Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Problem With the American Redoubt Concept


Anonymous said...

There is no perfection. But test out the theory yourself and walk the streets of East St. Louis between 6pm and 4AM any Friday-Saturday night. Then compare that with walking almost anywhere in the American redoubt during the same "dangerous" hours.

FerFAL said...

so the only options you have are either living in rural Idaho or in the most dangerous town in America... this is what I mean by lack of common sense. There's tons of other places which are just as safe in America, many of which are more pleasant to walk in at 4 am in December! ☺

Anonymous said...

A couple observations:

In support of your contention, Fernando, is the famous story of Mel Tappan, several decades ago, who moved to rural Oregon, thinking the end was coming. He had, of course, quite a bit of money (I think he was a banker). The end did come for him in 1980, but it came when he had a heart attack, and was not near medical care. Of course, today, you can buy defibrillation equipment, but still... Your point about the job issue is also very important. Even if there is a high possibility for a complete meltdown, it is not 100%. In contrast, unless I die, there IS a 100% chance I will grow old and need to live on money I generated with a JOB. If you can get a job in rural Oregon, great. But most of us can't. I am stuck in the People's Socialist Thugocracy of Illinois, outside Chicago. HOWEVER, I live at the very western edge - so while I have to be here, I also am not at ground zero.

On the other hand, Fernando, your point about money going to population centres first, I think, needs further development. It seems to me in an Argentinian-style meltdown, yes, that would be true; in contrast, in a complete meltdown, like complete EMP shutdown, where EVERYTHING comes to a halt, I wonder if it would be the same? My suspicion is that an Argentinian style collapse would be commpletely different from an EMP or WWIII type collapse. In the latter case, no gov't will be coming to help!!

People also talk about the "golden hordes" roaming the countryside. But... really? These people will be suffering head colds that turn to pneumonia, getting bad water/dysentery, other viral and bacterial diseases, having the "no honour among thieves" issue when push comes to survival shove, etc.

Finally, there are good people everywhere. And certain cultures, such as the Japanese, are much more cohesive. I understand your point about enclaves - and in fact, the history of utopian communities in N. America goes back several hundred years, and is littered with failures (probably can just google "American utopian communities" or similar). Also, as noted, you cannot choose your neighbors long term, unless you are wealthy and can buy a 10,000 acre redoubt. But, I have lived a long life, and I know dedicated Christians who will, as the Bible says, swear to their own hurt. I seldom see that commitment from non-Christians (I am talking committed Christians here, not Christmas/Easter casual Christians here.) Rather, among Christians I see a stronger (NOT perfect) sense of being honest and ethical no matter the cost. All things being equal, I would prefer that type of community - and in the 1950s, when I was born, we DID have a more Christian community, and along with that, a LOT less of todays mess. Interestingly , I speak Swedish, worked with Swedes, and been in Sweden may days working. Yes, Scandinavians are pretty law abiding. But I wonder what would happen when TSHTF in a BIG way there? As Dostoyevski once wrote, "If there is no God, EVERYTHING is permissible" (and yes, Dostoyevski DID write that: Без бога всё дозволено.) I'm afraid that in a complete breakdown, we would see this come to the fore. Up to now, e.g., in places like Fukishima, help was coming, and the rule of law was only temporarily suspended.

Seems to me we are talking two different kinds of breakdowns: Argentinian and a complete EMP or complete nuclear exhange (of course, there would be a continuum between the two).

Just my thoughts.

Don Williams said...

1) Mel Tappan himself was not wealthy -- his wife was a heiress to the Mack Truck fortune. Mel earned his living the hard way.

2) Re relocation, One has to define the specific disaster --what and where -- in order to determine the best tactics.

3) If avian flu turns lethal and contagious in Asia, then being near the flyways for migrating Canadian geese in America could be bad, since the North American geese mix with the Asian geese in the Arctic in the summer. Those flyways are on the US East Coast, West Coast, Mississippi River and other large bodies of water (rivers,etc.)

4) If a large asteroid approachs the earth, you don't want to be anywhere near the landing spot -- or on the coasts if it lands in one of the oceans.

5) James Wesley Rawles' American Redoubt could be a death trap if the Cold War with Russia continues its reboot. The Minuteman missile fields in Wyoming and Montana are a primary Russian nuclear target and would be hit with ground bursts that generate enormous fallout. It only takes 600 rads of radiation to kill a person --a 1990 FEMA study projected 15,000 rads for most of the American Redoubt in the event of war with the Soviet Union. Not even the cockroaches in Rawles' kitchen would survive those levels of radiation.

6) Any area can turn into a high crime, poverty-ridden manure hole if the local economy dies --look at the massive , decaying buildings of Detroit. You need mobility and flexibility.

Unfortunately, US government "Continuity of Government" plans call for tight control of transportation --under the guise of "conserving scarce fuel resources" -- in the event of a major disaster like nuclear war. (In reality, "divide and conquer".) Those controls could disrupt the transport of supplies to an area and shake the local economy.

7) In any disaster, US Government actions , plans and intent will be a major factor to deal with. For example,in a major disaster will the US government want to continue its massive welfare transfer payments that sustain the marginal economies of the American Redoubt?

Don Williams said...

PS Laws passed by Congress allow the President to confiscate any needed supplies in a national emergency. Including drafting Americans into labor camps..

Anonymous said...

Regarding minuteman being a target most of the fallout would go eastward. Also every shipport, airport, major heavy production center and other targets are everywhere. The estimate is that if Russia wanted to hit us with a effective first strike it would be between 2000 and 4000 nukes which would be followed by more as needed. Do you really think you can pick a safe city?? Furthermore once the first few nukes go off all bets on accuracy of the following nukes are null and void. They could target San Francisco and hit Redding or target Seattle and hit Boise. If it comes to nuclear war you cannot possibly pick the "safe" location ahead of time.

FerFAL said...

It used to be that the "American Redoubt" was ideal becuase it was away from nuclear targets in the event of a nuclear war. Then it was ideal because it was away from the hordes pouring out of the city after an economic collpase, now I guess its again ideal in case of WWIII with Russia. Whatever doom & fear is floating around, the answer always seem to be the "American Doubt".(yes, that wasnt a typo)

Don Williams said...

Re Anon at Dec 27 at 8:21 am.

1) FEMA's 1990 Nuclear Attack Planning Base --from which the High Risk Fallout map was taken --took wind patterns into account. What many people don't realize is that "prevailing wind" is not the same as a constant wind.

For example, a look at the Billings Montana Wind Rose for 2012 shows that while the wind often blows from the southwest, it sometimes blows from the northeast or even from the east.
Same goes for Great Falls , Montana --location of the Minuteman missile field at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

2) It is actually more complicated than that. Every day, the weather service releases a hundred or so weather balloons with radiosondes which give wind speed and direction for each 1000 foot slice of altitude. If you look at the data from those balloons --or at the wind charts derived for air pilots, you will see that the wind speeds and directions at higher altitudes vary greatly from those at ground level. To determine where the fallout will fall, you have to know how high it will rise (a function of yield) and then construct wind vectors for each slice of altitude along with a weighting factor tied to the amount of time fallout particles will be in each altitude slice (a particle falls faster in the thin air of high altitudes than it does in the more dense air at lower altitudes.)

(under "Data Options" enter an altitude level )

As they say, good intentions are no remedy for not knowing how the chainsaw works.

3) The current Russian inventory of nukes is roughly 17% of what it was at the height of the Cold War in the 1980s. The same is roughly true for the US inventory -- the result of several nuclear arms reduction treaties.

However, I suspect Russia will respond to the Ukraine affair by rebuilding her inventory and the USA will follow. Both nations have kept an inventory of non-deployed plutonium cores to allow rapid rearmment.

4) Many of the targets Anon cited would be hit with AIR bursts --which do not generate fallout -- and not with ground bursts. Air bursts have about twice the radius for damage for a given air pressure compared to ground bursts. Ground bursts are generally used for buried , hard targets. And while a 1 Megaton nuke has a blast damage radius of about 8 miles, that is a very small area compared to the area covered with fallout from ground bursts on targets like the Minuteman silos.

5) The US suburbs expanded outward from urban centers during the Cold War because the US government had an explicit policy to disperse production --hence jobs hence people hence housing -- away from the urban centers in order to reconstitute the US economy after an attack. Most Americans , of course, are largely ignorant of the larger forces that shaped their lives and where they live. The US education system exists to inculate that ignorance.

6) It is also no accident that most of the major US Army forts in the US lie within the low fallout areas on the FEMA map.

Don Williams said...

1) Re the alleged incompetence of Russian engineers, these are the people who invented the AK-47 and the Makarov pistol. Ask shooters how often those weapons malfunction. The emergency lifeboat for the International Space Station is a Russian Soyuz spacecraft --because they are highly reliable and almost foolproof.

2) When the US Air Force launches it satellites into orbit, it uses the Atlas Rocket. Which is basically a Russian RD-180 rocket --purchased from Russia -- with a decal from US defense contractor Lockheed Martin slapped on it.

3) PS Looking at the Aviation Weather Center, it appears that the winds at 6000 and 9000 feet above the Malmstrom Minuteman base are currently blowing from the northeast -- which would deposit fallout on areas southwest of Great Falls heading toward Idaho if the Russians were to attack at this moment.