Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Archive for the ‘Nuclear deterrence’ Category

STRATCOM commander confirms: the Russian, Chinese, and NK nuclear threat is growing; NK HAS miniaturized its warheads

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on March 25, 2015

In his most recent testimony before Congress, Adm. Cecil D. Haney, the commander of the US Strategic Command, in charge of the entire US nuclear deterrent, has confirmed that:

1) Russia’s and China’s nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals are steadily growing;

2) China is developing, and has successfully tested, two different kinds of anti-satellite missiles;

3) North Korea has managed to miniaturize its nuclear warheads;

4) In the face of the growing Russian, Chinese, and NK nuclear threat, the US nuclear deterrent must be modernized.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz has reported that:

“On the nuclear and strategic threats, Haney said: “Today’s threat environment is more diverse, complex, and uncertain than it’s ever been, against a backdrop of global security environment latent with multiple actors, operating across multiple domains.”

Haney warned that the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal and infrastructure can no longer be taken for granted as safe, secure, and effective in the future without modernization, which is threatened by budget cuts.

“For decades, we have sustained while others have modernized their strategic nuclear forces, developing and utilizing counterspace activities, increasing the sophistication and pervasive nature of their cyber capabilities and proliferating these emerging strategic capabilities around the globe.

Haney singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin for “provocative” actions, along with Russian modernization of nuclear missiles, bombers, submarines, and industrial base.

The provocative actions included demonstrating nuclear capabilities during the Ukraine crisis and penetrating U.S. and allied air defense zones with long-range strategic bombers. He also mentioned Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty.

China also is building up strategic forces. “China has developed a capable submarine and intercontinental ballistic missile force, and has recently demonstrated their counterspace capabilities,” Haney said.

On North Korea, Haney noted Pyongyang’s claim to have miniaturized a warhead capable of being fired from the new KN-08 road-mobile long-range missile.

“As of yet, I don’t see any tests yet that associated with this miniaturized claim,” he said. “But as a combatant commander, as commander of your Strategic Command, it’s a threat that we cannot ignore as a country.”

Iran recently launched a space vehicle that “could be used as a long-range strike platform,” he said.

U.S. nuclear forces remain in urgent need of modernization, he said.

“As a nation, we cannot simply afford to underfund our strategic capabilities, Haney said. “Any cuts to the president’s budget, including those imposed by sequestration, will hamper our ability to sustain and modernize our joint military forces and put us at real risk of making our nation less secure and able to address future threats.””

Haney’s statement that North Korea has likely managed to miniaturize its nuclear warheads is no surprise – in 2012, that country demonstrated its mastery of miniaturizing satellites and mating them with space rockets. The technology used to do so is the same as the technology used for miniaturizing nuclear warheads.

You can read the whole article here.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

Jeffrey Lewis drops his mask, shows his true face – that of a traitor

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on March 13, 2015

The leftist Foreign Policy magazine has recently published a ridiculous screed by the ultra-leftist pro-disarmament agitator and pseudo-expert Jeffrey Lewis of the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

In that screed, Lewis – who some have called an “expert” on nuclear weapons and who has testified before Congress on more a few occassions – drops his mask of an “expert” and shows the whole world his true face – that of a traitor, a hyperpartisan liberal Democrat, and a campaigner for America’s unilateral disarmament and for an appeasement policy of allowing hostile regimes to build up their nuclear arsenals.

The title and introducing sentence of that diatribe alone reveal Lewis’s true face:

“Why A Bad Deal With Iran Is Better Than No Deal At All”

“Look here, you hypocritical Republicans”

But Lewis doesn’t stop there, of course. In his diatribe, he lectures Republicans that obtaining an agreement that limits the number of Iranian centrifuges to just 164 or some other low number is impossible. But – says Lewis – if Barack Obama and John Kerry are just given a free hand to conclude a “bad deal” with Iran, Tehran’s nuclear program would be frozen – allowing the West to somehow stop the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons before they’re able to do so but after they decide to resume their nuclear weapons program.

Furthermore, Lewis believes any military strike on iran would be “half-assed” and would only unravel the sanctions regime by depriving the US of the support of its allies, and that the Bush Administration was wrong to withdraw the US from the Agreed Framework with North Korea in 2002. And, as a hyperpartisan Democrat, Lewis strongly condemns the letter 47 Republican senators have sent to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

Lewis is dead wrong on all counts.

To start with, the kind of deal that Obama and Kerry are prepared to accept – allowing Iran to keep thousands of centrifuges and continue enriching uranium on a massive scale, as well as continue developing ballistic missiles of ever-increasing range – would only facilitate Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Republican Senators are thus right to oppose any such proposed deal, and to warn Iran’s supreme leader that such a deal would not be legally binding without the Senate’s advice and consent. (More on that later.)

Such a deal would not only be a foolishness, it would actually undermine any effort to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program. That’s because Iran would keep thousands of centrifuges while the US – and the West at large – would have to abolish sanctions against Iran – thus relieving Tehran of economic pain.

That would only greatly facilitate Iran’s path to nuclear weapon state status: thousands of centrifuges producing weapons-grade uranium and sanctions relief. And, of course, no limitation of its ballistic and cruise missile programs.

And that is assuming Iran would actually keep its end of the bargain. If it cheated – and it would certainly do – such an accord would be even more detrimental to US and allied security.

As for the Agreed Framework with North Korea, that accord – agreed by the Clinton administration in 1994 – was an utter foolishness which allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. Under that utterly failed deal, North Korea was allowed to keep enriching uranium and maintaining a reactor producing plutonium – and, of course, to continue developing ballistic missiles. The US, in return, unilaterally withdrew its tactical nukes from South Korea. The Bush Administration rightly withdrew the US from that agreement when North Korea was caught CHEATING in the early 2000s – proving that the Agreed Framework was never worth the paper it was printed on.

As for the Republican senators letter – in which they reminded Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei that no US-Iran agreement would be legally binding without Senate consent – they are absolutely right.

Under the US Constitution, the President may conclude legally binding agreements on behalf of the United States ONLY with the advice and consent of AT LEAST two thirds of Senators present in the Senate’s place of meeting. The Constitution mentions the President’s agreement-making power only once – when it provides the above rule for concluding legally binding agreements on America’s behalf.

The Founding Fathers knew very well that it would be VERY dangerous to give the power to conclude such legally binding agreements (then called “treaties”) to the President alone. Had they done so, there would’ve been no limit to the commitments a President could undertake on America’s behalf. Thus, they put in place a system of checks and balances to ensure the President could never, by himself, make such commitments to foreign countries on the country’s behalf, and put in place a very high (2/3 of the Senate) requirement for any such agreement to be law.

Alexander Hamilton explained it nicely in Federalist #69:

“The President is to have power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur. The king of Great Britain is the sole and absolute representative of the nation in all foreign transactions. He can of his own accord make treaties of peace, commerce, alliance, and of every other description.

It has been insinuated, that his authority in this respect is not conclusive, and that his conventions with foreign powers are subject to the revision, and stand in need of the ratification, of Parliament. But I believe this doctrine was never heard of, until it was broached upon the present occasion. Every jurist2 of that kingdom, and every other man acquainted with its Constitution, knows, as an established fact, that the prerogative of making treaties exists in the crown in its utomst plentitude; and that the compacts entered into by the royal authority have the most complete legal validity and perfection, independent of any other sanction.”

As Alexander Hamilton narrates above, the President of the United States cannot, by himself, conclude legally binding agreements on behalf of the US – he needs the advice and consent of two thirds of Senators present for that. By contrast, the British king of the time, King George III, against whom the former American colonies had previously rebelled, had the power to conclude any agreement of any kind on Britain’s behalf alone – as was the unanimous opinion of every British lawyer, and every other man acquainted with British constitutional law.

Thus, for example, when Britain’s then-Foreign Secretary the Lord Grenville concluded the so-called Jay’s Treaty with US Chief Justice John Jay, the treaty only needed King George III’s sanction to be ratified by Britain. But for the treaty to become legally binding on the US, two thirds of the Senators of the time (all of whom arrived in Philadelphia upon President Washington’s request to debate the treaty) had to vote for it – and the Senate resolution of advice and consent significantly modified the treaty (notably by striking its Article XII).

So the Senate Republicans are absolutely right – and Jeffrey Lewis, as always, is dead wrong. The Obama administration is desperately trying to conclude a deal with Iran at any cost – even if that means allowing Iran to freely develop and, one day, obtain a nuclear weapon one day. Republicans are right to oppose this – and to remind Iran’s supreme leader that ANY agreement between him and Obama won’t be legally binding unless it receives the Senate’s advice and consent.

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

Rebuttal of disarmament advocates’ blatant lies

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on February 25, 2015


The unilateral disarmament lobby in the US has hardly given up on its goal to compeltely and unilaterally disarm America, even though Barack Obama himself seems to have given up on that goal. Nor have Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear buildups and aggressive actions sobered these people up.

They have written yet another garbage screed calling for deep cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal – while Russia, China, North Korea, and others are growing their own arsenals.

Specifically, ACA’s Daryl Kimball and NRDC’s Matthew McKinzie have written a garbage screed published by the leftist DefenseNews website.

In it, they falsely claim at the beginning (3rd paragraph):

“Moscow’s actions have prompted calls from some to halt implementation of nuclear arms control agreements, including the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which verifiably limits Russian nuclear potential to no more than 1,550 strategic deployed warheads.”

That is a blatant lie right at the start. The New START treaty has not limited Russia’s nuclear arsenal AT ALL. On the contrary, it has permitted Moscow to significantly GROW that arsenal – so much so that it now stands at 1,643 deployed (and many more nondeployed) strategic warheads, far above New START limits – and Moscow keeps ADDING warheads.

If limiting Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal was the goal, New START has failed abysmally to achieve it – as I predicted in 2010.

I was right, and the pro-disarmament lobby was wrong.

But the screed’s authors don’t stop at that one blatant lie. Despite Moscow’s, Beijing’s, and Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile buildups – and aggressive actions – they falsely claim that it’s time to cut America’s nuclear arsenal even further, that the US nuclear arsenal is “excess”, and that the US should rely on “diplomacy, economic sanctions, and conventional deterrence” instead!

They reject any calls to modernize and build up the US nuclear arsenal and falsely claim that:

“But rather than helping to protect Ukraine or NATO, these proposals would undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers. Moscow’s actions in Ukraine require a tough and unified US and European response involving diplomacy, economic sanctions and NATO conventional deterrence, but the challenge can’t be effectively resolved with nuclear weapons or a US nuclear buildup.

As President Barack Obama declared in 2012, “[t]he massive nuclear arsenal we inherited from the Cold War is poorly suited for today’s threats.” (…)

Moscow and Washington could do more to reduce their nuclear excess and should pursue a further one-third cut in their strategic stockpiles. With New START verification tools in place, additional nuclear reductions can be readily achieved without a new treaty.”

Au contraire! The only language that Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un understand is the language of force. Ony military strength – and that has to include nuclear strength – can dissuade them from further aggression.

Diplomacy and economic sanctions have utterly failed and will continue to fail. These dictators don’t care about their nations’ economic well-being (if they did, they’d have pursued market-based economic reforms long ago) or diplomatic niceties. Western sanctions have already wrecked havoc on Russia’s economy – but Moscow’s behavior towards its neighbors (especially Ukraine) and towards the West has only become more aggressive since 2014.

As for conventional deterrence, the US alone (not to mention the entire NATO alliance) already has a huge edge over Russia in conventional weapons. The problem is not inadequate conventional deterrence. The problem is inadequate nuclear deterrence – and a lack of will to enforce the West’s red lines. No amount of military power – nuclear or conventional – means anything unless it is used when aggressors overstep acceptable bounds.

Put simply, Western nations are not willing to defend themselves (let alone Ukraine), and Putin knows it.

What would REALLY undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers would be to fail to modernize and sufficiently increase America’s nuclear deterrent. It’s the only effective protection the US and over 30 of its allies and friends have against nuclear, chemical, or bilological attack – or blackmail of such an attack.

Russia has a vast and very diverse nuclear arsenal and is still growing it (along with the fleet of delivery systems: ICBMs, bombers, and boomers). China has a large and still growing nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal – in fact, the fastest growing in the world according to USAF intel. North Korea is growing its nuclear stockpile, perfecting its ICBMs, and testing a ship-based ballistic missile intended for its Golf-class submarine.

What would REALLY undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers would be to fail to modernize and sufficiently increase America’s nuclear deterrent under those circumstances. Yet, that is precisely what ACA and the NRDC advocate.

The claim that America’s nuclear arsenal is “poorly suited” for today’s threats and that it’s “excess” is a blatant lie. The US nuclear arsenal is perfectly suited to address the biggest threats to America’s and its allies’ security.

These threats are not Ebola, Al Qaeda, or the Islamic state, but the nuclear and missile arsenals of Russia, China, and North Korea. Nothing else comes even CLOSE to being as grave a threat as these three.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not an isolated incident, but a mere part of Russia’s overall pattern of aggressive behavior towards the US, the West, and any country Putin perceives as aligning itself with the West – including Ukraine and Georgia. In accordance with this pattern of aggressive behavior, Russia has, in recent years, threatend to aim or use its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles against the US or its allies 15 times; has flown nuclear-armed bombers near US and allied airspace, and sometimes even into the airspace of countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; has dramatically increased the frequency of its nuclear-armed submarine patrols; has threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimea; and has conducted a dramatic buildup of its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal.

In doing so, it has violated every arms limitation treaty it is party to, including the INF, CFE, CTBT, and New START treaties.

If the US fails to modernize and increase its nuclear arsenal, or worse, cuts that arsenal, it will fail to address that threat, and thus commit suicide.

Kimball and McKinzie deny that their organizations have recently called in Vienna on the US to disarm itself unilaterally, But ACA has repeatedly called on the US to do that on many occassions in the last several years. A few years ago, Tom Z. Collina, then ACA’s “Research Director”, called on the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal and falsely claimed that “there’s no reason to wait for Russia.” Also, ACA has, for many years, advocated (and still advocates) foregoing the modernization of the US nuclear deterrent, including cancelling the replacement for the USAF’s obsolete bombers and ICBMs and cutting the planned buy new new ballistic missile subs to just 8. That would essentially be unilateral disarmament by atrophy and neglect. That would be just as bad as scrapping the US nuclear arsenal outright.

Last but not least, Kimball and McKinzie are trying to delude the American people with totally unrealistic, fantastic fairy-tales of global nuclear disarmament:

“We proposed “making nuclear disarmament” a global enterprise. We called on all states to press China, India and Pakistan, in particular, not to increase their fissile material or weapons stocks. A unified push for further US-Russian arms cuts combined with a nuclear weapons freeze by other nuclear-armed states could create the conditions for meaningful nuclear risk reduction.”

This is a total, unrealistic fantasy. The idea that cuts in America’s and Russia’s nuclear arsenals will prod other nuclear powers to reduce their own stockpiles is fantasy – as is the idea that China, India, and Pakistan will ever succumb to “pressure” not to increase their fissile materials or nuclear weapon stocks. These countries don’t care about international pressure or America’s meaningless unilateral disarmament gestures; they only care about their own military power.

Kimball’s and McKinzie’s screed is total garbage. Shame on DefenseNews for publishing it.



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

François Hollande confirme: la dissuasion nucléaire est indispensable, la France ne peut pas baisser la garde

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on February 19, 2015

Le président de la République, François Hollande, en tant que chef des armées, a confirmé lors de sa visite à la base aérienne d’Istres que la dissuasion nucléaire est indispensable à la securité nationale et l’independance de la France et que la France ne peut pas baisser la garde en vue du contexte international actuel. Il a exprimé ces propos dans un discours à la base aérienne d’Istres, l’une des deux bases des Forces Aériennes Strategiques:


Il a raison. Le monde est en effet très dangereux aujourd’hui, et le contexte international présent exige que la France maintienne sa force de dissuasion nucléaire au moins au niveau actuel (déjà à peine suffissant en raison des coupes profondes faites par les presidents précedents, y compris Nicolas Sarkozy, qui esperait en 2008 de donner un exemple qui stimulerait un desarmement nucléaire global… ce qui ne s’est pas du tout passe).

Rappelons-nous du contexte international actuel:

  • La Russie dispose d’un arsenal nucléaire de 8,000 têtes, y compris 1,643 têtes strategiques deployées et ciblees sur les USA, environ 2,000 têtes strategiques en total, et entre 2,000 et 6,000 têtes nucleaires tactiques qui peuvent être utilisées partout en Europe, y compris contre la France, et peuvent être portées par des vecteurs très divers, y compris des sous marins d’attaque, des navires de surface, des pièces d’artillerie, des avions d’attaque tactiques Sukhoi et MiG, des bombardiers continentaux Tu-22M Backfire, des missiles de courte et moyenne portée (Iskander, Brahmos, R-500), et par un pseudo-ICBM envisagé par la Russie. Le developpement du missile R-500, qui a une portée entre 500 et 5 500 kilomètres, est en violation du traité INF entre Moscou et Washington.
  • La Chine possède un arsenal nucléaire qui est estimé de comprendre entre 800 et 3,000 têtes nucléaires (elle ne divulge pas aucun nombre exact). Ces têtes peuvent être portées par des missiles ballistiques de courte, moyenne, et longue (intercontinentale) portée, par des missiles croisières, par des bombardiers strategiques H-6, par des SNLE (Type 094 et Type 096), et par des sous-marins d’attaque.
  • La Corée du Nord possède un arsenal nucléaire et des missiles qui peuvent porter ses têtes sur des distances intercontinentaux; elle continue à perfectionner ses missiles intercontinentaux Taepodong-2 et KN-08; elle est en cours d’essayer le lancement des missiles ballistiques mer-sol et construit un sous-marin lanceur d’engins; et, selon le renseignement américain, elle prepare maintenant un nouvel essai nucleaire, ce qui est tout en violation du Traité de Non-Proliferation Nucléaire et les obligations de la Corée du Nord sous les résolutions du CS de l’ONU.
  • L’Iran continue à developper des armes nucléaires, ce qui est une ménace à la securité de la France, de l’Europe entière, des partenaires de la France au Golfe Perse, et a l’Israel.

Ces arsenaux nucléaires ne sont pas une ménace théoretique, mais réelle : par exemple, la Russie envoie ses bombardiers nucléaires proche des frontières des pays européens, du Canada, et des USA, pour les ménacer. C’est aussi  le cas avec la France. Aucun pays européen, y compris la Finlande et la Suéde, n’a pas été épargné par les Russes. La Russie s’est aussi reservé un “droit” à utiliser l’arme nucléaire premiere, même contre des états qui n’en disposent pas.

Dans cette situation mondiale, la France ée peut absolument pas baisser la garde et affaiblir sa force de dissuasion nucléaire. Ce serait suicidal.

La dissuasion nucléaire assure aussi l’independance de la France vis-a-vis toute puissance étrangere, y compris les USA et la Russie. Grace à sa force de dissuasion, la France peut leur parler comme un égal, pas comme un vassal à ses maitres.

Enfin, la dissuasion nucleaire aide a la France de developper sa puissance technologique et économique, notamment dans le domaine missilier et nucléaire.

Quant à ceux qui cherchent à délegitimer la force de dissuasion en l’accusant de priver les forces coventionnelles des moyens, c’est une mensonge : le coût de la dissuasion nucléaire représente seulement 0,0015% du PIB et 10% du budget de la Défense. C’est un coût miniscule – et la securité de la France vaut cette dépense.

Donc François Hollande a raison : la France a besoin de sa force de dissuasion nucléaire plus que jamais. Il est hors de question de baisser la garde.


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

Rebuttal of UCS’s ridiculous tirade against nuclear weapons

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on February 10, 2015

The Left never stops in its attempt to disarm the US unilaterally. In order to do so, it has, for a long time, conducted a black propaganda campaign aimed to mislead the American people about US defense policies, budgets, and weapon programs, and about how security is ensured.

One of the latest examples of this propaganda campaign is the Feb. 1st piece published in DefenseOne (a leftist website) by Stephen Young of the “Union of Concerned Scientists”, a far-left pacifist group that adamantly opposes (and has always opposed) a strong national defense, and in  particular, America’s nuclear deterrent and missile defense system.

The Left has long (and wrongly) claimed that American nuclear weapons provide little security and cost much (both of which are blatant lies – see below). But Young goes even further and ridiculously claims that America’s nuclear deterrent actually makes her less safe and that disarming the US unilaterally would make the nation safer!

“Not only would reducing our bloated arsenal save U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, it would make us safer. Nuclear weapons are the only threat to the survival of the United States. (…) Again, not only is this an unnecessary expense, it undermines national security. (…) Rather than an asset that increases national security, nuclear weapons are now our greatest security liability.”

Needless to say, this is utter garbage. It is military strength – including, and especially, nuclear strength – that guarantees a nation’s security, and it is military weakness – such as an inadequate nuclear umbrella, or the complete lack of one – that puts a nation at risk, as more and more countries are recognizing.

Young claims that America’s nuclear weapons undermine her security because, allegedly, they undermine efforts to stop nuclear weapon proliferation. But that is also a blatant lie (like everything else he claims). The US nuclear arsenal actually HELPS global nonproliferation efforts by a) posing a huge obstacle to any nuclear challenger not named Russia or China; and b) reassuring over 30 of America’s allies and partners around the world who rely on the US nuclear umbrella for their security and their very survival.

Should the US reduce its umbrella further, however, many of America’s allies will acquire atomic weapons of their own – and thus, the proliferation problem will become much worse. Already, 66% of South Koreans want their country to be a nuclear power, and former Polish President Lech Walesa wants the same for his country. Saudi Arabia has already acquired DF-21 ballistic missiles from China and will arm them with nuclear warheads if it ever judges the American nuclear umbrella insufficient.

Young falsely claims that unilateral reductions in the US nuclear arsenal:

“enhance our efforts to eliminate North Korea’s limited arsenal, head off potential increases in China’s stockpile and limit Iran’s potential program. As they have in the past, U.S. cuts could prompt Russia to reduce its stockpile, particularly as the tumbling price of oil wreaks havoc on its economy. Even Putin’s decision to end cooperative programs to lock down Russian nuclear material and U.S.statements that Russia has violated the Intermediate Forces Treaty do not rule out such an outcome.”

Again, this is a blatant lie. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US has cut its nuclear arsenal by 75% – but that has utterly failed to prevent Pakistan and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, Iran from undertaking to build them, or China from greatly increasing its nuclear arsenal (which credible experts, such as Professor Philip Karber and General Viktor Yesin, estimate at between 1,600 and 3,000 warheads). Cutting the US nuclear arsenal over the last 24 years has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to slow down global nuclear proliferation.

Any claim that cutting the US nuclear arsenal further would somehow entice other countries to cut or scrap their own nuclear stockpiles is utterly false – not just because of past experience, but also because of the nature of the nuclear-armed regimes the US faces. They won’t be impressed by such unilateral disarmament gestures; on the contrary, they will only consider them (and rightly so) as signs of weakness, to be exploited against the US. This would only jeopardize US national security. And no one should be deluded to think that Russia’s temporary economic problems will slow down, let alone stop, Putin’s nuclear buildup. They haven’t, and they won’t – and major European countries, such as Germany and Greece, are already talking about loosening the EU’s sanctions on Russia. The EU scrapping these sanctions is only a question of when, not if.

(Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants to retake the Presidency in 2017, wants the EU to go even further and officially recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea and is parroting Russian propaganda.)

Young also falsely claims that

“But spending money on new types of warheads undermines efforts to stop additional countries from pursuing these weapons.”

Which is also a blatant lie, because other countries’ (Russia’s, China’s, North Korea’s, Iran’s) nuclear programs are caused NOT by America’s nuclear arsenal, but by these countries’ aggressive designs against the US and against their neighbors (and in Iran’s case, by its declared desire to wipe Israel off the map).

Pakistan’s and India’s nuclear programmes are due to their hostility towards each other and have nothing to do with the US. The nuclear weapon programmes of some of America’s allies are due to these allies’ uncertainty about whether the US will continue to provide a reliable, credible nuclear umbrella to them. Cutting the US nuclear arsenal further will only prove their doubts correct and prod them to acquire their own atomic weapons.

Young also falsely claims that nuclear weapons add very little to America’s national security:

“Nuclear weapons do precious little to address the real threats we and our allies face today, and do nothing to address the threat of terrorism. Nothing to counter Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. Nothing to counteract the growing risk of cyber attack.”

And again, this is a blatant lie. In fact, nuclear weapons are PIVOTAL to America’s national security. That’s because by far the biggest threats to US and allied security – and to world peace – are posed by the nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals of Russia, China, and North Korea, and by Iran’s nuclear program.

Not terrorism. Not Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Not cyber attacks. Not Ebola. It is Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear arsenals and their delivery systems – and their willingness to use these weapons – that pose by far the biggest threat to the security of the US, all of its allies, and the world.

Nothing else comes even close.

Al Qaeda can blow up a few buses or trains, but it can’t wipe out any US cities or even repeat anything on the scale of 9/11. The Islamic State is the Middle East’s and Europe’s problem (which could’ve been easily avoided by not importing Muslim immigrants en masse). But Russia and China could both potentially wipe all major US cities off the map. North Korea could wipe at least one major US city out. Moreover, China’s regime-controlled media has openly written about attacking the US with nuclear weapons, while Russia has, in recent months, repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers very close to US airspace to “practice attacking the enemy”, as the Russians themselves have said. One such practice bombing run occurred on the Fourth of July in 2012.

Furthermore, the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella not only to itself, but also to over 30 allies and partners – from Canada to European allies to Persian Gulf partners to allies in East Asia – who rely on it for their very survival. They cannot afford to bet their security and survival on Young’s and UCS’s “disarming unilaterally will make us more secure” fantasy.

Therefore, addressing the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean nuclear threat must be America’s highest defense priority and merits any investment necessary.

But Young disagrees, and falsely claims this about the Obama administration’s nuclear arsenal modernization programme:

“This is an expensive and profound mistake, and one that ignores the limited contribution that nuclear weapons make to U.S. security.

The administration’s costly plan proposes to rebuild the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the warheads, and the missiles, planes and submarines that carry them. These plans will cost $348 billion over the next 10 years, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate released last week. The National Defense Panel, appointed by Congress, found that the price tag over 30 years could be as much as a $1 trillion.”

Again, this is dead wrong. Firstly, the $1 trillion figure comes from the Monterey Institute for International Studies, a far-left, anti-nuclear group, NOT from the National Defense Panel, and is therefore certain to be wildly exaggerated. Secondly, even if it were true (which it isn’t and likely never will be), it will only be a drop in the bucket compared to total planned defense spending over the next 30 years (in the pessimistic scenario, 30 * ca. 500 bn, i.e. about $15 trillion). Thirdly, 1 trillion is just 33.3 bn per year. And fourthly, even if that $1 trillion figure were true (which, again, it isn’t), such investment would’ve been fully justified, because the objective is the modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal – by far the most important part of America’s defenses.

Young also falsely claims that:

“And, while recognizing the very problematic behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the truth is U.S. nuclear forces did not stop the Russian military from invading Ukraine either. Spending more money on nuclear weapons would not turn them back.”

Firstly, to say that Vladimir Putin’s behavior is “very problematic” is like saying that the Holocaust was “very problematic.” No, Mr Young, Putin’s behavior is not merely “very problematic” – it is a huge threat to US, allied, and world security. Putin’s aggressive behavior constitutes a string of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace – in Chechnya, in Georgia, and Ukraine.

If the world’s leaders had even a shred of decency and integrity, Putin would’ve already been tried and executed as a war criminal.

Putin’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine was not an isolated incident, but merely one of the many examples of Putin’s aggressive, Soviet-style, neo-imperialist behavior towards his neighbors, towards Europe at large, and towards the US itself – as exemplified also by the Russian Air Force’s frequent simulations of nuclear strikes on the US and its allies, his nuclear buildup, his coddling of North Korea and Iran, and his support of America’s enemies worldwide.

Finally, Young falsely claims that the US could unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal down to the low hundreds and still be secure:

“In fact, the United States could maintain a fully capable deterrent without the unnecessary and redundant weapons or spending. No current or conceivable future threat requires the United States to maintain more than a few hundred survivable warheads. As a first step in this direction, the Obama administration should limit its total nuclear arsenal to 1,000 weapons, including both long- and short-range weapons, deployed and reserve.”

Again, like the rest of his screed, it’s a blatant lie. An arsenal of just a few hundred warheads would be woefully inadequate to protect America, let alone her allies. This is for two reasons. Firstly, a small nuclear arsenal, consisting of just a few hundred warheads, would be way too easy for a potential adversary – like Russia or China – to destroy in a first strike, leaving the US with no nuclear weapons to retaliate with against the aggressor. Secondly, even if some of these few hundred atomic weapons survived a first strike, they would be woefully inadequate to execute a truly painful retaliatory strike against the aggressor.

To do be able to do that, the US needs thousands of nuclear weapons – not a mere few hundred. This is because both Russia and China have thousands of military assets which the US needs to be able to credibly threaten to destroy – e.g. ICBM siloes, airbases, naval bases, weapon production plants, command centers, etc. Short of that, the US will NOT be able to threaten a credible retaliation against Russia or China for major aggression they may commit against the US or its allies.

In short, Stephen Young’s screed is a litany of blatant lies. Not a single claim he makes therein is true. Not a single one.


Posted in Nuclear deterrence | 1 Comment »

The SECDEF Himself Confirms: The Next Gen Bomber Is Absolutely Needed

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on January 21, 2015

Last week, anti-nuclear, anti-defense groups such as POGO, the “Council for a Livable World”, the Arms Control Association, and the Cato Institute were dealt a severe blow when no less an authority than the Secretary of Defense debunked their lie that the next generation bomber, and the US nuclear deterrent in general, are not needed.

Speaking to Airmen at Whiteman AFB, MO, outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel underlined the crucial importance of America’s nuclear deterrent:

“It’s always about strategic deterrence so that we don’t have to send our men and women into conflict. Our adversaries have to know and have to believe, and essentially have to trust that we have deterrent capability, that in fact we have everything we say we have.”

And he especially stressed the importance of fielding a new, stealthy bomber to replace the USAF’s old, obsolete B-52 and B-1 bombers – especially in view of China’s military buildup and America’s need to defeat any possible adversaries:

Hagel said the military should invest billions of dollars in developing a new aircraft to replace some of today’s aging bombers, in particular the B-52, which are more than 50 years old. He said the new aircraft program, known as the Long-Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, will be well funded in the budget request slated for release in February.

“I think the Long-Range Strike Bomber is absolutely essential for keeping our deterrent edge. … We need to do it. We need to make the investments. We’ll have it in the budget. It’s something I have particularly put a priority on.”

The bomber is absolutely needed because older bombers – the B-52 and the B-1 – stand absolutely no chance of being able to survive in airspace protected by, let alone defeat, modern Russian air defense systems such as the S-300, S-400, and their Chinese clones – and Russia is set to export both systems to Iran soon.

As reported by DefenseOne:

This new aircraft would reassure allies and extends the reach of U.S. military strategic power, Hagel said.

“It’s something that I have particularly put a priority on [in] the budgets and things that I’ve talked about with the Congress,” he said.  “I have confidence that the Congress will support us. It’s a critical element of our future long-range strategic deterrence capabilities.”

Later this year, the Air Force is expected to select either Northrop Grumman or a Boeing-Lockheed Martin team to build the new bomber. Pentagon leaders have said little about the project as it’s classified, with its details shrouded in secrecy.

According to DefenseNews, the US Air Force is set to choose who will build the next gen bomber – called the Long Range Strike Bomber – in late spring or early summer this year:

WASHINGTON — In late spring or early summer, the US Air Force will decide who will build its next-generation bomber. Yet, despite all the hype and public interest, the program remains shrouded in mystery.

The Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) program is stealthy, literally and figuratively. Few details are actually known about the bomber’s capabilities or design. But the program’s impact is already being widely felt throughout the Pentagon and its industry partners.

The half a dozen analysts and experts interviewed by Defense News for this piece all agree on one thing: the LRS-B has the chance to shape American military aerospace for the next 20 years. Whichever competitor wins will reap a windfall of development money; the loser could find itself out of the military attack airframe business entirely.

And while the program appears to be on track, Congress is waiting in the wings for any sign of cost overrun or technological problems.

“This is crunch time,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group. “It’s the biggest single outstanding DoD competition by a very wide margin. That makes it important in and of itself.”

Unfortunately, the $550 mn per unit price ceiling may limit the bomber’s capabilities:

A source with knowledge of the program said the Air Force is likely looking at something smaller than a B-2, perhaps as small as half the size, with two engines similar in size to the F135 engines that power the F-35, so enhancement programs can also be applied to the bomber.

“They should go bigger [in terms of airframe], but Gates threw that $500 million figure out there without thinking through the overall effect and requirement,” the source said.

Retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, former deputy chief of staff for ISR, agreed that the focus on the $550 million figure may end up hurting the bomber’s capabilities by driving the discussion from what the plane does to what can keep the price down.

“One of the biggest concerns is that this is going to turn into a cost shootout, and whomever can produce a ‘technically acceptable’ airplane at the lowest cost will be the winner, without any judgment or look at the ability for growth, the ability to connect to new technologies,” he said. “That is a big concern amongst folks out there who are involved in this evolution.”

And then there are the theories that the bomber is further along in its development cycle than it appears. Last year, J.J. Gertler, an analyst with the Congressional Research Service penned a memo noting that the bomber’s budget profile looks more like a production than a research and development program, hinting that much of the technological development and testing has already occurred behind the scenes.

In any case, this demonstrates that – once again – I was right all along, and those anti-nuclear, anti-defense groups were dead wrong all along.

Source material:

1) http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/01/13/hagel-backs-air-force-plans-for-long-range-strike-bomber/21713815/

2) http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2015/01/new-air-force-bomber-critical-piece-pentagons-pacific-weaponry/102798/?oref=d-mostread; http://csbaonline.org/2015/01/13/new-air-force-bomber-is-a-critical-piece-of-the-pentagons-pacific-weaponry/

3) http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/01/18/air-force-bomber-industry/21805275/

4) http://missilethreat.com/sophisticated-russian-s-400-missiles-iran-new-military-pact-s-300s-egypt-syria-hizballah/

Posted in Air combat, Nuclear deterrence | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

L’achat d’Alstom par General Electric: Une menace grave contre l’independance et la securite de la France

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on January 6, 2015

Comme tout le monde devrait deja le savoir, en 2014 le géant américain d’énergetique General Electric (dont le PDG, Jeffrey Immelt, a des liens étroits au President Obama), a acheté la fillière nucléaire et celle des turbines à vapeur et à gaz d’Alstom.

Dorénavant, General Electric controle la fillière nucléaire d’Alstom et sa production des turbines pour les réacteurs nucléaires d’Areva (ceux qui sont operés ou en construction en France et ceux que Areva espère d’exporter a l’étranger), pour les sous-marins français (y compris les sous-marins lanceurs d’engins de la Marine Nationale, la fillière primaire de la dissuasion nucléaire française), pour le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle, et les sous-marins conventionnels que la France espère d’exporter.

C’est une desastre grave pour l’independance, la securité, et la prospérité de la France. En donnant le feu vert pour ce rachat d’Alstom à General Electric, François Hollande et le gouvernement Valls ont trahi la France et l’ont vendue aux USA et soumise au controle américain. Voila pourquoi c’est une desastre pour la France:

Premièrement: GE aura controle sur toutes les turbines et d’autres components des réacteurs nucléaires produits par Alstom. Ceci permettra à GE d’en priver Areva, le constructeur français des réacteurs nucléaires, qui espère de decrocher plusieurs contrats pour la construction des réacteurs nucléaires dans les marchés promettants (comme la Chine, l’Inde, et le Moyen-Orient) et permettra à Westinghouse (le plus grand rival d’Areva) d’acheter ces technologies et le savoir-faire lié. C’est, bref, un grand pas vers la tuérie d’Areva elle-même et vers la perte des marches nucléaires étrangers pour Areva (et donc pour la France).

Deuxièmement: GE aura controle sur toutes les turbines de propulsion, les turbines des réacteurs nucléaires, et d’autres components des sous-marins nucléaires français et le porte-avions français Charles de Gaulle.

C’est-à-dire, GE aura une controle totale sur les components vitaux de propulsion de la flotte entière des sous-marins francaise, dont la composante principale de la force de la dissuasion nucleaire francaise, et du seul porte-avions francais!

C’est-a-dire, la France n’aura AUCUN controle sur sa propre flotte des sous-marins, sur une de deux composantes de sa force de dissuasion nucleaire, et de son seul porte-avions!

Cela facilitera enormement les efforts américains, menés depuis l’epoque du Président Kennedy, de désarmer la France, de la priver de sa force de dissuasion indépendante. Rappelons que John F. Kennedy était fiercement opposé à cette force independante française et faisait tout ce qu’il a pu de priver la France et la Grande-Bretagne de leurs arsenaux nucléaires indépendants.

Le Président Obama evidemment voudrait en priver la France… et avec son ami Jeffrey Immelt, il pourra le faire, tout simplement en interdisant aux societés américaines de fournir des turbines de propulsion (ou des turbines des réacteurs) aux pays étrangers qui maintiennent un arsenal nucléaire. Obama s’est deja montré comme un ennemi des armes nucléaires en général et des forces de dissuasion indépendantes de la France et du Royaume-Uni en particulier: par exemple, il a passé les numéros de série des missiles ballistiques Trident II britanniques (manufactures aux USA) à la Russie.

Si l’un des successeurs d’Obama (par exemple, Hillary Clinton, un personnage qui souhaite aussi le désarmement nucléaire de la France) souhaite un jour désarmer la France, il/elle pourra le faire.

Troisiemement, GE aura controle sur toutes les turbines de propulsion des sous-marins produits en France – tant pour la Marine Nationale que pour l’export. Donc, si les USA s’opposent un jour à une operation militaire de la France ou voudront s’emparer d’un contrat de vente des sous-marins à un pays (par exemple, l’Australie), ils pourront en priver le DCNS facilement en privant le DCNS des turbines nécessaires pour propulser les sous-marins. N’oublions pas que General Electric est l’une des plus grandes societés dans le secteur de défense américain – c’est lui qui construit la moitie des sous-marins nucléaires utilises par la marine américaine (l’US Navy).

Ce rachat est donc une menace grave a l’indépendance de la France et sa securité nationale. Comme le decrit Jean-Michel Quatrepoint dans Le Figaro:

Non seulement le 50-50 est devenu 50 plus une voix pour General Electric, mais le groupe américain détiendra 80 % pour la partie nucléaire. C’est dire que la production et la maintenance des turbines Arabelle pour les centrales nucléaires sera contrôlée par GE.

Quelles sont les conséquences sur l’industrie française, notamment sur la filière nucléaire?

On peut dire ce que l’on veut, mais c’est désormais le groupe américain qui décidera à qui et comment vendre ces turbines. C’est lui aussi qui aura le dernier mot sur la maintenance de nos centrales sur le sol français. La golden share que le gouvernement français aurait en matière de sécurité nucléaire n’est qu’un leurre. Nous avons donc délibérément confié à un groupe américain l’avenir de l’ensemble de notre filière nucléaire…

Pourquoi General Electric qui, il y a un an, n’était intéressé que par les turbines à vapeur a-t-il mis la main sur ce secteur nucléaire?

Tout simplement, parce que l’énergie est au centre du projet stratégique américain. Et que le nucléaire est une des composantes de l’énergie. Le marché redémarre. Dans les pays émergents, mais aussi en Grande-Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis. General Electric en était absent. Là, il revient en force et acquiert, pour quelque milliards de dollars avec Arabelle, le fleuron des turbines nucléaires.

Sur le marché chinois, l’un des plus prometteurs, Westinghouse associé à Hitachi, est en compétition face à EDF, Areva et Alstom. Arabelle était un atout pour la filière française. Que se passera-t-il demain si GE négocie un accord avec Westinghouse pour lui fournir Arabelle? C’est donc à terme toute la filière nucléaire française qui risque d’être déstabilisée à l’exportation.

Non seulement le 50-50 est devenu 50 plus une voix pour General Electric, mais le groupe américain détiendra 80 % pour la partie nucléaire. C’est dire que la production et la maintenance des turbines Arabelle pour les centrales nucléaires sera contrôlée par GE.

Quelles sont les conséquences sur l’industrie française, notamment sur la filière nucléaire?

On peut dire ce que l’on veut, mais c’est désormais le groupe américain qui décidera à qui et comment vendre ces turbines. C’est lui aussi qui aura le dernier mot sur la maintenance de nos centrales sur le sol français. La golden share que le gouvernement français aurait en matière de sécurité nucléaire n’est qu’un leurre. Nous avons donc délibérément confié à un groupe américain l’avenir de l’ensemble de notre filière nucléaire…

Pourquoi General Electric qui, il y a un an, n’était intéressé que par les turbines à vapeur a-t-il mis la main sur ce secteur nucléaire?

Tout simplement, parce que l’énergie est au centre du projet stratégique américain. Et que le nucléaire est une des composantes de l’énergie. Le marché redémarre. Dans les pays émergents, mais aussi en Grande-Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis. General Electric en était absent. Là, il revient en force et acquiert, pour quelque milliards de dollars avec Arabelle, le fleuron des turbines nucléaires.

Sur le marché chinois, l’un des plus prometteurs, Westinghouse associé à Hitachi, est en compétition face à EDF, Areva et Alstom. Arabelle était un atout pour la filière française. Que se passera-t-il demain si GE négocie un accord avec Westinghouse pour lui fournir Arabelle? C’est donc à terme toute la filière nucléaire française qui risque d’être déstabilisée à l’exportation.

Il faut donc:

1) Que l’Etat français devienne l’actionnaire majoritaire (51% d’actions) des activités énergie d’Alstom; et

2) Que tous ceux qui ont permis à General Electric d’acheter cette fillière d’indépendance de la France soient SEVEREMENT punis, y compris François Hollande et Emmanuel Macron.

Posted in Economic affairs, Nuclear deterrence, World affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Kristensen/Lewis lie bites the dust

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 28, 2014

Thanks to maps and distance-measuring websites, another lie of Hans Kristensen’s and Jeffrey Lewis’s bites the dust: that China’s Jin class boomers would have to sail well east of Japan, through straits patrolled by the Japanese navy, to hit the Continental US.


You see, the unilateral disarmament movement, most notoriously, FAS blogger Hans M. Kristensen and Monterey Institute propagandist Jeffrey Lewis, insist that the Jin class’s JL-2 ballistic missile has a very short range (7,200 kms) and therefore cannot reach the Continental US unless launched from waters well east of Japan, which, they claim, the Jin class would not be able to reach unless it were to sail through straits patrolled by the USN or the Japanese MSDF.

This is dead wrong. Firstly, the JL-2’s real range is 8,000 kms (9,000 kms according to some sources). Secondly, that range is more than sufficient to hit the West Coast from waters adjacent to China or just east of Japan. For example:

  • The distance from Akita (a town on Japan’s west coast, on the Honshu island) to San Francisco is 7,992 kms; to Naval Base Kitsap, 7,346 to Seattle, just 7,368 kms; to Portland, just 7,475 kms. So a Jin-class submarine armed with JL-2 missiles could hit San Francisco from waters just east of Akita; and could hit NB Kitsap, Seattle, and Portland while positioned hundreds of kilometers west of Akita, in international waters, in the Sea of Japan.
  • From Los Angeles, the distance to Akita is over 8,500 kms, but the distance to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is 7,937 kms, so a Jin-class sub could be positioned in the Sea of Japan, west of Sakhalin, or in the open Pacific just east of Sakhalin, and still hit Los Angeles. It could also hit Las Vegas, which is just 7,970 kms away from Y-S.
  • The distance from Sapporo, a city on the western coast of Hokkaido Island, to NAS Fallon (home to the TOPGUN school), is 7,832 kms, so a Jin-class sub could blow Tom Cruise’s TOPGUN school to smithereens with a missile launched well west of Sapporo, from international waters in the Sea of Japan.
  • The distance from Qingdao, China’s northernmost submarine base, to Seattle, is 8,832 kms, and to NB Kitsap is 8,812 kms. So if the JL-2’s range is 9,000 kms, a Jin-class submarine could hit them with nuclear warheads while sitting in dock at Qingdao!

Yet another Kristensen/Lewis lie bites the dust.

Posted in Nuclear deterrence | Leave a Comment »

Dissecting Kristensen’s and Norris’s China nuke report, one lie at a time

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 26, 2014


With funding from the anti-nuclear Ploughshares Fund and the New Land Foundation – whose goal is to disarm the US unilaterally – Hans M. Kristensen and Robert Norris of the FAS periodically publish a report claiming that China has only a few hundred nuclear warheads. In fact, even though they are rank amateurs who know absolutely nothing about nuclear weapons and have no access to any classified information, they claim to know almost exactly how many nuclear warheads China has: “approximately 250.”

Such a claim – without basis on any reliable source, including any reliable intelligence data – is downright laughable, of course. It is ridiculous to claim to know China’s nuclear arsenal with such precision when a) China hasn’t released any information on that, and b) one does not have access to any classified intelligence data.

That alone should completely disqualify Kristensen’s and Norris’s “report.” But I’ll nonetheless dissect and debunk it, one lie at a time, to prove that it’s complete garbage – not just because of the brazenness of the author’s claims and their lack of access to any classified data, but also because of the falsiness of the specific claims they make in their report.

Specifically, Kristensen and Norris, who claim China has only 250 nuclear warheads, break it down as follows:

  • 8 DF-3 MRBMs deployed in 1971 and nearing retirement and replacement by DF-21s. This is true – there are very few such missiles left in service, and they’re about to be phased out.
  • 12 DF-4 IRBMs with single warheads. This is incorrect; there are actually 20 DF-4s in service, and they can carry up to 3 warheads each – and most likely do, given that China acquired multiple-warhead-vehicle technology for its missiles in 1996 under the guise of “multiple satellite carrying technology.” Be that as it may, the DF-4 is also nearing retirement, and is poised to be replaced by the DF-31 ICBM… which can also carry 3 warheads.
  • Around 28 DF-31/31A ICBMs, which Kristensen and Norris also claim have only one warhead each. Again, this is dead wrong; the DF-31 can carry 3 warheads, and China has almost certainly deployed multiple warheads on its missiles, given that it acquired the technology to do so 18 years ago. (UPDATE: The WFB confirms that China HAS MIRVed its missiles.) Moreover, while the Kristensen-Norris report was last published in 2013, China already has 40 DF-31/31A/31B missiles as of 2014.
  • Only around 20 DF-5/5A heavy ICBMs, which Kristensen and Norris also claim have only one warhead each. Again, this is completely false; the DF-5 heavy can carry at least 6 warheads, and and China has almost certainly deployed multiple warheads on its missiles, given that it acquired the technology to do so 18 years ago.
  • Only 80 DF-21 MRBMs, a woefully obsolete estimate that dates back to 2009. Already as of 2010, China had 90 such missiles, and since then has certainly increased its DF-21 inventory even further (as well as deploying the DF-26C IRBM this year). The idea that China’s DF-21 MRBM inventory has remained static since 2009 is laughable on its face.
  • Only 100 DF-15 SRBMs, which they don’t count as nuclear-armed (in fact, China has over 1,200 DF-15, DF-11, and DF-16 SRBMs, and some of them may very well be armed with nuclear warheads). Yet, Kristensen and Norris do not count a single one of these missiles as nuclear-armed.
  • Ground-launched cruise missiles: Kristensen and Norris estimate there are only 250 DH-10 GLCMs and an unknown number of DH-20s. They give no estimates for these missiles’ stockpile or the number of nuclear warheads attributed to them (no one outside China’s top leadership can)… and therefore don’t count a single one of these missiles as nuclear-armed. They discount them completely. In addition, they confuse them with the CJ-10 and CJ-20 cruise missile, which is a different thing (the DH-10 and DH-20 were developed from this missile; the DH-10 has twice the CJ-10’s 2,000 km range).
  • Aircraft: Kristensen and Norris attribute only 20 nuclear warheads to China’s 120 H-6 bombers and only another 20 to China’s 300 tactical strike aircraft (Q-5 and JH-7), with absolutely no sources to base this claim on. Kristensen and Norris falsely assert that “Given its history of nuclear tests using weapons dropped by short- and medium-range aircraft, China is likely to have a small quantity of nuclear bombs that would be delivered by H-6 bombers. China’s nuclear bomber capability is minor and involves secondary missions for only a small number of aircraft.” This is again completely false, as revealed in General Yesin’s report on China’s nuclear arsenal as well as in other sources. China has 120 H-6 bombers and 300 tactical strike aircraft (Q-5 and JH-7); that is no “minor” nuclear bomber capability. Especially considering that China has modernized its H-6 bombers to be able to carry nuclear- and conventionally-armed CJ-10 and CJ-20 missiles, and considering that these can reach as far as Guam and well beyond, as seen in this RAND Corporation map:


The CSBA confirms that the CJ-10 can reach well beyond Guam, as displayed in a graph in CSBA’s AirSea Battle study, wherein CSBA states the CJ-10 has a 2,000 nm range.[1]

  • Kristensen and Norris claim that China is only “developing” CJ-10 and CJ-20 air-launched cruise missiles for delivery by H-6K bombers: “China is also developing an airlaunched land-attack cruise missile known as the CJ-20 for delivery by modified H-6 bombers. An Air Force Global Strike Command briefing in 2013 asserted that the CJ-20 is nuclear capable (Kristensen, 2013). The Air Force “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat” document does not list the CJ-20 at all (US Air Force, 2013: 29), but the annual Pentagon report includes a map showing the combined range of the “B-6 [H-6] and LACM” (Defense Department, 2013: 81).” Actually, according to the Global Strike Command’s 2013 briefing, the CJ-10 is already operational; it’s the CJ-20 that was in development back then and is poised to enter service by 2018. Also, GlobalSecurity.org says that China HAS developed, not is still developing, the CJ-10: “The air-launched CJ-10 variant has been developed for deployment on the H-6M [four missiles] and H-6K [six missiles] bombers, which were entering service in small numbers in the 2010 timeframe.” Of course, Kristensen and Norris do not count a single CJ-10 or Hongniao ALCM as operational – which is another grave factual error.
  • SLBMs: Kristensen and Norris falsely claim that a) China only has three Jin class SSBNs; b) they are very noisy; c) their JL-2 missiles only have a range of 7,000-7,200 kms and cannot reach the CONUS; and d) can only carry a single warhead. All of these are lies.
  • Firstly, according to satellite images available on Google Earth, there are four submarines pierside at the Yulin submarine base (in Sanya, Hainan Island) alone, not counting any submarines the Chinese may have hidden inside the huge bunker they’ve built there (it reportedly has enough space to hide 20 submarines). There may be additional Jins at the Qingdao base in northeastern China, on the Shandong peninsula. Moreover, Kristensen himself has admitted China may have built a fourth Jin class sub.
  • Secondly, the subject of how noisy the Jins are has already been dealt with here. Suffice to say, this myth comes from the ONI, which is not a credible source.
  • Thirdly, regarding the JL-2’s range, this subject has also been dealt with – here and here. I shall repeat nonetheless that according to truly credible sources, such as GlobalSecurity.org, the JL-2 has a range of at least 8,000, and potentially 9,000, kilometers. According to Encyclopaedia Astronautica, it’s 7,900 kms. With a 7,800-8,000 km range, a JL-2-armed Jin class submarine could strike Seattle and the Pacific Northwest (including America’s own Pacific submarine base in Kitsap, WA) from inside the Sea of Japan (west of Japan), from international waters; it could strike San Francisco from a position just east of the main Japanese island of Honshu, just east of the 140E meridian; and strike Los Angeles from a position just east of the 150E meridian.
  • Nor would the Jin class have to sail through tightly-patrolled straits; on the contrary, it could sneak through any of the weakly protected or unprotected straits in the WestPac, such as the several-hundred-kilometer-long Luzon Strait, between Taiwan and the Philippines – two military weaklings who completely lack any meaningful anti-submarine-warfare capability.
  • Kristensen and Norris also falsely claim – contrary to what the DOD says – that the DF-31A cannot strike the Continental US at all. This is completely false. They claim the DF-31A has a range of 11,200 kms. That is sufficient to reach half of the CONUS if the missile were launched from eastern China. This begs the question, “where are the DF-31As deployed?” According to Sean O’Connor of AirPowerAustralia, the DF-31 was, as of 2009, deployed with two operational brigades: the 813th Brigade, near Nanyang (between Zhengzhou and Wuhan, in eastern China), and the 812th Brigade, near Beidao/Tawanli, near Delingha, in northern China. If deployed at those locations, the DF-31A can target at least the western half of the CONUS – and it’s a road-mobile missile, so it could actually be deployed anywhere in China, even in its northeasternmost portions.
  • The DOD estimates the DF-31A’s capability to be even greater. In 2007, it illustrated Chinese ballistic missiles’ range thus[2]:


As this map shows, the DF-31A – the longer-ranged variant of the DF-31 – can reach all of the CONUS as well as almost all of Mexico.

All in all, Kristensen and Norris claim China only has 250 warheads. They arrive at this result by deliberately, falsely, and dramatically understating China’s nuclear warhead and delivery system arsenal, namely:

  • Not counting any of China’s missiles as carrying multiple warheads, even though China acquired that capability 18 years ago and wouldn’t have do so if it didn’t intend to deploy multiple warheads on its missiles.
  • Acknowledging only 12 DF-4s, 20 DF-5s, and 28 DF-31s, instead of the truly correct numbers (20 DF-4s, 24 DF-5s, and 40 DF-31s).
  • Counting only 40 out of China’s bomber/strike aircraft as attributed with nuclear bombs.
  • Not counting any of China’s SRBMs, GLCMs, or ALCMs as nuclear-capable.
  • Acknowledging only 3 of China’s Jin class submarines and wrongly counting their missiles as capable of carrying 1 warhead each.
  • And many other factual errors listed above.

In short, Kristensen’s and Norris’s “report” is a litany of blatant lies designed to downplay the Chinese nuclear threat and thus to lull the public and policymakers into a false sense of security. It never cites any sources other than Kristensen and Norris themselves, except once when discussing DF-21 MRBMs. Not only that, but the authors can’t even get spelling right: for example, they write “missles” instead of “missiles.”

As such, their report completely lacks any academic or analytical rigor or any value whatsoever and does not deserve to be treated seriously.

[1] Jan van Tol et al., AirSea Battle: An Operational Concept Point of Departure, CSBA, Washington, DC, 2010, p. 18.

[2] Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, United States Department of Defense, Arlington, VA, 2007.

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

How many nukes does China have? Who’s telling the truth?

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 25, 2014

How many nuclear weapons China possesses has been the subject of a fierce dispute since Professor Philip A. Karber and his students published a report in 2011 which concluded – based on China’s 3,000 mile long network of tunnels and bunkers – that China probably has thousands of warheads, possible up to 3,000.

Analysts such as Professor Karber (the DOD’s former chief nuclear strategist) and General Viktor Yesin (former Chief of Staff of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces) don’t claim to have an exact number. Professor Karber and his students estimate it’s likely in the thousands, but don’t claim to be able to give an exact number, only a range. Professor Karber says it’s “up to 3,000 warheads”, while General Yesin says it’s between approximately 1,600 and 1,800 warheads, based on China’s fissile material stocks.

In addition, they have no agenda, other than to disseminate their findings. Contrary to the accusations lobbed at them, they do not oppose arms control or accords of such kind between the US and Russia – they merely want China to be a party to such accords, so that China’s nuclear arsenal will not be unlimited and will be subject to American and Russian inspections (which, of course, Communist China will never agree to).

OTOH, those who deny that China has a larger nuclear arsenal or poses a significant nuclear threat to the US – those who claim China still has a paltry few hundred warheads -claim to know with exact precision how many nuclear warheads China possesses: 250. Even though they are mere amateur civilians who have not served a day in the US (let alone Chinese) military and have never had access to any classified information (like Professor Karber did when he was the Pentagon’s chief nuke strategist), these people claim they know for sure that China has only a few hundred warheads, and accuse anyone who says otherwise of grossly “exaggerating” and “overhyping” the Chinese nuclear threat (which they don’t even call or consider a threat at all).

Those amateurs, with no access whatsoever to classified information and no military experience in the US or Chinese armed forces, claim that what they say are “facts”, accurate calculations, and quality research papers, even though they have no credible sources to back their claims. Virtually all the “sources” and references they point to as the basis for their claims are… their other claims, written elsewhere (mostly on Hans Kristensen’s “Strategic Security” blog).

Yes, you read that correctly: according to China threat deniers, the sources for their claims are… their other claims!

And unlike Professor Karber and others who warn of a large Chinese nuclear threat arsenal, the denier camp does have an agenda and an incentive to lie: its desire to unilaterally strip the US of its nuclear weapons. Members of this camp, including Hans M. Kristensen, Robert Norris, Joseph Cirincione, and others have openly stated that they want the US to UNILATERALLY cut its nuclear arsenal down to the low hundreds… as a transitional step towards unilaterally scrapping its nuclear arsenal COMPLETELY. That is their openly-avowed agenda.

Thus, they have a vast incentive to lie, and specifically, to downplay both the Russian and the Chinese nuclear threat – in order to lull the public and policymakers into a false sense of security.

And when Professor Karber and General Yesin released their reports, they reacted with angry vitriol, showing their true colors, launching direct, personal attacks against Professor Karber.

Moreover, Kristensen and Norris have shown that not only can’t they get the size of China’s missile and nuclear warhead right, they can’t even get spelling right!

So, whom do you believe, folks? Those who don’t have an agenda or an incentive to lie, or those who do?

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 503 other followers