24 January 2018   Leave a comment

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has started in Davos, Switzerland and it was opened by speeches by Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, French President Macron, and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni–the leaders of the three largest economies in the Europe.  The WEF is often referred to as the “rich” countries club and it features political, cultural, and intellectual liberal elites.  The speeches all warned of the dangers of growing nationalism which threatens the rules-based liberal order that fosters interdependence among nations.  US President Trump arrives tomorrow and his program of “America First” is a dissonant thread for the Forum.  We’ll see how his message is received.

 

Business Insider has done an excellent job of summarizing the basics of a very arcane article in the journal, International Security, which outlines the feasibility of a “limited” nuclear strike against North Korean nuclear facilities which would minimize civilian casualties.  I find the argument totally unpersuasive, but it apparently is the motivation behind a build-up of B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers on the island of Guam.  Of special interest are the B-2 bombers which can deliver a very small, precision-guided nuclear warhead (the B-61) of about 0.3 kilotons to a target with extraordinary accuracy.  The accuracy assures the total destruction of the target even though the blast is quite small (by nuclear standards).  The maps below show the different fallout rates from the explosions (the shaded areas).  The danger is that a belief that such a “small” strike (called a “bloody nose” by those who support such a strike would not precipitate a massive retaliation is profoundly foolish and stupid.

 

Posted January 24, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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