Pleasurable excitement ripples through the usual boredom of Washington, and the resident curiosities enjoy exquisite frissons, over the possibility of nuclear war over the Ukraine. Some official of the EU, or maybe it was the mediocrity in the White House with the truculence problem, but anyway one of the geniuses ruling the planet’s fate has said that if Russia used nukes, the Russian army would be destroyed, grrr, bowwow, woof. Exactly how it would be destroyed, the sayer didn’t say. Anyway, the threats and counterthreats swirl around the idea that a nuke war between Russia and the West might occur. Maybe, with tactical nukes in the Ukraine, about which nobody gives a rat’s nether region. The world is full of damned fools. But: The general staffs of both Russia and China are, whatever else you may think of them, sane. They know of America’s massive nuclear forces. They are not going to launch an atomic war. Sane behavior cannot be relied on with Washington’s second-rate lawyers, but the generals in the Pentagon are not crazy. They like hobbyist wars and big budgets, but if Biden ordered a nuclear strike, they would be likely to suddenly remember that Congress has to declare war and, seeing that their radar screens were empty of incoming missiles, and say, “Mr. President, we are not authorized to do that.” And recommend a committee. what would such a war be like? Let’s guess.
After that Fred elaborates on how such a war may unfold. It is typical Fred who uses his words as swords and it is a delight. A great piece. However, one small detail which needs to be pointed out. It is all about accuracy and CEP, or Circular Error Probable, and how this accuracy was growing, while CEP was shrinking over decades from Counter-value posture of strategic nuclear forces of USSR and the US--meaning blowing the shit out of well-sized targets easy to hit, such as cities--to Counter-force when accuracy of the delivery systems increased dramatically and the necessity to strike large area targets (to trade effect for low accuracy), which cities naturally are, diminished. Today modern ICBMs can deliver MIRVs with accuracy measured in tens of meters and that is enough to hit a specific military formation's camp, production plant or the area of the ICBM silo. So, suddenly, the collapse of such a country as the US hinges not on wiping out a number of urban areas such as NYC or Chicago--that is easy and counter-value weapons such as Poseidon do exist and are being perfected, but on something much more sinister.
Today, the misery and collapse on any country could be visited upon by merely shutting down its electric grid, blowing all of its nuclear power stations up, with all what it entails, and taking out key bridges and dams with few other key command and control installations and the country will collapse. Civilians still will die, but not in high tens or hundreds of millions, but something on the scale of 10-20 millions at the start and after that... well, enter what Fred describes. So, it is still debatable what is the best way to die--by being counter-valued upfront or through horrors of famine, urban warfare, lawlessness, cold and illnesses, many of them incurable, which will follow a counter-force scenario. So, it is an interesting question to ponder. Or, as Comrade Sukhov, from the immortal Soviet Eastern White Sun of The Desert, answered the question on own death:
Sukhov Answers: It is preferable, of course, to suffer first.
So, these are our options and Fred excellently described Sukhov's choice--to suffer first. Meanwhile new generation chooses Pepsi or whatever the fvck the "current thing" is. Who knows what is better.