The Buzz

5 Ways Nuclear Armageddon Was Almost Unleashed (Or World War III)

Every one of these crises could have resulted in a global conflagration. Earlier crises (such as the Berlin Blockade of 1948 or the Korean attack of 1950) could have led to war, but they took place before the superpowers developed huge stockpiles of nuclear-armed intercontinental missiles. Each crisis was eventually resolved in favor of peace, but in every case both sides relied on gambles, and survived as much by luck as by strategy. At some point, luck runs out.

5 Ways a Nuclear War Could Go Down (And Billions of People Would Die)

Military establishments are supposed to be full of worst-case pessimists. Nuclear warfighting ideas, however, rely on incredibly optimistic assumptions about universal rationality, near-perfect information, accurate perception, the absence of panic, and an orderly ability to control escalation in the midst of chaos. Someone making those assumptions are not the people you want in the Oval Office when “Ruebek” and “Churya” are off their leashes.

Nuclear war, the exchange of nuclear weapons between two or more states in open conflict. It’s unthinkable. It can’t happen.

I Rebuilt America's Nuclear Arsenal from Scratch. This Is What It Would Look Like

When I worked for the late John Heinz in 1991 when he was the senior senator from Pennsylvania, he voted against continuing funding for the B-2 strategic bomber. The B-2 advocates came to our offices, and made no better case for the nuclear mission of the B-2 other than to say: it’s a cool weapon for fighting a long nuclear war with the Soviet Union…oh, and there are lot of subcontractors who need production to keep going. Heinz was undecided until the last minute, and then he went and voted.

F-14 Tomcat: The Navy Fighter It Wishes It Could Bring Back from the Dead

The Navy’s F/A-XX program could be used to fill the service’s air superiority gap—which has essentially been left open since the F-14’s retirement and the demise of the NATF and A/F-X programs. But the problem is that the Navy is pursuing the F/A-XX as a multirole Super Hornet replacement rather than an air superiority-oriented machine. “The danger in its development is that it suboptimizes the fighter role in the quest for a hybrid fighter/attack jet,” the Hudson Institute report notes.

China Has a New Plan to Kill Navy Aircraft Carriers: 'Swarm' Strikes?

China’s marked strides in drone technology have given Beijing some bragging rights about the potential militarization of its unmanned aerial vehicles. Some bellicose mainland military observers even go as far as to suggest that strike groups of drones may be capable of dealing crippling blows to much larger conventional combat entities such as aircraft carriers.

Navy's New Stealth Destroyer to Test Fire Missiles Next Year

The question how the ship handles and maneuvers in the water has received attention in recent years, given that it utilizes a cutting-edge, wave-piercing Tumblehome Hull technology for increased performance in certain key respects. Some observers and news reports have raised the question, citing various sea states and structural nuances, that the hull might not be able to achieve the requisite amount stability needed for a full range of mission sets.

How Just 1 Simple Design Flaw Destroyed an Experimental Russian Attack Submarine

All 144 members of the crew had been exposed to radiation—with nine eventually dying of from radiation poisoning. K-27 was permanently laid-up soon after in June 1968, though the Soviets carried out various experiments onboard the vessel until 1973. K-27 was eventually decommissioned February 1979 and then scuttled in very shallow water—just 99ft deep—in the Kara Sea on Sept. 6, 1982, where she remains as a ticking environmental time bomb. Indeed, the problem is so grave that many environmental scientists believe that the submarine must be retrieved and disposed of properly.

How to Stop China from Someday Invading Taiwan? Submarines.

The country with perhaps the most dire need for a modern submarine force in the industrialized world actually has the oldest. Fully half of Taiwan’s submarine force consists of World War II–era boats, while the other half is “just” forty years old. The result is a force that is unable to respond to China’s submarine fleet and cannot adequately protect the country from invasion.