should the atomic bomb have been built?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by war?, May 3, 2004.

  1. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    It may sound strange to say it, but nuclear weapons are perhaps the only weapons ever developed that have actually SAVED lives.

    Ignore the Japan thing, because thats a big quagmire of political incorrectness I dont want to get into. Look at the 60 years since then - without the threat of atomic attack, would there really have been 60 years pf peace among the developed western nations?

    In 1945 you had the two biggest military forces in history parked about a mile from each other in Germany, each spoiling for a fight with the other. That war never came, because within just a couple of years both sides had begun a nuclear arms race that made any open conflict a risk too far. Yes, conflict was shifted into supporting other minor wars in other nations - but those conflicts already existed. I believe the simple fact is that without nuclear weapons World War Three would have followed very rapidly on from World War Two, probably in the early 50's. It wouldn't have been an atomic war, but it would have finally and completely devastated Europe and cost many more millions of lives.

    Without nuclear weapons would the Cuba crisis have been so important that it led to the installation of the USA/USSR presidential hotline, and the first real communication between the two regimes. Would 'the Cuban Tank Crisis' have been quite so much of a threat? The first steps towards defusing the conflict between the two ideologies came because of fear of atomic weapons.

    Without the threat of nuclear weapons, India and Pakistan would already been knee deep in dead bodies from a real shooting war.


    Without the fear of atomic devastation and the massive loss of civilian life it would inevitable entail - would there really have been such a massive popular support for anti-war organisations and causes. Nuclear weapons made certain that the fear of war was relevant to every single person, and surely did a great deal to change public opinion.

    If you look back at the impact of nuclear weapons, the deterrence theory has proven successful in preventing wars between states by raising the stakes to unacceptable levels. Their legacy is positive


    While nuclear weapons have in the past prevented states from going to war, I think in future the threat will be from non-state actors and in those cases deterrence simply doesnt work.

    They have prevented major wars between industrialised nations, and continue to prevent open conflict in cases of India/Pakistan (and probably the US would be in North Korea by now if they didnt have the threat of atomic weapons), but if they come into the hands of non-state actors, groups who do not have to a civilian population or national infrastructure that atomic weapons can be used to attack, then the threat of them actually being used becomes significantly greater.
  2. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    ok gizmo. So do you think that instead of a bloody war, that would have eventually resolved itself out within 10 years is better than western civilization soiling itself for 60 years in fear of M.A.D.?

    I know this sounds bad, but if India and Pakistan did go at it, it would actually be a blessing in disguise. The have population and poverty problems as of now. A big population decrease is needed or they will be screwed in the next 20 years. India is slated to overtake china in population very soon and they have no way to deal with this. They will enter into warfare sooner or later with surrounding countries because they will need more land to support thier populace. Unless you can convince each family to not have 8 kids.
  3. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Gizmo--Good points overall. Nothing really for me to add except "I agree on a theoretical basis" since we never may know what would have happened, though in theory the scenarios you laid out, which have been seen in numerous history theory writings, would quite possibly have been the result.

    This little thing piked my interest, though...

    Did you know the Peace Sign is actually the Norse Rune "Yr"? That rune symbolizes death. The rune was chosen as the symbol for an anti-nuclear activist group in Britain, and was picked up by the peace movement. Aside from the comment you made, I will go so far as to keep joking and say:

    Without nukes, we'd never have the Peace Sign. Man, that's far out! :cool:
  4. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    whoa, you just blue my mind bro bro.
  5. Reverend Love New Member


    To be honest I can't remember the book it's been so long (high school). I vaguely even remember some of it's key points:

    War is bad
    Nukes kill lots of people VERY painfully

    I also remember that it told the story of survivors and how the factual "big picture" was shaping out as well. As I recall the big reason for their mistaking the bomb not for a nuke was due to all the firebombing raids the Army Air Corp and been running...and if you've ever seen traditional Japanese architecture and the materials used you'll understand just how devastatingly effective use fire could be. Think balsa wood and wax paper vs. napalm.

    Some of the more gruesome recollections I recall were Japanese soldiers who watched the blast having their eyes melted out..and people's shadows being burned into concrete.
  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I would have to agree with Gizmo's analysis.
  7. Astranbrulth New Member

    Gizmo -- Very interesting analysis. I do believe that you are largely correct there, in saying that nukes prevented war between the West and the USSR.

    However, and I think that this is relevant, this was only achieved because there was a MAD balance between the two sides. If you see what is happening in the world at the moment, the Bush administration is pushing for development and deployment of more advanced ABM technology. While a full scale assult might not be stoppable, a few missiles by 'rogue states' such as N Korea would be ... and in this sense, when the MAD balance is only on one side ... nuclear weapons become extremely dangerous. For example, the US has given the green light to begin development of the RNEP anti - bunker nuke, and has already said that it would consider using these weapons on non - nuclear states.

    I find *this* development to be very disturbing, because it blurs the line between nuclear and conventional weaponry. No country anywhere ought contemplate use of nukes as a battlefield weapon.

    Oh, and you are right about the non - state forces thing. While the bin Ladens of this world almost certainly will never be able to manufacture nukes, they could be passed on to them via third parties. This btw, is one of the reasons that I thought that the invasion of Iraq by the Coalition was foolish ... if Saddam really did have those WMD's and really was so close to OBLaden ... the worst case scenario would be WMD's in the hands of just such a third party, accountable to nobody, with no fixed bases to bomb.

    mythosx -- I'd rather soil myself in a MAD policy, thank you very much. If WW2 had continued with Russia vs the Western Powers, not only would I be typing in Cyrillic by now, but I suspect that the US would be standing very much alone on its island ... the nuclear bomb probably saved the world from a war even worse than WW2.

    SeFRo -- Interesting bit of info there, on the Peace Sign! Thanks, that is the sort of thing I like to find out!

    Reverend Love -- I know that the firestorms were very bad, which leads us to the question ... if they were bad enough (effective enough?) that they could be mistaken for a nuclear device ... was it really necessary to use the nuke in the first place? Should the Japanese have been given more time to ascertain the nature of the attack? Would the US have dropped more if it had had more than those two ready for use?

    Nukes are very oinky (see, I'm editing my own swear words out, saving your systems wear and tear!) weapons indeed ... and we should make certain that nobody tries to use them again. We should never come to accept them as 'just another weapon', because they're not.

    -- Astranbrulth --
  8. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Yes the bomb should have been built - and we need better ones...
  9. Astranbrulth New Member

    It's train!



  10. train The Wildcard!!!...

    I'll say this ahead of time - If it comes down to the possibility of my dying to a nuke built by another country - I want to know our country had some they could shoot off- even if it wasn't to avenge my death...

    hiya astran... so how's everything going with you?
  11. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    ooh vindictive... ok let me ask you this toughie. And don't just not think about it train...

    If one country was a total oink and they wanted to nuke everyone...would you nuke them back knowing that after you died, they would be the only ones left to repopulate the world?
  12. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    That's the whole point of Mutual Anihilation, mythos. Its the reason nukes continue to be so good. They are beneficial for the time being because the folks that have them are scared senseless to use them.
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    There's no guarantee that their nukes would wipe out all of us unless they totally saturated the country but...

    answering the question literally, yes, strike back because there will be less of them and there's no guarantee that ALL of them were behind the decision or their descendants would be.
  14. train The Wildcard!!!...

    yes - but they wouldn't be left to re-populate the world... in this instance there would be more nukes headed their way (from all the countries they aimed at) before theirs would impact...

    as SeFRo and technology say - mutual annihilation...
  15. Astranbrulth New Member

    True, it is only fair enough that somebody pays for killing somebody else ... the same goes for countries too. The only bummer with nuclear weapons is that if the exchange is too large, *everybody* pays. Ever heard of the Nuclear Winter theory? It says, very roughly, that the debris, dust and smoke resulting from a massive nuclear exchange will block the sun out for as long as several months, causing freezing temperatures and global catastrophe.

    Oh, and it goes alright, btw. I quit Magic for a while but started again ... it is a lot easier to shuffle a deck than to link up computer networks ... ;)

    -- Astranbrulth --
  16. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Heard of the Nulear winter theory, but I personally see a flaw in it (not that I'm a scientist by any means... and this is just a statement...), or maybe I just don't know enough...

    the sun's rays would still penetrate our outer atmosphere, then bounce of the particles in the air - back to the ozone, then back to the particles, and such, creating a super-heating effect wouldn't it?...

    Similar to the "no escape" we commonly see from green-house warming effects... or no?...
  17. Astranbrulth New Member

    I've got a more comprehensive explanation in a book on asteroid strikes on the Earth, which have a similaR effect to the nuclear winter. I'll try to get more details tomorrow.

  18. chocobo_cid Thyme Devourer

    I would like to note for the sake of posterity, that the decision to drop the atomic bomb, Executive Order 9066, was due to the fact that the Japanese were incredibly loyal and efficient fighters. Any attempt to occupy Japan without the unconditional surrender (though there was one condition that the US accepted) would have resulted in the evisceration of every man, woman, and child on the island.

    What was the only way to make the Japanese surrender? I could almost imagine the following dialogue.

    "Gee, President Truman, we have this superweapon that's been laying around that we designed to use on the Germans, but we haven't designed anything for the Japanese...":(

    "Will it save US lives?":confused:

    "Yes sir, if only indirectly."

    "Let's use it!":eek:

    Another irony, similar to the one revealed in Gizmo's analysis, is revealed. Both US and Japanese lives as a whole were saved, at the cost of a few tenths of a megadeath. (one million deaths. I am worried that the military would ever need such a term in commonuse.)
  19. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    Nuclear winter would probably occur. Even if trains theory of a green house effect were legit, it would only occur between a thin layer from the ozone to the layer of cloud of ash and other garbage in the air. It would be sort of like the matrix. Even if there were survivors, I am pretty certain that most everyone would be impotent from being exposed to the radiation. It would be like taking a lot of xrays of your pelvis and then going out and trying to have a kid.
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm thinking there's a flaw in train's idea, but am waiting to see what Astranbulth says.

    Of course, maybe the thinking has changed since we are more aware of the ozone layer now...

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