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The Wolf Showing It's Teeth

Esteban Gabriel
04:53 PM ET (US)
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David MercerPerson was signed in when posted
06:34 PM ET (US)
Oh, I'm aware of the difference between ERW and other tactical nukes, it's just that we didn't necessarily retire all of our ERW. Up to 100 or so may still be in our arsenal (their status is, of course, classified).

If we do still have those 100 or so ERW, I'd wager that they were kept specifically to deal with a North Korean push across the DMZ if it ever came to that.

Wouldn't want too much fallout over Seoul!
John Moore
01:04 AM ET (US)
Let's get the facts straight, eh? Tactical nukes are simply nukes designed for battlefield use... they are not syonymous with "neutron bombs" (Enhanced Radiation Weapons). The US no longer has neutron bombs, unfortunately, because their *best* use is in ballistic missile defense, and it is politically incorrect these days to use a nuke to protect yourself against a nuclear attack (go figure).

We had tactical neutron bombs for ABM systems and as armored attack breakers, and we *have* tactical nuclear weapons, and I would hope that indeed we do have some in theater (probably on board ships). Heck, when I was in the Navy we carried tactical nukes - 20 kt depth charges - on the P-3 I used to fly on. Big bang - 20 kt. Also, all of the fleet air defense systems had nuclear warheads available - nothing like a bunch of air burst nukes to stop a soviet bomber attack on a carrier battle group.

Of course the interesting question these days is: which theater? We probably need them a lot more, and may need a lot of them, in the KTOA (Korean Theater) in the near future.

For more info on nuclear weapons, check my page . It has some good summary info, and a link to a much larger archive of nuke info.
David MercerPerson was signed in when posted
04:55 PM ET (US)
Heh, good one barney...I was mostly mentioning the unmentionable for the edification of our very small studio audience.

It's the between the lines subtext that no one seems to mention, and hence it gets left out of many peoples thinking on the subject. I find that being aware of it makes a lot of stuff said and done by certain global actors make more sense.

As long as American Presidents were viewed as having no spine, you're right, they probably wouldn't consider it a serious point, just like no one thinks Israel would use large yield nukes on Arab capitols unless it was going down. But that's not the only nuclear option, and everyone seems to forget it.

But things have shifted with Bush in office: he's got steel balls and isn't afraid to remove your local Odious Government TM. He's no Carter.

So perhaps death doesn't scare them, but maybe the thought of having their entire people wiped out puts a bug in their ass.
barney gumble
11:48 AM ET (US)
Nothing scares a suicide bomber like a death threat, eh?

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