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Defcon5
28 Jan 13,, 08:58
India Tests K-15 SLBM From Bay Of Bengal


India's DRDO today conducted the 11th successful underwater test of the K-15 medium range subsurface-launched ballistic missile from the Bay of Bengal. Sources on board one of the Indian Navy ships monitoring the launch report that the launch was a successful one. The launch took place from a special R-glass cannister from a specially configured underwater pontoon launch platform. The K-15, officially designated B-05, with a range in excess of 750-km (its official range is classified) is the submarine-launched version of the land-launched Shourya that has been tested four times so far. The country's Arihant-class SSBNs will be able to deploy 12 K-15s or four of the much longer range K-4 missiles, still under development.

Official statement by DRDO: DRDO developed underwater launched missile B05 was successfully flight tested on 27 Jan 2013 from Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam. The missile launched from a pontoon, was tested for the full range and met all the mission objectives. All the parameters of the vehicle were monitored by the radar all through the trajectory and terminal events have taken place exactly as expected. Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri Dr VK Saraswat congratulated all the scientists, technicians of DRDO on the successful flight test. Defence Minister AK Antony congratulated all the scientists for successful launch of B05.

Livefist (http://livefist.blogspot.in/)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRBrfrkdtXU

I though this deserved a thread of its own, this is regional game changer


The missile has a 1 ton payload with a range of 700 Kilometers and was fired from a depth of 50 meters

New Report

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Officer of Engineers
28 Jan 13,, 12:51
Not really a game changer yet. The InN would adopt similar practices to both the Soviet and Chinese navies. The boomers would launch from home waters behind protective screens of both aviation and naval protection. The Indian Navy is of yet incapable of firing off the Chinese coast.

Defcon5
28 Jan 13,, 17:08
Not really a game changer yet. The InN would adopt similar practices to both the Soviet and Chinese navies. The boomers would launch from home waters behind protective screens of both aviation and naval protection. The Indian Navy is of yet incapable of firing off the Chinese coast.


Colonel,

The Indian Navy isnt modeled nor does its past behavior indicate a Soviet or Chinese Navy attitude, Never. Indian Navy isnt ofcourse capable of hitting the Chinese coast, atleast for the next 5 years or so. But that said, the capability they have indegeniously developed is commendable and is a game changer. I mean the technology here not the operational capability

anil
28 Jan 13,, 18:24
brahmos derivative

Firestorm
28 Jan 13,, 20:44
brahmos derivative

Brahmos is a cruise missile. K-15 is a ballistic missile. Like the Colonel told you in another thread, do some research.

Officer of Engineers
28 Jan 13,, 21:20
The Indian Navy isnt modeled nor does its past behavior indicate a Soviet or Chinese Navy attitude, Never.Let me walk you through this.

How do you ensure that this sub will launch its birds with the world's deadliest ASW systems prowling the Indian Ocean?

Firestorm
28 Jan 13,, 21:56
The specified range of 700km is calculated for a missile carrying a 1000 kg warhead. Some sources have mentioned that the range increases to well over 1000km if the warhead weight is halved. So the utility of this missile depends a lot on how successful Indian scientists are at miniaturizing warheads. Of course, this brings us back to the problem of not being able to validate their efforts without testing again.
The chinese are unlikely to be interested until the longer ranged K-4 is tested.

Double Edge
28 Jan 13,, 23:33
The Indian Navy is of yet incapable of firing off the Chinese coast.
How will India or China deal with a mated nuke on a boomer away from their shores.

These two do not mate nukes in peace time. There is no way to avoid that on a sub.

I heard that Chinese boomers do not leave port.

Until that happens there is no triad for either.

When it does we will have a game changer on our hands.

Firestorm
29 Jan 13,, 00:48
Let me walk you through this.

How do you ensure that this sub will launch its birds with the world's deadliest ASW systems prowling the Indian Ocean?

Chinese ASW platforms may be good, but in the Indian Ocean they will have to contend with numerous IN surface and air assets which would be hunting them while trying to perform their job. They won't be as effective as they are in the South China Sea for example. Calling them the world's deadliest would be a stretch.

Of course, when you talk about the World's deadliest ASW assets in the Indian Ocean, you are probably talking about the USN. In that case, are you saying that in case of a India-China flare-up the USN would actively hunt and sink any Indian boomers they find, or perhaps report their exact position to the Chinese?

Doktor
29 Jan 13,, 01:46
Chinese ASW platforms may be good, but in the Indian Ocean they will have to contend with numerous IN surface and air assets which would be hunting them while trying to perform their job. They won't be as effective as they are in the South China Sea for example. Calling them the world's deadliest would be a stretch.

Of course, when you talk about the World's deadliest ASW assets in the Indian Ocean, you are probably talking about the USN. In that case, are you saying that in case of a India-China flare-up the USN would actively hunt and sink any Indian boomers they find, or perhaps report their exact position to the Chinese?

I guess the USN will sink any boomer trying to launch. Indian or Chinese, doesn't matter.

Officer of Engineers
29 Jan 13,, 02:39
How will India or China deal with a mated nuke on a boomer away from their shores.That wasn't my intent to make such a statement. I wanted Defcon to understand the practical limitations of an Indian boomer and how in effect, it is not a game changer.


In that case, are you saying that in case of a India-China flare-up the USN would actively hunt and sink any Indian boomers they find, or perhaps report their exact position to the Chinese?In other words, Indian boomers would need American permission to toss their nukes. Now, how do you avoid that? How do you avoid American ASW from firing on you before you launch?

Skywatcher
29 Jan 13,, 04:05
And China went and tested an ABM again last weekend. India might want to invest more in air launched systems.

anil
29 Jan 13,, 05:57
Brahmos is a cruise missile. K-15 is a ballistic missile. Like the Colonel told you in another thread, do some research.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NOkwGoxMFo

Any idiot can look at the video and tell that the two projects are derivatives.

Ajai shukla
Submarine missile test a step forward (http://business-standard.com/india/news/submarine-missile-teststep-forward/500240/)

Top DRDO scientists briefed Business Standard that it is not a ballistic missile at all. It could better be characterised as a hypersonic cruise missile, since it remains within the earths atmosphere.

lemontree
29 Jan 13,, 08:30
Not really a game changer yet.
Why not sir?...its a strategic capability that has been achieved.
This capability permits us to fire sub launched conventional cruise missiles, something that is urgently needed.

The InN would adopt similar practices to both the Soviet and Chinese navies.
What made you say that sir?
No training in the Indian armed forces is similar to Soviet or Chinese navies. At best we adopt best practices, we buy some Russian defence equipment but that does not mean that we adopt Soviet naval tactics.


The boomers would launch from home waters behind protective screens of both aviation and naval protection. The Indian Navy is of yet incapable of firing off the Chinese coast.
That is OK. We can still hit any target in China with our land based Agni III.

Tronic
29 Jan 13,, 08:40
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NOkwGoxMFo

Any idiot can look at the video and tell that the two projects are derivatives.

Let me correct your statement;

"Only an idiot will look at the video and say that the two projects are derivatives."

Secondly, even watching both the videos of the K-15 and the Brahmos; their launches look nothing alike! Epic fail. :rolleyes:

anil
29 Jan 13,, 11:46
There are only two possibilities:
no 1) the two projects are related
no 2) the two projects are not related

my guess was no 1 and so when i read ajai shukla quote a DRDO official agree to it, i got a "A-ha!!" moment.

btw, i noticed that you guys are biting me. i assume this is because of the conversation me and officerofengineers had in the other thread. i think he is a respected guru for all you guys here. i'm sorry for challenging your guru. there was nothing personal about it.

Officer of Engineers
29 Jan 13,, 14:26
Why not sir?...its a strategic capability that has been achieved.A capability that is not needed, Captain. Neither Pakistan nor China is capable of a decapitating first strike against India. It raises the opening bet against Pakistan but then Pakistan could not afford the opening bet already. China can still afford the game and in fact, her opening bet is beyond what India can afford at the moment (I will explain later).


This capability permits us to fire sub launched conventional cruise missiles, something that is urgently needed.With American permission. (Again, will explain following).



What made you say that sir?
No training in the Indian armed forces is similar to Soviet or Chinese navies. At best we adopt best practices, we buy some Russian defence equipment but that does not mean that we adopt Soviet naval tactics.Just like anyone with hair will invent a comb that looks very similar across the globe, similar combat requirements will dictate similar combat practices.

Your boomer will be trailed by the Americans. Accept that as fact. They trailed every boomer that is not theirs or their ally's and that also means that they trail the Israelis so that they don't do anything stupid.

That essentially means that the Americans can stop you from launching at any given point ... and Indian ASW is no where close to finding the Americans.

How the Russians and the Chinese got around this is to keep their boomers close to home behind naval screens and naval aviation cover. American subs have to blast their way through those screens and survive air attacks before they can get to Russian or Chinese boomers. There is no better way to detect a sub than to force it into combat.

For India to launch without American interference, they too would have to adopt such practices.


That is OK. We can still hit any target in China with our land based Agni III.Then, what's the difference between an AGNI launch and an extended range K15 launch? For the Chinese, their defence posture would remain the same until an Indian boomer can launch off Chinese shores.

Double Edge
29 Jan 13,, 15:49
That wasn't my intent to make such a statement. I wanted Defcon to understand the practical limitations of an Indian boomer and how in effect, it is not a game changer.
That's ok i was asking in a general manner.

Both these countries will not mate nukes. To put them on a sub requires a fundamental change in their thinking. How will that change affect their postures and the counter-reaction. No mating means things remain cool. No mating also means no operational experience and that in turn means less effective third leg.

Does minimum deterence principle automatically imply no mating is possible. Which could be perceived as an aggressive move. Minimum deterrence it would seem to me is wholey reactionary in posture not offensive. Its a punishment paradigm. If one mates then the other is also forced to do the same.

So i have trouble seeing how either of these two countries is going to put a nuke on a sub to begin with without even getting into the difficulties these subs would face of evading others, at this early point. 'No first strike' it would seem apears to limit that. Nukes on subs is getting dangerously close to tactical nuke territory.

If the Chinese would not mate their nukes even under pressure from the Soviets then they ain't going to be putting them on a sub and neither will we. SLBM will remain just a proof of concept and does not change the status quo as it is currently.

So cannot see a way to operationalise this ability to the extent it will have any deterrence value.

Firestorm
29 Jan 13,, 17:15
That's ok i was asking in a general manner.

Both these countries will not mate nukes. To put them on a sub requires a fundamental change in their thinking. How will that change affect their postures and the counter-reaction. No mating means things remain cool. No mating also means no operational experience and that in turn means less effective third leg.


Then why spend billions of $$ to put a boomer in the water? If the Chinese are not mating their warheads they might as well scrap all their boomers and India better stop building and testing hers before more money is wasted. I just don't buy the argument that the Chinese don't mate warheads onto the missiles in their boomers or that India won't do it in the future. The land based missiles I can understand, because the govt. may get a chance to rethink in case the balloon goes up. But in a boomer, it is a problem of physical impossibility. And they are not going to advertise what their chain of command and procedures for authorizing the boomer captains to launch are. So if we don't know them, it doesn't mean they haven't already been developed.

Officer of Engineers
29 Jan 13,, 18:02
Then why spend billions of $$ to put a boomer in the water? If the Chinese are not mating their warheads they might as well scrap all their boomers and India better stop building and testing hers before more money is wasted. I just don't buy the argument that the Chinese don't mate warheads onto the missiles in their boomers or that India won't do it in the future. The land based missiles I can understand, because the govt. may get a chance to rethink in case the balloon goes up. But in a boomer, it is a problem of physical impossibility. And they are not going to advertise what their chain of command and procedures for authorizing the boomer captains to launch are. So if we don't know them, it doesn't mean they haven't already been developed.We know that the Chinese have not been loading nukes on patrols simply because they're not glowing the right shade of green.

Officer of Engineers
29 Jan 13,, 21:05
Then why spend billions of $$ to put a boomer in the water? If the Chinese are not mating their warheads they might as well scrap all their boomers and India better stop building and testing hers before more money is wasted. I just don't buy the argument that the Chinese don't mate warheads onto the missiles in their boomers or that India won't do it in the future.There are nuiances at work that is extremely hard to understand and I'm not sure I fully grasp it myself. It's only within the past 3 years that I discovered "deterrence is not war fighting." Therefore, I am only a student (I wish there was a course on this) but the concept is to raise doubt in your enemy, not to guarrantee your retalliation.

"Is it worth it to take the risk?" as opposed to "I'm taking you down no matter if I go down too."

It doesn't matter if your boomer has nukes or not. I am still going to have to hunt it down and kill it. Else, you can load nukes onto your boomer and that I cannot allow. If you look at it from a war fighting perspective, I will still have to commit to killing everything and even then, I cannot be sure if I will lose a city or not.

Is it worthwhile for me to take such a risk over say fishing rights? Or even Vietnam?

Tronic
29 Jan 13,, 21:32
There are only two possibilities:
no 1) the two projects are related
no 2) the two projects are not related

my guess was no 1 and so when i read ajai shukla quote a DRDO official agree to it, i got a "A-ha!!" moment.

I read the quote and the link you posted and nowhere does it state that the missile is a derivative. Infact, even reading that article you provided, it provides you with more than enough information to show how the Brahmos and the K-15/B-05 are two entirely different projects. Re-read your own article. And than go read up on the Brahmos. These missiles are nothing alike! Nothing alike in their composition (liquid-solid fueled Brahmos with a Mach speed of 2.8 vs an all-solid K-15 hitting mach 6), not in their trajectories (ground hugging Brahmos vs Ballistic trajectory of K-15), or even nothing alike in their guidance systems.


btw, i noticed that you guys are biting me. i assume this is because of the conversation me and officerofengineers had in the other thread. i think he is a respected guru for all you guys here. i'm sorry for challenging your guru. there was nothing personal about it.

You haven't challenged anybody really.

Tronic
29 Jan 13,, 21:39
Then, what's the difference between an AGNI launch and an extended range K15 launch? For the Chinese, their defence posture would remain the same until an Indian boomer can launch off Chinese shores.

Sir, it just provides a third leg, and harder nuclear assets to target by putting the launchers underwater. It ties up more of the enemy's resources and assets trying to find your boomers (even if you have them tucked away in some port of yours, it keeps the enemy guessing). Why would there be a need to launch off the Chinese coast, if launching from the Bay of Bengal can cover the same ground? The K-15 is just a stepping stone to developing the K-4, which is intended to be a 4,000+ km range SLBM.

Officer of Engineers
29 Jan 13,, 23:25
Sir, it just provides a third leg, and harder nuclear assets to target by putting the launchers underwater. It ties up more of the enemy's resources and assets trying to find your boomers (even if you have them tucked away in some port of yours, it keeps the enemy guessing).What if the Chinese are not even trying? What if they stuck with counter-value instead of counter-force?


Why would there be a need to launch off the Chinese coast, if launching from the Bay of Bengal can cover the same ground? The K-15 is just a stepping stone to developing the K-4, which is intended to be a 4,000+ km range SLBM.Well, two things here.

1) Until the K-4 comes on line, the only way you're forcing the Chinese to change their game is to put the boomer right off their coast, forcing them to hunt for them. Otherwise, the K-15 is going to mean diddlily squat to the Chinese.

2) On the receiving end, it matters very little if the nuke is delivered by an AGNI III or by a K-4 from the Bay of Bengal. You're not changing the Chinese defence posture.

So, how is this a game changer?

In actuality, it is a game stabilizer. India no longer feels her nukes are threatened to the point of use them or lose them.

Firestorm
29 Jan 13,, 23:41
It doesn't matter if your boomer has nukes or not. I am still going to have to hunt it down and kill it. Else, you can load nukes onto your boomer and that I cannot allow. If you look at it from a war fighting perspective, I will still have to commit to killing everything and even then, I cannot be sure if I will lose a city or not.

Is it worthwhile for me to take such a risk over say fishing rights? Or even Vietnam?
If I understand what you are saying, it is basically a bluff. And I'm counting on you not calling it because you can't be 100% sure it is a bluff.

On the other hand, even if you try to kill all my boomers, there is always the chance that one of them will lose her pursuers long enough to be able to fire off her missiles. Now, if you have already destroyed my land based deterrent in a counter-force strike I will end up looking rather silly with my only means of retaliation sitting in the middle of the ocean with no actual nukes on board.

Double Edge
29 Jan 13,, 23:47
There are nuiances at work that is extremely hard to understand and I'm not sure I fully grasp it myself. It's only within the past 3 years that I discovered "deterrence is not war fighting." Therefore, I am only a student (I wish there was a course on this) but the concept is to raise doubt in your enemy, not to guarrantee your retalliation.
I've been thinking about the deterrence concept and realise we only have a sample size of ONE.

The Chinese blinked when the Soviets put a gun to their head. They failed to deter the Soviets, it was the Americans that kept the Soviets at bay.

So the answer to the question of whether deterrence actually works is still -- don't know.

We have no examples where deterrence actually succeeded in deterring either of the big two. These are the only two that deterrence is aimed at.


"Is it worth it to take the risk?" as opposed to "I'm taking you down no matter if I go down too."

It doesn't matter if your boomer has nukes or not. I am still going to have to hunt it down and kill it. Else, you can load nukes onto your boomer and that I cannot allow. If you look at it from a war fighting perspective, I will still have to commit to killing everything and even then, I cannot be sure if I will lose a city or not.

Is it worthwhile for me to take such a risk over say fishing rights? Or even Vietnam?
How do the Americans & Russians do it. They have their patrols. Or French & Brits. Everybody is tracking the other. No complications so far. Do they put out to sea with nukes these days ie post cold war at all.

I'm hung up on this mating issue as you've mentioned it numerous times. The mating point was brought up recently at a carnegie talk and the speakers said the same thing as you have here about Chinese not mating etc. The decision to mate on a sub would be a significant shift for both countries.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 00:01
I've been thinking about the deterrence concept and realise we only have a sample size of ONE.

The Chinese blinked when the Soviets put a gun to their head. They failed to deter the Soviets, it was the Americans that kept the Soviets at bay.I would argue that they did. They went begging to the Americans and formalized relations. Nixon met Mao before he talked to Brezhnev.


How do the Americans & Russians do it. They have their patrols. Or French & Brits. Everybody is tracking the other. No complications so far. Do they put out to sea with nukes these days ie post cold war at all.Both send nukes on boomers. With the Soviets, it was a dual key release with both the Captain of the Boat and the KGB Officer having to give their oks.

The Soviets, however, were never as agressive with their patrols as the Americans were. They only sent out nukes on declared exercises and under strategic threat situations.


I'm hung up on this mating issue as you've mentioned it numerous times. The mating point was brought up recently at a carnegie talk and the speakers said the same thing as you have here about Chinese not mating etc. The decision to mate on a sub would be a significant shift for both countries.I really don't know what the Chinese are thinking at this point. However, I do know that they're taking their own sweet time with the JL-2 R&D and it's not fully deployable yet. Until they have such a missile, it's really too early to state what they're thinking.

Double Edge
30 Jan 13,, 02:01
Then why spend billions of $$ to put a boomer in the water? If the Chinese are not mating their warheads they might as well scrap all their boomers and India better stop building and testing hers before more money is wasted.
Both countries need to develop the sea based leg of the triad. I'm not arguing against that.

I'm wondering how they're going to put it into effect. The Chinese have been at this longer than we have and i don't see any advances on their side.


I just don't buy the argument that the Chinese don't mate warheads onto the missiles in their boomers or that India won't do it in the future.
I don't know about the future, all i can do is comment about now which is a question about the future. What is going to happen when these two decide to put nukes on subs. What changes are required in their thinking to allow that.

This is uncharted territory.


The land based missiles I can understand, because the govt. may get a chance to rethink in case the balloon goes up. But in a boomer, it is a problem of physical impossibility.
Exactly, so if they won't mate land based missiles then sea based is out of the question as well.

The problem with a nuke on a sub is countries do not like them in the vicinity. It causes alarm and that is not the intent of deterrence to begin with. We have this inherent contradiction to deal with here.

Our subs are not going to do loop the loop in the Indian ocean. They need to figure out approaches to possible opponents get in and out without being seen if they are to have any effect at all. They need to do that with nukes on board to really know what their chances are. Chinese have not pursued this to date.


And they are not going to advertise what their chain of command and procedures for authorizing the boomer captains to launch are. So if we don't know them, it doesn't mean they haven't already been developed.
The americans & russians have a very keen interest in being able to detect this given that they would be on the receving end. I've not heard anything mentioned here about it nor in the media. It would be news, big news.

Double Edge
30 Jan 13,, 02:16
I would argue that they did. They went begging to the Americans and formalized relations. Nixon met Mao before he talked to Brezhnev.
Don't follow.

Why did the Chinese have to talk to the Americans at all if they had a deterrent.

Was it too early in their development to be able to deter the Soviets.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 02:28
Don't follow.

Why did the Chinese have to talk to the Americans at all if they had a deterrent.

Was it too early in their development to be able to deter the Soviets.No, that's not it. One on one, the Chinese knew that they can't take on the Soviets. That they could not even inflict unacceptable damage onto the Soviets. What they could do is to tilt the balance against the Soviets. In other words, they might win round one against the Chinese but they would definetely lose in round 2 against the US.

What Zhou En-Lai (Mao was a babling fool by then) did was to get the Americans to jump in on round 1 instead of waiting for round 2. In that, they would discourage Moscow from going to war.

Tronic
30 Jan 13,, 03:23
What if the Chinese are not even trying? What if they stuck with counter-value instead of counter-force?

Well, two things here.

1) Until the K-4 comes on line, the only way you're forcing the Chinese to change their game is to put the boomer right off their coast, forcing them to hunt for them. Otherwise, the K-15 is going to mean diddlily squat to the Chinese.

2) On the receiving end, it matters very little if the nuke is delivered by an AGNI III or by a K-4 from the Bay of Bengal. You're not changing the Chinese defence posture.

So, how is this a game changer?

In actuality, it is a game stabilizer. India no longer feels her nukes are threatened to the point of use them or lose them.


Right. I forgot the title of the thread. I should have stated earlier that I also do not believe that this test is a "game changer". It is nothing more than a technological stepping stone.

And yes, I believe that game stabilizer is what is intended from these SLBM developments as well.

zraver
30 Jan 13,, 04:19
SSN's and the SLBM's they carried are a type of major power space race. By developing and fielding a a true SLBM force India elevates herself to the level of a p5NWS. This is a game changer in the prestige race. She will catapult ahead of IsrelThis puts a lot of pressure on China diplomatically. The US and Russia want India on the UNSC as a P6. The UK is likely to follow the US lead and France owes India a favor for selecting the Rafale. China is the block. But China's reasons for blocking are increasingly false which leaves China looking like a bully which when combined with her aggressive behavior in the waters around China is going to bite her in the ass in the long run. India like China was a allied victory in WWII, has nukes, modern technology, will soon have SLBM, large population etc. The gap between China and India is less than between any of the allies and the RoC in 1945...

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 04:29
The UNSC Permenant Member game is so old that it's stale. China objects to both Japan and India but supports Germany and Brazil. US rejects Brazil and Russia rejects Germany. The P5 knows the game (as do all who lobby for their inclusion) and don't push each other to expand the UNSC veto members.

But in the final analysis, it's what the US wants. The US replaced the ROC with the PRC and no one stopped her. If the US wanted India in, she would have done it a long time ago.

No one is going to change the UNSC. It's a tit for tat lobbying for browny points on the Permenant wannabes. US, UK, Russia, and France gets browny points with India. China gets browny points from Germany and Brazil. All the while knowing that no one is actively pushing for an increase in the veto members.

zraver
30 Jan 13,, 04:35
The UNSC Permenant Member game is so old that it's stale. China objects to both Japan and India but supports Germany and Brazil. US rejects Brazil and Russia rejects Germany. The P5 knows the game (as do all who lobby for their inclusion) and don't push each other to expand the UNSC veto members.

But in the final analysis, it's what the US wants. The US replaced the ROC with the PRC and no one stopped her. If the US wanted India in, she would have done it a long time ago.

No one is going to change the UNSC. It's a tit for tat lobbying for browny points on the Permenant wannabes. US, UK, Russia, and France gets browny points with India. China gets browny points from Germany and Brazil. All the while knowing that no one is actively pushing for an increase in the veto members.

Germany will never be in, the UNSC is already too white and well its Germany (ditto for Japan). However eventually either or both India and Brazil will get in. India is the the most prepared to be a P5 member.

Firestorm
30 Jan 13,, 05:20
Germany will never be in, the UNSC is already too white and well its Germany (ditto for Japan). However eventually either or both India and Brazil will get in. India is the the most prepared to be a P5 member.
Why would any member of the UNSC want to increase the number of countries which have the veto? It is against their interests. Especially with a countries like India. Indian and US interests don't always align. The US doesn't want India to get in any more than the Chinese do, regardless of what they might say. Probably the only country the US won't have a problem with is Germany, since they will toe the American line on most issues just like the UK. But the Germans don't have nukes. I guess that is a requirement for getting in.

Firestorm
30 Jan 13,, 05:37
I don't know about the future, all i can do is comment about now which is a question about the future. What is going to happen when these two decide to put nukes on subs. What changes are required in their thinking to allow that.

This is uncharted territory.

Not for the Chinese. They have had boomers for a while now. Its the present for them, not the future.



Exactly, so if they won't mate land based missiles then sea based is out of the question as well.
How so? For land based missiles, you can get a chance to mate them later and still use them. You can't mate warheads to missiles on the high seas. This practical problem should force every country which relies on its boomers for the nuclear triad to mate the warheads before the subs leave port. The Colonel is sure the the Chinese haven't done so, hence my confusion.



The problem with a nuke on a sub is countries do not like them in the vicinity. It causes alarm and that is not the intent of deterrence to begin with. We have this inherent contradiction to deal with here.
The sub doesn't have to be in the vicinity if the SLBM's are long ranged. It can safely sit in the southern Indian ocean where enemy ASW assets are sparse. I'm guessing the Chinese already have such missiles and India is currently making one. Indian and Chinese ASW capabilities are nowhere near those of the USN. I guess sub captains in both navies would be more concerned about the Americans finding them rather than each other.

zraver
30 Jan 13,, 06:57
Why would any member of the UNSC want to increase the number of countries which have the veto? It is against their interests. Especially with a countries like India. Indian and US interests don't always align. The US doesn't want India to get in any more than the Chinese do, regardless of what they might say. Probably the only country the US won't have a problem with is Germany, since they will toe the American line on most issues just like the UK. But the Germans don't have nukes. I guess that is a requirement for getting in.

Because first among equals is a place the US will enjoy for some time to come. However as the gap between white and dark skinned races closes there is going to be a building surge of international pressure to add more color to the UNSC. This pressure will eventually build until the UNSC either adapts, imposes its rule by force (neo colonialism) to the changing world demographic or falls apart. Of the contenders for a permanent seat, only India meets all the requirements to be considered an equal.

Also while the US and India don't often get along, they get along more often than not, especially since the cold war. With China increasingly the bull in the China shop and the US economy increasingly unable to bear the strain of going it alone India is not just a wanted, but a needed addition to the world order.

For these same reasons China opposes India, but China is about to find out why being number 2 in the world is a bad place to be politically. When your number 2 number 1 and numbers 3 (Unless 3 thinks its number 2), 4 and 5 tend to end up in alignment against you eventually. Number 2's climb always threatens the world order which means the security of 3+ is endangered.

France tried to topple the UK and failed, Germany tried twice and ended up divided. The Soviets tried against the US and bankrupted themselves. In fact i can't think of a single number 2 that ever rose to number 1 by beating number 1. The new number 1 usually comes out of left field like the Arabs after Rome and Persia or the US after WWI.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 09:55
Germany will never be in, the UNSC is already too white and well its Germany (ditto for Japan). However eventually either or both India and Brazil will get in. India is the the most prepared to be a P5 member.You're not getting it, Jason. It's a game that the P5 plays. There has been exactly ZERO official meetings about increasing UNSC veto members. In fact, the P5 never even got together as a group to unoffially discuss increasing UNSC veto members.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 10:10
Not for the Chinese. They have had boomers for a while now. Its the present for them, not the future.The JL-2 is not operational yet. And those of us sitting outside of Chinese decision circles do not know why. The JL-1 is too short range to threaten CONUS. So, the sea leg of the Chinese Triad is nowhere close to being acceptably ready.


How so? For land based missiles, you can get a chance to mate them later and still use them. You can't mate warheads to missiles on the high seas. This practical problem should force every country which relies on its boomers for the nuclear triad to mate the warheads before the subs leave port. The Colonel is sure the the Chinese haven't done so, hence my confusion.You do what the Soviets did. You load them only in times of crisis. It's also a political, diplomatic, as well as a military warning sign. If you see Chinese boomers going to sea with nukes, you know they think things are that serious.


The sub doesn't have to be in the vicinity if the SLBM's are long ranged. It can safely sit in the southern Indian ocean where enemy ASW assets are sparse. I'm guessing the Chinese already have such missiles and India is currently making one. Indian and Chinese ASW capabilities are nowhere near those of the USN. I guess sub captains in both navies would be more concerned about the Americans finding them rather than each other.Hence why I don't consider the K-15 to be a game changer. You need to be sitting off Chinese shores to be effective. And since the Chinese do not have a counter-force arsenal, there is absolutely no difference for them between an AGNI III delivered nuke or a K-4 delievered nuke from the Bay of Bengal.

The Chinese could not stop either one.

ambidex
30 Jan 13,, 11:03
Mounting nukes on boomers has to come with your trust on boomers itself.

Arihant is yet to start its sea trail and reactor go critical. Aukla/Chakra on lease can't be mounted with nukes for obvious reasons.

I doubt India has got the capability the rescue its subs from bottom of the oceans, can guess same about Chinese subs as well, just recently we had done some exercises with Americans for the same.

ambidex
30 Jan 13,, 11:08
If its given that your subs have the tail of American subs and they will make sure you do not fire the BMs, at the same time you do not have the capability to rescue your boomers with nuke mated BMs then I can see why Chinese aren't doing it and why Indians would be doing the same.

Am I going in right direction ?

Doktor
30 Jan 13,, 13:59
I still wonder if the reports of Russian nuclear sub patrolling the Gulf of Mexico for a month last summer were true and if so, what does it say about US ASW network?

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 14:02
I still wonder if the reports of Russian nuclear sub patrolling the Gulf of Mexico for a month last summer were true and if so, what does it say about US ASW network?That we're all going broke. The Somali coast took a hell out of a lot of deployments. And the Libyan War didn't help any. Ships that usually patrol the corridors are now elsewhere and there's no back fill anywhere.

Double Edge
30 Jan 13,, 14:03
No, that's not it. One on one, the Chinese knew that they can't take on the Soviets. That they could not even inflict unacceptable damage onto the Soviets. What they could do is to tilt the balance against the Soviets. In other words, they might win round one against the Chinese but they would definetely lose in round 2 against the US.

What Zhou En-Lai (Mao was a babling fool by then) did was to get the Americans to jump in on round 1 instead of waiting for round 2. In that, they would discourage Moscow from going to war.
That's my point.

If the US is required as backup then what good was the Chinese arsenal at the time. If this was Israel then fine because they don't have a deterrent and the US has to back them. But my understanding is the Chinese DID have a deterrent.

So then i wondered whether maybe their arsenal was not mature enough at the time in which case this would not be a valid test of the concept of deterrence. But if it was then the utility of the concept of deterrence still remains to be validated. It's as you said, can deterrence raise enough doubt in the adversary to deter them or not. An open question. In the case of the Soviets it didn't.

Chinese tested in '64 because they sensed a split with the soviets. Five - eight years ('69) - ('73) the Soviets questioned them.

Deterrence remains a plausible idea (in theory) but its only test did not deliver as I would have expected.

Am i still missing anything here ?

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 13,, 14:34
Am i still missing anything here ?Yes you are. "Deterrence is not warfighting" does not happen in a vaccum. It is very situational and requires a read of the strategic situation, forcing you to adjust your needs as the situation changes. The Soviets were well prepared to lose Vladivostok but not Moscow. They correctly assertain that the Chinese would not be able to take out Moscow but the Americans could. Zhou En-Lai, by allying China to the US, placed Moscow under direct threat if they so do attacked China and thus deterred a Soviet attack.

China today is no longer an ally of the US and thus have to adjust her deterrence stance, relying more on her weapons systems than any ally but she still plays at least the friend role. While China is on the target list, no one is actively exercising delivering nukes to China and that includes India.

China is not threatening India to the point where India is having nuclear delivery or nuclear receiving exerises ... and vice versa. That was not the case during the Cold War where civil defence drills went up the ying-yang, especially in Beijing.

Double Edge
30 Jan 13,, 15:01
Not for the Chinese. They have had boomers for a while now. Its the present for them, not the future.
I mean to say that Chinese boomers do not go to sea with nukes on board. That's all. Nobody to my knowledge has reported about it. This is not to say they cannot do it but it appears for now they won't do it. This is not tech related, any challenges can be overcome in time as with India but rather whether their thinking permits it.


How so? For land based missiles, you can get a chance to mate them later and still use them. You can't mate warheads to missiles on the high seas. This practical problem should force every country which relies on its boomers for the nuclear triad to mate the warheads before the subs leave port. The Colonel is sure the the Chinese haven't done so, hence my confusion.
Our posture does not dictate nukes on patrols. We are not on trigger alert like the warfighting ones. So if we or the Chinese start putting nukes on subs then evidently something has changed.

I am sorry that I cannot articulate this better for the moment, but am sensing some incompatibilities with subs + nukes on board and deterrence for now. I could very well be wrong and if you figure out where let me know :)


The sub doesn't have to be in the vicinity if the SLBM's are long ranged.
No, it will only be allowed in an area where it is out of range. If its out of range then what good is the platform. A long range land based ballistic missile is better. As it has the range already and does not need to be mated. So this leg is more potent than the sub based one which is the hardest to develop and whose value is lower but is still essential.


It can safely sit in the southern Indian ocean where enemy ASW assets are sparse. I'm guessing the Chinese already have such missiles and India is currently making one. Indian and Chinese ASW capabilities are nowhere near those of the USN. I guess sub captains in both navies would be more concerned about the Americans finding them rather than each other.
Yes but to be effective it has to evade and penetrate. Its a game of cat & dog. Nobody is going to put a nuke on a sub until they are very sure they can achieve this. Otherwise the risk never seeing their sub or nuke again. It would make for an incredibly valuable trophy.

But for now here is the question

No trigger alert + need to be effective

How to reconcile these two opposites ?

Defcon5
31 Jan 13,, 05:25
Let me walk you through this.

How do you ensure that this sub will launch its birds with the world's deadliest ASW systems prowling the Indian Ocean?

I got that Colonel, It is prudent and intelligent to do so. But then again we are talking about attacking the chinese coast not Diego Garcia. Hardly the same. I expect Indian Navy, to behave differently because of their history, their raid on Karachi Harbor or their other engagements would tell you, they have the British Seamanship ingrained in them.

Defcon5
31 Jan 13,, 06:00
In actuality, it is a game stabilizer. India no longer feels her nukes are threatened to the point of use them or lose them.

I could accept that assessment

Defcon5
31 Jan 13,, 06:14
Colonel,

I dont agree with your assessment about the Americans sinking an Indian or Chinese boomer when there is a nuclear a lobbing between India and China. Fact is, Americans cant dont diddly sqwat about the Indian and Chinese land based nuclear missiles from flying off to their targets, and therefore they are not going to achieve anything (that is stop a nuclear war) by sinking Indian or Chinese nuclear boombers, other than get themselves immersed in an Nuclear War between No.2 and No.3 powers and be nuclear targets themselves in Qatar, Deigo Garcia and US Mainland? Why would they do that. They will not involve in something where they cant make a decisive and effective difference. They will at most try be the mediator, open the sea lanes for traffic etc etc. Anything but involve in such a conflict, absolutely nothing like sinking any boomers

Officer of Engineers
31 Jan 13,, 13:06
Colonel,

I dont agree with your assessment about the Americans sinking an Indian or Chinese boomer when there is a nuclear a lobbing between India and China. Fact is, Americans cant dont diddly sqwat about the Indian and Chinese land based nuclear missiles from flying off to their targets, and therefore they are not going to achieve anything (that is stop a nuclear war) by sinking Indian or Chinese nuclear boombers, other than get themselves immersed in an Nuclear War between No.2 and No.3 powers and be nuclear targets themselves in Qatar, Deigo Garcia and US Mainland? Why would they do that. They will not involve in something where they cant make a decisive and effective difference. They will at most try be the mediator, open the sea lanes for traffic etc etc. Anything but involve in such a conflict, absolutely nothing like sinking any boomersYou are NOT #2 NOR #3. In fact, you can take the entire world's nuclear force outside the top 2 and combined them and you won't even get 25% of either of the top 2.

And the simple fact is that the Americans have MOVED AWAY from the need of a nuclear first strike. They have the conventional capabilities now to take out either the Chinese or Indian or Pakistani or Israeli nuclear arsenals. They have well over a 1000 cruise missiles in the Indian Ocean alone and that is not counting their B2 or B1 capabilities.

Why do you think the Russians INSIST on counting nuclear delivery vehicles instead of counting warheads in the new START treaties? Because the delivery vehicles are now accurate enough that they don't need nukes.

Here is a simple number. India is estimated to have 110-150 warheads. China, 200. The US by treaty is allowed 1000 delivery vehicles for active warheads and 3000 component form warheads. Think about that for a second.

And as much trouble as you think you have of hitting mainland China, what chance have you of hitting CONUS?

Firestorm
31 Jan 13,, 17:06
Here is a simple number. India is estimated to have 110-150 warheads. China, 200. The US by treaty is allowed 1000 delivery vehicles for active warheads and 3000 component form warheads. Think about that for a second.

The Chinese have been developing their nuclear capability since the 60's. Why have they capped their program at 200 warheads, if indeed that is so? They are not short of materials to build more.



And as much trouble as you think you have of hitting mainland China, what chance have you of hitting CONUS?
India has no ICBMs and no plans of building anything that can go farther than mainland China. But the Chinese do have 10000km ranged missiles don't they? And they don't really need them against India or Russia. They must have been built with only one target in mind. If the US starts taking out Chinese nukes with conventional strikes, they will end up in a use it or lose it situation.

Defcon5
31 Jan 13,, 18:30
You are NOT #2 NOR #3. In fact, you can take the entire world's nuclear force outside the top 2 and combined them and you won't even get 25% of either of the top 2.

And the simple fact is that the Americans have MOVED AWAY from the need of a nuclear first strike. They have the conventional capabilities now to take out either the Chinese or Indian or Pakistani or Israeli nuclear arsenals. They have well over a 1000 cruise missiles in the Indian Ocean alone and that is not counting their B2 or B1 capabilities.

Why do you think the Russians INSIST on counting nuclear delivery vehicles instead of counting warheads in the new START treaties? Because the delivery vehicles are now accurate enough that they don't need nukes.

Here is a simple number. India is estimated to have 110-150 warheads. China, 200. The US by treaty is allowed 1000 delivery vehicles for active warheads and 3000 component form warheads. Think about that for a second.

And as much trouble as you think you have of hitting mainland China, what chance have you of hitting CONUS?


Colonel,

I think I should stop using words like No.2, 3 and Game changer. I understand the fallacy and where you are coming from. You are a professional and I am a just uninformed enthusiast. As far as India is concerned, it is a game changing technological milestone.
But at the same time, I do not agree with your presumption that the Americans will sink an Indian Boomer or Chinese one to stop them from lobbing at each other. They cant do diddly sqwat as is evidenced from Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.

Defcon5
31 Jan 13,, 18:45
Colonel,

I thought you would enjoy this read.



India’s K-15 launch and the dangers beyond
Even as New Delhi seeks deterrence stability against China, it realises that the latter’s nuclear arsenal looks beyond India to include US and Russia
By Admiral (retd.) Arun Prakash
Published:January 30, 2013


The reason why nations place a significant part of their nuclear arsenals on board nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) is because of their invulnerability, in comparison with static air force bases and missile sites or even mobile launchers. Once at its patrol station, a few hundred metres underwater, the SSBN is considered safe from prying sensors, including satellites.
From this top-secret redoubt, her battery of ballistic missiles poses the threat of a devastating riposte to any adversary who may contemplate a nuclear first-strike.
In this context, the final launch of India’s K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), marking successful completion of its development programme, is yet another feather in the cap of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This event denotes the achievement of mastery over a sequence of esoteric technologies by Indian scientists. These include safe underwater ejection of the missile, ignition of its rocket-motor at the moment of breaking surface, control during its ballistic-trajectory and precise delivery of its payload over the target.
All that remains to be tested is how the K-15’s nuclear warhead will fare during its hypersonic flight and white-hot re-entry into the atmosphere; and the kind of explosive yield that its nuclear blast will deliver. However, the last bit may remain an unknown, in view of India’s self-imposed 1998 test-moratorium and the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty.

The primary aim of India’s no-first use (NFU) nuclear arsenal has always been to deter China from threatening it or attempting coercion with its powerful nuclear arsenal. It is for this reason that Indian scientists have steadfastly persevered, since the early 1980s, in their endeavours to produce a missile capable of delivering a sizeable nuclear warhead out to an inter-continental range of 5,000-8,000km. Their worthy efforts were crowned by success, with the successful test-firing of the Agni-V last year, and India can now claim to have an effective, land-based, nuclear deterrent against China.
An SSBN, being a vessel of immense strategic value, has to be deployed with care and secrecy in areas which are not frequented by shipping traffic. Their patrol stations are, therefore, chosen in remote parts of the ocean where they can loiter for months at a time, without fear of detection or interference. The obvious corollary is that their missile range must be adequate to reach adversary targets from safe waters. For example, the Chinese Jin-class SSBN is armed with the JL-2 SLBM, which has a range of 8,000km and can target both San Francisco and Kolkata from the South China Sea.
In this context, it becomes obvious that the 750km range of the K-15 is grossly insufficient for it to zero in on targets in mainland China from home waters. To be a truly effective third leg of the nuclear triad, an Indian nuclear submarine will have to await the delivery of an underwater launched missile of intercontinental range, so that it can threaten desired targets from safe patrol areas in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
However, it must be recognised that the American, Russian and Chinese navies had all followed a similar route before achieving SLBM capability of intercontinental range. Installed on board the soon-to-be-commissioned SSBN Arihant, there is no doubt the K-15 will serve as the most valuable stepping-stone and learning tool for more capable SLBMs that will follow.

Nuclear deterrence is all about sending the right signals to the adversary and there is a school of thought that Pakistan has already misinterpreted, inadvertently or deliberately, a number of Indian signals. The K-15 must not add to this list.
Even as India sought deterrence stability with respect to China, it clearly understood that the latter’s strategic calculus and nuclear arsenal looked well beyond India to include the US and Russia. It is a most regrettable aspect of sub-continental geopolitics that Pakistan has been unwilling to acknowledge that India’s arsenal, too, was predicated on factors other than Pakistan and has consistently sought to acquire parity with India.

Regardless of India’s true intentions in undertaking the Pokhran I nuclear test in May 1998, Islamabad jumped to the conclusion that India had embarked on a Pak-centric nuclear weapon programme and accelerated its own ongoing bomb project. The test of the liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable 150km-range Prithvi missile in 1988 and that of the 1,500km-range Agni the following year confirmed Pakistan’s apprehensions that India’s nuclear capability was intended, not against China, but itself. The range of these missiles seemed to confirm this. India’s much publicised ballistic-missile defence programme, the launch of the Arihant and the maiden display of Agni V during the Republic Day parade may have all added to this paranoia. None of these developments are meant to be Pakistan-centric, but the induction of the 750km K-15 SLBM will certainly fuel the fears of Pakistan.

In a related context, since nuclear weapons have a large kill radius, accuracy is a relatively minor consideration for the delivery system — as long as the targeting strategy calls for counter-value attacks against cities, envisaged in the current Indian nuclear doctrine. However, the mention of single-digit accuracy’ by the DRDO chief in the K-15 context raises the spectre of ‘counter-force’ targeting and an entirely different ball game.

Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions have acquired such a desperate edge that its fissile plutonium production rate, from China-supplied reactors, will soon enable it to acquire one of the world’s largest warhead inventories. Apart from inducting cruise missiles, Pakistan has also stepped into the dangerous realm of tactical nuclear weaponry, and, there has been intriguing mention of Pakistan Navy’s Strategic Forces Command being the ‘custodian of the nation’s second-strike capability’.
With India’s scientists having done their job well, it is high time India’s national security experts and analysts step on to the strategic stage and, apart from considering the strategic context of the K-15, reflect on the state of mutual suspicion, rather than the actual needs of deterrence and stability that seem to be driving the growth of nuclear arsenals on the sub-continent.

{Admiral (retd.) Arun Prakash is a former chief of the Indian Navy and former chairman, Chiefs-of-Staff Committee.}
— IANS
India (http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/india-s-k-15-launch-and-the-dangers-beyond-1.1139370)

Officer of Engineers
31 Jan 13,, 23:42
They cant do diddly sqwat as is evidenced from Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.Do not mistake political hesitation for military incapability. We have discussed ad nauseam the military scenarios to which Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea can be destroyed.

Defcon5
01 Feb 13,, 06:00
Do not mistake political hesitation for military incapability. We have discussed ad nauseam the military scenarios to which Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea can be destroyed.


Political will is the main component of military capability, the Americans and Russians can destroy the world over but that doesnt mean anything if they cant and will not use it. Americans have proved that North Korea, Iran and Pakistan. They dont have the capability to destroy every nuke in the hands of India and China. They will not sink any of those boomers, if they are not threat to USA.

Defcon5
01 Feb 13,, 06:01
Colonel,

I would like to get your views on what Admiral Arun Prakash's OPed piece.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 13,, 06:02
The Chinese have been developing their nuclear capability since the 60's. Why have they capped their program at 200 warheads, if indeed that is so? They are not short of materials to build more.The 200 number is the generally accepted number as proposed by Hans Christensen of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Jerry Lewis of Armscontrolwonk thinks it's 80-100. The only thing we know for certain, confirmed by the IAEA that the Chinese have stopped producing fissile materials that be used in bombs. They have enough for ~400-600 weapons depending on the size of the weapons.

As to the reason why? Primarily money. Nukes are damned expensive.


India has no ICBMs and no plans of building anything that can go farther than mainland China. But the Chinese do have 10000km ranged missiles don't they? And they don't really need them against India or Russia. They must have been built with only one target in mind. If the US starts taking out Chinese nukes with conventional strikes, they will end up in a use it or lose it situation.And the Chinese are perfectly willing to accept the loss of their nuclear arsenal. I said only Moscow and Washington had cocked the nuclear trigger. Well, not quite true, Lin Biao ordered warheads mated and rockets fueled. It's just that Field Marshall Rie ignored the order.

And China needed ICBMs to take out European Russia. Her IRBMs could have done it from Lop Nor but Lop Nor was too vulnerable to a Russian strike. She had to move bases outside of Russian decapitation strike zones.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 13,, 06:06
Political will is the main component of military capability, the Americans and Russians can destroy the world over but that doesnt mean anything if they cant and will not use it.Not my job to start a war but it was my job to fight a war and I am damned confident that I can fight my war. Is my confidence misplaced? Do you dare to find out?


Americans have proved that North Korea, Iran and Pakistan. They dont have the capability to destroy every nuke in the hands of India and China. They will not sink any of those boomers, if they are not threat to USA.

1) North Korea, Iran, and truth be told, even Pakistan don't have a proven nuke.
2) 350 combined Indian and Chinese nukes targetted at 3 warheads a piece - that's 1050 warheads. Yeah, the Americans got nukes to spare. So have the Russians.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 13,, 06:08
Colonel,

I would like to get your views on what Admiral Arun Prakash's OPed piece.Too superficial for me. Doesn't tell me anything that I don't already know. He's aiming his piece for the general audience, ie you.

Defcon5
01 Feb 13,, 06:20
Too superficial for me. Doesn't tell me anything that I don't already know. He's aiming his piece for the general audience, ie you.

As he should, since it is newspaper meant for a general audience. But I was more interested in his talk about Counter Force which he seem to have deducted from the mentioning of CEP by DRDO head. I have never even heard of this concepts until I started reading the posts here.


In a related context, since nuclear weapons have a large kill radius, accuracy is a relatively minor consideration for the delivery system — as long as the targeting strategy calls for counter-value attacks against cities, envisaged in the current Indian nuclear doctrine. However, the mention of single-digit accuracy’ by the DRDO chief in the K-15 context raises the spectre of ‘counter-force’ targeting and an entirely different ball game.

What does this tell you about Indian Nuclear Doctrine and Posture, who will this be viewed in Bejing, That is India's intention of attacking cities?

What about his thought about Indian Nuclear Doctrine moving to Counter Force?

If you have already discussed this, will you be kind of enough to show me the link to that thread, I will read up.

Defcon5
01 Feb 13,, 06:23
Not my job to start a war but it was my job to fight a war and I am damned confident that I can fight my war. Is my confidence misplaced? Do you dare to find out?


If USA doesnt have confidence on its military of stopping a possibly be a solitary and a obscure chance of North Korea launching Nuclear Missile at US Mainland. I think India and China will call that bluff.


1) North Korea, Iran, and truth be told, even Pakistan don't have a proven nuke.
2) 350 combined Indian and Chinese nukes targetted at 3 warheads a piece - that's 1050 warheads. Yeah, the Americans got nukes to spare. So have the Russians.



You have to find them first.

Firestorm
01 Feb 13,, 06:26
India cannot move to a counter-force doctrine without massively increasing the number of warheads it has. And that doesn't seem to be on the cards. Basically, you need to have enough warheads (and missiles) to target 2-3 against each enemy nuke. And you need more left over to take out enemy cities in case you miss a few and they blow up some of your cities anyway. This is far beyond India's (or even China's) capability as of now.

This of course is in addition to the need for missiles with a very low CEP.

Defcon5
01 Feb 13,, 07:07
This of course is in addition to the need for missiles with a very low CEP.


Admiral's view comes from this snippet, maybe we are slowly increasing the number nukes.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 13,, 10:33
If USA doesnt have confidence on its military of stopping a possibly be a solitary and a obscure chance of North Korea launching Nuclear Missile at US Mainland. I think India and China will call that bluff.First of all, the US doesn't have to stop what North Korea does not have. North Korea does not have a working nuke nor a working ICBM.

2ndly, the US military have extreme confidence.


You have to find them first.No we don't. We just have to attack every place that they can be.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 13,, 10:52
As he should, since it is newspaper meant for a general audience. But I was more interested in his talk about Counter Force which he seem to have deducted from the mentioning of CEP by DRDO head. I have never even heard of this concepts until I started reading the posts here.He's trying to educate you by hinting that cities are not the only targets and that the increase accuracy has now increased the instability of an arms race with Pakistan, something that neither country should want ... or can afford.


What does this tell you about Indian Nuclear Doctrine and Posture, who will this be viewed in Bejing, That is India's intention of attacking cities?Nothing and no one. Indian nuclear doctrine is deterrence, not war fighting.


What about his thought about Indian Nuclear Doctrine moving to Counter Force?It isn't.


If you have already discussed this, will you be kind of enough to show me the link to that thread, I will read up.I tried googling Stuart Slade (a real ex nuclear targeteer) and his three essays (Nuclear Warfare 101, 102, and 103). It seemed that they have disappeared from the server that they were usually on and I am not about to post those essays that takes up too much space. So, if you can find them, they will give you the basis of nuclear war fighting.

Then, you might try your hand at Chinese Field Marshall Rie and Indian General Sunjarji. Both these gentlemen practiced a very unique and effective doctrine that you will have an extremely hard time to understand. Deterrence is not war fighting.

Doktor
01 Feb 13,, 14:01
Stuar Slade:

From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Aug 19, 2002 07:53:22 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 101

The Nuclear Game - An Essay on Nuclear Policy Making

When a country first acquires nuclear weapons it does so out of a very accurate perception that possession of nukes fundamentally changes it relationships with other powers. What nuclear weapons buy for a New Nuclear Power (NNP) is the fact that once the country in question has nuclear weapons, it cannot be beaten. It can be defeated, that is it can be prevented from achieving certain goals or stopped from following certain courses of action, but it cannot be beaten. It will never have enemy tanks moving down the streets of its capital, it will never have its national treasures looted and its citizens forced into servitude. The enemy will be destroyed by nuclear attack first. A potential enemy knows that so will not push the situation to the point where our NNP is on the verge of being beaten. In effect, the effect of acquiring nuclear weapons is that the owning country has set limits on any conflict in which it is involved. This is such an immensely attractive option that states find it irresistible.

Only later do they realize the problem. Nuclear weapons are so immensely destructive that they mean a country can be totally destroyed by their use. Although our NNP cannot be beaten by an enemy it can be destroyed by that enemy. Although a beaten country can pick itself up and recover, the chances of a country devastated by nuclear strikes doing the same are virtually non-existent. [This needs some elaboration. Given the likely scale and effects of a nuclear attack, its most unlikely that the everybody will be killed. There will be survivors and they will rebuild a society but it will have nothing in common with what was there before. So, to all intents and purposes, once a society initiates a nuclear exchange its gone forever]. Once this basic factor has been absorbed, the NNP makes a fundamental realization that will influence every move it makes from this point onwards. If it does nothing, its effectively invincible. If, however, it does something, there is a serious risk that it will initiate a chain of events that will eventually lead to a nuclear holocaust. The result of that terrifying realization is strategic paralysis.

With that appreciation of strategic paralysis comes an even worse problem. A non-nuclear country has a wide range of options for its forces. Although its actions may incur a risk of being beaten they do not court destruction. Thus, a non-nuclear nation can afford to take risks of a calculated nature. However,a nuclear-equipped nation has to consider the risk that actions by its conventional forces will lead to a situation where it may have to use its nuclear forces with the resulting holocaust. Therefore, not only are its strategic nuclear options restricted by its possession of nuclear weapons, so are its tactical and operational options. So we add tactical and operational paralysis to the strategic variety. This is why we see such a tremendous emphasis on the mechanics of decision making in nuclear powers. Every decision has to be thought through, not for one step or the step after but for six, seven or eight steps down the line.

We can see this in the events of the 1960s and 1970s, especially surrounding the Vietnam War. Every so often, the question gets asked "How could the US have won in Vietnam?" with a series of replies that include invading the North,extending the bombing to China and other dramatic escalations of the conflict. Now, it should be obvious why such suggestions could not, in the real world, be contemplated. The risk of ending up in a nuclear war was too great. For another example, note how the presence of nuclear weapons restricted and limited the tactical and operational options available to both sides in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In effect neither side could push the war to a final conclusion because to do so would bring down nuclear attack on the heads of the "winners". Here, Israel's nuclear arsenal was limiting the conflict before it even started. Egypt and Syria couldn't destroy the country - all they could do was to chew up enough of the Israeli armed forces and put themselves in the correct strategic position to dictate a peace agreement on much more favorable terms than would be the case. But, the Israeli nuclear arsenal also limited the conflict in another way. Because they were a nuclear power they were fair game; if they pushed the Egyptians too hard, they would demand Soviet assistance and who knew where that would lead?

So, the direct effects of nuclear weapons in a nation's hands is to make that nation extremely cautious. They spend much time studying situations, working out the implications of such situations, what the likely results of certain policy options are. One of the immense advantages the US had in the Cold War was that they had a network of Research Institutes and Associations and consulting companies who spent their time doing exactly this sort of work. (Ahh the dear dead days of planning nuclear wars. The glow of satisfaction as piecutters are placed over cities; the warm feeling of fulfillment as the death toll passed the billion mark; the sick feeling of disappointment as the casualties from a given strategy only amounted to some 40 million when preliminary studies had shown a much more productive result. But I digress). This meant that a much wider range of policy options could be studied than was possible if the ideas were left in military hands.These organizations, the famous think tanks had no inhibitions about asking very awkward questions that would end the career of a military officer doing the same. This network became known as The Business. We're still out here.

So. What were nuclear weapons good for? It seems they are more of a liability than an asset. To some extent that's true but the important fact remains,they do limit conflict. As long as they are in place and functional they are an insurance policy against a nation getting beaten. That means that if that country is going to get beaten, its nuclear weapons have to be taken out first. It also means that if it ever uses its nuclear weapons, once they are gone, its invulnerability vanishes with it. Thus, the threat posed by nuclear weapons is a lot more effective and valuable than the likely results of using those weapons. Of course, this concern becomes moot if it appears likely that the NNP is about to lose its nuclear weapons to a pre-emptive strike. Under these circumstances, the country may decide that its in a use-it-or-lose-it situation.The more vulnerable to pre-emption those weapons are the stronger that imperative becomes.

This is why ICBMs are such an attractive option. They are faster-reacting than bombers, they are easier to protect on the ground and they are much more likely to get through to their targets. This is why modern, advanced devices are much more desirable than the older versions. In the 1950s the Soviet Union had a nuclear attack reaction time of six weeks (don't laugh, that of the US was 30 days). The reason was simple, device design in those days meant that the device, once assembled, deteriorated very quickly and, once degraded, had to be sent back to the plant for remanufacture. Device assembly needed specialized teams and took time. This made a first strike very, very attractive - as long as the attacker could be sure of getting all the enemy force. It was this long delay to get forces available that made air defense and ABM such an attractive option. In effect, it could blunt an enemy attack while the assembly crews frantically put their own devices together and got them ready for launch. As advancing device design made it possible to reduce assembly time, this aspect of ABM became less important.

What this also suggests is that large, secure nuclear arsenals are inherently safer than small, vulnerable ones. A large arsenal means that the owner can do appalling damage to an enemy, a secure arsenal means that no matter how the enemy attacks, enough weapons will survive to allow that destruction to take place. Here we have the genesis of the most misunderstood term in modern warfare - MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. (Another point of elaboration here - MAD is not a policy and has never been instituted as a policy option. It's the effect of policies that have been promulgated. This is a very useful touchstone - if people mention the US Policy of MAD, they don't know what they are talking about). Its widely believed that this suggests that both sides are wide open to unrestricted destruction by the other. This is a gross over-simplification. What the term actually means is that both sides have enough nuclear firepower to destroy the other and that the firepower in question is configured in such ways that no pre-emptive strike can destroy enough of it to take away the fact that the other country will be destroyed. MAD did not preclude the use of defensive systems - in fact it was originally formulated to show how important they are - but its misunderstood version was held to do so - with catastrophic results for us all. One implication of this by the way is that in spite of all the fuss over the Chinese stealing the W88 warhead design, the net beneficiary of that is the United States; it allows the Chinese to build a much more secure deterrent and thus a more stable one. Also, looking at things purely ruthlessly, its better for one's enemy to make small clean bombs than big dirty ones.

Aha, I hear you say what about the mad dictator? Its interesting to note that mad, homicidal aggressive dictators tend to get very tame sane cautious ones as soon as they split atoms. Whatever their motivations and intents, the mechanics of how nuclear weapons work dictate that mad dictators become sane dictators very quickly. After all its not much fun dictating if one's country is a radioactive trash pile and you're one of the ashes. China, India and Pakistan are good examples. One of the best examples of this process at work is Mao Tse Tung. Throughout the 1950s he was extraordinarily bellicose and repeatedly tried to bully, cajole or trick Khruschev and his successors into initiating a nuclear exchange with the US on the grounds that world communism would rise from the ashes. Thats what Quemoy and Matsu were all about in the late 1950s. Then China got nuclear weapons. Have you noticed how reticent they are with them? Its sunk in. They can be totally destroyed; will be totally destroyed; in the event of an exchange. A Chinese Officer here once on exchange (billed as a "look what we can do" session it was really a "look what we can do to you" exercise) produced the standard line about how the Chinese could lose 500 million people in a nuclear war and keep going with the survivors. So his hosts got out a demographic map (one that shows population densities rather than topographical data) and got to work with pie-cutters using a few classified tricks - and got virtually the entire population of China using only a small proportion of the US arsenal. The guest stared at the map for a couple of minutes then went and tossed his cookies into the toilet bowl. The only people who mouth off about using nuclear weapons and threaten others with them are those that do not have keys hanging around their necks. The moment they get keys and realize what they've let themselves in for, they get to be very quiet and very cautious indeed. Another great - and very recent example - look how circumspect the Indians and Pakistani Governments were in the recent confrontation - lots of words but little or no action to back them and both sides worked very hard not to do anything that could be misunderstood. (When the Pakistani's did a missile test they actually invited the Indians over to watch in order to ensure there was no ground for misunderstanding. The test itself was another message from both countries to the rest of the world - basically it read "Don't sweat it, we know the rules")

One anayst from The Business was asked what Saddam Hussein would have done if Iraq had possessed nuclear weapons in 1990. He replied that he didn't know what he would have done but he did know what he would not have done - he would not have invaded Kuwait.


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From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Aug 20, 2002 07:41:34 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 102

The Nuclear Game (Two) - Targeting Weapons

One of the interesting aspects of a nuclear war is planning how its going to be done. Most fictional accounts of this process seem to assume that cities will be the primary targets and there will be one device allocated per city. This is very far from the truth. In fact, nuclear attack plans are very complicated things and, in a quite real sense, they don't exist. What does exist is a whole series of strategies aimed at achieving specific results. Which of those strategies are adopted and in what combinations is determined by the specific events taking place. Very often we'll hear of people talking about "The SIOP" as the Holy Grail of the US nuclear war plans. A good touchstone because there is no such thing - if people claim to have worked on the SIOP, they are being economical with the truth. What does exist are a very large number of plans and options that are put together on a mix-and-match basis.

Unfortunately planning a nuclear strike isn't just a matter of working out which cities to destroy. In fact it isn't even a matter of working out which cities to destroy. In fact, we don't target cities at all per se. We target things, some of which happen to be in cities. Its necessary to remember the key; nuclear weapons are a tool, no more, no less. We don't blow up cities just because they are there any more than we fix a TV antenna on the roof by digging a hole in the back garden.

Since we are using a tool to do a job, the first stage is to work out a series of objectives (ie decide what that job is). Normally discussions of such things rotate around strategies being either counter-force or counter-city but its a lot more complex than that. At the last count there were about 30 distinct targeting strategies that could be adopted. As an example, there could be:-

Counter-military - aimed at destroying a country's armed forces. Such a strike would be aimed at things like arsenals, ports, airbases, military training sites etc

Counter-strategic - aimed at taking out a country's strategic weapons force. This would hit the ICBM silos, SSBN ports and bases, the SSBNs themselves, bomber bases, nuclear storage depots etc.

Counter-industrial - aimed at destroying key industrial assets and breaking the target country's industrial infrastructure

Counter-energy - aimed at destroying a country's energy supplies and resources plus the means for distributing them.
Counter-communications - aimed at disrupting and eliminating the target country's communications (radio, TV, landline, satellite etc)communications systems.

Counter-political - aimed at erasing the target country's political leadership - note this is MUCH more difficult than it seems and is very dangerous. Killing the only people who can surrender is not terribly bright

Counter-population - aimed at simply killing as much of the enemy population as possible. A very rare strategy.

There are plenty of others. One of the things that gets done at this level is to think up targeting strategies, work out the target sets associated with that strategy and the resources needed to eliminate that target set. Based on that we can then work out if that particular target strategy is an effective use of resources. Note also that adopting one particular target strategy does not preclude simultaneously putting another into play. Mix and match again.

So lets look at a typical targeting problem in an average sort of strike. We are going to give the capital of Outer Loonyistan a really thorough seeing-to. Now we don't just explode a bomb in the center of the city and say bye-bye. Believe it or not that won't do any real good. Initiate a 1 megaton device over the center of London and 95 percent of the cities assets and 80 percent of the population will survive (this means that, proportionally speaking, Londoners will be better off after a nuclear attack than they were before it took place. This was the basis of at least one Get Rich Quick scheme proposed in The Business).

So we start by selecting a specific targeting strategy. Now we have to estimate the weight of attack Asylumville is likely to come under if that strategy is adopted. To do this we first work out how high Asylumville stands with regard to other potential target areas for that particular strategy. This is usually done by a careful assessment of what targets are in that area as opposed to similar target areas in other parts of the country and assuming the available warheads are distributed according to the target density in that area. Then we assess how many warheads are likely to be inbound and crank that into the priorities we've established to see how many are likely to be fired at Asylumville. It'll be a lot fewer than you think. This means is that we have to look very carefully at the city, its geography and the distribution of its assets in order to work out how to take it down.

To do this we need some maps. We need a standard topographical map, demographic maps and asset/resource maps. Take the targeting strategy and the likely target set associated with it and plot them on that map. Now think out how hard that target set is going to be to destroy. The problems now become apparent. Some targets are best attacked by surface bursts, others by high airbursts. Some, very hard targets need almost direct hits to destroy them; others are so small (and so hard) that hitting them is very difficult.The sort of things we might look at hitting, depending how we do things, are communication facilities, railway marshalling yards, factories, oil refineries, government offices, military bases For example, if the target strategy is anti-communications,amongst the primary targets will be airfields and railway marshalling yards.They are notoriously difficult to destroy, the attacker needs big warheads and needs to ground burst them so the target is physically scoured from the ground. There is a lot of thought needed here; you'll find there are far more potential targets than real warheads so you'll have to allocate the warheads one way, then try to work out the effects. To give you some idea of how that list grows, there are something like 50,000 priority nuclear targets in Russia. Some of them are weird and tucked right out of the way (one of the most critical non-military targets in the USA is where you would least expect it). Now many of that 50,000 target list will be virtually on top of eachother. One initiation will get several of them. That pulls the list down immensely, probably to around 3,000 - 5,000 targets.

OK back to working over Asylumville, the capital of Outer Loonyistan. If its like most other capitals, it'll probably merit a total of between five and ten devices to take out all the things we want to. One of the key tools used here is a thing called a pie-cutter. Its a circular hand-held computer. You set the verniers on it to the specifics of the weapon used (altitude of burst, yield etc) and it gives you a series of rings that show the various lethal effects of the bomb to certain distances. Put it down on the planned impact point and you'll get what the bomb will do. You won't get a pie cutter (they are classified equipment) but you can make your own from publically available data using tracing paper and compasses. . We end up with a map of the city after being worked over. Normally, at this point somebody says. Dammit we didn't get [insert some key assets] and we start again. The first shot at targeting will be stunningly disappointing so you play games with warhead types and yields and with burst locations until you get as many of target set as you can. Take that marshalling yard; sounds easy doesn't it? Believe me railway marshalling yards are a whirling son of a bitch to take down. They are virtually invulnerable to airbursts; we have to groundburst a blast directly on the yard. 800 yards outside and you might as well not have bothered. The problem is those yards are not that big. So now we have a problem called CEP. This stands for Circle of Equal Probability (NOT Circular Error Probable which is a totally meaningless term invented by those of the intrepid birdmen). This is a measure of the accuracy of the missile and is the radius of the circle that will contain half the missiles aimed at the center of the circle. That means that half the inbounds will fall outside that circle. Now we have a second concept; the radius of total destruction, the radius within which everything is destroyed. Its astonishingly small; for a 100 kt groundburst its about 800 yards (now see where the marshalling yard came from).. Now if the RTD exceeds the CEP we're probably OK, if it doesn't (and in most cases it doesn't) we've got problems.

What all this ends up with is we have to fire multiple warheads at single targets in order to be sure of getting them. This is a complex calculation since the optimum number of warheads for Asylumville will depend on the attack pattern and priorities. But we'll eventually end up with number that represents the best compromise between destructive effects and warhead use. To estimate the effects on the area as a whole, take the demographic map, plot the event points, altitudes and yields on that map and apply the pie-cutter set for overpressure. The overpressure needed to destroy various types of building are public record (US houses are very very soft and vulnerable) so you know roughly what will be destroyed up to a given distance. Note that the blast circles will overlap in some places. Blast also isn't logical; ground irregularities will funnel it is some directions so that an area close in may be unscathed while others much further away will be flattened.

Now we have to get them there. Missiles are not terribly reliable and a lot can go wrong. A Rectal Extraction figure suggests that only about 60 percent of them will work when the blue touchpaper is ignited. So we have to add extra warheads to allow for the duds. To give a feel for the sort of numbers that we're talking about, the British calculated that they needed 32 warheads to give Moscow a terminal dose of instant sunrise. In other words, the British nuclear deterrent took down Moscow and that was it.

Key point here on the efficiency of defenses. In the 1950s, the UK V-bomber fleet was assigned to hit over 200 targets in the Western USSR. As the 50's turned into the 60's the ability of the V-bombers to penetrate Soviet airspace came under increasing doubt. The UK shifted to Polaris - one submarine at sea, 16 missiles, three warheads per. Total of 48 targets assigned. But the USSR started to install an anti-missile system that was reasonably capable against the early Polaris-type missiles. So the UK modified Polaris in a thing called Chevaline. this took one warhead from each missile and replaced the load with decoys - then targeted all 16 missiles onto Moscow. ONE target. In effect, the Soviet defenses had reduced the UK attack plan from 200 targets to one. In other words, it was 99.5 percent effective without firing a single shot (bad news for Moscow but great news for the other 199 cities with targets in them)

That's why so many devices are needed - the inventory evaporates very fast. Thats also why defenses like ABM are so important (and the urgency behind deploying the new US Missile Defense System). The defenses don't have to be very effective to work (although the new US system is looking good), its the complexity they throw into the planning process. As long as we can assume that if we get a warhead on its way to its target, that target is going to be hit, then planning is relatively easy and the results predictable. If, however, we can't make that guarantee; if we have to factor in a possibility - perhaps a good one - that the outbound warhead will be shot down, then planning becomes very uncertain. Now put yourself in the position of somebody planning a strike - do you wish to gamble your nation's change of survival on something that MIGHT work. Of course not. So Strategic Paralysis strikes again. A defense system doesn't have to work against an attack to be effective because it works on the minds of the people who make the decisions.

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From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:34:23 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 103

The Nuclear Game - The Attack And After

So far, when discussing nuclear weapons, we've always been working under the presumption that the historical situation applies and that we won't see a nuclear exchange. Lets look at the grim side of the equation now. The sirens are going and the National Emergency system is screaming its head off. What's the world going to be like in 25 minutes time? One thing we have to make clear before we start. We're talking about the biggest cataclysm in human history. When we say things like "doing well" or "doing badly", those terms are relative. Another thing is that most people's preconceptions about a nuclear war and its aftermath are wrong. Nevil Shute Norway did the world a great disservice when he wrote "On The Beach". The skewed viewpoint represented by that novel has been perpetuated ever since. A good modern example is the so-called "nuclear blast mapper" available on the internet that purportedly shows the effects of an initiation on an input home address. It doesn't, it doesn't even come close. A third preconception we have to get rid of is that there is such a thing as a limited nuclear exchange or a flexible response. There isn't now, never has been and never will be. The reasons why are primarily a C4I set of consideration but the inviolable rule is this "One Flies, They All Fly". Any exchange, no matter how limited, will escalate out of control until both participants have used all their devices.

Any country can be divided into two parts. The "A-country" is the big cities, the industrial and population centers and the resource concentration they represent. Big cities got to be that way because they are in desirable locations,near good ports, river crossings or mountain passes. When the city goes, so does the locations. The "B-country" is everything else. In effect the A-country represents big vulnerable collections of assets gathered into single spots. The B-country represents dispersed ranges of resources spread over large areas.This is a very important distinction. The relative value of the A-country and the B-country depends on the country and society involved. However one thing is constant, the support and supplies that the A-country needs to survive comes from the B-country. Given time, the B-country will rebuild the A-country. The survival of the B-country is, therefore, critical while the survival of the A-country might not be. Now, the primary asset of the B-country is its population; they are the ones who will generate resources from the B-country and turn them into product. So, the critical thing for a post nuclear environment is population. Save as much of that as we can and we're a jump ahead. That sounds eminently humanitarian. In reality it has awful consequences but we'll come to those later.

The extent to which the A-country can be rebuilt and the speed with which that can be achieved depends on the damage inflicted on the cities. One of the preconceptions that plague discussion of a nuclear war aftermath is the assumption that the cities will be totally destroyed write-offs but, in reality, the situation is by no means so simple. There's a few things that are important here. One is that big devices are a rarity. There are no 100 megaton devices, very few 25 and 10 megaton devices and not all that many 5 megaton weapons. The largest devices in widespread use are 1 megaton weapons and the majority of strategic weapons are in the 350 -150 kiloton bracket. 50 kiloton strategic weapons are quite common. The reason is quite simple. The destructive power of an explosion is distributed in three dimensions (actually four since the time component is very important) so the destructive power of a device is directly proportion to the cube root of its explosive power. Even worse, the destructive effects of a device are like many other distance related phenomena; they obey the inverse square law. Double the distance from the blast center and the effects are reduced by a factor of four. Therefore, a 1 megaton device is not 1,000 times as destructive as a 10 kiloton device, its ten times as such and those effects attenuate rapidly with distance. However, very big devices are MUCH heavier than small ones and consume disproportionate amounts of fissile material. Put all this together and its much more productive to have a large number of small devices than a small number of large ones.

Another is how the devices are used. The radius of destruction of nuclear devices is actually quite limited; this is a natural outgrowth of working on the inverse square law. Even with one of the "big" 1 megaton weapons, its fury is largely spent by the time the blast wave has reached ten miles from center. The smaller devices have lesser radii although the workings of the cube power rule mean that those radii are not as small as the difference in explosive power suggests. Nevertheless, the relatively limited effect of the devices shows that the general civilian presumption that ground zero for a nuclear strike on a city will be the city center is likely to be wrong. The devices will be targeted onto specific parts of the city that are judged to be of especial value. These may actually be in the suburbs or other peripheral areas.

So how does a nuclear device destroy things? The primary effects that result from the initiation of a device are (in no particular order) a light flash, a heat flash a blast concussion wave and a sleet of direct radiation. In fact, of these the last is of relatively little significance. The range of the radiation is very short and is further attenuated by the inverse square law. Its only significant within the areas where blast and heat are already lethal. If thermal blast and concussion have already reduced you to the size, shape and color of a McDonalds hamburger, irradiating you as well is incredibly superfluous. Thus the direct effects we are interested in are light, heat and blast and they do arrive in that order. The further an observer is from the point of initiation, the greater the gap between them. This is very important. The flash of light that will blind a victim close in serves to warn a potential victim further out. Once a few miles out from ground zero, the light flash tells the population that a device has gone off and its shadows show them sheltered areas from the next effects to arrive. If an area is shadowed from light, its shadowed from radiant heat as well. The heat flash is the first really destructive effect to hit. This is direct radiated thermal energy; like light it travels in straight lines. It will set anything inflammable on fire to a considerable distance from ground zero. Interestingly, it won't set non-flammable things on fire and, for example, must enter a house via windows etc before setting that house on fire. If the windows are masked (for example painted white), the heat flash is unlikely to set a brick-built house on fire (US-style frame houses are a different matter which is why it makes me uneasy living in one).

Last to arrive is blast. Unlike light and heat, both of which travel in straight lines, blast can be funneled by structures, deflected and masked. The windows we carefully painted white are history; smashed by the blast wave and its associated wave front of debris but they've done their job. The heat flash has gone. Houses are actually quite well designed to resist pressure from outside - its pressure from inside that gives them problems. Again, if you can keep the blast out you've got a good chance. Impossible close in to ground zero but progressively easier as we get further from that point. Closing the shutters on windows inside the house is good; even taping the glass in a lattice pattern is astonishingly helpful. Compared with military targets, civilian structures have relatively low damage resistance. In the jargon we've been looking at, this is called protection factor (PF) - most civilians can, with a few minutes warning give themselves a PF of around 40 - meaning they are 40 times more likely to survive than an unprotected civilian. In other words, even though the structures surrounding them are soft and weak, there is a lot they can do that will greatly increase their chance of survival. Note that - even when the sirens are going off, there is still a lot you can do that greatly increases your chances of surviving - provided you have a chance of surviving in the first place.

Lets imagine somebody has taken a serious dislike to your home town and decided to remove it. For all intents and purposes, the effects of initiation are generated in the center of the device initiation and travel outwards evenly in all dimensions to produce a perfectly symmetrical sphere or fireball. Now think of the geometry of this. If the device is initiated at ground level, a so-called ground burst, half of all that energy will go into the ground, scouring out a crater but effectively being wasted. More goes skywards. Some will be reflected down towards the earth but very little; effectively that energy too is wasted. The only energy that is actually useful is that produced in a narrow segment around the equator of the spherical ball produced by the initiation. Thus, for this type of attack ground bursts seem very inefficient. They are.

So what do we do about it? Again, think of the geometry. If we lift the detonation point into the air, the segment of the sphere that will spend its energy destroying valuable things is increased and the amount that scours out a crater gets smaller. Keep thinking along these lines and we reach a point where the sphere of the fireball doesn't quite touch the ground at all. In this case almost all the energy from the lower half of the fireball destroys valuable things and none goes to digging a crater. This is called a low airburst and it remains a low airburst as long as the altitude of the point of initiation of the device is less than the diameter of the fireball (ie there is a fireball radius between the bottom of the fireball and the ground). If the point of initiation of the device is at an altitude greater than the diameter of the fireball it's a high airburst. If the intention is to knock down cities, low airbursts are the most effective way of doing it.

We haven't mentioned fall-out. The dreaded stuff that destroys humanity.Well, there's a reason for that; the device has only just been initiated, there isn't any fall-out yet. Fall out is caused (mostly) by debris from the ground being sucked into the fireball, irradiated and spewed out of the top. This radioactive plume coalesces in the atmosphere and falls back to earth. It's a mix of isotopes of varying half lives. The most vicious of these isotopes have short half lives and are gone in a few hours (usually before the fallout makes it back to the ground). The milder ones can hang around for millennia but their effects are tolerable (speaking relatively again). The really dangerous ones are those that have a half life of between 5 and 6 years - these are long-lived enough to be seriously contaminating and hot enough to be dangerous. The worst is cobalt). Now the blast and heat throw debris outwards, where does the debris sucked into the fireball come from? Answer is the crater scoured in the ground by the energy from the device that went into said ground. But hang on, we've just discovered the best way to knock a city down is to use an airburst that doesn't crater the ground. Doesn't that mean no fallout? That's right, airbursts are relatively clean from a fallout point of view. They do generate some fallout from atmospheric dust and water vapor and a bit more (some very nasty) comes from the debris of the device but not as much as legend holds. This is especially the case since modern devices are very clean indeed and the debris from their initiation is far less than from the older designs.

All this means that dropping a nuclear device on a city doesn't necessarily destroy it. In fact, an acquaintance of mine, Peter Laurie, used to start off his lecture on such things by suggesting that 1 megaton device dropped on London would do only trivial damage to the city. After the lynch mob had been brought under control, he'd put a pie cutter on a demographic map of London and prove the point. We touched on how limited the damage caused by a one megaton device initiated over the City of London would be in Part Two. To be fair,that includes people and property slightly damaged but repairable. The catch is that London wouldn't have been hit by one but by several (in fact four 350 kiloton and two 1 megaton weapons in one particular attack plan). This would still leave a substantial proportion of the population and a larger proportion of their assets intact.

The implication of all this is that despite being subject to concentrated attack, the A-country isn't totally destroyed (although its society is) and remains a storehouse of people and goods. As an institution a big city is not viable for a variety of reasons but that is a long way from saying its simply flat, black and glowing in the dark. Its quite possible (depending on the attack patterns) that the big cities may be relatively unscathed.

So what's been going on in the B-country. One attack pattern is to hit the nuclear weapons stationed out there. These are mostly silo-based missiles. The only way to destroy those is to explode a device directly on top of the silo and scour out of the ground. In other words, a ground burst. And they create huge amounts of fallout. This means that a counter-force strike is inherently much more dangerous to the survival of the population than a counter city strike. Weird isn't it? A counter-value strike attacking the population in their home cities gives them a reasonable chance of survival while a counter-force strike restricting the target plan to military targets and rejecting a deliberate attack on the cities radically decreases that chance of survival. It's a point we've seen happening over and over again - when dealing with nuclear weapons we often end up going places we never thought we would. Thats because the logic behind nuclear weapons use and the effects of that logic is often counter-intuitive. It also demands careful though and examination of reality, not preconceptions or postures. The B-country also gets hit by counter-city strikes but the dispersed nature of the population reduces their direct effects.

OK so its over. The devices have ceased to arrive and eventually, probably after some 36 to 48 hours the all clear sounds. Notice another thing here; most accounts (The Day After for example) of a nuclear attack have a spasm lasting a few minutes and thats it. Sorry, Ain't So. The exchanges go on for days.

What happens now? From now on we're looking specifically at the USA. We have to get the B-country working again. As we touched on earlier, the cities are not viable places to live. Without their support infrastructure, they will become plague pits and charnel houses - just like the cities in 1632 :) . They have to be evacuated and the people distributed in the B-country to make up for losses there. In the B-country people are ambling around with Geiger counters plotting what's hot and what isn't. At this point life gets grim. We triage the population. One triage is condition. Who cannot be saved and will be left to die, who can only be saved with massive (and probably impractical) effort, those who can be saved with the means available now (the ones who get priority) and who will recover without treatment. On top of this is another triage. The population is prioritized according to need for protection. Pregnant women and children are top, young women of childbearing age second. Young men third, older men fourth, old women bottom. This is ruthless and brutal but its essential for survival. Given a choice between saving a young woman who can bear children and an old woman who cannot, we save the potential mother. We do the same with food. Food and water are checked for radioactivity. The clean food goes to the children and young women, the more contaminated food to the lower priority groups. That old woman? She gets the self-frying steaks.

In this situation the US has a terrific advantage over the rest of the world. Its called the Second Amendment. The B-country population is largely armed, sometimes quite heavily. They do exactly what Founding Fathers envisaged - provide a body of armed people whom the local authority can assemble to maintain order. (The Supreme Court may argue that interpretation of the Second Amendment but by now they are doing so with the people who wrote it). In a more general sense, post-holocaust fiction usually has gangs of outlaws preying on the defenseless citizenry. Interestingly that doesn't seem to happen. In disasters people tend to work together rather than against eachother (for example in US urban disasters Hells Angels biker gangs have made sterling contributions to relief efforts using their bikes and riding skills to get emergency supplies through to places others can't). While lawlessness and disorder do occur, the ease of forming a civilian militia (using the term properly here meaning something very much like the Sheriff?s Posse beloved of Westerns) brings that situation under control. Other countries are unlikely to be so fortunate.

So we're in a race. Can we rebuild the B-country so that its firstly self-sustaining without the services provided by the A-country while the stockpile of pre-attack assets survive. Can we reconstruct a working society fast enough so that we can feed enough people to keep going? Can the surviving women bear enough children (and survive doing so) to replace the death toll. For the loss won't stop with the attack. Diseases we consider trivial today, measles, chickenpox, influenza, will be mass killers. No medical treatment. Unless your lucky enough to be where some medical facilities have survived, a broken leg that gets infected is likely to be a death sentence. Its possible to look on this world as a 17th century US colonial environment and there's a lot of truth in that. The downside is that the colonial pioneers didn't have the decaying charnel houses of the cities to worry about. This is another key thing to bear in mind; many more people will die after a nuclear exchange and will die in it. Eric was quite correct in making his Doctor fear disease more than any other factor - its a thing that worried everybody looking at post holocaust (and now you know why the US has such well-equipped clinics tucked away in remote places).

Winning that race is vital. Lose and we're extinct. The population drops like a stone as disease, radiation and injury take their toll. Then, it should bottom out and start to recover. Teams of older men and infertile women go to the cities to recover what they can. The radiation levels continue to drop. Fortunately we don't have to worry about nuclear winter, that's been largely discredited (the atmospheric models that were used were far too simplistic and the reality seems to be we may actually get a more temperate and less changeable climate out of things - somebody once described it as a Nuclear Autumn). The ozone layer also won't be a problem - it'll regenerate fast enough and the effects of the bombs may actually be beneficial.

The ugly side of life continues. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems again. Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything, the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside") . This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable but I think its inevitable.

No electricity, limited medicine, almost no dentistry, no travel - we really are back to the middle ages. The fallout patterns and other things shift so its likely we'll see communities having citadels they can retreat to if necessary. Gasoline runs out cars will go; we're back to horses for transport. Fortunately we don't need factories to make more horses. Justice by the way is run by Judge Lynch. Don't expect to attack a woman and survive. Guns are also a declining asset. As the ammunition runs out we'll be making weapons in blacksmiths shops. Its interesting to see what the designers will come up with, using modern know-how with 17th century assets. We'll probably see bows and arrows come back into fashion - and that means metal body armor.

Eventually when conditions permit, our new society moves back to rebuild the A-country. It'll be a long, long time before there is another Federal Government(such things need technology to survive - a calculated guess is that it would take two centuries before a powerful central government evolved again - if it evolves again).

- End of lecture series -

Its interesting to note how much of the post-nuclear attack projections have carried through into 1632. In fact, I originally bought 1632 precisely because I was interested in how Eric's thoughts would fit with the studies that I knew had been done. The parallelism was very close indeed. 1632 quickly identified the crucial problem - the need to get population levels up so that there is enough of a workforce to do everything that needs to be done. Replace refugees from the war zone with refugees from the A-country and the situations are very close. In many ways, the situation described in 1632 is a lot closer to a post-nuclear attack scenario than the novels that purport to describe such situations directly.

The gearing down of technology is another issue where there are substantial parallels - although a lot of dispersal has been done and small towns have more strategic assets than they might think. There is a reason why the Pentagon places so many contracts with small, out-of-the-way companies. The basic logic is correct though; a post nuclear environment can support limited industrialization using steam and water power and can restore limited electricity.

1632 has another lesson for the post-nuclear environment; the critical importance of getting a working society up and running and getting trade links established. The normal run of post-holocaust novels forget that yet it was the thing most people studying the situation spent most time looking at. Mike Stearns got the point straight away - if he presented himself at a think-tank we'd hire him on the spot. I suspect he'd fit in quite well.

For some reason PDFs wont upload.

Sundarji and Rie are not available online.

Doktor
01 Feb 13,, 14:02
Stuar Slade:

From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Aug 19, 2002 07:53:22 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 101

The Nuclear Game - An Essay on Nuclear Policy Making

When a country first acquires nuclear weapons it does so out of a very accurate perception that possession of nukes fundamentally changes it relationships with other powers. What nuclear weapons buy for a New Nuclear Power (NNP) is the fact that once the country in question has nuclear weapons, it cannot be beaten. It can be defeated, that is it can be prevented from achieving certain goals or stopped from following certain courses of action, but it cannot be beaten. It will never have enemy tanks moving down the streets of its capital, it will never have its national treasures looted and its citizens forced into servitude. The enemy will be destroyed by nuclear attack first. A potential enemy knows that so will not push the situation to the point where our NNP is on the verge of being beaten. In effect, the effect of acquiring nuclear weapons is that the owning country has set limits on any conflict in which it is involved. This is such an immensely attractive option that states find it irresistible.

Only later do they realize the problem. Nuclear weapons are so immensely destructive that they mean a country can be totally destroyed by their use. Although our NNP cannot be beaten by an enemy it can be destroyed by that enemy. Although a beaten country can pick itself up and recover, the chances of a country devastated by nuclear strikes doing the same are virtually non-existent. [This needs some elaboration. Given the likely scale and effects of a nuclear attack, its most unlikely that the everybody will be killed. There will be survivors and they will rebuild a society but it will have nothing in common with what was there before. So, to all intents and purposes, once a society initiates a nuclear exchange its gone forever]. Once this basic factor has been absorbed, the NNP makes a fundamental realization that will influence every move it makes from this point onwards. If it does nothing, its effectively invincible. If, however, it does something, there is a serious risk that it will initiate a chain of events that will eventually lead to a nuclear holocaust. The result of that terrifying realization is strategic paralysis.

With that appreciation of strategic paralysis comes an even worse problem. A non-nuclear country has a wide range of options for its forces. Although its actions may incur a risk of being beaten they do not court destruction. Thus, a non-nuclear nation can afford to take risks of a calculated nature. However,a nuclear-equipped nation has to consider the risk that actions by its conventional forces will lead to a situation where it may have to use its nuclear forces with the resulting holocaust. Therefore, not only are its strategic nuclear options restricted by its possession of nuclear weapons, so are its tactical and operational options. So we add tactical and operational paralysis to the strategic variety. This is why we see such a tremendous emphasis on the mechanics of decision making in nuclear powers. Every decision has to be thought through, not for one step or the step after but for six, seven or eight steps down the line.

We can see this in the events of the 1960s and 1970s, especially surrounding the Vietnam War. Every so often, the question gets asked "How could the US have won in Vietnam?" with a series of replies that include invading the North,extending the bombing to China and other dramatic escalations of the conflict. Now, it should be obvious why such suggestions could not, in the real world, be contemplated. The risk of ending up in a nuclear war was too great. For another example, note how the presence of nuclear weapons restricted and limited the tactical and operational options available to both sides in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In effect neither side could push the war to a final conclusion because to do so would bring down nuclear attack on the heads of the "winners". Here, Israel's nuclear arsenal was limiting the conflict before it even started. Egypt and Syria couldn't destroy the country - all they could do was to chew up enough of the Israeli armed forces and put themselves in the correct strategic position to dictate a peace agreement on much more favorable terms than would be the case. But, the Israeli nuclear arsenal also limited the conflict in another way. Because they were a nuclear power they were fair game; if they pushed the Egyptians too hard, they would demand Soviet assistance and who knew where that would lead?

So, the direct effects of nuclear weapons in a nation's hands is to make that nation extremely cautious. They spend much time studying situations, working out the implications of such situations, what the likely results of certain policy options are. One of the immense advantages the US had in the Cold War was that they had a network of Research Institutes and Associations and consulting companies who spent their time doing exactly this sort of work. (Ahh the dear dead days of planning nuclear wars. The glow of satisfaction as piecutters are placed over cities; the warm feeling of fulfillment as the death toll passed the billion mark; the sick feeling of disappointment as the casualties from a given strategy only amounted to some 40 million when preliminary studies had shown a much more productive result. But I digress). This meant that a much wider range of policy options could be studied than was possible if the ideas were left in military hands.These organizations, the famous think tanks had no inhibitions about asking very awkward questions that would end the career of a military officer doing the same. This network became known as The Business. We're still out here.

So. What were nuclear weapons good for? It seems they are more of a liability than an asset. To some extent that's true but the important fact remains,they do limit conflict. As long as they are in place and functional they are an insurance policy against a nation getting beaten. That means that if that country is going to get beaten, its nuclear weapons have to be taken out first. It also means that if it ever uses its nuclear weapons, once they are gone, its invulnerability vanishes with it. Thus, the threat posed by nuclear weapons is a lot more effective and valuable than the likely results of using those weapons. Of course, this concern becomes moot if it appears likely that the NNP is about to lose its nuclear weapons to a pre-emptive strike. Under these circumstances, the country may decide that its in a use-it-or-lose-it situation.The more vulnerable to pre-emption those weapons are the stronger that imperative becomes.

This is why ICBMs are such an attractive option. They are faster-reacting than bombers, they are easier to protect on the ground and they are much more likely to get through to their targets. This is why modern, advanced devices are much more desirable than the older versions. In the 1950s the Soviet Union had a nuclear attack reaction time of six weeks (don't laugh, that of the US was 30 days). The reason was simple, device design in those days meant that the device, once assembled, deteriorated very quickly and, once degraded, had to be sent back to the plant for remanufacture. Device assembly needed specialized teams and took time. This made a first strike very, very attractive - as long as the attacker could be sure of getting all the enemy force. It was this long delay to get forces available that made air defense and ABM such an attractive option. In effect, it could blunt an enemy attack while the assembly crews frantically put their own devices together and got them ready for launch. As advancing device design made it possible to reduce assembly time, this aspect of ABM became less important.

What this also suggests is that large, secure nuclear arsenals are inherently safer than small, vulnerable ones. A large arsenal means that the owner can do appalling damage to an enemy, a secure arsenal means that no matter how the enemy attacks, enough weapons will survive to allow that destruction to take place. Here we have the genesis of the most misunderstood term in modern warfare - MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. (Another point of elaboration here - MAD is not a policy and has never been instituted as a policy option. It's the effect of policies that have been promulgated. This is a very useful touchstone - if people mention the US Policy of MAD, they don't know what they are talking about). Its widely believed that this suggests that both sides are wide open to unrestricted destruction by the other. This is a gross over-simplification. What the term actually means is that both sides have enough nuclear firepower to destroy the other and that the firepower in question is configured in such ways that no pre-emptive strike can destroy enough of it to take away the fact that the other country will be destroyed. MAD did not preclude the use of defensive systems - in fact it was originally formulated to show how important they are - but its misunderstood version was held to do so - with catastrophic results for us all. One implication of this by the way is that in spite of all the fuss over the Chinese stealing the W88 warhead design, the net beneficiary of that is the United States; it allows the Chinese to build a much more secure deterrent and thus a more stable one. Also, looking at things purely ruthlessly, its better for one's enemy to make small clean bombs than big dirty ones.

Aha, I hear you say what about the mad dictator? Its interesting to note that mad, homicidal aggressive dictators tend to get very tame sane cautious ones as soon as they split atoms. Whatever their motivations and intents, the mechanics of how nuclear weapons work dictate that mad dictators become sane dictators very quickly. After all its not much fun dictating if one's country is a radioactive trash pile and you're one of the ashes. China, India and Pakistan are good examples. One of the best examples of this process at work is Mao Tse Tung. Throughout the 1950s he was extraordinarily bellicose and repeatedly tried to bully, cajole or trick Khruschev and his successors into initiating a nuclear exchange with the US on the grounds that world communism would rise from the ashes. Thats what Quemoy and Matsu were all about in the late 1950s. Then China got nuclear weapons. Have you noticed how reticent they are with them? Its sunk in. They can be totally destroyed; will be totally destroyed; in the event of an exchange. A Chinese Officer here once on exchange (billed as a "look what we can do" session it was really a "look what we can do to you" exercise) produced the standard line about how the Chinese could lose 500 million people in a nuclear war and keep going with the survivors. So his hosts got out a demographic map (one that shows population densities rather than topographical data) and got to work with pie-cutters using a few classified tricks - and got virtually the entire population of China using only a small proportion of the US arsenal. The guest stared at the map for a couple of minutes then went and tossed his cookies into the toilet bowl. The only people who mouth off about using nuclear weapons and threaten others with them are those that do not have keys hanging around their necks. The moment they get keys and realize what they've let themselves in for, they get to be very quiet and very cautious indeed. Another great - and very recent example - look how circumspect the Indians and Pakistani Governments were in the recent confrontation - lots of words but little or no action to back them and both sides worked very hard not to do anything that could be misunderstood. (When the Pakistani's did a missile test they actually invited the Indians over to watch in order to ensure there was no ground for misunderstanding. The test itself was another message from both countries to the rest of the world - basically it read "Don't sweat it, we know the rules")

One anayst from The Business was asked what Saddam Hussein would have done if Iraq had possessed nuclear weapons in 1990. He replied that he didn't know what he would have done but he did know what he would not have done - he would not have invaded Kuwait.


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From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Aug 20, 2002 07:41:34 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 102

The Nuclear Game (Two) - Targeting Weapons

One of the interesting aspects of a nuclear war is planning how its going to be done. Most fictional accounts of this process seem to assume that cities will be the primary targets and there will be one device allocated per city. This is very far from the truth. In fact, nuclear attack plans are very complicated things and, in a quite real sense, they don't exist. What does exist is a whole series of strategies aimed at achieving specific results. Which of those strategies are adopted and in what combinations is determined by the specific events taking place. Very often we'll hear of people talking about "The SIOP" as the Holy Grail of the US nuclear war plans. A good touchstone because there is no such thing - if people claim to have worked on the SIOP, they are being economical with the truth. What does exist are a very large number of plans and options that are put together on a mix-and-match basis.

Unfortunately planning a nuclear strike isn't just a matter of working out which cities to destroy. In fact it isn't even a matter of working out which cities to destroy. In fact, we don't target cities at all per se. We target things, some of which happen to be in cities. Its necessary to remember the key; nuclear weapons are a tool, no more, no less. We don't blow up cities just because they are there any more than we fix a TV antenna on the roof by digging a hole in the back garden.

Since we are using a tool to do a job, the first stage is to work out a series of objectives (ie decide what that job is). Normally discussions of such things rotate around strategies being either counter-force or counter-city but its a lot more complex than that. At the last count there were about 30 distinct targeting strategies that could be adopted. As an example, there could be:-

Counter-military - aimed at destroying a country's armed forces. Such a strike would be aimed at things like arsenals, ports, airbases, military training sites etc

Counter-strategic - aimed at taking out a country's strategic weapons force. This would hit the ICBM silos, SSBN ports and bases, the SSBNs themselves, bomber bases, nuclear storage depots etc.

Counter-industrial - aimed at destroying key industrial assets and breaking the target country's industrial infrastructure

Counter-energy - aimed at destroying a country's energy supplies and resources plus the means for distributing them.
Counter-communications - aimed at disrupting and eliminating the target country's communications (radio, TV, landline, satellite etc)communications systems.

Counter-political - aimed at erasing the target country's political leadership - note this is MUCH more difficult than it seems and is very dangerous. Killing the only people who can surrender is not terribly bright

Counter-population - aimed at simply killing as much of the enemy population as possible. A very rare strategy.

There are plenty of others. One of the things that gets done at this level is to think up targeting strategies, work out the target sets associated with that strategy and the resources needed to eliminate that target set. Based on that we can then work out if that particular target strategy is an effective use of resources. Note also that adopting one particular target strategy does not preclude simultaneously putting another into play. Mix and match again.

So lets look at a typical targeting problem in an average sort of strike. We are going to give the capital of Outer Loonyistan a really thorough seeing-to. Now we don't just explode a bomb in the center of the city and say bye-bye. Believe it or not that won't do any real good. Initiate a 1 megaton device over the center of London and 95 percent of the cities assets and 80 percent of the population will survive (this means that, proportionally speaking, Londoners will be better off after a nuclear attack than they were before it took place. This was the basis of at least one Get Rich Quick scheme proposed in The Business).

So we start by selecting a specific targeting strategy. Now we have to estimate the weight of attack Asylumville is likely to come under if that strategy is adopted. To do this we first work out how high Asylumville stands with regard to other potential target areas for that particular strategy. This is usually done by a careful assessment of what targets are in that area as opposed to similar target areas in other parts of the country and assuming the available warheads are distributed according to the target density in that area. Then we assess how many warheads are likely to be inbound and crank that into the priorities we've established to see how many are likely to be fired at Asylumville. It'll be a lot fewer than you think. This means is that we have to look very carefully at the city, its geography and the distribution of its assets in order to work out how to take it down.

To do this we need some maps. We need a standard topographical map, demographic maps and asset/resource maps. Take the targeting strategy and the likely target set associated with it and plot them on that map. Now think out how hard that target set is going to be to destroy. The problems now become apparent. Some targets are best attacked by surface bursts, others by high airbursts. Some, very hard targets need almost direct hits to destroy them; others are so small (and so hard) that hitting them is very difficult.The sort of things we might look at hitting, depending how we do things, are communication facilities, railway marshalling yards, factories, oil refineries, government offices, military bases For example, if the target strategy is anti-communications,amongst the primary targets will be airfields and railway marshalling yards.They are notoriously difficult to destroy, the attacker needs big warheads and needs to ground burst them so the target is physically scoured from the ground. There is a lot of thought needed here; you'll find there are far more potential targets than real warheads so you'll have to allocate the warheads one way, then try to work out the effects. To give you some idea of how that list grows, there are something like 50,000 priority nuclear targets in Russia. Some of them are weird and tucked right out of the way (one of the most critical non-military targets in the USA is where you would least expect it). Now many of that 50,000 target list will be virtually on top of eachother. One initiation will get several of them. That pulls the list down immensely, probably to around 3,000 - 5,000 targets.

OK back to working over Asylumville, the capital of Outer Loonyistan. If its like most other capitals, it'll probably merit a total of between five and ten devices to take out all the things we want to. One of the key tools used here is a thing called a pie-cutter. Its a circular hand-held computer. You set the verniers on it to the specifics of the weapon used (altitude of burst, yield etc) and it gives you a series of rings that show the various lethal effects of the bomb to certain distances. Put it down on the planned impact point and you'll get what the bomb will do. You won't get a pie cutter (they are classified equipment) but you can make your own from publically available data using tracing paper and compasses. . We end up with a map of the city after being worked over. Normally, at this point somebody says. Dammit we didn't get [insert some key assets] and we start again. The first shot at targeting will be stunningly disappointing so you play games with warhead types and yields and with burst locations until you get as many of target set as you can. Take that marshalling yard; sounds easy doesn't it? Believe me railway marshalling yards are a whirling son of a bitch to take down. They are virtually invulnerable to airbursts; we have to groundburst a blast directly on the yard. 800 yards outside and you might as well not have bothered. The problem is those yards are not that big. So now we have a problem called CEP. This stands for Circle of Equal Probability (NOT Circular Error Probable which is a totally meaningless term invented by those of the intrepid birdmen). This is a measure of the accuracy of the missile and is the radius of the circle that will contain half the missiles aimed at the center of the circle. That means that half the inbounds will fall outside that circle. Now we have a second concept; the radius of total destruction, the radius within which everything is destroyed. Its astonishingly small; for a 100 kt groundburst its about 800 yards (now see where the marshalling yard came from).. Now if the RTD exceeds the CEP we're probably OK, if it doesn't (and in most cases it doesn't) we've got problems.

What all this ends up with is we have to fire multiple warheads at single targets in order to be sure of getting them. This is a complex calculation since the optimum number of warheads for Asylumville will depend on the attack pattern and priorities. But we'll eventually end up with number that represents the best compromise between destructive effects and warhead use. To estimate the effects on the area as a whole, take the demographic map, plot the event points, altitudes and yields on that map and apply the pie-cutter set for overpressure. The overpressure needed to destroy various types of building are public record (US houses are very very soft and vulnerable) so you know roughly what will be destroyed up to a given distance. Note that the blast circles will overlap in some places. Blast also isn't logical; ground irregularities will funnel it is some directions so that an area close in may be unscathed while others much further away will be flattened.

Now we have to get them there. Missiles are not terribly reliable and a lot can go wrong. A Rectal Extraction figure suggests that only about 60 percent of them will work when the blue touchpaper is ignited. So we have to add extra warheads to allow for the duds. To give a feel for the sort of numbers that we're talking about, the British calculated that they needed 32 warheads to give Moscow a terminal dose of instant sunrise. In other words, the British nuclear deterrent took down Moscow and that was it.

Key point here on the efficiency of defenses. In the 1950s, the UK V-bomber fleet was assigned to hit over 200 targets in the Western USSR. As the 50's turned into the 60's the ability of the V-bombers to penetrate Soviet airspace came under increasing doubt. The UK shifted to Polaris - one submarine at sea, 16 missiles, three warheads per. Total of 48 targets assigned. But the USSR started to install an anti-missile system that was reasonably capable against the early Polaris-type missiles. So the UK modified Polaris in a thing called Chevaline. this took one warhead from each missile and replaced the load with decoys - then targeted all 16 missiles onto Moscow. ONE target. In effect, the Soviet defenses had reduced the UK attack plan from 200 targets to one. In other words, it was 99.5 percent effective without firing a single shot (bad news for Moscow but great news for the other 199 cities with targets in them)

That's why so many devices are needed - the inventory evaporates very fast. Thats also why defenses like ABM are so important (and the urgency behind deploying the new US Missile Defense System). The defenses don't have to be very effective to work (although the new US system is looking good), its the complexity they throw into the planning process. As long as we can assume that if we get a warhead on its way to its target, that target is going to be hit, then planning is relatively easy and the results predictable. If, however, we can't make that guarantee; if we have to factor in a possibility - perhaps a good one - that the outbound warhead will be shot down, then planning becomes very uncertain. Now put yourself in the position of somebody planning a strike - do you wish to gamble your nation's change of survival on something that MIGHT work. Of course not. So Strategic Paralysis strikes again. A defense system doesn't have to work against an attack to be effective because it works on the minds of the people who make the decisions.

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From: "Stuart Slade" <shiva06804@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:34:23 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Nuclear Warfare 103

The Nuclear Game - The Attack And After

So far, when discussing nuclear weapons, we've always been working under the presumption that the historical situation applies and that we won't see a nuclear exchange. Lets look at the grim side of the equation now. The sirens are going and the National Emergency system is screaming its head off. What's the world going to be like in 25 minutes time? One thing we have to make clear before we start. We're talking about the biggest cataclysm in human history. When we say things like "doing well" or "doing badly", those terms are relative. Another thing is that most people's preconceptions about a nuclear war and its aftermath are wrong. Nevil Shute Norway did the world a great disservice when he wrote "On The Beach". The skewed viewpoint represented by that novel has been perpetuated ever since. A good modern example is the so-called "nuclear blast mapper" available on the internet that purportedly shows the effects of an initiation on an input home address. It doesn't, it doesn't even come close. A third preconception we have to get rid of is that there is such a thing as a limited nuclear exchange or a flexible response. There isn't now, never has been and never will be. The reasons why are primarily a C4I set of consideration but the inviolable rule is this "One Flies, They All Fly". Any exchange, no matter how limited, will escalate out of control until both participants have used all their devices.

Any country can be divided into two parts. The "A-country" is the big cities, the industrial and population centers and the resource concentration they represent. Big cities got to be that way because they are in desirable locations,near good ports, river crossings or mountain passes. When the city goes, so does the locations. The "B-country" is everything else. In effect the A-country represents big vulnerable collections of assets gathered into single spots. The B-country represents dispersed ranges of resources spread over large areas.This is a very important distinction. The relative value of the A-country and the B-country depends on the country and society involved. However one thing is constant, the support and supplies that the A-country needs to survive comes from the B-country. Given time, the B-country will rebuild the A-country. The survival of the B-country is, therefore, critical while the survival of the A-country might not be. Now, the primary asset of the B-country is its population; they are the ones who will generate resources from the B-country and turn them into product. So, the critical thing for a post nuclear environment is population. Save as much of that as we can and we're a jump ahead. That sounds eminently humanitarian. In reality it has awful consequences but we'll come to those later.

The extent to which the A-country can be rebuilt and the speed with which that can be achieved depends on the damage inflicted on the cities. One of the preconceptions that plague discussion of a nuclear war aftermath is the assumption that the cities will be totally destroyed write-offs but, in reality, the situation is by no means so simple. There's a few things that are important here. One is that big devices are a rarity. There are no 100 megaton devices, very few 25 and 10 megaton devices and not all that many 5 megaton weapons. The largest devices in widespread use are 1 megaton weapons and the majority of strategic weapons are in the 350 -150 kiloton bracket. 50 kiloton strategic weapons are quite common. The reason is quite simple. The destructive power of an explosion is distributed in three dimensions (actually four since the time component is very important) so the destructive power of a device is directly proportion to the cube root of its explosive power. Even worse, the destructive effects of a device are like many other distance related phenomena; they obey the inverse square law. Double the distance from the blast center and the effects are reduced by a factor of four. Therefore, a 1 megaton device is not 1,000 times as destructive as a 10 kiloton device, its ten times as such and those effects attenuate rapidly with distance. However, very big devices are MUCH heavier than small ones and consume disproportionate amounts of fissile material. Put all this together and its much more productive to have a large number of small devices than a small number of large ones.

Another is how the devices are used. The radius of destruction of nuclear devices is actually quite limited; this is a natural outgrowth of working on the inverse square law. Even with one of the "big" 1 megaton weapons, its fury is largely spent by the time the blast wave has reached ten miles from center. The smaller devices have lesser radii although the workings of the cube power rule mean that those radii are not as small as the difference in explosive power suggests. Nevertheless, the relatively limited effect of the devices shows that the general civilian presumption that ground zero for a nuclear strike on a city will be the city center is likely to be wrong. The devices will be targeted onto specific parts of the city that are judged to be of especial value. These may actually be in the suburbs or other peripheral areas.

So how does a nuclear device destroy things? The primary effects that result from the initiation of a device are (in no particular order) a light flash, a heat flash a blast concussion wave and a sleet of direct radiation. In fact, of these the last is of relatively little significance. The range of the radiation is very short and is further attenuated by the inverse square law. Its only significant within the areas where blast and heat are already lethal. If thermal blast and concussion have already reduced you to the size, shape and color of a McDonalds hamburger, irradiating you as well is incredibly superfluous. Thus the direct effects we are interested in are light, heat and blast and they do arrive in that order. The further an observer is from the point of initiation, the greater the gap between them. This is very important. The flash of light that will blind a victim close in serves to warn a potential victim further out. Once a few miles out from ground zero, the light flash tells the population that a device has gone off and its shadows show them sheltered areas from the next effects to arrive. If an area is shadowed from light, its shadowed from radiant heat as well. The heat flash is the first really destructive effect to hit. This is direct radiated thermal energy; like light it travels in straight lines. It will set anything inflammable on fire to a considerable distance from ground zero. Interestingly, it won't set non-flammable things on fire and, for example, must enter a house via windows etc before setting that house on fire. If the windows are masked (for example painted white), the heat flash is unlikely to set a brick-built house on fire (US-style frame houses are a different matter which is why it makes me uneasy living in one).

Last to arrive is blast. Unlike light and heat, both of which travel in straight lines, blast can be funneled by structures, deflected and masked. The windows we carefully painted white are history; smashed by the blast wave and its associated wave front of debris but they've done their job. The heat flash has gone. Houses are actually quite well designed to resist pressure from outside - its pressure from inside that gives them problems. Again, if you can keep the blast out you've got a good chance. Impossible close in to ground zero but progressively easier as we get further from that point. Closing the shutters on windows inside the house is good; even taping the glass in a lattice pattern is astonishingly helpful. Compared with military targets, civilian structures have relatively low damage resistance. In the jargon we've been looking at, this is called protection factor (PF) - most civilians can, with a few minutes warning give themselves a PF of around 40 - meaning they are 40 times more likely to survive than an unprotected civilian. In other words, even though the structures surrounding them are soft and weak, there is a lot they can do that will greatly increase their chance of survival. Note that - even when the sirens are going off, there is still a lot you can do that greatly increases your chances of surviving - provided you have a chance of surviving in the first place.

Lets imagine somebody has taken a serious dislike to your home town and decided to remove it. For all intents and purposes, the effects of initiation are generated in the center of the device initiation and travel outwards evenly in all dimensions to produce a perfectly symmetrical sphere or fireball. Now think of the geometry of this. If the device is initiated at ground level, a so-called ground burst, half of all that energy will go into the ground, scouring out a crater but effectively being wasted. More goes skywards. Some will be reflected down towards the earth but very little; effectively that energy too is wasted. The only energy that is actually useful is that produced in a narrow segment around the equator of the spherical ball produced by the initiation. Thus, for this type of attack ground bursts seem very inefficient. They are.

So what do we do about it? Again, think of the geometry. If we lift the detonation point into the air, the segment of the sphere that will spend its energy destroying valuable things is increased and the amount that scours out a crater gets smaller. Keep thinking along these lines and we reach a point where the sphere of the fireball doesn't quite touch the ground at all. In this case almost all the energy from the lower half of the fireball destroys valuable things and none goes to digging a crater. This is called a low airburst and it remains a low airburst as long as the altitude of the point of initiation of the device is less than the diameter of the fireball (ie there is a fireball radius between the bottom of the fireball and the ground). If the point of initiation of the device is at an altitude greater than the diameter of the fireball it's a high airburst. If the intention is to knock down cities, low airbursts are the most effective way of doing it.

We haven't mentioned fall-out. The dreaded stuff that destroys humanity.Well, there's a reason for that; the device has only just been initiated, there isn't any fall-out yet. Fall out is caused (mostly) by debris from the ground being sucked into the fireball, irradiated and spewed out of the top. This radioactive plume coalesces in the atmosphere and falls back to earth. It's a mix of isotopes of varying half lives. The most vicious of these isotopes have short half lives and are gone in a few hours (usually before the fallout makes it back to the ground). The milder ones can hang around for millennia but their effects are tolerable (speaking relatively again). The really dangerous ones are those that have a half life of between 5 and 6 years - these are long-lived enough to be seriously contaminating and hot enough to be dangerous. The worst is cobalt). Now the blast and heat throw debris outwards, where does the debris sucked into the fireball come from? Answer is the crater scoured in the ground by the energy from the device that went into said ground. But hang on, we've just discovered the best way to knock a city down is to use an airburst that doesn't crater the ground. Doesn't that mean no fallout? That's right, airbursts are relatively clean from a fallout point of view. They do generate some fallout from atmospheric dust and water vapor and a bit more (some very nasty) comes from the debris of the device but not as much as legend holds. This is especially the case since modern devices are very clean indeed and the debris from their initiation is far less than from the older designs.

All this means that dropping a nuclear device on a city doesn't necessarily destroy it. In fact, an acquaintance of mine, Peter Laurie, used to start off his lecture on such things by suggesting that 1 megaton device dropped on London would do only trivial damage to the city. After the lynch mob had been brought under control, he'd put a pie cutter on a demographic map of London and prove the point. We touched on how limited the damage caused by a one megaton device initiated over the City of London would be in Part Two. To be fair,that includes people and property slightly damaged but repairable. The catch is that London wouldn't have been hit by one but by several (in fact four 350 kiloton and two 1 megaton weapons in one particular attack plan). This would still leave a substantial proportion of the population and a larger proportion of their assets intact.

The implication of all this is that despite being subject to concentrated attack, the A-country isn't totally destroyed (although its society is) and remains a storehouse of people and goods. As an institution a big city is not viable for a variety of reasons but that is a long way from saying its simply flat, black and glowing in the dark. Its quite possible (depending on the attack patterns) that the big cities may be relatively unscathed.

So what's been going on in the B-country. One attack pattern is to hit the nuclear weapons stationed out there. These are mostly silo-based missiles. The only way to destroy those is to explode a device directly on top of the silo and scour out of the ground. In other words, a ground burst. And they create huge amounts of fallout. This means that a counter-force strike is inherently much more dangerous to the survival of the population than a counter city strike. Weird isn't it? A counter-value strike attacking the population in their home cities gives them a reasonable chance of survival while a counter-force strike restricting the target plan to military targets and rejecting a deliberate attack on the cities radically decreases that chance of survival. It's a point we've seen happening over and over again - when dealing with nuclear weapons we often end up going places we never thought we would. Thats because the logic behind nuclear weapons use and the effects of that logic is often counter-intuitive. It also demands careful though and examination of reality, not preconceptions or postures. The B-country also gets hit by counter-city strikes but the dispersed nature of the population reduces their direct effects.

OK so its over. The devices have ceased to arrive and eventually, probably after some 36 to 48 hours the all clear sounds. Notice another thing here; most accounts (The Day After for example) of a nuclear attack have a spasm lasting a few minutes and thats it. Sorry, Ain't So. The exchanges go on for days.

What happens now? From now on we're looking specifically at the USA. We have to get the B-country working again. As we touched on earlier, the cities are not viable places to live. Without their support infrastructure, they will become plague pits and charnel houses - just like the cities in 1632 :) . They have to be evacuated and the people distributed in the B-country to make up for losses there. In the B-country people are ambling around with Geiger counters plotting what's hot and what isn't. At this point life gets grim. We triage the population. One triage is condition. Who cannot be saved and will be left to die, who can only be saved with massive (and probably impractical) effort, those who can be saved with the means available now (the ones who get priority) and who will recover without treatment. On top of this is another triage. The population is prioritized according to need for protection. Pregnant women and children are top, young women of childbearing age second. Young men third, older men fourth, old women bottom. This is ruthless and brutal but its essential for survival. Given a choice between saving a young woman who can bear children and an old woman who cannot, we save the potential mother. We do the same with food. Food and water are checked for radioactivity. The clean food goes to the children and young women, the more contaminated food to the lower priority groups. That old woman? She gets the self-frying steaks.

In this situation the US has a terrific advantage over the rest of the world. Its called the Second Amendment. The B-country population is largely armed, sometimes quite heavily. They do exactly what Founding Fathers envisaged - provide a body of armed people whom the local authority can assemble to maintain order. (The Supreme Court may argue that interpretation of the Second Amendment but by now they are doing so with the people who wrote it). In a more general sense, post-holocaust fiction usually has gangs of outlaws preying on the defenseless citizenry. Interestingly that doesn't seem to happen. In disasters people tend to work together rather than against eachother (for example in US urban disasters Hells Angels biker gangs have made sterling contributions to relief efforts using their bikes and riding skills to get emergency supplies through to places others can't). While lawlessness and disorder do occur, the ease of forming a civilian militia (using the term properly here meaning something very much like the Sheriff?s Posse beloved of Westerns) brings that situation under control. Other countries are unlikely to be so fortunate.

So we're in a race. Can we rebuild the B-country so that its firstly self-sustaining without the services provided by the A-country while the stockpile of pre-attack assets survive. Can we reconstruct a working society fast enough so that we can feed enough people to keep going? Can the surviving women bear enough children (and survive doing so) to replace the death toll. For the loss won't stop with the attack. Diseases we consider trivial today, measles, chickenpox, influenza, will be mass killers. No medical treatment. Unless your lucky enough to be where some medical facilities have survived, a broken leg that gets infected is likely to be a death sentence. Its possible to look on this world as a 17th century US colonial environment and there's a lot of truth in that. The downside is that the colonial pioneers didn't have the decaying charnel houses of the cities to worry about. This is another key thing to bear in mind; many more people will die after a nuclear exchange and will die in it. Eric was quite correct in making his Doctor fear disease more than any other factor - its a thing that worried everybody looking at post holocaust (and now you know why the US has such well-equipped clinics tucked away in remote places).

Winning that race is vital. Lose and we're extinct. The population drops like a stone as disease, radiation and injury take their toll. Then, it should bottom out and start to recover. Teams of older men and infertile women go to the cities to recover what they can. The radiation levels continue to drop. Fortunately we don't have to worry about nuclear winter, that's been largely discredited (the atmospheric models that were used were far too simplistic and the reality seems to be we may actually get a more temperate and less changeable climate out of things - somebody once described it as a Nuclear Autumn). The ozone layer also won't be a problem - it'll regenerate fast enough and the effects of the bombs may actually be beneficial.

The ugly side of life continues. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems again. Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything, the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside") . This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable but I think its inevitable.

No electricity, limited medicine, almost no dentistry, no travel - we really are back to the middle ages. The fallout patterns and other things shift so its likely we'll see communities having citadels they can retreat to if necessary. Gasoline runs out cars will go; we're back to horses for transport. Fortunately we don't need factories to make more horses. Justice by the way is run by Judge Lynch. Don't expect to attack a woman and survive. Guns are also a declining asset. As the ammunition runs out we'll be making weapons in blacksmiths shops. Its interesting to see what the designers will come up with, using modern know-how with 17th century assets. We'll probably see bows and arrows come back into fashion - and that means metal body armor.

Eventually when conditions permit, our new society moves back to rebuild the A-country. It'll be a long, long time before there is another Federal Government(such things need technology to survive - a calculated guess is that it would take two centuries before a powerful central government evolved again - if it evolves again).

- End of lecture series -

Its interesting to note how much of the post-nuclear attack projections have carried through into 1632. In fact, I originally bought 1632 precisely because I was interested in how Eric's thoughts would fit with the studies that I knew had been done. The parallelism was very close indeed. 1632 quickly identified the crucial problem - the need to get population levels up so that there is enough of a workforce to do everything that needs to be done. Replace refugees from the war zone with refugees from the A-country and the situations are very close. In many ways, the situation described in 1632 is a lot closer to a post-nuclear attack scenario than the novels that purport to describe such situations directly.

The gearing down of technology is another issue where there are substantial parallels - although a lot of dispersal has been done and small towns have more strategic assets than they might think. There is a reason why the Pentagon places so many contracts with small, out-of-the-way companies. The basic logic is correct though; a post nuclear environment can support limited industrialization using steam and water power and can restore limited electricity.

1632 has another lesson for the post-nuclear environment; the critical importance of getting a working society up and running and getting trade links established. The normal run of post-holocaust novels forget that yet it was the thing most people studying the situation spent most time looking at. Mike Stearns got the point straight away - if he presented himself at a think-tank we'd hire him on the spot. I suspect he'd fit in quite well.

For some reason PDFs wont upload.

Sundarji and Rie are not available online.

observer7
02 Feb 13,, 02:55
Thus, the threat posed by nuclear weapons is a lot more effective and valuable than the likely results of using those weapons

So this is "deterrence is not warfighting"?

Defcon5
03 Feb 13,, 06:26
Thanks Doktor, Much apperciated.

Double Edge
03 Feb 13,, 23:15
Yes you are. "Deterrence is not warfighting" does not happen in a vaccum.
ok, now i understood why you argued that China did succeed in deterring the Soviets. Very subtle.


It is very situational and requires a read of the strategic situation, forcing you to adjust your needs as the situation changes. The Soviets were well prepared to lose Vladivostok but not Moscow. They correctly assertain that the Chinese would not be able to take out Moscow but the Americans could. Zhou En-Lai, by allying China to the US, placed Moscow under direct threat if they so do attacked China and thus deterred a Soviet attack.
I saw nukes or weapon systems as the only component of deterrence available, which is the situation presently and it coloured my view.

But back then what you've pointed out is that nukes were just one component of deterrence. The Chinese also had the additional option to ally with the Americans in order to deter the Soviets.

Deterrence needs to be seen in as broad a light as possible otherwise we miss the answers that might be available for less cost.


China today is no longer an ally of the US and thus have to adjust her deterrence stance, relying more on her weapons systems than any ally but she still plays at least the friend role. While China is on the target list, no one is actively exercising delivering nukes to China and that includes India.
Right, so here China has to depend on herself alone just like India would have to. The situation is different today.


China is not threatening India to the point where India is having nuclear delivery or nuclear receiving exerises ... and vice versa. That was not the case during the Cold War where civil defence drills went up the ying-yang, especially in Beijing.
Given what you've said here over the years, I don't believe that China or India will target each other with nukes. The possibility is low. Conventional is a higher possibility but not inevitable if managed properly.

My belief in this gets challenged on a constant basis as the domestic narrative is different. We read regularly about the range of our missiles and how they can cover all of China. Just see Defcon5's article on the last page for yet another reminder.

But in your what-if thread you asked, has India ever conducted nuke drills, and the answer was a no. India did not expect any then neither does it right now and i don't see that changing as yet.

Deterrence powers cannot (in theory) threaten others. That is not their purpose. They don't make the first move.

The origins of China & India's nukes are for the war fighting powers.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 13,, 05:05
Deterrence needs to be seen in as broad a light as possible otherwise we miss the answers that might be available for less cost.Congratulations. You've just reached my A-HA moment followed by my WOW moment.

What I found amazing is that the Indian Officers here seems to take these concepts like duck to water and I'm struggling through it. I wish there was a course on this.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 13,, 05:08
So this is "deterrence is not warfighting"?Not exactly. It is still "si vis pacem, para bellum."

Rie and Sundarji are basically saying you don't need "para bellum" if you can have the right but armed peace.

Deltacamelately
04 Feb 13,, 12:31
Congratulations. You've just reached my A-HA moment followed by my WOW moment.

What I found amazing is that the Indian Officers here seems to take these concepts like duck to water and I'm struggling through it. I wish there was a course on this.
Sir,

Don't be so harsh to yourself. You have walked us through many of the dark alleys when we seemed to be totally lost.

ambidex
04 Feb 13,, 13:37
Not exactly. It is still "si vis pacem, para bellum."

Rie and Sundarji are basically saying you don't need "para bellum" if you can have the right but armed peace.

Both were simply buying the time, the ultimate goal is to be a war fighting nation. Once you get the deterrence then its just a matter of numbers.

Numbers comes with time (How much time USA took to become war fighting nation), level of threat (read cold war) and economy. If having a deterrence level of stockpile qualifies you to be a target of nukes then letting you have the deterrence is the line a war fighting nation wouldn't like to see you cross. They can't stop you producing war-fighting stockpile which is an inevitable entity.

No ''para bellum'' or caring not to alarm is just a deception and Gen. K Sundarji and Rie were able to do it successfully. I would have done the same throwing/floating a theory/deception after knowing technological limitation my nation has with a view we be able to overcome those in far foreseeable future.

My wild guess; China becoming a war fighting nation in next 10-20 years.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 13,, 14:26
No ''para bellum'' or caring not to alarm is just a deception and Gen. K Sundarji and Rie were able to do it successfully. I would have done the same throwing/floating a theory/deception after knowing technological limitation my nation has with a view we be able to overcome those in far foreseeable future.Rie disobeyed Lin Biao's orders to mate warheads to rockets and to fueled rockets ready for launch.


My wild guess; China becoming a war fighting nation in next 10-20 years.China stopped fissile material production in the 90s (confirmed by the IAEA) and have at most enough materials for another 400 warheads. Not even beginning to approach the hands on stock the Americans have.

China and India are also champions of the Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty. The treaty is in limbo because of Pakistan whose position is that it is unfair for her to have by far the smallest stock of any of the NWS.

Double Edge
04 Feb 13,, 15:10
Congratulations. You've just reached my A-HA moment followed by my WOW moment.

What I found amazing is that the Indian Officers here seems to take these concepts like duck to water and I'm struggling through it. I wish there was a course on this.
You've already given us the basics here over the years. A few simple rules that can then be applied to different situations and countries.

If one were to compile a list of your posts in the contexts they were expressed in then i think there exists already a pretty good introductory course on the subject.

To go beyond will require cleverly crafted case studies & what-if scenarios to apply the basics.

Double Edge
04 Feb 13,, 15:25
China and India are also champions of the Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty. The treaty is in limbo because of Pakistan whose position is that it is unfair for her to have by far the smallest stock of any of the NWS.
That is curious because the only response available to counter an adversarial conventional imbalance is to increase nukes. That is to say if further assistance from either of the big two is not forthcoming. I think a powerful incentive to opt for nukes in the first place is in response to an impossible conventional imbalance.

But there is no limit to conventional superiority set for the americans or russians. Technology is their only limit.

So why would China or India want to limit their options.

If the US appears too powerful to China then unless China can come up with a conventional counter their last remaining option would be to increase their nukes which then has a knock on effect on India & Pakistan.

This is known as crisis instability, a term i'm still trying to grasp.

But if there are real limits to how far China & India can go with nuke production then it helps to limit what the US & Russia already have. If China & India are advocating fissile material cut off then they are both in fact stating they will not become war fighting powers.

Doktor
04 Feb 13,, 15:29
Been following this deterrence line of thinking for a while. Can i return you fast backwards?

How can you deter someone if you don't have the ordnance or at least have someone with ordnance to watch your back?

So para bellum is not out the loop or I seriously miss something.

Double Edge
04 Feb 13,, 15:48
How can you deter someone if you don't have the ordnance or at least have someone with ordnance to watch your back?
Oil producing gulf arabs don't need nukes.

They have outsourced their deterrence to the americans.

Israel is in the same boat for different reasons.

Doktor
04 Feb 13,, 17:55
If that's the case western Europe invented deterrence first.

Firestorm
04 Feb 13,, 18:33
China and India are also champions of the Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty. The treaty is in limbo because of Pakistan whose position is that it is unfair for her to have by far the smallest stock of any of the NWS.
There were several articles in recent times suggesting that Pakistan's arsenal is larger than India's and may even cross 200 warheads soon. It is still possible that India has a lot of unused fissile material left over that can be used to bridge the gap, but Pakistan seems to be in no danger of falling behind as far as the size of their arsenal is concerned, anytime soon.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 13,, 18:47
How can you deter someone if you don't have the ordnance or at least have someone with ordnance to watch your back?

So para bellum is not out the loop or I seriously miss something.It's a hard concept.

Deterrence through war fighting is "don't start or I will kill you." Doesn't matter if I die, I will kill you.

Deterrence through Rie/Sundarji is "don't start, you can't win." All you have to do is to show the other guy can't win. You don't have to kill him, just show him he can't win.


If that's the case western Europe invented deterrence first.It's along the lines what's the easiest way to take a castle? A donkey loaded with gold.


There were several articles in recent times suggesting that Pakistan's arsenal is larger than India's and may even cross 200 warheads soon. It is still possible that India has a lot of unused fissile material left over that can be used to bridge the gap, but Pakistan seems to be in no danger of falling behind as far as the size of their arsenal is concerned, anytime soon.Pakistan is going for the more numerous but smaller yield arsenal (~10-12 kt). India's arsenal is going for the 30-60 kt yield. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 13,, 18:57
You've already given us the basics here over the years. A few simple rules that can then be applied to different situations and countries.

If one were to compile a list of your posts in the contexts they were expressed in then i think there exists already a pretty good introductory course on the subject.

To go beyond will require cleverly crafted case studies & what-if scenarios to apply the basics.I'm being lazy in my old age. I like someone else who has thought this through to explain things to me instead of me going about figuring things out.

For example, how does boomers fit into the concept? I have a working hypothesis but it's taking an effort to think things through.


Don't be so harsh to yourself. You have walked us through many of the dark alleys when we seemed to be totally lost.Give yourselves some credit too, Major. Without you and the good Captain Lemontree who keep asking questions and challenging my position, we would not have figure a lot of things out. Do recall that it was you and I who first discover that Indira Ghandi was pissed off at Nixon, not Mao when she exploded her nuke. That was you and me arguing about the significance of the Chinese and the ENTERPRISE incident.

Doktor
04 Feb 13,, 21:12
It's a hard concept.
Tell me about it, you struggled more, I am about to start.


Deterrence through war fighting is "don't start or I will kill you." Doesn't matter if I die, I will kill you.

Deterrence through Rie/Sundarji is "don't start, you can't win." All you have to do is to show the other guy can't win. You don't have to kill him, just show him he can't win.
The only difference I see, is you should show your opponent you can reach stalemate. Therefor, his side won't win.


It's along the lines what's the easiest way to take a castle? A donkey loaded with gold.
I was just pointing the obvious. Adding 3rd party to the equation - like China, West Europe and Israel did with the Americans behind.

At the moment China seems alone. What's her deterrence against Russians or Americans? Mutual interest or her weapons?

Moreover, what's Indian deterrence against let's say USA?

Albany Rifles
04 Feb 13,, 21:13
Sir, regarding boomers. The Trident IIs can hold 12 MIRV warheads but are limited to treaties (START, etc) to no more than 4 each loaded.

So that's 4 x 24 x 14 for 1344 warheads.

So there are 2 questions to ask....at least for the US;

1. Would we breech the treaties and increase the MIRVs per missile to act as a deterrent?

2. What about the Tomahawks? They are capable of carrying the W80....and they can be carried on a hell of lot more platforms than just an SSGN. They are only not mounted by treaty.

So looking at 1. and 2. letting it "leak" that we are increasing warheads could act as a deterence as well.

As for NORK ICBMs.....there is a very good reason why the JNSDF Kongos and Atagos are identical in many ways to the Burkes....and both can use the Standard SM3 Block 1A ABM.

And nothing says we couldnt/wouldnt sell PATRIOT PAC-3 to India....its already in Taiwan and Japan.

Firestorm
04 Feb 13,, 21:32
And nothing says we couldnt/wouldnt sell PATRIOT PAC-3 to India....its already in Taiwan and Japan.
India tried acquiring the Israeli Arrow-2 ABM system. We even got a couple of the long range Green Pine radars used in the Arrow-2. But the US blocked that sale (the Arrow contains American parts) and then offered the Patriot (indirectly confirming that the Arrow-2 was superior to the Patriot). India declined and went ahead with its indigenous ABM project. The Green Pines came in handy, especially during the initial stages.

Firestorm
04 Feb 13,, 21:39
Pakistan is going for the more numerous but smaller yield arsenal (~10-12 kt). India's arsenal is going for the 30-60 kt yield. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
Considering the extreme population densities in subcontinental cities, the yield of the warheads should not impact the quality of deterrence. From India's point of view 200 12kt warheads is as bad as 200 50kt warheads. IMHO of course.

Officer of Engineers
05 Feb 13,, 02:55
Tell me about it, you struggled more, I am about to start.Well, be prepared for both you and me to get a few things wrong. For instance, I had thought survivability was an absolute requirement but Rie didn't think so. He was well prepared to lose his entire the nuclear arsenal than to launch them before he lost them. In other words, he would rather lose them than to use them.


The only difference I see, is you should show your opponent you can reach stalemate. Therefor, his side won't win.All you have to do is to raise doubt, not to prove the other side can win. I've been wracking my brain for years, what gives the Chinese the confidence that their arsenal could survive a nuclear first strike from the Americans. Add to this, the ABM shield, and the Chinese would have to increase their arsenal to at least 600 warheads delivered by missiles to have any retallitory effect.

They have not done so. And just counting nuclear missile batteries, those units with a dedicated nuclear mission, they may have added 30 warheads ... and that is counting one warhead per missile. Since the warheads are not mated and the Chinese have thus far only trained on retallitory missions (ie, their exercises always starts with receiviing nuclear hits, then, proceed to determine what survived and what has not. Then, they mate warhead to missile and launch), they may even get by with fewer warheads.

It was Gen Sundarji who gave me the answer. If you have to toss a nuke, your deterrence has failed. AHA!!!!! The whole point of all of this is to NOT TO HAVE TO TOSS A NUKE. It defeats the purpose of deterrence. So, you do everything in your power NOT to invite a nuclear strike ... and that includes forcing the Americans to attack you before you have a chance to launch.

So, in essence, all you have to do is to raise doubt that the enemy can take out all your nukes before you can toss them back. Just raise doubt.


I was just pointing the obvious. Adding 3rd party to the equation - like China, West Europe and Israel did with the Americans behind.We'll explore this some other time. Just keep it in mind. As you can see, there is a hell of a lot of thinking going on. Trying to see actions and why the Chinese did what they did. The Chinese nuclear forces are the only nuclear force in history to disobey their NCA.


At the moment China seems alone. What's her deterrence against Russians or Americans? Mutual interest or her weapons?Being nowhere close to a nuclear threshold.


Moreover, what's Indian deterrence against let's say USA?Again, no nuclear threshold.


So looking at 1. and 2. letting it "leak" that we are increasing warheads could act as a deterence as well.

As for NORK ICBMs.....there is a very good reason why the JNSDF Kongos and Atagos are identical in many ways to the Burkes....and both can use the Standard SM3 Block 1A ABM.

And nothing says we couldnt/wouldnt sell PATRIOT PAC-3 to India....its already in Taiwan and Japan.Who are you trying to deter? Except for the Russians, everybody else is lining up their nukes in the low hundreds (and the bottom half of the list is in the mid to low tens. The Iranians and the NORK are in single digits) against the American thousands.


Considering the extreme population densities in subcontinental cities, the yield of the warheads should not impact the quality of deterrence. From India's point of view 200 12kt warheads is as bad as 200 50kt warheads. IMHO of course.It states their target list which is not cities. A 12 kt attack on a city of concrete and cement is about 10 square blocks. Still a freaking disaster but not unrecoverable.

Albany Rifles
05 Feb 13,, 03:22
Colonel, I was suggesting to be a countering force to calm down things if it looked bad....because I truly believe if China launches for whatever reason they will toss a few at Guam and Hawaii. The US will counter launch...as will Russia. Maybe I am pessimistic.

As for selling Patriot sales? Different times call for different solutions. What was decided in the past could change...ask Poland.

Officer of Engineers
05 Feb 13,, 03:56
Colonel, I was suggesting to be a countering force to calm down things if it looked bad....because I truly believe if China launches for whatever reason they will toss a few at Guam and Hawaii. The US will counter launch...as will Russia. Maybe I am pessimistic.Dok, this is exactly what I mean. To date, we have not seen a Chinese nuclear attack exercise; only retallitory ... and yet, we have an American Major who pictured the worst ... even though it is the Chinese nuclear arsenal that is the most vulnerable of all the N5 and it is recessed, ie warheads not mated to rockets.

Do you see Rie/Sundarji at work here?

Buck, history, doctrine, and training profile says the Chinese would rather lose their nuclear arsenal than to use it. Field Marshall Rie disobeyed Lin Biao when Lin Biao ordered rockets fueled, warheads mated, and a hair trigger. Lin Biao feared a Soviet attack on the eve of a Soviet Secretary General visit.

observer7
05 Feb 13,, 04:19
It was Gen Sundarji who gave me the answer. If you have to toss a nuke, your deterrence has failed. AHA!!!!! The whole point of all of this is to NOT TO HAVE TO TOSS A NUKE. It defeats the purpose of deterrence. So, you do everything in your power NOT to invite a nuclear strike ... and that includes forcing the Americans to attack you before you have a chance to launch.

So, in essence, all you have to do is to raise doubt that the enemy can take out all your nukes before you can toss them back. Just raise doubt.

Sir, in a way this reminds me of that fictional empty fort strategy in Romance of the three kingdoms but with some subtle differences. The moment the enemy steps into the fort the defender has failed because you have failed to create enough doubt in your enemy.

Makes me think that if the Chinese and Indians can get away with making it seem they are still a nuclear threat but without having nukes, they will throw away their nukes into the sea overnight.

Doktor
05 Feb 13,, 12:05
Colonel,

What is the purpose for Chinese nuclear arsenal if everyone knows they wont use it?

Albany Rifles
05 Feb 13,, 13:21
Colonel,

Thanks for the education. Obvious an area where your expertise far outstrips mine.

I guess I am still too much of a Cold Warrior and will ALWAYS live in fear of the nuclear repurcussions. I guess too much time spent in NATO and staring across the IGB and German/Czech border as well as being stationed dead smack in the middle of the Pershing brigade tends to give one a certain view.

I'll curb by doomsday gloom and try to learn!

Thanks

Officer of Engineers
05 Feb 13,, 13:42
What is the purpose for Chinese nuclear arsenal if everyone knows they wont use it?What do you mean everyone knows? It took me 40 years of China watching. In the last ten when I first learned of China not mating warheads to missiles, I thought it was a survival tactic. Warhead and rockets are two seperate targets requiring two different set of attack. It was only that last 4-5 that I discovered Sundarji that only then Rie started to make sense.

I was very much like Major Albany Rifles, even 5 years ago that China's NFU policy was nothing but a ploy and that come any war, the Central Military Commission would be a prime target. It also happened to be their National Command Release Authority. I was very much under the impression that the CMC would release the nukes to their sub-ordinate 2nd Artillery Force so that they could continue the fight.

But certain things came to light. The 2AF started raising conventional missile batteries. Even ICBM conventional batteries. The much talked about DF-21 carrier killer is in fact, a battlefield weapon, tasked to the Army along with 2AF personnel, ie they answer to Army command ... and the Army is never part of the nuclear chain of command.

Then came arbituaries of 2AF conventional weapons officers, not nuclear. It was then that I learned how frustrated 2AF officers were with the CMC on nuclear release. The CMC would not even release training codes during exercises. It got to a point where the 2AF said screw it, they use conventional warheads and devised salvo barrage to replace a nuke. Now, they would hit you with 5 rockets, each with a 500lb bomb, on a single target. That's equivilent effective damage of a small nuke.

Look at even the Indian members here. How many are ignorant of Sundarji? Major Deltacamelately and Captain Lemontree understood Sundarji's thoughts because they were trained in his methodologies (I am envious). But me? It took a hell of a lot of hard work and even now, not all things make sense (Chinese and Indian boomers for one).

The short answer is few people knows ... and even fewer believes.

Doktor
06 Feb 13,, 12:15
So, basically, China owning nukes is a big bluff?

What if the bluff is called? What if China gets nuked?

Or India for that matter.

Officer of Engineers
06 Feb 13,, 12:23
So, basically, China owning nukes is a big bluff?

What if the bluff is called? What if China gets nuked?

Or India for that matter.The bluff was called. The Sino-Soviet Border War. Lin Biao ordered warheads mated, rockets fuelled, and prepared for launch. Field Marshall Rie disobeyed the order, left the warheads unmated and the rockets unfuelled. And the Chinese Army withdrew 100 miles from the border.

Deltacamelately
07 Feb 13,, 09:50
So, basically, China owning nukes is a big bluff?

What if the bluff is called? What if China gets nuked?

Or India for that matter.
India never approached the threshold.

Double Edge
09 Feb 13,, 17:23
In 2011, Carnegie got together 50 experts on India & China, put them in a room and had them talk to each other.

China and India’s Nuclear Posture and Practice | Jun 2011 | Carnegie Tsingua (http://www.carnegietsinghua.org/2011/06/02/china-and-india-s-nuclear-posture-and-practice/f57b)

Unfortunately there is no transcript or audio of this meeting.

We then get another meeting at the end of July where one of the moderators summarises what was dicsussed at the June meet.

Understanding Sino-Indian Nuclear Dynamics | July 2011 | Carnegie Tsinghua (http://www.carnegietsinghua.org/2011/07/28/understanding-sino-indian-nuclear-dynamics/f5l5)

Only audio available but a worth a listen.

Next, there was another talk on the same subject in October last year.

The China-India Nuclear Crossroads | Oct 2012 | Carnegie Tsinghua (http://www.carnegietsinghua.org/2012/10/02/china-india-nuclear-crossroads/exgx)

Audio availaible for this one and also a good listen.

I found Ashley Tellis comments in both meets to be very good.

This Oct 2 talk makes references to some comments made at a talk a day earlier

The Future of Deterrence in South Asia | Oct 1 2012 | Carnegie Tsinhua (http://www.carnegietsinghua.org/2011/03/29/2011-carnegie-international-nuclear-policy-conference/fbry)

Unfortunately no audio or transcripts available for this one :|


These meets culminated in a book (http://www.carnegietsinghua.org/2012/09/25/china-india-nuclear-crossroads/exgw) by carnegie on the subject.

Doktor
09 Feb 13,, 18:06
Thanks DE,

I have found the book on scribd (http://www.scribd.com/doc/106916382/The-China-India-Nuclear-Crossroads).

zraver
10 Feb 13,, 03:59
The bluff was called. The Sino-Soviet Border War. Lin Biao ordered warheads mated, rockets fuelled, and prepared for launch. Field Marshall Rie disobeyed the order, left the warheads unmated and the rockets unfuelled. And the Chinese Army withdrew 100 miles from the border.

China did have the advantage of the US nuclear posture that limited the Soviet ability to strike without US permission...

Officer of Engineers
10 Feb 13,, 04:38
The Chinese didn't know that and the Americans certainly weren't going to tell them ... and I seriously doubt the Americans would have stopped the Soviets if the Chinese launched first.

zraver
11 Feb 13,, 01:41
The Chinese didn't know that and the Americans certainly weren't going to tell them ... and I seriously doubt the Americans would have stopped the Soviets if the Chinese launched first.


Sir, the Chinese did not know explicitly, but surely did implicitly. Since any Soviet use above the tactical manned bomber level would require the US to be forewarned or risk the US thinking it was a general attack. This was during a period when US bombers were always in the air armed with nukes waiting on orders to begin their penetration runs. The Sino-Soviet Border war is after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the resulting non-provocation agreement between the 2 super powers.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 02:05
On the Sino-Soviet border? American radar would have told them that Soviet bombers were not going to North America or even Japan.

And I've met a Chinese Officer from that period who served in the General HQ. They were convinced that the Soviets were going to attack. Just did not know when.

zraver
11 Feb 13,, 03:06
On the Sino-Soviet border? American radar would have told them that Soviet bombers were not going to North America or even Japan.

And I've met a Chinese Officer from that period who served in the General HQ. They were convinced that the Soviets were going to attack. Just did not know when.

No, we would not have been able to detect manned tactical bombers. But any missile launch would have needed American approval lest the IR signature spark WWIII.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 03:09
No, we would not have been able to detect manned tactical bombers. But any missile launch would have needed American approval lest the IR signature spark WWIII.There is no such thing as launch on warning. That was fiction used by the anti-nuclear people to scare the populace into demanding unilateral disarmament. It has been always launch on impact.

zraver
11 Feb 13,, 03:19
There is no such thing as launch on warning. That was fiction used by the anti-nuclear people to scare the populace into demanding unilateral disarmament. It has been always launch on impact.

Absolutely dissagree. The Soviets were launch on warning as proven by the Norwegian Rocket scare with Russia. As soon as the sounding rocket launch was detected and thought to be a US Trident the Russian SRF went into action. It was called off by Yeltsin, not initiated by him...

LoW is the only way MAD works as it prevents the possibility of a decapitating first strike. Pulling missiles out of Cuba and Turkey and keeping the boomers more than 500 miles from each others coasts was all done to prevent true surprise attacks. Its also why the Soviets got so bent over star wars and stealth as it upset that balance.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 03:28
Absolutely dissagree. The Soviets were launch on warning as proven by the Norwegian Rocket scare with Russia. As soon as the sounding rocket launch was detected and thought to be a US Trident the Russian SRF went into action. It was called off by Yeltsin, not initiated by him...

LoW is the only way MAD works as it prevents the possibility of a decapitating first strike. Pulling missiles out of Cuba and Turkey and keeping the boomers more than 500 miles from each others coasts was all done to prevent true surprise attacks. Its also why the Soviets got so bent over star wars and stealth as it upset that balance.Jason. That is a myth. Yeltsin would have had less than a minute to call it off. Do a bit of research out there. Launch on Warning is fiction. Launch on Impact is policy. I am being dead serious here. I used to believe in Launch on Warning also but I was told to take a hike by those (including Stuart Slade) in the know.

Also, the SRF is on an 80% stand down with only 20% stand to. There was no way for the SRF to get all their rockets ready in such a short time.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 03:39
Here is the incident in question

Norwegian rocket incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident)

Taking the timeline, if it were an actual TRIDENT attack, it would have impacted before Yeltsin could release his nukes.

zraver
11 Feb 13,, 04:04
Sir, I disagree, though it may be a middle ground- launch on confirmed trajectory. Waiting for impact puts to many eggs in to too few baskets if the response framework is not already responding.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 04:16
Sir, I disagree, though it may be a middle ground- launch on confirmed trajectory. Waiting for impact puts to many eggs in to too few baskets if the response framework is not already responding.The trajectory was confirmed in this incident (or rather erroneously confirmed). This and way, way, way too many other incidents put launch on warning an unacceptable risk. At best, readied on confirmed trajectory, as in this case, the warning order was issued to Soviet boomers, though after supposed impact time.

Launch on Warning is really an unacceptable risk for accidental nuclear war. That's why it was never policy.

Officer of Engineers
11 Feb 13,, 04:40
And here is a link for 20 false alarms

20 Mishaps that Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War, by Alan F. Phillips, M.D., January, 1998 (http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/1998/01/00_phillips_20-mishaps.php)

The theory of having to launch before suffering a devastating attack is more than offset by the reality of false alarms.

As such, no, the Soviets did not need to tell the Americans in case of an accidental American response. The Soviets had to tell the Americans to learn if there would be a deliberate response.

Defcon5
12 Feb 13,, 06:42
And here is a link for 20 false alarms

20 Mishaps that Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War, by Alan F. Phillips, M.D., January, 1998 (http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/1998/01/00_phillips_20-mishaps.php)

The theory of having to launch before suffering a devastating attack is more than offset by the reality of false alarms.

As such, no, the Soviets did not need to tell the Americans in case of an accidental American response. The Soviets had to tell the Americans to learn if there would be a deliberate response.

Colonel,

I have been reading this thread and the other documents of Stuart Slade put by Doktor.

Are you trying to say, that every country who has taken up the risk and responsibility to be a nuclear power, has taken the conscious decision to get hit, rather than launch on warning ( peace time, no impending war gloom), this could prevent a nuclear war in case of a error or false alaram etc, also by a rogue one off attack by some elements in the US or Soviets (I know that is not really possible)?

Officer of Engineers
12 Feb 13,, 06:48
You have 20 examples where launch on warning was not executed. China, India, Pakistan, and Israel have recessed arsenals (ie, warheads not mated to delivery vehicles). France and the UK have large portions of their nukes on boomers, not vulnerable to a first strike.

The facts speak for themselves.

Deltacamelately
12 Feb 13,, 07:51
You have 20 examples where launch on warning was not executed. China, India, Pakistan, and Israel have recessed arsenals (ie, warheads not mated to delivery vehicles). France and the UK have large portions of their nukes on boomers, not vulnerable to a first strike.The facts speak for themselves.
Sir,

Aren't the British and French Boomers vulnerable to Russian ASW assets? Having said that, won't the same logic also make the Indian and Chinese Boomers invulnerable to a first strike? Or is that location specific, invulnerable while in port while vulnerable while on patrol?

Officer of Engineers
12 Feb 13,, 08:20
Aren't the British and French Boomers vulnerable to Russian ASW assets?No, namely because the Russian Navy doesn't have the money to deploy en mass.


Having said that, won't the same logic also make the Indian and Chinese Boomers invulnerable to a first strike? Or is that location specific, invulnerable while in port while vulnerable while on patrol?Chinese and Indian boomers are invulnerable behind Chinese and Indian naval screens and Chinese and Indian air cover. Until such screens and air cover are blasted away, Chinese and Indian boomers can launch at will.

Doktor
12 Feb 13,, 09:44
I thought the Chinese boomers are in port without (mated) nukes. Why would they be prime targets?

Officer of Engineers
12 Feb 13,, 10:37
I thought the Chinese boomers are in port without (mated) nukes. Why would they be prime targets?Even without nukes, boomers are nuclear command authorities.

Defcon5
12 Feb 13,, 12:49
You have 20 examples where launch on warning was not executed. China, India, Pakistan, and Israel have recessed arsenals (ie, warheads not mated to delivery vehicles). France and the UK have large portions of their nukes on boomers, not vulnerable to a first strike.

The facts speak for themselves.

Colonel,

World War 3 of epic nuclear proportions is not going to happen if a Rouge General from USA (just a role reversal and not plausible I know) launches a solitary nuke at Moscow.

How will Moscow react to a unauthorized Nuclear detonation by rogue element of the US Armed Forces?

So again in the real world sanity prevails, maybe not in Hollywood.

Officer of Engineers
12 Feb 13,, 19:05
Grab a hold of a movie called FAIL SAFE (1964). I think you can watch it online.

Double Edge
19 Feb 13,, 14:24
Grab a hold of a movie called FAIL SAFE (1964). I think you can watch it online.
wow, that's an 8/10 ratings (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058083/) movie

antimony
19 Feb 13,, 16:52
You have 20 examples where launch on warning was not executed. China, India, Pakistan, and Israel have recessed arsenals (ie, warheads not mated to delivery vehicles). France and the UK have large portions of their nukes on boomers, not vulnerable to a first strike.

The facts speak for themselves.

There is a forum where Stuart Slade is apparently a member and he had a post about someone who said that Clinton incapacited the US by making absorbing a first strike a policy


The policy of absorbing a first strike and then retaliating was laid down by Kennedy in 1961 and had been re-affirmed by every President since then. It reflects the absolute need to be sure that a strike really is a strike not a false warning. (one might reflect that any policy on which Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan agree must have something to say for it). We've had a lot of false warnings of inbound strikes.

Which is why launch on warning is insane, psychotic moronic idiocy. Nobody who has even the slightest understanding of what nuclear weapons are and what nuclear strategy involves would make such an asinine proposal. If this lunatic's policy had been adopted, we would have had a dozen or more nuclear wars over the last decade alone. His comments are so stupid they deny rational belief. At this point we can ignore everything else this moron says. He is simply to ignorant to have any credibility. He should be locked up in an asylum somewhere where he can't do any damage.

The first strike will not take down our C4I, bombers etc etc. The system is deliberately designed to ride out an attack. Its multiply-redundant with a plethora of interconnecting links and communication paths.

gunnut
19 Feb 13,, 20:16
It was Gen Sundarji who gave me the answer. If you have to toss a nuke, your deterrence has failed. AHA!!!!! The whole point of all of this is to NOT TO HAVE TO TOSS A NUKE. It defeats the purpose of deterrence. So, you do everything in your power NOT to invite a nuclear strike ... and that includes forcing the Americans to attack you before you have a chance to launch.

Sir, I don't quite understand this point. Do you mean a conventional attack? Or a nuclear one? I assume it would be a conventional attack because if it were a nuclear attack, then it countered the previous point of NOT inviting a nuclear strike.

If it were a conventional attack, then the nuclear deterrence worked? Because the attack was NOT nuclear?



Being nowhere close to a nuclear threshold.

Again, no nuclear threshold.

Does this mean the threat level is low enough as to not invite a first strike? Therefore, the deterrence worked?


I also have an opinion on this, could be stupid, but I want to know if it is stupid and why.

Nuclear policies are still crafted by men. Men have survival instincts. Men in leadership roles (power) would like to retain their positions. Therefore, nuclear policies are crafted to extend the regime and the political life of those in charge. The bureaucracy would do anything to live on, just like a man's survival instinct.

A mad man is the wild card. We don't know what a single man would do, at any given point in time. However, men are predictable. Men behave in a very predictable manner in a herd. Nuclear policies are crafted by men in a herd that wishes to continue its function.

Does this help in understanding the nuclear policies of various nuclear powers?

Officer of Engineers
19 Feb 13,, 21:14
Sir, I don't quite understand this point. Do you mean a conventional attack? Or a nuclear one? I assume it would be a conventional attack because if it were a nuclear attack, then it countered the previous point of NOT inviting a nuclear strike.

If it were a conventional attack, then the nuclear deterrence worked? Because the attack was NOT nuclear?Correct. You don't want to invite a nuclear attack. If you forced the Americans into a position to either nuke you first before you can nuke them, you failed in your deterrence. The Chinese would rather lose their nuclear arsenal than to invite a nuclear strike by preparing their nuclear arsenal for launch.


Does this mean the threat level is low enough as to not invite a first strike? Therefore, the deterrence worked?Correct.


I also have an opinion on this, could be stupid, but I want to know if it is stupid and why.

Nuclear policies are still crafted by men. Men have survival instincts. Men in leadership roles (power) would like to retain their positions. Therefore, nuclear policies are crafted to extend the regime and the political life of those in charge. The bureaucracy would do anything to live on, just like a man's survival instinct.

A mad man is the wild card. We don't know what a single man would do, at any given point in time. However, men are predictable. Men behave in a very predictable manner in a herd. Nuclear policies are crafted by men in a herd that wishes to continue its function.

Does this help in understanding the nuclear policies of various nuclear powers?I'll get back to you on this one. Never thought of it this way.

Doktor
13 Jan 14,, 22:52
I'll get back to you on this one. Never thought of it this way.

Anything new here?

Officer of Engineers
14 Jan 14,, 00:37
Anything new here?Yes, while the policies may have multiple inputs and actually, the go for nuclear launch requires several authorities (from national command down to the weapons delivery) but all that is require for a no-go is one single man.

The history of false alarms were all stopped by one man.

But the one case that we know of, a single man deliberately ignored the National Command Authority and stopped a nucleaer war. China's Marshall Rie.

Doktor
14 Jan 14,, 00:58
China's Marshall Rie.

Whenever you mention him, I doubt my google-fu. Any open resources in English?

cdude
14 Jan 14,, 01:26
Whenever you mention him, I doubt my google-fu. Any open resources in English?

He probably meant Marshall Nie Nie Rongzhen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nie_Rongzhen). OOE is almighty, but his Pinyin was taught by some alien teachers.

Deng Xia peng, really?

Officer of Engineers
14 Jan 14,, 01:50
I don't know pinying and I don't care to learn it. It came out after I was already long into my China watching.

Doktor
14 Jan 14,, 02:17
Col,

Would you qualify this piece (http://posse.gatech.edu/publications/4-wu-posseiv-certainty-uncertainty-nuclear-strategy-chinese-characteristics) as a good starting point on understanding Chinese nuclear policy?

Officer of Engineers
14 Jan 14,, 05:41
Dr Lewis is the expert here

http://www.cissm.umd.edu/papers/files/the_minimum_means_of_reprisal.pdf