If current information reports are any guide, most Americans are worried about traditional military operations in the Middle East, in Africa, and in other geographical regions where U. S. interests are jeopardized. Regardless of this, war planners would be wise to understand how we would wage nuclear war, if the need ever arise.
Long-range bombers (B1, B2, B52) are the conventional way of delivering nuclear weapons. The amount of aircraft available for these assignments has diminished since the mid-sixties, though, due to improvements in ground-to-air missiles by both the United States and from Russia. Nonetheless, there are post-attack targets that are acceptable for these airplanes.
Land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (Minuteman III) overcome the constraints of long-rang bombersnonetheless, the locations of missile silos are well known and targeted.
Submarine-launched missiles (Trident II) overcome the constraints of both bombers and land-based missiles since the submarines operate in a stealth mode, making them elusive, if not impossible goals for an enemy.
Their targets are spelled out in what was once referred to as the Single Integrated Operational Plan, SIOP for short. It became operational on 1 July 1961 and was meant to make certain that capabilities were closely matched to targets and that there was no overlap among elements of the Triad. In 2003 the SIOP became a part of OpPlan 8044, the overall war plan. Although SIOP is not a current term, most senior officers understand exactly what it means.
Procedures for the control and control of nuclear weapons have been spelled out in detail, the main of which is the rule. The two-man rule applies as well as the president of america, who must obtain concurrence from the Secretary of Defense prior to ordering a nuclear attack.
If the authorization for a nuclear strike is legitimate, the NMCC will issue an Emergency Action Message (EAM) to all nuclear-capable commands. This EAM will also be transmitted from the Alternate National Military Command Center (ANMCC) and from the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP). The EAM will define targets, weapons for use, and Permissive Action Link (PAL) codes to unlock the shooting devices on the weapons.
When two senior officers at the NMCC concurrently turn keys to launch an EAM, 100 million people, 50 million on both sides, will perish. But in the United States 250 million will stay and remain, though under dire conditions. In Russia roughly 90 million will endure. Other consequences: infrastructure in shambles, destroyed power grids, nuclear fallout, critical shortages of water, food, and medical equipment. Americans will have to rely on Canada and Mexico for massive aid shipments, although the wall we’re currently building along our southern boundary might be an impediment to a lot of the aid.
America and Russia will no longer be first-rate powers. For the whole next generation following a nuclear exchange, the two nations will be in reconstruction mode, just as Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been in the years after World War II. Visit your URL or local history museum for more information .