Author Topic: USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence  (Read 290 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SPQR

  • Guest
USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence
« on: December 20, 2013, 05:51:23 PM »
By Jacek Siminski

U.S. Air Force plans to modernize its nuclear deterrence capabilities.

According to the philosophy of the USAF, there is a great need to possess all kinds of weapons and as large variety of means as possible. Still, using a nuclear warhead in a small scale conflict would be impossible due to both political and psychological reasons.

The modernization is to include fitting the B-2 Spirit bombers with the nuclear warheads in the form of cruise missiles. The extraterrestial looking bat-plane so far had no ability to carry nuke cruise missiles.

For legal reasons, USAF is unable to develop new nuclear warheads, hence the old weapons (as B61-7, B61-11 and B83-1 gliding bombs) have to undergo refurbishment and maitenance, and the new weapons will have to use old type of warhead.  The same thing applies to any new missile – it has to use a warhead based on old technology.

The proposed new missile is called LRSO – Long Range Stand-Off. It is to replace the ALCM and ACM weapons that are currently the basic strategic weapon in the USAF arsenal.

Since nuclear scare is one of the basic USAF tactics (as demonstrated by the B-2 bomber visit to South Korea earlier this year), USAF generals, such as Maj. Gen. Garrett Harenack, agree that there is a need of modernizing the current nuclear weapons, such as B-61 bombs.

The LRSO is to be introduced in the mid-20s of the 21st century. Research and development will be costly, constituting a sum of over a billion USD. The B-52 will be able to carry just LRSO missiles, hence the program is crucial for the USAF to keep its nuclear capabilities.

Along with the LRS-B, LRSO is to be the basic strategic weapon in the USAF arsenal.

The SORT agreement made the Americans withdraw the AGM-129 missiles, with a range of 3,700 km. They also were the only nuclear warheads created according to the stealth standards.

The LRSO and B-61-12 are going to be tactical, with a purpose of neutralizing structures, such as bunkers. The potential candidates for LRSO warheads include W80, W84 or B61-12, with respective yields of 5-150, 0.2-150 or up to 50 kilotons. It must be remembered though that in case of W80 and W84, the warheads would have to be refurbished and upgraded.

http://theaviationist.com/2013/11/03/us-new-bombs/

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 43,477
  • #NeverTrumpForever
Re: USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 06:01:19 PM »
The US will not use a nuke first, and it's a very good bet that the US would not use nukes even after a nuke attack provided that the attack involved only one weapon and the attacker has no further ability to continue a nuke attack.  So, while it's nice to keep a few in reserve, and it certainly makes sense to modernize one's inventory, I really don't see the point of developing a comprehensive strategy based on using nukes to bluff - that bluff's already been called.

SPQR

  • Guest
Re: USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 07:02:09 PM »
The US will not use a nuke first, and it's a very good bet that the US would not use nukes even after a nuke attack provided that the attack involved only one weapon and the attacker has no further ability to continue a nuke attack.  So, while it's nice to keep a few in reserve, and it certainly makes sense to modernize one's inventory, I really don't see the point of developing a comprehensive strategy based on using nukes to bluff - that bluff's already been called.


The USA always had a "no first use" policy dating back to the dropping of the A-Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was revised in 2010.It said, "The fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons, which will continue as long as nuclear weapons exist, is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our allies, and partners." However,NATO has repeatedly rejected calls for adopting NFU policy, arguing that preemptive nuclear strike is a key option.Pakistan refuses to adopt a "no-first-use" doctrine, indicating that it would strike India with nuclear weapons. India has pledged to a "no first use"policy. China policy of a "no first use" has been lacking the credibility at best. Israel has always a nuclear ambiguity even though that everyone knows that they have the bomb. Britain has said that their policy was prepared to use nuclear weapons if WMD's were used against British troops.

http://www.webcitation.org/6FY0Ol07H

http://www.armscontrol.org/act/1999_07-08/jmja99
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/24355/richard-h-ullman/no-first-use-of-nuclear-weapon
s
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 07:29:02 PM by SPQR »

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 43,477
  • #NeverTrumpForever
Re: USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 07:35:10 PM »
The USA always had a "no first use" policy dating back to the dropping of the A-Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was revised in 2010.It said, "The fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons, which will continue as long as nuclear weapons exist, is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our allies, and partners." However,NATO has repeatedly rejected calls for adopting NFU policy, arguing that preemptive nuclear strike is a key option.Pakistan refuses to adopt a "no-first-use" doctrine, indicating that it would strike India with nuclear weapons. India has pledged to a "no first use"policy. China policy of a "no first use" has been lacking the credibility at best. Israel has always a nuclear ambiguity even though the knows that they have the bomb. Britain has said that their policy was prepared to use nuclear weapons if WMD's were used against British troops.

http://www.webcitation.org/6FY0Ol07H


Formal policies are only as valuable as the practical will to follow them.  As a practical matter the US will never use nuclear weapons first; neither will any other Western country (or Russia).  The only Western country that might ever realistically use nuclear weapons first would be Israel, and that only because Israel is the only Western country that faces persistent existential threats.

Second use is also unlikely.  Obviously, if the US faced a determined foe that used a nuclear weapon first and that still had a sufficient arsenal left - and robust enough defenses to protect that arsenal against concerted attack - then the US would probably use nuclear weapons in response to the initial attack.  That more or less only describes the former Soviet Union - now Russia - and China (leaving aside countries that are friendly to the US).  For any lesser country the US is unlikely to make second-use of nuclear weapons because (a) a concerted conventional attack, using the US' superior conventional weapons, would almost certainly be sufficient to destroy any remaining nuclear weapons possessed by the attacking country, and (b) the risk, and magnitude, of collateral damage - especially the loss of civilian life - would be too high; ordinary civilians possessing no control over the attack on the US would end up paying the price and bearing the brunt of any US second-use nuclear attack.

SPQR

  • Guest
Re: USAF Planning New Means of Nuclear Deterrence
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 07:44:55 PM »
[]Both countries, including NATO knows what will happen if a nuclear war and the consequences. A total end to civilization. After 70 years of having the atomic bomb (including testing) there has been great restraint. I think that the Korean War,Vietnam and Gulf War I proved that you can have a war without resorting to nuclear war. According to historian Martin Walker,
Quote
Washington and Moscow alike was learning(alluding to the Korean War) to operate in a new strategic thinking and environment in which to prevent a crisis from expanding into a full scale war was much more important than any legal victory. The Cold War was becoming an institution."

You are right.They are only good as they are followed. But the Europeans and the Americans have always upheld their commitments. The Russians and the Chinese have constantly cheated on their end of the bargain. If there is any three areas where a nuclear war is likely it will be in the Middle East, India/Pakistan and the Korean Peninsula.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 07:59:24 PM by SPQR »


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf