It's about achieving parity with one's enemy. Both nations understand that, in the event of nuclear war, one does not only need enough nuclear weapons to destroy the enemy, one needs enough nuclear weapons to destroy the enemy after a first strike. A first strike would doubtlessly be targeted at the other nation's nuclear weapons, making it impossible to retaliate. If a nation is to not be vanquished by nuclear attack, it must have enough weapons with which to respond.Originally posted by Inquiring_Mike
Why does the USA and Soviet Union need so many?
I guess it becomes a question of when. In 1945, sans the atomic bomb there will still not likely be a conflict. The allied forces in europe did not have the means to defeat the Soviet Union in their own backyard, and the Soviets certainly did not have much to gain from a war with the west. A few years later with the situation in Berlin though, we might be looking at WWIII.Originally posted by Lyuokdea
Although I do not agree with nuclear weapons policy, do you seriously believe that the US and USSR would not have gone to war if there were no nuclear weapons? ALthough many died in proxy wars, a Soviet Invasion of Europe would be almost gaurenteed without the threat of U.S. Nuclear Retaliation, a 3rd World War in Europe would have certainly killed millions more than the proxy wars throughout the war.
There are several reasons. My father worked on nuclear submarines, so I know a fair amount about the subject.Originally posted by Inquiring_Mike
Why does the USA and Soviet Union need so many? Do they actually think that they will ever be able to use them? I think that this world would be much peaceful if every country that has massive numbers of nukes (500 and up) cut the number of nukes they possess to a maximum of 50 or so...
Hmm... No offense but the way you put it right now it soundsOriginally posted by wuliheron
Despite the Soviet union's opposition to the Star Wars program, they had actually been the first to impliment one. Basically they buried gravel with explosives in strategic places. If missiles flew over, they would shoot the gravel up into the air. At the speeds the missles travel a single piece of gravel can destroy them. Redundancy means at least some of the missles will get through.
You are correct, it sounds funny and beyond belief. Much of what the soviet union did sounds funny and beyond belief. They loved doing things on huge scales and damn the environmental impact! Drain the Ural sea, spread radioactive waste over siberia! Who cares. One of their specialties was microwave radiation. They figured out exactly how to kill people by beaming microwaves at them. At one point the Soviet embacy in DC beamed them at the US department of agraculture across the street. Within five years everyone who worked there died.Originally posted by drag
Hmm... No offense but the way you put it right now it sounds
totally absurd, I mean - explosives and gravel in the gorund ?! Come on !
Any reference to the details (maybe you just phrased it funny ) wuli ?
Live long and prosper.
It used to be said that Eisenhower, who campaigned in 1952 on being able to stop the Korean war then going on, threatened China with nuking Beijing if they wouldn't strinke a deal on armistice. They did.Originally posted by Nereid
I've a question that is at least somewhat related. Aside from the Cuban missile crisis, has any nuclear power baldly threatened another country with a nuclear attack (post-WWII)?
IIRC, the US government made such a threat against China, either during the Korean war or in the 1960s, but I haven't found any details. Of course, this threat was delivered in secret by 'personal emissaries', not in a televised address, but was nonetheless very clear, deliberate, and serious (so I recall).
Has anything concrete come into the public domain about this threat? I recently saw a television program on the Korean War where this was mentioned, but IIRC, it was more that it had been discussed (between the President, State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff?) and not clear that it was in fact delivered. Or, if delivered, just how specific it was.by SelfAdjoint It used to be said that Eisenhower, who campaigned in 1952 on being able to stop the Korean war then going on, threatened China with nuking Beijing if they wouldn't strinke a deal on armistice.