[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V2 #68

arms-d@ucbvax.ARPA (10/30/84)

From: Moderator <ARMS-D@MIT-MC.ARPA>

Arms-Discussion Digest Volume 2 : Issue 68
Today's Topics:

		Re: Ideas for peace? Where are they?
		 Richard Pipes (2 msgs)
		"The Atlantic" article on Nuclear Winter

Date: 25-Oct-84 17:58 PDT
From: Kirk Kelley  <KIRK.TYM@OFFICE-2.ARPA>
Subject: Re: Ideas for peace? Where are they?
Cc: REM@SU-AI, glenn@ll-vlsi

From: Robert Maas <REM@SU-AI.ARPA>

   How come I always have to be first to stick my hand in the flame?

Because you do it the best.

   How about seeing some expressions of positive ideas! Rah rah rah, go to it 

Ok, here's the peace plan.  We'll write this innocent little computer game, see.
 (Go ahead and laugh, games are supposed to be fun.)  It will be as simple as 
possible a simulation of its own lifetime that can be implemented today as a 
popular game.  We can call it the Conscious game.  It will measure its aliveness
by its simulated rate of changes players make to it.  The score is the number of
days the game simulates itself being "alive" into the future.  At first, 
funness, validity, and compensation for change contributors, will be important 
to it.  Then, it will become concerned with the arms race, among other global 
viablity issues, because that will become the primary threat to its survival.  
Thus a global model will evolve.

Adventures growing into even more fun interactive allegories of the global 
model, will teach skills much better than passive one-way mediums like TV.  Thus
these games will eventually teach us how to live more viable lives.  Eventually 
they will be so much fun and relevant to play that everyone will drop out of the
rat race and start living simply to play them.  That in itself will do much to 
cripple the vicious cycles that drive the world's military industrial complexes 
and hence the arms race.

But why stop there!  The adventures will become implemented in every programming
and modeling environment with parts distributed as interlinked services across 
the world net providing a living to all those who become serious players.  It 
will direct the development of technology and science like VisiCalc directs 
system development and the DoD directs research.  As a result of all the new 
effort surrounding global survival issues and the "augmented global 
consciousness" of tele-collaborated simulation technologies, intelligent 
decisions will start to be made between real solutions and the viability of life
from earth will actually increase. 

Whew!  All of that from a single self reference (in a rich soup).  Ok.  Yes, I'm
serious about this.  Shoot holes in it.  Or is that the best way for ARMS-D to 
play the Conscious game?  Actually, what would be nice is to compare this along 
with all the other proposals for our efforts and find the best one(s).  The 
question then becomes, "What is the standard and mechanism for comparison?"  The
Conscious game would be an answer to that question.  Do you have a better one?

 -- kirk

p.s.  For those interested in related work, I have a few pages of difference 
equations for some parts of the model and four PBEM allegorical "unfinished 
adventures by the players".  -k


Date: 27 October 1984 05:43-EDT
From: James A. Cox <APPLE @ MIT-MC>
Subject:  Richard Pipes

Richard Pipes is no longer with the government.  He returned to
Harvard, where he is Professor of History, in January, 1984.  I think
he stands by his conclusion that the Soviets reject MAD (at least as
other than a short-term necessity), and that they are pushing for
nuclear superiority.  I don't know whether he also stands by the "Team
B" conclusions on Soviet defense spending which you mention.  Could
you provide us with citations both of Team B's conclusions (Soviet
spending at 11-13% GNP) and the study which you feel refutes them
(spending at ~3% GNP)?

 - James Cox


Date: 28 Oct 84 17:21:00 PST (Sunday)
From: jlarson.pa@Xerox.ARPA
Subject: Re: Richard Pipes
In-reply-to: APPLE's message of 27 Oct 84 05:43 EDT
To: James A. Cox <APPLE@MIT-MC.ARPA>

Thanks for the clarification about Richard Pipes' current status.  

Citations for Team B's conclusions: 

   "New CIA Estimate Finds Soviet Seeks Superiority in Arms", 
    David Binder, New York Times, December 26, 1976

   "The CIA's Tagic Error",  Arthur Macy Cox, 
    New York Review of Books, November 6, 1980

   "Why the U.S., Since 1977 Has Been Misperceiving Soviet Military 
    Strength",  Arthur Macy Cox, New York Times, October 20, 1980

Citation for study which refutes Soviet spending at 11-13% GNP:

   "Soviet and US Defense Activities, 1970-79: A Dollar Cost Comparison",
    CIA, January 1980

This and more discovered in an excellent book by Robert Scheer, "With
Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush & Nuclear War", Random House  1982



Date: 28 Oct 84 22:13:14 EST
Subject: "The Atlantic" article on Nuclear Winter
To: arms-d@MIT-MC.ARPA

The Nov. issue of The Atlantic has a good article on nuclear winter.  The
author, Thomas Powers, covers the history of the NW idea and the reaction
of the nuclear war planners to it.  He makes some interesting points,
specifically about the scenarios involved in the TTAPS study.  Powers
divides nuclear theoreticians into two groups: nuclear theologians, who
are mostly academics, and war planners, who are middle level officers in the
Pentagon.  The first group complained loudly about the scenrios described
in the TTAPS study (the 100 megaton, 1000 city attack was attacked as
a war that would never happen).  What happened when the TTAPS study was
shown to the second group is much more interesting:

  "When the TTAPS group presented its findings at a highly publicized
   conference in Washington ... the response from the White House and the
   Pentagon was virtual silence.  Many skeptical outsiders (including
   me, at first) interpreted this silence as indifference...  But in
   fact something deeper was at work.  In early December the assistant
   secretary of Defense, Richard Wagner, arranged for a briefing of
   Pentagon officials on the nuclear-winter findings.  One of those who
   took part was Michael May, a former director of the Lawrence Livermore
   National Laboratory... May, who is still active at the Livermore Lab,
   and his colleagues -- especially Michael MacCracken, an expert on climate
   -- had already studied the nuclear winter thesis in detail, and they told
   the assembled Pentagon officials the problem was a serious one.
   Although they disagreed with some of the assumptions, they found no
   obvious faults in the science. ... If the nuclear winter thesis were full
   of holes, May and his colleagues would not have hesitated to say so.
   The briefing -- which was gloomy not only from a broadly human but also
   a naroowly military point of view -- resulted in the Pentagon's public
   silence and private support for further research.  The reason was
   simple: the nuclear winter thesis, if valid, threatens to make nonsense of
   every notion the planners have managed to come up with, in forty years
   of trying to devise a sensible way to fight a nuclear war."

Powers goes on to point out that all Single Integrated Operational Plans (SIOPs)
the US has had for nuclear attacks on Russia have involved attacks on
cities.  The reason is simple: many targets are in cities.  Airfields, industry,
command centers, military bases, rail yards, and so on, are concentrated
near cities.  In a typical American countervalue response to a Soviet
counterforce strike, Moscow would get 60 warheads, Leninigrad more than 40,
the next eight largest cities an average of 13 each, the next forty largest
cities 14.4 warheads per million population, the next 150 cities an average
of 25.7 warheads per million population; 80 percent of all cities over 25,000
in population would be hit.  The US would receive a similar attack.

The probable result of the nuclear winter studies will be a push for
large numbers of highly accurate low yield weapons that will not cause as
much thermal pulse (area covered by thermal pulse increase linearly with bomb
yield while blast area increases as the 2/3 power).  I can think of other
ways of getting around fire problems:  deeply penetrating warheads for
underground explosions (the Grand Slam bomb of WW II did this, as does
the Pershing II warhead), underwater explosions to drown cities in radioactive
tidal waves, and possibly shaped charge weapons to direct blast into a city
from the side or from high altitudes.  To kill inhabitants of cities that
would have burned in previous plans I suspect radiological techniques will
be planned.  Shallow underground explosions will be ideal for producing
maximum local fallout, especially if the bomb casing is made of the proper
high melting point element.  Tungsten and rhenium seem to be good choices;
interestingly, neutron bomb fusion capsule casings are said to contain these
elements,  which have sizable neutron capture cross sections and make
radionuclides with halflives in the 1 day range.

Punch line: nuclear winter is real, but doesn't make nuclear war obsolete.
Both the US and the USSR now have to replace their entire arsenals with new
weapons designed to avoid fire.  Fallout shelters are somewhat more reasonable
for city dwellers as fallout replaces blast and fire as the big killer.

[End of ARMS-D Digest]