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Deterrence Theory is a Fraud

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posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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It has sometimes appeared obvious to me that the fears for the stability of the admittedly demonic MAD doctrine rest on the fear of deterrence more than anything else. The willingness of any human actor to 1. acquire the power to nuke strike and 2. the disregard of the consequences, combine into the single most frightening risk. While the risks of state actors seems and is seen as, lesser because of their presumed rationality, albeit a rationality based on the abstract group loyalty being operational in the minds of the decision makers.




posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:56 PM
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a rationality based on the abstract group loyalty being operational in the minds of the decision makers

Noumenon, you are correct. We see this scenario played out in the Tom Clancy Novel, "Hunt for Red October" where Marco Ramius, played by Sean Connery takes his nuclear sub and sails to within launch distance of the US Atlantic coast. Naturally in the movie, all the soviet big-wigs are shocked at his actions. What could cause a man to change his group-loyalties? Here's hoping they don't invent a silent sub unless their guys are as nice as he is. :^)

I would also point out that guys like MadMissileer are not chosen without considerable evaluation of what type of man they are. In short, these are very responsible, A-class men who entrusted with nuclear weapons. They do not shirk from their duties, regardless of the country they serve. Notice how MadMissileer said: "I think you must be saying that we could have a malfunction that could cause us to think a launch has been ordered. I can't tell you why this is not possible, but it can't happen. If there was an order to launch, I would have no dount as to its authenticity."

This is a very important issue because he is saying, "How we do this is classified, but trust me, I'll know it's real if they tell me to launch." My question to him is, if our method is classified, (and rightly so, as our systems have value to our nation) of what quality and sophistication are the OTHER seven or so nuclear nations' launch-command authentication systems? Will their nuke commander be as sure in the moment of truth?













[edit on 6-2-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 08:17 PM
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Question is, If it went off, why the f*ck you might want to survive in a destroyed world? whats to be alive for after that?
As for DT being fraud? Im inclined to think its worked so far because the world has had opportunity to see results in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I wouldnt count on it working indefinately though, todays climate is just as tense as the cold war time, and given the "brains" behind the war on terror, its a damn sight more likely to fail imo !
If one went off on American soil, im inclined to beleive the Bush admin would launch on likely aggressors and makle excuses later.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 10:07 PM
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smallpeeps:
Deterrence is a doctrine and policy. Your arguing against a successful doctrine and policy based on the actual physical components that make up that deterrence. The problem thus is not the doctrine or policy, it is those components. Something that you nor that "missile commander" have noted nor mentioned is that those actual physical components can be upgraded and/or replaced with new components. Would this not drop or impact that 'probability' numbers if such was done?


as posted by smallpeeps
Seeker, again, did you look at the numbers? Simple statistical analysis of mean time before failure of an internally reliant system is not very difficult.

You have mentioned and asked this of me twice. To answer your your insistance, yes, I have looked at those numbers. I hate to be blunt, but so what about them? They indicate 'probability', thats all.



Notice how a missile commander replied to this thread and also mentioned C3I? It's a known method for controlling nukes and you haven't mentioned it once. Do you know anything about it? Do you understand the four components involved? Have you done any research about the odds of their failure and the consequences?

And? Again, more "probability". Notice how the missile commander leaves out that those components that make up C3I can be amended, abridged, upgraded, replaced? Your line of questioning leaves me to think that I have no clue to what I am talking about despite my educational background, my field of study, and my own 8 years in the Air Force, assigned and working in SAC (Strategic Air Command), which, btw, oversees a great majority of this nation's (the US) nuclear arsenal. I may not have been a "Buff" (B-52) pilot or a command and control specialist or even a "missile commander," but that in no way, implies that I am not somewhat familiar with the workings of C3I or any other of the nuclear components that make up nuclear deterrence.



You are arguing for a continuation of our reliance upon Deterrence Theory simply because it hasn't failed yet.

Correct. Why screw with something when it has simply worked and deterred for over 50 years. You start tinkering with something that is working in the first place, the more you have a tendency screwing it up (more probability, eh). Amend it, abridge it, replace it, but to simply tincker with it is inviting further increased 'probabilty'.



I would call Deterrence Theory, at best, first-generation nuclear thought. Yes, you're right, there was no exchange between the US and USSR, but we were very lucky, in this regard. With multiple nuclear players, DT becomes a dangerous relic.

You are aware that there are many people in this world who simply do not adhere nor believe in "luck" or good fortune. "Luck" is nothing more than more "probability." As for there being more nuclear players and deterrence being a "dangerous relic," I beg to differ, again. US opened the nuclear genie bottle in 1944-45, the USSR (this includes those nation now separate from Russia today) in 1949, The UK in 1952, France in 1960, China in 1964, India in 1974, Israel (though they still have no publically said yea or nay) in 1986 (speculation is that there are earlier year indications), and lastly Pakistan in 1998. There are others nations who now claim to have acquired nuclear capabilites (N.Korea, etc) This may be of interest? As such, "relic" indicates something of the past that has survived into present day. Yep, that is 'deterrence', and as maddening as you may find this, that "relic" (deterrence) is still applicable and holds today, despite the inherent flaws and increased "probabilities".



DT, as mentioned, is a zero-sum game. Do you really want our attitude toward nukes based on a theory which, the minute it fails, is proved dead-wrong?

Your insistance that deterrence is "dead-wrong" when and if a nuclear missile or application happens is amounting to a "dead" echo. Deterrence is a doctrine and policy, and as such, eventually all doctrines and policys fade and are replaced. My adherence to the deterrence doctrine and policy is straight-forward and based on its history, not on inherent time considerations, flaws, and/or "probabilities." Hell, smallpeeps, if I play the lotto long enough using the same numbers, "probabilities" are that sooner or later I will win. Give me a break.

The deterrence doctrine and policy will not be proven wrong when a nuclear missile is launched and detonates on another nation. I have asserted already, that it will be up to those who interpret and write history after such occurs that will determine if the doctrine or policy of deterrence was a waste or it failed or if it success up till the time of such occurring. As it stands now, there is 50 years plus that proves that the doctrine and policy of deterrence has been a success, thus far, eh? India and Pakistan almost went at it and it wasn't until Powell arrived with two suitcases, one for Pakistan and one for India, which had videos of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and their aftermaths (among other "don't nuke yourself cause" material), that they finally realized that there is no "winner" in a nuclear exchange, despite there being survivors. Within the next 6 months, they further instituted failsafes in the forms of "hot-link" direct phones (like the US and USSR Red phones). Deterrence won the day, and susequently, still wins the day.



Do you want these newest nuclear nations to put DT into practice and hope for the same luck we had during the Cold War?

They already have, in the case of India and Pakistan. Can't vouch for N.Korea and Kim.....



How close did we come during the Cold War?

Cuban Missile Crisis and 20+ other recorded mishaps and yet, still deterrence doctrine and policy holds.



Are you so convinced that we cannot devise a better way to save our own lives?

Other than eradicating the planet of nukes by a super-powered international watchdog with the willingness to enforce it with military application, if needed or required, no. If your idea is to place such a responsibility on the hands of the "common folk," you already do: if you live in the US, you vote,and have faith in those appointed to such critical positions. If your idea is to have "a system which would work if we could get the cooperation of the banks," this may or may not work. What hinges on this is all the nations that have nukes being willing to do such, correct? How many will agree to this? How will it be enforced? And who will ultimately watch the watcher? Anyhow, as inadequate as they may be to you and some others, there are and have been actions taken to further stave off the "probability" of accidents: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Nuclear disarmament



Wouldn't you like to contribute something to the discussion of nukes rather than repeating the stuff everyone has already been told in school and on television? Are you just irritated by my position? I am curious.

Wow.....

Insults will get you nowhere, and my ATS member friend, I have not once dropped to inuendos and belittling comments, such as you have. If anyone is "irritated" by a position taken, it is you, sir. Bet.




Deterrence theory presupposes that the use of a nuclear weapon would result from a willfull descision by the leadership of an adversary nation.

Correct.



Deterrence theory falls to pieces as a guarantor of long-term nuclear peace if there is even a very low probability of an accidental or unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon in any of the more than eight present nuclear nations, for example due to a rogue commander or electronic failure

Correct again, but 50 years plus indicates that the above is merely indicating "probability" and that the deterrence doctrine and policy is susceptible to such. Regardless, the doctrine and policy still stands and holds as a successful one.



Deterrence theory presupposes accurate decision making in the adversary nation when planning to attack.

Correct. With the improved abilities and capabilities of satellites and sensors today, sureness is near full-proof. How accurate do you need to be to detect and then retaliate from an incoming strike when the big "red phone" hasn't rung and someone on the other end is indicating that it was an unfortunate mistake, miscalculation, or mishap?



even when miscalculations are extraordinarily infrequent, nuclear deterrence provides only limited protection.

10-4 good buddy.

As "limited" as Mr. Ike Jeanes wishes to proclaim the deterrence doctrine and policy.....guess what Mr. Jeanes, it still holds. Just in case you aren't already aware of this, its 2005. Still counting, still holding.



The present view of deterrence as developed by game theory is myopic.

So? Your educated opinion. Your entitled to it. Amen. Other than that, read above: still holding.



the effectiveness of deterrence depends on the civility of nations. Nuclear peacefulness is clearly a function of the civility of nations[, ] a variable which can be measured.

Correct on the first mention, wrong on the civility of nations being a variable that can be measured. That case applies to most, does not cover the few.



Deterrence does offer protection, but simply not at the levels which can be expected to extend nuclear peace into the indefinite future.

Even he recognizes that deterrence has worked and is working. His beef and concern is the continuance of such doctrine and policy into the future. Understandable, as I have indicated in my previous comments in this topic thread. Abridge it, amend it, or replace it with something that will work and cover the "indefinite future."



A disproportionate reliance on deterrence predisposes the world to unnecessary nuclear danger. In sum, deterrence theory is not impressive. It is intellectually weak and based on very narrow views of optimization and game theory."

Eloquent and has some merit. His intellectual condemnation is insightful but the history of deterrence again speaks for itself, despite his bemoanings. 50 plus years. Mr. Jeanes educated commentary, though well placed and intentioned, is but 'one stalk of wheat in a field of wheat' on this topic matter. There are many just as educated and positioned as he, that will argue to the contrary.




seekerof

[edit on 6-2-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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I have not once dropped to inuendos and belittling comments

You accused me of ignoring reality, which is offensive to me. Comments like that are unneeded. How am I now offending you by asking you to contribute something? I suppose we all choose where to take offense, eh? Let's drop our own petty hurts and talk about saving our children's children.

You have done nothing except recite what everyone already knows. We all know we are sitting on a powder keg that has not gone off. Your advice seems to be, "Chill out, y'all! Nothing's gonna happen." ...but on what do you base your faith? DT amounts to navigating a car by looking through the rear window. As I posted earlier, America advises its citizens to live in the cities when this places them on the front lines of the next war. What future do you have to offer the readers of your words?


those actual physical components can be upgraded and/or replaced with new components.

Yes, however we are talking about related systems, so when you take out one part, the newly inserted part must also react correctly with the legacy-parts of the machine. EXAMPLE: If you put a newly manufactured crankshaft into your old Ford flathead V8, you had best be sure that crankshaft is correctly machined. Are you sure of how all these nuclear parts fit together?


if I play the lotto long enough using the same numbers, "probabilities" are that sooner or later I will win. Give me a break.


[DT] holds today, despite the inherent flaws and increased "probabilities".

Your surrounding of the word probability with quotes tells much. Dismissing statistical analysis and probability would be a mistake. You should look again. Statistical analysis is a proven mathematical tool for understanding systems that could not otherwise be understood. Probability is a camera with which we can see relationships we would otherwise not see. It is only the continued innumeracy (illiteracy with numbers) of the world's population that has not yet opened people up to that truth. Statistical math was only really made possible by the rise of the computer. Now everyone has the power to decipher the big lies for ourselves.

Statistical analysis is used by casinos and banks to give them a 1-2% profit on operations spanning multiple decades. You wouldn't like to see some of this science applied to nukes?


As for there being more nuclear players and deterrence being a "dangerous relic," I beg to differ, again. US opened the nuclear genie bottle in 1944-45, the USSR (this includes those nation now separate from Russia today) in 1949, The UK in 1952, France in 1960, China in 1964, India in 1974, Israel (though they still have no publically said yea or nay) in 1986 (speculation is that there are earlier year indications), and lastly Pakistan in 1998.

Thanks for repeating what I said in my very first post. Yes, it is now an eight-nation nuclear world. What is your point other than to make my point for me?


it will be up to those who interpret and write history after such occurs that will determine if the doctrine or policy of deterrence was a waste or it failed

Did I read that correctly? We can't know until after nuclear war?

Great plan. Do you have offspring?



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:37 PM
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If it went off, why the f* you might want to survive in a destroyed world? whats to be alive for after that?

Instar, I would encourage you to relate nuclear weapons in your mind to the most severe car-crash you could imagine surviving. This is a very big car, and some folks (like Rumsfeld and chums) have seatblts, body armor, etc. -- they intend to survive the crash.

Our leaders intend to survive nuclear war. They must think there'll be something worth living for. In their sheltered bunkers, I am sure it will be comfy.

Still, I am human and I will try to survive. In my youth, I was raised in a religious cult (Watchtower) which has zero respect for the USA. They look forward to their god's destroying the USA. When I escaped that cult (and so lost all my family/friends) I began to meet real Americans. People who loved living as an American and who also were willing to learn about other cultures and other beliefs. I respected these Americans more than every Watchtower person I knew. I felt like I was finally among real humans.

I am human. I will survive nuclear war if possible. I will accept the horror of mankind's car-crash and I will try to heal afterward. Before that happens, I'd like to talk about how we might stop it from happening.

Rest assured that some folks will work as hard as they can, to keep you from turning around, facing the direction of travel, and placing your hands on the steering wheel. They do not want you to do this.



[edit on 7-2-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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Great plan. Do you have offspring?

WTF?!

More continued inuendos and belittlings?! Not a problem, smallpeeps, I wash my hands of this conversation and will simply go with the 'we agree to disagree'. Tis time for me to move on to other topics of interest.




seekerof



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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maybe you need to re-read

Seeker, this was one of your first comments and is certainly not nice.


Please don't insult my intelligence by mentioning that my "harddrive has failed."

Here, you interpreted my analogy to some sort of insult about _your_ hard drive like, inside your head. I was speaking about hard drives in general. We see how easily people can misunderstand and take offense.

But who cares about all of that, Seeker? You are a powerful, influential ATS moderator whose opinions are valued highly. Your contributing to this thread has made it possible for me to make what I feel are excellent points. I could not have gone through all this without you, so it is true that steel sharpens steel. I hope you will not stay away from this thread as I feel it goes a long way toward denying ignorance.

I encourage all discussion of the points raised here. Our lives depend on it.



[edit on 7-2-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:43 PM
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Somebody pointed out my earlier reference to "iodine". I meant to type "iodide" Here's the facts about potassium iodide: [from the site, You Will Survive Doomsday]


MYTH #11: There is no such thing as a fallout pill.

There is a simple pill that would have prevented the difficulty. It is supplied in every nuclear emergency kit in Russia and available in Denmark and Sweden. Unfortunately it is not sold in North America.

Fortunately, however, the pill is quite simple to make. Ahead of time, obtain a quantity of potassium iodide from your local drug store. Five dollars worth should be lots. When needed, take a regular glass and fill it a fourth or less full of water, and then slowly start pouring in the potassium iodide while thoroughly stirring the water.

Don't worry about how much you pour in. You cannot pour in too much. After a while you will notice that the chemical no longer dissolves in the water. It just lies there on the bottom. This means that the water is saturated. You can now stop pouring in the chemical. More will not help or hurt.

Next take an eyedropper, or a soaked piece of paper if you do not have an eyedropper, and drop four drops onto a little piece of bread for an adult. Or two drops for a child. If you get several times that amount it is not going to harm you (although in much larger amounts it is a poison).

Now take some butter or margarine and make a little ball out of the bread and pop it down. Tastes awful. Ugh. Take once a day for 100 days after the last bomb falls. This is good stuff and you should have it around for reasons other than defense in case of a nuclear war.

The reason why the potassium iodide works is that the thyroid will absorb only so much iodine. After that, any iodine taken into the body is passed off by the kidneys. Since the body already has all the good stuff it wants it passes out the bad stuff. This is what we call thyroid blocking.

Do not try to use the tincture of iodine that you put onto cuts. Taken internally it will kill you. And you cannot eat enough iodized salt to do you any good. You would get salt poisoning long before you got sufficient iodine to do the job.

Whoops! Could be bad. I'd hate to have someone survive nuclear war and then die due to my mistakes. :^)






[edit on 7-2-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 12:16 AM
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Deterrence theory is not a fraud. It is a concept that proves its validity every day all around the globe, from the streets of countless cities to international diplomacy. Its historic example preconfigures the classic exhibited between antagonists of the Cold War, continues today.

Though it's most commonly associated with nuclear weapons, deterrence is not reliant on any particular threat component.

_Deterrence is created when an individual believes that the the cost of his or her actions will outweigh the reward._

Deterrence happens when a thief walks into a convenience store with the intent to commit armed robbery, but sees that not only is the clerk protected behind bulletproof Lucite, but that the safe at his feet is on a timed release, the clerk has a panic button, and there's no more than $20 in the drawer. Only the most addled individual armed with a pistol would think that the risk in this case is less than the possible reward.

There is a chance the safe's time release is off, that the clerk would be intimidated be a pistol despite the 3" Lucite, that he would slide all the money in the drawer through the retractable exchange box, not hit the alarm, and the robber would get away. That chance is minute compared to the chance that the clerk would hit the panic button, which locks the store, and cross his arms until the police come.

Deterrence theory fails? I think not.

Deterrence is currently happening in the international scene as the Iranians develop the nuclear bomb in response to increased Western beligerence. Posession of a single bomb, without guarantee of accurate or timely delivery, provides a measure of deterrence for that nation. While a single nuclear weapon detonation has no chances of destroying the West, it considerably increases political strife and is effective propaganda foil. A nuclear weapon, deliverable on mobile theater missiles ups the ante. Multiple such weapons would be even better.

This is the game that the US and USSR played for years, and on a minor scale that the USSR and China played.

Deterrence in the realm of chemical and biological weapons prevented nations from exploiting considerable advances in lethal chemistry made between Word Wars One and Two. The cost of using battlefield chemicals simply did not offer reward. It was viewed as a losing gambit for either side, and the war remained conventional. Until...

The development of the fission bomb, and the fact that Japan lacked any possible means of reciprocal retaliation, gave the US an opportunity to use massive force. If Japan had the means of dropping fission bombs on LA and San Fransisco in August, 1945, the US would have been slightly less eager to use its bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Deterrence in human affairs and relationships is merely an outgrowth of nature. The porcupine is slow and nearly handicapped on the ground, so is the skunk. However, pines and spray deter predators. Animals far more powerful than either of these creatures stay away from them.

Deterrence theory is not a fraud in any sense. Deterrence is the natual method of creating sustainable relationships between antagonists. Its observable in all areas of nature and human life in countless examples.

Deterrence is a natural method of creating order out of chaos.



posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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Probability and statistical analysis is not some sort of witch-doctory. It is real. When you have a set of data, you can apply probability distributions to events that occur in the set. The tough part is figuring out which method of distribution one uses for the set.

This site is a great introductory explanation of statitical analysis. Here's a quote regarding some of the different type of distribution methods one can use when analyzing data. Notice the aplications which I have italicized:




Popular Distributions and Their Typical Applications:

Binomial

Application: Gives probability of exactly successes in n independent trials, when probability of success p on single trial is a constant. Used frequently in quality control, reliability, survey sampling, and other industrial problems.

Example: What is the probability of 7 or more \"heads\" in 10 tosses of a fair coin?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multinomial

Application: Gives probability of exactly ni outcomes of event i, for i = 1, 2, ..., k in n independent trials when the probability pi of event i in a single trial is a constant. Used frequently in quality control and other industrial problems.

Example: Four companies are bidding for each of three contracts, with specified success probabilities. What is the probability that a single company will receive all the orders?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hypergeometric

Application: Gives probability of picking exactly x good units in a sample of n units from a population of N units when there are k bad units in the population. Used in quality control and related applications.

Example: Given a lot with 21 good units and four defective. What is the probability that a sample of five will yield not more than one defective?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geometric

Application: Gives probability of requiring exactly x binomial trials before the first success is achieved. Used in quality control, reliability, and other industrial situations.

Example: Determination of probability of requiring exactly five test firings before first success is achieved.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poisson

Application: Gives probability of exactly x independent occurrences during a given period of time if events take place independently and at a constant rate. May also represent number of occurrences over constant areas or volumes. Used frequently in quality control, reliability, queuing theory, and so on.

Example: Used to represent distribution of number of defects in a piece of material, customer arrivals, insurance claims, incoming telephone calls, alpha particles emitted, and so on.

Comments: Frequently used as approximation to binomial distribution.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gamma

Application: A basic distribution of statistics for variables bounded at one side - for example x greater than or equal to zero. Gives distribution of time required for exactly k independent events to occur, assuming events take place at a constant rate. Used frequently in queuing theory, reliability, and other industrial applications.

Example: Distribution of time between re calibrations of instrument that needs re calibration after k uses; time between inventory restocking, time to failure for a system with standby components.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exponential

Application: Gives distribution of time between independent events occurring at a constant rate. Equivalently, probability distribution of life, presuming constant conditional failure (or hazard) rate. Consequently, applicable in many, but not all reliability situations.

Example: Distribution of time between arrival of particles at a counter. Also life distribution of complex nonredundant systems, and usage life of some components - in particular, when these are exposed to initial burn-in, and preventive maintenance eliminates parts before wear-out.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beta

Application: A basic distribution of statistics for variables bounded at both sides - for example x between o and 1. Useful for both theoretical and applied problems in many areas.

Example: Distribution of proportion of population located between lowest and highest value in sample; distribution of daily per cent yield in a manufacturing process; description of elapsed times to task completion (PERT).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice how often the words "CONTROL" and "RELIABILITY" show up? Why would some people roll their eyes at statistical analysis of nuclear C3I failure when such analysis is used every day in control situations in non-nuclear applications?

Isn't the local bank (and the ATM) the contact point for roughly all of the world's citizens? Couldn't we tie nukes to that system and control them ourselves without guys like Nixon and Rummy getting off on the power? If banks use statistical analysis to figure out how to make decades of continuing profit, couldn't we require them to use some of those statistical models to bring the nuclear problem into better view for all their depositors? A bank which offers me a better long-term planning strategy for my family both financially and physically is the one I will patronize. How about you?

Why would anyone argue against finding a better long-term nuclear safeguard using scientific analysis methods that are proven?

To me, it is unbelievable how much faith some people put in their leaders. They must really think those people are smarter than them.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 02:54 PM
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So little interest in nuclear weapons? guess I need to keep this thread active for everyone's well-being.

Now we are facing a scenario where a new nuclear nation is continually and regularly pushing the non-proliferation envelope. Is North Korea "deterred" from developing nuclear weapons? No, of course they are not. This issue will keep coming up so long as nuclear weapons are part of our existence.

In this article from 2003 (when the subject of DPRK nuke-test first came up), nuclear consultant John Large stated the case quite well:

news.bbc.co.uk...


If North Korea did carry out a test, the key question is whether the weapon was "the size of a fridge-freezer or a waste-paper bin", said John Large.

The latter would be far more worrying because it would be able to fit onto one of North Korea's proven missiles.

He said the difficulty hindering a firm analysis of North Korea's nuclear progress was its dependency on innovation.

"When a secretive regime such as North Korea has been embargoed and sanctioned for many years... there may occur the quite unintended encouragement for them to adopt ingenious and novel approaches to how they confront and solve problems.

"Such ingenuity may slip past the detection systems and rationale of a super technological state such as the United States," he said.

As Large points out, neither sanctions, nor deterrence will prevent nations like the DPRK from their quest to go nuclear. They will change their tactics and develop different resource-paths. Pursuing nukes is the only way for them to have the percieved "safety" of Deterrence Theory.

The statistics are as undeniable as actuarial tables: On a long enough timeline, with ten or more nation-players, nuclear war is inevitable.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 05:08 AM
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Small,

Your concerns are understandable but your logic is not up to scratch.

Please do not take this as being a flame-post. I am simply stating a fact.

I understand where you are coming from with regards to your attempt to apply statistics to the potential for failure of the systems in place (btw it is now known as C4I). However, what you fail to deal with is that it is not a constant state system. Furthermore, the forces acting on it do not conform to a regular state of variables.

It is possible to statistically analyse any one or perhaps two minor components in the system to some degree of accuracy. However, it is not feasible to do this with the whole system. This is the reason that at as many stages as possible there are humans in the loop.

As to your denial of the Deterrence Theory, I feel you have failed to deal with this from the proper historical context. I think this may come from a misconception you seem to hold with regards to DT. DT can and does only act bi-laterally no matter how many parties actually have nuclear weapons. It only acts between the two nuclear-armed protagonists.

Even in the time before MAD, nuclear deterrence was a strong factor in the equation, for an example of this look up MacArthur, LeMay, the Korean War and the Soviet Union.

Now I hope you do not take this post as a personal attack on you as it is not. I am simply trying to correct you on some errors.

Cheers

BHR



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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I understand where you are coming from with regards to your attempt to apply statistics to the potential for failure of the systems in place (btw it is now known as C4I). However, what you fail to deal with is that it is not a constant state system. Furthermore, the forces acting on it do not conform to a regular state of variables.

It is possible to statistically analyse any one or perhaps two minor components in the system to some degree of accuracy. However, it is not feasible to do this with the whole system. This is the reason that at as many stages as possible there are humans in the loop.

BHR, no way would I get upset at post like yours. I want as much attention on this thread as possible. If I am wrong in my thinking, I will be happy to admit it. By the way, Bill Hick does, in fact, rule.


Yes, I am aware that the "Computers" element has been added to the C3I structure, but that really doesn't change much. By isolating the "Computers" component of doctrine, there is then clearly a realization that computers must be controlled and kept from malfunctioning. This is a step forward and I am glad to see it. That's the whole point of the C3I structure anyway: To ensure that nuclear weapons to not go off by accident.

As for nuclear weapons not being a constant state system, Can you clarify? I would use the analogy of the Space Shuttle, which was not a constant state system, but which was interrelated and why it took only fifteen "Constant State Moments" (or launches, if you will) before one exploded in a catastrophic failure (Challenger). What matters most, in analysis of this kind is how often does the system go "into state". For the Shuttle, this would be the moment of launch/acceleration. In those moments, all parts of the system are tested.

How many times has the interrelated system of nuclear weapons come into "state"? In fact, we do not know, but what's more, we have been lied to about when and how this happens. Even if we are Americans, we did not know until 2003 that Nixon had secretly elevated our nuclear alert status during the Vietnam war to try and force the Chinese to negotiate. The US is just one of the ten-to-twelve nuclear powers on Earth. To put it simply, a Shuttle launch is observable by all. Nuclear alerts are often not seen or known until after the fact. This makes it more difficult to figure out what is actually going on.

It is my opinion that we are all travelling on a giant Space Shuttle (that's what Earth is) and we have trusted the same type of scientists/engineers that they had at NASA and who sent the Challenger occupants to their deaths due to incompetence and poor understanding of O-Rings and cold weather. I am not willing to trust them with my life. I will challenge this idea of theirs that says we are safe under the theory of MAD. More importantly, entropy and its effects are very real. Unfortunately, we live on the BIG Space Shuttle, and if it crashes, we're screwed.

I am open to persuasion and I am especially grateful for anyone who is better at math than me (which isn't hard). As I said before, an analysis of accidental nuclear launch is not difficult. If we imagine a nation that has such extraordinary C3I control established that they have a failure of each of these three systems system only once every 1000 years. That means that in a thousand year period, each of these systems can be expected to break down once (if ANY of these systems suffers a failure, nuclear launch is assumed to happen). Further, one can see that at 250 years, the C3I elements together will have travelled 1000 years in total (250 years mileage for each of the four components of the C3I structure) and a failure of one of them can be considered probable. Following this idea, we can roughly sketch a world of ten nuclear nations existing simultaneously wherein there will be a failure due to a C3I accident every 25 years (250/10=25). This is all under the assumption that Pakistan, India, China, US, etc --ALL maintain such strict C3I standards that each component does not fail for one thousand years in ANY country.

Keep in mind that this 25-year estimate is based on the following nigh-absurd assumptions: In 1000 years, Pakistan never loses or misplaces a single nuclear weapon [failure of Control]. In 1000 years, India never has a rogue sub commander steal a sub and launch his missiles [failure of Command]. USSR never experiences an electronic deception/error that causes the silo-guys think that launch has happened and then to retaliate [failure of Communication/Computers]. In 1000 years, China never gets incorrect data telling them the US is planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike [failure of Intelligence].

Do you think EVERY nuclear player can keep their country's C3I structure under perfect control for 1000 years? I don't.

How can this be disproved? If we guess that there are, say, three "state" moments for each player, per year (where nuclear readiness is ratcheted up). With twelve players, you're still looking at 36 such state moments per year. After ten years, that's 360 such moments. How can you say that on one of these "state" moments, there will not be a misread or a catastrophic failure?


As to your denial of the Deterrence Theory, I feel you have failed to deal with this from the proper historical context. I think this may come from a misconception you seem to hold with regards to DT. DT can and does only act bi-laterally no matter how many parties actually have nuclear weapons. It only acts between the two nuclear-armed protagonists.

You mention the word 'acts'. What do you mean by this? Once the theory of Deterrence 'acts', it has failed entirely. When there is a war, DT has failed. Deterrence Theory existed long before nukes, of course. The idea was that no opponent would attack an enemy if there were enough tanks to dissuade them. Deterrence Theory is primarily a fraud because it does not deter war. It is a lie that allows the arms-makers and warlords an excuse to build factories and armaments. They know full well that nothing will be deterred.


Even in the time before MAD, nuclear deterrence was a strong factor in the equation, for an example of this look up MacArthur, LeMay, the Korean War and the Soviet Union.

You're saying that DT was successful and you are asking me to study wars and warmongers of the past to see how it was so? MacArthur supposedly wanted to use nukes against Korea. What exactly is your point? Nuclear weapons will kill us all. There is no way around it. If MacArthur and silver-spoon elite warlords like him are to remain godlike and venerated, then humanity has no future.

What was the purpose of DT back then, before nukes? Did it work? As I recall, millions still died horribly in WW2 and the Bush family got rich (among others). If DT continues to fail as regularly as it has failed in the past, we can assume that there will be more wars. Can we agree that it should be thrown out and that a different philosophy must be thought up by someone?


[edit on 9-5-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 05:22 AM
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Smallpeeps,

Again I hope you take this response is the manner it is intended.

Your statistical analysis has one glaring error that I am afraid negates it completely.

For your hypothesis to work you have to assume the system(s) remain the same.

This as I am sure you are aware is not the case in reality.

As soon as you introduce the concept of system maintenance and upgrade the variables increase exponentially to the point of being impossible to measure and meaningless to calculate.

“If we imagine a nation that has such extraordinary C3I control established that they have a failure of each of these three systems system only once every 1000 years.”

Why pick such an arbitary number? Why not 500 years or 100 years? These would be just as meaningful/less.

“if ANY of these systems suffers a failure, nuclear launch is assumed to happen”

This is false since there have been many failures (both US and USSR) and yet no launches (well none that I have heard about).

“Once the theory of Deterrence 'acts', it has failed entirely”

This is again false. The “action” of Deterrence is to prevent the use of Nuclear weapons. It is the failure of Deterrence to act that leads to war.

“Deterrence Theory existed long before nukes, of course. The idea was that no opponent would attack an enemy if there were enough tanks to dissuade them. Deterrence Theory is primarily a fraud because it does not deter war. It is a lie that allows the arms-makers and warlords an excuse to build factories and armaments. They know full well that nothing will be deterred.”

This is partially correct in that DT did exist before nukes but it was not convincingly powerful enough therefore millions died in WW1 and 2. However, with the advent of nukes, there finally came a weapon that could extinguish every human on the planet in the space of a day. This ability had never existed. It meant that no one was safe not matter where they went.

Cheers

BHR



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by Chakotay
Seekerof, Smallpeeps. MAD works if both players are rational. It still works if there are more than two rational players. When it fails to work is when there are players present who are irrational. Suicidal and psychopathic. Oops, I just dis'ed the Islamic Terrorists. The only way to maintain MAD with players like them trying to get in the game is to DENY IGNORANCE access to nuclear weapons.


MAD Works, and I'll tell you why:

First, both sides had tens of thousands of warheads. Remember these weapons were very well protected in one of two ways: first, they were kept in harden shelters (Silos, Deeply Buried Bunkers,ect.); second, some of the warheads are mobile (in submarines at sea, or in aircraft, or even on land). between these two methods, it is impossible to garintee that your opponent can't retaliate.

Second, Early Warning: With today's early warning systems, it is (From a practical point of view) impossible to lanch a major attack in complete surprise. For Example: If you launch a missile, it will be picked up by a satillite and relayed to your opponent in Real-Time. By the Time it clears the lanch pad, your opponent is most likely tracking it and trying to pinpoint its intended target. Once the launch is confirmed, your opponent will immediatly launce a counter-strike! According to SDI Specialist Steve Faught of the US Air Force, It takes about 35 minutes for a Strategic Ballistic Missile to reach it's target.
35 minutes is more then enough time to launch a counter attack!

Now, I WILL give you a point that it doesn't work as well when you're dealing with a Psycopath! People who are Psycotic Do NOT function on the same logic that you and I use. Things that should scare them, Don't! As Chakotay pointed out, MAD works on the assumption that all of the parties are Logical and Rational!

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:22 PM
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Your statistical analysis has one glaring error that I am afraid negates it completely.

For your hypothesis to work you have to assume the system(s) remain the same.

As soon as you introduce the concept of system maintenance and upgrade the variables increase exponentially to the point of being impossible to measure and meaningless to calculate.

You could not be more wrong and it's sad that you'd think these things are "meaningless to calculate".

Maintenance and upgrade introduce a whole new set of problems (didn't I mention this in this thread?) because those new parts have to fit into a pre-existing system. I know enough about calculating the odds of failure when a new piece is introduced into a system because I've worked with computers my whole life. Anything new that you introduce (new parts, new response-methods) are not always a boon to the system, but are sometimes the reason a failure occurs. Why do you assume that upgrades are automatically good? You are familiar with Microsoft and their history of bad upgrades to their Windows operating system, yes? How do you know that tinkering with the system isn't what will cause it to fail?


“If we imagine a nation that has such extraordinary C3I control established that they have a failure of each of these three systems system only once every 1000 years.”

Why pick such an arbitary number? Why not 500 years or 100 years? These would be just as meaningful/less.

Not really. I chose 1000 years as a sort of reductio ad absurdum and Ike Jeanes uses the same argument in his book although much better than I could phrase it. Also, the longer the time period, the more clearly you can frame the situation. One thing is for sure: The basic numbers tell us what standards MUST be upheld. You can't deny that. If nuclear peace is to hold, these are the standards of safety that must be held. I guess you have faith that they will be held? On what does your faith lie? Is there more evidence for your faith in the safety of nuclear weapons under MAD than for say, faith in Christ?


“if ANY of these systems suffers a failure, nuclear launch is assumed to happen”

This is false since there have been many failures (both US and USSR) and yet no launches (well none that I have heard about).

No, as I have said through this entire thread, a failure of nuclear C3I means a launch, for the purposes of this discussion. Sure, the components of C3I fail all the time. Our intel on Iraq would be considered a failure of the "I" portion. What's your point? What I am talking about is a failure that results in a launch.



“Once the theory of Deterrence 'acts', it has failed entirely”


This is again false. The “action” of Deterrence is to prevent the use of Nuclear weapons. It is the failure of Deterrence to act that leads to war.


“Deterrence Theory existed long before nukes, of course. The idea was that no opponent would attack an enemy if there were enough tanks to dissuade them. Deterrence Theory is primarily a fraud because it does not deter war. It is a lie that allows the arms-makers and warlords an excuse to build factories and armaments. They know full well that nothing will be deterred.”


This is partially correct in that DT did exist before nukes but it was not convincingly powerful enough therefore millions died in WW1 and 2. However, with the advent of nukes, there finally came a weapon that could extinguish every human on the planet in the space of a day. This ability had never existed. It meant that no one was safe not matter where they went.

What? I don't think you're being very clear here. First you say that DT was supposed to prevent nuclear use but then you say that DT was a flawed system until we got the really BIG weapons. It as if you are saying "Now, DT can work properly." In fact, the correct statement should be, "Now Deterrence Theory can shows how flawed it is by killing everyone instead of just soldiers."

So which is it? Was DT concieved as a way to prevent war? If so, hasn't it failed utterly? Tons of Soviet tanks did not "deter" Adolf Hitler. Nuclear weapons under DT is simply an excuse for more players to go nuclear so as to protect themselves.

[edit on 10-5-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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MAD Works, and I'll tell you why:

First, both sides had tens of thousands of warheads. Remember these weapons were very well protected in one of two ways: first, they were kept in harden shelters (Silos, Deeply Buried Bunkers,ect.); second, some of the warheads are mobile (in submarines at sea, or in aircraft, or even on land). between these two methods, it is impossible to garintee that your opponent can't retaliate.

Yes, I agree that each side will get some weapons off. However, you cannot "Assure" your enemy's destruction (as I have said). There is no such thing as "Mutually Assured Destruction". It's a 1984 type of truth-lie. Both sides will have survivors and the USSR/China will be much better off simply due to their civil defense procedures. Americans are purposefully put on the front lines of the next war and purposefully kept ignorant of this truth. I mentioned this in my second post to this thread.

If your enemy's destruction cannot be assured, doesn't the situation become just like any other war? You know, the kind where if you can kill more of your enemy's guys, you win? Let's call it what it is: War between cities.


Second, Early Warning: With today's early warning systems, it is (From a practical point of view) impossible to lanch a major attack in complete surprise. For Example: If you launch a missile, it will be picked up by a satillite and relayed to your opponent in Real-Time. By the Time it clears the lanch pad, your opponent is most likely tracking it and trying to pinpoint its intended target. Once the launch is confirmed, your opponent will immediatly launce a counter-strike! According to SDI Specialist Steve Faught of the US Air Force, It takes about 35 minutes for a Strategic Ballistic Missile to reach it's target.
35 minutes is more then enough time to launch a counter attack!

You are assuming volitional launch. As I have said, accident is much more likely. Yes, however, rogue launch is still a threat, but one would have to assume it would come as an accident under failure of the Command portion of C3I.

Accidental launch would be detected, yes. We would have a finite amount of time to determine the origin of that missile before we finally decide to launch in retailation. Boom. Millions die. This is the good part? What are you saying?



----------------
I have tried to explain this issue to the best of my ability but frankly, you folks will have to read Ike Jeane's book, Forecast and Solution: Grappling With the Nuclear if you want to understand where I'm coming from. The point is: Accidental nuclear use is likely to kill us if we continue to rely on MAD.

Here is a poor animated .gif that describes the nuclear weapons system visually in a gravity-based context and which I based on Mr. Jeane's book. I call this thing "Abstract Model of Nuclear Components" or "AMONC":



The warhead in the picture (representing nuclear peace) is hung on two ideas: Civility and Deterrence.

Civility of nations is comprised of four factors which are illegible in this little .gif but which are described in detail in Mr. Jeanes' book. They are: Morality, Friendship, War-Weariness and Absolute Controls. You can see them as the individual cables supporting the "CIVILITY" cable which supports one end of the warhead. As long as these factors hold, this particular nation is safe.

Deterrence is represented by the "DETERRENCE" cable which holds the other end of the warhead. The factors of Irrationality and Decision-making are represented by the ploygons that spin around the Deterrence cable. They spin continually because Deterrence is unreliable and can fail at any time.

The reason I want you all to see this image is because you need to understand the threat of the C3I components, represented here by giant hammers. If any of the C3I components fails in a major way, there are no safeties. I think the graphic speaks for itself.

Bear in mind that EACH nuclear player gives birth to one of these AMONCs and must maintain it. If they do not, and if one of those hammers drops, the results will be catastrophic for all players.

Edit: Fix a link at author's request.

[edit on 11-5-2005 by ZeddicusZulZorander]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 04:30 PM
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Smallpeeps, you couldn't be more wrong.

MAD works, so long as those in charge are sound of mind. There is no way for the US or Russia to launch a nuclear first strike and not recieve a near equal strength retalitory attack. You can't argue that.

Also, you said that Russia and Chinas population would be better off then US populations


Not only is that false, it is the complete opposite of the truth. Whos weapons are more accurate? The US ones are. Who has the most nukes? The US does.

Now, I would like to see you move a significant (let's say 20%) part of the population of a large city in under 1 hour. It can't be done.

Your thesis is spirited, but completely wrong.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 04:58 PM
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MAD works, so long as those in charge are sound of mind. There is no way for the US or Russia to launch a nuclear first strike and not recieve a near equal strength retalitory attack. You can't argue that.

Who's arguing that? I am aware that MAD will result in destruction on both sides. It will not be "Assured Destruction" because there will be survivors.


Also, you said that Russia and Chinas population would be better off then US populations

Not only is that false, it is the complete opposite of the truth. Whos weapons are more accurate? The US ones are. Who has the most nukes? The US does.

Accuracy of weapons is better than bunkers and physical/mental preparation? I would disagree. When a populace is shielded in bunkers (or encouraged to build private shelters), more people will survive. Once you survive the initial blast, preparation will also reveal itself in the form of water, medicine, geiger counters/radmeters, etc. Fallout will affect the northern hemisphere fairly equally when "N-Day" comes. Those who are prepared to detect radiation and who have holes to crawl into will survive. I think it's safe to say there will be conventional wars w/ rifles and such shortly after nuclear exchange.

AMM, if you think Americans are safer, I would strongly disagree. We are encouraged to live in cities and civil defense is non-existant, for the most part. If exchange were to occur, all Americans in the cities would die from blast trauma (lack of shelters). Afterward, they would die from lack of water and food (ignorance regarding irradiated particles), and surface radiation (no radmeters or mental planning for radiation). These other countries are far better prepared. Yes, they will have to absorb more nukes, but much of their population is away from cities. Airbursts could kill more folks on the ground, but airbursts mean nothing when a person is under a shelter.


Now, I would like to see you move a significant (let's say 20%) part of the population of a large city in under 1 hour. It can't be done.

Huh? What's your point? I realize that the people in the cities are the targets. What I'm saying (what the facts are saying, actually) is that Americans are being lied to in regard to the odds of nuclear exchange happening. When it happens, Americans will be surprised. The Chinese and Soviets will not.

Isn't there an incentive for our leaders to brainwash us into thinking that we are safe?



[edit on 10-5-2005 by smallpeeps]



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