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Old 11-15-2008, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
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I just read an interesting article in Popular Mechanics about our ground-based interceptors. Now, while I realize that a partially-effective system is better than none, this "bullet hitting bullet" approach doesn't make any sense to me. We have a massive nuclear arsenal so why don't we just program some of our ICBMs with huge payloads to target outer space (where the incoming missile will be for 20 minutes)? Depending on the size of the nuclear explosion our interceptor missile might only have to half a kilometer or so from it to vaporize it.

I realize there must be a reason why we don't just stick with this approach so can someone explain what it is for me? I know we are in an agreement not to test nukes in space but if it saves one of our cities I say screw it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
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On a side note, if in this hypothetical situation North Korea lobs a couple missiles at us and we successfully intercept them-do we retaliate in full force? My vote is yes. But, if we do, would we have to tell Russia about our plans considering a missile heading for NK is also in the general direction of Russia. If we didn't they might get pretty nervous!
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Iran has a new kind of missile that has a very unpredictable course, as least in the latter stages of its flight. I don't think we have anything to counter it, unless maybe we happened to have some kind of electromagnetic pulse that can screw up its electronics. Thankfully, these missiles cannot hit our country, and can only go as far as the gulf. In the news, recently, they showed that they can send a missile at least as far as Israel, but I don't know what kind of missile it was.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:11 PM
 
1,597 posts, read 2,146,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
I just read an interesting article in Popular Mechanics about our ground-based interceptors. Now, while I realize that a partially-effective system is better than none, this "bullet hitting bullet" approach doesn't make any sense to me. We have a massive nuclear arsenal so why don't we just program some of our ICBMs with huge payloads to target outer space (where the incoming missile will be for 20 minutes)? Depending on the size of the nuclear explosion our interceptor missile might only have to half a kilometer or so from it to vaporize it.

I realize there must be a reason why we don't just stick with this approach so can someone explain what it is for me? I know we are in an agreement not to test nukes in space but if it saves one of our cities I say screw it.
I would imagine we'd blow out more than just the incoming missile. There are multiple satellites up there that could potentially be taken out with that kind of defense scenario....and some of those satellites might be the very things we need for communication and defense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
On a side note, if in this hypothetical situation North Korea lobs a couple missiles at us and we successfully intercept them-do we retaliate in full force? My vote is yes. But, if we do, would we have to tell Russia about our plans considering a missile heading for NK is also in the general direction of Russia. If we didn't they might get pretty nervous!
I kinda doubt the U.S. would launch a nuclear counter-strike if their nukes didn't hit us. I WOULD say a massive conventional onslaught would be warranted, and NK would cease to exist.

Nah.....we probably wouldn't even do that. We'd probably just launch a massive raid on some of their strategic sites of interest, so that they essentially would no longer be in a position to defend themselves.

Then again, we nuked Japan.

But as far as Russia.....I don't think they'd agree to us launching a nuclear response on NK....or ANY retaliatory strike for that matter. Heck, they'd probably back NK.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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I wanted to bump this back up and say thanks for posting this decafdave......as i saw the magazine cover about this at the grocery store but hadn't had a chance to read it yet as this is real interesting .
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquila View Post
I would imagine we'd blow out more than just the incoming missile. There are multiple satellites up there that could potentially be taken out with that kind of defense scenario....and some of those satellites might be the very things we need for communication and defense.



I kinda doubt the U.S. would launch a nuclear counter-strike if their nukes didn't hit us. I WOULD say a massive conventional onslaught would be warranted, and NK would cease to exist.

Nah.....we probably wouldn't even do that. We'd probably just launch a massive raid on some of their strategic sites of interest, so that they essentially would no longer be in a position to defend themselves.

Then again, we nuked Japan.

But as far as Russia.....I don't think they'd agree to us launching a nuclear response on NK....or ANY retaliatory strike for that matter. Heck, they'd probably back NK.
Good points, and that makes sense that satellites would be destroyed in the process. But, as valuable as those satellites might be, I personally think they are worth saving a major U.S. city. Hopefully we have replacement satellites on standby. This brings up another interesting point though: our military relies on the satellite grid so much that it must be a tempting target for a nation that doesn't want to risk attacking our cities.

I really hope we would launch a massive counter-strike even if a nation was unsuccessful at nuking us. Why waste troops, money, and conventional weapons? It would certainly teach a lesson-thus warding off future attacks. IF we don't retaliate with equal or greater force it sends the wrong message:win-win for a rogue state-they might succeed in their attack, but even if they don't their existence is not at risk.

When I mentioned Russia I was wondering if it's possible to tell where a missile's final destination is. Point being, if they saw missiles coming in their general direction over the North Pole (even if they were heading to NK) would they retaliate?
This isn't 1960, they wouldn't just back North Korea blindly-they have isolated themselves enough over the Georgia "incident".
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,904 posts, read 6,914,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6 FOOT 3 View Post
I wanted to bump this back up and say thanks for posting this decafdave......as i saw the magazine cover about this at the grocery store but hadn't had a chance to read it yet as this is real interesting .
It's definitely a good read-I think I read it at Barnes and Noble for free! haha.
I don't know how that place stays in business, I pretty much use it as a library where I occasionally buy something.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
269 posts, read 1,243,517 times
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Using a nuke as an antimissile system is itself pretty destructive. Detonating a nuclear device above the atmosphere (even "in defense" to destroy a larger incoming nuclear weapon) will generate an electromagnetic pulse, which fries most electronics for quite a large distance (as in, most of the continent). The defense is in some ways as bad as the attack itself, so the point of trying a defense is lost. For that and other reasons, nuclear-armed antimissile systems are not really viable options.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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Ballistic Missile Defense Panel
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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When all that radioactive material starts filtering back into the atmosphere where will you be?
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