It no longer makes sense to attack the US mainland w/nukes.
It's much cheaper and easier to attack a major US corporation w/a cyber attack, which effectively gives the attacker conquest over the segment of the US law code controlled by that corporation.
For example, a single cyber attack on Exxon, w/sufficient compromising information recovered on corporate board members, would give the hacker complete control over US energy laws and policy.
An equivalent attack on Exxon, Microsoft, Intel, Goldman Sachs, and Time Warner would mean control of 70-80% of the US govt., including total control of US energy policy, copyright laws, banking legislation, security policies, . . .
Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
The article linked to mentioned an "improvised nuclear device." But it didn't define what that would be, so I'm not sure just what the government thinks we're not prepared for. An "improvised nuclear device" could describe something as minor as some low-level radioactive waste and some conventional explosive to scatter it through the air. As complex as real nuclear weapons are, I don't see how anyone could "improvise" one.
The simplest atom bomb design ever was the "gun type" used in the Hiroshima bomb, and the designers were so confident it would work that they never tested it beforehand. But the problem with it is that what it gains in simplicity, it loses in the amount of very highly enriched uranium it requires. The Hiroshima bomb, for example, used about 140 pounds of uranium enriched to about 80% U-235. Somewhat less is needed if the uranium is even more highly enriched, but that's not so easy to do--and getting hundreds of pounds of highly enriched uranium is not quite like buying so much cast iron, or lead.
It seems to me it's much less likely that terrorists will have some rogue scientists make them a bomb, than that some rogue nation will someday use terrorists to deliver one or more bombs from its stockpile to a nation it considers an enemy. One big disadvantage of using aircraft and missiles to deliver nuclear weapons has always been that the nation you're targeting, if it also has these weapons and delivery systems, will probably discover where the attack was launched from in time to strike back. That's why talk of North Korea, or Iran, or Pakistan, or some other such country developing missiles that could deliver nuclear weapons to U.S. soil has always seemed kind of silly to me. What earthly point would there be in launching your handful of nuclear-armed missiles at the U.S., when you knew for certain that long before they could arrive, the U.S. would have sent many times more back at you--enough to obliterate you, yours, and every last thing in your piss-ant country?
But what if an atom bomb just went off in an American coastal city one day? Any large pleasure boat with a suicide crew could bring one to a harbor here, maybe at night, and be blown up before anyone knew a thing about boat or crew. Nuclear explosions don't leave any distinctive residue, or fingerprints, or little tags saying "product of country X." Whatever nation the U.S. might suspect was behind the attack, where would the proof be? Even the strongest suspicions probably would not be enough. It's hard to imagine any U.S. President ordering a nuclear counterstrike that would kill hundreds of thousands or even millions, unless he were absolutely certain what country was responsible.
If by 'fully prepared' someone means taking away even more rights just so a few spineless wimps can feel safer...FORGET IT.
Since 9/11, America has given in too much already to these Americans sans backbones.
If the only way America can be safe is to deny her people the rights that once made America so great, then let America die.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
Last edited by DA60; 12-30-14 at 07:33 PM.
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