Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
From the same article by Lieber and Press:
Compounding these problems, Russia's early warning system is a mess. Neither Soviet nor Russian satellites have ever been capable of reliably detecting missiles launched from U.S. submarines. (In a recent public statement, a top Russian general described his country's early warning satellite constellation as "hopelessly outdated.") Russian commanders instead rely on ground-based radar systems to detect incoming warheads from submarine-launched missiles. But the radar network has a gaping hole in its coverage that lies to the east of the country, toward the Pacific Ocean. If U.S. submarines were to fire missiles from areas in the Pacific, Russian leaders probably would not know of the attack until the warheads detonated. Russia's radar coverage of some areas in the North Atlantic is also spotty, providing only a few minutes of warning before the impact of submarine-launched warheads.

Your assurance that a first-strike must necessarily employ land-based ICBM's is malarkey. Have you counted all the warheads on stealth bombers, submarines, and cruise missiles? Would you share that interesting number with me?

You say that

submarines take longer to warn, very-low frequency comms have low-throughput, and a hunter-killer sub could be stalking them and attacking them in sync

Did you happen to read Arbatov's discussion of the deterioration of Russia's nuclear deterrent, which I linked in my diary? It doesn't even matter, because the objections you make are beside the point. Slow communication to subs only matters in case a rapid response is required, and for a first strike launch-time can be agreed upon in advance.

(I only posted on European Tribune out of admiration for Jerome, and the rest of it is just a sad joke.)

by Jacob Freeze on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 10:09:42 AM EST
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