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How would U.S. respond in a national emergency

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posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 11:50 PM
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Having studied the Cold War extensively over the years, it makes me real glad that the Cold War never went hot. It was even more fortunate to know that we will never face a national emergency where we're all about to be annihilated by nukes.

However, the subject has been bugging me. I've wondered, it'll 15 years this year from when the Cold War ended, yet in so many ways, our government and military still has some significant leftovers from the Cold War era and the mindset. Thus, I wondered what if a post-Cold War disaster occured that created a perilous national security situation which could threaten the United States? In other words, how would American respond to the most realistically worst emergency situation of today, as opposed to the End of the World scenario of the Cold War?

Let me lay out the scenario. Lets say a massive U.S. contingent is involved in large-scale military operations in the Middle East. Somehow, a couple of tactical nuclear weapons are detonated over the U.S. forces, annihilating them and leaving masses of casualties. How would the U.S. government at home respond?

Here is what I think, in chronological order:

-Defense Emergency declared by U.S. military (does Defense Emergency constitute use of tactical nukes, or does it pertain only to strategic nukes [ICBMs, SLBMs]?)
- U.S. military goes to DEFCON 1 for the first time ever
- U.S. military installations go to Force Protection Condition CHARLIE (imminent terrorist attack)
- FCC sends out Emergency Alert System broadcast on all TV stations (network, cable, or satellite) and all radio waves
- FCC shows live feed of President giving speech of situation, declares state of emergency
- State of emergency gives FEMA complete control of the country
- Martial law declared; National Guard mobilizes
- Homeland Security declares "Red State," a severe threat of terrorist attack
- Government goes to Information Operations Condition CHARLIE
- All activites (school, work, etc.) are canceled, people are sent home, put under curfew, et. al.

One note, and this is to some specific people, especially, this is NOT, I repeat, NOT a discussion of U.S. foreign policy, this is a discussion about how the country of the U.S. would respond domestically in this given situation.

This is incredibly fascinating stuff. The system has evolved, but its also stayed the same and its amazing to consider this worst-case scenario, especially when you realize that in the 21st century, its not a doomsday situation and we can survive it, but we'd have to get through the chaos first.

I'm looking forward to a great discussion!




posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 12:10 AM
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I would think there would need to be an actual, imminent threat to the United States proper in order for all those steps to be taken. Tactical nukes on foreign soil are strictly a military problem. Sure, the military would be at an increased state of readiness and we might respond in kind, but there would be no need for the imposition of martial law.

Nukes detonated over U.S. soil would be a different story. Then you would most likely see increased control by the authorities, depending on how widespread the attacks were.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 12:26 AM
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Originally posted by eaglewingz
Nukes detonated over U.S. soil would be a different story. Then you would most likely see increased control by the authorities, depending on how widespread the attacks were.


Ha ha, no kidding.


You bring up great points, but what I don't understand is this. How does an overseas nuclear attack that takes out a large portion of our military not constitute as an actual, imminent threat to the U.S.? Especially in the 21st century, when terrorism is the frontline world issue, it seems like such a situation would be grounds for rampant terrorism.

Also remember that the U.S. population will panic and civil disorder will occur in such a situation.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 12:35 AM
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Unless people were in immediate danger that was a lot worse at work or at school rather than at home, I wouldn't see any need to keep everyone at home. Our whole economy depends on people working. If people don't work, eventually the power will go off, food will be depleted, and we won't be ready for any kind of attack.

It's just my opinion but I do not believe there will be riots in the US if some of our forces get nuked overseas. It would be more like 9-11 on a bigger scale. I believe many would start preparing for war with the offending group or country rather than start some riot here. my two cents.

[edit on 10-4-2006 by orionthehunter]



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by orionthehunter
Unless people were in immediate danger that was a lot worse at work or at school rather than at home, I wouldn't see any need to keep everyone at home. Our whole economy depends on people working. If people don't work, eventually the power will go off, food will be depleted, and we won't be ready for any kind of attack.

It's just my opinion but I do not believe there will be riots in the US if some of our forces get nuked overseas. It would be more like 9-11 on a bigger scale. I believe many would start preparing for war with the offending group or country rather than start some riot here. my two cents.


Interesting, and great thoughts both of you.

After 9/11, many, many people stayed home or close to it, for fear of additional attacks and also because of the emotional impact the attack brought. Commercial airlines were not allowed back into operation for (iirc) a week or so after 9/11, and there was some panic purchasing going on around here. A dear friend of mine drove from Los Angeles to RI to be with his very pregnant wife, and recalls that the roads he used were not terribly busy, as he expected they would be. The emotional effect cannot be ruled out, imho. People, in times of crisis, tend to gather together, and not necessarily at a workplace.

Further, I'd posit that the elimination of a significant amount of our military does indeed pose a risk to national security/inerest. While we don't rely on them to handle United States emergencies (we have local and federal law enforcement for that), it would be perceived as a "weakened front" and I would expect that some terrorist organization would endeavor to take advantage of that. If they were successful, if even one tiny IED or suicide bomber was successful, it would be immediately perceived by the citizenry that we are under attack, and unrest would be evident.

Because of that, I would think that martial law would be declared, at least until folks understood the full scope of the issue, and then some redeployment would occur before a lifting of the martial law. It wouldn't be for weeks, but I lived through the riots in LA, and remember the dusk to dawn curfews for three days...it was fascinating to drive the freeway system and have it be virtually empty, only you and a cop car, both reaching speeds of 90+, them not even giving me a second glance. Eerie and unreal, but it happened...my city was virtually empty except for the hot spots.

I suspect that it would be something along those lines should the given scenario occur...

Regards-
Aimless



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 01:41 AM
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I suppose if the people of a given city didn't want to stay tuned to current events or gather with family members to go rioting instead, martial law might have to be declared in such a city. However I don't think that happened after 9-11. I believe our national guard troops would be needed and it would make the situation worse if everyone started rioting in the streets. I was busy at work and so was everyone else in the area I live in. After work, we discussed the situation with family and friends and stayed clued to the tv wondering what might happen next. Then I saw more flags and patriotism in this country than I have seen on the 4th of July. I didn't see any rioting. In fact I saw Congress and everyone else more unified than ever. I suppose the situation might be different if a group from the US nuked our own guys but I think the discussion is about a foreign group. I suppose I could imagine unrest developing later if people stayed home too much and the economy tanked and unemployment and fear became the norm.

[edit on 10-4-2006 by orionthehunter]



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 01:56 AM
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Nukes on American soil? get real folks, the government has been wasting all its money on programs designed to stop such threats. In the case of nuclear war we are going to be the ones nuking the # out of everybody else.

With the developement of forcefield technology as well as our Star Wars defense system its easy to see that all of our money went towards the military and now the only way to get it back is TAKE it BACK. Forget paying back china, you think this country is prepared to take it from behind by communist China? America is the bully in the school yard, he doesnt pay back your lunchmoney, he beats you up and steals it.

Americans shouldnt be so concerned, when the world sees how far our military technology has come it will be a one sided beating. The question should be... How far will the US beat the rest of the world into submission.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by orionthehunter
I suppose if the people of a given city didn't want to stay tuned to current events or gather with family members to go rioting instead, martial law might have to be declared in such a city. However I don't think that happened after 9-11. I believe our national guard troops would be needed and it would make the situation worse if everyone started rioting in the streets. I was busy at work and so was everyone else in the area I live in. After work, we discussed the situation with family and friends and stayed clued to the tv wondering what might happen next. Then I saw more flags and patriotism in this country than I have seen on the 4th of July. I didn't see any rioting. In fact I saw Congress and everyone else more unified than ever. I suppose the situation might be different if a group from the US nuked our own guys but I think the discussion is about a foreign group. I suppose I could imagine unrest developing later if people stayed home too much and the economy tanked and unemployment and fear became the norm.

[edit on 10-4-2006 by orionthehunter]


But 9/11 was not a nuclear situation. Therefore, to compare 9/11 with a nuclear situation is apples and oranges.

Imagine discovering that large amounts of U.S. forces overseas have been eliminated by nuclear weapons. Would you, or we, really stay calm about the whole situation? Especially considering this is not the Cold War any longer; nuclear war is an unlikely scenario (not counting nuclear terrorism).

As for patriotism, I think we'd see TRUE patriotism. I think we'd see genuine concern for the country and that we'd finally see the light, whatever the light may be.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by nephyx
Nukes on American soil? get real folks, the government has been wasting all its money on programs designed to stop such threats. In the case of nuclear war we are going to be the ones nuking the # out of everybody else.

With the developement of forcefield technology as well as our Star Wars defense system its easy to see that all of our money went towards the military and now the only way to get it back is TAKE it BACK. Forget paying back china, you think this country is prepared to take it from behind by communist China? America is the bully in the school yard, he doesnt pay back your lunchmoney, he beats you up and steals it.

Americans shouldnt be so concerned, when the world sees how far our military technology has come it will be a one sided beating. The question should be... How far will the US beat the rest of the world into submission.


Read what I posted in the opener:



One note, and this is to some specific people, especially, this is NOT, I repeat, NOT a discussion of U.S. foreign policy, this is a discussion about how the country of the U.S. would respond domestically in this given situation.


Your post has nothing to do with the topic. Revise or post elsewhere.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Does anybody know if Defense Emergency applies to ICBMs only or includes any nuclear attack of any form?



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