Fictional Scenario Follow-Up

There are a LOT of good comments on the original Fictional Scenario post. Thank you all! Rather than try to address them and some other points that have been sent individually, allow me to respond with this post.

Why do it as a fictional story? Well, the basic reason is that it will get a lot wider audience as a fiction story, and it is more likely to make money than cost money. It’s a tactic that actually been done for quite a while now, and often because if you try to submit certain ideas up the chain, or to a peer-reviewed publication, you know it’s not going anywhere but the circular file. Oftentimes with your career.

In fact, there are several popular science fiction stories that were created because the author knew that to present the ideas other than in fiction would be a career killer for a scientist. Couple of thriller shorts were along the same line, as higher had made it clear it didn’t want to hear about anything involving X (country, weapon, etc.). Understand China fits that X a good bit these days…

So, a fiction story has a better chance of being read, discussed, and benefiting the author. It might actually get read by the policy makers that need to read it. It also has a nice bit of plausible deniability for said author.

Now, for the containers. The K-pods were a good add to the discussion, and I wonder how much the Iranians paid attention to them in designing the CONEX pod they just used for the demonstration missile launch? Using such a standard pod simplifies a lot of logistics, and it is amazing the possibilities for them (Bruce was well on the mark there).

Depending on the missile used, you can potentially load up to four in a standard container, along with all the necessary command and control equipment. Keep in mind that anyone likely to do this could pull from Chinese, Russian, and Iranian missiles. Not to mention North Korean contributions, though I don’t see that as realistic at this time. I went with one weapon per container for a number of reasons, including not wanting to have the basic concept dismissed out of hand by certain bureaucratic types that are best avoided. KISS, in other words.

Also, no crew is needed in the pods. Such as system, as recently demonstrated by the Iranians, can easily be controlled from a laptop or console aboard the ship carrying the containers. It would not be too hard to even arrange for hydraulic jacks to lift one end up for an angled launch.

As for use of hypersonic, that was deliberate as certain buzzwords do hit the bingo card in DC. If you want people to pay attention (that need to), sadly you do seem to have to play buzzword bingo.

Reality is, the best choice for something like the first strike scenario described is a mixed load. Even non-hypersonic cruise missiles fired at that range are capable of hitting key targets in five or so minutes. Use faster (but accurate) weapons for longer distances, go for precision on the short range, and you get a devastating attack that takes out key targets before most even know they are under attack. There are even some inventive ways (including cross targeting from other ships involved) to take out some target areas with multiple warheads without worry of nuclear fratricide.

As for some of the target choices I made, while a number of bases are now reduced or officially offline, a number of our potential enemies have studied our history and know exactly how fast we could turn things around and make use of them. The lessons of WWII may be lost to much of our leadership, but I fear not to others. If you take out certain bases and/or areas, you eliminate our ability to build and sustain operations in opposition to other hostile activities. Activities that are the root cause of the fictional first strike.

Before I forget, it is worth noting that in the real world Russia has been taking a large number of high-precision cruise missiles out of strategic service, mating them with conventional warheads, and using them against Ukraine without replacements in the pipe. As Arte used to say, “Very Interesting!” and is something I am not sure is getting the attention it should. In turn, they are also buying a number of high-precision weapons from Iran for use for the same purpose. If I do decide to go back and finish this story, may have to make the load a mix of Chinese and Iranian missiles, with only some from Russia.

As for the countries involved, think about this a moment. Russia wants Russkiy Mir, and Ukraine is but the first step towards that. Iran has its own regional ambitions. China is not just focused on Taiwan, but has plans for the South China Sea and south even unto Australia. Remove the U.S. as a threat, and all three have the opening they need to act.

Ability is a different matter, as China is tottering more than most realize; Russia is not in good shape; and, Iran is one good match from seeing a new revolution. Just keep in mind that desperate people do desperate things, and the current leadership of all three fit that mold. So, don’t see this as likely but it is still something that needs to be considered.

More soon, I hope.

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2 thoughts on “Fictional Scenario Follow-Up”

  1. Currently reading Lightning Fall by Bill Quick.

    Starts off with cargo launched ballistic missiles with EMP warheads, and a cargo ship nuke in a port.

    I’m about a third of the way into it and only two weapons detonated so far.

    Combine this with Kurt Schlicter’s The Attack and it’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

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