Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Suitcase Nukes: Myth or Reality?
Dean Barnett has a great article today on why the "Suitcase Nuke" myth continues to perpetuate through the years. I did some research on this a while back, since being uninformed led to some serious concern. That a former Soviet suitcase nuke would exist in the hands of terrorists today is HIGHLY unlikely, that it would continue to function to this day is nearly impossible.
They almost surely require routine maintenance every 6 months. If the missiles haven’t been properly maintained, their yield will be dramatically reduced; most experts think if not properly maintained in accordance with the owner’s manual’s dictates, they won’t work at all. On this point, we certainly have Soviet craftsmanship working in our favor. Let’s face it, the Soviet Union didn’t produce many things known for their quality and reliability.

Additionally, maintaining nuclear weapons in a cave on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border would certainly be beyond Al Qaeda’s abilities. This is a serious problem for the terrorists; if Al Qaeda ever acquired these things, the bombs have missed probably 25 maintenance adjustments, or every scheduled trip to the shop since the breakup of the Soviet Union; experts familiar with their American counterparts (the Crockets) feel quite strongly that at this point in time the bombs won’t function at all and if they do somehow function, they’ll achieve only a fraction of their intended yield.
This fact has always been the kicker for me. I sincerely doubt there are terrorists in America cracking open nuclear weapons and maintaining them in hotel rooms. The only serious nuclear threat America faces is from rogue states that can actually produce nuclear weapons, maintain them, and land them on our shores via rocket or human. That's not to say this couldn't be a threat in the future... but we don't want to damage or reputation with the U.N. and world further! Better to perish in fiery agony and anarchy than tarnish our international rep! Why stop now with minimal casualties that which can be stopped in 10 years with entire tracts of land blighted and everyone's lives shaken to their very core? Ahhh Neville, your spirit shines so brightly, even today.

Comments on "Suitcase Nukes: Myth or Reality?"

 

Anonymous Lee Boyland said ... (6:28 PM) : 

Gun-type nuclear weapons require little maintenance, except for replacement of the neutron source. Polonium-210 is mixed with beryllium to produce a neutron bust. See page 59 , The Rings of Allah. What do you think Litvinenko was doing with Po-210?

 

Anonymous Reasonable Rightist said ... (10:14 PM) : 

I don't think the terrorists would have to maintain the suitcase nukes. The circuits could get shot to hell within a few weeks; fine; but if they had a few they could rent a motel room in NYC and use the plutonium inside to build a much more crude, stationary, and large gun-style bomb that wouldn't need complex, degradable circuity.

Yes, they'd get cancer in the procces but I don't think someone who is willing to tie an explosive belt around thier waist gives a damn about that. Just delayed-martyrdom. Or instant martyrdom if they set it off without a delay.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:35 PM) : 

And who is to say that with the knowledge base today and money available to these people and their connections with unstable governments who have nuclear capability, that someone had not built new, small portable devices like the suitcase/ briefcase nukes. Maybe not a nuclear detonation but a conventional explosion which could distribute nuclear/bio/chem agents. We may not have to fear the old units because of the maintenance issue, but.....!

 

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