AerospaceFan
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Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Sun May 07, 2006 11:35 pm

It is said that the liberation of Iraq may have showed to regional powers around the world is that unless you have a nuclear arsenal, given the right political conditions, your chances deterring military action by much larger actions is minimal.

According to one contemporary review, two years ago, the authors of The Nuclear Tipping Point presented the thesis that there exists a threshold beyond which it becomes very difficult to stop nuclear proliferation.

Do you think that we've already reached the point of no return in regard to nuclear proliferation?

Personally, I think that one of the reasons that the U.S. and other Western powers are as concerned as they are about the Iranian nuclear development program is the precedential value it may have for states who desire greater respect in the modern world.

I also suspect that despite what the United States and other nations do, we might have passed what the book's authors term "the nuclear tipping point". The reason for this could be that the UN and its nuclear "watchdog" have proven toothless in the absence of the application of strategic power. Further, it is no longer in the interests of all great powers to promote a nonproliferation agenda: In their view, the advantage in keeping America and the West off balance is greater than the risks of a certain amount of nuclear proliferation.

It may be that the nuclear genie, having escaped the bottle for decades, has decided to summer, incognito, in the Third World.

See:

http://www.brook.edu/press/books/nucleartippingpoint.htm

[Edited 2006-05-07 16:40:15]
What's fair is fair.
 
DrDeke
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 3:21 am

I don't like it, but I strongly suspect that you are right. Just look at the "Axis of Evil" and what's happening to its members:

Iraq: Didn't have nukes or WMD. Outcome: Invaded by the US.
North Korea: Says they have nukes. Outcome: Left alone by the US.
Iran: We think they don't have nukes and that they want to get them. Outcome: Still in play, but heavily harassed by the US.

If I were the leader of a "third world" nation, it would seem pretty clear to me what you have to do to get respect from, or at least left alone by, the US.

On the issue of proliferation itself, I think the main problem is that knowing what is now known about physics and chemistry, it's just not that hard to build a nuclear bomb, even for a small nation. And if the major powers of the world like the United States are more concerned with dicking around in Iraq than doing anything serious about proliferation, then I don't see much stopping countries that want nuclear technology from getting it.

-DrDeke
If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 5:28 am

Quoting DrDeke (Reply 1):
And if the major powers of the world like the United States are more concerned with dicking around in Iraq than doing anything serious about proliferation, then I don't see much stopping countries that want nuclear technology from getting it.

And here's another problem: I don't see a "brain trust" behind any of the stuff that's happening in foreign policy today, at least as far as the United States is concerned.

I've resisted the temptation that Bush has p*ssed away any support we gathered the day we learned that the Twin Towers had died. But I cannot resist the feeling that someone is asleep at the switch -- or at least, rather concerned about his need to constantly testify in his own defense as a result of the "Valerie Plame Blame Game".

That person being, of course, Bush's Brain, a.k.a., Karl Rove, a.k.a., the Prince of Darkness.

Rove's up to his cranium in questions about who said what about Plame's position at the CIA, and his recent demotion wouldn't exactly qualify as gilt on his otherwise well-regarded resume.

Bush has been operating without -- ahem -- his "Brain", and I think it shows.

And just think: The nuclear proliferation thing ain't gettin' any simpler.

___________________________

Incidentally, correction:

I said,

"It is said that the liberation of Iraq may have showed to regional powers around the world is that unless you have a nuclear arsenal, given the right political conditions, your chances deterring military action by much larger actions is minimal."

I should have written,

"It is said that the liberation of Iraq may have showed to regional powers around the world is that unless you have a nuclear arsenal, given the right political conditions, your chances of deterring military action by much larger nations is minimal."
What's fair is fair.
 
11Bravo
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 6:34 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Do you think that we've already reached the point of no return in regard to nuclear proliferation?

I don't. That being said, I think we are approaching a point where that might well be the case before too much longer. The five powers of the Security Council should have putting a stop to additional proliferation as their top priority. We can never put the nuclear genie completely back in the bottle, but if we accept a dynamic where one or two countries every five years join the club, it's just a matter of time before we have a nuclear exchange. That has great prospect of escalating and getting out of control. We need to stop proliferation before it stops us.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:05 am

Either way, the great powers have to get their act together or soon it'll be a whole new world we live in.

Of course, even in the old days with the Soviet Union, there were people who advocated a multipolar (not just a bipolar or unipolar) world, where there were lots of centers of power. But as nukes proliferate, so do the risks of accidental use, or even deliberate use. So I'm not so hot on this kind of multipolarity.

Maybe I'm crazy. But I don't think so.
What's fair is fair.
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:11 am

I believe not. Nuclear Proliferation was a Policy during the cold war between the US and the URSS, plus some other allied states and one rogue one, China. It was not a Practical Military Tactic because it was based on ": Mutually Assured Destruction" Any state engaging in Nuclear war with another would assure its obliteration, along with the other state, or the whole world.

So, these rogue states that threaten today to have Nuclear weapons, have their counterparts on the "Mutually Assured Destruction" India, has Pakistan, Iran has Israel etc, But, in this case, the Mutually Assured Destruction won't work. If Iran launches 2 Nuclear weapons against Israel, Israel will retaliate with 30, at least. If Pakistan does same, India will send their way at least 30% more nuclear weapons and more effective.

You will not attack someone that in response will be able to obliterate you. The balance between the US and URSS is not there anymore. The "Mutually Assured Destruction" doesn't hold any more.

Having said the above, I have to say that North Korea is something else. Nuclearly speaking (I just created an adverb) Piongyang has Seoul as a hostage, and if they attack with Nuclear weapons, Seoul will dissappear from the map in 30 seconds. That's a scenario I don't even want to imagine.

But given the incredible expense to develop your own nuclear device, plus the extreme vigilance by the different organizations, I do think it is an impractical proposition for any country to engage in a Nuclear weapons program. It's just too expensive. Just as an example. Not only do you have to build a bomb, but also the means to deliver it. That involves the country in research on missile technology, etc. It's just too much.

On the other hand, with a few biologists you can create a nice, tidy bio-weapons program. I'm more scared of that than of nuclear proliferation

[Edited 2006-05-08 00:20:40]
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:29 am

Very good analysis, and brilliantly written, even though I don't necessarily endorse any possible implication that nonproliferation was almost the result of a U.S.-Soviet cabal.

I would say that one of the reasons behind the NPT was that otherwise, there could be a whole series of arms races between countries, for some of the reasons you stated. Viz.,

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
If Iran launches 2 Nuclear weapons against Israel, Israel will retaliate with 30, at least.

Iran would therefore desire more than two nukes at its disposal (considering this and also first-strike survivability issues).

Your post insightfully notes a built-in limitation:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
But given the incredible expense to develop your own nuclear device, plus the extreme vigilance by the different organizations, I do think it is an impractical proposition for any country to engage in a Nuclear weapons program.

This limitation could also act to prevent the kinds of arms races that might otherwise occur.

I think that your citation of India and Pakistan is interesting, because neither seems very likely to use their nukes against each other. I believe that they have reached a form of politico-nuclear^1 parity. Whether this holds is unknown.

Query, however, whether in fact the factors above will apply in every case. You noted, for example, the possibly anomalous case of North Korea. But what if, say, Brazil felt threatened by Bolivia's socialist nationalism? Brazil has respectable ambitions regarding spaceflight and the missile technology it embraces; it is a huge country in both population and size. Why wouldn't it want to add nuclear assurance as another sign of its emergence as a true regional power? Or one could cite Venezuela, whose anti-American leader might want to tweak the noses of the North Americans.

Complications, complications, it seems to me, are everywhere.

_____________________________

Further correction:

Quote:
"It is said that what the liberation of Iraq may have showed to regional powers around the world is that unless you have a nuclear arsenal, given the right political conditions, your chances of deterring military action by much larger nations is minimal."

(Text as corrected.)

Correcting corrections is sometimes a sad, but necessary, task.

_____________________________________________
1. In the spirit of neologisms.

[Edited 2006-05-08 00:34:33]
What's fair is fair.
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:50 am

Yes, it is inevitable. It is the nature of technology that weapons which are once the restricted domain of one power will eventually become available with the desire to reverse-engineer it. All weapons are just applied physics, and once the science is discovered, it's only a matter of time before everyone else has the necessary knowledge, and with a little persistance, the materials. This has been the case ever since the first spear was invented, metal-tipped weapons, longbows, catapults, firearms, jet engines, rockets, and so on.

The MOST you can possibly do is delay the spead of such capability. But you cannot stop it. One day, Iran and other dangerous countries will have nukes. There is no getting around that.

It is also a statistical certainty that one day, terrorists will get their hands on such a weapon, and set it off someplace. That will probably be in the U.S.. We should be prepared for that event.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 2:26 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 6):

I think that your citation of India and Pakistan is interesting, because neither seems very likely to use their nukes against each other. I believe that they have reached a form of politico-nuclear^1 parity. Whether this holds is unknown.

The reason a nuclear war between the two countries is extremely unlikely is not about detente. It is a consequence of the nature of the dispute and the overlap of the nuclear doctrines of the two. The dispute is entirely about irredentist Pakistani claims on territory under Indian administration. In other words, India has no original dispute with Pakistan per se.

Further, due to a no-first-use clause against nuclear powers, India will not use nukes first. Pakistan on the other hand states that it will use nukes if its own existence as a nation is threatened, as defined by its redlines. The most recent ground war (1999, Kargil) saw an explicit refusal on India's part to attack Pakistani territory, and instead simply liquidate everyone who infiltrated the border.

In terms of purely clinical strategic depth, India has far more of it than Pakistan; we can take a hit and then regroup and grind them down, while their success is predicated entirely on a quick blitzkrieg and the hope of an immediate externally backed ceasefire to preserve their gains, i.e. the weasel tactic.

Therefore parity has nothing to do with it; the only situation where a nuclear war can be possible is where Pakistan were to do something so colossally stupid as to provoke us to respond with enough force that it threatens their continued existence as a nation state. It isn't an impossibility, but I don't think they're so stupid.

Further, the Indian deterrent was *never* Pakistan specific, and until very recently, they were not even in the calculation. The original and primary posture was always the PRC, with the secondary desire being the simple fact that the global geopolitical game puts those who possess nukes on another level. It is not a rational argument - for those who have it, it is a fait accompli, and they are not answerable to anyone for 'why'.

The truth is those who have nuclear weapons have it because:
a) They were the first and then tried to set the rules for who should get nukes (US, USSR, UK, France)
b) They were too large for anyone to do anything about it (China - not an original signatory but now dejure, India - defacto and partly dejure)
c) Geopolitical alignments allow them to keep one (Israel, Pakistan)
Those who don't have it fall into three categories:
a) Those who are under a NATO umbrella and are technologically advanced enough to build nukes overnight if they ever chose (Germany, Japan, Sweden etc)
b) Those who are not under a security umbrella but don't feel the need for one (several)
c) Those who want nukes because of issues with bigger powers with nukes or an umbrella (Iran, North Korea).
 
bill142
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 2:57 pm

Quoting DrDeke (Reply 1):
North Korea: Says they have nukes. Outcome: Left alone by the US.

I believe that this one isn't over yet. It has the potential to flare up at anytime.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 3:14 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 8):
most recent ground war (1999, Kargil) saw an explicit refusal on India's part to attack Pakistani territory, and instead simply liquidate everyone who infiltrated the border.

It took courage to resist crossing the LOC.The casualties would have been minimum.
regds
MEL
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andessmf
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 4:16 pm

Here is what I want to know:

Where is the 'no nukes' crowd?

Where are the people who protest the fact that these countries are not providing for their people?
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 6:49 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 8):
Therefore parity has nothing to do with it; the only situation where a nuclear war can be possible is where Pakistan were to do something so colossally stupid as to provoke us to respond with enough force that it threatens their continued existence as a nation state. It isn't an impossibility, but I don't think they're so stupid.

I agree with the general thrust of your post, which provides some interesting insights, except to the extent that you say that parity has nothing to do with it. Under this analysis, parity had "nothing" to do with the fact that MAD between the U.S. and USSR worked, because overwhelming, both of these two superpowers had both rational reasons and the desire to avoid conflict other than arose from the fact that both of them eventually achieved said parity. For example, the Soviets were, until the late 1970's, decidedly not in a state of nuclear parity with the United States.

The rest of your post I find to be very informative and helpful, however.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 11):
Where is the 'no nukes' crowd?

Good question!

[Edited 2006-05-08 11:57:23]
What's fair is fair.
 
ANother
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 3):
The five powers of the Security Council should have putting a stop to additional proliferation as their top priority.

Perhaps they can start, by fulfilling their obligations under the NPT?
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Mon May 08, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 12):
I agree with the general thrust of your post, which provides some interesting insights, except to the extent that you say that parity has nothing to do with it. Under this analysis, parity had "nothing" to do with the fact that MAD between the U.S. and USSR worked, because overwhelming, both of these two superpowers had both rational reasons and the desire to avoid conflict other than arose from the fact that both of them eventually achieved said parity.

The US-USSR argument cannot be used in this situation. There is no MAD posture in this case, partly because Pakistan's arsenal is not large/advanced enough, and partly because only a fraction of our arsenal is pointed west - the rest is pointed north/northeast at China. Sure, technically, if they had a massive arsenal and a crazy enough despot at the helm, they may use their weapons unprovoked. But that, IMHO, is just in the realm of the theoretical; the primary requirement - significant superiority over us to counteract our strategic depth, does not exist, and we have enough resources not to let that happen. There have been instances in the past when they had technological superiority (e.g. the 1960s) but just not enough - it was a Nazi Germany vs Stalinist Russia situation, where the former simply did not 'have enough' despite the latter being such a mess.

The opposite asymmetry - a much larger Indian arsenal, doesn't really make much of a difference because we don't have a tiff with them in the first place; they're pretty much just nuisance value, and the political expediency and constraints of a democratic setup means we will always take the least costly path, unless, as I first stated, they do something incredibly stupid to hurt us, and essentially ensure a post-Pearl Harbour scenario. For decades India had weapons and Pakistan didn't - we first tested in the early 1970s, while Pakistan did so in 1998, but that was no trigger for us to use it. Such was never the case with US-USSR, where the two were locked in a race from the start.
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 7:26 am

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 11):
Where is the 'no nukes' crowd?

I think that the "no nukes" people have finally figured out, after 40 years of being consistantly wrong, that their views carry no weight, and are ignored.

here is the central problem, IMHO. There has been a massive shift in the nuclear power base over the past few years. Since the 40s, all nations which had nukes were either democratic, secular, or both. Democratic nations have never gone on wars of conquest in modern history. Secular countries (specifically secular people, not much worried about religion) are most concerned about staying alive, and will not start something when confronted by MAD. The Soviets and Chinese, while being idiological, had no deathwish, and could thus be contained.

Today we are faced with nations (as well as organizations like Al Qaeda) which may not conform to either of the safety factors (democracy or secular) and are rabidly religiously ideological. Al Qaeda certainly qualifies. Iran, I'm not certain. But I would not be willing to give them too much benefit of the doubt.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
andessmf
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 2:06 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 15):

That is the part that scares me. Here we have a country which, however small, has a higher chance of using nuclear weapons, for the express purpose of killing a lot, and we have people in the world warning them of a 'strong rebuke' and condemnation. Yeah, that will do it.  sarcastic 
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 3:53 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 6):
Very good analysis, and brilliantly written, even though I don't necessarily endorse any possible implication that nonproliferation was almost the result of a U.S.-Soviet cabal.

Thank you for our comments on my analysis and the way it is written. I do think, however, in general, that nonproliferation between the US and the URSS may not have been the result of an open cabal. But MAD was the "invisible hand" if you will, that guided the nuclear proliferation or restraint in both Estates.

As you know, the cold war basically divided the world into US allies, URSS allies and the "Non aligned movement" When I say allies I'm referring to those besides the obvious NATO and Varsovian Pact countries. Anyway each ally assummed correctly they belonged to an sphere of influence where submission was expected in exchange of a few things. Favourable Terms of Trade, some technology transfer, investment, aid and defense. I can cite the example of Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Iran, up until Reza Pavlavi was overthrown, sadly for him, Jordan, Iraq and others. In the Soviet case there's Syria, Egypt, Nicaragua (later) North Korea, the Palestinians, Angola and others.

Among the assumptions of these "allies" on both sides, the one of Defense and Protection is particularly important in this discussion because that assumption went a long way towards limiting nuclear proliferation. If Mexico was assured that the US would come to its aid in case of a Guatemalan invasion (not such a crazy idea, considering the intents of Guatemala on British Honduras, later to become Belize, which if it had not been by the stern promise of British intervention after its independence Guatemala would certainly have pulled a Kuwait on Belmopan) then why the need to waste resources, massive resouces on devoloping a nuclear weapon? Better use it to solve the endemic problems of poverty, underdevelopment etc. So, let's apply this Mexico case to the rest of the allies on both sides. I know, let's think "Ceteris Paribus." Thanks.

At the same time, the US and the URSS were very keen on limiting as much as possible a worldwide nuclear arms race. I really do not know why this was, some illumination on your part may help here. But the hint was clear on both sides. If you start a nuclear program, we'll stop being friends. Perhaps it had to do with prestige? or maybe with the desire to limit the self defense of many countries now that the military of the US and the URSS were finding it easy to be deployed around the world. The capabiliy of the US to deploy its armed forces was increased drasticallly with Reagan in the 80's.

The case of Israel has to be looked at separately. Not withstanding the Jewish lobby in New York and Washington (and I'm really trying to be as politically correct here as I can, but this is a touchy subject) The US and the URSS recognized that Israel needed to achieve a military super advantage because it was surrounded with resourceful Estates that wanted to obliterate it. I believe that a tacit pact was reached between the two cold war enemies. Something along the lines of "Israel develops a nuke program and then you, the URSS can supply all its enemies with any conventional weapon they need."

Do remember, after all, that the URSS has and had at the time a great population of Jews and Arabs, so this deal was strategically sound for them. It was win-win. It allowed the URSS a lot of leeway controlling its republics (for a few more years) And it allowed Israel to cooperate with Jordan covertly and openly on matters that interested both governments, and that cooperation went up all the way to the White House and the Kremlin (and I'm stopping short of calling both puppet Estates) At the same time the URSS "open" presence was clearly felt through Syria and Lebanon's descent into the quagmire it became.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 6):
But what if, say, Brazil felt threatened by Bolivia's socialist nationalism? Brazil has respectable ambitions regarding spaceflight and the missile technology it embraces; it is a huge country in both population and size.

This is a very interesting case. Brazil and Argentina were the superpowers of Southamerica. Plus, for most of the years post World War 2 they were governed by ruthless military or fascist dictatorships. So what happened? A nuclear arms race began between the two. I can give you the link to an excellent article in an Argentine journal that details this race, although it would be in Spanish. For many years both Estates tried and tried to develop the technology for a nuclear weapon. On what I call the "I'll show mine is bigger than yours" syndrome. Both programs were suspended in the late 80's with a lot of pressure exerted by President George Bush. They were developed to the point that the president of each nation, Alfonsin, in the case of Argentina and Jose Sarney in Brazil, each flew to each other's countries to witness the destruction of each country's nuclear weapons devolopment installations. Along of course with the UN agency in charge of monitoring nuclear programs which I can never remember the name. However, you are correct, both nations have the know how. But, how much money and time will it take to start a practical nuke program? furthermore, with which purpose? Remind me of the link, if you want it, because I need to do some research.

India and Pakistan is not as clear cut as it seems. When the separation came, between a Hindu Estate as Gandhi wanted and Mohamed Ali Jinnah differed, and Pakistan was born, a great enmity was created between the two estates. BarfBag may differ from me, but the Hindu grudge due to that separation has never really been forgotten. The Kashmir issue is proof of that. I do believe that initially the Indian nuke program may have been a response to the PRC, but afterwards India had the chance to stop. The PRC has embraced the West and I highly doubt they will engage in a war with any country, even Taiwan. They have discovered the free market, and they are pummelling the world's economy right now with that discovery. Frankly, they really don't need any nukes to create a world recession.

However, India continued with its nuke program, even though it was clear by the early 80's that the PRC was not a threat. Why did they do it? Why did Pakistan do it? Is it a case of "Mine is bigger than yours", like Brazil and Argentina? I really do not know. India is a full fledged democracy. Such an advanced nuke program as they have does not make sense to me in a democracy and in a country as poor as India. Can anyone illustrate me on why they continued with it after Deng Xiaoping came to rule China?

Feel free to flame me. My belief is, still, that a nuke proliferation is not necessary, nowadays that biology has reached an state which it can be a more threatening weapon than one, lousy, Nagasaky power type bomb in Manhattan developed by some Iranian fanatics.
 
ANother
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 4:13 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 16):

That is the part that scares me. Here we have a country which, however small, has a higher chance of using nuclear weapons, for the express purpose of killing a lot, and we have people in the world warning them of a 'strong rebuke' and condemnation. Yeah, that will do it.

Perhaps you should be more worried about those countries that actually have nukes. Let's face it probably 60 countries are 'capabable' of having them. Adding one more to the list doesn't really change much.

I know W probably doesn't really mean it, but it scares the S*** out of me when I hear his is thinking of using them to 'fix' the problem in Iran.
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 9:42 pm

Quoting ANother (Reply 18):
I know W probably doesn't really mean it, but it scares the S*** out of me when I hear his is thinking of using them to 'fix' the problem in Iran.

Please tell us who told you this.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
ANother
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 10:05 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 19):
Please tell us who told you this

Fox news: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194753,00.html
The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060417fa_fact
CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/10/bush.iran/index.html
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2006/04/08/AR2006040801082_pf.html
Seymour Hersh: http://democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/12/1359254
and George himself: Bush is calling news reports of plans to attack Iran "wild speculation" and declaring that the United States is on a "diplomatic" track. But asked this week if his options included planning for a nuclear strike, he repeated that "all options are on the table."

"All options are on the table" scares the S*** out of me.
 
Derico
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Tue May 09, 2006 11:31 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 17):
This is a very interesting case. Brazil and Argentina were the superpowers of Southamerica

And neither no longer is taken seriously on the world stage.

Which proves the point that nuclear weapons give you power. Brazil and Argentina gave them up, now they are irrelevant to the US and the rest of the world, and ignored.

Worst mistake the two countries ever made.
My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 12:08 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 17):
BarfBag may differ from me, but the Hindu grudge due to that separation has never really been forgotten. The Kashmir issue is proof of that.

You're putting the cart before the horse. No country would like to be split because of a religious minority's desire to have a separate homeland, as Pakistan became. Sure we don't like, but no one wants Pakistan reunited with India today; they're way too much of an Islamist terror-filled cesspool.


Quoting AR385 (Reply 17):
However, India continued with its nuke program, even though it was clear by the early 80's that the PRC was not a threat. Why did they do it?

That is mindblowingly ignorant. The PRC had decades long documented nuclear ties - stretching into the late 1990s and quite likely beyond - to Pakistan and others, involving the transfer of material, technology and expertise. The weapons plans confiscated from Libya were copies of a 1966 Chinese test warhead. The threat perception from the PRC is not based on some general Mao-era hysteria on their part. Deng was no better than Mao; that he was a ruthless pragmatist is evident, not just in his economic policies. They have multiple ICBM/IRBM batteries pointed at us, as do we. It is a fact.

Your entire 'why did they do it' logic is extremely flawed. Let me extend it a bit further - why do all the nuclear powers hold on to their arsenal ? Why is it that they don't scrap it, since none of them are likely to attack each other anymore ? Why aren't Dubya and Putin holding hands, smooching and singing Kumbaya in the Rose Garden ? I'll give you my answer - because they are not answerable to anyone, and no one has the ability to have them get rid of it. Think about that a bit; the power of nukes doesn't just come from a big mushroom cloud. To paraphrase Lance Armstrong's biography, it's not just about the weapons themselves.
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting ANother (Reply 20):
"All options are on the table" scares the S*** out of me.

Why should it? This is what ticks me off about people like you. You are completely disassociated with reality.

Look at police work. How successful will the police be if they announce that they will not use violence in order to catch criminals? International relations is similar. When you are faced with a government that has unhealthy desires (regional domination, destruction of Israel or another country, whatever), he will not even consider your wishes if you announce ahead time to him that you won't do anything against him. There are people in the world who you can only scare into doing what you want.

Remember also that the press is global. Bush cannot tell Iran, "do this, or else", and at the same time privately tell the American population, "Don't worry, I have no intention of starting a war." What America sees, Iran sees too.

Like a cop who is trying to arrest a criminal, he does not want to use his gun. But he must have it on his belt in case he needs it. He doesn't leave it at the station when going out on a bust.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 22):
You're putting the cart before the horse. No country would like to be split because of a religious minority's desire to have a separate homeland, as Pakistan became. Sure we don't like, but no one wants Pakistan reunited with India today; they're way too much of an Islamist terror-filled cesspool.

I really do not understand your statement. The religious minority that desired to split from India and form a new country did exist, and it came to be called Pakistan. So I guess there was a country that wished to split. Your other statement about "no one wants Pakistan reunited with India" may not be so clear-cut. If you could source it, it would be great. But I am sure that in a country with more than 1 Billion people, there may be a coupla' hundred who think differently. As for Pakistan being an Islamist terrorrist filled cesspool, well, isn't India too? And not only Islamists.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 22):
That is mindblowingly ignorant. The PRC had decades long documented nuclear ties - stretching into the late 1990s and quite likely beyond - to Pakistan and others, involving the transfer of material, technology and expertise. The weapons plans confiscated from Libya were copies of a 1966 Chinese test warhead. The threat perception from the PRC is not based on some general Mao-era hysteria on their part. Deng was no better than Mao; that he was a ruthless pragmatist is evident, not just in his economic policies. They have multiple ICBM/IRBM batteries pointed at us, as do we. It is a fact.

I do not think my statement is ignorant at all. The Indian Nuclear program started in the mid forties following in the footsteps of the US program. It started as a desire by Nehru to end the backwardness in technology and military inferiority that was blamed for two centuries of colonization.

China and Pakistan in general may have been seen as mild threats at the time, but it certainly was not the reason for such program to have started. Three events changed this in the mid sixties, though. The completion of a reprocessing plant in Trombay that enabled India to extract Plutonium, the death of Nehru, who always opposed Nuclear weaponization and China's first nuclear bomb explosion in 1964. Mildly contributing to this may have been the fact that India's ass was kicked in The Sino-Indian war of 1962. Finally India's bureacratic elite considered having nuclear weapons as a source of prestige.

However, it was not until 1974 that India was able to conduct its first Nuclear bomb test. After that, India's program proceeded naturally, until today, when it is considered that it may have enough fissile material for 60 to 100 12 kiloton bombs, although experts do claim the 12 kiloton number is exaggerated. Note, that while they may have the material for such amount of bombs, it does not mean they have it, or that the bombs are actual warheads planted in missiles pointed anywhere.

In contrast, China has a mixture of 20 ICBM's and 128 Land Based Ballistic Missiles from 3.3 to 5 Megatons and 12 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles from between 100 to 300 kilotons. Their delivery capacity mostly limited to medium range, capable to reach Eastern or Central Russia and a minority of Dong Feng-4 missiles that enables them to reach Moscow.

The medium range delivering capacity was not reached until the mid 70's and the longer ranges until the mid 80's. They also had a very clear nuclear weapons policy: No-first-use, Deterrence and Prestige. Why would they have bothered to have and to have today their missiles pointed to India?

It was not until 1987 that India achieved parity with the PLA, so again, why nuke a country when you can get all the way to its capital city with your conventional weapons? India was never a target for nuclear China, it was Russia and American bases in the Pacific within the reach of their missiles. So where are "the multiple ICBM/IRBM batteries pointed at us" as you say? And where are India's? Even today, if there was a Nuclear conflict between China and India, India would pretty much be obliterated. It is nowhere near reaching nuclear weaponization parity with China. And that is the fact.

The two countries developed their Nuclear programs separately. It was not and has not been an arms race, at least not as clear as the US-URSS was. Both were looking for prestige, technological development and a place in the world's Nuclear stage.

What is certainly a fact, is that India's nuclear program created a nuclear arms race with Pakistan. First as a response to India's winning the East Pakistan war in 1971 but definitely as a direct result of India's first explosion in 1974. Pakistan's was not a "legal" program per se, as Pakistan developed an extensive underground network to acquire the technologies and the materials they needed, anyway they could. But they were in a hurry, and understandably so. Anyway, it is thought that it was not until 1987 when they finally conducted a bomb test, probably sub-kiloton. Today, it is estimated that they have 24 to 48 HEU based warheads, plus enough material for 33 to 60 more warheads. Their estimated yield is between 8 to 12 Kilotons.

Now, what is more interesting here, is their Nuclear doctrine. "To counter the threat posed by its principal rival, India, which has superior conventional forces and Nuclear weapons." There is a clear difference here between India and China's program. This program reason of existence is the threat from India.

I insist, there is no Indian threat perception from China. China will not engage in a Nuclear exchange, the two programs developed separately, as a result of world Geopolitics rather than perceived threats. And as it stands now, India would not survive a Chinese Nuclear attack. And I am sure that if there are any missiles pointed to India, they're Pakistan's.
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 1:27 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 24):
As for Pakistan being an Islamist terrorrist filled cesspool, well, isn't India too? And not only Islamists.

Pakistan chose a path that resulted in the criminalization of its society and polity, as a direct result of the drug business that funded the Afghan Jehad. The dregs of that war, OBL included, are what constitute the present 'Taliban' and 'Al-Qaeda'. Despite your verbosity, you really do not know your subcontinental politics if you equate the two countries' political foundations the way you do.

Most of your history of the Indian weapons program is a combination of verbose generalization and several inaccuracies. I'll summarize the picture, since I neither have the time nor inclination to respond to every little error, particularly since it is tangential to the thread topic:
a) India's peculiar stance that for decades tried to resolve the conflicting ideas of weaponization and eradication of nuclear weapons, is the primary reason we tested so late. There are open source communiques from Bhabha right after the first Chinese test indicating ability to test within 18 month.
b) You need to follow the recent India-US nuclear deal if you want a better idea on the size of our arsenal. Suffice to say that the actual weapons grade arsenal is roughly an order of magnitude (10x) larger than originally estimated.
c) Interesting that you're so clued in on the yields of our tests ? Wallace's works on the subject seem to be the staple of those arguments, never mind the fact that he himself undermined his entire past research work to come up with those claims. If that's your idea of credibility, fine.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 24):
I insist, there is no Indian threat perception from China. China will not engage in a Nuclear exchange, the two programs developed separately, as a result of world Geopolitics rather than perceived threats. And as it stands now, India would not survive a Chinese Nuclear attack. And I am sure that if there are any missiles pointed to India, they're Pakistan's.

I can't rebut your insistence, besides it hardly strengthens your argument in the slightest to insist it is true. There are recently released conversations between Nixon, Mao and Zhou in the early 1970s on the threat posed to them by India that destroy your statements. Since your Sinophilic arguments essentially imply that they face no threats, don't you agree that China should give up their nuclear weapons ? Surely you wish for China to prosper; it would help them greatly not to spend money on nukes. Go ahead - preach the word. Take credit for the idea, even  Smile
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 25):
I neither have the time nor inclination to respond to every little error, particularly since it is tangential to the thread topic:

Fine, but know that my verbose generalization and innacuracies is supported by a number of sources I did not quote on what I wrote. I am not an expert in Indian nuclear weapons nor do I particularly care about it. But what I wrote is supported, maybe by source different than yours, but in an Nuclear program, a lot of guesses and guesstimates have to be done.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 25):
b) You need to follow the recent India-US nuclear deal if you want a better idea on the size of our arsenal. Suffice to say that the actual weapons grade arsenal is roughly an order of magnitude (10x) larger than originally estimated.

This assertion if laughable. If what you are saying there is correct, then India's arsenal is roughly 3/4 that of the US which is simply not possible.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 25):
Pakistan chose a path that resulted in the criminalization of its society and polity, as a direct result of the drug business that funded the Afghan Jehad. The dregs of that war, OBL included, are what constitute the present 'Taliban' and 'Al-Qaeda'. Despite your verbosity, you really do not know your subcontinental politics if you equate the two countries' political foundations the way you do.

This is one view. Not surprisingly someone of Indian origin would have. I beg to differ. While the two countries' political foundations are definitely different, the fact remains that many of your views about Pakistan that you have written are verbose generalizations, hearsay and inaccuracies. Not once have you provided a source. Fine, you can continue saying whatever you want about Pakistan. But in that case there are two of us here who do not know their subcontinental politics.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 25):
I can't rebut your insistence, besides it hardly strengthens your argument in the slightest to insist it is true. There are recently released conversations between Nixon, Mao and Zhou in the early 1970s on the threat posed to them by India that destroy your statements. Since your Sinophilic arguments essentially imply that they face no threats, don't you agree that China should give up their nuclear weapons ? Surely you wish for China to prosper; it would help them greatly not to spend money on nukes. Go ahead - preach the word. Take credit for the idea, even

Sorry, most of the information about China's nuclear program has consistently been refused to be declassified by the CIA. Whatever conversations may have taken place between Nixon, Mao and Zhou, are that, conversations between statesmen. Whatever happened afterwards is mostly classified. No one can clearly ascertain up to today what was in China's mind in regards to India. However, the facts I have cited and are sourced, have drawn me to conclude what China thought of India. My conclusion may be wrong, but at least I have sources to back it.

You need to read carefully. China will never get rid of its nukes for the same reason the US and Russia won't. They are a source of deterrence, primarily and of defense as a last resort. Plus as any country who has achieved nuclear weapons capabilities knows, once you have developed the technology, they are much cheaper to build and maintain than a Conventional Weapons arsenal. Their economic prosperity is not linked to their nuclear capacity.

On the other hand, India's is. Simply because they have not achieved a cost effective means of producing reliable delivery systems along with inexpensive fissile material. If anyone needs to express the word about how it would help them greatly to stop spending money on nukes, it is you, in your own country.

I have endured from you, the following statements.

1) Mindblowingly ignorant
2) Your entire logic is extremely flawed
3) Verbose generalization
4) I have a flawed idea of credibility
5) Sinophillic
6) Preach the word

Not once have I wrote anythig sarcastic about your posts or even borderline insulting. Yor posts on the other hand, between their one-eyed and biased view of India's situation, have. If you want to have a civil discussion of information and exchange of ideas, please refrain in the future to direct your sarcasm and insults to me. It damages your credibility and frankly, it's useless because it really does nothing to change my views. Ideas do. Good arguments do.
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 4:07 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 26):
This assertion if laughable. If what you are saying there is correct, then India's arsenal is roughly 3/4 that of the US which is simply not possible.

Fissile material, not weapons themselves. The number of weapons we have is small - it reflects the immediate threat perception, but how much fissile material we have is a function of the worst case scenario presumed. The latter is what has been grossly underestimated.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 26):
China will never get rid of its nukes for the same reason the US and Russia won't.

Very good. And India will never get rid of its nukes because China won't. So it's all quite simple and sensible, isn't it ? It doesn't matter if there's actually a threat that the warheads are going to rain down tomorrow. A vague threat perception is enough; even if one were to accept your various insistences, the fact that the Chinese have nukes is threat enough. That their internal affairs are classified is not equal to suggesting they don't feel a threat at all.

Quoting AR385,reply-26:
Their economic prosperity is not linked to their nuclear capacity.On the other hand, India's is. Simply because they have not achieved a cost effective means of producing reliable delivery systems along with inexpensive fissile material.

So on one hand, economic capability does not have a relationship with the capacity to build an arsenal, yet the reason India has allegedly not build up a large arsenal is that our capability is not yet cost effective, in other words, because we can't afford it ? Never mind the contradiction, just the suggestion that you can do a quantitative comparison of the costs entailed in developing weapons technology, something NO one makes available in the public domain, is incredible. No nation makes that sort of data public, and SWAGs don't constitute factual basis.

If you cannot accept someone disagreeing with your statements and bluntly rebutting you, you shouldn't bother to get into a debate, particularly if you aver to my partisanship while denying your own. Having to 'endure' words like 'flawed' and 'generalization' just underlines how weak a foundation your own arguments rest on.
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Wed May 10, 2006 5:16 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 27):
Fissile material, not weapons themselves. The number of weapons we have is small - it reflects the immediate threat perception, but how much fissile material we have is a function of the worst case scenario presumed. The latter is what has been grossly underestimated.

I stated that today India has enough fissile material for 60 to 100 12 kiloton bombs. Is this what you say has been underestimated?

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 27):
So on one hand, economic capability does not have a relationship with the capacity to build an arsenal, yet the reason India has allegedly not build up a large arsenal is that our capability is not yet cost effective, in other words, because we can't afford it ?

Yes it does. Once you have the capability to build the arsenal, producing the arsenal is cheap. But at the beginning, getting that capacity, is incredibly expensive. That is why now that Argentina and Brasil have destroyed their nuclear weapons theoretical and practical R&D labs, plus basic enrichment facilities (refer to post 17 and 21) starting over would be a tremendous drain on resources.

So yes, India's capability is still not cost effective. The term "afford" is relative. It's a matter of how you wish to distribute your resources. Wether India's government can "afford" it or not is a matter of deciding how to allocate scarce resources. In my opinion, those resources can be allocated on other types of economic development.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 27):
the suggestion that you can do a quantitative comparison of the costs entailed in developing weapons technology, something NO one makes available in the public domain, is incredible. No nation makes that sort of data public, and SWAGs don't constitute factual basis.

This is a highly fallacious and misleading statement on your part. I have not done and cannot do a comparison of the costs entailed in developing weapons technology. However, when that technology is pretty much well known its costs can easily be estimated, especially by knowing and understanding the results such technology achieves. That is why bomb tests are a double edge sword in terms of the degree of secrecy the tester desires to keep. Seismograghs and satellites don't lie. There's also espionage, industrial and governmental etc.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 27):
If you cannot accept someone disagreeing with your statements and bluntly rebutting you, you shouldn't bother to get into a debate, particularly if you aver to my partisanship while denying your own. Having to 'endure' words like 'flawed' and 'generalization' just underlines how weak a foundation your own arguments rest on.

I can accept disagreements but I find what you call "blunt rebuttals" sound sarcastic and borderline insulting.

I don't understand what do you mean by "I aver to your partisanship while denying my own" And again, my arguments may rest on different foundations than yours, but their foundations are not weak. Your position on Indian Nuclear capacity, history and present day borders on fanaticism. When you engage in a debate you should try to leave your fanaticism behind.

And don't get me wrong. I have no agenda or partisanship in regards to India. In fact. I grew up around everything Indian since my mother has two PhD's on India. One on History of India in itself, and the other on Indian Contemporary History. She writes and reads sanskrit and speaks Hindi fine. She's written books, She's been to India countless times and loves it. I myself do not share that passion but I know a few things about India and am pretty comfortable with my "subcontinental politics."
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Thu May 11, 2006 12:34 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 28):
So yes, India's capability is still not cost effective. The term "afford" is relative. It's a matter of how you wish to distribute your resources. Wether India's government can "afford" it or not is a matter of deciding how to allocate scarce resources. In my opinion, those resources can be allocated on other types of economic development.

You don't have any data on the resources expended by India or for that matter anyone else. That data is not open source; the 'India/China should have spent its money elsewhere' argument is tangential in the pure cost-effectiveness of the vertical nuclear weapons development . The size of an arsenal is a reflection of what that nation deems necessary, not of its 'cost-effectiveness' or inability to crank out a massproduced arsenal. That very assumption is tied to the MAD doctrine. There is *no* MAD equilibrium in Asia; neither in the Sino-Indian nor Indo-Pakistani contexts. None of these nations have a doctrine whose concepts are based on MAD - a construct entirely meant to define the US-USSR arms race in scholastic terms.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 28):
Seismograghs and satellites don't lie. There's also espionage, industrial and governmental etc.

The western quality of HUMINT on the Indian nuclear program is, simply put, woeful. The same applies to China. Seismographs may not lie, but they are an instrument that needs to be calibrated; no western scholar has geophysical data for the Indian nuclear test range. Nor do they have data on detonation intervals and wave interference during any Indian test. Satellites are very easy to fool, and have been fooled, such as in 1998. A billion dollar milsat is still just a simple camera whose location is easily tracked by a country like India or China, and if you think if their pictures cannot lie, I have one of me kissing Shakira to show you...

Spare me your indignation at my bluntness, and if you want to hide behind your mother, that's entirely your prerogative. When you dismiss my statements as partisanship and 'fanaticism' you're not about to get a polite response.
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Thu May 11, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 29):
Spare me your indignation at my bluntness, and if you want to hide behind your mother, that's entirely your prerogative. When you dismiss my statements as partisanship and 'fanaticism' you're not about to get a polite response.

I was not hiding behind my mother. I was trying to add a friendly note to the discussion. If you want to be this rude, fanatical and arrogant then I'd rather stop debating with you.

After all, if you are capable of saying that HUMINT on the Indian Nuclear Program is woeful you also probably believe that India will soon send a mission to Mars.

I'll add too that India, being the cesspool of corruption that it is, is pretty easy to spy on. At least at the local, state and national government level. That I can tell you from experience.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 29):
There is *no* MAD equilibrium in Asia; neither in the Sino-Indian nor Indo-Pakistani contexts. None of these nations have a doctrine whose concepts are based on MAD - a construct entirely meant to define the US-USSR arms race in scholastic terms.

This is exactly what I have said all along.

Too bad we were not able to communicate. My responses to your posts on this thread stop here.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Fri May 12, 2006 4:49 am

I'm back after a couple of days being away.

What a thread! Much of the India-Pakistan discussion has gone over my head, and I will need to research this matter before contributing further on same.

Thanks for the great information, everyone!
What's fair is fair.
 
AR385
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Fri May 12, 2006 5:36 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 31):
What a thread! Much of the India-Pakistan discussion has gone over my head, and I will need to research this matter before contributing further on same.

Thanks for the great information, everyone!

Well for one you'll find out great friendships were made Big grin
 
BarfBag
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RE: Nuclear Proliferation: Inevitable?

Fri May 12, 2006 10:57 am

Unfortunately the discussion on India, China and Pakistan is mostly tangential to the subject of the thread, and contributes nothing to the thread or the discussion of horizontal nuclear proliferation.

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