More Bad News for the AF

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by osdad, May 8, 2013.

  1. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    28
    Inspection earns a D and 17 Minute Man missile launch officers need "additional training". Story

    While it might be fun to bash the AF, this raises a more important question:

    Why do we still have these units at all?

    Can anyone imagine an instance where we would actually launch a ICBM? Even if Pyongyang somehow managed to destroy Seoul would we retaliate inkind? (And if so, would it really come from S.D. and not some sub off the coast?)
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,275
    Likes Received:
    607
    That's a very ignorant statement, and I'm sure with a little thinking you could come up with an answer.
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hopefully not. The thought of what happens after their use is what makes the Minuteman III (and the SSBNs, and B-52s)an effective deterrent. That's the point of having them. The weapon has to be credible.

    They are the big stick, and can't be uninvented.

    ICBMs provide a value to the Triad that is different and equally necessary to what subs and bombers provide.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    sprog said it very clearly. The purpose of an ICBM is to NOT USE IT. It's a deterrent. Without it, the level of escalation by an enemy automatically goes up. The response basically becomes: "So, what are you going to do about it"? It's not a matter of WOULD we use them. It's a matter of we COULD use them. And as long as we CAN, and yes, we WOULD as a last resort, we maintain a level of peace that wouldn't exist without it.

    Does anyone remember "Y2K"? A lot of precausions were made prior to Jan 1, 2000. Many computer systems updated. Banking system created multiple backup systems. Power grid and such had backup plans. etc... When January 1st 2000 came.... and nothing happened..... many people were saying. "See, I told you". Then, they complained about all the money wasted preparing for it. What they don't understand, and probably never will, is that it was all the precausions used and changes, that MADE Y2K a Non-Event. The only way to prove to people that it was necessary, was to have NOT PREPARED and then see what happens. That's not acceptable because then you have people whining that we KNEW it was coming, why didn't we do something about it. Well, the ICBM force is the exact same thing. People think it will never be used; it's a waste of money; and that it doesn't actually defend anything. But the truth is, if we didn't have them, and other countries like Russia and China DID have them; "All these years", we would NOT be the same country we are today. But the only way to prove it would have been to have not had all the ICBMs. But then, it would have been too late.
     
  5. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    28
    The triad was developed to deter the Soviet Union from launching an attack. Since none occurred some can be argued that it was success. (The logic error in that thinking beside the point.) But even if true, that is a 1950's mindset not consistent with the current most likely threat.

    Does anyone really think that even if we could show that the bomb that blew up (name major city here) was made in (name rouge state here) that we'd retaliate with nuclear bombs? "It was a small group of terrorists who, despite our best efforts, stole a bomb..."

    Call me naive but I don't think we'd be willing to kill 12M in Tehran or 4M in Pyongyang regardless of how many of us were killed. Saying it would deter terrorists or wacko leaders is projecting rational thoughts into the minds of irrational people.
     
  6. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    237
    As a programmer at the time, Y2K was a big problem. Every mathematical program had to be reviewed for any reference to any year in "1900's". We worked on it for a long time prior to the event. A great defense is the greatest deterrent.
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    So you see a future in which these are the only theats to the US?
     
  8. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    28
    No. I see no future where nuclear weapons would be used.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    I don't think we are trying to project rational thoughts into the minds of irrational people. Rather, we are focusing on a basic human trait - desire for survival.

    NK leaders can rationalize that US will never use nuclear weapons against them even if they attack SK with nuclear weapons. But are they confident enough to bet their lives on it? Even if US won't retaliate using nuclear weapons, would US come after them individually? I don't think irrational people are irrational about everything. Might be irrational about US response, but likely to be rational about ensuring personal safety.
     
  10. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    And for that, you have the Minuteman III to thank.

    And the Russians still have a ton of missiles.
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    Exactly.
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    OK
     
  13. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    28
    My point exactly - except take out the "Even if".

    Would OBL have hesitated to use it if he'd had one?
    Which capital would we have sent the Minuteman too?
     
  14. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    379
    Just to understand. Are you saying that even irrational people will "necessarily" do whatever it takes to ensure their survival?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Since OBL is dead, he can't answer the question.

    Depends on the situation,

    For a nation state (i.e. NK or Iran or whatever country), whoever is the President at the time could strike their capital.

    What prevents from a nuclear power from selling nuclear weapon(s) to a terrorist organization? It could be used against them and the U.S. President can say, you sold it, so I am holding you responsible, and returning what you sold. You don't have to strike a captial. You can explode it in a remote region of the country. Someone mentioned it as nuclear weapons being a deterrence. As long as we don't say we won't use it, it works. Irrationality works both ways, if someone acts irrationally, someone else could acts irrationally also.
     
  16. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) Going to war is never a rational thing, sometimes necessary, but rational no!
    2) Fighting a war needs to be rational to win

    Last if one doesn’t think nuclear weapons could be used look up some information on India's view of nuclear weapon use if they were to go to war with Pakistan. (boils down to how many million lives lost vs. a radiation no man region between them and the rest of Islam debate by India's "Pentagon" - no man zone got/gets a lot of votes)
     
  17. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Not necessarily. Trying to understand or predict how irrational people behave is irrational, but there are certain traits certain types fo irrational people have. Dictators tend to care about holding onto power. I doubt too many Iraqi senior officials became suicide bombers.

    Our mind suicide bombers are very irrational. Does all suicide bombers go through with their mission? No. Would all suicide bombers still blow themselves up if a family member is with them?
     
  18. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    Taking this discussion in another direction...

    I suspect that some of the lesser committed folks who are assigned to these units may be wondering what is the point.

    Unfortunately, they have bought into the thinking that these are minor roles and have forgotten that there are no minor roles, just minor actors.

    Is this currently a primary focus of our military engagements? No.

    There is a perception that you cannot get ahead as a missileer, perhaps true, perhaps not. If you believe it, though it is self-fufilling.

    From the report, I would guess that that thinking has become a bit of the problem.

    They have forgotten that they are there to serve. It may be a small role that doesn't get the attention of the press, but without a large nuclear force, the North Koreas and Irans of the world might get the idea that they could actually compete with us - something even scarier than spending a career guarding a silo. Right now they are just developing nukes to be relevant and maximize the cost of invasion (in their own minds, if nothing else). There isn't a hallucinogen powerful enough to make them believe (despite Kim's rhetoric) that they could actually survive a US nuke retaliatory attack (which would probably happen if they chose to attempt more than 1 launch - the first launch resulting in an assault that makes shock and awe look like a warmup).

    And while the idea of launching from a sub sounds quite strategic (can be done close-in so as not to alarm other countries), we are loathe to give up the position of our subs, so I'm guessing that we would probably use a B52 (another less-than-popular AF assignment in some eyes).

    I'm glad to see someone come in and rattle some cages. You wonder if they need to do that in a few more areas (like the guys who hired that recently arrested Lt Col) to get the point across that folks need to straighten up and fly right.
     
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    379
    Help

    I have very funny cartoon, which I scanned and would like to post. It is very apropos to this thread.

    How can I put it in a post?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Attachments are disallowed in this forum.

    However, if the image is hosted on another site you can "hotlink" using the IMG code.

    You can also upload it to the "Pictures" section of the forum (at the bottom on the main page) and then link to it here with the IMG code.
     

Share This Page