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The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War
The Bush administration's new nuclear doctrine contains specific "guidelines" which allow for "preemptive" nuclear strikes against "rogue enemies" which "possess" or are "developing" weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The preemptive nuclear doctrine (DJNO), which applies to Iran and North Korea calls for "offensive and defensive integration". It explicitly allows the preemptive use of thermonuclear weapons in conventional war theaters.
The B61-11 is categorized as a "deep earth penetrating bomb" capable of "destroying the deepest and most hardened of underground bunkers, which the conventional warheads are not capable of doing". The B61-11s can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb, from a B-2. a 5B-2 stealth bomber or from an F-16 aircraft.
The B61-11 is casually described as causing an underground explosion without threatening "the surrounding civilian population".
Weapons of Mass Destruction - B61
"... In tests the bomb penetrates only 20 feet into dry earth,... But even this shallow penetration before detonation allows a much higher proportion of the explosion to be transferred into ground shock relative to a surface burst. It is not able to counter targets deeply buried under granite rock. Moreover, it has a high yield, in the hundreds of kilotons. If used in North Korea, the radioactive fallout could drift over nearby countries such as Japan"
if it were to be launched against Iran, it would result in radioactive contamination over a large part of the Middle East - Central Asian region, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, including US troops stationed in Iraq:
Low-Yield Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons
"The use of any nuclear weapon capable of destroying a buried target that is otherwise immune to conventional attack will necessarily produce enormous numbers of civilian casualties. No earth-burrowing missile can penetrate deep enough into the earth to contain an explosion with a nuclear yield [of a low yield B61-11] even as small as 1 percent of the 15 kiloton Hiroshima weapon. The explosion simply blows out a massive crater of radioactive dirt, which rains down on the local region with an especially intense and deadly fallout."
"The earth-penetrating capability of the B61-11 is fairly limited. ... Tests show it penetrates only 20 feet or so into dry earth when dropped from an altitude of 40,000 feet. ... Any attempt to use it in an urban environment would result in massive civilian casualties. Even at the low end of its 0.3-300 kiloton yield range, the nuclear blast will simply blow out a huge crater of radioactive material, creating a lethal gamma-radiation field over a large area "
“Bunker Busters”: Robust Nuclear Earth - Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006
The B61 (Mk-61) Bomb
Mini Nukes are Safe for the Surrounding Civilian Population?
Controversial plans to research nuclear “bunker busters” have been abandoned by the by the US in the country's 2006’s budget.
The Bush administration and the Senate have agreed with the House of Representatives to scrap the funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) in the 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
The Pentagon will instead focus on developing a conventional deep-earth penetrating bomb, said Senator Pete Domenici, chair of the Senate subcommittee dealing with the issue.
The depleted-uranium bullets are made of low-level radioactive nuclear-waste material, left over from the making of nuclear fuel and weapons. It is 1.7 times as dense as lead, and burns its way easily through armor. But it is controversial because it leaves a trail of contamination that has half-life of 4.5 billion years - the age of our solar system.
Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Uh, because it is not a weapon of mass destruction?
There is a difference between a special waepon, which that is, and a weapon of mass destruction, which it is not.
Originally posted by QuietSoul
Good thing they don't make them anymore..
Originally posted by Souljah
What Difference is that?
Oh I get it!
You mean the ONLY Difference is in the Nationality of the Country who has this WMD's - for, if the Country is also a World Superpower, then it is NOT a Weapon of Mass Destruction anymore - but just a Special Weapon which is completly SAFE FOR CIVILANS!
Sorry TC - but if you haven't heard, there are NO Weapons which are SAFE for CIVILIANS! Especially Not NUCLEAR bombs. So, when USA or Isreal threaten with Nuclear Bombs, that is OKEY and ofcourse Democratic.
Originally posted by XphilesPhan
No genius He is saying the weapons intended purpose is to penetrate underground and destroy a bunker not a city. THAT is what makes the difference, it isnt meant to destroy a city and cause civillian casualties, it is meant for use on an underground MILITARY target. Thats why it isnt a WMD, dont turn this into a 'the US are hypocrites issue'.
Originally posted by XphilesPhan
That was probably why it was abandoned, that wasnt my point and I was trying to explain the general theory behind it. I was also trying to explain why it would NOT be classified as WMD.