Nuclear terrorism: The new day after

Let’s review what we know of such situations from actual historical episodes rather than from the idealized fantasy world of defense intellectuals. A good place to begin is with Hiroshima itself. Those who have read John Hersey’s Hiroshima, or Robert Jay Lifton’s Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima, will see the absurdity in the depiction of those outside the two-mile radius of destruction rationally calculating the cost-benefit ratio of looking for Fluffy the dog. Far from inhabiting a separate world from those in the two-mile-wide bull’s eye, they would be inundated by unimaginable scenes of survivors streaming outside the radius of immediate destruction. We know from Hiroshima that many of these people would be blinded, missing body parts, burned beyond recognition, covered in maggot-infested wounds, clutching roasted babies in stunned grief, screaming for water or medical help. In Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb, a girl who was five at the time remembers Hiroshima thus: “People came fleeing from the nearby streets. One after another they were almost unrecognizable. The skin was burned off some of them and was hanging from their hands and from their chins; their faces were red and so swollen that you could hardly tell where their eyes and mouths were. From the houses smoke black enough to scorch the heavens was covering the sky. It was a horrible sight.”

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Russia’s Navy gets ambitious

MOSCOW. (Nikita Petrov for RIA Novosti) – The Russian Navy will become the world’s second largest in 20 years’ time, said its commander-in-chief, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, speaking ahead of Navy Day.

He said the navy’s core would consist of the newest strategic nuclear-powered submarines and six squadrons of aircraft carriers.

For Russia’s navy, this will be its third modernization program, said the admiral. The previous two, although giving it a boost, were never completed. Now, said the admiral, there is such a chance.

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Beware the Growling Bear and other Predators

Today, the United States and Russia are engaged in a tug of war that is coming close to matching the rhetoric between the two nations from decades ago.

Today’s threats are even more dangerous with many nuclear nations and many other rogue entities with no geographic base, no leader to engage and no reasonable agenda to pursue.

China seems intent on entering the realm of superpower with a massive military buildup and a far-reaching expansion of influence all the way to the oilrigs off the coasts of Africa.

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Russia’s Arctic exploration demands response, Ottawa urged

As a Kremlin-backed Arctic expedition led by a Russian legislator closed in Monday on the North Pole – with plans to send a submersible craft and a flag to the ocean bottom to assert Russian sovereignty over an Ontario-sized swath of the polar seafloor – a leading Canadian expert on the Arctic urged Canada’s leaders to at least get busy with a pen and draft a diplomatic note voicing this country’s objections.

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Russia’s Arctic exploration demands response, Ottawa urged
Canada.com, Canada - 1 hour ago
“The smart thing to do would be to make a political statement that we politely disagree,” Rob Huebert, associate director of the Centre for Military and
Ottawa urged to protest Russian flag stunt Edmonton Journal (subscription)
Cold War brewing under the icy Arctic New Zealand Herald
Russia Leads Arctic Oil Search Free Market News Network
all 91 news articles »

China’s not-so-secret army

CHINA’S 2.3-million strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is celebrating its 80th anniversary with new uniforms, lavish exhibitions and a degree of transparency unusual for a force long swathed in secrecy.

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China’s not-so-secret army
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 14 hours ago
That is similar to Japan, Russia and Britain but less than one-tenth of what the US military costs. However, the Pentagon says China’s real defence spending
Military to open up in its 80th year St. Petersburg Times
World’s largest army turns 80 with a show of strength and weakness Times Online
China Military Marks 80th Anniversary Washington Post
San Diego Union Tribune
all 88 news articles »

Chinese Navy To Build Two Carriers With Russian Help

Kanwa, a Hong Kong defense news agency, said Friday purchases by China of Russian aircraft carrier components suggested that Beijing was planning to build one or two aircraft carriers, possibly by 2015. The agency cited a senior source in the Russian Navy, saying that Russia and China have an agreement to purchase four deck landing systems capable of handling heavy deck-based fighters such as the Su-33 Flanker.

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Reading Oil’s Tea Leaves

The sharp reality is that oil prices continue to rise and the conventional wisdom says the trend is unlikely to abate (Forbes) anytime soon. Some analysts forecast oil could reach one hundred dollars a barrel (Economic Times) within the year. A recent report from Britain’s Center for Global Energy Studies says that current prices are being driven by a shortage of supply rather than the strength of demand.

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Flying Robots Of Destruction

The U.S. Air Force has unveiled a 25-year program for developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The document lays out a strategy for the project and lists the necessary technologies for this new field of aviation. Military experts say UAVs will mainly carry air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles, as well as smart aviation bombs and cluster bombs, including submunitions with different guidance systems. In the future, new kinds of weapons systems may be installed on UAVs. Currently, work is focused on two areas: adapting available weapons for use on unmanned craft and developing new, specialized weapons.

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