Here's a scary one for ya . . .

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Jan 28, 2007.

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Should nukes ever be used tactically?

  1. No, we should not use them unless directly attacked with nukes.

    20 vote(s)
    13.4%
  2. No, we should not use them even if attacked with ABC weapons.

    8 vote(s)
    5.4%
  3. Yes, use them if we have a verified ABC threat against our citizens.

    48 vote(s)
    32.2%
  4. Yes, do not hesitate to use them if the job cannot be done conventionally.

    73 vote(s)
    49.0%
  1. Under what conditions, if any, would the United States be morally justified in using tactical or strategic nuclear weapons in a conflict not involving full-scale nuclear war? What I'm talking about here is not the classic scenerio wherein the Russians or Chinese (or the French! ;) ) launched a preemptive, full scale nuclear attack on the continental U.S. What I'm concerned about here is the possible use of such total weapons on a much smaller scale. For example, would we be justified in using them preemptively on Iran or North Korea if we knew they were about to obtain a nuclear strike capability aimed at us, or against some other relatively small power developing an ABC ability and clearly a serious threat to the U.S. or its allies?

    In my own view, I think there may well be some situations were we would be justified, despite the obvious political ramifications of such an action. What is your slant on this very real potential?
  2. Oh, and please don't feel limited by the poll choices. If you have another view, I would be much interested in hearing it.
  3. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

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    hard one to answer- want to be able to say no, but as you say in some cases you we may have to use nuclear bombs to protect ourselves. as I said this is not an easy poll.
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    I'd be extremely leery of ever using a "preemtive" nuclear strike.....even if we "knew" an enemy was about to launch one against us. That's a very slippery slope to becoming an aggressor Nation.

    After all, we "knew" Iraq had WMD, didn't we? :confused:
  5. Good point, X. Such use would indeed be a slippery slope, and it is probably the best reason of all for not using them. I feel the evidence would have to be undeniable that an attack against us was imminent, and equally clear that conventional weapons would not--for whatever reason--be sufficient to disarm the threat. I've personally seen what a flight of B-52s armed with full loads of 500-1000 pounders can do, so the target would have to be very hardened indeed to resist it.
  6. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    Nothin' prettier than a mushroom cloud over jihadist lands, as far as I'm concerned. Start droppin' 'em right now. Tehran would be a real nice start.
  7. Pat, I can sympathize with that view, at least on an emotional level. But what worries me is what happens if the mushroom clouds start rising over New York, Washington, and Seattle in retaliation? There is simply no viable defense against nuclear missile attack at present. There might have been if Reagan had gotten his way, but Clinton did away with that idea. :(
  8. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    With the proliferation of countries getting their hands on nukes, an major exchange is going to happen, sooner or later. Even a preemptive strike could start the beginning of the end.
  9. I suspect you are right, Pick, and if I had to guess, it will most likely happen in the Middle East . . . perhaps near a place called Megiddo. Now there is a frightening thought! :cool:
  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    If the U.S. should adopt a policy of preemtive nuclear stirkes, than any other nation, quid pro quo, would be justified to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on us before we could strike them.

    Is that the kind of world we want to live in?

    Remember, "Waging Agressive Warfare" was a war crime at the Nuremburg, Yokahama, and Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals.

    Are we now to become an agressor nation?
  11. In many ways, X, we did live in such a world for over half a century, and we still do today, though arguably to a somewhat lesser extent. The genie came out of the bottle on July 16, 1945 at a place called Almagordo, New Mexico, had his "coming out party" over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and he's busily procreating and proliferating around the world as we speak. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, nuclear weapons technology is becoming increasingly available to smaller nation states with governments headed by megalomaniacal fools and fanatics. Sooner or later, one of them will roll the dice and use one--against us or someone else--motivated by hatred, greed, fear, or all of the above. I don't know, X, it may ultimately come down to a question of, "is a little nuclear war better than a big nuclear war?" And that, my friend, is a very scary thought indeed.

    Now, having said all that, let me say that generally I agree with your stated reasoning. Yet, like so many other things, it comes down to semantics. How should we define "aggressive war?" Is it simply the waging of war for territorial aggrandizement and resources, or does it include waging war for defensive purposes and long-term security? On the one hand, Hitler would likely have said that long-term security for Germany was why he invaded Poland and the Soviet Union! ;) On the other hand, to take no action until we see a mushroom cloud rising over New York City or Minneapolis would seem to make little sense as well, and would most likely lead to a world-wide conflagration instead of (perhaps!) a more limited one.

    One scenerio that I find particularly frightening lies with biological weapons. Consider for a moment. A power like Iran or Libya develops a superstrain of anthrax, botulism, or aflatoxin, a real "satan bug" (only for "peaceful purposes" of course) and begins replicating the product in mass quantities. What do we do? Potest loudly at the UN? Send in the Marines clothed in MOPP gear? Drop conventional explosives on the manufacturing plant and simply pray that the bombing doesn't spread the biologicals over half the planet? Obviously, the only certain weapon to destroy that threat would be with the heat of a thermonuclear blast. The salient question is, would we be waging "aggessive war" were we to use such a weapon? Just food for thought . . .

    My point here is that, while I generally agree with you on the issue of "first use" of nuclear weapons, I can also see situations wherein we might have little in the way of reasonable alternatives.

    By the way, this is a most interesting conversation. :D
  12. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

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    Pistolenschutze:
    Tactical nukes?? Kind of like almost a virgin.:rolleyes: Who might we need this kind of premptive strike against? Iran?? Which way do the predominate winds blow, remember that even tactical weapons will have radioactive fallout miles from the target. We could possably see fallout on Packistan/india even China. Oh yea did I mention that all the afore mentioned countries have nukes. North Korea,oh well its about time went ahead and kicked the cr_p out of China. After all the winds in Korea mostly travel to China. Some obviously would send the fallout into the ocean.:confused: Feel free to correct me if I am incorrect. No! Not to my knowledge is there any instance where we would be justified in launching a premptive strike.Now as previously stated had we continued with that "stupid" starwars project. Then possably we would be much safer today. But on the other hand if frogs had wings they wouldn't bounce their bottoms off the rocks. Just my thoughts anyway. catfish
  13. Or "a little bit pregnant," Cat. :D

    I don't basically disagree with what you're saying, Cat, nor am I necessarily advocating the use of nukes except in the most dire of situations, such as a direct attack--or conceivably an imminent attack--on the United States with WMDs. There are few targets in the world, short of so-called "counter value" targets--in other words, cities--that could not be reduced effectively using conventional high-explosive weaponry. Biological weapons factories, as I mentioned in my earlier post, might be a possible exception, together with certain command and control emplacements we know to exist. I must argue as well, however, that to exclude unqualifiedly the use of nuclear weapons on a preemptive basis is an open invitation for our enemies to build whatever weapons they wish and use them to threaten--or to attack--the very existence of this nation. Personally, I find that totally unacceptable. In the final analysis, I would much prefer to see a mushroom cloud to rise up over a third-world bomb or or biological weapons facility than, say, Pocatello, Idaho! ;)

    Yes, I agree, any extensive exchange of nuclear weapons would have dire consequences for the entire world. I also have serious doubts that any use of such weapons could be ultimately limited to only a few targets. Interestingly, that was one of the most common problems considered during the Cold War with regard to the use of tactical nukes in Europe to stop a conventional Soviet invasion, which was, I might add, our stated policy. At the moment, there are only four nations with the technical capability to strike the U. S. with nuclear missiles: Britain, China, France, and Russia, none of whom are very likely to punch the button. There are other nations that possess nukes and missile technology--Israel, N. Korea (maybe), India, and Pakistan, for example--but none with the range to strike the continental United States. That, I very much fear, will change over the next decade or so, perhaps much less. The Cold War nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the West did not result in nuclear catastrophe for one and only one reason: the leaders on both sides knew unquestionably that neither side could survive such an exchange without itself being destroyed. I am not nearly so confident about Islamic fundamentalists such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollah Khamenei. Allowing them to possess WMDs would be tantamount to handing a three-year-old a loaded .45 with a hair trigger.
  14. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    Cat,

    Yours was a thoughtful reply, but inaccurate and just a tad naiive. You've been watching far too many Hollywood leftist propaganda flicks like "China Syndrome."

    When you see the word "tactical" next to "nuclear", think "small" and "precision." The blast would be nowhere near a Hiroshima or Nagasaki type of blast. Secondly, nukes of today are built clean... fallout from such a tactical weapon would be minimal and would dissipate quickly.

    Now that the science lesson is over, let's quit pussy footing around... DROP THE DAMN BOMBS NOW AND LET GOD SORT OUT THE UNWASHED. Let's turn Tehran into a parking lot, then Pyong Yang into glowing ember.

    A premptive strike beats the crap out of being sucker punched and then having to reply. I'm not interested in addressing this problem like a gentleman; fighting fair was off the table when the first Trade Center Tower was struck. Keep thinking that we have to defend ourselves from a purely retaliatory standpoint and you'll be dead and have no decisions to make - and you'll avoid the terribly unpleasant stigma of being tough and decisive.

    My will to live and preserve my country from homicidal maniacs is far stronger than my need to remain in the good graces of the UN, socialist Europe, and American liberals who haven't the sense recognize pure evil when they see it, and the guts to do anything about it except to curl up in the fetal position, suck their thumb, wet their pants, and beg them not to hurt us.

    Incinerate the bastards right now, before they get a chance to seriously harm us. It's just that simple.

    Die on your feet? Or live on your knees? Please vote now.
  15. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

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    Evacuate Bagdad & put one dead center.
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