What can you do with a nuclear power?

Discussion in 'Strategic Defense' started by DarkEminence, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. DarkEminence
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    DarkEminence New Member

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    From what I can see, there is not a thread solely devoted dealing with nations with nuclear power. So, I have one simple question, "If you were a nation, how would you deal with an enemy that goes nuclear against you?" To make it interesting, perhaps "What if they are firing nuclear missiles at you, what will you do?"

    To vary the responses, let's say we are fighting with opponents of varying nuclear power, say between France-level and US-level.
     
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  2. Turanian
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    Turanian New Member

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    I assume by "nation" you mean Chinese government, as this is not in "World Armed Forces" forum? China already has nuclear deterrent so actual war with nuclear weapons would be highly unlikely, next to impossible even.

    Logical steps against nuclear enemy would be:
    a) Arms race
    1. Building up your nuclear forces to a level in which enemy would be destroyed in any possible scenario should nuclear weapons be used, thus making enemy unwilling to use nuclear weapons.

    2. Developing defence systems capable of destroying enemy missiles or whatever delivery systems they might be using thus nullifying enemy nuclear threat.

    Both of the above would be extremely draining to economy and could lead to other serious problems (compare to the collapse of USSR).

    b) Political pressure
    1. Economic sanctions. China has huge influence on world economics and can use that to hurt her enemies.

    2. Other sanctions. China could push for UN Security Council to make resolutions in order to contain the threat, eg. isolating the enemy from rest of the world.

    c) Alliances with other nations
    1. China is already a member and a driving force in SCO and in case of being seriously threatened by nuclear enemy Chinese government would probably seek assistance from the alliance.

    2. Other minor alliances, mutual defence pacts &al., could be made with any country with relevance.

    At this point political measures would have failed and it would be the matter of military retaliation. Regardless of opponents it would be a tragedy in unprecedented scale.
     
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  3. IDonT
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    IDonT Senior Member

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    First thing you can do is create a credible second strike capability, deliverable nuclear payload of sufficient size to destroy most of the enemy's population centers and can survive against an initial enemy nuke strike no matter the severity. This is how MAD works. IF you nuke me, I can still nuke you even after I'm dead.

    This leads to a first strike capability, the ability to knock out the enemies second strike capabilities. This method is highly destabilizing as the enemy will try to create more nuke weapons to increase the likelyhood of thier survival leading to a nuke arms race.

    To sum up:
    Second strike: (survivable and does not have to be precise, its main target are population centers - cities)
    First strike: (The main component is accuracy and stealth. You need to target military and nuke facilities without the enemy knowing it until after it sees a mushroom cloud.

    Thanks to the SSBN, a truly successful first strike is imposible against the US, Russia, France, and UK. China has only 1 SSBN currently and rarely goes to sea (094 hopefull will fix this).
     
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  4. DarkEminence
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    DarkEminence New Member

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    Since we are talking about hardened targets, is there anything that can be used as the nukes are flying over the border? I'm sure various SAM's can work (HQ-2, Patriot, S-300) can take on some nukes. As well, exactly how hardened is a nuclear silo? The United States has been stressing about ensuring the lethality of their Thermonuclear warheads to penetrate those "hardened military silos"?
     
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  5. IDonT
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    IDonT Senior Member

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    Let me put it this way. Norad, which built under a mountain (1 mile of bedrock on all sides plus 40-50ton massive steel doors) was expected to survive 30 minutes in a nuclear war. A direct hit from a megaton size warhead will certainly destroy it. You can't "hardened" anything against a nuke. It is far easier to increase a nuke yield than put in more protection.

    In the US, the missile silos are designed primarily as the first strike of the nuke triad. They are much more accurate than SSBN's due to the fact they are fixed and know exactly where their launch points are. As a result, their primary targets were military facilities not population centers.

    SSBN's are still the best way to ensure survival of your nuke assets than just hardening them.

    Manned bombers are the third leg of the triad. They offer the leadership "call back" capability in a nuke war. They are usually scrambled once an inbound nuke is detected. At the height of the cold war, the US had nuke armed bombers airborne 24 hours a day. The bombers today no longer have nuke deterrance as their main mission.

    For those who don't know the size of the nukes we are talking about here is rough guideline.

    20 kilotons - Hiroshima bomb
    0.5 kilotons - bomb tested by North Korea
    700 kilotons - average yeild size of US nuke MIRV warhead
    25,000 kilotons (25 megatons) - largest ever nuke detonated (USSR)

    Edit:

    Estimated Russian Nuke arsenal
    http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=ma06norris

    China
    http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=mj06norris

    USA
    http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf06norris

    France
    http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=ja05norris

    UK
    http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=nd05norris

    As for China, it appears that the strategy is minimal deterrance with zero first strike capability vis-a-vis the US. From the above link:

    The only true intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in China's arsenal is the liquid-fueled DF-5, which is capable of targeting the entire continental United States. The exact number of DF-5s is unclear, but Chinese Military Power 2005 states that 20 missiles are deployed in 20 launchers, a number that has remained steady over the past six years or so. The missiles are deployed in silos at two locations, and their nuclear warheads are stored separately nearby.

    So these missiles are not on "push-button" launch readiness. But those warheads are big suckers. 3-5 megatons.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  6. IDonT
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    IDonT Senior Member

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    Nuclear weapons miniaturization

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. kovona
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    kovona New Member

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    IF the DF-5 uses liquid propellant, then it would probably take around 20-30 minutes to set up and fire the nuke. Does China even have the time to launch its nuclear arsenal once it detects a nuclear launch? Can someone tell me what kind of early warning system is being used, and what is its detection range?
     
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  8. FreeAsia2000
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    FreeAsia2000 Junior Member

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    I read that in the event of a nuclear war america had a plan to nuke BOTH
    the USSR and China even if only the USSR had attacked on the basis of
    preventing China from remaining the sole superpower.

    I suppose the strategy for nukes would depend also upon the countries
    position in the world pecking order.
     
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  9. Roger604
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    Roger604 Senior Member

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    Gee, I never heard about that before. Do you recall the source? I suppose you could continue the logic. Maybe you want to nuke India too to prevent it from remaining the sole superpower after USA, Russia and China are crippled.

    If a nuclear war starts with a SSBN, how would the targetted country know which country to retaliate against?

    A related question: isn't it then rational from a game-theoretic point of view for China to downplay its SSBN capabilities. This way if someone launches a SLBM, China can say "it can't be me".
     
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  10. DumLoco
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    DumLoco Just Hatched

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    I'm asking the same thing that Roger604: How can a country know POSITIVE from where they are getting a nuke? Specially if we are talking about a sea-launched missile...
     
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