Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Comment mettre le budget de l’Etat français en equilibre

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 6, 2014


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

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

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

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

Posted in Economic affairs | Leave a Comment »

Bad News for Arms Control Advocates and Russian Threat Deniers

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 2, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/1/inside-the-ring-compromise-of-classified-documents/?page=2

 

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

Les faits contre les mensonges de S. Royal et les socialistes sur la “transition energetique”

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 1, 2014


Aujourd’hui, l’Assemblee Nationale commence le debat sur la soi-disante loi de transition energetique propose par la ministre de l’ecologie, Segolene Royale, une socialiste incorrigible et ideologique qui represente l’extreme gauche de la politique francaise.

Celle loi, ecrite seulement sur une base ideologique et dessinee a plaire a l’extreme gauche de la majorite au pouvoir (les Verts et l’extreme gauche du PS), est un texte dangereux et totallement inacceptable.

L’intention proclamee de la ministre de l’ecologie est de reduire la facture que les Francais paient pour l’energie, creer des milliers des “emplois verts”, et reduire les emissions du CO2 (un gaz a l’effet de serre) et des gaz polluants. Pour parvenir a ces buts, la loi vise de:

  • Introduire des subventions et des credits d’impots pour l’isolation thermique des immeubles et l’achat des voitures electriques;
  • Installer 7 millions de points de rechargement des voitures electriques sur l’ensemble du territoire francais;
  • Introduire une cible legale de reduction des emissions du CO2 en France de 75% par rapport a 2012;
  • Produire 30% de l’electricite aux soi-disants “sources renouvelables” (vent, soleil, biomasse, dechets, etc.) a l’horizon 2030;
  • Reduire par moitie la consomption de l’energie en France;
  • Maintenir l’interdiction sur l’investigation et l’exploitation du gaz de schiste;
  • Reduire de 75% a 50% la part du nucleaire dans le mix energetique francais d’ici 2025 (ce qui fera necessaire la fermeture des dizaines de reacteurs d’ici 2025).

C’est une loi tres dangereux qui devrait etre bloquee a l’Assemblee Nationale.

L’aspect le plus dangereux de ce projet de loi est l’obligation de reduire la part du nucleaire de 75% a 50%, ce qui n’a aucun sens economique, energetique, environmental ou geopolitique.

Cette proposition – inscrite dans le projet de la loi – n’est motivee que par l’obsession ideologique de la gauche, dont Mme Royal et ses allies les Verts, avec la lutte contre le nucleaire. Les Verts ont deja demande aujourd’hui la fermeture de toutes les centrales nucleaires en France, et le quart de celles ci a l’horizon 2025!

Cette lutte contre le nucleaire – mene par Mme Royal et ses allies a l’extreme gauche et promise par Francois Hollande lors de sa campagne presidentielle de 2012 – est totallement irrationale et suicidale. Voici pourquoi:

  • Grace au nucleaire, la France est independante pour les sources de l’electricite et a une industrie tres competitive.
  • Grace au nucleaire, le prix de l’electricite en France est parmi les plus bas en Europe – c’est l’un des dernieres fillieres de la competitivite economique de la France.
  • Grace au nucleaire, 400 000 emplois bien payes existent en France.
  • Grace au nucleaire, la France est un exporteur de l’electricite important en Europe: parmi les 59 reacteurs nucleaires francais, 10 produisent de l’electricite pour export, notamment a l’Allemagne.
  • Les soi-disants “sources renouvelables de l’energie” (le vent, le soleil, la biomasse, etc.) sont totallement nonfiables, interminnentes, non-economiques, et ne peuvent JAMAIS remplacer le nucleaire ou les sources fossiles. Les centrales eoliennes ne marchent pas du tout pendant 70% d’une journee (pour une manque du vent), et les centrales solaires ne marchent pas du tout pendant la nuit (ce qui est evident a chacun sauf la gauche). En plus, meme qu’elles marchent, elles ne peuvent pas produire qu’une tres faible portion de l’electricitre fournise par une centrale nucleaire, et meme cela ne peut pas etre fait sans des subventions massives de l’Etat.
  • L’Allemagne a deja fait sa transition energetique – et voila les resultats: un cout qui s’est eleve a 500 Mds d’Euros et un prix de l’electricite deux fois plus haut qu’en France!
  • Le vice chancelier et ministre de l’economie allemand, Sigmar Gabriel, a recettement admis que « La vérité est que la transition énergétique est sur le point d’échouer, la vérité est que sous tous les aspects, nous avons sous-estimé la complexité de cette transition énergétique. La noble aspiration d’un approvisionnement énergétique décentralisé et autonome est bien sûr une pure folie. Quoi qu’il en soit, la plupart des autres pays d’Europe pensent que nous sommes fous ! » C’est-a-dire, le vice-chancelier allemand a admis que la “transition energetique” de son pays “est sur le point d’echouer” et que les Allemands ont sous-estime cout et la complexite de cette “transition”! Or, Mme Royal et ses collegues socialistes et ecologistes vont repeter les erreurs graves de l’Allemagne!
  • En plus, la basse de la part du nucleaire a entraîné une hausse des émissions de CO2 en Allemagne – parce que les soi-disants “sources renouvelables de l’electricite” ont totallement echoue a fournir l’electricite, et donc les Allemands ont du revenir au gaz naturel, le petrole, et le charbon – notamment le gaz naturel importe de la Russie, ce qui a fait l’Allemagne meme PLUS dependante de la Russie pour le gaz.
  • L’hiver dernier, 300 000 foyers allemands ont ete prives de l’electricite, parce que toutes les centrales eoliennes et solaires du pays, meme avec l’aide des centrales a gaz, a petrole, et a charbon, n’avaient pu fournir assez d’electricite – du a la fermeture des centrales nucleaires en Allemagne.

Il faut dire la brutale verite: Le vrai but de ce projet de loi n’est pas du tout la lutte contre le “rechauffment climatique” (ce qui est une autre mensonge), reduire la facture energetique de la France, faire la France plus independante des pays etrangers, ou creer des emplois.

Le seul vrai but de ce projet de loi est une lutte ideologique et debile contre le nucleaire (un but officiel des Verts), contre les sources fossiles fiables, et contre les automobilistes. Le nucleaire est la cible preferee des Verts et du PS – comme les verts et les socialistes dans les autres pays europeens, ils sont IDEOLOGIQUEMENT opposes au nucleaire.

Les effets de ce projet de loi et cette lutte ideologique contre nucleaire seront les suivants:

  • Les foyers francais vont payer BEAUCOUP plus pour l’electricite qu’aujourd’hui, et doublement plus: en impots (pour financer les subventions massives pour les “sources renouvelables”), et en factures pour l’electricite produite de ces sources non-economiques.
  • Des centaines de milliers de foyers francais seront prives d’electricite chaque hiver en raison d’une demande trop haute pour les “sources renouvelables” qui ne marchent pas – comme est deja le cas chaque hiver en Allemagne.
  • Les emissions de CO2 en France s’augmenteront – comme ca a ete deja le cas en Allemagne.
  • Le deficit budgetaire et la dette publique de la France (qui est deja parvenue au seuil de 2 000 Mds d’Euros) va s’aggrandir pour payer des dizaines de milliards d’Euros du cout de la fermeture des centrales nucleaires et des subventions massives dont auront besoin les soi-disantes “sources renouvelables”.

Quand au gaz de schiste, il faut se rappeler que les Etats-Unis utilisent deja cette source fiable du gaz responsablement, avec peu d’accidents, et ont donc cree beaucoup d’emplois et beaucoup de revenus nouveaux aux caisses des Etats ou cette source est exploitee, notamment au Dakota du Nord. Il est debile de priver la France d’une source fiable du gaz lorsqu’elle importe la quasi-totalite du gaz qu’elle utilise.

Je repete: le projet de la loi sur la “transition energetique” est un projet de destruction de l’economie francaise. Il menera a la perte totale de competivite economique par la France par une forte hausse du prix de l’electricite, il fera l’economie francaise dependre sur les sources non-fiables, interminnentes, et non-economiques, et il produire une forte hausse des factures d’electricite pour tous les foyers francaise.

Il faut rejeter completement ce projet de loi.

Posted in Economic affairs, Ideologies, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 30, 2014


142074.439nuclear_explosion

How many nuclear weapons does China have?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • It has deployed a new IRBM, the DF-26C, with a range of over 3,500 kms and thus the capability to reach Guam and beyond.
  • It has begun deploying, and publicly confirmed the existence of, the DF-41 mobile heavy ICBM, which is capable of delivering 10 warheads per missile. StrategyPage estimates that China has deployed “fewer than a dozen” DF-41s so far. That means anywhere from 1 to 11 DF-41s – and since each DF-41 missile can deliver 10 warheads, that means up to 110 additional warheads being targeted against the US. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission estimates China may operationally deploy the DF-41 ICBM as early as 2015, which means there will be at least 6 DF-41 operationally deployed by then.
  • It has replaced its last DF-3 MRBMs with mobile DF-21s.
  • It has increased the number of SRBMs deployed opposite Taiwan.
  • It has certainly increased the number of the DF-31s it deploys, from the 30 then estimated to be in service.

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

My new estimate is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes:

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

Why the EU market is of PARAMOUNT importance to Britain

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 29, 2014


This month, two Eurosceptic Little Englander MPs, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless (he’s reckless all right), defected to the UK Independence Party, which campaigns for British withdrawal from the EU.

Pro-withdrawal sentiment is indeed growing among the British people. And even those who don’t advocate Britain’s outright withdrawal have, in recent months, made foolish comments – up to and including the Prime Minister.

When he last visited China, David Cameron called on British schools to drop their old emphasis on teaching French and German and start emphasising Mandarin instead. British newspapers even misquoted him as saying “Ditch French and German!”

In any case, deemphasising French and German and withdrawing from the EU would be suicidal mistake, as the following three graphs show.

The first illustrates where UK exports go, country by country, using FY2009/2010 (i.e. a little aged) data. It comes from this Guardian article on global trade.

UK-exports-graphic-002

As can be seen from this Guardian graph, the UK exports almost FIVE times as much to Germany as it does to China, and over three times more to France than it does to China. Ditto the Netherlands. The UK even exports more to stagnant Spain and Italy than it does to China!

But most remarkably, the UK exports TWICE MORE to Belgium than it does to all of China!

Which means that despite the fantasies of Eurosceptics and even non-Eurosceptic ignoramuses who dismiss Europe’s importance as an export market and exaggerate that of developing countries, the EU remains, far and away, the UK’s most important export market and will remain so for many decades to come.

But the graph shows exports to EU countries declining and those to China increasing, doesn’t it?

Yes – but for the UK’s exports to China to match those to Europe, the former would have to grow at absurdly high, unsustainable rates for many decades.

For UK exports to China to match the importance of UK exports to…

  • France or Netherlands, they’d have to more than triple (i.e. grow by over 200%).
  • Belgium, they’d have to more than double (i.e. register growth of over 100%).
  • Germany, they’d have to quintuple (i.e. growth by an astouding 400%).

This will not happen for decades, if ever.

China’s economy is now showing signs of slowing down and cooling. It cannot maintain a growth rate of almost 10% forever, and it won’t grow faster in future years unless economic reform is accompanied by political reform – which the CPC is unwilling to carry out.

The second graph comes from EconomyWatch and illustrates Britain’s exports to her seven biggest trade partners (in the graph, England is wrongly equated with Britain). Again, European countries dominate the pack, with the US as the only non-European country among Britain’s top export partners and being closely followed by Germany despite occupying the top spot.

England_Trade1

Again, the data is telling. China, India, Russia, Brazil, and other developing countries are nowhere in the graph. Not only aren’t they among the UK’s top five export partners, they aren’t even among the top seven! And while the US still occupies the top spot, which it traditionally has held since 1776, Germany is just slightly behind, followed by the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Belgium, and Spain. (Again, as we see, the UK exports more to the tiny country of Belgium than it does to China.)

Think about it: the UK not only exports far more to Germany than it does to China, it exports almost as much there as it does to the US, despite the latter having an economy and a population several times larger! That is to say, the average German buys several times more worth of British goods and services than does the average American!

Again, to let it sink it: Germany is not only far bigger an export market for the UK than China is, it is almost as much important as the US juggernaut.

Not only that, but France and the Netherlands – with a combined population equal to Germany’s and a combined GDP smaller than that of their eastern neighbor, buy even more of British goods and services than the US does – and, of course, far more than China does.

And now, finally, the third and most recent graph, using 2012 data on UK exports and imports, from the BBC using HM Revenue&Customs data.

uk_imports_exports

As the graph demonstrates, the UK exports more to the rest of the EU than it does to the rest of the world COMBINED, and the EU, as an export market, dwarfs all others in terms of importance. North America and Asia & Oceania, tied for second in terms of importance to UK exports, still pale into insignificance compared to the EU. This is even more so of “non-EU Europe”, “Middle East & North Africa”, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and “other.”

Let me repeat that: the UK exports more to the rest of the EU than it does to all other regions of the world COMBINED, and as the destination of 51% of ALL UK exports, the EU dwarfs all other UK export partners in terms of importance. No other region of the world comes even close to being as important to British exporters as does the EU.

North America – i.e. the US and Canada (a former British colony) combined – buy only 15% of what the UK exports. Ditto Asia & Oceania (a vast region that includes China, India, and Australia), for all the talk about its importance as an export market.

Non-EU Europe – mostly Russia – accounts for only 8%.

That should put to rest any fantasies of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and of China, India, and other countries replacing the EU as Britain’s top export partners. It won’t happen. Not within my lifetime, and probably not within the lifetime of children born today.

Also, it is worth adding that the EU, as a juggernaut with 500 million people and the world’s largest GDP, is the world’s largest trading powerhouse, and thus, having a trade agreement with the EU is a top priority for everyone, from huge countries like the US to small ones like South Korea. By contrast, if Britain were to leave the EU, signing a trade agreement with her would be a priority for few countries.

I repeat: Britain stands ZERO chance of surviving economically outside the EU.

Posted in Economic affairs | Leave a Comment »

Rebuttal of NYT’s and arms control advocates’ lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 26, 2014


142074.439nuclear_explosion

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

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

But it doesn’t.

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

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

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

The Cost Of Nuclear Modernization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compared to this, nuclear weapons are cheap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Need For Nuclear Modernization

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

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

(http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/09/its-time-rein-nuclear-spending/95174/?oref=d-skybox)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forget About The “Nuke-Free World” Fantasy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They must be stopped at all costs.

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

“[The nuclear mission] is our most important mission, period, simply because of the sheer destructive power that’s involved and because of the criticality of it to our national security. This is the very foundation of U.S. national security,” Kendall said. “No capability we maintain is more important than our nuclear deterrent.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/us-ramping-up-major-renewal-in-nuclear-arms.html

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

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

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 24, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They must be stopped at all costs.

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

On the current operation against ISIL in Iraq and Syria

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 23, 2014


In recent days, US and allied aircraft, including Dassault Rafale fighters, have struck numerous targets in Iraq and Syria as part of the bombing campaign against the Islamic State. This campaign, just recently begun, has already revealed several facts:

1) The F-22 has seen actual combat (not merely interceptions of enemy aircraft) for the first time, thus belying forever the false claims that it’s a hangar queen. And it has performed magnificently, delivering significant payloads against enemy targets, hitting them with pinpoint precision, and not causing any civilian casualties. For my rebuttals of the smears against the F-22 Raptor, see here and here.

2) Even a bombing campaign against a mid-sized stateless enemy such as the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (in reality, a jihadist movement) in a mid-sized country like Iraq (and parts of Syria) requires a huge amount of aircraft, ordnance (payloads), and fuel and the involvement of many foreign allies – both those providing combat aircraft and those providing bases. Think how huge the scale of any bombing campaign against Iran and North Korea, let alone Russia, would have to be!

3) For this campaign, the USAF and friendly AFs have bases available throughout the region for their aircraft to take off… at least for now. But if US allies in the region were to deny those bases to the US for any reason (be it fear from reprisals from jihadists, domestic political opposition, or any other reason whatsoever), ALL American and allied tactical aircraft (fighters, strike aircraft, drones, etc.) would be completely and immediately eliminated from the equation. This cannot be ruled out – US allies in the region (other than Israel) could very well bend before terrorist blackmail one day, and even if they don’t, the local peoples hate the US and the West and will eventually demand that the US be barred from using their bases. It is therefore all the more imperative that the US quickly develop and field, in large quantities, the planned family of long-range strike weapons, including a new bomber, a new cruise missile, the Virginia Payload Module, and Prompt Global Strike weapons.

4) This is probably one of the last campaigns ever that the US will conduct against a primitive adversary like a terrorist organization (such as ISIL) – a campaign in which the opponent will not contest America’s control of the air and the sea. In future wars, however, you can be sure as hell that the enemy WILL contest control of the air, whether that enemy will be Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia.

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Yet MORE of Ploughshares’ blatant lies about nukes debunked

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 8, 2014


The Ploughshares Fund, a treasonous organization seeking America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, lies everyday about America’s nuclear weapons to mislead the public and policymakers and thus achieve its treasonous goal.

Its latest lie is the utterly false claim that:

“Platforms for could crush conventional programs under the weight of bloated budgets.  “

The only problem is that it’s a complete falsehood, just like everything else Ploughshares says.

Ploughshares bases its false claim on a paper recently released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), wrongly titled the “FY2015 Weapons Systems Factbook.”

Unfortunately for Ploughshares and other leftist groups seeking America’s unilateral disarmament, the data in the so-called “Factbook” do not support their contention at all. The data contained therein UTTERLY DISPROVE Ploughshares’ claim.

US nuclear weapons and the platforms (delivery systems) being designed for them are NOT crushing or siphoning money away from ANYTHING, and their budgets are far from being bloated.

Specifically, the CSBA’s “Factbook” goes through every major DOD weapons program, from the F-35, to the Long Range Strike Bomber, to the planned replacement of America’s aging ballistic missile subs, to space launch vehicles, to the V-22 Osprey. The “Factbook” says how much the DOD has already invested in each of these programs and how much more will it need to spend on each to bring them to completion (i.e. to procure the weapon quantities currently envisaged).

In simple words, how much will it cost to build the weapons the DOD plans to build?

The CSBA’s “Factbook” isn’t really a factbook, because it significantly OVERSTATES the projected cost of the Long Range Strike Bomber and Ohio class replacement programs while significantly low-balling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s cost. (This comes as no surprise, given that the Factbook’s main author is Todd Harrison, who has been proven wrong on budgetary issues time after time.)

But for simplicity’s sake, let’s use the Factbook’s numbers. Do they support Ploughshares’ claim that nuclear weapon delivery platforms are “crushing” or squeezing conventional weapon programs?

No, they don’t. In fact, the Factbook’s numbers completely REFUTE Ploughshares’ utterly false claims.

The CSBA’s “Factbook” says the DOD will need to invest $73 bn to develop and build 100 stealthy bombers and $90 bn to build replacements for America’s current, obsolete, noisy, and ageing ballistic missile subs (SSBNs).

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

But by far the costliest DOD weapons program right now (and ever) is the utterly failed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a program aiming to develop and procure a fleet of partially stealthy, short-ranged, slow, sluggish, unmaneuverable, underpowered, poorly armed, useless “strike fighters” designed for strikes against massive Soviet tank armies in Germany – a threat that no longer exists. It is now intended by the USAF to fight enemy aircraft and go into airspace protected by modern SAM systems – missions it is utterly incapable of performing.

The F-35 is also short-ranged, with a combat radius of about 1,800-1,900 kms at most, meaning that, like other US fighters, it would need to use bases close to potential adversary countries – bases that are well within the range of enemy medium range ballistic and cruise missiles.

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

That is $88.3 bn more than the cost of the long-range strike bomber and new ballistic missile submarine programs COMBINED!

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

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

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

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

(Speaking of the V-22 Osprey, can’t the CH-46 do the job?)

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

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

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

The need for the LRSB has been irrefutably proven time and again – first by none other than the CSBA.

So Ploughshares, once again, has been completely refuted. ALL of their claims have been disproven once again. All of their claims are blatant lies, pure and simple.

 

 

 

 

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NATO, the Russian threat, and Nuclear Deterrence

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on September 4, 2014


Joseph Cirincione, the president of the treasonous “Ploughshares Fund”, a group campaigning for America’s unilateral disarmament, has once again made an ass of himself.

In his latest anti-nuclear diatribe published on the leftist DefenseOne website, Cirincione falsely claims that missile defense and nuclear weapons are “irrelevant” to the security challenges NATO faces, and that US tactical nukes in Europe have slided into “irrelevancy”. “They don’t matter”, falsely claims Cirincione about missile defense and nuclear weapons:

“They don’t matter. Neither provides protection against the threats concerning NATO.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nuclear weapons (including US tactical nukes stationed in Europe) are of PARAMOUNT importance to countering the threats NATO faces.

Moreover, ONLY nuclear weapons can protect the US and its NATO allies against the gravest threats they face. NOTHING can substitute for these weapons in NATO’s defense.

The biggest foe NATO is facing right now is Russia. And the ONLY way Russia can threaten Europe, the US, and Canada (or anyone else for that matter) is with nuclear weapons – or by threatening to cut off oil and gas supplies to Europe.

Let me repeat that: other than oil and gas cutoffs, nuclear weapons are the ONLY things Russia can threaten anyone with. Its conventional force is a joke, relying mostly on obsolete Soviet-era tanks, APCs, and fighters.

Without its nuclear arsenal, Russia wouldn’t have been able to threaten anyone except, at worst, its most immediate neighbors like Ukraine and Georgia.

Yet this one threat is huge. Russia’s nuclear arsenal is huge, numbering anywhere between 6,800 (per the FAS) and 8,500 (per the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) nuclear weapons, deployed and nondeployed.

Russia’s nuclear triad numbers over 400 ICBMs (capable of delivering over 1,600 nukes to the continental US), 13 ballistic missile subs (boomers) capable of delivering over 2,000 warheads to America’s shores, and 251 strategic bombers capable of delivering another 1,400 nuclear warheads to the US.

On top of that, Russia’s attack and cruise missile submarines can deliver further over 1,000 atomic warheads to the US on their cruise missiles. The Tu-95 fleet alone can deliver over 700 such missiles.

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

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

Putin has also stated Russia will develop new, “offensive” nuclear weapons.

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

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

Hardly surprising, then, that recently, three national security veterans – including two former presidential National Security Advisors – have spoken out strongly in favor of nuclear deterrence and especially US tactical nukes in Europe (emphasis mine):

Brent Scowcroft was national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Stephen J. Hadley was national security adviser to President George W. Bush. Franklin Miller was responsible for U.S. nuclear policy in the Defense Department for Presidents George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton and on the National Security Council staff for President George W. Bush.

 

When NATO’s leaders gather in Wales in early September, they will address several issues critical to the alliance, including Russian adventurism in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, members’ contribution to collective defense, the adequacy of individual national defense budgets and plans for supporting the people of Afghanistan. In the course of their deliberations on these issues, however, they also should reaffirm the value to the alliance of the continued presence of the modest number of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe. We believe this is necessary because we are again hearing calls for the United States to unilaterally withdraw its small arsenal of forward- deployed nuclear bombs. Those arguments are shopworn, familiar — and wrong.

The most common argument is that because the United States’ strategic forces have global capabilities, the NATO-based weapons “have no military value.” While that claim is false (NATO’s supreme allied commander recently attested to the weapons’ military utility), it also ignores the most central feature of nuclear weapons: They are, fundamentally, political weapons. A principal function of forward deployment has been, and remains, to be a visible symbol to friend and potential foe of the U.S. commitment to defend NATO with all of the military power it possesses. (…)

 

 Of particular concern to NATO, Russia has embarked on an across-the-board modernization of its nuclear forces, a modernization judged so important by Moscow that it has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in the process. As our NATO allies point out, nuclear weapons clearly matter to Russian leadership, and, as a result, our allies insist that the U.S. nuclear commitment to NATO cannot be called into question.”

(Source: http://missilethreat.com/nato-based-nuclear-weapons-advantage-dangerous-world/)

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

Nuclear weapons are also necessary to deter other potential opponents of the US, notably China and North Korea, but these are not threats to NATO.

America’s second most senior military officer, Adm. James Winnefeld, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agrees wholeheartedly, saying:

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

This is from Winnefeld’s May 28th speech at the Atlantic Council. Cirincione took a very short passage out of that speech, out of context to buttress his false claim that missile defense is supposedly useless and irrelevant to US security:

“we’ve told Russia and the world that we will not rely on missile defense for strategic deterrence, because it would simply be too hard and too expensive and too strategically destabilizing to even try.”

But that short passage tells us nothing, because it has been taken out of the rest of the speech and out of context – for the purpose of misleading the public. Immediately after those words, Adm. Winnefeld said:

“Rather, we rely for deterrence of Russia on our ability to respond massively to an attack, and that has worked for a very long time. But we do have other interests, where what we call “limited missile defense” quickly comes sharply into focus as being very relevant, beginning with our determination to prevent catastrophic attacks on our nation.

This is about ensuring we can deny the objectives of any insecure authoritarian state that believes acquisition of deliverable weapons of mass destruction is key to the preservation of its regime.

The number of states trying to achieve that capability is growing, not shrinking . . . with our principal current concern being North Korea, because they are closest in terms of capability, followed by Iran.

Because we’re not betting on Dennis Rodman as our deterrent against a future North Korean ICBM threat . . .

 

. . . a robust and capable missile defense is our best bet to defend the United States from such an attack; and is, in my view, our number one missile defense priority.

 

Which is why the systems that provide this defense, such as our Ground Based Interceptor program, or GBI, are accorded much higher priority than other items in our shrinking missile defense budget.”

As one can see, Adm. Winnefeld has recently reaffirmed that a) nuclear deterrence is of paramount importance to US and allied security to protect against Russia; and b) missile defense is highly relevant to protecting America against other threats – specifically, rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

Cirincione also falsely claims that America’s missile defense systems don’t work and can’t even intercept North Korean or Iranian missiles. He further falsely claims they have only a 50% success rate in “carefully controlled” tests and can be easily defeated by a wide range of countermeasures. These claims are also patently false. Again, Admiral Winnefeld himself (the same admiral whom Cirincione quoted out of context) has refuted them:

“Finally, I’d like to address several other misconceptions that are out there regarding ballistic missile defense.

 

First, and most obvious, is the claim that our missile defense systems don’t work, that we can’t “hit-to-kill.” Well, we have an excellent track record with regional systems comprised of operationally configured Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors and SM-3s.

 

As I mentioned, we’re working through the GBI issues and expect to raise the probability of intercept. But basically our test record using hit-to-kill has put this misconception to bed.

 

To date, for our operationally configured interceptors, not development prototypes mind you . . . THAAD is 11 for 11; Aegis BMD is 18 for 21; GMD is 3 for 6; and the Patriot PAC-3 is 21 for 25.

 

That’s not bad, but we’re determined to make it even better.

The second misconception is that it’s easy for an adversary to employ ballistic missile defense countermeasures.

 

To be sure, we will continue to do everything we can in order to improve our discrimination capability, but as hard as that job is, so is the challenge of deploying and employing countermeasures. If the enemy is confronting a layered defense system, whatever countermeasures work in midcourse might not work in terminal, or their terminal countermeasures may be destroyed in midcourse.

 

Test is critical to the success of any complex weapons system, and when it comes to missile defense countermeasures, our adversaries don’t do much of it, which means they can’t know how they perform. We’ve had our own extensive countermeasures program, and we learned just how difficult it is to get that right.

 

Countermeasures take up payload space and have weight considerations, so there’s also a tradeoff. Bottom line . . . it’s not as easy as it might look on paper.”

Adm. Winnefeld’s speech can be read in its entirety here. This website is linking to it so that Readers can read the ENTIRE speech, and not just a very short passage taken out of context.

Cirincione should be deeply ashamed of himself for taking such a short snipped completely out of context and out of the rest of the speech and using it to back his totally false claims. It only proves what a repugnant liar he is, and shows he will go to any lengths to spread blatant lies and mislead the public to advance his unilateral disarmament agenda.

Fortunately, he won’t have much success. Even before Russia’s attack on Ukraine, most Americans supported a robust national defense (including missile defense and nuclear deterrence), opposed defense cuts, and were highly skeptical of Russia. Today, the American people demand far tougher action against Russia than what Democrats or even some Republicans support.

Once again, Cirincione and other advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament have been proven dead wrong. Nuclear weapons – especially American tactical nukes in Europe – are needed now more than ever. They are of paramount importance. They are the ONLY thing that can protect NATO members from the biggest threat they face by far: Russian nuclear intimidation.

 

 

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