Dl021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75 Posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2958 times:
Well, today is the anniversary of the first attack with nuclear weaponry. I am curious as to the opinions of people on the use of these weapons then, in that circumstance, and the reasons different countries are maintaining their stockpiles today. I also wonder if there is still anyone out there who considers the 'N' of NBC (Nuclear-Biological-Chemical) to be the only actual wmd.
We controlled the proliferation and use of these things, relatively speaking, over the course of the cold war, and now we are faced with the question of who has access to these things now, and who is seeking access to them (Iran, NKorea, Taiwan, Israel, terror groups). How do we prevent them from being used by groups with less to lose than the superpowers of the cold war?
No pie in the sky wishful thinking, no fingerpointing, just some ideas to get floating.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2946 times:
The trouble with trying to stem proliferation is that those trying to stem prolifieration are the ones that already HAVE the NBC weapons, so it automatically smacks of "Don't do what I do, do what I say" hypocrisy. Obviously in an ideal world, nobody would have or even need these weapons, and of course we'd all be happier if nobody did.
I do wonder also whether a country having Nuclear weapons as a deterrent, is really any good any more - the only people ever likely to use nuclear weapons these days in a first-strike situation are terrorists, and they aren't going to be deterred by the fact that the target country has 10000 multi-warhead missiles to fire back. The US (for instance) could not nuke Afghanistan (for instance), if OBL (for instance) planted a dirty nuke and flattened a major city, for the simple reason that too many uninvolved people would get killed. Terrorists don't have a home country to retaliate against.
Dl021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2939 times:
THat is the main problem. Of course the US and PRC are not going ot give up their weapons as long as the possibility of the other country possessing them remains, but there are other players out there who have them and are seemingly less restrained than we have been. I know that South Africa is the only country to actually destroy their own stockpile after building one, and I also know that there are a few states out there that possess but deny. The ability of a terrorist group to obtain one and then use it is what really scares me. Like you, I don't see how traditional retaliation concepts work here. Any response would be difficult for fear of creating more instability in the countries that possess and deny, or simply feel much more threatened.
Air2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2909 times:
That is why the doctrine of pre-emption seems to be the way to go. If a rogue nation is suspected of having WMD's (and I do include biological and chemical) or the capability to develop and deploy in the near future, then it is necessary to eliminate the threat. That includes terrorist groups that may get their hands on the weapons.
The large stockpile of weapons we currently have is largely ineffective against these terrorist targets or even a nation. We could still turn just about any geographic point in the world into a parking lot, but the political cost of using these weapons is too great.
The next nuke to go off will be at the hands of a terrorist. We can't pretend that it will not happen. All we can do is run down the intelligence we get and act on it. Occasionally we will be wrong, but do we take the risk that some lunatic with an agenda get a hold of one of these weapons?
Thinking a little further along these lines; I like the weapons right where they are: In the hands of the military under strict control. When we begin to dismantle these weapons the component parts can easily get "lost". I know there has to be some plutonium or uranium out there somewhere unaccounted for. Question is, can they make it into a usable weapon?