Jarita wrote:Wondering what is the bulls eye for India? We have multiple enemies but from a prioritization perspective, where do we focus to unravel the ball of wool?
Weakening CHina will weaken Pakistan and the red menace in India for sure.
Jarita, one bit of good news for us. The Chinese do overmatch us in terms of their nuclear arsenal BUT they need their nuclear arsenal to deter (and possibly fight) several potential enemies. They need to conserve their longest range warheads for the US, Russia and possibly European capitals; and many of their short and medium-range warheads for Russian Central Asia/Far East, American assets in Japan and South Korea, and possibly Taiwan. India is just one of the targets they have to keep in mind ... so, they too have multiple enemies and a finite number of strategic assets.
Meanwhile, we today have only two potential enemies with whom we would consider fighting a nuclear war... China itself, and Pakistan.
If we simply start increasing our nuclear arsenal in terms of number and yields of warheads to pressure China, they will probably respond by proliferating to Bangladesh, Myanmar and other governments in our neighbourhood so that we, too will have to distribute our finite arsenal among more potential targets. Giving 10-20 kt warheads to these countries is cheaper for China, than researching/designing/testing/building large numbers of MT warheads is for us.
So we do have to consider carefully what the best way is to go.
I'm a big advocate of defensive deterrence... maximizing an enemy's cost in strategic assets to cause a given quantum of damage to us.
There is reason to believe that defensive measures... ABMs, early warning systems and so on... can drastically increase the redundance an enemy must build into his offensive arsenal in order to offer us the same threat level.
For example: (from http://homepage.mac.com/msb/163x/faqs/n ... e_102.html
Key point here on the efficiency of defenses. In the 1950s, the UK V-bomber fleet was assigned to hit over 200 targets in the Western USSR.
As the 50's turned into the 60's the ability of the V-bombers to penetrate Soviet airspace came under increasing doubt. The UK shifted to Polaris - one submarine at sea, 16 missiles, three warheads per. Total of 48 targets assigned.
But the USSR started to install an anti-missile system that was reasonably capable against the early Polaris-type missiles.
So the UK modified Polaris in a thing called Chevaline. this took one warhead from each missile and replaced the load with decoys - then targeted all 16 missiles onto Moscow. ONE target. In effect, the Soviet defenses had reduced the UK attack plan from 200 targets to one. In other words, it was 99.5 percent effective without firing a single shot (bad news for Moscow but great news for the other 199 cities with targets in them).
That's why so many devices are needed - the inventory evaporates very fast. Thats also why defenses like ABM are so important... The defenses don't have to be very effective to work ... its the complexity they throw into the planning process. As long as we can assume that if we get a warhead on its way to its target, that target is going to be hit, then planning is relatively easy and the results predictable. If, however, we can't make that guarantee; if we have to factor in a possibility - perhaps a good one - that the outbound warhead will be shot down, then planning becomes very uncertain. Now put yourself in the position of somebody planning a strike - do you wish to gamble your nation's change of survival on something that MIGHT work. Of course not. So Strategic Paralysis strikes again. A defense system doesn't have to work against an attack to be effective because it works on the minds of the people who make the decisions.
So we need a balanced mix of developing bigger and better warheads that can damage the Chinese to an equivalent extent as they can damage us. Plus, we need to massively accelerate the development and acquisition of defense systems: ABM systems like PAD and AAD and also things like Phalcon that will give us plenty of warning when something is incoming.
Defense systems, also, can be acquired and tested openly without as much trouble as it would be to develop and test nukes. They are defensive after all. Yet the act of testing them would send a message as powerful in its own way, as testing a 1MT thermonuclear device.
Such systems will put pressure on China to assign more warheads to targets in India to increase the possibility of hitting them. But on the other hand, the Chinese can't afford to point more than a very limited number of their warheads away from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia and other multiple enemies they must take into account. Check! Now that's what I'd call deterrence.