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Subject:  Re: served by criticism Date:  9/16/2001  9:32 AM
Author:  WonderPup Number:  14377 of 27875

Just watched a CNN call-in show. They got a call from an Arab-American (at least that's what he claimed). He said that Americans greatly underestimate the threat from the madmen, said that suitcase nukes are inevitable unless appropriate action is taken.

I watched that same show and heard that caller. The hosts didn't even bother to acknowledge the nuclear comments, and instead focused on some other issues he raised. In other words, maybe this one man spouted off about it, but no one considered it a viable topic for discussion. (This in itself doesn't make it right or wrong, but shows a lack of support for the idea.)


The action he recommended was lots better than my earlier suggestions. He said we should give the rogue states advance warning that we're going to nuke their cities and otherwise eliminate their infrastructure, enough time for the civilian population to safely evacuate areas to be affected. After all, the purpose of our attacks should be to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war against us, not to needlessly harm civilians. We can take out huge chunks of their infrastructure, thus improving our own chances of survival, with minimal damage to civilian populations in this manner.


No, this is dumber. If you are trying to take out chunks of the infrastructure used by terrorists, why are you bombing the cities? The terrorists train, live, and base operations in the back hills, mountains, and deserts. There isn't a "Bin Laden Recruitment Center" in Kabul akin to a US Military Recruitment Center in, say, Chicago. There is no terrorist infrastructure in the cities. All you are doing is adding to the devastation of the civilian population.

If we want to nuke the infrastructure that supported the attacks from last Tuesday, we'd have to nuke a flight school in Florida, some hotels in Boston, some apartments in Hamburg. Somehow, I don't think that will yield the productive results you hope for.

The terrorist enemy is compartmentalized, mobile, and stealthy. There is no place to drop a nuke that will do more than dent any terrorist infrastructure. There are 1000 camps of 50 terrorists, not one camp of 50,000. Sure, we have a thousand nukes to use, but even this would not accomplish the task.

The only reason to nuke a civilian infrastructure in Afghanistan is to make one's self feel tough and macho. There is no strategic advantage yielded by such an action. There is no tactical advantage yielded by such an action.

Special ops units supported by better intelligence are the most effective way to flush out this target. This enemy must be eliminated one by one. This is going to take a hell of a long time, and won't be over in a few days whether or not you drop a nuke. Again, you are fighting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of loosely connected autonomous groups. You won't so much as nick them by dropping nukes.

The only thing dropping would accomplish is giving someone a few weeks of pleasure by saying "there...that will show them."

Congratulations, you've become the Bill Murray of the military world, trying to flush out gophers with dynamite. You might blow up one hole, but the entire network you don't see remains. Let's hope our military leaders can come up with a better strategy than a nuclear Caddyshack.

--Pup
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