Chemical Attacks and US response

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Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:47 pm

I won't post articles because all media is biased-

And I would like to remind everyone to avoid politics-

But in case you haven't heard, rebel locations in Syria were struck with chemical weapons earlier this week.

All intel points to Syrian government forces.

The US Secretary of State announced in a press conference that the US is currently making plans to lead a coalition to oust Bashar al-Assad as leader of Syria.

There are also reports that The Pentagon has been advising The White House of military options.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by SCBrian » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:06 pm

They have been routinely gassing the population for a few years:
Used non-US media since the spin should be less.

Multiple dates:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/t ... 04006.html

2013
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23927399

2015
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34212324

The fact is it's been a problem for a while and no one has felt the need to intervene.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:14 pm

Thank you for sharing the links, SCB. As for your observation that 'it's been happening for awhile and no body cared' - I wish I could say something that would not get this thread L&B.

I'm just trying to share the news and not really have a discussion, so I'll just keep silent.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by SCBrian » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:22 pm

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Thank you for sharing the links, SCB. As for your observation that 'it's been happening for awhile and no body cared' - I wish I could say something that would not get this thread L&B.

I'm just trying to share the news and not really have a discussion, so I'll just keep silent.
.

Agreed...

One topic that could be covered is the civilian response and what to do for a gas attack...
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:14 pm

SCBrian wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Thank you for sharing the links, SCB. As for your observation that 'it's been happening for awhile and no body cared' - I wish I could say something that would not get this thread L&B.

I'm just trying to share the news and not really have a discussion, so I'll just keep silent.
.

Agreed...

One topic that could be covered is the civilian response and what to do for a gas attack...
Great point! So what did they do? What can we do to prep for a chemical attack?
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Kilo147 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:36 pm

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
SCBrian wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Thank you for sharing the links, SCB. As for your observation that 'it's been happening for awhile and no body cared' - I wish I could say something that would not get this thread L&B.

I'm just trying to share the news and not really have a discussion, so I'll just keep silent.
.

Agreed...

One topic that could be covered is the civilian response and what to do for a gas attack...
Great point! So what did they do? What can we do to prep for a chemical attack?
As far as I know, nothing within reason. Sarin absorbs through skin as easy as it does anything else, so unless you do everything in a full SCBA hazmat suit, there's no real protection.

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Confucius » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:37 pm

US has launched missiles against the air base that allegedly carried out the gas attack.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... k.amp.html

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Kilo147 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:55 pm

Confucius wrote:US has launched missiles against the air base that allegedly carried out the gas attack.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... k.amp.html
And Russia has vowed "negative consequences" which is most likely the targeting of US and allied jets in Syrian airspace.

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by raptor » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:52 am

Kilo147 wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
SCBrian wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Thank you for sharing the links, SCB. As for your observation that 'it's been happening for awhile and no body cared' - I wish I could say something that would not get this thread L&B.

I'm just trying to share the news and not really have a discussion, so I'll just keep silent.
.

Agreed...

One topic that could be covered is the civilian response and what to do for a gas attack...
Great point! So what did they do? What can we do to prep for a chemical attack?
As far as I know, nothing within reason. Sarin absorbs through skin as easy as it does anything else, so unless you do everything in a full SCBA hazmat suit, there's no real protection.

The response to a BC attack really depends upon the agent used. Sarin requires skin exposure or breathing it in however it is typically dispensed by aerosol and disipates and settles to the ground rapudly.Mustard gas and chlorine gas are simple and relatively easy to make and deploy. They are greatly affected by the wind and are heavier than air and settle.

Sarin is water soluble and disipates rapidly. Atropin administered quickly can neutralize sarin.

If you suspect a chemical attack your best bet is to go inside and seek a higher but unexposed floor. Turn off the HVAC.

A plastic rain suit and a respirator mask will provide protection to a certain extent.

Distance upwind is also a safe bet. Chlorine and mustard gas will stall out a car engine. So if in doubt haul ass into the wind.

That said you really need a fair amount of training, good gear and information about the agent being used to have a high probability of survival.

The .mil has a good system and gear, but it is the training in the proper use of the gear that makes gear and system work well. Training is not optional.

It is for this reason BC weapons are less effective agaist military forces but make a great terror weapon to use against civilians.

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:22 am

Kilo147 wrote:
Confucius wrote:US has launched missiles against the air base that allegedly carried out the gas attack.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... k.amp.html
And Russia has vowed "negative consequences" which is most likely the targeting of US and allied jets in Syrian airspace.
I really wish Putin would have supported this- this was his chance to show the world that he really is a first world leader worthy of respect and a seat at the adults table.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:24 am

raptor wrote: The response to a BC attack really depends upon the agent used. Sarin requires skin exposure or breathing it in however it is typically dispensed by aerosol and disipates and settles to the ground rapudly.Mustard gas and chlorine gas are simple and relatively easy to make and deploy. They are greatly affected by the wind and are heavier than air and settle.

Sarin is water soluble and disipates rapidly. Atropin administered quickly can neutralize sarin.

If you suspect a chemical attack your best bet is to go inside and seek a higher but unexposed floor. Turn off the HVAC.

A plastic rain suit and a respirator mask will provide protection to a certain extent.

Distance upwind is also a safe bet. Chlorine and mustard gas will stall out a car engine. So if in doubt haul ass into the wind.

That said you really need a fair amount of training, good gear and information about the agent being used to have a high probability of survival.

The .mil has a good system and gear, but it is the training in the proper use of the gear that makes gear and system work well. Training is not optional.

It is for this reason BC weapons are less effective agaist military forces but make a great terror weapon to use against civilians.
Thanks for the info, Raptor - man!
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by woodsghost » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:45 am

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
Kilo147 wrote:
Confucius wrote:US has launched missiles against the air base that allegedly carried out the gas attack.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... k.amp.html
And Russia has vowed "negative consequences" which is most likely the targeting of US and allied jets in Syrian airspace.
I really wish Putin would have supported this- this was his chance to show the world that he really is a first world leader worthy of respect and a seat at the adults table.
"Respect" is bought with nuclear weapons, not good/rational behavior. Further examples are North Korea and Iran. From what I have seen, I have deduced that real power is derived from "hard power," not "soft power." It is derived from the ability to make other people's lives miserable, not "reputation" or "good citizenship."

When was the last time somebody really cared what Sweden or Norway thought about anything? Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea get most of the attention.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:59 am

woodsghost wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
Kilo147 wrote:
Confucius wrote:US has launched missiles against the air base that allegedly carried out the gas attack.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... k.amp.html
And Russia has vowed "negative consequences" which is most likely the targeting of US and allied jets in Syrian airspace.
I really wish Putin would have supported this- this was his chance to show the world that he really is a first world leader worthy of respect and a seat at the adults table.
"Respect" is bought with nuclear weapons, not good/rational behavior. Further examples are North Korea and Iran. From what I have seen, I have deduced that real power is derived from "hard power," not "soft power." It is derived from the ability to make other people's lives miserable, not "reputation" or "good citizenship."

When was the last time somebody really cared what Sweden or Norway thought about anything? Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea get most of the attention.
True- but if you truly want an untarnished legacy and an enduring Empire, strength MUST be balanced with restraint and appropriate action towards needless atrocities (like using chemical weapons on your own people).

Strength alone is not enough- just ask Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Milošivić, Hussein, Gaddafi, Galtieri, etc., etc., etc. And according to statements made yesterday, Assad will soon join the list.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by teotwaki » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:38 am

Image
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:45 am

teotwaki wrote:Image
Ah- point taken.

So, what kind of precautions can we take for a BC attack?

Stay indoors and head upwind, what else?
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by teotwaki » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:52 am

I was thinking that for sheltering indoors it might be similar to prepping for radioactive fallout: plastic sheeting over openings that don't have good seals, duct tape over cracks, gas masks at the ready or maybe good surgical masks.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:58 am

teotwaki wrote:I was thinking that for sheltering indoors it might be similar to prepping for radioactive fallout: plastic sheeting over openings that don't have good seals, duct tape over cracks, gas masks at the ready or maybe good surgical masks.
Not sure about the surgical mask, but an NBC rated 'gas mask' and the sealing up cracks are good ideas. How long do you think you would need to shelter in following a Bio-Chemical attack? IIRC, the recommendation for fallout is 2 weeks.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by woodsghost » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:11 am

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
True- but if you truly want an untarnished legacy and an enduring Empire, strength MUST be balanced with restraint and appropriate action towards needless atrocities (like using chemical weapons on your own people).

Strength alone is not enough- just ask Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Milošivić, Hussein, Gaddafi, Galtieri, etc., etc., etc. And according to statements made yesterday, Assad will soon join the list.
The following is a commentary on "International Relations" and "Empire Building." I don't intend this to be political. Well, I have not directed this at any current political leaders. If I"ve somehow said too much, I can edit or delete. No reason to get something locked :)

I'm not sure who, among powerful national leaders, seeks "an untarnished legacy." A "legacy" comes from your country managing to continue existence after you leave office. Or managing to get into the history books.

Most of those leaders you listed maintained power and national unity during their lifetimes. Stalin is a great example of "strength alone is enough, even after he died." One might argue Gaddafi is an example of "doing just fine till he started to let the reigns of power slip a little." I"ll say Hitler, Tojo, and Hussein were doing just fine till someone with more power came along and trounced them. The key here is "power," or "strength." Have enough, and you are ok. Have too little and you risk elimination. That would be the central argument of Kenneth Waltz's "Theory of International Politics." (1979).

I"m not sure Assad was going for "Empire," but "enduring Empires" are typically built on pillaging, burning, and genocide. I'm thinking of the Babylonian Empire, The Persian Empire, and the Roman Empire. One might look at Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, though I honestly don't know if we could call them "Empires." Moving on towards more modern times, we have the British Empire. I'm not sure many Asians, Indians, Africans, or those former colonists known as "The Americans" would agree that British leaders exercised "restraint" to balance their "strength" and thereby secure "an untarnished legacy." I feel "pillaging, burning," and maybe "genocide" are closer characterizations.

Feel free to disagree, but Paul Kennedy (1987) in his book "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" argues empires rise and fall based on how much of their GDP is used to maintain the empire, not how well they balance "restraint" and "strength." There is ground to poke holes in his study and examples, but I feel the basic argument is sound and logical enough.

My personal view is that empires fall when the people lose the will to maintain the empire. I don't think it has any relationship to "restraint" or "will of the governed." I believe it has everything to do with the willingness of the conqueror to impose their will on the conquered. Up to and including a Carthaginian peace. When an empire loses this will, the empire will crumble. Then it is a question of "slowly" or "quickly."

Just my $.02 on Empires. :)
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:38 am

woodsghost wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
True- but if you truly want an untarnished legacy and an enduring Empire, strength MUST be balanced with restraint and appropriate action towards needless atrocities (like using chemical weapons on your own people).

Strength alone is not enough- just ask Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Milošivić, Hussein, Gaddafi, Galtieri, etc., etc., etc. And according to statements made yesterday, Assad will soon join the list.
The following is a commentary on "International Relations" and "Empire Building." I don't intend this to be political. Well, I have not directed this at any current political leaders. If I"ve somehow said too much, I can edit or delete. No reason to get something locked :)

I'm not sure who, among powerful national leaders, seeks "an untarnished legacy." A "legacy" comes from your country managing to continue existence after you leave office. Or managing to get into the history books.

Most of those leaders you listed maintained power and national unity during their lifetimes. Stalin is a great example of "strength alone is enough, even after he died." One might argue Gaddafi is an example of "doing just fine till he started to let the reigns of power slip a little." I"ll say Hitler, Tojo, and Hussein were doing just fine till someone with more power came along and trounced them. The key here is "power," or "strength." Have enough, and you are ok. Have too little and you risk elimination. That would be the central argument of Kenneth Waltz's "Theory of International Politics." (1979).

I"m not sure Assad was going for "Empire," but "enduring Empires" are typically built on pillaging, burning, and genocide. I'm thinking of the Babylonian Empire, The Persian Empire, and the Roman Empire. One might look at Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, though I honestly don't know if we could call them "Empires." Moving on towards more modern times, we have the British Empire. I'm not sure many Asians, Indians, Africans, or those former colonists known as "The Americans" would agree that British leaders exercised "restraint" to balance their "strength" and thereby secure "an untarnished legacy." I feel "pillaging, burning," and maybe "genocide" are closer characterizations.

Feel free to disagree, but Paul Kennedy (1987) in his book "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" argues empires rise and fall based on how much of their GDP is used to maintain the empire, not how well they balance "restraint" and "strength." There is ground to poke holes in his study and examples, but I feel the basic argument is sound and logical enough.

My personal view is that empires fall when the people lose the will to maintain the empire. I don't think it has any relationship to "restraint" or "will of the governed." I believe it has everything to do with the willingness of the conqueror to impose their will on the conquered. Up to and including a Carthaginian peace. When an empire loses this will, the empire will crumble. Then it is a question of "slowly" or "quickly."

Just my $.02 on Empires. :)
My friend- as usual you bring fact and logic and research to the debate. For that I thank you.

Perhaps 'respect' is the wrong word, but the point I was trying to make is that most of the Western First World views Putin as the leader of a lumbering Third World Nation with Nukes and his only differences from Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev to be that he has nicer suits. I feel that this was his opportunity to increase goodwill toward him and and his Nation, which in my mind equals enduring stability for his Nation.

Plus, Putin's narrative has been that he is holding Assad's leash. Putin has given the World assurances that Assad would no longer use these weapons. So either Putin/Russia is complicit in these attacks, or a putz.

If Putin/Russia (and Iran for that matter) had supported the US missile strikes, they would have shown that they are not complicit and not ok with Assad showing his Ass-ad and making his two greatest allies and supporters look like jack-holes on the world stage.

Now- your point is 'why should Russia or Iran do anything to help their greatest adversaries in The West? That will only weaken their positions? Why should they care about playing nice as long as they have strength?'

I reference the Soviet Union- the country lasted (approximately) a mere 70 years. Largely because they did not want to play nice with the other adults, instead they wanted to walk around with brass nuckles and pretending they had brass balls.

You also referenced Empires in History that ruled through terror- how many of them still exist?

Some say that it is the natural order of things for Empires to rule through terror and force and to eventually collapse, well the US does not rule through terror and force, but only time will tell if this experiment in Modern Democracy and Costitutional Republic will indeed endure. (ETA: But so far we have lasted more than 3 times longer than the Soviet Union.)

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by TacAir » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:00 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
True- but if you truly want an untarnished legacy and an enduring Empire, strength MUST be balanced with restraint and appropriate action towards needless atrocities (like using chemical weapons on your own people).

(SNIP)

My personal view is that empires fall when the people lose the will to maintain the empire. I don't think it has any relationship to "restraint" or "will of the governed." I believe it has everything to do with the willingness of the conqueror to impose their will on the conquered. Up to and including a Carthaginian peace. When an empire loses this will, the empire will crumble. Then it is a question of "slowly" or "quickly."

Just my $.02 on Empires. :)
Premise [History teaches great lessons - if we attend school with a desire to learn.]

I have a slightly different viewpoint - Empires cease to exist when they no longer make economic sense.

Just as the Euros gave up on their colonies when the cost of maintenance became greater than the wealth brought in. Cost, of course, has to include the politics as well. (Witness - France and SEA)

You forgot to mention the Ottoman Empire - broken up by the Great Powers in the aftermath of WWI. That Empire existed for as long as it did owing more to events in Europe rather than any kind effort on the part of the Turks.

Oddly, today we are seeing the ongoing fallout of how the Great Powers divided the spoils of war, with the blow-back hitting Europe again, even this many decades removed. It's a dangerous game to play god with people's lives and territory.....

As always in this - YMMV.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by LowKey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:55 pm

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
teotwaki wrote:I was thinking that for sheltering indoors it might be similar to prepping for radioactive fallout: plastic sheeting over openings that don't have good seals, duct tape over cracks, gas masks at the ready or maybe good surgical masks.
Not sure about the surgical mask, but an NBC rated 'gas mask' and the sealing up cracks are good ideas. How long do you think you would need to shelter in following a Bio-Chemical attack? IIRC, the recommendation for fallout is 2 weeks.
Only hours or days for most chemical weapons. As has been stated earlier, most either blow away or evaporate shortly after use. The ones that do not will linger as oily droplets on and under the edges of things (IIRC from 25 years back).

Some points to remember:
1- Don't just rush out and buy a surplus NBC mask. Be sure you can get replacement filters, in sealed packaging, that have not expired. Be sure that the mask (if surplus) is still serviceable...no dry rot, cracks, ect. After learning how to properly put on and fit the mask to yourself, test the seal you get with it when wearing it by covering the intake on the filters and trying to suck in a deep breath. The mask should collapse onto your face without letting any air in.

2- Remember that many if not most chemical weapons are actually a mist, not a gas. Think of it as a poisonous fog that if you inhale any of it or let it touch your skin, or even touch something that has been dampened by it which would include your clothing...you will die. US military NBC suits are fabric shells with an inner layer of activated charcoal designed to absorb the chemicals and they would need to be changed periodically to remain effective. Warsaw pact NBC suits were "rubber" suits, made from chemical resistant compounds (and very hot!). In a pinch I'd throw on a vinyl or rubber poncho along with some rubber boots and gloves to go along with my mask if I had to move through an area I suspected of being contaminated with a chemical weapon.

3- If you can rig a filter to a fan powerful enough to let you over-pressurize a room AND you have the power to run it, you can create a safe room by sealing the room up as much as possible and creating a pressure differential between your area and the outside. If the pressure in your room is higher than the outside air pressure then the air leaking OUT of your room through any cracks will keep air with any possible chemical weapon contamination from entering through those same cracks. If you can't manage to over-pressurize your room running a HEPA filter unit with an added activated charcoal filter in a well sealed room may provide some limited benefit.

4- If you've ever wondered what .mil uses to "decontaminate" stuff that's been exposed to chemical weapons, it's primarily bleach and hot soapy water. Very strong bleach, and very hot, very soapy water. And anythignthat can simply be thrown away generally is (fabrics, wooded objects, ect).

5- Leave anything that may have been exposed to a chemical weapon OUTSIDE of your shelter, This means your clothing and shoes if you may have been exposed. If possible set up a decon station, in a pinch plastic sheeting taped up to create a shower stall/ airlock type arrangement just outside the entrance to your shelter. Strip down, and get hosed down and scrubbed down with hot soapy bleach water and then enter your shelter.


Not much you can do about Bio weapons aside from keeping your vaccinations up to date and take the same precautions you would if there were an epidemic taking place (face masks, gloves, frequent washing, limiting contact with others).

Out of the three threats that make up the acronym NBC personally I worry about them in the reverse order...chemical weapons are nasty.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by woodsghost » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:47 pm

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:l


Now- your point is 'why should Russia or Iran do anything to help their greatest adversaries in The West? That will only weaken their positions? Why should they care about playing nice as long as they have strength?'

I reference the Soviet Union- the country lasted (approximately) a mere 70 years. Largely because they did not want to play nice with the other adults, instead they wanted to walk around with brass nuckles and pretending they had brass balls.

You also referenced Empires in History that ruled through terror- how many of them still exist?
Some argue the USSR fell because they could not keep up with the standard of living in the West. Too much internal strife, and the leadership did not want to end up with their heads on the end of pitchforks.

Historical Empires have, indeed, fallen. But the empires I listed lasted longer than the US has currently existed. That is an accomplishment.
TacAir wrote:
Premise [History teaches great lessons - if we attend school with a desire to learn.]

I have a slightly different viewpoint - Empires cease to exist when they no longer make economic sense.

Just as the Euros gave up on their colonies when the cost of maintenance became greater than the wealth brought in. Cost, of course, has to include the politics as well. (Witness - France and SEA)

You forgot to mention the Ottoman Empire - broken up by the Great Powers in the aftermath of WWI. That Empire existed for as long as it did owing more to events in Europe rather than any kind effort on the part of the Turks.

Oddly, today we are seeing the ongoing fallout of how the Great Powers divided the spoils of war, with the blow-back hitting Europe again, even this many decades removed. It's a dangerous game to play god with people's lives and territory.....

As always in this - YMMV.
I dig where you are coming from. For what it is worth, Paul Kennedy (referenced above) argued when a nation starts spending more than 10% of it's GDP on maintaining an empire, that empire starts to crumble.
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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by raptor » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:03 pm

I agree surplus gas masks are a real risk. They may be ancient and have been unsealed and "resealed" at some point.

The most likely chemical agents (note term "likely") are phosgene, sarin, mustard gas and chlorine gas. There are many other commercially available items that can be employed. Actually if you look at many freight trains you will see many really toxic products in the tank cars.

That said the 4 have been used in warfare and are likely to be employed. Sarin, chorline and mustard gas are fairly easy (for a nation) to produce and deploy.

The other thing to note is that you may not know an attack is underway until people next you start dropping dead. Sarin is odorless and colorless and if it is deployed as droplets/aerosol you will not detect it timely. It is absorbed through the skin or inhaled. In this case your best bet is to run inside a car or a building to avoid exposure.

Mustard gas and chlorine gas are visible and have an odor. Mustard gas is really nasty. It can penetrate clothing. You would need a plastic rain suit preferable covered with a tyvek suit to keep it off of you. Cholrine gas displaces oxygen as well as causing chemicial burns. Both of these hauling ass into the wind or going inside to an interior room 2 or 3 stories up would be the preferable approach.

If you want to prep for such an attack you should ID an interior room (a bathroom preferably) that can be sealed with plastic and duct tape. An over pressure capability with a fan would be useful.

Before you buy preps do some research on the subject.
I would suggest the following basic preps:
2 peice rain suit (pants and coat)
tyvek suit to wear over rain suit
water proof boots
A 3m brand full face mask with the NBC filter (if you can find one in stock)

Some links for reaearch:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... are_agents

http://www.alpharubicon.com/basicnbc/ch ... entsPH.htm

https://fas.org/programs/bio/chemweapons/cwagents.html

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Re: Chemical Attacks and US response

Post by DarkAxel » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:24 am

Phosgene and chlorine are smothering agents. They act on the lung tissue to prevent oxygen from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Chlorine gas will smell strongly like bleach and the vapor cloud is usually visible as a green cloud. Phosgene is colorless, but smells like cut grass or moldy hay. Both can also cause blindness if they get in your eyes. They are non-persistent agents, and the general rule here is that if you can smell them they are still dangerous. If you are outside during an attack with these chemicals, close your eyes, hold your breath, and head upwind. If you can't go upwind, go cross-wind. If you can't do that and/or the cloud is overtaking you too fast, don't turn and run. Cover your face with something, hold your breath as long as you can, and let the cloud blow past you. If you try to run you will still get hit by the cloud and likely be smothered. The idea here is to limit your time in the cloud. If you have a gas mask, you should obviously use it. After you are clear of the gas cloud, head upwind. That's where the CBRN folks responding to the attack will be setting up. You'll be deconned, triaged, and given medical care there. If you are inside, seal your house up the best you can with tape and plastic, just like you would do for fallout. However, unlike fallout, don't go for the lowest room in the house. Seek the highest. Most chemical weapons are heavier than air and will settle in the lowest areas (keep this in mind if you are outside, too). This means that any chemical that gets into your shelter will settle in your basement or first floor. Gas masks are a good idea inside, too, for obvious reasons.

Sarin is another animal altogether. It is a non-persistent agent, but it is an organophosphate that can be absorbed through the skin. It is also colorless and odorless, so it is very hard to detect without tools. Sarin kills by shutting down the nerves that run your muscles, so often the first indication that sarin has been used is people going into convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and/or having difficulty breathing. Signs that you have been exposed include muscle twitches, numbness in the limbs and tongue, and shallow breathing. If this happens or someone close to you displays symptoms, you should consider yourself exposed and you need to seek medical help IMMEDIATELY. A very small dose is enough to kill, and if you've taken a lethal dose you have about 10 minutes to get deconned and treated before you die. Even if you don't receive a lethal dose it can cause permanent nerve damage. On the plus side sarin degrades rapidly, so you shouldn't have to shelter in place long, and decon is relatively simple. Strip down (your clothes can contaminate others for up to 45 minutes if contaminated by sarin IIRC) and wash with hot soapy water. As far as treatment goes, there's little the layman can do. Exposure to sarin is treated with atropine and pralidoxime, and unless you have been specifically trained to administer them (and have them on hand) you shouldn't be attempting treatment. If you do anything, handle anyone exposed with the best PPE you have and get them to decon point ASAP. Expect to be deconned and treated yourself.

Mustard gas is a persistent blistering agent. It causes painful blisters on the skin, in the eyes, and in the lungs, but compared to other agents isn't that deadly. It was used on the battlefields of WWI to incapacitate the enemy instead of killing them, but it can be fatal if inhaled (the lung blisters smother you). Mustard is yellowish-brown, smells like cooking mustard greens (hence the name), and leaves an oily film behind that can contaminate others for up to three weeks after being deployed. This shouldn't have to be said, but DO NOT touch contaminated surfaces WITHOUT PROPER PPE. Decon is done with hot, soapy water and bleach. Anyone exposed should be stripped and deconned before handling them. Mustard can also eat through latex and neoprene, so medical gloves ARE NOT PROPER PPE for mustard.

This covers what I think are the most likely chemical agents to be used by terrorists. the V-series chemical weapons are highly controlled, not easily made by homebrew chemists, and their primary use is area-denial because they aren't highly volatile (they don't vaporize easily) and they can persist in the environment for months and years.

ETA: When it comes to decon for CBRN threats, DO NOT BURN ANYTHING!! Doing so can release toxins or radiation and necessitate further decon and medical treatment. Place everything in plastic bags, seal them up, mark the bags as contaminated, and LEAVE THEM OUTSIDE until someone can come along and pick them up for disposal.
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