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The Final Countdown. WWIII?

  • 03-10-2022 11:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭purplefields

    As long as there are nuclear weapons, each day there is a non-zero chance that they'll be used. Add up all the non-zeros and eventually the probability becomes one.

    At the moment, we have lots of war going on or maybe about to start. Talk of 'tactical nuclear weapons' are extremely alarming. There could also be the very real danger of accidental release of a nuke. There is also the concern of what happens in Europe if one country decides they are not getting their fair share of a commodity, or if there is total financial Armageddon. This is the kind of stuff that makes politicians start wars.

    When will the first bomb go off?

    1. Never
    2. Before the end of 2022
    3. Sometime in 2023
    4. 2024 to 2030
    5. After 2030

    The poll is here:

    The Final Countdown Poll - WWIII — - Now Ye're Talkin'

    Post edited by purplefields on



  • Oh learned one,

    Where do I subscribe to your Facebook YouTube TikTok Twitch?

    Let some more morsels of wisdom drop by my philistine ears

  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭purplefields

    I am not that learned, as I do not know how to make a poll on boards. In fact I don't really know too much about anything at all really. Every day I'm learning something new.

    I also don't have a facebook, youtube, TikTok or Twitch account.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,502 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    no nuclear weapons will be released ‘accidentally’, that’s the only certainty…

    the first firing of a nuclear weapon, a test, happened 77 years ago… in 77 years there has never been an accidental deployment.

    The nuclear codes from a US perspective are with the President and Vice President, they are provided with new codes daily….i think a couple of very senior military people are provided with them too in case the White House gets attacked or Observatory circle too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭nigeldaniel

    Well, cant see any Duke of Nukuy firing anything at us in the republic but I suppose King Don Jin Oin might accidentally detonate one while test-riding his new superbiglittleone, well not this year by any length.


  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭Sono Topolino

    I am reasonably confident that Russia will not use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine during this particular war. Russian nuclear doctrine only permits the first use of nuclear weapons if there is an existential threat to the state, none of Ukraine's strategic aims present such a threat. Furthermore, using nuclear weapons currently presents numerous risks both known and unknown. As Russian doctrine does not support their use, the odds lean against using them - even if Russia is being utterly humiliated on the battlefield. With that being said, I think that there is a much higher chance of a tactical nuclear weapon being used within my lifetime than there was before the war.

    What has the current war changed? Well the main thing is that it has shone a bright spotlight on how difficult it is to achieve a conventional military victory in a high intensity war if you are not the United States of America. Russia entered the war with an overwhelming advantage in manpower and material, only to watch it quickly fade away. Once this war is over, and possibly even before this point, countries with nuclear arsenals will start asking themselves: "why should we allow ourselves to be humiliated the way Russia did, when we have nukes?" From there, nuclear powers will start developing military doctrines that support the first use of tactical nuclear weapons when conventional military means fail.

    I think that there is very little chance that the US will use tactical nuclear weapons provided it continues to enjoy a massive conventional advantage over its potential oppponents. However, there are a number of territorial disputes that involve nuclear powers with (so far) less impressive conventional firepower than the US has, e.g.

    • Pakistan and India (both have nukes)
    • China and India (both have nukes)
    • China and Taiwan (China has nukes)
    • China and Japan (China has nukes)
    • China & Vietnam (China has nukes).

    Once a country develops a military doctrine allowing the use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield, it is a virtual certainty that they will be used during my lifetime. As they say, every hammer finds its nail.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,233 ✭✭✭✭kneemos

    Russia apparently has come perilously close to pushing the button several times. Also their systems are analogue and I think I remember seeing a video of soldiers in a bunker manually bypassing safety protocols to be left with literally nothing but to push a button.

    We assume all nuke bunkers around the world are maintained to the utmost,but who knows.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,502 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Putin all of a sudden is looking his age and is only days from turning 70…. He in 2020 got an amendment to the constitution passed by way of referendum that a president can serve more then 2 terms. It was a landslide something like 78% to 22% in favour… sounds like an absolute ready up.

    why though ? Only reason I can gather would be to enable him to carry out some plan…. Too much effort and scheming to just be a windup. WW3 ? Possibly. He’s crazy enough.

  • Registered Users Posts: 432 ✭✭Fuascailteoir

    Has been a couple of near accidents including a bomb drop in south Carolina in the 50s

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,348 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    A World War would have to include strategic as well as tactical nuclear weapons? Of course previous so called World Wars left much of the planet unscathed.

    The parts of Ukraine where Russia is in the most trouble, would almost certainly lead to deadly radiation fallout in Russian Federation territory, if they exploded nuclear arms there.

    Post edited by dxhound2005 on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,502 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    How about this one though

    Information declassified in 2013 showed that one of the bombs came close to detonating, with three of the four required triggering mechanisms having activated.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭purplefields

    Things don't seem to be getting any better. Even Biden is saying that nuclear risk is highest since Cuban Missile Crisis:

    Ukraine war: Biden says nuclear risk highest since 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis - BBC News

    From reading the Russia thread, I get the impression that maybe those born before 1980 have a better understanding of the real consequences of a nuclear war. We've got at least a new generation who didn't live through the cold war

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,891 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    I hate to say it but if some fella close to Putin doesn't bust a cap in his ass soon he is going to lose the rag and start launching nukes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,751 ✭✭✭take everything

    The Wikipedia page in tactical nuclear weapons is sobering.

    Apparently, these things pose the biggest threat of escalation to all out nuclear war for different reasons.

    It paints the scenario of a relatively junior person in command with access to one of these under pressure in a conflict and therefore willing to use it. Apparently their activation is far more straightforward than strategic nuclear weapons. And escalation is arguably inevitable from that.

    And they are still at least of the order Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,615 ✭✭✭Deebles McBeebles

    Early Monday morning would suit me if anyone important is reading.

  • Registered Users Posts: 42,483 ✭✭✭✭SEPT 23 1989

  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭purplefields

    There used to be the full film on Youtube. Should be required viewing as part of the National Curriculum.

    The scary thing for me is the first time a watched this, it was possible, but still entertainment, like Terminator. Now it's much more likely.

    Even the start of this film is uncanny, when they talk about troop movements in eastern Europe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    Maybe you're a fair bit younger than me but when this and The Day After were on TV in the 84-85 period it totally felt like something that could happen next year, next month, next week even maybe.

    Pershing II and Cruise and SS-20s and Greenham Common were constantly in the news.

    A few years before, when I was about 9 I found a copy of Bás Beatha hidden behind the gas meter under the stairs. Issued in the mid-60s post Cuban Missile Crisis, based on the A-bomb era it might possibly have been slightly useful. Not so much in the H-bomb era with bombs 100 or 1000 times larger so it was obsolete before it was issued. Didn't take me long to figure out that nowhere in our house was suitable for construction of a useful fallout room. The realisation that it was totally naive that they assumed Ireland would not suffer a nuclear strike, only fallout, came later. So, living in a strategic target, we were all going to die anyway, the only question was how quickly.

    Post edited by Hotblack Desiato on

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    But in any transition to war* there are going to be lots of troop movements, eastern or western bloc as it was then.

    The scenario in Threads was a conflict in Iran IIRC, USSR and USA bombing each other's airbases conventionally and then a tactical nuke used against a bomber fleet (very 1950s - AIR-2 Genie missile kind of thing, I doubt either side had anything like that in service still at that time) and attacking each other's naval fleets, I think there was a nuclear depth charge as well used before the exchanges started in earnest.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    Termination of Putin with extreme prejudice would certainly make the world a better and much safer place. It would be of benefit to the Russian people too but that kinda depends on what follows after. He is a tremendous lesson of the perils of being in power way too long and believing one's own bullshit.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,502 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Thing about Putin… lots of reports and take them with a pinch of salt, suggest that he is terminally ill… 2-3 years left, blood cancer.

    he's 70 but all of a sudden looking frail, all of a sudden looking old, gaunt, unwell…. from Mr Muscle to a slip of an old man…So he has likely nothing personally to lose. Does he care about his reputation ? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t… does he care what world, what Russia he leaves behind ? Maybe yes, maybe no…anger, anxiety, denial, depression, agitation are all psychological issues that ‘can’ be prevalent for and in people with a terminal illness…

    it’s the first time in his life he’ll have had a situation he cannot influence, change, amend or deflect from or indeed threaten into submission…

    So does he try and create a horrible legacy by starting a war ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,149 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Even if he is toying with this, does he want to leave a nuclear wasteland to his kids?

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,371 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    There's been lots of near misses. Including a H-Bomb in North Carolina of the four safety mechanisms in the Faro bomb, designed to prevent unintended detonation, three failed to operate properly

    "Using freedom of information, he discovered that at least 700 "significant" accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone."

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,121 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 475 ✭✭Run Forest Run

    "Every hammer finds it's nail"... and yet your comment was quite a distance off the nail.

    "What has the current war changed? Well the main thing is that it has shone a bright spotlight on how difficult it is to achieve a conventional military victory in a high intensity war if you are not the United States of America."

    Remind me again, which wars the US has won since WW2? Vietnam? Nope, got their ass handed to them by a bunch of poor little chaps in the jungle (and it's debatable whether using napalm and agent orange is actually conventional btw). The middle east? Nope, they created ISIS and the Taliban basically strolled back into town the moment they left. They needed two massive nukes in order to defeat Japan in WW2 - possibly the worst war crime ever committed. Not to mention the overwhelming numerical superiority that the allies had over the axis forces - including the soviets losing some 27 million men, which arguably had the biggest impact on winning that particular war.

    "Russia entered the war with an overwhelming advantage in manpower and material, only to watch it quickly fade away."

    Did they? A relatively small number of Russians are basically fighting an entire country, bankrolled to the tune of countless billions $ by the west. (20 billion $ by the US alone since 2014 - 18 billion $ just from the Biden administration). There were about roughly 10 million Ukrainian men of fighting age, and roughly the same for women before this invasion began. How many of them have been actively involved? Very hard to find exact numbers, but without doubt it's in the many millions of people. Not to mention the actual Ukrainian armed forces, which has been seriously beefed up by the west since the Crimean annexation in 2014. And all of the foreign fighters too of course.

    Russia hasn't even committed it's entire military, never mind it's entire country to this conflict. So perhaps you should have a bit of a re-think regarding this "overwhelming advantage" you imagine they have. Yes, they do have some advantages in some areas. The biggest one being logistical and infrastructure - because of the fact that their territory/cities etc are not being attacked. But they didn't have this overwhelming advantage you're imagining.

    You could say the same thing about the Americans in Vietnam, but their military superiority was defeated by millions of highly committed men with very basic weaponry. The Ukrainians have much more help than those poor Vietnamese, and comparatively much better weaponry too.

    "Once this war is over, and possibly even before this point, countries with nuclear arsenals will start asking themselves: "why should we allow ourselves to be humiliated the way Russia did, when we have nukes?" From there, nuclear powers will start developing military doctrines that support the first use of tactical nuclear weapons when conventional military means fail."

    Highly speculative conjecture here. Firstly, there is no real evidence that Russia have seriously considered the use of nuclear weapons. Dangerous rhetoric is not the same thing as actively planning to use them in a tactical sense on the battlefield. All we really have is rumours to base our assessment on.

    And from Russia's perspective, it makes sense to use them as an outline threat. (even if I don't like or agree with this strategy) Putin knows he's not just facing Ukraine in this conflict, even if that's how the west likes to portray it. They are fighting the west/NATO by proxy, and it's very obvious to any intelligent analyst that there is no chance that one country could possibly defeat an entire organization of 30 powerful nations like NATO.

    So the nuclear threat helps to keep them at arms length, from Russia's perspective. Which arguably also protects the rest of the world from a much broader conflict - possibly even WW3. Which of course, is why nuclear weapons were actually invented in the first place. The treat of these weapons has - so far - prevented another war on the scale of WW1 & WW2. Of course, it goes without saying, they are an extremely dangerous deterrent. But an effective deterrent none-the-less.

    The best we can really hope for here, is that this conflict starts to cool down early next year. Because the western objective of attempting to score a decisive victory over Russia, is potentially fraught with great danger for the rest of the world. Neither Ukraine or Russia are going to roll over and give up easily, so this means human carnage on a massive scale if the global community does not work towards a peaceful resolution. We need to start rejecting the aggressive rhetoric of the war hawks, who's thirst for more blood will never be quenched. (the US administration being the biggest culprit in this regard - with their money hungry military industrial complex often standing in the way of negotiated settlements)

    As a side note, I was quite saddened by the response to Elon Musk's twitter mutterings on this conflict. It wasn't the rejection of his plan for peace that bothered me, but rather just how many people seemed to favour more war rather than trying to consider peaceful solutions to this conflict. I know it's the twitters-fere, so not necessarily representative of society as a whole... but still quite disturbing how many people seemed to reject even the mere suggestion of some sort of compromise by both parties to secure peace. His plan was far from perfect, but that's not the point really.

    We need to start listening more to the influential people, who are trying to use their mind to bring about peace. Not the one's who are using their mind or means to bring about more bloodshed. Reject the war hawks on all sides, they don't have the solutions to this conflict. All they have to offer, is more and more blood.

  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭Sono Topolino

    There is so much nonsense in your post I hope you will forgive me for failing to address every single point:

    1. My post above related to peer/near-peer conflicts in a conventional high intensity war. America successfully invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan and defeated the armed forces of both countries in a very short amount of time. In both countries, it later struggled with insurgencies (i.e. not a conventional high-intensity war, but asymmetric conflict against irregular combatants). Following its withdrawal from Iraq, the regime it installed remains in charge. In Afghanistan, the regime it installed was defeated during its withdrawal - but note that this was the American backed regime, the not the United States military.
    2. Russia claimed to have to have 900,000 active duty military personnel around the date of the invasion vs Ukraine's 200,000. The fact that it only deployed around 190,000 troops because of domestic political considerations serves to drive home my point about how difficult conventional wars are.
    3. At the time you posted your nonsense, Russia had declared a general (sorry, my bad, "partial") mobilisation which has created a level of domestic opposition/unrest not seen since the time Yeltsin ordered Russian tanks to attack the White House (note - I'm referring to the government building in Moscow).
    4. A wide and diverse range of sources, including Al Jazeera, have documented with growing alarm the "normalisation" of discourse regarding the use of low-yield/tactical nuclear weapons. I don't speak Russian, so I unfortunately cannot read/watch Russian media but if multiple sources are pointing to the same conclusion then it is most likely true. And it's not just hot-head media anchors - Ramzan Kaydrov and Dmitriy Medvedev have either called for the use of nuclear weapons or stated that they're on the table. Putin, meanwhile, has not referred to nuclear weapons directly and has stuck to making insinuations. I agree that we have no concrete evidence that they have considered how they might be used in the field, but it would be very strange if such proof existed. Even in advanced western democracies, these discussions never go on in the open. However, the normalisation of discourse regarding the use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield could be a tactic to build public acceptance regarding the use of weapons.
    5. Russia is not at war with NATO. While it has poor diplomatic relations with every western country except Hungary due to the invasion, it is at war with Ukraine and Ukraine only. Only Ukrainian soldiers (including foreign volunteers in Ukrainian Army uniform) are actually fighting (and dying) against Russia in Ukraine. While Russia is obviously displeased at the military and financial assistance Ukraine has received from NATO countries, this is not the same thing as being at war with NATO. It is not even a proxy war, because Ukraine's tactical and strategic objectives are decided by Ukraine's government - not NATO. NATO's ability to influence the war is limited only to the provision of aid, which Ukraine then can use as it sees fit. The only precondition which we know that America has placed on Ukraine in respect of American aid is that it should not carry out any attacks within Russia's internationally agreed borders. Ukraine has ignored this multiple times (with some justification), which is why America has instead refused to supply any long range rockets. America and NATO have a clear interest in helping Ukraine, but they are not forcing Ukraine to fight (and it is not even clear that they could even if they wanted to).
    6. The point which has been made by NATO countries is that only Ukraine should decide what peace settlement it should be willing to accept - not Elon Musk, not anybody else. Only Ukraine and Russia are currently parties to the war, and therefore only those two countries can decide the acceptable peace terms.

    I agree that it is unlikely that Russia will actually use nuclear weapons, but I see serious danger in the normalisation of discourse around the use of nuclear weapons. This is incredibly dangerous and we will live with the effects of this discourse for years to come. As I said above, the real fear I have is that Ukraine will serve as a case study of a time when a nuclear power should have used nuclear weapons to avoid humiliation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,502 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

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  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭purplefields

    Recent events are creeping us more towards WWIII than away from it. Just a couple of events that might bring us closer:

    Russian jet released missile near RAF aircraft over black sea: Russian jet released missile near RAF aircraft over Black Sea - BBC News

    What if the missile hit the RAF aircraft? Worryingly, Russia said it was the result of a "technical malfunction". This is the kind of thing that could easily spark WWIII - an accident.

    The situation with Iran entering the fray, if true, might also cause issues with the war extending towards Iran/Isreal.