Gather up all of the major American cities and place them in one area and you will find they only encompass four percent of the country’s land mass, while 62.7 percent of the population calls one of these major cities home, this according to the U.S. Census Bureau ( U.S. Census Bureau, 2015).
A large concentration of people living and working in a very small land mass, so are major cities a target, of course, they are if the objective is to kill as many people as possible and to create the greatest disruption possible in this country.
Even if only one of the major cities were to be struck by a nuclear warhead the effect would reverberate across the nation. Suppose Washington D.C. was destroyed, or New York City where the hub of the world’s financial markets hum along each day. One strike and the country would be in turmoil.
Three Hundred and Eighteen Million Nine Hundred Thousand people live in this country and 62.7 percent of them occupy only four percent of the nations’ land mass. Cities are death traps, to put it bluntly if there were to be a nuclear attack. The only hope anyone has if a device was launched is that it is shot down, or malfunctions, or strikes a city other than the one you are living in.
Counter attack to stop any more coming, of course, but we have never been attacked so can we be sure our missile defense systems actually work in a real world situation. And just how fast and how many ICBM’s can we send their way before another is launched at yet another target.
Defense systems work (most of the time) in simulations, but when an ICBM with a nuclear warhead packed in the cone is streaking toward our continent we want to know for sure, but we don’t, and we can only hope our counter attack stops anymore launches.
When a maniac is controlling the switch anything is possible and it seems we have just such a maniac with his finger hovering over the launch button, or he would like us to believe such. We, however, have to believe he has the capability and is willing to use said capability. He is deranged so the consequences of an attack against the U.S. would not have any influence on him. This is the worst kind of enemy.
The world’s two nuclear superpowers, the United States and Russia for decades had an understanding. Mutually assured destruction was the mantra at the time. You launch, we launch, and both our countries are turned into glass parking lots. That was then, however, today there are other countries with nuclear capabilities. The only saving grace is that a large nuclear bomb capable of destroying a large city would have to be delivered by aircraft unless a country has the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on an ICBM. There are of course “tactical nukes” that are easily transported but frankly extremely difficult to get into a country and then be able to trigger the device. A nuke without a triggering device is a very heavy paperweight.
An ICBM is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. They are guided missiles and with today’s technology, they can strike with pinpoint accuracy. The range is tremendous, the minimum range is 3,500 miles plus, and given the advancements in technology that we may not even be aware of the actual range but assume the range could be considerably more.
At one point the missiles were designed for large cities/targets because of their limited accuracy, in other words, point it in that direction, and because it can deliver a thermonuclear warhead, close to a target was good enough because of the destructive power, but today they can be counted on to hit smaller targets with deadly accuracy.
Most modern designs support “multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles” (MIRVs), which allows a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target. As if one was not destructive enough.
An adversary, such as Russia would target strategic military installations, and infrastructure, with a focus on power stations to damage or to destroy the power grid.
A rogue nation would be like an untrained shooter. The rounds could strike any and everywhere and they would be looking to create as many civilian casualties as possible, so cities large and small are potential targets.
As we had stated earlier fanatics and the truly deranged would not think far enough ahead to consider the consequences, so instead of trying to stop a counter attack by focusing on key areas of the military, a rogue country would likely choose random metropolitan areas first or any major city, which they, for whatever reason, feel would be symbolic and would create the most chaos. It could be any city.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2015). Retrieved 2017, from https://www.census.gov/topics/population.html