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.