Thinking about the Unthinkable

watu05

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It's a book title authored by Herman Kahn that was required reading for incoming freshmen at come colleges about 50+ years ago which depicted the possible stages leading to nuclear warfare . This article looks at the likelihood of Putin using low level nukes and what the US response might or should be.

 

Gmoney4WW

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It's a book title authored by Herman Kahn that was required reading for incoming freshmen at come colleges about 50+ years ago which depicted the possible stages leading to nuclear warfare . This article looks at the likelihood of Putin using low level nukes and what the US response might or should be.

I find a certain fact odd about Putin threatening to use short range nuclear weapons. As far as I understand it, a change in the direction the wind is blowing after a short range weapon is used, could give Russians citizens on the Russian border nuclear fall out?

Along with the anger at Putin's 300k call up, and anger about the nuclear weapons that might be used by western governments over Russian use of short range nuclear missiles, he might have to deal with increased anger by Russian citizens, over Putin affecting Russian citizens with his own weapons.
 
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astonmartin708

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I find a certain fact odd about Putin threatening to use short range nuclear weapons. As far as I understand it, a change in the direction the wind is blowing after a short range weapon is used could give Russians citizens on the Russian border nuclear fall out?

Along with the anger at Putin's 300k call up, and anger about the nuclear weapons that might be used by western governments over Russian use of short range nuclear missiles, he might have to deal with increased anger by Russian citizens, over Putin affecting Russian citizens with his own weapons.
It doesn’t matter what the Russian people think. They are so far from being able to do anything about their plight.
 

watu05

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So if Putin uses a low level nuke to take out a Ukrainian military position that kills only military and some equipment in a location he now claims is Russian, what should the US response be? Putin will claim he is justified because he is protecting Russian soil and people.
 

astonmartin708

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So if Putin uses a low level nuke to take out a Ukrainian military position that kills only military and some equipment in a location he now claims is Russian, what should the US response be? Putin will claim he is justified because he is protecting Russian soil and people.
He can claim all he wants while nuclear warheads are hurtling towards his bunker.
 

watu05

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So a nuclear response is appropriate? Russia has as many or more nukes as the US, so where would an immediate nuclear response lead? Right now the fighting is limited to the Ukraine.
 

noble cane

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So a nuclear response is appropriate? Russia has as many or more nukes as the US, so where would an immediate nuclear response lead? Right now the fighting is limited to the Ukraine.
What is the CCP position?
 
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astonmartin708

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Roughly 0% chance our response would be with nukes.
You don't think it would be an immediate tit for tat escalation on both sides?

They launch a tactical nuke, we blow their fleet out of the water an push their army out of Ukraine.

They target some of our carriers with nukes....

It's just progressing to all out nuclear war. It's not like Russia will sit idle while we retaliate for their transgressions. They also have the dead hand system which will automatically detonate in the case of any nuclear attack from us, without Putin's go ahead needed.

This kind of thing (as well as Russia invading Ukraine) is supposed to be what mutually insured destruction was supposed to prevent. It seems like Putin is calling our bluff, and there are very few outcomes to that.
 
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lawpoke87

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You don't think it would be an immediate tit for tat escalation on both sides?

They launch a tactical nuke, we blow their fleet out of the water an push their army out of Ukraine.

They target some of our carriers with nukes....

It's just progressing to all out nuclear war.
One tactical nuke?

Nothing happens until Nato has an emergency meeting. I’m not convinced the powers that be in Europe have the stomach for a nuclear war on their turf…which is how it would start. I believe you would see quite a bit restraint from the Germans and French. Hope we don’t find out.
 

URedskin54

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You don't think it would be an immediate tit for tat escalation on both sides?

They launch a tactical nuke, we blow their fleet out of the water an push their army out of Ukraine.

They target some of our carriers with nukes....

It's just progressing to all out nuclear war. It's not like Russia will sit idle while we retaliate for their transgressions. They also have the dead hand system which will automatically detonate in the case of any nuclear attack from us, without Putin's go ahead needed.

This kind of thing (as well as Russia invading Ukraine) is supposed to be what mutually insured destruction was supposed to prevent. It seems like Putin is calling our bluff, and there are very few outcomes to that.

We have (officially) no troops in Ukraine. It’s not our country. They’re not in NATO and will not be admitted during active hostilities. We’re providing weapons, intel, and advice, which I support. There is simply no good justification for us to use one and there are plenty of better options.
 

watu05

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You don't think it would be an immediate tit for tat escalation on both sides?

They launch a tactical nuke, we blow their fleet out of the water an push their army out of Ukraine.

They target some of our carriers with nukes....

It's just progressing to all out nuclear war. It's not like Russia will sit idle while we retaliate for their transgressions. They also have the dead hand system which will automatically detonate in the case of any nuclear attack from us, without Putin's go ahead needed.

This kind of thing (as well as Russia invading Ukraine) is supposed to be what mutually insured destruction was supposed to prevent. It seems like Putin is calling our bluff, and there are very few outcomes to that.
Agreed that's the risk. But meeting a limited nuke response with a severe non-nuke response and a more or less united world opinion against Russia has a chance of leading to a different outcome. Otherwise, the choice is to rein in Zelensky/Ukraine and give Putin a 'win' of some sort which is hard to see happening at this junction. For the world at large that would be a safer outcome. But it would likely encourage Putin to go down that road again with the knowledge that those threats work. That seems less risky in the short run, but would it even be possible at this point?

I don't know enough about Russian politics to have any idea if a negotiated settlement now would be enough to keep Putin in power so he or the next one up would be encouraged to just to the same thing. We see in our press a lot of people speaking out against Putin, but how deeply that negativity goes and how much it hurts him is hard to tell.
 
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