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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I guess war is upon us (Page 1)

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Author Topic: I guess war is upon us
Szymon
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quote:
Ahmadinejad:

The very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to humankind and an affront to all world nations

and

Confronting Zionists will also pave the way for saving the whole humankind from exploitation, depravity and misery

These are the most hateful and disgusting words that I have heard him say in a long while. I cannot imagine that someone utters such words and it goes unpunished in at least symbolic way. Wars have been waged for much lesser reasons.

I think that Ahmadinejad should be given an ultimatum by the UN to officially recognize Israel as an independent and lawful state that he will never assault and apologize for what he said or else be subjected to complete isolation.

I am scared.

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Lyrhawn
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I wouldn't worry. He's a figure head whose days are numbered. He won't be president this time next year, and he's been marginalized in recent years.

And how much more isolationist pressure would you think is possible? Obama has been remarkably successful at getting Europe and others to join into an incredibly aggressive sanction regime to get them to give up their nuclear program, which the UN isn't really all that convinced even exists.

And from it we've learned a couple important things.

1. China and Russia simply won't play ball. Total isolation isn't possible without getting them on board, and they won't.

2. An Iranian attack on Israel would be suicide, and they know it.

He's just posturing for domestic audiences. If you're confused as to how someone can do that, read any defense policy briefing given in the United States in the last 80 years. The words coming out of our mouths are uncomfortably similar, and we've attacked far more people than they have lately.

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Szymon
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Well I just read and you concur that he is losing power, which is nice.

But if they do get their nukes... The Middle East could just vaporize. But yeah, I agree that it would be a suicide. I have a feeling that suicide attacks are not that uncommon, though.

Israel's got up to 400 warheads. So maybe you're right, maybe it's just for his people. But I don't like it that there are people who like to hear it.

Could you give me a link to such policies? You made me curious. And anxious.

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Lyrhawn
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Well, what I meant was, any time someone in the United States talks about defense policy, such as Romney or Obama, it's incredibly aggressive. We saber rattle at pretty much everyone to try and bully them because it's great politics. Domestic audiences eat up the tough on defense crap, it's why cutting the defense budget is sacrosanct. It's even worse for Ahmadinejad. He's almost powerless behind closed doors. Khameini and the other powerful clerics have systematically ousted his loyalists from government positions, and he can't run for the presidency anymore. He's their mouth foaming ra-ra boy, but he has little power or influence anymore, and he'll be gone soon. We'll see how that election goes, I think it'll actually be a big story next summer.

quote:
I have a feeling that suicide attacks are not that uncommon, though.
Intentional national suicides are so rare I can't think of any examples off the top of my head. Nations do stupid stuff all the time. Germany attacking the USSR during WWII was suicide, but they didn't know it at the time. Japan attacking the United States was suicide, and actually, they did sort of know it, but they made a big gamble on being able to win strategic victories.

But Iran knows that if they attack Israel, Israel will turn Iran into a glass parking lot. There's this idea in America that Iranians are incredibly irrational. Frankly, if they are going after a bomb, it's the smartest damn thing they could do. Look at how America treats nuclear powers compared to non-nuclear ones. They're incredibly aware of how our policymaking apparatus works, and getting a nuke is a really powerful tool for them. It's the biggest bargaining chip in the world. But they don't all want to die in a torrent of fire. They aren't stupid.

In fact, polling data, for what it's worth, in Iran shows that by and large Iranian youth (which is a huge and growing demographic) is more pro-west than either of the previous two generations there. The worst thing they could do would be to attack Israel, and the worst thing we could do would be to attack them.

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Geraine
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The problem is if Israel set off any of those nukes, they would be causing themselves harm. Israel isn't a very large country, and the land area is much more compact there than maps really show you.
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Lyrhawn
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Well Israel isn't going to nuke themselves...
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Blayne Bradley
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Israel wouldnt set off nukes in their own country.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
These are the most hateful and disgusting words that I have heard him say in a long while.

Then you haven't been listening. The man is insane, and that has been clearest by listening to the venomous bile that pours from his mouth.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
These are the most hateful and disgusting words that I have heard him say in a long while.

Then you haven't been listening. The man is insane, and that has been clearest by listening to the venomous bile that pours from his mouth.
Yeah, pretty much. Those two quotes didn't seem particularly notable by his standards, even.
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Rakeesh
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'Expected' would be the word I'd use, really.

Of course the truth is, it's as unsettling or moreso for that particular theocracy to have nukes. Not because it's likely they'd use them on Israel, but for me at least because of the enormous increase in regional influence,'prestige, and power it would guarantee them for generations.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
...I cannot imagine that someone utters such words and it goes unpunished in at least symbolic way.

Imagine harder.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
'Expected' would be the word I'd use, really.

Of course the truth is, it's as unsettling or moreso for that particular theocracy to have nukes. Not because it's likely they'd use them on Israel, but for me at least because of the enormous increase in regional influence,'prestige, and power it would guarantee them for generations.

Yes, there's that too, and they're certainly aware of it.

There's a bigger problem too, so far as the nuclear arms race goes. If Iran gets a nuke, expect Saudi Arabia to have one by the end of the following decade. Nukes have a way of begetting nukes. But if Iran becomes in fact (rather than de facto) the regional master of the Middle East and the world's Shiites, expect Sunni Saudi Arabia to act as a regional check. They're incredibly nervous.

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Szymon
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Oh, alright. I haven't been listening. I am not that interested in politics. I just found his speech. I just can't imagine that kind of talking in Europe. Maybe we are oversensitive in this little museum of ours.

If someone in Russia said that Poland has no right to exist you would see an example of national suicide, Lyrhawn.

Funny thing. I met a guy from Tel Aviv yesterday, when we were going home from a party with my girlfriend and he was talking about how Warsaw is great and Poles are great and developed (everyone who wants to be nice to Poles think we need that reassurance. Somehow it makes me less and less assured each time). Anyhow, he then says that Warsaw is very safe and stuff, and I ask him whether Tel Aviv is safe. He says sure, very safe, there's an armed policeman on every corner.

It made me realize how different Israeli situation is.

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Lyrhawn
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I think about that kind of comparison whenever people say America would be safer if only everyone carried a gun.

Isn't the truly safe society the one where no one needs to carry a gun?

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
quote:
Ahmadinejad:

The very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to humankind and an affront to all world nations

and

Confronting Zionists will also pave the way for saving the whole humankind from exploitation, depravity and misery

These are the most hateful and disgusting words that I have heard him say in a long while. I cannot imagine that someone utters such words and it goes unpunished in at least symbolic way. Wars have been waged for much lesser reasons.

I think that Ahmadinejad should be given an ultimatum by the UN to officially recognize Israel as an independent and lawful state that he will never assault and apologize for what he said or else be subjected to complete isolation.

I am scared.

\

It would be extremely hypocritical for the United Nations , with 4 our of 5 members of the security council being democracies, to tell him he can't speak words of any type.

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Blayne Bradley
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Saudi Arabia I'm fairly certain is a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, they *can't* get nukes even if they wanted to and withdrawing from the framework presents its own problems. Namely losing civilian nuclear assistance from IAEA members.
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Blayne Bradley
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Additionally the problem of Iran getting nukes is *not* an issue of increased regional influence, the United States has means of containing and handling that to minimize the issue.

The issue is because Iran has a lack of clear command authority, when the Soviet Union or China got nukes there was someone very firmly in control who the United States could talk to and negotiate with, someone with the powers to bind that arsenal to his authority. Nearly all nuclear weapon states have clear chains of command and reliable procedures to keep them from being used by isolated officers.

Iran's problem is that this is not the case, Iran is fairly decentralized in that respect with various local groups have LoS political and military power that doesn't directly follow a line of command from the Ayatolla. So if Iran were to get nukes, its possible they would fall into the hands of such an organization and the Ayatolla would not be able to secure compliance.

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Rakeesh
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I would say sloppy control over nukes would be an additional problem (hello, Pakistan, btw). But possession of nuclear weapons, in addition to giving the Iranian state absolute security from any sort of open conventional attack, would certainly add to their prestige in the region given that it would come in the face of years-long ultimatums and demands and promises from the US. Other states in the region haven't been able to defy the US and win with what would seem, to some, to be impunity. I don't see how that wouldn't add to their influence.

Furthermore, Iran is already involved (which should be expected) in the internal affairs of several of its neighbors, not least of which is Iraq. Presumably we're trying to contain that with partial success at best-I would think the security and prestige gained by nukes would hamper, not help or be neutral, towards such efforts.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Saudi Arabia I'm fairly certain is a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, they *can't* get nukes even if they wanted to and withdrawing from the framework presents its own problems. Namely losing civilian nuclear assistance from IAEA members.

Saudi Arabia only announced this year, for the first time, their intention to develop a civilian nuclear program for energy generation.

They also announced this year that if Iran goes nuclear, they would strong consider using their civilian program to develop their own bomb.

The West didn't bat an eyelash at the statement. France is still going full bore ahead with a partnership to help the Saudis.

The NPT is nice, but I'm sure you know what realpolitik means. They'll do what they think they have to do. Iran, by the way, is also a signer of the NPT, but if they break the rules and wildly shift the balance of power in the Middle East, you can expect Saudi Arabia to do the same, and you can expect the US and others to swallow their complaints and help, to a degree.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
The NPT is nice, but I'm sure you know what realpolitik means. They'll do what they think they have to do. Iran, by the way, is also a signer of the NPT, but if they break the rules and wildly shift the balance of power in the Middle East, you can expect Saudi Arabia to do the same, and you can expect the US and others to swallow their complaints and help, to a degree.
This.
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Blayne Bradley
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The United States won't give support to the Saud's for nukes, at most they will only provide the assistance to keep said nukes safe but not more deadly/reliable and so on. Because that opens it up from realpolitik to weltpolitik of where Russia and China may see it within their interests to see increased nuclear proliferation. Such as expanding Iran's capabilities and so on. The United States would not deliberately open up such a can of worms, its one thing for Saud's to do it on their own without their help and then step in to make sure their secure but they're not going to actively speed up their program.

Again, I don't much care if Iran gets nukes from a realpolitik perspective, there's many options the United States and Israel have to contain them presuming a rational iranian leadership. A few nukes doesn't alter the balance of power significantly, there not in the MT range but KT so at best its a fairly feeble deterrence prone to lose through a successful first strike.

Its Iran not having a strong central leadership that concerns me, along with obviously concerns of Nuclear Proliferation generally being a bad thing but Iran getting nukes doesn't automatically mean the Saud's will. It's just posturing to get more financial and strategic American assistance until otherwise.

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Lyrhawn
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I think you're being a little naive, and a little short sighted on a few things.

Will we actively assist Saudi Arabia? No, but we won't bat an eyelash as countries like France do. That's a huge, huge deal. We're throwing a worldclass hissy fit about Iran and North Korea. If we don't treat Saudi Arabia exactly the same, it's a major chance in policy. Simply standing idly by is a major political act. I can't stress that enough. Doing nothing is not nothing.

Further, Russia and China are already actively supporting Iran, so what's your point? If you think China wants more nuclear powers in their back yard other than the ones they have under their thumbs, you're nuts. Neither Russia nor China wants more nuclear powers nearby. The fact that they are actively sucking up to Iran is evidence of the fact that they want a nuclear Iran in their sphere of influence.

Also, a nuclear Iran matters a hell of a lot more to a country like Saudi Arabia than to a country like the US. Saudi Arabia has a few major population centers in a country that doesn't really have that many people to begin with. Saudi Arabia's current in-country population is more than half made up of foreign workers. They have a severe manpower shortage to work their old fields. You hit a couple big cities, like maybe Riyadh, Jedda and Mecca, and there goes half their population, all their industrial capacity, and their entire government. Even KT bombs can wreak devastating destruction on the Saudis, and they know it. Even three nukes alters the balance of power incredibly.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Saudi Arabia I'm fairly certain is a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, they *can't* get nukes even if they wanted to ...

Hehe, treaties.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
... The fact that they are actively sucking up to Iran is evidence of the fact that they want a nuclear Iran in their sphere of influence.

Or they're just resigned to it happening.
.
"Want" seems to be a stretch, at least in China's case I'm sure that if they had a free choice they'd prefer that Iran would not be a nuclear power. But it isn't a free choice and the question to them is whether they're willing to sacrifice anything to stop them. Answer so far seems to be 'no.'

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
... The fact that they are actively sucking up to Iran is evidence of the fact that they want a nuclear Iran in their sphere of influence.

Or they're just resigned to it happening.
.
"Want" seems to be a stretch, at least in China's case I'm sure that if they had a free choice they'd prefer that Iran would not be a nuclear power. But it isn't a free choice and the question to them is whether they're willing to sacrifice anything to stop them. Answer so far seems to be 'no.'

That's sort of what I meant. They know they can't stop Iran from going nuclear, so they've decided to suck up as much as possible so they retain some influence over them once they go nuclear.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

That's sort of what I meant. They know they can't stop Iran from going nuclear, so they've decided to suck up as much as possible so they retain some influence over them once they go nuclear.

Except its not. Just because they may accept the fact that Iran may acquire nuclear weapons doesn't automatically mean they are "sucking up" or actively helping Iran. There is no evidence that Iran and Russia have helped Iran beyond what is the norm for normal bilateral relations. Selling weapons at their regular inflating market price isn't "helping". Helping would be Russia providing Several batteries of Growlers for free or on credit.

quote:

Hehe, treaties.

The vast majority are in general adhered to.

quote:

Will we actively assist Saudi Arabia? No, but we won't bat an eyelash as countries like France do. That's a huge, huge deal. We're throwing a worldclass hissy fit about Iran and North Korea. If we don't treat Saudi Arabia exactly the same, it's a major chance in policy. Simply standing idly by is a major political act. I can't stress that enough. Doing nothing is not nothing.

Its not a hissy fit per se, there's a huge difference between how you deal with the Norks and how you deal with Iran. You actually agreed to talk to the Norks.

Iran is a special case as the United States is actively committed to regime change in Iran to the point it is outright fabricating evidence of wrong doing and rejecting reasonable and previously acceptable agreements and dismissing them as a "side show".

Civilian nuclear power is a right Iran has as a signatory of the NPT and a member of the IAEA; the dispute is entirely a semantic legal one between a change in procedure that Iran did not agree to and isn't bound by.

And again, there is a level of engagement the Russians and Chinese have, that can be radically changed tit for tat. Additionally the US won't because the US isn't going to reverse 60 years of anti nuclear proliferation policy. They'll give the Saudi princes a few extra tanks and planes to play Soldier with and the Saud's will shut up about getting their own.

Nuclear armaments are incredibly expensive weapons that odds are will never be used and open you up to a much fuller range of national harm in a war.

America is not going to do "nothing" they'll bribe them with hardware to keep them idle, as the Saud's getting nukes is so much worse, as then Egypt might want one, then turkey will, then greece will, then Georgia will, maybe Iraq will or Iran will refuse to disarm (if they get one) unless the Saud's do first etc.

Failure in containing Iran doesn't mean the US will feel compelled to allow the Saud's to get nukes and frankly its a rather egregious misreading of US foreign policy and geopolitics to think it is most likely to happen. Much of the progress in anti nuclear proliferation is thanks to lobbying by the third world/non aligned movement and the US isn't going to just let Saudi Arabia get some without annoying most of the world that likes to breath clean air and eat healthy food from the dirt.

Also your knowledge of the technical matters of nuclear proliferation has some gaps in it; nuclear proliferation is something *easily* gauged once established. Nuclear weapons take time to produce and are limited by their launchers, of which Iran only has a few such systems in operation. Largely derivatives of Soviet technology regardless of their improvements means very limited deployment.

The result is that Saudi arabia has many advantages, it is mostly desert, so it can more easily deflect IRBM's towards a safer area and the fall out from modern nuclear weapons has a short half life and is more of an immediate concern damage wise than long term. ABM technology has been fairly reliable at knocking out nuclear missiles since the 1960's and has needed little improvement since the issue has always been one of zero sum games of "What if by building an ABM shield we provoke an attack?" something that isn't applicable to the Iran-Saud situation.

The Moscow ABM shield has iirc a 100% success rate and had largely agreed negated the entire British strategic deterrent.

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Samprimary
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quote:
The Moscow ABM shield has iirc a 100% success rate
Oh, that's a laugh. That crumbling pile? Is 100% success rate their own claim?
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Darth_Mauve
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Some of my thoughts:

Ahmadinejad is not the problem. He is mostly a toothless President seeking to retain some power base by playing up to the conservatives.

Its the old, battle-hardened Republican Guard generals who are the problem. Each believes they are carrying on the war of liberation and each is willing to sacrifice the lives of young martyrs by the thousands. They have a low press profile, but are the uncontrolled source of problems from the Hezbulah to attacks in Russia.

Russia and China are against interfering not so much for political reasons. They don't care what happens to the Iranian people. They are in it for the Oil and the Cash. China behaves and they get what they want--cheap Iranian oil. Russia gets what they want, a market for their used Nuclear equipment, supplies, and scientists. And both get to show that the US is not really as powerful as they are afraid we are.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
ABM technology has been fairly reliable at knocking out nuclear missiles since the 1960's and has needed little improvement

Fascinating. I was completely unaware that any nuclear missiles had ever even been fired, much less shot down. [Big Grin]
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Parkour
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Glorious mother russia reports that its anti missile shield is 100% successful and will stop any missile. Anyone can agree that it has negated the ability of other nations to hit glorious moscow through its perfect missile shield!
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
ABM technology has been fairly reliable at knocking out nuclear missiles since the 1960's and has needed little improvement

Fascinating. I was completely unaware that any nuclear missiles had ever even been fired, much less shot down. [Big Grin]
By that logic we don't really know if any ICBM or nuke ever will successfully work. Or any technology at all!!! We're blind in this sad cruel world to the whims of the fancy of our technology, never knowing if it ever works until it does but gasp, can we be sure it works a second time?

The Russians (and Americans) have had various tests of ABM technology with high success rates. The Patriot Missile system for instance is claimed to have a 97% success rate for shooting down scuds; this is important because SCUD derivatives are Iran's most likely vector of deploying any hypothetical nuclear device.

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King of Men
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The Patriot system has the advantage of having actually been deployed in a shooting war where the other side was genuinely trying to kill people. Although I don't recall anyone claiming a 97% success rate at the time.

quote:
Saudi Arabia I'm fairly certain is a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, they *can't* get nukes even if they wanted to and withdrawing from the framework presents its own problems.
Indeed, with their low stability they would be mad to court statewide collapse by having the GM edit in an excommunication. MAD, I tell you!

Oh wait...

Seriously, words on paper do not change the actual laws of physics. Making Hiroshima-style nukes is pretty trivial for most reasonably wealthy countries these days. I suggest that "can't" is the wrong word. What you probably meant was that doing so would have consequences the Saudi family would dislike.

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Blayne Bradley
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Many systems have not been actually deployed in a shooting war, but analysts and the people they outsource their job to, intelligence agencies and military planners don't underestimate capabilities because its "untested in combat" and is ultimately a slippery slope. I've seen people on internet forums claims American had no reason to fear retaliatory nuclear strike from China, if America was to nuke China first because of the same reasoning (but with a very obviously bigoted slant I don't recall the exact words) and that's just as profoundly false as the claim that the Russian ABM can't do its job for as long as it has the missiles to intercept the incoming missiles.

Additionally we know that the British, due to what they knew of the effectiveness of the Russian ABM and air defense network, was forced out of strategic considerations to detarget 200 Soviet targets and focus their entire Trident missile force on targeting Moscow in the hopes of a missile getting through, hence it protected some 200 Soviet sites without having to fire a shot.

Which is again, besides the point. As the effectiveness of the Russian ABM is secondary to the notion that ABM technology has been very good for a long time and not deployed out of political considerations laid down by McNamara and the ABM Treaty.

The since-shelved plans for a Czech/Polish ABM shield is also indicative that NATO thought to some extent that such a thing would do its job. Iran deploying nuclear armament would certain see such plans revisited, hopefully somewhere less controversial like Armenia or Kuwait.

From someone I believe who worked in the business:

quote:

The Moscow ABM system was far from being marginal. It was (and remains) a very important component.

I've said this before but it bears repeating. The original UK plan in the 1950s was for the V-bomber fleet to attack 200 targets in the Eastern USSR. That was regarded as causing the USSR enough pain to make them think twice. However, by the early 1960s, the Soviet Air Defense system was perceived as having the ability to severely compromise the V-bomber fleet. So, the UK shifted to Polaris, one submarine on station with 16 missiles, each with three warheads. At most, that meant hitting 48 targets, meaning that 152 of the previously assigned targets were now uncovered. Thus, the Soviet Air Defense system had protected those 152 targets without ever firing a shot.

However, when anti-missile systems were installed, they made Polaris vulnerable. So, the British instituted a Polaris Upgrade called Chevaline. This removed one of the three warheads and replaced it with decoys and penetration aids (which didn't work but that's another story) plus targeted all 32 remaining warheads on Moscow in the assumption that one of them would get through (note the numbers there - an anticipated 97 percent kill rate for the ABM system in the presence of decoys etc they thought would work). The reality is that the British target list was now reduced to 1. The combined air defense and anti-missile screens had protected 199 out of the original 200 targets without firing a shot.

So, slight clarification; 97% for the Moscow ABM system not 100%; good enough.
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Sa'eed
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Truthfully, I think at this point the only thing preventing Europe/United States/Israel from attacking Iran is concern for Middle East oil. Iran can just start lobbing missiles at tankers and oil production facilities all over the middle east in order to disrupt the global economy. That's probably Iran's one true trump card.

As for whether or not Iran should have nukes, I don't think anymore nuclear weapon countries are desirable but even John Mearsheimer has said that if he were an adviser to the Iranian regime he would encourage them to get nuclear weapons as soon as possible. Iran has every logical reason under the sun to want nukes, and I don't begrudge them for it.

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Blayne Bradley
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The problem unfortunately is because of America wanting to collapse the Iraniam regime and not honestly interested in an agreement. Otherwise there would be no need.

What I am of course worried about is some Iranian General deciding to sneak a nuke to Hamas.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
The problem unfortunately is because of America wanting to collapse the Iraniam regime and not honestly interested in an agreement. Otherwise there would be no need.

And you see how different things would be if Iran had nuclear weapons: American think tanks and military strategists would determine it as too risky to treat Iran in that fashion, a fact which inspires Iran to want nuclear weapons all the more. It's like a diabolical chicken and egg syndrome: Iran feels insecure and wants nukes, and the West takes bellicose rhetoric towards Iran because Iran doesn't have nukes.
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Sa'eed
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By the way, speaking of Iran...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/08/iranian-universities-female-students.html


[Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes]

Way to limit your human capital, Iran.

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Kwea
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These systems have succeed in some very controlled tests, where the flight pattern was known and no decoys were launched....and even then, they only worked about 84% of the time. Non-military experts disagree, saying that as none of the warheads were hit directly, real warheads would still fall while live and would explode.

The actual success rate is between 10-20%, and that is possibly optimistic.

Here is a linky...

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Kwea
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Actual info from experts....


And even more here


I am aware these address the US systems, but still...

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Kwea
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The actual accuracy of the Patriot missiles in Israel was about 10%...

Or maybe even 0% during the Gulf War.....depending on how you define success. Good thing none of those were nukes!


quote:
In sum the findings and analysis carried out in Israel during and after the war produced no authenticated proof that al-Hussein warheads were hit or destroyed by Patriot missiles. In particular, no evidence or proof was found that Patriot missiles succeeded in neutralizing the detonation mechanism of the al-Husseins. One Iraqi
warhead that hit the ground was found to have a puncture in it, but the experts were unable to determine with certainty the source of the puncture -- which may indeed have been made by a Patriot warhead fragment.

No other evidence exists that additional Iraqi warheads were hit or destroyed. There is, however, a conjecture, supported by a number of experts, that in some cases Patriot missiles deflected al-Husseins from their course. The presumption is that in cases where the al-Hussein was supposed to hit a point close to a Patriot battery, it was slightly deflected and landed a few kilometers away.

The criterion determined by Israel for success in intercepting ballistic missiles is the destruction of the attacking missile's warhead. Since these missiles are launched at densely populated areas, no other result can be considered a success. The fact that the rear sections of al-Husseins were hit, while the warhead continued on its path to the ground, did not prevent damage. Similarly, the deflection of incoming missiles from their course, if this actually occurred, caused the warheads to land elsewhere, but still in the middle of residential areas. And finally, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that warheads were missed by large distances a very high percentage of the time.

quote:
There is, for example, a videoclip of a Patriot in Dahran climbing, turning roughly 140 degrees in azimuth, and then diving into the ground. This trajectory is remarkably similar to that of the turning and diving interceptor in Tel Aviv. There are also videoclips of Patriots flying low, flat, diving trajectories followed by impacts taken in Riyadh and in Dahran. These trajectories are remarkably similar to those observed in Tel Aviv.

Thus, the video evidence indicates that interceptors dove into the ground following similar trajectories in both Israel and Saudi Arabia. In addition, statements made by Robert Stein of Raytheon and Nachman Shai the chief spokesman for the Israeli Army, and interviews with Israeli air defense personnel reported by Reuven Pedatzur, who is here testifying today, are all in agreement that Patriot was still being operated in the automatic mode on the night of January 25, 1991 in Tel Aviv. These data therefore indicate that the interceptor impacts were the result of software errors in the Patriot system.

The real issue here is not whether Patriot was a technical success or failure in the Gulf War. Patriot was a success in terms of its tremendous positive psychological and political impact for the coalition. The Scuds were, in fact, not easy targets nor was the Patriot an optimal missile defense system. Prior to the war, I might have considered a 10 percent success rate as a pretty good performance by Patriot.

The real issues are whether the performance of Patriot has been misrepresented, how such a misrepresentation could have occurred, and the effects of such misrepresentations on the crucial national debate on the future role of missile defenses in U.S. defense policy. I call on the Army and Raytheon to enter this debate in a serious way. They should produce the evidence, from publicly available videotapes, that roughly one out of two Patriots could arguably have hit Scud targets over Saudi Arabia.


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Lyrhawn
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I'm sure Russian missiles are way better than our stupid American ones.

They probably buy them from the vastly superior Chinese.

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The Rabbit
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What do people think the likelyhood is that in the next 4 years:

1. Iran will bomb Israel in a first strike leading to the deaths of hundred of Israeli civilians.

2. Israel will bomb Iran in a first strike leading to the deaths of hundred of Iranian civilians.

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Lyrhawn
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In a nuclear strike? I think 1 is more likely than 2.

A conventional strike? 2 is far more likely than 1.

Which is more likely in general? An Israeli conventional strike on Iran.

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The Rabbit
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I think the chance of a nuclear first strike, by either country is vanishingly small. The Pakistani's haven't nuked India. The North Korean's haven't nuked South Korea and even if Iran does develop a nuclear weapon, I just can't see them making a nuclear first strike on Israel or anyone else. The Iranians, like everyone else on the planet, understand that nuking Israel would result in the total annihilation of their country. Ahmadinejad isn't crazier than Kim Jong Il.

[ August 21, 2012, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Ahmadinejad isn't crazier than Kim Jong Il.

THOSE are my choices?!?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Ahmadinejad isn't crazier than Kim Jong Il.

THOSE are my choices?!?
You want more choices on the list of crazy despotic rulers with nukes?
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rivka
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Well, when you put it that way . . .
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Blayne Bradley
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Your confusing accuracy for success rates Kwea, and again this isn't the Soviets but a regional medium power. Its not going to saturate bomb Saudi or Israeli targets past probably US help. 10% accuracy isn't important if every incoming missile is still intercepted.

Please also post excepts from the papers to support your point; clicking on the second link and glancing through it I find this:

quote:

Data collected during element-level flight testing will be used to “anchor”
end-to-end simulations of THAAD operation. Until these simulations are
properly validated and verified, one cannot be confident of any quantitative
assessment of the element’s effectiveness for terminal defense.
Nonetheless, the program office told us that all performance indicators
predict that THAAD is on track to meet operational performance goals


Which also dates to 2003, we're in 2012.


And yeah dude one of those links is the Postol report which is disputed by Dr Zimmerman.

And the first link is from the Heritage Foundation dude.

quote:

I'm sure Russian missiles are way better than our stupid American ones.

They probably buy them from the vastly superior Chinese.

That's not a dishonest representation of my positions at all.
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Kwea
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Read it again, Blayne. Against NON-NUCLEAR missiles, the Patriot system didn't even hit one for sure. In fact, the Patriot missiles actually CAUSED damage to civilian areas as they hit the ground.

They also failed to destroy ANY warhead, even against conventional weapons. If you knock a nuke 10 clicks off target, guess what.....you STILL destroy the target.

And all of the missile systems are tested under optimal conditions, and still have a 70-80% success rate. Under real life circumstances, we see what really happens. The Patriot missile system was said to have about a 75% success rate, and it had a 0% success rate in Israel later. Not ONE missile was hit for sure, despite multiple chances at engagement, against fairly slow and cumbersome SCUDS.

What happens when a nuke is destroyed in the air above your city, Blayne? EMP's, radiation, blast waves.....

I am sure there have been improvements sine then, Blayne. What I was getting at was that you can't just accept the military's word on how effective these things are, not when you are talking about air-to-air interception of supersonic missiles. The math alone is still very complex, even for today's computer systems, and the chances of success are not very high.

Particularly against nukes.


Sure, they are better than nothing, but that isn't the same thing as saying they are completely effective.

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BlackBlade
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I suppose I better cancel my own order for a missile defense system. But I'm still terified that Obama is going to take away my 2nd Ammendment rights!
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