Re: go interceptors!

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 16:38:30 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Mike Lorrey <> Wrote:
> >both major power call backpack weapons 'tactical nukes': they serve
> >no strategic utility as a weapon against population centers. All they
> >would do is piss off a lot more people than they killed,
> Your distinction eludes me, was Hiroshima tactical or strategic? I ask you to
> consider the W-88 warhead, it's a bit too big to be called a backpack nuke
> but not by much. The Hiroshima bomb was a cylinder 10 and a half feet long
> and it weighed 8,900 pounds, it produced about 12 kilotons. The modern W-88
> H bomb is still a cylinder but it's only 2 and a half feet long and weighs just under
> 300 pounds, yet it produces 150 kilotons, more than 10 times as powerful as
> the Hiroshima bomb. UPS sends lots of 300 pound packages every day.

And all imported packages do go through sniffing protocols when they
come into the country. Don't be silly.

Now, a true pony nuke is about 80 lb, and has a yeild of abour 8kt. It
also is sniffed when it comes into the country, and a radiation source
would glow like a neon sign in an xray machine.

The Hiroshima bomb killed lots of people in a very tightly packed asian
community that lived at something like 4-5 times the density level of
the typical US city, but most people died from the firestorm and the
lack of medical care after the fact. Use of such a weapon today would
not cowe anybody. It would piss them off. The only reason the Hiroshima
bomb was effective at the time was a) Japan was already reeling and on
its knees from sustained firebombing of its cities and the destruction
of its military and loss of Okinawa, and b) they did not know how many
more bombs we had. Considering our propensity for mass production, they
assumed we had plenty to use, despite the fact we did not.

Using a Hiroshima bomb today on a US city would not have the same effect
on the US as it did on Japan at the time. More than likely, it would
cause the US to get even more nationalist than it did over the Pearl
Harbor attack, and in a mood to bomb somebody back to the stone age.

For the 'Sapper Strategy' you posit to work as a sort of concerted
attack on the US, they would have to be able to infiltrate hundreds of
such packages into separate locations in the US. It is highly likely
that at least one would be detected, which would put the nation on alert
and every UPS van would have every package ripped open (as well as
FedEx, etc). This is just not feasible.

A more probable scenario is the launching of cruise missiles from
trawlers, which can be intercepted and are detectable from air radars.

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