[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #139

C70:arms-d (07/10/82)

>From HGA@MIT-MC Fri Jul  9 22:57:30 1982

Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 0 : Issue 139

Today's Topics:
                  Comments on Access to Energy piece
                          No democracy here!
                   Nuclear and conventional weapons
                      Studying peace: disarmies
                           Access to Energy

Date: 7 July 1982 17:11-EDT
From: Herb Lin <LIN at MIT-MC>

		(5) Claim: There has never been a war as terrible as
		the next one. [from Access to Energy]

	So nuclear war isn't much different than previous wars?  It is
	worse in the same way that WWII was worse than WWI?  If this
	really the claim being made, then someone doesn't understand
	the orders of magnitude involved.  The kill rate in a nuclear
	war would increase by a factor of a hundred or a thousand.
	That kind of increase is utterly unprecedented; previous wars
	involved kill rate changes of at most 10. [LIN@Washington]

    [From Jim McGrath@SU-Score]

    Alas, while I agreed with many of your comments on "Sober Facts,"
    here the numbers simply do not fit.  To pick round numbers, in WWI
    we had a total of 10 million killed; in WWII 50 million.  Thus a
    rough increase of fivefold.  WWIII could involve 250 million
    deaths (ie strikes by both major powers which are not absolutely
    effective).  Actually, we should allow for 500 million deaths
    (that factor of ten you spoke of for PAST wars).

If you just wait long enough, you can drive the total death rate as
high as you want.  My original message concerned kill RATES rather
than total deaths.  While WWII may involve 5 to 10 times the total
NUMBER dead (depending on how you count WWII dead - my own guess is
closer to 25 M), the significant parameter is how fast it might be
done.  I can conceive of WWII being over in a matter of DAYS, not

The reason for focusing on kill rate rather than kill number (once you
get into the domain of megadeaths) is that rate is the parameter that
determines the time scale over which people react to things and make

    From: Jim McGrath <CSD.MCGRATH at SU-SCORE>

    Being an avid "fan" of the desert down south, lets look at the
    numbers using an area of 3000 square miles for LA (as noted in the
    clarification in the July 82 ACCESS TO ENERGY), the formula for
    overpressure Herb Lin gave, and two "targets" - 5 PSI and 10 PSI -
    as the effective radius of destruction.

    For 10 PSI we have an effective radius of slightly under 10
    kilofeet, which gives about 10 square miles per one megaton bomb
    max.  That is a min of 300 bombs before circle fitting, and thus I
    can see the number going up to the 438 ACCESS TO ENERGY mentioned.
    This is far from the "very few one megaton bombs" you mentioned

    For 5 PSI we have an effective radius of slightly over 13
    kilofeet, which gives about 20 square miles per one megaton bomb
    max.  That is a min of 150 bombs before circle fitting - still a
    substantial number.

Jim: my number for "very few" was based on the 463 mi^2.  Increasing
the area by 10X of course increases "very few" to a much larger

    From: Jim McGrath <CSD.MCGRATH at SU-SCORE>

	    From: CAULKINS at USC-ECL

	    The "Access to Energy" clarification of "SOBER FACTS ..."
	    doesn't help much; according to the 1977 edition of "The
	    Effects of Nuclear Weapons" the 5 PSI radius for a 1
	    megaton bomb is 4.3 Mi.; the area of such a circle is 58
	    square miles.  The 3000 Mi**2 for greater L.A.  divided by
	    58 is 52 bombs, order-of-magnitude smaller than the 438
	    claimed by Access to Energy.  Even with a generous
	    allowance for circle packing, they're way off.

    Why the difference between this figure (52 bombs) and the ones I
    just derrived using Herb Lin's formula?  Are different assumptions
    involved?  If so, they should be stated if people have them handy.

At this point, I am totally confused.  There are two authoritative
sources which appear to be in conflict.  My formula

        P = 3300 (W/r^3) + 192 (W/r^3)^.5

is taken from Brode's review of the effects of nuclear weapons in the
Annals of Nuclear Science.  "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" is also
supposed to be an authoritative source.  I have no idea where these
two different sources get their information; if they do not agree,
what's going on?  Does anyone "out there" really know what's going on?

Finally, I have to admit that I feel that there is a certain unreality
about this argument - it doesn't even mention thermal effects, which
are well known as a more deadly effect of nuclear explosions.  If Los
Angeles were devoid of people, and we had a bomb that had blast
effects alone, then maybe it would be important to know how to pound
L.A. into rubble.  But it isn't, and we don't, so why is this
discussion relevant?  (Yes, I know I got involved too... shame on me
as well.)


Date: 8 Jul 1982 14:12:31-EDT
From: zrm at mit-ccc
Subject: No democracy here!

In the last arms-d Will Doherty made the standard gaffe in claiming
that our political system is not a democracy: it isn't, and never was
intended to be one. We have a republic in which elected officials
represent us (more or less). What I think Mr. Doherty means is that he
thinks this representation is fatally flawed.

While there may soon be available the communications infrastructure
nessary to implement real democracy in this country, I don't think
that a desire for such a democracy is what motivates Mr. Doherty.
Instead, he is using the imperfection of the present system to justify
circumventing the system to suit his goals, namely disamament whether
or not it might mean the end of our republic. This is the sort of
circularity that typifies arguments, both of the far right and extreme
left, that find themselves against certain completely objective walls.
In the case of disarmament, the likelihood of Soviet tyranny spreading
to rest of the world creates an insurmountable obstacle to such a
course for our country. In order to go on arguing their case,
disarmament proponents declare that the very ideals we wish to defend
have no value and so do not require defense.

On the other hand, Laura Creighton's explaination of why our society
is motivated to defend itself was one of the most clear headed I have
seen on this list. Defense is not desirable and is not a goal in and
of itself, but, currently, it seems that deterring argessors through
the treat of response in kind is our only choice -- if, of course, we
percieve that there is something here worth defending.



Date: 8 July 1982 19:44-EDT
From: Zigurd R. Mednieks <ZRM at MIT-MC>
Subject:  Nuclear and conventional weapons

The present charade that goes on where we must threaten nuclear
retaliation for the invasion of Western Europe using conventional
weapons bothers me rather a great deal. The assumption that we must
have a large standing force in order to foil such an invasion without
the use of nuclear weapons is one I take exception to, on the basis
that it is firepower and not manpower that wins wars.

Would anyone with a greater knowlege than mine about military history
comment on the suggestion that we stockpile conventional armaments in
Europe, hopefully with a large fraction of these armaments being aimed
toward the detruction of large numbers of tanks (assault-breaker and
the like) and toward the maintainance of air superiority (light
anti-aircraft weapons to keep Warsaw Pact air power away from our
ground forces and anti-radar weapons to deny them their air defense).
In addition, the capability to raise a large infantry quickly might be
desirable. Basically, my thesis is that the developement and
deployment of conventional weapons should go ahead full blast, but
that the draft won't be needed and that things like a cut in the size
of the officer corps would be not only doable, but desirable.

Although this scheme would decrease the long term cost of defending
Europe it would not let us dismantle our nuclear arsenal. Weapons
depots in Europe would be tempting targets for nuclear "surgical
strikes". Only the threat of reverting to a tactical nuclear defense
of Europe would deter such strikes.

Comments Please!



Date: 8 Jul 1982 16:57:47-PDT
From: jef at LBL-UNIX (Jef Poskanzer [rtsg])
Subject: Studying peace: disarmies.

The Summer 1982 issue of CoEvolution Quarterly has a very interesting
article called "Force Without Firepower: A Doctrine of Unarmed
Military Service", by Gene Keyes.  It is about non-violent armies, and
is chock-full of hard facts and figures and historical examples.  It
discusses ten possible missions for unarmed forces:

1) Rescue action: the employment of military capability for saving
lives and setting up disaster relief in times of natural or man-made
catastrophe; generally in environments or conditions not manageable by
local or civilian resources.

Examples: the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service, and sometimes the
Military Airlift Command.

2) Civic action: the use of military forces, especially in
less-developed areas, for social service projects such as local
construction, farming, public health, transportation, education,
communication, conservation, community development, and the like.

Examples: Peace Corp, VISTA, CCC, Seabees, Corp of Engineers.

3) Colossal action: the employment of military capability, especially
logistic, in constructive social enterprises of enormous magnitude,
possibly requiring ships in the thousands, aircraft in the tens of
thousands, personnel in the hundreds of millions, and dollare in the
hunderds of billions per year.

Examples: re-foresting the Sahara, building an L5 colony.

4) Friendly persuasion: the use or display of non-violent military
force during normal or crisis periods for such purposes as goodwill,
deterrence, show of strength, propaganda, hostage deployment, and
political, psychological or economic warfare; by means such as
goodwill visits, public and joint maneuvers, and the delivery of
messages, food, equipment, giftf, or hostages, whether requested or

Examples: leaflet bombing, loudspeaker planes, foreign tours by the
Blue Angels, the Brazilian Indian Protection Service (before 1948).

5) Guerrila action: aggressive and unconventional initiatives by
irregular but diciplined unarmed forces waging a revolutionary and/or
defensive struggle against a more powerful opponent.

Examples: Greenpeace, Gandhi's 30-year campaign to free India.

6) Police action: the use of unarmed military units for law
enforcement, peace observation, and peacekeeping duties, in situations
beyond the control of local authority.

Examples: the London police, the Guardian Angels.  The police segment
of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus was unarmed.

7) Buffer action: the deployment of unarmed military force between
belligerents before, during, or after active hostilities.

Examples: Cyprus again, the 1962 civil war in Algeria, the 1968 seige
at Tsinghua University in China.

8) Defense: The assignment of unarmed maneuver elements to close with
and resist invasion troops to the death without killing them; and the
assignment of other unarmed land, sea, air, and civilian forces to
active duty in accordance with national strategy for guarding
political, cultural, and territorial integrity, public security, and
civil liberty.

Examples: the Swedish threat to dismantle their railroads when the
British and French were planning to invade in 1940; the
Czechoslovakian civilian resistance in 1968.

9) Expeditionaty action: an unarmed military mission across national
boundaries with a comparatively limited objective or duration; may
involve extraterritorial rather than home-soil defense action, or
defense of another nation on its own territory, or temporary
intervention in restraint of flagrant injustice, oppression, invasion,
or genocide.

No examples.

10) Invasion: an unarmed military campaign across national boundaries,
with a comparatively long-range objective or duration, in restraint of
flagrant injustice, oppression, invasion, or genocide.

And amazingly enough, there is an example: in 1975, King Hassan II of
Morocco staged a mass non-violent invasion of Spanish Sahara.

- - - - - - - - - -

As I hope you can see by these excerpts, these ideas are non-violent
but definitely NOT pacifistic.  That may be good or bad, but it is
certainly interesting.  I recommend this article highly.


Date: 8 Jul 1982 17:25:44-PDT
From: rabbit!wolit at Berkeley
Subj: More on Israel in Lebanon

The Shrike anti-radiation missiles, F-15s, F-16s, and E-2C radar
planes are all made in the U.S.  So are most of the tanks, artillery,
and other munitions used by Israel.  The only significant
Israeli-manufactured hardware used against the Syrians in the Bekaar
valley were the small (~4m wingspan) RPVs (remotely-piloted vehicles)
that provided both television imagery and information on SAM radar.
Note that these RPVs are not themselves high-technology items -- they
resemble large radio-controlled model planes more than anything else
-- but the command/control/communication system in which they operated

Just as the 1967 Mideast war demonstrated the absolute necessity for
control of the air, and the 1973 war showed the vulnerability of
conventional armor to modern "smart" weapons, the lastest fighting
highlights the crucial role played by C-3 on the electronic


Date: 8 July 1982 22:44-EDT
From: Gene Salamin <ES at MIT-MC>
Subject: Access to Energy

     The article quoted the number of bombs required "to destroy L.
A."  without specifying exactly what was meant by destruction.  In the
July 1982 "clarification", Beckmann cites as a reference "Shall
America be Defended?", by Gen. Graham, Arlington House, 1979, p. 112.


End of Arms-D Digest