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Thread: What IF the following had happened ?

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    Senior Contributor commander's Avatar
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    Post What IF the following had happened ?

    The bin Laden plot to kill President Obama

    By David Ignatius, Friday, March 16, 8:28 PM

    Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus.

    “The reason for concentrating on them,” the al-Qaeda leader explained to his top lieutenant, “is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make (Vice President Joe) Biden take over the presidency. … Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour … and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.

    Administration officials said Friday the Obama-Petraeus plot was never a serious threat.

    The scheme is described in one of the documents taken from bin Laden’s compound by U.S. forces on May 2, the night he was killed. I was given an exclusive look at some of these remarkable documents by a senior administration official. They have been declassified and will be available soon to the public in their original Arabic texts and translations.

    The man bin Laden hoped would carry out the attacks on Obama and Petraeus was the Pakistani terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri. “Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work,” bin Laden wrote to his top lieutenant, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. A month after bin Laden’s death, Kashmiri was killed in a U.S. drone attack.

    The plot to target Obama was probably bluster, since al-Qaeda apparently lacked the weapons to shoot down U.S. aircraft. But it’s a chilling reminder that even when he was embattled and in hiding, bin Laden still dreamed of pulling off another spectacular terrorist attack against the United States.

    The terrorist leader urged in a 48-page directive to Atiyah to focus “every effort that could be spent on attacks in America,” instead of operations within Muslim nations. He told Atiyah to “ask the brothers in all regions if they have a brother … who can operate in the U.S. [He should be able to] live there, or it should be easy for him to travel there.”

    U.S. analysts don’t see evidence that these plots have materialized. “The organization lacks the ability to plan, organize and execute complex, catastrophic attacks, but the threat persists,” says a senior administration analyst who has carefully reviewed the documents.

    The bin Laden who emerges from these communications is a terrorist CEO in an isolated compound, brooding that his organization has ruined its reputation by killing too many Muslims in its jihad against America. He writes of the many departed “brothers” who have been lost to U.S. drone attacks. But he’s far from the battlefield himself in his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he seems to spend considerable time watching television.

    The garbled syntax of Bin Laden’s communications may result from their being dictated to several of his wives, according to the U.S. analyst. And his rambling laundry list of recommendations illustrates the problems of communicating with subordinates when it could take several months to receive an answer. The al-Qaeda leader had a “great fear of irrelevance,” the analyst believes.
    So My question for the experts here is, 'What would have happened IF Osama killed Obama like he planned ?' I understand targeting world leaders happen all the time and assassinating President of US is not child's play. BUT we are talking about Osama-Bin-laden who managed to escape ( or atleast be safe) from US of A for about decade after 9/11 incident.

    This is what I think might have happened . That incident could have triggered USA using Nukes on Pakistan soil granted CIA had known for sometime that Osama was in Pakistan for which Pakistan could have retaliated by possibly Nuking Israel and India ???
    And Israel retaliates and Nukes Pakistan and possibly all nearby Arabic countries Russia coming to the aid of Iran and possibly Nukes USA and Israel. meanwhile NATO nations jumps into action and sends missiles.India Nukes Pakistan. China possibly joining Russia and takes revenge and Nukes India India retaliates and Nukes China ... Possibly the third World War ?????

    I know these are my wildest imaginations and would never happen but the stupid part of me wants to know what would happen If Obama was indeed assassinated ???

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    First of all no one is indespensible, Obama and Biden don't decide what to do in Astan, they approve the choices given them. Someone else can do that too. Getting rid of a couple senior leaders won't change the game that much - except to make it heat up for the killers, if they did it fro Pakistan - it would really suck to be there. They would probably get disarmed and badly broken pretty quick.

    It seems very unlikely the US and Russia are going to nuke each other over something done by bin Laden, same goes for Israel and the middle east. I really doubt any government is going to side with a group that assassinated the POTUS. Obama being killed would make him a hero forever and the full focus of America would be on slaughtering Al-Q members with extreme prejudice - down to their cooks and taxi drivers. What ever policies he had that were favorable to the people over there would probably get dropped, and whatever they didn't like would probably get turned up to eleven.

    Remember how many countries were willing to side with bin Laden after 911? Was it one (Palistine, and not offically either)?
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    Commander, all I know is that you will soon get a visit from the men in black suits and helicopters hovering above where you live.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    First of all no one is indespensible, Obama and Biden don't decide what to do in Astan, they approve the choices given them. Someone else can do that too. Getting rid of a couple senior leaders won't change the game that much - except to make it heat up for the killers, if they did it fro Pakistan - it would really suck to be there. They would probably get disarmed and badly broken pretty quick.

    It seems very unlikely the US and Russia are going to nuke each other over something done by bin Laden, same goes for Israel and the middle east. I really doubt any government is going to side with a group that assassinated the POTUS. Obama being killed would make him a hero forever and the full focus of America would be on slaughtering Al-Q members with extreme prejudice - down to their cooks and taxi drivers. What ever policies he had that were favorable to the people over there would probably get dropped, and whatever they didn't like would probably get turned up to eleven.

    Remember how many countries were willing to side with bin Laden after 911? Was it one (Palistine, and not offically either)?
    I agree Sir , But what If US wanted to Nuke the shit out of Pakistan for sheltering Osama ?? :D

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    Officer of Engineers
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    We had a chance to nuke Tora Bora. After that, nukes were a non-issue. The anger has passed and saner strategies took over.

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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commander View Post
    ...what If US wanted to Nuke the shit out of Pakistan for sheltering Osama ?? :D
    Then I would say some stupid SOB occupies the White House.

    I guess its good to have these periodic what-ifs about nuclear weapons just to reiterate that they are not suitable for punitive action against governments.
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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commander View Post
    I agree Sir , But what If US wanted to Nuke the shit out of Pakistan for sheltering Osama ?? :D
    Modern weapons make nukes unnecessary for non-nuclear retaliation. A large Thermobaric weapon can level a city much like a tactical nuke could, but doesn't involve the political nightmare- first strike use of nukes.

    The US has such weapons, it doesn't have to use nukes.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
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    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    Modern weapons make nukes unnecessary for non-nuclear retaliation. A large Thermobaric weapon can level a city much like a tactical nuke could, but doesn't involve the political nightmare- first strike use of nukes.
    Minor correction. There is no single thermobaric weapon that can breach the 1kt barrier ... but who says you can only use one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Minor correction. There is no single thermobaric weapon that can breach the 1kt barrier ... but who says you can only use one?
    Exactly Sir , Also everybody knows what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the cities were nuked.

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    Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Grozny didn't need nukes.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commander View Post
    I agree Sir , But what If US wanted to Nuke the shit out of Pakistan for sheltering Osama ?? :D
    Who says they didn't wanted? I bet you a dinner someone was really pissed and that crazy idea came across their minds.
    They just didn't. Thank God for that.

    Back to your scenario... do you really believe that after US nukes Pakistan she will be able to hit anyone, even more with nukes?
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    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Minor correction. There is no single thermobaric weapon that can breach the 1kt barrier ... but who says you can only use one?

    @OoE
    Thank you Sir, I was not aware of the current size threshold.

    @Commander:
    1 KT is nothing to sneeze at (equivalent to 100's of 1000# GP HE bombs), and the Thermobaric (TB) energy distribution is much less dense than a nuke - so a larger area is affected by a 1 KT TB weapon than would be affected by a typical 1 KT tactical nuke (which is much more energy dense - nukes tend to have a smaller area of complete vaporization/ionization vs a larger area of shattered rubble and wreckage). The TB weapon has, by its nature, a larger destructive footprint per unit of yield than nukes, due to the much lower temperatures acheived. When a city is heated to 1000 deg C by a TB weapon it is just as dead as it would be when exposed to a million deg C by a nuke. Both weapons produce a firestorm, which burns and asphyxiates anyone in its footprint, shelters need to be sealed to prevent their air from being consumed by combustion.
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 17 Mar 12, at 18:21.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    @OoE
    Thank you Sir, I was not aware of the current size threshold.

    @Commander:
    1 KT is nothing to sneeze at (equivalent to 100's of 1000# GP HE bombs), and the Thermobaric (TB) energy distribution is much less dense than a nuke - so a larger area is affected by a 1 KT TB weapon than would be affected by a typical 1 KT tactical nuke (which is much more energy dense - nukes tend to have a smaller area of complete vaporization/ionization vs a larger area of shattered rubble and wreckage). The TB weapon has, by its nature, a larger destructive footprint per unit of yield than nukes, due to the much lower temperatures acheived. When a city is heated to 1000 deg C by a TB weapon it is just as dead as it would be when exposed to a million deg C by a nuke. Both weapons produce a firestorm, which burns and asphyxiates anyone in its footprint, shelters need to be sealed to prevent their air from being consumed by combustion.
    Thank you very much for the explanation

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    1 KT is nothing to sneeze at (equivalent to 100's of 1000# GP HE bombs), and the Thermobaric (TB) energy distribution is much less dense than a nuke - so a larger area is affected by a 1 KT TB weapon than would be affected by a typical 1 KT tactical nuke (which is much more energy dense - nukes tend to have a smaller area of complete vaporization/ionization vs a larger area of shattered rubble and wreckage). The TB weapon has, by its nature, a larger destructive footprint per unit of yield than nukes, due to the much lower temperatures acheived. When a city is heated to 1000 deg C by a TB weapon it is just as dead as it would be when exposed to a million deg C by a nuke. Both weapons produce a firestorm, which burns and asphyxiates anyone in its footprint, shelters need to be sealed to prevent their air from being consumed by combustion.
    I find the bolded bit counter-intuitive.

    TB runs three orders of magnitude cooler yet still wreaks more damage.

  15. #15
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I find the bolded bit counter-intuitive.

    TB runs three orders of magnitude cooler yet still wreaks more damage.
    It's the nature of the weapon. The fuel air mix is heavier than air. That tends to hug closer to the ground before ignition. Thus, most of the energy is going where you want it to go.

    A nuke goes in all directions, including straight up.

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