Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-01 02:39am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-03-01 02:37am
Didnt we do this dance last decade? India sabre rattling, pakistan noting an invadion would be responded to by nuclear warfare, and the whole thing calmibg down again.

Its unlikely to spread globally trr, since neither india or Pakistan have enough warheads to share
The main scenario I'm thinking of is one where China becomes involved on the side of Pakistan (which if China got involved, might also draw in the US).
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 03:05am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-03-01 02:39am
The main scenario I'm thinking of is one where China becomes involved on the side of Pakistan (which if China got involved, might also draw in the US).
Why would China want to risk eating a nuke for Pakistan? Sure they'd lose a bit of regional power but at the rate their growing they can afford to let a client state dangle if it risks pushing a war into going hot.

What actually happens, if real war looks likely, is both sides posture and their allies posture and the odds are tallied up and nothing happens. It's never going to be worth it to any vaguely rational actor and no matter what you think of either nation's leaders I assure you they're pushing each other for mostly rational reasons. Even Krazy Kim knows better than to actually use his nuclear toys and if he hasn't slipped and pushed the button yet I don't see any other state-level player doing it either.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Broomstick » 2019-03-01 05:00am

I used to think local/regional/limited nuclear war was impossible, but I think India vs. Pakistan is actually a situation where that could happen. Not that I ever want to test that theory, but if they just nuke each other I don't see a motivation for any of the other nuclear powers to get involved. Most of the fallout will be over India assuming I understand the prevailing winds correctly.

It would, of course, be horrific for those involved. But I don't think such an exchange over the Kashmir will automatically result in all-out war everywhere. It could, but it doesn't have to.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-01 12:00pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-03-01 05:00am
I used to think local/regional/limited nuclear war was impossible, but I think India vs. Pakistan is actually a situation where that could happen. Not that I ever want to test that theory, but if they just nuke each other I don't see a motivation for any of the other nuclear powers to get involved. Most of the fallout will be over India assuming I understand the prevailing winds correctly.

It would, of course, be horrific for those involved. But I don't think such an exchange over the Kashmir will automatically result in all-out war everywhere. It could, but it doesn't have to.
China and India are rivals for power, and the Soda Flats is disputed territory between them. I can see China taking advantage of the situation to attack India.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 02:08pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-03-01 12:00pm
China and India are rivals for power, and the Soda Flats is disputed territory between them. I can see China taking advantage of the situation to attack India.
They also run joint military design and development and are major trade partners. I think the idea of tensions between them are a little overblown and even in a war between India and Pakistan, I'm not sure China makes that move. The gain isn't worth the risk unless the move is a sure thing.

The better plan is to let India and Pakistan war and then use international pressure to force concessions on the Soda Flats. You could even trade that disputed region in exchange for not overtly supporting Pakistan. The diplomatic option simply makes more sense than invading a nuclear power when China is likely to stay the dominant regional power for at least the next few decades. Even if India does catch up, and they're pretty far behind and nowhere near as internally unified as China is, they're seen very differently internationally and it will be hard for them to change that.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Captain Seafort » 2019-03-01 02:27pm

Jub wrote:
2019-03-01 02:10am
I don't even know if that's true, to be honest. Even if Pakistan was to become overrun, already unlikely, they'd be more likely to nuke the attacking forces than to hit anything within India. Now India needs to weight the value of nuking Pakistan and inviting Pakistan to nuke them back versus taking the massive hit and pressing the attack by other means.
If Pakistan is getting overrun it will go all out - it can't afford to "just" hit the attacking forces, because the risk that India will respond with a full-scale strike, including any nuclear delivery systems held in reserve, is far too high (i.e. near certain).

If India launches a strike, it will almost certainly include China, because it knows that it will be left crippled by Pakistan's (probably already incoming) strike, and it can't afford it's primary regional rival to be left in such a dominant position over it. China will likewise know that this Indian strike will inflict massive damage, and therefore has to include its primary rivals in its response. Guess who they are, and guess what they're going to do if China launches at them.

This is why lots of people get very nervous whenever the subcontinent gets into one of its semi-regular pissing contests.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 02:50pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2019-03-01 02:27pm
If Pakistan is getting overrun it will go all out - it can't afford to "just" hit the attacking forces, because the risk that India will respond with a full-scale strike, including any nuclear delivery systems held in reserve, is far too high (i.e. near certain).

If India launches a strike, it will almost certainly include China, because it knows that it will be left crippled by Pakistan's (probably already incoming) strike, and it can't afford it's primary regional rival to be left in such a dominant position over it. China will likewise know that this Indian strike will inflict massive damage, and therefore has to include its primary rivals in its response. Guess who they are, and guess what they're going to do if China launches at them.

This is why lots of people get very nervous whenever the subcontinent gets into one of its semi-regular pissing contests.
I think that all depends on how the rest of the world reacts to an open war between Pakistan and India. An overrun could happen quickly but still, be unlikely to result in Pakistan being held for long. In that case, they might justify a nuke in a more tactical role and such an attack might not cause further escalation. It's somewhat unlikely unless the rest of the world makes it clear that no matter what India won't be keeping any of Pakistans land and that they've replaced Pakistan with enemies far worse than a slightly unstable neighbor.

Of course, in that case, the war must have been a surprise one otherwise India would have been given these terms before making the first attack and Pakistan would have to stand alone for a few days as other forces move to mobilize. Both are pretty unlikely but no less so than an actual nuclear war in the region.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-03-01 03:07pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2019-03-01 02:27pm
Jub wrote:
2019-03-01 02:10am
I don't even know if that's true, to be honest. Even if Pakistan was to become overrun, already unlikely, they'd be more likely to nuke the attacking forces than to hit anything within India. Now India needs to weight the value of nuking Pakistan and inviting Pakistan to nuke them back versus taking the massive hit and pressing the attack by other means.
If Pakistan is getting overrun it will go all out - it can't afford to "just" hit the attacking forces, because the risk that India will respond with a full-scale strike, including any nuclear delivery systems held in reserve, is far too high (i.e. near certain).

If India launches a strike, it will almost certainly include China, because it knows that it will be left crippled by Pakistan's (probably already incoming) strike, and it can't afford it's primary regional rival to be left in such a dominant position over it. China will likewise know that this Indian strike will inflict massive damage, and therefore has to include its primary rivals in its response. Guess who they are, and guess what they're going to do if China launches at them.

This is why lots of people get very nervous whenever the subcontinent gets into one of its semi-regular pissing contests.

Do they all have enough nukes to do that credibly? Thousands of big cities per country, far more then the usa.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Captain Seafort » 2019-03-01 03:17pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-03-01 03:07pm
Do they all have enough nukes to do that credibly? Thousands of big cities per country, far more then the usa.
You don't need thousands, or even hundreds, if they're in the right place. Take the US, for example - what do you think one nuke each in New York, the lower Mississippi, and Silicon Valley would do to its economy?
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 03:44pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2019-03-01 03:17pm
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-03-01 03:07pm
Do they all have enough nukes to do that credibly? Thousands of big cities per country, far more then the usa.
You don't need thousands, or even hundreds, if they're in the right place. Take the US, for example - what do you think one nuke each in New York, the lower Mississippi, and Silicon Valley would do to its economy?
Toss in one more at O'Hare and the nation is fucked for a long long time.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-01 04:18pm

Jub wrote:
2019-03-01 03:44pm
Captain Seafort wrote:
2019-03-01 03:17pm
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-03-01 03:07pm
Do they all have enough nukes to do that credibly? Thousands of big cities per country, far more then the usa.
You don't need thousands, or even hundreds, if they're in the right place. Take the US, for example - what do you think one nuke each in New York, the lower Mississippi, and Silicon Valley would do to its economy?
Toss in one more at O'Hare and the nation is fucked for a long long time.
Atlanta is fairly important too. Seattle/Tacoma would also be a big hit as you would be taking out Amazon and IIRC a bunch of other tech corps, though in terms of tech Silicon Valley would be worse, of course.

What's in the lower Mississippi? New Orleans? Is that so important these days? EDIT: I suppose it's probably one of the main areas that oil comes into the US from overseas though, isn't it?
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Captain Seafort » 2019-03-01 04:25pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-01 04:18pm
What's in the lower Mississippi? New Orleans? Is that so important these days? EDIT: I suppose it's probably one of the main areas that oil comes into the US from overseas though, isn't it?
The Port of South Louisiana is the biggest port in the US.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-01 04:38pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2019-03-01 04:25pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-01 04:18pm
What's in the lower Mississippi? New Orleans? Is that so important these days? EDIT: I suppose it's probably one of the main areas that oil comes into the US from overseas though, isn't it?
The Port of South Louisiana is the biggest port in the US.
Ah, fair enough. I did recall that NO was something of a port but I didn't realize it was *that* big. Cheers. Carry on everyone, your daily off-topic discussion is concluded...
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 05:44pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-01 04:18pm
Atlanta is fairly important too. Seattle/Tacoma would also be a big hit as you would be taking out Amazon and IIRC a bunch of other tech corps, though in terms of tech Silicon Valley would be worse, of course.

What's in the lower Mississippi? New Orleans? Is that so important these days? EDIT: I suppose it's probably one of the main areas that oil comes into the US from overseas though, isn't it?
There aren't any good places to eat even a low yield nuke but if you had to pick 5 targets to ensure the bombs get through I think you'd hit.

1) New York
2) O'Hare
3) Port of South Louisiana
4) Silicone Valley
5) Washington DC

There are other priority targets you'd want to add, but I'm pretty sure these five would be high up on any list.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-03-01 08:17pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-03-01 02:37am
Didnt we do this dance last decade? India sabre rattling, pakistan noting an invadion would be responded to by nuclear warfare, and the whole thing calmibg down again.

Its unlikely to spread globally trr, since neither india or Pakistan have enough warheads to share
Indeed. This flared up while in my university days in the early 2000s.

Update - its been reported that Pakistan has returned a captured Indian pilot, so Imran Khan is trying to deescalate.

On another note, I find it weird that Imran Khan is the PM of Pakistan. As an Australian I still remember when our cricket team played against Pakistan and he was a big name. :D
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by TimothyC » 2019-03-01 08:19pm

Jub wrote:
2019-03-01 05:44pm
2) O'Hare

4) Silicone Valley
I won't nitpick over the others, but these are really bad places for target selection.

O'Hare is just a a big airport, and can be diverted around. What can't are the elevated rail crossings just south of the loop in Chicago, which could be taken out by a big enough airburst over downtown. As for Silicon Valley, I doubt there is anything there that can't be restored from back-office facilities outside of the area. DC is similar, but not quite to the same degree. You'd get more effect for your bang hitting the bridges over the Missouri at Omaha.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Jub » 2019-03-01 08:36pm

TimothyC wrote:
2019-03-01 08:19pm
I won't nitpick over the others, but these are really bad places for target selection.

O'Hare is just a a big airport, and can be diverted around. What can't are the elevated rail crossings just south of the loop in Chicago, which could be taken out by a big enough airburst over downtown. As for Silicon Valley, I doubt there is anything there that can't be restored from back-office facilities outside of the area. DC is similar, but not quite to the same degree. You'd get more effect for your bang hitting the bridges over the Missouri at Omaha.
I guess my idea is part effective strikes and part aim at places that will cause more terror and temporary disruption, though, upon further thought Silicone Valley probably doesn't do either very well. I guess the same goes for O'Hare because in the event of nuclear attack flights will be grounded for a long while anyway so it won't disrupt that much.

Nailing ports and railheads is almost certainly going to be more damaging long and short term. DC is likely to be aimed at regardless just for the symbolic nature of hitting it. Any nation that has the balls to launch a nuke at the US is dead anyway so you'd want to send up a giant middle finger as you go.

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Broomstick » 2019-03-02 06:29am

TimothyC wrote:
2019-03-01 08:19pm
O'Hare is just a a big airport, and can be diverted around. What can't are the elevated rail crossings just south of the loop in Chicago, which could be taken out by a big enough airburst over downtown.
"O'Hare" is just a stand-in for "Chicago" which is just a short way of saying "a major, major transportation hub for the US".

Yes, over the Loop would work fine, too, but the point is that a big nuke over any part of the city of Chicago is going to fuck over transportation via air, rail, and road. If you do it over the Port of Illinois on the south side you'll also affect shipping via the Great Lakes (although that will have Very Unfortunate Implications for yours truly) AND probably take out some of the trucking hubs around there, too. A small nuke will need to be more targeted, but in Chicago you have the opportunity to heavily impact any or all of several modes of transportation, as well as the facilities for moving goods from one to another mode.

Yes you can divert around a wrecked O'Hare, but there are no other airports nearby that could take on the same capacity, and even if you have the notion of divvying up the flights between several airports ALL of the airports in the area are already running at near capacity. It would be highly disruptive not just to passenger aviation but also to all the cargo that runs through that area. Which is sort of the point, isn't it?
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-04 07:57am

Well, things seem to have cooled down somewhat, at least for now.

Apparently the US is investigating whether Pakistan used planes it got from the US to shoot down that Indian fighter.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2019-03-05 06:35pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-03-01 12:00pm
China and India are rivals for power, and the Soda Flats is disputed territory between them. I can see China taking advantage of the situation to attack India.
What exactly are the Soda Flats? A Google search for "Soda Flats China India" doesn't bring up any hits...

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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-03-06 12:37am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2019-03-05 06:35pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-03-01 12:00pm
China and India are rivals for power, and the Soda Flats is disputed territory between them. I can see China taking advantage of the situation to attack India.
What exactly are the Soda Flats? A Google search for "Soda Flats China India" doesn't bring up any hits...
The Depsang Plains, though there are several other disputed territories between India and China. I thought they were called the Soda Flats, but apparentally I was incorrect. Sorry.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-06 10:47am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-03-04 07:57am
Well, things seem to have cooled down somewhat, at least for now.

Apparently the US is investigating whether Pakistan used planes it got from the US to shoot down that Indian fighter.
I'm mildly curious whether the latter means anything. Certainly the US isn't responsible for anything that any of the beneficiaries of arms deals with it do with those arms, unless you want to say that the US shouldn't have provided those arms to start with, which is a different question. I suppose it might be contingent upon the conditions of selling/giving Pakistan military hardware-- perhaps there's some kind of wishful clause along the lines of "if you use this stuff to start a war with India, because we know you boys don't get along, we'll come in and take it away".
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by FireNexus » 2019-03-06 11:50am

They don’t even have to take it away. They can just stop resupplying. Not flying a lot of F-22 missions after the US stops selling you parts.
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-06 12:05pm

FireNexus wrote:
2019-03-06 11:50am
They don’t even have to take it away. They can just stop resupplying. Not flying a lot of F-22 missions after the US stops selling you parts.
The only quibble I have with that is I'm reasonably sure the US wouldn't sell F-22's to Pakistan, 15s and 16s more likely, but otherwise that's a good point.

Still doesn't change that I find it slightly specious for the US to be examining whether its hardware was used or not unless there's some kind of contingency in the trade deal. There's AK-47s everywhere, doesn't mean Russia is responsible for what happens with them... (it's not a great example but you know what I mean)
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Re: Odds of Nuclear War rise sharply- India bombs Pakistan in retaliation for terrorist attack.

Post by FireNexus » 2019-03-06 01:37pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-06 12:05pm
FireNexus wrote:
2019-03-06 11:50am
They don’t even have to take it away. They can just stop resupplying. Not flying a lot of F-22 missions after the US stops selling you parts.
The only quibble I have with that is I'm reasonably sure the US wouldn't sell F-22's to Pakistan, 15s and 16s more likely, but otherwise that's a good point.

Still doesn't change that I find it slightly specious for the US to be examining whether its hardware was used or not unless there's some kind of contingency in the trade deal. There's AK-47s everywhere, doesn't mean Russia is responsible for what happens with them... (it's not a great example but you know what I mean)
That sounds logical, but I’m sure the fact that we sold them hardware was something that made India very upset at the time. And even if we didn’t get those concessions out of Pakistan specifically, we would have had to make assurances to the Indians that we would have their back in the event that the Pakistanis pulled any shit.

No matter the exact terms of the deal, we have to make a show of making sure that they weren’t escalating hostilities with our shit to keep the Indians happy. With my armchair geopolitical strategizing, I’d say India is a far more important ally, given that they are a fast-developing democracy that has some chance of providing a regional counter to China over the long haul. And that Pakistan is a theocratic dictatorship whose only value as an ally has been in providing support fighting an enemy it turned out they were harboring.
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