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CharonY

What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea?

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The answer is both reassuring and disturbing

This is actually the title of a report by Haworth et al (Bulletin of the atomic scientists 2019).

In this report they conducted an experiment in which a representative group of Americans were shown different scenarios (e.g. North Korea conducting missile tests and threatening allies or the US) and asked them what responses they would favour a preventative strike under different scenarios (e.g. limited air strike, large scale strike, nuclear strike). In these scenarios they were also presented with different numbers of civilian North Korean casualties (15,000 up to 1.1 million) and different rates of success of these preventative strikes (i.e. North Korea would retaliate with a success rate between 10-90 % ). By providing these scenarios the authors wanted to figure out what precisely influences support for military actions.

What the authors found assuring was that a majority is  in favour of deterrent strategies and also expressed confidence in the ability of the US to deter North Korea from aggression. What they found disconcerting, however, was that about a third of the respondents apparently  approve US strikes pretty much insensitive to the scenario provided. The preference does not waver when nuclear strikes are presented as the option and even worse, it is also entirely insensitive to the number of civilian casualties. As such, it appears that a significant proportion of the population has little regard to loss of human life (which is not American).

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What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea?

Average American is unable to show North Korea on the globe or the world map..

 

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It's especially disturbing when you think about the persecution North Korean citizens suffer daily. To be thought of as irrelevant like that. The word Collateral Damage springs to mind. 

Whoever came up with the word collateral damage to replace murder is a piece of s#*t in my opinion.

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Just now, Curious layman said:

Whoever came up with the word collateral damage to replace murder is a piece of s#*t in my opinion. 

Newspeak

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

George Orwell..

Replacement of one sentence which has bad connotations, with another sentence which sounds much harmless..

"Terrorists were eliminated", "suspect has been neutralized", and so on, so on...

 

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1 hour ago, Curious layman said:

Whoever came up with the word collateral damage to replace murder is a piece of s#*t in my opinion.

Calm down friend. Collateral damage does not necessarily mean death or even injury. It also refers to damage to non-combatant property. And "murder" is hardly the term I would use to describe the death of a non-combatant due to things such as technical limitations, poor intelligence, or just damn bad luck.

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2 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Calm down friend. Collateral damage does not necessarily mean death or even injury. It also refers to damage to non-combatant property. And "murder" is hardly the term I would use to describe the death of a non-combatant due to things such as technical limitations, poor intelligence, or just damn bad luck.

Was thinking more about collateral damage caused by excessive/indiscriminate bombing like in Syria- just flatten the whole place, it'll be worth it in the long run...

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10 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Calm down friend. Collateral damage does not necessarily mean death or even injury. It also refers to damage to non-combatant property. And "murder" is hardly the term I would use to describe the death of a non-combatant due to things such as technical limitations, poor intelligence, or just damn bad luck.

Rather unfortunately it can also include neglect and disregard of human life.

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In Syria, the US and allies called off a number of airstrikes where the 'collateral' damage would have been high.
It was the Russians who bombed indiscriminately in support of Assad's forces.

One could argue that N Koorea's citizenry are enabling their 'government' to provoke armed conflict.
And if the excuse is that they live in a totalitarian regime, then, if D Trump is re-elected in 2020, Americans will be able to use the same excuse and not be accountable for the decisions made by their own totalitarian leader.

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Is it better to kill more people with conventional weapons or fewer people with nuclear weapons?

 

Unfortunately a country's military capability is entirely dependent on civilian support. You could wipe out the entire military and a country's ability to make war would be barely diminished. That would be less than 1% of our population in the US fo example.

 

As a kid we used to joke about glassing the whole of the Middle East so not exactly surprised by these results. Nuclear weapons have some definite points in their favor no matter what else you might say about them.

 

Now older, I can at least understand the horrible deaths and longterm effects they unleash. I can understand why people might be against using them under any circumstances.

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19 minutes ago, MigL said:

One could argue that N Koorea's citizenry are enabling their 'government' to provoke armed conflict.

I think no one can argue this. They are in no way responsible for their government.

maybe UK or France but not North Korea.

Edited by Curious layman

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27 minutes ago, CharonY said:

Rather unfortunately it can also include neglect and disregard of human life.

Of course. But that doesn't mean we should vilify the person who came up with the term. We had to call it something and "murder" was not accurate, being only a subset of what 'collateral damage' refers to.

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3 hours ago, zapatos said:

Of course. But that doesn't mean we should vilify the person who came up with the term. We had to call it something and "murder" was not accurate, being only a subset of what 'collateral damage' refers to.

Fair point. I believe there are some accounts where it was suggested that the usage was specifically created as an euphemism with a view on civilian casualties, but I am not sure about the veracity of the claim.

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This seems remarkably applicable.

 

They're an enemy with a big stick, it doesn't matter what size the stick is: it looks scary when everyone says we should be scared.

Edited by dimreepr

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As an American, what I think about nuclear N Korea is their missile technology is a diversion.  They have no incentive to launch a ballistic missile against any other nation.  The missile launch would be detected and the source located.  This would be definitive proof of a war crime.  Retaliation would be immediate, overwhelming (fire and fury) nuclear, and totally destroy most of N Korea's military infrastructure, and everything dear to Kim.

Their nuclear weapons are worth a lot of money to a terrorist group that has that much cash.  What would a nuke be worth on the terrorism market?  Kim is desperate for money.  N Korea could secretly sell a nuke to a terrorist group for a high enough price.  The terrorists transport the nuke in an old fishing boat.  They park the boat outside a major port city.  They drop the nuke to the bottom in a good depth of water.  Nobody could prove the nuke came from N Korea.

Edited by Airbrush

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3 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

As an American, what I think about nuclear N Korea is their missile technology is a diversion.  They have no incentive to launch a ballistic missile against any other nation.  The missile launch would be detected and the source located.  This is proof of a war crime using nuclear weapons on their enemies.  Retaliation would be immediate, nuclear, and totally destroy most of N Korea's military infrastructure, and everything dear to Kim.

Their nuclear weapons are worth a lot of money to any terrorist group that has that much cash.  N Korea would secretly sell a nuke to a terrorist group for a high enough price.  Nobody could prove the nuke came from N Korea.

War can be fought with sticks; ask Pooh...

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