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Evaluating the PAKFA

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 26, 2012


AirPowerAustralia, the most authoritative source of information on military aircraft and air defense systems, has recently released an excellent analysis of the Russian 5th generation stealth fighter PAKFA (Prospektivnoi Aviatsonnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsii), also known as the T-50, by two respected scientists, Dr Carlo Kopp and Dr Michael Pelosi. Their analysis, while omitting a few key weaknesses of the PAKFA, nonetheless demonstrates that this Russian fighter, scheduled to enter service in 2016, is superior to every Western fighter but the F-22 Raptor.

APA’s analysis focused on the T-50’s airframe design and specifically, its stealthiness (i.e. Very Low Observability). In other words, APA analysts wanted to determine how stealthy the PAKFA is/will be. To do that, they first looked carefully at the PAKFA’s shape, looking at each section of the fuselage and assessing whether it would render a strong or a weak radar return. They then used photos and publicly-known dimensions of the PAKFA and used it in a model whereby the PAKFA was tested against radars of various bands.

The result? The PAKFA will be very stealthy in most radar bands, from the S down to the L band, although not stealthy against UHF radars such as the E-2 Hawkeye’s APS-145 and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye’s APY-9 or the UHF-ground based radars used by some Chinese air defense systems. Thus, penetrating Chinese airspace will be problematic if UHF radars are encountered: they will send 1-2 meter radar waves which will easily detect the PAKFA. Such radar waves would be way too small to detect a large stealthy aircraft such as the B-2 bomber or the USAF’s planned Next Generation Bomber, but sufficient to detect much smaller aircraft such as fighters. That includes the PAKFA.[1]

Similarly, E-2 aircraft of all variants will have no problem detecting the PAKFA. The problem is that the PAKFA (or other Russian fighters) will likely use Novator “AWACS-killer” A2A missiles to kill the Hawkeye and thus strip the opponent of the ability to detect the PAKFA.

In all  higher radar bands, however, from the S to the L-band, the PAKFA will be highly stealthy, thanks to its shaping, but with the following two exceptions:

1) The PAKFA’s conventional engine nozzles are not stealthy and would thus produce a large radar wave return. This is a problem the PAKFA shares with the F-35, but it can be solved by producing slit engine nozzles, as Lockheed Martin did for the F-22.

2) The PAKFA’s beam fuselage component is deeply sculpted and therefore not stealthy. To quote APA:

8. Where the PAK-FA falls well short of the F-22A and YF-23 is the shaping design of the lower fuselage and side fuselage, where the general configuration, wing/fuselage join angles, and inlet/engine nacelle join angles introduce similar intractable specular return problems as observed with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter design. These are inherent in the current shaping design and cannot be significantly improved by materials application. …. the PAK-FA prototype design will produce a large specular return in any manoeuvre where the lower fuselage is exposed to a threat emitter, and this problem will be prominent from the Ku-band down to the L-band.

9. This problem is exacerbated by the inboard ventral wing root fairings, claimed by some Russian sources to be pods for the concealed carriage of folding fin close combat AAMs, such as the RVV-MD/R-74 series. While these fairings do not introduce large RCS contributions from fore or aft aspects, they will adversely contribute to beam aspect RCS, especially for threats well below the plane of flight of the aircraft.

10. The tailboom shaping is reminiscent of the F-22 and F-35 designs, and will not yield significant RCS contributions from the front or aft aspects.

11. In the lower hemisphere, it will suffer penalties due to the insufficiently obtuse join angles between the wings and stabilators, and outer engine nacelles.

The PAKFA also has a few other weaknesses which APA has not mentioned in any of its analyses of this fighter to this day.

Firstly, despite APA’s claims to the contrary, the PAKFA, like the F-35, can carry only 4 A2A missiles internally, while the F-22 can carry eight (i.e. twice as much). Thus, in any A2A combat, the F-22 gets four freebie shots at the PAKFA, and given that the Pk of any missile will never be 100%, this can be compensated only with a large missile load. By virtue of carrying twice as many missiles as the PAKFA, the F-22  stands a twice higher chance of killing the Russian fighter than of being shot down by it.

Secondly, the Irbis-E radar with which the PAKFA will likely be equipped is inferior to the F-22’s APG-77 radar.

Thirdly, despite APA’s claims to the contrary, the PAKFA has a WORSE thrust/weight ratio and a WORSE wing loading ratio than the F-22. At 50% fuel plus a full internal missile load, the PAKFA has a T/W ratio of 1.19:1 and a wing loading ratio of between 330-470 kg/sq m, more likely closer to the higher than to the lower figure, while the F-22 has a T/W ratio of 1.26:1 and a wing loading ratio of 375 kg/sq m.

So, by 2016, the Russians will be flying an aircraft that will still be inferior in terms of aerodynamic and kinematic performance, radar, and especially missile load, to the F-22, and which, absent significant redesign, will not be stealthy at all if viewed from below or from the rear.

It will be produced in much greater numbers than the F-22, however. The RuAF alone plans to procure at least 200 of these fighters and may buy more than that. Exports outside India will likely also go into the hundreds, as was the case with previous commercially successful fighters such as the Flanker family and the MiG-29 Fulcrum.

The premature closure of the F-22 production line this year, and political opposition to its reopening, mean that the only fighters capable of defeating the PAKFA that the US will have at its disposal will be its 180 or so F-22 Raptors.

That portends trouble for the US and indeed the entire West, because, as analysis by APA and by myself has concluded, the ONLY Western (not just American – Western) fighter capable of defeating the PAKFA is the F-22 Raptor.

No other Western fighter stands even a ghost’s chance of defeating this Russian fighter. Not the F-35, not the Super Bug, not other legacy aircraft, and not the Eurocanards.

The F-35’s radar signature will be, at best, the same as the PAKFA’s, its internal weapons load (4 A2A missiles) is the same as the PAKFA’s, while its combat radius, persistence, aerodynamic, and kinematic performance are all decisively inferior to that of the PAKFA, not to mention the fact that a single round from the PAKFA’s GSh-301 gun to the F-35’s single engine would bring it down.

So, while the F-35 might be a good competitor for the PAKFA in BVR combat (although even that is doubtful given its inferior speed and combat ceiling), it stands no chance of competing in WVR combat.

The Super Bug and the F-16 are decisively inferior in both combat regimes, and owing to their huge radar signatures, would be shot down by the PAKFA (or other Russian fighters) long before they could begin the WVR game.

The Eurocanards could, in theory, compete with the PAKFA in WVR combat, thanks to their very low wingloading ratios, good T/W ratios, and low weight, but even with jammers, they would be easily detected and shot down long before they could begin the WVR game with the Russian fighter, as their radar signatures are huge even in a “clean” configuration, and even more so with external stores. Jamming can only reduce the distance from which they can be detected, not prevent detection entirely. Once they’re detected, they’re toast.

Finally, an advantage the PAKFA will have over everyone except the F-15, and perhaps the Typhoon and the Rafale, will be to run the opponent out of gas.

In sum, the PAKFA renders every Western fighter other than the F-22 Raptor impotent, irrelevant, obsolete, and useless, in a fashion no different than the one in which the HMS Dreadnought rendered all previous battleships obsolete when she was commissioned in 1906.  When it enters service, it will irrevocably and mercilessly enforce the end of their service lives. Despite the false claims of Robert Gates, Harry Reid, John McCain, POGO, and the CATO Institute, the F-22 was needed in 2009 and is even moreso needed now, as it is the only Western fighter capable of defeating the PAKFA.

The material reality is simple. The US will either resume F-22 production or it will lose air superiority sooner rather than later, with all the military, diplomatic, and economic consequences following from that. And then, America will get a rude awakening, just like it did 71 years ago.

[1] Even the most advanced counter-stealth radar in the world, the Nebo SVU, can send radar waves no longer than 2 meters, which is not even close to being enough to detect large stealthy aircraft like bombers. To detect them, the radar waves would have to be at least 5-6 times longer, but radars emitting such huge waves would be extremely and prohibitively costly.

Posted in Military issues, World affairs | Leave a Comment »

A very sad Christmas for us defense conservatives

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 25, 2012


This year, while we defense conservatives, like most people, will be celebrating Christmas and will try to find joy in it, we will nonetheless be sad, because America’s defense is now in the process of being gutted quite literally through massive cuts in budgets, nuclear and conventional weapon inventories, modernization programs, and the force structure.

It will be the fourth sad Christmas in a row for us in the last four years.

In 2009, the Congress, after initial resistance displayed by the HASC, the SASC, the SAC, and the full House, capitulated to the White House (including its veto threats) and agreed to implement the disastrous modernization program killings demanded by Defense Secretary Robert Gates (one of the worst SECDEFs in American history). The consequence was the killing of many crucial modernization programs, such as the F-22 fighter (the best fighter in the world and the only one capable of defeating the latest Chinese and Russian designs), the Multiple Kill Vehicle for missile interceptors (which would’ve enabled them to intercept multiple missiles and multiple warheads, or warheads and decoys, simoultaneously), the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (a ground-based boost-phase interceptor), the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class, the CSAR-X rescue helicopter, the AC-X gunship, and many others.

Yet, those programmatic closures, as dumb as they were (individually and collectively) were just a sign of the wholesale gutting of America’s defense that was to come.

In 2010, it was followed by more programmatic closures as well as the ratification of the New START treaty, which obliges only the US (not Russia) to cut its nuclear arsenal by 1/3. This treaty is undermining nuclear deterrence while containing multiple loopholes which Russia is mercilessly exploiting, not counting Tu-22M bombers as strategic bombers subject to its ceilings, and having a pathetically weak verification regime. In 2010, many conservatives, including myself, and many nuclear weapons and arms control experts, including former Assistant State Secretary for AC John R. Bolton, urged the Senate not to ratify this treaty. Sadly, in the 2010 lame duck session, just 2 days before Christmas, the Senate, including 13 liberal Republicans, voted to ratify this destructive, treasonous treaty.

While the negotiations on ratification conditions were ongoing between GOP Senators and the White House, Obama dishonestly promised to invest seriously in the modernization of the arsenal that would be left. At the time, I urged Senators not to believe Obama’s false promises, which, as I warned, were not worth a rat’s rear end. Sadly, 13 Republican Senators were duped by Obama’s useless promises – which he broke no sooner than the ink had dried in the ratification documents. (However, Republicans at least ensured that the New START ratification resolution passed by the Senate contains a firm legal obligation to modernize all three legs of the triad as well as the warheads and the related facilities, including construction of the CMRR and the UPF.)

So, after this betrayal by 13 Republican Senators, the Christmas of 2010 was a very sad one for us defense conservatives.

In 2011, Republicans, after agreeing to Sec. Gates’ $178 efficiencies initiative, foolishly agreed to $487 bn in further, immediate cuts to defense spending (which are real term cuts, not mere growth rate reductions as is often claimed) and to sequestration – a $600 bn per decade gun put at the head of the Defense Secretary – whose intent was to force the Super Committee (formed per the provisions of the Budget Control Act with the aim to find an additional $1.2 trillion in savings) to do its job of finding the required savings. Predictably, the deadlocked Super Committee, composed in equal number of partisan Democrats and Republicans, failed to do its job. So, on November 23rd, they announced their failure to come up with any deficit reduction plan, thus triggering the sequester. From then on, it was clear that sequestration would kick in, unless Congress could agree on a replacement.

2011 was a very sad Christmas for us defense conservatives.

When the year 2012 began, we hoped that things would get better: that sequestration would be resolved, that a pro-defense Republican President (Mitt Romney) and a Republican Senate would get elected, and that further damage to America’s defense would be stopped. These hopes were quickly dashed, however. The Congress has proved itself to be completely unable to resolve this (or any other important) issue before or after the November elections, and in those elections, thanks partially to Republicans’ issues with Romney and to third party candidates Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode, Republicans got trounced across the board, losing the presidential and Senate elections (Republicans actually lost two seats on net) and losing a number of seats in the House.

The results produced the same kind of a deadlocked government that has existed since 2009. The same kind of deadlocked government that nearly shut down in April 2011 and nearly caused America to default on its obligations for the first time ever in August 2011.

At the same time, Republicans have tolerated, and continue to tolerate, in their ranks pseudoconservative Congressmen and Senators who support deep defense cuts (indeed, lead campaigns for such cuts), oppose solutions to sequestration, oppose giving American troops what they need, and collaborate with the House’s most strident liberals for that purpose. And yet, Republicans and so-called “conservative” media and groups – such as ConservativeHQ and the American Spectator – hail these Republican traitors as “conservatives”, “conservative heroes”, and “Reagan heroes”.

And now, thanks to these indecisive elections and the deadlocked federal government, and the two parties’ failure to agree on any replacement for sequestration whatsoever, the sequester will kick in on January 2nd and slash defense spending across the board by 10%. Only personnel spending will be exempted. Ironically, that is the largest and fastest growing part of the defense budget, which is eating the rest of the budget alive and crowding out all other parts of it. Without reforms and significant cuts to personnel spending, the US military will, as CSBA’s Todd Harrison warns, some day become unable to carry out even the simplest tasks. Yet, it is the sole part of the budget exempt from sequestration – and the FY2013 NDAA just passed by Congress also prohibits any meaningful reforms to that part.

So this is a very sad Christmas for us defense conservatives – indeed, for all genuine conservatives. Four years of reckless defense cuts are culminating in what will be the deepest cuts to defense spending, inventories, and modernization programs since the 1950s – even deeper than the cuts that followed the end of the Vietnam and Cold Wars. The US military will be completely gutted as a result, with all the military, diplomatic, and economic consequences stemming from that.

A very sad Christmas, indeed.

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Rebuttal of POLITICO and liberal Republicans’ blatant lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 24, 2012


On December 12th, the leftist POLITICO magazine published a litany of blatant lies about defense spending and conservatism, a screed that gushed over pro-defense cuts Republicans such as Mick Mulvaney (RINO-SC). The author was Kate Nocera.

The article opens with the false claim that:

“It’s been an article of faith for the GOP: Thou shalt not cut defense spending.

But with the sequester threatening to slash hundreds of billions from the Pentagon budget, a surprising number of Republicans are ready to violate that commandment.”

The first part of this is patently false. Republicans have never had such an article of faith or commandment – it has never been an official party policy or the official policy of a majority of Congressional Republicans or a GOP Administration. In fact, Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford all cut defense spending deeply, and during the 1980s and the 1990s, Congressional Republicans joined the Democrats in cutting defense spending, with cuts continuing until FY1999.

The GOP has never had such an “article of faith” or “commandment”.

Nocera further writes that:

“This new generation of conservatives in Congress, freed from the ideologies of the Cold War and Reagan-era defense buildups, is pushing Republicans to buck their tradition and put defense on the chopping block in pursuit of a truly smaller federal government.”

Ah, the dastardly “ideologies of the Cold War and Reagan-era defense buildups”… which won the Cold War without firing a shot! Nocera thinks it’s so good that these RINOs are “freed” from these “ideologies” and from the GOP’s former strong-defense policies.

I said RINOs, because that’s whom they really are. If you support deep cuts in America’s defense, you are NOT a conservative regardless of what your opinions on other issues are. You can be the staunchest pro-lifer and the most ardent fiscal hawk and it doesn’t matter if you support massive defense cuts, as these RINO do.

Furthermore, deep defense cuts would do NOTHING to advance the cause of “a truly smaller federal government”. All they would do would be gutting America’s defense. Defense spending is not a threat to small government; entitlement spending and other unconstitutional federal programs, including domestic discretionary programs, are. The vast majority of them are unconstitutional, and entitlements alone account for 62% of all federal spending.

Nocera says that “Mulvaney has been outspoken about the need to find savings in the defense budget” and then uncritically quotes RINO Congressman Mick Mulvaney (whom she falsely calls “one of the most conservative members of the House) as saying:

“If we don’t take defense spending seriously, it undermines our credibility on other spending issues. When we speak candidly about a spending problem and we then seek to puff up the defense budget and it leads people to believe that we aren’t taking the problem seriously.”

But that is utter garbage. Firstly, the Defense Department has already contributed $900 bn to deficit reduction (through the massive program killings of 2009 and 2010, the Gates Efficiencies Initiative, and the $487 bn first tranche of BCA-mandated defense cuts, announced in January 2012 by Sec. Panetta), while no other federal agency or program has contributed ANYTHING meaningful to that goal. Secondly, Republicans do NOT have to agree to significant defense cuts to have credibility on “other spending issues”, because  government programs and agencies are NOT equally important and equally lawful. Defense is the #1 Constitutional DUTY of the federal government, while the vast majority of federal agencies and programs are unconstitutional.

Thirdly, a prudent budgeter does not cut spending across the board without looking at what he’s cutting. A prudent budgeter sets priorities, funds them fully, and cuts back on all nonpriorities.

Fourthly, it is ridiculous, unconservative, and dangerous for national security to deeply cut defense spending just to “prove” to the public that you’re serious about cutting government spending.

Nocera further writes that:

“In an op-ed in the Arizona Republic, Gosar argued that Congress needs to let the sequester cuts go through.

“We either have a spending problem or we don’t,” Gosar said in an interview. “Going back to the military budget of 2009 — we’re still going to have the biggest military in the world. If we can’t go over this bump, we’ll never be able to get anything big done.”

“A little pain allows the medicine to go down,” the former dentist added. “We’ll at least be treating the problem in order for us to get well again.””

Again, those are blatant lies. Firstly, as already proven on this website months ago, sequestration would actually take defense spending back to its FY2003 level, not the level of FY2009. In FY2003, China’s and Russia’s military buildups were only in their early stages, and the world was not nearly as dangerous as it is today. Secondly, the US does not have the largest military in the world (China does) or the largest nuclear arsenal in the world (Russia does), and if sequestration kicks in, the size of the military will be significantly cut. Thirdly, while America does have a spending problem, it is NOT because of defense spending. Fourthly, sequestration would not be a mere “bump” or “a litle pain” – it would be a 31% cut in defense spending, almost as deep as the cuts that followed the end of the Vietnam and Cold Wars. It would cut defense spending down to $469 bn in January and keep it below $500 bn (and well below today’s level) for the remainder of the sequestration decade. Fifth, the idea that if we don’t cut defense spending, we’ll never be able to get anything big done is ridiculous and false. Defense spending is NOT the cause of America’s fiscal woes. Congress needs to cut the REAL source of these fiscal woes – entitlements – not defense spending (which has already been cut).

Georgia Congressman Austin Scott, for his part, falsely claims that:

“The problem with the sequester is not the cuts, but how the cuts are made. It cuts things that are not necessary at the same level it cuts things that quite honestly are necessary.”No, Congressman. The problem with sequestration is BOTH the depth of the cuts AND the way these cuts would be made. This is because the cuts would be so deep that there wouldn’t be nearly enough money for training, operations, the maintenance of existing equipment and bases, and the development and acquisition of new equipment. See here.

Kate Nocera further falsely claims that:

“Amash, whose outlook on foreign policy is decidedly more libertarian, called his party’s unwillingness to even look at cutting defense spending “frightening.”

“I think they are willing to raise taxes to avoid defense cuts. I think they are willing to take really bad deals to avoid defense cuts,” he said at a Heritage Foundation event last week. “I’m not calling for some massive reduction in defense spending … but they aren’t even willing to look at reducing it to George W. Bush levels.”

“A party that’s not even willing to look at that, that’s a frightening scenario,” he added.”

But those are blatant lies. Firstly, the GOP is, and has been, more than willing to look at defense spending: it has already agreed to massive defense cuts. It agreed to the killing of over 50 crucial weapon programs (including the F-22, the MKV, the KEI, the Airborne Laser, the Zumwalt class, the C-17, the CGX cruiser class, etc.) in 2009 and 2010, to ratify the New START unilateral nuclear cuts treaty, to Sec. Gates’ Efficiencies Initiative (worth $178 bn), and to the first tranche of defense cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act ($487 bn).

Furthermore, during the current negotiations with President Obama and Congressional Democrats, GOP leaders, including Speaker Boehner, have refused to rule out further defense cuts, as reported by DefenseNews. Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are also okay with further defense cuts as long as the Iranian threat is eliminated.

Any claim that the GOP is unwilling to even look at cutting defense spending is a blatant lie, and those who are spreading it are children of the Father of Lies himself.

And Amash, despite his pious denials, IS calling for a massive reduction in defense spending. As Nocera’s own article admits, he supports sequestration (which would be a massive, 31% cut) and the massive defense cuts proposed by leftist think-tanks such as the PDA, the Soros-funded CATO Institute, and the Soros-funded POGO. Cuts which would be targeted at the muscle and bone of the US military, not at waste (e.g. deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent and in the US Navy’s ship fleet).

Furthermore, sequestration WOULD set defense spending back to “George W. Bush levels” – specifically, to the EARLY Bush levels of FY2003. If the FY2009 level ($512 bn in CY2009 dollars, i.e. $552.05 bn in CY2012 dollars) is what Congressman Amash meant, here’s some newsflash: the first tranche of BCA-mandated defense cuts will bring defense spending down to $521 bn, well BELOW its FY2009 level.

“Amash was one of a quartet of House Republican lawmakers removed from committees for going against their leadership. He remarked at the Heritage event that he thinks a key similarity he shares with the other booted members is their “positions on military spending that are a little more open to compromise.””

“A little more open to compromise” is a huge understatement. Amash, as stated above, supports deep, reckless defense cuts: sequestration (as documented by Nocera’s own article) and the deep cuts proposed by leftist think-tanks such as the Soros-funded CATO Institute and POGO and the Massachusetts-based, Barney-Frank-supported PDA. Amash simply spits on the Constitution and on America’s defense, and he supports deep, reckless defense cuts. If that is why he was booted from the Budget Committee, Boehner was right to boot him.

“Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who voted for the debt deal that eventually led to the sequester, said cuts must be made to the mandatory side of the ledger as well as to the Pentagon “to make a long-term impact” on the debt.”

Actually, defense cuts DON’T have to be made to “make a long-term impact on the debt”. The budget can be balanced without defense cuts, as proven by the budget proposals of Chairman Ryan, the Republican Study Committee, Sen. Toomey, and Sen. Lee. Furthermore, even deep defense cuts would make no short- or long-term impact on the debt, because defense spending is just a small part of the federal budget. To make any impact on the debt, one has to cut ENTITLEMENTS.

Nocera’s article is a litany of blatant lies – some of which are hers, some of which were made by the RINOs she uncritically quotes. Shame on her and them for lying so blatantly.

One piece of good news is that at least Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA), a staunch conservative who, like me, supports abolishing the Education Department and the EPA, opposes any further defense cuts:

“Defense cuts are going to be tragic for our national security. … We’re cutting our defense into muscle and bone. We need to be building up our military and not cutting it.”

Finally, a voice of reason.

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/some-republicans-ok-with-defense-cuts-84942.html?ml=po_r

Posted in Ideologies, Media lies, Military issues, Politicians, World affairs | Leave a Comment »

Rebuttal of Ed Markey’s and other Dems’ blatant lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 23, 2012


On December 12th, extremely leftist Congressman Ed Markey and 44 other stridently leftist Democrats sent a letter to the Republican and Democrat leaders of both houses of Congress again calling for spending on America’s nuclear deterrent to be cut by over $100 bn over the next decade… ignoring the fact that this would save only $10 bn per year, and thus do NOTHING to reduce the budget deficit or the debt, while gravely harming US national security and inviting a Russian nuclear first strike.

Their entire letter is a litany of blatant lies. They falsely claim, in the opening paragraph of the letter, that

“Our oversized nuclear weapons arsenal fails to reflect historical reality.  Our spending on radioactive relics of the past requires a reality check.  We won the Cold War.  The Berlin Wall fell.  The threats we face today have dramatically changed in the past two decades.”

But those are blatant lies. The mere fact that the Cold War is over and the Berlin Wall is gone (and BTW, during the Cold War these strident liberals were undermining Ronald Reagan at every turn; had they had their way, the Soviet Union would’ve won the Cold War) does NOT mean that America can deeply cut its nuclear deterrent further or that nuclear weapons are relics of a bygone era. Quite the contrary. America needs its nuclear deterrent now more than ever. It needs that arsenal to deter Russia, China, North Korea, and in the future, Iran, and to provide a nuclear umbrella to over 30 allies who rely on it, thus showing them that they don’t need to develop nuclear arsenals of their own. The threats America faces today have mostly changed in origin, but not in nature. The need for a large nuclear deterrent is more pronounced than ever.

America’s nuclear arsenal is not oversized at all. It is already far smaller than it was at the end of the Cold War (and at any point in that period except the 1940s and the early 1950s). It numbers ca. 5,000 warheads today, whereas at the end of the Cold War, it numbered 20,000. The current arsenal is – as two successive STRATCOM commanders, Gen. Kevin Chilton and Gen. Bob Kehler and former SECDEF James Schlesinger have stated – the bare minimum to deter potential adversaries and protect America and its friends. Russia has 2,800 strategic warheads (1,492 of them deployed), untold thousands of tactical nukes, and a huge fleet of delivery systems: 434 ICBMs, 14 ballistic missile subs, over 200 strategic bombers with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, and thousands of tactical nuclear delivery systems. Its ICBM fleet alone can deliver 1,684 warheads to the US. China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and possesses at least 36 DF-5, 30 DF-31/31A, and a number of DF-41 MIRVable ICBMs, plus 6 ballistic missile subs.

Any claim that the US nuclear arsenal is “oversized” is a blatant lie. This also utterly belies their false claim that “We can save hundreds of billions of dollars by restructuring the U.S. nuclear program for the 21st century.” The US nuclear program/arsenal is already in line with the 21st century, as demonstrated above.

They also falsely claim that “Unchecked spending on nuclear weapons threatens to push us over the fiscal cliff.” But US nuclear weapons spending is anything but “unchecked”, and it does not threaten to push America over the fiscal cliff. According to the Stimson Center, America’s total annual nuclear arsenal spending is $32 bn per year, and the US is expected to spend $352 bn – $392 bn over the next decade (i.e. just $39.2 bn per year) to maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal. $32 bn is just 4.8% of the FY2012 military budget. $39.2 bn per year would amount to just 6%. As a share of the total federal budget, nuclear weapon spending is even lower: just 1% of the federal budget. It’s peanuts. And it is reviewed, authorized, and appropriated every year by Congress. Thus, it is not “unchecked”; it is under strict Congressional control. And cutting it deeply would not save more than a pittance. Moreover, due to its small size, it’s no threat to any other government programs.

Thus, due to its small size, the nuclear weapons budget belies these strident liberals’ false claim that “Our bloated nuclear weapons budget defies fiscal reality” and their equally false claims that:

It imperils both our national and economic security.   It makes us less safe by preventing investment in the systems that our soldiers need most.  It jeopardizes our future by forcing cuts to programs that fund life-saving medical research, train teachers, and ensure seniors and the most vulnerable receive essential healthcare.”

No, it is the reckless, deep, unilateral cuts to America’s nuclear deterrent and its budget which these strident liberals advocate that threatens national security. Furthermore, what our soldiers (and US citizens) need most is an umbrella protecting them against the most catastrophic threats: nuclear, chemical, biological, or massive conventional attack. Only the US nuclear deterrent can do this. Strategic bombers also provide strategic bombing of targets deep inside enemy territory and close air support to ground troops, and have done so in every war the US has partaken in since WW2. Long range strike – the other mission of strategic bombers – will be one of the most crucial ones in the future, as documented by the CSBA’s Mark Gunzinger.

No, nuclear weapons spending is not preventing investment in anything else nor siphoning money away from anything. It’s too small to do that.

And no, the small nuclear weapons budget is not forcing cuts to any medical research, teacher training, or Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid have been growing on autopilot ever since these programs’ creation. Moreover, constitutionally, all of these issues and programs are none of the federal government’s business – they are the purview of state and local governments, families, and the private sector.

In terms of research, including “life-saving medical research”, the US is the world’s undisputed leader, accounting for over 33% of world research spending, and by far the most of that money goes to medical, pharmaceutical, and biotech research: $40.6 bn per year by the top 10 American companies alone. (Not counting spending by smaller companies and by government agencies.)

No, nuclear weapons spending does not imperil US national or economic security. Quite the contrary, it safeguards both. It protects America and its allies against the most catastrophic threats at a cost of just 5% of the total military budget and 1% of the total federal budget.

They also falsely claim that “We know there is plenty of waste in the nuclear weapons budget.” But that’s also a blatant lie.

There isn’t any significant “waste” there. What Markey and his fellow leftist Democrats call “waste” are actually crucial nuclear weapon and system/facility modernization programs, including B61 nuclear bomb modernization (needed to provide a nuclear umbrella to Europe, threatened by Russia’s strategic and tactical nuclear weapons; the US has only 400 tactical nuclear warheads while Russia has 10 times that many); the planned Uranium Production Facility in Tennessee, necessary to produce highly-enriched uranium to keep American nuclear warheads available; the CMRR facility planned for Los Alamos, New Mexico, necessary to replace obsolete, decrepit Manhattan Project era facilities; the current ICBMs and B-2 stealth bombers providing two legs of the nuclear triad and thus keeping the peace; and the Next Generation Bomber, needed to replace America’s obsolete B-52 and B-1 bombers (which cannot survive in any defended airspace) in both the nuclear and the conventional long range strike roles.

Citing what they claim to be “waste”, they falsely claim that:

We are refurbishing a nuclear bomb that no one wants.  We are building a Uranium processing facility we do not need. We are planning for a new nuclear bomber when the ones we have will last for decades.  In fact, just one nuclear bomb life extension program will cost $10 billion for an estimated 400 weapons.”

But the Uranium Processing Facility is needed, and the B61 bomb, which they falsely claim is a bomb “that no one wants”, is actually very much needed to protect America’s European allies from Russia; in the last 2years, at least several European countries, including France and Turkey, have urged America to keep its tactical B61 nuclear warheads in Europe, thus belying the claim that it’s “a bomb that no one wants” – it’s a bomb which only pacifists don’t want America to have. Several NATO countries have warned America against cutting its nuclear arsenal further, saying it threatens NATO’s integrity. And the B61’s modernization cost ($10 bn) will be spread over many years, not one year. If spread over 5 years, it amounts to only $2 bn per annum.

As for the next generation bomber, which will be nuclear- AND conventional-strike-capable, it is likewise very much needed RIGHT NOW. B-52 and B-1 bombers have huge radar signatures and are extremely easy for even legacy Soviet air defense systems (not to mention the newest Russian and Chinese systems like the S-300, S-400, and HQ-9) to detect and shoot down and are therefore useless in anything but the most benign environment where the only opponents are insurgents unable to contest control of the air. Sending American pilots in these bombers into enemy airspace would be a death sentence on them. It would consign them to a certain death or capture (and probably torture). Shame on these House liberals for advocating this fate for brave American pilots. For more on the need for a Next Generation Bomber, see here, here, here, and here.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley (appointed by Gates) has recently reaffirmed the need for the NGB, while also demonstrating how little this program, and bomber programs in general, cost compared to the USAF’s total modernization budget:

“The new Long-Range Strike bomber is one of our top priorities and encompasses approximately two percent of Air Force investment. An additional three percent over the next five years goes to sustain and modernize the B-52, B-1, and B-2 bombers to ensure these aging aircraft remain viable.”

Among the most lethal and most pervasive threats today is that of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) weapons, such as short/medium-range ballistic missiles (which threaten in-theater American bases, forcing the USAF to fly bombers from distant bases) and air defense systems (which can shoot down any nonstealthy aircraft). B-52s and B-1s don’t stand a chance of surviving in such environment. The Next Generation Bomber is absolutely necessary to counter these threats and strike targets deep within enemy territory. It is an integral, sine qua non part of the DOD’s new AirSea Battle strategy of countering A2/AD threats. Without it, the US military won’t be able to hit the enemy or operate inside enemy airspace.

These strident liberals claim that “Cuts to nuclear weapons programs upwards of $100 billion over the next 10 years are possible.”

While they are technically “possible”, they would be foolish and disastrous for national security. Deeply cutting the already meagre investments in America’s nuclear deterrent, deeply cutting it in size, and foregoing its modernization – as these strident liberals advocate – would greatly jeopardize America’s national security and invite a Russian or Chinese nuclear first strike on the US for the reasons stated above.

They also cite the Ploughshares Fund’s completely false, vastly exaggerated “estimate” of what the US nuclear arsenal costs and what its maintenance and modernization will cost in the next decade:

The Ploughshares Fund estimates that the U.S. is projected to spend over $640 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs over the next ten years.”

But Ploughshares’ figure is completely false. The correct figure, as stated above, is the Stimson Center’s: 352 bn to 392 bn over the next decade, i.e. no more than 39.2 bn per year (i.e. just 6% of the total military budget and a fraction of one percent of total federal spending). That’s a drop in the bucket.

Ploughshares released its utterly false, vastly exaggerated numbers earlier this year, and was rebuked by the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, who gave Ploughshares two Pinnochios for that claim. Ploughshares is an utterly biased organization which seeks deep, unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent and its eventual elimination. Thus, it has an incentive to lie and to exaggerate nuclear weapon costs. It’s not a credible source at all. It’s a group of shameless liars.

The strident liberals’ letter closes as follows:

Cut Minuteman missiles.  Do not cut Medicare and Medicaid.  Cut nuclear-armed B-52 and B-2 bombers.  Do not cut Social Security.  Invest in the research and education that will drive our future prosperity, not in weapons for a war we already won.”

But, as demonstrated above, nuclear weapons are needed now even more than during the Cold War. They’re not relics of a bygone era; they’re needed to deter Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. And eliminating all American ICBMs would “save” only $1.1 bn per year, while eliminating all USAF nuclear bombers would “save” only $2.5 bn per year. Furthermore, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and federal research and education programs are utterly unconstitutional (as they are outside the Constitutional powers of the federal government), while providing for America’s defense is the #1 Constitutional DUTY of the federal government.

Furthermore, not cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security means that the budget deficit (not to mention the public debt) will never be erased, because these three entitlement programs alone amount to 62% of the ENTIRE federal budget. THEY are crowding out defense spending (including nuclear weapons spending), not vice versa. Even eliminating all military spending would fail to even halve the budget deficit, let alone erase it.

Even eliminating all USAF ICBMs and bombers would not pay for even a fraction of the coming tsunami of entitlement spending, or even the incoming continued growth of SS spending.

defense-spending-entitlement-spending-problem-600

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These strident liberal Democrats’ claims are all blatant lies, and their demands must be completely rejected.

The letter was signed by Ed Markey, John Conyers, Jr., Rush D. Holt, Barbara Lee, Raul M. Grijalva, Charles B. Rangel, Lynn Woolsey, Donna M.C. Christensen, Peter A. DeFazio, Jared Polis, Sam Farr, Jerrold Nadler, Michael M. Honda, Barney Frank, James P. McGovern, Hansen Clarke, Earl Blumenauer, Alcee L. Hastings, Maxine Waters, Jan Schakowsky, Keith Ellison, William Lacy Clay, Lois Capps, Bruce Braley, John Yarmuth, James P. Moran, Peter Welch, Timothy H. Bishop, John W. Olver, John F. Tierney, Marcy Kaptur, Laura Richardson, Richard E. Neal, John Lewis, Janice Hahn, Donna Edwards, Maurice D. Hinchey, Betty McCollum, William Keating, Jim McDermott, David E. Price, Yvette D. Clarke, Carolyn B. Maloney, Doris Matsui, and Hank Johnson. In other words, the most strident liberals in the House.

http://markey.house.gov/press-release/markey-house-dems-leadership-unneeded-nuclear-weapons-spending-should-be-cut-help; http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/fiscal-cliff-talks-prompt-new-call-curb-us-nuke-spending/; http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/legislation-seeks-100b-nuke-spending-cuts/

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Russia’s huge nuclear arsenal: the single biggest threat to the US

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 22, 2012


Today we will analyze Russia’s huge nuclear arsenal, to the extent that information on it is available. Russia is the largest nuclear power in the world, with 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (1,492 of them deployed) and untold thousands of tactical nuclear warheads, deployed and nondeployed. We will look at both the strategic and the tactical arsenal, assesing their size, diversity, survivability, and mobility, and I will show you that it is the single biggest security threat to the US and that it, by itself, justifies maintaining a large nuclear triad of ICBMs, SSBNs, and strategic bombers.

Russia’s strategic arsenal

Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal consists of 2,800 warheads (1,492 of them deployed, as of the latest New START data exchange) and their delivery systems: ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) deployed on ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and strategic bombers.

Russia currently possesses several types of ICBMs. It has 58 R-36M Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) heavy ICBMs (each of which can carry 10 warheads and up to 30 countermeasures to evade missile defense systems), 136 UR-100N (SS-19 Stilletto) ICBMs (each of which can carry 6 warheads), 144 single-warhead RT-2PM  Topol (SS-25 Sickle) ICBMs, 72 single-warhead RT-2UTTH (SS-27 Sickle-B) ICBMs, and 18 RS-24 Yars (SS-29) missiles (with 4 warheads each).

Collectively, these ICBMs combined could carry 1,684 warheads (plus countermeasures), although they are not currently loaded with that many due to the New START treaty (which sets a ceiling of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads per side). But this is still far more than the meager 1,350 warheads that America’s 450 Minuteman-III ICBMs could carry (each of them can carry only 3 warheads).

Russia is now developing a new multiple-warhead ICBM, to be introduced in 2015, and a new heavy ICBM (“the son of Satan”), to be deployed in 2018. By 2020, 80% of Russia’s ICBM fleet is to be new, i.e. consisting of missiles other than the Soviet-era SS-18, SS-19, and SS-25.

More on that here in this must-read article.

Russia’s Navy has 14 SSBNs: 12 of the Delta III and Delta IV classes, one Borei class sub, and one Typhoon class sub (which is currently used as a test platform but can be armed with active duty SLBMs anytime).

The 12 Delta class SSBNs can carry 16 SLBMs each, as can the sole Borei class sub. The sole Typhoon class sub, the Dmitri Donskoy, can carry 20 missiles.

What missiles do Russian submarines currently carry? New, improved variants of the R-29 SLBM such as the R-29RMU Sinyeva, with a range of over 11,000 kms, which enables Russian SSBNs to hit any targets in the US while being in port or in home waters. Russian SSBNs have had that capability since the early 1990s, although the Sinyeva missile itself was introduced in 2007. The RSM-56 Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM has a range of up to 16,000 kms.

Russian SLBMs have various warhead carriage capacities. The R-29RM Shtil, introduced in 1986, can carry four warheads over a distance of 8,300 kms. The R-29RMU Sinyeva (SS-N-23 skiff) can carry 4 warheads over 11,547 kms. The R-29RMU2.1 Liner has the same range and can carry 12 warheads. The Bulava will have a range of 16,000 kilometers and be able to carry 10 warheads.

The 13 SSBNs other than the Typhoon class boat can collectively carry 204 SLBMs (13*16); the Typhoon clas can carry another 20. That is a collective carriage capacity of 2040-2240 warheads.

The USN’s current SSBN fleet, consisting of 14 Ohio class boats, can carry 24 missiles per boat, with 8 warheads per missile. 14*24=336 missiles. 336*2688 warheads, far more than what Russia’s submarine fleet can carry.

But the USN plans to replace its aging fleet of Ohio class SSBNs with only 12 boats, each of which will be able to carry only 16 SLBMs. That will reduce their missile launch capacity to only 192 (12*16) SLBMs and only 1536 (192*8) warheads, compared to 2240 for Russia.

If proposals by pacifist groups that the future SSBN fleet be cut to just 8 boats are implemented, this will cut the Navy’s SLBM launch capacity to only 128 (8*16) SLBMs and only 1024 (128*8) warheads, compared to 2240 for Russia.

In the future, Russia plans to replace 7 of its Delta class SSBNs with Borei class boats. 5 of these new Borei class boats (from Knyaz Vladimir onwards) will be able to carry 20 SLBMs each. Thus, the future Russian SSBN fleet will consist of 8 Borei class boats (Yuri Dolgoruki and the other seven), 4-5 Delta class SSBNs, and the sole Typhoon class boat. The four Deltas and the first three Boreis will be able to carry  16 SLBMs each, i.e. a total of 7*16=112 SLBMs, while the other five Boreis will carry 20 SLBMs each, a total of 100 missiles, for a total fleet missile carriage capacity of 212 SLBMs (R-29M/RM or SS-NX-30 Bulava missiles).

Each of them can carry 10 warheads, so that will give them the capability to deliver 2120 warheads.

Throw in another 20 SLBMs and 200 warheads, and you get a delivery capacity of 2320 warheads. In either case, that is far more than what the USN will have, under any scenario, with the new SSBN fleet. Even if all 12 boats are built.

The Russian Air Force, for its part, has 64 Tu-95, at least 16 (and probably more) Tu-160, and over 183 Tu-22M supersonic[1] strategic bombers; the Russian Naval Aviation has another 58 Tu-22Ms. (The first two have an unrefuelled intercontinental combat radius; the Tu-22M is also intercontinental if refueled mid-air.) Another 3 are waiting for completion at their Kazan plant, another 6 are owned by the Zhukovsky experimental facility (but could be used for bomber duty), and another 7 are in Ukraine and could be transferred to Russia in exchange for cheaper Russian natural gas.[2] Each of these bombers can carry at least several nuclear-tipped cruise missiles; the Tu-95 and the Tu-22M can also carry nuclear freefall bombs, and the Tu-160 could be modified to do so. At least 20 Russian strategic bombers are on patrol anytime.

The standard cruise missile of the Russian bomber fleet is the Raduga Kh-55 (AS-15 Kent) nuclear-tipped cruise missile whose standard variant has a range of 2,500 kms and its Kh-55SM variant has a range of 3,000 kms. Every Kh-55 missile can carry a 200 kT warhead. (China and India also possess these missiles.) Each Tu-95 and Tu-22M can carry six AS-15 missiles and one nuclear bomb. A Tu-160 bomber can carry twice as many AS-15 cruise missiles: 12.

As with the other two legs of its nuclear triad, Russia is now modernizing its bomber fleet by producing new Tu-160 bombers from stockpiled components and developing a new strategic bomber, the PAK DA (Prospective Aviation System of Long-Range Aviation).

Russia’s huge tactical nuclear arsenal (estimated by the Obama Administration to be 10 times larger than America’s) can be delivered by a very wide range of delivery systems, including short-ranged ballistic missiles, ship- and air-launched cruise missiles, surface warships (nuclear depth charges), artillery pieces, tactical strike aircraft (e.g. Su-24s, Su-25s, Su-27s/30s/33s/35s, and Su-34s). Russia has at least 1,040-2,000 deployed tactical nuclear warheads (according to various estimates listed here on p. 6), and 2,000-4,000 tactical nuclear warheads in total according to ASDEF for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon (p. 6).

Russia currently plans to significantly grow its arsenal of ICBMs and bombers. This year, the Russian Government tripled ICBM production, and by 2020, it will procure 400 new ICBMs – partly to grow the fleet and partly to replace older ICBMs. It is also developing a new heavy ICBM (to replace the SS-18 Satan), a new 100-ton missile with a “global range” and a conventional warhead, a new middle weight ICBM called the Avangard, and a new rail-based ICBM (which will likely be an RS-24 Yars derivative). None of these ICBMs will be limited by New START. Russia is also building additional Tu-160 bombers from stockpiled components. Because Russia was below New START ceilings, and because that pathetic treaty has many loopholes large enough to drive a truck through them, Russia is allowed to significantly build up its strategic arsenal. The US is not.

Overall, Russia plans to spend 21 trillion roubles (i.e. $770 bn) on new equipment during the next decade.

In total, Russia has an arsenal of 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads, all of which are deliverable, but only 1,492 of which are deployed due to New START limits (with 58 additional ones to be deployed soon to max out the New START limit) while the other 1,250 are in reserve. Russia will thus soon be at 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and enjoy strategic nuclear parity with the US (pre-New-START, the US had a significant advantage in the number of deployed strategic warheads).

Moreover, New START stipulates only a limit on the total number of deployed warheads and their delivery systems (with bombers, not cruise missiles, counted as delivery systems) and does not limit how many warheads or cruise missiles a bomber can carry or how many warheads an ICBM can carry. New START counts each Russian bomber as carrying one warhead, even if it carries 6 or more.[3]

All three legs of the Russian nuclear triad are now undergoing a significant modernization, and all of them will see their delivery capacity increased in the years ahead.

Delivery system name Quantity Warhead carriage capacity per system Total warhead carriage capacity
SS-18 ICBM 58 10 580
SS-19 ICBM 136 6 816
SS-25 ICBM 144 1 144
SS-27 ICBM 74 1 72
SS-29/RS-24 ICBM 18 4 72
Tu-95 bomber/w Kh-55 ALCMs* 63[4] 6 378[4]
Tu-160 bomber/w Kh-55 ALCMs* At least 16 12 192
Tu-22M bomber w/Kh-55 ALCMs* 6
Delta/Borei class SSBN w/R-29RMU SLBMs 13 16*x 16*x*13
Typhoon class SSBN 1 200 200
Su-34 strike jet  24 1  24
Su-24/25 strike jet Over 415 1  Over 415
Iskander SRBM
SSN/SSGN w/SLCMs 21 ? ?

*Strategic bombers, not their cruise missiles, are counted by the New START as delivery systems, even though all bombers can deliver more than one CM. For purposes of this table, bombers are counted as delivery systems, but the warhead carriage capacity given is the one for all CMs combined carried by all bombers of a given type in the fleet combined. The Tu-22M is not even counted by New START as a delivery system at all, despite being a strategic bomber.

Tactical nuclear arsenal

If the US enjoys a strategic nuclear parity with Russia, it is wholly and hugely outclassed by Moscow in terms of tactical nuclear warheads of these. Russia has untold thousands of them, with estimates ranging from 4,000 to 14,000. The Obama Administration itself admits Russia has 10 times more of these than the US. Yet, no treaty limits these warheads or even obligates Russia to say how many of them it has.

Russia’s arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons is not only very large, but also very diverse, and includes the following: ballistic missile and cruise missile warheads, torpedo warheads, depth charges, and artillery shells. They can be delivered by a very wide range of delivery systems, including:

  • Su-27, Su-30, Su-35, Su-24, and Su-25 aircraft;
  • Su-34 medium range strike aircraft;
  • short-range ballistic missiles such as the Iskander (SS-26 Stone);
  • ship-, submarine-, and aircraft-launched cruise missiles such as the BrahMos;
  • torpedoes;
  • destroyers and frigates;
  • artillery shells.

Again, it is not known how many tactical nuclear warheads or their delivery systems Russia has, but the warheads are estimated to number in the high thousands. A Russian general has stated that by the end of this decade there will be an Iskander SRBM brigade in every district of Russia except the Kaliningrad district. The Russians have also threatened to deploy Iskander SRBMs in Kaliningrad, too.

It is not known if the PAKFA stealth fighter is or will be capable of carrying nuclear bombs.

Conclusions

At present, Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth, although its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal is somewhat smaller than America’s – 1,492 warheads versus America’s over 1,700. This will cease to be true by 2018, however, as the US is obligated to cut its deployed arsenal to 1,550 warheads while Russia is allowed to grow its deployed strategic arsenal to that level, up 58 from today’s level of 1,492.

Russia’s total strategic nuclear arsenal consists of 2,800 warheads.

Meanwhile, Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal is vastly bigger than America’s (10 times bigger according to the Obama Administration) and deliverable by a much wider range of missiles than America’s (which is deliverable only by aircraft).

Any notion that the US could unilaterally reduce its nuclear arsenal any further below New START limits and still be able to deter Russia (let alone Russia, China, and North Korea combined), let alone make deep unilateral cuts to the mere hundreds of warheads and still be able to deter Russia, is ridiculous, nonsensical, childish, and patently false. In other words, it’s a blatant lie. America’s present nuclear arsenal is the bare minimum required to deter Russia.

Footnotes:

[1] The maximum speed of Tu-22M bombers is Mach 1.88.

[2] In 1992, Russia obtained 9 Tu-160 bombers from Ukraine this way.

[3] Mark Schneider, Russian Nuclear Modernization, National Institute for Public Policy, June 2012.

[4] Wikipedia says Russia has 72 Tu-95 bombers with a total load of 704 cruise missiles, one warhead per missile.

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MissileThreat.com and Hans Kristensen are wrong to understate the Chinese nuclear threat

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 19, 2012


A recent MissileThreat.com article inexplicably and wrongly downplays the Chinese missile and submarine threat significantly, which is a stain on the previously almost impeccable credibility of the MissileThreat website, which has normally been a very credible information source.

The article informs the reader that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission warns in its report that China is “on the verge” of acquiring a credible continous at-sea nuclear deterrent and that China supposedly already has 2-3 SSBNs; hence, the Commission says, the US should enter into arms limitation talks with Beijing.

But the ESR Commission and the MissileThreat website are actually understating the Chinese military threat. Anti-nuclear, pro-disarmament hack Hans Kristensen (a Danish pacifist activist working in the US) understates it even worse.

Firstly, China had 2-3 Jin class SSBNs (plus one Xia class submarine) 5 years ago, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to 5 Jins and the one Xia class boat, as documented here. A mere 2-3 Jin class boats is what China had in 2007. Common sense and logic alone should tell us that China has only increased its SSBN fleet since then, and has has had plenty of time (5 years!) to do so. And indeed, China has 5 Jin class SSBNs today, with a sixth one under construction. This is consistent with the Office of Naval Intelligence’s 2006 statement that China would need at least 5 Jins to maintain a continous at-sea nuclear deterrent.

Secondly, contrary to what the article (and the MissileThreat website, in its profile of the missile) claims, the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (the principal armament of the Jin class) has a range of 8,000 kms, not 7,200. That range makes a Jin class boat capable of targeting the entire US West Coast while being positioned just east of the 150E meridian, just east of Japan and well west of Hawaii. It does not need to sail close to, let alone east of Hawaii as the article wrongly claimed.

Even if the JL-2’s range was “only” 7,200 kilometers, that would still give a Jin enough range to target the entire US West Coast while being positioned at the 160E meridian, still well west of Hawaii. In fact, if a Jin boat were positioned just slightly east of Hawaii, its JL-2 missiles could hit any target anywhere in the US, including even Maine. (A Chinese YouTube video claims that the JL-2 has a range of 7,400 kms, and the SinoDefence website says it has a range of between 7000 and 8000 kms.)

Kristensen and MissileThreat also falsely claim that Chinese SSBNs would be vulnerable shortly after leaving their bases. This is false, at least regarding the Yulin Naval Base near Sanya (which is quoted in the article), on the South China Sea, and possibly also false with regard to the Jianggezhue Naval Base near Qingdao. The entrance to the Yulin Naval Base is partially underwater and the water in front of that entrance, and in the entrance lane itself, is so deep that a submarine entering or leaving that base can do so while being fully submerged, as reported by the Daily Telegraph here. So the ony way for the USN to know when a sub would be leaving the base would be to permanently have an American sub positioned near the entrance and monitor it as Chinese subs enter and exit the base, then track a Jin class sub leaving the base.

MissileThreat and Kristensen also mock the Jin class’s survivability, saying that it’s noisy and might not survive in the Pacific. The Jin class is noisy to be sure (as the ONI confirms), but it won’t matter in the congested waters of the East China and South China Seas or in the Sea of Japan. Nor will it matter in the vast swathes of the open Pacific, where the only way of detecting a Jin boat is to know where to look for it. But because a Jin can exit its base unseen, and because the Pacific Ocean is so vast, the USN would never know where to look for the Jin class.

Moreover, as MissileThreat itself admits, America’s ASW capabilities have dwindled dramatically since 1991. The fleet of P-3 Orion ASW aircraft is old, worn out, and dwindling, planned orders for replacement P-8 Poseidon aircraft are small, S-3 Viking carrier-borne ASW aircraft have been retired, the submarine fleet is dwindling and overcommitted, and so is the surface combatant fleet, not all of which is equipped with sonars. It would therefore be very easy for a Jin class boat to exit one of its subs unseen and then vanish in the vast swathes of the Pacific, only to threaten the US.

Kristensen, of course, desiring to mislead the public about China’s military capabilities and to lull the public into a false sense of security, falsely claims that “in a war with the United States, China would not last long”. What utter garbage.

In fact, China’s nuclear arsenal is very survivable. Its DF-5 ICBMs sit in hardened siloes, it has built many decoy siloes, while its DF-31 and DF-41 ICBMs (like their DF-21 MRBM and their SRBM and GLCM counterparts) are road-mobile (a rail-mobile version of the DF-31 is reportedly under development). Its nuclear strike aircraft are dispersed around many bases around the country, and nuclear-capable Q-5s and JH-7s are mostly based in hardened or underground and under-mountain hangars. Jin class submarines, of course, being submarines, are even more survivable, like other SSBNs.

Looking at China’s entire portfolio of military capabilities – not just the nuclear ones – it is clear that China’s military is catching up with the US military quickly and that, as things stand today, Beijing would actually win a conventional war with the US in Eastern Asia.

This is because the US military today is poorly prepared for wars in anti-access/area-denial environments. Its sole bombers capable of penetrating Chinese airspace are its 20 B-2 bombers. Its cruise missiles could be easily intercepted by Chinese air defense systems. The bases of its short- and medium-range aircraft are all within easy reach of Chinese SRBMs (DF-11, DF-15, B-611), MRBMs (DF-21, DF-3), and GLCMs (CJ-10, DH-10). Its ASW skills and assets, as stated above and admitted by MissileThreat, have dwindled disastrously since 1991. Its submarine and surface combatants are dwindling, too, and will do so even if sequestration is averted completely. It has only 14 mine countermeasure ships, most of them committed to the Persian Gulf, while China has 100,000 naval mines. Its carriers are at risk from Chinese ASCMs and ASBMs. Its carrier-borne aircraft have a short range.

Thus, in a war with the US, China would simply need to use its SRBMs, MRBMs, and cruise missiles to destroy American bases in the region (and the aircraft parked there), while Chinese DF-21D ASBMs would sink any American carrier within 2,700 kms of China’s coast.

Alas, it is the US, not China, that would not last long in a war between Washington and Beijing.

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Americans: Cut spending, except the spending we personally live off

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 18, 2012


The most recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll finds that the vast majority of Americans oppose any cuts in the government programs they personally benefit from (i.e. receive money from), and support cutting spending only in what they personally don’t benefit (or at least don’t believe they benefit) from.

The latest edition of this poll has actually found that Americans are “more protective than ever” of these programs.

The poll also finds that, contrary to two widely-reported polls that purported to show a large majority of Americans supporting deep cuts in defense spending, only 15% of men and 19% of women support such a course of action.

79% of Americans oppose any cuts in Medicare. Only 17% would be okay with some cuts in it, and only 3% would like to see “lots of cuts” to it.

Opposition to any reforms or cuts to the program transcend beyond demographic divisions. 71% of men, 87% of women, 93% of non-Hispanic blacks, 78% of whites, and 68% of men over the age of 50 (although that demographic group is more open to cuts than women or younger people).

As the National Journal reports:

The figures were similar for Social Security, the other big, universal entitlement that enjoys widespread popular support.

As with many other surveys, the latest edition of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll found more support for cutting so-called means-tested programs that are available only to the poor or lower-middle class. Still, 45 percent of men and 52 percent of women said that the government shouldn’t make any cuts in “food stamps and housing vouchers” that go to poor families. Among white men without a college degree, a once Democratic-leaning group that has become elusive for the party, some 45 percent wanted the government to leave these programs alone.

However, it’s not as if public opinion has swung to a clear defense of expansionist government. Previous editions of the Congressional Connection Poll and other surveys have found stern opposition to the president’s health care law, and especially the mandate that Americans buy health insurance.

The poll also belies the 2 rigged polls produced earlier this year by the liberal CPI/NPR and by the University of Maryland which puported to show majorities (over 60%) of Americans support deep defense spending cuts.

In reality, as the UT/National Journal poll shows, only 19% of men and 15% of women support cutting defense spending “a lot”, while 34% of women and 32% of men say that it shouldn’t be cut at all, and a large plurality (47%) of both men and women take a centrist position, saying that defense spending has to see some cuts and thus to contribute to deficit reduction, but not be cut deeply. Thus, a plurality of Americans want defense to contribute to deficit reduction, but they’re wary of deep cuts, worried (quite rightly) that such cuts would impair the nation’s ability to defend itself (which they would).

And what’s most interesting about these results is that on defense spending, women are at least slightly more conservative than men. This is in stark contrast to the liberal views expressed by most women on other issues. It shows that providing for the common defense has an appeal that transcends gender barriers and, if anything, the necessity to provide for it resonates more strongly with the fairer sex than with men.

(Or maybe most American women simply understand that they cannot bet their children’s and their country’s security on American men breaking free of their defense cuts kool-aid?)

Finally, what this poll also shows is that the vast majority of Americans are trying to have it both ways: they want the federal budget to be balanced and spending to be cut, but at the same time, they’re warning politicians not to even think about touching entitlement programs or other popular federal giveaways, such as food stamps (although the percentage of Americans defending the latter is much lower). The problem is that the budget deficit will never be significantly reduced, let alone eliminated, if entitlement programs are left untouched, because they, by themselves, constitute 63% of all federal spending.

Thus, what the poll shows is that the vast majority of Americans don’t want limited government; they want to continue to receive their government handouts.

The poll’s full results can be found here:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/poll-shows-public-wants-entitlements-left-untouched-20121204

The poll was conducted between Nov. 29th and Dec. 2nd on a sample of 1,003 people.

Posted in Economic affairs, Ideologies, Media lies, Military issues, World affairs | 1 Comment »

Rebuttal of RINO and Democrat congresscritters’ blatant lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 17, 2012


The DefenseNews.com website has recently published an article by John T. Bennett that extensively quotes a letter sent by 11 RINO and 11 Democrat members of Congress – including such conservative stalwarts as Barney Frank, Lynn Woolsey, Keith Ellison, Jim Moran (D-VA), and Chris Gibson (RINO-NY) – that calls for deep, $550 bn defense cuts and falsely claims that such cuts would be “harmless” because they would be “strategic”, i.e. done in a manner targeted at specific programs rather than being done across the board like sequestration. The Congressmen falsely claim that because such cuts would be done in a targeted manner, they would be harmless.

What utter garbage!

Firstly, the Republicans who joined the Dems in signing these letters are RINOs, not conservatives: RINOs such as Tom McClintock and Chris Gibson (both of whom have very liberal voting records). Jim Moran of Virginia is a Democrat, not a Republican – and a very liberal Democrat at that, representing a very liberal district where the only competition is between left and lefter.

(And BTW, Congressman McClintock’s name is Tom, short for Thomas, not Tim, and he’s from California, not North Carolina. DefenseNews can’t get even that right.)

And if you support deep, crippling cuts to America’s defense, and even worse, if you join the House’s most strident liberal Democrats to do so, you are a traitor, you are not a conservative, and you have no right to call yourself one.

Secondly, despite the Congressmen’s pious assurances that “substantial defense savings can be achieved over the long-term, without compromising national security, through strategic reductions in the Pentagon’s budget”; that “The recommendations of those studies would responsibly achieve defense savings over the next decade”, that the DOD could “save up to $550 billion without harming U.S. national security. In fact, achieving defense savings as part of the larger effort to reduce the national debt will go a long way toward bolstering U.S. national security”, these assurances are hollow. They are blatant lies. These cuts (proposed by the think-tanks cited by the Congressmen) would, in fact, gut the US military. And I don’t use that word lightly.

How do I know? Because I’ve actually read and thoroughly reviewed the defense cuts proposals of these “think-tanks” (they were: CATO, POGO, TCS, NTU-PIRG, the Stimson Center, the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, and the Soros-funded “Center for American Progress” ) and have utterly refuted all of them. Their proposals of defense cuts would entail, inter alia:

1) Deep cuts to the Navy’s ship fleet, down to just 230 or fewer ships, including deep cuts in the carrier, attack submarine, cruiser, destroyer, ballistic missile submarine, amphibious assault ship, and auxiliary ship fleets, leaving the Navy too weak and too small to handle any major adversary or to secure the world’s shipping lanes on which 95% of America’s trade depends. Deep cuts in the Navy would dramatically reduce America’s power projection capabilities; deep cuts in attack sub fleets would also gut America’s already-underinvested anti-submarine warfare, naval intelligence, and long range strike capabilities, while cuts in cruiser and destroyer fleets would leave the remaining ship fleet poorly defended against air and missile attacks and also reduce long range strike capability, as well as BMD capabilities. Thus, enemy navies would have no problem defeating the USN with submarines, aircraft, and anti-ship missiles, while the USN’s power projection capability would be cut by almost 60 ships, i.e. almost 20%.

2) Deep unilateral cuts to the nation’s nuclear deterrent, to just 900 warheads, 200 ICBMs (instead of the current 450), and no more than 8 SSBNs, with zero strategic bombers. This would open the nation to, and invite, a nuclear first strike by Russia or China. Keep in mind that Russia has 1,492 deployed and 2,800 total strategic warheads and the means to deliver all of them if need be. It has 434 (mostly multi-warhead) ICBMs, including 58 SS-18 Satan ICBMs capable of carrying 10 warheads each and 136 SS-19 Stilletto ICBMs capable of carrying 6 warheads each. It also has 14 ballistic missile submarines (capable of delivering over 2,000 warheads) and over 200 Tu-95, Tu-160, and Tu-22M nuclear strategic bombers. It is now developing new ICBMs, strategic bombers, and SSBNs. It also has a huge arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems which, according to the Obama Administration, outnumbers America’s tactical nuclear arsenal 10-1. China has at least 1,800, and possibly up to 3,000, nukes, and the means to deliver over 1,100 of them immediately to various targets (including hundreds to America; China has 36 DF-5, over 30 DF-31, and a number of DF-41 MIRVable ICBMs as well as 6 SSBNs). Cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent would also force America’s allies to develop their own nuclear arsenals, thus making the nuclear proliferation problem much worse.

3) Deep cuts in missile defense programs, leaving the nation and its allies exposed to ballistic missile attacks.

4) Deep cuts in the force structure and modernization programs of the Air Force, including the F-35 stealth fighter program, and killing the USAF’s Next Generation Bomber/LRSB program, thus depriving the Air Force of a bomber capable of penetrating defended enemy airspace (B-52s and B-1s have huge RCSes and are easy for even legacy 1960s’ Soviet air defense systems to shoot down), leaving the USAF with only 20 penetration-capable B-2 bombers. This would be a death sentence on any pilot not flying an F-22, F-35, or B-2.

5) Deep cuts in all modernization and research programs across the board. The result would be a military saddled with old, obsolete, unsurvivable weapons that are increasingly expensive to maintain.
6) Deep cuts in the ground force, rendering it unable to wage even one major war.
7) Deep cuts in the troops’ numbers and healthcare, thus breaking faith with them. This would cause many troops to leave service, harming recruiting and retention.

(8) Cuts or even wholesale cancellations of crucial weapon programs (necessary in the anti-access/area-denial threat environment) such as missile defense systems, the Next Generation Bomber, the F-35, the P-8 Poseidon ASW plane, the Virginia class attack submarine, the V-22 rotorcraft, etc.

You can see the details in my rebuttals of the destructive proposals of these “think-tanks”: https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/congress-must-reject-the-pdas-destructive-defense-cuts-proposals/; https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/exposing-the-anti-defense-hacks-on-the-sdtf/; https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/pogos-spend-less-spend-smarter-policies-would-gut-defense-and-jeopardize-nat-sec/; https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/whats-wrong-with-simpson-bowles/; https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/rebuttal-of-catospdas-defense-sense-defense-cuts-proposals/; https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/lets-stop-pretending-that-deep-defense-cuts-can-be-done-safely/.

The fact is that, contrary to the pious denials of those RINO and Democrat Congressmen, the massive defense cuts proposals of these think-tanks would severely weaken the US military and imperil national security for the reasons stated above. So despite their pious denials, national security would be severely compromised and harmed.

The fact is that so-called “strategic defense cuts” would be just as harmful to the nation’s defense and thus to its security as the across-the-board cuts, if not more. That’s because these “strategic” defense cuts would deeply cut the meat and bone of the military – at the very capabilities, units, and weapons which are crucial for defending the country.

Cutting America’s nuclear deterrent, missile defense systems, long range strike capabilities, Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps in a “strategic” manner would be just as destructive to national security as sequestration, if not more so.

Nor should we be surprised. Gutting defense is one of the goals of the liberal think-tanks who put forward these proposals and of the Democrats who signed this letter. The public debt is merely their latest pretext.

(Does anyone really think that Ed Markey, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, and Barbara Lee want the US to have the strongest military in the world? Or a strong military at all? Of course not. They want to gut the US military – and these 11 RINOs have joined hands with these liberal Democrats in this quest.)

Just because someone proposes “strategic”, “targeted” defense cuts instead of across-the-board ones doesn’t mean that these defense cuts would be harmless. In fact, the cuts proposed by these leftist think-tanks would SEVERELY harm national security for the reasons stated above.

In fact, sequestration would be better than these damaging, destructive cuts. “Targeted” defense cuts that are “targeted” at the things that are crucial for protecting the country would only harm US national security, not enhance it.

Thirdly, deeply cutting defense spending would do NOTHING to halt the growth of, let alone reduce, the debt. Those think-tanks propose defense cuts of $550 bn per decade, i.e. $55 bn per year. While this would be a big blow to the Defense Department (cutting its base budget by more than 10%), it would do very little to reduce the annual budget deficit (which is $1.3 trillion per year) and would do NOTHING to stop the growth of, let alone reduce, the national debt. In fact, even abolishing the Defense Department entirely would do nothing to stop the national debt’s growth. The country needs to start cutting ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, which comprise a full 62% of the federal budget and which these Democrats and RINOs who signed the letter feverishly defend against any reforms.

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Fourthly, contrary to these Congressmen’s claims, the think tanks which proposed these deep defense cuts are not from “across the political spectrum”. They are exclusively from the left and, in the NTU’s case, from the center. The Soros-funded POGO, TCS, PIRG, the Soros-funded Center for American Progress and Soros-funded CATO Institute, and the Massachusetts-based “Project on Defense Alternatives” are all leftist think-tanks. The NTU has to be classified on the center because it is conservative only on fiscal issues, takes no position on social issues, and is very leftist on defense issues.

I repeat, these think-tanks, with the NTU’s sole exception, hail exclusively from the hard left.

Fifth, DefenseNews’ claim that even under sequestration defense spending will reach $600 bn by the end of this decade is a blatant lie. It’s not even close to being true. In fact, as this CBO report demonstrates:
http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/07-11-12-FYDP_forPosting_0.pdf

annual defense spending will be stuck at $493 bn – below $500 bn, let alone $600 bn – in FY2022. Not even close to $600 bn.

Sixth, DefenseNews’ claim that the FY2013 defense authorization bill recently passed by the Senate would authorize $650 bn in military spending is false; the total amount to be authorized would be only $631 bn, and even that ONLY if sequestration doesn’t kick in, as it is likely to be.

Seventh, Tom Coburn’s defense cuts proposals would, like the proposals of the forementioned think-tanks, gut the US military, for the reasons stated here: https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/the-tea-party-debt-commission-and-sen-coburns-defense-cuts-proposals/

As with the defense cuts proposals’ of those think tanks, I’ve reviewed Coburn’s proposals, and the fact is that his proposals would be deeply destructive for the reasons stated in my rebuttal.

The Congressmen’s claim that “The Pentagon’s budget has increased dramatically over the last decade, due in large part to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” is also a blatant lie. The DOD’s base budget increased by only 35% from FY2001 to FY2012, from $390 bn to $531 bn; the total military budget, including spending on Afghanistan and Iraq, increased somewhat more, by 65%, from FY2001 to FY2012, but that growth took place over eleven years, not one year.

Their claim that “future defense budgets should (…) acknowledge that our modern military is able to approach conflicts utilizing fewer but more advanced resources” is a blatant lie. Firstly, massive defense cuts, including the proposals of all “think-tanks” listed above, would cut or outright cancel the vast majority of the programs developing or procuring new, more modern equipment – including the crucial Next Generation Bomber. Secondly, technology is no substitute for numbers. A ship or a plane can be in only one place at any given time. It cannot be in two places simoultaneously. And a small fleet of ships or planes would be woefully inadequate to defeat even a trivial adversary, because of the sheer number of sorties that would have to be flown. The claim that the US military can win future wars with far fewer resources is a blatant lie. It’s just another convenient, but false, pretext for more, deeper defense cuts.

The letter also says “Congress must consider these changes, not past spending or percentages of GDP, and move toward defense budgeting that focuses on meeting specific military requirements.” But the defense cuts these Congressmen (and the think tanks they cite) propose would result in defense budgets that would be woefully inadequate to the military’s specific requirements – both in size and in terms of force structure and crucial equipment programs (or rather, the lack thereof). The result would be an underfunded, poorly equipped, obsolete, poorly trained, hollow military which would also be too small in size to handle any serious adversary.

Moreover, because the world hasn’t gotten and is not going to get any safer, and because the threats to America’s security (including China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran) are growing, not shrinking, the US military will need to retain its current size and will need more resources, not fewer. Fewer resources will mean “not enough resources to deal with security threats.”

In short, the Congressmen’s letter is a litany of blatant lies, and so is this DefenseNews “article”.

Shame on these Congressmen for lying so blatantly and for proposing treasonous, destructive defense cuts.

And shame on DefenseNews for uncritically repeating their blatant lies and throwing in a few lies of its own – while failing to get such basics as Congressman McClintock’s name right.

Dear Readers, please call your Congressman and your Senators and tell them that you will never vote for them again if they vote for any massive defense cuts, including those proposed by those leftist think-tanks.

Among the 11 RINO Congressmen who signed the letter were: Justin Amash, Mick Mulvaney, Reid Ribble, Raul Castro Labrador, Tim Johnson (RINO-IL), and Tom McClintock.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121211/DEFREG02/312110003/Bipartisan-Group-U-S-Lawmakers-Put-Defense-Cuts-Table?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE; http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-appropriations/272021-conservatives-liberals-in-house-join-to-call-for-more-defense-cuts

Posted in Media lies, Military issues, Politicians, World affairs | Leave a Comment »

The consequences of further deep nuclear arsenal cuts

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 16, 2012


For years, advocates of America’s nuclear disarmament, such as the ignorant anti-defense hacks at the ACA, the CLW, the FAS, and the NRDC, and extremely leftist Congressmen like Ed Markey and Tammy Baldwin, have been advocating cutting America’s nuclear deterrent unilaterally to “the low hundreds”. They believe that America’s military power, including its nuclear deterrent, is a problem to be eliminated, not an asset or a solution to any problem. They seek America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament and they see deep, unilateral cuts as the first step towards that goal.

Their disastrous, treasonous agenda of unilateral disarmament was boosted when extreme leftist Barack Obama, who shares their views about America and its military power, was elected President. In his first term, Obama immediately announced the goal of Amcutting and eventually elimnating America’s nuclear arsenal completely and took multiple steps towards that goal, including signing a ridiculous New START treaty that obligates only the US to cut its arsenal, while Russia is allowed (and plans to) build up its arsenal to New START ceilings and other countries, including China, are not covered by the treaty at all.

Now, freshly reelected, Obama plans to further cut America’s nuclear deterrent, much deeper than under New START – to just 1,000 or fewer warheads, down from about 5,000 today. These cuts would also mean deep reductions in the number of ballistic missile submarines, bombers, and/or ICBMs, or perhaps even elimination of one or more of the legs of the nuclear triad, thus relying on a dyad or a monad and dramatically limiting America’s response flexibility even more than raw number cuts would.

These cuts were made under the guise of a fig-leaf “Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study”, which was rigged from the beginning, because from the start, Obama ordered that study to give him options for cutting the US nuclear arsenal, and to conclude by recommending cuts.  He specifically ordered study authors to give him options to cut the arsenal to one of the following levels: 1,000-1,100 warheads, 700-800, or 300-400 warheads.

As unnamed DOD officials have told Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, this is the first time ever that a study like this was conducted with the pre-ordained conclusion that further cuts must be made, and the first study ever to be mandated to produce plans for cuts to specific levels and to craft a deterrence strategy based on those artificially set low levels.

All previous reviews and studies first attempted to assess the threat environment (more or less well) and only then, based on that assessment, recommended a force level range.

That’s because Obama couldn’t care less about America’s security. As stated previously, he considers America and its military power to be a huge problem (“whether we like it or not, we’re a global military power”). So he wants to cut America’s arsenal deeply and eventually eliminate it; then, Obama believes, dastardly America will no longer threaten anyone.

But for those of us who want America to be secure and to have the strongest military in the world, the consequences of Obama’s unilateral cuts will be disastrous.

The first consequence of these deep, unilateral cuts would be a high risk of, indeed an invitation to, a Russian or Chinese nuclear first strike on the US. This would be possible precisely because the US nuclear arsenal, under Obama’s plans, would be small and thus easy to destroy in a first strike. If the ICBM leg of the triad is eliminated and the submarine fleet is cut significantly, all that Moscow or Beijing would have to do would be to destroy the handful of bases where USAF strategic bombers are or could be stationed, destroy the USN’s 2 SSBN bases (where several SSBNs would be sitting), and sink the few remaining SSBNs that would be at sea at that moment (both Russia and China have sufficient submarine fleets to do this).

Should the unilateral cuts be distributed more proportionately (e.g. roughly equal cuts in the ICBM, bomber, and SSBN fleets), this will still render the arsenal far too small to deter and too easy to destroy in a nuclear first strike.

The Heritage Foundation agrees. In a recent research paper, it correctly observed that “if the U.S. maintains a minimal force, it would lack survivability and likely would be completely destroyed by the enemy’s first strike in the event deterrence does fail.” In that same paper, Heritage found that the US needs about 2,700-3,000 deployed nuclear warheads.

Furthermore, a nuclear arsenal too small in size or not diverse enough (i.e. a dyad or monad) would lack the flexibility needed by the US to hold and, if necessary, strike enemy targets in various ways rather than one, and, after Obama’s newest cuts would be administered, it would simply be too small to hold all or even most enemy military assets at risk. 300, 400, or even 500 warheads are simply woefully insufficient to hold most of Russia’s military assets (not just its bases, but also e.g. weapon factories) at risk, let alone Russia’s, China’s, North Korea’s, and Iran’s combined.

Thus, with a small nuclear arsenal, the US would have to target innocent civilian populations, because that’s all that 300 or 400 warheads would be enough for. Such a policy would be considered immoral by most Americans and therefore wouldn’t be considered credible retaliation in the eyes of America’s enemies – making their first strike on America even more likely. Furthermore, targeting civilian population centers would leave enemy military assets unharmed.

The second consequence would be that America’s allies would be left with no option but to produce their own nuclear weapons, since America’s nuclear umbrella could no longer be relied upon. They cannot afford to, and will not, bet their security and their very existence on the small nuclear arsenal that Obama would temporarily leave in place, or on America breaking free of the Democrats and of the “nuclear disarmament will make us safer” kool-aid by 2016. Several of them, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany, have the capability to “go nuclear” within months if need be. Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, are now developing nuclear capability under the guise of “peaceful use of nuclear energy”. These countries will go nuclear if the US nuclear deterrent becomes inadequate, as three distinguished CSBA analysts warned 2 years ago in a Foreign Affairs article.[1] This would make the nuclear proliferation problem much worse.

The threat of America’s allies going nuclear is not theoretical: France and Britain did this in the 1950s and Israel in the late 1960s or early 1970s. And in the last several years, three NATO allies have warned the US against cuts in its nuclear deterrent – saying it would “threaten NATO’s cohesion” – while Japan and South Korea have time and again reiterated the importance they attach to America’s nuclear umbrella, as Keith Payne points out in the Washington Times.

Depending on how deep the cuts go – if they cut America’s arsenal to just 300-500 warheads – they would also encourage many enemies who currently don’t have nuclear weapons to obtain them, because under such scenario, anyone would need only 300 nuclear warheads to reach nuclear parity with the US.

Thus, the nuclear proliferation problem would get much worse.

Obama, cynically using American children as his propaganda pawns, falsely claims that “we’re moving closer to the future (…) where these weapons never threaten our children again, a future where we know the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons.”

But American nuclear weapons don’t threaten American children – they PROTECT American children. It is Russian, Chinese, and North Korean nuclear weapons that threaten American children.

But Russia, China, and North Korea all refuse to give up their nuclear arsenals or even to cut them. Instead, they’re GROWING them. Russia is now steadily building up its strategic nuclear arsenal while retaining a 10:1 edge over the US in tactical nukes. China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads and is consistently growing its arsenal. North Korea is building up its small stockpile.

Recently, when the UN General Assembly called on all nuclear powers to give up their nuclear weapons, China abstained and North Korea voted against.

For these and other reasons, it’s clear that they will never give up their nuclear weapons (and neither will Pakistan, India, or Israel), and thus, a world without such arms will never exist.

The deep nuclear arsenal cuts proposed by Obama, pro-disarmament groups, and leftist members of Congress like Ed Markey must be absolutely and permanently rejected. If implemented (God forbid), they would gravely imperil the security of America and its allies. If they are implemented, they must be completely reversed and the culprits severely punished for disarming America.

Posted in Military issues, World affairs | Leave a Comment »

Rebuttal of Doug Bandow’s latest anti-defense lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 15, 2012


The pseudoconservative, anti-American “American Spectator” magazine has published yet another ridiculous screed by leftist-libertarian, isolationist pundit Doug Bandow (whose screeds AmSpec publishes regularly while refusing to publish my works, thus giving a voice to only ONE side of the debate). In his latest screed, as in previous ones, Bandow makes a litany of blatant lies, which can be summed up in the following themes:

1) “The GOP tossed money at the Pentagon, creating new unfunded liabilities out of two unnecessary wars…”

FALSE. Firstly, the GOP did not “toss money at the Pentagon”. From FY2001 to FY2012, base defense spending rose by only 36%, and total military spending by 65% – over more than a decade. As for “two unnecessary wars”, that is also a blatant lie. While it might be argued that the Iraqi war was unnecessary, no such claim can be credibly made about the Afghan war, which was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. In case Bandow or anyone else has forgotten, that war was started by the Afghanistan-based terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 (which was an act of war, not a crime), and was necessary to rout these terrorists, bring them (including Osama bin Laden) to justice. After 9/11, the only alternative to invading Afghanistan and routing Al Qaeda and the Taleban was doing nothing, thus showing that an attack on America could go unpunished. And that’s exactly what Bandow advocates. Shame on him.

2) “The GOP ran against the idea of a budget sequester because it insisted on protecting bloated military outlays.”

FALSE. The military budget is not bloated at all. It amounts to only 4.22% of America’s GDP and just 17% of America’s total federal budget, even though defense is the #1 Constitutional duty of the federal government. It is needed to finish the war in Afghanistan and to protect America from foreign threats, including Putinist Russia, Communist China, North Korea, and Iran. It is not bloated at all. Virtually everything in the base defense budget and in the DOE’s national-security budget pays for the troops, units, weapons, installations, and programs that the military needs to protect America. Any claims that the military is “bloated” is a blatant lie. And the GOP has NEVER protected military spending. (It should have, but it has never done so.) (See below.)

3) “The GOP’s foreign policy can be summed up in two words: permanent war.”

Another blatant lie. The GOP has never supported permanent war. It  (except a few neoconservatives like John McCain) does not advocate intervening in Syria or resending American troops to Iraq, and supports withdrawal from Afghanistan. Heck, McCain supports withdrawing them from Afghanistan BEFORE the stated 2014 deadline if nothing can be accomplished there (which it can’t). By contrast, the Obama Admin is now mulling keeping a large number of American troops in Afghanistan well past 2014, perhaps forever. Who is the party of permanent war here?

4) “Nevertheless, Republicans remain locked in the past, determined to paint their Democratic opponents as weak irrespective of the facts — such as Obama intensifying the Afghanistan war.”

The FACTS are that the Democrats, including Obama, WERE and ARE very weak on foreign policy. They support, and to a large degree, have already orchestrated, massive defense cuts. They support America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, and Obama has already taken big steps toward that, by a) signing a unilateral nuclear arms cuts treaty with Russia that allows Moscow to ENLARGE its arsenal, b) cancelling the development of any new American nukes; c) cutting America’s nondeployed arsenal unilaterally; and d) sabotaging the modernization of the few nuclear weapons and delivery systems America maintains. Obama has also been cravenly appeasing Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Tehran, and Latin America’s communists such as Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez, with disastrous results. Miring America deeper in a quagmire like Afghanistan is a sign of stupidity, not toughness.

5) “Thus, excepting the redoubtable Rep. Ron Paul, during the primary debates the Republican contenders, most of whom had never been anywhere near a military installation let alone worn a uniform, did the foreign policy equivalent of the Maori Haka…”

LIE. Rick Perry has served in the USAF as a C-130 pilot, flying these aircraft around the world, and Newt Gingrich, as the son of an Army soldier, grew up on military bases in the US and abroad. And no, Republicans did not do “the foreign policy equivalent of the Maori Haka” during the debates.

6) “Mitt Romney spent five years, from his announcement until the final debate, simply shouting “we’re number one.”

LIE. Mitt Romney articulated far more than that during his campaign. He outlined a clear foreign policy with regard to Russia, China, Iran, and Latin America, and a clear defense policy: investing a modest 4% of GDP in defense, building up the Navy (specifically, submarines, frigates, amphibious ships, destroyers, and naval strike aircraft), keeping an 11-carrier fleet, speeding up Next Generation Bomber development, and reversing the cuts to the ground force. Agree or disagree with these policies, he did articulate specific policy choices.

7) “Although the Republican nominee did his best to avoid stating a clear position, at times he seemed to believe that the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq forever, over the objection of the Iraqi government, and be prepared to stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary for undefined “victory,” which likely would be forever…”

LIE. Mitt Romney never said that. He actually agreed with Obama’s deadline for withdrawal (2014). Now the Obama Admin is mulling  keeping American troops in Afghanistan well past 2014, maybe forever.

8) “That also means tying military outlays to security challenges, not an arbitrary share of GDP.”

But the US military budget is ALREADY tied to security challenges and threats, not to any arbitrary share of GDP like Mitt Romney wanted. It is, moreover, tied to a specific (if highly imperfect) strategy the DOD devised a year ago to (more or less perfectly) protect American interests around the world while conforming to the budgetary limitations of the Budget Control Act. It is needed to finish the war in Afghanistan and to protect America from foreign threats, including Putinist Russia, Communist China, North Korea, and Iran. It is not bloated at all. Virtually everything in the base defense budget and in the DOE’s national-security budget pays for the troops, units, weapons, installations, and programs that the military needs to protect America.

9) “Why should Americans spend as much as the rest of the world combined on “defense” when that means subsidizing rich allies, engaging in foolish nation-building, and launching military actions that create more enemies than they kill?”

The US does NOT spend as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. The US spends only 41%, and that’s only if one accepts SIPRI’s woefully understated figures for China’s and Russia’s military budgets. If one rejects them and understands that China and Russia spend much more on their militaries than SIPRI claims, America’s share of the world total falls far below 40%. China’s real FY2012 military budget was between $160 bn and $250 bn according to the DOD, not the mere $143 bn that SIPRI claims. And that’s without accounting for PPP differences.

The US is NOT subsidizing rich allies (see below). As for engaging in foolish nation-building and launching wars, spending as much on the military as today does NOT automatically lead to such policies and does NOT have to lead to them. Spending a lot on the military does not mean that you have to conduct nationbuilding projects or get involved in wars of no relevance to American interests. Bandow is merely trying to scaremonger people into thinking that current defense spending levels mean that America will inevitably be drawn into new wars. This is utter garbage, as is the entire rest of his ridiculous screed. Spending a lot on defense does NOT have to mean that you’ll be drawn into irrelevant, unnecessary wars or nation-building projects; whether you get drawn into them depends SOLELY on whether you decide, freewillingly, to do so. Under Ronald Reagan, the US spent more on defense than it currently does, yet, Reagan (as Bandow himself recognized) generally refused to draw America into unnecessary wars, the failed excursion into Lebanon being the sole exception.

10) “There can be no sacred cows if the budget crisis is going to be resolved.”

But the US military budget has NEVER been a sacred cow, including during the last 4 years. During the last 4 years, Republicans agreed to numerous defense cuts, including the massive program killings of 2009 and 2010 (saving $330 bn), the ratification of the New START unilateral disarmament treaty in 2010, the Gates Efficiencies Initiative of January 2011 ($178 bn), and the massive defense cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act ($487 bn in the first tranche alone). Any claim that the defense budget is, or has ever been, a “sacred cow” is a blatant lie.

In fact, the DOD is so far the ONLY government agency to have contributed ANYTHING to deficit reduction.

Moreover, defense cuts are NOT necessary to balance the federal budget, as proven by the budget plans of Chairman Ryan, the Republican Study Committee, Sen. Toomey, and Sen. Lee.

OTOH, even deep defense budget cuts will utterly fail to even make a dent in the defense budget; even eliminating the military budget ($645 bn in FY2012) entirely would fail to even halve the budget deficit.

11) “On international issues Republicans need to rediscover the value of peace. For most of the campaign Mitt Romney channeled George W. Bush and John McCain. Yet conservatives once believed in peace. They opposed wasting lives and money on dubious international crusades; they understood that war threatened economic prosperity and social stability. If war became necessary they wanted to win and end it, not turn it into a permanent condition.”

But to have peace, it is necessary to have a strong defense – THE strongest military in the world. Yet, America’s edge is steadily sipping, and the defense cuts Bandow proposes would cause America to lose it even faster than will otherwise be the case. This will bring about war, death, and destruction, not peace. Of course, the US shouldn’t waste men or money on dubious “international crusades” or nationbuilding efforts, and wars need to be won and ended swiftly. But keeping the peace requires having THE strongest military in the world – and with Bandow’s defense cuts, that would be completely impossible. And BTW, George W. Bush was the one who signed the 2008 agreement with Iraq providing for the withdrawal of US troops from that country by 2011.

“Indeed, Ronald Reagan was horrified by the prospect of nuclear war and refused to be sucked into nation-building in Lebanon.”

But Ronald Reagan understood (probably better than anyone but yours truly) that keeping the peace requires America to have the strongest military in the world, and he built such a military after 12 years of disastrous defense cuts, disregarding peaceniks, pseudoreformists like POGO hacks and isolationists like Bandow and his CATO Institute buddies. Under Reagan, the Air Force got its first strategic bomber since 1962 and its first ICBM since the Minuteman-III, while the Navy built a new fleet of SSBNs and SLBMs and several new nuclear warhead types were designed and produced; development of the B-2 stealthy bomber was continued and 132 were planned to be bought, while the US military also deployed Pershing and GLCM missiles to Europe. THAT was what kept the peace and prevented nuclear war during the Reagan years. And sadly, Reagan DID initially get sucked into nationbuilding in Lebanon – a disastrous blunder that cost America 241 troops. To his credit, he reversed that mistake quickly. Moreover, Ronald Reagan DID intervene militarily when American interests required it. He was no isolationist, unlike Bandow. Listen to Ronald Reagan himself.

12) “The GOP also should insist on international welfare reform. For more than six decades Washington has subsidized the defense of Asian and European allies. All are now prosperous and populous. Indeed, the Europeans collectively have a larger GDP and population than America. It’s time for Republicans to admit that the party is over. The U.S. should spend less while its friends spend more — and they will do so only if the U.S. spends less. ”

Those are also blatant lies, as well as destructive policy proposals. Firstly, contrary to Bandow’s utterly false claims, the US would need to spend on defense as much as it does now (which isn’t really much, BTW – just 3.47% of GDP for the base defense budget) even if it were not defending any allies. That’s because all of the troops, equipment, and defense programs that the DOD has or plans to hire/buy would be needed to defend America itself even if the US were not defending any allies. All of the US military’s current nukes, ships, planes, ground vehicles, and troops would be needed to defend America itself even if it weren’t defending any allies.

Secondly, defending America’s allies is in America’s own national interest. If crucial allies like Japan, South Korea, or Persian Gulf allies are attacked (or succumb to) China, North Korea, or Iran, that would pose a huge threat to America’s own national security. (Threats to US security don’t stop at America’s borders, contrary to what isolationists claim).

Thirdly, many of America’s allies are poor (e.g. Central European allies like Poland, as well as some Asian allies like Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam), and none of America’s European allies nor Japan could be called “prosperous” at this time – they’re all suffering from even worse economic problems than the US, due to the global economic crisis. They have even lower economic growth rates, lower GDP per capita, higher unemployment, and in many cases, higher debt-to-GDP ratios than the US. They’re not prosperous today. If they are, the US is booming economically.

They will not spend more on defense even if the US spent less and withdrew its defense commitment – because they can’t afford to, as they have even worse economic problems than the US.

And there’s a big difference between relatively wealthy Western European countries like Britain and France and poor Central/Eastern European countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania (as well as poor Asian allies like Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam). The former could, in theory, assume more of the defense burden, the latter cannot, because they are POOR. Yet, these poor Central European states are actually America’s staunchest and most loyal allies, and at the same time, they face a direct threat from an aggressive, KGB-run Russia. Dumping them and leaving them to fend for themselves would not only bad for America’s national interests, it would be immoral. It would be a heinous betrayal.

Cutting America’s own defense spending will not change this. It would only make matters worse by giving defense cutters across the Atlantic another excuse to cut their own countries’ defense budgets: “America is cutting its defense budget, so we can afford to do the same!”

13) “This doesn’t mean “isolationism,” the all-purpose swear word against a traditional, constitutional foreign policy.”

It IS isolationism, no matter how hard Bandow tries to deny that. Isolationism is about dumping America’s allies, withdrawing all US defense commitments to all allies, and retrenching behind oceans in the vain hope that the crocodile won’t come to eat us. It’s the same old tired policy as the one the US tried before the attack on Pearl Harbor, with disastrous results. It’s the same old policy that led to WW2, with 60 million dead people and the destruction of two continents, and to the Korean War, which led to the destruction of the entire Korean Peninsula and the deaths of millions of people (including over 50,000 American troops).

The foreign policy that Bandow advocates is not “traditional” or “constitutional”, either. Isolationism, while practiced during the 1920s and the 1930s, is NOT a traditional American policy – the US has a long history of going to war abroad and intervening abroad going back to the days of Thomas Jefferson (at the shores of Tripoli). Then came the War of 1812 (started because the then War Hawks wanted to conquer Canada, NOT because of impressment as is usually claimed), threats of war to Britain over Oregon, the Mexican-American war (started because Southern planters wanted to conquer more land), the supply of weapons to France in 1870-1871, and the Spanish-American War.

The policy that Bandow advocates is not “constitutional”, either. Defense cuts are a dereliction of the federal government’s Constitutional DUTY to provide for the common defense, as well as the dereliction of the treaty duty to defend America’s allies. Treaties validly ratified by the Senate are the supreme law of the land, second only to the US Constitution.

Providing generously for America’s defense is not merely constitutional, it’s a Constitutional DUTY of the federal government.

14) “For instance, if Republicans want to promise a more prosperous future, they should promote free trade internationally.”

Also utter garbage. Free trade is yet another liberal policy which has brought nothing but damage to the US. It has caused the US to lose tens of millions of jobs (shipped overseas) and to run chronic, huge trade deficits with countries with which it used to have trade surpluses… until it signed free trade agreements with them or granted them Most Favored Nation status.

Pat Buchanan has chronicled this national suicide through free trade well.

Before 1993, when NAFTA was ratified, the US had a trade surplus with Mexico. Now it has a record trade deficit with it, as lots of jobs have been shipped south of the border together with entire factories. Before the US ratified the Korea-US FTA, America had a trade surplus with Seoul. Now it has a trade deficit with it.

Since Congress granted China MFN status in the 1990s, America’s trade deficit with that country has now exploded to the largest trade deficit between any two countries in history. America’s trade deficit with Japan is the largest ever between the two.

Every country that ever became prosperous and a world power got that way because it protected and nurtured its industry: France under Colbert, Britain under the Acts of Navigation and into the first half of the 19th century, Germany under the Kaisers, the US in the second half of the 19th century, postwar Japan, and China today.

Protectionism is the policy of ascendant economic powers; “free trade” is the policy of descendant, declining ones.

15) Bandow claims that his policy would mean “peace” and that Republicans need to make a new commitment to “peace”. This is utter garbage. His policy of deep defense cuts and isolationism (dumping all of America’s allies and ignoring the threats posed by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran) would gut America’s defense, pull the rug from under America’s allies, and in so doing, invite aggression against bo the US and its allies. By doing so, it would only lead to war, death, and destruction.

16) Bandow also wants Republicans to support even greater legal immigration, even though it’s a financial drag on taxpayers as much, if not moreso, than illegal immigration. The problem is not just illegal immigration – the problem is immigration, period. The vast majority of legal immigrants are lazy lay-abouts from the Third World who live on welfare (paid for by American taxpayers) and vote Democratic. (That’s why Ted Kennedy and other Democrats passed the current law in 1965: to import new Democrat voters.) The US needs to drastically REDUCE the annual rate of legal immigration (which is currently a million people per year).

Just as Americans ought to realize the perils of a welfare state by looking at Greece, they can easily realize the perils of unlimited immigration by looking at California.

As Ann Coulter rightly points out, massive immigration, both legal and illegal, has transformed California into a Third World country where whites are a minority and where no Republican can get elected statewide anymore. Not so long ago, this state produced great Republican Senators and Governors such as Richard Nixon, S. I. Hayakawa, Pete Wilson, and Ronald Reagan.

If Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, two smart Republican women, one pro-life, the other pro-choice, can’t get elected statewide in California anymore, then it’s all over for the GOP in California.

Yet, Bandow is advocating that the GOP and America now commit national suicide by adopting an even more liberal immigration policy. If he gets his way, the entire country will have the electorate of California. And there will be no turning back.

Hispanic immigrants – indeed, immigrants in general – support a LARGER federal government with BIGGER “services”, according to Pew polls. This is not surprising, because the vast majority of legal and illegal immigrants come from socialist countries and have a socialist mindset. As conservative writer Selwyn Duke points out, their beliefs don’t change when they set foot on American terra firma. Thus, as Duke points out, the problem is not just “illegal immigration”; the problem is immigration, period.

In short, Bandow is lying (as always), and the policies he advocates are downright suicidal for the GOP and for the country. He advocates Republican and national suicide at home and abroad. Abroad, by gutting America’s defense, dumping all of America’s allies, handing these allies on a platter to aggressors, leaving the world for China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran to conquer and subjugate, and turning a blind eye to any aggression by these countries. At home, he wants the GOP and the US to continue committing national suicide by continuing and even expanding the suicidal policies of “free trade” and unlimited immigration.

Republicans must completely reject ALL of his snake oil. He’s not one of us. He’s not a Republican nor a conservative. He’s not even someone who wishes conservatives or Republicans well. He even explicitly says in the blurb and the ending of his article that the GOP deserved to lose this year to Barack Obama. He’s our enemy and needs to be treated as such.

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/11/27/a-new-republican-agenda-for-th

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-to-issue-draft-rfp-for-new-unmanned-strike-aircraft-before-years-end-378562/

Posted in Media lies, Military issues, World affairs | Leave a Comment »

 
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