Re: go interceptors!

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 13:05:52 MDT

On Mon, 16 Jul 2001 wrote:

> Its easier to send an ICBM on its course 35 minutes around the world

That assumes: 1) you have ICBM capabilities 2) you're willing to reveal
your position, thus giving the enemy time to bring soft targets
underground and having some of deliverly vehicles intercepted, and the
launching ground saturated with a counterstrike.

The umbrella is useless if a superpower gets pissed at you (because even
if you get absurdly lucky and intercept 90%, the rest of it will still
oversaturate you), and it's doubly useless if anyone else is going to
launch an attack against you. Because anyone else is probably not going
to use an ICBM, and is not going to go through the whole huff-huff-huff
gauntlet-flinging-chivalry overhead, but simply hits you where it hurts.

> then it is having someone in place ( constantly) to set-off a suitcase

You don't have them in place, even stealthily installed. Nukes age, people
talk. You just bring them into country by the usual means, synchronously,
so that interception risk and hence forewarning is minimal.

> nuke-which invariably has Less Killing Potential, then a Mirved Nuke.

Suitcase nukes are hi-tech. The people who have them, typically keep them.
I'd rather expect something DIY the size of a small truck, or a ship

And the MIRV paradigm is doubly applicable for a stealth attack. Here you
have the best placement potential, especially if you have skyscraper and
other things high above. Civilian aircraft is also very handy here (the
nuke can be placed at optimal height, and is almost naked but for the
flimsy aircraft, very different as compared to a skyscraper), possibly
manned with a suicide mission pilot.

> Even if the Mirv warheads are loaded with gene-spliced anthrax, that
> alone, might guarantee a greater killing capacity then a suitcase
> nuke, simply because one may strike at several separated locations,
> rather then punishing New York City, or Washington, DC.

Exactly. You don't use a nuke, and you do a stealthy attack. If the
pathogen choice is right, it will days before you realize you're under
massive attack.

You don't have to kill 98% of a megacity. It's absolutely sufficient to
get at few 10-100 k to generate a veritable Bedlam. Purpose served,
mission accomplished.

> Typically, the suitcase nukes have a detonation yield, of some 1-5

Forget suitcase nukes. Nobody is going to use them, at least not yet.

> killions, which is smaller then the Hiroshima strike of 20 kilotons
> and the Nagasaki stike of 12 kiloton yields. The "Davy Crocket" level
> backback nukes, developed in 1956 were designed to detonate at 1/2
> kiloton-1kiloton level explosions. These were the "landmine" nukes
> that would be used to eliminate a Soviet on-slaught through the Fulda
> Gap in Germany. Germany, where cities are just a few kilotons apart...

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBMTO : N48 10'07'' E011 33'53''
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