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News Anyone else heard of SIOP?

  1. Nov 24, 2005 #1
    press release from the national security archive, a nonprofit organistation that collects declassified govt documents:
    & more details here:
    Were those military planners nuts or what?!
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2005 #2


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    They definitely have been playing too much Command & Conquer. Let us hope that Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the last to see this horrible invention of ours.
  4. Nov 24, 2005 #3


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    Wow, 45 year old issue, but anyway....
    No, they weren't nuts, they were MAD (Mutually-Assured Destruction). It's tough to prove the negative that MAD worked (the Cold War did not produce a nuclear war, but was MAD the reason why?) but at the same time, it didn't do what critics said it would do - it didn't produce a nuclear war.

    Anyway, yeah, the SIOP is what the nuclear football (that briefcase that the military officer following the President around carries) contains.
  5. Nov 24, 2005 #4


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    What the article doesn't mention is that 1962 was ten years before the first anti-ballistic missile treaty. While neither the US or the USSR were able to develop an effective ABM shield, the promise of the opponent's ABM technology always looked promising enough that each side had to make sure they had enough missiles to overwhelm it.

    Initially, with one warhead per missile, most would have expected the defense to always have an advantage in cost. The warheads on the defensive missiles could be smaller, meaning smaller boost and less fuel.

    Of course, developing a system that could reliably destroy incoming missiles is a huge initial obstacle, but it seemed almost certain that both sides would eventually be capable of developing some type of defense that would at least raise the required number of missiles for the opponent. As was usual for the time, just the possibility of ABMs tomorrow turned the requirements for more missiles today into reality. It makes some sense since the missiles had better already be on station when the opponents defensive system comes on line. The alternative would be the possibility of the other side launching their missiles as soon as their defensive system was in place - when the disparity between the two sides would be at its greatest.

    Multiple Independtly-targeted Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) developed in the mid to late 60's made the idea of a cost effective defense obsolete. One attacking missile could launch several warheads and the defense would need one missile per warhead. In other words, the 1972 treaty between the US and USSR banned a capability that had already been rendered obsolete (it did set the stage for future negotiations and treaties on nuclear weapons, though).
  6. Nov 24, 2005 #5


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  7. Nov 24, 2005 #6
    I borrow here extensively from YES PRIME MINISTER (a British Sit-Com) which was write on the button.

    If the Russians would have tried anything, during COLD WAR, it would have been by salami tactics (slice by slice). For example sending troops into east Berlin to quell trouble, then the East Berlin authorities inviting the troops to stay, and then the annexation of friendly states.

    All reasonably nations say they would only push the nuclear button if they were given no choice. But because of the Russians using salami tactics, they will probably never push the nuclear button, as you cannot reasonable nuke somebody for annexing a nation without creating internation backlash unimaginable!!

    So - is it MAD to believe in MAD?
  8. Nov 24, 2005 #7


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    Nato had hundreds of tactical nuclear weapons to deal with possible "slice by slice" tactics by the Russians. For the most part the tacticle weapons were nuclear tipped artillery shells and short range missles.

    Because the Russians did not have a centralized command and control, individual commanders had the authority to launch an attack. An accidental attack was also a great possibility.
  9. Nov 26, 2005 #8
    its nice to know that some pople objected to overkill
  10. Nov 26, 2005 #9
    i think it's pretty extreme to turn the world into an uninhabitable radioactive pile of rubble rather than have some countries not under US influence. "Our fear that communism might someday take over most of the world blinds us to the fact that anti-communism already has" -- michael parenti
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