1. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    After a nuclear war, how likely is it that former military bases would be re-activated?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by JadeX, Oct 8, 2016.

    Obviously most of the air force bases would be destroyed, and so they would need to be replaced. Would they build entirely new bases from scratch, or would they re-activate former air bases with existing facilities (for example, McClellan Air Force Base, which was closed in 2001 and is now a civilian airport)?

    I would guess that re-activating former bases would be easier and make more sense, but then again, I also know how the government can be regarding complexity and sense.

    (I'm talking about the USA here, if that matters for the answer)
     
  2. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    I suppose it depends on the nature and the extent of the war. And if the nukes were tactically dropped on military installations (not all of which, I'm sure, are locations the public are aware of), or the length of time passed after the war.

    In the worlds I've seen, such as the Fallout video game series or the Metro book series, there was quickly a complete and absolute government and military breakdown. They didn't exist. It wasn't until years later, the survivors basically started their own again. There are a couple exceptions to this, such as the Enclave in the Fallout universe, who are a direct descendant of the remnants of the previous United States government. But ultimately, it's basically hitting the Refresh button.

    Reason being, in the event of a worst-case-scenario nuclear disaster, soldiers would go AWOL if the military wasn't disbanded. Simply because 90% of them have something to live for besides themselves; looking out for their loved ones and blood family, friends even.

    That being said, the likelihood of *some* government body or interest group taking over previous military installations, so long as the equipment is still usable or can be restored, is pretty high I'd think. The very fabric of modern society would likely be nearly destroyed and taken back to the stone age, so building all that from scratch would be an almost impossible feat--at least in comparison to just taking advantage of the leftovers.
     
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  3. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Why would you open up the closed installation sites after a nuke or two?
    Unless you plan on a ground war in the country this seems kinda pointless.
    If you are planning to stage a ground war on the states, then they would
    open old bases as needed for strategic value. Though this has been proven
    that a land war on the states would be a useless endeavor to any foreign
    invasion seeing as they would have the armed populace on top of the
    military. So where are you going with this? Anyone with common sense
    knows what Japan knew during WW2, that there will be a rifle behind
    every blade of grass.

    Gonna need a little more info before being able to offer up a better
    response. As it stands now the military would lose bases in any
    major city that happens to be a target of this unknown aggressor,
    but we don't know what they intend to do after blowing a few nukes.
     
  4. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Back in the seventies or eighties there was a group - Physicians against Nuclear War or some such. They commissioned a report that I read which looked at the effects of an all out nuclear war. One of the things that came out of that report was that the sum total of nuclear weapons in the world was sufficient to wipe the world out four hundred times over.

    So to answer you question, in the event of an all out war, there won't even be enough bacteria left to recolonise the bases!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  5. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    This was fairly limited, not even remotely close to being apocalyptic. Actually, compared to an apocalypse-level exchange, this was *very* limited. The government still functions and there is great hope for recovery (with time of course). This isn't a worst-case scenario by any means, this is actually closer yo being a "best-case" scenario (I mean, it is nuclear war, so it's still pretty bad).

    This isn't being done for war, this is to distribute supplies across the country to facilitate recovery.

    See my response above, this was pretty limited. Also this is in modern (actually near-future) times.
     
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  6. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    Could you perhaps give us a better scope of how limited the war is in your story?

    I mean, are we talking North Korea managed to build an ancient version (think 1950's red-scare) of a nuclear weapon and tossed it at South Korea? Are we talking a few modern nuclear weapons launched at each other and then somebody said "hey we should probably stop"?

    A little more context would allow us to help guide you better. :)

    EDIT: Also, I would *definitely* read up on Chernobyl. Even just reading the Wikipedia page, or watching the video I'll link below, will help you understand the effects of a limited, contained nuclear disaster. Maybe even read up on Japan, and the effects of the atom bombs dropped.

     
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  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Then they would simply ship supplies by truck and plane. Only reason to open bases that were closed
    would be for housing the people have been displaced. Though they would probably open up existing
    bases for this as well if they needed to.
     
  8. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    The year is 2022 and the Second Cold War is in full swing. Arms races reignite and wargames are conducted increasingly by both sides. Russia deploys its frightening new Sarmat ICBM system, prompting the USA to develop their own new missile, as well as some new anti-missile systems. These new anti-missile systems, deployed across the US and Canada, are put to the test when a wargame-gone-wrong in the Pacific accidentally sets off a nuclear engagement between the US and Russia.

    The new missile defense system sees a 75% success rate in intercepting Russian warheads, while meanwhile the Russian counterpart system is overwhelmed by the US retaliation and the coordinated "second strike" by NATO. The result of this exchange sees Russia devastated, while the US and Canada are harmed but only partially crippled. European NATO allies, not initially targeted due to the sudden nature of the war (and the fact that they waited before firing), fare the best, with only a couple dozen strikes at mostly US bases.

    Here's a map I made showing the condition of the Lower 48.

    So basically, recovery is possible, and foreign aid can come from Canada and Europe, or anywhere else. The government, military, and FEMA are all still functional.

    EDIT (in response to Foxxx's edit): Oh yeah, I've done a lot of research on Chernobyl actually! I used to be really interested in it. I feel like I have a fair enough understanding of the effects of radiation/fallout and the other "physical" effects of nukes, but what I need help with is mainly the infrastructure and the process of recovery.
     
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  9. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    That seems like a lot of nuclear strikes without leaving the world a wasteland, but I'm not knowledgeable on the subject. Just out of curiosity, how much research have you done regarding the effects of nuclear missiles?

    Anyway, assuming that the government and military are still functioning, the green areas will probably require the least amount of aid. So in the yellow zones is probably where the most aid would be sent, which includes where potential bases would either be reactivated, re-purposed, or even built. The goal would likely be to get people out of the grey areas with no electricity, running / clean water, etc., and also areas where there is lethal levels of radiation.

    So I'd say that it is very likely the United States would use ex-military sites to help handle the situation, under the circumstances you have presented.
     
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  10. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    A ton, in fact. Nuclear warfare is a concept that has always fascinated me and I've been learning about it for quite some time. I've always wanted to write a story about it and now that I have one going I'm taking it seriously and really doing my research.

    Good observations, yeah! The grey areas could take months, years, or even decades to recover. As far as lethal levels of radiation, this would probably be most likely encountered in the Great Plains region, near the struck missile silos (the clumps of dots in CO/NE/WY, ND, and MT). These would have been hit with high-yield weapons exploded on the ground, which generates tons of fallout that - unlike fallout from airbursts - would not degrade as quickly. Their location, unfortunately, means that a lot of crop land will be rendered infertile due to fallout damage (perhaps nothing will grow at all in these areas for the first year, and then it will probably struggle for a few years, if the soil is not replaced).
     
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  11. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    Definitely, I have an interest in post-apocalyptic scenarios. Just never looked into it to the extent that you have. But that's good to hear; you're definitely in a good position then!

    I would suspect that military bases / FEMA camps and other installations would be set-up where necessary. So in places where there are no pre-existing and / or usable installations, or in places where existing installations cannot sustain the stress.

    I'm not sure how much of your story you have written, but I suppose this is a good opportunity for you to take. Do you want to make the United States government (as well as other governments) incapable at handling the situation? Or did they already have years of training and planning in the case of such a scenario? Or, maybe a little bit of both.

    But assuming the situation was handled efficiently, I'd suspect all available locations (military bases and so on) would be used first, before even thinking about constructing more from the ground-up.

    I mean this is really such a complex scenario, which is why I think it's so fascinating. I mean, how would hospitals react? Wouldn't they all have to be trained how to handle radioactive patients? Are all hospitals even equipped to do this? Fortunately, I think questions only need to be answered as the story requires it.
     
  12. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Yep, and I've already got the FEMA locations selected and marked on the map. I'm thinking military locations would probably be close in proximity to these FEMA sites - especially air force bases - so that they can coordinate to handle/deliver supplies.

    I'm thinking I want the government to be mostly improvising, but in a way that usually works. Basically the kind of post-attack atmosphere I'm going for is similar to what we saw after 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina - the whole country uniting together and helping each other to get through. And I want a firm and stable enough government to lead by example.

    Right, kinda what I assumed. Former air force bases would be especially easy to re-activate, since many of them were converted to civilian airports that were still operational at the time of the attack.

    Fortunately I'm writing from the first-person perspective of a 17-year-old, so all I really have to write about is what he sees and/or hears about. I'll try to put him in enough situations and places to really get a fulfilling experience for the story's sake, but even still, there are limits. So for the most part I should be okay.
     
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  13. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Thanks to this handy Wiki article, I was able to find a ton of former AFBs all over the country that still operate as civilian airports. So now I've got a good selection of potential new bases.

    Now, here's an interesting question - how would the federal government go about re-acquiring civilian land for military use? Would this be allowed by invoking a State of Emergency, or can the President do it by Executive Order, or something else? Would anyone happen to know what a legal way to do that would be?
     
  14. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Oh, and for the few cases where they may have to build entirely new sites, I have an idea how this can be done - use highways! Old state highways that predate the interstate system are usually seldom-travelled, and also commonly contain straight flat stretches. Close off parts of these highways (use existing roads to detour them around) and use the straight sections as runways. Construct temporary structures while supplies are gradually shipped in. Build up slowly as supplies become available. In a few months to a couple years, there's a base. Right away, it's at least usable for air traffic and small operations.

    This could potentially bring a lot of help to the hard-hit "grey" areas.

    EDIT: Just re-iterating my last question, sorry for the distraction lol
     
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  15. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    I do know that Executive Orders are not unlimited. There are some things the President cannot do with Executive Orders. One of which is he can't deprive citizens of "life, liberty, or property". But it's hazy, which isn't a surprise when it comes to trying to interpret the law. Reason being, the internment of Japanese citizens was done via executive order, and to me that sounds like they lost their property and liberty.

    Here's a link on Martial Law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_law#United_States

    Just click on United States. It will tell you some of the limitations of martial law, as well as give a history of its usage.

    So basically, under a state of emergency / martial law, along with executive orders, I suppose the President could give private landowners appropriate compensation and take the land whether they like it or not. I mean this is an extreme circumstance, one that the Founding Fathers would never have even thought of. Which is why its open to interpretation in the first place. So my suggestion is do some research on what the President supposedly "can't" do via Executive Order, check out that link on martial law / state of emergency, and come up with the best and most convincing way the government could do this.

    Also, here's a link on Eminent domain (property). Just click United States. And! Look at Canada's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain#United_States

    EDIT: One other thing I found interesting. I didn't want to do the research for you (not that you're asking me to), but I did notice that Canada's "eminent domain" works as follows.

    "Under these statutory regimes, public authorities have the right to acquire private property for public purposes, so long as the acquisition is approved by the appropriate government body. Once a property is taken, an owner is entitled to "be made whole" by compensation for: the market value of the expropriated property, injurious affection to the remainder of the property (if any), disturbance damages, business loss, and special difficulty relocating." Note how it says this is approved by the appropriate government body; it sounds as if the owner doesn't even get a say really. The owner can only ask for appropriate compensation; not ask to keep the land.

    This is very similar to something I read about the United States, when looking at Martial Law. "Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution states, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." In other words, martial law should not be invoked except in cases of rebellion, invasion, or public safety requires it.

    Also, even more similarly, here is the bit about USA eminent domain. "The Fifth Amendment added to the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights, requires that the taking be for a "public use" and mandating payment of "just compensation" to the owner."

    Going by these general guidelines, I would assume that in the case of a nuclear disaster, where public safety is at risk, that martial law (a state of emergency) could be used, alongside executive orders to utilize private land for public use and compensate the owners accordingly.
     
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  16. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Hmm, so I'd need a combo of a few things then. Interesting... I wonder how the laws can be bent and interpreted to go around the "public use" thing, though. Like, these bases would be used by the military, but they would be for civil recovery operations at the benefit of the public, so maybe that's "close enough" given the dire circumstances?

    Perhaps if there is a civilian/refugee housing area included, maybe it would fit? That way it's not all military?
     
  17. Foxxx
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    Foxxx Member Supporter

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    There you go, easy way around it.

    Public safety at risk (for a variety of serious reasons)? Check. Institute state of emergency and martial law.

    Need private land for public use (i.e. to house refugees, set-up aid stations, etc)? Check. Use of executive orders by President.

    Executive orders follows general rule of practice for 'eminent domain', is approved by state and local government bodies, and compensates owners? Check.

    And given the age and nature of the main character, I would think that this is mainly background stuff that is important for you to know, but maybe won't need to be explained in full detail for the reader.
     
  18. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Well, I am thinking of writing a sequel from the POV of a military general adviser to the President, in charge of the national recovery mission. So that may be a more in-depth story that will require more information and research. It'll be interesting though, I'll start at the beginning and each chapter will correspond to the chapters of the original story so you can see how things done at the top affect those at the bottom. I've got maybe at least a couple years of work cut out for me, lol.

    EDIT: Oh, and also, the MC in this story will be hearing daily radio broadcasts by the President in which he will likely talk about and outline his plans, so it may be mentioned there too.
     
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