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Well what makes a warhead "Strategic"?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 09:48:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its designed use against population centers.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:15:59 AM EST
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That's an interesting but rather arcane debate which was played out in the 70's or the 80's. At the time it was considered that small battlefield nukes were considered tactical while big ones fired at cities and missile complexes were strategic. After the debate people understood that the differnce between a tactical and strategic device is not the size, but the reason why it is used.

Hence, a 1 megaton bomb dropped on a Soviet motorised infantry division is a tactical strike, while a 10 kT device droppen on the Kremlin is most definitely a strategic strike.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:18:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Weapon of mass destruction
During the Cold War, the term "weapons of mass destruction" was primarily a reference to nuclear weapons. At the time, the US arsenal of thermonuclear weapons were regarded as a necessary deterrent against nuclear or conventional attack from the Soviet Union (see Mutual Assured Destruction), and the euphemism "strategic weapons" was used to refer to the American nuclear arsenal.

...

An additional condition often implicitly applied to WMD is that the use of the weapons must be strategic. In other words, they would be designed to "have consequences far outweighing the size and effectiveness of the weapons themselves".[24] The strategic nature of WMD also defines their function in the military doctrine of total war as targeting the means a country would use to support and supply its war effort, specifically its population, industry, and natural resources.

(my bold)

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a funny definition of WMD's, as if I understand the quote right chemical or nuclear weapons which are used as combat weapons in the field are not considered WMD. For example chemical weapons during WW1, or the hundreds (or thousand!) of tactical nukes NATO would probably had to use all over West Germany if the Russians ever would have come pouring through the Fulda Gap.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:26:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds terribly like the CIA overestimation of Soviet capability, that pouring through the Fulda Gap line. The problem with definition speaks of the differences in nuclear stratergy and theory between the US and USSR, the US thinking that the military use of tactical weapons was possible, the USSR seeing (Probably correctly) that once the first was used, whatever brake the politicians had on the situation was off and things were going to go very badly, very quickly.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:23:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pentagon strategists and neocon loonies are still blabbering about "usable nukes".

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:33:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Im sure we'll always have someone wanting to use them, its probably something along the lines of the "You have to use them to prove you are willing, otherwise your enemies might become convinced that you wouldnt and then their deterrent value is 0" justification.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tripwire was always about using 'massive retaliation' as a NATO response to a conventional USSR invasion. Battlefield nukes were always a footnote.

The problem with Tripwire is that it has never completely gone away. It took a long time before proportional response was taken seriously as an alternative. And we still have idiots trying to get Georgia into NATO, with the inevitable outcome that the entire nuclear-tipped alliance will become involved in local Russian politics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Massive retaliation was phased out and replaced by Flexible Response in the 60's.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:41:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's 'cause we're a Christian Nation, and Jesus said that it is easier to nuke through the eye of the needle.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Jul 18th, 2009 at 08:45:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that doesn't really fit with with the Soviet lack of the western conventional vs. nuclear view. Soviet doctrine called for an immediate use of nuclear weapons in support of the ground forces offensive.

Thousands of weapons were to be used in the initial strike at the dawn of the invasion. As many as two hundred(!) were reserved for strikes against Swedish targets.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well thats what I was saying, about the soviets lack of conventional/nuclear view  and battlefield/strategic too (But the Soviet Invasion intention was a Laughable CIA invention)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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