Current Nuclear Weapons Development

GTX

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Worrying about how many tactical nukes you have is like worrying how many road flares you have to light a drum of gasoline…probably the first one you use will be enough for the purpose.
I agree and it isn't just tactical nukes. This is what makes the complaints by some about not having enough weapons or that they are being out numbered when they already have hundreds or thousands of nukes both perverse and moronic.
 

bobbymike

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Worrying about how many tactical nukes you have is like worrying how many road flares you have to light a drum of gasoline…probably the first one you use will be enough for the purpose.
I agree and it isn't just tactical nukes. This is what makes the complaints by some about not having enough weapons or that they are being out numbered when they already have hundreds or thousands of nukes both perverse and moronic.
Hypothetical - If China and Russia said tomorrow our strategic forces are now under joint command and we plan on building 10,000 new warheads with accompanying launchers.

Would you expand US nuclear forces?
 

sferrin

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Worrying about how many tactical nukes you have is like worrying how many road flares you have to light a drum of gasoline…probably the first one you use will be enough for the purpose.
I agree and it isn't just tactical nukes. This is what makes the complaints by some about not having enough weapons or that they are being out numbered when they already have hundreds or thousands of nukes both perverse and moronic.
Sure, if you don't care if you have a credible deterrent. It's probably "moronic" to be concerned that your industrial base has withered away almost to non-existence too am I right?
 

Josh_TN

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More specifically, the US has a large number of strategic nukes that could be tactical that don’t get counted (AGM-86) and a tactical nuke that is sufficiently accurate it is strategic (B-61 mod12). If the current situation could be maintained it would be perfectly equitable and stable. China will be the huge destabilizing effect: the US will have to assume that it has to plan for nuclear war with Russia and China at the same time and so will have to keep expanding it forces, which will cause China to do the same and Russia to attempt to within its much more limited budget. This will pressure every other nuclear power as well, and likely create some new ones.

There will absolutely be a global nuclear arms race by 2030.
 

GTX

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No. It is meant to be a deterrent. If you use it it has failed.
Force without the willingness to use it is not a deterrent.
Deterrent = something that deters people from doing something. If they do it anyway then by definition it has failed.
 

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Hypothetical - If China and Russia said tomorrow our strategic forces are now under joint command and we plan on building 10,000 new warheads with accompanying launchers.

Would you expand US nuclear forces?
Nope! It would be a waste of money that would only serve to enrich some but not actually make anyone more secure.
 

kaiserd

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Actual effective nuclear deterrence is not about having the exact same number of warheads or whatever as the other guy, especially if the majority of your deterrence force are sub-based warheads and missiles not even theoretically vulnerable to destruction via an approx. warhead-for-warhead counter-force strike.

The fantasy of “winning” a large scale nuclear exchange is one of the most dangerous and pernicious lies known to man.
 

sferrin

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sferrin

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Hypothetical - If China and Russia said tomorrow our strategic forces are now under joint command and we plan on building 10,000 new warheads with accompanying launchers.

Would you expand US nuclear forces?
Nope! It would be a waste of money that would only serve to enrich some but not actually make anyone more secure.
Qualify that.
 

Desertfox

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Worrying about how many tactical nukes you have is like worrying how many road flares you have to light a drum of gasoline…probably the first one you use will be enough for the purpose.
I agree and it isn't just tactical nukes. This is what makes the complaints by some about not having enough weapons or that they are being out numbered when they already have hundreds or thousands of nukes both perverse and moronic.
Hypothetical - If China and Russia said tomorrow our strategic forces are now under joint command and we plan on building 10,000 new warheads with accompanying launchers.

Would you expand US nuclear forces?
Its a stupid hypothetical, both China and Russia are ALSO concerned about each other. Some of the Chinese nukes are pointed at Moscow as some of the Russian ones are pointed at Beijing. Also the British, French, and Israeli, nuclear arsenals are not being counted.

Let's not forget that conventional deterrents also exist to the point that Russia considers massed conventional attacks equivalent to a nuclear attacks.
 

bobbymike

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Worrying about how many tactical nukes you have is like worrying how many road flares you have to light a drum of gasoline…probably the first one you use will be enough for the purpose.
I agree and it isn't just tactical nukes. This is what makes the complaints by some about not having enough weapons or that they are being out numbered when they already have hundreds or thousands of nukes both perverse and moronic.
Hypothetical - If China and Russia said tomorrow our strategic forces are now under joint command and we plan on building 10,000 new warheads with accompanying launchers.

Would you expand US nuclear forces?
Its a stupid hypothetical, both China and Russia are ALSO concerned about each other. Some of the Chinese nukes are pointed at Moscow as some of the Russian ones are pointed at Beijing. Also the British, French, and Israeli, nuclear arsenals are not being counted.

Let's not forget that conventional deterrents also exist to the point that Russia considers massed conventional attacks equivalent to a nuclear attacks.
Stupid hypothetical or one who doesn’t understand the purpose of that very hypothetical?

It was extreme, sure, to see if the there was a circumstance where expanding our forces would be justified. The answer absolutely clarified their position.

See how that works?
 

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The nuclear powered cruise missile never worked and Russia is including Avagarde in its strategic totals since it used an ICBM booster.

As for clear signals, there’s no way the US will enter another strategic arms reducing treaty that doesn’t include China anyway, so it’s an empty threat. The Biden admin I think only allowed a New START extension because it realized the US wasn’t going to introduce new launch platforms out to 2026 anyway (Sentinel, B-21, Columbia).

China is going to seek a peer level nuclear deterrent so the US doesn’t have a total domination of the escalation cycle like it does now so there won’t be any future arms control agreements. Russia will struggle to keep up with the US and China when New START ends; it won’t be the US begging them for a deal. The US could double its ballistic missile warheads fairly quickly and the Russian launchers have less of an ability to be further uploaded. Russia also has a fraction of the GDP of China or the US. It will ultimately fail to keep up with the future arms race at the end of this decade.
The problem isn't how Avangard is counting, it's the fact it can strike in MRBM/IRBM timescales or better, rendering the INF moot.
 

Forest Green

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Its a stupid hypothetical, both China and Russia are ALSO concerned about each other. Some of the Chinese nukes are pointed at Moscow as some of the Russian ones are pointed at Beijing.
50 years ago yes, now no. All the indication are that Russia and China are moving closer and closer to a strategic partnership. Enough that India is getting rattled.
 

Josh_TN

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The nuclear powered cruise missile never worked and Russia is including Avagarde in its strategic totals since it used an ICBM booster.

As for clear signals, there’s no way the US will enter another strategic arms reducing treaty that doesn’t include China anyway, so it’s an empty threat. The Biden admin I think only allowed a New START extension because it realized the US wasn’t going to introduce new launch platforms out to 2026 anyway (Sentinel, B-21, Columbia).

China is going to seek a peer level nuclear deterrent so the US doesn’t have a total domination of the escalation cycle like it does now so there won’t be any future arms control agreements. Russia will struggle to keep up with the US and China when New START ends; it won’t be the US begging them for a deal. The US could double its ballistic missile warheads fairly quickly and the Russian launchers have less of an ability to be further uploaded. Russia also has a fraction of the GDP of China or the US. It will ultimately fail to keep up with the future arms race at the end of this decade.
The problem isn't how Avangard is counting, it's the fact it can strike in MRBM/IRBM timescales or better, rendering the INF moot.
Avangard is a strategic range weapon that would have a longer flight time than an ICBM. I don't see it being relevant to INF, which in any case was abrogated for other valid reasons. INF itself is moot now.
 

GTX

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Nope! It would be a waste of money that would only serve to enrich some but not actually make anyone more secure.
Qualify that.
Easy. The following corporations are involved with nuclear weapons development in the USA:
  • AECOM
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Bechtel
  • Boeing
  • BWX Technology (Babcock and Wilcox)
  • Charles Stark Draper Lab
  • Fluor
  • General Dynamics
  • Honeywell International
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Jacobs Engineering
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Orbital ATK
  • Raytheon
  • Textron
Producing more such weapons would generate profits for them thus "enriching some".

Re my comment about not actually make anyone more secure, I will pose the question of how expanding the US nuclear arsenal makes anyone more secure? To explain: The US Govt admits to having 5,550 such weapons currently. This is obviously many times than that needed to wipe out every form of life on the planet (even lawyers...though the debate is still out if they constitute a form of life ;)). Add that to the estimated remaining 7450 weapons in other nuclear states and there is plenty to wipe out everyone many many times over - remember these aren't simple rounds of ammunition like conventional weapons. Even a limited exchange involving say 500 such weapons (less than a 10th of the US arsenal) would cause unimaginable devastation both immediately and ongoing. How does expanding the entire US arsenal make anyone any safer? To use an analogy: if a single bullet to the head will kill someone, does 2 bullets make them any deader? It doesn't matter if your enemies have 100, 1000 or 10,000 such weapons. Adding similar numbers to your own arsenal will not make you any safer when only a fraction of what's already in place is more than sufficient.
 

Forest Green

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Avangard is a strategic range weapon that would have a longer flight time than an ICBM. I don't see it being relevant to INF, which in any case was abrogated for other valid reasons. INF itself is moot now.
It does not follow a ballistic arc, so it can hit targets near or far (unlike an ICBM), and the path to target is shorter.
 

sferrin

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Nope! It would be a waste of money that would only serve to enrich some but not actually make anyone more secure.
Qualify that.
Easy. The following corporations are involved with nuclear weapons development in the USA:
  • AECOM
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Bechtel
  • Boeing
  • BWX Technology (Babcock and Wilcox)
  • Charles Stark Draper Lab
  • Fluor
  • General Dynamics
  • Honeywell International
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Jacobs Engineering
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Orbital ATK
  • Raytheon
  • Textron
Producing more such weapons would generate profits for them thus "enriching some".

Re my comment about not actually make anyone more secure, I will pose the question of how expanding the US nuclear arsenal makes anyone more secure? To explain: The US Govt admits to having 5,550 such weapons currently. This is obviously many times than that needed to wipe out every form of life on the planet (even lawyers...though the debate is still out if they constitute a form of life ;)). Add that to the estimated remaining 7450 weapons in other nuclear states and there is plenty to wipe out everyone many many times over - remember these aren't simple rounds of ammunition like conventional weapons. Even a limited exchange involving say 500 such weapons (less than a 10th of the US arsenal) would cause unimaginable devastation both immediately and ongoing. How does expanding the entire US arsenal make anyone any safer? To use an analogy: if a single bullet to the head will kill someone, does 2 bullets make them any deader? It doesn't matter if your enemies have 100, 1000 or 10,000 such weapons. Adding similar numbers to your own arsenal will not make you any safer when only a fraction of what's already in place is more than sufficient.
Did you think nuclear weapons come for free? You sound like you think it's a sin that weapons manufacturers make money provoding a service. As for expanding the nuclear arsenal it's all about being a viable deterrent. (A nuke sitting in a bunker with no means of delivery doesn't provide that BTW. So much for about half of that 5,550.) You could have a hundred thousand nukes, but if you've already told the other guy you don't have the will to use them, or even if he just believe that's the case, then they are useless as a deterrent. So first you have to make sure the other guy knows you have the will to use them. Then you have to have enough of the right types to convince him that any attempt at a first strike would result in him receiving more damage than he's willing to suffer.
 

Desertfox

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Avangard is a strategic range weapon that would have a longer flight time than an ICBM. I don't see it being relevant to INF, which in any case was abrogated for other valid reasons. INF itself is moot now.
It does not follow a ballistic arc, so it can hit targets near or far (unlike an ICBM), and the path to target is shorter.
Shorter does not necessarily equate to faster. HGVs also have a minimum effective range where they can't hit targets under that. Btw ICBMs can hit short-range targets.

As for the deterrence value of nukes, you don't need 10,000 warheads. Just look at North Korea, they only have a handful of small warheads with unreliable delivery systems.
 

GTX

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Did you think nuclear weapons come for free? You sound like you think it's a sin that weapons manufacturers make money provoding a service.
Please stop twisting my words! That is not what I said. I basically responded to a comment about expanding the US nuclear arsenal saying that in part it would enrich some - I further justified that comment in response to your own questioning by listing the companies that would potentially benefit. Where did I make any comment about weapons for free or otherwise?

but if you've already told the other guy you don't have the will to use them, or even if he just believe that's the case, then they are useless as a deterrent. So first you have to make sure the other guy knows you have the will to use them. Then you have to have enough of the right types to convince him that any attempt at a first strike would result in him receiving more damage than he's willing to suffer.
Likewise, Where did I make comment about telling "the other guy you don't have the will to use them" or otherwise? I simply said that expanding the already large arsenal would not provide any more security. I further justified that by pointing out that the USA already has over 5000 such weapons and that arguably even a fraction of this would result in mass devastation if used.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the concept of deterrence (and it can be done with more than just nukes) but when it comes to nuclear weapons there is such a thing as overkill and yet some seem to think that are just the same as conventional weapons and that more is better which is moronic.
 

kaiserd

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There are separate arguments about the neglect of some of the US’s nuclear weapon support infrastructure.

And it’s correct to see a potential opponents numbers of certain weapon classes (including, say strategic nuclear weapons) as one of a number of factors that will feed into decisions around types and numbers of weapons you may require yourself.

But such decisions don’t involve chasing arbitrary numbers to match opponent Y or Z. That kind of thinking (Y has 100x, so must we) was never logical or rational and largely died with the Cold War. For those still making such arguments - that speaks far more to their mind-set and insecurities than to those voices having any real understanding of the real current and future challenges and how best to try to tackle them.
 
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bobbymike

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Numbers are never arbitrary and it is puerile to think anyone means “Lets just make a big pile of warheads”. I want a 1000 MIRV ICBM said no one ever.

Numbers means distributed networks, aim points, geographic dispersal options, launcher options, deterrence and 2nd strike assurance, etc.
 

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Shorter does not necessarily equate to faster. HGVs also have a minimum effective range where they can't hit targets under that. Btw ICBMs can hit short-range targets.

As for the deterrence value of nukes, you don't need 10,000 warheads. Just look at North Korea, they only have a handful of small warheads with unreliable delivery systems.
Yes, but the minimum range is very small, a lot smaller than for ICBMs, because they don't need to re-enter, which is angle restricted. HGVs are only minimum range limited by the burn period of the LV, after that they glide at ~60km and can come down any time.

Yes, we should model our nuclear deterrent on North Korea. :rolleyes:
 

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There are separate arguments about the neglect of some of the US’s nuclear weapon support infrastructure.

And it’s correct to see a potential opponents numbers of certain weapon classes (including, say strategic nuclear weapons) as one of a number of factors that will feed into decisions around types and numbers of weapons you may require yourself.

But such decisions don’t involve chasing arbitrary numbers to match opponent Y or Z. That kind of thinking (Y has 100x, so must we) was never logical or rational and largely died with the Cold War. For those still making such arguments - that speaks far more to their mind-set and insecurities than to those voices having any real understanding of the real current and future challenges and how best to try to tackle them.
For Russia, the US need at least 1,000 ICBM warheads and 1,000 SLBM warheads deployed, preferably new with some MaRV and HGV options. For China, it needs at least the same again, so 2,000 of each total 4,000 deployed. Bomber warheads, probably 1,000. And maybe 1,000-2,000 MRBMs/IRBMs and SRBMs plus tactical fighter deployed warheads.

So that's 16 subs with 16 missiles each, 8 warheads per missiles.
500 ICBMs with 4 warheads each.
1,000 ALCMs and and 500-1,000 bombs,
1,000 LRHW or similar with nukes, maybe longer range is needed, 500 GLCMs. 500 PrSM with nukes.
500 tactical for F-15E/F-35A/C carriage, maybe a few on AShMs.

So 5,500-6,000 strategic (I really don't even like counting bomber ones as strategic, it's only 4,000 true strategic IMO.)
1,500 INF.
500 Battlefield.
500 aircraft tactical.
 

Desertfox

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You do realize that HGVs have very stringent insertion requirements and would likely not be capable of pulling off high G maneuvers so early in the flight as would be required to do a short range attack.

Where did you get those numbers, or are they simply a WAG? Studies by both the US and Russia have come to the conclusion that you need 200-300 warheads over targets to provide a deterrent effect, adding spares and accounting for missile defenses, and bolts from the blue, both countries came around to ~1,000 deployed warheads as a suitable number. ~10,000 is frankly ludicrous and insanely expensive
 
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kaiserd

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There are separate arguments about the neglect of some of the US’s nuclear weapon support infrastructure.

And it’s correct to see a potential opponents numbers of certain weapon classes (including, say strategic nuclear weapons) as one of a number of factors that will feed into decisions around types and numbers of weapons you may require yourself.

But such decisions don’t involve chasing arbitrary numbers to match opponent Y or Z. That kind of thinking (Y has 100x, so must we) was never logical or rational and largely died with the Cold War. For those still making such arguments - that speaks far more to their mind-set and insecurities than to those voices having any real understanding of the real current and future challenges and how best to try to tackle them.
For Russia, the US need at least 1,000 ICBM warheads and 1,000 SLBM warheads deployed, preferably new with some MaRV and HGV options. For China, it needs at least the same again, so 2,000 of each total 4,000 deployed. Bomber warheads, probably 1,000. And maybe 1,000-2,000 MRBMs/IRBMs and SRBMs plus tactical fighter deployed warheads.

So that's 16 subs with 16 missiles each, 8 warheads per missiles.
500 ICBMs with 4 warheads each.
1,000 ALCMs and and 500-1,000 bombs,
1,000 LRHW or similar with nukes, maybe longer range is needed, 500 GLCMs. 500 PrSM with nukes.
500 tactical for F-15E/F-35A/C carriage, maybe a few on AShMs.

So 5,500-6,000 strategic (I really don't even like counting bomber ones as strategic, it's only 4,000 true strategic IMO.)
1,500 INF.
500 Battlefield.
500 aircraft tactical.
What are the basis for those figures?
To do exactly what? What are they targeted at/ what strategy underlines these specific numbers and no more and/ or no less?
 
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Forest Green

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What are the basis for those figures?
To do exactly what? What are they targeted at/ what strategy underlines these specific numbers and no more and/ or no less?
To target all silos and key bunkers and make sure nobody in target countries has any chance of surviving. The strategic plus INF numbers I specified would be lower than 1996 deployed strategic levels, and much lower than 1988 level.


This seems especially reasonable now that there are two superpower nuclear threats to deter not just one.
 

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Shorter does not necessarily equate to faster. HGVs also have a minimum effective range where they can't hit targets under that. Btw ICBMs can hit short-range targets.

As for the deterrence value of nukes, you don't need 10,000 warheads. Just look at North Korea, they only have a handful of small warheads with unreliable delivery systems.
Yes, but the minimum range is very small, a lot smaller than for ICBMs, because they don't need to re-enter, which is angle restricted. HGVs are only minimum range limited by the burn period of the LV, after that they glide at ~60km and can come down any time.

Yes, we should model our nuclear deterrent on North Korea. :rolleyes:
Desertfox is incorrect about North Korea as their thermonuclear warhead as yield is between 245 and 271 kilotons.

North Korea has tested their short range quasi ballistic missile at range of 190 kilometers at altitude of just 20 kilometers.


190 kilometers is distance between center of Pyongyang and Seoul, it would take around minute and a half to reach its target.

Wasting ICBMs on short range targets is baffling, at very least remove 2 stage and have larger or more warheads such as MARV type.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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INF was a stabilizing force while it was in effect. I’d argue only the Iskander K violated the treaty, which was justification enough for leaving it, though it also was severely limiting in the Pacific and would have needed to be amended or updated in any case.
INF was not limiting in the Pacific, given that any survivable INF-ranged system would have to based on ships and submarines, and the treaty does not ban sea-based systems.

There is really anywhere for the US to base land-based INF-ranged systems other than Guam, I doubt the Japanese would be wildly enthused about having any based on their territory.
 

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INF was not limiting in the Pacific, given that any survivable INF-ranged system would have to based on ships and submarines, and the treaty does not ban sea-based systems.

There is really anywhere for the US to base land-based INF-ranged systems other than Guam, I doubt the Japanese would be wildly enthused about having any based on their territory.
Nope. Guam.

Japan is an option, there is also South Korea too. Or even nuclear-tipped ones on Taiwan as a clincher, it's the least we could do following China's arming of the DPRK. Options, options.

There is more than just China though, lots of folk are getting smarter ballistic missiles and trying for nuclear weapons, e.g. Iran.
 

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INF was not limiting in the Pacific, given that any survivable INF-ranged system would have to based on ships and submarines, and the treaty does not ban sea-based systems.

There is really anywhere for the US to base land-based INF-ranged systems other than Guam, I doubt the Japanese would be wildly enthused about having any based on their territory.
Nope. Guam.

Japan is an option, there is also South Korea too. Or even nuclear-tipped ones on Taiwan as a clincher, it's the least we could do following China's arming of the DPRK. Options, options.

There is more than just China though, lots of folk are getting smarter ballistic missiles and trying for nuclear weapons, e.g. Iran.
I doubt Japan is an option due to domestic politics. South Korea may not want systems aimed at China on their territory, although they may want some to deter against North Korea (in addition to their own extensive Ballistic Missile program).

As for China arming North Korea, as far as I can tell the North Korean missile program is entirely domestic (albeit with significant industrial espionage, a significant amount from the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Ukraine).

I'm not against deploying INF-ranged weapons in the Pacific Theatre, it's just that the US could have easily done so without withdrawing from the Treaty by simply putting them on a boat. Then you would at least have the benefit of placing them on a moving platform capable of using most of the Pacific to hide, instead of cramming them on a single island within range of a significant proportion of the Chinese Ballistic Missile Force.

As for Europe, one of the loopholes the Soviets used to get around the INF Treaty was to transfer a number of OTR-23 Okas to East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Although at the time of withdrawal the US had no INF-ranged systems to transfer, it could have partially funded a project (or projects) within Europe to counteract 9M729 without violating the INF Treaty.
 

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I doubt Japan is an option due to domestic politics. South Korea may not want systems aimed at China on their territory, although they may want some to deter against North Korea (in addition to their own extensive Ballistic Missile program).

As for China arming North Korea, as far as I can tell the North Korean missile program is entirely domestic (albeit with significant industrial espionage, a significant amount from the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Ukraine).

I'm not against deploying INF-ranged weapons in the Pacific Theatre, it's just that the US could have easily done so without withdrawing from the Treaty by simply putting them on a boat. Then you would at least have the benefit of placing them on a moving platform capable of using most of the Pacific to hide, instead of cramming them on a single island within range of a significant proportion of the Chinese Ballistic Missile Force.

As for Europe, one of the loopholes the Soviets used to get around the INF Treaty was to transfer a number of OTR-23 Okas to East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Although at the time of withdrawal the US had no INF-ranged systems to transfer, it could have partially funded a project (or projects) within Europe to counteract 9M729 without violating the INF Treaty.
It's not just China, Russia has island disputes with Japan too. You differentiate between North Korea and China too much, China is the only reason North Korea is still there, and Russia/USSR is the only reason it was ever there. China is North Korea.

They made the jump to that ICBM pretty damn fast don't you think?

Islands don't sink and a land-based platform gives options, besides Russia had already broken the INF and they only signed up to get the Pershing II scrapped. When Russia signs a Treaty it's because they're catching up.
 

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I doubt Japan is an option due to domestic politics. South Korea may not want systems aimed at China on their territory, although they may want some to deter against North Korea (in addition to their own extensive Ballistic Missile program).

As for China arming North Korea, as far as I can tell the North Korean missile program is entirely domestic (albeit with significant industrial espionage, a significant amount from the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Ukraine).

I'm not against deploying INF-ranged weapons in the Pacific Theatre, it's just that the US could have easily done so without withdrawing from the Treaty by simply putting them on a boat. Then you would at least have the benefit of placing them on a moving platform capable of using most of the Pacific to hide, instead of cramming them on a single island within range of a significant proportion of the Chinese Ballistic Missile Force.

As for Europe, one of the loopholes the Soviets used to get around the INF Treaty was to transfer a number of OTR-23 Okas to East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Although at the time of withdrawal the US had no INF-ranged systems to transfer, it could have partially funded a project (or projects) within Europe to counteract 9M729 without violating the INF Treaty.
It's not just China, Russia has island disputes with Japan too. You differentiate between North Korea and China too much, China is the only reason North Korea is still there, and Russia/USSR is the only reason it was ever there. China is North Korea.

They made the jump to that ICBM pretty damn fast don't you think?

Islands don't sink and a land-based platform gives options, besides Russia had already broken the INF and they only signed up to get the Pershing II scrapped. When Russia signs a Treaty it's because they're catching up.
North Korea managed to make the jump to ICBMs relatively quickly because they had a large crash program to develop them, along with an iterative design process starting with sub-scale IRBMs, making use of RD-250 derived engines as a result of their industrial espionage in Ukraine. They're an industrialised state devoting a significant amount of their economy to the program, they were going to get there eventually.

North Korea has survived as an independent state because it has had nuclear weapons since 2006. China has nothing to do with it, it was extremely unlikely to intervene in any US invasion, and China has very little to no influence on North Korean-making.

Islands do not give any options for missile basing that Guided Missile Destroyers and SSNs do not, especially when said islands are small and very densely populated.
 

Forest Green

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North Korea managed to make the jump to ICBMs relatively quickly because they had a large crash program to develop them, along with an iterative design process starting with sub-scale IRBMs, making use of RD-250 derived engines as a result of their industrial espionage in Ukraine. They're an industrialised state devoting a significant amount of their economy to the program, they were going to get there eventually.

North Korea has survived as an independent state because it has had nuclear weapons since 2006. China has nothing to do with it, it was extremely unlikely to intervene in any US invasion, and China has very little to no influence on North Korean-making.

Islands do not give any options for missile basing that Guided Missile Destroyers and SSNs do not, especially when said islands are small and very densely populated.
I just doubt that's the case.

Errr.... you need to read up on history.

Except they don't sink. 50km long and 10km wide is certainly small for a island, but it's very large for a ship. Also, three Zumwalts is kind of limiting.
 

Josh_TN

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I think even the airbase/ammunition dump/old air strip areas of Guam are sufficiently large for the US to play a shell game with mobile launchers. It seems particularly unlikely the PLA-AF could achieve such total air dominance 2,000km from their coast such that conventional weapons could be used to hunt individual launchers down. IRBMs aren’t cheap and still require some kind of ISR for relocating targets; it’s hard to imagine China running a “Scud hunt” over Guam.

We are off topic though since the US has no public plans to build nuclear intermediate ranged weapons; policy seems to be quite explicitly to keep hypersonics conventional in order to avoid any ambiguity. I doubt this policy changes until someone builds a truly effective ABM system that threatens US nuclear deterrence, and that seems very far off considering US ABM efforts and how far away it is from achieving that.
 

kaiserd

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“China is North Korea” comments above are absolute garbage and illiterate from a historical perspective.

North Korea and China’s relationship has ebbed and flowed over the years.
In the aftermath of the Korean War their relationship wasn’t great (the North Korean regime was wary/ paranoid of being to closely tied to and controlled by Mao/ the PRC). Following the mid/ late 60’s schism between Moscow and Beijing North Korea was largely on the Moscow side though maintaining economic links to its Chinese neighbour (and North Korea relationship with the USSR similarly fluctuated over the years). Following the USSRs collapse North Korea improved their relationship with the PRC.

In general terms (without drawing any moral equivalency between the countries) the relationship between North Korea and China is a bit like the relationship between Israel and the US. There is a high degree of dependency (though in slightly different ways - Israel is probably less economically dependent on the US than North Korea is on China, while in terms of military equipment/ military aid etc perhaps Israel a bit more dependent, maybe). However in both cases dependency does not generate control or even necessarily common cause - for example Israel’s non-alignment re: the Ukraine crisis just as the latest example.

China did not give nuclear weapons to North Korea or particularly help them to develop them but it looked the other way.
Similarly to how the US looked the other way re: the Pakistan nuclear program at the time of the Soviet Unions Afghanistan war, or re: the Israeli nuclear program.

And rather like the initial USSR attitude to (in that case actually assisting with) the PRC obtaining nuclear weapon capability, the PRC were probably happy enough to see North Korea have its own nuclear deterrent to keep them out of it and stop them having to extend an equivalent nuclear umbrella or be directly involved in nuclear brinkmanship everything time North Korea does something nutty/ crazy.
Ultimately China doesn’t want to have North Korea collapse and pour millions of refugees across its border and/ or force it to step in to clear up a massive mess. And not some illiterate out-of-date cold-war-warrior view that “all the commies are STILL plotting to get us”.
 

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