Originally Posted by Hands Sandon
If Iran nuked London, the British PM would get on the phone to his officers and have them launch Trident at Iran. If you think they would piss about with the US and the UN, you don't know Brits very well. Russia would just have to sit pretty, until they landed in Iran or face a barrage of Trident too, which should keep it's finger off the button.
Well, the British PM is likely radioactive ash and the civilian chain of control broken. No Admiral is going to order the destruction of anything without direct orders.
Which requires reconstituting the government.
Which requires finding the real culprit.
Which all requires time.
Given there's no follow on attack to this terrorist event the general response will not be a rain of Trident missiles on whatever the current target list is.
The destructive power of Trident is huge, far exceeding Polaris and more than enough to cause massive destruction to numerous countries. 165 Trident missiles, think about it, that's 165 cities destroyed. At least 16 cities destroyed within an hour.
Great. Now, say you're Admiral Stanhope (CINC Fleet)...and assuming that the First and Second Sea Lord are also radioactive ash...you have 156 Tridents and no target list. Even if you assume that Tehran ordered the strike you cannot simply nuke it until it glows.
From a deterrent perspective, the Trident fleet is good for MAD. Not so good for an asymmetric threat...even if nuclear. Good against China. Good against Russia.
Not so good against a country with a real death wish or is willing to use it's own population as expendable pawns in a nuclear exchange because MAD assumes the other guy isn't willing to kill himself.
So, now you have two options:
Nuking a bunch of innocent civs and probably not killing the folks that are responsible (because they have likely dispersed with only a few folks in Tehran).
Conventional strikes and military actions to destroy the government that did something incredibly stupid.
Germany and Japan lost the war and so don't have nukes. That puts them at a big disadvantage, less bargaining power IMHO.
Excepting that 50 years of cold war has pretty much erased that "lost the war" stigma and they have economies and militaries every bit as good as anyone else excepting the US (and China in terms of sheer volume) that there's zero less bargaining power vis a vis UK and France.
Without Germany do you REALLY think the EU would exist? With whom is France fighting for dominance in the EU? It isn't the UK. Who made concessions about the Mediterranean Union last year? It wasn't Germany. Who is Europe's largest economy? It isn't France. Who's driving the EU?
Less and less France and more and more Germany.
So to what does France's nuclear arsenal provide bargaining power?
NK with nukes, makes it less likely anyone will attack them. Why you don't think so is beyond me.
If no one really cared to attack them, how does it actually make it less likely? Because Bush called them names? Right.
The US would no more directly attack North Korea than China would directly attack South Korea. We simply don't play that way. Likewise, the US would no more directly attack Iran than China or Russia would directly attack Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.
To do so constitutes intention for global conflict.
South Korea, not being idiots, has no intention of attacking North Korea as puppets or otherwise.