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Old 03-06-2020, 07:52 PM
Status: "The goal of the Party is POWER! (Orwell - "1984")" (set 1 hour ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
14,393 posts, read 8,804,274 times
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"Either [total] war s finished -- or we are." (Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance)

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 03-06-2020 at 08:29 PM..
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:53 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
6,703 posts, read 4,495,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
On that note - I always liked the movie "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb".

Slim Pickens riding the bomb down like a bucking bronco from the B52 - classic scene.
Or the scene in the underground command post where the President tries to stop a fight between the Russian ambassador and the Air Force general with the words “ Gentleman you can’t fight in here it’s the war room.”
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:56 PM
 
20,975 posts, read 6,405,328 times
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Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
In the words of Ian Malcom: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Why did no one in the U.S or the USSR ever stop to think whether or not they should make nukes? Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?
I think the basic deal is this.

Firstly, many of the scientists that worked on it did not want to ever use it - and certainly not on people...and definitely not on civilians.

It was a Race against time because the Nazis had the knowledge (although they didn't really have a quick path to the actual bomb)......

So, in a sense, once it could be done - it had to be done.

BUT, what happened after that was 100% on the Military Industrial Complex. Once the USA had it we went whole hog into using it (the threat and power) for throwing our weight around. This started almost instantly at the end of WWII and continues to the present day.

Even during the development the Scientists and the Army were at odds. The Army was salivating at the future uses and power - while the Scientists wanted to end the war but were wary of the power and destruction.

So - the answer is that - in general it was the Military Industrial "forever war" complex that pushed it to the level of having 10,000+ nukes ready to roll.
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:11 PM
 
231 posts, read 87,803 times
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Just absurd we came close to nuclear annihilation over a dumb as crap **** measuring contest.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:13 PM
 
23,372 posts, read 13,429,264 times
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Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
In the words of Ian Malcom: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Why did no one in the U.S or the USSR ever stop to think whether or not they should make nukes? Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?

Certainly the scientists realized it. From the father of the American nuclear bomb:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb13ynu3Iac
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:38 PM
 
12,166 posts, read 11,032,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
In the words of Ian Malcom: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Why did no one in the U.S or the USSR ever stop to think whether or not they should make nukes? Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?


Can you think of any example in history where people (men) ever passed up the opportunity to get a leg up with better weapons?
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:25 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?
What bad? When did the world blow up? We're still here. You sound like an ideology-filled adolescent immersed in unprecedented wealth, all the while whining and complaining about it. It happens every generation.

Listen, son, si vis pacem para bellum.

That's as good as it gets.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:41 AM
 
Location: North America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
In the words of Ian Malcom: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Why did no one in the U.S or the USSR ever stop to think whether or not they should make nukes? Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?
Several points:

The United States began its nuclear weapons program specifically because of the danger that Germany might develop them first. FDR was famously warned of this threat in the Einstein–Szilárd letter. It's more than a little amusing to cast Albert Einstein as blithely uncaring about the implications of developing such weapons.

The possibility of nuclear weapons alone indicated that someone was going to build them eventually. That alone was a reason to do so for the U.S. Once the U.S. had them, it is understandable that adversaries (the USSR, China, etc.) would see cause to build them, as would allies (the UK, France, etc.) who weren't interesting in being at the mercy of American defense.

Beyond that, early on, nuclear weapons were simply seen as very powerful bombs. Which they are. The dire threat of nuclear weapons isn't just inherent in their yields but in the launch-on-warning capacity combined with the short flight times of ballistic missiles - especially forward-deployed SLBMs. Neither solid chemical rockets that could deliver such large payloads (and/or the relative miniaturization of nuclear weapons that made it possible to put them on rockets) to their targets within minutes of a launch order nor boomers were envisioned, nor were their implications understood, in the 1940s.

Also, the fact that the nuclear-capable nations of the world have deliberately refrained from using nuclear weapons for the past 75 years does indeed indicate that they give quite a few damns about 'blowing the world up' (which, incidentally, isn't possible).
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:35 AM
 
11,126 posts, read 10,684,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
In the words of Ian Malcom: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Why did no one in the U.S or the USSR ever stop to think whether or not they should make nukes? Did they really have no idea how bad it could get? Or did they just not give a damn whether they blew the world up?
Prior to World War II, the balance of power in the world was far different than it was after the war.

The USA, Britain, France, and a rearmed Germany were the most powerful countries in the world. The USSR had been a very poor country ridden by revolution and famine. However, the western countries did not anticipate that the communist-sponsored industrial revolution in that country would give it the capacity to produce droves of modern weapons.

At the end of World War II, Britain had hung on through sheer grit, but it was a bankrupt nation looking to divest itself of its empire. France would be years recovering after its rapid defeat by the Germans and the need to get past all the destruction caused by the war. Germany, of course, was utterly destroyed and had been divided into four sections by its occupying powers.

The USA and USSR had within less than four years become the two preeminent powers in the world. In short, the balance of power in the world had been disrupted and it was necessary for new security arrangements to be made. These would be made when the USA organized the NATO alliance which still functions to this day. The USSR would organize something known as the Warsaw Pact

Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, had used spies to infiltrate the U.S. effort to build the atomic bomb, known as the Manhattan Project. We had no idea at the time, but there were a number of spies passing on information about the bomb that was being developed and built. Klaus Fuchs, a major scientist, in the program was the most significant of these spies. There were less spies though such as David Greenglass who worked within the Project at a lower level and passed on intelligence.

At the Potsdam Conference in the summer of 1945, President Truman did let Stalin know that USA was in possession of a powerful bomb that intended to use against Japan and hopefully bring the war to an end. Stalin feigned ignorance, but actually had a pretty good idea about the bomb at this point. He returned to Russia and placed the head of his secret police, Lavrenti Beria in charge of a crash Soviet program to develop the atomic bomb. Stalin's predominant characteristic was probably paranoia. He truly believed everyone around him was dangerous and trying to undermine him. Certainly, he believed this about foreign leaders as well as those around him in the Soviet government. In his mind, there were probably two reasons for developing an atomic bomb as rapidly as possible: The first reason was self-defense. If the Americans had such a bomb he believed they might used it against the USSR. The second reason was about power and prestige. He believed without a bomb of its own that the USSR would always play second to the USA in terms of being able to influence other countries following the war. Getting a bomb would put the USSR on a level playing field with the USA in terms of relations with other countries.

I don't really think at the time, there was a serious thought in either country about destroying one another. Hiroshima sized atomic bombs were powerful, but not big enough weapons to destroy each other with. There was also the question of the delivery of these weapons. Missiles that could deliver these weapons did not exist. The only way they could be used was to be dropped by bombers like the B-29.

In short, the situation developed very gradually. The USA and the Soviet Union did not understand the arms race they were getting into in either 1945, or 1948 when the USSR developed its atomic bomb. That would only come later when the H bomb was developed and missiles were invented that could carry nuclear warheads to their targets.

In many ways, I think the story of the Cold War is a more fascinating story than that of World War II. Its the story of how the nations of the world managed to avoid destroying one another on a scale that would have made World War II look like a fight between children.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:53 AM
 
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The idea was, that if each side (US/USSR) had enough power to blow up the world, then nobody would be MAD ("Mutual Assured Destruction") enough to start nuclear war.

That's fine, if both countries' leaders are rational and communicate in the event of flawed technology.

The problem is, sometimes idiots get elected, are irrational, technology malfunctions/malfunctioned, etc.
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