Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
The Courts Government United States Science News

US Supreme Court Allows Sonar Use 374

gollum123 writes "The US Supreme Court has removed restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises near California. The ruling is a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can kill whales and other mammals. In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats. The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. In reinstating the use of sonar, the top US court rejected a lower federal judge's injunction that had required the US Navy to take various precautions during submarine-hunting exercises. The Bush administration argued that there is little evidence of harm to marine life in more than 40 years of exercises off the California coast. It said that the judges should have deferred to the judgment of the Navy and Mr Bush. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said overall public interest was 'strongly in favor of the Navy.' 'The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals,' Chief Justice Roberts wrote. 'In contrast, forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Supreme Court Allows Sonar Use

Comments Filter:
  • Take that, hippies (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:20PM (#25742043)

    The president may be changing soon but the current one has stacked the Supreme Court with Justices that will uphold his views and policies for quite a while.

  • Business as ussual (Score:3, Insightful)

    by St. Alfonzo ( 1393181 ) <`ap' `at' `'> on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:23PM (#25742059)

    "The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals," Chief Justice Roberts wrote. "In contrast, forcing the navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardises the safety of the fleet."

    Caution be-damned in the name of the national defense.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:32PM (#25742123)
    You need to consider more than one side of an argument if you are a supreme court judge?

    That sounds positively un-american if you ask me. I was pretty sure it's just about following what te president wants? Abortion, defense, environment, all seems to be "Commander In Chief! Sir! Yes Sir!"

    That's the view that I am getting from outside the US anyhow. No offense.
  • Re:What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:42PM (#25742183)

    Judges have quite a bit of discretion, and this is the US Supreme Court we're talking about. If they want to completely ignore one party's arguments, they're free to do so.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:50PM (#25742235)

    I have the irrational need to stab you. Repeatedly. In the groinal area. Did I mention repeatedly?

    I disagree. Based on my post, the need is actually rational, not irrational.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mishotaki ( 957104 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:53PM (#25742257)
    While the US government relies on the fear of an enemy threat to get as little opposition from the legal system as possible...
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shma ( 863063 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:57PM (#25742289)

    My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

    Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

    Maybe you should have tried applying some of that rationality by reading the actual article instead of, I don't know, making shit up.

    In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats. The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.

    They didn't consider the science at all.

  • Re:Third world (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theguru ( 70699 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:02PM (#25742333)

    China has plenty of subs, and I promise you they don't give a crap about whales.

  • Re:Fuck the Whales (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:05PM (#25742353) Journal

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, no matter how ill-informed it may be. You could, however, at least have gotten the quote [] right: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

  • Re:Third world (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZekoMal ( 1404259 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:06PM (#25742363)
    True, and I ain't a hippie by a long shot, but it kills me that military advancement is always considered more important then environmental impact. Yeah it's a couple whales, who cares so long as our military is more stream lined.

    I'm not pro-animal; I'm just anti-human superiority complex. For all we know, killing off all the whales could result in their food overpopulating, and so on and so forth. Of course, we won't know until we try, so let's go ahead and try so we can see just what kind of impact it would have.

    Buuut if we're gonna go down the route of importance of lives, I would guess that deciding that the lives of these sailors, who are trained to kill people, are more important than the people we are training them to kill (whichever people they may be when the politicians sign the bill and write the check).

    War is as pointless as the people that push for it. I'd say, you can't be pro-life if you are pro-war; war kills people, and as soon as you sign your life away or support it, you are saying that murdering people is important enough that you are willing to do whatever it takes to do it (and don't get me wrong, if someone shoots us, we should shoot right back, but it's a shame that us 'advanced humans' can't even manage to live on different continents without wanting to kill each other).
  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TFGeditor ( 737839 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:06PM (#25742365) Homepage

    My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

    Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

    Maybe you should have tried applying some of that rationality by reading the actual article instead of, I don't know, making shit up.

    In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats.

    The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups.

    It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.

    They didn't consider the science at all.

    Didn't consider it, or didn't spell out their deliberations in the ruling?

    Merits, addressed in deliberations and deemed irrelevant do not merit attention in the written ruling.

  • Re:What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:20PM (#25742455)

    They considered whether or not the prior rulings (that were in the environmentalists favor) were made within the purview of the courts involved. Many Supreme Court decisions are made this way.

    They didn't decide that the environmentalists were right or that the Navy was wrong, they simply said that the prior courts didn't have the right to tell the Navy what to do.

  • Re:lol... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:36PM (#25742581) Journal
    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

    We've already killed off most of the megafauna that existed on this planet. I want to keep what we have left.

    ((really.. were you being sarcastic? It'd be kind of hard to justify the existence of any living being based on that criteria. YOU certainly wouldn't escape the rendering plant.))
  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:42PM (#25742627) Homepage

    Hey - I'm all for protecting the enviornment. However, it certainly isn't the ONLY consideration in a case like this. I don't think that anything could be worse for the enviornment than hundreds of nuclear ballistic missles, and yet I certainly sleep better knowing that they're present as a deterrant against a nuclear attack.

    Yes, we ought to care for the planet we live on, and that includes its ecosystems. It is in our own interest, and it also is generally the right thing to do. However, when the interests of humans collide with the interests of animals, you need to be realistic. A navy that is inadequate for the task of defending US interests encourages an attack upon those interests. Some have implied that submarines are unnecessary in the modern world - nothing could be further from the truth. However, a perfect army is one that never needs to fight a battle. When you have the perfect army then nobody messes with you in the first place. That doesn't mean that we should go around picking fights - but it is not in the interests of the US to fall behind either.

  • Re:Third world (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mudetroit ( 855132 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:46PM (#25742663) Journal

    A very noble thought indeed, but unfortunately not liking war isn't the same as not understanding there are times for it, and preparing yourself for other countries which may not believe the same way.

    Additionally, you have to remember that as far as our country's military leaders are concerned the people who choose to enlist in our military are more important than those who they may have to fight against.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retchdog ( 1319261 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:57PM (#25742719) Journal

    China and Russia. We're going to have to do something once our credit rating gets updated [] and our economic inertia burns out.

    It's not getting any better.

  • Future Threats (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:58PM (#25742727)

    There are other possible future threats in the world. It is a historical constant that hostile powers will come to exist in the world and will need to be dealt with.

    Just because we don't immediately see it doesn't mean it won't become a problem in 20-30 years. Hell, in that time a lot can happen, we will be facing enemies in the future that cannot be forseen. While our current submarine fleet won't be so important then, the existence and continued development of our military has to be continued in order to be ready when they are needed.

    A big part of this goes back to the heart of "environmentalism". Much of it is simply a disguise for anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, and quite frankly, anti-americanism. In the end the sonar thing is less about saving the whales, and more about sticking it to the US Military.

  • by Kamokazi ( 1080091 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @12:23AM (#25742875)

    5 to 4 is stacked?!?!

    And as soon as a spot opens, you don't think Obama will try and stack it either?

    I dislike both the Democratic and Republican parties...If left to their own devices, each would destroy this country in a different way, either by overregulating it untill all the businesses leave or by being arrogant and pissing the entire rest of the world off. With the significant majorities in the House and Senate, the Supreme Court may be the only thing that stops this country from completely fucking itself up. They need eachother to kill off the stupid far left and far right ideas, so we get the moderate view that benefits most of the country.

  • Re:Third world (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @12:31AM (#25742925)

    Despite China maneuvering itself into third-world status for the purposes of the Kyoto Treaty, China isn't third-world. By definition, I don't think you can consider one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to be third-world.

    But, yes, they aren't exactly hampered by lawsuits or demonstrations when they want to conduct military training.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otopico ( 32364 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @01:02AM (#25743099)

    Wow, questioning the patriotism of people with a different view than yours, wonder where you learned that?

    Since you claim the environmentalists want dead sailors and a weakened America, please cite your proof, or are you just name calling because you have no other reason to hate them aside from the fact you hate them?

    You can make make up all the shit you want, but unless you have proof of something, at least admit you're spouting shit.

  • Re:Third world (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theguru ( 70699 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @01:06AM (#25743113)

    Of course they aren't, that isn't the point. The point is, they have a significant naval presence in the Pacific, and are more than enough reason to conduct sonar training exercises there.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @01:47AM (#25743351)

    Their job is to decide whether a law is constitutional
    Not quite. It's their job to interpret the entirety of the law, of which the constitution is the highest authority. If the law merely grants departments broad powers, in vague circumstances it does become the job of the Supreme Court to determine whether those circumstances apply. You can blame congress for passing crappy laws for that.
    I too am having a hard time finding out exactly what laws this case was decided based on (without reading the whole decision []). Here is some more info [], admittedly in favor of the Navy.

    It sounds like the actual laws being questioned changed over the duration of the trial. First they were charging that Navy hadn't filed an environmental impact study (which they hadn't although they have studied the heck out of it), which the law "requires" but the law lists no punishment for not doing so. Furthermore, the Navy already had an exemption (from at least some laws), and got another one after the trial started dealing directly with this law. It sounds like after all was said and done this turned into something like the "EPA is required to regulate CO2" lawsuit, requiring the Court to decide based on the powers and responsibilities of that agency.

  • Re:Third world (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:06AM (#25743459)

    Why do you keep insisting that we follow the bad guys' example?

    Saddam tortures prisoners? Hey, we gotta do that too!
    Putin spies on his citizens? Cool, let's wiretap all Americans!
    Bin Laden wants to destroy our Freedom? Quick, let's destroy our own freedoms, or the terrorists win...

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:13AM (#25743497)

    Bollocks. The argument that 40 years of sonar use had not shown any problems would be thrown out by any reasonable scientific study. It's like saying it is impossible for humans to fly based on a thousand years of history. Stupid stupid stupid, as is to be expected from the outgoing administration.

    Active sonar really fucks with whales. Others have posted above about evidence, but as you don't get it, hear it is in simpleton terms: Try driving a car at night with someone flashing multi coloured strobing lights in your eyes. You reckon you're no less likely to crash? Why do they make such a big deal about laser pointers being beamed at aircraft?

    Maybe you think that the Navy is more important than whales, but I'm not American, so I don't give a shit about your paranoia or your need to flex muscle at no one in particular. Just because environmentalists are against it too does not mean it is automatically bad science, you primitive oaf.

  • by Warhawke ( 1312723 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:17AM (#25743863)

    The navy is at sea, so they only have to follow rules of "civility" with their toys at port.... after all, they're just animals.

    Oh yes, because that's all our military really is is a bunch of misbehaving boys and their high-tech, tax-payed toys. Do yourself a favor and stop trivializing the men and women who protect your freedoms so that you can post drivel like that. What's "reasonable" to me is a sonar system that can infallably detect an enemy submarine within missile-launch range of the United States. War also has the unfortunate side-effect of killing people. Lots of them. How about we focus on minimizing that before we start worrying about the mere potential for deafening sea creatures?

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roguetrick ( 1147853 ) < minus threevowels> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:31AM (#25743911) Homepage Journal

    I think the issue here is that the courts shouldn't be legislating from the bench, basically. Folks don't want the navy doing this stuff, they should get congress to pass a law.

    While I consider the issue to merit investigation, I agree that the court shouldn't be creating new laws. Go yell at your congresscritters.

  • borderline treason (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @04:33AM (#25744195) Homepage Journal

    So basically, what you are saying is that you'd rather risk losing a US Aircraft carrier with several thousand men and women aboard to a new class of ultra quiet diesel submarines, so that you can save a few whales.


    Is there ever a case where the environmental movement actually supports humans, let alone Americans?

    I think not.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moonbender ( 547943 ) < minus pi> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @05:44AM (#25744549)

    I mean, what if the USN is operating off of Iran or Venezuala for some reason and they fire off a torpedo and sink a carrier because the Navy could never find the sub as they had no practice?

    What if space aliens use their mental powers to sink a carrier? What if Indian super undercover operatives attack US military outposts around the world? OMG time to increase your military budget! It could happen any minute... Now... Or now!

  • Re:Nonsense. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mav[LAG] ( 31387 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:07AM (#25744645)

    America is wayyyyyyy ahead, in terms of wealth. Yes, we have debts. But we also have - by far - the largest percentage of wealth in the world. By a whole lot.

    And here is the US attitude in a nutshell. We have debts but we don't think about the implications of paying them back so therefore we must be rich.

    If it's true that your nation is wealthy then why have you been forced to bail out Wall Street? Why has the Fed been forced to print money to bail out most of the commercial banking system? Why are hundreds of financial institutions going under? Why are all your heavy industries bankrupt? Why are you shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs? Why are consumers not spending?

    Surely with all that wealth you'd be fine?

    The truth is you don't have any wealth. No manufacturing capability, no savings, no investments, no hundreds of billions in exports.

    Only debt. Tens of trillions of dollars of debt. And no way of paying it back.

    The best part is: if you don't agree, you can do a trade and retire for life if you are right.
    Just go short some US Treasuries.

    Some nations have already said they consider US Treasuries to be junk. That's not surprising when you consider that all that's backing US Treasuries right now is toxic debt.

    I'll be on the other side of the trade.

    Like 1929 - when for every sell there was a buy. Keep dreaming. Your economy is headed for a swift and horrible collapse. And what will you do then?

  • Re:Yeah we are. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lorenzo.boccaccia ( 1263310 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:06AM (#25744933)
    the notion that submarine warfare is still so relevant that lesser training in sonar intelligence could cost millions of Americans life, reminds me of that Maginot strategy.

    just my two cents
  • Re:Third world (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @08:20AM (#25745269)

    "But even if it's against a real threat, it's obvious some put the lives of whales over the lives of our sailors. In fact I noticed that the far-whacko environmentalists are more anti-human than pro-animal. That's a lot of self-loathing there."


    1) Do you have any pets?

    2) How much have you spent on them compared to people dying of starvation in 3rd world nations?

    It's possible you don't have any pets, but you'll hopefully see my point - that many humans care more about animal welfare than they do about humans, it's really not that unusual. In fact, it happens all around us- if animals are shot on a film for example it can often bring up far more emotions than a human being shot. Many people would rather go out and buy a pet dog than send the money to Africa.

    I'd guess it's perhaps the fact that animals are too dumb to be evil and intentionally be malicious pulls on people's conscience much more when these animals have had problems caused to them by humans who are very easily capable of being both evil and malicious.

    So really, I wouldn't call them whacko, I call them humans with a conscience. At the end of the day, the loss of many human lives will likely actually have a positive effect on the world when you look at it scientifically (i.e. less pollution, perhaps less conflict) whereas the loss of a group of many of a species of animals has a negative effect (food chain collapse for example perhaps). Perhaps it's just a matter of realising that the world consists of more than just humanity and that many species of animals are as important to the world as any human ever will be.

  • by assert(0) ( 913801 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:29AM (#25745679) Homepage
    235 dB make your ears bleed? If you're lucky... 230 dB is a 4.0 Riechter scale earthquake at epicentrum or 1000 tons of TNT according to this source: []
  • by tacokill ( 531275 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:29AM (#25746267)
    I can't believe you got modded up so high. /. really lacks an understanding of global finance. In fairness, it is a tech site, so....

    All I am saying is that people have been "predicting" the demise of the US capitalistic system for 100 years. Yet, here we are. We made it through the depression. We made it through the 70's and we made it through every single hiccup in global finance since it began. Over that time, we have amassed more wealth than any other country in the history of the world. I am correct that the US has more wealth than other nations - that is indisputable. The reason this matters is because we have a lot of "slack" to make mistakes (like you are seeing on the front pages right now)

    Bury your head in the sand but here ya go []. Here's [] a list of per capita GNI. The US is #7.
    Here's [] another list, based on GDP. Please notice the US is compared to the ENTIRE EU -- not just individual countries.

    Seriously, if the US wants to "work itself" out of this, we just reduce the Social Security commitments we've made. People don't seem to grasp that the government can pay any debt it needs to. Whether there is the political will to do it is another story. This isn't a story of the US not being able to pay its debts....that is nowhere near the case right now.

    I mean, this isn't even close. Why do you think Treasury prices have been pushed up so far over the last 3 months? People around the world have been FLOCKING to the safety of US treasuries. People around the world still view the US as the safest place to invest your money. If they were junk, as you indicate, they would trade as junk and nobody would want them. Your claim is testable and easy to verify - just go look at the US Treas charts. After looking for about 2 seconds, it is easy to see that you are just plain wrong. IOW, you have no idea what you are talking about here....

    Call me when the US defaults on it's bonds. That is news. Until it happens (and it won't), what you posted is just idle wanting. I understand where it comes from, I do. But it is not based in any rational evidence. It's simply emotion based on what you want to happen.

    By the way, I don't know what country you are in but take a look at what has happened to your own country's bonds. Do you think they are a safer or riskier investment than US bonds right now? The world market for bonds says, not only is the US safer, but they are THE safest of all countries.

    This is nowhere near 1929. Totally apples and oranges comparison. Things worked WAY differently back then than they do now. Additionally, your insinuation that US Tbills are backed by "toxic debt" is woefully simplistic. US Tbills are backed by 200+ years of the US paying it's bills.

    Lastly, I really wasn't kidding about betting against us. If you are soooo sure of your position, then you can put your money where your mouth is and if you are right -- you will be set for the rest of your life. Please watch out for the bodies of your predecessors, however.
  • by Count Fenring ( 669457 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @11:43AM (#25747265) Homepage Journal

    This assuming that

    1. The precautions required cripple the sonar tests, which is not true
    2. that maintaining the biosphere is incompatible with human goals, which is also false

    I'm by no means saying that I'm against technological progress here. But I'd also like to be able to live through it; and that means not fucking up the environment beyond repair.

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @12:55PM (#25748337)
    1. I think you didn't take into account that the government was quite wealthy in 1929. Now we are trillions in debt (some estimates point as high as 100 trillion in future liabilities).

    2. Define wealth. I would say that wealth is having money that does work for you. We don't have any real money (just imaginary money in the form of derivatives--multiple quadrillions of them). Instead we have debt, which we have to work just to maintain (something like half of your income tax dollars go to paying interest on the national debt). Further, our money itself is inherently worthless, as it is backed purely by debt.

    3. So what? The Roman Empire never collapsed, until it did. The amount of debt we have vs. GDP has NEVER been paid back in the history of the world. We don't have manufacturing capability any more, so there is no way to offset our debt through trade. Even were we to sell our technology to the highest bidder, it wouldn't come close to paying down what we owe. Is the US "too big to fail"? In reality, there is no such thing. Institutions that are "too big to fail" only exist in the tiny little minds of those we have (foolishly) elected as our representatives, yet who act expressly against our wishes (90% of people were against it).

    4. The largest buyer of US bonds is the Federal Reserve. They are buying like there is no tomorrow with money that they create from thin air. They are exchanging worthless paper for worthless paper, with interest calculated in more worthless paper. No one save perhaps a few other (collusive) central banks is buying US treasuries.

    5. I would suggest that you hang yourself, rather than throwing yourself off the top of a building when you find your money and assets have all vaporized. The splatter makes an awful mess.

    The fact is, you fail to take into account just how DIFFERENT things are now. The whole economy is interconnected, so the ENTIRE WORLD will be in a depression, rather than just certain markets (western markets in the 30's, Japan in the 90's). Back then, outside markets could come in and buy up assets with the cash they had from their own market booms. This will not happen this time. It's like we have harmonized a bunch of waveforms. This time, instead of subtle vibrations, they will be in tune with each other and shake the world to its foundations.

    Monoculture inevitably leads to extinction, and we have developed an almost perfect financial monoculture on this planet. Just because we haven't collapsed yet doesn't mean we aren't going to.
  • by xappax ( 876447 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @01:58PM (#25749347)
    On one hand I feel the need to explain to you that there is no unified front of communist environmentalist hippy liberals who are all out to screw up whatever you support. On the other other, I realize that holding such mistaken and backwards beliefs is probably one of your biggest weaknesses when it comes to influencing society, so why not let it be?
  • Re:Yeah we are. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:26PM (#25749813) Journal

    I think your forgetting that we aren't living in the past. You see, Intel can get you information about where other people's missile bases are, all anyone will have to do is either disable them or strike outside their range. Now enter Submarines, they move, aren't detectable from the surface in most cases and you have no idea were the other side's missile bases are.

    So lets fast forward to modern special opt insertion tactics. We send seals, rangers, Green berets, and other tactile personnel in on subs, The subs get the people so close to the shore or objective and they are released to either swim or use some sort of powered vehicle to go the remaining way to the objective. Now they do whatever they need to do, make it back to a place the sub can find them and poof, they are gone. There is nothing inherent about the US that means we are the only people who can do something like that. However, if the sub is detected by sonar, then we can either stop others from doing that or at least monitor them and take whatever action is appropriate.

    Subs are not just about sinking ships. They aren't just about scaring enemy fleets. They gather intelligence information, they deliver troops, they move missile launch platforms around, they cut undersea communications cables, they even allowed us to tap into them to spy on the Russians during the cold war. Those tactics were and are effective unless we have a way to find the other subs and stop them. Stopping them doesn't even have to be that important either. In the Pacific theater during WW2, we found out that the Japs have broken parts of our codes and were able to intercept certain messages and could tell when we were moving troops, to where, where our defenses were down and so on. Instead of changing our codes and locking down our communications (something that would have taken considerable time and effort) we started feeding misinformation into the works and leading them into traps. Of course we eventually changed things up but knowing what was going on gave us the advantage that we simply wouldn't have if we didn't have the ability to know. Now, I'm not so sure that subs played a role in that but if we can't detect some subs, it will play a role in others gathering information against us if they use those subs just like we did with the Russians and other potential enemies in the past.

  • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. ( 142215 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:18PM (#25750729) Homepage

    A house of extremely dubious quality might result in a little damage when overpressure reaches somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds, so your average house, of normal quality, is probably not going to sustain any damage at all.

    Most newer houses are of extremely dubious quality!

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.