1. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.

    Potential international reactions to a US-Russia nuclear conflict?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JadeX, Mar 26, 2016.

    My current story is about just what I said in the title - a limited* nuclear engagement breaks out between the modern-day United States and Russian Federation.

    (*in this case, "limited" means ~120 strikes across the US - still pretty extensive, but not anywhere near a full-scale war)

    Obviously, this is the kind of thing that will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world, and the way they react to it will affect the course of the war, which will in turn have an effect on the plot of the story. I know some about foreign relations, but I'm not an expert by any means.

    In particular, I want to know about...

    NATO - obviously, Article 5 would be invoked immediately - "any attack against any NATO member state shall be considered an attack on NATO as a whole". But how might they react? Would Britain and France choose to go nuclear as well, and start lobbing missiles at Russia? Might they try something else first? Would they try to destroy the nukes that Russia has deployed in Crimea? Would NATO troops deploy anywhere, perhaps to bolster Ukraine?
    What if Russia decides to invade the Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania, who are also NATO members? If things had not gone nuclear in Europe yet, might this push it over the threshold?
    Or might NATO decide not to go nuclear at all, at least not immediately?

    Ukraine - when the Ukrainians start to see American missiles light up the sky over the Russian horizon, could they be expected to take advantage of the situation and launch a swift blitzkrieg to take back Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk?

    China - Allies with Russia, but also has too large an economic reputation to uphold to risk much foreign intervention (hence why they've recently distanced themselves from N Korea). Would they support, condemn, remain neutral, try to play peacemaker? Hard to say how they'd react. I definitely want to hear from someone who might know a bit about China.

    North Korea - You know they love to try to make themselves relevant by forcing themselves into every matter. Hard to imagine they'd pass up the opportunity to attack American allies like South Korea and Japan. Is an invasion of South Korea likely? How about attacks against Japan and the Philippines? Is this the time when the DPRK might finally use whatever handful of nukes they have?

    Venezuela - a long-time adversary of the US, might they try to assert their influence in the Caribbean? A couple of Russian nukes have already cut off Puerto Rico from American support, so might Venezuela undertake an invasion of Puerto Rico, perhaps even the other US and British territories in the Lesser Antilles?
    If Venezuela did want to take Puerto Rico, would Russia help them? Or might Russia also want the island for themselves, and end up with the two fighting each other?

    American territories in the Pacific - this whole war started after a massive Russian naval wargame in the Pacific went wrong, so basically, the Russians are already all over the Pacific. Thus, I must wonder about America's many territories there - Guam, Marshall Islands, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll, etc. - would Russia make an effort to capture these, or would they just nuke them as they pass by?

    Japan - a major US ally and the closest to eastern Russia, but with little military capability of their own, what might they do? Give everything they've got to interfere with the Russian Navy? Or sit back and ride it out, hoping things don't turn against them?
     
  2. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    78
    I am not sure about some of the others, but North Korea is only 20 million people last time I checked and I don't think they would do anything. They do not have a lot resources for fighting against the U.S. and their whole race of people will be wiped off the planet if they tried, I think.

    I think China would either not get involved or play peacemaker.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  3. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Everyone else: "We need to get the fuck to Mars as quickly as possible, oh god were so fucked!!":p
    Most countries would probably want to stay out, and a lot of the European nations would be condemning the conflict, especially with such excessive weapons as nuclear bombs/warheads. They are out-of-control and do long-term damage to the environment and organisms beyond what you could ever want or need. Look at Japan. It would have been far better to just use a missile or two rather than sow degenerative and/or fatal conditions among huge swathes of innocent people who were already freaked out enough by the death and destruction. :superfrown::superfrown:
     
    Matt E likes this.
  4. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    My understanding of US military strength is that they are so far-and-away the most powerful military in the world that they wouldn't need much help dealing with Russia AND nobody would be stupid enough to try any opportunistic attacks against their interests, assuming the initial attack wasn't crippling. See, for example, http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21601535-no-other-country-comes-close-americas-hard-power-its-lead-slipping-unrivalled

    The US has trouble winning the wars it's currently fighting because it's trying to fight without many American casualties and, at least to some extent, without too many civilian losses. It's not total war. But if the Russians hit 120 US targets with nuclear weapons, I can only assume that the US would let slip the dogs of war, and things would get really, really bloody really, really fast. If you look at that chart on the Economist website, you can see that US allies, without even the US itself, spend more on defense than China and Russia combined, and after a nuclear attack, world opinion would definitely be pro-American.

    I think the Americans could take care of this themselves, but I also think all allies would want to get involved, especially if their involvement kept the American from retaliating with nukes.

    Honestly, though, if 120 US targets got nuked by a known, bombable foreign power? I don't think you'd be looking at a limited war, I think you'd be looking at Armageddon.
     
    AdDIct and Witchymama like this.
  5. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,826
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    The odds of 120 sites in the U.S. actually getting hit by nuclear weapons is about 0%.
     
    Witchymama and Oscar Leigh like this.
  6. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.
    ??????????????????????

    That makes no sense. If you're talking about anti-ballistic missile defense, I hate to tell you this, but Russia is way ahead of us in developing countermeasures to ABM systems. Their modern missiles, particularly the brand new ones (like the Sarmat), have such extensive counter-ABM measures that they would just shrug off our defenses and cut through our sky like a hot knife through butter.

    Something is getting hit.
     
  7. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,826
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    You think so? Well from everything I've read about the U.S. armed services, and their missile defense systems, they are the most sophisticated systems in the world. Russia would have to launch from almost every place they have ICBM's in order to actually have a chance of striking 120 sites in the U.S. That means from every silo and submarine they have. Even with that, I still have serious doubt they would hit 120 sites in the U.S. Don't even try to count bombers into the equation, because there is no chance in hell a bomber is able to make it over U.S. soil. Another thing you have to realize is, the United States has missile defense systems all over the world, including in Europe and Asia, so not only can they shoot down missiles there, if they miss, they get a second chance before they get to the U.S. mainland. That's not to mention the missile defense systems that are on board ships at sea. So you really mean to tell me you think 120 sites in the U.S. have a reasonable chance to be hit?

    http://www.mda.mil/system/system.html
     
    Witchymama likes this.
  8. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Russia's pretty good, but yeah, America's is the most funded military in the world. It's ridiculously expensive and has so many researchers developing new toys.
     
    Witchymama likes this.
  9. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
    Let's not forget the incredibly high standards to which Russian technology and engineering isn't held at all.
     
    Witchymama likes this.
  10. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.
    Hey Oscar, since you showed up here, I have to wonder about your country.

    Australia has a pretty strong navy and a capable air force, but geographically it's a bit far from Russia and the North Pacific (where most of the activity is). Might Australian forces scramble as quick as possible to interfere with Russian naval ops, or would the Australians show up some time after-the-fact to send aid to war-torn America and help them rebuild?

    I'm leaning more toward the latter, since they may not have the time to get that far north to really do anything combat-wise, but it's hard to imagine they'd do nothing.
     
  11. X Equestris
    Offline

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I have trouble believing that the launch of enough nuclear weapons to hit 120 targets in the US wouldn't prompt an immediate counterstrike as soon as the launch was spotted, which would probably lead to the the nuclear cataclysm everyone was afraid of during the Cold War.

    Moving on to the other questions.

    NATO: Britain and France's nuclear arsenals were in large part intended to deter Soviet strikes by being too dangerous for the pay off. I imagine the doctrine remains similar today. Besides that, I doubt their comparatively small arsenals would do anything that an American counterstrike hadn't already done.

    Obviously after something like this a state of war would exist between NATO and Russia. The European NATO partners by themselves are strong enough to beat Russia's army. Russia would have to be stupid to attack the Baltic states even in the best of times.

    Ukraine: The Ukrainians have had enough trouble with the Russian backed Separatists, I doubt they'd be able to take those territories without NATO forces bolstering them.

    China: I think they'd stay neutral, though they would probably condemn the Russian nuclear strike. Back in the Cold War, their strategy was to stay neutral, let the US and USSR destroy each other, and once the dust had settled roll over the survivors with their much larger population. I don't think that strategy remains in place, but a Russian-American war would probably leave China as the strongest nation on the planet, so they have incentive to sit back and watch.

    North Korea: In a purely conventional war, South Korea could win even without Ameican support, though I'm sure they'd get hurt doing it. North Korea is only relevant because of their nukes. Their navy is pretty pathetic, so moving against the Philippines is unlikely, and they don't seem to have the same pathological hatred towards them they do to the U.S., South Korea, and Japan, so I find a nuclear strike unlikely. Who knows what they might do with their nukes, but if they use them, North Korea would probably get destroyed.

    Venezuela: I'm not sure they'd have the desire to launch such a blatant war of aggression. Even if they took those islands, they couldn't hold them. Russia probably couldn't support them. Imagine how long and vulnerable that supply line would be. Further, think about how their South American neighbors might react to such aggression.

    America's Pacific possessions: Depends if they're capable of threatening Russia's supply lines. I wouldn't waste a tactical nuke on those islands, but if they didn't have the ground forces to take the islands and couldn't destroy aircraft or missiles based on them quickly enough, I could see it happening.

    Japan: I think Japan would keep their forces at home, in case North Korea tried something in the chaos.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  12. Lew
    Offline

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    407
    Japan has the largest navy in the world, after us!
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  13. Lew
    Offline

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    407
    I think you need to think out the Russian objectives. Contrary to popular beliefs, warfare is one of the most rational things humans attempt, because the consequences of being wrong makes you, and many of your friends, dead. What do they want to accomplish? What is the situation that arise to make them think that 120 nukes would not elicit instant retaliation? We are not going to count the incomings, 117, 118, 119... ok let's lauch about 120 or our own. They will get the full monty, since we will not know what is still to come.
     
    AdDIct and Oscar Leigh like this.
  14. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.
    Part of my logic in making this a limited nuclear exchange, since that's been mentioned a few times, is that:
    A) The war started by accident. I'm still not exactly sure how, and I have a separate thread for that (which I need more input on, if anyone has ideas). Anyway, it will not be completely clear to either side who is actually the aggressor, which will make every move a controversial one.
    B) Both sides respect the potential long-term effects of nuclear warfare. Ever since America detonated Castle Bravo and covered the South Pacific in fallout, the whole world has pretty much had a firm grasp on what the widespread use of these things could do.
    Now, while some Cold War strategies involved striking civilian nuclear power plants solely to maximize radioactive fallout. However, the USSR learned firsthand about nuclear power plant meltdowns in 1986, and they've lived with that ever since then. Shit's still walking around with five legs and half a face. The area probably won't be inhabitable by humans for another 5,000 years or more. We know that radiation isn't something to be played with nor weaponised and used at will.
    And with climate change already being the big issue it has become (which the US and Russia have both addressed recently), I do not think there would be any strikes on nuclear power plants, nor would there be any unnecessary strikes in attempt to enhance fallout. I think both sides would prefer not to open Pandora's Radioactive Box, and would be really hesitant about everything they do.
    Anyway, this aspect of the story is not exactly up for debate. I do not want to write about a near-apocalyptic total war, I want to write about a limited war. I want there to be some government and infrastructure and society left to begin the recovery process - that's the main focus here, people coming together to rebuild and try as hard as they can to return to normalcy. I could write about a smoldering ash heap world of people wallowing about in their own shit and dying of cholera, but I've decided to be a bit more optimistic.
     
  15. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    Is there any way to make the strikes non-nuclear?

    I just... in terms of public opinion AND practicality, I just can't see a situation in which the US would let someone use nukes against them and not retaliate. Like, one nuke, maybe, especially if it was a dirty-bomb or whatever, something that could be manually delivered and therefore not be traced back to the originating country. But 120 targets means just about everyone in the US will have lost someone or otherwise been affected, and I just don't see them taking that without retaliating. They went to war over two non-nuked targets on 9/11, even though the target of retaliation was far from clear. With a clear target and that kind of attack to avenge? Goodbye, Russia.
     
    AdDIct, Witchymama and Oscar Leigh like this.
  16. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Hmm, it depends who's in charge. Labour or especially the Greens would probably be involved in questioning both country's conduct, maybe help with soldiers on some areas, definitely aid, But the Liberal would probably be jumping to help America as soon as they weren't scared enough to keep them away. But IDK that's just my thoughts. It's hard to say exactly what we would do and how the government would think, all I know is we would be very nervous.
     
  17. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    They could hit something, but yeah, all of them would be difficult, especially in one strike.
     
  18. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Is that supposed to be an agreement or put-down? :confused: I can't tell the intended tone.
     
  19. Lew
    Offline

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    407
    In the era of nuclear truck bombs, a third party (al Qaeda) with a minute number of weapons (maybe just one or two) might detonate one at a time of high tension between Russia and the US, to precipitate a nuclear war between the two that will cripple their main adversaries.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  20. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.
    No, that would defeat the purpose of my story.

    When did I ever imply the US wouldn't retaliate? That's ridiculous, of course they'll retaliate, it just won't be a massive unleashing of everything. That's not what happens in my story and I doubt it would happen that way in real life either. I believe a limited exchange is most likely both in fiction and in reality. Neither side would want to escalate or continue such a conflict. The idea of a Cold War-style "launch every last missile at each other at the same exact time" nuclear holocaust is quite frankly an outdated and flawed concept that was more of a propaganda scare story than a serious prediction. And with as inter-connected and aware as the world is today? Absolutely no way that would ever actually happen. A limited nuclear conflict is likely the worst it could get in modern times. The human race and culture has changed and refined quite a lot since the height of the Cold War, we are much more appreciative of our actions and know that any nuclear engagement, of any scale, would result in extensive environmental/ecological damage that would last for generations, and disrupt or destroy much of the advanced technology on which our modern world runs. Nobody would want to be the guy who fucked up everything for everybody, forever.

    Bottom line, it's my story. I only asked for how other nations would react to such a conflict, not for everyone to pick it apart about why they don't like how the conflict goes. That's not what this thread is about. To quote myself:
    Now can we get back on topic, about the international reactions?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  21. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    It's kind of hard to come up with international reactions to a scenario I don't think would ever exist. And you're kinda snippy for someone asking for help, so... I'm out. Good luck with your story.
     
  22. X Equestris
    Offline

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Double post.
     
  23. X Equestris
    Offline

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Having read the other thread, I've got a few more thoughts:

    1) If, as described in the other thread, the Russians misread an unannounced missile test as the opening of an American attack, they'd probably be launching more than the few hundred that would be aimed at the 120 targets you describe. Not necessarily their whole arsenal, but still a lot. Quite possibly aimed at destroying as much of America's nuclear stockpile as possible, considering the scenario.

    2) If I'm in charge on the American side, and I hear there are hundreds of incoming nukes, I'm saying we launch as many of our own as we can. At this point, it's not about messing up the planet for everybody: from where I'm sitting, the Russians have already done that. It's about making sure they can't destroy most of our stockpile while the missiles are sitting in their silos, then move on to annihilating the country at their leisure. With the info available, it looks like the first stage of a larger attack, and so I'm not going to want to hold anything back.

    I just don't see a way the scenario you've set up doesn't spin out of control and see significant portions of both nations' stockpiles deployed.
     
  24. JadeX
    Offline

    JadeX Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Ohio, U.S. of A.
    It doesn't happen all at once, though. It starts off fairly limited in the afternoon, and there's an initial strike-counterstrike early that evening which is the main event, but only a few dozen targets. The rest come in sporadic waves of smaller attacks throughout the night and the next day. This is supplemented by extensive naval warfare in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, and aircraft from both sides strive to obtain air superiority; these conflicts are for the most part conventional, although there are occasional low-yield tactical nuke strikes against ships.

    Presumably, the UN is heavily involved and trying to talk both sides down during this entire period, and both sides are likely receiving threats and sanctions from the international community. In no scenario could I imagine that both belligerent nations' governments would be fully in support of waging a nuclear war; the consequences could range from political conflict, to mutiny, to an outright coup, or a threat of any of the above.

    I could certainly see how, in modern times/near future, any form of nuclear weapons use would be taken very seriously by the UN and every international alliance on the planet, and that they would do everything within their power to force an end to the conflict. And in the 21st-century world, there is a lot they could do - crippling economic sanctions, cancelling of trade deals, denying access to private and commercial ships belonging to belligerent nations, closing shipping routes, evicting visiting citizens of any belligerent country, closing embassies, cordoning embassies, closing US or Russian bases on their territory and evicting their personnel, naval blockades to impede hostile movement, shooting down armed military craft taking part in the conflict, forcefully boarding combatant ships and detaining the crew, there's a whole bunch that the international community could do, or threaten to do, to put an end to the conflict ASAP. They would start as soon as the first nuke hit, and they would do whatever it takes.

    The fact that this starts by accident with murky and conflicting details at first causes both sides to hesitate, which creates a window for the international community to intervene. See, every detail has a purpose, I've got it worked out. I've done my research, and not just for this, I've been generally interested in the concept of nuclear warfare for a while and so I've more than familiarized myself with the subject.

    If the combatant nations do not comply with the international community and decide to respond to them in force, then that's when literal World War 3 starts.
    If the combatant nations concede, the conflict fizzles out and recovery efforts can eventually begin; help from other nations may be offered as an incentive for surrendering.

    I think the latter route would be the most interesting, and the easiest to imagine/write about, not to mention the more optimistic outcome. I'm already working on a short film which is intended to be as bleak and depressing as possible, so I want to write something that's not entirely drab and... sad.

    Guys, I'm not passing this off as a perfect and professional prediction or simulation, it's a work of fiction. I'm not writing this for the Department of Defense or anything, c'mon.
     
  25. Witchymama
    Offline

    Witchymama Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    187
    In the end, it is your story, right? But I do have to agree with most everyone here. I am having trouble understanding how you intend to have 120 nuclear detonations in any country, without an apocalyptic or near apocalyptic war being the outcome.
     
    AdDIct and Lewdog like this.

Share This Page