Canadians figure out exactly how many nukes it would take.
January 4, 2002 2:02 AM   Subscribe

Canadians figure out exactly how many nukes it would take. Using the software, researchers estimated it would take 124 weapons to destroy the U.S. and 51 to eliminate Russia as a country. The computer program mimics the U.S. military's SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, which outlines the targeting of America's nuclear weapons and the likely consequences of each attack. [via dailyrotten.com]
posted by skallas (20 comments total)

 
Only 11 nuclear bombs to 'take out' Canada

The Ottawa Citizen headline seems to show a certain disappointment. Is their famous inferiority complex at work? The U.S. would need 11 times more.

Is a new variant of nuke snobbism at work?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:53 AM on January 4, 2002


> Only 11 nuclear bombs to 'take out' Canada

Yes, but that's 17.50 in Canadian. (18.00 in Newfoundland.)
posted by pracowity at 3:31 AM on January 4, 2002


Just remember everyone, while we build that big nuclear-bomb proof wall along the border and Canada asks "what's up", just say "nothing" then skip away. I've already begun building a North-South maple syrup pipeline so we will control the world's supply when Canada is gone. [cue evil laugh]
posted by owillis at 3:48 AM on January 4, 2002


"The first 11 weapons on Canada kills 25 per cent of the population," explained Mr. McKinzie. "But 22 weapons would only[there's that only again!] kill 30 per cent of the population."

So not really worth the extra trouble? ;)

No, but it makes you think what variables are at work. All those scientists "defining destruction" make me wary.

If all NATO countries, including Canada, can be destroyed with 300 bombs but China "needs" 368, you sorta wonder whether they'd like to destroy China well beyond the gentle and generous 25% quota they allotted Canada...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:06 AM on January 4, 2002


Thankfully none are needed for France, which would surrender when all the poor French-Canadians got hit.
posted by Keen at 4:50 AM on January 4, 2002


Is there any way to make it play itself?

Yes, number of players, zero.

[Joshua plays]

Learn damnit, learn!
posted by lawtalkinguy at 5:43 AM on January 4, 2002


Wow! That's a W.O.P.R.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:26 AM on January 4, 2002


Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:32 AM on January 4, 2002


No, but it makes you think what variables are at work.
I'd guess it's because of the way Canada's population is distributed: high concentrations in specific areas, and everyone else spread out over vast geographical space. Better start stockpiling the Timbits...
posted by transient at 7:04 AM on January 4, 2002


owillis: don't forget to stockpile DNA of Wayne Gretzky and some others so we can clone a bunch of good hockey players to keep the NHL alive. Remember, there are only 6 teams in Canada in the 30 team NHL, and they are all broke and seeking to come down here anyway.
posted by adampsyche at 7:19 AM on January 4, 2002


Remember, there are only 6 teams in Canada in the 30 team NHL, and they are all broke and seeking to come down here anyway.

We Toronto fatcats are doing just fine, thank you very much. Leaf fans would pay $300 a ticket even in the event of nuclear war.
posted by D at 7:34 AM on January 4, 2002


We Toronto fatcats are doing just fine, thank you very much.

Just teasing. Nice job last night, by the way, caught it on NHL Center Ice.
posted by adampsyche at 7:38 AM on January 4, 2002


Well, this was one bone-headed simulation by people who ought to know better. Why did they assume that a single nuke in a population center would suffice for all the Mutual Assured Destruction needs of a real exchange? In fact, not only do you need multiple redundancy to ensure delivery, you need to hit specific military and industrial targets in addition to population centers, if part of the goal (and it realistically would be) is to somehow win the post-war. You want to have enough to make a first strike (should it become necessary) on the other guy's nukes as well as his military bases, naval battle groups, command centers, and only after that can you begin looking at secondary targets like industrial and population centers. You don't want to waste 'em on downtown Omaha and leave SAC operational, after all.

I think they were using cooked assumptions to design this scenario, and I doubt that the operational plans by any superpower strike force resemble this in any way.
posted by dhartung at 9:20 AM on January 4, 2002


Whoops, posted too quick.

This should of course be compared to the nuclear gamesmanship of former Iranian President Rafsanjani, who helpfully pointed the way towards a regional nuclear strategy down the road:

Nuclear Weapons Can Solve the Israel Problem

Rafsanjani said that Muslims must surround colonialism and force them [the colonialists] to see whether Israel is beneficial to them or not. If one day, he said, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession [meaning nuclear weapons] - on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This, he said, is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.


The colonialists, of course, refers to us.
posted by dhartung at 9:26 AM on January 4, 2002


Only 124 to destroy the US? Put me down for one...

(Note to humour-impaired Security Services: that was a joke, dammit!)
posted by salmacis at 12:23 PM on January 4, 2002


I'm pretty sure timbits would survive a nuke attack. Especially the ones coated in the glaze.

(And while I have some like minded people around, Go Leafs Go!)
posted by mzanatta at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2002


> Nice job last night, by the way, caught it on NHL Center Ice.

Yeah, Cujo was like a nuclear defense shield! Tai really hits like a megaton bomb! Mats is like a goal-seeking tactical nuke!

(My metaphors are on-topic, if nothing else)
posted by D at 9:15 PM on January 4, 2002


OK, Toronto fans, please answer this one for me: why are they not the Leaves? One Toronto Maple Leaf, two Toronto Maple Leaves.

Who will lose to Ottawa tonight? Either the Toronto Maple Leaf (singular, referring to the team named after a leaf) or the Toronto Maple Leaves (plural, referring to the guys on the team named after a leaf).
posted by pracowity at 1:02 AM on January 5, 2002


well said dhartung. Agreed about the bonehead thinking of the scenario need at least 10 times that amount to cover military targets. And yes Israeli is aware it could be wiped out.. the "world of Islam" has yet to show solidarity to act however and historically I doubt ever will. If they wernt fighting the Israelis theyd be fighting each other.
posted by stbalbach at 11:13 AM on January 5, 2002


>>OK, Toronto fans, please answer this one for me: why are they not the Leaves? One Toronto Maple Leaf, two Toronto Maple Leaves.


Simply: because in the context of the best hockey team in the league, "Maple Leaf" is a proper noun (note the capitals, not to be confused with the Capitals). On page 145 of The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker writes:
[T]he noun being pluralized is not leaf, the unit of foliage, but a noun based on the name Maple Leaf, Canada's national symbol... [A] noun that does not get its nounhood from one of its components cannot get an irregular plural from that component either; hence it defaults to the regular form Maple Leafs.
Same goes for The Florida Marlins (the plural of marlin is marlin). Same if someone tries to call two of you pracowities.
posted by ludicdruid at 6:51 PM on January 6, 2002


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