U.S. experts propose minimal nuclear deterrence

#1
http://en.rian.ru/world/20090415/121136396.html

A respected U.S. think tank has released a report calling for fundamental changes to Washington's nuclear war planning.

The Federation of American Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council has published a study entitled From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence: A New Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Eliminating Nuclear Weapons.

It recommends abandoning the decades-old "counterforce" doctrine and replacing it with a new and much less ambitious targeting policy that the authors call "minimal deterrence."

The report posits that current nuclear doctrine is "an artifact of the Cold War that needs to be fundamentally altered" and a minimal deterrence policy should be adopted "as a transitional step on a path to zero nuclear weapons."

It says a new targeting category and policy, termed "infrastructure targeting," would focus on "a series of targets that are crucial to a nation's modern economy, for example, electrical, oil, and energy nodes, transportation hubs."

"A minimal nuclear deterrence policy and posture with infrastructure targeting does not require nuclear forces to be on alert, to be configured for preemption, or to even retaliate quickly," the study said.
However

Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (Ret.), chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 1991-93, said it would be impossible to monitor the retargeting of U.S. nuclear missiles on infrastructure in Russia.

"They [the Federation of American Scientists] have put forward the idea of retargeting nuclear warheads from densely populated areas to major elements of infrastructure. Now let them explain how we are supposed to verify this," the expert said.

He added there were no credible verification mechanisms on either side.
 
#2
There is no way the USA will ever relinquish all its nuclear weapons. Obama may reduce them but no president will ever give them up. Hopefully we shall never be foolish enough to get rid of ours either.
 
#3
Indeed, do we have enough to pose a deterrent? I believe we have fewer nuclear weapons now than France. Bearing in mind that only a handful of that number will be hidden beneath the waves at any one time......

Certainly, I don't think we have enough nukes to call ourselves a full 'member' of the club.
 
#4
crashdummy said:
Indeed, do we have enough to pose a deterrent? I believe we have fewer nuclear weapons now than France. Bearing in mind that only a handful of that number will be hidden beneath the waves at any one time......

Certainly, I don't think we have enough nukes to call ourselves a full 'member' of the club.
A minimum of 48 warheads at sea at any one time. There isn't a nation on earth that thinks being on the wrong end of that would be worth it in the persuit of any national goal. Hence, it does it's job.
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (Ret.), chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 1991-93, said it would be impossible to monitor the retargeting of U.S. nuclear missiles on infrastructure in Russia.

"They [the Federation of American Scientists] have put forward the idea of retargeting nuclear warheads from densely populated areas to major elements of infrastructure. Now let them explain how we are supposed to verify this," the expert said.

He added there were no credible verification mechanisms on either side.
Exactly - what's his point as I'm sure that applies to current targeting as well. New basic logic is this.

"We don't care if your population centres survive. We will now ensure your infrastructure will go back to the dark ages and they will die anyway."

Who needs verification for what makes to me, basic common sense of best use of a minimal number of warheads...... :roll:

As to the question of us having a credible deterrent. As long as we can still make Moscow disappear, I'd say we have a card in the game.
 
#6
parapauk said:
Hence, it does it's job.
Which is what exactly?

msr
 
#9
We've had a longer period of peace in Central Europe than has been seen since probably the Roman Empire. Reason: the nuclear balance of terror. And Ogabe wants to eliminate them entirely. fcuking idiot.
 
#10
parapauk said:
crashdummy said:
Indeed, do we have enough to pose a deterrent? I believe we have fewer nuclear weapons now than France. Bearing in mind that only a handful of that number will be hidden beneath the waves at any one time......

Certainly, I don't think we have enough nukes to call ourselves a full 'member' of the club.
A minimum of 48 warheads at sea at any one time. There isn't a nation on earth that thinks being on the wrong end of that would be worth it in the persuit of any national goal. Hence, it does it's job.
Yes, more than enough. That's capable of introducing an awful lot of enhanced morbity. I heard the Trident warheads dial up frpm 5-100Kt That would provide be a very respectable genocidal capacity even for DC or the Kremlin.

Just in case some folk have forgotten just how big a bang a nuke can make. A handy blast radius calculator is avialable here.

The Russians retain over 6,000 warheads. And quaint old delivery systems like the R-36 missile, with capacity for up to 50 warheads, restricted by treaty to 10 bombs and 40 decoys. Those bombs are 500-800Kt a piece.

The Septics still have over 5,000 warheads, about a thousand sitting on top of aging Minuteman-III ICBM, with about 300-500Kt a piece. A couple of years back Robert McNamara was bemoaning the bull goose craziness of having all that planet killing firepower still on a Cold War hair trigger.

McNamara know's something about this. He wasn't just part of the Cuban missile crisis. While serving in the USAF his calculations helped Curtis Le May fire bomb Tokyo killing 100,000 men, women and children.

The Hiroshima bomb killed perhaps 140,000, half at one stroke.

It was a mere 13Kt.
 
#11
McNamara is a technocrat, meddling fcukwit who played a key role in losing the war in Vietnam through his idiocy. His attempts to "corporatize" the US Military still have deleterious affects to this day.

I'm quite aware of nuclear weapons effects. I grew up as a SAC brat. My Dad stood SAC Nuclear Alert as a Radar Navigator most of my formative years. I learned probably more than I wanted to know about nuclear warfighting doctrine and likely outcomes during the height of the Cold War.

I also know that we managed to avoid exterminating ourselves, and that because of the existance of the nuclear deterrent, the Great Powers have managed to settle their many violent differences, fairly peacefully. For a head of state to advocate the total elimination of nuclear weapons is mind-bogglingly irresponsible, wishful thinking at its worst, and a gold-plated brick on the road to Hell (which we all know is paved with...) The man is a foreign policy train wreck, this foreign policy position is just the capstone of staggering ineptitude.
 
#12
Yank_Lurker said:
McNamara is a technocrat, meddling fcukwit who played a key role in losing the war in Vietnam through his idiocy. His attempts to "corporatize" the US Military still have deleterious affects to this day.

I'm quite aware of nuclear weapons effects. I grew up as a SAC brat. My Dad stood SAC Nuclear Alert as a Radar Navigator most of my formative years. I learned probably more than I wanted to know about nuclear warfighting doctrine and likely outcomes during the height of the Cold War.

I also know that we managed to avoid exterminating ourselves, and that because of the existance of the nuclear deterrent, the Great Powers have managed to settle their many violent differences, fairly peacefully. For a head of state to advocate the total elimination of nuclear weapons is mind-bogglingly irresponsible, wishful thinking at its worst, and a gold-plated brick on the road to Hell (which we all know is paved with...) The man is a foreign policy train wreck, this foreign policy position is just the capstone of staggering ineptitude.
The docttrine was utter shite.Nobody had a realsitic post strike mdoel. But AQ Kahn would heartily agree with you. Roads to hell don't always start in DC.
 
#13
[/quote]As long as we can still make Moscow disappear, I'd say we have a card in the game.
I don't think it's Russia we have to worry about - I'd be more worried by cnuts in Pakistan - you know - the ones who just keep handing more and more power over to the fundamentalists. If they get hold of Pakistans nuclear capability we could all be up sh*t creek without a paddle! 8O

These fundamentalists appear quite willing to cross the line, unlike the Russians who knew it would be Armageddon to launch a pre-emptive strike!

If either the US or ourselves get rid of our nuclear weapons - we would appear weak in their eyes, and ripe for attack.

Come back Mussharrif - all is forgiven! :wink:
 

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