Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Current Situation in Korea – And How to End This Conundrum

Since the beginning of this month, we’ve been observing a worrisome episode (now toned down) of reciprocal military threats and fiery rhetoric on the part of the President of the United States and of the leader of North Korea. Some had even been worrying that such an exchange of bellicose rhetoric might lead to a full-blown conflict, even to nuclear war.

This being the case, it is time to lay down the cold, objective facts, separated from any partial or emotional stance, and then to recommend a solution to this conundrum. We will do so first by analyzing the North Korean military threat itself, then the behavior of the main actors, and then, finally, the potential solutions ahead.

  1. How grave is the North Korean nuclear threat ?

Long dismissed as merely hypothetical or long-term, it is actually very real right now, and has been for several years now.

It is generally agreed by now by the US intelligence community, US Combatant Command leaders, the Joint Chiefs, and even some private analysts, that North Korea has, by now, mastered the art of miniaturizing its nuclear warheads, a condition necessary to be able to deliver them by missiles. It is also by now generally agreed – as opposed to five years ago – that North Korea’s KN-08, KN-14, and Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are hardly mock-ups, but real missiles.

Few people know, however, that some US intelligence agencies, most notably the DIA, had assessed (with “moderate confidence”) as early as 2013 that already by that time the North Koreans had mastered the art of miniaturization. US military leaders have made similar comments on multiple occassions since then.

However, those warnings had been dismissed at that time as mere hyperbole and scaremongering promoted by the so-called “military-industrial complex”. The weak-kneed Obama Administration – keen not to give nuclear deterrence and missile defense advocates any ammunition – immediately walked back the DIA’s finding and declared it “inaccurate”, as did its Director of National Intelligence. Some media, as well as pacifist-oriented activists in the West, still refuse – to this day – to acknowledge this North Korean capability.

Furthermore, as the Heritage Foundation rightly points out, learning how to miniaturize nuclear warheads is not difficult because of :

 (1) the vast improvement in computers and in high explosive technology over the last five decades; (2) the public availability of a vast amount of scientific data on both fission and fusion; (3) the U.S. declassification of a great deal of information on nuclear weapons technology; (4) the leak of vastly more classified information on nuclear weapons design; and (5) the proliferation of nuclear weapons designs by China and Dr. A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb.

As for North Korea’s ICBMs, they are in theory capable of reaching targets as far ahead as Chicago and New York City if Pyongyang were to launch them on the right trajectory, taking advantage of the Earth’s rotation. However, the reentry vehicles North Korea now has, and the payloads of the missiles themselves, would currently allow them “only” to target the US West Coast, and even that only with a single 500 kg warhead per missile. Furthermore, no North Korean ground-launched ballistic missile has, to this day, flown more than about 1 000 kilometers.

2. How grave is the current crisis/stand-off? Is there is a real risk of nuclear war?

By now, both North Korea and the US have delivery systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons to each other’s homeland. Before, the US had a unilateral advantage over Pyongyang in that regard, and even now, it has an overwhelming advantage in terms of total nuclear firepower. However, the American people – and American politicians – value human life far more than North Korean leaders, so even the destruction of a single major US city (say, Seattle or LA) by a North Korean nuclear (or chemical) warhead would’ve been a disaster for the US (though not a fatal blow, of course).

But paradoxically, as dangerous as this situation may seem, it is actually beneficial for both sides and for world peace and security.

Yes, you’ve read that right : this nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang is good for world peace and security!

The reason is that there now is a “mutually assured destruction” logic between the two capitals, so neither of them can attack the other without incurring a devastating nuclear retaliation in return. The same kind of logic which, since 1949, has assured peace and stability in Russo-American, and since 1964, in Sino-American relations.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, like his father and grandfather, is extremely cruel, ruthless, and prone to grandiose power demonstrations, but not suicidal. His foremost concern – like that of his predecessors, and like that of all governments around the world – is the survival of his regime.

Which is why both leaders, Kim and Trump, have recently walked back their bellicose rhetoric.

Moreover, if there had ever been any risk of a real war reoccurring again in East Asia, someone forgot to tell the US military, which has remained at normal readiness levels throughout the crisis so far, with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan still docked at is naval base in Yokosuka, Japan.

3. So how to finally resolve this problem?

The problem is two-fold : short- and long-term.

The current crisis – which now seems to be abating – is of a short-term nature, and the solution, naturally, would be a cessation (or at least a moderation) of the rhetoric and the actions on the part of both sides. Therefore, as Russia has proposed, Pyongyang should refrain from further missile or nuclear tests, and the US should cancel its planned military exercises in South Korea. This would be a reasonable give-and-take compromise.

The trickier issue is addressing the North Korean threat in the long term.

Maintaining the status quo on the Peninsula – that is, tolerating the regime’s continued existence and standing by as it develops better and longer-ranged missiles, and nuclear warheads of ever-greater explosive power – is unacceptable, no matter what Henry Kissinger, the arch-defender of status quo in global politics, might say.

Attempting regime change by military invasion is also not an option, as North Korea could pulverize the South’s capital, Seoul, in a matter of minutes with its long-range artillery armed with chemical munitions. That is, of course, to say nothing of its ICBMs.

Trying to negotiate the North’s arsenal away is also not an option, for two simple reasons. Firstly, North Korea has already said – as bluntly and explicitly as one can – that it will never, under any circumstances, give up its nuclear weapons (not surprising, given that they need them to ensure regime survival). Secondly, this strategy has already been tried multiple times by successive US Administrations, only to fail miserably each time : the North had promised to denuclearize, or at least freeze its nuclear program, and then it reneged on its commitments every single time.

So diplomacy and “strategic patience” (i.e. ignoring the North Korean threat) have abysmally failed with North Korea, and it would be insane to try them again and expect different results. A military invasion aimed at regime change is also not a plausible option, for obvious reasons.

So what can be done ?

As recommended by the Cato Institute many years ago, the US should try negotiating a secret “quid pro quo” deal with China whereby Beijing would cut off any trade with, and supplies to, North Korea, leading to the regime’s collapse and unification with the South, and the US would terminate its alliance with Seoul and withdraw all of its troops from the Korean Peninsula. To further sweeten the deal with Beijing, Washington could also consent to a reunification (by force, if necessary) of Taiwan with the People’s Republic.

One of China’s greatest nightmares is seeing American troops again on the Yalu river, right on the Sino-Korean border, or even worse, seeing them there on a border between China and a reunified, pro-American Republic of Korea. To reassure China against such a threat, the US should firmly commit to withdrawing all US troops from the Peninsula as soon as the regime in Pyongyang collapses.

China, and China alone, now holds the key to resolving the North Korean problem in both short and the long term. It is absolutely crucial for Washington to engage Beijing on this issue.


How to manage your time effectively

Throughout the last year, I’ve read and listened to a lot of educational material on how to manage time better. I’ve read and heard many pieces of advice from several knowledgeable sources : websites, life coaches, businessmen, and others.

And most importantly, I now apply them on a daily basis, with the result that my daily productivity has increased significantly.

But at the same time, I believe many of those valuable pieces of advice, coming from various sources, are scattered around the Net, so I’ve decided to write this article to list them together and also organize them better. Some of those time management tactics are mine, but most others come from other authors. Anyway, here’s what I’d advise anyone to do :

Before You Start : Prepare Your Day

Before you can spend your day in a productive manner, you need to prepare for it. Good preparation is the key to having a wonderful day of fruitful work – and it starts the day before. So remember to :

  1. Go to sleep early enough so that you get enough sleep (and therefore, enough rest for your mind and body) the next day. Don’t stay up until midnight or 1 AM. Unless you’re one of those few people who work best at night (the so-called night-owls), go to bed as early as possible, preferrably at 10 PM. Some people think they can hack away a few extra hours by going late to bed, but in fact, they’re just cheating themselves. If you don’t give yourself enough sleep, you will feel dizzy, tired, and have big trouble concentrating the next day from the very start. So always give yourself at least seven, and ideally eight, hours of sleep – at the time when you feel the most tired.
  2. But before you go to bed, remember to plan your next day. Think of everything you’ll have to do tomorrow and write it down on a piece of paper, in a planner or in an app on your smartphone or tablet (I personally prefer the TickTick app). That way, you won’t forget anything, and you’ll also sleep easy at night, knowing you’ve already planned everything for tomorrow.

And Now the Big Day Has Come !

If you’ve followed my advice above, you will surely be ready for the next day. Here’s how to effectively manage your valuable time so that it’s not a wasted day :

  1. Look again at that to-do list. There’s a lot of tasks on it, isn’t there ? Time to organize it by priorities using the ABCDE method (which I’ve learned from Brian Tracy). Here’s how to do it :
  • Which of your tasks (in your private life or at work) are so important that failure to complete them would have serious consequences for you ? For example, financial losses, missed business opportunities, reprimands from your manager, or lots of angry customers ? These are A-class tasks; they are of utmost importance. They should be your top priority. If there is more than one of them, decide which is the single most important one, and designate it as A1, and the other top tasks as A2, A3, etc.
  • Which other tasks have to be done today, but if not done would only have minor consequences (e.g. one angry customer or some other minor annoyance) ? That is, which ones have to be done but are nowhere nearly as important as A-class ? They are B-class tasks. Do them, but only AFTER you’ve done all those from the A group.
  • Activities which are not obligatory, just good to do, are C-class. That is, you can do them and it would be good to do them, but there would be absolutely no consequences to not doing so. Examples include seeing your friends, playing pool, going to a cinema, etc.
  • D-class tasks are simple, usually manual or repetitive, activities which you can delegate to others because they’re perfectly capable of doing them.
  • E-class activities are time wasters : visiting Twitter and Instagram, reading tabloids and the gossip press, etc. Avoid them like the plague.
  • Whatever task you plan, set a deadline for its completion, e.g. Aug. 16th at 3PM. That way, it’ll be harder for you to procrastinate.
  1. Start your day as early as possible. It’s simple : if you went to bed early enough the night before, you’ll get enough sleep, and then you can get up early in the morning and, after shower and breakfast, start your day early. Especially since most people’s peak performance time is in the morning, right after having several hours of sleep.
  2. Develop a morning routine of productive behavior. The first 1-2 hours of your day are the “golden hours”. The way you spend them will show how you’ll spend the rest of your day. So when you get up, DON’T start your day by checking email, Facebook, Twitter, or SMS on your phone. Start instead by some physical exercise, by meditating a bit, and by showering and eating a healthy breakfast (no processed junk food!). Then, spend 30-60 minutes by reading (or listening to) something educational or motivational to set you up for success. That way, you’ll have invested the first 1-2 hours of your day in your personal development, health, fitness, and hygiene instead of some garbage like social networks.
  3. Start doing your tasks one by one, beginning, of course, with the most important ones (A-class). Do only ONE thing at a time ; don’t try to “multitask.” “Multitasking” is a corporate scam which is a supposed ability to do several things at the same time. But in reality, human attention is like laser light : it can only be concentrated on one thing at any given time. A person doing several things simoultaneously will not do any of them well. So do only ONE thing at a time and concentrate 100 % on it, and that way, you’ll complete that task faster than you think. Block any distractions that might disrupt your work : put up a “do not disturb” sign, turn off your phone, turn off email notifications in Outlook, and close all web browser windows not related to this current task. If you work at a corporation and have to use a corporate IM like Lync, switch your status to “do not disturb.”
  4. Don’t fall for the temptation to start by doing the easiest tasks first (the so-called low-hanging fruit). Many people fall for this, and once they finish those trivial tasks (which usually takes them long), they mentally masturbate by congratulating themselves : “I’ve forwarded this email with attachments from Bob to Sue, yay ! Task completed!” If you want to be really productive, start with the HARDEST tasks (which usually tend to also be the most important, and the most rewarding, tasks) and don’t stop for a moment until you finish them. As Brian Tracy says, “Eat that frog!”. Because when you finally complete them, you will feel a surge of satisfaction (called “flow”) that will help you perform even better during the rest of the day !
  5. If any tasks are long and complex, requiring more than an hour to complete, break them down into multiple chunks of 1 hour each.
  6. Every hour, or after completing each of your hardest tasks, take a 5-minute break – just 5 minutes – to rest, drink some water (or coffee), and prepare for the next task. You’ll then find it easier to continue working. Don’t work 8 hours nonstop.
  7. Make sure that the environment you work in is optimal for you. If you’re like me and can’t concentrate in a noisy environment, find a quiet one. If you work at a corporation, ask your manager if you could work from home. If not, and if it’s your colleagues who make noise at the office, ask them to behave more quietly, as this will benefit everyone, not just you.
  8. Organize all your documents (in both paper and digital version) into folders in locations you can easily find. Every document you have or use needs to have a specific, easy to find thematical folder, which in turn should be in a location easy to remember. Organize such a system both at work and at home – for your paper documents and on your computers. According to Brian Tracy, it’s estimated that the average person wastes 30 % of his or her time daily looking for misplaced items.
  9. Time spent at airports, onboard planes, trains, urban public transport, and at waiting rooms (e.g. at the DMV or the dentist’s) does not have to be lost time ! Use it to your advantage. You can either work on your laptop (if there’s an electric socket or if your battery has enough juice) OR read something and thus educate yourself (which is why I take several books wherever I go). If you spend lots of time driving, turn off the radio and listen to educational audio programs while you drive.
  10. Learn to say “no” : many other people will ask you to do something. Indeed, if you rise to any position of power, the demands on your time will be enormous. Refuse to fall into this trap. Learn to delegate tasks and don’t let others distract you with petty issues. If others want something from you, it better be important.

I acknowledge that I’ve not always followed the above advice myself, but when I have, I’ve been far more productive than I’ve been otherwise. These tips can help you become much more efficient at anything you do. You’ll now have enough time for anything you need to do.

How I’ve Been Right Before… A Look At The Past 8 Years

I am the greatest; I said that before I even knew I was.

– Muhammad Ali

The year 2016 is drawing to a close. Today, we all think about the year that has gone by and about all that’s happened in our lives and in the world during the last 366 days. But today, on the last day of this year, I’d like to offer a different approach : a look back at the last eight years and how my analyses, factual statements, warnings, and policy blueprints have proven right, time and again.

To cite but a few examples :

  1. I warned the public many times that the Obama administration’s myopic, singular focus on “counterinsurgency” wars and neglect of preparedness of conventional warfare would significantly weaken the US military and leave it ill-prepared for the threats posed by peer competitors (hostile states), such as Russia and China. These warnings have proven exactly right, as more and more policymakers and US military leaders have admitted, although belatedly. China and Russia have, by now, closed the gap with the US by most measures of US military power and have some weapon types and capabilities that the US simply doesn’t even have. Worse still, they are ahead of America in the development of the next generation of cutting edge military hardware, such as hypersonic arms, microwave and electromagnetic weapons, stealthy AIP submarines, unmanned submarines, and so forth.
  2. I warned that the New START treaty was essentially about disarming America unilaterally, while Russia would not uphold its part of the deal and would only grow its nuclear arsenal (as Russian officials had overtly pledged at the time of its ratification). Arms control afficionados refused to believe this (and still do – they are still in denial about Russia’s massive nuclear buildup, which they insist is merely a “temporary fluctuation”), and so did the Obama administration. But since 2011, Russia has built its strategic deployed nuclear arsenal up to 1 796 warheads and is still growing it, while the US has unilaterally cut its own to just 1 367 warheads. If Russian leaders mean what they say, the Russian nuclear arsenal will grow considerably further in the years ahead – for example, they say they’ll add 50 Tu-160 strategic bombers to the Russian Air Force’s inventory.
  3. In general, I warned that unilateral disarmament measures by the West would utterly fail to encourage others, like Russia, China, and North Korea, to follow suit. I was right : Moscow and Beijing have greatly increased their arsenals, while North Korea has mastered the art of warhead miniaturization, constructed a reliable atmospheric reentry vehicle, and built an ICBM which, when tested and perfected, will be able to deliver nuclear warheads to the Continental US.
  4. I warned that a retreat by the US to ‘noninterventionism’ (which is an euphemism for ‘isolationism’) would only lead to a reduction of US influence in the world in favor of other, hostile state powers. And indeed, America’s reluctance to use force in Syria and its general withdrawal from the Middle East has only paved the way for Russia to step in and become the kingmaker in the region.
  5. I warned that the UK would be committing economic suicide if it decided to withdraw from the European Union because, among other reasons : a) the EU’s Single Market is still far more important than any other to British exports; b) other trade partners would not make up for its importance until decades from now. And indeed, major non-EU countries are in no hurry to sign any trade agreements with Britain; some of them even outline unrelated-to-trade conditions of such deals (e.g. India wants Britain to accept many more of its students). As for China, the NYT has calculated that Britain’s trade with it would have to grow by at least 10% each year for the next 15 years in order to replace the vast EU export market. Only 3% of Britain’s exports go to China; 44% still go to the EU. China’s top priority right now is opening the EU’s vast SIngle Market to its products wider, by obtaining the status of a market economy from the European Commission; making trade arrangements with a mid-sized country like the UK is a mere afterthought for Beijing. Making matters worse, since the Brexit referendum on June 23rd, the British pound has fallen to its lowest value in 31 years. Everything the Brits import became much more expensive as a result, and they make less for everything they sell. It’s essentially as if every Brit got a pay cut.

I could go on and on, but these examples sufficiently illustrates who, over the last eight years, has demonstrated expertise on defense and geopolitical issues, and who has turned out to be totally unqualified to pontificate about them.

This blog is far and away the best, most reliable non-partisan website about defense issues anywhere on the Net, bar none.

Happy New Year 2017, and let’s hope it will bring about positive changes for world security !

This Blog Is Not Going Anywhere

Faithful Readers,

My less-than-frequent posting pattern may have worried some of you that I’ve abandoned, or intend to abandon, this blog. Rest assured that I have no intention of ever doing that. Let me explain why I’ve been posting less often than I used to.

I am currently devoting lots of time to studying French and German, because I need to certify my skills in those languages. France is Europe’s only major military power besides the UK and Germany is Europe’s biggest economic powerhouse, so I need to reach a broader audience and, in the future, do business in both countries. In order for that to be possible, though, I need to certify my French and German skills.

On January 26th, I will take the DALF certificate examination at a very high level, which requires me to use virtually all of my free time to either attend French lessons or to study at home.  In addition, I am also taking German lessons and studying that language at home as well.

Once I have obtained the DALF C1 certificate, I will be able to post most frequently. And with a new administration coming into office next January, there will be no shortage of topics to write about!

In early 2017, I will :

  • Explain why the DOD needs to restart F-22 Raptor production.
  • Compare America’s legacy fighters to the Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker family as well as the PAK FA, the J-20 and the J-31.
  • Explain why the F-35 program is utterly useless.
  • And write on other defense issues as well.

See you soon on this website !

Best regards,

Zbigniew Mazurak

Communique sur l’essai thermonucléaire nord-coréen

La Corée du Nord vient de faire exploser, paraît-il, sa première bombe thermonucléaire (une bombe-H) et executer un tir d’essai réussi d’un missile balistique mer-sol tiré depuis un sous-marin plongé.

Cette information confirme encore une fois ce que je dis depuis des mois : la France a besoin de sa force de dissuasion nucléaire plus que jamais. Les menaces nucléaires étatiques à sa sécurité n’ont pas du tout disparu ; au contraire, elles se sont multipliées. Pendant la Guerre froide, il suffisait de dissuader l’URSS ; aujourd’hui, la France doit dissuader non seulement la Russie de Poutine, mais aussi la Corée du Nord et l’Iran (qui vient de tirer, avec réussité, des missiles balistiques de moyenne portée et qui développe actuellement des missiles capables de frapper toute l’Europe).

Cette information fait donc mentir les prétensions de tous les opposants de la dissuasion, notamment Paul Quilès, Michel Rocard, Jean-Marie Collin et Bernard Norlain.

Je suis sur la dernière ligne droite du travail sur mon livre, “La dissuasion nucléaire dans le 21ème siècle”, qui expliquera ce problème dans un grand détail.

Rebuttal of Perry and Weber’s Blatant Lies About Cruise Missiles

The Wall Street Journal has recently published an op-ed by former Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry and former DOD acquisition official Andy Weber calling for the scrapping of plans for a new nuclear-armed cruise missile for the USAF.

Such a missile is to complement the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber in the nuclear deterrence and possibly also the conventional strike role. The rationale is that the USAF cannot afford to put all of its eggs into one basket, for that would simplify America’s potential adversaries’ plans. To thwart any American strike, they would then only need to counter US stealth technology – which they are already working on.

Thus, a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile is necessary to ensure the credibility of the airborne leg of the US nuclear triad, especially since the LRSB will not enter service until the mid-2020s at the earliest. The current, nonstealthy cruise missile borne by USAF bombers will have to be retired by 2030 at the latest.

If a new cruise missile is not fielded in that timeframe – between the mid-2020s and the year 2030 – the airborne leg of the US nuclear triad will be rendered totally ineffective and impotent in the face of the very potent, very modern air defense systems fielded by America’s potential adversaries – including Russia, China, Belarus, and Venezuela – with Iran set to join them.

Perry and Weber, however, refuse to acknowledge these facts and propagate several myths in their article. Firstly, they claim:

“Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional variants, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon.”

This is nonsense. Cruise missiles are no more destabilizing than any other kind of weapon. Dozens of countries around the world possess them – both conventional- and nuclear-armed cruise missiles – and have used the conventional variants on numerous occassions without any miscalculation or destabilization occurring. Most notably, the US has used cruise missiles in combat, on a massive scale, in every major military intervention undertaken since 1991 – without anyone misreading America’s intentions.

Perry and Weber also claim:

“President Obama can lead the world to a stabler and safer future by canceling plans for a new U.S. nuclear-capable cruise missile. Moreover, taking such a step — which would not diminish the formidable U.S. nuclear deterrent in the least — could lay the foundation for a global ban on these dangerous weapons.”

This is fanciful and hopelessly naive, and as such, it completely discredits the authors of these claims. How do we know? Because the US has already unilaterally scrapped its nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). In their op-ed, Perry and Weber themselves approvingly recall that unilateral disarmament gesture of the elder President Bush. No other nuclear power has reciprocated it. Not even one.

Russia has not scrapped any of its SLCMs and has deployed new ones, called the Kalibr, whose range is 1,550 miles (2,480 kms). India and Israel have deployed nuclear-tipped missiles on their own submarines. China has procured nuclear-tipped air-launched cruise missiles and is developing such weapons for its submarines. Iran and North Korea are developing ground-launched types of cruise missiles.

So President Bush’s unilateral gesture has not been reciprocated by anyone at all. It has only undermined the deterring power of the US nuclear arsenal – and thus, America’s national security.

Perry and Weber also falsely claim that modernizing the B-2 stealth bomber and procuring the LRSB (B-3) stealth bomb truck will suffice to renew the airborne leg of the nuclear triad:

“With these efforts, the B-2 and B61 will provide the core capability of the bomber leg of the strategic air-land-and-sea nuclear triad for decades to come. (…) With the updated B-2 and B61 expected to remain in service for many decades, and the planned deployment of new B-3 penetrating bombers with B61 bombs starting in 2025, there is scant justification for spending tens of billions of dollars on a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile and related warhead life-extension program. The old Cold War requirement for such a capability no longer exists. We can, and should, maintain an extremely effective bomber leg of the triad without it.”

Again, they are dead wrong. Russia and China are already working on “counter-stealth” radars to add to their air defense systems. If successfully developed and fielded in meaningful numbers, these radars could, one day, detect them and permit Russian/Chinese-supplied air defense systems to kill them. Such systems, if successfully developed, will be available to anyone able to pay for them, including Iran.

It would be sheer madness to put all of the USAF’s eggs into one basket and dramatically simplify the problem for America’s potential adversaries. The US Air Force cannot afford to rely on stealth alone. While it’s very important, it’s no silver bullet.

Cruise missiles rely not on stealthiness but on their small size, shape, very low flight altitudes, and terrain masking to evade enemy air defenses and reach their targets.

Perry and Weber also falsely claim that President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty because they supposedly “recognized the destabilizing nature of nuclear cruise missiles and prioritized the elimination of ground-launched versions in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.” Like their other claims, this one is also completely false.

President Reagan pushed for the INF Treaty not because he believed cruise missiles to be destabilizing – he didn’t – but because he was worried about 1,846 Soviet ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at targets in Western Europe, including US military bases. Therefore, he pushed for these Soviet missiles to be withdrawn – both the ballistic and the cruise missiles. He didn’t consider the cruise variety to be more destabilizing. He simply wanted Europe to live free of the threat of Soviet nuclear attack or blackmail.

But President Reagan was not initially sold on the idea of a “zero option.” He initially didn’t support scrapping all American ground-launched intermediate range missiles. As Adam Lowther rightly notes in The National Interest:

“During the Oct. 13, 1981, National Security Council meeting, then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger suggested that the United States pursue a “zero option,” which would ban all intermediate range ballistic missiles and ground launched cruise missiles. President Reagan responded to this suggestion, “Do we really want a zero-option for the battlefield? Don’t we need these nuclear systems? Wouldn’t it be bad for us to give them up since we need them to handle Soviet conventional superiority?”

In the years that followed, President Reagan never came to see nuclear cruise missiles as destabilizing. He supported ratification of the INF Treaty (1987) because the United States was required to dismantle 846 weapons (Pershing II and GLCM) while the Soviet Union dismantled 1,846 weapons (SS-4, SS-5, SS-20). With the Soviets giving up better than two weapons to every one American weapon the INF Treaty was too good for the United States to pass up.”

As for Gorbachev, at the outset he wasn’t actually willing to withdraw any Soviet missiles at all. It was not until 1986 that he agreed to do so, and not until 1987 that he agreed to a verification regime.

And now, that landmark treaty is unravelling, as Russia continues to illegally develop, test, and field ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles that violate the accord.

At the end of their screed, Perry and Weber make their most ridiculous claim: that the US can prompt other nuclear powers to scrap their own nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, and advance the childish cause of “a world without nuclear weapons”, if it unilaterally scraps its plans for the new missile:

“We therefore urge President Obama to cancel the current plan to develop and buy 1,000 to 1,100 new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles. Such strong U.S. leadership, coupled with a challenge to the other major nuclear powers to eliminate or, in the cases of China and India, forgo deployment of this extremely destabilizing class of weapons, would reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use and be a historic practical step in the direction of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Only totally naive and ignorant persons or congenital liars could make such claims.

The truth is that – as this writer has been warning for many years – “a world without nuclear weapons” is a totally unrealistic, childish fantasy which is NEVER materialize – unless even more powerful and deadly weapons are developed and fielded.

Every event of the last 10+ years has proven this writer right and everyone advocating “a world without nuclear weapons” dead wrong.

Russia and China are rapidly modernizing and expanding their nuclear arsenals. They are developing and deploying, in increasing quantities, new warheads, ballistic missile submarines, cruise missile submarines, sea-launched ballistic and cruise missiles, rail- and road-launched multiple-warhead ICBMs, intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles, tactical strike aircraft, air-launched cruise missiles, and strategic bombers.

North Korea has managed to miniaturize its nuclear warheads and mate it with ICBMs. Top US military commanders, incl. Adm. William Gortney (the commander in charge of defending the US and Canada), have confirmed this and have warned that these ICBMs can now reach the Continental US.

Iran, despite the recently-concluded Vienna Agreement, continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of increasing range.

India and Pakistan are both increasing their nuclear arsenals and deploying new warhead delivery systems – aircraft, ground-launched missiles (including ground-launched cruise missiles in Pakistan’s case and sea-launched ones on India’s part), and, in India’s case, developing ballistic missile submarines.

Israel continues to grow its atomic arsenal and now possesses, inter alia, 5 ultra-quiet submarines armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

France continues to field nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and is now developing their successor, the AS4NG, which will likely be hypersonic. France maintains its independent nuclear deterrent because it believes it cannot rely on the US to provide a reliable nuclear umbrella and doesn’t want to depend on America for its security.

Several other countries are now striving to join the nuclear club, most notably Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

There is ZERO chance of there ever being a world of nuclear weapons. In fact, the world is marching in the exactly opposite direction.

The U.S. government should base its policy on cold hard facts and realistic prospects of the future, NOT on fairy tales and false promises.

Perry’s and Weber’s promise that the US could somehow cause other nuclear powers to give up their nuclear-tipped cruise missiles is also a fairy tale. This is just one variant of the Left’s standard “if we disarm ourselves unilaterally, others will be compelled to do so as well by our moral example” lie.

If America disarms itself unilaterally, NO ONE will follow suit.

Over 25 years of deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal, and multiple unilateral disarmament gestures, have completely failed to convince anyone to follow suit. They have only undermined America’s national security and that of its allies.

The U.S. government needs to be realistic base its policy on cold hard facts and realistic prospects of the future, NOT on fairy tales and false promises.

Perry’s and Weber’s op-ed is a litany of lies, false promises, and utopian fairy tales. It deserves the stark rebuttals it has received – and its authors deserve ruthless ridicule for their screed.


L’Egypte achete les Mistral : preuve que les partisans pro-russes ont eu tort

Le gouvernement français vient d’annoncer que le gouvernement de l’Egypte a commandé les deux navires BPC de la classe Mistral originalement construits pour la marine russe.

Cette annonce preuve que les partisans pro-russes, qui réclamaient la livraison de ces 2 navires à la Russie, avaiaent totalement tort.

Rappelons que les partisans de la livraison à la Russie prétendaient que la France n’aurait pu trouver un client pour ces bâtiments si elle ne les avait pas livré à la marine russe; et que, en tout cas, on n’aurait même pas pu les vendre à un autre client parce qu’ils ont été construits aux standards russes et avec de l’équipement russe.

Ils prétendaient aussi que la France aurait perdu toute crédibilité en tant que fournisseur d’armement si elle n’avait pas livré ces 2 navires à la Russie; qu’aucun pays n’aurait voulu acheter de l’armement à la France.

Les évenements ont prouvé qu’ils ont eu totalement tort. L’Egypte n’a pas hesité à acheter ces 2 navires, et d’autres pays, notamment l’Inde, sont interessés à un achat des navires de ce type. Et la France a toute la chance de gagner plus de contrâts d’achats d’armement.