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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:

It wouldn't be even remotely practical to attempt with conventional weapons. This statement is so profoundly ridiculous that I don't even know where to start. You are wildly overestimating what conventional weapons can actually do. If they were this powerful, no one would bother with nuclear weapons.

Really.


We've got a lot more conventional explosive power now than we did during WW2, where we did it to a few german cities.

North Korea has one major city.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:33 pm 
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RangerDave wrote:
Well, we could theoretically use incendiaries to burn out the cities if we were just looking to level civilian areas, right?


The current inventory of incendiary munitions is quite limited. I don't think there are anywhere near enough available, and it would take a lot. It took 179 B-29s (which would be around the same capacity as 50 B-52s) for one raid on Tokyo - except there's only 78 operational B-52s and we aren't going to commit anywhere near all of them to Korea since they're important for other things. Same applies to the 20 B-2s. The B-1B could be employed, but you're still talking a lot of sorties.

There's also the question of how combustible NK cities actually are. They're not Japanese WWII cities. Remember, in WWII firebombing started in March, 1945. The atomic bomb wasn't used until August - after 5 months there were still intact cities to attack, despite the very high vulnerability of Japanese cities to incendiary munitions, which isn't necessarily the case in NK.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Talya wrote:
We've got a lot more conventional explosive power now than we did during WW2, where we did it to a few german cities.


Per aircraft, yes. There are a lot fewer aircraft. We don't maintain the ability to just drop a shitload of bombs all over the place because we aren't planning on re-fighting WWII. We've developed our conventional weapons around the idea that very high accuracy can be achieved with guided weapons. They aren't intended to be used to duplicate the effects of nuclear weapons in responding to a nuclear attack.

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North Korea has one major city.


North Korea has one city that's more important than all the others, but it doesn't just have a single city, nor would "flatten Pyongyang" be a useful response all by itself. Every provincial capital is the size of Cleveland, more or less; they aren't just little hamlets or something.

This would just be "kill a lot of people, but don't use nukes because reasons." This would be the worst of both worlds; it would kill a lot of noncombatants, achieve not much else, and ensure that everyone else around the world got the message that we're willing to get nuked without responding in kind. Not only would this open us up to attack, if you want to guarantee a lot more nuclear powers in the world, just watch as everyone gets nukes because "America is scared to get fallout on China when it gets nuked, they sure as hell won't protect us."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Yeah if your goal is to obliterate a city, use nukes. It's better for everyone involved (even the people you're killing).

But that's stupid. Right now pressuring China to pressure little brother is the right thing. Eventually if NK is too much of a drag or embaressment to China they will find a way to support a military coup.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Also, on the range question, NK has successfully launched ballistic missiles from a submarine within the last year. I'm pretty confident in the ability of the Navy to srak and destroy and SSB before it gets in range of Hawaii, but it's not to be ignored.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Also, on the range question, NK has successfully launched ballistic missiles from a submarine within the last year. I'm pretty confident in the ability of the Navy to srak and destroy and SSB before it gets in range of Hawaii, but it's not to be ignored.

Yeah, my sense is that we're within a couple years of NK having a clear ability to hit us directly, which essentially takes regime change off the table and makes every little dust up potentially catastrophic for us. In short, I think we're going to have to settle the NK problem one way or the other on Trump's watch (which is one of the big reasons I was so opposed to him).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:58 pm 
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RangerDave wrote:
Yeah, my sense is that we're within a couple years of NK having a clear ability to hit us directly, which essentially takes regime change off the table and makes every little dust up potentially catastrophic for us. In short, I think we're going to have to settle the NK problem one way or the other on Trump's watch (which is one of the big reasons I was so opposed to him).


Well, if it makes you feel any better had it been Hillary Clinton we'd have kicked the can down the road again until it really WAS too late, or close to it. Hillary wasn't about to do anything to change the status quo because if a miscalculation really did send the little dipshit over the edge, she'd get blamed for it by her enemies. Unfairly; the fact is that whatever happens at this point is because of the Norks, not because of us. These assholes have been shooting people across the DMZ and provoking incidents since the 1950s. Remember they torpedoed that SK ship a few years ago for no apparent reason. Part of the reason no one's ever dealt with this is that it just has disaster written all over it, and we have a propensity to always blame our own leaders because we think their decisions dictate the outcomes and fail to remember that the other side makes decisions on its own, not just based on our inputs.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:20 pm 
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North Korea at night.

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Not really trying to make a point with this, just thought it was interesting.

I'm not a proponent of indiscriminately bombing PyonYang, either proactively or re-actively. It serves no purpose.

I know we have a good handle on their military movements. When I was stationed at the intel ops center there we had U2's flying orbits over the DMZ 24hrs a day. I believe these have since been replaced by Lockheed RQ-170 Sentinels. That, along with satellite intelligence and cyber hacking and I'm pretty sure we have a good handle on what's going on there.

There are some rumors that most, if not all of their failed missle launches are due to software hacking of their launch and tracking systems, although you'll never get anyone to admit it (I sure hope it's true).

Anyway, if it becomes necessary, I'm pretty sure we could make a fairly effective pre-eminent strike against their military, and in particular their nuclear assets, whatever those might be.

I also doubt their diesel subs would get out of port without being immediately sunk.

I'm pretty sure they know these things too.

I just hope that China is able to keep them from doing something stupid as a futile act of desperation.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:44 am 
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Midgen wrote:
I know we have a good handle on their military movements. When I was stationed at the intel ops center there we had U2's flying orbits over the DMZ 24hrs a day. I believe these have since been replaced by Lockheed RQ-170 Sentinels. That, along with satellite intelligence and cyber hacking and I'm pretty sure we have a good handle on what's going on there.


As far as troops, vehicles and aircraft moving from place to place, yeah that we probably have a good handle on. There's only so many places they can put it and we know they want to put a lot of it along the DMZ, especially north of Seoul, so that rather narrows it down.

The thing recon and satellites have a hard time with is questions like "Are there actual missiles inside those TELs in their parade, or are they just for show?"

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There are some rumors that most, if not all of their failed missle launches are due to software hacking of their launch and tracking systems, although you'll never get anyone to admit it (I sure hope it's true).


On one hand I hope so too, on the other hand I hope it's really that they suck that badly (or their own scientists are carefully failing on purpose because they're afraid of what might happen with success) and we still have cyber in our back pocket. If the only thing making them fail is cyberattacks, eventually they're likely to get better at defending against them.

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I also doubt their diesel subs would get out of port without being immediately sunk.


I think they would most likely try to get the submarine(s) to sea prior to hostilities actually starting. Once at sea, diesel-electrics are absurdly quiet on electric motors. However, those don't last all that long, and it's a long haul to Hawaii or Guam at 2 knots. Sooner or later they have to snorkel the diesel and likely get found when they do.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:32 am 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Also, on the range question, NK has successfully launched ballistic missiles from a submarine within the last year. I'm pretty confident in the ability of the Navy to srak and destroy and SSB before it gets in range of Hawaii, but it's not to be ignored.


That's what my dad used to do in the Navy post-Vietnam. He was CO of an ASW squadron.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:36 am 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Evacuating Seoul would be possible, but only on a truly extended timescale, and NK might interpret it as a precursor to attack - getting civilians out of the way to render their retaliation ineffective.


Well, that's the question. It's obvious that it's a precursor to an engagement, but it's not actually an assault. So would NK start the war, or let the evacuation continue? And if they did start it, it would only be to kill as many civilians as possible, as there's not a huge strategic benefit to shelling Seoul with the civilians there. It's a deterrent factor only.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:08 am 
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Arathain Kelvar wrote:
Well, that's the question. It's obvious that it's a precursor to an engagement, but it's not actually an assault. So would NK start the war, or let the evacuation continue?


This is, indeed, a huge question. However, I think the difficulties involved in evacuating that many people really make the question of secondary importance. Also, it bears mentioning that the population might actually be MORE vulnerable in the midst of an evacuation operation that sheltering in place.

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And if they did start it, it would only be to kill as many civilians as possible, as there's not a huge strategic benefit to shelling Seoul with the civilians there. It's a deterrent factor only.


There isn't, but it is not entirely clear that the North Korean would understand that. They might go ahead and do it anyhow as an act of desperation, like a wounded animal lashing out.

The thing with deterrents is that they're "use or lose" - if you aren't willing to execute your deterrent, it's a deterrent only as long as the other side doesn't know that. Worse, once you fail to do it you have no deterrent in the future either.

In this case, though, the situation is unique because the deterrent is a factor of South Korea having its capital city in the odd position of being in artillery range of its enemy. Normally, the only way to remove a deterrent is to go ahead and attack it and hope you can knock it out before its utilized. In this case, though, the deterrent is actually the population under SK control (the artillery and rockets themselves are just a bunch of weapons without Seoul to shoot at) so its possible (though very hard) to remove it without actually attacking the enemy. This situation doesn't fit into normal game models all that well. Not that it hasn't been considered but it is a unique and interesting question.

Also, it bears remembering that evacuating Seoul has huge economic consequences even if NK never fires. SK would be absorbing a potentially catastrophic blow to its national economy, and the logistical efforts of trying to move millions of people could themselves result in quite a few deaths if food and shelter demands can't be met.

Evacuating the city ought not to be dismissed out of hand, but the possibility should be approached very conservatively (not in the political sense of the word)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:11 am 
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Serienya wrote:
That's what my dad used to do in the Navy post-Vietnam. He was CO of an ASW squadron.


On the plus side, its about the same era of submarine your dad hunted, but with much more modern equipment.

The downside is there's less people and ships and less money and time for training, and the last 15 years haven't been kind to ASW as a priority mission.

I'm still very confident an SSB could be located and killed before getting in range of Honolulu, but there have been a few embarrassing incidents over the last 10 years that indicate the Navy at least ought to get its house in order if it hasn't already.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:41 pm 
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What is our degree of confidence we can knock down incoming missiles into SK? (or Japan or any other allied country) I'm kind of assuming SK's air defense is not really the issue.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:43 pm 
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TheRiov wrote:
What is our degree of confidence we can knock down incoming missiles into SK? (or Japan or any other allied country) I'm kind of assuming SK's air defense is not really the issue.


SK's air defense against enemy aircraft is pretty good, and so is Japan's.

We are presently in the process of deploying THAAD to South Korea, which ought to be quite effective, although the Norks might be able to give it a lot more targets to handle with short-range missiles than just a single shot. China's not too happy about THAAD, in the usual habit they and the Russians have of feeling anything that might degrade their own ability to shoot missiles at us is a threat to them, though their concern seems to be more with the very powerful radar THAAD employs than the interceptors. THAAD normally has 48 missiles per battery; the details of the fire control are most likely all classified.

PAC-3 might also be available from batteries stationed there.; SK has Patriot batteries, although I'm not certain if they have PAC-3 missiles fully implemented; 2016 was their target date for the upgrade, so most likely they do. As I understand the present structure of 8th Army, there is a Patriot battalion at Osan and another on Okinawa.

As far as Japan goes, SM-3/AEGIS from destroyers (both ours and theirs) can provide a degree of protection as well. The exact disposition of ships and number of missiles available is obviously not something being publicly announced. Block IIA of the SM-3 (RIM-161D) was scheduled for initial deployment in 2015 and can effectively engage some ICBMs.

One thing that's important to understand, though is that there's never been a real-world mass missile engagement with offensive and defensive missiles on both sides, not even as a test, and we're probably not talking about a single missile attack - especially not against South Korea. Performance under real-world conditions, with numerous targets and everything else that will no doubt be going on at the same time isn't quite the same thing as firing the interceptor under controlled conditions. It's not that they won't work or are unreliable, but that there's the real possibility of a leaker. At close ranges, where NK missiles can be assumed to be reliable, there's also the real possibility of starting to run out of ammunition at a very bad time.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
TheRiov wrote:
At close ranges, where NK missiles can be assumed to be reliable, there's also the real possibility of starting to run out of ammunition at a very bad time.


So the smart NK play is to run us out of anti-air shots, and then seed in the last wave with SCUD-N's? (Or whatever they're calling their short range lifters Taepodong-whatevers... I don't pay super-close attention to their nomenclature.)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:16 pm 
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Müs wrote:
So the smart NK play is to run us out of anti-air shots, and then seed in the last wave with SCUD-N's? (Or whatever they're calling their short range lifters Taepodong-whatevers... I don't pay super-close attention to their nomenclature.)


In theory, that's a possible approach. The ammunition limitation may apply to them just as well, though. It's more than just numbers of defensive missiles though; it's also a question of how many targets can be engaged in the time available.

This starts to get really tricky; you start getting into engagement profiles, engagement geometry, what NK would target, how well they can coordinate the launches.. etc.

I can try to make time to run some simulations and post the4 screenshots, but it will involve a considerable amount of guess work, and it would be a simplification - I just don't have time to build an entire Korean Ware v2.0 scenario.

That reminds me, I still have screenshots from that Mason attack sim I ran. It can easily take a couple hours setting up a simulation because I have to build the missions for the North Koreans to execute; otherwise they just sit there and never fire.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Serienya wrote:
That's what my dad used to do in the Navy post-Vietnam. He was CO of an ASW squadron.


On the plus side, its about the same era of submarine your dad hunted, but with much more modern equipment.

The downside is there's less people and ships and less money and time for training, and the last 15 years haven't been kind to ASW as a priority mission.

I'm still very confident an SSB could be located and killed before getting in range of Honolulu, but there have been a few embarrassing incidents over the last 10 years that indicate the Navy at least ought to get its house in order if it hasn't already.


Yeah, they also have decommissioned a bunch of ASW squadrons, as the Cold War was over... The Pacific Fleet has definitely had quite a few issues lately that weren't that inspiring (see the Fat Leonard scandal, for example). I'm sure they would get an SSB.

This is interesting, though: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/de ... 4c807fad53

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Serienya wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/despite-talk-of-a-military-strike-trumps-armada-was-a-long-way-from-korea/2017/04/18/e8ef4237-e26a-4cfc-b5e9-526c3a17bd41_story.html?utm_term=.c14c807fad53


I have a feeling this has a lot to do with not wanting to give away too much about exactly where the carrier will be and when it will be there.

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Yup. It's not like they really hide them, either.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:55 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Serienya wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/despite-talk-of-a-military-strike-trumps-armada-was-a-long-way-from-korea/2017/04/18/e8ef4237-e26a-4cfc-b5e9-526c3a17bd41_story.html?utm_term=.c14c807fad53


I have a feeling this has a lot to do with not wanting to give away too much about exactly where the carrier will be and when it will be there.

Mm, I think it's a lot more likely that Trump's mouth (or, more accurately, his Administration's talking points) got out ahead of reality yet again.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:43 pm 
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RangerDave wrote:
Mm, I think it's a lot more likely that Trump's mouth (or, more accurately, his Administration's talking points) got out ahead of reality yet again.


Not in this case. The due date for the carrier to be in that vicinity is the 25th which corresponds to yet another of their chest-beating holidays. I don't think that's a coincidence.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Serienya wrote:
That's what my dad used to do in the Navy post-Vietnam. He was CO of an ASW squadron.


On the plus side, its about the same era of submarine your dad hunted, but with much more modern equipment.

The downside is there's less people and ships and less money and time for training, and the last 15 years haven't been kind to ASW as a priority mission.

I'm still very confident an SSB could be located and killed before getting in range of Honolulu, but there have been a few embarrassing incidents over the last 10 years that indicate the Navy at least ought to get its house in order if it hasn't already.


My father was a submariner in the US Navy. Based on the stories he's told, don't be overly confident in the ability to find a sub. Some of them are very good, and the ocean is very big.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
RangerDave wrote:
Mm, I think it's a lot more likely that Trump's mouth (or, more accurately, his Administration's talking points) got out ahead of reality yet again.


Not in this case. The due date for the carrier to be in that vicinity is the 25th which corresponds to yet another of their chest-beating holidays. I don't think that's a coincidence.


Reports are that there was a miscommunication between the pentagon and the administration, so yeah - another embarrassing moment.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:49 pm 
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Arathain Kelvar wrote:
My father was a submariner in the US Navy. Based on the stories he's told, don't be overly confident in the ability to find a sub. Some of them are very good, and the ocean is very big.


It is, but the entering and leaving port part is the rub. I'm quite sure that any time a NK submarine that might have ballistic missiles aboard leaves port, there is an SSN prowling in the vicinity.

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