Sunday, 16 October 2016

09:51 – We’re doing stuff around the house today. We got half the flour repackaged yesterday. Today we’ll get started on the sugar and rice. We’ll use 2-liter bottles for both of those. They’re granular and free-flowing, so the narrower mouths of 2-liter bottles aren’t as much of a problem.

Something must have been out in the yard last night. As soon as Colin and I went out the door he went into super-sniff mode and spent the better part of 10 minutes sniffing around before he even took time to pee. I’ve never seen deer in our yard, but I’d guess we probably get them. We did when we lived down in Winston in a suburban area, so it’s pretty likely we have them up here. Maybe bear for that matter. We’re surrounded by fields and trees.

I’m seeing articles that claim we’re closer to nuclear war than we’ve been since the early 70’s. I doubt that’s true. Putin is not stupid, and his advisors must have told him that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is old, decrepit, and well past its expiration date. Both solid-fuel missiles and nuclear warheads have pretty short shelf lives. They must constantly be taken out of service and re-manufactured if they’re to be reliable. Russia has a small economy, probably smaller than, say, Italy’s. Russia can’t even afford to maintain its military vehicles, artillery, and so on, so it’s extremely unlikely that they’ve been performing periodic maintenance on their missiles and warheads. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago, they’ve probably done next-to-no periodic maintenance. My guess is that if they ever did launch, more than half of their missiles would fail on the launch pads. They’d probably lose another half to separation failures after the booster phase, and still another half to re-entry failures. In short, I suspect they’d end up being able to deliver an eighth or less of what they launched. And of those warheads that did survive to re-entry, I suspect a high percentage would fail to detonate.

In short, if Russia does use nukes, I suspect it would be a small number of handpicked warheads on short-range missiles, and it would be in the Middle East rather than an intercontinental attack. And Putin would face a strong US retaliation with missiles and weapons that do work. As I said, Putin isn’t stupid.