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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:02 pm 
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Had a few interesting discussions in the last week, some of them real time some of them virtual. What it seems to me is that people in the west (everyone I talked to was from Canada, Britian or the US) draw a line between Nucelar weapons, Chemical weapons and Biological weapons. There are of course some who do not (Yes Narsil I remember you.)

With the Bio weapons being the least morally acceptable, the stance seems to be there is no acceptable reason, time or place to use them.

Chemical weapons are considered more iffy, but most of the people I talked could see a time or place for them. Tear gas and naplam are chemical weapons for example that are supported by many, nerve gas is on the extreme end of the scale but even then I found poeple who said there was a time and place for it. I.E the favorite unlikely nightmare of the People's Liberation Army of China learning to walk on water.

Nuclear weapons, so far everyone believes these are the ultimate kill weapon, the last resort, the megadeath. But shockingly there is less resistence to the idea of having to use these things sooner or later. From those who believe we're going to end up scouring the Middle East with flames born in fission to those who think someone is going to have to use them on us (by this I mean the US for non-American readers) to cut us "down to size." Everyone seems to be able to find some time and place where they could accept their use.

So why are bio weapons less acceptable then nuclear weapons or chemical. All three are esstenially speaking weapons that kill non-combatents when they are used. A nuclear weapon dropped on a city kills man, women and childern and the vast majority of nuclear weapons are meant for use on a city full of human beings. Gases are mostly used on stationary targets with no protection, this means cities, towns or villeges as every military note has it's troops carrying protection form gas attack. So what the difference?

The biggest difference I think deals with duration and control. Gases eventually spread to thin to be leathal, rescirting their area of effort to a small space geographically. Nukes are a one shot, one bang deal, one cannot use the same nuclear warhead twice and the event is actually over pretty quick (even if the horror of it can last decades). Bio weapons I.E. militarized viruses can run rampent for years, they can't be targeted, plauges spread that is their nature. You cannot be sure that the Weaponized Hanta Virus you released on nation A won't come back to haunt you in the form of half your population catching it in 6 months time. Is that the differenece

Finially... For the vast majority of human history we have been the victums of deases and plauge. Smallpox, Polio, The Black Death, and more have swept throuhg continents and left no one untouched from the very beginning of history. Could the idea of using such a remorsless enemy of humanity has a weapon be what scares us so much?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:15 pm 
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The vast majority of chemical weapons are short duration, and excellently, they can be 'dialled down'. Tear gas, stink bombs(No, I mean military/SWAT grade one), and the like are all big favourites at Less Lethal, and they're chem based. The majority also clear relatively quickly.

A nuke is less dialable, but when it comes to actual effects, they're massively overstated. A TacNuke will scour it's assigned blast radius clean, but it'll be a flash and then done, and no one seems to be building long-radiation ones anymore. With the increasing ability to reduce fallout and adjust size of blast, they are, simply put, a very, very powerful bomb.

Bioweapons are ugly. Bioweapons are infectious, so they can travel along vectors beyond the 'Killzone'. They are almost always alive, so they can mutate. And worst of all is the modern nature of the world. One wrong person gets infected, jumps a plane, the plane is infected. Everyone on the plane goes on with their lives..

A true militarized bioweapon could loop the globe before clicking to 'Kill' from it's dormancy, and then millions will die.

You can't target bioweapons save for genes or specific conditions. And the collatoral is ridiculosly hard to stop.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Bioweapons also linger, the effects of such passable as mutated cells to children for potentitally multiple generations. Not something that most civilized nations want to really consider as an actuality. We don't want to have to explain why a nation's children all are suddenly being born with incurable diseases that causes them to die and wither at exceptionally young ages or live long cruel and harsh lives because 40 years ago some dictator fucked up.

I, myself, hower have to deal with the very real threat of NBC weapons due to my job. I've been innoculated against so many diseases and manmade plagues that it's just fucking nuts. Half of them, by the way, are untested. Like the Antrax vaccines I've been administered. Smallpox, Malaria, Anthrax, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, etc. I don't have to be attacked to get them, I've already got them!

Honestly though, in my opinion as cruel and harsh and uncaring or whatever else it is that people choose to think, I see no issue with the use of NBC weapons by us in a war.

Two reasons; First, if done correctly with proper quarentine procedures followed biological weapons in a wartime environment can be useful. Yes you may very well wipe out a small town of innocent civvies along with the people you were after. That is the price you pay for harboring terrorists and insurgents.

Secondly, we have to realize that these weapons are out there and are going to be used. And probably not by us. Just about any war we will enter into will not be afraid to resort to those sort of attacks against us. Most of our enemies don't exactly follow the Geneva Protocol of the Hague Convention or the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 or the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. They and their people show little to no remorse in threatening these things against us or the idea of actually using them. Why should we return the courtesy? Because we're the "Good guys?" Because we're suppose to be proving some sort of point, or following the writing on a piece of paper that our opponents don't follow? If they want to sit back and accuse us of being these great white devils, the infidels, give them a fucking reason to complain when they're watching their legs rot off from a manmade plague.

If we go up against an opponent who will follow the above accords and conventions then by all means follow them as well. But don't take some moral/ethical highpoint against people who don't give a shit about our morals or ethics. War is dirty, war is deadly, show them how deadly we can be.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:04 pm 
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SirNitram wrote:

A nuke is less dialable, but when it comes to actual effects, they're massively overstated. A TacNuke will scour it's assigned blast radius clean, but it'll be a flash and then done, and no one seems to be building long-radiation ones anymore. With the increasing ability to reduce fallout and adjust size of blast, they are, simply put, a very, very powerful bomb.


Quick note: no one ever built nukes with the purpose of using it to turn an area into a wasteland(so called salting a nuke, say with Cobalt). Long term effects from nuclear blasts as far as I know resulted more from bad efficiency in nuclear detonations(with both Hiroshima and Nagasaki being single digit efficient) rather then design.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:44 am 
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Go read about Spanish Flu. Look at the infection and mortality rates, 20% got sick and 2.5% died. Look at how effective quarantines were in that slower age, Marajó, American Samoa, and New Caledonia avoided the flu. Possibly Japan as well. Atleast 50 million people died from it. Now do all those niffty things that modern science allows to influenza.

Bio-weapons are Bad with a capital B. You listen to people like Stuart of TBO fame and you come to the understanding that anyone who uses them deserves a cleansing bath in atomic fire.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:26 pm 
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I never said Bio weapons weren't bad Jeap, I asked why we see nuclear weapons has more morally acceptable. There is a damn difference.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:30 pm 
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Personally, I'd take nuclear weapons over chemical or biological, because unlike the other two, they can be used in a far more percise matter.

Deploying Bio weapons is fundamentally uncontrolled, chemicals, while dying out far faster are also less controllable. A nuclear explosion can be tightly predicted.

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Dorsk 81: this is why I support the separation of Aces eyebrow's, something that ugly should never be joined

Mayabird:You see what this place does to us? It's like how Eskimos have their 16 names for snow. We have to precisely define what shafting we're receiving.

"Do we think Israel would be nuts enough to go back into Lebanon with Olmert still in power and calling the shots? They could hook Sharon up to a heart monitor and interpret the blips and bleeps as "yes" and "no" and do better than that, both strategically and emotionally."


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:53 pm 
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You answered the question in the OP, frigid. A and C weapons are way more controllable. They have a reasonably defineable area of effect, and a pretty tightly definable duration of effect. There's some variation for them WRT weather (contaminated material/contaminants being blown elsewhere, rain my/may not wash them away) but both of those are finite damage(duration events (what damage is done might vary slightly but it WILL be finite).
No so for biologicals. They They have the capability to theoretically affect the entire planet, forever, and even resist counterneasures (radioactive debris and chemicals are rather unlikely to mutate to avoid the resist the ways to deal with them).
Plus, the bodycount from natural biological weapons puts the combinded deaths from A and C weapons (including nuclear/chemical accidents most likely) to shame.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:47 pm 
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The difference, as mentioned has to do with deathtolls after the weapons use. A nuclear weapon will kill 300,000 people and destroy your target. A pervasive nerve agent will kill 350,000 people and kill everyone in your target. A biological weapon will take two weeks in incubation, be carried to a hundred different cities, kill 325,000 people in the city where your target is, nearly everyone in your target, and 20 million more in cities across the globe.

I pulled those numbers out of my ass, so take them with a salt dome. They illustrate my point, though, the bioweapons effects will extend far beyond their target, killing far more than either the nuke or the gas. Killing far more than you need to kill to destroy your target. Not morally acceptable, from my limited understanding of military ethics.

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