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POLL.....(15 posts)

Mar 27, 2003 12:43 PM
Assume this proposition....Iraquis use chemicals and or biological weapons in large amounts. Are the US and Brits justified in backing off and using tactical nukes and ending this war overnight. Yes? NO?
Mar 27, 2003 12:50 PM
There are a lot of factors involved in making a decision like that. Zero people on this board are honestly qualified to make that decision, so the poll is not very conductive. The reason we dropped the H-bomb in Japan was because there wasn't much difference between a Japanese soldier and a Japanese civillian--the civillians were taking up arms agains the opposition as well. (We didn't do it because we just wanted to end the war quickly.)
Absolutely not...ChiFlyer
Mar 27, 2003 12:56 PM
They can use a very small device where the effects will not harm ANY non-combatants (but this is where the MOAB would be a MUCH wiser alternative). I think it has been too long since anyone has really looked at what the long-term effects of a nuclear device are. The devices used on Japan absolutely pale in comparison to even the smallest devices in service today.

Believe me, as a combat vet, you DO NOT want to open the Nuclear Can O doing so, all you are doing is giving an easier out for those idiots in N. Korea, Pakistan, and India to employ one of their's, and point the finger at us and say "Well you did it."

We won't even discuss the effects of fallout and long-term radiation of even a low-yield "clean" device.
Oh...and one other result would be...ChiFlyer
Mar 27, 2003 1:34 PM
By employing a nuclear device, we are going to probably start an arms race. Countries now without the technology are going to want to get it simply because a nuclear device was employed, and they are going to feel the need to have the same sort of capability "just in case."

There will have to be a decision made not only on what to do if (more likely "when" in my mind) SH employs chemical and biological weapons. During Desert Storm, it was the threat (and he knew it) that we would blow all the damns north of the city and flood the whole thing. We obviously aren't going to do that now.

In all honesty...if you look at this from a sterile viewpoint, mustard gas really isn't much of a concern, because Iraq has artillery as the primary delivery system, and the prevailing wind blows from the south...which means whatever they shoot south will come back to them (and unfortunately the citizens of the city). The weapon I worry about is VX...that is the nasty one. It is sticky...very difficult to remove...unlike mustard gas, which actually disperses fairly rapidly in a desert environment. Mustard is more effective when you have hills and valleys and the weather is inversion, which forces the gas to lay in the valleys for long periods of time.

I think using nuc's would be a very unwise choice.
I agree , and another problem we might see is...rwbadley
Mar 27, 2003 5:33 PM
By demonstrating once again our vastly superior military technology and training, could we be inviting the lesser armed opponent (we seem to have more every day) to resort to WMD much more readily than before??

In other words, if they see it is useless to fight us on more conventional terms, they will jump first with (pick your weapon) to catch us first...Now that we are inflaming whole populations, the chance of something Baad happening is much higher, in my opinion.

For this reason (and others), I have been opposed to handling this conflict with large scale assault...

No. What is this fascination with nukes?czardonic
Mar 27, 2003 12:56 PM
We could "back off" and use conventional weapons to pound the offenders into submission without further legitimizing the use of nuclear weapons.
Mar 27, 2003 1:14 PM
I would say no. The military said they are protected against these types of attacks. I think it could change the rules of engagement. The rules almost have them fighting with one hand tied behind their back. That could change if chemical weapons are used.

If Iraq were to deliver a large scale chem or Bio Attack on US soil, that may be a different situation. It is still hard to justify Nukes when there are conventional weapons like MOABS & Daisy Cutters that can take out large areas conventionally. THe goal is to change regimes, not destry the country.

Mike Y.
Mar 27, 2003 1:37 PM
How would using a tactical nuke end the war overnight? It seems to me it would stiffen any enemy resolve, bring in unwanted enemy allies, and cost the US any support it has now. Remember that winning the war is only step one. We also need to win the peace. What point is there of winning if we render parts of the country uninhabitable and cause long term destruction?

I'm not even sure the US has tactical nukes anymore anyway.

In a way, the Iraquis using chemical or biological weapons might be the best thing for this war. It would confirm all our claims about them having them, it would reveal the Iraqui leaders as being barbaric and threats to peace and stability, and it would bring allies over to the US/UK side. Not that I want it to happen.
Mar 27, 2003 2:32 PM
Under no circumstances. Besides being immoral and legitimizing their use, it still wouldn't take Baghdad.

Also, its not clear that the Iraqis could use them in large amounts. The Iraqis have virtually no aircraft delivery capability and Iraqi artillery is often hit with return fire very quickly after initial rounds. (Artillery locating radar identifies where the Iraqi guns are quickly.)

It seems like a more likely danger is occaisional limited use so that all coalition troops would be encumbered with chem protection equipment. It could seriously slow us on the ground.
NO!Live Steam
Mar 27, 2003 3:28 PM
I believe the coalition troops are equiped to handle this. Those that would suffer would be Iraqi civilians. So if using such a device would help limit their losses, I may reconsider, but I still say no.
Absolutely no.retro
Mar 27, 2003 3:40 PM
No on principle, but also for a specific reason: CBW can be defeated locally, on the spot: You put on your mask and suit and walk briskly across the wind until you're out of the plume. Nobody escapes a nuke.
I realize this is hypothetical at this point, and things could change anytime, but don't lose sight of the fact that we haven't found the weapons of mass destruction that were the reason we launched this war.
No. nmsn69
Mar 27, 2003 4:05 PM
no, and we won't need to; nuke threshold very dangerous nmDougSloan
Mar 27, 2003 4:10 PM
Yup.Hoopes of glory
Mar 28, 2003 1:35 AM
Fire one off into the middle of the desert and let's go for the Hiroshima stop right there effect.

Probably save many thousands of lives, rather than this aimless war drifting on for months, bombing civilian market-places etc, wiping out 1,000s of conscripted troops waiting for the Iraquis to be "liberated" by nations they hate as much as/more than Sadman, and watching untold humanitarian disasters unfold.
Mar 28, 2003 6:22 AM