As per the suggesiton of some mebers I created a seperate thread for this post.
My Macro view is this.
The big players in the game are the US,China,Russia,the EU all the other states are just proxies. All of them face some kind of major issue that threathens the status quo debt, oil shortgaes, threat to power. The end game will defintley be the resource war or resource race between these nations. All of these super states happen to be nuclear powers and all of them happen to be resource hungry. Only one of them can supply itself with oil (Russia). In the end, the amount they owe each other is very irrelevant, the amount their currency is worth is irrelevant and how much physical gold they have does not matter. Their armies are relevant, their control of the population is relevant and their reource leeching networks are relevant. A very simple end game.
Side note: Think of yourslef as a super state. How resilient are you ? Do you have farmer friends ? Doctor friends ? Do you know the Mayor of your town ? Do you have control over the people that will depend on you (example: will they just waste resources, or will they be frugal) ? Do you have the means to protect what you have and what you will have ? Do you have the means to protect your supply lines ?
So in the end, the country with the best combination of army, a resource extraciton network and diplomacy will become the world dominat super power for good. My theory is that some super states will gang up on the biggest one or vice versa. How do we prepare for such a scenario ?
The assumption, that the Goverment will fail just because the dollar will fail is frail. The idea that, the US crediotrs will destory the US because they will sell treasuires on the cheap is faulty. If Japan sells the treasuries, Japan bonds will also loose value it's a loose loose scenario. Look at Greece, there are people who have not been paid for months, they still show up at work. That is the only thing that keeps them sane and gives them hope.
The EU, Japan and the US all have huge deficits, when you get to a certain point (trillions) the details do not really matter as we all know these debts cannot be paid back. What matters is the physical assets that each of these country holds. (Isn't that what we tell ourselves hold physical assets?) I would not want to see the EU or Japan forcefully asking the US to pay their money back. It will be the same as asking the school bully for the loan you gave him last week. The only thing he will pay you backwith it is a black eye.
The only problem in my reasoning is nukes. These are a game changer, but somehow I suspect there is technology to neutralise these weapons safelly. (Maybe wishfull thinking, but I hope some scientist has invented an anti nuclear weapon ..)
Your thoughts and critical comments are most welcome as I cannot see any other way for this current world to end.
I would ask the peakprosperity team not to delete this post, if they do please send me a pm as to why and I will not post similar posts in the future.
My first reaction with this one is STAY OUT OF IT. I'm too old to fight wars, but my son isn't. He would get drafted over my dead body.
I enjoy the occasions in which we agree.
In my opinion, the only way to even come close to dealing with a modern world war is absolute avoidance. This is going to mean isolation in some ways, but many, many things have changed since we last faced a world war, and that is now perhaps one of the riskiest options.
I don't have answers, but here are some things to consider, if you want to stare into this abyss:
1. Modern Warfare is not as kinetic as it was in the past.
This is to say, it's less about men attacking other men after scouting out their positions and taking strategic strongpoints.
Today, war is about intelligence, and precision attacks. The ways we gather this intelligence requires almost zero threat to human life. Drones, satellites, and very effective HUMINT will reveal your whereabouts. So, if you think you can isolate to avoid, chances are you'll be seen more quickly by trying to get "off the grid".
2. In a resource war, you'll not only be targeted by all.
The more you have, the more you have to lose, simply put. An isolated person with a family farm is not going to stay hidden for long. Civil impacts will be accute, and probably precurse the overall blowout.
3. We have never had a "world war".
We've had wars that occured on a variety of continents, but never a "true" world war. This one, when it occurs, will be. With the exploitation that has occured in most of the more resource dependant countries is largely on the downhill side of the Hubbard Curve, those who are technologically simple have significantly "better" proportions of resource wealth. Afghanistan, Africa and South America will be the stage for the conflict's most contentious battles, and as always, the civil populations will suffer dramatically.
4. Military actions in Western societies will largely be policing.
We've done most of the work for an invading power already - we have cameras everywhere. Our cities are laid out to rapidly transport goods (and commodities) and our societies are used to authority and enforcement.
5. The war will start out as an extremely technical onslaught.
Why doesn't China focus on fleets?
Why do they look to space, instead? What's there, and how could they use it to disrupt our ability to maneuver? Our ICBMs? How would a technological attack on our satellites, grids, and monetary system "defuse" the "American problem" for an invading force?
These are my primary thoughts on this scenario. It's truly a "worst case", with no "win" being possible, all you can do is mitigate the amount of bad. I'll be looking forward to contrary thoughts and opinions.
I pretty much agree with your assessment and I’m glad that you started this thread. I think we’re in for one of two things, World War or World Government and I’m not sure which one I prefer. I think we’re being governed to death already and a world government would be much worse than our federal government. I also doubt that it makes much difference which of our two very poor choices for president, is in office. They both want to increase the power of government and I have no doubt both believe that we should be under a world government, whatever they say in their speeches.
I too enjoy the occasions in which we agree... Future wars will be unlike any other. I've often thought for instance that to neutralise Australia, all you'd need is eight missiles to destroy our refineries. Soon you'll only need six, as two will be closed next year! Ditto with power stations... it'd probably be a lot easier to knock out high tension power lines....
Just think of the chaos that would cause.... communications shut down, no banking, no ATMs to pull cash from... this all occured, admittedly only locally, when Cyclone Yasi hit Nth Queensland a couple of years ago...... no running water either.
And you wonder why we have back up batteries here....?? ;-)
Too right. Infrastructure is the "soft target" of modern warfare.
The alarming thing is that there are already known attempts on our infrastructure that amount to "testing the water".
I can't imagine the net impact of less potable water, more human lives, less living space and drastically weakened urban infrastructure being a 'sustainable' situation... much less during an actual war.
There's no way I can speak for anyone but myself, but I've seen enough of war. I really don't want anything to do with it, especially as a "for profit" enterprise. Conventional weapons are common, as we don't really care about taking people's supplies and resources.
Of significant importance is the vast stock we have of Sarin, VX, Smallpox and various other weaponized biological and chemical weapons. I'm not particularly worried about the U.S. using them, but there are stocks in the former U.S.S.R. nations which are leaking throughout the known world.
We'd be foolish to think the Chinese don't recognize the importance of destroying a population while leaving their resources in tact.
Instead of bottom up, thinking of what we can do. Can we work vice versa and assume what THEY will do. I think this is a more productive exercise.
This is a work of fiction, all actions taken in this scenario are a huge leap of my imagination, I hope these theories never seep into reality or considered by the powers that be. In my country we say, ''A person who has been warned, is a person already half ready for the battle.''
A super power is faced with the facts that oil, food, climate change, debt etc (you already know it all) will mark the end of their power journey. If nothing is done in the next 6 months, the end of the world as we know it will be inevitable …
1) Reduce consumption
Eliminate citizens which only consume and do not contribute anything to the GDP
Create confusion among the citizenry to reduce consumption
2) Secure production
Secure energy supplies from countries which you can easily secure a supply
Eliminate the consumption base of those countries and secure the prodcution human and infrastructure
Secure a compromise with other super powers so they can do the same with other countries.
How to eliminate the non productive assets of a country ? Example : Who ever is on food stamps, can receive a dose of a special virus next time s/he withdraws money from an ATM machine. The virus is non transmissible and non immutable. (http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1922772/pg1)
(If the 9/11 conspiracies are true, I would not put anything past whoever is pulling the string)
Create confusion to reduce production
False flag operations on a nuclear plant and a few refineries blamed on Al Qadea of course. This would, give an excuse to the government to ration fuel, food and electricity. ''Temporary'' would be the key word, a temporary rationing. People would assume that the situation would last a few weeks, but it would drag on for months .. years..
Best for last.
South America, is split in another 50 staes making the US a 102 state country. Biological weapons will be the primary weapon and it would all look legitimate. Strange outbreak of virus killing Spanish speaking countries (DNA based viruses). I would think that all workers who are in the production of metals, food, and energy would be spared. By getting served an antidote in their food or water.
Europe can share the Saudi Arabia and Iraq with the US
Russia and China can share Africa, Asia and Iran
Pakistan and India are an issue and could be dealt with by the super powers, by clearing them out.
Australia would be left for last but I would not exlcude that the population is reduced to conserve the vital resources.
Long TermChemical, Biological or Sonic weapons are applied on the other powers to reduce drastically their fertility rates and in 50 years time, their would be much less Chinese, Russians and Europeans to deal with. Probably these reduced populations would welcome a central authority to share the last of the remaining resources.
World population could be reduced by more than 50% in this scenario. All Nuclear powers are given their ''fair share'' of resources. Maybe India and Pakistan, would be attacked by special forces to eliminate their nukes, the effort would be well worth the reward and a good percentage of world consumption would go down.
This would keep the status quo for another 50 years or so. It would also lead to three world governments.
I do not need to tell you that 99% of us would have thought 9/11 possible and if that has occurred than I do not exclude anything from happening.
Any other scenarios you can think of ?
You do not need to buy a a thermo nuclear proof bunker nor do you need to buy 20 of the latest tactical rifles and machine guns, I think surviving world war III is less complicated.
You cannot really prepare for WWIII, what you can do is greet her (WWIII) with a smile knowing that you lived a whole and complete life. If you would like to prepare for it, my suggestion is skills, skills and more skills. If you live in the west you will likley have to move, quite possibly on a plane. You will be very limited in what you can carry with you.
How to arm yourself with a smile, that comes from a fulfilling life. In short, Goals, Awarness and Love. Such a smile can beat any army, any spaced based laser and any engineered virus.
The Frame work
We can classify any action we do in these terms
Short term - This Now / Today / Week / Month
Medium term Next Month + Five Years
Long term Five years plus
We can also classify our action's as
Damiging to the self
One Yield (Work gives you money)
Multiple Yield (Work gives you pleasure, money. friends, motivation, etc)
''The only decision we have to make is what to do with our time'', that means what we need to decide ios if shall we invest in actions that give us pleasure now, in a week, in a month or in more than 5 years.
Each action you take occupies time, and time has an opportunity cost. You can rarely use time for two different actions. So if you choose to do one action in a time period that means you cannot do something else during that time. (I know this is obvious to some of you, but I have to keep reminding myself about it). Choosing which action to take in a given time should reflect two things, your concious decision to invest in short term gain vs long term gain and your conscious decions on which kind of result (yield) this action will take. (How much I wish I can listen to myself sometimes). Awareness of this matter in time, will help us make the right decisions. Example: Even though I am 110% tired do I watch Tv tonight or go out with the dog/kids/wife/friends/alone for a walk ? Which action will give me a yield ? Which action will result in a value increase of my memory // emotion // self worth ?
A Goal is a notch you can groove on your award banner. We are all goal seeking machines. Achievements give us pleasure. We all seek victory be it the conquest of a beautiful women, passing an exam, knowing we can produce our own food, knowing we can defend ourselves in the street and being aware more the average Joe about the worlds current state.
Have multiple goals. Refresh your goal list yearly and make sure you add exciting stuff to it. Amongst other things my two goals for next year are to visit Pamplona, and the Tomatina festivals. Fun is important as is prepping! We never know what lies ahead. Now when you are taking an action you can align it with your goal list. Is this action directly related to the goals I am trying to achieve this year, next year or within five years ?
Overtime, you can take comfort in your achievement banner. Your life was not a wasted series of useless actions. The achievement banner, will be full of acheivemnts which I classify like so:
(took a trek across New Zeland if that's your thing, went for a week to Paris, bungee jumped),
(solved my long pending issues with my kin, remembered all birthdays and anniversaries this year)
(got the promotion, changed jobs, started my own business and failed - but I did everything and work hard)
Insurance (against wwIII, short term chaos or long term chaos)
(learnt this skill, learnt that skill, bought these tools, used my skills for x hours, planted an orchard, got a second passport...)
(Example make loans through kiva, volunteer at least 5 hours a week/month/year, be available to friends and family)
Being aware of what you are doing falls within this framework. Make a consious decisions about the amount of pleasure time vs work time you invest.
Here at CM we are more aware than Joe six pack and his cousins about the world. Some of us will hear the squela of of WWIII sirens, before they go off. Hopefully these lucky ones we will be some place away like Tasmania or Antarctica. A safe place which will be dealt death last.
If not, we can wear our smile and achievement banner proudly on our chests When the drones of death circle above carrying their lethal payload you can look up to them unafraid of the death they bring. Death is the end of life and people afraid of it are so because they have not lived the time they had to the fullest of it's potential.
You can smile the knowing smile of a fulfilled man or woman while you see death lay it's cold wrinkled arm on your shoulder. This is all I can offer you my friends, for me it is what keeps me going from day to day. Hope it helps some of you!
This framework, I have developed from reading about impossioble lists. Here are two examples, to give you an idea (none of them are mine).http://patrickhitches.com/about/impossible-list/http://magdalenaball.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/my-impossible-list.html
G'Day, I know, VERY well, a man who was 2nd in command of the Nevada Test Site. When he retired, he moved to one of these two cities, because he didn't want to survive what would eventuate...and they're really nice places to live. Nearby, these cities house some of the 'reloads'. Guaranteed to NOT exist with the outbreak of WW. That's where one might contemplate going, if you think there is going to be a WW. That's how totally unthinkable it is. Don't worry, be happy. Enjoy life. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not here, but the present is just that!
This approach sounds utterly foolish.
In order to "enjoy life" one must, of course, be alive. Positioning yourself to blissfully die quickly in the event that things become difficult is facile and defeatist. If a nuclear war set us back to the stone age, I intend to live like a caveman, rather than die like a prima donna who can't stand the thought of a struggle.
I admire the passion you show for living fully now, and that's significantly more in line with my way of thinking. There are days where it's difficult to remember we live at literally the apex of the human epoch. It's difficult to remember I can exchange worthless paper money for the collective knowledge of humankind. I can converse openly - more so than any point in our history - with people from around the world at a moments notice.
These are scary times, but they are so because we stand to lose so much affluency, not because our quality of life will be forever lost.
Cheers, and happy preparing.
Surviving a Nuclear war, especially in the Northern Hemisphere will be very difficult. Not only do you have to deal with Fallout from the Nuclear detentations, but the vast stock piles of nuclear waste from existing and shutdown nuclear power plants. There is far more nuclear material stored in Spent fuel pools than all of the Nuclear bombs. A typical Bomb make contain a few dozen kilograms of plutonium or enriched uranium, but the SFP contains thousands of tons of spent fuel rods.
Surviving in a cave is likely to be anything but surviving, since the fallout will still fill the air. One must build a bunker capable of filtering the air and supply decontamated water. Food production will also become an issue. since all of the material will end up in the soil, rivers and oceans, making it difficult to grow, fish or hunt for non-contaminated food. It may take hundreds or thousand of years before either the fallout decays to something harmless or is buried.
Threads Movie from the 1980's:
"The Day After" (also from the 1980's)
To avoid dying or getting very sick from the fallout you will need to have:
1. At least three years of food in long term storage. Its unlikely that you will be able to source new food in the enviroment that isn't considerablely toxic for two to three years after the event.It will take considerable time for the air to clear from event. Consider there will no around to put out the fires, and the fires will burn for weeks and months. Consider that the World Trade center burned and smoldered for weeks after the event, and that was with fire crews and fireboats.
2. Need to cover your fields with plastic to avoid the soil from being containated. After the air is cleared of most of the fallout, you can remove the plastic to grow crops. You want to protect your soil from being contaminated from fallout. A sealed greenhouse can probably be used to provide supplimental food until you can start using your fields. However, you will need access to uncontaimined water. You can't allow contimated water, soil or significant amounts of radioactive dust into the greenhouse. You must avoid consuming any food or water that has become containmated, since any ingested containments will remain inside you 7/24 until it passes through your body. During which time it can cause extensive damage to your internal organs. Some containments may become permament as your body absorbs them into your organs (bones, liver, etc).
3. Sufficent contaimated fuel to cook your meals. In cold climates you will need to sufficent stock piles of uncontamined fuel for heating. You don't want to burn contaimated wood or other fuels inside your home since you breath in the contaiminated particles from the fire, or when you remove the ash from the wood stove. An outdoor furnace would probably work for burning contaimented wood.
4. Either a very large cistern, a system to remove contaminates (both soluble and non-soluble containments), and or a deep well that remains un-contaminated. The Deep well and filter system will require electricity. Its unlikely that you will be able to pull sufficient amounts of water from a deep or filter it by hand. To remove soluble contaiminates will either require a high-pressure reverse-osmosis, or a chemical treatment system. You need clean water, not just to drink and cook with, but also for hygene and decontaination (when you venture outdoors).
5. Advance radiation detection equipment needed to detect contaiminated food and water. A simple Gieger counter will not work because it will not properly assess the amount of alpha and beta radiation contained in food and water. Since Alpha radiation (dangerous to internal organs) is blocked by water and solid matter, its can't not be detected with giegers (even if they have a mica window). Perhaps your stored food will be safe, but at some point you will need to grow food or use food produced in the enviroment. You need the proper tools to test food and water that does not originate from your stockpiles.
6. Airtight Dwelling with a positive pressure maintained to avoid fine radioactive dust from entering your living space. You will need to set up three zones in your living space to accomidate different levels of radiation. Early after the event expect large swings in the amount of radiations outside, cause by weather. Rain and high winds,a dn wild fires will increase the amount of ground level radiation. The first level of protection is a home that is air tight or maintains a positive air pressure at all times. When the outdoor level of radiation is low, you can move freely inside your home. The second level of protection should be a basement area. You will need to relocate to the basement during medium levels or outdoor radiation. The third level of protection should be a shielded room that will protect you from the highest level of radiation.
7. You will need a water tight pullovers (bunny suits) for when you need to go outside, at least for the first few months after the event. You want to avoid your clothes from becoming containmented with fallout dust. You must also set up a decontamination area so that you can wipedown or wash off any containments off. to remove your pullovers before entering back into your home. Keep the radation outside. You also need a respirator so you can filter they air that you breath. You won't be able to venture outside during periods of high radiation, but there will be times when the radiation drops so you can go outside for short periods. This might be to repair storm damage, gather supplies (perhaps from an outbuiding - firewood, tools, etc), or other simple tasks. A dosemeter should be worn when your outside.
Some areas will not be survivable no matter what prep steps you have taken. If you're down wind of a major target, or downwind of a nuke plants its unlikely that the enviroment will ever recover where you can survive once your stockpiles are depleted. The land and water will be hopelessly contaiminated for decades.
My guess is that less that 1 out of 500K people will have properly prepared for NBC warfare, and I am probably being very optimistic!
G'Day Aaron, The reason I bring up the absurdity of preparing for WW is the totality of it. I was told in one of the ‘reload’ areas, it was designated to be ‘hit’ with two 50 megaton bombs (circa 1970's). One would hit…for sure. They would be ground burst, each creating a 1 mile deep crater. A little over 3lbs of Plutonium will kill every human on the planet. For Plutonium to fission, it requires 7.62 lbs. Already, one bomb can kill the whole planet TWICE. Now, consider when the ‘reloads’ that are atomized (1000’s), you get the idea of how totally ridiculous it is to even contemplate surviving the apocalypse. Don’t worry, it won’t happen for the EXACT reasons I listed above. Everybody who is anybody (Goverment Leaders) know this and now you do. I just can't fathom Grand Canyons being instantly created...no one can.
"it is to even contemplate surviving the apocalypse. Don’t worry, it won’t happen for the EXACT reasons I listed above."
Unfortunately Nuclear War is all but guaranteed. When First-World nations populations start starving and the people get desperate, they will turn to mad-men for leadership that promise them salvation. Consider that during the early 20th century, Russia reverted to a totaliarian gov't, Germany, Spain, Italy became fascist. Japan when on a path of Military conquest to secure oil and other resources. People will make the same mistakes they did 70 to 80 years ago. People are not any wiser than they were 80 years ago, but there are now a lot more people today.
We can already see the beginning, in Europe. the EU now faces cronic high-unemployment, and unsustainble debt loads. Watch as Europe begins to elect mad-men once again. How will these mad-men meet the promises they made? By taking it from others and using strong nationalism to rally their populations into war. All it will take is one mad-men to kick start the world. If one Mad-man can partially deliver on his promises, other nations will follow.
Lets not also forget whats happening in the Middle East, as stable gov'ts are being toppled and replaced by chaotic gov'ts, resulting in civil war and causing rebellion in throughout the region. Which of these nations will go belligerent in order to get there populations focused on external conflicts or to prevent the conflict from spreading to their neighbors (ie Saudi Troops in Yemen). What happens with Israel and Iran go toe-to-toe (Iran already has a limited number of nukes they aquired from the collapse of Soviet Union during the 1990's), and its publicily known that Israel has nukes.
Perhaps the only way a nuclear war will be avoided if there is a panademic that culls a significant amount of the population before war breaks out. That would force the global to focus internally on the panademic and prevent nations from marching into war.
Your assertions that two 50kt Plutonium bombs would kill all humanity... well, it's a stretch, for quite a few reasons.
First of all, a ground-burst detonation is sub-optimal, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, you disintigrate a whole lot of nothing in the process, which mutes the effect of the blast, absorbs a significant amount of the thermal blast and throws tons of particulates into the atmosphere that would impact other regions, but not in the way you think. It'd be more of a environmental phenomenon than nuclear, at that point.
Please excuse me if my information isn't current, but last I did the numbers, the alpha particles from a nuclear explosion would only last for about 14 weeks. The beta and gamma would be gone long before. If this is incorrect, please let me know and provide sources.
We probably have enough nukes to wipe the earth clean, that's not the question. The questions is:
How do you prepare for WWIII?
IF WWIII is nuclear - the answer is you prepare for it like any other emergency. By defining the needs, establishing a plan, and putting it in to action. I see nothing that convinces me that it's not entirely plausible that humans will survive regardless of how the hypothetical war goes.
Afterall, Hiroshima and Nagasaki haven't been declared contaminated zones where life is utterly unsustainable.
Your information is grossly incorrect. First off, no one has a 50 Megaton weapon in their arsenal, much less two.
Most of the energy from a ground burst is reflected and combines with the initial reflected wave to form what is known as a mach stem. A mach stem may travel 1 mile with sufficient overpressure to flatten structures, but it most certainly will not crater. Even an Earth Penetrating Weapon (EPW) won't crater a mile deep. So don't sweat the Grand Canyons.....
I'm not following your logic on the plutonium. It's consumed in a NUDET so it isn't going to be homogeneously distributed around the world. You are making incredibly inaccurate leaps of faith with your nuclear weapons effects physics assumptions.
G'Day, Look at :
It is good that the US has managed to bring down the total # of weapons.
This is the scenario as I understand it. There are still 9000 some that are stored.
I'm not privy to battle plans, but it only makes sense to deny the enemy of the means in destroying you. If I knew where 1,000's of devices were located, one would definately take them out. They will ALWAYS be a hardened bunker, so a ground burst would be necessary. It's number 3 on the list, but all the same, its definately on the list.
So, It's not one (1 ea.), it's 1000's. It's not the blast, it's the radiation. If one disperses (vaporizes) this material, It will waiver around the world like volcanic dust, covering the world. For years and years (forever?), one wouldn't need a microwave to 'nuke' their TV dinner. Eventually, the highest form of life might be the 'cockroach'.
It ain't gonna happen, because that's what would happen. MAD (Mutually_Assured_Destruction) has been OK because it was a standoff. Better not to have any, but MAD works because of "Assured".
The US has embraced a "no first strike" policy since implementation of the Triad. The decision to retaliate is made within minutes and a proportional response will be ordered. Weapons storage facilities are well down the list of targets. Operational forces, command and control, and communications are at the top of the list.
A ground burst will not work against a hardened bunker. You need to penetrate the earth's surface so the resulting underground NUDET develops what is called "ground shock coupling". It is a mach stem below the surface of the earth and it is what is necessary to take out hardened bunkers. There is also very little utility in striking storage facilities since the weapons are not stored in a ready to use status. They are typically logistics spares and consist of the warhead and physics packages. They would need to be mated to a delivery system. Bottom line, stored weapons can't hurt you until they have been mated to a functional delivery system.
It's not the radiation either. First of all, it won't be dispersed through vaporization because, well, it's been vaporized. Most of the material in a nuclear weapon is consumed by the fireball and there is very little radioactive material from the weapon itself. Where you start to pick up radioactive contamination issues is when your targeting strategy calls for a Surface Burst, Near Surface Burst or Low Altitude Air Burst. Fallout isn't generated in any significant quantity unless the fireball touches the ground and sucks up surface material, activating it. Think of the classic mushroom cloud. It's the activated dust and debris that gets sucked into the vacuum caused by the NUDET that is the downstream concern.
You would still need a microwave oven to warm your TV dinner because the energy levels are different - as is the caloric deposition and deposition rate.
Cockroaches will die too. Unfortunately, Roseanne Barr and Snooki will probably survive. How's that for a rousing start to your new gene pool?
MAD only works in a symmetric nuclear threat environment. It worked with the Soviet Union because each country had thousands of warheads on delivery systems. Many of these weapons were on survivable legs of the Triad, so even if one of the countries absorbed a first strike, there would be sufficient weapons on survivable platforms (at sea submarines, airborne strategic aircraft that generated out from underneath an incoming strike, and deployed mobile launchers) capable of delivering a devastating retaliatory response. That was the model that worked for decades during the Cold War.
MAD does not work in a scenario involving a non-state actor, a rogue or a limited number of weapons (tens). MAD doesn't apply in these scenarios primarily because we (the US) has a "no first strike" policy. MAD also assumes a will to use decision - if you know your enemy is capable of and is going to respond, you have no incentive to strike first - and vice versa. the second there is a perception that a country's leadership lacks the political will to employ nuclear weapons, MAD flies out the window.
Regarding asymmetric nuclear weapons use, the only thing you can be assured of is that there is no assurance that you have any deterrent value in your arsenal.
War, especially nuc war, does not seem like a good answer to resource or solvency problems. Actually, it does not solve any problems and creates a bunch of new ones. People may not be up for a big war. The US is just tired of war. Europe is not interested in any wars. China either. Only the moslems seem interested in war. A lot of things would need to change to get a war fever going in the US and Europe. I just do not see it right now. As long as we keep a lid on the moslems we are Ok for now. Wars require a lot of energy and a lot of money. We do not have either.
This thread seems to be wandering off into a nuclear wasteland that is but one possibility. As a former cold warrior, I still think that MAD has some legs in a resource poor world. Could the weapons be used? Yes. However, if any group or government becomes so unstable as to even be considering a first strike, I would expect every other power on Earth to use more conventional means to preempt that.
In any case, the postulated WWIII, does not have to be a hot war, or at least not some sort of worldwide rumble for the resources. Using a global financial meltdown as a starting place, the question becomes who needs what and how do strategic alliances shift?
If the US defaults and no longer has any financial credibility, then we will be stuck trading food for fuel, or doing without. We've got a mighty military but if we've proven anything over the last decade it is that you can't drop into, say Iraq, and take over the oil infrastructure. Even if you could, the supply lines would be so long in a hostile situation that the Middle East is untenable. Best bet is that we rediscover isolationism while we try to sort out our internal problems. Canada gets sucked down with us and is a primary energy source. If we plan our energy use we can feed ourselves. No country is likely to come after our resources because the nation and populace are armed to the teeth. It also helps that our nuclear navy projects power across the oceans even if we can't fuel the smaller ships. If we are going to try to hold power in global commerce of a luke warm war with the east, we'd likely be doing it by commanding through sea power much of global commerce. The challenge the US has is the ability to rebuild a credible manufacturing capacity again before all of our weapons and tools break down.
Russia has plenty of oil but insufficient population or manufacturing ability. China has too much population and a dire need for resources, especially oil, but can produce the goods if supplied. They likely also have some financial worth after a meltdown. Tensions come between China and India as they vie for alliances or control of Russia and the Middle Eastern oil supplies. The biggest problem for this whole region would seem to be population. Can this region hope to feed itself? China, India and Saudi Arabia continue to buy or occupy Africa for agricultural purposes.
Europe is in a real bind. Financial ruin, insufficient resources and relatively high population density. Can they ally with Russia and provide goods for fuel or do they break up into a score of small countries again with unstable results?
The Aussies, might be able to sit out any hot wars but they need someone to provide their fuel and buy their raw materials. Do they join the eastern alliance, most geographically practical?
Ultimately this could easily become and eastern and western hemisphere block dichotomy. Through proximity, if not coercion, South America and its resources are drawn into the western block.
If so, we have the recipe for Cold War II. Just wild speculation.
While I appreciate your efforts to police the resource material submitted by others, before you criticize "hinky links" (btw, I love the poetic possibilities of that phrase) you should check your own links. Specifically your link to OISM. They are a sad little outfit hidden away in the mountains of Oregon that tries to put a scientific gloss on frankly crackpot notions. They are the creators of the infamous "Oregon petition" that has been trotted out for over 10 years every time some climate change denialist wants to discredit the actual science. Here's a linky I don't think is hinky;^)
Robinson established the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in 1980. In its early years, the OISM focused much of its attention on a new theory that Robinson had developed regarding "molecular clocks" that he thought might influence aging. It also became involved in issues related to nuclear war and civil defense. It published two books, Nuclear War Survival Skills (foreword by H-bomb inventor Edward Teller), which argues that "the dangers from nuclear weapons have been distorted and exaggerated" into "demoralizing myths." Robinson also co-authored another civil defense book titled Fighting Chance: Ten Feet to Survival, in collaboration with Gary North, who like Robinson is a conservative Christian. North is also a prolific author of doomsday books with titles such as None Dare Call It Witchcraft; Conspiracy: A Biblical View; Rapture Fever; and How You Can Profit From the Coming Price Controls. Following his collaboration with Robinson, North built a web-based marketing empire built around apocalyptic predictions that the Y2K bug would make the dawn of the 21st century "the year the earth stands still." North predicted that computer failures would cause "cascading cross defaults, where banks cannot settle accounts with each other, and the banking system goes into gridlock, worldwide," in addition to disruptions of oil supplies, electricity, manufacturing and public utility systems. "We are facing a breakdown of civilization if the power grid goes down," North predicted in late 1999, boasting, "I was the only person saying this on a Web site in early 1998, although a few sites do today." (After his Y2K predictions fizzled, North retooled his website to offer internet marketing products and services.) [Note from Gary North: Dr. Robinson did not believe my Y2K predictions, and in any case is no way responsible for my writings, which should be obvious to any fair-minded reader of this article on Dr. Robinson.]
The Oregon Petition, sponsored by the OISM, was circulated in April 1998 in a bulk mailing to tens of thousands of U.S. scientists. In addition to the petition, the mailing included what appeared to be a reprint of a scientific paper. Authored by OISM's Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Zachary W. Robinson, the paper was titled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" and was printed in the same typeface and format as the official Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Also included was a reprint of a December 1997, Wall Street Journal editorial, "Science Has Spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth", by Arthur and Zachary Robinson. A cover note signed "Frederick Seitz/Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A./President Emeritus, Rockefeller University", may have given some persons the impression that Robinson's paper was an official publication of the academy's peer-reviewed journal. The blatant editorializing in the pseudopaper, however, was uncharacteristic of scientific papers.
Robinson's paper claimed to show that pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is actually a good thing. "As atmospheric CO2 increases," it stated, "plant growth rates increase. Also, leaves lose less water as CO2 increases, so that plants are able to grow under drier conditions. Animal life, which depends upon plant life for food, increases proportionally." As a result, Robinson concluded, industrial activities can be counted on to encourage greater species biodiversity and a greener planet:
In reality, neither Robinson's paper nor OISM's petition drive had anything to do with the National Academy of Sciences, which first heard about the petition when its members began calling to ask if the NAS had taken a stand against the Kyoto treaty. Robinson was not even a climate scientist. He was a biochemist with no published research in the field of climatology, and his paper had never been subjected to peer review by anyone with training in the field. In fact, the paper had never been accepted for publication anywhere, let alone in the NAS Proceedings. It was self-published by Robinson, who did the typesetting himself on his own computer. (It was subsequently published as a "review" in Climate Research, which contributed to an editorial scandal at that publication.)
I think in the end, we can agree on that a WW is un-survivable. That's the problem with war. EVERYONE wants it to be over quickly with the least amount of casualties. I think all the protagonists in every war wanted that. One can envision today's hot spots: Syria, Iran, or the China Sea that Russia or China could get involved. If the US starts poking it's nose into these things (like Iran), we might have two major powers going loggerheads with each other. Who knows eh? Where will it stop? Big things start small (downed plane/pilot) and can escalate into something no one would want. Australia just told the 'Yanks' to bugger-off their submarines last week from using Australia as a port, because Australia could be just another victim, with a 1st strike hitting the American 'Boomers' on their shores. All this makes me wish for a 'Ron Paul' or close facsimile to come to office.
There was a press conference recently with Obama & Putin. The body language! They REALLY don't like each other. Maybe it's reading too much into it, but I think 'hate' might not be too strong a word. Russia, just yesterday, reiterated to 'the world', that it wouldn't stand for outside intervention in Syria. Maybe Turkey (NATO) will have a go at Syria. This is how a WW starts. It's the end that's a worry.
These are interesting times.
US SSBNs very, very infrequently make port calls in Australia. Certainly not enough times to make Russia consider a "First strike" on Australia to take out a hundred plus warheads, while leaving many hundreds of surviving warheads deployed elsewhere that would very possibly be coming back at them on short order. I thought we had put the "First strike" issue to bed? There will be no First strike scenario. If anything happens, it will be assymetric, on the order of couple of strikes - most likely, terrorist or non state sponsored. Sucks to be at ground zero, but not likely to trigger global conflict.
I think you took a little liberal literary license with your "bugger off" considering the Australian Labor Party is still engaged in preliminary discussions with the US about the purchase/lease of a nuclear attack submarine instead of spending $36 billion kangaroo dollars to replace the fleet of COLLINS SSs.
The following dates to May, I didn't spend a lot of time looking, but if you can source a more recent article outlining a shift in the Labor Party's stance I'd like to see it. I know the Liberal and National parties have tried to distance themselves from the nuclear submarine option - but since they also recognize the need for upgrading Australia's submarine force capability, it's a tricky walk back. Both have to balance their stance, as much for political capital reasons to take seats from Labor, yet at the same time addressing a growing issue with declining Australian undersea capability over the next couple of decades.
Let me know specifically what is untenable in the OISM guide. I'm not endorsing them, but their math looks consistent and the information within is useful, practical and illustrative, especially when taken in context.
Context being: No all out nuclear war is likely, and it's survivable in any case.
Also, their assertions are 14 years old. A bit has changed since then, though higher ratios of carbon actually do coincide (at least superficially) with robust increases in botanical life. The Carboniferous period being the primary example. Of course, there weren't 8 billion CO2 pumps with cars back then, either.
Not debating GW here - just saying that the presented opinion wouldn't have been so outlandish back then.
For the reasons you outlined, I think we'll see more of a conventional war.
It may be "cold" for some, but as the remaining powers start divying up what isn't theirs, there are bound to be conflicts. In any case, there isn't likely to be a continent apart from Antarctica that's unaffected by what's coming.
As the Arctic seas open up, Canada will have to join forces with another power, either by annexation or by cooperation. They can't hold the opening up of Arctic resources on their own, nor properly police what will be heavily trafficked Arctic sea lanes. If they don't, then other powers will do it.
The natural partner is the United States, but it might even involve China, by playing both nations diplomatically: natural resources for manufactured goods and/or some protection.
Don't sell Antarctica short as a potential focus for potential resource wars in the future. At present the place is protected by the Antarctic treaty, primarily because it is not cost effective to perform mineral extraction when you have up to 3 miles of ice on top of it. Everybody wants a piece of the pie though. Officially only 7 countries have legally recognized claims but there are plenty more at the trough. Here is a current depiction. Note the overlapping claims:
This doesn't begin to tell of the positioning going on though. I have personally been to Chinese, Russian and even Polish bases in Antarctica. The Indians have a base and several others are keeping their toes in the water so to speak. The US maintains the largest presence, including holding the south pole. Here is someones idea of a more egalitarian split.
How's that for a psychedelic image of the land of ice and snow? Will the resource wars come to this? If the western Antarctic ice shelf collapses then I expect to rapid rush to exploit the exposed resources. Hopefully nothing we have to worry about until WWiV.
G'Day, I spent 13-1/2 months on the ice at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station in 1987. It's a cold and unforgiving place. I slept outside, at the pole, when it was -80degc. Ran around the pole naked, when it was it hit below -100degf. Something one does once. Been there...done that.
The glaciologists came to visit and mobilize from the SP. They traveled even further than we were to the 'Area-of-Inaccessibility' onto 5,000 meters of Ice between the SP and Vostok station.
They were always talking about the Chernobyl marker. They liked it, because it was a radioactive marker that will ALWAYS be in the Ice. When one thinks of it, if every square inch of Antarctica has a bit of Chernobyl, then where did all the radioactive waste go in 1986. Everywhere would be the answer.
While I was there, an iceberg broke off from the continent, the size of New Jersey. When you're there, you pray to the Herbie God, because if Herbie shows up, it's up to Herbie and you're preparation , if Herbie doesn't take your life. Like I said, It's a cold and unforgiving place.
I think you are missing the point. A world war will only occur if it is between superpowers, of which we only have two and a half: America, Russia, and half China. In fact, it is doubtful that there could be a world war that did not involve America in some major way or other, simply because any world war would affect them most and they would thus be involved at some point up to when hostilities commence.
In the Cold War, nuclear weapon development proceeded at a pace and was probably, but we will never know for sure, the reason it came to an end. If Gorbachev had not come to power and the Soviets had appointed one of the old guard instead, we would not be having this debate. We would be living in a world still recovering from WW III. Why do I say this? Because nuclear weapons and their delivery systems had taken us past a point where deterrence was the maxim to one where pre-emptive first-strike ruled instead. The MX and Trident D5 missiles together with their MIRV missiles were so accurate that they could in one full-scale attack destroy the opposition's command, control, communications and intelligence facilities within about 20 minutes of initiation. In short, we had moved from a world where blunderbuss faced blunderbuss to one where snipers' rifle faced snipers' rifle. With a blunderbuss it doesn't matter who fires first, the other guy is going to be able to return fire. With a snipers' rifle it matters completely.
We have not moved back from that situation. So the next world war will simply involve America or Russia or eventually China firing first and destroying all the ability of any opponent to be able to manage any war and thus retaliate. Game Over.
The really scarely part is that the only reliable defence involves automating the launch systems. Anyone with Windows experience will be hoping against hope that Microsoft is not involved.
I'm not sure where you got your information, but I most certainly know where you didn't get it.
First of all, the MX was decommissioned in 2005 because it never achieved the operational performance criteria that was promised. It was a horrible choice for a first strike weapon - partly because there were a very small number of them compared to the MINUTEMAN fleet.
Secondly, system accuracy has a very minor part in the deterrent model and almost nothing to do with 'incentive to first strike'. High system accuracies and low CEPs provide very little utility against survivable platforms. A deployed SSBN cannot be targeted by a first strike and unless you just want to start chucking warheads at random spots in the ocean you have no chance at taking out an at-sea SSBN.
Survivable platforms - of which both the US and Russia still have plenty of - provide significant deterrent value today. Arguably, they are the primary contributor to classic deterrent models.
A third element of deterrence you fail to address, and which is almost equally important as survivable platforms, is the speed at which the response decision making process takes place. Your 20 minute TOF is off. Even in the most constrained scenarios, it is longer. Let's call it 30 minutes. In that time, it doesn't matter how many warheads are incoming. If a decision to retaliate is made, nearly all of the ICBMs can be launched out from beneath the incoming strike and all of the at-sea SSBNs will either be launching or transitioning to a launch status. This decision is made within minutes and is routinely exercised. So what you end up with is a bunch of farmers in North Dakota watching booster plumes coming from their fields knowing that in about 30 minutes they aren't going to have to worry about milking the herd that night or getting the combine ready to cut wheat tomorrow.
No nuclear power today has a system capable of eliminating all of the warheads from a potential adversary.
None. Not China, not Russia, not the UK or France. No one.
Automated launch systems? Really? You're kidding right? Automated launch systems are among THE single most destabilizing factors in deterrence.
We are well back from the scenario you outline. What we are facing is a an assymetric, onesy, twosey from a rogue or non-state sponsor. Deterrence in those cases simply does not work because there is nothing that the enemy values that can be held at risk with sufficiency to deter use.
G'Day, There is a link on this site for SHTF. It has an article about preparation in the even of a nuclear disaster:
You forgot one very important detail. For the Soviet Empire it was only necassary to get one swarm of h-bombs trough us-american defense to hit one target ...
The (even 20000 years overdue and very active) supervulcano under the Yellowstone Park in Wyoming.
It was a nuclear target to the USSR and it is still the us-american security concern number one. It's an open secret too.
So! A World War 3 scenario which certainly reaches the point turning into a nuclear conflict will end up into the total annihilation of the USA and our whole global civilization. Because these 200 km³ magma in that supervulcano ready to erupt will cause an estimated 1 - 6 year long vulcanic winter. Which would lead into instant famine of billions within weeks.
After that event centre of the world may be New-Zealand, Papua and Oceania with some millions of survivors and everything else would possibly be gone. Maybe in countries like Germany there might be some 1000s poeple survive who learned and accepted to life like Eskimos ore something like that.
And it could be even getting worse! If not only the supervulcano's 200km³ spill out due to thermonuclear attacks but a huge amount of the 6000km³ magma of that Yellowstone Plume (hotspot). Then the whole globe could become glaciated for up to millions of years! This would only left back some fishes and crabs around the black smokers in the deep sea ..
Why is it possible that this hotspot could erupt too? Because it is welding since 16 million years it's way up to the surface and is therefor pretty close to it. befor 16 million years it was mostly covered by ocean and ocean waters above hotspots keep them from welding up. (Such an eruption is also 800 milliony ears overdue to the entire planet.)
bad things emerge togetherhere : the oil declining, it's overpopulation dilemma and this double whammy of a supervulcanic situation. There is even a chance, if no country would ever nuke it, fractions of a collapsing USA could do it, since there is a huge stock pile of nukes around it. Fools could simply hump them to there. They'd even do not need cars, trains, or donkeys not to speak of rockets. And maybe this Yellowstone Supervulcano is already more active and an "accident in slow motion" due to the 100s if not 1000s of nuclear tests in Nevada 500 miles away and/or the eruption of St. Helens there. This is God's chess draw to all of us! Now it's our turn!
The USA is like the invincible hero in the german sage of Siegfried The Hero.
He was bathing in the dragons blood and remained vulnerable to one little spot on his back and got killed when his enemy figured it out.
Look like the USA is bathing in oil, the "Blood Of The Dinosaurs" making it self invincible to all powers accept on this tiny spot on it's back in the rocky mountains ... don't make this a fullfilling prophecy!
On the other hand this supervulcano could possibly that energy source what we are spotting for! We just need to know how to drill for hot magma to get it's energy and minerals without blowing up the whole place.
Sincerly yours Fred42
Considering the Soviets don't have an earth penetrating weapon that can burrow deeply enough to crater a big enough hole to trigger an eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera, thisis nothing more than a science fiction story run amok. Theoretically it could work, but you need an EPW.
Now a nuclear strike releasing the spice worms in Death Valley.....? That is for real. Maud'dib told me. And we all know House Atreides would never lie. House Harkonnen would, but never House Atreides.
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