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(Atomic Scientists Bulletin)   ICBMs are inherently destabilizing, redundant and way too expensive... we need to get rid of em and do something else   (thebulletin.org) divider line
    More: Hero, Nuclear weapon, Nuclear warfare, Nuclear proliferation, Intercontinental ballistic missile, nuclear nonproliferation, US-Russian arms control, United States, international community  
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1354 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Jul 2021 at 3:56 PM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-07-08 3:09:09 PM  
Throw rocks from the moon?
 
2021-07-08 3:25:13 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?


I kind of like the idea of just dangling nukes from a string out of geosynchronous orbit. It has a very old school vibe. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocl​es )
 
2021-07-08 3:32:46 PM  
No problem, just a few of these and ICBMs go the way of the war horse. Imagine how much money will be left over to spend on Millennial projects.
Fark user imageView Full Size

Well, not exactly like this. Eventually autonomous weapons will be able to find you in the remotest cave or pick you out of a crowd of 10,000. They will be smaller, faster, smarter, and virtually impossible to detect before they shift you into the next dimension.
 
2021-07-08 3:47:24 PM  

Bajtaur: demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?

I kind of like the idea of just dangling nukes from a string out of geosynchronous orbit. It has a very old school vibe. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocle​s )


Nukes are high tech, and difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to produce.  They require maintenance.

Rocks from on high are cheap, quick, and require no maintenance (except for the release, deorbit, and steering systems.  Still much less than a fission or fusion warhead).

They also deliver roughly the same energy as a nuke, but in pure kinetic energy - no radiation to worry about.

If you haven't read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', you may want to give it a look.
 
2021-07-08 3:55:29 PM  
Nuclear weapons have kept us safe from nuclear weapons for decades, and will continue to do so, until such time as there are no more nuclear weapons on account of us annihilating each other with all of them.
 
2021-07-08 3:57:29 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Rocks from on high are cheap, quick, and require no maintenance


Rods from God?  We've already got some.  Nobody's going to be scared of them until they wipe out a city.  And ours aren't quite that large yet.
 
2021-07-08 4:06:28 PM  
Now why am I hearing "You first."?
 
2021-07-08 4:07:11 PM  
let's do something else

okay like what

your mom
 
2021-07-08 4:07:15 PM  
your mom's destabilizing
 
2021-07-08 4:09:11 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-08 4:10:19 PM  
SPACE MISSILES!!! By that sounds cheap.
 
2021-07-08 4:10:36 PM  

Alex_Lee: No problem, just a few of these and ICBMs go the way of the war horse. Imagine how much money will be left over to spend on Millennial projects.
[Fark user image 350x262]
Well, not exactly like this. Eventually autonomous weapons will be able to find you in the remotest cave or pick you out of a crowd of 10,000. They will be smaller, faster, smarter, and virtually impossible to detect before they shift you into the next dimension.


Those things are made from L'Eggs pantyhose containers.  I bet you could but an almighty fark-ton of them for the cost of one ICBM.
 
2021-07-08 4:12:09 PM  
keep the ICBMs and get rid of the rest of the military.
 
2021-07-08 4:12:23 PM  
For those that didn't read the article, it's very much about ground based ICBMsand their part of the nuclear triad needing to be re-examined for its value, not about the larger Nuclear weapons debate in general.
 
2021-07-08 4:14:08 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?


How about Star Wars defense system? Expensive, but it always sounded smart to me.

/Who knew a weapon that was truly defensive only would piss so many people off...
 
2021-07-08 4:15:42 PM  
I TOLD YOU BIDEN WAS COMING FOR OUR MISSILES!
 
2021-07-08 4:15:58 PM  

Alex_Lee: No problem, just a few of these and ICBMs go the way of the war horse. Imagine how much money will be left over to spend on Millennial projects.
[Fark user image image 350x262]
Well, not exactly like this. Eventually autonomous weapons will be able to find you in the remotest cave or pick you out of a crowd of 10,000. They will be smaller, faster, smarter, and virtually impossible to detect before they shift you into the next dimension.


I'm going to send you to the shadow zone.
 
2021-07-08 4:16:14 PM  
Go away, space Nazis. the UA cannot weaponize space, because the USA is fascist. The USA can, however, be heroic and stop other contries from weaponizing space. In which case, ICBMs are probably here to stay, unles diarmament is on the table.

Fark you for not advocating disarmament, by the way. There i no reasonable alternative.
 
2021-07-08 4:17:37 PM  
What happened to our Jewish Space Lasers?


/ducks and hides
 
2021-07-08 4:21:44 PM  
Shipping containers for the big ones. For low-yield warheads, just use FedEx.
 
2021-07-08 4:23:15 PM  

mainsail: Now why am I hearing "You first."?


Clearly, the only way to eliminate ICBMs is to decommission all of them at once, never in a gradual process.
 
2021-07-08 4:23:16 PM  
FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.
 
2021-07-08 4:24:18 PM  
Yeah mass drivers hanging over the planet like the sword of Damocles.
 
2021-07-08 4:24:50 PM  

The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.


Of course, if it ever did get to such a point, the entire human race is likely perma-farked.
 
2021-07-08 4:25:00 PM  
Nuclear war is not a question of if. It's only a question of when.

/I did three patrols on the USS Henry M Jackson in the 90s.
/CSB
 
2021-07-08 4:26:19 PM  
Can we sell them to Saudi Arabia & give the proceeds to billionaires & congressfolk?
 
2021-07-08 4:27:31 PM  
Rex has entered the chat
cdna.artstation.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-08 4:27:35 PM  
You first subby.
 
2021-07-08 4:28:31 PM  
i.kym-cdn.comView Full Size



/ Mazel Tough
 
2021-07-08 4:29:01 PM  
Orbital nuclear platforms.

Combine the simplicity of Rods from God with the nukes.
 
2021-07-08 4:29:24 PM  

The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.


That is one of the most unconvincing arguments I've ever heard.
 
2021-07-08 4:29:36 PM  

transporter_ii: /Who knew a weapon that was truly defensive only would piss so many people off...


Thats because it aint.

A missile defense is the shield in the sword + shield war equipment.

Step 1 : First strike against enemy
Step 2 : Missile defense shoots down a big part of the remaining missiles
Step 3 : Winning

This is what Russia and China are afraid of. Missile defense could be part of a first strike weapon.
 
2021-07-08 4:29:39 PM  
All nuclear weapons have to go.

All of them.
 
2021-07-08 4:29:48 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?


thumbs.gfycat.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-08 4:30:47 PM  

ColdFusion: The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.

Of course, if it ever did get to such a point, the entire human race is likely perma-farked.


True.
 
2021-07-08 4:32:08 PM  
CSB: I am not a nuclear physicist nor a space engineer.....

Could nuclear warheads be converted to fuel for a space mission?

That could incentivize the nuclear powers to pony up the missiles in equal numbers thereby deescalating nuclear tension while also promoting scientific advancement.
 
2021-07-08 4:35:00 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Nukes are high tech, and difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to produce. They require maintenance.


My job is partly related to this hell.
Yep.  YEEEEEEEP.
 
2021-07-08 4:35:03 PM  

Plato's Salty Discharge: CSB: I am not a nuclear physicist nor a space engineer.....

Could nuclear warheads be converted to fuel for a space mission?

That could incentivize the nuclear powers to pony up the missiles in equal numbers thereby deescalating nuclear tension while also promoting scientific advancement.


Nuclear warheads don't even need converting. You just need to build an Orion vehicle.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proje​c​t_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)
 
2021-07-08 4:35:45 PM  

Plato's Salty Discharge: CSB: I am not a nuclear physicist nor a space engineer.....

Could nuclear warheads be converted to fuel for a space mission?

That could incentivize the nuclear powers to pony up the missiles in equal numbers thereby deescalating nuclear tension while also promoting scientific advancement.


The rockets themselves can be.  The Minotaur rocket series are adapted Minuteman ICBMs.

As to the nuclear fuel, that depends on what the warheads are built from.  RTGs are built with plutonium.
 
2021-07-08 4:36:13 PM  

Plato's Salty Discharge: CSB: I am not a nuclear physicist nor a space engineer.....

Could nuclear warheads be converted to fuel for a space mission?

That could incentivize the nuclear powers to pony up the missiles in equal numbers thereby deescalating nuclear tension while also promoting scientific advancement.


Yes, but probably not in a way that's meaninfully more cost effective than just mining and refining new material.

More to the point, there's a wee bit of longstanding angst about using transporting nuclear material from earth to space. One bad rocket launch could basically spread insanely radioactive dust all across a hemisphere. Governments are less worried about that when they're launching a bunch of nuclear warheads anyway, but if they're not, it's generally strongly avoided.
 
2021-07-08 4:36:52 PM  

king of vegas: The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.

That is one of the most unconvincing arguments I've ever heard.


That's the thinking behind the sponge theory of keeping ICBMs around. The DoD spending money purely on inertia on something they know is no longer effective is probably closer to the truth.
 
2021-07-08 4:37:11 PM  

whidbey: All nuclear weapons have to go.

All of them.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-08 4:37:28 PM  
Intercontinental Ballistic Hugs are what we need....

... each yielding the love energy equivalent of a crowd of over one hundred thousand Furries in a an emotional state somewhere between just friends and arousal.
 
2021-07-08 4:38:53 PM  

phedex: I TOLD YOU BIDEN WAS COMING FOR OUR MISSILES!


Only the scary black ones with the testes on a ring. NukeNutz. Get them before they separate for reentry.
 
2021-07-08 4:41:24 PM  
The author points out the redundancy of ground launched ICBM's vs. submarine launched.

Yeah. That's the entire point.

Nuclear weapons are a political weapon primarily. Most people don't realize the effectiveness of low-yield weapons. The kind that can be launched from an A-10 or an Apache via Hellfire missile.

Eventually, some jackass is going to irradiate a city block with a crude dirty bomb. And we'll be on here screaming about radiation inside bananas to feel better about it.
 
2021-07-08 4:42:05 PM  

The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.


This is the sort of thinking that comes from people who earnestly believe a nuclear war is "winnable".
 
2021-07-08 4:42:51 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Bajtaur: demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?

I kind of like the idea of just dangling nukes from a string out of geosynchronous orbit. It has a very old school vibe. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocle​s )

Nukes are high tech, and difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to produce.  They require maintenance.

Rocks from on high are cheap, quick, and require no maintenance (except for the release, deorbit, and steering systems.  Still much less than a fission or fusion warhead).

They also deliver roughly the same energy as a nuke, but in pure kinetic energy - no radiation to worry about.

If you haven't read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', you may want to give it a look.


I just played through Skies of Arcadia again a couple months ago, and now you're going to tempt me to do it again?
 
2021-07-08 4:43:22 PM  

Darfur Parkour: Intercontinental Ballistic Hugs are what we need....

... each yielding the love energy equivalent of a crowd of over one hundred thousand Furries in a an emotional state somewhere between just friends and arousal.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-08 4:43:37 PM  

bthom37: The Irrelevant Gamer: FTFA: "Proponents of ICBMs say we need to retain them as a "sponge" that, in a first-strike, full-war scenario, would require an attacker to expend much of its nuclear forces to take out US ICBMs. But the US can respond to a nuclear attack with or without ICBMs. As Kimball and others point out, just one US nuclear-armed submarine, which carries on the order of 160 thermonuclear warheads with yields far greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would be enough to devastate an entire country in a second strike. Nuclear-armed submarines are, by design, nearly impossible for other countries to track. If the goal is retaining a second-strike capability to ensure a credible deterrent, ICBMs are redundant."

ICBMs' function as a sponge is not to act as a deterrent, or to enable a second strike. The silos are there to provide targets that an enemy would focus on wiping out first instead of population centers or military command and control. Basically the hope is most of rural North and South Dakota gets nuked in a first strike instead of Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The nuclear subs exist to ensure a second strike is possible once then enemy has wasted its firepower on ICBMs. If we don't spend money upgrading ICBMs they become  less of a threat, and potential enemies shift their targeting parameters accordingly.

We're not spending money on them to use them, but to provide credible alternative targets to cities and military installations.

This is the sort of thinking that comes from people who earnestly believe a nuclear war is "winnable".


the concern isnt that we might think its winnable
its that the OTHER GUY might think its winnable.
 
2021-07-08 4:45:51 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Throw rocks from the moon?


If you can get to the moon, or even maintain something in LEO, you don't even need nukes.

I still say that this is why that autonomous little drone spaceplane was sent up for what appear to be endurance tests.  Maintaining an orbital platform that can move to cover different parts of the globe quickly & accurately is expensive and difficult.  But if you plan to send them up and then bring them back down when their lifespan is complete... you can drop Rods anywhere you want, at any time.  All the destructive power of a nuke, no fallout, and surprisingly cheap.

Besides, it takes, what, anywhere from a day to a week to get from LEO to lunar orbit?  You're going to want somewhat better response time than that, I think.
 
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