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Old 08-10-2017, 11:37 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wanda Belinda View Post
Last I read, it's the sort of thing that might work but is not to be relied on.
yeah, I'd guess it's way more problematic than folks generally think.

Fundamentally, it seems to me (not an engineer but I play one on the internet...) it's tough enough to get in the same area as something traveling that fast. Really fast. We're talking a matter of minutes from the time a missile can be detected and tracked and the time it reaches its target. Barely time to duck and cover, you know?

If you manage that, you can maybe disassemble it, but all the stuff is still in the air, and probably even on the downward half of its trajectory. So it's going to arrive somewhere near the target, just in pieces. Does the "go bang" piece still work? Meh, who knows? The rocket itself is rather fragile, but I'd guess that bang part is pretty durable. If I was making one (I'm not, btw) that's how I'd design it.

So .... vaporize it? Well ...... then we still have what I suppose they have some euphemism for, like "a detonation event" or "Bright Star, general, we can confirm a Bright Star" or "holy shit, what a clusterfuck."
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:54 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Nuclear bombs don't "go bang". They need a very precise sequence of events to start a nuclear chain reaction, and they are actually designed to survive crashes and impacts without "going bang" (you don't want to wipe out half of California if a B-2 crashes).

The worst that would happen if you intercept an incoming ICBM or warhead is that you end up spreading radioactive material over the impact area.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:10 PM   #53 (permalink)
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One of the first math problems scientists solved was telling the difference between a real warhead and a much lighter decoy -- their flight trajectories are different. Sure, you could weight them the same if you wanted to spend the money, but why not just make it a real nuke instead of a decoy?

For your second point, estimates place DPRK's arsenal at around 20 nukes. None have been mounted in missiles yet, that we know of. Maybe they'll use FedEx?
You answered your own question. Typically an arsenal is of finite size ... weapons grade material is not exactly something you have a spare ton or so of lying around. Say our best estimate is that NK has 20 bombs. Suddenly 25 missiles get fired off to Guam. Do we chalk it up to an intelligence failure or think there is a high likelihood 5 are duds? In the latter case, they would know if you are going to go to the expense of building a missile you may as well put in 5 dummy payloads.

The problem is they have to hope there is extra room for the payload in those missiles. Fissile material is heavy so a dummy payload would have to be bigger.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:15 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nibb Tardis View Post
Nuclear bombs don't "go bang". They need a very precise sequence of events to start a nuclear chain reaction, and they are actually designed to survive crashes and impacts without "going bang" (you don't want to wipe out half of California if a B-2 crashes).

The worst that would happen if you intercept an incoming ICBM or warhead is that you end up spreading radioactive material over the impact area.
Actually, I was just thinking that that is PRECISELY why NK would want to do the exact opposite. So what if you do not get that pretty mushroom cloud? You now have a huge dirty bomb, which is a weapon meant to terrorize.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:19 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Maybe they want to fire off fake ones as a show of force and fury. Even given their state of mind they might realize they will be bombed to hell and back if they send real ones.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:45 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibb Tardis View Post
Nuclear bombs don't "go bang". They need a very precise sequence of events to start a nuclear chain reaction, and they are actually designed to survive crashes and impacts without "going bang" (you don't want to wipe out half of California if a B-2 crashes).

The worst that would happen if you intercept an incoming ICBM or warhead is that you end up spreading radioactive material over the impact area.
Agree, in general, but a relatively low budget country like NK?
Do they bother about safety for their own people. Or is their main concern that the stuff explodes somewhere, somehow when they fire it?
They know damn well that firing these crackers will take place in the last hours of existence of their regime and probably their country.
So why spend years of engineering on safety, if you can use it on firepower as well?
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:03 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:16 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Agree, in general, but a relatively low budget country like NK?
Do they bother about safety for their own people. Or is their main concern that the stuff explodes somewhere, somehow when they fire it?
They know damn well that firing these crackers will take place in the last hours of existence of their regime and probably their country.
So why spend years of engineering on safety, if you can use it on firepower as well?
It's not even about safety. You actually have to go to some extreme lengths to get a nuclear explosion. It simply doesn't happen just by hitting the bomb with a hammer or shooting it with another missile.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:30 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kara Spengler View Post
You answered your own question. Typically an arsenal is of finite size ... weapons grade material is not exactly something you have a spare ton or so of lying around. Say our best estimate is that NK has 20 bombs. Suddenly 25 missiles get fired off to Guam. Do we chalk it up to an intelligence failure or think there is a high likelihood 5 are duds? In the latter case, they would know if you are going to go to the expense of building a missile you may as well put in 5 dummy payloads.
They can build missiles as payload transports more easily than they can build more nuclear weapons - as you say, a real nuke is going to be heavy and expensive.

None of which addresses my point: if you're concerned about ABM interceptions, a fraction of your live warheads are going to be dummies. That guarantees that more of your actual warheads are going to get through.

Not that I believe they're at that point yet. I don't, quite honestly.

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The problem is they have to hope there is extra room for the payload in those missiles. Fissile material is heavy so a dummy payload would have to be bigger.
It wouldn't need to be bigger. In fact, it could constitute the entire payload of a missile. We don't know what they're thinking.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:53 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:37 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nibb Tardis View Post
Nuclear bombs don't "go bang". They need a very precise sequence of events to start a nuclear chain reaction, and they are actually designed to survive crashes and impacts without "going bang" (you don't want to wipe out half of California if a B-2 crashes).
That may well be the case with nuclear warheads from 'sensible' countries, but can you be sure that Best Korea have taken that route in their design philosophy ?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:36 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Worth a look; North Korea explained in graphics | North Korea | Al Jazeera
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:40 PM   #63 (permalink)
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The Orange One just doubled-down on North Korea:

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President Donald Trump says that perhaps his ‘fire and fury’ warning to North Korea “wasn’t tough enough.” Trump is issuing a new warning over the North’s development of nuclear weapons.

Trump says North Korea “better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble.”
The Latest: UN leader ‘troubled’ by rhetoric on North Korea | Associated Press
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:55 PM   #64 (permalink)
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What's the state of the art in defending against ICBMs? Is it not possible to destroy them en route? (Not necessarily safely, but much moreso than once runaway fission begins)
You can read about it right from the people whose job it is
Basically different types of interceptor missiles that hit the warhead to destroy it. Our military is starting to field advanced weapons like lasers and railguns, but I don't think they are capable of hitting ballistic missiles yet.

I worked on the "Star Wars" missile defense program, but that was 30 years ago and classified. So my personal knowledge is out of date and I can't talk about it anyway.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:34 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:44 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Sooner or later one of the two buffoons is going to press a button.
I have my doubts that it will be Trump that presses the "button." Unlike what Hollywood would have people to believe, there is no "button." For the US to nuclear weapons in a first strike there is a precise series events that must take place. Among them are others agreeing, like the Secretary of Defense, that nuclear weapons must be used. What Trump is, is the last line in this chain.

Of course if nuclear weapons are used against the US or any allies, then I believe the chain of command no longer applies. In that case, I believe, sole discretion does lie in the hands of the President.

So the good news is the orange buffoon can't just roll out of bed and say nuke the fuckers. As for short, round in NK. I have no ideal.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:55 PM   #67 (permalink)
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So the good news is the orange buffoon can't just roll out of bed and say nuke the fuckers. As for short, round in NK. I have no ideal.
Very sorry but, no.
The orange buffoon can launch nukes whenever and wherever he pleases and nobody can do a thing to stop him.

He does not even need to get out of bed to do it.

How Trump can launch nuclear weapons - Business Insider

http://www.popularmechanics.com/mili...clear-weapons/
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:06 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Very sorry but, no.
The orange buffoon can launch nukes whenever and wherever he pleases and nobody can do a thing to stop him.

He does not even need to get out of bed to do it.

How Trump can launch nuclear weapons - Business Insider
You are wrong, very wrong. Nuclear weapons employ the two person rule. If Trump wants to launch a nuclear strike, he needs to get the Secretary of Defense to Agree. Then a congressional committee needs to be informed.

Trump can not launch nuclear weapons on a whim and if things get out of hand Pence can replace him with support of the cabinet.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:08 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Authorization of a nuclear or strategic attack[edit]

Only the President can direct the use of nuclear weapons by U.S. armed forces, including the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). While the President does have unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to order that nuclear weapons be used for any reason at any time, the actual procedures and technical systems in place for authorizing the execution of a launch order requires a secondary confirmation under a two-man rule, as the President's order is subject to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense. If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it.[1][2][3]
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:15 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eku Zhong View Post
Very sorry but, no.
The orange buffoon can launch nukes whenever and wherever he pleases and nobody can do a thing to stop him.

He does not even need to get out of bed to do it.

How Trump can launch nuclear weapons - Business Insider
I don't know where the author of that article got his information but it's completely wrong. The verification process that I outlined above was put in place to prevent just such a "incident" from occurring. The release of nuclear weapons requires two codes. One is in the hands of the president, one is in the hands of the secretary of defense. If the secretary doesn't agree then he/she is under no such compulsion to do so.

Now then the president can fire the secretary of defense but can't appoint a new one right then and there. I'm not sure where the second code goes from there. I think it might be the speaker of the house (god help us) or it might go the chairman of the joint chief of staff. I'm not really sure there.

furthermore, if the president was to start acting in a insane or irrational manner, wanting to nuke someone I think counts, the vice president has the power to step in and remove him from office. This of course is an extreme action and also requires the agreement of several members of executive branch.

So, no, that crazy fucking pumpkin doesn't have the power to just nuke someone. He can order a conventional attack or course, but nuclear weapons can not come into play.

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Old 08-10-2017, 11:20 PM   #71 (permalink)
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If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it.[1][2][3]
True the Secretary cannot veto a launch, but also doesn't have to confirm it. An yes the president my fire the secretary but he can't replace him. So if he does fire him, that still will not allow him to launch on his own.

Plus there is more to it than just at two man rule. Before a launch recommendation goes to the presidents desk, the Joint Chiefs have to agree that a first strike is warranted. Then it goes to the secretary of defense who also has to agree that a first strike is warranted. Only then does the recommendation go to the president for the final approval.

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Old 08-10-2017, 11:26 PM   #73 (permalink)
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If President Trump Ordered A Nuclear Strike, No One Could Stop Him | HuffPost
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 PM   #74 (permalink)
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If Trump were to unilaterally give the order to launch nukes and doesn't have the support of his SecDef and VP, I think that would just about cook his goose as Pres unless he's ordering a retaliatory strike of some kind.

A pre-emptive strike carries so many onerous moral questions with it that not even the spineless Congress would be able to overlook an outrage like this. Millions of people would die, but we'd also be done with Donnie.

I hope it never comes to that, but this is what happens when the alt-right gets their hand on the levers of power.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:32 PM   #75 (permalink)
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If Trump were to unilaterally give the order to launch nukes and doesn't have the support of his SecDef and VP, I think that would just about cook his goose as Pres unless he's ordering a retaliatory strike of some kind.
His goose might be cooked but it might not matter with the rest of us cooking by then too.
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