Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Weapons
1
WMD: General Characteristics
• Enormous potential lethality
• Small size
• Modest cost
• Relative lack of discrimination
•...
Nuclear Weapons: Fission
 Atomic bombs or A-bombs
 One type of atom is split (fissioned) into new
types with less total ...
Nuclear Weapons: Fusion
 Thermonuclear, hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs
 Two small atoms (variants of hydrogen) fuse together...
Nuclear Weapons: Effects
• 50% Blast
Shock wave radiating outward
Produces sudden changes in air pressure and high winds...
New York City Example
• Assumptions:
▫ 150 kiloton bomb is detonated in Manhattan
▫ No warning
▫ Clear weather
▫ Daytime –...
NYC: 1 Second After Detonation
7
NYC: 4 Seconds After Detonation
8
NYC: 6 Seconds After Detonation
9
NYC: 10 Seconds After Detonation
10
NYC: 16 Seconds After Detonation
11
NYC: Long-Term Fallout Pattern
12
NYC: Summary
• Manhattan is an island  help from the outside is
slow in coming
• Most of Manhattan is without utilities f...
Nuclear-Armed States
Country Active Warheads Total Warheads
United Sates (1945) 2626 9400
Russia (1949) 4650 12000
United ...
Nuclear Deterrence
• In deterrence, the effort is merely to dissuade
another state, through the threat of force, from
doin...
Minimum / Finite Deterrence
• Requires only a small # of weapons that can be used against
an adversary
• Nukes are used to...
Problems with Minimum/Finite Deterrence
• Breakdown of deterrence could maximize human
costs of nuclear war
• Decision mak...
Second-Strike Capability
• A country's assured ability to respond to a nuclear
attack with powerful nuclear retaliation ag...
Mutually Assured Destruction
• Full-scale use of nuclear weapons by one of two sides
would result in the mutual destructio...
Problems with MAD
1. No prevention of the second strike by the first strike
2. No false positives
3. No camouflage-launchi...
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WMD - Nuclear Weapons

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WMD - Nuclear Weapons

  1. 1. Weapons of Mass Destruction Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Weapons 1
  2. 2. WMD: General Characteristics • Enormous potential lethality • Small size • Modest cost • Relative lack of discrimination • Can be deployed on ballistic missiles • Potential for proliferation • Deterrence • Equalizers 2
  3. 3. Nuclear Weapons: Fission  Atomic bombs or A-bombs  One type of atom is split (fissioned) into new types with less total mass  Lost mass is transformed into energy; E=mc2  Fissionable material=U-235 or plutonium  Crude and low yield  Less sophisticated  Within the capacity of many states  1-200 kiloton 3
  4. 4. Nuclear Weapons: Fusion  Thermonuclear, hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs  Two small atoms (variants of hydrogen) fuse together into a larger atom  energy  Extremely expensive and technologically demanding  1-20 megatons  Too powerful and largely irrelevant 4
  5. 5. Nuclear Weapons: Effects • 50% Blast Shock wave radiating outward Produces sudden changes in air pressure and high winds Most damage • 35% Thermal radiation Heat wave traveling at ~ speed of light Flash blindness Skin burns when closer to explosion Fires • 15% Nuclear radiation • Fallout 5
  6. 6. New York City Example • Assumptions: ▫ 150 kiloton bomb is detonated in Manhattan ▫ No warning ▫ Clear weather ▫ Daytime – population density =125K/sm ▫ Shock wave spreads uniformly 6
  7. 7. NYC: 1 Second After Detonation 7
  8. 8. NYC: 4 Seconds After Detonation 8
  9. 9. NYC: 6 Seconds After Detonation 9
  10. 10. NYC: 10 Seconds After Detonation 10
  11. 11. NYC: 16 Seconds After Detonation 11
  12. 12. NYC: Long-Term Fallout Pattern 12
  13. 13. NYC: Summary • Manhattan is an island  help from the outside is slow in coming • Most of Manhattan is without utilities for weeks • Tunnels and bridges are gone  rescue and recovery is difficult • 900,000 people injured  beyond the ability of the medical system to respond • 800,000 killed 13
  14. 14. Nuclear-Armed States Country Active Warheads Total Warheads United Sates (1945) 2626 9400 Russia (1949) 4650 12000 United Kingdom (1952) <160 185 France (1960) ~300 300 China (1964) ~180 240 India (1974) - 60-80 Pakistan (1998) - 70-90 North Korea (2006) - <10 Israel (19??) - 80 14
  15. 15. Nuclear Deterrence • In deterrence, the effort is merely to dissuade another state, through the threat of force, from doing something it has not yet undertaken; it is not actually required to change a course of action. • Extended deterrence - threats designed to protect allies. 15
  16. 16. Minimum / Finite Deterrence • Requires only a small # of weapons that can be used against an adversary • Nukes are used to threaten attack against an adversary, typically against population centers • Cannot realistically choose to engage in actual warfighting against another nuclear power • Not enough weapons to destroy or substantially weaken enemy’s warfighting capabilities • Based on a threat of punishment should another country undertake aggression 16
  17. 17. Problems with Minimum/Finite Deterrence • Breakdown of deterrence could maximize human costs of nuclear war • Decision makers under pressure may fail to evaluate the situation / launch on warning • Offensive forces must survive an attack first 17
  18. 18. Second-Strike Capability • A country's assured ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation against the attacker. • Beyond numbers, measures that increase survivability include: ▫ Hardening (fortifying or shielding warheads) ▫ Mobility (aircraft, submarines) ▫ Dispersion (spreading bases and launchers) ▫ Diversification (aircraft, land-based missiles, submarine- launched missiles) ▫ Strategic defense (antiaircraft and antimissile defense) 18
  19. 19. Mutually Assured Destruction • Full-scale use of nuclear weapons by one of two sides would result in the mutual destruction of both the attacker and the attacked. • For the mutual destruction to be assured both sides ought to poses second strike nuclear capability, which would guarantee that neither adversary could survive an all-out-war. • Fear of retaliation is sufficient to prevent an attack • Deterrence depends of mutual vulnerability 19
  20. 20. Problems with MAD 1. No prevention of the second strike by the first strike 2. No false positives 3. No camouflage-launching 4. No means of delivery that do not have characteristic of long range missile delivery (detectable before detonation) 5. Perfect rationality (rogue states/commanders) 6. Perfect attribution 7. No anti-missile technology / shelters 20
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