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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the live-fast-die-young-bomb-may-drop-tomorrow dept.

China 224

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes with news of the Chinese military's latest toy, an ICBM capable of delivering multiple warheads across the Pacific. From the article: The DF-41 is designed to have a range of 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), according to a report by Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, putting it among the world's longest-range missiles. ... It is "possibly capable of carrying multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles", the U.S. Defense Department said in a report in June, referring to a payload of several nuclear warheads. It also quoted a Chinese military analyst as saying: "As the U.S. continues to strengthen its missile defense system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend." China's previous longest range missile was the DF-5A, which can carry a single warhead as far as 12,000 km, according to Jane's.

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Oh boy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581687)

Missile defense shield sounds kind of useless now. China felt the need to develop a weapon that could penetrate such a shield. I wonder why.

No worries (3, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 3 months ago | (#47581745)

All current missile defense shields are kind of useless.
China felt the need to achieve military parity.
Developing ICBM technology comes with Rocketry and is simply a prerequisite for Space Flight.

Re:No worries (4, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 months ago | (#47581981)

Yes. All space programs need MiRVs. It has nothing to do with military power.

Re:No worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582051)

If you wanted to send a bunch of probes to a single planet/moon, would you launch a whole bunch of tiny rockets?

Re:No worries (3, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 months ago | (#47582617)

You believe that China is only in it for space? Good for you. Do not let history or current events get in the way of your fantasy.

Re:No worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582127)

Yeah, Iron Dome is "useless."

Re:No worries (4, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47582167)

Iron Dome is useless for intercepting ICBMs. The name of the Israeli system for intercepting ICBMs is the Arrow missile [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No worries (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 months ago | (#47582301)

That, and the fact both the US and Russia thought it was a good idea to have multi-thousand warheads pointed at each other during the Cold War. It's the original DDOS attack. There is nothing new about this approach; and you're right, this is just a political excuse for China of something they were going to do anyways.

Re:No worries (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582353)

Uh, no. MIRV, and solid rockets are very different from space flight, esp. when none of their 'civilian' rockets are solid based.
And trying to hide what you are up, combined with working to be able to take out spying and comm links at once, is NOT about achieving parity.

Re:No worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582763)

Space flight is a side effect of developing ICBM... do you really think it's about spaceflight and not about military?

Re:No worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47583007)

Developing ICBM technology comes with Rocketry and is simply a prerequisite for Space Flight.

Really? I've built everything from a suborbital, manned rocket to a fuel facility orbiting Jool to service long-term exploration missions in KSP without developing an ICBM.

Re:Oh boy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581893)

I never much cared for the West Coast anyway. If they nuke Portland, I'm not even sure we should retaliate.

Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47581709)

I thought you were moving out, after those last couple "incidents" with the island. No, don't get angry, it's just that you never pay your rent, and you break everything.

I know, we depended on you a lot during that whole spat we had with USSR, but come on, you never do any chores, you just sit there threatening us until one of us decides it's easier to do it than put up with your shit.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47581815)

The problem is that people keep talking about nuclear arms reduction, which is good, but only discuss it between Russia and the US.

At this point, any talk about reducing nuclear proliferation that doesn't involve China is pointless and naive.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47582045)

I don't think we are quite there yet... China still only has enough nukes to ward off any hawks. If the US and Russia had the same number of nukes as China, we could all pat each other on the back.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47582171)

I don't think we are quite there yet... China still only has enough nukes to ward off any hawks.

Well, how many nukes does it take, exactly, to destroy a country? Realistically, all anyone has is enough nukes to ensure MAD....it's not like the US is able to bomb Russia without retribution. Estimates of China's stockpile vary, up to 3000 warheads [dailymail.co.uk] . China is secretive and everyone is just guessing what they actually have. Any number you see is just a guess.

In any case, it's pointless to talk about arms-reduction without being aware that one important country is aiming for arms-increase.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582299)

"China is secretive..."

Although not quite as secretive as Israel, which (rather cleverly) denies having any nuclear weapons while relying heavily on the fact that everyone knows it does. Reminds me of Raymond Smullyan's celebrated book on logic, entitled "What is the name of this book?"

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47582565)

Even that almost certainly inflated estimate is only 3/5 the number that the US has and 3/8 that of Russia.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

sysrammer (446839) | about 3 months ago | (#47582843)

If we don't know how many nukes they have, we will estimate high. It appears that that is the only sane way to handle the insanity.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (-1, Troll)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582265)

Except that recently the USA has been going to quite extreme lengths to antagonize both China AND Russia. Whereas they (although never the best of pals) have been moving closer together under the outside pressure. I wonder when Brazil, or some other South American nation) will acquire ballistic thermonuclear missiles? India, of course, already has them... what about South Africa?

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47582523)

To do so, these countries would have to withdraw from the NPT. They are free to do this, of course, but it hardly seems like a popular thing to do.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 3 months ago | (#47582865)

And hopefully they won't, ever. Because that's where I plan to head when SHTF. Illegal immigration works both ways IMHO.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47583013)

"To do so, these countries would have to withdraw from the NPT".

You mean the way Israel had to?

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 3 months ago | (#47582849)

South Africa dismantled their nuclear program when it was no longer "necessary" to defend apartheid. They gave up all that crap to the IAEA and signed the NPT.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47583031)

"South Africa dismantled their nuclear program when it was no longer "necessary" to defend apartheid".

Because nuclear missiles are the repressive nation's weapon of choice against rebellious workers.

Almost (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582315)

Not only must it include CHina, but their allies. In particular, North Korea, Burma, Iran, and Venezuela.
Basically, China is in the process of building their own NATO with a quiet spread out system.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582327)

Forgive me for being pointless and naive, but I think we should unilaterally reduce our nuclear arsenal because it's useless and expensive. Are we worried our biggest economic ally will invade a country with more guns than people?

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582505)

You don't build nukes to invade; you build them to deter. Why do you think nobody has dropped a US carrier since WWII, even though they make such great targets?

China is flexing its muscles in what has traditionally been international waters near its coast. They also want to resolve that whole Taiwan situation in their favor. Both of these situations are kept in check by the bluff of US Naval power in the region. The ability to successfully strike the US mainland, strategically, provides one of several pieces necessary for China to call this bluff. Neither side would realistically come to blows, but a balance of power gives China a far better standing when tensions rise.... and they're going to rise.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582197)

The US and Russia have both had MIRVs since the 70s, and we're still here to talk about it. China is just joining in on the dick-waving competition.

Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 months ago | (#47582361)

And these poor bastards [msn.com] chose a real shitty time to be exposing themselves to the rest of the world. With the threat of Ebola and warfare, they were better of waiting 5 more years from now.

Known since forever (5, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47581711)

This missile development effort has been known of since forever. Pictures of the TEL has even showed up. What has not been made public is if the missile is fully operational and deployed or not. The Chinese have also not displayed DF-41 in the National Day parade either.

This article brings nothing new as there is still no official report of it being operational.

Re:Known since forever (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47581923)

Next generation? If this were the 1950's, multi headed ICBM's were regulars in the early 1960's. If China wanted Next Generation, try a Moon colony, or Mars colony. How about a working FTL? And just where the hell is my 200 inch Smart TV for $200? If the chairwoman wants fear; fear its nation's policy of rejoicing in Ignorent Sloth.

Re:Known since forever (3, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47582137)

The newness in the DF-41 is that it would be the first solid fuel Chinese ICBM with the ability to hit the entire Continental US. Plus it would be mobile since it is supposed to be launched from a truck mounted TEL. The only system the Chinese currently which can hit the entire CONUS is the DF-5A which is a hypergolic liquid fuel missile which is so damned big it can only be launched from silos. Supposedly the Chinese dug an mountain up in order to have make these silos decades ago but they are still vulnerable to first strike. Unlike the US, UK, France, Russia, the Chinese nuclear submarine force is pathetic so they can hardly count on the submarines as a viable deterrent either.

This would basically put the Chinese up with the Russians in terms of land missile capability. Ahead of the US too since the only land based missiles are silo based like the Minuteman. The US did have a project for a road mobile ICBM called the Midgetman at one point but it was cancelled.

Re:Known since forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582325)

The US doesn't really need road-mobile ICBMs. We've got the best ballistic missile subs in the world, and a lot of them, not to mention our worldwide network of airbases, capable of launching nuclear strikes with stealth aircraft and cruise missiles if we so desire.

Re:Known since forever (5, Informative)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#47582839)

The US doesn't really need road-mobile ICBMs. We've got the best ballistic missile subs in the world, and a lot of them, not to mention our worldwide network of airbases, capable of launching nuclear strikes with stealth aircraft and cruise missiles if we so desire.

I'll give you the subs. The US boomers are plentiful and scary as shit. But stealth aircraft are very slow, and do not carry high yield MIRVs. They can carry up to 16 B83 bombs [wikipedia.org] These are variable yield, up to 1.2 Megaton dumb bombs. So they have to be dropped, not fired like a missile. Additionally, I don't think a B2 attack on China or Russia would be very effective. Especially if it came after they already launched a first strike, and presentably the US had already retaliated with land and sub based ICBM's

Currently the boomer fleet is the biggest deterrent there is. As far as we know, there is no reliable way of finding them, and one Ohio class sub can carry 16 Trident-2 SLBM's. With up to 8 of which can be MIRVed With Mk-4 reentry vehicles carrying up to 4 W88 warheads. The W88 is estimated to be a little under a half a megaton yield. The other 8 Trident-2 missiles are single warhead. Granted, many, if not most of the MIRVs are dummy warheads, but no one knows for sure outside of those who "need to know". So there is the potential of 40 half megaton warheads on each of the 14 SSBN Ohio class subs.

As far as I remember the W80 warhead for the Tomahawk cruise missile has been retired. So the Los Angles, Virginia, and Seawolf class subs can no longer carry nuclear warheads. If I'm mistake, then that's another 50 or so subs that can launch a nuclear strike via a Tomahawk

Re:Known since forever (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 3 months ago | (#47582525)

This missile development effort has been known of since forever. Pictures of the TEL has even showed up.

So is it based on stolen U.S. designs, or stolen Russian designs?

bad guys (1)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 3 months ago | (#47581719)

someone remind me again... they're the bad guys, and we're the good guys, right? it's all so confusing sometimes - i don't always know when i'm meant to be properly scared into fully thinking and doing what i'm told. the news generally does a good job, but sometimes i wish Vince McMahon were put in charge of all news... life was so much simpler when it was Hulk Hogan vs. the Iron Sheikh.

bad guys (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581831)

Of course we're the good guys. We invaded another country for non-existent WMDs,,, and have one of the largest stockpiles of WMDs in the world. Its "self-defense" for America to have thousands of nuclear weapons.... but for everyone else its wrong.

p.s. Its also wrong for other countries to spy on us -- while we use mass surveillance on a level that Stalin and Hitler could only dream of

Re:bad guys (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582293)

Really? You do not think that Russia and China are not spying on an equal, if not higher level? Hmmm. You obviously have not worked in a security position.

Re:bad guys (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47581873)

But nobody said you were supposed to be scared. Nobody said anything about sides. This is simply factual. When the US upgrades it's military capabilities, that too makes news all over the rest of the world. Same applies to every other developed country, particularly where nukes or nuclear deployment capability is concerned.

Re:bad guys (1)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 3 months ago | (#47581969)

on the contrary - we are told to be scared, and take positions of 'side' all the time, albeit usually very subtly (though none the weaker impact for it's implied nature). i agree, the article appears to be about facts - i was speaking to a larger theme which i think you missed.

Re:bad guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581935)

Are you one of those who think every morsel of off-color news about a country not your own is a secret propaganda attempt? Sheesh I wonder what your European Slashdot peers must think, all these /. articles about shit that goes on in the US, they must be EU propaganda meant to make Europe look like the "good guys".

Re:bad guys (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47581973)

Not really, they're just competitors whose aging leaders still think that MH-ICBM's make a bargining chip. The current symbol for global leadership is a black credit card.

we;ll just have to get (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#47581729)

next generation defenses

How about we reconfigure the main deflector dish to emit an inverse tachyon pulse...

Re:we;ll just have to get (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47581801)

Doesn't matter what you do, you're still in the holodeck.

Re:we;ll just have to get (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47581991)

I think it was done already, multi headed ICBM's were in the 1960's. I guess we should go to yellow alert? (pun intended)

All ready coming (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582283)

Lasers and Rail guns. In addition, I have to wonder with CHina's actions esp. in space, what reactions the west is taking?

Re:All ready coming (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about 3 months ago | (#47583015)

Busy dismantling "big government" space programs with the expectation that the free market will supply the slingshots and parachutes to get in and out of orbit.

WOPR (5, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | about 3 months ago | (#47581753)

Herro, Professor Farken. Would you rike to pray a game?

Re:WOPR (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#47581951)

What side do you want?

1. USSR
2. USA
3. North Korea
4. China
5. France
6. UK
7. India
8. Pakistan
9. Israel

Re:WOPR (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582249)

Did you forget Iran? And Venezuela was said to be working with China/North Korea, as is Burma.

Re:WOPR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582889)

You chose Iran.

Turn 1: Israel launches unilateral airstrike against your power plants and alleged enrichment facilities. Your nuclear ambitions are set back twenty years. France is pissed, but you lose anyway.

Game over.

Chinese liars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581793)

China knows full well that the US does not have MIRVs, and we agreed not to make them ever since Cold War treaties with The Soviets.

The MIRV is a first strike stragey in nuclear war. It is NOT about defense.

Re:Chinese liars (1)

cciechad (602504) | about 3 months ago | (#47581895)

I'm guessing your trolling. The trident is definitely a MIRV system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Chinese liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581989)

Pretty much every intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile constructed since 1960 has been tipped with MIRV warheads.

Re:Chinese liars (1, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 months ago | (#47581955)

Aside from our plethora of Trident II missiles deployed in our nuclear missile submarines that utilize MIRVs. America has never been really into land based ICBMs and we don't deploy land-based ICBM MIRVs although the Minuteman III is MIRV capable. We've always prefer air launched (bomber) and submarine launched nuclear weapons. It was the Russians that really dove into land-based ICBMs and the big thing we were always concerned with during SALT and START treaties was the Russians increasing the throw-weight of their land based ICBMs.

Re:Chinese liars (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582241)

MIRV is neither defensive or offensive. OTOH, the ability to take out an enemies comm and spying network IS first strike.

Re:Chinese liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582339)

There is also China's commitment to the "no first use" policy which they reaffirm over and over again.

How it feels to be on the other side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581809)

Don't worry, we're the good guys. All these nukes we keep pointing at you are just for peace keeping.

Re:How it feels to be on the other side (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582221)

I would feel just fine if China was doing nothing but nukes. However trying to hide them, along with developing systems to take out spy and comm sats makes me a lot more nervous. The reason is that when you are hiding things and wanting to take our our ability to verify what they are up to, that indicates that they are up to a first strike planning.
With the Soviet, we and them were committed to MAD. IOW, we really did not want to go to war because we really saw it as unwinnable. Many of Chinese leaders, esp. in the military, see nuke war as winnable. The ONLY way that it is winnable is if you launch first and destroy the enemies ability to verify what you are up to.

Re:How it feels to be on the other side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582243)

Welcome to our world.

Angry Proliferation Game (5, Interesting)

Scot Seese (137975) | about 3 months ago | (#47581827)

Nuclear proliferation is becoming to sound like the plot to some absurdist classic Star Trek episode.

The leaders of all the planets' nations sit in a room, arrayed in a circle. The room is white and completely bare, except for their chairs, and in the center of the room a single gleaming, chromed post rising from the floor about 3 feet tall. Atop the shiny post is a single large, tennis-ball sized red button.

It is widely accepted among all the leaders that pressing the button activates a mechanism that destroys the planet. Yet this doesn't stop them from rising from their chairs, and arguing - yelling, taunting even - other leaders around the circle, so enraging them that at times several of them are close to snapping, rushing forward and pounding the red button.

Because at the end of the day, the leaders are all flawed human beings, driven by the psychological baggage of behavioral evolutionary holdovers, cultural and religious constructs, and overwhelmingly the inability to view the other participants in the room as peers equally deserving of resources as the tribes represented by the leaders.

Sooner or later, someone - in a moment of hubris, misplaced confidence in their own technology or military, or religious zeal - is going to dash out of their chair and smack that button.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 3 months ago | (#47581887)

"The leaders of all the planets' nations sit in a room, arrayed in a circle. The men are all white and completely bald, except for the Chinese",

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581983)

Apostrophe use? What other planets have nuclear powered nations?

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (5, Insightful)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47581921)

And yet in nearly 7 decades of MAD, no one has ever done so. What's the alternative, trust that others will actually do what they say and remove all nuclear capability? Every country would see that as a golden opportunity to keep some hidden by hook, nook, or crook, so that then they're the only ones in the world with nukes.. win!
Or more likely, every country would do that, so we're right back where we're started, albeit with lower numbers of warheads.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 3 months ago | (#47582065)

Little to early to say but so far it looks like removing nuclear capability isn't really working out too well for Ukraine.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582345)

Little to early to say but so far it looks like removing nuclear capability isn't really working out too well for Ukraine.

Although it's lucky for the inhabitants of Donyetsk and Lugyansk. Because the nutjobs in Kiev would probably have used them by now.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582389)

Little to early to say but so far it looks like removing nuclear capability isn't really working out too well for Ukraine.

Anyway, the glove puppets in Kiev are being operated by people with plenty of WMD. Which they are hoping to line up, wheel-to-wheel, right on the Russian border. As well as filling up the Black Sea with nuclear-armed ships, especially if they can take Crimea away from Russia and deprive it of a sea port closer than the Arctic Circle.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47582445)

What good would nukes have done Ukraine? They could threaten to nuke Moscow, but only if they themselves were willing to be utterly obliterated. Moscow has a fairly advanced missile shield too, so it might not even work.

I really doubt they would have pushed that button over Crimea, or over the current low level conflict. Considering how fractured the country is and that the government was recently overthrown in a coup it isn't even clear if they could have launched if their leader wanted to. If they had had nukes chances are Russia would have moved on them much earlier anyway, to neutralize that threat. WMD are always a good excuse for attacking an unstable country, and unlike Iraq they wouldn't even have been imaginary.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47582083)

so we're right back where we're started, albeit with lower numbers of warheads

..and everyone thinking that they now have an advantage.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582261)

Only the stupid ones that actually thought that no one else was a clever as they were.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582105)

MAD 'worked' because it was controlled by (relatively) few people such that those few people were effective chosen for their willingness to NOT push the button (unless someone else pushed it first.)

MAD does NOT 'work' when is controlled by (relatively) many people, some of whom came into power by pushing the button. Possibly multiple times.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582409)

Ironically, MAD works only when none of the participants are actually mad. Unfortunately for us.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47582429)

I don't know about that. No matter how many people there are with a button to push, no *sane* person wants to have their own country obliterated into dust and glass.
The only problem with MAD is if one of those people with a button to push is actually mad, like insane. But then again such a person is also highly unlikely to cooperate with eliminating their nukes too, so.. duck and cover.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582407)

What's the alternative, trust that others will actually do what they say and remove all nuclear capability?

I don't think that's really the intended goal. The whole point is that "nuclear capability" current sits in the ~17,000 warheads range with a few countries (US and Russia equally) accounting for ~93% of said warheads.

... so we're right back where we're started, albeit with lower numbers of warheads.

Right. And that's the goal. Not that countries don't have nukes. But that even if every country on Earth had 10 nuclear warheads--enough to wipe out 10 major cities--we'd only have ~2,000 warheads total. Enough still to wipe out humanity, but it'd take a lot more coordinated effort. It wouldn't just be a few angry men in a room with one red button.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47582679)

Okay, I can agree with that. And in fact, the US and Russia have reduced their arms over the years. But I think many people are calling for the abolishment of all nuclear weapons, and that's never gonna happen, that'd be like repealing the 2nd amendment.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47582745)

That said, I can see where that might backfire too, in an extreme.
Say Country-A reduces its capability too much, Country-B might, if losing a war, find it to be an acceptable risk if it launches a first strike on Country-A, assuming Country-A can "only" take out a few cities (since Country-A's missile silos are also targets in that first strike) leaving Country-B, for the most part, intact, while annihilating Country-A. Of course there are other factors: number of desirable targets in a country, size, etc..

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47583023)

Say Country-A reduces its capability too much. Country-B might, if losing a war, find it to be an acceptable risk if it launches a first strike on Country-A, assuming Country-A can "only" take out a few cities (since Country-A's missile silos are also targets in that first strike) leaving Country-B, for the most part, intact, while annihilating Country-A.

The problem with your scenario is that if Country B only has about as many nukes as it takes to annihilate Country A, then after destroying country A, they'll have countries C to ZZ which might readily see Country B as too much of a risk and either (1) conquer country B though conventional means since they don't have enough spare nukes to press much of a counter strike or (2) just outright nuke the country as viewing it as too much of a rogue threat to exist.

The whole reason "MAD" as an idea was/is so bad is that in the current scenario, Country A is targeting Country B-MM and Country B is targeting Country A and MM-ZZ. Sure, hypothetically they'll only actually launch against each other, but even just that could result in a nuclear winter, lots of nuclear fallout, etc. As horrible as nuking out whole countries is on the scale of 10 or 20 nukes, it hardly compares to launching thousands of nukes. That Russia and the US have significantly shrunk their stockpiles still doesn't fundamentally change this.

In any case, that people call for the abolishment of all nuclear weapons is an extreme fantasy on their part (like people calling for world peace). I think that as much as it's a lauded goal and their cause, I feel few actually believe it's obtainable. But being the end objective, it's the best step towards greatly moving towards a much saner world. Just like how plenty of people who don't want guns don't call for a repeal of the 2nd amendment but for man's better nature to simple continuously give up guns by choice.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 months ago | (#47582689)

And yet in nearly 7 decades of MAD, no one has ever done so.

The Romans managed 206 years in their "pax romana", it's not exactly proof MAD is working or everlasting. What we do know is that there's an awfully big boom when it doesn't work.

What's the alternative, trust that others will actually do what they say and remove all nuclear capability? Every country would see that as a golden opportunity to keep some hidden by hook, nook, or crook, so that then they're the only ones in the world with nukes.. win!

Enough to win if everyone else sees it as a madman's weapon that should be neutralized before they go all Hitler on us? Because when you pop outside that little bubble called global thermonuclear war everyone else who talked about killing hundreds of millions of civilians would be considered a genocidal lunatic. Could a rouge nuclear nation be stopped conventionally? How quickly could a global alliance against you gain nukes again? Will nukes get through rocket shields? How sure are they nobody else also kept some?

Don't forget that the "nuclear club" has a pretty solid double standard where they perfectly legitimize having their own nukes and last I checked the official NATO and Russian policy is that they can respond to any attack, conventional or nuclear with nuclear force while they strongly work for non-proliferation to prevent others from having the same weapons at their disposal. They trust it so much they very strongly don't want anyone else to join the "MAD club", why do you think that is? Because they know the whole thing is fickle as hell and someone might end up pushing the button.

Re:Angry Proliferation Game (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 months ago | (#47582769)

Don't forget that the "nuclear club" has a pretty solid double standard where they perfectly legitimize having their own nukes and last I checked the official NATO and Russian policy is that they can respond to any attack, conventional or nuclear with nuclear force while they strongly work for non-proliferation to prevent others from having the same weapons at their disposal. They trust it so much they very strongly don't want anyone else to join the "MAD club", why do you think that is? Because they know the whole thing is fickle as hell and someone might end up pushing the button

You'll get no argument from me there. It's not a great solution by any means, but seems to be the most realistic at the moment.

Angry Proliferation Game (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about 3 months ago | (#47582395)

You're missing one critical piece in this example: the red button doesn't destroy the planet, it sends a message to other humans outside the room to destroy the planet.

This is how I understand both the US and Russian system to function, but I don't know about the Chinese system. I would hope the designers of these systems realize that leaving this decision up to a politician alone is not the right answer, as the other systems have recognized.

And in no time at all it'll blow up in its silo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581875)

because that is the way things work which are Made in China.

Re:And in no time at all it'll blow up in its silo (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582183)

These are not in silos. These are truck launched that will be hidden in their 3000 mile long underground tunnel.

thats awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581899)

Technology sure is amazing, what sort of brilliant thing will they come up with next.

It's the reddest red line of all red lines (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#47581949)

Obama has already wagged his finger at them and double dog dared them to defy him. No worries.

Re:It's the reddest red line of all red lines (0)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582159)

Really? What has he done?
The only red line that has issues was Syria, where the neo-cons/tea* were very opposed to O providing help to the good rebels.

Walmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581963)

I'm surprised that they currently admit to designing weapons that can bust through our defenses -- hopefully we can proactively delay their efforts by trying to buy things not made in China -- I know, "good luck with that", but I'm in and will do my part

Re:Walmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582057)

What kills me are all the right-wing nutso companies who love 'merka are also the same companies who sell that cheapo Chinese bullshit; Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, etc.

The Fuck?

Re:Walmart (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 3 months ago | (#47582423)

Funny, isn't it? But Lenin foresaw it exactly, when he remarked "the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we hang them".

You thought the moon mission was for science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47581985)

They were merely following the footsteps of the great powers, who all developed their nuclear ICBM programs alongside "space exploration" activities.

Oh Noes (0)

Uloi (1996356) | about 3 months ago | (#47582031)

The Chinese are developing technology we have had since the 70's!

Re:Oh Noes (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582367)

Actually, they are 'borrowing' much of that technology from the west, israel, and Russia, and simply building it.

This can not be. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47582151)

After all, so many here have pointed out that China only has 300 warheads, 700 at the most.
And as the far left wingers know, there is no way that they are in active production that enables them to put 600 warheads on their subs (100-160 warheads / sub, with 3 subs currently, and another 5-6 coming ), another 500-1000 in their planes, and another 1000 on land-based ICBM (i.e. 100 missiles).

So, yeah, I have no doubt that the far left is right.

Fake name-brand watches direct to your door (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 3 months ago | (#47582391)

Don't worry, its just their way of competing against Amazon's droid delivery service.

This is just wrong ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 3 months ago | (#47582615)

... version 41is better than 5A?

Not news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47582783)

The US has had MIRVd ICBMs for decades, but international treaty bans their use.

Throw Weight (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 3 months ago | (#47582879)

The multi warhead capable assertion is lame. It's just a matter of the weight the missle is capable of delivering. Since the miniaturization of thermonuclear war heads has been done years ago, this is silly. A W-88 warhead in the US arsenal weighs little enough to be transported on an appliance dolly for heavens sake.

So our largest trading partner has... (1)

cybersquid (24605) | about 3 months ago | (#47582923)

... developed weapons specifically ranged to reach US? Nice.
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