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 Post subject: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 04:06pm
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Inspiration from an old spacebattles thread I stumbled upon.


The date is March 22, 2012. Everybody is going along their daily business. There is a celebration in Time Square honoring September 11th victims and their families, being reported live by various major news agencies.

Suddenly, the sky flashes bright, and Time Square is gone. Somehow, somebody just detonated a 100 kiloton nuclear bomb in the middle of New York City. Just minutes later, Al Qaeda and the Taliban both claim responsibility for the detonation, and both say that they smuggled in a giant nuclear bomb into Times Square. They say that they will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons on the rest of the Free World.

How does the United States react? How does the world react? How do the press and public react? What would Obama do? What would Bush do? What would Lincoln do? What would Jesus do? What would you do [as president]?

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 04:30pm
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We find out who supplied the nuclear fissile material in a few hours from USAF specialized radioactive sampler reconnaisance aircraft flying into the cloud; and the country that did it gets to be wiped out.

EDIT: Oh yeah, lots of serious international repercussions, and not just from the US; a lot of people might use this as a chance to settle scores once and for all with "terrorists"; q.v. Israel vs Arabs, Russia vs Chechens, Balkans vs Balkans.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 04:45pm
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American loses it's shit, and whatever country provided or lost the nuke to Al-Q cease to exist thirty five minutes after the analysis team tells us were the device came from.




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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 05:44pm
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Both the country of origin for the bomb and the country hosting Al Qaeda and the Taliban would be incinerated. Once a device initiates anywhere on U.S. soil, all bets are off.

In the United States, a national state of emergency would follow. The constitution would be effectively if not formally suspended as every martial law provision of the anti-terror laws that have been passed since 9/11 would go into immediate effect when the government collectively panics.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 05:47pm
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What Shep and Bean said.

Using sneak-attack nuke is no different than using a nuclear missile. Nuclear warfare deals in absolutes, if you start using nukes on another country that has them, that country will retaliate with as many nuclear weapons as it can. The US happens to have a lot of nuclear weapons utilizing global delivery systems, so whatever country attacks them with nuclear weapons will cease to exist.

The only question is how much that county gets devastated - something like Australia would have it's major cities nuked and thus effectively cease to exist as a country, but lot's of it's territory would be untouched. Something like Germany would also have it's major cities nuked, but due to the density of those that would be almost all of it's territory, with the corresponding impact on it's population.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 05:59pm
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I question whether or not the country "hosting" the instigators would [should] immediately be targeted. The problem here is that these terrorists have no borders, and to target a country simply because Al Qaeda happened to choose it as their hiding place smacks of genocide to me. You know, millions of innocent civilians being killed?

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 06:00pm
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What if the source of the Bomb was found to be the US itself? I.e. either a bomb of America's own construction had been stolen, given to the bombers or had gone off accidentally (not likely if its in time square I know)?

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 06:16pm
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Luke Skywalker wrote:
I question whether or not the country "hosting" the instigators would [should] immediately be targeted. The problem here is that these terrorists have no borders, and to target a country simply because Al Qaeda happened to choose it as their hiding place smacks of genocide to me. You know, millions of innocent civilians being killed?
The flip side of that is that "hand bomb to terrorists and let them plant it in your cities by hand" is a great way to launch a nuclear attack on someone and keep deniability. Do you want to live in a world where someone (the US, the Russians, the Israelis, anyone) can nuke people just by smuggling the bomb into the target's country, setting it off, and then relying on their own population as human shields to protect them from retaliation?

What about the millions of innocent people on the target, who got killed in the first place? What about future millions of innocent people who would be killed in later attacks, once people realize they can get away with this?

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 06:35pm
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Patrick Degan wrote:
In the United States, a national state of emergency would follow. The constitution would be effectively if not formally suspended as every martial law provision of the anti-terror laws that have been passed since 9/11 would go into immediate effect when the government collectively panics.


Hmm. No.

You would see a localized state of emergency declared in the region around New York City, and you would see all those Executive Orders that have been signed since the 1950ies dusted off, allowing the US Government to deal with the nuclear aftermath in NY State, which would be overstressing NYC's local government.

Like these EOs:

EO 10997: Assigning Preparedness Functions to Secretary of Interior (16 February 1962)
EO 10998: Assigning Preparedness Functions to Secretary of Agriculture (16 February 1962)
EO 10999 Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Commerce (16 February 1962)
EO 11000: Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Labor (16 February 1962)
EO 11001: Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (16 February 1962)
EO 11002: Assigning Preparedness Functions to the Postmaster General (16 February 1962)
EO 11003: Assigning Preparedness Functions to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency (16 February 1962)
EO 11004 Assigning Certain Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Housing and Home Finance Administrator (16 February 1962)
EO 11005 Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions To The Interstate Commerce Commission (16 February 1962)
EO 11051 Prescribing Responsibilities of the Office of Emergency Planning in the Executive Office of the President (16 February 1962)
EO 11310: Assigning Preparedness Functions to the Attorney General (11 October 1966)



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 06:38pm
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But what happens worldwide?

Will Russia use this as an excuse to saturation bomb Chechnya into submission for good with Tu-95s? Etc.



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 06:44pm
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The world's economy takes a nosedive as a major financial sector just disappeared.

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 07:27pm
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Lets make this more interesting/plausible. Frankly, a 100 KT device is no small thing, both literally and in terms of political impact. Sneaking such a device onto Manhattan is no mean feat, and obviously if you somehow managed the end result is pretty predictable considering all the WMD propaganda that the country was inundated in for the past decade.

So, in the spirit of the thread, here's my alternate scenario. Instead of a 100KT bomb that destroys all of NYC at once, lets instead imagine that a smaller weapon (like, say, a W54 warhead) the size of a gym bag and with a yield of only ~25 Tons of TNT is detonated on Wallstreet. The rest happens just as in the OP, except of course NYC is still there, if heavily damaged. What happens? How does the scale of the damage effect the reaction of the US? Does it?



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 07:29pm
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Aaron MkII wrote:
The world's economy takes a nosedive as a major financial sector just disappeared.

I that a net loss?

Obviously it is, but the "reset debt" lobby just became far more influential. Probably.

UN is probably gone too. 100kt ain't small.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 07:44pm
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I actually doubt whether "the origin country ceases to exist" straight away. Given it's going to take some time to find out where the attack came from, they'll have a little time to cool down (although, according to Shep, it'll only take a few hours, and I'm not going to gainsay him), and anyway, the people in charge of those things are hopefully selected for their ability to stay cool under pressure.
A question those with their finger on the button have to ask themselves: Can they launch without triggering a global nuclear war, or does "One fly, they all fly" still apply? If there's any doubt, they've got to keep it in their pants.

Where did the nuke come from? This is critical. Was it from from some minor nuclear country like Pakistan? In which case maybe a couple of nukes to knock out their military capability (after good talks to China, Russia, etc), and then an overwhelming conventional regime-change "Your country is going to become a US/UN protectorate" takeover.

Was it from a Power, like China or Russia? This has to cause hesitation, and more questions, like, was the government involved? If the US believes there was NO government involvement, it was entirely criminal, then I believe they could settle for a massive crackdown of a Spanish Inquisition nature, as long as the US is fully involved. War on Terror squared.
If the government was involved, then, then, fuuuck... war; China I believe will stay (relatively) small, but Russia... Nukes are flying. Excellent chance of WWIII.

What if it was a staunch US ally? Like Britain? Australia was mentioned, but exactly where we got a nuke from in the first place I don't know, unless ASIO's been up to some real secret squirrel shit. Huh, wouldn't put it past them. I think that if the US buys no government involvement, just criminal, we're back to the Inquisition. If they do think the government was involved, they'll be blasted, overthrown, and US/UN protectorate.

And what if it WAS the US itself? Expect the anti-terror laws you have now to look positively utopian liberal in comparison, and such a purge that anyone with any slightest imagined connections to any group that isn't the boy scouts will get pulled in and interrogated (and maybe the Boy Scouts, they were started by a foreigner, you know).

....................
Wouldn't want to belong to the CIA in this if they had even the slightest indication something was coming. They are going to be crucified. For that matter, they're going to be crucified if they didn't, because this is their job, and how did something that big slip by them?
Rather work for a Mumbai sewerage plant. In a way, the two will have a bit in common.
......................

In other news:
* Bush uses it as an excuse to invade Iran, and any other countries Cheney doesn't like the look of. Possibly France.
* So does Obama, but "more reluctantly", and he doesn't invade France.
* Global "War On Terror" turned up so high the fucking knob breaks off. No countries borders matter anymore to the US when it comes to kidnapping or assasinating suspected terrorists, and the governments in question turn a blind eye (either in sympathy, or through pressure).



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 07:57pm
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Funny enough the rough nuclear effect calculator defaults to Time's Square or near enough.
Boom
The 7 PSI zone or the area in which skyscrappers and getting knocked down and after effects means your talking about a complete mile sized area of total rubble and almost no chance of survives and that goes from one end of the island to the other. Toss in the fires from the initial effects and the fact the nearest two bridges are in the blast zone and your talking about rescuers being force to go all the way down to 478 or all the way up to 95 to get into New York and the rubble field and cratering is going to be big enough that rescues will have to be done on foot through the destroyed hell-scape.

Also Korto the people who decided if the nukes fly are not selected for their ability to stay cool under pressure but are elected officials just as human as anyone else and Shep is right the time from boom to results is going to be six hours or less. If the aggressor was anyone other than Russia they are going to get plastered with nukes as anything vaugly military gets an ICBM. Assuming it's not Russia then we call them up tell them that North Korea just nuked an American City and sit on your damn hands unless you want the world to end we are launching in five minutes.




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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:09pm
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Mr Bean wrote:
Also Korto the people who decided if the nukes fly are not selected for their ability to stay cool under pressure but are elected officials just as human as anyone else

Yeah, good point. For some reason I was thinking of the military intermediaries.

You're begging the question though about what happens if it WAS Russia.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:17pm
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Korto wrote:

You're begging the question though about what happens if it WAS Russia.

One flies they all fly, but it's a semi open question about if Russia in its current shit situation could actually get off it's missiles and how many are in cold war readiness.

*Edit, by Cold war readiness, I mean actually work when someone pushes the buttons. ICBM's are delicate things and a dozen things can quickly go wrong and down check missile from readiness just from having 5% to high a moisture level in the silo.




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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:32pm
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No one thinks that if we get attacked by Islamic terrorists, we should nuke Mecca? Seriously, people are suggesting nuking Germany with a straight face but no one else thinks it's a reasonable statement that if a bunch of religious whackjobs attack us in the name of their God, we should kill their God?



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:39pm
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Wonderful,now the entire Islamic world will hate you.

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:46pm
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As compared to nuking Germany as Serafina suggested was possible?



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:48pm
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Doesn't belong in N&P IMO.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:50pm
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Nuking australia or Germany is so ducking stupid I'm not even sure it deserves a response. But so is destroying civilisation because a russkie lost a bomb.

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 08:58pm
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Dominus Atheos wrote:
No one thinks that if we get attacked by Islamic terrorists, we should nuke Mecca? Seriously, people are suggesting nuking Germany with a straight face but no one else thinks it's a reasonable statement that if a bunch of religious whackjobs attack us in the name of their God, we should kill their God?


Is it possible that the difference between the words "should" and "would" escapes you? Far as I can tell, you're the first person ITT arguing the merits of nuclear annihilation.



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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 09:03pm
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Here's a consideration?

What if the nuclear weapon was identified, and the source was a country that had reported the weapon as stolen several months or years ago, and there has been a full international search underway in secret for it?

In other words, blasting the source country is not an option.

Also, what if it's not the Taliban or Al Qadia, or whoever, but a new group that no one has information on?

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 Post subject: Re: What If: Nuclear Bomb detonates in New York City PostPosted: 2012-03-22 09:11pm
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Another variant: What if Taliban / Al Qaeda claims they have a second nuke, or multiple nukes, hidden in other major cities (on dead-man's-switches, etc.)?

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