Saturday, August 22, 2009

Russia Nukes Berlin. What happens with a nuclear attack on Berlin?

What happens if Russia nukes Berlin? What do we do? Do we promise to nuke them back? What happened to mutually assured destruction?

Is that theory still in place? If Russia attacks Germany do we have an obligation to respond? I don't know. It isn't clear to me.

Growing up we had allies and we had enemies. If Russia attacked West Germany we were bound to attack them back. After the "end of history" things seem murky. What happens if Russia would attack now?

What if Iran nukes Israel? Israel is our friend and ally. What countries that are our friends do we have pledges to defend? Do we know? Does it change? Should their be a list.

If we our obligated to strike against a foe shouldn’t that be spelled out before hand. Isn’t that the way mutually assured destruction works?

What countries are we obliged to defend at this point? If London was attacked, I think we would respond. But are we obligated? Have we made the pledge? If Berlin was attacked, I think we would also respond.

What if Israel is attacked? I am not sure what happens. Do we have an SOP? A standard operation procedure? Do we have rules? I don’t think we do. Maybe if Iran nuked Berlin we wouldn’t do anything but use diplomacy to ask them not to bomb anyone else.

It used to be that the people with nukes knew full well what would happen if they used them. Now it seems as if we are in a time where nobody knows what the American response would be. If you think about that, it defies mutual assured destruction tenants. They may think they can get away with it. Who is going to call them on it after the fact? The first response may to be to limit any more nuclear shots.

We used to have a policy that I understood and was taught in schools. Now I don’t think we have a policy. I think that is dangerous. We are not prepared to act upon the next Nuke fired. We used to have a plan, tomorrow we have none. Sphere: Related Content


Jeff said...

Interesting question. I can't imagine the U.S. simply jumping in immediately, even if Berlin or London were hit. Certainly any attack on our allies (Germany barely qualifies for that status now) should cause a "lean forward" for the U.S. military. But so many factors must be weighed (and quickly) before we would probably let loose the end of the world. I mean, what if it's a rogue element within the Russain government or terrorists with Russina nukes doing this. If none of that applies and Russia is just attacking with nukes (makes no sense) then we'd probably strike quickly to disable the Russian arsenal. Of course we're the next target and then we'll all be wondering what happen to our missile shield. The one Obama is not funding.

I guess we have enough time (30 minutes before ICBMs hit) to mount a protest in front of the White House...

Shakes The Clown said...

Jeff I think you are wrong about Berlin and London. When have stationed hundreds of nuclear warheads on the European continent for years as part of a NATO defense effort.

If we have weapons in some of these countries and those countries get attacked by nuclear weapons I think we are obligated to use them. I think NATO arragement concerning nuclear deployments are classified, but I can't imagine them not being used in event of a nuclear attack on the host country. That is after all why they are there.

When we get to Israel it gets more interesting. I don't know what the United States would do if Iran launched a nuclear attack against Israel.

If we want to actually use our nuclear weapons as a deterent, the other side has to believe that we will actually use them when the shit hits the fan.

Jeff said...

Shakes - You make a good point about deployed missiles in Europe as part of NATO defense.

As for Israel. I'm not sure. The real issue is whether we allow a possible limited exchange to become an assured global destruction by the U.S getting in and becoming a target. It's really the same issue with Europe. Of course we want to defend our allies--Britian that is--but self interest and hundreds of millions of Americans facing obliteration is not something approached too quickly, regardless the formal alliance.

That's just my take.