Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

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On Russia’s Frequent Nuclear Bomber Flights

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 1, 2014


In the last 72 hours alone, Russia has flown nuclear-armed Tu-95 bombers, escorted by modern Su-27 and Su-35 Flanker fighters and refueled by Midas tankers, numerous times just outside the airspace of many European countries, as well as near Canada’s Atlantic coast.

The WFB’s Bill Gertz has the story:

“Russian nuclear-capable bombers conducted a third day of military runs along Europe’s coasts on Friday as part of heightened strategic activities by Moscow, the NATO alliance said.

“On Friday, Russian planes carried out more flights over Europe,” said NATO spokesman Maj. Rob Phillips. “NATO tracked these flights over the Baltics, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.” (…)

The latest Russian warplanes flights prompted a senior defense official to described Moscow’s military activities as “relentless.”

The centerpiece of the Russian aerial maneuvers involved two Bear bombers that flew around the west coast of Britain as far south as Portugal before turning back and flying to a Russian air base.

Phillips said the aircraft did not file flight plans or engage in radio or other contact with civilian air controls and turned off on-board transponders, a measure he said “poses a danger to civilian air traffic.”

The Friday flights follow similar flights by 19 Russian aircraft Wednesday and Thursday near Europe that included Tu-95s along with flights of Su-35 fighter bombers.

Further east, four Russian aircraft, including two Bears and two Su-27s were intercepted over the Black Sea on Wednesday by Turkish fighters.

The latest Russian flights followed numerous strategic bomber incursions in recent months of air defense zones near Alaska and California, as well as along Canada’s eastern coast.

Phillips said NATO has conducted over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, about three times the number of intercepts carried out last year.”

This demonstrates once again the need for a large and diverse US nuclear arsenal, for British and French national nuclear deterrents, and for modern, highly capable air superiority and air defense fighters. The notion that nuclear weapons are irrelevant to today’s security challenges has once again been utterly discredited – along with all those who preach that garbage.

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Comment réformer et renforter l’armée française – 2ème edition

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 31, 2014


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N.b.: Ci-dessous est la 2ème edition de ma liste des reformes proposées, Comment réformer et renforter l’armée française , publiée pour la première fois en juillet.

L’armée française subit beaucoup de coupes budgetaires injustes et déstructives en ce moment. Il faut les arrêter, dégager des moyens dans les dépenses courantes (de fonctionnement de l’armée), et renforter les armées de la République Française.

D’abord, pour dégager plus de l’argent, il faut:

  1. Réduire fortement le nombre des fonctionnaires civils du ministère de la défense, de 66,000 à 22,000, ce qui devrait permettre le ministère d’économiser au moins 1 Md d’Euros par an.
  2. Vendre tous les A319 et la moitie des Falcon de l’Armée de l’Air (AdlA).
  3. Fermer la base aérienne de Creil (Oise)et  la base aérienne de Villecoublay, reouvrir la base aérienne de Taverny (95), et y faire démenager tous les unités des deux autres bases. La base aérienne de Taverny devrait aussi devenir a nouveau une base des Forces Aériennes Strategiques.
  4. Fermer la base aérienne de Cazaux, qui est située trop près de Bordeaux, et faire démenager tous ses unites au Mont de Marsan, Pau, Perpignan, Bergerac, Nîmes, Avignon, ou Rodez. Ouvrir un centre international d’entrainement des pilotes à Rodez, à Clermont-Ferrand, ou dans la Côte Mediterrainée (par exemple, à Nimes).
  5. Réduire le budget de la Gendarmerie Nationale par au moins 700 millions d’Euros par an (en commencant par cesser de protéger l’appartement de Julie Gayet et en reduisant la Garde Républicaine par 75%; il faut supprimer complètement la cavalerie de la Garde et le 2ème Regiment de la Garde) afin de permettre à l’AdlA d’acheter 10 Rafale supplementaires par an (pour un coût de 680 millions d’Euros par an).
  6. Réduire le nombre des généraux et admiraux dans l’armée et les grades associées avec des différentes postes dans l’armée. Par exemple, les chefs des quatres services militaires devraient avoir seulement 4 étoiles, pas 5. Le rang du général d’armée, général d’armée aérienne, ou amiral devrait être reservé seulement au CEMA. Les rangs de 4 étoiles devraient être reservés seulement aux chefs des quatre services militaires, l’Amiral Commandant de la Force Océanique Strategique (ALFOST), et le commandant des Forces Aériennes Strategiques.
  7. Supprimer la DAS, les bureaux des officiers généraux, le CSFM, le CAJ, etc.
  8. Réorienter les priorites et les moyens de la Gendarmerie de la lutte contre les automobilistes à la défense nationale. Aussi cesser de proteger les bâtiments gouvernementaux – c’est le devoir de la police nationale et de la GSHP.
  9. Utiliser les soldats de l’armée française seulement pour combat et pour la protection du territoire français, et non pour les patrouilles des gares ferroviaires ou les stations du métro et du RER – ce qui est le devoir et la competence des services de securité de celles-là et de la police nationale.
  10. Immediatement terminer toutes les Opérations Externelles, sauf celle en Irak, pour économiser 1 Md d’Euros par an.
  11. Vendre tous les 254 chevaux de l’armée française, chacun pour au moins 500 000 euros.
  12. Joindre tous les programmes des helicoptères des armées et faire de sorte qu’elles soient toutes sous le contrôle de l’AdlA.
  13. Supprimer le service de patrimoine des armées et céder ses fonctions, biens, et personnel au Ministère de la Culture.
  14. Mettre en oeuvre toutes les propositions de l’IFRAP devoilees ici et ici. L’IFRAP propose (sauf certaines sur l’europeisation de la défense), inter alia, une réduction des effectifs de soutien et administratifs, une externalisation des fonctions de soutien, la vente de l’immobilier de la défense, la fermeture des bases peu utilisées, et une réduction du nombre d’officiers.
  15. Vendre l’Hôtel de Brienne et le Château de Vincennes.
  16. Réduire fortement le nombre et les salaires des conseillers au Ministère.

Afin de renforter l’armée française, il faut – et avec les économies ci-dessus, ce sera possible de:

  1. Commander au moins 10 Rafale supplementaires, finances par une réduction du budget de la Gendarmerie Nationale. Cela renfortera l’armée aérienne et à la fois réduira le coût unitaire de chaque Rafale, le faisant plus attractif sur le marché mondial.
  2. Commencer la construction du premier SNLE de 3ème generation en 2020.
  3. Augmenter le nombre des avions de l’AdlA dediés à la dissuasion nucleaire de 40 à 60, en récréant un troisième escadron des avions dediés à la dissuasion nucleaire (l’escadron de chasse 1/4 Dauphiné). Cet escadron serait équipé de 20 des Rafale supplementaires prevus ci-dessus.
  4. Augmenter le nombre des missiles ASMP-A.
  5. Augmenter la portée des missiles M51 (à 12 000 km), SCALP EG, MBDA MICA IR, et MBDA Meteor (à 180 km).
  6. Augmenter le nombre des chars Leclerc de 200 à 400.
  7. Augmenter la commande pour les systèmes de défense anti-aérienne Aster 30 de 8 à au moins 12.
  8. Installer de nouveaux radars anti-aériens dans l’est de la France.
  9. Faire ouvrir, à Rodez, Clermont-Ferrand, Castres, Perpignan, Bastia, Ajaccio, Bergerac, Nîmes, Pau, Tarbes, ou Vatry (préferablement à Pau ou Clermont-Ferrand), un centre européen et OTAN d’entrainement des pilotes de l’UE et de l’OTAN, bien que l’Italie soit en concurrence pour en être le pays-hôte.
  10. Developper, avec tous les autres pays européens, un nouvel avion d’entrainement comme l’Alphajet.
  11. Faire démenager les centres d’entrainement des pilotes de l’AdlA de La Rochelle à Rodez, Perpignan, Pau, et/ou Clermont-Ferrand.
  12. Convertir les 3 A310 de l’escadron de Villecoublay, les 2 A340 de l’escadron de Velizy-Villecoublay, et l’A330 originel de la compagnie Airbus, en avions de ravitaillement (A330 MRTT et A310 MRTT). Cela augmenterait le nombre des avions de ravitaillement projetés par l’AdlA de 12 à 18 et en consequence permettrait la France d’être totalement independante, dans la matière de ravitaillement de ses avions, des Etats-Unis et de tout autre pays.
  13. Acheter des avions C-17 afin de ne pas être dependent sur aucune armée aérienne étrangere pour la logistique.
  14. Faire en sorte que 90% du parc des vehicules et des avions, et 80% des navires, soient utilisables immediatement si besoin.
  15. Faire en sorte que les pilotes de l’AdlA et du Groupe Aéronaval volent au moins 180 heures par an.
  16. Disperser les escadrons des Forces Aériennes Strategiques entre les bases d’Istres, de Saint-Dizier, de Luxeil, et de Taverny, et renforter les hangars et les magasins d’ammunition de tous les avions basés là-bas.

dassaultrafale

Certains poseront certainement la question, “Mais pourquoi ces commandes supplementaires sont-elles necessaires? Pourquoi est-ce que l’armée a besoin de tous ces appareils et outils?”

La réponse: parce que toutes les interventions militaires de la France – d’intensite majeure, moyenne, ou basse – ont montré que c’est les vehicules blindés terrestres et les avions de combat (principalement les Rafale et Mirage 2000), de ravitaillement, et de transports qui jouent le role decisif dans chaque intervention et chaque guerre a laquelle la France participé.

Il serait donc fou de réduire les flottes de ces vehicules et avions. Au contraire, il faut les augmenter pour que l’armée française puisse gagner ses guerres.

C’est-à-dire, ces vehicules et avions sont les outils-clès pour la victoire de la France dans toute intervention/guerre.

Dans toute operation exterieure menée recemment par la France – en Libye, au Mali, et en Irak – l’outil-clé, l’outil primordial qui a joué un role decisif, etait le Rafale.

Pour faire certain que les soldats français puissent vaincre, il faut les transporter à la zone de combat, leur donner des vehicules blindés qui offrent une protection et une puissance de feu suffissante, et les soutenir de l’air avec des avions de combat – ravitailles, bien sûr.

En plus, la France est un grand pays, et pour le proteger (dont son espace aérien), il faut beaucoup plus que les 185 avions que l’Armée de l’Air possédera sous les plans du gouvernement socialiste en fonction.

Il faut aussi garantir la credibilité de la dissuasion nucleaire française, affabliée par Nicolas Sarkozy en 2008 avec sa decision injustifiable de réduire la composante aérienne de la force de dissuasion nucleaire d’un tiers – ce qui n’a pas du tout encouragé les autres puissances nucleaires à réduire ses propres arsenaux nucleaires. Au contraire, la Russie, la Chine, le Pakistan, l’Inde, l’Israel, et la Corée du Nord ont augmenté ses arsenaux nucleaires.

Quand au premier SNLE de la 3ème generation, pour garantir la permanence de la composante maritime et donc une flotte des 4 SNLE, il faudra le commander en 2020. Ce que la termination de toutes les guerres inutiles et la vente de l’Hotel de Brienne et du Château de Vincennes permettrait.

Enfin, dans la matière d’exports d’armes, il faut les vendre à chacun qui peut payer. Il faut donc livrer les 2 navires de la classe Mistral commandés par la Russie. Il faut aussi seduire l’Egypte et l’Indonesie à acheter des armes françaises.

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Analysis: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have?

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 28, 2014


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Although China has a much larger nuclear arsenal than the DOD and arms control advocates are prepared to admit, Russia remains the principal nuclear and geopolitical adversary of the US. It is therefore necessary to examine the size and composition of Moscow’s atomic arsenal and the Russian government’s plans for its future.

Like the US, Russia possesses a strategic triad of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), bombers, and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) armed with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

1) ICBMs: Russia currently possesses ICBMs: 58 SS-18 Satan (10 warheads per missile), 35 SS-19 Stilletto (6 warheads per missile), 171 SS-25 Sickle (single-warhead), 78 SS-27 Stalin (single-warhead), and 42 RS-24 Yars (4 warheads per missile) ICBMs, for a total of 384 ICBMs.

This works out to:

58*10=580

35*6=210

171*1=171

78*1=78

42*4=168

This enables Russia’s ICBMs to deliver a total of 1,207 warheads to the Continental US. Note that over time, as Russia continues to replace older, single-warhead SS-25 and SS-27 missiles with Yars and RS-26 Rubezh multiple-warhead missiles, the number of warheads it can deliver to, and will aim at, the US will only continue to grow.

2) Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) and their associated Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs): Russia currently possesses fourteen such submarines: 4 of the Delta III (Kalmar) class, 7 of the Delta IV (Delfin) class, 1 of the Project 941 Akula (Typhoon) class, and 2 of the newest Borei class.

Each of these submarines carries 16 SLBMs, except the Typhoon-class boat, which can carry 20 SLBMs but is usually used as a test platform (though it could be armed with SLBMs like a normal submarine if need be).

The fourteen SSBNs of the Russian Navy are:

Name……………………………………Class…………….Fleet…………Year of commissioning

K-129 Orenburg……………………..Delta III………..Northern……1981

K-433 St George the Victorious…Delta III………..Pacific………..1980

K-233 Podolsk………………………..Delta III……….Pacific…………1980

K-44 Ryazan…………………………..Delta III……….Pacific…………1982

K-51 Vyerkhoturye………………….Delta IV……….Northern……..1984

K-84 Yekaterinburg…………………Delta IV……….Northern……..1985

K-64 ……………………………………..Delta IV……….Northern……..1986

K-114 Tula………………………………Delta IV……….Northern……..1987

K-117 Bryansk…………………………Delta IV……….Northern……..1988

K-18 Kareliya………………………….Delta IV……….Northern………1989

K-407 Novomoskovsk……………..Delta IV……….Northern………1990

TK-208 Dmitriy Donskoi…………..Typhoon……..Northern……….1981

K-535 Yuriy Dolgorukiy……………Borei………….Northern………..2013

K-550 Alexander Nevskiy…………Borei…………..Pacific……………2013

K-551 Vladimir Monomakh……….Borei…………..Pacific…………..2014 (expected)

 

Included in the list is a fifteenth SSBN, the Vladimir Monomakh, which will be commissioned on December 10th, 2014.

The Delta IV class submarine K-64 is the only one in the Russian ballistic submarine fleet which doesn’t have a name. All other boats in the fleet are named after Russian cities, the Kareliya Peninsula, a saint (Saint George), or medieval Ruthenian/Russian princes.

Of the submarines listed, Orenburg, Ryazan, Yekaterinburg, and K-64 are currently in overhaul and (in the case of Yekaterinburg, which suffered a fire in 2013) repairs, which means they are not currently available for operational service.

Nonetheless, ten SSBNs are still available for duty at any given time – and Russian SSBNs can launch their missiles even when moored dockside.

Collectively, the thirteen SSBNs in service, other than the Dmitry Donskoi, can launch 16 SLBMs each; the Dmitry Donskoi can launch 20 such missiles. A single Russian Bulava SLBM can carry 10 warheads; the R-29RMU2 Liner missile can carry 12 warheads.

Assuming that all Russian SSBNs carry the Bulava, and not the Liner, the 13 non-Typhoon-class submarines could collectively launch 208 missiles, and with ten warheads per each missile, deliver 2,080 warheads to the CONUS. The Typhoon class boat, for its part, capable of launching 20 missiles, can deliver 200 additional warheads to the US.

Thus, assuming that all Russian SSBNs are armed with Bulava missiles, they can collectively deliver 2,280 warheads to the CONUS.

Even excluding those submarines that currently aren’t in operational service doesn’t reduce the Russian nuclear threat significantly. The 9 remaining Delta class submarines can collectively launch 144 missiles, and with 10 warheads sitting atop each missile, deliver 1,440 warheads to the CONUS – with the Typhoon-class boat delivering another 200.

So even with four submarines currently dockside in overhaul or repairs, the remaining submarines can still deliver 1,640 warheads to the Continental US if each submarine is armed with Bulava missiles – and even more if each submarine is armed with Liner missiles.

It is not clear how many warheads are actually currently deployed on Russian ballistic missile submarines – the New START “data” Russia gives the US State Department contains woefully understated figures and therefore is not credible. Russia undoubtely deploys many, many more warheads on its submarines than it acknowledges in New START “data exchanges.” Given that Russia has a long, proven history of violating arms limitation treaties, including most recently the INF treaty, no one should be surprised. In fact, had Russia’s most recent violations been disclosed before New START was ratified in December 2010, in the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress (the most liberal Congress in US history), the treaty would’ve never been passed.

Note that the Russian Navy has ordered over 100 Bulava and over 100 Liner SLBMs. This will be enough to fully equip each ballistic missile submarine of the Russian Navy and thus to replace the Sinyeva.

Finally, one must note that while the Russian Navy’s SSBNs conducted almost no patrols in the late 1990s and few in the 2000s, the situation is now different; these submarines go on patrol often, flush with funding from the government, primarily from oil and gas revenue.

3) Strategic Bomber Fleet (Dalnaya Aviatsiya – Long-Range Aviation)

This fleet consists of three aircraft types. The oldest is the Tu-95 Bear turboprop. While the oldest models were commissioned in 1956, the ones serving today were built later. Each can carry 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and a freefall nuclear bomb. It was a Tu-95 bomb which, in 1961, detonated the Tsar Bomb – the most powerful nuclear warhead in history, with the explosive power of 50 megatons. Currently, the Russian Air Force operates 64 such aircraft which collectively can deliver 702 nuclear warheads right to the Continental US.

They are supplemented by 171 Tu-22M Backfire-C and 16 Tu-160 bomber. While the Tu-22M is often called a theater or continental bomber and was not included in START treaties as a strategic delivery system, it should have been, because its combat radius of 2,400 kms can be dramatically increased with in-flight refueling. That gives it capability to reach the CONUS from Russian bases in the Far East (such as Ukrainka AFB) if refueled in the air (which Russian Air Force does for its aircraft anyway when practicing nuclear strikes on the US, as Russia has repeatedly done in the last few years).

A single Tu-22M can carry 10 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, including 4 on its wings and 6 in its internal weapons bay on a rotary launcher.

The Tu-160 bomber was commissioned in 1987 and can carry the most cruise missiles of any Russian bomber: 12. Thus, a fleet of just 16 Tu-160s can carry 184 nuclear-armed cruise missiles – and deliver them right to the CONUS. Russia is now building up its Tu-160 fleet with stockpiled components.

As for the Tu-95 fleet, it is estimated to be able to deliver between 384 and 702 nuclear weapons to the CONUS.

702 + 184 + 1710 = 2596. This is the number of nuclear warheads that the Russian bomber fleet could potentially deliver to the CONUS (with air refueling for the Tu-22Ms; however, the Russian Air Force does not have nearly enough tankers to provide aerial refueling for 171 Tu-22Ms; barely a few dozen could actually receive air refueling on their way to the US, relegating the Tu-22M to the role of a continental/theater bomber).

Even excluding the Tu-22M fleet, however, the Russian long-range bomber fleet can still deliver 886 nuclear warheads to the CONUS.

Russia’s next-generation bomber, the PAK DA (Prospektivnoy Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Dalnoy Aviatsii – Prospective Aircraft Complex of Long-range Aviation), is under development.

4) Tactical nuclear weapons and their carriers

Russia possesses thousands of tactical nuclear weapons. Just how many exactly it has is unclear. What is known is that they number in the thousands. A very conservative estimate by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris puts the number at 2,000 tactical warheads deployed. Even the anti-nuclear, anti-American Ploughshares Fund estimates Russia’s total nuclear arsenal (strategic and tactical) at 8,000 warheads, the largest in the world (slightly larger than America’s, which consists of 7,300 warheads).

However, the exact number of tactical nuclear weapons Russia has remains unknown, due to the fact that Russia refuses to disclose this number, and the Obama administration is assisting in Russia’s nuclear opacity.

Russian tactical nuclear weapons can be carried by a wide range of delivery systems, including:

  • Artillery pieces;
  • Su-24, Su-25, Su-27/30/33/35 Flanker, and Su-34 Fullback tactical strike aircraft;
  • Tu-22M continental bombers;
  • Surface ships (in the form of nuclear depth charges and nuclear torpedoes);
  • Submarines (in the form of nuclear depth charges, torpedoes, and cruise missiles, including the recently-deployed Kalibr missile – Russia’s 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines carry such weapons today, as do Russia’s 8 cruise missile submarines);
  • Short-range missiles such as earlier Iskander (SS-26 Stone) variants; and
  • Russia’s new, illegal, intermediate-range cruise and ballistic missiles such as the Iskander-M, Iskander-K, and R-500. Some of Russia’s Iskander missiles are reportedly deployed in the Kaliningradskaya Oblast north of Poland, from which they can threaten any target within a 500 km radius.

Russia has developed, tested, and deployed these missiles in blatant violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits Moscow and Washington from even testing, let alone deploying, any ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 kilometers, or even testing any ground-launched missiles inside that range. Therefore, the 2013 test of the Rubezh ICBM at a range of 2,000 km – i.e. within INF Treaty range – was also a clear violation of the treaty.

Although Russia’s blatant violations of the treaty have been known to the Obama administration since at least 2010, the administration nonetheless withheld that information from the Senate so as to win ratification of the one-sided New START treaty, which obligated only the US (not Russia) to cut its nuclear arsenal, while allowing Russia to build up its arsenal – which it has been doing ever since New START’s ratification.

While the US held a significant nuclear arsenal advantage over Russia at the time the treaty was signed, this is no longer true. The US now barely enjoys parity with Russia in strategic nuclear weapons.

Returning to the subject of tactical nuclear arms, these – except those carried by submarines, surface ships, and Tu-22M bombers – cannot be delivered to the US, but can be used against America’s allies in Europe and Asia. Russia has threatened to do so on numerous occassions, which is why US allies in Europe, particularly Poland and the Baltic states, have repeatedly stressed the need for the US nuclear umbrella and for the continued deployment of American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Russia has always steadfastly refused to discuss any limits on its tactical nuclear weapons, knowing that it is absolutely not in its interest to throw away the significant advantage it has over the West in this field. Russia’s leaders, unlike those of the West, are not foolish enough to do so, and will not disarm Russia unilaterally – unlike the West’s leaders.

Finally, it should be noted that the Su-34 Fullback strike aircraft, like Tu-95 and Tu-160 intercontinental bombers, can launch the Kh-55 and Kh-102 nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which have a range between 2,500 and 3,000 kms.

Conclusions

Russia has regained nuclear parity with the US in all categories of strategic nuclear weapons, and holds a huge lead over the US and its allies in tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.

Not only is this a huge threat in and of itself, but Russia has proven itself to be quite aggressive – and quite willing to use its nuclear weapons if it senses weakness on the West’s part. It reserves the right, in its nuclear doctrine, to use atomic weapons first even if the enemy doesn’t have nuclear weapons; it has threatened to use them against the US and its allies on at least 15 separate occassions since 2007; and its bombers have repeatedly practices nuclear strikes on the US and European nations (including neutral ones such as Sweden and Finland) since 2012.

Russia has made it clear it considers the US and NATO as enemies against whom its nuclear weapons are intended. In June 2012, after conducting simulated nuclear strikes on the US, the Russian Air Force was asked what it was doing in the Northwest, and replied it was “practicing attacking the enemy.” This September, while NATO leaders were gathered in Wales, Russian nuclear-armed bombers were again simulating strikes against the US – then practiced similar attacks against Britain.

Thus, Russia constitutes by far the gravest threat to US, allied, and world security, by virtue of its nuclear arsenal alone. Countering that threat should be, and appears to be emerging as, the DOD’s #1 priority. Comprehensive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal is the only way the Russian nuclear threat can be staved off and for decades to come.

 

Posted in Nuclear deterrence, Obama administration follies, Threat environment | Leave a Comment »

Yet MORE bad news for threat deniers: North Korea CAN miniaturize nuke warheads

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 27, 2014


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Nuclear warheads have to be miniaturized before they can be placed on top of a ballistic or cruise missile. Those who seek the unilateral disarmament of the US have long claimed North Korea has not mastered that and lacks the technology to do so.

But they’re dead wrong. North Korea mastered that process and the requisite technology years ago. And now, the commander of all US troops on the Korean Peninsula (i.e. the man responsible for holding North Korea at bay), has acknowledged that it’s likely the North Koreans have that technology:

“Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile.

Such nuclear warheads would be small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and would be a major improvement to Pyongyang’s weapons technology. Gen. Scaparrotti said he believes North Korea also has developed a launcher that could carry an intercontinental ballistic missile with a miniaturized warhead.

He also said dictator Kim Jong Un “is clearly in control of the country,” despite recent rumors that his grip on the nation has slipped. (…)

If North Korea has a launcher as well as a functioning, long-range missile and a miniaturized nuclear warhead, the combined components would significantly increase its capabilities.

Intelligence assessments of North Korea’s capabilities have fluctuated recently, but Gen. Scaparrotti is seen as a voice of authority when it comes to matters involving security in the Asian region.

North Korea has struggled for years in its attempts to develop nuclear warheads and long-range missiles, as well as with the steep technical challenges of combining warhead and missile technology. But Gen. Scaparrotti said it is likely that Pyongyang now has the capability.

“I believe they have the capability to have miniaturized the device at this point, and they have the technology to potentially actually deliver what they say they have,” he said.

Gen. Scaparrotti said North Korea may have gained know-how on warhead-miniaturization technology through its relationships with Iran and Pakistan.

The mention of Iran and Pakistan is significant. Pakistan has already demonstrated the technology and the know-how to miniaturize a warhead and put it atop of a missile, and Iran is now working to master both. This means North Korea will likely transfer the miniaturization technology and know-how to Iran – which will only increase the Iranian nuclear threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, the time for denying and downplaying the North Korean (and Iranian) threat has passed. It’s now time to COUNTER these threats – BEFORE it’s too late. Starting with the wholesale modernization of the entire US nuclear arsenal, cessation of any cuts to it, and the reaffirmation of the guarantee to use it in defense of any treaty ally of the US – including South Korea.

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What does it matter if Russia has more warheads?

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 23, 2014


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There is a widespread belief among many people – fostered by leftist organizations seeking America’s unilateral disarmament – that even a small number of nuclear warheads is sufficient for nuclear deterrence, so it doesn’t matter – according to that theory – if Russia will have more nuclear weapons than the US does. According to that view, America can therefore – allegedly – afford to cut its nuclear arsenal unilaterally and deeply and still be secure.

Nothing could be further from the truth. That belief is utterly wrong.

It matters a huge deal how many nuclear weapons the US has vis-a-vis potential adversaries.

For effective deterrence, it isn’t enough to have some nuclear weapons; you must have more than any potential adversary. Deterrence works only if the adversary knows that in response to his attacks you would be willing and able to launch a devastating retaliation that would destroy him.

For that to be possible, you must have at least – repeat, AT LEAST – enough nuclear warheads and delivery systems to survive an enemy first strike and then deliver a devastating retaliation whose consequences for the enemy would be too frightening to even contemplate.

In other words, you must have enough nuclear warheads – and enough delivery systems – to ensure that a large number of them will survive the enemy’s devastating first strike (a preemptive one) and be available to retaliate against the enemy.

For that to be possible, you must have a VERY LARGE nuclear arsenal. A small one will be woefully inadequate – it would be easily destroyed in a first strike by the enemy.

Russia currently possesses 8,000 nuclear warheads, including around 4,500 of them deployed. Of these deployed warheads, 1,643 are strategic. But that isn’t all: Russia’s triad of intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines, and intercontinental bombers could deliver two times that amount of warheads. The Russian ICBM fleet alone could deliver over 1,200 warheads to the CONUS; the bomber fleet, 700 warheads; the ballistic missile submarine fleet, at least 1,400.

And as Russia replaces its 4-warhead R-29RMU Sinyeva submarine-launched missiles with newer, 10-warhead Bulava and 12-warhead Liner missiles, the number of warheads carried by its submarine fleet will increase even further.

Russia currently has 12 ballistic missile submarines that can carry 16 missiles each, and one submarine capable of carrying 20 missiles. 10 of those submarines are in service at any given time. That equals 164 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Assuming every one of these 164 missiles were a Bulava (RSM-56/SS-NX-30) armed with 10 warheads, that would enable the Russian Navy’s ballistic missile submarines to deliver 1,640 warheads.

Asssuming every one of those 164 missiles were a Liner, however, the Russian Navy’s ballistic missile submarine fleet could deliver 1,968 warheads to the CONUS. Almost 2,000 warheads – delivered by Russia’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles alone.

Remember: in order to effectively deter Russia from perpetrating aggression, the US nuclear arsenal has to be LARGE ENOUGH to withstand any Russian (or Chinese) first strike and then still have enough nuclear warheads, deployed on a sufficiently large number of delivery vehicles, to unleash a devastating retaliation on Russia – meaning, striking ALL of Russia’s thousands of military and economic assets.

That cannot be done with a small arsenal of just a few hundred warheads – they would be easily destroyed by Russian nuclear warheads attacking the US, and America’s noisy ballistic missile submarines would be easily found by the Russian Navy. Moreover, a few hundred warheads – even if they survived at all, which they wouldn’t – would be woefully inadequate to destroy Russia’s thousands of military, economic, and geostrategic assets.

A small number of warheads and delivery systems could – due to its small size – be easily destroyed by any aggressor, thus enabling a state like Russia or China to nuke each target several times to make sure it’s been destroyed.

Thus, a small nuclear arsenal would be utterly inadequate for America’s deterrence needs – let alone the need to protect all allies of the US who rely on the US nuclear umbrella for their national security and their very survival.

Hence, the US must NOT reduce its nuclear arsenal any further.

Posted in Ideologies, Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

73% of Americans Oppose Defense Spending Cuts

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 19, 2014


While browsing the RasmussenReports website, I have discovered this August 19th poll on the subject of US military spending. The results are illuminating.

43% of all Americans believe the US does not spend enough on defense, and another 30% believe the US spends the right amount. Only 23% say the US spends too much and should cut its military expenditures.

This means 73% of Americans believe the US either spends the right amount or too little on defense.

In other words, 73% of Americans – nearly three fourths of the electorate – OPPOSE defense spending cuts.

Once again, the blatant lies of the advocates of defense cuts have been disproven.

Link to the poll.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

How missile defense opponents contradict – and thus utterly discredit – themselves

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 18, 2014


Pro-Russian, anti-American, anti-military advocacy groups such as the Arms Control Association and the Center for a Livable World have opposed America’s development and deployment of missile defenses for a long time. To justify their opposition, they have made up a number of blatant – and contradictory – lies. Following their claims to their logical conclusion reveals these claims to be completely contradictory and thus false.

Specifically, missile defense opponents:

1) Claim that North Korea and Iran are so primitive that they cannot miniaturize a nuclear warhead, let alone mate it with a ballistic or cruise missile. But in the next breath, they claim North Korea and Iran can develop decoys that can fool US missile defense systems.

Such decoys would have to be 100% identical to real warheads in terms of size, shape, flight profile, and other characteristics. In order to be a credible fake that could credibly pretend to be the real thing, a decoy would have to look and fly EXACTLY like the real thing. Primitive decoys such as chaff and balloons would not fool anyone or anything – they would easily be seen on radar screens as fakes.

2) Claim that all US missile defense tests are rigged (without presenting any evidence whatsoever to support that claim). But if they are rigged, why have some of them (including almost half of all Ground-Based Missile Defense System tests) failed? DOD personnel are not stupid – and certainly not so stupid as to fail 50% of tests they have supposedly “rigged.” If the DOD were to rig all of its missile defense tests, all of them would’ve succeeded – and the Pentagon would’ve then claimed “Look, all of our tests have succeeded, so that proves our BMD systems work!”

Some missile defense opponents have therefore changed their tactic by adopting a lie that is no less contradictory: that missile defense tests that succeed are “rigged”, while unsuccessful tests are “proof” that missile defense doesn’t work.

So, in the warped world of missile defense opponents, whenever a missile defense test succeeds, it’s surely been rigged, but if it fails, it wasn’t rigged and “proves” that “missile defense doesn’t work.”

3) Claim that America’s further development and deployment of missile defense systems will force Russia and China to build up their nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals.

But in the next breath, they claim US missile defense systems don’t work, can never work, are unproven (see claim #2), and can be easily fooled by primitive decoys (see claim #1).

That essentially amounts to claiming that Russia and China are so stupid they’ll build up their nuclear arsenals over a fictitious threat posed by missile defense systems that supposedly don’t work.

Some missile defense opponents claim explicitly that the mere prospect of any US missile defenses – even ones that don’t work – will drive Russia and China to build up their arsenals.

In essence, they’re claiming the Russians and the Chinese are so stupid they will expend their national resources to counter a nonexistent threat.

Such are the illogical, nonsensical, ridiculous, and plainly false claims of missile defense opponents. In their drive to disarm the US unilaterally – while not opposing Moscow’s and Beijing’s development of missile defenses – they are willing to make up any lies – even the most illogical and self-contradictory ones.

Posted in Missile Defense | Leave a Comment »

Even MORE bad and embarrassing news for anti-nuclear activists

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 14, 2014


The advocates of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament never cease to trot out the blatant lie that the US nuclear arsenal, and in particular, American tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe to deter Russia, are an unneeded “anachronism.” They make up all sorts of lies to mislead the public into accepting their scrapping.

The Obama administration – infested with advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament – apparently agrees. It has authorized anti-nuclear hacks at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) to conduct “unofficial” talks with the Russians on possible cuts in, or even the possible withdrawal of, US tactical nuclear weapons from Europe – a long-held goal of American anti-nuclear activists and their Kremlin puppet masters.

The talks are being led for the CSIS by Sharon Squassoni, a longtime anti-nuclear activist and advocate of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament. A few years ago, Squassoni participated in a Ploughshares propaganda “study” that called for the removal of all US tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.

Squassoni is the ignorant, anti-American-nuclear-weapons hack who, in June 2008, wrote this:

“North Korea’s commitment to dismantle its nuclear programme proves that George Bush’s hardline approach was a failure

When the Yongbyon cooling tower collapses on Friday in a cloud of dust, it will signal a level of commitment by the North Koreans to dismantling their nuclear weapons programme not previously seen.”

Just several months later, in April 2009, the North Koreans detonated a nuclear weapon, thus proving that their “commitment” to dismantling their nuclear weapons programme was a total farce – and that Squassoni is an utterly ignorant hack who doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about.

But just a few days ago, the Russians again did something that completely disproves the myths being trotted out by Western anti-nuclear activists, thus embarrassing them: Moscow has begun deploying nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and supersonic Tu-22M bombers in the Crimea, a part of Ukrainian territory invaded and annexed by Russia earlier this year. This will bring Russian nuclear weapons closer to Western Europe than at any point since the end of the first Cold War (excluding the Kaliningradskaya Oblast).

That’s right: having illegally invaded, occupied, and annexed the Crimea in blatant violation of international law and the Budapest Memorandum, the Russians will now greatly profit from their aggression against Ukraine by deploying nuclear weapons capable of reaching all of Europe on that peninsula.

This means the nuclear threat to Europe and the US will only grow significantly.

This proves that the need for a large US nuclear deterrent – and for American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe – far from being gone, is actually greater than ever.

Nothing else will suffice.

And it’s not just me who underlines the primordial importance of nuclear weapons for America’s national security and survival: it’s the commander of the US Strategic Command, the US Air Force, and the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer who have recently stressed that importance. That, once again, utterly disproves anti-American-nuclear-weapons activists’ claims that America’s nuclear weapons is “a Cold War anachronism.”

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-deploying-tactical-nuclear-arms-in-crimea/

Posted in Ideologies, Nuclear deterrence, Obama administration follies | Leave a Comment »

Under SECDEF Frank Kendall confirms I was right

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 13, 2014


The US Air Force, the Commander of the US Strategic Command, and the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer have recently confirmed what I’ve been saying for a long time: that nuclear deterrence is of primordial, supreme importance to America’s security in today’s world. Here’s the story from the Air Force’s official website:

Nuclear deterrence operations and long-range strike capabilities continue to be essential to the United States’ national defense strategy in the 21st century by providing security and stability for the U.S. and its allies in a highly complex and fluid global environment.

“The United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent is foundational to U.S. national security and the security of our allies and partners,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. “These test launches, and the valuable lessons we learn from each, ensure USSTRATCOM’s strategic forces remain relevant and ready, 24/7, providing flexible and credible options for the President and the Department of Defense.”

With multiple nations either currently in possession of nuclear weapons or believed to be attempting to develop them, maintaining a safe, secure and effective deterrent capability is crucial.

“[The nuclear mission] is our most important mission, period, simply because of the sheer destructive power that’s involved and because of the criticality of it to our national security,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, speaking on behalf of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference, Sept. 17.

“This is the very foundation of U.S. national security,” Kendall said. “No capability we maintain is more important than our nuclear deterrent.”

There you have it, folks. It isn’t just me who underlines the primordial importance of nuclear weapons to America’s security: it’s also the Pentagon’s highest leaders.

http://www.afgsc.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?id=123426299

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

Comment mettre le budget de l’Etat français en equilibre

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 6, 2014


Le deficit budgetaire de l’Etat français a atteint 4,4% du PIB cette année et restera au-dela de 4% du PIB (a 4,3%, exactement) en 2014. Le gouvernement en titre est completement incapable de réduire ce deficit; ses projections de réduction sous le seuil de 3% du PIB restent sur des paries d’une croissance economique forte.

C’est pas credible. Il faut agir plus vite, il faut faire plus, afin de mettre le budget de l’Etat français en equilibre. Specifiquement, il faut:

  • Mettre en oeuvre toutes les propositions de François Fillon dans cette matière (un allongement des cotisations et du temps de travail, une hausse de l’âge legal de retrait, etc.). (110 Mds d’Euros d’économies sur 5 ans, soit 22 Mds d’Euros par an) Il faut aller même plus loin et allonger le temps de travail des fonctionnaires a 45 heures.
  • Réduire par 50% le nombre des fonctionnaires d’ici 2020. (François Fillon propose de réduire le nombre des fonctionnaires par 600 000 en cinq ans.)
  • Réduire fortement le nombre des deputés et des sénateurs.
  • Supprimer les subventions de l’Etat au STIF et a la Préfecture de Police de Paris (1 Md d’Euros d’économies par an).
  • Réduire progressivement les versements de l’Etat aux collectivites territoriales (qui seront a 53,2 Mds d’Euros en 2015 et 45,9 Mds d’Euros en 2017) et aux DOM-TOM.
  • Faire financer le système des retraites de la SNCF par la SNCF elle-même, sans aucune subvention de l’Etat (30 Mds d’Euros d’économies par an).
  • Supprimer toutes les subventions aux enterprises publiques sauf une situation desastreuse; privatiser la SNCF, le RFF, France Televisions, et La Poste. Faire la SNCF et Air France s’appreter pour la concurrence contre les compagnies aériennes low-cost.
  • Supprimer le ministère de Ville, le ministère des Femmes, le ministère de l’ecologie (6,7 Mds d’Euros d’économies par an), et le ministère du Travail et de l’Emploi (11,1 Mds d’Euros par an).
  • Supprimer l’aide publique de la France aux pays pauvres (2,8 Mds d’Euros d’économies par an).
  • Supprimer toutes les subventions a l’audiovisuel (3,7 Mds d’Euros d’économies par an).
  • Supprimer toutes les paiements de la Securité Sociale pour les IVG (abortions).
  • Lutter sans pardon contre l’assistanat et la fraude dans la securite sociale et l’aide aux individus pauvres, ce qui coute l’Etat 25 Mds d’Euros par an.
  • Fermer les ambassades et consulats français dans les pays peu importants.
  • Limiter la circulation de tous les trains interregionaux, dont les TGV et Intercités,  exclusivement aux lignes rentables, et fermer toutes lignes ferroviaires non rentables. La SNCF doit aussi “la SNCF doit optimiser l’utilisation du parc de rames, faire des gains de productivité et réduire les coûts d’exploitation”. (http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2014/10/17/20005-20141017ARTFIG00424-la-cour-des-comptes-denonce-la-folie-du-tgv.php; http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2014/07/24/20005-20140724ARTFIG00056-comment-la-sncf-veut-sauver-le-tgv.php; http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2014/10/23/20005-20141023ARTFIG00116-les-recettes-de-la-cour-des-comptes-pour-redonner-un-avenir-au-tgv.php).
  • Mettre en oeuvre toutes les recommandations de la Cour des Comptes concernant les TGV, c’est-a-dire: “Lever les restrictions à la concurrence des modes de transports longues distances routiers (les autocars)pour insérer le TGV dans une offre plus large de mobilité; restreindre le nombre d’arrêts sur les LGV en ne conservant que celles justifiées par un large bassin de population; concentrer les moyens financiers sur l’entretien du réseau; veiller à ce que les futurs ratios d’endettement conduisent à ne pas financer des projets non rentables.” (http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2014/10/23/20005-20141023ARTFIG00116-les-recettes-de-la-cour-des-comptes-pour-redonner-un-avenir-au-tgv.php)
  • Mettre en oeuvre toutes les reformes proposées par Alain Juppé en 1995 et par Serge Grouard en 2014.

Economies totales (identifiees par François Fillon et par moi-même): au moins 77,3 Mds d’Euros par an, soit assez pour eliminer le deficit budgetaire completement, sans compter les économies resultantes de la réduction proposée du nombre des parlementaires, de l’elimination des subventions pour entreprises publiques, de la supprimation du ministère de Ville et celui des Femmes, la rationalisation du reseau diplomatique français, ou encore la supprimation des subventions pour avortements.

Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/visuel/2014/10/01/les-gagnants-et-les-perdants-du-budget-2014_4498480_4355770.html; http://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/2014/10/01/20002-20141001ARTFIG00062-les-propositions-chocs-de-fillon-pour-reduire-la-dette.php

Posted in Economic affairs | Leave a Comment »

 
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