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Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was questioned on ABC television's This Week program about the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in the expected conflicts to come.
In practiced Pentagonese, Rumsfeld deftly avoided answering the question of whether the use of tactical nuclear weapons could be ruled out.
Though large "theater" thermonuclear devices -- doomsday bombs -- don't fit the Bush administration's war on terrorism, smaller tactical nukes do not seem out of the question in the current mindset of the Defense Department.
The most likely candidate is a tactical micro-nuke called the B61-11, an earth-penetrating nuclear device known as the "bunker buster."
The B61-11 was designed to destroy underground military facilities such as command bunkers, ballistic missile silos and facilities for producing and storing weapons.
However, it could be used against the warren of tunnels and caves carved under the Afghan mountains that are often cited as a potential refuge for the U.S. government's prime suspect, Osama bin Laden.
According to an article in the May 1997 edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "The B61-11's unique earth-penetrating characteristics and wide range of yields allow it to threaten otherwise indestructible targets from the air.
"The 1,200-pound B61-11 replaces the B53, a 8,900-pound, nine-megaton bomb that was developed as a 'city buster'..."
The B53 was deliverable only by vulnerable B-52s; In contrast, the smaller and lighter B61-11 can be delivered by the stealthier B-2A bomber, or even by F-16 fighters.
The B61-11 is the most recent device added to the U.S. nuclear arsenal since 1989, according to the story.
It was developed and deployed secretly. The U.S. military sneaked it past test and development treaties, as well as public and congressional debate, by defining the B61-11 as an adaptation of a pre-treaty technology rather than a new development.
The B61-11 is designed to burrow through layers of concrete by way of a "shock-coupling effect."
The design directs the force of the B61-11's explosive energy downward, destroying everything buried beneath it to a depth of several hundred meters, according to a story in the March 2, 1997 issue of Defense News.
The B53, on the other hand, with a force equal to 9 million tons of TNT, penetrates the earth simply by creating a massive crater, rather than the more precise downward blow of the B61-11.
Depending on the yield of the bomb, the B61-11 can produce explosions ranging from 300 tons of TNT to more than 300,000 tons. This is significantly less than the B53, but still far larger than even the greatest conventional non-nuclear device in U.S. stockpiles. And it is several times more powerful than the atomic weapons dropped on Japan in 1945.
Studies by the Natural Resource Defense Council estimate that more than 150 B61-11s are currently in the U.S. arsenals, scattered among NATO aircraft carriers and planes on bases in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands and Greece.
Originally posted by the_oleneo
Originally posted by the_oleneo
I've always ask this question:
What is the very best way to convince all the nations, including the United States, not to have nuclear weapons?
I know the answer well and you won't like it.
My answer: A nuclear holocaust.
There is a strong chance that a small percentage of humanity who will survive a nuclear exchange, unite all of mankind and swears "never again".