[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #106

C70:arms-d (05/15/82)

>From HGA@MIT-MC Fri May 14 20:44:39 1982

Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 0 : Issue 106

Today's Topics:
         Nitrates in my politics, the withering of the left,
                          Elections and arms
                      ZRM's reply (and prophecy)
                     Reprogramming Cruise Missles
                    The Defense Appropriation Bill

Date: Friday, 14 May 1982  10:27-EDT
From: Jon Webb <Webb at Cmu-20c>
Subject: Nitrates in my politics, the withering of the left,

Please try to keep political commentary off this list.  Everybody has
opinions on things like what happened in El Salvador.  I think its
pretty stupid to claim a "clear swing to the right" when there was
nobody on the left to vote for.  But remember, this is ARMS-D, not



Date: 14 May 1982 12:20-EDT
From: Zigurd R. Mednieks <ZRM at MIT-MC>
Subject:  Elections and arms

Maybe it got lost in the surrounding flamage, but there a strong
relationship between successfully containing guerilla wars and not
mucking up the local politics. Letting the choice of the Salvadorian
voters stand, even if we find their choice is not what we had in mind,
will help end the violence in El Salvador.

Part of a discussion on arms should be about where they are not useful
alone. Particularly since firepower and victory correlated rather
badly in Viet Nam, learning how *not* to escalate a conflict fits well
in a discussion on arms.

This argument cuts both ways: If the Salvadorians stayed home and went
about aiding the guerillas, it would be a signal for us to get out and
cut our losses. If the Slavadorians don't like our ideas, not even the
best equipped air cavalry will change their minds.  As it was, the
rebels did make a showing in the election -- with a terrorist campaign
intended to make people afraid to vote. The results of the election,
with a shift from the center to the right and a large turnout *do*, in
fact, indicate a clear swing to the right. Results that would indicate
otherwise would have to have some elements of either a poor turnout or
a poor showing for the rightist candidates. Neither of these happened.
Nor am I expressing just my opinion on what the election results mean.
These results have been analysed by more and less influential analysts
and the opinions of the editors of the Economist and the Christian
Science Monitor are good indicators of what actually happened.

The impact of these election results on the conflict in El Salvador is
what people on this list are interested in. These results indicate
that we are doing well in containing an insurgency in a developing
country. They also indicate that sending in the Marines is not, in
this case, the right thing to do. (Nor are the lessons of El Salvador
universally applicable: The Soviet Union appears ready to shoot as
many Afganistanis as it takes to win.)

As can be seen in the case of El Salvador, and somewhat in the case of
the Falklands conflict, politics and diplomacy can be the tools of
military strategy. Winning limited wars is a very apropos topic,
considering the destructive power of today's weaponry. Learning of the
limited usefulness of arms, and learining how to use arms with
restraint and still win are very important topics. We should choose
our arms to fit the conflicts we will find ourselves in and the recent
events in El Salvador have much to teach us.

I do apologise for trashing the Democrats on arms-d, though.



Date: 14 May 1982 12:30-EDT
From: Zigurd R. Mednieks <ZRM at MIT-MC>
Subject:  Re ZRM's reply (and prophecy)

My temporal ruler says evil is timeless.



Date: 14 May 1982 13:59:22-EDT
From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX
Subject: Re: Re ZRM's reply (and prophecy)

In response to your [ZRM's] message of Fri May 14 13:00:48 1982:

   Burke and de Tocqueville are evil? My, my.


Date: 14 May 1982 20:55-EDT
From: RMS at MIT-AI

I have been told that the crew of a B-52 can change the targets of
their cruise missiles.  If this is true, perhaps it is only from a
predetermined set of targets, or within certain geographical areas.

The reason I envisioned striking at silos to prevent relaunches is
that I don't know that we can tell where the spare missiles are
stored.  If we can tell, then indeed it would be easier to destroy
them directly.

I wonder whether the Russians need to put the spare missiles into
silos to launch them.  Do the silos provide some facility for
launching?  The description of cold launch makes it sound as though
maybe they are not needed for launching, only for protection.

Does anyone know how many days after a nuclear blast it is safe for
people in some sort of protective gear to spend a few hours on the
scene?  I seem to recall it was only a few days later that people went
to the sites of the WWII blasts.  Near misses on the silos may delay
reloading only for a few days.


Date:     14 May 82 23:27:11-EDT (Fri)
From:     J C Pistritto <jcp@BRL>
Subject:  Re:  Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #105

The Defense Appropriation Bill

	The Senate, after a marathon 17 hour debate, today approved
the largest military spending bill in US history, ($177 billion for
new weapons), less than $5 billion less than President Reagan
reqeusted.  The bill now goes to the House.  The vote was 49 to 45 in
the Senate.

	Included in the bill are upgrades to virtually every segment
of the US military, including the first real installment in the US
Navy rearmament plan, designed to give the US 600 ships and assured
naval superiority by the year 1990.  Also included were funds to build
the MX missile, the B-1 bomber, and continuing development of the
Stealth aircraft.  Among the losses for the President, procurement of
additional C-5B Galaxy transport aircraft was shelved in favor of
purchasing cargo 747s from the nations ailing airlines, (at bargain
prices, I hear).  Funds were included for construction and initial
production runs from the nation's first chemical warfare manufacturing
facility, (nerve agents), since the US unilaterally disbanded its
chemical effort under President Nixon.

	The Air Force will get more F-15 and F-16 fighters than it
would have previously, and more A-10 attack aircraft will be produced,
as the West's best non-nuclear answer to Russian tanks.  The Navy will
get one its two new nuclear supercarriers of the Nimitz class, with
the second coming later.  The Aegis class missile cruiser program will
continue, bolstered by recent evaluations of the Falklands fighting.

	A more detailed summary will be presented when next weeks
AW&ST comes out, I got most of this from fragmentary news reports.



End of Arms-D Digest