Bad, ridiculous ideas, bad and ridiculous policies, and treasonous proposals never seem to die. Such is the case with the Left’s ongoing, decades-old campaign to disarm the US unilaterally. The extremely-leftist, anti-defense, treasonous Senator (and former Congressman) from Massachusetts, Ed Markey, and his far-left allies in the Congress, have reintroduced their insane, treasonous bill, mistitled “The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act.”
That bill, were it to pass (God forbid), would dramatically expedite America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament. It would cut the existing fleet of ballistic missile submarines from 14 to 8, cut the planned replacement fleet from 12 to 8, delay the urgently-needed Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) (needed to replace obsolete B-52s and B-1s), cut the number of USAF ICBMs from 420 to just 300, dramatically cut funding for extending the service lives of nuclear warheads, and deny any funding for the development of a new ICBM (needed to replace the old Minuteman III missiles now in service). In short, it would disarm the US by dramatically cutting the nuclear arsenal America now has, and allowing what would be left of it to decay and rust out due to old age.
In support of his treasonous proposals, Sen. Markey has lied that:
“We are robbing America’s future to pay for unneeded weapons of the past. As we debate the budget and Republicans rally around devastating cuts to Medicare, Head Start and investments in research and science, it makes no sense to fund a bloated nuclear arsenal that does nothing to keep our nation safe in the 21st century.”
Tony Fleming, the said Tony Fleming, campaigns director of Citizens for Global Solutions, a progressive advocacy group based in Washington, defended Markey’s treasonous proposals by making similar, utterly false claims:
“The more tangible threats facing the United States today come from a suitcase or a personal computer. We’re more likely to suffer a cyber or terrorist attack from a small rogue group than be hit by a nuclear bomb that requires massive government infrastructure and investment. U.S. citizens deserve to have their tax dollars be used to protect them from real, 21st century, threats, not Cold War-era relics.”
What is wrong with their claims?
To start with, EVERYTHING.
Firstly, nuclear weapons are not “Cold War era relics” nor “unneeded weapons of the past”, and the US nuclear arsenal is not bloated. America’s nuclear weapons are crucial instruments of deterrence indispensable for protecting the US – and its allies – against the gravest threats to America’s and its allies’ security.
These gravest threats are the nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals of Russia, China, and North Korea (soon to be joined by Iran), NOT terrorists, “small rogue groups”, cyberattacks, suitcases, or personal computers. None of these groups or tools could do anything even CLOSE to the massive death and destruction Russia, China, and even North Korea could wreak upon the US (not to mention its allies). These three countries and Iran – NOT terrorists and hackers – pose by far the gravest, most tangible, most real threat to US (and allied) security.
THIS is the reality of the 21st century – not Markey’s and Fleming’s blatant lies that “we are robbing America’s future to pay for unneeded weapons of the past”, or that “a bloated nuclear arsenal that does nothing to keep our nation safe in the 21st century.”
How grave is the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean nuclear threat, exactly?
Russia alone has well over 300 ICBMs capable of delivering over 1,200 nuclear warheads to the Continental US (CONUS) – and that number will only grow in the future, as Moscow replaces old, single-warhead missiles with ICBMs armed with multiple warheads. In addition, Russia has bombers capable of delivering over 900 warheads to the CONUS and 14 ballistic missile submarines capable of launching 16 missiles each; every single one of these missiles can, in turn, deliver 10-12 warheads to the American homeland.
Moscow is now building a submarine class (the Borei class) which, starting with the 4th boat, will be able to launch 20 missiles each. That will give a single Russian submarine an ability to deliver 200-240 warheads to the American homeland.
Thus, the total number of warheads Moscow could deliver to the CONUS if it wanted to is over 3,000.
- About 414-434 ICBMs capable of delivering at least 1,684 (and probably more) nuclear warheads to the CONUS, with its fleet of 68-75 SS-18 Satan ICBMs alone being able to deliver 10 warheads each (750 in total);
- 13 ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 ballistic missiles (20 in the case of the sole Typhoon class boat), each missile being itself capable of delivering 4-8 warheads (12 in the future, when Bulava and Liner missiles replace the currently-used Skiff) to the CONUS even if launched from Russian ports (Moscow has had such long-ranged missiles since the late 1980s), meaning over 1,400 warheads in total deliverable by Russia’s strategic submarine fleet;
- 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M), each capable of delivering between 7 (Tu-95) and 12 (Tu-22M) nuclear warheads to the CONUS. Russian bombers have, in recent years, repeatedly flown close to, and sometimes into, US airspace.
- 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads in total, of which 1,500 are now deployed – and more will be deployed in the future – on the forementioned ICBMs, submarines, and bombers.
- Over 20 attack and cruise missile submarines, each carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles (one such submarine of the Akula class popped up last year near the US submarine base at King’s Bay, GA).
- The world’s largest tactical nuclear arsenal, with around 4,000 warheads deliverable by a very wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles to artillery pieces to tactical aircraft (Su-24, Su-25, the Flanker family, Su-34), to surface ships using nuclear depth charges.
- Illegal (banned by the INF Treaty) intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles (Yars-M, R-500, Iskander-M) that can target any place in Europe and China. (Nonetheless, despite these facts, the Obama administration and NATO are too afraid to recognize and name Russia as an INF Treaty violator.)
Russia is now dramatically increasing that arsenal, as the State Department and the Strategic Command’s leader have now confirmed. In addition to deploying more warheads and building more bombers from stockpiled components, it is:
- Deploying new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava and the Liner) that can carry 10-12 warheads each. Russia plans to procure around 140-150 missiles of each type; when these are fully deployed on Russia’s 13 ballistic missile subs, that fleet will be able to carry 2,000-2,200 nuclear warheads all by itself.
- Deploying additional Yars-M, R-500, and Iskander-M IRBMs – in violation of the INF Treaty.
Russia is also steadily modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems. It is:
- Developing and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying missiles such as the Bulava and the Liner. Two of them have already been commissioned and at least eight in total will be built.
- Developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber, slated to first fly in 2020 – before the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber will.
- Developing a new submarine-launched cruise missile, the Kaliber;
- Procuring and deploying a new air-launched cruise missile, the Kh-101/102;
- Developing and deploying three new ICBM types – the light Yars (RS-24, SS-29) to replace the single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles, the midweight Avangard/Rubezh (slated to replace SS-19 Stiletto missiles), and the Sarmat (AKA Son of Satan), intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs.
- Developing a rail-based ICBM type on top of the forementioned ICBM classes.
- Developing a hypersonic missile that could carry nuclear warheads to any point on Earth in an hour and easily penetrate US missile defenses.
On top of that, Russia has a vast arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads – some 4,000, including 2,000 operationally deployed. Many of these can be delivered by attack and cruise missile submarines right to the CONUS using cruise missiles.
And Russia will, in the years ahead, only increase the number of warheads it has, including those deployed on intercontinental delivery systems, as the State Department and the commander of the US Strategic Command have confirmed.
China’s nuclear arsenal is also growing – as the STRATCOM’s commander has also confirmed. It already has about 64 ICBMs capable of reaching the Continental US with multiple warheads and is deploying more – including the DF-41, a heavy, road-mobile ICBM capable of delivering 10 warheads to the CONUS. It also has 5-6 ballistic missile submarines, all but one of which can launch 12 missiles each, and each of these can deliver at least 4 warheads to the American homeland. It also has 20 land-based missiles and 120 bombers which (the latter using their cruise missiles) can deliver nukes as far away as Hawaii. Finally, China has a huge number of short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles which can hit any target throughout East Asia with nuclear weapons, and is developing hypersonic missiles for nuclear delivery purposes.
North Korea is also a real nuclear threat, having deployed the TD-2 and KN-08 ICBMs and successfully miniaturized its nuclear warheads.
To unilaterally disarm in the face of these threats would be worse than pure folly; it would be utterly suicidal.
Sen. Markey and Tony Fleming are lying blatantly. No, nuclear weapons are not “unneeded weapons of the past”; they are needed now more than ever. It is Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran – not terrorists or hackers – who pose by far the greatest threat to America’s (and its allies’) security and survival.
And if the US does cut its nuclear arsenal unilaterally further, several of its allies will develop nuclear arsenals. Some Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have already warned they’ll do so. 66% of South Koreans already want their country to be a nuclear power. Japan, for its part, has reactors capable of producing enough weapons-grade plutonium for 3,600 warheads in a year if need be.
And no, contrary to Sen. Markey’s lies, Republicans have NOT proposed any cuts to Medicare or to science and research programs.
Shame on Sen. Markey and Tony Fleming for their treason.