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Analysis: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have?

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 28, 2014


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:






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.


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.


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

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 27, 2014


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


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.

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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.”


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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.


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Bad News for Arms Control Advocates and Russian Threat Deniers

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 2, 2014

The last few weeks have been bad for advocates of arms control and other deniers of the Russian and Chinese military threat. While these people continue to stubbornly claim that nuclear weapons are “useless” against the security threats the US faces, the opposite is true, and more facts that refute their blatant lies are coming to light every week.

The latest New START “compliance” report was released last month. It shows Russia has increased its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal dramatically since March 1st (the date of the previous report), building up from 1,512 to 1,643 deployed strategic warheads – an increase of 131 deployed warheads in just 6 months!

Russia’s declared fleet of deployed strategic delivery systems (intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, bombers) also increased, from 498 to 528 – and even that is a vast understatement that excludes the vast majority of Russia’s SLBMs and bombers. (In the coming weeks, this website will publish a credible report on Russia’s real arsenal of warheads and delivery systems).

Thus, under New START, Russia’s nuclear arsenal has grown significantly rather than shrink – exactly as we, New START opponents, predicted, and exactly as Russian officials promised. Under New START, Russia is permitted to, and is, BUILDING UP rather than cutting its nuclear arsenal.

This means that those of us who opposed New START and other cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent were right ALL ALONG, and those who supported it, including arms controllers and then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton – were WRONG ALL ALONG.

The increase in warheads is probably attributable to the deployment and arming of Russia’s two newest ballistic missile submarines, the Yuri Dolgoruki and Alexander Nevsky, both capable of launching 20 ballistic missiles. And since each Bulava or Liner missile can deliver 10-12 warheads, that means a single Russian submarine can deliver 240 nuclear warheads to the Continental US.

Now why does this matter (other than proving the growing need for a large US nuclear arsenal)?

Because arms control advocates have, for years, been falsely claiming that the US must not withdraw from, or even suspend its participation in, the New START and INF treaties because doing so would allegedly  “free” Russia from constraints on its nuclear arsenal, prod it to stop supposed reductions in its nuclear arsenal, and allow it to grow that arsenal. In other words, arms controllers are blatantly lying that Russia is now reducing its arsenal and that New START withdrawal would allow it to grow that stockpile.

This is completely false. Russia is not cutting ANYTHING. Russia has not reduced its nuclear arsenal by a single warhead, missile, or bomber. Under New START, it is BUILDING UP its arsenal of nuclear warheads and their associated delivery systems.

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia will develop new, “offensive” nuclear and nonnuclear weapons aimed at the US and its NATO allies. (So much for the US nuclear arsenal being supposedly “useless” and an “anachronism.”)

In other news, the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz has just reported that the Chinese military has recently tested a new ICBM – the DF-31B – and increased the number of the DF-31/31A ICBMs it deploys to 40 (which may be even higher). Each DF-31 can carry 3-4 warheads, so this works out to 120 DF-31 missile warheads being aimed at the US (with more to be added soon). Every day, the PLA adds more missiles and warheads to its arsenal.

Also, the Heritage Foundation reported recently that the Israeli Iron Dome system has intercepted 90% of the missiles it has attempted to shoot down, contrary to missile defense critic Ted Postol’s ridiculous claims of a 95% failure rate. Postol makes that ridiculous claim on the grounds that Iron Dome interceptors have not been hitting offensive missiles from Gaza head-on, but rather from the sides or from the rear; that counts as a “failure to intercept” in his fantasyland. In reality, the only thing that counts is intercepting the enemy’s missiles, and it doesn’t matter from what aspect it’s done. In fact, in real warfare, it is PREFERRABLE to strike the enemy from the sides or the rear; head-on attacks usually fail.

The proof of Iron’s Dome success is not just its 90% interception rate, but also the fact that NO Israeli has died in areas protected by this system in 2014 or even 2012. This cannot be attributed just to shelters as Postol as tried to do.

Another piece of bad news for arms controllers seeking to disarm the US is, of course, the fact that the Republican Party is fully on course to win the upcoming House and Senate elections – and it will likely win big. It is poised to gain its largest majority in the House since 1946 and projected by RealClearPolitics to win, on net, 7 Senate seats, giving it a 52-47 majority (with 1 Republican-leaning independent). This will result in Republicans completely stopping the Left’s unilateral disarmament agenda dead in its tracks.

The very first thing the next Congress should do – after publicly reading the Constitution – is to immediately pass the bills proposed by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to suspend US participation in the New START and INF treaties.



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How many nuclear weapons does China have? I’m quoted in Proceedings

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 30, 2014


How many nuclear weapons does China have?

This is currently a subject of dispute between those who attempt to assess the Chinese arsenal’s size soberly and objectively, and those who wish to downplay and deny the Chinese military threat.

Captain David A. Adams, USN, Director of Initiatives at the US Seventh Fleet command, falls into the first camp. Proceedings, the flagship publication of the US Naval Institute and a very respective monthly magazine, has just published an article of his where he cites my estimate of the size of China’s nuclear arsenal, based on the estimates by General Viktor Yesin (Russian Strategic Missile Troops, ret.) [1] and Professor Philip A. Karber, the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist in the Reagan Administration [2].

In November 2012, you might recall, I estimated that:

China has at least 1,129 intercontinental and medium range nuclear delivery systems capable of delivering, collectively, 1,274 warheads. And that’s without counting any of its SRBMs or GLCMs, and optimistically assuming that DF-5 ICBMs can carry only two warheads.

Based on these conservative estimates, Captain Adams castigates AirSea Battle proponents, and others who plan for war with China, for assuming that China would refrain from using nuclear weapons if its mainland were bombed by the US. Based on my estimates, he says China could very well retaliate with nuclear weapons and has the capability to do that on a huge scale:

“That is why it is so important for U.S. nuclear strategy to draw the clearest possible line between any level of aggression and the invocation of nuclear defense of the United States and our allies. Delegitimizing U.S. nuclear deterrence plays right into China’s hands. Allies who lack confidence in U.S. extended deterrence will have no choice but to either bow to Chinese coercive influence or develop their own strategic arsenals. An unintended consequence of Air-Sea Battle is that it actually raises the nuclear threshold by demonstrating our intent to fight a full-scale conventional war with China. This fuels China’s incentive to prepare to win a hybrid war with conventional aspects that remain just below that threshold. It also risks severe miscalculation by undermining the certainty that conventional attacks might escalate into a calamitous nuclear exchange.

Just as the Chinese cannot be sure of our nuclear thresholds, we cannot be sure of theirs. Some analysts are convinced that China will not choose nuclear escalation even in the face of strikes on their homeland, citing the PRC’s long-standing restrained attitude toward the use of nuclear weapons. It would be a mistake, though, to assess China’s policy of restraint in light of anything other than its massive nuclear disadvantage. A closer examination suggests that Beijing’s nuclear policy “resembles mutually assured destruction in every way but name.” 8 Some analysts suggest that the United States is seriously underestimating China’s nuclear capacity. General Viktor Esin, a former commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, and Georgetown University’s Dr. Philip A. Karber estimate that China has more than 1,500 nuclear warheads hidden in a vast network of tunnels. What is certain is that the PRC has fielded “at least 1,129 intercontinental and medium-range nuclear delivery systems capable of delivering, collectively, 1,274 warheads.” 9

To understand the PRC commitment to a second-strike capability one need look no further than the country’s press for a sea-based strategic deterrent in the form of the Jin-class ballistic-missile submarine armed with the JL-2 missile. Deterring the United States is the only plausible explanation for this buildup. General Zhu Chunghu, now dean of the Chinese National Defense University, once admitted, “if the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.” 10 “

Captain Adams does have a point here. Given how large China’s nuclear arsenal is and how fast it is being grown and modernized by the PLA, any direct war between the US and China would be an absolute suicide for both countries and indeed the world.

And that is precisely why nuclear deterrence is needed to deter China and thus to keep the peace in the Pacific – as Captain Adams himself stresses.

But that is also why the US needs to implement the AirSea Battle concept Captain Adams criticizes. The only way to prevent China from attacking the US or its allies is to threaten, and be capable of credibly threatening, a deadly, painful retaliation against the Chinese mainland and to threaten the very existence of the Chinese regime.

Only thus can China be discouraged from attacking any of America’s allies in the Pacific.

Last, but certainly not least, it should be noted that China has added a lot of missiles since my November 2012 estimate:

  • It has deployed a new IRBM, the DF-26C, with a range of over 3,500 kms and thus the capability to reach Guam and beyond.
  • It has begun deploying, and publicly confirmed the existence of, the DF-41 mobile heavy ICBM, which is capable of delivering 10 warheads per missile. StrategyPage estimates that China has deployed “fewer than a dozen” DF-41s so far. That means anywhere from 1 to 11 DF-41s – and since each DF-41 missile can deliver 10 warheads, that means up to 110 additional warheads being targeted against the US.
  • It has replaced its last DF-3 MRBMs with mobile DF-21s.
  • It has increased the number of SRBMs deployed opposite Taiwan.
  • It has certainly increased the number of the DF-31s it deploys, from the 30 then estimated to be in service.

So the number of intercontinental and medium range missiles it deploys, and the number of warheads it can deliver, has increased.

My new estimate is as follows:

Warhead delivery system Inventory Maximum warheads deliverable per system Maximum warhead delivery capacity
DF-5 ICBM 24 At least 6 144
H-6, Q-5, and JH-7 aircraft 440 1 440
DF-31 40 3-4 120
DF-41 11? 10 110?
DF-3* 0-17* 1 0-17*
DF-4 20 3 60
DF-21 100 1 100
JL-1 12 1 12
JL-2 48 4 192
DH-10 nuclear armed LACM ? ? ?
DF-11/15 nuclear armed SRBM 1,600 ? ?
DF-26C 1?  ? 1?
Total 696 Various 1,159

In total, I estimate China to possess at least 696 intercontinental- and intermediate-range delivery systems (missiles and aircraft) capable of delivering at least 1,159 nuclear warheads.

Note, however, that this is a very conservative estimate, one that likely dramatically underestimates the size of China’s missile and nuclear arsenals, for the following reasons:

  • Due to a lack of newer data, it accepts the 2009 DOD estimate of China having 30 DF-31 ICBMs, even though China has, since then, deployed many more of these missiles.
  • It does not take into account any of China’s intermediate-range DH-10 and CJ-10 ground-launched cruise missiles and its 1,600 short-range ballistic missiles, again for a lack of reliable data to base an estimate on.
  • It assumes, very conservatively, that only one DF-26C has been deployed and can carry only one warhead, even though more of these missiles have probably been deployed and may be capable of carrying multiple warheads.
  • Due to a lack of data, it does not take into account any of the air-launched CJ-10 cruise missiles carried by China’s H-6K bombers, assuming that these bombers still only carry a single nuclear warhead.

So as you look at my estimate, bear in mind, Dear Reader, that it is a very conservative estimate, and that China’s deployed and nondeployed nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal is likely to be far larger. Putting together such an estimate is not easy due to China’s absolute nuclear opacity and the scarcity of data in open sources.

Still, the estimate provided herein, based on reliable sources, is still far more credible than those put forward by pro-unilateral-US-disarmament groups such as the Arms Control Association, the FAS, the NRDC, Ploughshares, or the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

In the near future, if and when more data becomes available, this estimate will be updated, and an estimate of the nuclear size of Russia.

UPDATE ON OCT. 2ND, 2014: Estimate updated to include new data on the DF-31 inventory size. Also note that, according to the WFB’s Bill Gertz, China has tested and will soon deploy a new variant of the DF-31 ICBM – the DF-31B. More here.


*The DF-3 is nearing retirement, and may have already been retired, from Chinese inventory.


[1] http://www.scribd.com/doc/98667133/YESIN-China-s-Nuclear-Potential

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ByWFC7loM

[3] http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-conducts-flight-test-of-new-mobile-icbm/

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Rebuttal of NYT’s and arms control advocates’ lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 26, 2014


The advocates of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament are at it again. They’ve launched yet another attack on the US nuclear arsenal – the only thing that is deterring Russia, China, and North Korea from attacking the US with nuclear weapons.

But fear not, Dear Reader. The pro-disarmament-crowd’s latest media attack on the US nuke deterrent is yet another litany of blatant lies that don’t even pass the laugh test. They are the same old tired lies that the treasonous pro-disarmament crowd has been peddling for many years. Evidently, like their intellectual godfather, Joseph Goebbels, they believe that repeating a lie a hundred times makes it true.

But it doesn’t.

The New York Times ran a story this week about the Defense Department’s nuclear arsenal modernization plan. America’s current ballistic missile submarines, nuclear-capable bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and associated nuclear warheads – built during the 1970s and 1980s – are aging out and will need to be replaced soon.

Not wanting to miss an opportunity to disarm America unilaterally, the anti-nuclear Left – led by the NYT and pro-unilateral-disarmament groups – is conducting a propaganda campaign falsely claiming that the modernization/replacement effort will cost $1 trillion, that nuclear weapons are supposedly useless, that this conflicts with Barack Obama’s pledge to seek a “world without nuclear weapons”, etc.

Needless to say, all of their claims are blatant lies.

The Cost Of Nuclear Modernization

Firstly, the $1 trillion figure comes from an anti-nuclear propaganda pamphlet cooked up at the extremely-leftist, anti-nuclear Monterrey Institute for International Studies and was personally rigged by well-known anti-nuclear hacks such as Jeffrey Lewis (who has been proven wrong on many issues, including the range of China’s ballistic missiles and the size of China’s nuclear arsenal).

To say it very politely, Lewis is not an authority on nuclear weapons or defense spending.

Wildly exaggerating the costs of nuclear modernization is an old tactic of unilateral disarmament advocates, dating back decades. It’s nothing new. The anti-nuclear Ploughshares Fund has been caught doing so. It’s no surprise the liberal MIIS is now lying so blatantly as well.

And even if the $1 trillion figure were correct – which it isn’t – it refers to planned spending on nuclear modernization over the span of THREE DECADES. That is, MIIS claims the US will spend $1 trillion over a span of 30 years on nuclear modernization.

Simple math tells us that $1 trillion divided by thirty is around $33 bn per year. That works out to around 5-6% of the DOD’s annual budget (around $600 bn per year).

It is ridiculous to claim that a Department that has an annual budget of around $600 bn – larger than the GDP of most countries in the world – can’t afford to spend a meagre 5-6% of its budget on modernizing and preserving America’s nuclear deterrent.

Therefore, the claims of dinosaur politicians like former Clinton Defense Sec. William Perry and anti-nuclear hacks such as ex-Gen. James Cartwright (Obama’s “favorite general”) that the Obama administration’s modernization plans are “unaffordable” are completely false prima facie.

In fact, over the next 30 years, the DOD is poised to spend $20 trillion on all sorts of military things. $1 trillion is a tiny fraction (5%) out of that figure.

Moreover, if the DOD’s nuclear modernization plans are “unaffordable” (which they are not), the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to develop and procure 2,443 short range fighters is even more so unaffordable, with a price tag of $400 bn to develop and procure and an additional $1 trillion to operate over 50 years! $1.4 trillion for a fleet of far less capable systems!

Compared to this, nuclear weapons are cheap.

Anti-nuclear hacks such as those on the “National Defense Panel” also falsely claim that also falsely claim that nuclear modernization spending will siphon lots of money from America’s conventional forces.

But that is also a blatant lie. As stated above, nuclear modernization will cost only 5% of the DOD budget over the next 30 years.

Moreover, nuclear modernization programs aren’t the costliest ones in the DOD’s budget plans. Not even close. A recently released “Weapon Systems Factbook” by the CSBA documents this.

CSBA’s “Factbook” says the DOD will need to invest $73 bn to develop and build 100 stealthy bombers and $90 bn to build replacements for America’s current, obsolete, noisy, and ageing ballistic missile subs (SSBNs). (The bomber program will, in fact, cost only $55 bn, not the $73 bn that the CSBA claims.)

That’s $163 bn in total, per the CSBA “Factbook.”

By far the most expensive weapon program in the DOD’s current plans, and indeed in US history, is the conventional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, aiming to develop an aircraft that can do everything from air superiority to close air support, but which in reality will produce an aircraft mediocre at every task.

This program will in fact develop and procure a fleet of partially stealthy, short-ranged, slow, sluggish, unmaneuverable, underpowered, poorly armed, useless “strike fighters” designed for strikes against massive Soviet tank armies in Germany – a threat that no longer exists. It is now intended by the USAF to fight enemy aircraft and go into airspace protected by modern SAM systems – missions it is utterly incapable of performing.

The F-35 is also short-ranged, with a combat radius of about 1,800-1,900 kms at most, meaning that, like other US fighters, it would need to use bases close to potential adversary countries – bases that are well within the range of enemy medium range ballistic and cruise missiles. As Congressmen Randy Forbes and Chris Stewart explain here, cutting spending on bombers to protect short-range fighters would be a grave mistake.

Per CSBA’s Factbook, the F-35 has already cost taxpayers $100 bn and will cost another $251.3 bn in the coming years to complete the program.

That is $88.3 bn more than the cost of the long-range strike bomber and new ballistic missile submarine programs COMBINED! And that is using the CSBA’s grossly exaggerated estimate of the bomber program’s cost!

In other words, if the DOD cancelled the useless F-35 Junk Strike Fighter, it could pay the entire cost of both the new bomber and the new ballistic missile sub programs COMBINED and still make a saving of $88.3 bn!

“Oh, but other dastardly nuclear weapon programs will siphon more money”, anti-nuclear propagandists will claim.

No, they won’t. The other nuclear weapon programs the DOD has in store, the Trident II missile and the B61 nuclear bomb toolkit, will cost $5.6 bn and $1.2 bn, respectively, a total of $6.8 bn. Paying for them from savings generated by F-35 cancellation would still leave the DOD with a saving of $81.7 bn!

In fact, if the DOD simply cancelled the F-35 program, it could pay for upgrading F-15s and F-16s, prolonging their service lives by decades, building all the planned 100 stealthy long range bombers and 12 replacements for Ohio class submarines, for the Trident missile, for B61 modernization, for the KC-46 tanker, the V-22 Osprey, the Virginia class of attack submarines, and dozens of other weapon programs – and still have healthy savings left.

(Speaking of the V-22 Osprey, can’t the CH-46 do the job? Some naval aviators, such as Jack McCain, believe it can.)

So contrary to anti-nuke propagandists’ claims, no, the Long Range Strike Bomber and the Ohio class replacement will NOT crush conventional weapon programs. The F-35 Junk Strike Fighter will.

The proverbial elephant in the room is the F-35.

Furthermore, the DOD owns real estate collectively worth $800 billion, but doesn’t really need a good part of it and doesn’t even know what to do with a large chuck of that real estate. Selling only a quarter of it would raise $200 bn – more than enough to pay for the bomber, ballistic missile submarine, and warhead programs combined. Selling half of DOD’s real estate would raise $400 bn – the equivalent of the F-35 program’s cost. (Source: http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2014/09/14/the_pentagons_800_billion_real_estate_problem_107438.html)

Moreover, the Long Range Strike Bomber will be as much a conventional weapon platform as a nuclear one. It is needed for both conventional and (if need be) nuclear strike. It is needed because America’s potential foes (Russia, China, Syria, Venezuela, and even Iran and North Korea) possess such sophisticated air defense systems (especially the first three countries) that America’s nonstealthy bombers (B-52s and B-1s) can’t go into their airspace, and B-2’s stealth technology is 1980s vintage. Moreover, the USAF has only 20 B-2s – way too little for any effective campaign against even a mid-sized adversary.

Unsurprisingly, the National Defense Panel, which the NY Slimes quotes so approvingly, strongly supports the Long Range Strike Bomber (p. 45):

“Whether the aircraft is designed to be manned, unmanned, or “optionally manned,” the need to bring such an aircraft into service by the mid-2020s, when modern air defenses will put the B-2 bomber increasingly at risk, is compelling. We are concerned that continued budget cuts and the resulting programmatic instability would jeopardize this critical investment.”

The need for the LRSB has been irrefutably proven time and again.

The Need For Nuclear Modernization

Anti-nuclear hacks such as the CLW’s Kingston Reif – who has been proven wrong on every issue he’s written about – protest, however, that nuclear weapons are “useless” for countering any threats to US national security, so it doesn’t matter if they cost little. In a recent screed published by DefenseOne, Reif and his fellow CLW hack Angela Canterbury falsely claim:

“But the most explosive (literally) power tool has neither prevented nor will be useful in addressing any of today’s international security issues: nuclear weapons. The current U.S. arsenal of approximately 4,800 nuclear warheads is a Cold War anachronism. (…) The current modernization plan is geared towards building nuclear weapons that we don’t need and can’t afford. It’s time for Congress to insist on a new approach.”


They also falsely call the new National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund “a nuclear submarine slush fund”.

In another screed for DefenseOne, Rep. Mike Quigley, a liberal Democrat from Illinois, falsely claimed that:

“not every element of NATO’s power is useful in combating the Russian threat to European security. NATO’s nuclear weapons strategy in Europe is no longer relevant… (…) The nuclear weapons we deployed for the Cold War, which ended two decades ago, are simply not the same weapons we need for the “hot” war threat that our eastern NATO allies, and Ukraine, face today.”

But they are dead wrong, because nuclear weapons are of paramount importance to countering threats to America’s security. The gravest of these threats are the nuclear arsenals of Russia, China, and North Korea and Iran’s ambition to develop its own atomic weapons.

ONLY nuclear weapons can protect the US and its allies from these grave threats.

The nation’s second most senior military officer, Adm. James Winnefeld, understands this, which is why he said earlier this year at the Atlantic Council:

“If we consider that at the top of our list of national security interests is probably the survival of our nation, then at the top of the list of threats to that interest is a massive nuclear attack from Russia.”

Indeed, the Russian nuclear threat is the gravest of all. Russia’s nuclear arsenal is huge, numbering anywhere between 6,800 (per the FAS) and 8,000 (per the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) nuclear weapons, deployed and nondeployed.

In early September, while NATO leaders were gathered in Wales for a NATO summit, Russian nuclear-armed bombers simulated (for the upteenth time since 2012) a nuclear strike on the US! Shortly thereafter, they tested the air defenses of northern European countries, again carrying deadly nuclear payloadsthen practiced a strike on the US again, but the much-maligned F-22 Raptors intercepted them.

Since 2007, Russia has threatened to aim or use nuclear weapons against the US and its allies at least 15 times, including in recent months!

Russia’s nuclear triad numbers over 400 ICBMs (capable of delivering over 1,600 nukes to the continental US), 13 ballistic missile subs (boomers) capable of delivering over 2,000 warheads to America’s shores, and 251 strategic bombers capable of delivering another 1,400 nuclear warheads to the US. The Tu-95 bomber fleet alone can deliver over 700 warheads.

On top of that, Russia’s attack and cruise missile submarines can deliver further over 1,000 atomic warheads to the US on their cruise missiles.

And as Russia replaces older, single- or low-number-warhead missiles (like the Topol) with newer ones (e.g. Yars, Bulava, and Liner), capable of carrying more warheads, Russia’s nuclear arsenal will only grow.

Moscow has just announced that three more missile regiments will, by this year’s end, swap their single-warhead Topol missiles for 4-warhead Yars ICBMs.

Putin has also stated Russia will grow its atomic arsenal and develop new, “offensive” nuclear weapons.

So Russia’s nuclear arsenal will grow STILL FURTHER, with new, “offensive” nukes aimed against the US and NATO.

Even larger is Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal, estimated at 4,000 warheads and deliverable by a wide range of short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, surface ships, tactical aircraft, artillery pieces, and other systems.

China also has a large nuclear arsenal, estimated at between 1,600 (per General Viktor Yesin) and 3,000 (per Dr Philip Karber, the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist under President Reagan) warheads and the means to deliver many of them. It currently has at least 75 (and likely many more) ICBMs capable of reaching the US, including at least 55 multiple-warhead ICBMs (DF-5s, DF-31s, DF-41s) capable of striking the Continental US.

Moscow and Beijing are also both developing next-generation bombers.

Both Russia and China are rapidly growing, not cutting, their atomic arsenal. In these circumstances, it would be utterly suicidal for the US to cut – or neglect to modernize – its own nuclear deterrent. It would be an invitation of a nuclear first strike by Russia or China.

And that’s before mentioning North Korea, which already has miniaturized nuclear warheads it can mate to missiles, and ICBMs capable of delivering them to the US.

America’s Allies Get It; American Anti-Nuke Activists Don’t

Hardly surprising, then, that America’s European allies – especially those most threatened by Russia – have also once again underlined the importance of NATO’s nuclear deterrent. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated: “The current situation reaffirms the importance of NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy.”

Because America’s nuclear weapons also serve another vitally important function: reassuring them that they are protected by the US, safe from potential aggressors like Russia and China, and therefore don’t need to develop their own nukes.

But they will if the US continues to cut its arsenal. Already 66% of South Koreans want their country to “go nuclear”; Poland’s former President Lech Walesa has said his country should do the same; Saudi Arabia has already ordered nuclear warheads in Pakistan and DF-21 ballistic missiles  in China; and Japan has opened a facility that can produce 3,600 nuclear warheads in a year if Tokyo ever decides to “go nuclear.”

And if America continues to cut its own arsenal, they won’t have any alternative. They cannot afford to bet their security and their very survival on American liberals’ fantasies of “a world without nuclear weapons”. They know that Reif’s and another anti-nuclear hacks’ claims that “nuclear weapons are useless” are patently false.

So if America continues to cut its nuclear arsenal, we will see MORE nuclear arms and MORE nuclear-weapon-wielding states in the world, not fewer. Potential enemies, emboldened by America’s disarmament, will arm themselves. Nervous allies, worried about their security, will also obtain nuclear weapons. 66% of South Koreans also want their country to do so. Japan is ready to do likewise the moment its Prime Minister decides to do so.

Therefore, no matter how much nuclear modernization will cost, it is a national security imperative – and even the anti-nuclear President Obama has realized it.

Forget About The “Nuke-Free World” Fantasy

Critics claim that by pursuing it, he’s violating his pledge to seek “a world without nuclear weapons.”

But he isn’t. There is nothing inconsistent with seeking a long-term goal of such a fantasy world (which will never exist) while modernizing the US nuclear arsenal to maintain it for the foreseeable future.

From the beginning of his first presidential campaign, Obama was saying explicitly that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the US will have to maintain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear arsenal.

And let’s be honest: there will never be a world without nuclear weapons. There is zero chance of such a world existing. More and more countries are developing nuclear weapons or at least considering it and talking openly about it. The world is heading towards MORE nuclear arms and more nuclear weapon possessing states.

Obama’s “nuclear-free world” was always a totally unrealistic, childish fantasy. It should’ve never been pursued.

But when the NYT and anti-nuclear groups like the “Council for a Livable World” and the “Arms Control Association” complain that nuclear modernization plans impede the goal of “nuclear disarmament”, they are not talking about GLOBAL nuclear disarmament.

No, they are talking about their long-held goal of the nuclear disarmament of the United States. That is what they seek and have always sought.

Their goal is not to free the world from nuclear weapons. Their goal is to disarm the US unilaterally and to expose it to Russian and Chinese nuclear attack.

They must be stopped at all costs.

UPDATE: Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (i.e. the Pentagon’s weapons buyer), Frank Kendall, has underlined the primordial importance of the US nuclear deterrent in the strongest words possible:

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


Posted in Media lies, Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

Rebuttal of Obama arms control chief’s blatant lies in support of the CTBT

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 24, 2014

On September 15th, the Obama administration’s arms control chief, Rose Goettemoeller, delivered a speech in Washington DC arguing for America’s ratification of the CTBT. That speech was essentially a litany of blatant lies. Here are just a few, with my rebuttals:

Lie #1: Ratifying the CTBT will make it hard for rogue states, and for any nuclear-weapon-wielding or developing states, to test nuclear weapons because they would then expose themselves to “international condemnation and reprisals.”

Rebuttal: No, it wouldn’t make it any harder for America’s potential foes to test nuclear weapons. Why? Because they (and other rogue states) don’t care one iota about what the rest of the world thinks. They don’t give a damn about international condemnation or “reprisals.” North Korea, Iran, and Russia clearly don’t. North Korea is subject to the most stringent sanctions regime in world history – and yet it continues to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of growing power, undaunted and undeterred by any sanctions and its international isolation. Russia’s economy has been hit hard with multiple rounds of sanctions imposed by the US and the EU – and yet it continues its aggression against Ukraine, its threats to use nuclear weapons against the US and its allies, and is planning new attacks on other neighbors.

And the Obama administration’s cowardly watering down, and now, repeal of sanctions against Iran is proving to all rogue states with nuclear ambitions that you can develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and the US won’t do anything meaningful to stop you.

Lie #2: Ratifying the CTBT will strengthen America’s “moral legitimacy” in dealing with nuclear-weapon-developing rogue states.

Rebuttal: No, it will not. Neither rogue states aiming to acquire nuclear weapons nor the rest of the world care about America’s “moral legitimacy.” Each foreign country in the world pursues what it believes to be in its national interest. Rogue states believe pursuing nuclear weapons is.

Lie #3: Ratifying the CTBT will put the world on a path towards smaller reliance on nuclear weapons, smaller nuclear weapon inventories, and eventual nuclear disarmament.

Rebuttal: “The world” does not rely on nuclear weapons. Individual nuclear weapon states do, to varying degrees. And the idea that America’s ratification of the CTBT will somehow encourage America’s potential foes – Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and the upcominng nuclear Iran – to rely less on nuclear weapons is a fantasy. On the contrary, America’s self-imposition of a ban on testing American nuclear weapons’ reliability will only encourage these foes to develop more (and more powerful) nuclear weapons, as there will be more benefit from doing so (doing more harm to the US).

And the idea that CTBT ratification, and other disarmament measures, on the West’s part can somehow encourage Russia, China, North Korea, and other rogue states to cut and eventually scrap their nuclear arsenals is ludicrous. The West has already cut its nuclear arsenals dramatically (the US by 75% since 1991); Britain and France have already cut down to a monad and a dyad, respectively, and have both ratified the CTBT; and yet, Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan have all GROWN their nuclear arsenals – sharply so in China’s case – and more countries are developing nuclear weapons. Iran and Saudi Arabia are now racing to do so.

No, the planet is not going in the direction of “a world without nuclear weapons.” The world is going in the direction of MORE nuclear weapons and MORE countries wielding them.

Just recently, it’s been announced that Pakistan will develop short-range sea-based nuclear weapons for the first time, while Russia will completely replace all of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons and delivery systems with new ones by 2020.

Goettemoeller’s claims are all blatant lies. Not a single one of them is correct.

But it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Goettemoeller’s goal – and that of all other pro-arms-control liberals – is not to make America safer, but to make it LESS SAFE and expose it to enemy attacks by disarming it unilaterally. THAT is arms controllers’ real goal. Making America ratify the CTBT is a key part of that goal.

They must be stopped at all costs.

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

Rebuttal of the SNP traitors’ lies about Trident and nukes

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on August 26, 2014

On 18 September, Scotland is set to vote on whether or not to become an independent country. The extremely-leftist, socialist SNP government of Scotland promises that if the result is “yes”, it will force the UK government to remove the UK Royal Navy’s four Vanguard class submarines – and the Trident missiles and nuclear warheads onboard – out of the UK. This, the SNP government hopes, will mean the end of the UK’s own national nuclear deterrent.

To justify its treasonous policy, the Scottish National Party and its fellow pro-unilateral-disarmament activists elsewhere in the UK, make the following, utterly false claims:

1) “Nuclear weapons are immoral and reprehensible; it is immoral and repugnant for the UK to own weapons of such indiscriminate and inhumane destructive power.”

2) “Nuclear weapons are too expensive; renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent will cost 100 bn pounds.”

3) “Nuclear weapons siphon money away from conventional capabilities and are designed against Cold War era, not 21st century, threats.”

All of these claims are blatant lies, plain and simple. I will now refute them one by one.


1) No, it is NOT immoral, reprehensible, nor repugnant in any way for the UK to possess a nuclear deterrent against the deadliest threats that exist in the world – the threat of nuclear blackmail or even a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack by a hostile state (be it Russia, North Korea, or Iran) against the UK or its allies.

As a sovereign state AND a force for good in this world, as a country which has bestowed countless good things and blessings of modernity in this world, and as a responsible stakeholder in the international system and a positive contributor to world security, the UK has every moral and legal right to have a nuclear deterrent.

Possessing a highly powerful deterrent – such as nuclear weapons – is the natural, moral, and legal right of a country that wishes to protect its own citizens and its territory. There is nothing immoral about that.

What IS immoral is to demand that the UK surrender such a deterrent – of the ONLY kind of weapons that can protect Britain against the deadliest security threats in the world.

It is immoral and repugnant to demand that the UK give up its mightiest defence against foreign aggression, including nuclear blackmail and potentially nuclear attacks by Russia, North Korea, and potentially Iran.

It is immoral and repugnant to demand that the UK disarm itself while nobody else outside Barack Obama’s America is doing so – not France, not Russia, not China, not Pakistan and India, not Israel, not North Korea. (North Korea is now developing ballistic missile submarines of its own.)

It is therefore the advocates of the UK’s nuclear disarmament who are morally repugnant. They are traitors to the United Kingdom, and they deserve to be executed for their treason. (And if they are convicted of it, I will volunteer to be the executioner.)

Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal by far, at over 8,000 nuclear warheads, and is building it up. It, along with every other nuclear power in the world excluding the UK and the US, is rapidly modernizing its nuclear arsenal.

As for nuclear weapons’ “inhumane and indiscriminate destructive power” – it is not “inhumane.” EVERY weapon ever developed by man was invented for one purpose only: to kill other people and destroy things. Nuclear weapons are not any more “immoral” than other types of weapons.

And weapons (including nuclear ones) are not, in and of themselves, evil or good, moral or immoral. It all depends on who owns them and what are they intended for.

It is perfectly moral for a decent country like the UK, the US, or France to possess nuclear weapons. It is quite another for a murderous jihadist dictatorship like Iran, which has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel, or for a murderous and aggressive regime like Putinist Russia, to possess such weapons – or any weapons, for that matter.


2) Leftist, pro-unilateral disarmament groups in the UK and the US routinely and grossly overstate the cost of nuclear deterrent modernization in order to mislead the public. Their lies need to be exposed for what they are: blatant lies.

In fact, replacing Trident with a flotilla of four new ballistic missile submarines will cost only about 20+25 bn pounds, i.e 75-80% less than the 100 bn quid the SNP falsely claims. Here’s the detailed data:

“A December 2006 Ministry of Defence white paper recommended that the nuclear weapons should be maintained and outlined measures that would do so until the 2040s. It advocated the currently preferred submarine-based system, as it remained the cheapest and most secure deterrence option available.

Costs for this option are estimated at £15–20 billion based on:

  • £0.25 billion to participate in U.S. Trident D5 missile life extension programme.
  • £11–14 billion for a class of four new SSBNs.
  • £2–3 billion for refurbishing warheads.
  • £2–3 billion for infrastructure.[10]

These 2006/7 prices would equate to about £25bn in out-turn price for the successor submarines; the 2011 Initial Gate report confirmed estimates of £2-3bn each for the warheads and infrastructure.[11] These cost estimates exclude theVanguard 5 year life extension and decommissioning, and it is unclear if new Trident missiles will need to be purchased for the life extension programme.”

Here’s the source.


3) As for military utility, that of nuclear weapons is much greater than that of any conventional weapons, no contest.

When it comes to deterring attacks on the UK and its citizens, especially against catastrophic threats such as a nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic missile, or large-scale conventional attack, the ONLY thing that can prevent such attacks in the first place is a British nuclear deterrent. Nothing else will suffice. No other weapons on the planet have the destructive – and thus deterring – power that nuclear weapons do.

By the SNP’s, and other anti-nuke activists’, own admission, no other weapons have the “indiscriminate and inhumane” destructive power that nuclear weapons possess. Thus, no other weapons can deter potential aggressors from attacking Britain and its citizens with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or a large amount of conventional weapons or ballistic missiles.

There is NO alternative to nuclear weapons. NONE.

Why? Because, as even the SNP admits, nuclear weapons have unmatched destructive power – and it is precisely the destructive power of weapons that deters potential aggressors from attacking.

Wannabe aggressors will be deterred from attacking the UK ONLY if they are threatened with an overwhelming, devastating retaliation that would bring about their own end if they attack the UK.

Conventional weapons are way too weak to constitute an effective deterrent against potential aggressors. They completely lack the huge destructive (and thus deterring) power of nuclear weapons.

And protecting the UK and its citizens against large-scale aggression and intimidation should be (and is) the UK Government’s top priority.

The SNP and other anti-nuclear hacks falsely claim that “nuclear weapons will never be used.” We should hope they won’t be – and as long as the UK maintains its own national nuclear deterrent, they will never be.

That’s because nuclear weapons, thanks to their sheer power, DETER potential aggressors from attacking Britain or her allies WITHOUT being used, thus avoiding their actual use. Without firing a single shot or a single missile, Britain thus deters wannabe aggressors from attacking.

And a weapon that PREVENTS war from occuring in the first place – and thus deters aggressors without actually being used – is worth a million times more than a weapon actually used in combat.

It is much better to PREVENT war than to actually fight it.

That is not to say conventional weapons are useless. They are useful and needed for a range of roles and operations, ranging from wars against other states to combat against terrorists. But they cannot ever protect Britain from a large-scale nuclear, chemical, ballistic, or even conventional attack.

Conventional weapons simply lack the sheer destructive power of nuclear weapons to be able to do that.

And the threats I’ve mentioned are far from theoretical. Russia alone possesses over 8,000 nuclear warheads – and the means to deliver them all to the UK, all of Europe, and anywhere in the world. It is still growing its nuclear arsenal and rapidly modernizing it, with scores of new ICBMs and short-range ballistic missiles, a planned fleet of new Borei-class ballistic missile submarines, additional Tu-160 bombers being manufactured, and new bombers and ICBMs under development.

Russia has also developed and tested intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles in violation of the INF Treaty.

Contrary to widespread belief, Russia is growing, not cutting, its nuclear arsenal. The New START treaty, signed by the US and Russia in 2010, obligates only the US, not Russia, to cut its arsenal. Russia is free to grow its own – and is doing so.

Russia is also quite willing to use these weapons against the UK and its allies. It has threatened to use them against European countries (including the UK) and the US on 15 separate occassions since 2007.

It has repeatedly (including recently) flown nuclear-armed bombers within miles of Britain’s shores, forcing RAF fighters to scramble to intercept them.

It has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons first, even against states that don’t have such weapons, and its official military doctrine openly reserves for Russia the right to do so.

North Korea also possesses nuclear weapons, as well as ICBMs capable of delivering them as far as Europe and the Continental US, and is now developing ballistic missile submarines (of the kind that the SNP would deny the UK).

Iran is now also developing nuclear weapons, despite its false claims to the contrary, and so far, the world’s major powers have failed to convince Iran to forego that development. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni kingdom and Iran’s biggest rival in the Islamic world, doesn’t want to be behind Tehran, and so has ordered nuclear weapons in Pakistan and ballistic missiles in China. Nobody else besides Britain is considering disarming themselves. On the contrary, more and more countries are considering ACQUIRING nuclear weapons, because they are the ONLY guarantee of national survival and security.

Contrary to the false claims of the SNP and the rest of the lunatic pro-disarmament crowd, a nuclear attack is not a purely theoretical threat of bygone Cold War days. It is more real and more deadlier a threat than ever. Consequently, the UK’s nuclear deterrent is needed now more than ever.

And the claim that nuclear weapons siphon money away from conventional capabilities is also patently false, given that maintaining the new nuclear deterrent would cost only 1.5 bn GBP per year out of an annual defence budget of almost 40 bn GBP – i.e. less than one tenth (1/10).

As you can see, all claims of the SNP and the rest of the pro-nuclear-disarmament are utterly false. Not a single of them is true. This should pour cold water on the heads of all those who seek to disarm the UK – especially the SNP lunatics who seek to break the United Kingdom apart and thus force the Royal Navy to abandon the nuclear deterrent or move it out of Scotland.

Postscript: Some leftist Scots have recently responded to this article by protesting that whatever the Scottish people decide – whether or not to leave the UK, whether or not to remove Trident from Scotland – it’s their democratic choice and should be respected. I strongly disagree, for two reasons.

Firstly, a majority vote can never make a bad, evil policy wrong. And disarming the UK unilaterally, or helping bring that about, IS evil.

Secondly, this entire “Scottish independence referendum” is the biggest scam perpetrated against the people of Scotland (and people of the entire UK) in recent decades. It has nothing to do with Scotland’s independence, building a better future for Scotland, democracy, or self-determination. All this referendum exercise is REALLY designed to do is to extract more and more concessions for the UK government and to win the SNP more votes, free publicity, and attention. In other words, it will serve no purpose other than the SNP’s and its leader’s self-aggrandizement. In still other words, the most despicable of purposes.

Posted in Ideologies, Nuclear deterrence, Threat environment, Uncategorized, World affairs | Leave a Comment »


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