Obama's new offensive against nuclear weapons

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by floyde, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #1
    Link

    Emphasis mine.

    if this is for real, I'd say that it is awesome. IMHO there's no bigger threat to mankind than delusional megalomaniacs with weapons that can match their egos. And that means no more "human assisted" Armageddon/Rapture either. Let's see if Mr. Obama can pull it off.
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Sorry floyde, as much as I like your posts, I feel that Barack is delusional on this subject.

    It will never happen, on their side, or ours.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I don't see Kim Jong Il paying much attention. He's learned that we're toothless against him. Ameniwhatzit, either. The Russians will make happy noises, maybe, but they won't do anything. Israel would be dumber'n dirt to give up nukes, since those are about all that stand between her and genocide.
     
  4. floyde thread starter macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #4
    Well, I know, it so unlikely that it almost seems like a joke, doesn't it? But I think it's either this or we end up on the casualty list of self-destructing civilizations (eventually).

    As a species, we know too little of our nature to be wielding such power. We're like children who find their father's gun and think that it's ok to play with it. But we really can't possibly know **** about it :(
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #5

    North Korea knows that if they launch a bottle rocket in our general direction, we'll obliterate them. They're not THAT stupid. I'm not too worried about them.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    Wishful thinking has never counted for much.

    Every politician pontificates about nuclear elimination, but the genie is out of the bottle, and it will not go back in.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    vg17, you may not be worried about them but I notice Japan is spending billions of dollars on defense against NK.

    Obliterate them? What with? How? We can't use nukes, given that one of the countries of China, South Korea or Japan would likely be downwind of fallout. And the North Koreans, happy little miners that they are, have gone way too deep underground for our bunker-busters. Bomb Kim's palace? Whoopee.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    and what about nuclear power

    hes already pretty much nilled yucca mountain.......WTF is my reaction to that
     
  9. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #9
    I'm with iJohnHenry on this one. I just see everyone shaking hands and smiling while they do nothing to reduce their stock-piles.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    He said "reduce stockpiles" not "eliminate". Under any proposel the US and Russia would agree to each would still keep at least "hundreds" enough to serve as a deterent to Korea and Iran.

    You can NEVER eliminate the threat. It is getting easier every year to make a bomb. Heck the US built one using 1940's technology.
     
  11. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #11
    Just like every good scientific idea, the government spends millions turning it into a weapon.
     
  12. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    It's a great goal and the cutting of the US and Russian stockpiles by a third is a great first step. I'm glad to see Obama working in this direction. Steps beyond this, in order to get to a nuclear weapons free world, will be much more complex and will have to deal with extremely difficult issues - such as the India/Pakistan standoff and the Israeli stockpile, but, unlike others on this board, I think if those issues are dealt within the context of legitimate security concerns they can be overcome. First and foremost, this takes a US President with the wisdom to see the insanity of the status quo. Thank god we finally have one after years of a blustering idiot.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Oooo... we may reduce our stockpile from one that can destroy the earth thousands of times to one that can only destroy it a few hundred times?

    Color me unimpressed.
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    I'm very impressed, and I don't impress easily. The only way to get to the goal of a nuclear free world is for the two nations that possess the most weapons, by far, lead the way in their elimination. That is what the proposed treaty is all about. It is something that wouldn't have happened under any Republican president, and the stated goal of a nuclear free world is not one that would be advanced by most democrats.

    By the by, I believe the critical point is reducing the stockpile of these weapons below the point where the explosion of all of them in a nuclear exchange would set off a nuclear winter. That should be the intermediate goal of a later round of negotiations that would have to involve other countries beside the US and Russia.
     
  15. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #15
    Yeah, that's why I have a hard time seeing the point. Unless you have less than 50, you have enough to do enough damage that would matter as much as 1000 or more.
     
  16. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #16
    But processing and dismantling the raw materials will take months/years to do safely. The larger the #, the longer it will take. It doesn't make sense to agree to dismantle hundreds at a time.
     
  17. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #17
    While the Japanese are spending millions on defenses clearly designed for NK and China, including Aegis cruisers and anti-submarine warfare, the Japanese aren't building a nuclear arsenal.

    If the arsenal won't work as a deterrent and can't be used after the fact, then what's the point? We should scuttle the subs, close up the silos and mothball the planes.

    I'd argue that for most countries that have, or are trying to attain a nuclear arsenal it has to do with a vision of power and influence that comes with having such devices. It's no coincidence that Pakistan and India are both nuclear powers. Once one had the ability, the other was sure to follow.

    Obama's idea is surely utopian, but unless we figure out how to stop nuclear proliferation, we must accept that sooner rather than later, someone will use of these devices.

    Also, earlier you mentioned that Israel was protected from genocide by it's not-so-secret weapons, but in the 1967 and 1973 wars it was the IDF (and their enemies' incompetence) that protected the country. Now, the IDF is the dominant military power in the Middle East. Furthermore, surely the Syrians and others have noted that the Israel war-machine is primed against armored or infantry-led invasion and would chew such a force to pieces, but the IDF is—like all large forces reliant on armor, maneuverability, and firepower—vulnerable to asymmetric warfare. Surely, other forces have learned that Iranian-produced shaped-charges are far more valuable than a dozen T-62s.
    With this in mind, I'd argue that the IDF's nuclear weapons won't make one wit of difference, because the enemy will either fight so close to civilians that using even the tiniest nuclear device would be a horror-show or will be so spread out, it wouldn't be the least bit effective.

    For modern military forces, the nuclear weapon is going to collect dust and rot while the rifle and the loitering drone is going to matter far more. We should keep our subs, a small fleet of B2s, a few MRVs but the size of a nuclear force could be drawn down to a very specific mission.
     
  18. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #18
    Even if that is true (the number is higher IIRC, but it has been a while since I checked on any new calculations on the nuclear winter threshold) how do you get to less than 50 if you don't lead the process?

    Sorry, I don't understand the cynicism on this topic. This is a huge step. It is not the goal in one step, but it is the first step by Obama to get us on a road that may get us there. It also has to potential to start serious controls on loose nuclear materials. Something that the Bush administration ignored for its entire time in office.

    I do remember those on the left who, in previous negotiations on nuclear weapons, decried any agreement that didn't eliminate all weapons. Those folks were just flat out wrong. I don't know if that is where you're coming from or not, but I see this a great news and don't even begin to understand people who have fought for the elimination of the nuclear threat - the greatest threat to humanity - and can't accept real progress towards that goal.
     
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Hulugu, I agree with much of your commentary. However, it seems reasonable to believe that Israel's nukes are a deterrent against WMD attacks on their population centers. rockets with nerve gas, e.g.

    The idea of reduction isn't new. I disremember when it started, but the drawdown has been underway--in an off and on fashion--for a long time. That's why surplus silos have been sold...

    During the 1957 Hungarian crisis, our generals sent their families home. They walked around Hq US European Command and SHAPE with worried looks. We wee prime targets for USSR nukes. As a lowly E-4, I wasn't going anywhere, except to work as a lowly REMF documents routing clerk. Trouble was, I was reading all that Top Secret stuff, and it was scary. I came to the strong belief that megatons addressed To Whom It May Concern are just Really Bad Things.

    So I'd be quite happy if H-bombs were magicked out of existence. Trouble is, with the technology being available to anybody with the money, all it takes is one power-mad SOB to mess up the world.

    As a generality, nuke-folks with a generally western European cultural outlook see nukes as a last resort retaliation. That doesn't seem to be the case for North Korea and Iran. Pakistan? I dunno. Depends on who's in charge.

    'Rat
     
  20. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    The fall out is the problem, isnt it? It's also the main reason why no one will use a nuclear weapon against Israel, including the ever over hyped Iran.
     
  21. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    Gotta agree too. I don't see this happening any time soon, if ever.
     
  22. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #22
    the thing is that START 1 is running out in december and you can be sure that it will be the topic of the summer .. after all Obama got invited to moscow for juli

    that said the problem with nuclear weapons is that with them there is simply too much to gain
    so far any country has gained a massive amount of international political power by achieving nuclear weapons ..(like the first 5 ones got veto power in the UN .. which still is a disgrace)

    remember how pakistan was harboring terrorists and evil and what not during the 90ties
    then they have nuclear weapons and instantly are super-best-friends of the US and even get rebates for buying F16 Jets and other equipment

    and of course as soon as one has nuclear weapons all the international sabre rattling towards your directions stops.. instantly

    if i were a rogue nations i would try to get nuclear weapons ASAP.. because if i have nobody ill attack me

    for Iran: keep in mind that Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons and since he is the one responsible for foreign policy decisions
    and even that aside even if Iran develops nuclear weapons (which is unlikely) .. can you fault them ? they are surrounded by US allies

    so on the one side it's considered fair for israel to have nuclear arsenals because "they are surrounded" but for Iran who borders on Turkey (with US nuclear weapons stationed there), Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (nuclear weapons right again) and over the small persian gulf saudi arabia (huge _modern_ military in the region) and Quatar etc. it's obviously not fine to even remotely think about it
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Ok, color me slightly impressed. It's certainly change from the previous administration. But my guess is that we will destroy our older weapons -- as will Russia -- and keep the new ones that would be the ones we'd use anyway if push came to nuclear shove. The world will be no safer from nuclear annihilation. Dead a hundred times or a thousand times over is still dead.

    The only real benefit that comes out of this is that fewer nukes need to be kept track of, and there is less potential for the sale of nuclear devices to take place.

    But until we're ready to give those up ourselves, no one else will. And I just don't see Americans -- or Russians or Israelis or Indians or Pakistanis or North Koreans or anyone else's citizens -- as willing to unilaterally dismantle their nuclear capabilities. Any US politician that suggested such a course of action would be a dead politician walking. As would, I suspect, any politician in any of the other nuclear nations.

    I'm afraid we're stuck with these things. Humans have never been good at putting Pandora's gifts back in the box and shipping them back...
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    btw, mac, good to read your response, but I have to respectfully disagree on some of it. To me the most impressive parts of this are two-fold - one openly stated and one behind the scenes. First, the openly stated goal of a nuclear-free world is very new for a US President. It is not a call for unilateral disarmament, which of course is a non-starter, but for negotiations to get us to that goal. It starts with a reduction by about one-third of US and Russian weapons, but will have to move to multilateral negotiations later on, if Obama is serious about this goal. Such a thing has never happened in the history of negotiations on this issue. If the US and the Russians follow through with a next step in reductions in conjunction with other nations it would be truly historic. Never, ever, has a US president tried to lead the world in this direction. While we are only at the start of this process, the fact Obama would commit to such a goal is impressive.

    Second, what has gone unsaid is that for the Russians to agree to these reductions means that the so-called "Star Wars" initiative is on the table. The Russians know that the cheapest way for them to out flank such weapons would be the deployment of more weapons and in closer proximity to possible targets. Such a move makes the world much more dangerous because it reduces response time, but it is a far less expensive way to turn the wet dreams of neo-cons for US nuclear hegemony into pipe dreams than chasing the same outrageously expensive - and unreliable - technology. By putting this chimera on the table, Obama reduces tensions and stops the decades long gravy train for some defense contractors and the military planners whose careers were wrapped up in this boondoggle. Very positive.
     
  25. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Don't we only need like two or three of these things to eliminate most of the world anyways? So what does cutting a stock pile of hundreds do? So now we can only destroy what, 10 worlds? Great.
     

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