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Subject: Trump reviewing mini-nuke policy rss

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Andre
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http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/09/trump-reviews-mini-...

Banned from consideration under Obama, Trump is now reviewing the potential use of mini-nukes for the military, i.e., low yield nuclear weapons in the 10-20 kiloton range, similar to what was dropped on Hiroshima during WWII.

My opinion is stated fairly well by a woman cited in the article;

"It is difficult to imagine the circumstances under which we would need a military option in between our formidable conventional capabilities and our current low-yield nuclear weapons capabilities," added Alexandra Bell, a former State Department arms control official. "Lawmakers should be very wary of any attempt to reduce the threshold for nuclear use. There is no such thing as a minor nuclear war."

Then there is this;

Others also express alarm that depending on what type of device the review might recommend, it might require the United States to restart nuclear tests to ensure its viability. The United States hasn't detonated a nuclear weapon since 1992.

"If we actually started testing nuclear weapons, all hell would break loose," said Coyle, who is now on the board of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, a Washington think tank. "In today’s environment, if the U.S. were to test low-yield nuclear weapons, others might start testing. Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, India. It would certainly give North Korea reason to test as often as they wanted.”

Opinions welcomed, on the wisdom of the policy, if enacted.

 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Using any nuclear weapons, no matter how small, is very dangerous because the other side may respond with slight bigger nuclear weapons. This could gradually (or not so gradually) escalate into a full scale nuclear war.

In the short term, battlefield nuclear weapons are effective. For example, if North Korea began shelling Seoul with all their artillery, battlefield nuclear weapons could destroy the artillery and save lives. (The lives lost to radiation would be fewer than the lives lost to getting blown up by artillery shells.)
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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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MikePustilnik wrote:
Using any nuclear weapons, no matter how small, is very dangerous because the other side may respond with slight bigger nuclear weapons. This could gradually (or not so gradually) escalate into a full scale nuclear war.



Yeah. The idea is really fucking stupid!
 
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David Dearlove
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The Germans used to say that a tactical nuclear weapon was one designed to land in Germany.
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Andy Holt
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MikePustilnik wrote:


In the short term, battlefield nuclear weapons are effective. For example, if North Korea began shelling Seoul with all their artillery, battlefield nuclear weapons could destroy the artillery and save lives.


Unlikely to be necessary - there are probably at least two Arleigh Burke destroyers stationed off the Korean peninsula and, although their main objective is likely to be BM defence they'll have plenty of tubes full of (essentially) cruise missiles which should be capable of taking out artillery positions and "spotting" for the US and South Korean ground-based artillery. (for that matter there is probably one of the converted "Ohio" class submarines capable of unloading over 100 cruise missiles at appropriate targets (though it may take serious planning to control that many missiles … but that's one of the things Aegis was designed for.
 
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Ken
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MikePustilnik wrote:
In the short term, battlefield nuclear weapons are effective. For example, if North Korea began shelling Seoul with all their artillery, battlefield nuclear weapons could destroy the artillery and save lives. (The lives lost to radiation would be fewer than the lives lost to getting blown up by artillery shells.)


Given the proximity of Seoul to the N. Korean artillery, I sincerely doubt that you could push information up the chain of command to get authorization, then push an order back down the chain of command to someone, then have them go through the steps necessary to authenticate and execute the order before millions of lives had already been lost.

Building a new tactical nuclear weapon would be an immensely silly thing for us to do, particularly as we're pushing North Korea to give up its nuclear program.
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