I thought about this as a strictly academic excercise. A nuke is a terribly ugly weapon. The first nation to use a nuke will lose whatever status in the world and be regarded as a pariah. It would be better just to bomb the dickens out of Mecca, while giving immediate theat to bomb Medina. After they rebuild, bomb it again. Nukes would be a last resort, or a response to nuke attack, at best. Academically speaking.
True - using nukes should be a last resort (Masada Plan?).
But isn’t Mecca a ramshackle city located in a mountainous bowl? Seems like conventional bomb energy would be focused. Would it take more than a few J-DAMs to reduce the Grand Mosque and Kaaba to a smoking crater? We have the AAR data from the initial bombing of Baghdad, surely somebody’s done the math about obliterating Mecca.
And when we do, will muzzies hate us any more than they already do? OTOH, the destruction of Mecca might just initiate chaos throughout the Muzzie world (”how could Allah allow this to happen!!?”).
Frankly, I don’t see a downside to destroying Mecca.
MOAB would do then.
As appealing as your suggestion is, it probably wouldn’t work.
With a nuke, it’s clean, easy to target, and if fired from a boomer at sufficient distance, there’s no way to retaliate since the launching sub could ‘shoot & scoot’. Besides, there are three or four nations that the world KNOWS has a sub-based nuke capability. So unless you actually SAW the missile when it launched to ID the country that built or launched it, you really don’t know who did, so who could you blame? Not only that, but you’ll have NO chance of shooting down the incoming RV and NO chance of evacuating the city.
(I know...there EXISTS a capability to possibly terminate an inbound warhead, but there’s only TWO countries I know of who have that capability: US and Israel. Ergo, the Kingdom is SOL.)
The problem with conventional bombing is that you’d have to launch a rather LARGE bomber force to adequately destroy the city, not to mention the Grand Mosque itself. What do you think the Kingdom’s response is going to be when their radar spots a massive bomber force headed their way? They’ll launch every F-15 (which WE sold them) they have to intercept. A potentially large loss of our forces could occur. Also, there would be time to evacuate at least the central area of Mecca before the bomber force arrived.
Would it make you feel any better if I had said a daisy cutter? I’m open to changing the weapon in question. :-D