The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Mar 22, 2006.

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  1. I very much doubt the use of nuclear wepons in anger will be by the US next. The article should have looked at a Chinese/Russian conflict as I very much suspect that both nations maintain their nuclear weapons as a counter to the other.

    History has shown what happens if you try to assure MAD, it goes down to who has the deeper pockets. You could almost compare it to corporations battling it out in court. The Chinese will not go there its pointless. The bombing of Serbia highlighted the benefits of cheap decoys, why spend billions if its never going to used, either through choice or destruction.

    Other schools of though suggest that the US could be crippled by a selected nuclear attack on its key cities, this I believe is what the Chinese would look to do in a potential conflict. The Chinese government could lose millions more than the US without suing for peace.

    If a US president was faced with 3 destroyed city centres and then told "We can destroy another 3 or you can retreat from Taiwain/North Korea" would the US leadership permit the deaths of thousands more US civillians plus hundreds of millions of Chinese civilians? I think cooler heads would prevail, China in its current form is a nation prepared to compromise.

    To achieve this the Chinese would not even need to use missiles, just small nuclear bombs and would of course want to be able to maintain a level of denyability. Chinese bombs set off by N.Korean agents in US cities?

    So my conclusion; The nuclear powers other than the US will keep their nuclear weapons as a means of aquiring recognition on the world stage, gaining local dominance over neighbours (or staying in check), and maintaining a means to prevent a US led invasion.

    The days of another bloc or nation willing to go head to head against the US are over for now, the US will not squander the current lead it has and there are no nations that want to either destroy(realistically) the US or try and outspend her.

    After recent events settle there may well be a return to "Walk softly and carry a big stick" by a future US government.
  2. So a Chinese first strike manages to wipe out a few US cities, whats stopping the US from retaliating against Chinese nuclear weapons, then military, then industrial and then infrastructure?

    Sure at the end fo the day the US may no longer be a super power ... but China will not exist.
  3. If the US lost 3 city centres she would still be a super power. The point I am trying to make is the game has changed, therefore the article is wasted. There is no way that anyone can afford to pursue a policy of MAD with the US but they could use nuclear weapons as bargaining tools for events within there own sphere of influence. Why would or should the USA feel the need to give up any strategic lead it holds over potential competitors?

    If Iraq had held the capacity to have destroyed 1 US city or to obliterate Kuwait as the troops built up do you really think the invasion would have happened when it did? Had that happened then yes the US could have bombed the entire country with strategic nuclear weapons but what would that have achieved? It may have removed one threat but would have bought less middle eastern stability. The US would have been compelled to follow other means untill there was no option other than an over whelming pre-emptive strike to achieve the aims.

    The 'other schools of thought' I refered to are those that want missile defence to stop the destruction of just 1 city. The article argues that they really want missile defence to ensure a Chinese or Russian response to a US first strike is defeated.

    The argument goes round in circles but whatever way you look at it the US would be the only one left standing in the end. So since the US would win whichever way you look at it why would any nation look to attack American soil pre-empitively? Their 'official' nuclear capability would be there to maintain their hedgemony within their sphere of influence.

    The US could take the stance that since no other country could destroy her totally before she could obliterate them why bother stopping Iran etc gain nuclear weapons. The answer is that Irans weapons would never (in the near future) threaten the US. They would threaten US intrests though and would be vote losers. Hence the need to prevent or contain rogue states nuclear ambitions.

    The obsession with rogue states however does not mean that strategic considerataions against other power blocks should be forgotton. If the US lost its capabilty to utterly destroy China would she be able to deal with a Chinese threat to Taiwain or Japan to the same effect? No. Would China therefore fancy her chances with a war on her doorstep? Prehaps.

    Hence the US will maintain her lead for as long as she can and everyone else will try to ensure their intrests as best they can. In the end there are not enough total nutters in control to bring about global nuclear war, and if atomic attacks take place the first few should get rid of the total nutters!

    If you take the US out of the equation and have India or Russia squaring up to China then you would have a more interesting article as both parties could use all their nukes in an opening move and still have to slog it out with conventional forces.

    In truth I am the wrong person to be talking about this - I was beaten by the local mong who brings a chess board to the pub three games in a row :)
  4. excellent post bgl that was concise