Debate and Discussion

World without Nukes
lothar at 9:33AM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 1,299
joined: 1-3-2006
i overheard Obama talking on tv the other day about how America being the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons had a responsibility to try and reduce the number of nukes in the world , and eventually have the world with no nuke weapons at all ! now wouldn't that be nice , Xept it will NEVER happen , Or will it ???
what do you think are the chances that this would ever happen ?
or do you think it's just something that he thought would sound nice ?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
BffSatan at 10:14AM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 1,478
joined: 3-2-2008
There are three reasons why this will never happen.
China
Russia
USA
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:20AM
Orin J Master at 12:37PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 437
joined: 12-16-2007
you'll note the use of the word “Reduce”, that will happen. it'll still be too many, but any of something that indiscriminate is too many. in reality, the US has more than half of the world's atomic weapons anyway so he could do it just by dismantling a chunk of the local stockpiles.

hell, it'd free up a fair amount of money to boot and you could just move the left over personnel and materials to existing, understaffed locations.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Hawk at 12:41PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
Do nukes expire like chemical weapons do?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
imshard at 2:30PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
Not per say no. Like any electromechanical device it requires a bit of maintenance and eventually some of the lower grade material deteriorates, but by and large, nukes don't have “good until” date.
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
Hawk at 2:41PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
Dang… because I can imagine countries stopping the production of nukes, but I'm skeptical that any of them would dismantle and destroy the ones they already have. It's just too tempting to save a couple. And who's going to know?

So I guess the only world I can imagine without nukes is also a world without people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
imshard at 4:52PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
Unfortunately I have to agree. Those that have will never be able to get rid of them for fear somebody else will get them too. Those that do not will continue to want them.

We can hope for them to never be used again though. The last nuke to go off was a 1998 Pakistani test weapon, and the last one attempted was a North Korean fizzle in 2006. Both underground.

With effort we can endure to keep them from ever being fired again in the atmosphere or at least not in anger.
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
ozoneocean at 5:00PM, April 7, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
imshard
Not per say no. Like any electromechanical device it requires a bit of maintenance and eventually some of the lower grade material deteriorates, but by and large, nukes don't have “good until” date.
Oh yes they do. :)

Of course the radioactive material lasts for ages and ages, but unlike conventional explosives, nuclear weapons aren't just waiting to go off- more than any other type of bomb they NEED all that other structure to work. So yes, they go off, become useless. -or at least; not useful.
-I.e. you basically have to dismantle the things, take the material out, and put it in something else. And that's expensive, dangerous and difficult.

I remember a couple of years ago when more than half the nuclear material used in American power plants had all originated in Soviet nuclear weapons.
————-
You could have a world without them, but it'd need a functioning world government. In that case you could. Weapons grade nuclear material is easier to track than people realise, the whole process is very technical and expensive, only governments can really make these things, without governments fighting each other, or separate governments to support the building and maintenance, you could get rid of them.

And if you think that can't happen, then you don't learn from history. It wasn't long ago that people thought the world would stay split between the “East and the West” forever.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
Product Placement at 2:48AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 7,078
joined: 10-18-2007
Hawk
I'm skeptical that any of them would dismantle and destroy the ones they already have. It's just too tempting to save a couple. And who's going to know?
Secretly hiding nukes would defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. They are firsthand a terror tool capable of instilling fear amongst your enemies. After all, who would dare to invade a country that can destroy their home with a flip of a button?

It's possible to argue that Nuclear weapons have a positive factor to them. After witnessing it's destructive powers, mankind took a step back, looked at what it had created and, in my opinion, matured a bit from that experience. Nuclear arsenal completely changed how we look at war. We once fought with weapons that pierced flesh and broke bones. Later on, we developed war machines that destroyed buildings and raised cities to the ground. Now we live in a world where missiles can wipe out nations, turning the world into a inhospitable wasteland. When the stakes are raised that high, people pause to think what they're getting themselves into.

Without nuclear weapons the cold war would have undoubtedly escalated into a full scale open warfare. There hasn't been a mayor conflict in the same scale as the World Wars or the Napoleon war since the Nuclear doomsday card was introduced to the game. Sure, the world is not a safe utopia of peace and prosperity. There's hardly a day when there isn't a skirmish or a battle somewhere on this planet. However those conflicts are never between two nations that control nukes.

Mutual assured destruction is quite possible the biggest gamble that humanity has ever embarked on. When rivals receive powers to wipe out each other, they tend to stay at the diplomacy table a bit longer.

We will never see a world without nukes. The only possibility of that ever happening is when we discover a more devastating weaponry.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
bravo1102 at 4:00AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 3,226
joined: 1-21-2008
Technological advances often make previous generations of nukes obsolete. Polaris to Poseiden to Trident. It was not just the submarines that got better. One weapons reduction treaty seemed to only be an excuse for the USA to dismantle the decades old Titan II missiles. (And the Soviets discarded their earlier missiles. Big deal, the new missiles had more than enough advances in performance to make up for it!)

As for a world without nukes, why not just a world without certain nuclear delivery systems? No submarines and very few non-MIRVed missiles. Any others would have to be delivered by airplane (Aircraft launched cruise missiles would be allowed?). Recallable and easily intercepted.

How about a sharing out of missile interception technology so all countries would be safer from those missiles?

A nuke free world is impossible. How many times has a single country been able to discard a weapon advance, let alone multiple countries? (One: Japan which was a very insular and self-isolated culture to begin with)

I've wished for this one since I researched all about the US/USSR arsenals in the 1970s. And then I read the detailed evaluation of what a 1 MT device would do if dropped on NYC.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 4:26AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
bravo1102
A nuke free world is impossible.
Of course it is.Nukes are only possible because of separate countries at odd with each other. -Bring them together and you have no need of such devices. And it's possible.

The world is always changing. Will we always be separated like we are now? History would tend to argue against that since the groups identifying themselves as “countries”, or language groups, or economic groups etc just get larger and larger.

I can foresee a lot more power blocks developing, with a lot more flashpoints between them and potential for Nuclear wars (united Africa VS united Middle East?), but in the far long term those are really stepping stone to a gradual coalescing. I think there will be a single world government eventually (100 years? 1000?) and then armies will work more in a policing, tactical role than a strategic one, making nuclear weapons pretty obsolete.

It can happen. :)
The Battleship is an obsolete weapon now- really because there is no use for such a weapons system any longer. aircraft carriers have been pretty obsolete for a while now in most ways, and so on. The world changes.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
imshard at 7:37AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
Product Placement
Hawk
I'm skeptical that any of them would dismantle and destroy the ones they already have. It's just too tempting to save a couple. And who's going to know?
Secretly hiding nukes would defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. They are firsthand a terror tool capable of instilling fear amongst your enemies. After all, who would dare to invade a country that can destroy their home with a flip of a button?

Have you ever heard the expression “Secret Weapon”?

Ozone
Of course it is.Nukes are only possible because of separate countries at odd with each other. -Bring them together and you have no need of such devices. And it's possible.

The world is always changing. Will we always be separated like we are now? History would tend to argue against that since the groups identifying themselves as “countries”, or language groups, or economic groups etc just get larger and larger.

Good luck starting a world government there Ozone. Even if we wanted one, such a thing would be impractical and nearly impossible to run.

History does teach us that groups grow and overlap. It also teaches us that they reach a point where they break apart again into new groups and the cycle starts over. Human nature will continue to ensure division and strife.

You didn't really negate my point on the deterioration of nukes. The half-life values on the high-grade weapons used by the power players are dated at thousands of years. The bomb assembly will rust away and the countries that made them will crumble long before the core material becomes unusable. Thus a nuclear stockpile doesn't “expire”, not in the intended use of the word anyway.

Chemical and conventional weapons depend on volatile reactions. Reactions whose components do have a shelf-life. Nukes are not like other bombs in that they are really non-volatile. Its hard to set one off. Shoot a handgun into a conventional warhead and it'll blow up in your face. Shoot a handgun into a nuke and there's a 1 in 50 chance it'll have a non-critical explosion and 1 in 18000 chance it'll actually go off. You'd be at more risk of radiation poisoning from breaching the containment.

I agree with your point about obsolete weapons. However, I wouldn't quite say aircraft carriers are useless or obsolete though their role has certainly changed quite a lot over the years.
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
ozoneocean at 8:37AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
The idea with Nukes becoming inactive is based on the fact that without that working structure behind them, they are effectively useless. Obviously the radioactive material has a long life, but as you know, with these weapons it's a very different paradigm. It helps if you think of the structure in the same light as the volatile, ageing component of a conventional weapon.

-The material is still reusable, as indeed it was when a good proportion of the Soviet stockpile went in to giving the American people electricity, But transferring it to a new weapons system isn't simple or cheap. Even dismantling the old one is dangerous and expensive- but without that all you have is fuel. Which is by far the best use for it.
——————————-

Some groups break up, but really, groups just continue to grow, distance between them becomes less and less. Even 100 years ago a concept like the European Union would've been absurdest be fantasy. All the nations in NATO have a nice cosy defence pact, and that group keeps growing (for example). Despite all splits, over the course of human history people have just continued to get closer.
A world government would be as possible or as impossible to run as any form of government really. If there's still a functioning human civilisation 1000 years from now, I'd predict they'd be pretty close to it by then :)
——————————-

Aircraft Carriers are functionally obsolete. If you did a cost benefit analysis that's the conclusion you'd come to. They're basically heavily subsidised anachronisms, relics of national pride. Their role has changed in order to justify their existence, like the way the Iowa Class Battleships were turned into long-range artillery batteries.
Their window of usefulness lasted until the 1960's at the latest, at which point they became Cold War white elephants. In the wars for which they were intended they'd die very fast and cost a lot of resources and men in the process.
Their current use is equivalent to building and maintaining an F1 racing car with a full team on permanent standby, just so you can drive it to your corner shop for milk and bread every couple of days.

…Which would be very cool and great fun, but not the best thing to do. All things considered. :)

The U.S.A. is just very sentimental about it's old weapons systems and relics of imperial power, the way Britain is with her old 19thC army uniforms (which they still keep for ceremonial purposes), but not about their old weapons systems strangely…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
imshard at 10:41AM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
Oddly I think you give us too much credit. Yes without the human socio-political structure as it is we'd have no need for any weapons. Good luck setting that up, I don't think it could ever happen, not for long.

The idea of a roman empire spanning the known world probably seemed absurd to the Gauls as well and yes eventually a single centralized government succeeded for Rome. Yet humans are just too chaotic and it all fell to pieces for as many reason as you care to cite. Even if a world government COULD be built, upheaval would make it come apart. In day or generations it just wouldn't work. For exactly that reason we'll continue to build and maintain bigger and more fearsome weapons like nukes and quite probably worse somewhere in the future. One thing that does progress it technology.

As for the US keeping White Elephants much the same could be said for any country maintaining a standing army. Aircraft carriers will continue transitioning into roles as full blown mobile bases. A far cry from the mere launching platform of torpedo bombers first conceived at the end of WWI. Man will always make war on man and the USA is simply prepared for the eventuality of anything happening. That includes keeping a race car where a minivan would suffice. Because its takes way too damn long to build a race car when you DO need one.

Thus we keep tanks nukes bombers and massive armies in age where a police force should suffice. We retain these things because they are useful in a bad situation, even if there is no call for them at present. Because you just don't know whats coming and if history is any indication fate favors the prepared.
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
Product Placement at 6:23PM, April 8, 2009
(online)
posts: 7,078
joined: 10-18-2007
Please, nobody keeps a secret weapon. Even if they did, they'd hint to everyone that they'd have one and often that “secret weapon” is just a big bluff. In practical terms it makes sense to keep your mayor advantage hidden so that you can use it on your enemy when they least expect it but when you're playing the “who has the biggest D***” contest you put all your cards on the table. During peacetime governments with armies play that game allot so that everyone around them will remember that they're no weaklings when push comes to shove.

That being said there are undoubtedly tons of research projects that are being conducted that are kept secret while it's on the drawing table. There's no need to tell your enemies what you're working on.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
ozoneocean at 5:05AM, April 9, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
imshard
roman empire
This is a joke surely? The Roman empire is nothing compared to the social organisations we have today. lol! That fractious “conquered by force and commerce” empire was controlled from a centralised city state… What happened after and what continued were nations getting bigger, joining together with shared bonds of language, culture, and in the end; just plain geography.
But not even geography holds back societies. Because of our advances in communications and transport the world is more connected than ever. Politics, culture and commerce are binding us tighter and tighter. World phenomena like WW1, WW2, the great depression and the current world recession prove now more than ever before how united and interdependent humanity has become.
This trend will ONLY increase.

—————-
No, Aircraft carriers are no good. They actively harm the U.S. military by swallowing resources. This is old 1970's tech really, based on 1960's thinking based on 1940s experience. In a time when the U.S. military is LONG, LONG, LONG past vital modernisation, those big fat money gluttons are still hanging around looking for a purpose.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
bravo1102 at 5:46AM, April 9, 2009
(online)
posts: 3,226
joined: 1-21-2008
Thinking a modern Nuclear Carrier is obsolete is like thinking that the tank or the manned fighter plane is obsolete. I can remember when that was the going wisdom for the same reasons you are advancing Ozone. I remember the British bought into it and cancelled several very promising weapons systems and scrapped their large carriers. Then the Brits had to buy Phantoms from the US because they cancelled their manned fighter. Then they found the need for their light carriers in 1982 and really wished they had somthing bigger. They couldn't carry enough Harriers and impressed a cargo ship into service. Imagine what a Nimitz class would have done on either side in the Falklands. (I wargamed it, it was nasty) Though the Kirov battle cruiser was a great equalizer. A modern interpretation of the battleship is still useful at sea.

Funny how a weapons system is labeled obsolete and then they find how useful it still is. Like the tank? It's been labeled obsolete so many times in its history. Chinese farm? Oh the tank is obsolete! Tanks are useless in the Ardennes! Without trenches why do you need tanks? Tanks are useless in urban areas… yet they keep finding that a big gun on an armored moving platform will always have a battlefield use, anywhere. The same as a mobile airport always has a use in global projection of power.

The fact remains that a carrier group is a massive force multiplier and allows a force to put a large air force anywhere. And they effectively can't be sunk. These ain't Essex Class carriers. Even the Forest Fire (That's the Forrestal) could still recover it's aircraft after an event comparable to that which effectively put the USS Franklin out of action.

Put nukes on the aircraft of a carrier and inflight refueling and it goes anywhere.

You Aussies wish you had a carrier. Like the rest of the world you have carrier envy. :p

Just like you can't stop nuclear proliferation. Nuke envy. One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 6:47AM, April 9, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
No Bravo, they're not obsolete in that people can find a use for them, they're obsolete in terms of cost compared to what they're actually for.

Much like tanks in your example. What people do with these things and have done with them for the past 50 years is the direct equivalent of using a solid gold sledgehammer to kill cockroaches. -Yep, it does that job ok…
These arguments are basically exactly the same thing that kept battleships alive until and even after WW2 lol!

People can STILL make a valid argument for them!
——————————–

In Australia's case, with the potential threats we face, aircraft carriers would be worse than useless: a nice ripe target with all our meagre military resources packaged up in one place, and all our money being flushed away into it. No thanks.
With a country like this we'd be better off with a nuclear arsenal! Hahaha!

Seriously; this is a sparsely populated, relatively wealthy island continent. The closest direct threats are densely populated places like Indonesia and Malaysia, who have mostly out-dated weaponry but massive armies and are updating with highly advanced but quite cheap Russian technology.
If invaded, we would fall. This place is impossible to defend as it is.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
Product Placement at 7:52AM, April 9, 2009
(online)
posts: 7,078
joined: 10-18-2007
ozoneocean
Seriously; this is a sparsely populated, relatively wealthy island continent. The closest direct threats are densely populated places like Indonesia and Malaysia, who have mostly out-dated weaponry but massive armies and are updating with highly advanced but quite cheap Russian technology.
If invaded, we would fall. This place is impossible to defend as it is.
I like invading Australia. It's relatively easy to defend and controlling all of it is worth 2 extra army points. Australian camping technique for the win.

Why, yes. I do like playing Risk.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
bravo1102 at 3:59AM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 3,226
joined: 1-21-2008
ozoneocean
No Bravo, they're not obsolete in that people can find a use for them, they're obsolete in terms of cost compared to what they're actually for.

Much like tanks in your example. What people do with these things and have done with them for the past 50 years is the direct equivalent of using a solid gold sledgehammer to kill cockroaches. -Yep, it does that job ok…
These arguments are basically exactly the same thing that kept battleships alive until and even after WW2 lol!

People can STILL make a valid argument for them!


You know we've had this debate before, so we're rehashing old stuff. lol! Maybe we should just link to the previous thread and leave this one be. :)

As for sledgehammers and cockroaches that's hardly a realistic metaphor for how modern armor is used. It's mobile on the spot artillery that cannot effectively be stopped unless the enemy has their own armor or expends lots and lots of resources. Which is a good thing when fighting an enemy with limited resources like guerilla types. It is akin to how the Russians finally conquered the steppe cavalry; heavy well-trained cavalry and well-diciplined infantry in square with light artillery. The steppe cavalry could not fight the infantry in a toe-to-toe fight or defeat the cavalry in skirmish. Cossacks are useless against conventional cavalry unless it too is conventional cavalry. The same with unsupported infantry against armor and infantry. Then there is the fear factor. It takes a lot of training to get an infantryman to stay around when an armored monster grinds its way towards him. Didn't I use this metaphor before too? :)

Come on Oz, armor rules! It's the Combat Arm of Decision. Whoever uses it best wins. It's been that way for 93 years. Give me a nice big Royal Tank Regiment cheer! lol!

Product placement: In Advanced Risk and Axis and Allies (which is just advanced Risk for WWII) with amphibous invasions Australia is as vulnerable as Oz indicates unless you restrict access with a worthwhile fleet, like one with carriers… ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 4:35AM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
Australia can't afford to run carriers or crew them. Our entire airforce could fit on one carrier.
Besides, the coastline is too massively vast, and the sea even more so. :(
a massive fleet of predator drones would probably work quite well though, especially if that tech improves. :)
———————

You know what's happening with armour:
Since ww2 tanks have been designed to face other tanks. Tanks shine brightest when fighting previous generation tanks. :)
That “artillery” is specially designed to kill other “mobile artillery”.

But armour is always expensive… And the weapons designed to defeat it are getting cheaper, lighter and more portable. First dive-bombing aircraft could crack the toughest nuts, then attack helicopters and various specialist aircraft…

But there are now man portable missile and rocket systems that can stop anything we currently have. Not to mention simple jury rigged explosives that cost less than a thousandth of the machines they can kill.
In some ways that's always been the case, but it's not making tanks any cheaper to build and operate, and with them mostly being used as glorified armoured personnel carriers and even when they do fight they face technology 30 years older- then people feel things need a bit of revaluation.

War is an interesting theatre for testing technology. It seems it's always used differently to what it's designed for*, and people are always so amazingly creative when faced with it.

*(probably because it was always designed for the previous conflict…)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
bravo1102 at 6:00AM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 3,226
joined: 1-21-2008
Pretty limited view of modern war-fighting. Tanks were designed to face other tanks. That's because on most conventional battlefields it is assumed there will be other tanks. Witness every post WWII battlefield from India-Pakistan, Arab-Israeli, Africa, to Desert Storm and the Iraqi invasion, Chechnia etc. Tanks are great at scaring enemy crunchies (infantry types) even with all their neat and cheap Anti-tank weapons whether Panzerfausts or the current ATGWs. But to use them you have to stand until you get off that missile aimed at a place that'll kill the tank and not just make it mad.

Now when tanks are used with supporting infantry (or even mounted infantry) they prove effective even in places where the expert say they shouldn't and couldn't be used. It's happened time and again. Vietnam was a perfect example. The Australian army was extremely effective with tank infantry groups just as they had been in the Pacific in WWII with their Matildas. Tanks proved they were effective in the jungle.

Iraq today… when the going gets tough they send for the armor and it scares the enemy away. it takes numerous RPGs or a 500 pound bomb IED to take out an M1, but the M1s have no problems as they can see the baddies with their thermal and demolish their hideout and the enemy will not stand. It's application of superior force to kill the enemy and break their morale so they don't want to stay around. Usually the enemy is channeled into the arms of another group who round them up and you've just won the battle.

Now the previous generation of armor is just fine, but if you encounter any size force of newer tanks and weapons you're toast. But a small core force of the latest generation supporting the previous generation is just fine. First world nations can afford to equip themselves with just the newest and latest. The rest of the world is supplimenting the earlier generation with small numbers of the latest or updating their older tanks to compete with the big boys. Iraq had T-72s but their Type 69 Engimas were just as effective though the guns just didn't have the range a 120mm smoothbore had.

Tanks are just like aircraft and thst's why they'll always have a place and always need to fight each other as well as other things. You want to fight aircraft effectively? You need aircraft. The NVAF MiG 17s, 19s and 21s were better at wasting US resources than all the Vietnamese SAMs. If an aircraft's mission is ground attack, having ground assets attack him doesn't stop him from his appointed mission. Some fighters take that plane away or means another arcraft has to fly cover. If an armored task force is set on taking a piece of ground, a bunch of guys with ATGWs aren't going to take them away from their purpose. But they could channel them into a killing ground: a mobile force of tanks or tanks hidden in the brush and it becomes a whole different fight. A real pain in the ass.

Nothing on the modern battlefield is as good as a tank at reaching out and touching someone, then grabbing them by the testacles and kicking them in the ass and making the enemy just want to be someplace else so the armor achieves its objective. Armor rules! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
imshard at 7:38AM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
ozoneocean
Australia can't afford to run carriers or crew them. Our entire airforce could fit on one carrier.
Besides, the coastline is too massively vast, and the sea even more so. :(
a massive fleet of predator drones would probably work quite well though, especially if that tech improves. :)
———————

In war a single U.S. carrier group can crush most countries or make a serious headache for the others. Any country that can afford a carrier DOES. Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, etc. It is far from obsolete. They are the epitome of a conventional military. Very few are the countries that can defend against a supercarrier without one of their own. As so famously repeated the first question out the Presidents mouth when a crisis arises is “where's the nearest carrier?”. They are more than projections of military might. The US and Brazil both sent their carriers for tsunami relief. Why? Because it brought a desalinization plant, massive kitchen, staging ground for recovery vehicles and aircraft, full service hospital, and a power reactor in one package along with hundreds of relief workers. The USS Abraham Lincoln's Seahawk helicopters delivered 36 tons of aid supplies a day and ran a variety of recovery, rescue, and relief missions. Even in peacetime a corps of trained and disciplined military personnel have a use, and an aircraft carrier is one hell of a resource.

Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
ozoneocean at 9:32AM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 24,796
joined: 1-2-2006
imshard
Any country that can afford a carrier DOES
Bravo makes his points, but your's is mostly nonsense.

Aircraft Carriers are in the position that Battleships once were: Great big vulnerable, expensive white elephants. All those countries apart from the US use their carriers mainly for VTOL planes and helicopters. Most of the ships in the Soviet navy back in the 80's made carriers irrelevant.
Have a close look at those big ships and see what they're armed with. ;)
-A hell of a lot of missiles specifically designed to eradicate any ship at sea.

Many nations were caught up in the battleship buying frenzy back in the day: all those South American nations, all of Europe. Rational thought was trumped by muscular vanity. And afterwards they served most usefully as batteries. In fact the US military was very sad to lose that long range accurate artillery capability of the Iowas.
-But that wasn't what they were for…
In a WW3 situation, they'd not have been much use. The same with any big carrier today. Every one is just a target. And make no mistake; they weren't made for actions like gunboat diplomacy and spreading US imperialisim by invading small run down countries- no, they're made for facing BIG threats, like war with China, the Russians etc.

Like I said before Imshard: you can always find new uses for them, but it doesn't justify the running costs or the investment. This is critical because of the numbers involved.
——————-

Bravo- as I said; men on the battlefield are creative. In the jungles against the Japanese the Aussies were lucky in that the Japanese tanks were 20's and 30's tech with small guns.
I really can't see tanks lasting indefinitely. Attack helicopters have shown they were a lot less effective than they were supposed to be, because of clever tactics and certain weapons… And those same individuals with their relatively poor training and sparse weaponry are not only able to force their enemy to use their heaviest ground armour against men who are on foot, they've also been able to disable that armour as well.
Imagine what real opposition could do. Especially one that was much better armed.
-I've seen a lot of interesting developments of the Russian RPG range of weapons. And then there are companies like Saab who specialise in the area of advanced man potable missile systems.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
imshard at 12:31PM, April 10, 2009
(online)
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
Rofl, Ok Ozone.
We can't afford it and they would be absolutely no good in full blown knock down drag-out conventional war which they were designed for. To boot they are no good for assisting our allies and cost way too much for peacekeeping missions. Yeah right, not. We keep most of our carriers in dock and skeleton crewed expressly because of the costs. We run the ships we have in the water because they are necessary and the cost is worth it. We spend more on welfare than on all 11 Nimitz-class carriers. We can afford it.

Point and laugh at the silly Americans and their spending habits if you want. Yes we find new uses for these weapons systems and we'd be idiots to ignore a valid use of a tool just because it was designed for something else. And beleive it or not, in the unlikely scenario that an ally like China or Russia does turn on us, those carriers would be invaluable and fearsomely effective weapons.
-And yes that was the 80s when they came up with practical anti-ship missiles. We have point defense systems now for exactly that reason, with a proven 98% success rate.

We retired the battleships because the carrier made them irrelevant, ending 3000 years of warship design and tradition. No ship or weapon system has made the carrier useless yet. When jets can launch from the other side of the globe and make it to target faster than one that launched locally, and deliver a standing infrastructure at the same time, while carrying thousands of troops to their invasion location: then there will be no use for carriers. Until then we keep them for the same reason any country keeps a standing military: Due diligence against credible threats both real and imagined.

No amount of prejudice and jadedness towards America and her disastrous blunders into political turmoil can change the effectiveness and viability of its armed forces. In the mean time we like having a military that can fight on its own instead of depending on another nation for help and protection.

Edit: Mentioning the carriers and bogging down in details of America's yearnings for its Cold War glory is a cute debate trick but its superfluous to the point of the discussion: Nuclear de-proliferation. I've had my say on that. (I.E. No nukes, would be nice but it'll never happen).
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

Tech Support: The Comic!! Updates Somedays!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved