Why Giving Away the Nuclear Launch Response Time Was a Fatal Mistake
Guest Editorial by Anon
I really can’t believe I have to write this but some people just don’t seem to understand why Hillary Clinton just made a critical error that shouldn’t just cost her the election, but also her freedom. She needs to be in jail, right this minute and needs to get interrogated by intelligence specialists to determine the reason why she did what she did. We assume it’s because she’s a senile psychopath who doesn’t care at all about our safety, but with a “mistake” of this magnitude, you just can’t be sure.
Hillary Clinton gave away one of the most closely guarded secrets during her final presidential debate with Donald Trump hosted by Chris Wallace. The time it takes from receiving the order from the leader of the western alliance to launch nuclear weapons, to actually launching these said weapons, is now known to be four minutes. Hoaxing sites such as Snopes will have you believe that she instead meant that it takes four minutes to decide to launch the weapons. That is clearly not what she stated here:
Snopes is clearly lying about what Hillary gave away.
Let’s get two thing clear. Firstly, unlike Clinton’s usual slimey demeanour, there is absolutely no sign that she is lying in anyway when she stated this. She honestly meant what she said, there is no way to interpret it in any other way, for example a PSYOP to make the enemy believe that it is in fact four minutes. So let us not speculate on the true message being sent. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that she is in fact misinformed about this. She has worked in the state department and was the first lady to Bill Clinton where she likely ran the show, in any case. Thus, while responsible generals like General Michael Flynn will neither confirm or deny this information, it’s not likely that it is incorrect.
So where does that leave us? In a very desperate situation.
Let’s go through this quickly so that the depth of her mistake can become clear to everyone. In game theory, the less your enemy knows about your plan and the more you know about their plan, the more likely you are to arrive at your win scenario. You can also confuse the enemy, giving them false information, resulting in either a relaxed (greedy) strategy or a tighter over-commitment based on what you want them to do. Thus, a solid strategy is to often give out hints, speculations and easily denied information that will confuse your enemy and allow you to change their strategy as it suits you.
However, if your strategy is completely known to the enemy and you only have their hints to work from, you are royally screwed. Not only do you lose the ability to change your enemy’s strategy, they will optimise their own and may even force you to change your strategy based on their own misinformation. It’s the poker equivalent of showing your hand before anyone has even put their chips on the table.
Now you may be thinking “one bit of information doesn’t give away the strategy”. There you are in fact, absolutely wrong. Nuclear war is, at it’s core, much simpler than any other form of warfare, and it’s for this reason that it is very dangerous. When you have reached a nuclear triad, modern nuclear warfare has four basic elements: response time, number of delivery vehicles or bombs in the first wave, target selection (counter force or counter value) and counter-measures (including anti-ballistic missile defences and underground bunkers).
We’ll go through these one by one to make everything clear, starting withtarget selection. The main adversaries of the west are China and Russia, so they can work backwards to figure out the most likely strategy in both their cases. For Russia, counter-force, the prioritisation of targeting their launch vehicles, is the most likely strategy as they have the greatest number and can deal the most damage in a first strike. For China, counter-value, the prioritisation of targeting their cities and civilian infrastructure, is far more likely in order to have them sustain strategic damage. Russia’s high density population centres are concentrated in its western regions and require no prioritisation.
Number of delivery vehicles is bound by treaty and both sides regularly monitor the other’s. It’s also very easy to infer from satellite data, including worst case scenarios of a full deck of nuclear cruise missiles on nearby destroyers. There’s little means to hide this information without making the weapons unusable in a first strike, i.e you can hide them, but they won’t be ready to fire in time.
Now about counter-measures. Unfortunately, Hillary gave that away tooand in any case, China and Russia have only been developing their advantage in this field the past decade. There’s little room for manoeuvring here. The US is behind and attempting to catch up in a catastrophic way.
What does that leave us with? Response time. That’s all there was, everything else has already been accounted for. Knowing the US response time, China can now change their active number of vehicles to account for the response time. They may change their procedures to match or exceed the US’s. In Russia’s case they may keep their automatic retaliation“doomsday machine” active all the time, effectively giving them an instance response time to any first strike.
More frighteningly, both countries may move to a first strike policy in order to make up for any potential lost time due to counter-measures. In the end, the number of delivery vehicles you can target your enemy with before they destroy your weapon caches, determines whether you win or lose. This is why response time is such a critical parameter in nuclear war and Hillary gave it away.
Lock her up and interrogate this psychopath.