The Doomsday Machine - Apocalypse Maybe?

About: inside the apocalyptic soviet doomsday machine

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Apparently this article claims that a semi-automatic counter-strike could be set off by detecting a nuclear detonation on Soviet soil with or without a human intervention - insuring U.S. if not the World would be destroyed if the Soviet Union got hit with nukes.  The publishing of such information is part of game theory real or not. 
Presumably it was intended to protect from hotheads in the Soviet Union as well as the US.
ibid: ...
But Yarynich takes the risk. He believes the world needs to know about Dead Hand. Because, after all, it is still in place. (& being updated)
...
Does Obama believe this?  Would Iran or Al Qaeda like to trigger it?

Tags

  1. doomsday
  2. apocalypse
  3. nukes
  4. nuclear weapons

Comments


Mark de LA says
I guess it all depends upon the meaning of the word semi-dormant mean:
It's current state is not known.  Was it on during the recent Georgia fiasco?
Source: ...

Perimeter ensures the ability to strike back, but it's no hair-trigger device. It was designed to lie semi-dormant until switched on by a high official in a crisis. Then it would begin monitoring a network of seismic, radiation, and air pressure sensors for signs of nuclear explosions. Before launching any retaliatory strike, the system had to check off four if/then propositions: If it was turned on, then it would try to determine that a nuclear weapon had hit Soviet soil. If it seemed that one had, the system would check to see if any communication links to the war room of the Soviet General Staff remained. If they did, and if some amount of time—likely ranging from 15 minutes to an hour—passed without further indications of attack, the machine would assume officials were still living who could order the counterattack and shut down. But if the line to the General Staff went dead, then Perimeter would infer that apocalypse had arrived. It would immediately transfer launch authority to whoever was manning the system at that moment deep inside a protected bunker—bypassing layers and layers of normal command authority. At that point, the ability to destroy the world would fall to whoever was on duty: maybe a high minister sent in during the crisis, maybe a 25-year-old junior officer fresh out of military academy. And if that person decided to press the button ... If/then. If/then. If/then. If/then.


 
... My intent was not to scare, but inform.  This is the nature of things to consider before giving up all our nuclear weapons.  The scenarios played in the War College deal with a lot more complex games than ever blow bye the minds of die-hard pacifists. Politically incorrect questions such as what if we could survive a nuclear war what should we do to insure our system of government etc. need to be asked.  What if ........ we strike first? etc.......


Seth says
Well even granting that the publishing of this article in Wired Magazine might not be just a means for Nicholas Thompson to sell his new book, it should be noted that the alleged system would need to be switched on ...
source: Wired Magazine 17.10
Perimeter ensures the ability to strike back, but it's no hair-trigger device. It was designed to lie semi-dormant until switched on by a high official in a crisis.
... and also noting that all it does is to turn over the launching of nukes to the humans in charge.
source: Wired Magazine 17.10
It would immediately transfer launch authority to whoever was manning the system at that moment deep inside a protected bunker—bypassing layers and layers of normal command authority.
I will hazard a guess that our own capabilities have similar fail-safe mechanisms. 
But, hey, nice scare - you got me to research it.

Mark de LA says
Here is a nice post-coldwar scenario:  what if it were turned on in response to some intelligence on the Iran development of a nuclear weapon & its detection devices were extended to protect Iran & NOT Israel?


Seth says
source: MR above
... My intent was not to scare, but inform.  This is the nature of things to consider before giving up all our nuclear weapons.  The scenarios played in the War College deal with a lot more complex games than ever blow bye the minds of die-hard pacifists. Politically incorrect questions such as what if we could survive a nuclear war what should we do to insure our system of government etc. need to be asked.  What if ........ we strike first? etc.......
Yep it is the job of those paid to consider every possible scenario to answer those kind of questions. But the scenarios are infinite, and you can't be prepared for them all. What surprises me is how dated this doomsday reasoning is, and how rooted it is in a 80s context which no longer applies. Your bold comment above would better be stated:  "This is the nature of things to consider, instead of giving up our nuclear weapons."   Your thinking here seems to try to perpetuate the context of a game that is over.  The most effective and reliable way for me to end a RW game between us is for me to just ignore your response, not to try to come up with a new winning move.
Btw, I would have been more convinced that your intent was "not to scare", had you  chosen a less fearsome image.

Mark de LA says
I googled doomsday & that was the first appropriate attention getting image belonging to some kind of computer game, I think.  To test my effectiveness in scaring you may I ask you to reach down & check if you shit your pants?
Have you ever noticed that the RWG exists mostly in irrelevant tangents to what one of us has blogged & the real meat of the items & comments already go mostly ignored?

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-09-24 06:54:21 12631
MR 2009-09-23 14:43:46 12631
Here is a nice post-coldwar scenario:  what if it were turned on in response to some intelligence on the Iran development of a nuclear weapon & its detection devices were extended to protect Iran & NOT Israel?

IOW, you are asking: what if Russia said a nuclear attack on Iran is the same as a nuclear attack on Russia?  Problem is the most likely attack on Iran would not be nuclear and it would not come from us, it would come from Israel.  The cold war context no longer obtains. 
Actually I am asking exactly the question I asked!  Russia & Iran act as if they are buddies, at least trading partners. If Russia decides to switch the Black Hand on & extend the sensors to anyone in their sphere of influence like Iran excluding others such as Israel then we have an interesting war game, eh?
BTW, in spite of diplomatic photo ops Russia is still Russia (Putin & Medeved) & the Free World is still the free world.  A scorpion is still a scorpion. Any thawing is mostly due to trade & economics.  If the UN can persuade it's members to convert from the dollar & Obama keeps devaluing the $$$ then the Reds will win just with pure economics - no need for bombs.


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