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Do you Nuke back?

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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Do you Nuke back?

Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:39 pm

Consider this hypothetical:

Let's say that you are the US President.

A full-scale Russian nuclear launch against the continental USA has been confirmed (you don't know how and you don't know why). Thousands of nukes have been launched against the USA; you can only intercept maybe 10% of them. In 20 mins, the USA will be no more.

Your generals say to you:

"Mr. President. The Russian launch is confirmed. They're going to destroy our whole country, so let's hit them back with everything we've got."

So the discussion question is... in such a situation:

1. Do you give the authorisation for a full nuclear strike against Russia?
2. What are your responsibilities as the US President at this point?
3. What is the objectively moral thing to do?


If you read a Cold War manual or look over the security guidelines, the Correct Answer as President is to authorise the nuking of Russia. They nuked us, so we nuke them. We die... so they die with us. Anything else is simply unpatriotic.

But I invite you to explore the issue at a deeper level. After all, at this point, it is 100% guaranteed that the USA is no more (that 365 million people will die and North America will be uninhabitable)... that is HORRIBLE. However, does that guaranteed fact make it ETHICAL to press a few buttons and make 144+ million more people die?

In a complete vacuum, if I said "Hey lets kill 144 million people" you would shake your head in disbelief. So what has changed to make it suddenly acceptable when you know 365 million people are going to die in 20 mins? Its certainly not self-defence. Nuking them doesn't change the fact that you're dead yourself.

Perhaps your obligations as the US President (you'd be known as one hell of a cowardly president if you didn't nuke back)? Perhaps an eye for an eye as an operational principle?

Think about it and please enlighten us.

1. Do you give the authorisation for a full nuclear strike against Russia?
Yes. I would want revenge against Russia. Russia must pay.

2. What are your responsibilities as the US President at this point?
My responsibilities, as outlined by my generals and no doubt by countless security manuals, as President according to nearly all textbooks in this situation... is to nuke them back.

3. What is the objectively moral thing to do?
The objectively moral thing to do (separated from all emotions) is to NOT nuke them back. 365 million people dead and 1 continent ruined... as massively wrong as that is... is a lesser evil than 144 million people dead and 2 continents ruined. Not to mention the billions of Chinese, Central Asians, and Europeans who would suffer as a result of a counter nuke attack.

However, I refuse to do the right thing in this case. Because my desire for revenge would be too great and I have enough power for self-delusion through what has been taught to me since the Cold War days.

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Washington Resistance Army
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Postby Washington Resistance Army » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:40 pm

Yes, that's the whole point of nukes. If they hit us we hit them and we all die.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:44 pm

Washington Resistance Army wrote:Yes, that's the whole point of nukes. If they hit us we hit them and we all die.


So then its unquestionably ethical to kill 144 million people even though doing so won't save your people from certain destruction?

Then how is that different from someone saying, "My life is ruined, X ruined my life, before I go down, I'm going to personally take X down with me?"

In a person to person scenario, we wouldn't recommend unproductive retribution, so why is this moral paradigm different when we're talking about nations with millions of people?

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Postby Bombadil » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:44 pm

I suspect I would nuke them back but not out of last gasp Fuck You.. and more that if MAD is a concept then it needs to work as such. I can't be destroyed without Russia taking the consequences of their actions and showing the world that nuclear war is lunacy.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:45 pm

Bombadil wrote:I suspect I would nuke them back but not out of last gasp Fuck You.. and more that if MAD is a concept then it needs to work as such. I can't be destroyed without Russia taking the consequences of their actions and showing the world that nuclear war is lunacy.


So then ~144 million Russian civilians should die because their top level government made a moronic decision?

It was their fault too?

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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:47 pm

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Bombadil wrote:I suspect I would nuke them back but not out of last gasp Fuck You.. and more that if MAD is a concept then it needs to work as such. I can't be destroyed without Russia taking the consequences of their actions and showing the world that nuclear war is lunacy.


So then ~144 million Russian civilians should die because their top level government made a moronic decision?

It was their fault too?


It wan't the fault of US citizens either but that is a consequence of nuclear war.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:50 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
So then ~144 million Russian civilians should die because their top level government made a moronic decision?

It was their fault too?


It wan't the fault of US citizens either but that is a consequence of nuclear war.


its only the consequence if you make it the consequence

You are essentially God here (in terms of taking lives). You get to decide, whether 144+ million additional people will die or not. If you choose to do it, I don't know if you can simply de-personalize it and say "Well its the inevitable consequence of nuclear war." Isn't it more like, "I chose to make it the consequence? You kill 365 million of my people so I will kill 144 million of yours? And let that stand as a historical testament."

I'd take a bit more personal responsibility for the action.

Not saying I wouldn't nuke back, I think I WOULD. At the same time though, it'd be one of those strange moments where I choose to do something I actually know to be morally wrong (but which under the laws of nations and how we've set up international politics, allows me to do with formal justification).

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New Luckyland
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Postby New Luckyland » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:55 pm

No. There is no profit if the game is already over.

Your responsibility as president is to look after the welfare of your own people.

If the Russians have already done their worst and the US still has nukes to fire. The US has legitimacy to make demands and use nuclear strikes to enforce those demands. Yes, the US has lost, but Russia has gained nothing except a powerful enemy with nothing to lose.
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:03 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Bombadil wrote:
It wan't the fault of US citizens either but that is a consequence of nuclear war.


its only the consequence if you make it the consequence

You are essentially God here (in terms of taking lives). You get to decide, whether 144+ million additional people will die or not. If you choose to do it, I don't know if you can simply de-personalize it and say "Well its the inevitable consequence of nuclear war." Isn't it more like, "I chose to make it the consequence? You kill 365 million of my people so I will kill 144 million of yours? And let that stand as a historical testament."

I'd take a bit more personal responsibility for the action.

Not saying I wouldn't nuke back, I think I WOULD. At the same time though, it'd be one of those strange moments where I choose to do something I actually know to be morally wrong (but which under the laws of nations and how we've set up international politics, allows me to do with formal justification).


Well yes, I might send out a final statement along the lines of.. 'citizens of the world, in under 20 minutes the USA will be no more. Russia has irrationally rained down its nuclear arsenal on our lands. While I'm reluctant, I must, as president, return their aggression and do likewise to Russia. The world cannot stand global nuclear war and this madness cannot go unpunished, nor can I allow the continued threat of Russia given it's actions. I bid you all farewell'

*climbs into safe nuclear bunker*
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Mujahidah
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Postby Mujahidah » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:04 am

Yes, nuke the Russians. There is the ever so slight chance that part of the US survives, and it doesn't help to, if we must fight on, that we fight on from a disadvantage. If we're going to be bathed in nuclear hellfire, so are they.
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Postby The Empire of Pretantia » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:09 am

NUKE NUKE NUKE NUKE

WWIII NOW
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Hayo
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Postby Hayo » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:24 am

It really depends on how credible the warning is.

Launch on warning is militarily the "best" thing to do, assuming you're sure that you are actually under attack. Early warning systems are not 100% reliable, however (they have malfunctioned in the past). So there is always some degree of uncertainty. Luckily, because of the way our force is structured, we aren't forced into a "use it or lose it" dilemma. Even if the Russians launched a massive attack, our missile subs would be available to launch a retaliatory second strike.

I'd probably lean towards a "retaliation after ride-out" strategy, and would activate any emergency contingency plans the government has for this situation. If the warning was very credible (beyond a shadow of a doubt), I would order an all-out attack.
Last edited by Hayo on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Pilarcraft » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:31 am

Look. If I was the only other Nuclear power in the world, It would actually be the moral thing to fire back. The Payload would be too much, and there would be too many people dead, and at least three continents would become uninhabitable for the time being, but that would mean that every single nuke in the planet would be spent. The remaining countries wouldn't have a future nuclear war, and while 1 Billion people is too much, all things considered it wouldn't be much to consider.

If I wasn't the only other nuclear power, the point would be moot. there's no way the other nuclear powers would just hold their breath and see what happens next. someone would fire back, and the world would fall into armageddon. So yes. I'd still order the full launch. It wouldn't be moral, but at that point I wouldn't give a fuck.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:36 am

Pilarcraft wrote:Look. If I was the only other Nuclear power in the world, It would actually be the moral thing to fire back. The Payload would be too much, and there would be too many people dead, and at least three continents would become uninhabitable for the time being, but that would mean that every single nuke in the planet would be spent. The remaining countries wouldn't have a future nuclear war, and while 1 Billion people is too much, all things considered it wouldn't be much to consider.

If I wasn't the only other nuclear power, the point would be moot. there's no way the other nuclear powers would just hold their breath and see what happens next. someone would fire back, and the world would fall into armageddon. So yes. I'd still order the full launch. It wouldn't be moral, but at that point I wouldn't give a fuck.


Would the UK or France really fire nukes at Russia though (and risk being nuked in retaliation)? I would rather think they would take advantage of the situation and try to sit it out. Maybe after the USA and Russia are gone, they can step in. In any event, they gain nothing by nuking on behalf of you.

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Postby Shaggtopia » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:39 am

1.) Doomsday clock strikes midnight and everyone's gonna fry. Launch the Nukes.
2.) my responsibility as the president presiding over nuclear armageddon is to make an emergency broadcast in an effort to warn the people of and within my nation of impending doom then get to the nearest orgy.
3.) the objectively moral thing to do is to not launch nukes, in fact it would be to not have nor develop WMD's in the first place. But you show me a moral group of people and I'll see an amoral mob that's good at covering up their depravity.
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Postby Stellar Colonies » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:40 am

1. Do you give the authorisation for a full nuclear strike against Russia?
Yes.

2. What are your responsibilities as the US President at this point?
To ensure that the nation that just ended the US will not get the opportunity to take advantage of the attack.

3. What is the objectively moral thing to do?
To prevent further loss of life beyond the nuclear exchange. If the first full-scale nuclear war results in utter devastation for all involved, it would be a strong deterrent against using them in the future (If we have one afterwards). If it results in one side having a clear victory without retaliation, it might make it seem like it was worth it.
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Postby Senkaku » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:40 am

Of course you shoot back.


People, nuclear war would be catastrophically bad, but it wouldn't kill everyone by a long shot. And I'd rather not find out what plans the Russians have in mind for the survivors.
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Postby Senkaku » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:41 am

New Luckyland wrote:No. There is no profit if the game is already over.

The game doesn't end just because a bunch of people die.
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Postby New Axiom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:52 am

Simply, yes.

Assuming the launch isn’t a false flag operation by the Chinese or a fluke on the computers, Russia effectively declared full scale war in the United States. Such an attack would simply need to be responded to, and if American nukes just stood in their silos waiting, Russian transport planes would soon be flying over radioactive craters of what were once major cities and the Midwest in an effort to capture what was once America. That simply could not be allowed to happen. As such, a complete and proportional nuclear response would ensure the destruction of the Russians ability to continue a campaign after the bombs drop. Assuming I and my cabinet survive in the nuclear bunker somewhere and Washington, maybe one day a few weeks after the radiation cools down i could rally remaining American troops and begin the reconstruction process.
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Postby Magheraat » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:54 am

While i'm Russian myself, if i was an American president, then in this situation i definitely would nuke Russia back. To avenge yourself and your people is the duty of an honourable (true) man.
And there is nothing wrong with killing 140 million "innocent" people, when this "innocents" allowed their government to do such thing. There would be no innocent among them. The same goes for Americans in reversed situation.
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Postby Bloodshade » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:57 am

At that point, it’s not fair that I have to take morals into account as US president when Russia decided to sentence the US people to death. Whether it’s 365 million people or an extra 144 million people, many lives will be lost regardless of whether or not I push a button. It’s a horrific incident in both cases.

Besides, if I don’t nuke them back, they’ll think they’re invincible and will eventually take as many lives as I could’ve taken if I had pressed the big red button. If you nuked the US without consequences, what’ll stop you from nuking others who challenge your power? It’s kinda like the appeasement policy before WW2 arrived. You think they’d have enough but it’ll never stop unless you do something.

If I nuke them back, I’ll further prove the MAD theory and what just happened might push the world towards nuclear disarmament. If not, I’m more than sure leaders and people will think twice before launching a nuke.

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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:00 am

Yes. In the most destructive and comprehensive way possible. There's more moral arguments about stopping them doing it to someone else, but ultimately it is good as an act of pure vengeance.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:00 am

Magheraat wrote:While i'm Russian myself, if i was an American president, then in this situation i definitely would nuke Russia back. To avenge yourself and your people is the duty of an honourable (true) man.
And there is nothing wrong with killing 140 million "innocent" people, when this "innocents" allowed their government to do such thing. There would be no innocent among them. The same goes for Americans in reversed situation.


did they allow it though?

They could have stopped it?

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Postby The Lone Alliance » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:02 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Washington Resistance Army wrote:Yes, that's the whole point of nukes. If they hit us we hit them and we all die.


So then its unquestionably ethical to kill 144 million people even though doing so won't save your people from certain destruction?

Then how is that different from someone saying, "My life is ruined, X ruined my life, before I go down, I'm going to personally take X down with me?"

In a person to person scenario, we wouldn't recommend unproductive retribution, so why is this moral paradigm different when we're talking about nations with millions of people?

Speak for yourself, in a person to Person scenario where some robber decides to shank you for your wallet I'd completely propose ripping the shank out and gutting them so they don't survive with their ill gotten gains.
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Magheraat
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Postby Magheraat » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:05 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:did they allow it though?

They could have stopped it?

Even considering some falsifications, most of our population support Putin and his cronies, so, yeah, in this hypothetical situation they allowed it.

>They could have stopped it?
Yeah, by overthrowing the government, by electing other president, etc.
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