A repugnant and short-sighted “what if?” scenario

Have you ever wondered how long the US military would last in a war against the rest of the world? Let’s ask a a delusional military fantasist!

What would happen if the U.S. found itself facing off against the rest of the world? Not just its traditional rivals, but what if it had to fight off its allies like the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea as well?

In short, America would stomp them. Especially if it pulled back to the continental U.S. and made its stand there.

I guess we’re going to pretend Vietnam never happened by imagining that we bunker down behind our borders with a wall of steel facing outwards. The author then laughs triumphantly about all our aircraft carriers, our F-22s (What? Not the F-35?), our Patriot missiles that will shoot down their missiles, our wonderful tanks and our superior infantry. It’s kind of disgusting. What he’s proposing is the North Korea strategy: us against the world! Close our borders! Everyone is our enemy, we must destroy them, and we can!

He imagines our forces as they are, except all conveniently concentrated right here at home, and the rest of the world as it is, only generaled by idiots who decide to throw everything they’ve now got right at us, all at once. That’s not how it would happen.

I can believe the first part happening, now that our government has wrecked itself. I can picture an increasingly paranoid, isolationist America bottling itself up and wallowing in propaganda, treating the rest of the world as useless and unimportant. Yeah, we could get that far. Of course, our triumphalist author who is busy counting tanks isn’t bothering to consider economics and the importance of world-wide communication to advancements in science and technology. He doesn’t care that we don’t have the industry to support his military machine without external cooperation and trade.

He also doesn’t consider a realistic response by the rest of the world. They would treat the US like we now treat North Korea, a pariah nation that is going to be confined and allowed to rot within the ruins of its own economy, while keeping a wary eye out for outburst of externally directed violence. If we are a real military threat rather than a bunch of mad-eyed fanatics hunkered down behind our Border Walls™, they’re not going to just throw their currently smaller forces at us. They’re going to build with the resources of a world economy. They’re going to wait for ingrown, decaying nation to spend itself on corruption and waste and stupid decision-making, like the kind that would have put us into this situation in the first place.

Like the kind that allows military day dreamers like that author to play victorious war games in their head. Our security does not rest in more and bigger guns, it resides in greater cooperation and trust. We can’t stand alone, and what I find scary is that there are people who think a bunch of M1 Abrams tanks is all we need to be safe and happy, and that military porn is reassuring.


  1. nomadiq says

    These fools. 🙄

    If the rest of the world wanted to destroy the US it would be easy. Stop trading with the US. War costs money and takes resources. Normally the US can just print money and expect the intrinsic security of the greenback would keep the currency afloat… but not if anyone else wants greenbacks anymore.

    These fools always think they can solve any problem with enough bullets. They learn’t nothing from Vietnam. They can’t see war beyond the firefight. They are truely stupid.

  2. says

    His only mention of Canada is nuking southern Canada. Apparently he hasn’t looked at a map. I’m sure the folks in Detroit would really love a nuclear attack on Windsor. More generally a nuclear attack on Canada would no doubt produce some nice fallout clouds to drift over some of the most populated parts of the US, especially when you consider the nuclear reactors located in southern Ontario

  3. says

    They would treat the US like we now treat North Korea, a pariah nation that is going to be confined and allowed to rot within the ruins of its own economy…

    If only. Unfortunately a rogue nation is allowed to start wars and kill people around the world as long as it’s a rich trading partner.

  4. laurian says

    Because Fortress Europa worked out so well.

    And it appears the mad feller hasn’t heard of ICBMs.

  5. Ed Seedhouse says

    Well, I guess the USA could “win” by destroying the whole world with it’s nukes. Of course that would probably mean they too get nuked by Russia and China. Merry Christmas! Peace on earth, good will to men!

  6. says

    Yet the vietcong and mujahideen defeated the US military. At considerable cost, of course, but it was an effective demonstration of the value of interior logistics.

    If the rest of the world wanted to destroy the US it would be easy. Stop trading with the US.

    Stop buying US weapons and – poof – there goes the US’ military economy.

  7. weylguy says

    He also doesn’t consider a realistic response by the rest of the world. They would treat the US like we now treat North Korea, a pariah nation that is going to be confined and allowed to rot within the ruins of its own economy …

    Ignoring the otherwise nonsensical hypothetical what-if question, this is the best answer I’ve seen. And with the country increasingly becoming an isolated, “America first” nation (e.g., we’re substantially cutting our contribution to the U.N. because we don’t like the way they vote), Trump is already leading us down that road.

  8. says

    Clearly he forgot that the US makes almost none of its own steel or aluminum. That most plastic comes from somewhere else. That much of the ability to machine and make parts is now overseas. As usual, totally unaware of reality.

  9. TheGyre says

    Lets leave nuclear war off the table for a moment and only consider ‘conventional’ war between large armies, navies and air forces. The USA would be difficult to defeat for many reasons — its geographical location between two relatively weak and submissive neighbors, its two long coasts with many excellent harbors (three if you add in the Gulf coast), its virtual food and energy independence, its large pool of manpower and decentralized manufacturing centers, and, of course, its excellent armed forces. However, a long, protracted struggle would probably go against it in the end. I say this because of China’s incredible manufacturing potential. China is already the world’s foremost industrial power. They make virtually everything. In fact, one could say that China has become America’s workshop. Things we once made for ourselves are now made in China. If the USA and China became adversaries this Chinese manufacturing engine could rapidly be turned to armaments. One could envision a time when China was turning out more ships, tanks and planes than the USA. It wouldn’t take China long to defeat the American fleet in the western Pacific and push it back to Australia (assuming Australia was still allied with the USA.) Guam and then Hawaii could be lost. The West Coast and Alaska would then be on the front lines. I suspect America would do better in the Atlantic. It’s difficult to picture any combination of western European forces that could defeat the USA. That is unless the EU allied itself with the Russian Federation. Then all bets are off. I doubt that there would ever be a successful land invasion of the U.S. mainland. The logistics of getting an army across the oceans and successfully landing it on America’s shores would dwarf D-Day. The only thing that might bring America to its knees would be crippling our power grid to the point where the major population centers would be cold and hungry and in the dark. That could lead to a domestic uprising, regime change and a new government suing for a peace. Or, that could lead to the nuclear option, which an out of control leadership might contemplate using. Then victory would be Pyrrhic.

  10. Doc Bill says

    This guy is a lot like those “open carry” nitwits who look like extras from Deliverance parading around town with their toy guns exercising their “2nd Amendment” rights. What a bunch of jug heads. First shot and they’d be running for their mamas.

    However, sadly, this kind of thinking results from a broken educational system and the inherent provincialism of the US. The “rest of the world” could simply shut down air traffic to and from the US, embargo shipping and terminate foreign money transfers and the US would collapse without firing a shot.

    Finally as for “stomping” nations, our brave little toy soldier obviously is forgetting Afghanistan, the poorest country on Earth that has still resisted “stomping.”

    Thanks for the Boxing Day laugh, PZ!

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    … a bunch of M1 Abrams tanks is all we need to be safe and happy…

    Utterly sufficient defense if that Yahweh guy goes on a wrath bender (see Judges 1:19).

    How would this person defend the US against a malign fool, manipulated by a hostile foreign leader, seizing power with fifth-column tactics?

  12. Ed Seedhouse says

    Oh come on. The solution for the situation you describe (which ignores many inconvenient realities) has been known for thousands of years: siege. The USA is so rotten from within that no invasion would be required. NOT, by the way, that I want to see anything like that happen.

  13. hemidactylus says

    Since the image of the Wolverines from Red Dawn is displayed up there and people have invoked the so-called Viet Cong and mujahideen as unconquerable by the “mighty” US military, I think history gives a valuable lesson. The US “won” the conventional part of Iraq II, but that was when the real war began against the insurgency. If the rest of the world were to vanquish the US conventionally by military force the premise of the original Red Dawn would kick in along with a helping of Che Guevara. Could the remnants of the US resistance be conquered in the ensuing guerrilla war? The French learned a hard lesson in Vietnam, which the US didn’t grok. The US had to deal with asymmetrical war in Vietnam and misunderestimated the problem. But the Vietnamese resistance had terrain, coherence, and resolve as have pockets of mujahideen in Afghanistan. Not sure how many comfortable, leisurely ‘merkins would band together under duress. Those with military background could adjust to the new reality away from Xbox simulations. The nation could splinter into various groups, yet could a disparately situated array of guerrillas be fully conquered?

  14. says

    There are two key problems with the entire scenario:

    (1) The US doesn’t have enough domestic expendables, and can’t manufacture them rapidly enough, to support a 30- to 45-day defense against a reasonably competent conventional assault on the “borders.” Collectively, the rest of the world does. This is the use of “The American Way of War” against America: The true “American Way of War” has always been “prolong the conflict and deploy the high per-capita natural resource availability against opponents who have largely depleted their domestic natural resources.”

    (2) If, as a result of such a conflict, Pax Americana has been destroyed in favor of a guerrilla-war resistance, who has “won”… or, more to the point, hasn’t everyone “lost”?

  15. RoughCanuk says

    So he has started by ceding Alaska and Hawaii from the beginning. Nice of him to do that to his fellow Americans.

  16. says

    The original hypothetical is so stupid and parochial it could serve as an illustrative example of “why Americans’ empire fails.” It’s Trump-level strategy, which is as dismissive as I can get without just lying on the floor shouting and gibbering abuse.

    It shows a complete non-comprehension of American imperial strategy, so far, what works, and what doesn’t. Most of the rest of the world, by now, has figured those things out and have figured out that economic isolation and economic spoiler attacks can bring down even a good economy. As several above have pointed out, what would happen to the US would resemble North Korea – except it would be North Korea under constant attack by a zillion varieties of Stuxnet. Every computerized automated system in the US would immediately begin to be degraded to the point of near-uselessness. The author of the hypothetical pictures rafts of tanks battling head-to-head – well, they wouldn’t: because the logistical systems that would get the parts and fuel to those tanks would be severely degraded. There wouldn’t be enemy tanks on the scene until long after the US military had ground to a halt, or back to WWII-level command/control and logistical models. Meanwhile, there would be no “smart grid” power, no “just in time logistics”, no “rapid response” and damn near no commercial air shipping, containerized shipping – can you imagine the US depending on its rail network and highway trucking for military logistics while trying to use the same system to transport food? No shots would be fired.

    Meanwhile, the international community would steal a riff from the US’ favorite first move against “rogue” states: they would nationalize all US assets that were outside of the country. That would mean the world would become a Eurozone or a Yuanzone, and the dollar would be garbage. Weimar-style hyper-inflation would probably result – again – without a shot being fired: the US would face-punch itself repeatedly and viciously, wearing gold-backed brass knuckles. Then the oil embargo would hit, driving the cost of oil (in worthless dollars!) up to some ridiculous level. American citizens would have no money to buy Teslas so it wouldn’t matter – they would line up like they did in the 70s to buy gas at the pump, except it would be $400/gallon once the dollar went into its death-spiral. International investment would pull from the US (either because the financial elite would see what was coming, or because the governments of the rest of the world would mandate it) and the plutocrats in the US would find their money worthless. Which, they probably would appreciate, since they could fairly claim “I’m not rich!” when the mobs with pitchforks and torches came to their gated communities to give them a tumbril-ride to where the guillotine reigned in blood.

    The US’ strategy of “regime change” per the CIA’s playbook has always emphasized destabilizing a country from within, by aiding and arming radical government opposition forces and fomenting internal insurrection. As the many nations of the world began doing exactly that, the US would be riven with turmoil as anti-police insurgents began sniping campaigns, domestic fire-bombings and targeted bombings began making it impossible for government agencies to get anything done before their offices burned. The government, tottering financially, would be unable to spend more money on police or military, and would helplessly stand by as cities like Detroit and Chicago burned. America’s former friends in the Persian Gulf would repay its endless fomenting of “regime change” with its own turn: ISIS in America would openly operate, police would be subject to drive-by shootings and fire-bombings, churches would burn, and cultural monuments would come under attack. Eventually, the civilian population would begin to peel away from supporting the weak and ineffective government (which still has lots of Abrams tanks!) and America would be full of protests, and national guard shooting protests, and militias shooting national guards.

    Regime change 101 depends on creating paramilitary protesters near a porous border, so they can move in and out of the target and keep a clean line of escape and logistics. Canada and Mexico would have a problem: do they help the flailing and desperate United States or do they cash in by allowing the airplanes full of ‘operators’ and their gear to land and deplane before trekking toward the border? Well, dollars aren’t talking anymore, so, sure. The idiot who hypothesizes a war of all against the US doesn’t realize that it wouldn’t be clashing masses of tanks: it’d be right-wing American ultra-nationalists firing Saudi-supplied Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the front windows of police stations. The rest of the world wouldn’t send tanks and bombers: they’d arm the KKK and sit back and watch the mayhem. Again, this is strategy invented by the US CIA – the world’s largest exporters of terrorism – and it works.

    Russia began the process in 2016.

    After 10 years of that, the US would be like a giant boil waiting for someone to lance it gently.

  17. says

    So he has started by ceding Alaska and Hawaii from the beginning. Nice of him to do that to his fellow Americans.

    Puerto Rico? What’s that?

  18. microraptor says

    The US has significant military strength, but a lot of it is deployed abroad. In the event of a “US vs everyone else” scenario, wouldn’t that just result in a lot of the military being isolated and contained or destroyed by ambush before it could respond?

  19. aziraphale says

    If they are right, the logical conclusion is that the US can afford to cut its military budget by large amounts and still be safe. Why do I think that’s not what they intend?

  20. deepak shetty says

    I think a more effective strategy to defeat the USA is peddle fake news to conservatives so that they elect other conservative nitwits.

  21. says

    Aircraft carriers only have value in a war against an Afghanistan or Iraq or Somalia. They would be worthless against Russia or even France. Missiles could easily take out every one of those cariers in the first 20 minutes.

  22. mnb0 says

    “a pariah nation”
    It already is to some extent, isn’t it? I refer to the Jerusalem fiasco.

    @9 “the EU allied itself with the Russian Federation”
    Such an alliance would take away any reason for either of them to invade the USA. Your “logic” is as repugnant and short sighted as that silly what-if scenario.

  23. magistramarla says

    Here’s something that hasn’t been mentioned in this scenario. Wouldn’t most of the “best and brightest” in this country, most of whom already hold up-to-date passports, be leaving in droves? I know that my daughter and son-in-law, both brilliant PHDs, often travel overseas, and have considered some of their favorite places as bolt-holes should things get too oppressive for academics in the US. The same would probably be true for my husband and me.

  24. SchreiberBike says

    Yes, and his high school was the best in the state, and his local football team is the best in the NFL. Tribalism, patriotism, egotism, whatever.

  25. says

    It’s worth mentioning that the US military is all about “force projection” (i.e: offense) and is not very good for defense. The US navy, for example, is just a flock of very expensive sitting ducks in a defensive war. The US military is mostly only good at beating up inferior powers.

  26. Chuck Stanley says

    The only thing as bad as wasting one’s life minutes thinking up this stupidity, is people roaming the internet, reading it, and then thinking it is worth seriously discussing. I’m seriously depressed now. Attempting now to turn the clock back 10 minutes.

  27. unclefrogy says

    if that scenario were to take place would it not be the US that does the declaring of war. Further would that not also be the reactionary right portion of the people that would do such a stupid thing?
    I doubt very seriously that many on Wall Street would fall in line with that and without the support of Wall Street they would never be able to keep it up for very long Wall Street being fully internationalized by now and major corporations multinational in scope. At the same time there would very probably be a much more energized left wing doing much to make life difficult for the ruling Junta and probably not limited to massive protests either.
    that fool is smoking too much weed and dreaming of WWII we have moved from those days some in 70 years.
    uncle frogy

  28. vucodlak says

    I had a dream last night.

    I was outside my house, working on my garden or putting up decorations or something like that. It was overcast, cool, not unpleasant or threatening in anyway. My house was located at the top of a tall hill in this dream, and I could see for miles around me. I was intent on my task and not really paying attention to the view until something tugged at my attention. A distant flash behind me, a kind of ripple in the air. I looked up, expecting to see nothing, thinking idly that it didn’t seem like the kind of weather for lightning.

    What I saw was a mushroom cloud. It was far away, but it was immense. I looked back toward my house, thinking maybe I should run inside, knowing it wouldn’t be any good. The earth began to shake, and the light seemed to flicker. I turned back to the horizon, and saw four or five more mushrooms had sprouted. Four or five became a dozen, two dozen, more and more until everywhere I turned I saw them. I fell to my knees, paralyzed by an overwhelming sense of horror. That’s when I woke up.

    I got a drink of water, looked out the window to reassure myself that the world was still there, and went back to sleep. I dreamt of missiles falling from the sky. I dreamt of people burning. I dreamt of the end of the world, again and again and again.

    I did not sleep well.

  29. anchor says

    Perfect example of projection…plus a gigantic swelling in scale. It’s evident the pride involved with one’s genitalial size is positively colossal.

  30. anchor says

    Oh, PZ, you made me laugh hard with your quick retort linking to the F-35. Most satisfying lung exercise sir.

  31. birgerjohansson says

    After a decade of cold war and a ban on technology transfer, the rest of the world would pull ahead of the US in computer technology as well as other strategically important technologies. Already US universities depend heavily on foreigners.
    Eventually the other countries would have drones and robots capable of penetrating US defenses and making “clinical” strikes on vulnerable infrastructure. At that point, a “hot” war would become disastrous for the US.

  32. vucodlak says

    @ Marcus Ranum, #33

    I got used to it in the run up to the 2016 election. A good two+ years of at least two apocalyptic dreams a week… I started to wonder if they were trying to tell me something. Then a man won the Republican nomination who wondered, repeatedly, why the US had nukes if not to use them.

    When he actually won the election, I thought “Oh, so that’s it.” The dreams stopped; the disaster had arrived. And now he’s openly antagonizing the half the world, alienating most of the rest, and cozying up to the very worst people. The dreams are starting again.

    I don’t think I’m a psychic or anything ridiculous like that- I’m just generally pretty good at taking the temperature of a room, a survival instinct that most people who’ve lived abusers develop. Right now, my instincts are telling me to run, even as my conscious mind is caught between “maybe it won’t be that bad” and “run where?”

  33. jrkrideau says

    @ 17 Marucs

    Puerto Rico? What’s that?

    It’s already been ceded. It just has not sunk in yet.

    Independence or possible amalgamation with other Caribbean/Latin American countries?

  34. F.O. says

    The only “US vs Everyone Else” scenario I can think of is the US attacking first.
    More than anyone else, they are the nation who worships violence.

  35. John Morales says

    Ah yes, hubristic megalomania, no sense of scale, no idea of the realities of war.
    War porn is right — “I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons”, but unironically.

  36. whheydt says

    I suppose that his scenario is no sillier than the pre-WW2 US plans for a war in the Pacific against Japan. The plan was to gather the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, then sail west, meeting the IJN in mid-ocean, defeat it and sail into Tokyo harbor and dictate terms.

    Now, knowing that Yamamoto had a far better idea of how to effectively use carriers at the time, I think this plan would have served the Japanese much better than the attack he was ordered to plan on Pearl harbor.

  37. VolcanoMan says

    Ah a nice fantasy of a real Christmas at Ground Zero, except he imagines Ground Zero to somehow leave his own country unscathed and totally self-sufficient. Dream on buddy. Why are right-wing nutjobs (heretofor referred to as RWNJs for all eternity) so convinced that America is able to shut everyone else out, to stop giving aid to other countries, to stop accepting immigrants for any reason, and to stop co-operating with the EU, G7, G20, UN, and all those other globalist organizations they loathe so much, without suffering any negative consequences? Do they really think America’s economy can get by without Canada or China?

    Look at the Boeing/Bombardier spat. Do they really think they can create a world in which America drastically taxes imports which were produced using support (material and/or financial) from other governments, without seeing those other countries retaliate by imposing the same kinds of tariffs on American products produced by companies that also receive government support and also allegedly commit market manipulations designed to increase their competitive edge? And if free-market capitalism were their true goal, the softwood lumber dispute would also go away – Canadian companies are simply more competitive, why should they not be able to sell their wood for cheaper prices than American companies? Given how much protectionism the US government engages in to give its own people a leg up in international trade, they have no right condemning protectionism from other countries! When they do it, it’s okay, but when we do it, it’s a violation of trade agreements. Hypocrites. I’m not saying I agree that companies should have free access to log on Crown land for little cost, but tariffs are not the answer, especially since tariffs are actually hurting Americans as much as Canadians (since building costs go up when the softwood lumber is not available at those low costs). They’re cutting off their nose to spite their face, and it’s really idiotic.

    And as far as international cooperation goes, some issues can’t be solved at a national level. Climate change is the biggest issue, and ignoring it is not an option. Climate change doesn’t discriminate. Paris was a bullshit treaty, but it was a start, and even that was not good enough for Trump (although to be fair, he probably didn’t pull out because it was a climate change treaty but because Obama wanted it). If I am up to date on the research, I believe that the science is now saying that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we’d still see AT LEAST another 0.6 degrees C of atmospheric warming (in addition to the 1 degree of warming we’ve already seen from a pre-industrial baseline) because the ocean has stored a good deal of heat, and eventually that heat will be released. So 1.5 degrees is a pipe dream while 2 degrees is basically unfeasible unless all governments took pretty radical steps to phase out most fossil fuel usage (and by radical, I mean a 20-year plan to eliminate coal, natural gas and oil-based electrical generation and a move to ban the manufacture of fossil-fuel burning vehicles starting in 5 years or so, with older vehicles being made illegal to drive once they hit 15 years after their manufacture date). Even that might not keep it to 2 degrees C, but it would probably keep it below 2.5 or so. Most environmental scientists are planning for at least 4 degrees Celsius by the turn of the millenium (maybe a bit later, maybe a bit earlier, the data varies depending on what assumptions you make in your models). And it’s ugly, no doubt (plus, their estimates actually take it for granted that modest “action” like Paris will be undertaken; without Paris compliance, or other similar agreements in the future, the prognosis is even worse). I’m 36 years old, and I know it’s basically a given that I will see a world warmed to 3 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial temperature averages in my lifetime (assuming I live to an average age of 76-78). Not as ugly as 4, but still not something I want to see, and call me old-fashioned, but fucking up the world for future generations is a bad thing in and of itself, regardless of whether I personally experience that world gone to hell (the 4+ degree C warmed world). RWNJs see America as an island of self-sufficiency, but the cost of mitigating the worst effects of climate change, assuming no concrete action is taken preventatively, would harm all economies, and reduce the quality of life available to all people. It’s much better to pay a MUCH lower cost, spread out over a long time, to ensure that all people have food, clean water and energy security in a few decades, to reduce the chances of life-disrupting events like droughts and floods, to keep modern coastlines in roughly the same spot so there doesn’t need to be a mass migration of hundreds of millions of people inland. We can’t afford to let the short-term political cycle prevent action from being taken (and I say this knowing that Clinton, while much better than Trump as a person and politician, still didn’t want to do what is needed to halt the warming climate; she had proposed no actual, feasible plan beyond useless baby steps that won’t solve anything…this is a problem that can only be solved if a massive majority of people globally and within every country demands it of their governments, if most people have solving climate change as their number 1 priority).

    Sorry for the essay. It just pisses me off so much that assholes like this think everything is just peachy if they ignore the rest of the world. Fuck ’em all.

  38. jazzlet says

    Vucodlak frightening and bad for restful sleep, I hope the nightmares don’t become regular though sadly your unconscious has a good point.

    Perfectly reasonable rant VolcanoMan, we have similar ludicrous isolationists in the UK who are convinced that we will get a better deal from the rest of the world outside the EU and think that somehow we can ignore climate change, that it won’t affect our islands. One even reckoned we’d be able to grow all our own food if farmers just pulled there finger out.

  39. KG says

    Mr. Nye, as PZ says, creams himself over American military hardware while ignoring everything else. I wonder if he’s read Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. Kennedy argues that previous hegemonic powers have lost their dominance because each in turn (Spain, France, Britain) put too much of their resources into armed forces, armaments and wars, and were overtaken economically by others. I recently read Jude Woodward’s The US Vs. China: Asia’s New Cold War?, which argues that American attempts to build a cordon of dependable allies around China are failing, because all the countries it wants to recruit have too much to gain from economic ties with China. She also argues that China will surpass the USA economically (at least in the total size of its economy) decades before it would have any chance of competing with it militarily – hence China has no interest in getting into a serious military confrontation with the USA, and is unlikely to risk one by aggressive moves. But of course the converse of that argument is that the USA may be seriously tempted to launch such a confrontation in an attempt to bring about China’s disintegration. An American invasion of North Korea, on the pretext of removing its nuclear weapons (or some other pretext in the unlikely event Kim Jong-un agreed to give them up), would be an obvious first step.

  40. says

    These revenge fantasies are almost as dumb as the initial milwank PZ posted. Do you know what would happen if this hypothetical global coalition managed to besiege the US and throttle its economy? The US would launch nuclear weapons, which would result in the other nuclear powers launching THEIR nuclear weapons, resulting in the world being kicked back into the Iron Age until humanity can recreate industrial civilization from scratch, if that is even possible on a depleted, ruined world. No state ever willingly accepts its demise; the US would punish its enemies even if it meant consigning the entire human race to nuclear holocaust, because states are spiteful like that.

    World War III will only ever exist as a foolish, onanistic fantasy for hoplolators, ultranationalists, and Rabid Puppies. What we would get from a shooting war between the US and other nuclear powers would be slaughter, not war. Great Wars are dead, forever. Shame on everybody who indulged in this grotesque violent fantasizing.

  41. whheydt says

    Re: tankermottind @ #44…
    And the only “winners” would be the tardigrades and cockroaches.

  42. ck, the Irate Lump says

    timgueguen wrote:

    His only mention of Canada is nuking southern Canada. Apparently he hasn’t looked at a map. […] More generally a nuclear attack on Canada would no doubt produce some nice fallout clouds to drift over some of the most populated parts of the US, especially when you consider the nuclear reactors located in southern Ontario

    Those places don’t vote for the right party, so I’m sure he doesn’t care. Also, this seems like a good way to create Canadian terrorists, and it would be hard to racial/ethnically profile (since the US is so fond of doing this) those who can look, sound, and act just like Americans.