FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


are nuclear warheads still needed?





icecool
Quote:
The number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal is a state secret. But Kristensen and a fellow expert, Robert S. Norris, estimate that the total stood at nearly 5,400 warheads at the start of this year. That includes an estimated 4,075 ready for potential use and 1,260 in backup status.

In an interview, Kristensen argued that even though the number is declining, the capability of remaining weapons is increasing as older missiles, for example, get new engines, guidance sets and computer software.


from an article i found today http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081026/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/nuclear_decline

considering the recent development of warfare but also bearing in mind the strive of "minor" powers to obtain nuclear capability is it really still necessary to keep such a massive stockpile of nuclear warheads for a purpose that is clearly outdated by modern politics annd the fact that the world is shrinking on a daily basis?

i think NOT
liljp617
Yes.
icecool
liljp617 wrote:
Yes.


very eloquent.

thank you for this valuable contribution.
coolclay
I think they are unfortunately necessary to keep. While I think we learned our lesson with using them, unfortunately there are other not so responsible countries (Iran anyone). So I think they are a necessary evil to keep in storage, not for use, but for weight. As horrible and sad our first use of nuclear bombs proved to be, it did in the end probably save lives, and ended an absolutely horrible war, and unfortunately you never know when they may be needed again.

It's horrible that there are countries and people out there whose entire goal it is to destroy the west, or destroy anyone for that matter, but there are.
liljp617
Deterrence.
harismushtaq
I beleive that nuclear warfare is not only unfair but it is inhuman and one of the worst way of mass destruction. It is totally unacceptable and in no circumstances it should be used.

Countries having nuclear wepeans say that they never intend to use it but then the question is why they keep it. Some of them say that this is only for security. It does not make sense. Even if a country is nuclear attached, it should not respond. I don't know what could be the theories for finding a reason to keep. Hope it is never ever used.
watersoul
Lets be realistic, if all the nuclear weapons held everywhere in the world were exploded there wouldn't be a world left for the human race to survive in.
I don't think we need them - or that many, and perhaps if all the money spent on our various countries defense budgets were transferred into feeding the whole world and improving conditions for the poor (health care etc) maybe we'd have less war in the first place.
Hmm, maybe not, our western powers will still want to control oil so that does involve threats over other nations and occasionally screwing them over a barrel.
liljp617
harismushtaq wrote:
I beleive that nuclear warfare is not only unfair but it is inhuman and one of the worst way of mass destruction. It is totally unacceptable and in no circumstances it should be used.

Countries having nuclear wepeans say that they never intend to use it but then the question is why they keep it. Some of them say that this is only for security. It does not make sense. Even if a country is nuclear attached, it should not respond. I don't know what could be the theories for finding a reason to keep. Hope it is never ever used.


Again, fear is a powerful tool.
ocalhoun
What has changed to make them not needed?

If anything, they are needed more than ever as more and more countries get them. Those countries that manage to acquire them need to have a very good reason to not use them. The threat of an equal counterattack gives them that reason.

As we saw in WWII, if only one country has nukes, then nukes will be used freely. But, as we saw in the Cold War, if both sides have nukes, there's a good chance that the nukes won't be used.
Bikerman
Unfortunately we have moved well beyond 'both sides'. There are currently nine nuclear states that we know of. The logic also doesn't fit with the propaganda. We are frequently told that Iran, if it acquired nuclear weapons, would use them against Israel. The Iranian government is perfectly well aware that this would invite nuclear retaliation from the US. Either Iran would be deterred (in which case why the threats of potential first strike from Israel and the extreme rhetoric we constantly hear?) or it wouldn't be deterred in which case what price deterrence?
ocalhoun
^That is the problem... An entire country adopting the mentality of a suicide bomber would be immune to deterrence.
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
^That is the problem... An entire country adopting the mentality of a suicide bomber would be immune to deterrence.


Not to get off the subject, but it's pretty silly to say Iran wants a nuclear weapon for anything outside of having negotiation "power" and some ground to be taken seriously. Anyone who takes what Ahmadinejad says to heart really has no idea of the government structure of Iran (ie basically the entire Western media/populace). He has such little power that it's funny to see people go nuts over the ridiculous things he says when his statements really hold no weight in terms of the government/military.
jwellsy
ocalhoun wrote:
^That is the problem... An entire country adopting the mentality of a suicide bomber would be immune to deterrence.


You're very right, especially if they know there is very little chance of a nuclear retaliation.

What politician has the guts to order a nuclear retaliatory strike?
PMK-Bear
jwellsy No need for guts, you only need to lack any sort of brains.

Since their invention, nuclear bombs are a sort of worldwide 'don't ****** with me' sign, with mere symbolic power; after all, the last time a certain criminally insane country used them was in the first half of the past century. Owning the means of making them means other countries don't ****** with you if they aren't sure of your total immediate obliteration, and not owning them means other countries who do treat you like their bitch.
Moonspider
PMK-Bear wrote:
jwellsy No need for guts, you only need to lack any sort of brains.


So if a nation launched a massive nuclear strike against your nation and your nation possessed the nuclear capability to launch an at least equally destructive counterstrike, you're saying that you, having a brain, would sit back and watch your nation be utterly destroyed and tens of millions of your citizens killed without any retalitaion against the aggressor that just initiated your annihilation.

You believe that only an idiot would retaliate? Why?

(Of course, I am a citizen of a "criminally insane" country, so forgive me if I fail to grasp your reasoning.)

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Well, let's try a moral argument.
Once the initial strike has been made then there are two choices; retaliate in kind, or don't.
The retaliation choice achieves nothing positive (your citizens are already dead and the deterrence argument is now defunct). What it does is kill a lot more people (a moral wrong) with no balancing justification...

Now, if there was a military imperative (eg to stop the aggressor subsequently invading and occupying) then a moral argument could be made, but simply retaliating for the sake of it strikes me as morally unjustifiable (unless you are of the 'eye for an eye' biblical persuasion)...
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
Well, let's try a moral argument.
Once the initial strike has been made then there are two choices; retaliate in kind, or don't.
The retaliation choice achieves nothing positive (your citizens are already dead and the deterrence argument is now defunct). What it does is kill a lot more people (a moral wrong) with no balancing justification...

Now, if there was a military imperative (eg to stop the aggressor subsequently invading and occupying) then a moral argument could be made, but simply retaliating for the sake of it strikes me as morally unjustifiable (unless you are of the 'eye for an eye' biblical persuasion)...


True, there's a part of me that just doesn't like going down without a fight. Wink

But my assumption was that the first strike served a military/strategic purpose for the aggressor. A retaliatory strike would potentially prevent them from carrying out their strategic objectives. The classic but simplistic example would have been a Soviet strategic strike against the United States to give the USSR a free hand in Europe and Asia.

Respectfully,
M
PMK-Bear
Moonspider wrote:
PMK-Bear wrote:
jwellsy No need for guts, you only need to lack any sort of brains.


So if a nation launched a massive nuclear strike against your nation and your nation possessed the nuclear capability to launch an at least equally destructive counterstrike, you're saying that you, having a brain, would sit back and watch your nation be utterly destroyed and tens of millions of your citizens killed without any retalitaion against the aggressor that just initiated your annihilation.
Actually, being in posession of an average intellect and a massive budget would enable you to prevent such thing from happening in the first place, either by not being a ****** to other sovereign states or by means of efficient ICBM interception measures, preemptive action and flash fast seizing and destructing their launching platforms.
Moonspider wrote:

You believe that only an idiot would retaliate? Why?

Because of what I mentioned slightly up. Posessing enough intel, there's no need for bigger bombs.
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
But my assumption was that the first strike served a military/strategic purpose for the aggressor. A retaliatory strike would potentially prevent them from carrying out their strategic objectives. The classic but simplistic example would have been a Soviet strategic strike against the United States to give the USSR a free hand in Europe and Asia.

Respectfully,
M
Hmm...I suspect this argument holds equally well for, say, the resistance forces of Iraq or Afghanistan. OK, we are not talking nukes, but they could equally well argue that they are resisting a 'first aggression', and that the aim is to prevent that aggression resulting in permanent occupation or shift in power-balance...
liljp617
In other words, it's something that won't be agreed upon Very Happy
Moonspider
PMK-Bear wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
PMK-Bear wrote:
jwellsy No need for guts, you only need to lack any sort of brains.


So if a nation launched a massive nuclear strike against your nation and your nation possessed the nuclear capability to launch an at least equally destructive counterstrike, you're saying that you, having a brain, would sit back and watch your nation be utterly destroyed and tens of millions of your citizens killed without any retalitaion against the aggressor that just initiated your annihilation.
Actually, being in posession of an average intellect and a massive budget would enable you to prevent such thing from happening in the first place, either by not being a ****** to other sovereign states or by means of efficient ICBM interception measures, preemptive action and flash fast seizing and destructing their launching platforms.


I agree with the technological aspect. Ideally one would be able to develop a full-proof system that could “shield” nations from a strategic missile strike. But such a system is highly complex and expensive to develop and deploy. Furthermore, history consistently demonstrates that any military technology advance is countered relatively quickly by other evolving technologies, changes in tactics, or both.

For example, even if the United States deployed a massive anti-missile system based upon our current capabilities, a large number of missiles and MIRVs could probably overwhelm the system.

Preemptive action of which you spoke could also be problematic. First a nation would have to prove that a strategic strike by the other nation was indeed inevitable. And even if they could, taking out all missile sites in a preemptive strike would be difficult, even if a nation knew where all of the launch sites of another nation were. If the other country possesses ballistic missile submarines, any strike would certainly at least leave that (or a portion of that) part of the triad intact and capable of retaliation.

As for your argument concerning “not being a ****** to other sovereign states,” that’s a purely subjective matter. National interests are going to conflict from time to time, and sometimes that may lead to armed conflict. A nation can no more make every other nation happy than you or I could make everyone we meet in our life like us. And a nation that is actively pursuing its national interest is bound to make enemies as those interests come into conflict with other nations. The same is true of individuals. Who has more enemies, an underachiever consigned to a desk writing code or Bill Gates? Who probably experienced more conflict in their lives? The underachiever may experience less conflict, may even be happier, but who is more successful financially?

Take the United States for an example, what could the U.S. do to make every nation happy? Mind it owns business? That’s impossible, American businesses span the globe, as do alliances and treaties. And even simple things can bring the U.S. into conflict with other nations.

PMK-Bear wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

You believe that only an idiot would retaliate? Why?

Because of what I mentioned slightly up. Posessing enough intel, there's no need for bigger bombs.


No nation can ever possess that much intel, and as I pointed out, even if they did the chances of a nation wiping out all strategic capability is next to nil. The United States is the most powerful country in the world today and could not do it. And our power is weakening as other nations advance, including a resurgent Russia. Therefore, the likelihood of the U.S. or any other country being as all powerful as you would like is dwindling.

Bikerman wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
But my assumption was that the first strike served a military/strategic purpose for the aggressor. A retaliatory strike would potentially prevent them from carrying out their strategic objectives. The classic but simplistic example would have been a Soviet strategic strike against the United States to give the USSR a free hand in Europe and Asia.

Respectfully,
M
Hmm...I suspect this argument holds equally well for, say, the resistance forces of Iraq or Afghanistan. OK, we are not talking nukes, but they could equally well argue that they are resisting a 'first aggression', and that the aim is to prevent that aggression resulting in permanent occupation or shift in power-balance...


Absolutely. I have no problem with that argument.

Respectfully,
M
paul_indo
I don't believe they were ever needed but now that they are in the world You must get rid of them all or else there is a need for response to even one crazy leader or country which threatens to or, God forbid, fires one.
ocalhoun
paul_indo wrote:
I don't believe they were ever needed but now that they are in the world You must get rid of them all or else there is a need for response to even one crazy leader or country which threatens to or, God forbid, fires one.


Getting rid of them all is not sufficient. What happens when some country (or even individual) in the (possibly distant) future re-invents them and nobody else has any?

And yes, there is some point to retaliation in the face of total destruction:
-you set a precedent for the future, so that the threat of retaliation may be effective next time (it is the only real way to prevent frequent nuclear wars)
-you get the satisfaction (for the last few moments of your life) that you've fought your opponent to a draw, not lost.
-the few survivors will still be a part of your country, and could in a long time, rebuild it, rather than being conquered by the aggressor.
harismushtaq
I beleive that this kind of fear is powerful but inhuman. You can kill a small kid proving your power over other such kids but this is inhuman.

First of all, the international relations should be based on constructive approach and help of mankind in general. If all countries help each other, there wil an end of aggressive behavior in people and there will be no need of war at all. Strong political systems that does not allow any individual or small group of people to use the resouces of the whole nation to practice aggression over other nations will be the key to excellent relationships amond countris and thus, the need of war will be eliminated and so the weapons that are there to keep the sence of fear in oponents mind.
ocalhoun
harismushtaq wrote:
I beleive that this kind of fear is powerful but inhuman. You can kill a small kid proving your power over other such kids but this is inhuman.

it may be inhumane, but it is quite human to do things like that.
Quote:

should be

What should be and what is possible are two quite different things.
Jinx
being able to retaliate out of revenge isn't the point. It's the treat of retaliation - MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) - that is the effective deterrent to the first missile ever being launched.

Turn the situation around and look at it this way:

Evil Overlord Wannabe: "Finally, I have enough nuclear weapons to erase those goody-two-shoes meddlers from the face of the planet and I will rule unchallenged! Mua hahahah!!!!

EOW's advisor: My Lord, I should point out that if you launch a nuclear strike against them, their last act will be to return fire and we will be dead. Or at least we will glow in the dark. You can not rule if you are as dead as they are.

EOW: Oh. Good point. Ok, we'll go back to the gerbil powered death ray idea.
ocalhoun
^The problem isn't evil warlord wannabe's though... The problem would be religious fanatics who think dying for the cause is a desirable thing.
Jinx
^^^ May I refer you back to your own signature, sir Smile

Even the wackiest of religious wackos would quail at the thought of the cradle of Islam being blown into a sheet of radioactive glass.

Besides, I'm pretty sure that there is an Evil Overlord* lurking in the shadows providing organization and getting them all riled up, else they would have fallen to squabbling among themselves over the finer points of obscure religious dogmas. Said Evil Overlord would likely have his plans ruined by the proper application of nuclear weapons.

(* I use the term Evil Overlord sarcastically here, and am actually referring to a person or persons who may or may not exist, but likely do, who are not solely motivated by religious fervor, but who stand to gain material power from winding up the wackos and pointing them our way.)
ocalhoun
Jinx wrote:

(* I use the term Evil Overlord sarcastically here, and am actually referring to a person or persons who may or may not exist, but likely do, who are not solely motivated by religious fervor, but who stand to gain material power from winding up the wackos and pointing them our way.)


But what if after they are 'wound up and sent our way', they make/get nukes outside of the control of the 'evil overlord'? We still have the problem of wackos with nukes.
Jinx
Good point, ocalhoun, but even though we may always have to worry about the wackos, it doesn't mean that we can stop worrying about "Evil Overlords". We will have to use different tactics to deal with terrorists, but we still have to keep a ready reserve of nukes to deter more traditional aggression. Russia and the US seem intent on reviving the Cold War just lately due to the objections over our proposed Missile Defense Shield. If we do end up locked in another Cold War, I, for one, will be glad to have the threat of MAD to make them think twice about pressing the button.

As long as any other potentially aggressive nation has nukes we have to keep an arsenal of nukes to ensure a balance of power.

The best way to keep the peace is to always be ready to fight... and preferably to have the bigger stick.
mrcool
we shouldn't use that...there are some other ways
ocalhoun
mrcool wrote:
we shouldn't use that...there are some other ways

Of course we shouldn't use them, but we should have them.
ParsaAkbari
I think nuclear warheads are onlu being built because nations feel threatened, thats the root of the problem and thats where what we should be aiming to eradicate.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Of course we shouldn't use them, but we should have them.


Well said! Scary to think how many countries with extreme world views have nuclear weapons. The first country that comes to mind is Iran, then North Korea, India, can imagine Pakistan will be following soon, Israel .... so glad the US is in the Middle East and sincerely hope they will continue their vigilance and Hillary Clinton will, when she visits the Middle East be focussed away from her ego, and focussed completely on the safety and security of US citizens. Thinking about it I wonder whether her appointment has been a wise decision by Obama.
vineeth
NO NUKES, PLEASE !!!

I wish to tell you one story in this context.

One day a hunter came to the hermitage of a monk who was staying alone in the deep forest, practicing spirituality with the aim of self-realization. He asked for the monk's permission to keep his bow and arrows in the hermitage for a few days so that he can travel to some other place with ease. At first, the monk resisted stating that this is a hermitage and weapons of killing cannot be kept here. But the hunter insisted that he will keep them on the back of the hermitage so that they won't even come to the view of the monk. Finally, the monk admitted and the hunter left for his journey, after depositing his arms on the back of the hermitage.

The monk used to walk around his hermitage every morning for exercise and the next day, he say that the hunter kept his arms hidden under some leaves behind the main hut of the hermitage. He just ignored and continued his walk. Days passed and every day the monk will see the arms and walk away.

One day, while he saw the arms, he thought that the bow is a wonderful machine and how those hunters are using this so preciously to catch their food. He felt to have a detailed look at it. He took it on his hands and took one arrow also. Then he felt that why can't he try his aim with this, as he, being a man of good concentraion acquired through intense spiritual practice will have a better aim than a hunter. He tried and failed first, anyhow. But he was determined and tried again and again, until he got a better aim.

Why say long, when the hunter returned, he saw a perfect hunter instead of a monk !
deanhills
vineeth wrote:
NO NUKES, PLEASE !!!

I wish to tell you one story in this context.

One day a hunter came to the hermitage of a monk who was staying alone in the deep forest, practicing spirituality with the aim of self-realization. He asked for the monk's permission to keep his bow and arrows in the hermitage for a few days so that he can travel to some other place with ease. At first, the monk resisted stating that this is a hermitage and weapons of killing cannot be kept here. But the hunter insisted that he will keep them on the back of the hermitage so that they won't even come to the view of the monk. Finally, the monk admitted and the hunter left for his journey, after depositing his arms on the back of the hermitage.

The monk used to walk around his hermitage every morning for exercise and the next day, he say that the hunter kept his arms hidden under some leaves behind the main hut of the hermitage. He just ignored and continued his walk. Days passed and every day the monk will see the arms and walk away.

One day, while he saw the arms, he thought that the bow is a wonderful machine and how those hunters are using this so preciously to catch their food. He felt to have a detailed look at it. He took it on his hands and took one arrow also. Then he felt that why can't he try his aim with this, as he, being a man of good concentraion acquired through intense spiritual practice will have a better aim than a hunter. He tried and failed first, anyhow. But he was determined and tried again and again, until he got a better aim.

Why say long, when the hunter returned, he saw a perfect hunter instead of a monk !


Nice story, but unfortunately we are not alone in the world. While we are starting to fiddle around with the bow and arrow, there are a number of people aiming their bows and arrows at us. We would have been shot by a number of arrows, before we would even have got to the stage of taking it in our hands to examine it. Think it is more popularly referred to it as Military Preparedness. I found something that defined it for me at the URL below:
http://www.americansolutions.com/SolutionsLab/Categories.aspx?Category=a31ea3aa-d91d-488c-9ebc-1c0ea4df6916#List

Quote:
Defense Preparedness & Military Alliances

Freedom
The United States has always realized that our national values, centered around our unique conception of freedom, requires protection against the threats that will rise to challenge it. Our national security strength is the means by which we preserve our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We strive to build mutually beneficial ties among individuals and nations that share our values. The United States strives to defend and advance the cause of freedom around the world fully as much as we seek to protect freedom here at home.

Peace
In structuring any component of our national security policy, we must keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to protect our freedom through peaceful means, not through conflict. We develop strong military and tactical strategies not out of a desire to use them but out of the hope that by being prepared we will not have to use force. Our international relationships seek to facilitate the peaceful cooperation among nations and individuals. At the same time, we must be ready and capable to defend ourselves and our allies, by force if necessary, to protect our freedom and safety in the face of those who would threaten it.

Safety
The most basic, legitimate, and important function of government is to provide for the physical security of its citizens. This is precisely what building up military strength and alliances is intended to do. Protecting the rights and liberties of our citizens requires effective and productive actions in the world abroad, both among our allies and against our enemies.

Political Honesty
We simply cannot hide from the fact that America has enemies, nor can we shun the responsibility of defending our freedoms by shying away from this conflict. Refusing to acknowledge a problem is not a solution, and legitimate threats can only be ignored so long before leading to painful consequences. We must acknowledge threats as threats, acknowledge failures and failures, and accept the responsibility of finding effective, long-term solutions in the face of concrete challenges to our national security.

Life
Obviously the first kind of protection that government must provide for its citizens is the protection of their physical security. The dignity of all human life is a fundamental component of American principles, and our relationships abroad must be guided by this value. We must act to protect the lives of our own citizens just as we must build productive relationships with nations that share this respect for life.

To be prepared to wage war and defeat any enemies that engage in or support attacks against the United States homeland, Americans abroad, or U.S. forces anywhere in the world. To create a broad alliance of countries willing to defend peace and freedom.
Related topics
Justification for War in Iraq
Oh, the evil that Bush has done to this world...
Are christians educated?
Highly enriched uranium found at Iranian military site
Help wanted with CSS and iframes It works
America is you, no matter who you are
Iran: very close to the nuclear power!!!
Russi and U.S.A questin
Possibility of War between India & Pakistan
What technology or idea gives you hope for the future?
What would happen if the worlds computers failed?
Israel attacks Freedom Flotilla, at least 10 people killed
is the universe fractal
The end of the world is coming?
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Discuss World News

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.