On Thermonuclear War

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On Thermonuclear War

Postby OpenFlow » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:14 am

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http://www.hudson.org/files/publications/KahnPublicNuclearStrategyWohlstetter.pdf


Kahn called total disarmament utopian:

It has probably always been impractical to imagine a completely disarmed world, and the introduction of the thermonuclear bomb has added a special dimension to this impracticality. Given the large nuclear stockpiles in the Soviet Union, the United States, and the British Isles, it would be child’s play for one of these nations to hide completely hundreds of these bombs….The violator would then have an incredible advantage if the agreement ever broke down and the arms race started again …. Even if the problem of what we may call the “clandestine cache” were solvable … one could not disarm the world totally and expect it to remain disarmed. But the problem of the clandestine nuclear cache itself makes total disarmament especially infeasible.

Kahn listed six desirable characteristics of a deterrent: (1) frightening; (2) inexorable; (3) persuasive; (4) cheap; (5) non-accident prone; (6) controllable.

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Type I deterrence is the deterrence of a direct attack….Type II deterrence is defined as using strategic threats to deter an enemy from engaging in very provocative acts, other than a direct attack on the United States itself …. Type III deterrence might be called tit-for-tat, graduated or controlled deterrence.

Regarding types of deterrence, Kahn offered three “conceptualized devices”:

(1) Doomsday Machine—automatic world destruction response to Type II or Type III provocations by an adversary; (2) Doomsday in a Hurry Machine—alerting prospective attackers that an attack will trigger Doomsday in response to specified Type II or Type III provocations; (3) Homicide Pact Machineautomatic world destruction response to direct Type I nuclear attack.

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Kahn on escalation in brief:

In a typical escalation situation, there is likely to be a “competition in risk-taking,” or at least resolve, and a matching of local resources, in some form of limited conflict between two sides. Usually, either side could win by increasing its efforts in some way, provided the other side did not negate the increase by increasing its own efforts….. The fear that the other side may react, indeed overreact, is most likely to deter escalation, and not the undesirability or costs of the escalation itself.

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Note: Part of the fun in diplomacy mode is to see how long the world of Defcon and its six players can "maintain the peace".


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On the difficulty of restoring the tradition and custom of nonuse after first nuclear use:

More important, in a world in which there is no legislature to set new rules, and the only method of changing rules is through a complex and unreliable systems-bargaining process, each side should—other things being equal—be anxious to preserve whatever thresholds there are. This is a counsel of prudence, but a serious one: it is not often possible to restore traditions, customs or conventions that have been shattered. Once they are gone, or weakened, the world may be “permanently” worse off.

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Note: Likewise in Defcon, we count down from Defcon 5 to Defcon 1. Once we reach Defcon 1, we stay at Defcon 1 for the rest of the time, never do we revert back to a non-use stance. “permanently” worse off == Everybody Dies


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On US or Soviet first strike not targeting civilians:

Civilians are not high-priority military targets, whatever the present importance of city attacks in deterrence. The nation that strikes first is likely—initially, at least—to wish to preserve its opponent’s civilians, both in order not to provoke retaliation and to preserve hostages.

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Note: This only applies if the scoring mode is survivor, if it is "default", then all bets are off.



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On de-escalation as being different from escalation:

De-escalation also differs from escalation in that it is harder to force a suitable response. It is not really true that it takes two to make a quarrel; only one side need be aggressive in order to generate some certainty of a quarrel. But it usually does take two to make an agreement (barring total surrender by one side).

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Note: After Defcon 1 once the action starts it is often hard to stop. When nukes start flying around they often don't disarm. In all my years of playing Defcon I've probably seen all but two instances where a player would use the "disarm" functionality on his nuclear missiles.


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On the impact of nuclear weapons, atomic & hydrogen bombs, on strategy & tactics:

When the atom bomb was developed, many scholars, military professionals, and informed laymen believed that strategy and tactics, as they understood them, had come to an end. This feeling was reflected in the late 1940’s in such phrases as “the absolute weapon,” and in many aphorisms and analogies that made the point, more or less dramatically or ironically, that the inevitable result of a nuclear war would be mutual annihilation. Since this would happen no matter what tactics were used, tactical theory was irrelevant. Strategy was equally irrelevant, since it could not be an objective of strategy to ring about the destruction of the nation. Atomic war thus became unthinkable, both literally and figuratively.

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Exactly my point.
Last edited by OpenFlow on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:26 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby AIRburst95 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:17 am

ummm, what?
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Postby TGR » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:30 am

spam
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Postby Eral » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:26 am

Im' not sure to understand everything about it (and you'll have the politness to correct me if i don't translate well :)) but i think a gree with it. This is partly my strategy when i play defcon. Especially in diplo mod. Why? Because my aim is not to tale civilians (others can take it -seeing their position in the score- instead of me). What does that means? That means simply that i try to focuse first on the gretaer threat on me. And try to destroy as soon as possible every system of response. (fleet, facilities above all and first). What do you except to do against me when you have nothing to hit? The game is over, even before to have tried to answer.

This is to a bad habit (coming with the expericences, you become to have habits wich are beconming reflexes and this is bad, because defcon is more likely flexible. A good plan is a movable plan ^^, but this is most part of the time how i begin a game - not really how i end it)

Once you began to hit in diplo, you discover what i call a part of you political opinion and you broke the balance of power - everyone has to adapt itself to the new situation. That means you have to think before how the balance of power will be rebalanced before to do anything. And there is no way to stop it in the most case. Everyone agree with it. You have to let it finish (by yourself or another one, two....). But i would like to assume a particular position. In my humble opinion (particularly when i see peoples attacked, disconnecting), weakness is a force. If you don't represent a threat anymore, you keep then and again a marge of capability. Ok, it depends of the attacks, what are your skills etc... but there is always something to do to rebalance to opposition.

In a "normal ie default, game", the tactics and the former strategy are based too on it. That's why great player (most part of the time - one more time,; i'm not speaking right know about the specificities) try to win the naval war. This is probably 3/4 of the "capability" to destroy the ennemy threat. After, the game is done like it, if you want to mark points, you have to hit cities. Not every cities. juts enoug to make the difference. (Nota: if you could count the connectionj between: number of ammos/ abilities to defense / population; the thing would have been different, but heyyyyyyyyyyy this is just a game, not a simulation. Like the chess i'snot a simulation of political warfare or like curling is not too a simulation of dishes to wash...). BTW, weakness can stay in more partricular circumstances in such a mode of point. I remember certain game where i won by having deliberatly sunk my fleet. I rememeber games where, having the naval advantage i lost because of hard strikes on my fleet coming from silos..... (VS Senator or VS Stiffmesiter - report of these game another day because i don't have thses old replays and don't want to enter the details).



What i dont understand is why you didn't place this thread in the dedicated thread: ie. strategy? :)


In "real" life, the problem is not so different. Speaking about a total disarmement (after the cold war), if you speak just in term of WAR (and just in term of who win/loss the war in a total war), you should
a) minimize your consumption
b) maximize the efficience of your strike
c) regularize and underweight the both a) & b) with your political objectives (see Clausewitz;) ).

Is it clear that in a world with every nation equiped with this kind of weapon, you're de facto in a extrem position (the famous MAD). Happily for the moment, every nation not like in the cold war, do not have to choose a camp. And moraly, weakness could stay a force (the third world?). Politically.

Edit: what is the "clandestine cache" and is there vodka there?

Edit 2: H. Kissinger in "Diplomacy" speak really simply and well about the difference school of perception of the nuclear warfare (there is no "normal" war tactics after conceving this instrument is one of the most important). And something was particular, the idea peddled in particular by the pacifist poeples (most of them where scientists working in this industry) is the following (in total bad faith): yes, there is no more strategy, no more tactic, no more conventionnal warfare. Just MAD. Now, do you believe me if i tell you that this simple consideration, this threat (that is true or false we absolutely don't care), and this risk is too absolute to risk it and sufficient to make the peace in the strong place?. So, the morality is do not push the button. And if you have to do it, push it first :). BTW, nothing can tell the thruth about it, because Soviet union never invaded west europa (nuclear weapons were there is this case, particularly in germany) and the other conflicts stayed "locals", USA were never invaded direclty by USSR (see theory of dominos and endiguement and the nixon/reagan presidence).

Edit 3: defcon is a mix between curling for tactics (wash wash wash the vessels) and chess for strategy (see, school of moderns first half of XXth century: threat is efficient enough for controlling) - Thats the morality of the day. ^^

Edit 4: about the "weakness" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_no_return

Have a nice day. And sry one more time for my own weakness in english :)
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Postby OpenFlow » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:24 am

TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: *--> http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431
Last edited by OpenFlow on Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TGR » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:27 am

OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?
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Postby OpenFlow » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:29 am

TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?


Projecting, again?
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Postby OpenFlow » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:30 am

TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?



TGR wrote:I'm done poking at the retard for tonight. Sleep tight Bobo.


http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... 143#120143


Foot in mouth. But then again, you never had any creditably anyway... Goes to show what your word is worth...
Last edited by OpenFlow on Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TGR » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:31 am

OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?



TGR wrote:I'm done poking at the retard for tonight. Sleep tight Bobo.



Foot in mouth. But then again, you never had any creditably anyway... Goes to show what your word is worth...


Says the kid that back peddles on a deal because his feelings were hurt. Amazing hypocrisy. Bravo Bobo.
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Postby OpenFlow » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:34 am

TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?



TGR wrote:I'm done poking at the retard for tonight. Sleep tight Bobo.



Foot in mouth. But then again, you never had any creditably anyway... Goes to show what your word is worth...


Says the kid that back peddles on a deal because his feelings were hurt. Amazing hypocrisy. Bravo Bobo.


I guess you don't know the first thing about legal agreements. Sadness and feelings had nothing to do with it. But keep telling yourself that story if it makes you ""FEEL BETTER"".
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Postby OpenFlow » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:11 am

TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:
OpenFlow wrote:
TGR wrote:spam




By your own same standards, this is just as much "SPAM" if not orders of magnitude more "spam"-ful: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=8431


Why so mad?



TGR wrote:I'm done poking at the retard for tonight. Sleep tight Bobo.



Foot in mouth. But then again, you never had any creditably anyway... Goes to show what your word is worth...


Says the kid that back peddles on a deal because his feelings were hurt. Amazing hypocrisy. Bravo Bobo.


Unless you have something meaningful, relevant and/or substantial to say, then I will refuse to continue engaging in what amounts to functionally petty “conversation” with you. This exchange is no longer in any way equitable as it wastes my time and furthermore seeks only to benefit your narcissistic compulsions at my expense. You are free to call you it whatever you want, but I’m sorry to inform you that I must now deny you the satisfaction of your neurotic and rather obsessive compulsions. I would tell you that you are “better than this”… but in all honesty I can’t really feel justified or qualified (medically, legally, or otherwise) in making such a statement or coming to such a conclusion about you. I refuse to stoop down to your low level and since I actually am a man of my word, I have but this to say to you: I hope you find the help that you so desperately seem to need. I really, really do.
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Postby Chris » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:40 pm

OpenFlow and TGR, give it a rest please.

I am getting really tired of reading these arguments. I don't care who started it, just please stop bickering like children in every thread that gets opened.

This is warning. You will both be banned the next time this happens.
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Postby roflamingo » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:31 am

Chris wrote:OpenFlow and TGR, give it a rest please.

I am getting really tired of reading these arguments. I don't care who started it, just please stop bickering like children in every thread that gets opened.

This is warning. You will both be banned the next time this happens.


Hey Chris, you guys still programming games? What's the next game, when is it coming out?

Would love to send you guys some coin if you have some interesting product coming down the pipe.

Cheers
--rofl
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Postby TGR » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:52 am

roflamingo wrote:
Chris wrote:OpenFlow and TGR, give it a rest please.

I am getting really tired of reading these arguments. I don't care who started it, just please stop bickering like children in every thread that gets opened.

This is warning. You will both be banned the next time this happens.


Hey Chris, you guys still programming games? What's the next game, when is it coming out?

Would love to send you guys some coin if you have some interesting product coming down the pipe.

Cheers
--rofl


Image

I see what you did there.
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Postby OpenFlow » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:31 am

Chris wrote:OpenFlow and TGR, give it a rest please.

I am getting really tired of reading these arguments. I don't care who started it, just please stop bickering like children in every thread that gets opened.

This is warning. You will both be banned the next time this happens.


The art of nuclear warfare has this to say about that:

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On de-escalation as being different from escalation:

De-escalation also differs from escalation in that it is harder to force a suitable response. It is not really true that it takes two to make a quarrel; only one side need be aggressive in order to generate some certainty of a quarrel. But it usually does take two to make an agreement (barring total surrender by one side).
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