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  #1  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:32 AM
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Military The bunker with a button and one gun

Comment: Story related by a co-worker, to whom it was related by a US
military veteran, who supposedly served in this capacity. Story told as a
riddle of sorts:

There's a bunker, 200 ft underground, & in it are 2 guards, guarding "a
button". Only one guard has a gun. Why?

Alleged answer: In the event of a nuclear war, it would be the duty of the
unarmed guard to press the button & fire the missle. If the unarmed guard
was unwilling to complete his task, he would be forced at gunpoint by the
other to do so, or be shot if he continued to refuse or interfere.
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  #2  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
In the event of a nuclear war, it would be the duty of the
unarmed guard to press the button & fire the missle. If the unarmed guard
was unwilling to complete his task, he would be forced at gunpoint by the
other to do so, or be shot if he continued to refuse or interfere.
What if the armed guard refuses to let the unarmed guard push the button, threatening to shoot him if he does?
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  #3  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
If the unarmed guard was unwilling to complete his task, he would be forced at gunpoint by the other to do so, or be shot if he continued to refuse or interfere.
Why wouldn't the one with the gun just push the button instead?
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  #4  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
Why wouldn't the one with the gun just push the button instead?
Because he's not authorized -- he hasn't been trained how to properly push the button.
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  #5  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:41 AM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
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It makes sense... but only if you don't stop to actually think about it in any way.
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  #6  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:44 AM
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And what good would shooting the unarmed guard do if he was simply refusing? "If you don't push the button, you won't be able to push the button."
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  #7  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:45 AM
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Really. If it's certain that the armed guard will ensure the button is pushed, why not simply leave him in the bunker to push the button by himself? And if it's not certain that the armed guard will follow through, there's no point to having him in the bunker in the first place.
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Old 25 June 2010, 04:09 AM
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As long as we have 2,400 Michael Madsens and John Spencers reporting for duty, this might actually work....
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  #9  
Old 25 June 2010, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Really. If it's certain that the armed guard will ensure the button is pushed, why not simply leave him in the bunker to push the button by himself? And if it's not certain that the armed guard will follow through, there's no point to having him in the bunker in the first place.
Some folks would tell you that this makes perfect sense in the military.

I, however, am not one of those people.

I did live for 17 years as a military spouse, though, and can tell you that this is not the weirdest logic process I have heard attributed to the military.
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  #10  
Old 25 June 2010, 05:39 AM
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It sounds (slightly) like a Minuteman silo. The one part that's blatantly wrong is the bit about one person pushing a button. To launch any land-based nuclear missile, a pair of keys must be turned, and they are situated in such a way that it takes two people to turn them. Sounds like somebody's misremembering the opening scene to War Games.
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  #11  
Old 25 June 2010, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufungla View Post
Sounds like somebody's misremembering the opening scene to War Games.
Turn your key, sir!
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  #12  
Old 25 June 2010, 09:12 AM
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As bufungula said I was always led to believe two buttons (or keys) in a silo need to be engaged nearly simultaniously for launch and are far enough apart that one person cannot engage them both in the time allowed. More to prevent one operator alone going loopy or misunderstanding and setting off the missile.
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  #13  
Old 25 June 2010, 09:26 AM
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I love how many military rumors and ULs revolve around the idea that in a time of war the military strategy for victory is based on killing their own troops.
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  #14  
Old 25 June 2010, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I love how many military rumors and ULs revolve around the idea that in a time of war the military strategy for victory is based on killing their own troops.
It worked for the Russians, didn't it?
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  #15  
Old 25 June 2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I love how many military rumors and ULs revolve around the idea that in a time of war the military strategy for victory is based on killing their own troops.
It would hurt morale for our men to be killed by the Russians.

I could see the possibly making sense in a weird psychological way.

The man pushing the button would feel less guilt for launching a nuclear missle as he was forced to do so.
The man holding the gun would feel less guilt because he didn't launch the nuclear missle.

Sort of like how some executions will have three people pushing three buttons/switchs to activate the execution, but not all of the buttons are active.
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