How do the great powers react if this works?

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:41 am



Gracias.


MSimon wrote:9:46 pm

Duane,

Duds don't have to be traced back to the reactor. They can be traced back by following their delivery path. i.e. who rented the truck/car. Where did they get the funds? Where did the bomb come from (which shipping container)? etc.

You are only talking a few kg (maybe 30 kg max) of HE. Pieces will be left over. Truck axles/engines if nothing else.


We were discussing nukes, yes?

There may be slag at the heat pulse's ground zero. Maybe.

And assuming sufficient stealth, delivery paths can be obscured. My "favorite" :shock: scenario is a private yacht into Canada and a small plane over the Lakes to Chicago. Even a home built autogiro could do it.

Duane
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:57 am

We were discussing nukes, yes?


Dud nukes. Fizzles or maybe just a HE explosion.

A 1 T explosion would leave parts intact.

You might have to get up to 100 T or even 1KT to vaporize everything.
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:08 am

MSimon wrote:I just saw a thread at Belmont Club that said that Russian missiles work at about a 50% on target rate


Given that the Russians built the most reliable booster in history (the R-7/Soyuz series), that has to be in question. Also, per accounts, the Soviets foxed the US about the accuracy of their missiles. They found out that US SIGINT was monitoring the gyroscope telemetry from their test missiles, and installed unnecessary and flawed redundant gyros in the missiles to deceive NSA about their on-target accuracy. Soviet missiles of the '65-'85 period were significantly more accurate than believed.

Duane
Last edited by djolds1 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:09 am

Duane,

Aircraft are tracked by radars.

Ships and boats by satellites.

And suppose you get one of these to go off. You know what? The gloves come off. What good does that do you in the short run? Or even the long run?

Delivering a one of just pisses people off.

We figure (maybe the Russians figure the same) the need to take out 90 targets to destroy the USA. So you take out 1 or 10 with 30 weapons. Now where are you? They all have to go off within an hour of each other. Else the manhunt gets intense. We throw the dopers out of the prisons and start rounding up the real criminal. Open season on Islamicists.

I don't think you have thought this through. Which is a surprise to me since you are usually good at "what if".

Remember what it was like after 9/11? I do. Even a lot of the leftys were looking for blood. Our bloodymindedness lasted to 2006. Five years. With nukes I'd say it might last a few weeks longer. Like maybe a 1,000.
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:48 am

djolds1 wrote:
MSimon wrote:I just saw a thread at Belmont Club that said that Russian missiles work at about a 50% on target rate


Given that the Russians built the most reliable booster in history (the R-7/Soyuz series), that has to be in question. Also, per accounts, the Soviets foxed the US about the accuracy of their missiles. They found out that US SIGINT was monitoring the gyroscope telemetry from their test missiles, and installed unnecessary and flawed redundant gyros in the missiles to deceive NSA about their on-target accuracy. Soviet missiles of the '65-'85 period were significantly more accurate than believed.

Duane


Sure. And their excellent maintenance and their outstanding weapons systems (look how well they guarded Syria in 2007) and their fine operators. In ten years over Saddam's Iraq - daily firings and zero hits. In ten years. An outstanding record. For some one. And how about their excellent work in Georgia. Fifty shots at the pipeline. Zero hits. OK maybe one or two. Ten to 12 aircraft shot down. Soviet air withdrawn from the battle space. No sane army withdraws air cover on a modern battle field. Ask Rommel. Or how about their complaints about the "Israeli" anti-vehicle weapons at the beginning?

I don't think things are going as well for the Soviets as the media would have you believe.

I'm beginning to think you haven't studied war. Pity. It is the only way to get peace.

So why let loose the rape and pillage battalions? To draw the Georgian Army into a pitched battle. It does not seem to be working.

How will you know when the tide is turning? When the Roki Tunnel gets closed. This is early in the first quarter. Watch and wait. The snows will close the tunnel even if the Georgian Army doesn't

And Bush says no Russian troops any where in Georgia. Anywhere. I do believe he means it. A hospital ship is on its way to Georgia. About 3 weeks for it to arrive. Then the real excitement starts.

We know know what Russian signatures on scraps of paper are worth.

The Georgians are shall we say a little upset.

Oh, yeah. Ever hear of Potemkin Villages? The Russians love a good bluff. Accurate missiles (sure if it is for show). How about operational? That pudding is rancid. Or how about eqpt. thefts? They steal manhole covers in China. In the USSR they steal mil. eqpt.

The Soviets have 10% of their army committed. That got them 1/2 of Georgia. What would they need to get all of it? 20%? 30%? Their momentum is stalled. Typical of Soviet drives. A lot of tooth. Very little tail. When they run out of Georgian gas stations to loot the army becomes a sitting duck. In the mean time they run back and forth using up their POL. Then it is Battle of the Bulge counter attack time. Napoleon in Russia. What did Napoleon get back with? 10% of his Army? Less?

BTW did you read the Soviets are digging in their tanks? What does that tell you? Fuel is already running low.

You know the Patton dictum for armor?

"I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!"


The Russian advance has stalled and they are digging in. What do you call dug in tanks? Easy targets.

The Soviets are midgets on stilts.
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:57 am

MSimon wrote:Duane,

Aircraft are tracked by radars.

Ships and boats by satellites.


Assumes you can walk the cat back, and know which path to follow. I do not have that much faith in US Intel, which is technology heavy and almost viscerally adverse to HUMINT. Consequences of a zero defects & fear the press/fear of lawfare mentality.

Both radars and sats have limits. Fly in low over the waves and you can dodge radar. Time your run right and if there is no prior warning the sats will be out of position. Even if detected authorities need to communicate with other agencies and confirm its not some fool civilian off course. By the time details are worked out and permissions secured, Chicago is a cinder.

Coyote and drug smuggler nets on the Mexican border can dodge most detection networks, simply by hiding in the clutter.

Only so many incoming boats at the ports can be screened, the War on Some Drugs focuses efforts on boats out of the southern tier, and most rad screening efforts appear to be going into cargo containers. A Euro-flagged yacht tracked out of Europe and putting in at a private marina offers concealment.

We are no longer on the post-911 hair trigger, we are heading back to the 910 mentality.

MSimon wrote:And suppose you get one of these to go off. You know what? The gloves come off. What good does that do you in the short run? Or even the long run?


If you really believe you will receive 72 virgins in paradise after your righteous martyr's death, or that your righteous death paves the way for the return of the Occulted 12th Imam, one's perspective is very different than that of a rational Westerner. Your child's death doesn't matter if it will bring him to paradise.

Tho IMO the prospect of an Islamic escalation to nuke attack is ebbing. The radical Islamics appear to be going quiescent. These quiet phases tend to last three generations or so. More than enough time to adapt.

MSimon wrote:We figure (maybe the Russians figure the same) the need to take out 90 targets to destroy the USA. So you take out 1 or 10 with 30 weapons. Now where are you? They all have to go off within an hour of each other. Else the manhunt gets intense. We throw the dopers out of the prisons and start rounding up the real criminal. Open season on Islamicists.


Again, if you really believe you will receive the 72 virgins, this is a non-issue.

MSimon wrote:I don't think you have thought this through. Which is a surprise to me since you are usually good at "what if".


We're dealing with human passions, biases, flawed judgments and willful blindness in any event such as those under discussion. The human factor always cuts into the efficacy of any response vis a vis the theoretical optimum.

Never underestimate the ability of the human factor to screw the pooch spectacularly. Always part of my calculations.

Events to allay the public's fears backfire and in extreme circumstances can fire paranoia and violence. Notice how the FBI declares every suspicious incident "Not terrorist related" even before the investigation has begun? Such Pravda-like behavior boomerangs once the public picks up on it. Minor in relatively peaceful times, contempt, derision, and the assumption of low level but failed threats. But in a panic situation...

MSimon wrote:Remember what it was like after 9/11? I do. Even a lot of the leftys were looking for blood. Our bloodymindedness lasted to 2006. Five years. With nukes I'd say it might last a few weeks longer. Like maybe a 1,000.


Yes, I remember. I scared my roommate at the time. I told him "I want to pave Afghanistan in glass" in a tone that made him back away from me. Some things change you forever. Any interest I had in a "Third Way" imploded as I watched the Towers do the same.

Watch "United 93" whenever you want to refire that rage.

A Lex Talonis response (100 for 1) is quite possible given a nuke attack. The leadership would no doubt try to "calm" matters as after 911. Fry a few appointed cities, attack a few chosen countries, and attempt to "deescalate" public passions. They'd probably succeed. Even given 3 targets, 911 was one "attack." Two close in time "attacks" tho, a few days separation... fear into panic, bloodymindedness into genocidal slaughter.

Wretchard's Three Conjectures lays the progression out well.

Also possible a European city goes up instead. The patina of political correctness in Europe might slough off darn fast, with a result to make the Reconquista of Spain look like a playground game of king of the mountain. Pacifism is new to Europe, which tends to be better at endless slaughter. And per reliable private communications, nativist attitudes are simmering right under the surface in Europe, and insinuating their way into local, but not yet national, leadership cadres and classes.

Duane
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:09 am

Assumes you can walk the cat back, and know which path to follow. I do not have that much faith in US Intel, which is technology heavy


Just the thing for tracking boats and vehicles.

I once had a job with Recon Optical. I can't tell you what I saw. Let us just say it was very interesting. And that was just on the unclassified side.

And if the Islamic nutters want their 72 virgins all it will take is one bomb on American soil. I'm sure we will be happy to fulfill their religious obligations at minimal costs to ourselves. If they want to die en masse I'm sure something can be arranged.

So again, other than fulfilling their religious obligation what does one bomb get them? Or 10?

Duane, You either need more coffee or more sleep. Your thinking is one level deep. Not up to your usual standards.
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:22 am

I'm quite familiar with the Three Conjectures. I have blogged it even. Wretchard and I had a rather active correspondence back in the day. Now I just comment at his blog - mostly. I think if you follow the link you will find I commented on the piece or its follow up. If the comments are still intact.

So again: assume the Three Conjectures is correct. What is the advantage of a one bomb strike?

How does it advance the goal of a move to a global caliphate? And if it only destroys Islam it will be a tragedy for America and a catastrophe for those who sent the bomb and their friends.

I'm going to assume you are correct and they are irrational actors (pretty good assumption). Where does a bomb objectively leave them? Will deterrence deter them? Probably not.

So what?
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:30 am

Duane,

You are taking my side in the argument. No fair. ;-)
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:34 am

MSimon wrote:Sure. And their excellent maintenance and their outstanding weapons systems (look how well they guarded Syria in 2007) and their fine operators. In ten years over Saddam's Iraq - daily firings and zero hits. In ten years. An outstanding record.


1) Russian systems sold to clients are de-rated and/or the second-class items. The Syrians had the TOR-M1. The Israelis would've been much harder pressed against the top flight S-300 PMU2, which is close to the Patriot PAC-2.

2) Per reports, Arabs are truly horrendous at systems maintenance. Even with the Russian KISS philosophy of weapons design the Arabs manage to do sub-fifth rate jobs.

And anyway, Strategic Rocket Forces ICBMs during the Cold War were the elite units. The best personnel would've gone into them. And the quality of the R-7 series is not in debate; 97.5% success rate for production models over 1628 total launches, the highest reliability rate for an ICBM/booster in human history. I don't have too many concerns over the reliability of Soviet boosters. Also, the Cheka was and probably still is one of if not the most effective secret intelligence service on Earth for nearly the last 100 years. Infiltration and deception of American resources was extensive and successful more often than not.

MSimon wrote:I don't think things are going as well for the Soviets as the media would have you believe.


Things went very bad for the Soviets c.1989. :D

MSimon wrote:I'm beginning to think you haven't studied war. Pity. It is the only way to get peace.


On the contrary.

But we are not discussing war here, we are discussing systems. And some systems the Russians have built VERY well over time.

Note that warhead reliability /= booster reliability.

MSimon wrote:We know what Russian signatures on scraps of paper are worth.

The Georgians are shall we say a little upset.


The Bear is back. Great Game 3 begins.

MSimon wrote:You know the Patton dictum for armor?

"I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!"


The Russian advance has stalled and they are digging in. What do you call dug in tanks? Easy targets.


A general overview of Blitzkreig combined arms theory is the extent of my reading on armor tactics. Maneuver and attack is always preferable. A fortress is a wall waiting to collapse. However, I prefer the logistics and psychology side of the power equation. IOW I prefer Sun Tzu's Art of War over Clausewitz's. Defeat by not defeating, whereas the usual American approach is "get there the fustest with the mostest," to quote Nathan Bedford Forrest, and pave them flat.

Duane
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djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:43 am

MSimon wrote:So again, other than fulfilling their religious obligation what does one bomb get them? Or 10?


Attacking the infidel is a religious obligation. If you're a bloody minded fanatic instead of a learned warrior-leader on the model of Saladin, you will do that in the way that brings the most visceral emotional satisfaction. "Big thing go BOOM!" fits in that category. The bigger the boom the better. The Towers were hit not because they were a maximally effective target but because they were large and visible symbols. Mushroom clouds are the largest of visible symbols.

MSimon wrote:Duane, You either need more coffee or more sleep. Your thinking is one level deep. Not up to your usual standards.


Praise the bean! :D

Duane
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Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:47 am

MSimon wrote:So again: assume the Three Conjectures is correct. What is the advantage of a one bomb strike?

How does it advance the goal of a move to a global caliphate? And if it only destroys Islam it will be a tragedy for America and a catastrophe for those who sent the bomb and their friends.

I'm going to assume you are correct and they are irrational actors (pretty good assumption). Where does a bomb objectively leave them? Will deterrence deter them? Probably not.


You're assuming rational motivations. Humans are not rational. We are rationalizing. Visceral satisfaction often trumps rational calculation, and hitting the enemy with a BIG stick is very satisfying.

Duane
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Budget Cycles, not Political Cycles...

Postby Mumbles » Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:07 pm

rj40 wrote:Yes, the Navy... I spoke with someone who thought goverment programs might not be making big decisions until after the next President is in place.
Working for the Navy, in acquisition, the two ways this would play out for big money proof-of-concept, provided current reviews are favorable, are most likely:

Method 1: NAVSEA (Head of Naval surface and subsurface production) POM's money (Program Objective Memorandum - how the services ask for new program interal to their own budget cycles). That is a 2 year cycle, with currently the off year (PRR - Program Realignment(?) Review) going on. PRR-11 is in hot, but the rule is that no new programs are supposed to start during PRR cycle. So we are left with a POM-12 issue, which means we wouldn't get BIG funding until 2012. Then time to design and build a polywell powered ship. Call it 2016 before she sets to sea. And that is FAST.

Naval Reactors may or may not get involved. Hopefully will. If they favorably review the effort, then that adds a tremendous amount of credibility to the polywell. Again, Polywell needs to prove successful before big money is spent (ship-building type money). But if they get involved, they are tied closely with the civilian nuclear regulatory agency to promote the design/concept outside of the Navy. Similar to what happened with fission power.

Method 2: Congresscritters take notice, and "plus-up" the Navy's account to get the effort moving faster. Plus-up money is good for one year only, so there needs to be continuing support for BIG projects. (Shipbuilding money is good for 5 years, to allow bills to be paid as the ship is built...) Plus-ups could jump-start the POM cycle, giving funding early on with the anticipation that a successful POM submission would fund the outyears. But within the Navy, it is a no-growth system - something else needs to be cut to fund polywell and keep the BIG Navy budget under a topline.

As a side note, it is my belief that the current polywell contract that the Navy has with EMC2 was "sweep-up money" from last fiscal year. That the contract was executed in August/September, means that whoever their contact was at (I think it was) SPAWAR, looked around at the other related contracts and found money that was not going to be executed before the end of the fiscal year, and got permission to realign the money to fund continuing polywell work (WB-7). That the 'deadline' is about 1 year later, also supports my guess. And the money is bigger than a typical SBIR contract (but I could be wrong - EMC2 definitely qualifies as SMALL!).

If this was sweep-up money, there is no guarantee that there is ANY follow-on funds sitting, waiting to be executed if polywell is successful.

But if it is successful, then that news would probably force the requirements folks at the Pentagon to scrape together the next chunk of funding while the political battle to get bigger plus-ups began. I am VERY interested in watching just how fast this thing takes off. All, based on successful results from the current program review!

Be Safe
Mumbles

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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:24 pm

djolds1 wrote:
MSimon wrote:So again: assume the Three Conjectures is correct. What is the advantage of a one bomb strike?

How does it advance the goal of a move to a global caliphate? And if it only destroys Islam it will be a tragedy for America and a catastrophe for those who sent the bomb and their friends.

I'm going to assume you are correct and they are irrational actors (pretty good assumption). Where does a bomb objectively leave them? Will deterrence deter them? Probably not.


You're assuming rational motivations. Humans are not rational. We are rationalizing. Visceral satisfaction often trumps rational calculation, and hitting the enemy with a BIG stick is very satisfying.

Duane


OK. It satisfies them and then we take our satisfaction. Hooray. Every one gets satisfied.

You are talking deterrence. Which we both agree is less than likely. I'm talking about a "more rubble less trouble" response . The Three Conjectures in action.
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Postby MSimon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:36 pm

Mumbles,

Method 2: Congresscritters take notice, and "plus-up" the Navy's account to get the effort moving faster. Plus-up money is good for one year only, so there needs to be continuing support for BIG projects. (Shipbuilding money is good for 5 years, to allow bills to be paid as the ship is built...) Plus-ups could jump-start the POM cycle, giving funding early on with the anticipation that a successful POM submission would fund the outyears. But within the Navy, it is a no-growth system - something else needs to be cut to fund polywell and keep the BIG Navy budget under a topline.


That would be my guess. The Navy guy is interested in this. The community organizer will follow the polls. Result? A line item in the budget. At minimum a continuous operation WB-7. What I like to call WB-7x. Ten million might do it. Twenty million would be generous. Forty million if long lead items were included for WB-100. The Navy might be able to scrape that up.

BTW the war with the Russians just about demands an increase in all Mil budgets. There are enough conservatives in Congress (R&D) to make it happen. Rape and pillage gets the blood up esp. considering tender American sensibilities.

You would be surprised at the number of people out there calling for a Manhattan Project on energy. This would qualify.
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