Sunday, September 12, 2004

 

FLASH FLASH FLASH: Did North Korea Just Test a Nuke?

AP is reporting: Blast, Mushroom Cloud Reported in N. Korea.

Shit.

Stand by to stand by.

Comments:
If you dont mind I am gonna ask a few dumb questions and see if you can shed any light on them. I havent any backround in any of this but only ask as a concerned parent of 3. Not that you will be fooled for one second because of the brilliance of any questions. hehe.

1. Any opinions on the possibility that Kim would sell his weapons to those sweet guys we seem to have ticked off?

2. What do you believe the response of the US population would be to a single nuclear strike inside of the United States say at New Orleans with a message demanding major concessions or else?

3.Do wargames assume that widespread panic ensues or that the population is stoic and stands their ground much the same way the British seem to have done in WW2?

4. I realize from conversations with my wife who designs software used by FEMA that martial law will be used to control any outbreak of a serious biowarfare weapon, such as Small Pox. Would the same thing happen in the case of such a strike? I am guessing yes.

5. Do you think it would be useful to discuss such matters in the political arena to at least prepare people to the possibilities that they may be asked to stand and fight in Des Moines?

Perhaps I am a cassandra but from my point of view, the entire question of who wins this war if the terrorists get a nuclear weapon is very much up in the air. If they can set one off and create the sort of massive panic I believe would happen they very well could get massive concessions from us. I would wish we wouldnt but I dont see how anyone would say no. What is your take of the backbone of the Government?

Thanks for listening to my ravings.

Pierre Legrand
Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
 
Pierre--

Never a dumb question.

1. Any opinions on the possibility that Kim would sell his weapons to those sweet guys we seem to have ticked off?

It's possible. I suspect that his first priority, however, would be in building an arsenal he himself can use to deter/threaten America. Once he reaches his "comfort level"-- wherever that is-- he may decide to branch out and share a weapon. But I doubt he'd do that on his own-- it would most likely be part of a strategy (i.e., you don't just hand out a nuke to somebody and say, "Go get 'em, Ray"-- you'll want something in return. And at this level of strategy, money is kinda unimportant).

2. What do you believe the response of the US population would be to a single nuclear strike inside of the United States say at New Orleans with a message demanding major concessions or else?

Depends whether it has a return address. Whoever makes demands in this event will lead a very short life. What scares me most is the surprise-and-silence attack: bomb goes off, but *no one* claims responsibility, at least not for a while. That's not a good situation.

3. Do wargames assume that widespread panic ensues or that the population is stoic and stands their ground much the same way the British seem to have done in WW2?

In my experience, they assume all sorts of things. Depends on the game. Most games I've been involved with start slowly, more "realistically"-- i.e., fairly predictably. Then at a certain point they diverge wildly from expectations as the moderators throw surprises in, in order to get you to deal with unexpected events.

4. I realize from conversations with my wife who designs software used by FEMA that martial law will be used to control any outbreak of a serious biowarfare weapon, such as Small Pox. Would the same thing happen in the case of such a strike? I am guessing yes.

I am unfamiliar with any such plans, sorry.

5. Do you think it would be useful to discuss such matters in the political arena to at least prepare people to the possibilities that they may be asked to stand and fight in Des Moines?

Yes, I think most national security considerations deserve a public and open debate.


As for your other comments, I don't know what would happen. I plan an essay on the subject at a later date, so keep checking back in the next few weeks for my thoughts on the matter.

Thanks for writing in!
 
Thanks for responding.

I guess the scenario I see as possible follows this basic course. Nuke goes off in New Orleans, within hours credit is taken for the act by Al Queda through one of their english websites, as well, the websites make mention that unless major concessions happen within 24 Hours another weapon will be detonated. That such a threat would be given over the web means the US Government would probably not be able to stop the threat from being heard by the US Population. (not sure they would want to stop it but on the other hand avoiding panic is a basic strategic need).

At this point in the scenario the state players are not identified, could be Iran, could be N.Korea, Pakistan cannot be overlooked nor can China. Indeed I understand that terrorists cannot be expected to aquire nukes on their own but given the public perception of our intelligence agencies we would have a tough time convincing the public that we knew, if we truly did, who supplied the weapon.

This is the strength of the position the terrorists and their state sponsors. Course this is worrying about something that probably wont happen since any State cannot be certain of not being found out. It was just the result of asking myself how could the terrorists win.
 
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