SPACE: Lunar warfare

The Low Willow (
Wed, 1 Jan 1997 20:56:35 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 1, 9:44pm, Michael Lorrey wrote:

} Additionally, being on the moon gives one a first strike advantage. you
} can see the other guy coming 239,000 miles away, and have plenty of time
} (two to three days) to get enough rocks in flight to pulverize the
} entire planet before your own launcher gets taken out. Additionally,
} remember, terran nations would need Saturn V like launching capability

Apollo took four days to get to the moon (unless that was the length of
the entire mission.) Military missiles should be able to take one day
or less. As for Earth... use those Saturns to put lots of missiles in
terrestrial orbit. Then the Lunies are also at the bottom of a gravity
well. True, from Earth orbit you'd still need to give them a big kick
to reach the Moon quickly, but you can get out of Earth's gravity well
ahead of time.

And quite possibly frigates or bases would be put in *lunar* orbit.
Better aim, and faster. If the energy isn't enough, use nukes. Not
much to contaminate down there...

} neccessarily be at least 6 feet under the lunar soil or rock surface.
} Any inhabitable space would be an automatic bomb shelter. So even if the
} Earth takes out your gun, you still have the rest of your infrastructure

6 feet isn't much protection in the kind of warfare we're talking about.

} and population. The Earth population, living in a society ignorant of
} the concept of civil defense, would suffer great losses. In this
} scenario, Mutual Assured Destruction would not be a viable strategem of
} political gamesmanship.

How do you know the population would still be ignorant of civil defense?
You're changing one factor and assuming all other stay constant, when
the first change could well change other relevant factors. But whether
civil defense is meaningful for a big and intraconnected target is
debatable. A different problem is that the spacers may not be willing
to engage in MAD against Earth. Earth has tons of people and the only
natural ecosystem -- certainly of any complexity. Colonists *could*
have an ornery 'screw-you' attitude, willing to wipe all of the above
out for their own survival or independence; but they could also be much
more reverent or 'moral', and find threatening 'wipeout' against the
Mother World repugnant or unthinkable. Asimov's Settlers are as likely
as Heinlein's Loonies.

Earth, by contrast, has the problem of wiping out a few thousand
ingrates wielding a big gun on a dead world. Zap.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Do not look upon this glass,
Lest your soul from this world pass
This legend burned upon its case
You dare not see the mirror's face.