not change that.
It is a problem. The whole idea of deterrence is based upon the idea that the Other Guy will not launch a nuclear attack because knows there is no way he can get away with it..the instant we detece the missiles have laucnched and are heading for us, we launch ours. That requires the POTUS to have the power to order an instant response without having to go through the usual channels.
Which is why having a mentally unstable individual as POTUS is so scary.

I'm going fishing today. I went fishing yesterday too. Must suck to live life so frightened.
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:43 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I'm going fishing today. I went fishing yesterday too. Must suck to live life so frightened.
"I can't see you, so don't pretend you're there!"

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Old 15th March 2019, 05:14 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I'm going fishing today. I went fishing yesterday too. Must suck to live life so frightened.
Must suck to ignore reality.
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:34 PM   #213
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Wouldn't the biggest constraint on (insert leader of choice) using nukes as a first strike be that surrounding countries to the target area will probably launch theirs at the initiating nation? Launching nukes at Korea runs the real risk of China launching theirs etcetera.
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:55 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Wouldn't the biggest constraint on (insert leader of choice) using nukes as a first strike be that surrounding countries to the target area will probably launch theirs at the initiating nation? Launching nukes at Korea runs the real risk of China launching theirs etcetera.
Good question. China doesn't have enough nukes for MAD vs the US. They're probably not going to launch anything unless they're facing an existential threat. Russia does have the arsenal for MAD, but there's really no percentage in escalating.

If the US used sub-launched nukes, the strikes would be over before China could respond anyway. It's highly unlikely that they'd escalate to all-out nuclear war over something like that.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:11 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Good question. China doesn't have enough nukes for MAD vs the US. They're probably not going to launch anything unless they're facing an existential threat. Russia does have the arsenal for MAD, but there's really no percentage in escalating.

If the US used sub-launched nukes, the strikes would be over before China could respond anyway. It's highly unlikely that they'd escalate to all-out nuclear war over something like that.

Wouldn't nukes being detonated very close to their own homeland be considered to being a threat? Especially if the target country was one they considered an ally. And is a MAD scenario the only one in which a country would respond to nukes with their own nukes?

Last edited by RolandRat; 15th March 2019 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:25 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Wouldn't nukes being detonated very close to their own homeland be considered to being a threat?
How stupid do you imagine the Chinese are? They can tell the difference between a strike against North Korea and a strike against China.

Quote:
Especially if the target country was one they considered an ally.
I don't think China really considers North Korea an ally. More of a tool. So it becomes a question of how much trouble do they want to buy, over the loss of a tool.

Quote:
And is a MAD scenario the only one in which a country would respond to nukes with their own nukes?
Another good question. The answer is, of course not. But then it comes down to a question of diplomacy and trade-offs. How butthurt is China going to be if the US chops out North Korea? What are they going to nuke in return, and why? Would they prefer to respond with sanctions and diplomatic exploits?
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:53 PM   #217
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I can't really answer your first point. How easy is it for a country to tell whether a nuclear strike is targeted at them or at a target right on their border?

I agree that China consider NK to be a tool, but I think they consider it to be a tool against the US. I believe they really wouldn't want USA influence to extend right to their border through Korea so would act as they did when the USA did actually invade NK.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:07 PM   #218
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China's nuclear deterrent is different: they don't have nukes ready to go.
Instead, they have launch sites hidden and protected or mobile all over the country.
If attacked, they will retaliate - but not straight away. Maybe after a week, or a month, or a year, when your pants are down.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:10 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
China's nuclear deterrent is different: they don't have nukes ready to go.
Instead, they have launch sites hidden and protected or mobile all over the country.
If attacked, they will retaliate - but not straight away. Maybe after a week, or a month, or a year, when your pants are down.
That's your theory? China will wait until the US isn't prepared for a nuclear attack?

When exactly do you think that would be? And how exactly do think that would play out?

I mean, the US has nuclear missile submarines. It's not like the idea of surprise counter attack is a mystery to them.

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Old 15th March 2019, 09:20 PM   #220
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It's not a theory:

https://carnegieendowment.org/2016/0...tion-pub-63967

It's called minimalistic nuclear deterrent.
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Old 15th March 2019, 11:59 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Must suck to ignore reality.
What reality? The cold war was real. This is silly. Been there done that. Does arguing here over politics rather than going fishing make anyones life better, or stop an attack?

I've been on this board over 15 years, and if I'd never heard of the JREF/ISF my life would be just about the same as it is now. No sky falling. No nukes last year. No nukes this year. #MeToo still would have happened.

Worrying over something this remote (ludicrous), especially since there is nothing you can do about it is not healthy. If you guys are truly worried about nuclear war then I'm sad for you. Discuss it, sure. Worry? Maybe you should come fishing. You're actually not that far from me. Neither is Travis, he really needs to fish

Let me know when to get under my desk. Until then I will laugh at this thread every so often. And go fishing (see the fishing thread in members only section).

Fish on!

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Old 16th March 2019, 12:41 AM   #222
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Even A Small Nuclear War Would Still Have Effects On Global Scale
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Old 16th March 2019, 05:20 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Wouldn't the biggest constraint on (insert leader of choice) using nukes as a first strike be that surrounding countries to the target area will probably launch theirs at the initiating nation? Launching nukes at Korea runs the real risk of China launching theirs etcetera.
Or China and Russia go on high alert while we and our allies are on high alert and you get a miscalculation between low level commanders elsewhere during a nuclear exchange with North Korea.
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Old 18th March 2019, 07:43 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I can't really answer your first point. How easy is it for a country to tell whether a nuclear strike is targeted at them or at a target right on their border?
What kind of warning do they have before it goes off? Use a cruise missile and not an ICBM and the first sign they have will be the mushroom cloud.

This hypothetical sitution is a tactical nuclear strike not strategic so there are certainly small stealth platforms and can perform it. That is what the tomahawk missile was invented for. It proved to be accurate enough for it to be useful with non nuclear payloads as well but ICBM's are certainly not the only option.
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Old 19th March 2019, 03:42 PM   #225
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I would guess that the Chinese have some sort of warning system in place that could detect the launch of missiles around their borders and especially around NK. If the US just launched with no communication then China has a very small window to try and work out where this tactical missile is going. They see a missile in the air near their country, what would their response be?
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Old 19th March 2019, 03:54 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I would guess that the Chinese have some sort of warning system in place that could detect the launch of missiles around their borders and especially around NK. If the US just launched with no communication then China has a very small window to try and work out where this tactical missile is going. They see a missile in the air near their country, what would their response be?
I'd think it would depend on how closely the inbound appeared to be heading toward one of their strategic assets. Do they have any critical assets near the North Korean border?
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Old 19th March 2019, 04:10 PM   #227
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Russia is now moving missile launchers nearer to NATO sites, according to the news.
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Old 19th March 2019, 04:12 PM   #228
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It's called radar. Modern counterbattery systems can backtrack an artillery shell to its source, and dial in a counterstrike before the shooter has a chance to reposition*.

Say a submarine in the Sea of Japan launches a ballistic missile at North Korea. Chinese radars see it, and they've got a few minutes to figure out where it's headed. If it's headed to anywhere important in China, they'll have more than a few minutes. But that's not important, because within a few minutes it's already dropping down to its target in North Korea.

There'd be other clues, too, like the overall posture of US forces in the region.

Besides, both US and Chinese counterstrike infrastructure are designed to buy strategists time to figure out exactly what's going on, before they commit.

One big Cold War question was, "will they attack our military, or our cities?" If the answer is "military", then we counterattack their military. If the answer is "cities", then we counterattack their cities. This is basic MAD doctrine.

The reason why US missile silos are hardened against nuclear attack is in case we need to hold off on the counterattack for a little longer while we figure out what the target is. Obviously with missile submarines that's not such a big concern. We can develop a counterattack at leisure, as long as the command authority is not disrupted.

China doesn't have a comparable missile sub fleet, but they've invested substantially in a land-based equivalent. Here's hoping they never have a reason to test it!

China may very well retaliate for a nuclear strike against North Korea. This is a very good reason to not order such a strike. But it's not plausible that China will push the nuclear panic button two minutes in, before they've taken the time figure out what's going on.

---
*There's also an arms race as shooters get better at repositioning quickly.
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Old 19th March 2019, 04:13 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Russia is now moving missile launchers nearer to NATO sites, according to the news.
What news? What kind of missiles?
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Old 19th March 2019, 05:30 PM   #230
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Russia Deploys Nuclear Missiles Near Ukraine Border
Quote:
Russia has deployed batteries of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles close to the Ukrainian border, according to new satellite images.

The photos, taken by ImageSat International, show a deployment of short-range nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles near the city of Krasnodar, which is about 270 miles southeast of the Ukrainian border,

It has been suggested that the Iskander may have a longer range than the 310 miles Russia admits, meaning it could violate the INF Treaty.

Russia follows US in suspending INF nuclear missile treaty
Quote:
US President Donald Trump and his senior officials had been signaling for months that they were ready to pull out of the INF treaty, which the US accuses Moscow of violating since 2014. Moscow has consistently rejected those accusations...

While Putin emphasized that he did not want to start a new arms race, the Russian President also announced his support for a proposal to start construction of a new medium-range supersonic nuclear missile. The Kremlin website also said Putin agrees with the proposals of the Ministry of Defense to start "grounding" the "Kalibr" missiles and the opening of a new direction -- the creation of a medium-range hypersonic ground-based rocket."

Russia sends 'squadrons' of nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea in response to U.S. missile shield in Romania
Quote:
“The deployment of American missile defense systems in Romania came as a major challenge, in response to which the Russian Defense Ministry made the decision to deploy long-range missile-carrying bombers Tupolev Tu-22M23 at the Gvardeyskoye air base,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security, was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying Monday.

Meet "Dead Hand": This Might Be Russia's Most Terrifying Nuclear Weapons Idea Yet
Quote:
Perhaps the most terrifying was a Cold War doomsday system that would automatically launch missiles—without the need for a human to push the button—during a nuclear attack. But the system, known as "Perimeter" or “Dead Hand,” may be back and deadlier than ever...

This comes after the Trump administration announced that the United States is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,

Yesin said that if the United States starts deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will consider adopting a doctrine of a preemptive nuclear strike. But he also added this:

Yesin: "The Perimeter system is functioning, it has even been improved..."

Perimeter works by launching specially modified SS-17 ICBMs, which transmit a launch signal to regular nuclear-tipped ICBMs in their silos.

You don't have to be MAD to start a nuclear apocalypse, just stupid enough to think that launching a few nukes won't lead to it.
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Old 19th March 2019, 05:50 PM   #231
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Launching a few nukes - 1-5 at North Korea, for example - almost certainly wouldn't lead to nuclear apocalypse.
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Old 19th March 2019, 06:27 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launching a few nukes - 1-5 at North Korea, for example - almost certainly wouldn't lead to nuclear apocalypse.
Smoking a few cigarettes, you know, like 1 to 5, almost certainly wouldn't lead to lung cancer, either.

That doesn't make it wise.
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Old 19th March 2019, 06:30 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
Smoking a few cigarettes, you know, like 1 to 5, almost certainly wouldn't lead to lung cancer, either.

That doesn't make it wise.
Have you noticed someone here saying it would be wise?
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Old 19th March 2019, 07:14 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Launching a few nukes - 1-5 at North Korea, for example - almost certainly wouldn't lead to nuclear apocalypse.
The Koreans (and Chinese, Japanese, and anyone downwind of the fallout) might not agree with you. And that's assuming it doesn't herald a new era of global nuclear warfare.

But of course it will. We stuffed the genie back into the bottle once after getting two wishes, but the next time won't be so easy.
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Old 19th March 2019, 08:14 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Have you noticed someone here saying it would be wise?

Yeah, that's the impression I get from posts like this:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
He should consider nuking North Korea, though. It would only take about five low-yield nukes, none of them really threatening any of the peninsula's beautiful beaches. If the Joint Chiefs decided to pitch it as a business opportunity, we might actually have a president in office who's prepared to lance this boil.

and this

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's the thing, though: It wouldn't kill millions of innocent people. Mostly it would kill people in the North Korean military establishment. It's true that some innocents would probably die. And in the ensuing humanitarian crisis, millions of innocent people would undoubtedly suffer. But the problem of North Korea is that millions of innocent people are suffering and dying there anyway.

And yes, there will be repercussions, which is why everybody has been unwilling to take that step so far. Which brings us back to Delvo's insinuation that Trump is somehow abnormal for not attacking North Korea.
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Old 19th March 2019, 08:33 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
Yeah, that's the impression I get from posts like this:




and this
When I first read the posts you quoted I took them as intentional hyperbole. Reading them again I may have been wrong and I concede that you may be correct.
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Old 19th March 2019, 09:08 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
When I first read the posts you quoted I took them as intentional hyperbole. Reading them again I may have been wrong and I concede that you may be correct.

Pointing out the possibility of a non-apocalyptic nuclear exchange translates to you as maybe-support for one? Am I understanding this correctly? Does that mean to you that the powers that be must be thinking the same thing? After all, if ThePrestige wants war everyone else must.

If I felt that way I'd be scared too I guess, but maybe I have it wrong. I'm scared driving on California highways. I've been injured - that is worth worrying about.

Anyways I just stopped in for this...

Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Let me know when to get under my desk. Until then I will laugh at this thread every so often. And go fishing (see the fishing thread in members only section).

Fish on!


LOLOL, Laughing Dog, etc. This thread does not disappoint. Of all the threads this is the most ridiculous to me, maybe ever - specifically the worry of nuclear war.

I'm not being snarky, I seriously cannot comprehend this fear. Get help maybe.
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Old 19th March 2019, 09:32 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Pointing out the possibility of a non-apocalyptic nuclear exchange translates to you as maybe-support for one? Am I understanding this correctly? Does that mean to you that the powers that be must be thinking the same thing? After all, if ThePrestige wants war everyone else must.

If I felt that way I'd be scared too I guess, but maybe I have it wrong. I'm scared driving on California highways. I've been injured - that is worth worrying about.

Anyways I just stopped in for this...




LOLOL, Laughing Dog, etc. This thread does not disappoint. Of all the threads this is the most ridiculous to me, maybe ever - specifically the worry of nuclear war.

I'm not being snarky, I seriously cannot comprehend this fear. Get help maybe.
I was referring solely to my interpretation of theprestige's post and conceding that my interpretation may not have been correct. I just don't know. And for the record, I do not think that any government on the planet is in favor of nuclear war.

I have absolutely no fear of nuclear war at all. I am an old dude and have lived through times when nuclear war was much more likely than it is now. I have no idea how you get these weird ideas in your head about what other posters are thinking.
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Old 20th March 2019, 03:16 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I would guess that the Chinese have some sort of warning system in place that could detect the launch of missiles around their borders and especially around NK. If the US just launched with no communication then China has a very small window to try and work out where this tactical missile is going. They see a missile in the air near their country, what would their response be?
Ballistic or cruise? Both platforms carry nukes.
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Old 20th March 2019, 04:17 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Quote:
Russia is now moving missile launchers nearer to NATO sites, according to the news.
What news?
The news.
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