The Argument About Thermonuclear War 50 Years Ago

"Trump said at a Pentagon meeting in July that he wanted to reverse the disarmament of recent decades and bring back the American arsenal to its 1960s high point of 32,000 weapons,NBC News reported Wednesday."

Trump wants to return our nuclear capacity to the level of the mid sixties. This is what the arguments about thermonuclear war looked and sounded like back then....

Trump has absolutely no historical perspective....He's clueless:

Fail Safe, 1964

            Dr. Strangelove, 1964

Trump has no idea of who or what he's messing with...

Our problem is that any order he issues to launch a nuclear attack cannot be countermanded by anyone other than him.


Views: 79

Comment by koshersalaami on October 12, 2017 at 10:10am

There would be no difference if we returned to 1960's levels other than a heightening of tension. We have enormous overcapacity now. We can launch in excess of 1,400 missiles on short notice and we have a lot more than that stockpiled. 

If we look at the US and what kind of strike it would take to make the country pretty much non-operational, imagine taking out every city with a major league sports team football, baseball, basketball, hockey), keeping in mind that nuclear fallout would mean these cities would be impossible to travel through without radiation protection. Look at a map of the interstate highway system and you'll see what kind of difference that would make. We're talking maybe fifty cities. Because warheads are bigger than they used to be, we're not looking at Hiroshima. 

One Ohio class submarine carries 20 missiles, each with plenty of range. But that's not twenty warheads, it's twenty missiles. They're all MIRVed, meaning they can each deliver multiple warheads to independent targets. In this case a dozen each. The smallest warhead is 100 kilotons. Some are a few times that. Hiroshima was fourteen. 

If it would hypothetically take fifty warheads to leave the US without any major cities, how many warheads would it take to make Russia or China not a factor any more? 100 each? 100 to each is less than the capacity of one Ohio class submarine. 

We have fourteen, hiding in oceans around the world. Most would presumably survive a first strike.

That's before we get to other subs, ICBM's, or bombers. 

From a functional standpoint, we don’t need 1960's levels. All that would be is redundant. It's expensive posturing. 

Comment by alsoknownas on October 12, 2017 at 10:14am
Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 12, 2017 at 10:42am

ty AKA

Comment by Steel Breeze on October 13, 2017 at 4:09am

Kosh,i've tried explaining our overwhelming nuclear capabilities to sum i know,like u jus did....hopeless,they still gnash their teeth over country X havin one or a couple of weapons...

finally told one guy "ok,let's get face to face,you get a bb gun,i got a 12 gauge loaded with 000 buck....get it now?"

Comment by koshersalaami on October 13, 2017 at 6:05am

The problem with a country having one or two is whether they're threatening to use them. Until Trump (post WWII), we didn't have that problem among major powers. More to the point, when the leadership of the country believes that martyrdom leads to paradise, the question becomes whether the deterrent works. Or if the leadership is stark raving nuts. Those are the theoretical issues with Iran and North Korea. In actuality, the Iranians are probably too pragmatic for that, limiting the risk of their getting nuclear weapons. 

Comment by Ron Powell on October 13, 2017 at 6:58am

"Or if the leadership is stark raving nuts..."

Unless I miss my guess, Tillerson and Mattis are ready to pull the 25th Amendment plug on Trump for that very reason..


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