OT Can a country with 18 nukes win a nuclear war against a country with 1800 nukes

Let's say that country A has 1,800 nuclear weapons.
And let's say that country B has 18 nuclear weapons that can reach
country A with 1 square mile accuracy.
And further let's suppose that these two countries are in a nuclear conflict.
Is it possible that country B could "win a nuclear war" and force country A to end the war on highly unfavorable terms, despite having only 1% of A's nuclear arsenal?
The real answer is that it is entirely possible, if country B's arsenal is survivable (hard to find and well defended) and country B can take more pain than country A.
What this brings up is a realization that nuclear war is in some ways similar to a negotiation, rather than straight war like most conventional war. The reason for this is a unique ability of nuclear weapons to deliver a lot of pain over a long distance. Thus, nuclear weapons can hurt countries directly, as opposed to conventional weapons, which have to first work against their militaries.
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On Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:51:05 -0600, Ignoramus1521

It can boil down to "he who shoots first wins" or "he who blinks looses"
ONE large nuke could neutralize many countries - but if B hits A 1st, and A figures there is nothing left to lose, b could be totally obliterated within hours - wiped right off the map - with a lot of colateral damage all around. (ie - if NK hits the USA first, and USA retaliates, SK and half of Asia would be SERIOUSLY affected - including China and Japan
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On 11/30/2017 9:19 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

And that's why we can't nuke NK...EVER. Best you can do is a surgical strike against one little prick. I can't believe it hasn't been done already. Anything else is the end of the world as we know it.
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wrote:

And that's precisely why we can't use them.
If SK doesn't evacuate Seoul before the ball begins, they'll lose it to enough NK missiles to take it down to bedrock within minutes of the party starting. But how good is NK's anti-aircraft?
Will China bomb a mile-wide border at their border to tell NK that they will not be accepting any refugees? They seriously don't want any of them. (_smart_ concept, that.)
I'm just starting _America: Imagine a World Without Her_ by Dinesh D'Souza. HE is the type of immigrant America needs. Brilliant.
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Clare Snyder wrote:

Yes, ESPECIALLY Japan, as they are downwind from N. Korea. If the US were to launch a heavy counterstrike at N. Korea, it is hard to know what would happen. Would that strike so discombobulate their chain of command that nothing else would be launched? Does the US know a lot about where these weapons are stored, so that most of those storage sites or the sites they had pre-planned to launch from would be unavailable? (Good chance we know a lot more than we let anyone think we know.)
Also, we have anti-missiles that can shoot down ICBMs in the early launch phase, but we have to have those assets really close to the launch site. You can bet if the balloon went up, these assets would be moved in really close, to have a good shot.
I have no doubt whatsoever that if N.K. launched an ICBM at a US territory, there would be a massive counterstrike that would leave Pyong Yang obliterated so that an entire 25 mile radius looked like ground zero at Nagasaki. I'm sure there is a war plan alread loaded into the Minuteman LCC computers for just this scenario. You think Trump would hesitate to do it?
Jon
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On Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:51:05 -0600, Ignoramus1521

To be totally truthfull - NOBODY can win a nuke war in today's climate - EVERYONE loses as soon as the next nuke is deployed in anger.
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wrote:

Bingo.
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(Amazon.com product link shortened)
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
http://www.c4i.org/unrestricted.pdf
Japan's Army leadership made a similar judgement in 1941. They soon discovered that their military couldn't prevent our submarines from sinking all their shipping and our bombers from burning their cities. By the end there wasn't much left to nuke.
Like the Norks the Japanese dug in deep and prepared for a long resistance. My father told me the surviving defenders on Okinawa would come up from their bunkers to watch and cheer his Air Corps unit's baseball games. They knew they had lost but were too indoctrinated with Bushido to surrender.
-n%cw8H
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On Fri, 1 Dec 2017 07:16:59 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Amazon.com: The Worlds of Herman Kahn: The Intuitive Science of Thermonuclear War (9780674017146): Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi: Books https://is.gd/ylDBlw looks interesting, too. Khan sounds like quite a guy.

$896 used? Sucha deal!

Downloaded.

Too bad their Emperor didn't make the call earlier. That was one helluva way to test our two new nuke technologies, but better a couple hundred thou than a million between both sides. It worked.
I worry that NK or Paki will get too rambunctious and light one off. One is led by a bipolar child, the other by fundi Islamics. <shudder>

Amazing.
I found a whole bunch of strategy books available on KU for free and I'm making my way through them from Sun Tzu and Thucidides forward.
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World War II was different because there was no nuclear weapons (until the end). Nuclear weapons actually did what I was alluding to, specifically, raising the level of pain for Japan so much as to force immediate surrender.
Now there are nuclear weapons and North Korea can inflict pain on USA remotely, outside of the theater of operations.
If NK's arsenal and operational control is survivable, and half way accurate, then NK can win the war by inflicting too much pain on the US (nuking several cities) and forcing it to surrender, despite our obvious military superiority.
The question facing our decision makers, may come to "we lost Chicago and Houston, is it worth it to continue destroying North Korea".
It may sound crazy, but it is not. North Korea can lose 80% of its population, but force the US to surrender, pay reparations, and so on, in case IF it is able to inflict unbearable pain on us.
Now if the US actually loses that war, the terms of surrender will be atrocious, and it will not be an honorable surrender.
I am surprised that these quite simple issues are not even discussed publicly, even though it could easily come to just this scenario.
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wrote:

Those who know something can't discuss it. Did you know anything about the Voenno-Kosmicheski Sily?
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I know a little bit, yes, I read a fair amount of stuff about nuclear weapons. And Russia news, as you might have guessed. But nothing beyond what you would get from reading the Internet.
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On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10:03:34 -0600, Ignoramus7946

Along those lines there was an interview with Ho Chi Minh published in a French magazine, very early in the war, in which the interviewer asked Ho whether he thought that N. Vietnam could win a war with the "greatest industrial power in the world". Ho replied that of course they couldn't win the war but they could prolong it until politically the U.S. would not be able to continue.
But, on the other hand, the Germans almost literally destroyed Stalingrad in 1942 and the Russians continued to fight for three more years.
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On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10:03:34 -0600, Ignoramus7946

WHAT? If we lost two cities, SK would be an island shortly thereafter, whether China liked it or not. Talk about waking sleeping giants...

No, it cannot. Our military and our people do not know the word "unbearable".

Evidently, we think totally differently than you, Ig. The USA cannot lose to Korea, even if it lost =eighteen= cities to NK nukes. As soon as a single hit was scored on a US city, Trump would be on the horn to neighboring countries telling them to move their populations away from the border which would be glowing sand from the 40th to the 45th latitude and the 125th to the 128th longitude. Or possibly just hot from several hundred neutron bombs. He might even use tactical nukes to blow down any further launches if he saw a trajectory for the mainland USA.
This is no longer a game, Ig. He'd have to make most of the million+ NK troops go away before landing anyone, depending on what he'd used to bomb them. This is for all the marbles, since for the US to lose yet another war would be curtains for any power we maintain in the world today. For the world's sake, we can't lose.
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Larry, I am sorry that I did not answer sooner, I was over tired from work and there was too much little stuff going on at home.
There is two points that I want to make.
First is that if we lose, say, Chicago and Houston, just as an example, and completely destroy North Korea, the outcome, for us, is more like a loss than a victory. You can easily see why.
Second, winning and losing means different things for us and for North Korea. If, for example, North Korea loses 80% of its people but Kim stays in power, and keeps some nukes and nuclear factories, it is a victory for him. Nuclear weapons are terrifying and powerful, but they do not turn large countries into glowing sand, and they cannot destroy well placed mobile launchers if the launchers are hidden.
Lastly, any nuclear operation that turns NK into "glowing sand" would be extremely damaging for Russia's Khabarovsk and for Japan in terms of nuclear fallout, with obvious repercussions.
Because the above is quite obvious, I would hope that the US leadership recognizes this and is only pretending that it is about to destroy North Korea. What concerns me is that the 28 year old "leader" of NK may not think so.

Well, we never tried to have our cities destroyed, and yes, recently the expense and losses in Iraq, for example, were seen as unbearable.

If the USA lost 18 major cities, it would be almost done for as a world power.

Keep in mind one thing: if hostilities start, delivering nuclear hits to the US and hoping for US surrender, not irrationally, is the ONLY hope Kim has to survive personally.

We can also not start a war and expect North Korea to be just another country with newly acquired nuclear capabilities, just like Pakistan or Israel.
Also, if the US beging a nuclear war in NK and gets bogged down, which is entirely possible, other players can be easily seen beginning conflicts in other parts of the world.
Everyone seems to think that nuclear wars are fought at a fast pace. I personally doubt this will necessarily happen for several reasons, the main of which is that nuclear attacks are moves in negotiations (possibly conducted by means of nuclear strikes) and negotiations take time. Even the only two actual uses of nuclear weapons, both by United States, were purposely conducted days apart to pressure Japan and obtain its surrender.
For example, let's say that we begin a conventional attack on NK. Kim would quickly realize that his life is at stake and that the only way he can make the US stop is to deliver some nuclear blows on it. So he would, hypothetically, destroy a US city.
After that, the US, just like you say, delivers a large nuclear strike on NK, making east Russia uninhabitable and pissing off Russia. 60% of NK population is dead. Kim's mobile launchers mostly survive, as does he, and he strikes another US city.
What do we do now?
i
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message wrote:

In the early 50's we thought that any major war would inevitably go nuclear and planned accordingly, increasing our strategic capabilities at the expense of our tactical ones.
However the crises that occurred in the Middle East showed that we needed to be able to respond effectively and very rapidly at every level, in order to keep small local disturbances from escalating into large regional or global ones. We didn't always push hard enough to obtain entirely favorable results, Ghaddafi being a good example, but we contained the violence which was enough.
That's why we expanded the aircraft carrier fleet that we knew might not survive the Krasny Flot but could quickly intervene almost anywhere with only the minimum necessary containment level, such as Marines guarding the streets and aircraft overhead.
Even for Britain one visiting US carrier is as or more powerful than the nation's entire Air Force. Significantly though we've never created the political apparatus to dominate and administer another country the way SMERSH did in post-war Berlin, instead we restore their previous democratic institutions such as the Japanese Diet and the Iraqi Parliament. As a US soldier in Germany I quickly leaned that we were no more than guests in their country.
This event set the precedent for the rest of the Cold War. We arrived in hours, the Soviets in weeks. Britain and France had lost their international military influence when Nasser outfoxed them in the Suez Crisis. http://adst.org/2013/07/the-1958-u-s-marine-invasion-of-lebanon-it-was-no-day-at-the-beach/
I got myself onto the circulation list for private and semi-official critical analyses that passed around the government after major events, a type of Samizdat. The PLA Colonels' report I mentioned previously was one of them, as was this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Japan_That_Can_Say_No
A large section of the after-action report on Desert Storm detailed our successes and deficiencies in hastily transporting a large armored ground force to a distant area where we hadn't been expecting a problem. I'm only an amateur historian, not a professional analyst, and don't claim to have answers but I know that some -very- smart and clever people are looking hard for them. BTW we kept reminding ourselves that many chess grand masters are Russian.
We plan for almost anything, including having to invade France. In WW2 we learned the value of being able to invade at a place and in weather the enemy considered impossible.
-rfGuil9
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On 2017-12-10 11:36, Jim Wilkins wrote:

This is some A-grade horse shit. How many thousand aircraft do you think you can fit on one boat?
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Thousand? Britain does not have even two hundred, and nearly half of them are worn out.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33618484 "Defence analysis group IHS Jane's said the RAF could be left with 127 combat jets by the end of the decade as 87 Tornados and the first tranche of 53 Typhoon jets are due to be retired."
"Jane's says the RAF currently has 192 frontline fighter aircraft, made up of Tranche 1, 2 and 3A Typhoons and Tornados."
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:27:32 -0800, Mary-Jane Rottencrotch

An article printed in the 11 Dec 2017 issue of the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11715604/Heres-how-many-planes-the-Royal-Air-Force-has-available-to-fight-Isil.html Stated that the RAF had: 40 Typhoons, 8 Tornado and 6 Reaper aircraft available, at the time of writing, for use in combat. That is a total of 54 combat ready aircraft.
The Nimitz-class supercarriers can accommodate a maximum of 130 F/A-18 Hornets or 85 aircraft of different types, but current numbers are typically 64 aircraft.
(Reality IS stranger then fiction)
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wrote:

I saw similar numbers in a different, older Telegraph(?) article about a visiting US carrier. The comparison was a British gripe rather than an American boast.
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