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Does NATO not exist in the James Bond universe? In real life, if a British battleship were sunk by the Chinese, the United States would be obligated to come to its ally's aid. This makes Jack Wade's comment about how "Uncle Sam is officially neutral" a huge wall banger. It's not 1940 anymore!
It would have made the threat of nuclear war much greater, but I suspect it was just to appeal to some nationalist British sentiment. Wasn't it referred to as a "global power" in the film?
It was a destroyer, not a battleship. The US is probably hoping the two will stop short of war.
The NATO Treaty only covers attacks in Europe or North America though, China would be outside it's scope just as the Falklands were
This. Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that Article 5 can only be invoked on an attack A) "on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer" or B) "on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer." The South China Sea is not covered.
Britain and China are grossly disproportionate in every way—noted by M, who for example doesn't want the Navy in range of the "largest Air Force in the world"—except for the fact that both have nuclear weapons. If it came to war, Britain could call upon America and other allies to bring about World War 3. Either that or both sides would write off the event rather than escalate tensions given the alternative is Armageddon.
Except for the fact that Jack Wade said, officially, America is neutral in the growing conflict. And unofficially, they have no interest in seeing World War III unless they start it.
Writing off the event is the villains' plan. Remember, he intends to use the Stealth Boat to bomb a meeting of the Chinese Politboro, or whatever its called, so that General Chang becomes the de facto leader of China. Chang sues for peace, Britain accepts because the faked attack makes them look like a worldwide Heel, and Carver gets his broadcast rights under the table.
The use, or even the threat of use, of nuclear weapons in a conflict is now considered a Crime Against Humanity. Nukes are really for show, or as a last resort. The fact is that two nuclear powers going to war does not mean that said war will be nuclear; the only reason it was ever an issue was due to the United States and Russia having a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (in the event of war, both sides would immediately resort to nukes, thus war was a very, very bad idea), and that was abandoned under Ronald Reagan of all people (the feeling being, the fact that war would be insane just wasn't safe enough). Nukes were not brought up because, the simple fact is, in Real Life they wouldn't be.
He went through all that just to secure broadcast rights? Surely some bribery would have been easier.
The implication is that he tried, but failed to achieve the necessary penetration of the Politburo.
He also gets a massive story with which to launch his network. IIRC he admits as much.
Ok, I admit I haven't seen the movie, so it may be explained better... but under Irrevocable Order it says they fire a Tomahawk cruise missile at a terrorist camp, it gets out of radio range, however far that is, and they have to send James to remove the nukes from the camp before the missile gets there? I got a big WTF in the face on that. The Tomahawk has a 1550 mile range, and travels at 550mph. Assuming they fired it from maximum possible range, they have less than three hours (2.8181, repeating, of course) to get him to an airplane, fly to the camp, talk/fight his way in and remove the nukes somehow, all before the missile gets there? What.
This is why we watch films before commenting on them. At the beginning of the film, Bond is infiltrated in an Illegal Arm's Fair, feeding info back to HQ. After the generals think they've got all the info they need, they command their ship to shoot the missile at the fair. Right then, Bond notices a parked Jet fighter at the fair which is carrying nuclear missiles. HQ is notified of this and try to abort the missile they've just fired in order to avoid a massive blast and a political catastrophe. However, the missile by then is out of range and impossible to abort. Bond, who, again, is already AT THE LOCATION, promptly pilots the jet carrying the nukes away from the missile's target. The missile does hit and everything goes up in flames, but Bond is already airborne by then (though he still had to deal with an enemy jet fighter and an annoying "backseat driver".
Ok, that makes more sense... but it's not how the Irrevocable Order listing is written.
Precisely. Bond saved the day again in this film's Cold Open because he stayed a few more minutes more meticulously gathering info, spotted the plane with nuclear torpedos (which is what made HQ try any Missile-Abortion at all) and successfully piloted the plane out of harm's way.
The Irrevocable Order example was phrased incorrectly and has now been rewritten. Problem solved!
There's another interesting point, which is that nuclear missiles don't explode with the force of a nuclear bomb unless they've been activated correctly (a bit of a no-brainer.) They would make a nice "dirty" bomb if the tomahawk hit and caused them to rupture, but since we're in the middle of nowhere and there are no innocents within many dozens of miles, is there really any big deal about that happening?
You'd still have nuclear material being spread uncontrolled - even if it's in the middle of nowhere that one sentence is a media bonanza of panic inducement. Also, who knows where the nuclear material that gets spread can reach - just the wrong amount of wind current and you might have radioactive material settling on northern India.
The Russian General describes it as "enough plutonium to make Chernobyl look like a picnic" . Wherever the meeting is it's not going to be isolated enough for it not to matter. Plus they were worried the torpedoes could go off if hit.