[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #143

C70:arms-d (07/17/82)

>From HGA@MIT-MC Fri Jul 16 22:40:34 1982

Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 0 : Issue 143

Today's Topics:
                        Firepower vs. Manpower
                  Subsidiary effects of Nuclear Wars
                             Iran in Iraq
                           End of the world

Date: 15 July 1982 09:28-EDT
From: Zigurd R. Mednieks <ZRM at MIT-MC>
Subject:  firepower vs. manpower

Eric is very correct in stating that the quality of manpower is
probably *the* most important factor in winning wars. However, how is
our rather bloated officer corps fostering such quality? Eric, if you
had your druthers, what fraction of the officer corps would you
pension off? 1/10? 1/2? More?

The argument of firepower vs. manpower is, admittedly, a mechanistic
one. Resolving the issue won't guarentee winning the next war. So what
*can* we do to improve the armed forces that we aren't doing already?

Re: blasting all our topsoil into the atmosphere: How many tons TNT
equivalent were dropped on North Viet Nam? I recall the amount as
being quite staggering.



Date: Thursday, 15 July 1982  10:35-EDT
From: Jon Webb <Webb at Cmu-20c>
Subject: disarmies

I understand that the Israeli army at one time did use women in a
combat role, but they stopped; the reason I heard, probably male
chauvinist propaganda, is that the other side fought harder in order
to avoid being killed by a woman.



Date:     15 Jul 82 19:51:30-EDT (Thu)
From:     J C Pistritto <jcp@BRL>
Subject:  Subsidiary effects of Nuclear Wars

	Actually, the long-term effects of a nuclear war might not be
as devastating as a lot of people would think.  While the superpowers
would expend vast amounts of firepower, almost all of it would be
directed at each other.  Both superpowers are Northern hemisphere
countries, the USSR particularly so.  (This is true for the US as
well, as almost all Russian weapons would arrive via the polar route,
and would tend to be distributed over the northern half of the US.
(look where our military bases are))

	One class of strike that would spread the damage around a bit
would be nuclear strikes at Ballistic Missile Submarines.  These would
be far out at sea, evening out the fallout quite a bit.

	Countries in the Southern Hemisphere would probably be least
affected, (I remember a US Gov't study which pinpointed Australia and
the southern areas of Argentina and Chile, (and the Falklands, for
that matter) as the safest areas).  Countries in the equatorial belt
would suffer mostly residual fallout, (> 10 days) and of course, any
UV related effects.

	A country in the Northern Hemisphere might escape serious
damage if sielded by mountain ranges, (such as India, which has the
highest mountains in the world between it and China, andthe various
ranges east of Afghanistan) Southeast Asia would probably be similarly
shielded.  If the strike happened in monsoon season, I suspect even
the fallout wouldn't be too bad, as a LOT of these areas are flooded
at that time).



Date:     15 Jul 82 19:55:27-EDT (Thu)
From:     J C Pistritto <jcp@BRL>
Subject:  Iran in Iraq

	The Iranians seem to be giving the Iraqis a rough time of it
near Basra, I suspect that they will take it within a week or two.
Actually, I suspect the Iranians are more interested in cutting off
Iraq's oil industries, and the strangling her.  I would suspect the
likely next target to be a Shiite takeover of Kuwait.  Kuwait is small
enough so that US wouldn't send in the marines to save her, but it
WOULD make the Saudis very nervous...  Fortunately, that part of Saudi
Arabia is pretty undeveloped, most of the oil industry is further down
the gulf.

	Anyone taking bets on how long Saddam Hussein lasts?



Date: 16 July 1982 06:21-EDT
From: Robert Elton Maas <REM at MIT-MC>
Subject: End of the world [SIC; End of the human race]

Your combination of scenerios is something I've never heard before and
hadn't thought of myself until you suggested it. Indeed if we believe
anything our government tells us about how we're so wonderful as
peacekeepers in the world, about how our MADness is preventing war
around the world... then with us out of the way after WWIII, no longer
providing this wonderful deterrent to war around the world, and no
longer being the foodbasket for half the starving nations around the
world, all hell will break loose. If we think our squabbling for
scarce resources is causing wars now, just wait until the main
breadbasket and the main peacekeeping influence is/are gone!


End of Arms-D Digest