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#1 Dawes

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 1237 PM

Since this treaty seems to be going away, what are the thoughts from our European brethren? Something to be concerned about or "who cares?"


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#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 1250 PM

Trumps right. All America is doing is recognising the facts on the ground, that the Russians have been playing games. And the Russians have been playing games, because they feel they need them to protect against China.

 

The ideal solution is an INF that covers all three, but you might sooner try to whistle down the wind.


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#3 RETAC21

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 1403 PM

I don't think it makes a ton of a difference.

 

When the USSR was deploying SS-20s like there was no tomorrow to target every single nuclear vector in Europe, it had a case, but with fewer systems there's not a world of difference between strategic and operational systems, more so when conventional payloads can deliver the same result in all scenarios but the ones where the target is under a mountain.


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 0346 AM

You have a point. There isnt the theatre level demand for intermediate level weapons anymore. We arent defending against the GSFG, they arent expecting to go swimming in the channel.

 

That said, its worth remembering quite how many tactical nuclear weapons they still have, something like 1500 by all accounts. So whereas in the past they had a choice between using their strategic nuclear weapons on America or Europe, they can (if they can find the money) utilize that fairly worthless tactical stockpile as weapons to use on Europe (or China for that matter), whilst freeing up their strategic stockpile purely to use on the US. They would be capable of doubling their potentially useable nuclear stockpile.

 

Part of me wishes they would bankrupt themsselves like they did in the 1980's. The other part of me is not looking forward to a return to waking up each morning in wonderment we are still here, as I did in the early 1980's. Those days could yet return.


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#5 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 0532 AM

It was probably coming due to the non-involvement of China, which in fairness was a remote consideration in 1987 to hold off on an important step for decreasing tensions in Europe. The Russians have been chipping away at its foundations politically if not technologically for a long time for that reason, and rationally I can understand both their and the American concern about the Asian side; I'm just miffed that Trump made Putin a gift by needlessly assuming the role of the villain who killed the treaty in popular perception. I also have the faint suspicion that the move is collaterally designed to push the Europeans into greater US dependency or else spending more money on contributing to nuclear deterrence, which would be much better used for conventional means.

 

But since China is the actual focus, I agree that there will not be much practical change for Europe in the short term; in part due to the lack of technical necessity noted by RETAC, in part because the Western European countries are not hot to have more nukes based there while NATO's continuing nominal adherence to the NATO-Russia Founding Act prevents basing in Eastern Europe. Though that act is on shaky ground itself due to the practical lapse of the base it was agreed upon, sea-based cruise missiles and SLBMs can already counter any Russian systems; the biggest step might be developing a nuclear ATACMS variant as I have suggested before to balance Russian SRBMs in Kaliningrad.

 

The 80s kid inside me manically welcomes the prospect of returning to my childhood days of nuclear doom of course, and I'm not alone even if others have harder interests. German political parties on the Left are already dreaming of a new mass peace movement which lifted them up back then, particularly the Greens. I'm looking forward to seeing them march alongside the new pro-Russian Right, personally. :D


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#6 lastdingo

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1058 AM

Since this treaty seems to be going away, what are the thoughts from our European brethren? Something to be concerned about or "who cares?"

 

I am decidedly on the alarmist side.

That's because I look at conventional warhead missiles, their prices and what they could do in a strategic surprise attack. I think the status quo is path-dependent on the INF and without it there may be disastrous changes ahead.

 

The Russians could presumably do quite the same as I wrote about from naval launchers (I covered that in other blog posts), but a couple hundred MRBM with three SDB-like MARVs each based in far Western Russia would be a nightmare. That nightmare would cost less than a fighter wing.


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#7 Colin

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1337 PM

More than likley the first tactical nuke use will be by a smaller player like Iran vs KSA


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#8 Corinthian

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1506 PM

More than likley the first tactical nuke use will be by a smaller player like Iran vs KSA


Why did I smile to that scenario?
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#9 Dawes

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1520 PM

India and Pakistan were once the "two most likely to nuke each other". Maybe that has since cooled somewhat?


Edited by Dawes, 03 February 2019 - 1520 PM.

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#10 RETAC21

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1527 PM

In my opinion having a few nukes is worse than not having them as it creates a liabilty now (need to have them under reliable guard - in case of a coup...) for a potential benefit that may never happen - it's only value is as deterrent as popping one off over Ryadh or New Dehli may trigger annihilation by the superpowers that wouldn't want a up and coming power to think they can use them with no consequences.


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#11 lastdingo

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 1707 PM

India and Pakistan were once the "two most likely to nuke each other". Maybe that has since cooled somewhat?

 

 

The Pakistani government and military are scared of India and India doesn't have offensive intent.

I think they will manage to keep the conflict at the well-known level unless there are huge political changes (such as some reckless jingoist rising to power).


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#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 0254 AM

 

More than likley the first tactical nuke use will be by a smaller player like Iran vs KSA


Why did I smile to that scenario?

 

 

Because you have your own personal stockpile? :huh:


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#13 Roman Alymov

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 0731 AM

Rus media take translated


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 0807 AM

https://www.washingt...-first-use-act/

In the latest sign of a more assertive foreign policy push from Capitol Hill, two powerful Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill designed to ensure the United States does not fire the first nuclear shot in potential future wars.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith of Washington state and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, rolled out the “No First Use Act” that would make it the official policy of the U.S. to not use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

The U.S. government has long resisted adopting the “no first use” doctrine in its nuclear strategy.

“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated — it is dangerous,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “By making clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal, this bill would reduce the chances of a nuclear miscalculation and help us maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Department of Energy kicking off production of a new low-yield nuclear weapon, as advised by the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, designed to counter Russia’s arsenal.

President Trump is expected to formally being the withdrawal process from the 1987 International Nuclear Forces treaty, a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, which bans the production of mid-range “tactical” nuclear weapons by both sides. The U.S. and its allies say Moscow has developed weapons that violate the INF.


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#15 Roman Alymov

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1022 AM

From weekly news


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1024 AM

What a lot of crap. How does a UAV in any way resemble a land based cruise missile?


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#17 Roman Alymov

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 1027 AM

What a lot of crap. How does a UAV in any way resemble a land based cruise missile?

For those on the recieving end there is no difference.


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#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 0317 AM

Sure there is. How many UAV's have the American's used that are nuclear tipped?

 

INF treaty means Intermediate Nuclear Forces. There is a big clue in the nuclear bit.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 05 February 2019 - 0318 AM.

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#19 klahtinen

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 0338 AM

As USA is planning/building new small nuclear weapons there's technically an opportunity to create smaller cruise missile/suicide ucavs. Works better than Davy Crockett.


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 0353 AM

If they were feeling cheap, they could buy the stormshadow airframe and mate it to that. They wont, but in an ideal world where NIH doesnt apply, they could.

 

I really think we need to differentiate between UCAVs and cruise missiles. The Kremlin can descend into absurdity as much as it likes, but there is no reason to follow them down the rabbit hole.UCAV's are not cruise missiles. For one thing dropping atomic weapons they would probably upset the datalink, at which point you have lost the vehicle. Whatever that is, its not a drone.

 

Secondly for much the same reason UCAV's dont fly at low altitude. They are high altitude weapons, whose job is to loiter and fire antitank missiles at some Jihadi in a 4x4. These are remarkably different requirements from something like Gryphon which could fly at ultra low altitude for a thousand miles and deliver a nuclear weapon with high accuracy. So whatever such a weapon would be, its not a cruise missile either. The US has demonstrated no ability or intent to deliver nuclear weapons in this way. So to say the US has been breaking the treaty since 1999 is reaching a country mile.

 

Ditto the shore based aegis. It has no ability or equipment to deliver cruise missiles, yet the Russians claim its already breaking the treaty. Which they know is completely untrue, but they keep spamming it anyway.


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