Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Archive for the ‘Nuclear deterrence’ Category

Rebuttal of Tom Collina’s blatant lies about US nukes

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 20, 2014


nukeexplosion

Last week,the leftist Breaking Defense website published an utterly ridiculous screed by one of the most strident advocates of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, Tom Collina, the “research director” of the Arms Control Association, which advocates disarming the US unilaterally and foregoing the deployment of any missile defense systems. (The ACA is funded by several grant-awarding organizations which also advocate America’s unilateral disarmament.

In his screed, Collina makes a lot of lies, all of which, of course, are designed to smear nuclear weapons and mislead the public into supporting that treasonous goal.

Here’s his biggest lie:

“However, at a time of increasingly tight budgets, the more we spend on excess nuclear weapons the less will be available for what Ukraine and NATO need most: economic aid and conventional military assistance.”

Total garbage. Firstly, America does NOT have “excess nuclear weapons” – if anything, it has too few. Russia has a (slightly) BIGGER nuclear arsenal than the US, totalling 2,800 strategic and up to 5,700 tactical nuclear weapons. In fact, Russia has more nuclear weapons (8,500) than the US, Britain, and France combined (8,200). Sources: the Federation of American Scientists and SIPRI’s 2013 Military Balance.

Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal alone rivals America’s in size, and is complemented by “tactical” nuclear weapons, many of which (the warheads of Russian cruise missiles) can be delivered to the US (because the aircraft and nuclear-powered submarines carrying them can travel intercontinental distances). And these warheads are NOT subject to any arms limitation treaty.

Russia’s ICBM fleet alone can deliver at least 1,684 warheads to the US; Russia’s submarine fleet, another 1,400; and Moscow’s bomber fleet (Tu-95s, Tu-22Ms, Tu-160s), another 2,000 if need be.

On top of that, the US has to deter China, North Korea, and Iran. China alone has at least 1,600 nuclear weapons and continues to build that arsenal up.

Not to mention the fact that Russia, China, NK, and Iran are threats to many but protectors to nobody, while the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella to itself and to over 30 allies around the world, many of whom will go nuclear if the US fails to provide an adequate umbrella. (Already 66% of South Koreans want to do that; meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has ordered nuclear weapons in Pakistan and DF-21 ballistic missiles in China.)

No, Mr Collina, the US nuclear arsenal is not excessive at all – if anything, it is too small.

As for economic aid, that is an obsolete, socialist idea. Ukraine needs to revive its economy by implementing free market policies, NOT begging for handouts.

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned recently that “tough, tough choices are coming” if the Pentagon is forced to make deep spending cuts, as required by law. He may slash about 30,000 soldiers and retire an aircraft carrier.”

Excuse me? Those are supposed to be “tough choices”? Are you kidding me? Reducing the active duty Army to levels roughly equal to those of 9/11 and retiring a single carrier is not tough – it’s a no-brainer. It’s like picking the low-hanging fruit. (After Hagel’s cuts, the Army will be just slightly smaller than on 9/11, and the American people will have NO appetite or stomach for any more ground wars for a long time to come.)

Aircraft carriers are hugely expensive and extremely vulnerable, and their a/c have very little range. Flattops essentially provide NO return for the huge taxpayer investment they cost. I have already submitted an article dealing with this issue to Proceedings; it awaits the Editorial Board’s review.

It would be far better for the DOD to invest seriously in the single most reliable deterrent against aggression – the US nuclear umbrella – instead of blowing money on oversized land armies and very vulnerable flattops.

“As Crimea shows, these priorities are backwards. We must not allow our increasingly important conventional military forces to be undercut by excessive investments in nuclear weapons.”

Utter garbage as well. America’s conventional forces are not being undercut by the nuclear arsenal, whose total cost (ca. $32 bn per annum) is only 6% of the total military budget (roughly $600 bn in FY2014). Even eliminating it altogether would NOT save America’s conventional forces from sequestration. Sec. Hagel is absolutely right to make the nuclear deterrent a priority for the above reasons. As for conventional forces – don’t make me laugh. The unilateral disarmament movement, of which Collina is an active member, opposes BOTH America’s conventional and nuclear forces. The US nuclear deterrent is merely their first target on their way to disarming America unilaterally.

“And we don’t have to. The United States can stay at nuclear warhead levels set by the 2010 New START treaty and still save billions over the next decade by scaling back and delaying new delivery systems.”

Utter nonsense again. Firstly, New START levels are inadequate to deter Russia and China; second, New START is a worthless and treasonous treaty obligating only the US (not Russia) to cut its arsenal while Moscow is allowed to increase its own; and thirdly, Russia has cheated on EVERY arms control treaty it has signed, INCLUDING New START, as Bill Gertz has recently revealed in the WFB.

And “scaling back and delaying new delivery systems” would be utterly suicidal and a recipe for a Russian nuclear first strike. It would mean having far fewer systems (and thus a much less survivable arsenal), and NO new systems coming online for decades – at a time when existing delivery systems are already reaching the end of their service lives! This means, in practice, complete unilateral disarmament!

The Minuteman ICBM and air-launched cruise missiles will go out of service in the 2020s. The B-52 cannot operate in anything but friendly-controlled airspace. The Ohio class will start leaving service later this decade, and even under CURRENT funding projections, there will be a big gap in the SSBN fleet, with a low of just 10 boats in the early 2020s – unless the SSBN replacement program is hastened.

The cost of replacing them is not huge and will likely be far less than the $355 bn Collina falsely claims – but delaying it any further will significantly increase the price tag.

If a superior U.S. nuclear force did not restrain Moscow from annexing Crimea, how would an even larger force stop further Russian adventurism? It would not. The paradox of nuclear weapons is that they are too destructive to be used, so both sides are “deterred” from doing so.”

These are also blatant lies. The US nuclear arsenal, as proven above, is SMALLER and OLDER than Russia’s, and it was never intended or built to deter Russia from annexing… the Crimea, where it already had almost 30,000 troops and dozens of ships anyway. It was never intended to deter Russia from invading the Ukraine, which neither the US nor the EU had any intention of defending or supporting (and Putin knew it), a country the West has kept out of NATO and the EU and has essentially left to fend for itself.

Putin knew that the West would never offer more than verbal protests and tepid sanctions if he went into Ukraine. Which is why he did that. He knew that Ukraine was outside America’s security perimeter.

The US nuclear deterrent is intended to provide security for the US itself and for its NATO and non-NATO allies (e.g. SK, Japan) – and it has been doing that successfully, without any failure, ever since its inception in 1945.

And if nuclear weapons cannot deter Putin in the Crimea or elsewhere, conventional weapons – which have far less striking and thus deterring power – cannot do that, either. Is Collina suggesting the US deploy its soldiers in the Ukraine and used in a shooting war with Russia? Does he envisage US Army BCTs taking on Russian brigades? Because if he’s not, conventional forces are utterly useless in Ukraine.

As former US Strategic Command leader Gen. Kevin Chilton has stated, conventional weapons cannot replace nuclear arms as deterrents, because the former lack the overwhelming striking (and thus deterring) power of nuclear arms.

Collina also approvingly quotes former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, who has falsely claimed that:

“Nuclear-weapons enthusiasts seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments.”

In fact, Western anti-nuke activists, the advocates of the West’s unilateral disarmament, seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments, lying, and disarming their own countries unilaterally.

And while nuclear weapons might not be useful in Ukraine, there is little the US can do there anyway (who’s suggesting putting US conventional troops there?). But building up the US nuclear arsenal and accelerating missile defense deployment in Europe would do three good things:

1) Increase US and allied security by finally providing a bigger, more adequate, and modernized deterrent;

2) Finally showing strength to Russia after many years of appeasement and unilateral disarmament – which is what emboldened Russia to take one aggressive action after another, culminating in the invasion of Ukraine; and

3) Be a huge geopolitical, diplomatic, and prestige defeat for Russia, which strongly opposes both. It’s time to stop giving Russia what it wants. It would mean Russia has finally lost the veto on US and NATO security matters that Obama gave Moscow in 2009 by cancelling GBI missile defense deployment in Europe. Russia (and other aggressors and bullies) only understand the language of force, and they respect only those who are stronger than them. To deter Russia and have a better negotiating position vis-a-vis Moscow, the US needs to have stronger nuclear AND conventional forces.

BreakingDefense itself approvingly published Collina’s screed and falsely called him:

“Tom Collina, a respected expert in nuclear weapons and arms control…”

Balderdash. Collina is not a “respected expert” on anything, ESPECIALLY not nuclear weapons and arms control. He’s an ignoramus and an ideological advocate of America’s unilateral disarmament. Calling him an expert is an insult to every real expert out there. Being a longtime anti-nuclear activist does not make one an expert. And while I would not call myself one, I know far more about nuclear weapons than he ever will.

Shame on him for lying so blatantly and advocating America’s unilateral disarmament, and shame on BD for publishing his utterly ridiculous screed.

Posted in Defense spending, Nuclear deterrence, Threat environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On Foreign and Defense Policy, Rand Paul Is On The Far Left

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 7, 2014


peacethroughstrength

Last month, ConservativeDailyNews published an article debunking Senator Paul’s lies and attacks on his fellow Republicans and proving that Paul is no Reaganite on foreign policy, despite his desperate attempts to claim that mantle. After that, CDN debunked Sen. Paul’s false claims and policy prescriptions regarding Russia, the aggressor who illegally invaded and annexed part of Ukraine last month. Since then, we have uncovered additional facts about Sen. Paul’s foreign policy views which we believe the American people should know.

Rand Paul Supports America’s Unilateral Disarmament

Virtually all Americans, except strident liberals, know how foolish it is to disarm oneself, especially on a unilateral basis. Disarming one’s country, especially unilaterally, only invites aggression, death, and destruction, while a strong deterrent preserves those calamities.

Nonetheless, some extremely leftist groups, such as Global Zero, seek to disarm the US unilaterally by advocating deep, unilateral cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, down to the low hundreds,  and foregoing any modernization of the few weapons the US would have left, while falsely claiming that Russia, China, and other nuclear powers will then be nice enough to follow suit.

This is of course utterly false: Russia, China, and North Korea are building UP and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, as countless reports from the Washington Free Beacon, the Washington Times, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, the State Department, the US Strategic Command, and this writer have demonstrated. As even Jimmy Carter’s own defense secretary, Harold Brown, has said, “When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.”

Not only that, but Russia has violated EVERY arms limitation treaty it has ever signed, including the INF Treaty banning intermediate-range missiles.

But don’t waste your breath telling that to Sen. Rand Paul. He thinks Obama’s “reset” (read: appeasement) policy towards Russia has been a success, does not oppose cutting the US nuclear arsenal, has no objection to Russia’s rapid nuclear buildup or arms limitation treaty violations, and his foreign policy advisor is… the chairman of US Global Zero, Richard Burt, a former New York Slimes journalist.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. The man who advises Sen. Paul on foreign policy is the chairman of the leading group advocating America’s unilateral disarmament.

Indeed, Sen. Paul has no objection to Global Zero’s treasonous unilateral disarmament proposals and has not criticized Chuck Hagel for supporting them in the past or for being a member of Global Zero.

By contrast, during Hagel’s very contentious Senate confirmation hearing, many other GOP Senators, including Jeff Sessions, Jim Inhofe, Kelly Ayotte, and Ted Cruz, staunchly criticized Hagel for these and other extremely leftist views. Paul voted to confirm Hagel, while Cruz, Ayotte, Sessions, and Inhofe all voted no.

In fact, Paul was one of only four Republicans (alongside RINOs Thad Cochran, Richard Shelby, and Nebraska’s Mike Johanns) to vote to confirm Hagel. All other Republicans, including even Maine’s Susan Collins, voted no.

But again, Paul hasn’t merely voted to confirm a card-carrying member of Global Zero as Secretary of Defense; he has hired that group’s chairman as his foreign policy advisor. If Rand Paul were elected President (God forbid), that man (Richard Burt) would become a key foreign policy figure in his administration – perhaps even Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. And then, you can be sure as hell he and Paul would disarm America unilaterally. Jen Rubin has elaborated on that here.

Which brings us to the second fact uncovered last week: that Rand Paul doesn’t believe in “peace through strength” at all.

Rand Paul Rejects Peace Through Strength

Peace Through Strength is not a mere bumper sticker; it’s a policy proven right time and again. And it is right because it’s based on the fact that military (and economic) strength guarantees peace and security, while it is weakness that provokes aggression.

But Rand Paul adamantly disagrees (though these days he doesn’t often say that, now that he has the White House in his crosshairs). Rand Paul believes strength – specifically, American strength and firmness – is provocative and that appeasement of aggressors and bullies like Russia is the right approach.

In the following 2009 video, then-Dr. Paul slammed the notion of deploying missile defense systems in Poland and of expanding NATO eastward to bring Ukraine and Georgia under NATO’s protection. He claimed this would be provocative and invite war with Russia.

This is, of course, utter nonsense; Russia has to fear something from such moves only if it plans to make war on Poland and to further attack Ukraine and Georgia. If Russia plans to continue its policy of aggression towards Ukraine, Georgia, and Poland, and attack the latter, then yes, Russia does have to fear something from the US.

But if Russia were to coexist peacefully with those countries, it would have nothing to fear.

In fact, Russia would have nothing to fear from US missile defense systems in any case. These systems are unable to intercept Russian missiles (mainly due to their inadequate speed), ESPECIALLY if deployed in Central Europe, because then, these missiles would be easily outflown by Russian ICBMs. If Russia fired an ICBM towards the US, it would be over Western Europe by the time a missile defense battery in Poland would launch its interceptor(s).

But Sen. Paul believes that American strength, not weakness, is provocative and would invite war with Russia.

Which also explains his choice of Global Zero chairman Richard Burt to be his foreign policy advisor: if one believes that American strength is provocative and America’s weakness is a good thing, it makes sense to disarm America unilaterally and to surround yourself with people who advocate doing exactly that.

But in the real world, American weakness are provocative and dangerous, disarming America is utterly suicidal, and all arms control treaties in history have done nothing but to constrain the defenses of Western countries while doing absolutely nothing to limit the armaments of rogue nations and aggressors like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China – who spit on such treaties and on the very notion of a  “world without nuclear weapons” (a fantasy which will never exist).

Senator Paul also opposes US sanctions against Iran and Russia (he voted against a Russia sanctions bill even AFTER substitute language, not authorizing any funding for the IMF or aid to Ukraine, was offered), and has claimed that pre-WW2 sanctions against Japan provoked that country to attack the US; he has also claimed that after WW1 the US imposed some sort of a “blockade” of Germany that “provoked some of their anger” (in reality, the US imposed no such blockade on Germany after WW1, ratified a separate treaty of peace with Berlin, invested heavily in Germany, and tried to ease the reparations burden on Germany throughout the interwar period). For more on Sen. Paul’s odious views, see here and here.

In other words, Rand Paul Blames America First.

Which Is the Better Electoral Choice?

Finally, when all else fails, defense weaklings and isolationists like Rand Paul and his ilk claim the GOP must adopt their policies because “Americans are war-weary” and a neo-isolationist (“noninterventionist”), “restrained” foreign policy and deep defense cuts.

This is utter nonsense. Although a slim majority of Americans did tell Pew several months ago (before the Russian invasion of Ukraine) that the US should, internationally, “mind its own business”, over 60% of Americans told Gallup that the US spends either “too little” or “the right amount” of money on defense, meaning that over 60% of Americans oppose any further defense cuts (Pew has found similarly strong opposition to defense cuts).

This is in stark contrast to the 1970s (when Americans were really war-weary, after Vietnam, and supported deep defense cuts) and the 1990s (when the public wanted a “peace dividend”).

Also, President Obama’s approval ratings on foreign policy (like on other issues) are at an all-time low, Republicans are now considered the more competent party on foreign policy, and a solid majority of Americans considers Russia a threat to US national security and backs strong sanctions against that country.

Last, but not least, when Gallup asked Americans last year to list their disagreements with the GOP and reasons for voting against it, only 1% named “war issues” as their objection to the GOP. The rest of that list was related to domestic issues and the GOP’s methods of handling them and advancing its goals.

There is nobody in the US who currently doesn’t vote Republican who would somehow start doing so if the GOP agreed to deep defense cuts. Agreeing to such suicidal cuts would not win the GOP a single new voter, but it would alienate tens of millions of national-security-oriented GOP voters who have been with the party for decades.

The reality is simple. Everytime the GOP nominates candidates who strongly believe in Peace Through Strength, are knowledgeable about foreign policy, and are confident discussing it, it is consistently rewarded at the polls. Conversely, when the Republican Party nominates candidates who don’t believe in Peace Through Strength, or don’t know much about foreign affairs and are uncomfortable discussing them, these candidates lose.

The next 2.5 years will show whether the GOP has learned from this history and will nominate a competent candidate for the Presidency or not.

Posted in Ideologies, Nuclear deterrence, Politicians | Leave a Comment »

Strategic Command and State Department confirm: Russia is building UP its nuclear arsenal

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 4, 2014


nukeexplosion

For many years, this writer has been warning against any reductions in the US nuclear arsenal, based on the fact that Russia was building up its own, China’s nuclear arsenal’s size was unknown and likely to be in the thousands of warheads, and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were steadily increasing.

Accordingly, this writer has always consistently opposed any cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, including those mandated by the New START treaty, and has argued vocally against proposals by Obama admin officials and non-governmental arms control advocates like the “Arms Control Association” to cut the nuclear deterrent even further.

As time passed, more and more evidence emerged proving this writer’s claims – and proving nuclear disarmament advocates wrong.

But last Wednesday, the most powerful piece of evidence arrived: State Department cables from Moscow and Congressional testimony by Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, in charge of America’s entire nuclear commander.

According to US State Department diplomats in Moscow, who monitor Russia daily, Moscow is “vastly increasing” its nuclear arsenal and aims to reach “nuclear superiority over, not nuclear parity with, the US”, as Bill Gertz reports in his newest column in the Washington Free Beacon.

This is consistent with previous media and think-tank reports that Russia was building up its nuclear arsenal, was building additional strategic Tu-160 bombers, and had ordered 400 new ICBMs. The State Department and Bill Gertz have now simply confirmed this.

Thus, we have irrefutable evidence that a) Russia is dramatically increasing its nuclear arsenal, and b) its buildup is aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over, not parity with, the US. Which also proves that  New START is a treasonous treaty highly dangerous to US and allied security, because it requires nuclear arsenal cuts only of the US, while allowing Russia to dramatically increase its own arsenal.

Russia currently has:

  • About 414-434 ICBMs capable of delivering at least 1,684 (and probably more) nuclear warheads to the CONUS, with its fleet of 68-75 SS-18 Satan ICBMs alone being able to deliver 10 warheads each (750 in total);
  • 13 ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 ballistic missiles (20 in the case of the sole Typhoon class boat), each missile being itself capable of delivering 4-8 warheads (12 in the future, when Bulava and Liner missiles replace the currently-used Skiff) to the CONUS even if launched from Russian ports (Moscow has had such long-ranged missiles since the late 1980s), meaning over 1,400 warheads in total deliverable by Russia’s strategic submarine fleet;
  • 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M), each capable of delivering between 7 (Tu-95) and 12 (Tu-22M) nuclear warheads to the CONUS. Russian bombers have, in recent years, repeatedly flown close to, and sometimes into, US airspace.
  • 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads in total, of which 1,500 are now deployed – and more will be deployed in the future – on the forementioned ICBMs, submarines, and bombers.
  • Over 20 attack and cruise missile submarines, each carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles (one such submarine of the Akula class popped up last year near the US submarine base at King’s Bay, GA).
  • The world’s largest tactical nuclear arsenal, with around 4,000 warheads deliverable by a very wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles to artillery pieces to tactical aircraft (Su-24, Su-25, the Flanker family, Su-34), to surface ships using nuclear depth charges.
  • Illegal (banned by the INF Treaty) intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles (Yars-M, R-500, Iskander-M) that can target any place in Europe and China. (Nonetheless, despite these facts, the Obama administration and NATO are too afraid to recognize and name Russia as an INF Treaty violator.)

Russia is now dramatically increasing that arsenal, as the State Department and the Strategic Command’s leader have now confirmed. In addition to deploying more warheads and building more bombers from stockpiled components, it is:

  • Deploying new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava and the Liner) that can carry 10-12 warheads each. Russia plans to procure around 140-150 missiles of each type; when these are fully deployed on Russia’s 13 ballistic missile subs, that fleet will be able to carry 2,000-2,200 nuclear warheads all by itself.
  • Deploying additional Yars-M, R-500, and Iskander-M IRBMs – in violation of the INF Treaty.

Russia is also steadily modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems. It is:

  • Developing and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying missiles such as the Bulava and the Liner. Two of them have already been commissioned and at least eight in total will be built.
  • Developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber, slated to first fly in 2020 – before the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber will.
  • Developing a new submarine-launched cruise missile, the Kaliber;
  • Procuring and deploying a new air-launched cruise missile, the Kh-101/102;
  • Developing and deploying three new ICBM types – the light Yars (RS-24, SS-29) to replace the single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles, the midweight Avangard/Rubezh (slated to replace SS-19 Stiletto missiles), and the Sarmat (AKA Son of Satan), intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs.
  • Developing a rail-based ICBM type on top of the forementioned ICBM classes.
  • Developing a hypersonic missile that could carry nuclear warheads to any point on Earth in an hour and easily penetrate US missile defenses.

Note that the RS-24 (SS-29) Yars ICBMs will be able to carry 10 warheads each, whereas the missiles they’re replacing – the Topol (SS-25 Sickle) and Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle-B) – can carry only one warhead. Therefore, as these missiles enter service, the warhead carriage capacity of the Russian ICBM fleet will greatly increase beyond the (already huge) number of 1,684 warheads immediately deliverable to the CONUS.

By 2018, 80%, and by 2021, 100% of Russia’s ICBMs will be missiles of the new generation – the he Avangard/Rubezh, and the Sarmat heavy ICBM, as well as the forementioned rail-based ICBM.

By contrast, the US, under the Obama administration, has unilaterally retired and scrapped its nuclear-armed Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and their warheads, plans to kill the procurement of conventional Tomahawks, has no program to replace its ICBMs or air-launched cruise missiles, has delayed the induction of its next-generation bomber until the mid-2020s (and plans to procure only 80-100 of these crucial aircraft), has no plans to develop or deploy mobile ICBMs or medium- or short-range ballistic missiles, and has delayed its ballistic missile submarine replacement program. And even when these boats enter service, there will be only 12 of them, each carrying 16 missiles as opposed to the current Ohio class carrying 24 missiles each.

This is as simple as “Russia and China have nuclear-armed submarine- and ground-launched cruise missiles and IRBMs, the US does not.”

Which means that, even without further cuts, the US will be at a nuclear disadvantage vis-a-vis Russia (and China).

Russia would’ve been a huge nuclear threat necessitating the maintenance of the US nuclear arsenal at no less than its current size even WITHOUT this nuclear buildup. With it, it is becoming an even greater nuclear threat, thus necessitating that the US nuclear arsenal be increased, too.

This isn’t just Zbigniew Mazurak speaking; this is the State Department (through its diplomats in Moscow) and the Strategic Command’s leader, Adm. Haney (who is in charge of all US nuclear weapons), speaking. As Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports:

“The blunt comments [by Adm. Haney - ZM] came in response to reports that Russian strategic nuclear forces recently held a large-scale nuclear exercise coinciding with saber-rattling conventional military deployments close to Russia’s eastern border with Ukraine.

Haney said the Russians conduct periodic nuclear war games and in 2013 produced a YouTube video that highlighted “every aspect of their capability.” (…)

State Department cables sent to Washington earlier this year included dire warnings that Russia is vastly increasing its nuclear arsenal under policies similar to those Moscow followed during the Soviet era. The cables, according to officials familiar with them, also stated that the Russian strategic nuclear forces buildup appears aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over the United States and not nuclear parity.

The nuclear modernization has been “continuous” and includes adding fixed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and mobile ICBMs, along with a new class of strategic missile submarines, Haney said in testimony.

“Russia has articulated their value in having strategic capability, and as such, each area they have invested in both in terms of nuclear strategic capability as well as space capability and cyberspace capability in terms of things,” Haney said.

“And as a result, we have seen them demonstrate their capability through a variety of exercises and operations. They maintain their readiness of that capability on a continuous fashion. And it’s a capability I don’t see them backing away from.”

By contrast, Haney testified to the committee that U.S. nuclear forces are in urgent need of modernization to update aging nuclear weapons, delivery systems, and support and production infrastructure, most of which were made decades ago. Under budget sequestration, which could be re-imposed in 2016, U.S. nuclear force modernization will be undermined.”

These facts utterly refute any claims – including those of Barack Obama, Congressional Democrats, and other nuclear disarmament advocates like the Arms Control Association and the Ploughshares Fund – that the US has too many warheads and can afford to cut its nuclear arsenal safely, or that this arsenal is a “Cold War relic” cutting which is “overdue and in the national interest.”

These despicable traitors wanted – and still want – America to cut its nuclear arsenal further and unilaterally, without Russian reciprocation. And for that, they should be severely punished with the maximum penalty foreseen by law for treason.

They have been blatantly lying. All of their claims, without any exception, are blatant lies. No, the US nuclear is not “too large”, “ripe for cuts”, nor a “Cold War relic.” No, its mission is not obsolete by any means – on the contrary, its mission (nuclear deterrence) is more important now than ever. No, cutting the US nuclear arsenal is not “overdue” nor “in the national interest” – it would be completely AGAINST the US national interest and utterly suicidal. It would invoke a Russian nuclear first strike on the US.

No, America cannot afford to cut its nuclear arsenal ANY FURTHER. It should increase, not cut, her nuclear arsenal.

Specifically, the US must:

  • Not enter into any more arms reduction agreements ever again, especially not with countries which routinely violate such treaties, like Russia.
  • Not reduce its nuclear arsenal by even one warhead and not retire any warheads except those whose service lives cannot be extended.
  • Begin quickly increasing its arsenal and the production of cheap, simple plutonium-based warheads. Ample plutonium for their production can be easily obtained from spent fuel from American nuclear reactors.
  • Resume nuclear testing.
  • Accelerate the development of the Long-Range Strike Bomber and procure 200, not 80-100, of these aircraft; and require that they be certified as nuclear-capable from the moment they enter service.
  • Quickly begin developing and procuring new, longer-ranged, stealthy replacements for the USAF’s cruise missiles as well as the Navy’s Tomahawk. The new cruise missiles should be of the same type, launchable from a wide range of platforms, and capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads. Their range should be at least 2,000 kms.
  • Accelerate the development of hypersonic weapons. The B-52, the B-1, and the B-2 should all be made capable of launching hypersonic missiles. The HTV and Blackswift programs should also be resumed.
  • Accelerate the Ohio class replacement program.
  • Develop and deploy a new ICBM for the USAF, which should come in rail- and silo-based variants.
  • Build more tactical nuclear warheads to reassure US allies around the world.

Once again, it must be repeated: THE US MUST NOT CUT ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL ANY FURTHER, WHETHER UNI-, BI-, OR MULTILATERALLY. PERIOD.

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

Rebuttal of Jack Matlock’s Blame America First lies and those about Reagan

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on March 25, 2014


ReaganPeaceQuote

The Washington Compost (not exactly a bastion of conservatism) has just published an utterly ridiculous screed by former State Dept. official and historical revisionist Jack Matlock Jr. Therein, Matlock blames the current crisis in the Crimea, and Russia’s entire hostility towards the United States, solely on America, falsely claiming that Moscow is hostile solely because “the United States has insisted  on treating Russia as the loser” since the Cold War’s end. Matlock falsely claims that since 1991, Russia has time and again tried to be a cooperative partner, only to receive “swift kicks to the groin” from the US.

(Only a congenital liar would make such claims.)

And like other liberals, Matlock also claims the US did not really win the Cold War or cause the USSR’s collapse. Furthermore, he claims in his book that Ronald Reagan’s sole (and secondary) contribution to ending the Cold War was supposedly abandoning the hawkish policies of his first term.

I will refute these other lies later. But first, I will utterly refute Matlock’s lies about the source of Russian hostility and about Moscow supposedly trying to be a cooperative partner.

Matlock: Blame America First

Matlock blames Moscow’s hostility solely on the US, claiming that the US invited it by bombing Serbia without UN Security Council Approval in 1999, invading Iraq without UNSC approval in 2003, withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001, expanding NATO to include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Baltic Republics, Romania, and Bulgaria; with supposed “plans” for US bases in the Baltics and the Balkans; by somehow “supporting” the democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia; and by passing the Magnitsky Act, designed to punish Russian officials who violate human rights.

Matlock is essentially saying, “Russia under Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin tried to be a good partner and to follow a pro-Western orientation, but we alienated it with our aggressive actions.”

That is absolutely false, just like the rest of Matlock’s anti-American screed, and it comes straight from Moscow’s and its liberal American sycophants’ propaganda playbook. Matlock is merely repeating the same old anti-American lies for the umpteenth time.

Russia Has No Legitimate Grievances Towards The West

So let’s look at the issues he claims invited Russian hostility:

  • Serbia: in 1999, that country’s then-dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, was murdering thousands and thousands of innocent, defenseless civilians in Kosovo (where over 80% of the population is Kosovan, not Serbian) for nothing but the fact that they were Kosovan – just like the Germans murdered 6 million Jews for the mere fact they were Jews. We were witnessing a repeat of the Holocaust in Europe (albeit on a much smaller scale). The US was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to act to stop this, and it was supported in this by ALL of NATO and the entire civilized world (to which Russia does not belong). Milosevic was a war criminal wanted by a UN tribunal in the Hague, was eventually handed over to it after losing power, and was tried for war crimes. The fact that Russia supported such a bloody war criminal only shows what an immoral country it is. As for “UN Security Council approval”, apparently Mr Matlock believes that the US should not act anywhere in the world unless it receives permission from that august council… where his beloved Russia, of course, is a veto-wielding member.
  • Iraq: say what you want about the wisdom of invading Iraq, but any claim that that invasion somehow threatened Russia’s interests in the Middle East is utterly preposterous. What Russian interests did it threaten? None. It actually undermined US interests as it replaced a Sunni dictator with a Shia, pro-Iranian government.
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: I guess Mr Matlock would’ve preferred for the US to forever remain vulnerable to even the smallest ballistic missile attack and for the US never to develop adequate defenses against such an attack… because that’s exactly what the ABM treaty prohibited. A treaty, by the way, signed with the USSR – a country that no longer existed by 2001. Considering how fast (despite all arms reduction treaties signed to date) ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons are proliferating (thus making a total mockery and failure of those treaties), the decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty was absolutely right. And it had no real impact on Washington-Moscow relations, as confirmed by then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Robert G. Joseph. Might I add that Russia – while strongly opposing America’s efforts to build ballistic missile defense systems – is quietly building such systems of its own?
  • NATO expansion: to say that this threatened Russia’s security is also a blatant lie. None of NATO’s new members (except Poland and the Baltics) even have a border with Russia; and all of them had and still have very good reasons to fear Russian subjugation and aggression. They spent half a century under the Soviet yoke; in the 1990s, Russia still tried to meddle in their affairs; and now Moscow is threatening them again. It was morally and strategically right to bring them under NATO’s defense umbrella. Moscow has something to fear from their accession to NATO ONLY if it intends to attack them. Moreover, the post-1991 NATO entrants (especially Poland and the Czech Republic) have proven to be among the staunchest allies America has anywhere in the world, participating heavily in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (Poland sent thousands of troops to both countries). What’s more, Poland is one of the few NATO countries that spend the agreed benchmark of at least 2% of GDP on defense and has more mechanized Army brigades than the UK, France, and Germany combined. Romania and Bulgaria have access to the Black Sea and have recently held exercises with the USN. Such allies are worth having.
  • The early 2000s’ revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia saw utterly corrupt and criminal pro-Russian dictators (and in Ukraine, President Kuchma’s hand-picked successor Viktor Yanukovych) ousted by their people. Contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not extend anything but rhetorical support for those revolutions.
  • The Magnitsky Act: contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not single out Russia with this Act as the worst human rights abuser in the world. But Moscow is one of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, and this act, named by a whistleblower murdered in prison by Putin’s prison guards, instituted targeted sanctions against Russian officials who violate human rights.

So all of Matlock’s excuses for Russia’s hostility have been utterly refuted, one by one. They’ve collapsed like a deck of cards.

And so will, in a minute, Matlock’s myth that Russia has tried to be a cooperative partner whom the US has needlessly antagonized. In fact, since Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power, Russia has been increasingly arrogant and hostile towards the US and the West as its power has grown since the nadir of the 1990s. It has started a new Cold War against the West and is the biggest threat to US, European, and world security.

Russia Is Behaving Aggressively In Cold-War Style

In recent years, Russia has:

  1. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed strategic borders into US, allied (Japanese), and even neutral (Swedish) airspace and said the Russian Air Force was “practicing attacking the enemy.” What on Earth have SWEDEN and JAPAN done to Russia? For that matter, what has America done to Russia? Nothing.
  2. Repeatedly (on 15 separate occassions) threatened to aim or even use its nuclear weapons against the US and its allies.
  3. Invaded two sovereign countries that dared to try to break out of Moscow’s sphere of influence and align themselves with the West (Georgia and Ukraine) and continues to occupy both countries.
  4. Repeatedly violated several arms reduction treaties, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the INF Treaty, the latter being violated by Russia by repeatedly testing and deploying nuclear-armed missiles banned by that treaty.
  5. Deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad District, next to Poland, threatening that loyal ally of the US, while the US has no nuclear weapons anywhere in Eastern Europe.
  6. Backed America’s enemies around the world – North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba – to the hilt, with diplomatic protection at the UN Security Council, weapons (including the advanced S-300VM air defense system), nuclear fuel (Iran), and nuclear reactors (Iran), thus also threatening the existence of Israel.
  7. Stationed a spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, in Cuba (it’s still there).
  8. Conducted, and continues to conduct, a wave of hateful anti-American propaganda in domestic and foreign (e.g. RussiaToday) media.
  9. Sent an Akula-class nuclear-armed submarine close to the US submarine base in King’s Bay, GA.
  10. Domestically, assassinated high-profile dissidents (Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko) and jailed hundreds of others.
  11. Just recently, began negotiations with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela on opening bases for Russian ships and nuclear-armed bombers there.

Yet the US is somehow to blame for Russia’s actions? For Moscow’s hostility? Who is threatening whom with nuclear weapons, Mr Matlock? Who is flying nuclear-armed bombers close and sometimes into US, Japanese, and Swedish airspace? Who is stationing spy ships close to the other party’s shores? Who is now reopening naval and bomber bases on the other party’s doorstep?

Are you a paid pro-Kremlin propagandist, Mr Matlock? Or are you just on drugs?

Matlock also falsely claims that the current West-Russia spat we’re witnessing now is not a new Cold War but the result of “misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and posturing to domestic political audiences” – as if Russia’s ultra-aggressive behavior against the US, its allies, and even neutral countries like Sweden was the product of mere “misunderstading.”

He’s completely wrong. Russia’s behavior is the result of resurgent, renewed Russian imperialism, of the Kremlin’s imperial ambitions, and of the hatred of the West which Vladimir Putin and his fellow KGB thugs imbued when trained by the KGB.

We didn’t see that behavior in Putin’s first years because at that time Russia was still too weak to try such actions. But as Russia began to rebound militarily and economically under Putin, it also began to be increasingly aggressive towards the West and towards Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact vassals.

Matlock also falsely claims that Russia has cooperated with the US on Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

This is also false. Moscow has backed, and continues to back, Syria, Iran, and North Korea to the hilt, affording them diplomatic protection at the UNSC, weapons (except North Korea, at least so far), and, in Iran’s case, nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel – which Iran will use to produce nuclear weapons.

Moscow has absolutely opposed any but the weakest sanctions against Iran, and continues to back the genocidal, anti-American dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Matlock also falsely claims the New START treaty was a significant achievement, but the converse is true: New START was an utter failure and a treasonous treaty. It requires unilateral disarmament on America’s part: only the US required by the treaty to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is allowed to increase its own. Even worse, the treaty doesn’t count Russia’s 171 Tu-22M strategic bombers as such, contains a pathetically weak Potemkin-like verification regime, and imposes restrictions on US missile defenses.

As Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) has rightly said, the US should immediately withdraw from that treaty.

Yes, Virginia, Reagan Really Did Win The Cold War

Finally, I will refute Matlock’s also utterly false claim that the US didn’t win the Cold War or cause the collapse of the USSR.

The fact is the US did both, no matter how hard Matlock and other revisionists try to deny it.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War, and collapsed in 1991, because of the fatal blows Ronald Reagan dealt to it. In his eight years, President Reagan:

  • Dramatically increased US defense spending, to levels not seen in real terms before or since, and US defense programs to a pace the Soviet Union could not keep up with.
  • Began the development of a missile defense system the USSR could never match.
  • Convinced Saudi Arabia to increase oil output dramatically, thus cutting oil prices from $30/bbl to $12/bbl in 5 months, and thus dealing a fatal blow to Moscow’s oil-revenue -dependent economy.
  • Instituted a bevy of sanctions on the USSR, including an embargo on drilling, pumping, and construction equipment, and successfully pressured West Germany to reduce the planned Yamal Pipeline from 2 lines to one, and to delay that project by many years (as a result, it wasn’t completed until 1999).
  • Supported anti-Soviet proxies around the world, most notably in Afghanistan, where they defeated the Soviet Army in a war that cost Moscow hundreds of billions of dollars (if only the US had learned from Moscow’s mistakes and had not gotten mired in that country!).
  • Deployed Pershing and GLCM missiles in Europe to counter the USSR’s deployment of SS-20s.
  • Successfully used the tons of secret Warsaw Pact documents stolen by Col. Ryszard Kuklinski as leverage in negotiations with the Soviets.

These are the fatal blows that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table, forced them to make major concessions, and eventually caused the Soviet Union’s collapse, as the USSR was unable to continue the Afghan War, the arms race, or counter US missile defense development with its sclerotic, stagnant economy, especially not after the Reagan-induced late 1980s oil glut. And not with the Yamal Pipeline delayed.

As Professor Robert G. Kaufman has rightly written, “the Cold War ended on Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.”

Matlock is wrong on all counts. All of his claims are utterly false. Not one of them is correct – not even one. Russia has NO legitimate grievances towards the West, it has never been a truly cooperative partner in the last 25 years, and its hostility is due to the revival of imperialist ideology and ambitions in Russian political circles (greatly enabled by KGB thug Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power). Russia is now waging a new Cold War on the West. How the West, led by the US, will respond to this challenge, remains to be seen.

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

Why the Nuclear Triad MUST be preserved and the New START treaty scrapped

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on March 18, 2014


106753

The US nuclear deterrent, and in particular, the nuclear triad, are under constant attack from the pro-unilateral-disarmament Left, whose goal, of course, is to unilaterally disarm the US and expose it to attack.

The latest round of this attack was conducted recently in the Diplomat e-zin by James R. Holmes, the Diplomat‘s resident wannabe defense expert, calling himself “the Naval Diplomat” (in reality, a defense issues ignoramus). Mr Holmes questions the nuclear triad’s rationale for being because, he says, the US nuclear arsenal will continue to shrink under treaties such as New START. He also falsely claims that China’s nuclear arsenal is small and so there is no need for a US nuclear triad.

Meanwhile, Obama’s top arms control negotiator, Rose Goettemoeller, a longtime advocate of disarming America unilaterally and completely (“We are not modernizing. That is one of the key principles of our policy.”) and Vice President Joe Biden are lobbying for a unilateral cut of the US nuclear deterrent to just 300 warheads – far less than even what China has. Obama is sympathetic to those views.

But they – and others who seek to dismantle the nuclear triad – are dead wrong. Here’s why.

Firstly, Russia still has a huge nuclear arsenal, and contrary to Holmes’ lies, that arsenal is GROWING, not shrinking, even under New START, signed in Prague in 2010 by Barack Obama. That treasonous treaty allows Russia to GROW its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal – and Moscow has done so and continues to do so.

Moscow has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (according to the Federation of American Scientists), of which 1,500 are deployed and 50 further will be soon, and around 4,000 tactical nuclear warheads (many of which can be delivered against the US).

To deliver them, Russia has over 410 ICBMs, 13 ballistic missile submarines, 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-22M, Tu-160), and around 20 attack submarines capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles anywhere in the world. To deliver its tactical warheads, Russia has those attack submarines plus short-range ballistic missiles, attack aircraft, surface warships, artillery pieces, and IRBMs such as the Yars-M, the Iskander-M, and the R-500.

Russia’s ICBM fleet alone can deliver at least 1,684 warheads to the Continental US; Russia’s ballistic missile submarine fleet, at least 1,400 (which will grow to 2,000 when new Russian missiles enter service); Russia’s bomber fleet, over 1,700. Russia’s tactical delivery systems can deliver additional thousands of nuclear weapons.

Moscow is rapidly modernizing its nuclear arsenal, introducing at least three new classes of ICBMs (the Yars, the Rubezh, and the Sarmat), a pseudo-ICBM with a 6,000 km range, a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class), new short- and intermediate-range missiles (Yars-M, Iskander-M, R-500), a new submarine- and air-launched cruise missile (the Kh-101/102 Koliber) a new theater nuclear strike jet (Su-34), and is developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber (PAK DA, i.e. the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Long Range Aviation).

On top of that, Russia has up to 4,000 “tactical” nuclear warheads, many of which can be delivered to the US by cruise missiles carried by the 20 submarines of the Akula and Oscar-II classes (12 Akulas, 8 Oscars). In fact, a few years ago, one Akula class submarine, probably armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, sneaked close to the US East Coast!

To scrap the nuclear triad in the face of this huge, and growing, nuclear thread would be worse than foolish; it would be utterly suicidal.

As for China, it has at least 1,600, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, according to former Russian missile force chief Gen. Viktor Yesin and Georgetown Professor Philip Karber (who was the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist under President Reagan).

To deliver them, Beijing wields 75-87 ICBMs (and is adding more every year), 120-160 strategic bombers, 6 ballistic missile subs, over 120 MRBMs, over 1,200 SRBMs, and 280 tactical strike aircraft. On top of that, it has hundreds, if not thousands, of nuclear-capable cruise missiles (ground-, air-, and sea-launched), such as the CJ-10, the CJ-20, and the DH-10. Note that China, like Russia, is adding more nuclear weapons and delivery systems (and more modern ones) every year.

Moscow and Beijing not only have large nuclear arsenals, they’re quite willing to use them. In fact, in the last 7 years, Russia has threatened to aim or use nuclear weapons against the US or its allies on 15 separate occassions, and in the last 2 years has flown nuclear-armed bombers into or close to US and allied airspace. In May 2012, when its bombers overtly practiced a nuclear strike on Alaska, the Russian Air Force said to the press it was “practicing attacking the enemy.”

Not only that, but in its military doctrine Russia openly claims a right to use nuclear weapons first – even if the opponent does not have any nuclear weapons! And it says it will never give up its nuclear arsenal because it considers it “sacred.”

Moreover, the US now has to deter not only Russia and China, but North Korea and Iran as well. North Korea already has ICBMs capable of reaching the US and miniaturized warheads fittable onto such missiles, and Iran is projected by the US intelligence community to have such missiles by 2015.

On top of that, the US has to provide a credible nuclear deterrent not only to itself, but to over 30 allies around the world: all NATO members, Israel, Gulf countries, and Pacific allies such as the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea. These allies are watching the state of the US nuclear arsenal closely and will develop their own if the US cuts its umbrella further. Thus making the problem of proliferation – which the CNS and Ploughshares falsely pretend to be concerned about – that much worse.

Already, 66% of South Koreans want their country to obtain its own nuclear arsenal, and Saudi Arabia, fearing Iran, has ordered nuclear weapons in Pakistan and DF-21 ballistic missiles in China – both of which are quite happy to oblige, because Saudi Arabia pays in hard cash.

The truth is that the need for a large nuclear deterrent, and the nuclear triad, has never been greater. America needs them now more than ever. In this 21st century threat environment marked by three (soon to be four) hostile nuclear powers, two of them with large nuclear arsenals, it would be utterly suicidal and foolish to cut the US nuclear arsenal further, let alone deeply so.

And it is absolutely NOT true that the US nuclear arsenal will inevitably continue to shrink. It will be cut further only if Congress allows Obama and his successor (who will likely be Hillary Clinton) to continue disarming the US unilaterally. Congress has many means at its disposal to stop the White House from disarming the US and thus stop any further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, as it should.

Disarmament is a choice (and a foolish and suicidal one at that). There is nothing inevitable about it. Republicans can stop it – and House Republicans work every day of every year on Capitol Hill to indeed stop it.

Last but not least, if a nuclear triad is such a redundant and obsolete arrangement, why do the Russians, the Chinese, and the Israelis continue to maintain, modernize, and even expand their nuclear triads, with new aircraft, missiles, and submarines?

Quick! Someone better tell the Russians, the Chinese, and the Israelis that they’re wasting their money on an obsolete arrangement!

The truth is that a nuclear triad is BY FAR the most survivable, most effective, most powerful, most deterring, and most cost-effective arrangement in nuclear deterrence. Nothing else will ever provide the same degree of security at the same or lower cost. Nothing else will ever suffice to replace it – not a dyad, not a monad, not missile defense, not conventional weapons.

James R. Holmes is dead wrong, as usual. The nuclear triad and a large nuclear arsenal are STILL needed, and will be needed for many, many decades to come.

And as for the New START treaty – in light of the fact that it requires nuclear arsenal cuts only of the US, its onerous restrictions on US missile defense development, its pathetically weak verification regime, the fact that Russia is an aggressor who has illegally invaded and occupies two sovereign countries, and the fact that Russia has violated EVERY arms reduction treaty it has ever signed - the US should IMMEDIATELY withdraw from that pathetic treaty, as well as all other arms reduction treaties. IMMEDIATELY. Not tomorrow, but today.

Additionally, the US should:

  1. Impose harsh sanctions on Russia if it continues to violate the INF treaty (as it likely will);
  2. Withdraw from the CFE Treaty and encourage US allies to do the same;
  3. Refuse to ever ratify the CTBT;
  4. Assist Ukraine in developing its own nuclear weapons, or at least take Ukraine under the protection of the US nuclear umbrella.

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

The Reset Has Always Been A Total Failure

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on March 15, 2014


Vladimir Putin,Hillary Rodham Clinton

As CDN reported earlier, the Democrats are already rushing to defend Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s utterly failed foreign policy record, including the shameful, disastrous “reset” (read: appeasement) policy towards Russia. Some former Clinton State Department officials, such as P. J. Crowley, defend it on the spurious grounds that “the reset worked when Dmitry Medvedev was President” (i.e. from 2008 to 2012).

But they are dead wrong. The Obama-Clinton “reset” policy NEVER worked, even when Dmitry Medvedev (who was just a puppet of Vladimir Putin’s) was President.

That’s because Putin, throughout the whole time, was the man really in power, while Medvedev was never anything more than a figurehead. In that respect, Russia was, in those years, similar to the China of the 1980s: Deng Xiaoping was really in power, content with “only” the post of Chairman of the CMC, while other politicians held the posts of President, Premier, and CPC General Secretary. But – as with Putin – Deng was really “the power behind the throne.”

Only a fool could have ever thought that Putin had relinquished power for four entire years to Medvedev, and that Medvedev was ever anything more than a figurehead.

So let us recount how the Obama-Clinton “reset” policy has always been an utter failure THROUGHOUT the entire Medvedev years:

1) The New START treaty: Celebrated by the Obama administration and the entire Left as the crowning achievement of the “reset”, it is actually its most disastrous and shameful failure. This treasonous treaty requires the US to cut its deployed nuclear arsenal by an entire third, from the 2,200 warheads allowed by the 2002 Moscow Treaty to just 1,550 warheads, while Russia is allowed to (and has taken many steps to) increase its own arsenal. Today, Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads, of which 1,500 are deployed and another 50 will be deployed. Russia also wields a huge arsenal of delivery systems: 434 ICBMs, 13 ballistic missile submarines, and 251 strategic bombers (171 of which are not even counted under New START treaty rules).

2) Iran: Russia has agreed only to minimal, symbolic sanctions against Tehran, and has fiercely opposed, and repeatedly vetoed, anything more than the weakest sanctions against Iran. It has also completed the construction of Iran’s first nuclear reactor, is now building the second, and has continued supplying tons of nuclear fuel to Iran. It has also pledged to deliver state-of-the-art S-300 air defense systems to Iran (and Syria). Contrary to the popular myth, Russia has NOT cancelled the delivery of those systems.

3) Syria: When a popular uprising broke out against Syrian dictator (and Hezbollah supporter) Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran, he immediately began to attempt to quell this uprising by brute force. And Russia has continually supported him with weapons and diplomatic protection from the start. Even during the supposedly halcyon Medvedev years, it vetoed draft UNSC resolutions aimed at punishing Assad.

4) America’s European allies: Throughout the entire Medvedev years, Russia continued to threaten America’s European allies with nuclear weapons and missiles, especially those who have agreed to host elements of America’s missile defense system – in response to which Russia continued, and continues, to threaten nuclear mayhem and withdrawal from the (useless) New START treaty.

5) The INF Treaty: It was during the supposedly halcyon Medvedev years that Russia began developing and fielding intermediate range missiles (such as the R-500, the Iskander-M, and intermediate range “air defense” missiles) that violate the INF treaty. The Clinton State Department did NOTHING to counter this obvious violation.

6) Missile Defense: Despite cancelling President Bush’s plan to build missile defense installations (intended to protect the US, not Europe) in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama and Hillary got NOTHING in return from the Kremlin. NOTHING. No concession whatsoever.

7) Bombers Flying Into US Airspace: As early as April and May 2012, when Medvedev was still in office, the Russians began flying nuclear-armed bombers close to and sometimes into US airspace – and said they were “practicing attacking the enemy.” They have also repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into Japanese and Swedish airspace.

So for the entire Medvedev period, and beyond, the Obama-Clinton “reset” (read: appeasement) policy has been an utter, disastrous failure. America has not benefitted AT ALL from this idiotic policy. It has not produced ANY benefits to the US whatsoever.

Therefore, the reset’s defenders are dead wrong: the reset was ALWAYS a failure, even during the Medvedev years. Which is not surprising given that, as stated earlier, Vladimir Putin was always in power before, during, and after the Medvedev years, and still is.

For another superb article on the utter failure of the Obama-Clinton reset policy, see Charles Krauthammer’s excellent column.

Posted in Ideologies, Media lies, Nuclear deterrence, Obama administration follies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rebuttal of the “we have more nukes than we need” myth

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 29, 2013


Among the many lies being repeated by the Left in defense of Obama’s plan to further deeply cut America’s nuclear deterrent is the blatant lie that America can safely afford to continue cutting its deterrent indefinitely and could maintain deterrence even with a significantly reduced arsenal. Obama made that blatant lie himself during his infamous June 19th speech in Berlin, and the White House trots out that lie in its pseudo-”fact sheet” about Obama’s plan.

But they’re blatantly lying. America’s nuclear deterrent is already barely adequate (as well as old and in need of modernization). It cannot be cut indefinitely. In fact, it cannot be safely cut any further.

Here’s why.

To provide credible nuclear deterrence, you need to:

1) Be able to threaten the vast majority of all of your adversaries’ military, economic, and other strategic assets with destruction (threatening only some, or half, or 55%, of them is woefully inadequate because the other half or 45% will survive), and to threaten all the assets of Russia or China you need THOUSANDS of warheads; and

2) A small nuclear arsenal would not be survivable – it would be easy for an enemy to destroy in a first strike. The smaller it is, the less survivable and easier to destroy in a first strike it is. A few submarines and a few bomber bases would be far easier to destroy in a surprising first strike than 14 submarines, several bomber bases, and 450 ICBMs in hardened siloes.

These two interrelated factors are extremely important because what determines your deterring ability – or the lack thereof – is how many warheads and delivery systems you have left after a possible enemy first strike. If you have a large number of these left to unleash a devastating second strike on your enemy, he won’t attack in the first place. But it has to be a large number – huge enough to devastate his entire country, economy, and military. This is a numbers game. Here, numbers reign supreme.

—————–

What are the nuclear capabilities of America’s potential adversaries? Who are the adversaries America must deter?

Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (including 1,550 deployed) and up to 4,000 tactical warheads – and the means to deliver all 6,800 if need be.

Its 434 ICBMs can collectively deliver 1,684 warheads to the CONUS; its 14 ballistic missile submarines can deliver over 2,200 warheads to the CONUS (while sitting in their ports); and each of its 251 strategic bombers can carry up to 7 warheads (1 freefall bomb and 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles). Its Tu-95 bomber fleet alone can deliver over 1,700 warheads to the middle of America.

Russia’s strategic nuclear triad consists of:

  • 251 intercontinental bombers (64 Tu-95s, 16 Tu-160s, 171 Tu-22Ms), each capable of carrying 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and one free-fall nuclear bomb;
  • 75 SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs (up to 10 warheads and 38 penetration aids each);
  • 136 SS-19 Stilletto ICBMs (up to 6 warheads each);
  • 171 SS-25 Sickle single-warhead ICBMs;
  • 75 SS-27 Stalin single-warhead ICBMs;
  • 18 RS-24 Yars ICBMs (4 warheads each);
  • 13 ballistic missile subs capable of carrying 16 SLBMs and one (the Dmitry Donskoi) capable of carrying 20 SLBMs; each sub-launched ballistic missile, in turn, can carry 4, 10, or 12 warheads depending on the type (R-29RMU Sinyeva, RSM-56 Bulava, or R-29RMU2 Liner, respectively). Russia has ordered hundreds of these SLBMs.

In total, Russia’s ICBM fleet alone – to say nothing of its submarine or bomber fleet – can deliver 1,684 warheads to the CONUS. Russia’s bomber fleet could deliver over 1,700.

In recent years, while the US has been steadily cutting its arsenal unilaterally under New START, Russia has been growing its own, as it is allowed to do under the treaty. Also, the document contains no restrictions whatsoever on road- and rail-mobile ICBMs, treats every bomber as if it were carrying a single nuclear warhead, and doesn’t limit Russian ICBMs’ carriage capacity or throw-weight – which are huge loopholes that Russia is only too eager to exploit.

Russia is now developing a rail-mobile ICBM as well as replacements for Russia’s older ICBMs: a heavy ICBM called “Son of Satan” (designed to replace the SS-18 Satan) and a mid-weight ICBM called the Rubezh to replace the SS-19 and SS-25, while continuing RS-24 Yars production. Meanwhile, the US has no plans to develop a road- or rail-mobile ICBM (although the USAF is considering the rail-mobile version), and development of the next-generation ICBM – the replacement for America’s aging Minuteman ICBMs – has been delayed by many years for political reasons.

Moscow is also developing and testing an IRBM, the Yars-M (AKA Rubezh), in violation of the INF treaty – showing that arms control treaties signed with Russia are worthless pieces of paper.

On top of that, Russia has a huge tactical nuclear arsenal – much larger than America’s. Estimates of its size vary, but various sources say it numbers up to 4,000 warheads (all deliverable) – much more than America’s ca. 500. These 4,000 warheads can be delivered by a wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles, to theater strike aircraft, to bombers, to torpedoes and surface ships, to cruise missiles, to artillery pieces, because they come in various forms: nuclear bombs, torpedo warheads, depth charges, artillery shells, cruise missile warheads, etc.

China, like Russia, has a large nuclear arsenal – far larger than the 240 warheads American arms control advocates claim. In fact, China has at least 1,600, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, most of them hidden in the 3,000 miles of tunnels it has built for its arsenal. The two estimates come from Gen. Viktor Yesin (Russian ICBM force CoS, ret.), and Professor Philip Karber, the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist during the Cold War. The existence and length of these tunnels is a confirmed fact.

To deliver its warheads, China has:

  • 36 DF-5 heavy ICBMs (up to 10 warheads each);
  • at least 30, and likely far more, DF-31 ICBMs (3-4 warheads each);
  • at least one DF-41 heavy ICBM (10 warheads);
  • 20 DF-4 IRBMs (3 warheads each);
  • 20 DF-3 single-warhead MRBMs;
  • 100 DF-21 MRBMs;
  • 500 DH-10, CJ-10, and Hongniao cruise missiles;
  • 440 nuclear-capable aircraft (Q-5, JH-7, H-6) each with at least one warhead attributed to them (the H-6K bomber variant can carry several nuclear- or conventional-tipped cruise missiles as well);
  • 1 Xia class SSBN with 12 single-warhead JL-1 missiles; and
  • 5 Jin class SSBNs with 12-24 4-warhead JL-2 missiles, with a sixth under construction to replace the Xia class boat.

On top of that, China has between 1,100 and 1,600, and possibly more, short-range ballistic missiles, though it isn’t known how many of these are armed with nuclear warheads.

 

China, of course, stubbornly refuses to reveal anything about its nuclear arsenal, while falsely claiming it pursues a “minimum nuclear deterrent” policy, even though it is evident to everyone except the willfully blind it has thousands, not mere hundreds, of warheads.

Over a year ago, this writer, based on very conservative estimates of China’s missile stocks and their warhead carriage capacity, estimated China had 1,274 nuclear warheads. This was calculated as follows:

I started with the 440 aircraft-deliverable nuclear bombs owned by the PLAAF and attributed to its H-6, Q-5, and JH-7 aircraft. Then, I added 10 warheads for each of China’s 36 DF-5 ICBMs, then, one DF-41 ICBM with 10 warheads, then, 40 DF-3 and DF-4 MRBMs, then 100 DF-21 MRBMs, then 90 warheads for China’s 30 DF-31 ICBMs, and finally, 12 warheads for China’s 12 JL-1 SLBMs and 240 warheads for its (at least) 60 JL-2 SLBMs (12 missiles per boat, 4 warheads per missile).

Keep in mind that the 4-warhead JL-2 is just the basic variant of the missile. China is already developing (if it hasn’t already deployed) two new variants of the JL-2:  Jia, capable of carrying 8 warheads over 12,000 kms, and Yi, capable of carrying 12 warheads over a distance of 14,000 kilometers. China is also building a sixth Jin class submarine to replace the sole Xia class boat.

So in the future, China will have even more ballistic missile subs, more SLBMs, and more nuclear warheads than it already has – which means the number of nukes required to deter China will only grow.

And I was so conservative in my estimates that I didn’t count a single Chinese SRBM or cruise missile as being nuclear-armed. If any such missile is armed – and the DOD says 500 such land-based missiles are – China’s nuclear arsenal – and the US arsenal required to deter Beijing – are even greater.

Besides Russia and China – two huge nuclear threats to US and allied security – the US also has to deter North Korea (which already has ICBMs capable of reaching the US) and Iran (which, within a month, may have enough HEU to build a nuclear warhead).

So the US currently has to deter three, soon to be four, hostile nuclear powers, two of whom have large, diverse, and very capable and survivable nuclear arsenals.

On top of that, the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella not only to itself, but also to over 30 allies, many of whom will have no choice but to develop their own nuclear weapons if the US continues to cut its umbrella. 66.5% of South Koreans already want to do this, and Japan has facilities enabling it to produce enough fissile material for 3,600 nuclear warheads if it chose to.

You see, while Russia and China are threats to many but protectors to nobody, the US is a protector of itself and 30 allies.

In addition, Russia is blatantly violating the INF Treaty by developing and testing an IRBM, and also violating the CFE Treaty! How can we trust Russia to comply with New START and reciprocate the newest cuts proposed Obama when Russia is not complying with existing arms reduction treaties? We can’t!

Yet, the advocates of cutting America’s nuclear arsenal want the US not only to slavishly adhere to such treaties (while Russia doesn’t), but even cut its arsenal further deeply and unilaterally.

Then there’s North Korea with its nuclear arsenal (which it has recently announced it will grow its nuclear arsenal) and ICBMs capable of reaching the US, and Iran, which is coming closer to achieving nuclear weapon status everyday. Only nuclear weapons can protect America against these threats. So they are HIGHLY RELEVANT in the 21st century.

Besides deterring nuclear attack, nuclear weapons also protect America’s treaty allies against a large-scale conventional attack – ensuring that it has never happened so far since WW2.

But if the nuclear arsenal is cut further, and America’s already deficient conventional capabilities continue to atrophy under sequestration, a large-scale conventional attack is inevitable.

The military and geopolitical reality is simple. If the US cuts its nuclear arsenal further deeply and unilaterally, a nuclear first strike by Russia or even China is virtually guaranteed – as is the acqusition of nuclear weapons by America’s allies in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific, none of whom can afford to bet their security, and their very existence, on the “less nukes will make us safer” and “a world without nukes” fantasies of Barack Obama and his pacifist friends in Western pro-disarmament organizations.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence, Obama administration follies, World affairs | 1 Comment »

Rebuttal of Stratfor’s false claims on China’s nukes

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 22, 2013


The open-sources-based Stratfor think-tank has recently published an article on China’s ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) that downplays the threat these submarines, and China in general, pose to the US. Because of this, and because it contains numerous factual errors, I’ve decided to pen this rebuttal.

The article begins by repeating the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s laughable understatement that China is merely “on the cusp of having a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent”, as opposed to already having one (which it does), and falsely claims that China “still lags considerably behind the leading powers, notably the US.”

Those are blatant lies which serve no purpose but to downplay the Chinese threat and mislead the American public about it.

China is not lagging behind the leading powers; it is among them and is keeping pace firmly with them.

The article first wrongly claims China has only “three or four” Jin class SSBNS in addition to its Xia class boat. In fact, China has five Jins already in commission and a sixth one under construction. Stratfor then wrongly claims that the Jins are more noisy than Russian Delta III class submarines. This is not true, but even if it were, remember that by today’s standards, the US Navy’s Ohio class SSBNs and Los Angeles class attack submarines are also quite noisy, too, and need to be replaced.

Stratfor also wrongly claims that the old JL-1 ballistic missiles are still the mainstay of the Chinese SSBN fleet, and further falsely claims that the newer JL-2 missile has not yet entered service, will not do so until next year, and will have a range of only 7,000-8,000 kms.

This is totally false. The basic variant of the JL-2 has already entered service and IT (the JL-2) is the main armament of China’s SSBN fleet – NOT the old JL-1 missile, deployed only on the single Xia class boat.Moreover, only the basic variant of the JL-2 missile has a range of 8,000 kms (quite a significant range, BTW).

China is now developing two new variants of the missile – the Jia and the Yi – which will have ranges of 12,000 and 14,000 kms, respectively, and will be able to carry up to 8 and 12 warheads, respectively. Source: DOD 2012 report to Congress on China’s military power.

Such a range – or even a range of just 10,000 kms, which both missile variants will greatly exceed – would allow Chinese SSBNs to target all of the US and Western Europe while staying in Chinese territorial waters or even in homeport.

And these newer variants of the JL-2 missile will enter service within the next few years, perhaps next year, so China’s nuclear striking power will grow significantly in the near future.

Thus, while Stratfor is technically correct – for now – that “”, that will cease to be true as soon as the JL-2 Jia variant, with its range of 12,000 kms, enters service. That will happen within the next few years.

And when it does, Chinese SSBNs will be able to target the US from their territorial waters or even their homebases – a capability the Soviet Navy did not achieve until the late 1980s.

But even now, Chinese ballistic missile subs and their JL-2 “Basic Variant” missiles, with a range of 8,000 kms, can reach virtually any target on the West Coast and anywhere in the northwestern CONUS. Keep in mind that China has FIVE submarines each armed with 12 such missiles – each missile, in turn, carrying 4 independently targetable warheads.

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range

Stratfor also falsely claims that for the near future, China will have to rely on its land-based missile force to deter the West.

That is patently false given all the facts about its SSBN fleet listed above, and given the fact that China’s bomber fleet is also very potent. With cruise missiles that have a range of 3,000 kms, it can obliterate any target in the First and Second Island Chain and well beyond them, including anywhere in Australia or Russia. China is also now developing a stealthy intercontinental bomber that will be capable of striking the CONUS.

But leaving all these facts aside, China’s land-based missile force is quite a potent one, and in some respects stronger than America’s. It consists of:

  • 36 DF-5 ICBMs (up to 10 warheads each), over 30 DF-31/31A ICBMs (4 warheads each), at least one DF-41 ICBM (10 warheads), and 20 DF-4 ICBMs/IRBMs (3 warheads each);
  • 100 DF-21 and 20 DF-3 MRBMs (one warhead per missile);
  • over 1,200 SRBMs; and
  • untold hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles, 500 of them nuclear armed.

By contrast, the US has no SRBMs, MRBMs, IRBMs, or ground-launched cruise missiles, and no plans to develop any. It is, moreover, barred from fielding any ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles of a range between 550 and 5,500 kms by the INF treaty. China, not being a party to the treaty, has a free hand in procuring such missiles.

China’s ICBMs alone could deliver 510 warheads to the US, including 490 to the CONUS alone. So China’s land-based missile force must not, on any account, be dismissed.

But, as I said earlier, China no longer needs to rely solely on its land-based missiles for deterring the West. Its SSBN and bomber fleets are already quite potent, and as their number and sophistication grow, their credibility will, as well. Within the next few years, when the JL-2 Jia missile enters service,  China’s SSBNs will be able to target any point in the US from their homeports. And that will be a gamechanger.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | 7 Comments »

Rebuttal of Collina’s, Preble’s, and Fay’s attacks on the US nuke deterrent

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 21, 2013


142074.439nuclear_explosion

It seems that, in recent weeks, treasonous attacks of the pacifist Left on the US nuclear deterrent have intensified. It is not, and will never be, possible for us defense conservatives to respond to all such attacks, so I’ll respond to only two: one by ACA’s Tom Collina, and the other by CATO’s Chris Preble and a doctoral student called Matthew Fay.

Let’s start with Collina. In his most recent screed, for the DefenseOne website, he calls on the USAF to cancel plans for a nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), claiming it, and the warheads for it, will cost $32 bn and will not be necessary because, you know, the USAF has ICBMs and is developing a new stealthy bomber. He further claims that this, and other, nuclear modernization program will compete with conventional weapons for funding. He falsely claims that:

“Such trade-offs between nuclear and conventional weapons will become commonplace as the budget crisis deepens. With no new money to be found, projects must compete with each other. It’s a zero-sum game.”

No, it isn’t. Spending on nuclear weapons and on their delivery systems is and will remain so low that even ELIMINATING it COMPLETELY will not even come CLOSE to providing the necessary savings to pay for conventional weapon programs. Collina’s claim that nuclear modernization will cost $300 bn over the next few decades is totally false, a huge exaggeration, but even if it were true (which it is not), that is just $15 bn per year… out of a military budget of $600 bn per annum. In other words, just 2.5% of the total military budget. One quarter of one tenth.

And if a choice is to be made, it is far wiser to decide in favor of nuclear weapons – for they protect America, and over 30 US allies, against the most catastrophic, and very real, threats: a nuclear, chemical, biological, or ballistic missile attack by a major power (Russia, China) or a rogue state (North Korea, Iran).

And as the number of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems owned by these four hostile countries will only INCREASE in the future, the need for nuclear deterrence, and thus the required number of US nuclear weapons and delivery systems, will only GROW, not shrink. That is not “Cold War thinking”, that is the military and geopolitical reality of the 21st century.

Collina also falsely claims that “Similarly, the Air Force will have a hard time finding $70 billion to buy up to 100 new long-range bombers.”

That is also a blatant lie. Firstly, the program will not cost $70 bn – nowhere close to that. It will cost $55 bn at most, and that’s a very pessimistic estimate assuming the USAF will not exploit economies of scale or savings from using mature technologies and will bear 100% of the R&D cost. $70 bn is a wild exaggeration.

And the DOD can easily pay for the next generation bomber program (and many other crucial programs) by terminating the F-35 Junk Strike Fighter, AKA the Jet That Ate The Pentagon.

As for forgoing cruise missiles, there are NO reasons to do so – whether financial or security reasons. WRT money, Collina and his treasonous group have routinely and wildly exaggerated the cost of nuclear modernization programs, so nothing he says on the subject (or on any other subject, for that matter) is credible.

As for security considerations: NOTHING is worse for America’s security than nuclear disarmament, ESPECIALLY its unilateral variety. Even if the US forgoes replacing its current ALCMs, NOBODY in the world will reciprocate. Nobody will be impressed by such a unilateral American gesture. And the prospects of a global ban on cruise missiles  (which Collina fantasizes about) are NONE – especially given these weapons’ low cost, high speed, air defense evasion capabilities, and other attractive characteristics. If there were any chances of such a ban, there wouldn’t be so many nations possessing or developing such missiles.

Unilateral disarmament NEVER works. On the contrary, America’s enemies will only be too happy to take advantage of it. Russia is already developing a new bevy of nuclear-armed ALCMs and plans to increase their production 30-fold. France is already beginning to develop a new ALCM.

Collina is also lying when he claims that only the US, Russia, and France have nuclear-armed ALCMs. China also has them – the CJ-10A, the CJ-20, and the HN-3, and uses them to arm its H-6K bombers. India also already has such missiles, called the Brahmos. Pakistan will acquire such weapons before long.

And why are ALCMs needed when the USAF is developing a new stealthy bomber?

Because it is NEVER a good idea to put all your legs into one basket. As Robert D. Kaplan rightly says, NEVER give your enemy too few problems to solve because if you do, he’ll solve them. A US nuclear triad armed with 1) penetrating bombers 2) cruise missiles 3) ballistic missile subs and 4) ICBMs would pose a much bigger problem, a much more difficult target, and a much more credible deterrent force than a nuclear force armed with only one, two, or three kinds of these weapons. The triad’s diversity is as much a strength as its numbers. Smart managers NEVER put all their eggs into just one or two baskets.

And Collina has no credibility to invoke stealthy bombers, ICBMs, and ballistic missile submarines when he and his organization have repeatedly called for delaying the former and deeply cutting the latter! They’ve  even called on the USAF NOT to pursue any ICBM replacement!

Collina’s article is a litany of blatant lies – as is his every other screed. This is not surprising, because he works for a treasonous pro-unilateral disarmament organization which receives 100% of its funding from similar organizations, some of which may have ties to George Soros.

—————————————————————

Preble’s and Fay’s screed for DefenseOne is even more ridiculous. While, in his latest article, Collina called only for the ALCM to be cancelled, Preble and Fay went further and demanded that the ICBM and bomber legs of the nuclear triad be scrapped completely, which would mean utter and immediate suicide and an invitation for a nuclear first strike on the US.

They falsely claim that

“Eliminating the other two legs of the nuclear triad — intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, and nuclear bombers — would save American taxpayers around $20 billion a year.”

This is a blatant lie, meaning that people making such claims are LIARS.

In fact, completely eliminating the bomber and ICBM legs of the triad would save only a paltry $3.6 bn per year - close to nothing, and nowhere near enough to pay for the SSBNX program.

Last year, in response to similar suicidal proposals, the Air Force’s director for nuclear deterrence issues pointed out that the ICBM leg of the triad costs only $1.1 bn per year to maintain, and the bomber leg, only $2.5 bn per year. He also wrote a great article for AOLDefense (now BreakingDefense) on why the triad is necessary. The Air Force Magazine and CSBA’s defense budget analyst Todd Harrison have confirmed these small numbers.

So even eliminating ICBMs and bombers completely would “save” only $3.6 bn per year – a microscopic amount, and nowhere near enough to pay for SSBN replacement.

As for the authors’ claim that the nuclear triad is an obsolete and Cold War arrangement, nothing could be further from the truth. The nuclear triad is an absolutely necessary, proven, and and by far the most secure arrangement for America’s nuclear deterrence. It presents anyone who would wish to conduct a first strike on America with a multi-dimensional problem that is almost impossible to solve: how to eliminate all of America’s ICBMs AND bombers AND SSBNs in a single strike, before America can retaliate? Nobody has yet found any answer to that question – which is why there has never been a nuclear attack on the US or any of its allies to this very day. It is because of both the size and the diversity (triad) of the US nuclear umbrella.

The triad has, since its inception in the late 1950s, successfully prevented nuclear attack, and large-scale conventional attacks, on the US and on all allies to whom this umbrella has been extended – and it continues to prevent such attacks to this day. It has successfully deterred the Soviet Union, Putinist Russia, China, and even North Korea.

Oh, and one more thing: if the nuclear triad is such an obsolete and unaffordable Cold War era arrangement, why hasn’t anyone told that to the Russians and the Chinese? :) Both of them are building up and modernizing their own nuclear triads.

The Russians are now developing or deploying several new types of ICBMs, a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class), two new SLBM types (Layner and Bulava) capable of carrying 10-12 warheads each, and are developing a next-generation bomber, the PAK DA. The Chinese are fielding two new ICBM types (DF-31A, DF-41), developing a rail-mobile ICBM and a stealthy intercontinental bomber capable of striking the US, and building two new classes of SSBNs while also fielding new JL-2 SLBMs to launch from these boats – missiles that will eventually have 14,000 km range and a 12-warhead payload.

A nuclear triad is obsolete, Cold War, and unaffordable? Someone ought to tell the Russians and the Chinese :)

You see, saving US taxpayers money or “moving away from Cold War thinking” is not what Preble, Fay, and other anti-nuclear, anti-defense hacks want. What they REALLY want is America’s unilateral disarmament. They’d love to see it disarmed and totally unable to defend itself. In their sick minds, America is evil and deserves to be decapitated.

The fact that even the anti-nuclear Obama administration, which is headed by an extremely-leftist nuclear disarmament activist, supports retaining the nuclear triad and wants to maintain all 3 of its components, should signal to everyone that the triad is really necessary. But not to ideologically blind leftist hacks like Preble and Fay.

There is a continued, and even GROWING, need for a large US nuclear arsenal and for the triad. Russia and China both have large nuclear arsenals; Russia’s ICBM fleet alone can deliver 1,684 warheads to the US and its bomber fleet can deliver over 1,700. China has 1,600-3,000 nuclear weapons and over 80 ICBMs (as well as six SSBNs) and is adding more. A small nuclear arsenal, or one based only on one type of delivery systems, will not suffice.

The authors’ claim that

“And yet, the Obama administration and other defenders of the status quo contend that all three delivery systems are necessary. Such claims do not bear scrutiny. For example, the administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review argues that the triad must be maintained as a “technical hedge” — in other words, don’t put all America’s nuclear eggs in one basket.”

It is YOUR utterly false claims, Messrs. Preble and Fay, that do not stand up to empirical scrutiny. The 2010 NPR was absolutely right to conclude that the US should not put all of its eggs into one basket. Not just because of the triad’s record of successfully preventing nuclear (and large-scale conventional) attacks since its inception, but also because cutting down to a monad would leave America’s adversaries with only one, simple, one-dimensional problem: how to detect America’s SSBNs?

Should the US ever simplify this issue so much for its enemies, they’ll solve the problem – they’ll invest sufficient resources in solving it. According to recent news, China’s and Russia’s ASW capabilities are woefully underappreciated in the West, ADM Greenert’s boasting that “we totally own the undersea domain” notwithstanding. And US intel has been taken completely by surprise by America’s enemies’ capabilities and actions so many times that it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t know China and/or Russia had potent ASW capabilities. US intel is ignorant of many things it should know.

In sum, this article, like other screeds that Messrs. Preble and Fay write, is utter garbage that belongs in the dustbin. No, America must NOT scrap ANY of the legs of its nuclear triad – and must not delude itself that doing so would save any meaningful amount of money. It wouldn’t.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

Modernizing the B61 bomb is absolutely necessary

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 20, 2013


A program to modernize the B61 nuclear bomb – the main nuclear munition of the bomber leg of the US nuclear triad – is underway. Predictably, the left – both Congressional Democrat and their friends in pro-unilateral-disarmament organizations (ACA, Ploughshares, the CLW, etc.) oppose this vital program (and all other US military modernization programs) and are spreading lies about it. Let me set the record straight, then.

The B61 warhead is the main nuclear weapon used both by the air leg of the US strategic triad (consisting of bombers, ICBMs, submarines) and by US and NATO theater strike aircraft. It has one, albeit very important, purpose: to provide nuclear deterrence.

The B61 does this in two ways, not just one. Half of these bombs are based in the US and attributed to B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers, thus providing a global nuclear umbrella for the US and all of its allies around the world. But the other half of the B61 bomb inventory (numbering 400 warheads in total) is deployed in Europe, providing a continous, visible tactical nuclear deterrent to America’s 29 European allies, present right there on European soil. Nothing builds American allies’ confidence in that deterrent, and in America’s credibility as its provider, better than the physical presence of US tactical weapons in Europe, the need for which was recently reaffirmed by NATO at its latest summit. NATO has also stated that nuclear deterrence is a “core competency” of the Alliance and that it will remain a nuclear-armed alliance “as long as nuclear weapons exist.”

The B61 warhead thus serves both to deter any aggressor, and reassure any ally, globally, and on a regional scale to provide a tactical nuclear deterrent in Europe against any aggressor – most likely Russia – who might attack America’s allies there. The B61 could also be deployed to the Asia-Pacific to reassure America’s allies there and to deter North Korea and China if need be. Indeed, over 70% of South Koreans WANT US tactical nuclear weapons to be brought back to the Korean Peninsula.

The B61 is therefore a weapon that the military and America’s allies want and need.

(BTW, anti-defense activists and organizations love to admonish us defense conservatives not to fund weapon programs that “the military doesn’t want” when a DOD official expresses doubts about a weapon program, but hypocritically, they NEVER listen to the military’s leaders when they express full support for a weapon – be it the B61 bomb or the Next Generation Bomber.)

At a recent hearing before the House Strategic Forces Subcomittee led by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), four Obama administration officials (yes, Obama admin officials) very strongly underlined the importance of the B61 modernization program and the above-mentioned reasons for pursuing it. These officials were: Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the commander of the US Strategic Command; Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategic Affairs; Donald L. Cook, Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; and Paul J. Hommert, Director of Sandia National Laboratories.

You can read this excellent article by Bill Gertz, summarizing accurately their testimonies, here. They were all very outspoken about the need for modernizing this crucial warhead. General Kehler’s remarks deserve to be quoted in full here, however. The general said:

“Our requirement to deter nuclear attack is a military mission. This B-61 weapon arms the B-2. It will arm the future long-range strike platform. It arms the dual-capable aircraft that are forward stationed in Europe as well as those of our NATO allies.

It’s about deterring; it’s about assuring our allies of our extended deterrent commitment to them and from a military standpoint it’s about being able to offer the president a series of options that include nuclear options in extreme circumstances.

Equipping current and future nuclear bombers is a “necessary and crucial component of the triad and arming that force is a top priority.”

And the general is absolutely right. Even the best bombers, ICBMs, or SLBMs in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t have any nuclear warheads for them to deliver. The bomber (and theater strike aircraft) fleet’s principal nuclear bomb is the B61.

And the cost? The Ploughshares Fund falsely claims the B61 is a “nuclear budget buster.” That is a blatant lie. According to the Gertz article, modernizing those 400 B61 bombs will cost only $8.1 bn over 11 years. That is just $737 mn per year. Less than a billion dollars. Less than one sixth of one percent of the military budget.

Cancelling the modernization program of this bomb – or of America’s nuclear arsenal in general – would thus do absolutely nothing to help the military pay for the huge budget cuts mandated by the sequester ($55 bn per year), or America to cope with its budget woes.

Because the military is not the source of these woes. Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are. They account for over 60% of the entire federal budget.

THESE are the real budget busters.

The US urgently needs to modernize its B61 nuclear bombs – and, for that matter, all other warheads in its arsenal, as well as all three classes of delivery systems – ICBMs, submarines, and bombers. Failure to do so would mean de facto unilateral disarmament – and invite a nuclear first strike on the US or its allies by Russia or China.

http://freebeacon.com/pentagon-energy-department-moving-ahead-with-upgraded-precision-guided-nuclear-bomb/

UPDATE: Speaking recently for interviews with Agence France-Presse (who repeated their blatant lies uncritically), anti-nuclear activist Kingston Reif falsely claimed that the B61 upgrade is “unaffordable, unworkable, and unnecessary”, while ACA’s Tom Collina falsely claims that the B61 upgrade will impede arms reduction talks with Russia and cause Moscow to deploy new, more powerful, tactical nukes in Europe or elsewhere.

Their claims are blatant lies. Here’s why:

1) The truth is the exact opposite of what Kingston Reif and Tom Collina claim: the upgrade of the B61 is absolutely necessary, well affordable, and very much workable. It is affordable because even if it ultimately costs $10 bn, that’s just $732 million over the next 11 years (the duration of the works). That’s peanuts.

It is absolutely necessary, because while the US has removed thousands of tactical nukes from Europe, Russia still retains 4,000 tactical nukes (and a wide range of delivery systems for them) on the continent. Not only that, but Russia has reserved to itself the right to use nuclear weapons first, even against a non-nuclear state, and has threatened to use, or aim, its nuclear weapons against European countries at least 15 different times during the past 6 years. It is now growing and modernizing its nuclear arsenal (including the tactical portion, with new Iskander missiles and Su-34 tactical jets).

It would be utterly foolish, and indeed suicidal, to unilaterally disarm (by not modernizing the B61) in the face of such an aggressive potential adversary. In addition, the B61 is also needed to equip the bomber force for strategic deterrence and is also needed to deter China and North Korea in Asia. As General Bob Kehler, the commander of STRATCOM, has said, the B61 is the only US nuclear bomb that can serve both strategic and tactical deterrence purposes. (Nonetheless, the Obama administration is wrong to retire the B83 strategic bomb, the most powerful bomb in the US arsenal.)

2) Upgrading the B61 will NOT undermine prospects for further arms control treaties with Russia in any way, because there are already ZERO prospects for further such agreements. Immediately after Obama proposed a new round of nuclear arms cuts with Russia in June in Berlin, Moscow immediately rejected that proposal and continues to reject it (and to grow and modernize its nuclear arsenal). There is ZERO chance of any such treaty.

3) And that’s actually good, because all arms control treaties signed to date by the US have done nothing but dramatically REDUCE the security of the US and all of its allies while emboldening America’s enemies. Over twenty years of continually cutting and refusing to modernize the US nuclear arsenal have utterly failed to convince other states to give up their nukes, to stop them from modernizing their arsenals, or even to prevent the emergence of new nuclear powers. In fact, since 1991, while the US has cut its nuclear arsenal by 75%, two new states have joined the nuclear club: Pakistan in 1998 and North Korea in 2006. Two new entrants are well on their way: Iran and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has already bought nuclear weapons in Pakistan which are ready for delivery.

Arms control treaties have resulted in ONLY the US (and for a while, Russia) significantly cutting its nuclear arsenal. They do nothing but gravely UNDERMINE US and allied security. This is especially true of the New START treaty, which obligates ONLY the US (not Russia) to cut its nuclear arsenal. God forbid that Obama have any opportunity to sign more treaties like that!

Arms control treaties serve NO purpose but to hog-tie and disarm the West unilaterally. As Ronald Reagan rightly said, “We honor our arms control treaty obligations. Those who wish to do us harm don’t.”

In addition, Russia is blatantly violating the INF Treaty by testing intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which is prohibited by the treaty. Why rush to sign another pact with a country that flagrantly violates every arms reduction treaty it signs?

4) It is absolutely necessary to fully modernize the entire US nuclear arsenal in the face of the nuclear threats from Russia, but also China, North Korea, and Iran. This might prove expensive – but nowhere near as costly as allowing a nuclear attack on the US to be conducted successfully. Since 1945, US nuclear weapons have completely prevented any nuclear attack on the US or any of its allies – without any failure. No other weapon type has a record that even comes close. That alone makes investing in nuclear weapons and their modernization worthwhile.

The ancient military strategist Sun Tzu said that “To win 100 battles is not the acme of skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is.” The corrollary to Sun Tzu’s saying is that weapons which prevent wars are worth a million times more than weapons which are actually used in wars.

Posted in Media lies, Nuclear deterrence | 2 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 403 other followers