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MINI NUKES, BUNKER BUSTERS, and DETERRENCE: Framing The Debate
What is revolutionary about current proposals is the idea of reducing the yield of tactical nuclear weapons to levels approaching those of conventional explosives, to around one-tenth of a kiloton, which would theoretically bridge the gap between a conventional and nuclear weapon. Bunker-busting (the destruction of hard and deeply buried targets) is only one of the missions proposed for these miniature nuclear weapons, but it is the mission that has been picked up and seemingly endorsed by the Nuclear Posture Review.
There is a rub, however. A 1993 law currently prevents the government from designing new nuclear weapons with a yield below 5 kilotons.2 As a result, the goal of developing true mini-nukes has been tabled for now, and the Energy Department will primarily focus on modifying an existing nuclear warhead, either the B83 or B61, to develop new bunker-busters with yields around 5 kilotons.3 The Bush administration's Fiscal Year 2003 Energy Budget Request would fund studying the development of this new weapon, called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
Proponents claim these weapons could destroy deeply buried facilities used in the production of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and would thereby dissuade people like Saddam Hussein from developing such weapons in the first place. Opponents claim creating such weapons would threaten international law and might accelerate the proliferation of nuclear weapons without giving the United States much added bunker-busting capability. Little noted in this debate is the fact that the United States has been at work on similar weapons since the mid-nineties and already has a bunker-busting nuclear weapon, the B61-11, a nuclear gravity bomb.4
Originally posted by D.E.M.
No, it would have simply vaporized the bloody towers. A nuke is a nuke no matter how small you make it.
On the other hand, this is indeed intriguing. Personally I had been running with the idea that Israel had their hands on some good old Soviet suitecase nukes circa the cold war (Which would also explain that ministers visit to Russia last week). This is even better!
Originally posted by ziggy1706
Anyone ever watch 'trinity, abvoe and beyond'? I used to watch it religously on history channel a decade ago. it was alla bout..nuclear warheads! moreso in our army. Back in the 60's the army experimented wtih mini warheads, shot from artillery cannons. It proved no real viable use..the radiation would for sure, contaminate the army tropps, the land where the enemy soldiers were vaporized is now useless, as its radioative now...yuode elimiate the enemy yes, but no gain in conquered ground.
I'm saying that more than a hundred weapons out of the supposed number of 250 are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia. I don't know their location. I don't know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they've been sold or stolen, I don't know.
The number of “missing” nuclear devices (as found by General Lebed) is almost identical to the number of strategic targets upon which those bombs would be used.