Wars going Nuclear




 
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February 2nd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 

Topic: Wars going Nuclear


Okay well, this is a break off from the Where will World War III Start thread.

There was a discussion about nukes just forcing a stalemate etc. But have people considered how hard it is for a war to actually go nuclear?
Consider this, during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, both the "West" and the "East" were armed with nuclear weapons.
In Korea, both sides had a turn where things looked dangerously hopeless. Yet neither side ever got the nod to use the nuke. Even demand for nuclear strike by America's most celebrated general at the time wasn't enough to make the war go nuclear.
Right now, both Pakistan and India are armed with nuclear weapons, and ironically, that may be what's by in large keeping the peace between the two countries.
Also despite the expansion of the USSR into Hungary and Czechoslovakia (in terms of use of force), NATO never considered even going to war.

So the question is: How likely is a war going to go nuclear?

I say, very unlikely. For one, any side desperate enough to use the nuclear weapon, will know the retaliation for using it will surely mean *the end* for them. There could very possibly be an equally devestating counter strike and if the leadership is captured, any hope of lessening their sentences will pretty much be vaporized. This is of course assuming that they're not hung on a meathook in the city square before the trial begins.
Contrary to a few people here who simply blurt out "nuke" like throwing a cent into a pond, I think in reality, a conventional war going nuclear is very unlikely.

Please note: This is not a discussion about terrorists and nuclear weapons. This is a discussion about countries, conventional warfare and its escallation into nuclear warfare.
February 2nd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Going nuclear _intentionally_ yes, you're probably correct. Going nuclear _unintentionally_ is unfortunately, all too possible. More than once during the Cold War the technology got away from people and global thermonuclear war came close to being a reality. I'm not talking about Cuba and the missiles of October. As recently as the 1970s and later the Soviets nearly initiated nuclear war because their instruments were telling them one thing while reality was telling them another. Could this happen between the US and Russia now? Unlikely, but between India and Pakistan it does remain a concern.
February 2nd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
I remember reading One Point Safe. A great book, though because of the level of detail it goes into in some things, I have questioned whether it was really a valid source. But in there it mentions how a single Soviet intelligence officer (SIGINT) prevented a nuclear war because he refused to believe his equipments reading. Apparently the sun's reflection off the covers of the American missile silos registered to the Soviet satellites that these silos were launching.
I just wonder who this guy was... I think the book mentions who he is but I just cannot remember anymore. Everyone owes their ass to him.

But on that note, it even goes to show that even by accident, when things were sure to go wrong, they didn't.
If even those denied an accidental fire, what would it really take to even launch a deliberate strike?
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February 2nd, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
in 1995(?) Russian nuclear warning spotted an American missile heading towards Moscow. The president was rushed to a bunker. He had the nuclear computer-briefcase open infront of him and was staring it at wrestling with wheather to launch or not for minutes as the missle crossed into Russian airspace. He had less than 4 minutes before the deadline to launch when he got the information it was an equipment mistake. Less than 4 minutes.
February 2nd, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
No, I don't think any country will launch one unless it's a last stand. If you can assure MAD with your enemy, he will never launch towards you if you don't launch at him.

I've often heard the idea that China would use small-scale nukes to destroy the US navy fleet, I don't think they would even do that.
February 2nd, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whispering Death
in 1995(?) Russian nuclear warning spotted an American missile heading towards Moscow. The president was rushed to a bunker. He had the nuclear computer-briefcase open infront of him and was staring it at wrestling with wheather to launch or not for minutes as the missle crossed into Russian airspace. He had less than 4 minutes before the deadline to launch when he got the information it was an equipment mistake. Less than 4 minutes.
If that had been 1985 and not 1995 then it would have been a HUGE decision to make. But in 1995 there was no reason at all for the US to launch a strike at Moscow and I'm sure Yeltsin (it was Yeltsin right?) knew that.
February 2nd, 2005  
CABAL
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer
No, I don't think any country will launch one unless it's a last stand. If you can assure MAD with your enemy, he will never launch towards you if you don't launch at him.

I've often heard the idea that China would use small-scale nukes to destroy the US navy fleet, I don't think they would even do that.
Oddly, the United States are continuing to research on small-scaled and controlled nuclear detonations. It's not only the Chinese who are working on such weapon.
February 2nd, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer
No, I don't think any country will launch one unless it's a last stand. If you can assure MAD with your enemy, he will never launch towards you if you don't launch at him.

I've often heard the idea that China would use small-scale nukes to destroy the US navy fleet, I don't think they would even do that.
Oddly, the United States are continuing to research on small-scaled and controlled nuclear detonations. It's not only the Chinese who are working on such weapon.
Hmm I did not know that! Although I still doubt they would be used against a nuclear equipped opponent, unless of course, they used their arms.
February 2nd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
The US small nukes though are for bunker busting of the very deep heavily re-enforced kind that are currently beyond the capabilities of conventional explosives. Quite a different thing blasting a long ways underground from an airburst.
February 2nd, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
Yeah, the idea is to use the 'earthquake' from a small-yield underground nuclear detonation to collapse any deep bunker in on itself, burrying anyone and anything alive in their own rubble.