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toastywombel

Obama: No Nukes- Even in Self Defense

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So DH, if you poison me, I am justified to douse you in gasoline and light you on fire?

No, we have laws against that.

 

The military operates under different rules than do we mere civilians, and for good reason.

 

And Pangloss I feel that Fox is implying that nuclear weapons should be left on the table as an option for defense.

The option to use them should be left on the table, IMO. The cold hard logic of in-kind retaliation coupled with the US classification of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons as one and the same has acted as a deterrent against the deployment of these weapons by others nations. That deterrent has now vanished.

 

Mad as it may sound, mutually assured destruction kept the US and former USSR from using nuclear weapons against each other -- or against allies. We did not use nukes in Korea or Vietnam because the Soviet Union also had nukes. The Soviet Union did not use nukes against Berlin in the late 1950s/early 1960s, or against various Eastern European uprisings, or against Afghanistan because they too did not want to risk nuclear escalation.

 

 

What I am saying is that it is a stupid question, "Is Obama limiting Nukes too much?" I believe there should be no nukes at all.

Nice sentiment, wrong world.

 

I am not talking about biased here I am talking about plain stupidity. Responding to any kind of attack with Nuclear weapons is simply counter-productive to any goal one might have, because nuclear weapons have the capability of killing everyone on the planet in a relatively short period of time.

Not near as much potential there as with biological weapons.

 

You are missing the point of the long-standing US policy. Military rules of engagement are essentially the old rule of a tooth for a tooth, and an eye for an eye. You might wish for a different world, but that is just a wish. Our enemies will not see this as a policy of enlightenment. They will see it as a policy of weakness.

Edited by D H
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And policy schmolicy. We can always use the "So, we lied" gambit.

 

Sure, but I'd rather we have that set to maximum protection. To one extreme, if we have "You can kill half our citizens and we won't retaliate in the least" would be an extremely poor policy, even (and especially) if it happens to be a lie. On the other extreme, if we have "If you kill a few of our citizens we'll nuke you to kingdom come" then we can expect terrorists to enjoy yanking our chain with that policy. The best policy is the one that is uncertain, so no one can try to manipulate us with our strategy, and/or a threat, so people back off due to it.


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Don't you think there is a point though, where if someone devises a chemical/biological weapon that threatens humanity, what good is it going to do to threaten humanity even more with a nuclear strike? Its like I said before, If someone throws a grenade at you in a crowded room, what good does it do to throw a grenade back at them? Sure it may teach a lesson, but what good does a lesson do if everyone is dead.

 

What harm would it do though, if humanity is doomed anyways? What if a biochemical weapon turns out to be more deadly/infectious than its creator anticipated? Why should we tell them that we won't nuke them even if they wipe out our country? Best to discourage them from trying.


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I believe there should be no nukes at all.

 

I believe their should be no nukes, no war, no disease, no murder, no accidents, and no ugly people. Unfortunately, there are things that can't be changed. Just because I believe there should be none of this, for example, doesn't mean I believe we should have no military, no hospitals, and not traffic and safety regulations. We have to play the hand we're dealt as best we can.

Edited by Mr Skeptic
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"What harm would it do though, if humanity is doomed anyways? What if a biochemical weapon turns out to be more deadly/infectious than its creator anticipated? Why should we tell them that we won't nuke them even if they wipe out our country? Best to discourage them from trying."

 

If it would do no harm, then why send the nuke? I'm sorry but I don't attest to the ideology, if I am going to die, then everyone is going to die.

 

Also, If someone is creating a biochemical weapon of that magnitude, I doubt that telling them we will nuke you is much a deterrent. If they have the capability of making such a weapon, I would guess they have the mental capability of knowing it would destroy humanity as we know it. And, if it were by chance an accident like you were saying, I still don't see how nuking them would accomplish anything but decrease the chances for humanity to survive.


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And I really don't agree with this deterrent thing. Yeah, I am sure rogue states are saying, "Hey, did you hear the United States just changed their policy on nuclear weapons? Now if we attack them they wont nuke us, lets do it!"

 

And I'm being accused of not being in the real world.


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Also, why is it so unrealistic to believe in a world without nuclear weapons? I simply hate the phrase, "It's just not possible."

 

Ten years ago people would have said the same about a black president

 

Fifty years ago people would have said the same about the cold war ever ending without world destruction

 

A hundred years ago people would have said the same thing about going to the moon

 

I mean you guys are saying a nuclear bomb free world is not practical, the only reason it is not practical because people with similar mindsets keep saying it is not practical.

Edited by toastywombel
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chemical and biological agents have the potential to inflict as much, if not more, harm as nuclear weapons.

 

What? Aside from the extremely vague nature of statements like "chemical and biological agents", the fallout cloud that would arise from a MAD-type nuclear scenario with large numbers of warheads detonated around the globe certainly brings with it the potential to wipe out humanity. That threat exists today and has existed since the cold war.

 

Can you point out a similar scenario with chemical or biological weapons that exists today? Sure, you can dream up hypothetical scenarios like grey goo converting the entire earth to a big silver ball. But that can't happen today. Global thermonuclear war can.

 

I really cannot believe the response to this thread. I do not think any of you who are equating chemical and biological agents to nuclear weapons have really thought through what you're saying.

 

Not only is the destructive potential of nuclear weapons far greater, but are you forgetting about fallout? I think you'd be hard pressed to find a chemical weapon which can emit such a destructive substance into the air en masse that occurs after the detonation of a thermonuclear weapon.

 

For those of you who continue to insist that nuclear weapons should be equated to chemical and biological weapons, can you name a specific chemical or biological weapon you think compares to, say, a Minuteman III?

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Can you point out a similar scenario with chemical or biological weapons that exists today? Sure, you can dream up hypothetical scenarios like grey goo converting the entire earth to a big silver ball. But that can't happen today. Global thermonuclear war can.

 

My earlier reference indicated that the Native population of North America was decimated by smallpox and similar diseases. I've seen estimates exceeding a 90% reduction in population due to these diseases.

 

http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/variables/smallpox.html

 

Within just a few generations, the continents of the Americas were virtually emptied of their native inhabitants – some academics estimate that approximately 20 million people may have died in the years following the European invasion – up to 95% of the population of the Americas.

 

This corresponds to the eyewitness accounts of various early European explorers to the continent. This was, at least primarily, unintentional on the part of the Europeans.

 

Do you doubt that an intentional effort, perhaps augmented by genetic manipulation, cannot do something similar? Do you thinkthat with the global travel that happens today that an infection can be regionally contained, especially as there could be animal carriers? We haven't contained bird flu or SARS from a global spread.

 

I really cannot believe the response to this thread. I do not think any of you who are equating chemical and biological agents to nuclear weapons have really thought through what you're saying.

If the potential destruction of humanity is equivalent (i.e. everyone) why should they not be considered equivalent?

Not only is the destructive potential of nuclear weapons far greater

but the potenial from nuclear is not greater, it is less than that of biological weapons...
, but are you forgetting about fallout?
and cannot biological agents linger in the environment for years? Certainly these can exist within the populations of host animals for essentially forever.
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a chemical weapon which can emit such a destructive substance into the air en masse that occurs after the detonation of a thermonuclear weapon.
I think you'd be hard pressed to find enough plutonium to kill 95% of the inhabitants of an entire continent whereas the Europeans were able to do so without even trying (at least not very hard) in the 18th century.

 

EDIT: Actually the human death toll from smallpox was over 90% of two continents both N. America and S. America as well as an unknown percentage of the inhabitants of a third continent (Australia, New Zealand)... One biological agent already HAS decimated half (3 of 6 populated continents) of the globe.

Edited by SH3RL0CK

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I agree with Skeptic that we should consider using Nukes if a weapon comparable in destruction is used. This hopefully will discourage countries from developing these types of weapons.

 

I'm not sure we really need to state it explicitly. We could just say if a country uses WMD, they will be destroyed with no mercy, no concern for civilians. If it can be done without nukes, then so be it.

 

The problem then becomes if a terrorist group uses a weapon. Do we destroy the country it came from? What if they stole it from us?

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"What harm would it do though, if humanity is doomed anyways? What if a biochemical weapon turns out to be more deadly/infectious than its creator anticipated? Why should we tell them that we won't nuke them even if they wipe out our country? Best to discourage them from trying."

 

If it would do no harm, then why send the nuke? I'm sorry but I don't attest to the ideology, if I am going to die, then everyone is going to die.

 

It's a pretty good deterrent, especially if it gets other nations to also discourage such attacks for fear of being caught in the crossfire.

 

Also, If someone is creating a biochemical weapon of that magnitude, I doubt that telling them we will nuke you is much a deterrent. If they have the capability of making such a weapon, I would guess they have the mental capability of knowing it would destroy humanity as we know it. And, if it were by chance an accident like you were saying, I still don't see how nuking them would accomplish anything but decrease the chances for humanity to survive.

 

What if they're just building a biological weapon intended to wipe out a city or a stadium, and it co-mingles as diseases often do with some other disease already in that population, into something enormously contagious that becomes a threat to the whole of civilization? There's a rule in biology: there's always exceptions, nothing works exactly as intended.

 

And I really don't agree with this deterrent thing. Yeah, I am sure rogue states are saying, "Hey, did you hear the United States just changed their policy on nuclear weapons? Now if we attack them they wont nuke us, lets do it!"

 

And I'm being accused of not being in the real world.

 

A rouge state still has people in it. And people are afraid of dying. At least some of them are. All it takes is a few conscientious or terrified people to tell on their government, such as the location of an imminent nuclear missile launch, and we can deal with it.

 

Also, why is it so unrealistic to believe in a world without nuclear weapons? I simply hate the phrase, "It's just not possible."

 

Ten years ago people would have said the same about a black president

 

Fifty years ago people would have said the same about the cold war ever ending without world destruction

 

A hundred years ago people would have said the same thing about going to the moon

 

I mean you guys are saying a nuclear bomb free world is not practical, the only reason it is not practical because people with similar mindsets keep saying it is not practical.

 

The thing is, your examples are different. Let me rephrase these:

"There can be no person, such that that person is black and president"

"There can be no device, such that that device is capable of going to the moon"

"There can be no persons, such that those persons can negotiate a peaceful end to the cold war"

"For all people, each and every one of them decides not to have a nuclear weapon"

 

The ones that come out to a universal negative are really really unlikely, unless you are dealing with something like the laws of physics.

 

A nuclear-free world is no more difficult than a murder-free world: all you have to do is convince every single person capable of it to choose not to.

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What? Aside from the extremely vague nature of statements like "chemical and biological agents", the fallout cloud that would arise from a MAD-type nuclear scenario with large numbers of warheads detonated around the globe certainly brings with it the potential to wipe out humanity. That threat exists today and has existed since the cold war.

 

Can you point out a similar scenario with chemical or biological weapons that exists today? Sure, you can dream up hypothetical scenarios like grey goo converting the entire earth to a big silver ball. But that can't happen today. Global thermonuclear war can.

 

I really cannot believe the response to this thread. I do not think any of you who are equating chemical and biological agents to nuclear weapons have really thought through what you're saying.

 

Not only is the destructive potential of nuclear weapons far greater, but are you forgetting about fallout? I think you'd be hard pressed to find a chemical weapon which can emit such a destructive substance into the air en masse that occurs after the detonation of a thermonuclear weapon.

 

For those of you who continue to insist that nuclear weapons should be equated to chemical and biological weapons, can you name a specific chemical or biological weapon you think compares to, say, a Minuteman III?

 

Agreed, not only can thermonuclear weapons cause large blasts they can also cause

Electromagnetic Pulse

Firestorms

Earthquakes

Ionizing Radiation

Flash Blindness/Fire

Thermal Radiation

 

I also would like anyone to point out a biological or chemical weapon that can totally destroy anything within a thirty kilometer radius in a few seconds and knock out communications, cause firestorms, damage buildings.


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It's a pretty good deterrent, especially if it gets other nations to also discourage such attacks for fear of being caught in the crossfire.

 

 

 

What if they're just building a biological weapon intended to wipe out a city or a stadium, and it co-mingles as diseases often do with some other disease already in that population, into something enormously contagious that becomes a threat to the whole of civilization? There's a rule in biology: there's always exceptions, nothing works exactly as intended.

 

 

 

A rouge state still has people in it. And people are afraid of dying. At least some of them are. All it takes is a few conscientious or terrified people to tell on their government, such as the location of an imminent nuclear missile launch, and we can deal with it.

 

 

 

The thing is, your examples are different. Let me rephrase these:

"There can be no person, such that that person is black and president"

"There can be no device, such that that device is capable of going to the moon"

"There can be no persons, such that those persons can negotiate a peaceful end to the cold war"

"For all people, each and every one of them decides not to have a nuclear weapon"

 

The ones that come out to a universal negative are really really unlikely, unless you are dealing with something like the laws of physics.

 

A nuclear-free world is no more difficult than a murder-free world: all you have to do is convince every single person capable of it to choose not to.

 

What if the country is North Korea? The people cannot really tell their government anything, and they most likely would be un-aware of anything going on outside of their local world.

 

And even if accidentally some country designs a weapon that turns into something deadly like that, again what good does detonating a nuclear device do? How would that help solve the problem at hand?


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My earlier reference indicated that the Native population of North America was decimated by smallpox and similar diseases. I've seen estimates exceeding a 90% reduction in population due to these diseases.

 

http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/variables/smallpox.html

 

 

 

This corresponds to the eyewitness accounts of various early European explorers to the continent. This was, at least primarily, unintentional on the part of the Europeans.

 

Do you doubt that an intentional effort, perhaps augmented by genetic manipulation, cannot do something similar? Do you thinkthat with the global travel that happens today that an infection can be regionally contained, especially as there could be animal carriers? We haven't contained bird flu or SARS from a global spread.

 

If the potential destruction of humanity is equivalent (i.e. everyone) why should they not be considered equivalent?

but the potenial from nuclear is not greater, it is less than that of biological weapons... and cannot biological agents linger in the environment for years? Certainly these can exist within the populations of host animals for essentially forever. I think you'd be hard pressed to find enough plutonium to kill 95% of the inhabitants of an entire continent whereas the Europeans were able to do so without even trying (at least not very hard) in the 18th century.

 

EDIT: Actually the human death toll from smallpox was over 90% of two continents both N. America and S. America as well as an unknown percentage of the inhabitants of a third continent (Australia, New Zealand)... One biological agent already HAS decimated half (3 of 6 populated continents) of the globe.

 

Within just a few generations the smallpox took its toll on the Native Americans. In about twenty minutes we could destroy practically our whole civilization with nuclear weapons. That is the difference between biological/chemical agents and Nuclear Weapons. And while biological agents linger in an environment, radiation from a nuclear blast doesn't?

 

Furthermore, you can prevent infection from biological agents, hell you may even be able to find cures to biological agents. You cannot prevent radiation from passing through your body.

 

With a biological/chemical weapon at least it is possible for humanity to survive is my point. Nuclear bombs in mass can block out the sun, destroy our cities, knock out our electrical grid, contaminate water supplies, cause radiation poisoning all within a few minutes. Biological/ Chemical weapons simply cannot deliver that kind of damage in that short of time.

Edited by toastywombel
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What if the country is North Korea? The people cannot really tell their government anything, and they most likely would be un-aware of anything going on outside of their local world.

 

I've yet to see a robot government. Every government we have is made of people, and most people fear death.

 

And even if accidentally some country designs a weapon that turns into something deadly like that, again what good does detonating a nuclear device do? How would that help solve the problem at hand?

 

Weapons that are not deployed for fear of retaliation are much safer than the ones that are deployed. Weapons that are never developed in the first place because they cannot be deployed without the risk destroying your country, are even safer.

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stated policy is much different than what he'd actually do during a crisis. You may recall that GW Bush ran on a platform of of non-interventionism and ending Clinton-esque conflicts overseas. Obviously that idea went to hell in a handbasket on 9/11.

 

His words probably won't even shift the power dynamic much. He still says he's willing to use nuclear weapons on anyone who matters, and we weren't about to drop nuclear weapons on underground terrorist cells anyway.

 

We could still drop them on N Korea or Iran, but that isn't a change in policy.

 

This all goes out the window when somebody else initiates a nuclear strike anyway (assuming we survive such a scenario, politicians would like to keep their jobs).

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I've yet to see a robot government. Every government we have is made of people, and most people fear death.

 

 

 

Weapons that are not deployed for fear of retaliation are much safer than the ones that are deployed. Weapons that are never developed in the first place because they cannot be deployed without the risk destroying your country, are even safer.

 

Again, I think if someone or some government really wants to release a chemical/biological weapon into the United States, a nuclear deterrent is not going to stop them. Furthermore, an easy way for a country to bypass this whole thing is to contract out to regular people. Surely you don't think a country who attacks us with a biological agent would admit to it?

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I don't think it's ever been any nation's policy to avoid inflicting "extreme pain" in warfare. Getting shot hurts.

 

Not necessarily, Geneva Conventions try to make moderate war. Geneva conventions were basically enacted to remove the BC in NBC scope of war. it tries to force either death or wounding without side effects, case and point the removal of triangular wound causing implements such as knives and bayonets. the triangular shape of the bayonets would cause severe wounds and take a much greater time to heal.. if they heal at all.

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I would also like to note, if chemical agents were truly a greater threat than nuclear weapons. Why are the nations who have active nuclear weapons considered the superpowers, while the nations who have active chemical/biological weapons aren't?

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I also would like anyone to point out a biological or chemical weapon that can totally destroy anything within a thirty kilometer radius in a few seconds and knock out communications, cause firestorms, damage buildings.

That is a logical fallacy. Just because nukes do most of their damage in a few seconds and biological weapons take days to months to accomplish their dirty work does not make the biological weapons less harmful.

 

What if the country is North Korea?

What if the country is North Korea? Obama explicitly left the nuke option on the table regarding North Korea and Iran.

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Within just a few generations the smallpox took its toll on the Native Americans. In about twenty minutes we could destroy practically our whole civilization with nuclear weapons. That is the difference between biological/chemical agents and Nuclear Weapons. And while biological agents linger in an environment, radiation from a nuclear blast doesn't?

 

I'm not trying to minimize the potential of nukes. But to demonstrate the potential of biological weapons. With the same delivery system utilized as nuclear missiles (see the link in my earlier post) it is possible to contaminate the entire world just as easily (actually easier, see DH's previous post) in the same amount of time.

 

 

Furthermore, you can prevent infection from biological agents, hell you may even be able to find cures to biological agents. You cannot prevent radiation from passing through your body.

would you have time to do so? We've been trying to find a cure for AIDS for decades now without any real sucess.

With a biological/chemical weapon at least it is possible for humanity to survive is my point. Nuclear bombs in mass can block out the sun, destroy our cities, knock out our electrical grid, contaminate water supplies, cause radiation poisoning all within a few minutes. Biological/ Chemical weapons simply cannot deliver that kind of damage in that short of time.

 

People have survived a surprisingly close distance to the epicenters of nuclear blasts (Hiroshima, Nagasaki), and the corresponding fallout. Both cities are today still in existence, and their electrical grids work quite well (or so I've been told). Their water is not contaminated today either. I get your point, but don't overstate your case, it would take a very large number of nuclear weapons to essentially destroy everyone (up to 95% of the population) across a large geographical area.

 

Biological weapons are potentially more destructive than nuclear weapons as they HAVE already delivered an equivalent (though different) amount of damage and could (in principle) be utilized in an equivalent timeframe.

 

I've looked at your points and am not pursuaded. I've presented my case, but you apparently are not pursuaded. So I'd guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this matter.

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I would also like to note, if chemical agents were truly a greater threat than nuclear weapons. Why are the nations who have active nuclear weapons considered the superpowers, while the nations who have active chemical/biological weapons aren't?

Another fallacy, but you have picked at a rather nasty modern problem. Modern technology, and particularly modern biological technology, has wielded WMD capabilities to small nations and even smaller groups. That only a small group of people are all it takes to murder millions is something that should scare you much, much more than do nukes. It scares the bejesus out of policy wonks, and that is policy wonks of all flavors. It takes a fairly large country to make a nuke. It takes a village to make a killer bug.

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Why, exactly, is direct revenge (on a comparable scale to the original attack) necessary?

 

If it's merely for deterrent, I'd think the knowledge that we have the ability, through cruise missiles and stealth aircraft, to destroy your headquarters, airbases, fuel dumps, and critical infrastructure, whenever we want, would suffice.

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Um, it's been US policy not to threaten non-nuclear nations with American nukes for over 50 - 60 years. Obama's just restating it.

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My earlier reference indicated that the Native population of North America was decimated by smallpox and similar diseases. I've seen estimates exceeding a 90% reduction in population due to these diseases.

 

http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/variables/smallpox.html

 

You're talking about native populations in the 19th century. I'm talking about... America in the 21st century. Among other things we have modern immunology and the CDC. There's no comparison here.

 

Do you doubt that an intentional effort, perhaps augmented by genetic manipulation, cannot do something similar?

 

I strongly doubt any biological agent exists today which can wreak the same havoc as a thermonuclear ICBM.

 

Um, it's been US policy not to threaten non-nuclear nations with American nukes for over 50 - 60 years. Obama's just restating it.

 

Yeah seriously... people are actually complaining that Obama has said he will not threaten nations without nukes with nukes? Is there something wrong with you? Do you really think that's a bad thing? If so, I think you either don't understand the effects of nuclear weapons, or you're morally deficient in some manner.

 

Maybe I've just been to the Hiroshima Peace Park and witnessed the devastation of a nuke firsthand... and that was a simple fission bomb, not a thermonuclear device. Nukes are not something you just nonchalantly lump into the same category as anthrax.

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You're talking about native populations in the 19th century. I'm talking about... America in the 21st century. Among other things we have modern immunology and the CDC. There's no comparison here.

 

You are correct there is no comparison, with modern travel patterns (indeed, with a deliberate widespread delivery) the infectious disease would spread so rapidly, the CDC could not possibly develop a vaccine or quarantine in time. I doubt they would even have time to identify the infectious agent before the individuals who worked there perished. At least the native populations in the far corners of the continents of the 18th and 19th centuries had a couple hundred years to prepare (though they were likely unaware of the threat until too late).

 

I strongly doubt any biological agent exists today which can wreak the same havoc as a thermonuclear ICBM.

 

Apples to Oranges.

 

How many thermonuclear ICBMs would be required to kill 95% of the population, evenly dispersed BTW, of three continents? Is there even enough uranium on the earth to do this?

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How many thermonuclear ICBMs would be required to kill 95% of the population, evenly dispersed BTW, of three continents? Is there even enough uranium on the earth to do this?

 

I seem to recall that, in fact, the nuclear nations of the world have enough weapons to destroy most of the earth several times over.

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with modern travel patterns (indeed, with a deliberate widespread delivery) the infectious disease would spread so rapidly, the CDC could not possibly develop a vaccine or quarantine in time.

 

While that's possible, I'd find it highly unlikely.

 

How many thermonuclear ICBMs would be required to kill 95% of the population, evenly dispersed BTW, of three continents? Is there even enough uranium on the earth to do this?

 

A few dozen thermonuclear warheads, placed directly on major population centers, and the resulting fallout cloud should be enough to do the trick.

 

You're seriously suggesting anyone, in the age of modern immunology, could infect 95% of the population of 3 continents with a disease, and given that achieve a 100% lethality rate? I'm no virologist but I find that concept extremely aggressive at best.

 

The nukes required to wipe out massive amounts of the Earth's population ready to go in missile siloes right now, as opposed to some hypothetical disease to be dispersed in a hypothetical manner.

 

All of that said, getting back to the topic at hand, you think that a nuclear response would ever be warranted against a biological attack?

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How many thermonuclear ICBMs would be required to kill 95% of the population, evenly dispersed BTW, of three continents? Is there even enough uranium on the earth to do this?
How is this even relevant? Obama simply stated he wouldn't use nukes on countries without nukes. Rather than giving up a valuable tool, he has brilliantly maneuvered the US into a strong but compassionate stance. In a single stroke, he not only lets much of the world breathe a sigh of relief, he also warns smaller countries not to pursue nuclear weapon technology.

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I seem to recall that, in fact, the nuclear nations of the world have enough weapons to destroy most of the earth several times over.

 

 

Can you provide a link to verify this? I'm somewhat skeptical as this sounds like a political talking point or a catch phrase.

 

And, what is meant by "destroy"? Does that mean return of society back to the 1800's due to no more electricity? Or does it mean a return to the stone age due to no more metals? Or does it mean the death of 95% of the population (which might be the same thing as a return to the stone age)?

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Can you provide a link to verify this? I'm somewhat skeptical as this sounds like a political talking point or a catch phrase.

 

And, what is meant by "destroy"? Does that mean return of society back to the 1800's due to no more electricity? Or does it mean a return to the stone age due to no more metals? Or does it mean the death of 95% of the population (which might be the same thing as a return to the stone age)?

 

Although I can't find specific references off hand, the fallout cloud created by detonating every nuke in the existing nuclear stockpile in specifically selected locations should be more than enough to generate a fallout cloud capable of killing all humans on earth who don't seek shelter in locations that would prevent them from being exposed to fallout. And even then, time to live will be limited based on stockpiled resources.

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