h a l f b a k e r y
Fewer ducks than estimates indicate.
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Back in the mid 20th century USA, if you wanted something
to stop being, the most effective way was to add that thing
to some of Curtis LeMay's more interesting lists. Strategic
Air Command no longer exists, having won its fight without
fighting, Sun Tzu would be proud. Nowadays, threats to
the continental US are homegrown, possibly the most
destructive is the routine wildfires that rage throughout
the forested areas but most noticeably in the populated
regions of California.
Strategies to fight these fires are myriad, one is to use
specially adapted aircraft to drop water on the fire from
above. Aircraft are fast, maneuverable and have been
tasked with getting things to targets for a while. Sadly, the
aircraft used are pretty modest in both number, size, and
So, let's sell the idea to the air force. They load up 50 B52s
with water, the network of tankers, AWACS, helicopters,
fighter escorts, etc. mobilizes to get those B52s on a low-
level bombing run through an inferno-like Californian
hellscape. We build it into and use it in the training
program, we develop interesting anti-conflagration
weapons systems* and so on.
Instead of splashing a bit of water from some venerable
yellow flying boat, we bring in the BUFFS to carpet from
low level with a million pounds per day until the Colorado
River has been airlifted 1000 miles out of the normal
route. Satellite recon with IR should identify pockets of
resistance that can be picked off from high altitude assets
like the B1. Eventually, forest fires will be forced
underground** severely limiting their capability against
military and civilian assets.
*heat seekers exploit an obvious vulnerability of an
opponent unfamiliar with camouflage in the modern battle
**There are still issues in Centralia with this kind of thing.
||Would it not be more cost-effective to (a) Declare California
independent (b) designate it as an enemy state and then (c)
recruit the wildfires to be on Our Side. The cost savings could
||<Activates tractor beam array in attempt to haul [MB] back from the Cynicism Event Horizon/>
||Well ... maybe the idea of flying a B-52 through mountainous terrain at treetop height. That could be more exciting than is strictly necessary. Briefly.
||But apart from that, using laser-guided containers (made of frangible non-flammable resin-bonded glass fibre, or rockwool, similar to the WW2 P-51 drop tanks) to dump tonnes of water on the target would do a good job, and could be done from higher altitudes.
||What if the water were CO2 saturated? You could ram even
more into solution if you spiked it with a touch of.. say
ammonium chloride to offset some of the pH, you'd boost
the firefighting capability of the munition with long term
nitrogen-cycle boosting capabilities.
||If I remember correctly from my days in MaxCo.'s Tactical
Research Department, fuel-air bombs are capable of depleting
the air of oxygen over quite a wide area.
||No, those were your Great-Uncle Sathanus's farts, but it's easy to see how the confusion would arise.
Soviet Russia just used nukes to put out fires.