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Is Nuclear Parity Important?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by BigRob, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Currently, the United States and Russia have made initial agreements to reduce their stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons even further.

    Both Russia and the United States have aging arsenals that are in need of upgrades, however the United States has continually refused to undergo any significant upgrades to its nuclear arsenal on the grounds that it would be "destabilizing."

    So let me ask you this. Is it "destabilizing" to ensure that you have a functional nuclear arsenal? The United States currently extends security guarantees to multiple nations that watch the atrophy of our arsenal with unease. If our arsenal loses its credibility, then those nations that we have extended deterrence to will most likely be forced to begin nuclear programs of their own, thus increasing worldwide proliferation. So which is better? More states possessing nuclear weapons, or the United States extended assurances to prevent this?

    One might counter this point with the argument that the United States still currently possesses around 2,000 warheads. Their is serious debate among long standing allies however such as Japan, that the nuclear arsenal of the United States does not actually possess 2,000 working warheads and delivery vehicles.

    Further, should the United States and Russia continue the plans to reduce weapon levels to 1,500 or so, it would ignore the gross imbalance in tactical nuclear weapons. Currently the United States has only a few hundred tactical nuclear weapons that are aged and easily targeted. Russia on the other hand is estimated to have around 5,000 tactical warheads. They are also rapidly undergoing modernization of this force, such as the ability to put these warheads of missiles and submarines.

    Therefore, Russia can systematically limit the arsenal of the United States while expanding its own nuclear capability, and thus increasing its own posture in Europe and Asia. This is something that the United States needs to combat. Any arms deal must include tactical nuclear weapons or it is a deal that has no benefit for the United States.

    If you believe in nuclear parity, then roughly 1,500 warheads compared to roughly 6,500 warheads should be a cause for concern.
     
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  2. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with nuclear parity. I support nuclear superiority. The idea that having more and better weapons than our enemies, is like saying disarming polices officers is a great way to reduce crime. If criminals don't feel threatened by unarmed cops, then they won't feel the need to rape, murder, and rob people. That's BS.

    Besides that, Russia has a long history of doing that opposite of what they agree with us to do. We should simply stop making agreements with them.
     
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  3. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Sadly however our elected officials tend to think otherwise, if they are even thinking about it at all.

    I am not sure we should "stop", but we should understand that agreements with no clear verification procedures are indeed worthless.
     
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  4. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    Like it or not, we are the policeman of the world. When we hesitate to play that role bad things happen. Having the biggest stick definitely helps. What I would like to see is expanding development of debilitating weaponry. There have been projects that focus on knocking out all electrical motors within an entire region with pulse technology, creating vertigo in an entire battalion with audio projection, and temporary paralysis through microwaves. Since nuclear capabilities are now held by more countries than ever, it would be nice to find a newer/better weapon of choice instead of just having more of what they have.
     
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  5. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Rob, if you're alluding to this recent START treaty then your "allies" know this is all rubbish, there are no real reductions and no degradation in posture.

    You have to understand the nature of the way these treaties are worded, how they are structured and more importantly how waepons are counted. For example the old questions and issues still remain within these treaties which tend to be beyond the capacity of the newspapers to explain and thus mislead..........

    * Washington Post: The agreement would “cut the American and Russian nuclear arsenals by as much as a third” by reducing the “the number of deployed nuclear warheads in each country to between 1,500 and 1,675….”

    * Associated Press: The agreement would “slash nuclear stockpiles by about a third….”

    reading these you'd think "gee they're cutting our balls off!" but alas its all bollox!!! the agreement only addresses "deployed strategic warheads" and has no affect on warheads held in "reserve" or even "non-strategic warheads".

    You have to look at the terminology. Simple example, look at the way normal weapons are stored, you have in-service weapons and munitions (guns and ammo actually issued with soldiers) then various layers of reserves for example ready reserve, strategic reserves etc. etc. nuclear weapons are the same. Take for example the simple cases of "reserve warheads" or "tagged for dismantling" these are fully functioning ready to deploy warheads BUT because they are thus tagged have never been addressed within many of the treaties and there are 1000s of these - they are not counted!

    The treaty wording has not been finalised and will not be until late this year, however, it will be based upon the many forerunners which include the old favorite phrases and terminologies; and as usual will be open to interpretations. Will it address fundemental questions such as the lack of definition of a “strategic offensive weapon” for example! - interesting since the US holds their stocks as "defensive" weapons. Anyway you start to get a feeling that politicians standing in front of cameras and telling the world its a safer place because these weapons are going to be de-commissioned is all bull****! Likewise people worried thet the US is going to be defenceless should really not worry, you ain't!

    Show me a nuclear warhead that has been destroyed as a direct consequence of any ANY ANY disarament treaty and I'll fart Dixey on stage. All that happens is weapons reach the end of their natural lives or get superceded or just get shoved into the bin because they are no longer needed at any rate they these are counted towards the "treaty tally" and then everyone says "look we've reduced our stockpile!!" The biggest reduction in nuclear weapons came about because battlefield nuclear tipped artillery shells got superceded by conventional precision munitions that were more accurate, cheaper, easier to handle, more flexible etc. etc. etc. simply speaking they were just plain more effective. Its a game!

    As of May 2009, the United States had cut its number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 2,126. This is a reduction of 77 warheads from the 2,203 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads deployed on February 5, 2009, and probably reflects the ongoing retirement of the W62 warhead from the Minuteman III ICBM force, scheduled for completion later this year. I think there are still another 600 or so of these warheads in service so the papers could proclaim "an alarming deterioration in the defensive capability in the US by a further 600 weapons by the end of this year" when the retirement programme is due for completion.

    The total U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile includes approximately 5,200 warheads.
     
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  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Really. Then why is there now scholarly debate in places such as Japan that openly question the reliability of our nuclear arsenal? It is not just some isolated comment either, it has become a mainstream issue in many places.

    All true, and all mostly what I already said. The problem is that we continue to limit our strategic weapons (and we are not going to stockpile all that many of them) and eliminate our tactical ones while Russia upgrades its tactical ones and tests new delivery systems.

    I know we will not be "defenseless" but that is not the point. The point is that our extended deterrence becomes less reliable and could directly lead to increased proliferation worldwide.

    Do you mean any treaty or one between the US and USSR?

    Mostly true, but the point we are reaching now is that we have warheads at the end of their shelf life, we have no replacements or better versions, and it is becoming a problem in my view.

    It is not a problem to reduce warhead levels, as long as we maintain an arsenal that is reliable and credible. We refuse to test new delivery vehicles, we refuse to test, and we refused to even carry out the RRW program, which was simply to make sure our warheads worked.

    There is a difference between cutting an obsolete weapon, and letting the ones you intend to rely on expire with no plan of replacement.
     
  7. KingClovis

    KingClovis New Member

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    Rob, we should upgrade our nuclear arsenal, for the sole purpose of giving us the geo-strategic, military advantage.
     
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  8. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Well I agree, but I think the offshoot of that is that it then makes our extended deterrence credible and limits proliferation.

    I think the argument works better when you argue why our increased arsenal (or at least functional arsenal) actually works to limit the availability of nukes worldwide as opposed to just saying "we want to dominate."
     
  9. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ..........what does that mean? "geo-strategic" and what "advantage" do you want to attain.

    What mission are you asking of these "geo-strategic weapons" - what will their state or readiness be? What will be the delivery method? who will you target? what are you expecting the yield to be?
     
  10. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Most nations aren't really interested in nuclear forces because of the cost of them and the fact that they are basically a waste of time and effort. Anyway thats a different issue.




    Apart from a few SSBNs that have a service up to 2015, all of the Russian systems will have outlived their service life by 2010, and they have no extension programmes despite what the scaremongers may say.

    The real bummer for the Russians was that the mainstay of the ICBM fleet was the SS-18/19 and along with the bulk of the tactical weapons the production/maintenance facilities were in Ukraine which is a bit of a pisser doncha think! Why do you think that the US attaches so much store in getting the Ukrainians into NATO and being their real special buddies? To deny the Russians getting access to those facilites through either threatening military posture or via and economic political pressure.



    a reliable and credible.......what......exactly. A nuclear weapons system is designed for a specific mission, reliability, accuracy and readiness state plus shed loads of other criteria but lets not bother with that for the moment. Cold war planning was not that complicated in that essentailly you target Russia and its ecomomic/military assests, leadership, population etc. bigger was sometimes better but no always yadda yadda. Okay, so accurate long range delivery systems multiple heads on hair-trigger alert status with high reliability and high maintenance cycles with trained and motivated personnel. Multiple delivery systems short/medium/long range missiles, aircraft, and submarines laying off-shore continental Russia allowed flexiblility and multi-layered responses to dynamic scenarios. Pretty simple huh!

    So what is your reliable and credible system going to do? destroy small villages or blat the bejeebers out of whopping great cities? Will it be missiles or subs or planes or artilery lobbing these bombs and will they be on ready alert or hair-trigger alert or storeage for 24/48 hours or weeks or months. Do you just want to blat Iran or N. Korea or both (topography is different) do you want to zap their bunkers or their cities or their population or their factories? Or do you just want to whack Moscow?
     
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  11. KingClovis

    KingClovis New Member

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    The threat of total devastation of our enemies.
     
  12. KingClovis

    KingClovis New Member

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    Not sure if I follow. Sorry.
     
  13. laughinatreps

    laughinatreps New Member

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    As opposed to mutual devestation? Whats the point of winning if there is nothing left to win? Are you saying the human race should just cause its own extinction? Intelligent debate.....
     
  14. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ...........:D
     
  15. KingClovis

    KingClovis New Member

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    Nah............that's why we have tactical nukes, many of which can be delivered by conventional artillery.
     
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