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In White House Down:

  • Raphaelson is in the pocket of the defence industry which makes money by selling weapons to the ME. But he also wants to nuke the region.
  • Raphaelson gives Walker the launch codes to launch the nukes and also gives the orders to bomb the White House.
  • Raphaelson is party to nuking the Middle East, but deploys troops back there once he reaches the White House.

These seem to be blatantly contradictory positions. What gives?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

By your points:

  • Nuking the region would incite far more fighting than it would stop. First of all, nukes wouldn't annihilate everything in the region, but they would turn it into an infinite source of various terrorist groups. Second, some kind of conflict, maybe even World War III (this is mentioned in the movie), with Russia, China, and likes would ensue.

  • An airstrike on the White House was supposed to cover up all the evidence (because, evidently, in the "White House Down" universe everything is stored there and "off-site backup" is a non-existing concept). This is explained by Cale as he exposes Raphelson.

  • Once the nuking has failed and the crisis was averted, the second best way to restart wars is to send those troops back in. It would probably make the conflicts there stronger than they were before, because it would be seen as a new occupation and the breaking of the previous peace offer.

Of course, in a movie like this, one is not to look for too much sense, because everything is in service of humor, explosions, and witty retorts, so I'd say that there is actually an unexpectedly high amount of sense in this move.

Edit: Having just re-watched the movie, I'm not sure that Raphelson's plan was to actually start the nuclear attack. Maybe he counted on the attack to be prevented by the air strike (which would've been only seconds too late for that, had the Cale family not interfered). The possibility itself was enough to get an excuse to get war back on.

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+1 But nuking the region would result in the loss of the existing buyers. US arms dealers don't really outfit small terrorist groups. They deal with governments, juntas, and large factions. The WW3 (from memory) was mentioned in relation to countries mobilising in light of the US nuke situation. Your second and third points are good ones. – coleopterist Dec 18 '13 at 12:09
Someone is selling arms to small groups. If you supply that supplier, you still get the profits. But, more importantly, stronger and wider conflict means more weapons demands. It is quite unlikely that the US would stand alone and their enemies would also demand more weapons, so there would be surge of demand from most of the world powers, wouldn't it? – Vedran Šego Dec 18 '13 at 14:04

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