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Later generation missiles with much improved accuracy made counterforce attacks against the opponent's hardened military facilities like missile silos and command and control centers possible.

This is due to the inverse-square law , which predicts that the amount of energy dispersed from a single point release of energy such as a thermonuclear blast dissipates by the inverse of the square of distance from the single point of release. The result is that the power of a nuclear explosion to rupture hardened structures is greatly decreased by the distance from the impact point of the nuclear weapon.

So a near-direct hit is generally necessary, as only diminishing returns are gained by increasing bomb power. According to the theory of nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction, full countervalue retaliation would be the likely fate for anyone who unleashed a first strike.

So as to maintain credible deterrence, the nuclear-weapons states have taken measures to give their enemies reason to believe that a first strike would lead to unacceptable results. The main strategy here relies on creating doubt among enemy strategists regarding nuclear capacity, weapons characteristics, facility and infrastructure vulnerability, early warning systems, intelligence penetration, strategic plans, and political will.

In terms of military capabilities, the aim is to create the impression of the maximum possible force and survivability, leading the enemy to make increased estimates of the probability of a disabling counterstrike; while in terms of strategy and politics, the aim is to cause the enemy to believe that such a second strike would be forthcoming in the event of a nuclear attack.

One of the main reasons to deter first-strike, is the possibility that the victim of the first-strike will launch a retaliatory second-strike on the attacker. Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines SSBNs carrying submarine-launched ballistic missiles SLBMs , commonly known as "boomers" in the US and "bombers" in the UK, are widely considered the most survivable component of the nuclear triad. The depths of the ocean are extremely large, and nuclear submarines are highly mobile, very quiet, have virtually unlimited range, and can generate their own oxygen and potable water; in essence, their undersea endurance is limited only by food supply.

It is unlikely that any conceivable opponent of any nuclear power deploying ballistic missile submarines could locate and neutralize every ballistic missile submarine before it could launch a retaliatory strike, in the event of war. Therefore, to increase the percentage of nuclear forces surviving a first strike, a nation can simply increase SSBN deployment, as well as deployment of reliable communications links with SSBNs.

In addition, land-based ICBM silos can be hardened. No missile launch facility can really defend against a direct nuclear hit, but a sufficiently hardened silo could defend against a near miss, especially if the detonation is not from a multimegaton thermonuclear weapon.

Agni 5 , Template: Agni 6 , MGM Midgetman , which can then be moved around; as an enemy has nothing fixed to aim at, this increases their survivability.

The effectiveness of a first strike is contingent upon the aggressor's ability to immediately deplete its enemy's retaliatory capacity to a level that would make a second strike impossible, mitigable, or strategically undesirable. Intelligence and early warning systems increase the probability that the enemy will have the time to launch its own strike before its warmaking capacity has been significantly reduced, thus rendering a first strike pointless.

Alert states such as DEFCON conditions, apart from serving a purpose in the internal management of a country's military, can have the effect of advising a potential aggressor that an escalation towards first strike has been detected, and therefore that effective retaliatory strikes could be made in the event of an attack.

In the event of significant political-military tensions between the nuclear powers, they would take to the skies, and provide survivable communications in the event of enemy attack.

They can directly initiate launch of all U. In addition to these airborne assets, the U. The Greenbrier in West Virginia was once the site of the Supreme Court of the United States and Congress' relocation bunker; however, it is no longer a secret and is now a tourist attraction. But their unique and special capability can be found with their Dead Hand fail-deadly computerized nuclear release system, [4] based at Mount Yamantaw in the Urals. Apparently, Dead Hand, named for either the dead man's hand in poker, or the dead man's switch in dangerous or deadly machinery, can be turned on in the event that the Russian leadership fears a nuclear attack.

Allegedly, once Dead Hand is activated, if it detects a loss of communications with Moscow as well as nuclear detonations inside of Russian territory, it can give final authority for the release of nuclear weapons to military officers in a bunker under Mt.

Yamantaw, who can then, if they so determine, launch Russia's arsenal. Yamantaw is believed to be able to withstand multiple direct nuclear detonations.

Instead of relying on sophisticated communications links and launch-on-warning postures, the French, British, and Chinese have chosen to assume different nuclear postures more suited to minimum credible deterrence, or the capability to inflict unacceptable losses so as to prevent the use of nuclear weapons against them, rather than pursuing types of nuclear weapons suitable to first-strike use.

In recent years, the PRC has improved its early-warning systems and renovated certain of its platforms for intercontinental strike; this may be due to the U. In general, it appears that the PRC's leaders do not greatly fear a first strike due to their posture of merely inflicting unacceptable losses upon an adversary as opposed to the U.

The United Kingdom and France possess sophisticated nuclear weapons platforms; however their nuclear strategies are minimum credible deterrent-based. Each possesses ballistic missile submarines armed with intercontinental submarine-launched ballistic missiles to ensure a devastating second strike retaliation anywhere in the world.

France also possesses a number of nuclear capable fighter aircraft. Both countries' nuclear policies are believed to be that of effective deterrence towards a would be nuclear strike against themselves, NATO, European Union members and other allies.

Unlike a decapitation strike or a countervalue strike , a counterforce strike might result in a potentially more constrained retaliation. If it is assumed that each side has missiles, with 5 warheads each, and further that each side has a 95 percent chance of neutralizing the opponent's missiles in their silos by firing 2 warheads at each silo, then the attacking side can reduce the enemy ICBM force from missiles to about 5 by firing 40 missiles with warheads, and keeping the rest of 60 missiles in reserve.

Any defense system against nuclear missiles such as SDI will be more effective against limited numbers of missiles launched. At very small numbers of targets, each defensive asset will be able to take multiple shots at each warhead, and a high kill ratio could be achieved easily.

As the number of targets increases, the defensive network becomes "saturated" as each asset must target and destroy more and more warheads in the same window of time. Eventually the system will reach a maximum number of targets destroyed and after this point all additional warheads will penetrate the defenses. This leads to several destabilizing effects. First, a state that is not building similar defenses may be encouraged to attack before the system is in place, essentially starting the war while there is no clear advantage instead of waiting until they will be at a distinct disadvantage after the defenses are completed.

Second, one of the easiest ways to counter any proposed defenses is to simply build more warheads and missiles, reaching that saturation point sooner and hitting targets through a strategy of attrition. Third, and most importantly, since defenses are more effective against small numbers of warheads, a nation with a defense system is actually encouraged to engage in a counterforce first strike. The smaller retaliatory strike is then more easily destroyed by the defense system than a full attack would be.

This undermines the doctrine of MAD by discrediting a nation's ability to punish any aggressor with a lethal retaliatory second strike. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see First strike disambiguation. Some of the purposes for which Cookies are installed may also require the User's consent.

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Work through the remaining empty cells, trying the numbers that have not been used. According to information on its site: The name National Security Archive is misleading: It is not a coincidence that the main goal of the Archive has been to obtain documents that prove the evil doings of the CIA, the Department of Defense and other government organizations, particularly about events occurred during Republican administrations, or documents that show the evil intent of the right wingers in the Army and other branches of the government during Democrat administrations.

Actually, they are not just photocopies, but photocopies of photocopies. Due to the fact that no mention is found in the site about any authentication procedure of the copies of copies of the documents they keep, one may safely surmise that the archivists at the National Security Archive have never seen, touched or scrutinized the original documents of which they keep alleged faithful copies.

This is simply amazing, because in the archival profession the process of authentication, that is, the evaluation of the physical veracity of a document, is a long, difficult and painstaking job.

In the case of documents whose source is dubious or have a reputation for dissembling, extra care is taken. No mention is made in any of the dictionaries I consulted about an archive being a place for the preservation of copies of documents.

Then, if it is not an archive, what is actually the National Security Archive? It is difficult to understand, however, why the same people who made billions as the direct results of the evil doings of the CIA and other U. This, at least to me, is highly suspicious. May it be that this is precisely what they are trying to avoid? A significant detail is that, though apparently damaging, most of the areas of interest of the National Security Archive do not deal with subjects that may be a cause of embarrassment to the people who are economically supporting the Archive.

No documents in the National Security Archives mention the collaboration of some members of the U. Therefore, this is a case of deception by omission. We can safely assume that the truly damaging documents will never be made public.

To intelligence analysts, all official recorded information is potential disinformation. This includes official records, memos, letters, photographs, etc. It is useful to keep in mind that declassified documents are as untrustworthy as any other source. The fact that a document was labeled classified, and it has been declassified after some period of time, does not guarantee that what it says is the truth, nor that its original intent has not been disinformation. It seems that, at least in the case of studies about the Cuban missile crisis, Stephenson was close to the truth.

Maybe historians will be able to clarify this twenty years hence. They seem to ignore that intelligence is not the product of the collection, but of the analysis of all types of data. It is not until the collected information has been thoroughly evaluated according to certain specific rules and criteria, that it becomes true intelligence.

An important element in the evaluation process is the verification that the information has not been intentionally created for disinformation purposes, that is, that the person or persons who created it has intentionally lied.

A close reading of the books produced by these scholars, however, show that the possibility that some of their sources may have intentionally lied for disinformation purposes seems to have been totally absent from their minds.

On the contrary, it is totally justified. My main objection to accepting copies of documents at face value is simply that, for obvious reasons, it has never been an accepted practice among archivists. How can we accept at face value the word of people from an organization whose main job is lying and deceiving? It is widely known that the CIA and other U. The CIA makes considerable use of forged documents.

Just a few years ago, an internal inquiry found that the very Pentagon agency charged with discovering and exposing fraud destroyed incriminating documents and replaced them with falsified ones to avoid embarrassment when its own operations were audited.

The most risible part of this whole brouhaha about how close we were to nuclear Armageddon during the Cuban missile crisis is that, contrary to claims by Blight et. Moreover, the medium-range missiles that nobody saw and were supposed to carry the missiles on a devastating attack against the U. But the U-2 photos, which allegedly provided incontrovertible proof of the existence of nuclear missiles on Cuban soil, have been published in high resolution and are available on the web.

Surprisingly, such photos only show long objects covered with tarps and a few concrete bunkers which, according to the CIA, contained the nuclear warheads. The nuclear missiles, much less their nuclear warheads, do not appear anywhere.

According to documents declassified after the fall of the Soviet Union and accounts of some Soviet officers who participated in the operation, when the missiles were discovered by the U-2s, their nuclear warheads were already in Cuba, and were later returned to the Soviet Union together with the missiles. However, despite the fact that all U. Moreover, as Kennedy refused to authorize offshore in situ verification, the presence of strategic missiles and their nuclear warheads on the Soviet ships was never confirmed.

Nevertheless, there is an even more important fact. From the early Sixties the U. By the time of the missile crisis, the U. However, none of the official documents produced during the crisis has revealed information that these teams had registered radiation from Soviet ships crossing the Strait supposedly carrying nuclear warheads to Cuba.

Many of the photos taken during the crisis show U. Navy aircraft flying over Soviet ships only a few feet above the masts. Presumably, some of these aircraft carried equipment capable of detecting gamma radiation.

But no information whatsoever has been offered about detecting radiation from nuclear warheads on the ships allegedly carrying missiles and nuclear warheads back to the Soviet Union. So, if the Soviets really had nuclear warheads in Cuba, why had nobody ever detected radiation from them? The reason for this is very simple: It would lessen credibility to their plans for future fears if one day we discover that the previous fears were bases on lies.

Servando Gonzalez is the author of The Nuclear Hoax: One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. This is an original book in form and contents, tied to multimedia platforms on a website. Based on many years of "critical current history" study of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the hard core includes 43 letters and declarations, nearly all by Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro, covering the Crisis. These are put into the context of situations as understood by them in real time.

The main historic conclusion is that a devastating nuclear war nearly happened. The lession is that rational behavior in some situations can lead to a catastrophe not desired by the actors. Normatively, as put by Robert McNamara, who actively participated in the project on which this book is based, "the indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations" p.

This book realizes "reenactment" as proposed by Robin George Collingwood, getting into the mind of decision makers.

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CIA DOCUMENTS ON THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS November 1, Soviet missiles leaving Cuba after the white-knuckled standoff. Shadow of the US .

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The Armageddon Letters: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis [James G. Blight, janet M. Lang] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In October, , the Cuban missile crisis brought human civilization to the brink of destruction. On the 50 th anniversary of the most dangerous confrontation of the nuclear era. history of cuba and the castro revolution, background to revolution , castro biographies, road to power, castro revolution, Leadership, Race, Social Policies, economy, dissidents, ernesto che guevara, castros cuba and world, missile crisis, africa, latin america.

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Cuba (/ ˈ k juː b ə /; Spanish pronunciation:), officially the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba (help · info)), is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the. In nuclear strategy, a first strike is a preemptive surprise attack employing overwhelming force. First strike capability is a country's ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country can survive the weakened retaliation while the opposing side is left unable to continue war. The preferred methodology is to attack the opponent's.