US Nuclear Weapons Strike Scenario – Analysis of Multiple Outcomes – US vs Russia

  • The simulation begins with Russia launching a warning nuclear shot from a base in Kaliningrad in an attempt to stop a US and NATO offensive.
  • Russia acknowledged only two ways it will ever authorize nuclear weapons deployment.
  • Princeton University developed a new simulation "PLAN A" for a plausible escalating war between the US and Russia using realistic nuclear force postures, targets and fatality estimates.

The United States has conducted a military exercise that simulates a retaliatory strike using nuclear weapons after Russia’s use of low-power nuclear weapons in Europe against NATO countries. This was announced on February 21, 2020 at a briefing for journalists by a high-ranking Pentagon representative stating that “We conducted a small exercise, let’s say.” The scenario included a war in Europe being waged by Russia, and Russia decides to use limited low-power nuclear weapons against an object on the territory of NATO countries.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

The exercise was attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, as well as Republican Congressman from Nebraska Jeff Fortenberry. Both of them got an idea of how to coordinate actions in the event of a nuclear crisis, the Pentagon stressed.

Mark Thomas Esper is the 27th and current United States secretary of defense. He previously served as acting secretary of defense and was the 23rd United States secretary of the Army from 2017 to 2019.  

The Kremlin responded to the training exercise with the representative of the Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov stating that Russia condemns the actions. Moreover, Russia acknowledged only two ways it will ever authorize nuclear weapons deployment:

1) In the case of an attack on their country using any type of weapons of mass destruction.

2) When aggression is carried out using conventional weapons of such a scale that the very existence of the Russian state is threatened.

Last year, Princeton University developed a new simulation”PLAN A” for a plausible escalating war between the US and Russia using realistic nuclear force postures, targets and fatality estimates.

The simulation begins with Russia launching a warning nuclear shot from a base in Kaliningrad in an attempt to stop a US and NATO offensive. In response, NATO strikes Russia with one tactical nuclear airstrike, after which the conflict turns into a tactical nuclear war across Europe.

It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict. In the first few hours of a war with the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons, at least 34.5 million people will become victims of the atomic bombs, and 55.9 million are injured. This is not counting the losses from the subsequent nuclear fallout and the disastrous consequences for the planet.

The date used in the video was from here. It allows you to detonate nuclear weapons and provides precise data of the impact.

There are other plausible scenarios about how a nuclear war can be started.

Forced Measure

The entire modern world system of checks and balances, tools in the UN, and other things, serve at least one major function — to prevent a nuclear power clash from turning into a full-scale war. During the hot phase of any conflict, the conventional weapons phase will immediately be replaced by the nuclear phase when one of the parties feels that it is threatened with defeat and disappearing as a state.

Example of the nuclear weapon striking Moscow.

Provocation

A third force could want a war between Russia and the US. It could be based on vindictiveness. It could be a well organized attack to provoke and unleash a nuclear war.

Premeditation

The possibility of the invention of higher grade nuclear weapons of mass destruction, with a hit able to cause an instant annihilating strike.

Overall, the US and Russia have the most advanced technologies pertaining to nuclear weapons.  During the Cold War era arms race, both nations were able to achieve high results.

Russia striking US

During the Soviet Era, academic Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov proposed a strategy of detonating nuclear charges in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, causing a powerful climate impact with tsunamis that would destroy all the coastal cities in the US. Sakharov was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident, Nobel laureate, and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights. He became renowned as the designer of the Soviet Union’s RDS-37, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons.  Such a hit would also destroy parts of Canada.

US striking Russia

Russia always had an advantage due to having a large area of land. Even During World War II, the cold climate and terrain was a great advantage for the Soviets. Also, in the hypothetical scenario, if the US hit Russia with nukes, it could very easily wipe out China and Japan, depending on the location, since Russia has many nations surrounding it.

Also, given the borders of Russia in Asia, the seismological features of the region can cause natural disasters. On the other side, if St. Petersburg is nuked, the former Soviet Baltic States would be impacted. If central Russia is hit, the north side of Europe will be destroyed. If the Crimea region is hit, it would destroy Ukraine.

There is also the possibility of a neutral scenario where the missiles with nuclear warheads are intercepted by enemy anti-missiles, or destroyed during the preparation for launch. Neither the US or Russia suffer significant damage to the military infrastructure. However, the main peaceful objects are in ruins and tens of millions of people have been destroyed. It’s the same picture on the other side. The opponents understand that there is simply nothing to continue the war with and so begin peace negotiations.

Every scenario would be catastrophic to our planet. In all of the scenarios, nobody would win and the result will lead to world destruction across the whole planet.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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