posted on May, 22 2008 @ 08:32 PM
I would tend to agree that yeild and method of delivery would be key elements used to hypothesize a potential source.
Also, critical to determine the responsible party would be just how clean the detonation was, which would give some indication as to the relative
sophistication of the device. An efficient device utilizes more of its fissile material to create a bigger explosion, hence less fissile maerial
remains as fallout; but an efficient bomb is usually a very sophisticated bomb, beyond the likely abilities of "Cave-dwelling terrorists"
To deliver a weapon by air (by plane, missle, or even balloon) would require a relatively small, lightweight, and therefore, sophisticated design. For
the most part, only nation-states would have access to this type of weapon, and the ability to maintain it in a ready state.
To evade radiation sensors and customs inspectors, a land based detonation would most likely be the result of a bomb built "in-situ"; requiring a
minimum amount of transport of anything other than mostly innocuous components to the construction/detonation site. Land-basing would allow for a
fairly large device, even one of reliably simple yet inefficient design, since radiation sheilding would be easier to accomplish within the confines
of a building.
However, this strategy would generally require considerable manpower, and thus, as noted in a prior post, communications becomes a "weak-link" in
the security chain: co-ordinating the commings and goings of the fabrication and assembly teams allows multiple opportunities for breaching
Best bet would be to build the device offshore and smuggle it in aboard, or beneath! an ocean-going ship. You could utilize a simple, relaible
weapon design (a "gun-type" device, for example) of sufficient yield to devastate your target (coincidentally, Ports make Excellent
targets!), while assured of the fact that the vast bulk of your delivery system (the ship itself) is shielding your weapon from prying radiation
Although in development, I doubt that the technology and/or the supportive database to identify isotope source by "signature" exists yet.
To answer your original question: "What would the US do After a nuke blast on its soil?"
The most likely answer would be: Nothing.
Unless it could absolutely identify the responsible party(ies), to the World's satisfaction, it would be left to mourn its dead, succor its injured,
and withdraw into itself.
The rest of the world, recognizing the scale of retaliation such an attack would demand of the US, would never allow such retaliation on any but the
PROVEN guilty party.
To do less would be to risk further retaliation resulting in all out world war.