Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Rebuttal of John T. Bennett’s lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 8, 2013

On his InsideDefense blog at defensenews.com, that website’s editor, John T. Bennett, cheers on the WSJ’s latest, completely baseless attack on HASC GOP members and us defense conservatives in general, seconding the WSJ’s utterly blatant lies and false figures, and citing extreme leftists like Kingston Reif as credible sources of information.

Here is my rebuttal of his pathetic screed.

“Those are the kinds of figures anti-sequester lawmakers and pundits don’t like to talk about. For them, no increase in annual Pentagon funding is enough. And just about every imaginable threat is one that justifies larger yearly increases.” [Bennett]

Those are utterly blatant lies by you, by the pseudoconservative WSJ, and by the leftist C4RFB, not reliable figures. Not even the staunchest defense hawk in the US right now is calling for increases in defense spending nor exaggerating threats. What we defense conservatives, including HASC Republicans, oppose, are deep, rapid CUTS in the nation’s defense budget.

In FY2013, the sequester slashed $37 bn overnight from the base defense budget. This fiscal year, it will cut the budget further, down to just $475 bn, the lowest level of base defense spending (in real terms) since FY2003 – i.e. setting the defense budget back by over a decade. Just two FYs ago, the defense budget stood (in then-year dollars) at over $525 bn.

Contrary to the WSJ’s blatant lies, defense spending will not come anywhere close to $590 bn by FY2021 (or any other point in the next few decades, for that matter). By FY2022, it will still amount to only $493 bn – almost a hundred billion dollars less than what the WSJ and the C4RFB falsely claim. (Source: the July 11th, 2012 CBO report on the impact of sequestration.)

No, defense spending will not reach $590 bn, or any even remotely similar figure, in FY2021 or FY2022. Not even close. The figures from the leftist C4RFB, which the pseudoconservative WSJ cites, are completely false. They’re pure fabrication.

We are not talking about any defense spending increases here. These are deep, real cuts in defense spending – not cuts to the growth rate.

And the actual military consequences of such deep and rapid cuts in defense spending will be grave, contrary to your and the WSJ’s pious denials. Already during FY2013, the Navy had to cancel maintenance for dozens of ships and hundreds of a/c and cancel the Truman’s deployment to the Gulf, while the USAF had to stand 1/3 of its a/c fleet down. Now USAF pilots are leaving the service in droves because, thanks to sequestration, there’s not enough money to fly their a/c. In the long term, if sequestration persists, the military will have to deeply cut its force structure or modernization programs – or both, as evidenced by both the DOD and all non-leftist think-tanks in the US, from the CNAS and the BPC on the center-left to the AEI and Heritage on the right. Which is not surprising, given that the DOD will see its budget cut by 10%.

“To avoid a repeat, GOP veterans need to abandon their parochial interests for the greater good.” [WSJ]

Excuse me? Parochial interests? Defense is not anyone’s parochial interest – it is the highest Constitutional DUTY of the federal government. Dramatically underfunding it is a blatant dereliction of that duty. And if America’s security is not provided for, nothing else will matter – including the budget deficit, which is just a figure. America’s enemies will not wait for the US to get its fiscal house in order – China, for one, is not waiting. Greater good? Nothing could be more important for “the greater good” than providing for America’s defense.

Kingston Reif of the CACN? Ah, yet another leftist “defense source” for a pro-unilateral-disarmament, anti-defense lackey like yourself, Mr Bennett… The reality is that Reif is an ignorant, extremely leftist, anti-defense (and in particular, anti-nuclear) hack, not a credible source. He is not noted for anything except complaining ceaselessly about US nuclear weapons and their supposed cost… but he has no problems with Russia’s, China’s, or North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenals and nuclear weapons spending.

Shame on the WSJ for lying so blatantly to its readers (my rebuttal of its blatant lies will be published next week on ConservativeDailyNews), and shame on you, Mr Bennett, for lying so blatantly about such an important defense issue… AGAIN. You have been caught flat-footed. Not a word you say or write is credible. Not even one.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

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 »

A poem about Marine Lorphelin, Miss France 2013

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 28, 2013


I have written two poems about the beautiful Marine Lorphelin, Miss France 2013, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking to in Melun, France, on November 6th. Here’s the first of my two poems about this beautiful young woman. What do you think of it, folks?

The Flower of Burgundy

By Zbigniew Mazurak

There is a beautiful, precious flower,

Risen from Burgundy,

A beautiful, sweet rose

Which shines throughout France.

Her green eyes are so beautiful…

More so than anything else

On this green Earth…

Her wonderful hair, carefully combed

Is so pleasant to adore…

This precious flower from Burgundy

Walks among us, mere mortals.

Wherever she goes, she brings happiness,

Joy, and goodwill.

To little children, she tends most carefully,

To our little flowers, with care and passion.

To others in need, she comes and brings

Her golden heart, her wonderful smile, her goodwill.

Wherever this precious flower goes,

She brings hope.

Whomever she meets

She warms hearts up and brings her kindness.

This precious young flower

Has her outer

And her inner beauty.

We adore her fondly

For both the inner and the outer…

She shines throughout the world,

Her beauty radiates like the Sun,

She blossoms beautifully in Burgundy’s garden,

Admired by all, precious, sweet, and delicate.

I have fallen completely

To the charm and the spell

Of this beautiful Burgundian flower

Named Marine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Time to withdraw the US defense commitment to Europe

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 23, 2013

As European countries continue to deeply cut their defense budgets, capabilities, and military force structure to fund their increasingly expensive and bloated welfare states, more and more of the defense burden is being borne exclusively by the US. Even formerly formidable secondary military partners like France and Britain are now gutting their militaries, and Britain is preparing to cut its armed forces even further.

Therefore, it is overdue to withdraw the US defense commitment to Europe, except that of nuclear deterrence (in other words, against all but the most catastrophic threats). The European Union, collectively, has a larger GDP and a far larger population than the US. European countries are theoretically capable of creating adequate militaries – they just don’t want to.

Unequal burden sharing, i.e. freeriding

The Europeans are essentially freeriding on the backs of American troops. Whereas during the Cold War NATO was a serious alliance of serious members with a serious mission, it is now an alliance of weak European states and Canada which expect the US to defend them. In other words, they expect something for nothing.

During the Cold War and the early 1990s, Europe and Canada accounted for roughly half of NATO defense spending and the US for another half, so the burden of defending Europe was equally shared. But since the Soviet Union’s fall, European countries have foolishly and wrongly concluded that there is no longer any threat to their security and have dramatically cut the budgets, force structure, capabilities, and weapon programs of their militaries.

In 1989, France and Britain were both spending over 4% of GDP and each of them had over 400 combat aircraft (Britain actually had almost 600). Today, that is down to only 271 in France and slightly over 200 in Britain. The UK spends just slightly over 2% of GDP on defense, while France spends just 1.76%.

Indeed, French Wikipedia openly notes the sharp decline of France’s combat aircraft fleet. The French Air Force had over 330 combat jets in 2006, but the “review” (read: propaganda pamphlet trying to justify deep defense cuts) ordered by President Sarkozy in 2008 cut that to 255 (300 for the entire French military, including 45 for the Navy). The most recent “review” ordered by President Hollande has cut that even further and deeply, to just 180 for the Air Force and 225 for the entire French military!

In addition, the French army’s fleet of tansk will be cut to just 200; the fleets of other ground vehicles, and of Army helicopters, will be cut as well. The entire French army will consist of just 7 brigades! Meanwhile, the Navy will lose 5 frigates through retirement without replacement, and it can forget about a 4th amphibious ship or a second aircraft carrier. The Air Force will see its tanker and airlifter fleets cut in addition to the fighter fleet.

And if that were not enough, FAF Chief of Staff Gen. Denis Mercier has recently announced that, due to insufficient funding, only a part of FAF pilots will receive full flight training, while many other pilots will receive only bare-bone basic flight training and will otherwise be unready for combat. That is, when war erupts, they will need many months to become proficient. This is deceptively called “tiered readiness” – an Orwellian newspeak for “at least half of the force being undertrained and unready for combat”.

In 1989, Spain spent 2% of GDP, and Germany over 3% of GDP, on defense. That is now down to less than 1.5% in Germany and less than 1% in Spain! Their combat aircraft fleets, and inventories of other military equipment such as ground combat vehicles and warships, have likewise declined sharply as well.

The Italian military has also cut its fighter and warship fleets and its order for F-35 aircraft. The same stories are being repeated throughout the continent.

European defense spending is not only meagre and shrinking, it’s also wasteful: European countries have many different types of tanks, IFVs, APCs, fighters, and other military platforms, when there’s usually just one or two in the entire US military.

And you know what’s funny about this? That the US, by extending its defense umbrella to Europe, has encouraged this.

Now, what exact shortcomings have these deep European defense cuts caused? Won’t Europe do just fine defending itself even after all offense cuts are implemented?

Answwer: No, Europe will be all but defenseless if they’re implemented. Because already the previous defense cuts have downgraded European military capabilities dramatically.

In 1999, during Operation Allied Force (the NATO bombing of Serbia), the US had to fly not only the vast majority of combat missions, but also all of the aerial refueling and airborne early warning missions. In Afghanistan, the US alone supplied the absolute majority of troops and the vast majority of equipment and funding while several NATO countries, such as Germany, completely banned their troops from participating in any combat.

The 2011 operation against Libya, Operation Odyssey Dawn, was even moreso an example of the joke that European militaries have become. The US once again flew the vast majority of combat and air refueling missions. Britain had cut its air force so badly that it could supply only 12 combat pilots and had to bring in instructors from its pilot schools to fly some missions. European countries also ran short on precision strike munitions – forcing the US, once again, to fill the gap.

Last year’s French mission in Libya, Operation Serval, revealed how badly weakened the French military had been even by the previous, pre-Hollande, defense cuts. France flew all of the combat missions, but could not supply enough ground troops to pacify the country (it sent only a little over 4,000) and lacked enough tanker and airlift aircraft to support its own troops – forcing the US, once again, to fill the gap.

And yet, the Hollande administration plans to cut the French Air Force (and the rest of the French military) even further, including its tanker, airlifter, and especially strike jet fleets – at a time when the FAF is STILL fighting in a country three times the size of France while still having to protect French airspace and provide nuclear deterrence.

But Paris can do so, because, as with other European countries, whatever it does, the US will come to its rescue. The Europeans have no incentive not to gut their militaries – if anything goes wrong, the US will ride to their rescue.

By extending such a guarantee, the US has encouraged security dependence on the US no different from the welfare dependence which European and American welfare states have acknowledged: behaving irresponsibly, knowing that whatever you do, the government will take care of you.

Why are there so many welfare dependents in the US and Europe? Because the US and European welfare states promise to provide for all of their citizens’ needs, from cradle to grave, regardless of their ability to provide for themselves and of their past behavior. You don’t have to be responsible. Whatever happens, the government will take care of you.

Similarly, the US has, for over 20 years, tolerated the continued gutting of European militaries by their own governments, which continues to this day. Europeans’ thinking is simple: “We can afford to cut our militaries deeply because even if we do, the US will come to our rescue. The US will defend us; we don’t have to defend ourselves.”

All that American politicians have in the past been willing to do has been to verbally criticize the Europeans for gutting their militaries. But they haven’t been willing to force the Europeans to face the consequences of their actions. It’s like warning a rules violator or an unruly child that you’re fed up with his behavior without actually imposing any consequences on him.

It’s time for US policymakers to finally force the Europeans to grow up, face military realities, and face the consequences of their actions. Enough is enough. The Europeans have been allowed to freeride on the backs of brave American troops for far too long.

It’s time – actually, it’s long past time – to withdraw America’s defense commitment (except the extended nuclear deterrent) to Europe. The US should continue to provide a nuclear umbrella to Europe, but otherwise, the countries of the Old Continent should be forced to fully provide for their own defense – from ground capabilities to missile defense. All US troops and assets not related to nuclear deterrence should be withdrawn to the US, and all US bases not related to that single mission should be closed (except the Landstuhl military hospital).

As CSIS defense analyst Clark Murdock says, “The Europeans will start providing for their own defense only if they feel the cold from a withdrawing US security blanket.”

As long as the US is willing to play Uncle Sucker, the Europeans will only be too happy to oblige.

Posted in Defense spending, World affairs | 3 Comments »

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.


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


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.


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 »

ONLY stealthy aircraft are viable now&will be in the future

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 19, 2013

Russia has recently decided to sell the state-of-the-art S-300PMU2 air defense systems (commonly known as SAMs, though the term SAM applies only to the missiles themselves) to the Syrian government to prevent any foreign intervention against the Assad regime, and to sell the equally capable S-300VM system to Iran. Earlier, it agreed to sell even more advanced and more capable S-400 (SA-21) air defense systems to China, which already has numerous S-300 and HQ-9 brigades. What does this mean for the US military and allied militaries (such as the IDF)?

It means that all nonstealthy Western aircraft (including the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, EA-18, EA-6, the Typhoon, the Rafale, the Gripen, the B-52 and the B-1) are by now completely and utterly obsolete, useless, impotent, and irrelevant. The US military might as well scrap all of its nonstealthy aircraft and save itself the expense of operating them. And this vulnerability cannot be overcome, or even ameliorated, with upgrades. The same applies to all nonstealthy cruise missiles.

This is because, quite simply, all of these aircraft and cruise missiles would be detected and shot down quite easily from a very large distance by the forementioned Russian and Chinese air defense systems, were they to ever venture into airspace protected by such systems (or by fighters like the PAKFA, the J-20, and the J-31).

Here’s how it works.

Like all other weapons, air defense systems need just two things to shoot aircraft down: the ability to detect and track their targets and the ability to shoot them down from a sufficient distance, before the enemy aircraft makes it to a point from which it could release its weapons (bombs or missiles) or jam the system.

These Russian and Chinese air defense systems – the S-300, S-400, and HQ-9, plus the HHQ-9 and HQ-16 onboard Chinese ships – meet both requirements. They can detect nonstealthy aircraft, even those flying at low altitudes, and shoot them down from a very long distance. That distance, in the S-300′s and HQ-9′s case, is 200 kilometers. The S-400′s maximum range is double that, at 400 kms.

This means that, once S-300 systems are delivered to Syria, Damascus will be able to declare and enforce a no-fly zone over almost all of Israel and shoot down IAF aircraft while they take off from their bases.

This also means that China can, even today, declare and enforce (if it wants to) a no-fly zone over half of Taiwan – the western and northern half, to be precise. Once S-400 systems are delivered to China (which is on track to happen in 2017 or sometime thereafter), Beijing can enforce a no-fly-zone over ALL of Taiwan (shooting down ROCAF aircraft when they try to take off), as well as ALL of Okinawa (where the USAF’s 18th Wing and USMC aviation units are based) and the disputed Senkaku Islands – because they are so close to China.

The F-15, F-16, F/A-18, EA-18, EA-6, B-52, B-1, and the Eurocanards have such large radar signatures (i.e. are so easibly visible on radar screens from such a long distance) that they would be detected and shot down at a large distance from their planned weapon release point – to which they would never make it – or to the point where jammer aircraft like the EA-18 and EA-6 could effectively jam enemy radars. This renders the EA-18 and the EA-6 completely useless for jamming, as they would never be allowed to get close enough to jam enemy radars.

This is because none of these aircraft were ever designed to be stealthy, and no serious attempt was made with any of them to reduce their radar signatures. All of them except the EA-18 were designed during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, before there was any stealth technology. Today, they are hopelessly obsolete, and thus utterly useless, impotent, and irrelevant.

For jammer aircraft such as the EA-18 and EA-6, the situation is doubly worse, because modern SAM system are much more jam resistant due to their high-power aperture. They also use ploys such as ‘frequency hopping’ from pulse to pulse.  The jammer may respond to the last pulse, but does not know the frequency of the next one, so misses.  This is built into all modern air-to-air radars as well.  And don’t forget that all modern SAM missiles have ‘home-on-jam’.  It works like this: “Light up that jammer and come in, sucker!”

Thus, all nonstealthy aircraft, including the EA-18 and the EA-6, have ZERO chance of surviving in airspace protected by the forementioned advanced Russian and Chinese air defense systems. This means that developing the Next Generation Bomber and resuming F-22 production is a NECESSITY, not a luxury, let alone “waste”, contrary to the utterly false claims of leftist, anti-defense groups such as TCS, POGO, CATO, the ACA, and others.

The ONLY Western (not just American, but WESTERN) aircraft capable of surviving in such airspace are the B-2 bomber, the F-22 fighter, and the F-35 strike jet. The Next Generation Bomber and the UCLASS carrier-capable drone are at the beginning stages of their development.

And the F-35 actually has slim chances of survival, because unlike the B-2 and the F-22, it is not very stealthy, and not from all aspects, and not in all radar bands. It is stealthy mainly from the front and up, and primarily in the X and S bands – much less so in lower radar bands or at lower frequencies.

This is not surprising, given that the F-35 was designed to be a battlefield interdictor, i.e. a tank hunter operating in airspace already sanitized by the B-2 and the F-22 – not as a Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses aircraft. It was (and is being) designed for a world in which the S-300, S-400, PAKFA, J-20, J-31, HQ-9, and HQ-16 did not exist.

Now that these systems all exist – and that the S-500 and HQ-12 air defense systems, even more advanced than those described above – are in development, the F-35 is obsolete before it has even entered service, although it is still much more modern and more capable than all of the legacy aircraft listed above.

The only solution for the US is to cancel the F-35 program, resume F-22 production, develop Marine and Naval versions of it, make the F-22 available to select allies, and speed up the development of the Next Gen Bomber and the UCLASS. Only these aircraft can survive and prevail in airspace defended by modern air defense systems such as the S-300, S-400, HQ-9, or HQ-16 – and looking to the future, only these systems will be able to survive in airspace defended by the S-500, HQ-12, PAKFA, J-20, or J-31.

Posted in Air combat | 2 Comments »

Myth: “The defense industry lobby buys politicians”

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 18, 2013

For some years, some people have erroneously believed and claimed that defense budgets are determined by, and weapons programs initiated at the behest of, defense contractors, who supposedly buy Washington politicians’ votes. Anti-defense organizations like POGO have been spreading that propaganda for decades.

Recently, pseudoconservative sites like LibertyNews and the DailyCaller have been spreading that blatant lie too, claiming that the mythical “defense lobby” has essentially bought the votes of those Senators who voted for authorizing strikes on Syria. As “evidence”, they claim that the Senators voting for the strikes on Syria have received 83% more in contributions from defense contractors than Senators voting no.

But if you look beyond the deadlines – and the DailyCaller libelously shouts “WARBUCKS FOR WARMONGERS” – and look at the details, a completely different picture emerges. The defense industry has not bought these Senators votes, and if any “defense lobby” exists in America, it is woefully ineffective and far weaker than other lobbies.

LN and TheDC complain that pro-war-voting Senators have, on average, received $72K each from the defense industry in the last 5 years (2007-2012). Oh my gosh, $72K in five years!

Although LN and the DC want you to think it’s much, it isn’t. It’s peanuts, especially over 5 years ($14,500 per year on average, hardly George Soros money).

But some Senators voting AGAINST strikes on Syria, like Joe Barrasso of Wyoming, have received contributions ABOVE that average from the defense industry: $86K in Barrasso’s case. In fact, by LN’s and the DC’s own standards, even those Senators voting “no” on war have received handsome contributions from the defense industry: $40K on average.

But in reality, neither $86K nor $72K nor $40 K nor even $100K is George Soros money. It’s peanuts, especially over 5 years and especially given how much other industries and lobbies contribute to Washington politicians every election cycle.

Because, you see, when one looks at the defense industry’s TOTAL contributions to politicians, they are meager compared to the scores of millions of dollars that other industries and lobbies dole out.

A full list of all financial contributions to all 535 members of Congress in the 2012 election cycle (therein counted from January 1st, 2011, to December 31st, 2012) is available here. Basically, it says how much money which industry contributed to Washington lawmakers in the last cycle.

A close look at that list reveals just how tiny the defense industry’s muscle is.

The largest contributor sector of the defense industry is the defense aerospace sector: $9,113,892 in contributions. Defense electronic contractors contributed $6,083,951, defense shipbuilders $2,693,281, defense services $1,605,374, and other sectors of the industry no more than $615,014 each.

By comparison, here’s how much other, much more powerful lobbies contributed:

  • Lawyers and law firms contributed $82,383,361.
  • Corporate lawyers and law firms contributed another $7,748,951.
  • Trial lawyers and law firms doled out another $7,589,180.
  • Lobbyists and PR people contributed $25,324,387.
  • Liquor wholesalers contributed $6,595,758.
  • Business services doled out $12,287,113.
  • The Israeli lobby gave Congressional politicians $12,519,563.
  • Democrat- and Republican-leaning groups both contributed over $13 mn per each side. (See here and here.)
  • In the Miscellaneous Business category, General Commerce businesses contributed $15,318,578.
  • Industrial/commercial equipment and materials producers contributed $7,122,304.
  • Restaurants and drinking establishments contributed $7,606,496.
  • Civil servants and public employees doled out $13,004,717.
  • Building trades unions contributed $12,688,265.
  • Women’s issues political groups doled out $18,670,081.
  • In a surprise to nobody, Big Pharma is also a big donor: pharmaceutical manufacturing businesses alone contributed $11,196,254 to Washington politicians last election cycle.
  • Hospital employees contributed $12,349,339.
  • Health professionals dole out big bucks to politicians, too. On MapLight, the biggest donor category of these professionals is “other physician specialists”, contributing $20,220,876 to members of Congress in the last election cycle alone. A separate group, termed “physicians” by MapLight, doled out $19,698,565.  Dentists contributed another $5,668,355.
  • Security brokers and investment companies doled out $24,844,329.
  • Private security and investment firms steered $8,138,283 towards members of Congress.
  • Real estate companies contributed $14,362,151; on top of that, real estate developers and subdividers doled out $13,294,500, and real estate agents contributed another $11,462,900. Other real estate people contributed still further millions of dollars.
  • In the Misc Finance category, investors contributed $10,726,065.
  • Insurance companies, brokers, and agents contributed $14,043,345, and life insurance companies contributed still another $8,749,154.
  • Commercial banks and bank holding companies gave Congressional politicians $16,917,860.
  • Accountants doled out $11,438,703.
  • School and college employees contributed $27,402,329.
  • Book, newspaper, and periodical publishers contributed $9,423,129.
  • Several other industries contributed $6-7 mn each.

And yet, MapLight, LN, and the DC make a lot of noise about Senators receiving $72K on average from the defense industry, when many other industries make contributions measured in MILLIONS each election cycle to each of its favorite politicians!


The defense industry is a weak player in Washington and its money politics game. It is a baby chimp compared to the 800-pound gorillas that other industries and lobbies are.

By far the most powerful interest group/lobby in America are lawyers – “ordinary” lawyers and law firms contributed over $82 mn to Congressional politicians in the last election cycle alone. On top of that, corporate, trial, and other lawyers contributed still further dozens of millions of dollars.

School and college employees have the second-biggest financial muscle in politics – they contributed $27,402,329 in the last election cycle. Lobbyists and PR people are third, at $25,324,387 in contributions. Security brokers and investment companies are not not far behind, at $24,844,329. A group termed “other physician specialists” by MapLight is fifth, at $20,220,876. Physicians are sixth, at $19,698,565.

On top of them, there are – as shown above – many, many industries and interest groups which each contributed over $9 mn in 2011-2012 – usually over a dozen million dollars – far more than the aerospace industry – the relatively wealthiest part of the defense industry – could muster. Total contributions from all sectors of the defense industry were at about $21 mn in 2011-2012 – again far behind the contributions of the above-mentioned other sectors, especially the legal/law firm sector which alone contributed over $100 mn to Congressional politicians.

“Ordinary” lawyers and law firms contributed FOUR TIMES as much to Congressional politicians as the entire defense industry! School and college employees (not to mention the entire education sector) and the medical profession both also outperformed the entire defense industry in contributions, and by a wide margin.

Similarly, single-issue PACs advocating a dovish, pacifist foreign policy spent over $600K in the last election cycle, while PACs advocating a strong defense spent a meager $500. Just five hundred bucks.

Want to know why? Because the “military-industrial complex”, which supposedly buys politicians so that they vote for weapon programs the military supposedly doesn’t need and for wars, is a myth. It doesn’t exist and never did, Dwight Eisenhower’s foolish ramblings to the contrary notwithstanding.

And there’s more evidence that the “military-industrial complex” is a myth. Since 2009, when President Obama came into office, defense cuts now totalling over $1.5 TRILLION – over one and a half TRILLION dollars – have been programmed or already implemented. These include:

  • The closure of over 50 weapon programs by Secretary Gates in 2009 and 2010 ($330 bn);
  • The Gates Efficiencies Initiative, which involved cutting spending on everything at the DOD from HQs and generals to weapon programs ($178 bn);
  • The first tier of defense cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act pre-sequestration ($487 bn from FY2012 thru FY2022);
  • The second tier of defense cuts mandated by the BCA, i.e. sequestration ($550 bn, from FY2013 thru FY2022).

In total, this adds up to $1.554 trillion dollars in defense cuts already implemented or programmed to occur thru FY2022 – and there’s no indication they won’t happen, since Congress is utterly unable (or unwilling) to even cancel sequestration, yet alone the previous defense cuts.

And even further, under the cuts currently scheduled (mandated by the BCA), just like during all previous rounds of defense cuts, WEAPON PROGRAMS – the things the defense industry makes money on – are and will be the DOD’s favorite targets, as they are the by far the easiest thing to close. Whenever there are defense cuts, weapons programs and other modernization funds are everyone’s favorite pots of money to raid.

By contrast, Congress has strictly PROHIBITED the DOD from even PROPOSING to close unneeded bases, reform the military’s healthcare and retirement programs (which would involve modestly increasing healthcare plan premiums), or significantly reduce the number of troops.

If there really was a “military-industrial complex”, you would have rarely seen ANY weapon programs closed. Yet, since 2009, over 50 have been killed, and more will probably be targeted for closure in the years to come.

Because there is no “military-industrial complex” in America. It’s a blatant lie.

Shame on those who spread that lie.


Posted in Defense spending, Elections, Ideologies, Media lies | 6 Comments »

Rebuttal of Tom Collina’s and Kingston Reif’s call to cut US nukes

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on November 17, 2013


The US nuclear deterrent – cut by over 75% since the Cold War’s end – is now barely adequate, yet the leftist anti-nuclear-deterrence movement wants to cut it deeply even further and eventually scrap it altogether. They want that to happen unilaterally, without Russia or anyone else’s participation.

Why? Because these people, such as the ACA’s Tom Collina and the CLW’s Kingston Reif, genuinely hate the US and would love to see it nuked.

It was therefore not surprising (even though not pleasant, either) to see both of these rabid anti-nuclear activists to write new garbage screeds calling for deep, unilateral cuts in the US nuclear arsenal and the fleet of its delivery systems – ostensibly to save money. These pacifists are now laughably casting themselves as friends of the US military who want to help it cope with sequestration and save its conventional capabilities.

They claim that a) such cuts can be done without imperiling US national security; b) they would save much money to help the DOD cope with sequestration; c) they would help save higher-priority conventional programs; d) the US has more nuclear weapons than it needs.

All of their claims are utter garbage. Here’s why.

Firstly, contrary to their, and their Dear Leader Barack Obama’s, blatant lies, the US DOES NOT have “more nuclear weapons than it needs.” In fact, the current number – roughly 5,000, of which only about 1,700 are deployed – is barely adequate to deter Russia, China, and North Korea. The just-retired commander of the US Strategic Command (responsible for America’s nuclear weapons), General Bob Kehler, and his predecessor, General Kevin Chilton, have both said that the current size of the arsenal is “exactly what we need.” Those are General Kehler’s words, not mine. Both of them have also utterly rejected calls for further deep cuts.

Thus also refuting Collina’s lie that “the US military is telling us we have more nuclear weapons than we need.” The US military has not said any such thing.

Why? And why have both Secretary Hagel and Deputy Secretary Carter – to the displeasure of Tom Collina – rejected calls for further cuts?

Because further cuts to America’s nuclear deterrent would gravely undermine US national security and quite possibly invite a nuclear first strike on the US.

In order to deter any adversary, a nuclear arsenal has to be able to a) survive a first strike by any enemy; and b) hold, and if need be, obliterate, so many of the enemy’s military and economic assets that the cost of American retaliation will be prohibitive to him and hence, he won’t retaliate.

For both of these purposes, you need a LARGE nuclear arsenal; a small one will never suffice, as it would be too easy to destroy in a nuclear first strike.

No amount of conventional weapons can substitute here; only nuclear weapons have a sufficient striking and retaliatory power.

The US needs thousands, not mere hundreds, of deployed nuclear warheads to deter Russia and China, and many hundreds of delivery systems to deliver these warheads – at minimum, no fewer than the current number.

Russia currently has 434 ICBMs capable of delivering 1,684 warheads to the CONUS; 251 bombers able to deliver 1,757 warheads to the same destination; and 13 ballistic missile subs capable of unleashing another 2,000 nuclear warheads on the US, depending on the missile type used.

On top of that, Russia has a huge tactical nuclear arsenal of 4,000 warheads and a wide range of systems (missiles, torpedoes, artillery pieces, aircraft, etc.) to deliver these, and is also developing an IRBM in flagrant violation of the INF treaty.

And if that were not enough, it’s also developing new road- and rail-mobile ICBMs, while the US is not developing any, and has not fielded a single new ICBM since the 1980s.

And on top of that, Russia has recently conducted a huge nuclear attack exercise involving several ICBMs and SLBMs, as well as several SRBMs, being fired at once – an exercise US intel agencies say were a simulation of a Russian nuclear attack!

Yet, Collina and Reif want the US to unilaterally cut its ICBM fleet from 450 to a paltry 300, the nuclear warhead stockpile to 1,000 or fewer warheads, and the ballistic missile sub fleet to just 8 boats!

China, contrary to the claims of American anti-nuclear activists, has at least 1,600, and potentially up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, according to two credible experts: General Viktor Yesin, a former chief of staff of Russia’s ICBM force, and Professor Philip Karber, the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist during the Reagan years and now a Georgetown University professor. This writer himself has estimated that China has at least 1,274 deployed nuclear warheads, without counting any of the 500 warheads attributed to China’s ground-launched cruise missiles or short-range ballistic missiles. If these are counted, China has at least 1,774 deployed nuclear warheads.

China’s nuclear arsenal is not at a standstill; Beijing is now introducing a new, 10-warhead ICBM called the DF-41, and two new sub-launched missile variants capable of carrying up to 12 warheads over 14,000 kms, as well as a sixth ballistic missile submarine.

This, BTW, completely belies China’s claim to have a “minimum nuclear deterrent” – but then again, deception is a practice deeply ingrained in Chinese military culture since at least the Sun Tzu years, if not earlier.

Additionally, while Russia, China, and North Korea are threats to many but protectors to nobody, the US has to provide a nuclear deterrent not only to itself but also to over 30 allies around the world, who rely on it for their security and their very existence. And they cannot afford to bet these on Obama’s, Collina’s, and Reif’s childish fantasies of a “world without nuclear weapons”, which will never happen.

If the US continues to further cut its nuclear umbrella, it will become woefully inadequate, forcing other countries to develop their own weapons. Already 66.5% of South Koreans want to do so. Persian Gulf states are already preparing to do so, in the face of the future Iranian nuclear threat. Japan, for its part, has facilities that can produce enough fissile material for 3,600 warheads in a matter of months if Tokyo chooses to go nuclear.

So cutting the US nuclear arsenal further will only lead to MORE nuclear proliferation around the world, not less.

But wouldn’t it at least save lots of money?

No, it wouldn’t.

Deputy Secretary Carter has already warned there is little that can be saved even by cutting the nuclear arsenal deeply. Collina condemns DOD officials for thinking nuclear weapons are cheap, but even he admits that they cost, overall, only $31 bn per year and that this is little compared to the overall US military budget.

Indeed, $31 bn is just 5% of the roughly $600 bn annual US military budget, and only 5/6 of 1% of the annual federal budget. It is also only about $100 per capita (for a US population of roughly 310 mn people).

So it costs every American (and immigrant) only $100 per year to maintain this large, diverse, three-legged, survivable nuclear deterrent which, for the last 68 years (and counting) has protected America against Russia, China, and North Korea.

Collina proposes to “dial back” the B61 nuclear bomb’s service life extension, cut the ballistic missile sub fleet (and its planned replacement) to just eight boats, delay the next generation bomber program by a decade, and cut the ICBM fleet from 450 to “300 or fewer” (there is no lower limit on cuts to US ICBMs that Collina would ever consider).

Collina desperately responds to such criticism that in fiscally dire times, every saving that can be accrued is worthy. But such puny savings are worthless – and even dangerous when they are made in the inventory of such crucial instruments of deterrence as nuclear weapons, which nothing can replace today.

Cutting the US nuclear arsenal further – let alone as deeply as Collina and Reif suggest – is not only not worth the puny savings it would accrue, it would be utterly suicidal, as it would invite (God forbid) a nuclear first strike on America and its allies. A much smaller US arsenal would be much easier for Russia and China to destroy in a first strike.

Preventing such a strike is, and out to be, THE highest priority of the DOD – as confirmed by Sec. Hagel and Deputy Secretary Carter. It is worth far more than any amount of money.

And at just 5% of the military budget and a paltry $100 per capita, it is a very low cost.

Collina’s proposal to delay the next-gen bomber by a decade is very dangerous (and treasonous) also for another reason: the next gen bomber is needed for conventional, not just nuclear, missions. This is because the B-52 (whose retention Collina advocates) and the non-nuclear B-1 have long ago lost ability to penetrate Soviet airspace (in fact, the B-1 never had it – it was obsolete by the time it entered service). Their radar signatures are so large that even legacy Soviet air defense systems, such as those owned by North Korea, would have no trouble detecting them and shooting them down.

That’s to say nothing of the modern, state of the art air defense systems used by Russia, China, Venezuela, and Belarus, and soon to be delivered to both Syria and Iran. No aircraft except the B-2 and the F-22 will be able to penetrate these systems – and experts such as CSBA’s Mark Gunzinger (a retired bomber pilot) say that even the B-2 will, a decade from now, lose its penetrating ability. Which would leave the US with no bomber able to penetrate enemy airspace – and thus give enemies complete sanctuary within their airspace and on the land below it.

And when you give your enemy any sanctuary, you lose the war.

The next-gen bomber is therefore absolutely needed – NOW, not a decade from today. The requirement for it has been validated by two consecutive QDRs (2006, 2010), by successive SECDEFs (Gates, Panetta, Carter) and USAF Chiefs of Staff (Moseley, Schwartz, Welsh), and by a wide range of outside-DOD studies by the CSBA, the Heritage Foundation, the Mitchell Institute, the Joint Force Quarterly, and others, including this writer. The USAF says delaying this program would be “very high risk.”

The NGB is not a mere wish; it is an absolute requirement. The USAF’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Welsh, lists it as one of his top three modernization priorities, along with the KC-46 tanker and the F-35 strike fighter.

Collina’s claim that making such cuts in nuclear weapons is necessary to cope with sequestration is also a blatant lie, and a figleaf for advocating deep, treasonous cuts that he and his treasonous, subversive organization (ACA) have long been calling for in order to disarm America unilaterally.

In fact, even eliminating the US nuclear arsenal completely would not provide more than half of the savings required to pay for sequestration, which amounts to $55 bn per year and $550 bn over the decade from FY2013 to FY2022.

The real money is in the military personnel accounts – pay, benefits, healthcare, retirement packages, etc. – which have, so far, been considered sacrosanct and off the table, based on the mistaken belief that even touching them would mean “breaking faith with the troops.” If there’s one thing Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree on, it’s stonewalling any DOD requests for authorizing reforms of personnel programs.

Yet, without meaningful reforms, personnel programs will, by FY2039, consume 100% of the US defense budget – leaving no money for any weapons, nuclear or conventional.

And that is probably what Collina and Reif want.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »


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