Is offensive war becoming redundant?

  • #26
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Er 6 days is more of a skirmish than a war.

Whilst I can see the reasons why Israel launched a pre-emptive strike I think it's been living with the repercussions of that doozy ever since, I'd find that hard to consider being a major war as noted or a particular advantage. Let's not go all Israel or Palestine though, let's just say that is not a war of more than a few months/major conflict and leave it at that. I already noted that in and out wars can be very effective, in this case Israel refused to leave, not so effective :smile: They only moved out of the West bank in force quite recently.
Indeed. I threw this in as an example on account of its short duration, and lasting consequences. One can argue all day long as to who the aggressor was, whether it was preemptive or otherwise justified. Lets hope the next short "war" is non-nuclear.
J
 
  • #27
russ_watters
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Except perhaps between budding nuclear powers such as India and Pakistan, I believe nuclear war is also obsolete.
 
  • #28
Art
Except perhaps between budding nuclear powers such as India and Pakistan, I believe nuclear war is also obsolete.
Nuclear war is unlikely between 2 nuclear powers due to the MAD hypothesis but I suspect there are a few nuclear countries who would use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear foe to avoid military defeat in a conventional war or even to avoid their forces suffering a high death toll. America's attitude for instance has always seemed to be 'we won't use them unless we need to'.
 
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  • #29
Integral
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Nuclear war is unlikely between 2 nuclear powers due to the MAD hypothesis but I suspect there are a few nuclear countries who would use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear foe to avoid military defeat in a conventional war or even to avoid their forces suffering a high death toll. America's attitude for instance has always seemed to be 'we won't use them unless we need to'.

Is MAD still a viable concept? If my understanding is correct, the old missile system of the USSR has fallen so far into disrepair that it may not be usable. Currently ONLY the US has a large well maintained nuclear arsenal.

Perhaps I am wrong, maybe the new Russian economy is making it possible to renovate the old systems. Even so they have lost a lot of ground and it will be very expensive to get it fully operational again.

Really there is only a single nuclear superpower, that is the US, so there is no mutually assured destruction.

In my less lucid moments I see a solution to 2 major world problems with a single solution. A massive nuclear strike on the Middle East, would eliminate the fundamentalist Islam problem while inducing a nuclear winter to stop global warming.
 
  • #30
BobG
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Er 6 days is more of a skirmish than a war.

Whilst I can see the reasons why Israel launched a pre-emptive strike I think it's been living with the repercussions of that doozy ever since, I'd find that hard to consider being a major war as noted or a particular advantage. Let's not go all Israel or Palestine though, let's just say that is not a war of more than a few months/major conflict and leave it at that. I already noted that in and out wars can be very effective, in this case Israel refused to leave, not so effective :smile: They only moved out of the West bank in force quite recently.
So if an invasion is too successful, it doesn't count? And the short term victor was actually the loser if they give up the land decades later?

In that case, Morrocco's invasion of Spanish West Africa was a success. After winning independence from France in 1956, Morrocco wanted the rest of its land (at least culturally) from Spain. They had some success until Spain realized it might actually lose and sent in more troops in 1958. They 'crushed' the Morroccans forcing Morrocco to only accept a small portion of the land they wanted until 1969, when Morrocco finally got the rest of the land they wanted.

I'd use the invasion of Goa by India as an example, but they succeeded against the Portugese in about 26 hours. Plus, once again, it was a newly independent country consolidating some of the land it felt was culturally theirs, but under control of a different European power than the one the country initially gained independence from.

Actually, the big problem with your original proposition is that almost every war since WWII has been a civil war. Those have a very different dynamic than a war of conquest, even if a civil war sometimes includes an invasion.
 
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  • #31
Art
Is MAD still a viable concept? If my understanding is correct, the old missile system of the USSR has fallen so far into disrepair that it may not be usable. Currently ONLY the US has a large well maintained nuclear arsenal.

Perhaps I am wrong, maybe the new Russian economy is making it possible to renovate the old systems. Even so they have lost a lot of ground and it will be very expensive to get it fully operational again.

Really there is only a single nuclear superpower, that is the US, so there is no mutually assured destruction.

In my less lucid moments I see a solution to 2 major world problems with a single solution. A massive nuclear strike on the Middle East, would eliminate the fundamentalist Islam problem while inducing a nuclear winter to stop global warming.
Per in sticking with the Start II treaty Russia and America both have ~3,500 deployed strategic nuclear weapons plus around 3000 each in reserve. On top of that Russia has ~8000 tactical nuclear weapons with the USA holding a simillar amount. These numbers certainly appear to be sufficient to assure their mutual destruction if they ever decide to go head to head.

This is after Russia reducing it's nuclear forces quite considerably following the end of the cold war.

Russia is also continuing to maintain and update their nuclear arsenal for eg the SS-N-20s onboard 6 Typhoon submarines are to be replaced by a new SLBM, the SS-N-26 and new SS-27s with a yield of 550kT which only came into service in 1997 continue to be produced at the rate of 20 missiles per year.

And also recently....

May 29, 2007 :: The Guardian :: News


Russia today tested what it described as a new intercontinental ballistic missile system, capable of carrying multiple independent warheads and penetrating any defense system. The missile, designated as the RS-24, was fired at 2:20 p.m. from a mobile launcher at the northwestern Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It traveled 6,000 miles to the Kamchatka Peninsula. The test was called successful, and the missile's multiple re-entry vehicles landed on target on the Kura testing range, the Strategic Missile Forces said in a statement. Itar-Tass quoted a Russian press release saying that, together with the Topol-M (SS-27, RS-12-M) the new missile system will provide the backbone of Russia’s missile forces beginning in 2008, as construction intensifies and aging Ukrainian made RS-18s and RS-20s (known in the West as the SS-19 Stiletto and the SS-18 Satan) are being retired.
 
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  • #32
So if an invasion is too successful, it doesn't count? And the short term victor was actually the loser if they give up the land decades later?

In that case, Morrocco's invasion of Spanish West Africa was a success. After winning independence from France in 1956, Morrocco wanted the rest of its land (at least culturally) from Spain. They had some success until Spain realized it might actually lose and sent in more troops in 1958. They 'crushed' the Morroccans forcing Morrocco to only accept a small portion of the land they wanted until 1969, when Morrocco finally got the rest of the land they wanted.

I'd use the invasion of Goa by India as an example, but they succeeded against the Portugese in about 26 hours. Plus, once again, it was a newly independent country consolidating some of the land it felt was culturally theirs, but under control of a different European power than the one the country initially gained independence from.

Actually, the big problem with your original proposition is that almost every war since WWII has been a civil war. Those have a very different dynamic than a war of conquest, even if a civil war sometimes includes an invasion.
Er I said in the West, Morroco is not a Western country, neither is India and the Israel war is quite clearly not a success, but I don't really want to get into why it would require another thread. I'm really only talking about wars where the West were the invaders or agressors.

The reason I said West is not because I want to isolate other wars, it's because these are the wars that face us or me living in the West, and of most note they seem to be patently unsuccessful.

Is MAD still a viable concept? If my understanding is correct, the old missile system of the USSR has fallen so far into disrepair that it may not be usable. Currently ONLY the US has a large well maintained nuclear arsenal.

Perhaps I am wrong, maybe the new Russian economy is making it possible to renovate the old systems. Even so they have lost a lot of ground and it will be very expensive to get it fully operational again.

Really there is only a single nuclear superpower, that is the US, so there is no mutually assured destruction.

In my less lucid moments I see a solution to 2 major world problems with a single solution. A massive nuclear strike on the Middle East, would eliminate the fundamentalist Islam problem while inducing a nuclear winter to stop global warming.
You mean when you have your Stalin hat on? Really don't go into politics unless these ilucid moments are rare or non existent, I don't think we need any more nuclear strikes, I think the first two were bad enough.

EDIT: There are countries including Russia that could assure the destruction would be mutual, even with the agreement to reduce nuclear capability. It's not so much the number but the fact that the ICBM's are so programmable and can hit a sixpence across a divide of anywhere in the world. Luckily those countries are friendly with each other atm. If Iran can gain a nuclear capablity in any significance, and indeed wants too and could gain ICBM tech, which I kinda doubt I'd be more afraid. MAD is alive and well to think otherwise is naive IMO.

You know that all Russian nukes are in a poor state of maintenance or they would be unable to use them in any significant numbers, I'd like to see links here before I'd believe that.
 
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  • #33
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well, it also depends on what your 'significant numbers' are. Even just a few nukes can do a lot of damage. I mean, Washington or New York.. politics and the economy don't have built in redundancy you know.

and then there's the environment...
 
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  • #34
laurelelizabeth
Offensive war seems like a strange sort of answer to problems, I can sort of understand WWII (with the treaty of Versailles imposing all sorts of restrictions on Germany and them being frustrated) but I don't quite understand anything past that -- didn't they agree beforehand to not use nuclear weapons? Or something like that? If they could agree on that, couldn't they agree on more things, like a possible non violent solution.
 
  • #35
russ_watters
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Is MAD still a viable concept? If my understanding is correct, the old missile system of the USSR has fallen so far into disrepair that it may not be usable. Currently ONLY the US has a large well maintained nuclear arsenal.
Smurf said:
well, it also depends on what your 'significant numbers' are. Even just a few nukes can do a lot of damage. I mean, Washington or New York.. politics and the economy don't have built in redundancy you know.
I don't know if this is discussed in real political science journals and think tanks, but in my view, there is a new paragdim that is related to the old MAD. For western countries, the value of human life has risen so high since the 1960s and 70s that even a single nuclear strike would be considered unacceptable. People don't believe in the idea of "winning" even a "small" nuclear war.

As a result, effective deterrence can be achieved with a very small number of nuclear weapons. That is the reason we don't want countries like Iraq to get nukes. For example, If Saddam had had, say, a dozen decent medium range nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles in 1990, he could have taken over the entire peninsula and no one in the west would have been willing to step in to stop him.
Integral said:
In my less lucid moments I see a solution to 2 major world problems with a single solution. A massive nuclear strike on the Middle East, would eliminate the fundamentalist Islam problem while inducing a nuclear winter to stop global warming.
Wow, you and my boss actually would agree on something! [I think he's actually serious when he suggests that, though...]
 
  • #36
Astronuc
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NYTimes, Editorial Observer - July 23, 2007
Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War
By ADAM COHEN


The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it. “I don’t think Congress ought to be running the war,” he said at a recent press conference. “I think they ought to be funding the troops.” He added magnanimously: “I’m certainly interested in their opinion.”

The war is hardly the only area where the Bush administration is trying to expand its powers beyond all legal justification. But the danger of an imperial presidency is particularly great when a president takes the nation to war, something the founders understood well. In the looming showdown, the founders and the Constitution are firmly on Congress’s side.

Given how intent the president is on expanding his authority, it is startling to recall how the Constitution’s framers viewed presidential power. They were revolutionaries who detested kings, and their great concern when they established the United States was that they not accidentally create a kingdom. To guard against it, they sharply limited presidential authority, which Edmund Randolph, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the first attorney general, called “the foetus of monarchy.”

The founders were particularly wary of giving the president power over war. They were haunted by Europe’s history of conflicts started by self-aggrandizing kings. John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, noted in Federalist No. 4 that “absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal.

Many critics of the Iraq war are reluctant to suggest that President Bush went into it in anything but good faith. But James Madison, widely known as the father of the Constitution, might have been more skeptical. “In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed,” he warned. “It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.”

. . . .
Too bad we do not have great leaders like Madison and Jay these days.
 
  • #37
laurelelizabeth
In my less lucid moments I see a solution to 2 major world problems with a single solution. A massive nuclear strike on the Middle East, would eliminate the fundamentalist Islam problem while inducing a nuclear winter to stop global warming.
Er... i've sorta thought of that type of thing too. Not seriously, just more along the lines of Anyone who wants to hurt someone else or feels their life is not worth living (whichly would probably be me if i lived in some war torn place) could drop dead, thus getting rid of overpopulation too. I'm not serious about it of course :)

I'm not sure if a nuclear winter would be that great. I'd like for there to not be any sort of uncontrollable variables, just reduction in pollution and stuff, so mother nature can slowly take care of herself :)
 
  • #38
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NYTimes, Editorial Observer - July 23, 2007
Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War
By ADAM COHEN


Too bad we do not have great leaders like Madison and Jay these days.
Look at the date on this one. Executive orders and executive privilege are the keys to the Bush/Cheney black government. Someone needs to change the locks.

Bush acting as imperial president

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

By HELEN THOMAS
HEARST NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON -- The imperial presidency has arrived. On the domestic front President Bush has found that in many ways he can govern by executive order. In foreign affairs he has the nerve to tell other people that they should get rid of their current leaders.

Amazingly, with Americans turning into a new silent majority and Congress into a bunch of obeisant lawmakers, he is getting away with such acts.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/76988_helen3.shtml

When Clinton tried to use executive privilege to stop testimony about his sex scandal, he was over ridden by congress because of the importance of the nature of the testimony.:rolleyes:

Bush has set himself up as America's first Czar, and he is getting away with it. Many republicans have seen the light but hesitate to do anything meaningful even though Bush doesn't even listen to them anymore. Rove has cleverly convinced the the Democrats that they should all be out on the campaign trail.

I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would see this country in a situation like this.
 

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