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Use of tactical mini nukes acceptabl

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: General History
Forum Name: Modern Warfare
Forum Description: Military history and miltary science from the ''Cold War'' era onward.
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Topic: Use of tactical mini nukes acceptabl
Posted By: malizai_
Subject: Use of tactical mini nukes acceptabl
Date Posted: 10-Aug-2006 at 12:22
Is the use of tactical mini nukes acceptable in your view??
 
Isnt that a very slippery road to go down?


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"We didnt land on Israel, Israel landed on us!!"--Palestinian X
http://www.antiwar.com - antiwar.com
http://www.crimesofwar.org - crimesofwar.org



Replies:
Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 10-Aug-2006 at 12:24
They can't even do regular tactical weapons right.

Now they'll just give the civilians they managed not to kill cancer.


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Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 10-Aug-2006 at 15:02
Any country that uses such weapons starts ww3 and a nuclear apocolypse.

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Posted By: Exarchus
Date Posted: 10-Aug-2006 at 18:53
Totaly for, you can't get better than a Pluton to blow entire Soviet tank divisions in a single blow.


Ho well, the good old times.


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Vae victis!


Posted By: BMC21113
Date Posted: 10-Aug-2006 at 19:06
-NO!

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"To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace"-George Washington
"The art of war is, in the last result, the art of keeping one's freedom of action."-Xenophon


Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 07:46
NO!!
once you cross that line then it would be ok for some other country (or group) to use backpack/suitcase nukes 'tactically'. 


Posted By: Constantine XI
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 09:22
No, that just pushes us closer to the edge of using a full powered one.

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It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.



Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 09:29

Those who think that's acceptable just don't know what they're talkin about or preparing/excusing aggressive war on enemy territory, away from their own homes.
"Totaly for, you can't get better than a Pluton to blow entire Soviet tank divisions in a single blow."-will it be acceptable for you to do this in the centre of Paris? Just like it was acceptable to fight the Wehrmacht's panzer divisions a few decades earlier on the same place.
    


Posted By: Exarchus
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 09:55
Mini Nukes are not designed to strike cities.

That alone answer your question.


If you want to torch a city first it's not a tactical strike but a strategic one, 2nd you don't do it with a mini nuke. The point saying it wouldn't be more acceptable to use mini-nuke over Paris was no different than sending German tanks in Paris doesn't stand (it was farting for the sake of farting).

Beside, with mini-nukes, German tanks (or Soviet ones, since they were meant to blow Soviet tanks) would never come even close to Paris.


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Vae victis!


Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 10:22


"Mini Nukes are not designed to strike cities."-yes their main purpose is to blow tank divisions
The question was if the enemy is in your own city, will you try to stop it at the cost of the total destruction and radioactive polution for decades. Or you think Paris is immune to such events? Excuse me forgot the Maginot line!
The usage of tanks in urban warfare is another topic.
I was reffering to the heroic defence of Paris in WW2, and the annihilation of the german panzers that couldn't manage to come even close to Paris.

     


Posted By: Exarchus
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 11:49
That's stupid and trolling statement.

You could say the same about any weapons; you don't use a mini-nuke on a city, simply it's stupid. Either you want to torch it and you simply nuke it, either if you want to destroy tank divisions you torch them before they reach the city. That's common sense.


PS: Modern nuclear weapons have a very limited fallout, the 50 megatons Tsar Bomba left a very limited amount of radioactivity. Ironicaly the most radioactive sea in the world in the Irish sea, thanks to Sellafield.


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Vae victis!


Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 12:57
Sorry, if i've offended you. When i've mentioned Paris i meant that everywhere you use it it will be a place called by someone "My home". And while a conventional ammo would "only" stir it out the face of the earth-the nuclear will make it uninhabitable for a long.
The target of the mini-nukes are relatively small and well fortified strongholds, command bunkers etc, infact any static and invulnerable to conventional weapons target. The tactical nuclear weapons as a whole, are intended for operative targets: big static targets in the near rear, communication centres, concentration of manpower, ammo depoes etc. But exactly the tank divisions are the less proper target for a nuclear (especially with tactical and mini weapons) attack because:
1)the tanks themselves are difficult, virtually undestructible at ranges greater than 100m (for tactical nuclear weapons), they have a system for hermetization and airfiltering, anti-radioactive shielding-especially the Soviet ones from T55 onward.
2)the tank division is a very big target and usually occupies an area of a small town, while being concentrated for an attack, resting, refueling.
3)you must find it's dislocation near the front line and catch it when it's static.
The question is principal: to use it or not, but where to use it is not a question of choice but of an occasion-near yours or someone's home.


Posted By: Exarchus
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 13:14
Tanks can be destroyed by nuclear weapons, not by the fallout but by the explosion itself. And they have to leave a town at a point.

There are plenty of way to make a tactical nuke to land right on its targets. Even the cold war Hades models were guided by early drones. If the ennemy sends many tank divisions, send as many misssiles each on them. It's always a better solution that:

1. Leaving them conquering you.
2. Torching their cities

Those mention missiles deliver an explosion that's the equivalent of 80,000 tons of TNT, compared to Hiroshima that was 12,000 tons. The explosion alone would be enough to destroy a very large amount of tank. Actually a division, which it was meant to blow. And if it's not enough, then send another one.... it's not like if we were missing of those during the cold war.

Before you ask, yeah by modern standard 80ktons is a mini-nuke when a nuclear ballistic missile hold (at least) 1mton (the equivalent of 1,000,000 tons of TNT).

The mini-nukes you are refering to, specificaly, are bunker-busters bomb. These have a completly different purpose, and I wouldn't support their uses. Just like I don't support fragmentation bombs (those that end up leaving tons of anti-personnal mines and were used extensively in Iraq by the coalition, these are much more weapons of massive destruction that mini-nukes).

But to the question, overall, on all type of mini-nuke I say yes.

If the ennemy tanks arrive in your capital, you don't nuke your own city. You drop the whole stock on his country. As De Gaulle: "in a few decades we'll have enough power to kill 80 million Russians, you don't attack someone that can kill 80 million Russians even if you can kill 800 million French, accepting there are 800 million French of course". Those mini-nukes can be the last chance before a conventional defeat and the escalation to complete destruction.

But we never reached that point, thanks to those nuclear weapons and the dissuasion behind.

Tactical nuke, in that order, could be considered the last warning, if the ennemy can overcome them then it's the mutual destruction.


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Vae victis!


Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 11-Aug-2006 at 14:07
     Well generally it's not a question of Kts, classification to mini, micro and macro nuclear weapons. What's the difference between the usage of 10 micro or one big nukes? That's just a terminology. More important is the psychological and moral barrier for the use of nuclear weapons. Once passed, the end will be total annihilation. You may say that micro-nukes can be used only against terrorists, "evil" states, when the opposite side cannot afford counter strike or don't posses capable military potential to answer, as the Pentagon officials propose. It's a question of judgement and your own interest who's the "evil"-today it's Al-Qaeda, Saddam's Iraq, N. Korea, tomorrow it may be Red China, Jean-Marie Le Pen's France or Putin's Russia and whether to deliever the weapons of ultimate punishment(take a look at the Hiroshima thread)


Posted By: Illuminati
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 04:17
I see alot of people talking about how they would start WW3 and the such. I'd think that if a tactical nuke is used, there's a good chance WW3 is already raging. I can't see a weapon like this ever used except in the case of a total war.

If the use of tactical nukes against your enemy does them more damage then their backlash does you, then YES, their use is completely acceptable. There should be some rules to war, but for the most part, morals don't belong in war. Your objective is to win. Keeping in mind, that tactical nukes aren't designed to be used against cities. If you wanted to take out a city, you'd use a conventional strategic nuke. tactical nukes are for use on battlefields against enemy forces.

Remember, NATO Cold war dictrine called for the use of tactical nukes against advancing Soviet Armored divisions. Everyone in NATO knew it was the only possible way to stop a Soviet invasion force. A war with the USSR was seen as a total war, where their use would be legitimate. If there was simply a small border conflict like we see in Kashmir sometimes, then the use of tactical nukes would be far too disproportionate of a weapon to use.

Also, I don't agree with the premise of this poll. It isn't precise enough. There are many scenarios where the use of these weapons would be way over the top, and there are scenarios where they wouldn't be. It's ridiculous to try and apply some all-encompassing moral standard to armed conflict, as there are many diffferent degrees of conflicts.


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 04:43
The use of a nuclear weapon has inherently strategic consequences. So any advantage that it gives would be transitory. If a whole corps gets popped in a minute, the other guy will retaliate in some manner. There is no way he can ignore it.
 
And what is seen as a tactical strike by the attacker, could well be seen as a strategic one by the defender. So while say India may well think a nuclear strike on say Karachi Naval base would be a tactical strike, the citizens of karachi and the Gov of pakistan would likely see it as a strategic strike, and retaliate as such.
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Illuminati
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 04:49
Quote The use of a nuclear weapon has inherently strategic consequences. So any advantage that it gives would be transitory. If a whole corps gets popped in a minute, the other guy will retaliate in some manner. There is no way he can ignore it.

True. Which is why they would only be effective if country A believes that even affer a counter-strike, country B, whom they attacked would be worse off. In the case of these weapons, you'd best know your enemy.

Quote
And what is seen as a tactical strike by the attacker, could well be seen as a strategic one by the defender. So while say India may well think a nuclear strike on say Karachi Naval base would be a tactical strike, the citizens of karachi and the Gov of pakistan would likely see it as a strategic strike, and retaliate as such.

In the example you presented, yes. But I could also come up with examples where it would be the other way around. I 'm trying to steer clear of specific scenarios because when dealing with war, we could come up with infinite scenarios. Again, their use would be completely dependant on the situation, and most importantly, what type fo retaliation you believe your enemy is capable of and willing to do.


Posted By: Cezar
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 14:23
Well, we might use the tacnukes to ged rid of those pesky martians who invaded us. Or where they from Venus? I don't remember exactly but I do know they were green. Oh yeah, and if you pour sea water on them they melt. Or they grow taller. Nukes! That would teach them to come after our women!


Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 15:15

Mininukes probably aren't the best way to go about winning a war, as it poses to great a risk of full scale strategic retaliation.  The development of such weapons might be beneficial from a political perspective, but I don't think their use would be wise in all but the gravest of circumstances, or as retaliation.

PS-are you talking about the new type the USA is developing with less than 5 kT yield or the more run-of-the-mill tactical nukes?



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Member of IAEA


Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 17:23

Originally posted by Illuminati Illuminati wrote:


Remember, NATO Cold war dictrine called for the use of tactical nukes against advancing Soviet Armored divisions. Everyone in NATO knew it was the only possible way to stop a Soviet invasion force.


If you post this on a "Warsaw pact vs NATO tank battles" topic in any tank fans forum (even here, in Modern warfare) the reaction from the US and UK members will be fierce


Posted By: Desperado
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 17:28

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:


PS-are you talking about the new type the USA is developing with less than 5 kT yield or the more run-of-the-mill tactical nukes?


Yes, that's the original reason for the thread, I think.
Not the "tank divisions blowers".
    


Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 21:28
Just trying to make sure.

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Member of IAEA


Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 15-Aug-2006 at 11:39
Originally posted by Illuminati Illuminati wrote:

Quote The use of a nuclear weapon has inherently strategic consequences. So any advantage that it gives would be transitory. If a whole corps gets popped in a minute, the other guy will retaliate in some manner. There is no way he can ignore it.

True. Which is why they would only be effective if country A believes that even affer a counter-strike, country B, whom they attacked would be worse off. In the case of these weapons, you'd best know your enemy.

Quote
And what is seen as a tactical strike by the attacker, could well be seen as a strategic one by the defender. So while say India may well think a nuclear strike on say Karachi Naval base would be a tactical strike, the citizens of karachi and the Gov of pakistan would likely see it as a strategic strike, and retaliate as such.

In the example you presented, yes. But I could also come up with examples where it would be the other way around. I 'm trying to steer clear of specific scenarios because when dealing with war, we could come up with infinite scenarios. Again, their use would be completely dependant on the situation, and most importantly, what type fo retaliation you believe your enemy is capable of and willing to do.
 
I admit my limitations on discussing military matters and am braving the field by making the assertion that the cases highlihted by illuminati are more likely to be pulled off if only one side has the nukes. If both sides have it and one side brings it into use, than the outcome will be very much the case of fire at will from the other side. As sparten has said the enemy reaction is not based on your objectives and once that line is crossed it is nuclear war. Curse the day they were developed.
 
BTW, i think there have been some really good posts in this thread.Thumbs Up


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"We didnt land on Israel, Israel landed on us!!"--Palestinian X
http://www.antiwar.com - antiwar.com
http://www.crimesofwar.org - crimesofwar.org


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 15-Aug-2006 at 12:31
A nuclear strike is such an earth shattering event, the other guy has to react, in whatever way he can, whether ot not he has nuke. He could use poison gas, a fairly easy to manufacture, and urban areas, very devastating WMD.
 
Ah the progress of man!!
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 06-Jun-2008 at 15:51

The use of force is always a political decision. And right now, it is politically impossible to use nukes. Hence they have no use.

 
BTW someone move this to Geopolitical Institute. I seem to have lost mod powers here.
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Travis Congleton
Date Posted: 06-Jun-2008 at 17:03
Voted before I understood the question.  I voted no (can't quite explain what I thought the question meant).
 
But to the question of 'Is the use of tactical mini-nukes acceptable in your view?'  My answer to that is, yes.  Any amount of force, no matter how lethal, should be at disposal at any given time.
 


Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 06-Jun-2008 at 18:21
Chemical and biological weapons can be much more difficult to 'control' than small yield nuclear weapons.  Other than the 'technological' advantage of obtaining a relatively high yield from a smaller package, the target probably wouldn't really appreciate the difference between getting hit by a 'small' nuke vs. a large conventional weapon.   I appreciate the arguments to the effect that, in a sense, a 'threshold' is being crossed by using any 'nuclear' weapon.   However, in a 'moral' sense I have difficulty accepting any argument that says it is OK to kill one way (e.g. a massive fuel-air explosion) but not another (mini-nuke).

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: Travis Congleton
Date Posted: 06-Jun-2008 at 18:43
Agreed.
 
If you don't want atrocities; don't war.


Posted By: Jonathan4290
Date Posted: 06-Jun-2008 at 23:32

I voted no because of the long(er) term effects of any nuclear device. I see a difference between killing your enemy and killing your enemy, his children and grandchildren through radiation; he's not always going to be your enemy.

I can't understand why any country would want to use any sort of tactical nuke. Even if it was like 0.0000000001 kiloton, the headline would still say "[Country] uses nukes" and would be crucified by the international community.
 
However, I've read that the US uses some uranium-based weapons such as artillery shells and armour which are having a seriously negative effect on everyone's health involved.


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Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 02:36
The US was using 'depleted uranium' armour piercing rounds.  It was largely about the high density, however, there was some radiation generated as a 'side effect'.  The US seems to get 'crucified' in some quarters no matter what it does, even using (relatively) high precision guided conventional munitions.  Not that people want to hear about it, but with recent weapons development, the radiation is 'minimized' relative to the size of the blast.  The early nuclear weapons were relatively inefficient and 'dirty'.  Chemical and biological weapons also have wide spread and lasting effects, as well as being much hard to 'target' narrowly.

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: Travis Congleton
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 12:43
Originally posted by Jonathan4290 Jonathan4290 wrote:

I see a difference between killing your enemy and killing your enemy, his children and grandchildren through radiation; he's not always going to be your enemy.
First Mentality: 'You phuck with me and I will kill you, your children and your grand children'.
 
Second Mentality: 'ok, we are now enemies.  Let's fight fair and honorable.  What rules of engagements would you like to fight under?  Hey, you're not fightin' fair.  Why are you doing this?  Come on, let's negotiate.  I are willing to compromise with you.'
 
Who appears weaker?  Who is more intimidating?  Remember, though war is just another form of political action, so is intimidation.  Every nation needs to realize that if mess with your nation, its a No-Holds Bar event.


Posted By: Aster Thrax Eupator
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 13:13

No - a nuke is still a nuke, and mini-nukes are still immensely powerful and fallout can spread to other areas. When we say "tactical mini nukes" we only mean small to the comparison of the cruise missiles and ICBMs of today - they're still about the same size as little boy and fat man.



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"Don't raise your voice - we all know how lovely it is!"
Triano, in "Mosterella" by Plautus! Read it...now!


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 15:24
"Its not how big it is, but how you use it". A 100 MT bomb on an armoured division is a tactical strike (not to mention really cool fireworks). A 1Kt bomb on a city is a strategic strike. During the cold war, several Pershing missile designed for use on the battlefield had warheads of several hundred Kt, and were tactical, warhead on Posidon SLBM were of 50 kt and were strategic since the use was strategic.

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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 16:00
Several germs and pests can end the any country ever producing grain for centuries, in my opinion this and chemicals are far more useful since they have more fear factor. Of course it all depend, if you are willing to accept that your enemy use WMDs on you then use whatever WMD you want. But crying foul when your enemy, which by the way you chose to be its enemy not the other way round, is trying to acquire the same technology you threaten to use against him is a bit hypocritical espcially that your official stance is "no for WMD or their use".
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Jonathan4290
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 17:37
Originally posted by Travis Congleton Travis Congleton wrote:

Originally posted by Jonathan4290 Jonathan4290 wrote:

I see a difference between killing your enemy and killing your enemy, his children and grandchildren through radiation; he's not always going to be your enemy.
First Mentality: 'You phuck with me and I will kill you, your children and your grand children'.
 
Second Mentality: 'ok, we are now enemies.  Let's fight fair and honorable.  What rules of engagements would you like to fight under?  Hey, you're not fightin' fair.  Why are you doing this?  Come on, let's negotiate.  I are willing to compromise with you.'
 
Who appears weaker?  Who is more intimidating?  Remember, though war is just another form of political action, so is intimidation.  Every nation needs to realize that if mess with your nation, its a No-Holds Bar event.
 
You make a great point and are exactly right. This is why I believe that leaders would never actually use nukes. Instead they are just making it seem they have the first mentality for a strong and threatening appearance.


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Like great battles? How about when they're animated for easy viewing?
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Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 19:08
It is not that "tactical" nukes can't be used in battlefields. They can. The small problem is that if the enemy retaliates with hydrogen bombs, nobody would complain.
 
In fact, in these days, if people have not noticed it, it is impossible to start wars between superpowers simply because they will degenate in massive nuclear strikes. It is quite easy for Russia or China to blew up Europe or the United States out of existence in a single afternoon of boring video gamming. They won't attack simply because they know theirs own country would evaporate in the process.
 
Today wars are mainly between superpower and small rebelious third war countries. It can't be otherwise. Not even a strong warrior platform like a U.S. carrier can stand a single strike of the weakest nuke.
 
For people nostalgic about old war massacres, devasted cities and concentration camps, let invite them to aliviate theirs boredoom playing Sega, or voluntiering as mercenary in Africa. The rest of us, rational and reasonable people, let's try to stop wars, cut military expending, and send militaries to do something useful for a change -working, for example- instead of training to kill people.
 
 
 
 
 


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: Jonathan4290
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 20:56
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Not even a strong warrior platform like a U.S. carrier can stand a single strike of the weakest nuke.
 
To apply your point to a broader context: Robert McNamara stated that he believes nuclear parity between the US and Russia existed even in 1962 when the US had 5000 nukes to Russia's 300. The reason is that no people will support a government that is willing to accept a nuclear strike on itself.


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Like great battles? How about when they're animated for easy viewing?
Visit my site, The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps at www.theartofbattle.com.


Posted By: Travis Congleton
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 22:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

For people nostalgic about old war massacres, devasted cities and concentration camps,...
Define 'old war'.  Are you telling me that *new* wars don't have massacres, devastated cities and/or concentration camps?
 
Is World War I old?  World War II?  Are they in the same category of old as, let us say, the Punic Wars or Thirty Years' War?
 
Is the Vietnam war considered old?  Only 50K+ American soldiers killed (not including in this list is the wounded; permanent injuries either physical or mental).  But what about the 1 million plus casaulties on the Vietnam population.  Is that number acceptable to you?
 
I think the only people that are nostalgic about the old wars are either dead, still in the military, or incapable of being a proficient soldier.  I haven't seen any of these people (at least not on the forums I have been on), that wish to see the good ol' wars of past years.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 23:13
Very simple, Old Wars are those where nuclear weapons are not involved. The first time we met a real "New" War, I am afraid will be the last.
 
With respect to the U.S. in Vietnam, Russia in Afganistan and other more recent cases  where a superpower has impossed its will against poor countries, of course the casualities have been many for the victims of the ambitions of the superpowers.
 
That's why many poor countries today see nukes as the only way to convince the U.S. or Russia to leave them alone. It is know  they don't attack people that has nukes.
 
 


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 23:18
Originally posted by Jonathan4290 Jonathan4290 wrote:

... 
To apply your point to a broader context: Robert McNamara stated that he believes nuclear parity between the US and Russia existed even in 1962 when the US had 5000 nukes to Russia's 300. The reason is that no people will support a government that is willing to accept a nuclear strike on itself.
 
Absolutely.
 
But is not only people's will what goes on in here. No people will survive a government that launch a nuclear strike; not even the people that makes the very government! That makes them to become rational.


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 13:59
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

It is not that "tactical" nukes can't be used in battlefields. They can. The small problem is that if the enemy retaliates with hydrogen bombs, nobody would complain....
If by 'hydrogen bombs' you mean escalation to all out strategic nuclear warfare, then I'm not sure there would be anyone left to 'complain'.  However,  I'm not sure it's really that simple.   There was quite a bit of 'study' of potential 'escalation scenarios'.  If the decision making is 'rational', then an escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange should be based on a high level threat to national interests, or even existence.  Take a Cold War era Warsaw Pact vs. NATO in West Germany scenario.  The Soviets breakthrough with an armoured division and NATO, too thin on the ground to 'contain' it drop a tac nuke on it.  Do the Soviets then launch an all out strategic nuclear strike on the US, secure in the knowledge that 'world opinion' will not condemn them for it because their poor Guards armoured division threatening to cross the Rhine was the first 'victim' of a tac nuke strike?  If they are acting rationally, it would be the US retaliation that they would be worried about, and not 'world opinion'.  Retaliation for the tac nuke strike would more likely take the form of an incremental escalation.  Say a chemical weapons attack on a NATO airbase.

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 15:24
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

If by 'hydrogen bombs' you mean escalation to all out strategic nuclear warfare, then I'm not sure there would be anyone left to 'complain'.  However,  I'm not sure it's really that simple.   There was quite a bit of 'study' of potential 'escalation scenarios'.  If the decision making is 'rational', then an escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange should be based on a high level threat to national interests, or even existence.  Take a Cold War era Warsaw Pact vs. NATO in West Germany scenario.  The Soviets breakthrough with an armoured division and NATO, too thin on the ground to 'contain' it drop a tac nuke on it.  Do the Soviets then launch an all out strategic nuclear strike on the US, secure in the knowledge that 'world opinion' will not condemn them for it because their poor Guards armoured division threatening to cross the Rhine was the first 'victim' of a tac nuke strike?  If they are acting rationally, it would be the US retaliation that they would be worried about, and not 'world opinion'.  Retaliation for the tac nuke strike would more likely take the form of an incremental escalation.  Say a chemical weapons attack on a NATO airbase.
yes, but the Russians had made it clear that they did not recognize the difference between a tactical strike and a strategic one; they said that the nukes were inherently a strategic weapon and its use would have strategoic consequences.
 
And even if the attacks are tactical the effects may not be for the other side. Observe
 
So the Russians are miffed about the nuking. "Here we are minding their own business, invading w europe, and we get attacked liked that. So sad, retaliation must come comrade. yes yes, measured response, we will only attack military targets. The NATO submarine base at Holy Loch it is, sorry about Glasgow being so near and downwind. But hey."
 
The UK will respond something like "okay chaps, not really cricket, we have to strike back. Military tagets it is. Say good bye to your Baltic fleet bases. Pity about Leningrad".
 
And so............
 
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 08:08
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

yes, but the Russians had made it clear that they did not recognize the difference between a tactical strike and a strategic one; they said that the nukes were inherently a strategic weapon and its use would have strategoic consequences.
 
And even if the attacks are tactical the effects may not be for the other side. Observe
 
So the Russians are miffed about the nuking. "Here we are minding their own business, invading w europe, and we get attacked liked that. So sad, retaliation must come comrade. yes yes, measured response, we will only attack military targets. The NATO submarine base at Holy Loch it is, sorry about Glasgow being so near and downwind. But hey."
 
The UK will respond something like "okay chaps, not really cricket, we have to strike back. Military tagets it is. Say good bye to your Baltic fleet bases. Pity about Leningrad".
 
And so............
 
 
Yes, the Soviets 'said' that they did not recognize a distinction between 'tactical' and 'strategic' weapons.  However, that was largely self-serving, seeing as tac nukes were one of the few weapons systems where NATO actually had an advantage.  Further, the Soviets position was that chemical weapons were more in the 'class' of conventional weapons than tac nukes were.  Needless to NATO disagreed with that stance.  To further complicate matters, France and the UK had control of their own 'theatre' level nukes.  So using tac nukes in the 'battlefield' zone of 'Germany' (who had no nukes of their own) was one thing, attacking bases in the UK or France was a different matter.  My point was that Soviet decision making would presumably be rational, and they were quite capable of realizing potential consequences.  So it was a matter of whether they felt that the loss of the Guards armoured division crossing the Rhine was worth retaliating for in a manner which would lead to the loss of their own cities.  Also note that it was the Soviets who backed down during the Cuban missile crisis, when the US was willing to go to the brink. 


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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 17:15
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

...
 
Yes, the Soviets 'said' that they did not recognize a distinction between 'tactical' and 'strategic' weapons.  However, that was largely self-serving, seeing as tac nukes were one of the few weapons systems where NATO actually had an advantage.  Further, the Soviets position was that chemical weapons were more in the 'class' of conventional weapons than tac nukes were.  Needless to NATO disagreed with that stance.  To further complicate matters, France and the UK had control of their own 'theatre' level nukes.  So using tac nukes in the 'battlefield' zone of 'Germany' (who had no nukes of their own) was one thing, attacking bases in the UK or France was a different matter.  My point was that Soviet decision making would presumably be rational, and they were quite capable of realizing potential consequences.  So it was a matter of whether they felt that the loss of the Guards armoured division crossing the Rhine was worth retaliating for in a manner which would lead to the loss of their own cities.  Also note that it was the Soviets who backed down during the Cuban missile crisis, when the US was willing to go to the brink. 
 
It is hard for me to understand how people still plays around with using nuclear bombs in wars. Next time somebody do will be the end.
 
The only "useful" application of "tactical" nukes is in terrorist attacks to the cities of developed countries.
 
Conventional armies aren't useful to play wars as it used to be, because the next nuke war won't left a soldier alive. Get real.
 
The only purpose of large armies and defense budgets of certain superpowers today is to use force to dominate and abusse of poor countries. There is no other job for militaries today that work as oppresors of third world nations, torture disidents, fight terrorism and march in sunday parades.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 17:44
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
It is hard for me to understand how people still plays around with using nuclear bombs in wars. Next time somebody do will be the end.
 
The only "useful" application of "tactical" nukes is in terrorist attacks to the cities of developed countries.
 
Conventional armies aren't useful to play wars as it used to be, because the next nuke war won't left a soldier alive. Get real.
 
The only purpose of large armies and defense budgets of certain superpowers today is to use force to dominate and abusse of poor countries. There is no other job for militaries today that work as oppresors of third world nations, torture disidents, fight terrorism and march in sunday parades. 
 
I am being 'real', certainly more 'realistic' than those that claim any use of a 'nuclear' weapon in any context anywhere will lead immediately and automatically to a devestating all out strategic nuclear exchange.  A small tac nuke being used by terrorists is certainly a possiblity, although I would not use the words 'useful application' to describe such a scenario.  There is certainly a 'threshold' that exists with regard to the use of any nuclear weapon, due to world opinion for instance.  However, that will always be 'offset' by the interests of the parties involved in any incident.  Although 'world opinion' may be against it, the national population of a particular nation may 'demand' nuclear retaliation.  National decision makers hopefully / presumably would more rationally consider national interests and possible consequences.  Your closing paragraph does not appear to be related the current debate, just the 'standard' anti-American diatribe.


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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 19:09
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

... 
I am being 'real', certainly more 'realistic' than those that claim any use of a 'nuclear' weapon in any context anywhere will lead immediately and automatically to a devestating all out strategic nuclear exchange. 
 
There is no distinction between 'tactical' and 'strategic' nukes. They all kill people the same way and produce the same environmental damage. Only in the minds of militaristic engineers could exist a distinction. Once the first nuke explodes, there is no way to stop the pandemonium that follows.
 
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

... 
A small tac nuke being used by terrorists is certainly a possiblity, although I would not use the words 'useful application' to describe such a scenario.  There is certainly a 'threshold' that exists with regard to the use of any nuclear weapon, due to world opinion for instance.  However, that will always be 'offset' by the interests of the parties involved in any incident.  Although 'world opinion' may be against it, the national population of a particular nation may 'demand' nuclear retaliation.  National decision makers hopefully / presumably would more rationally consider national interests and possible consequences. 
 
Hopefully, they don't retaliate on the wrong people, as usually happens
 
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

... 
Your closing paragraph does not appear to be related the current debate, just the 'standard' anti-American diatribe.
 
It was an anti-militaristic diatribe... If you want to apply it to Americans, it is your responsability Wink


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: deadkenny
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 19:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

There is no distinction between 'tactical' and 'strategic' nukes. They all kill people the same way and produce the same environmental damage. Only in the minds of militaristic engineers could exist a distinction. Once the first nuke explodes, there is no way to stop the pandemonium that follows.
 
Hopefully, they don't retaliate on the wrong people, as usually happens
 
It was an anti-militaristic diatribe... If you want to apply it to Americans, it is your responsability Wink
 
I wasn't trying to establish that terms such as tactical or strategic were absolutes.  However, the distinction between hitting a frontline combat unit with a 'small yield' nuke vs. hitting an entire city with a high yield nuke would have been quite apparent to the decision makers.  You comment regarding high and low yields (i.e. read strategic and tactical) producing the 'same environmental damage' is simply wrong.  You also ignore that chemical weapons could easily do far more damage than a single small yield nuclear weapon.  You are also incorrect in your assumption that once a single nuke was used that there would be 'no control' over what happened subsequently.  The decision makers would still be in control, and their decision would determine the subsequent course of events. 
 
'Innocents' inevitably end up getting 'caught in the crossfire' one way or the other.  If the Warsaw Pact had invaded densely populated western Europe, the civilian population would have suffered greatly, even if both sides had scrupulously limited themselves to using 'conventional' weapons.  Those on the 'anti-nuclear' bandwagon often fail to appreciate the destructive power of the large 'conventional' warheads.  The Soviet artillery / rocketry was quite capable of wiping small towns off the face of the Earth.  I doubt the dead would have appreciated the difference between being the victim of a chemical reaction vs. a nuclear reaction.
 
Regarding your final comment, you 'specified' a 'superpower', so that does tend to rather limit the field. Wink


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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 22:16
Yes, chemical weapons could be very nasty. It is acceptable to blew up people and dismembered them by bombing, actually. Using napalm for the same job or muzard gas, however, is not acceptable.
 
In my case I don't accept war, less the military industry that drains resources that could be used for more interesting ends than kill people.
 
Don't ask me why, but somehow people is not in love with war, anymore, less with military people.
 
In case of military of underdevelop countries, having lived under Pinochet I don't appreciate them much either. They don't have the power of destroying the world, though, which is in theirs favor, I guess.
 


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: Jonathan4290
Date Posted: 11-Jun-2008 at 01:58

Yaknow what's a big waste of everything . . . space exploration. A bit of a digression I know.



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Like great battles? How about when they're animated for easy viewing?
Visit my site, The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps at www.theartofbattle.com.


Posted By: Władysław Warnencz
Date Posted: 28-Jun-2008 at 12:41
As a christian i can't support any kind of weapon for killing.


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 30-Jun-2008 at 16:27
Christians have hardly been backward in inventing, improving and using weapons!!!
 
Is bare hands ok ?


Posted By: bagelofdoom
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2008 at 08:57
The question given above the poll, whether the development or use of tactical nuclear weapons was acceptable probably needs some work.  I find myself split by its wording.  While I view the development of such weapons as acceptable.  This belief comes about because in order to maintain a convincing deterrent a country must be able to make reasonable threats and responding in kind to a tactical nuclear strike is a reasonable threat, destroying an entire country, and in the process killing all of the hostages which prevent the other country from doing the same to you is not.  I would not even be totally opposed to the use of such weapons if other WMD had been used first by the other side.  However, the first use of any type of WMD, especially now that we know exactly what an atomic bomb can do strikes me as very much unacceptable on a moral level.  So long story short, I'm not sure how to vote in this poll.  I'll probably go with yes because my contrary personality demands that I take the choice that will make the most people mad.  


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2008 at 14:45
Well, I was serving in the Armed forces (Army) in Germany at the height of the Cold War.
 
I can assure you that battlefield nuclear weapons were expected to be deployed and used and we were taught how to dig in to the best effect


Posted By: nova roma
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2008 at 20:31


Davy Crockett Bomb

The only weapon guaranteed to kill the operator at minimum range settings. LET'S ROLL!



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