Category Archives: Nuclear

NATO’s Nuclear Nightmare over Ukraine | RealClearDefense

… While it’s true the Russians haven’t employed nuclear weapons, they are already on the table as a means of coercion. As Dr. Matthew Kroenig of Georgetown University argued in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing recently, “The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is very much a nuclear crisis.” While the U.S. has made great pains to marginalize nuclear weapons in its strategy, over the past two decades Russia has moved nuclear weapons front and center to its national strategy. Not only do Russia’s national leaders, including Putin himself, imply or sometimes explicitly threaten to employ nuclear weapons, the military conducts exercises showing just how it would do it. Russian foreign minister Lavrov, even stated that Russia had the “right” to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea.

The Russians hold to a theory that by employing “tactical nuclear weapons” that is, ones that will incur limited damage, as opposed to total destruction, the enemy (i.e. NATO), would immediately sue for peace, deeming any further conventional fight not with the cost. Ambassador Robert Joseph explained at a recent conference that, “Russia’s doctrine assumes an asymmetry of interests and a lack of willingness on the part of the enemy to risk nuclear war.” Moscow may calculate that it wants to put an end to NATO more than the alliance, including the U.S., wants to engage in a retaliatory strike. The Russians are surely wrong about this, and that means a quickly escalating catastrophic war. And to be sure, Russia has a great number more of these lower yield battlefield nuclear weapons than what the U.S. has—some estimate as many as ten times as many. This is why the number and type of nuclear weapons the U.S possess matters and matters greatly.

NATO’s Nuclear Nightmare over Ukraine | RealClearDefense

Is America’s Nuclear Arsenal Dying? | RealClearDefense

As Russia and other nations around the world flex their “nuclear muscles,” when it comes to the United States, maintaining a credible nuclear force is certainly a tough task. Challenges include: declining research, development and acquisition budgets; uncertain prospects for modernization, and an American public that lacks a clear understanding how nuclear weapons contribute to national security.

The U.S. nuclear force has prevented a great power war for seven decades. Yet the commitment to maintain a credible nuclear force appears shaky.

That is certainly not the case in competitor nations such as Russia, China and North Korea. While sanctions and low oil prices have crippled Russia’s economy, the Kremlin is still doggedly spending billions of dollars on modernizing its strategic rocket forces. Washington’s lack of commitment takes a toll on more than investment. It does not go unnoticed by the men and women who man the nation’s nuclear submarines, bombers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). That only makes executing a nuclear mission more difficult, both practically and morally.

Is America’s Nuclear Arsenal Dying? | RealClearDefense

Iran says accelerating nuclear progress | The Times of Israel

According to a report by the semi-official Fars news agency, Rouhani said Iran has made “highly important progress in the nuclear field,” but that such advancements have been eclipsed by the ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers.

“We don’t and will not take permission from anyone to make progress in science and knowledge,” the president said, adding, perhaps in a veiled reference to Israel’s objection to what it considers Iran’s drive to develop nuclear weapons, that Tehran would continue to prove its enemies’ claims false.

Iran says accelerating nuclear progress | The Times of Israel

RADTriage 20 Personal Radiation Detector for wallet or pocket – for about $22

The RADTriage Radiation Detector is a U.S. Military-grade personal dosimeter that instantly detects radiation exposure in the event of a dirty bomb, nuclear reactor accident such as Fukushima and Chernobyl and other sources of radiation. This always-on wallet card/badge radiation detector does not require batteries or calibration. The sensor strip instantly turns darker when it detects harmful levels of radiation. The latest version, Model 20 (this model), begins alerting at 20 mSv. This product was recently extensively tested –along with other dosimeters over a period of nearly 2 years ( 2011-2013 ) by the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD). IMOD selected our dosimeter and we have just received the first order for 8,000 RADTriage with VLLD (visual lower limit detection) of 50 mSv.

Amazon.com: RADTriage 20 Personal Radiation Detector for wallet or pocket

Vladimir Putin’s war chiefs ‘could go nuclear’ – UK defence bosses have warned – Mirror Online

“This is the most serious crisis to have faced Europe, arguably, since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. There is a threat of total war.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned that Russia was increasingly trigger happy about using its nuclear weapons.

Mr Fallon spoke out as Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande arrived in Moscow for crunch talks on the crisis in Ukraine.

The Defence Secretary said Britain must update its nuclear arsenal in response to Russia’s war-mongering.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, he said the Kremlin’s military planners may have “lowered the threshold” for the use of nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin’s war chiefs ‘could go nuclear’ – UK defence bosses have warned – Mirror Online

The 5 Most Dangerous Nuclear Threats No One Is Talking About | The National Interest

Nevertheless, the growing accuracy of modern missiles has the potential to greatly undermine strategic stability. Indeed, Keir Lieber and Daryl Press—who are easily doing some of the best work on existing nuclear weapons—even argue that the revolution in accuracy spells the end of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

MAD, and the related tradition of non-use of nuclear weapons, was underpinned by a couple of important assumptions. First, that states had secure second-strike capabilities that made it impossible for states to destroy an adversary’s nuclear arsenal with a surprise attack. Second, that the destructive power of thermonuclear weapons—and the indiscriminate nature of this destruction—made them abhorrent to use. Related to both of these was the notion that no state could win a thermonuclear conflict between two nuclear powers.

As Lieber and Press have brilliantly documented, the revolution in accuracy threatens to undermine many of these assumptions. To begin with, the incredible accuracy of modern missile systems makes a successful first strike far more plausible. This is especially true against states not named Russia and the United States who have relatively small nuclear arsenals (at least for now).

However, after modeling a prospective first strike against Russia’s strategic forces, Lieber and Press concluded that the U.S. could execute a successful first strike with a high degree of probability against even Moscow’s massive nuclear arsenal. In fact, they claimed that U.S. policy makers had actually constructed America’s strategic forces with the goal of strategic primacy (defined as “the ability to use nuclear weapons to destroy the strategic forces of any other country”) in mind. Furthermore, they later concluded that this effort extended beyond nuclear weapons. As they explained in 2013, “the effort to neutralize adversary strategic forces—that is, achieve strategic primacy—spans nearly every realm of warfare: for example, ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence surveillance-and-reconnaissance systems, offensive cyber warfare, conventional precision strike, and long-range precision strike, in addition to nuclear strike capabilities.”

The 5 Most Dangerous Nuclear Threats No One Is Talking About | The National Interest

Changes in missile accuracy in effect force the other side to act earlier. They lower the threshold for a bolt-out-of-the-blue preemptive nuclear strike.

5 Myths about America’s Nuclear Weapons Debunked | The National Interest

2.The threat of a nuclear weapons attack on the United States is as great as or greater today than it was during the Cold War:

While our current relationship with Russia is strained, it certainly does not rise to a Cold War–level of risk of a nuclear exchange. As Lt. General James Kowalski, Vice Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, stated in 2013, a Russian nuclear attack on the United States is such “a remote possibility” that it is “hardly worth discussing.” The biggest concern to Lt. General Kowalski is not a nuclear strike, but a self-inflicted wound: “The greatest risk to my force is doing something stupid.”

Accordingly, there is debate about how large an arsenal is necessary for nuclear deterrence. During the Cold War, U.S. and Soviet arsenals reached about 30,000 and 45,000 weapons, respectively. Now, U.S. and Russian levels hover around 5,000. The 2012 study involving out-going Secretary Hagel recommended a ceiling of 900 nuclear warheads as more than enough to guarantee American security, and another study has suggested as few as 311 warheads are sufficient.

5 Myths about America’s Nuclear Weapons Debunked | The National Interest

Robert G. Gard Jr. is a retired Army Lieutenant General and chairman of the board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Philip E. Coyle is the Senior Science Fellow, Greg Terryn is a Scoville Fellow and John Isaacs is a Senior Fellow at the Center.

The authors don’t have an agenda, right?

“As Lt. General James Kowalski, Vice Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, stated in 2013, a Russian nuclear attack on the United States is such “a remote possibility” that it is “hardly worth discussing.””

The possibility of a Russian nuclear attack is remote only if you ignore all the evidence. If one actually looks at the evidence then the opposite is true. Take a look at a few articles:

The Mafia State Called Russia
Putin’s ‘Mafia State’ Under Examination in U.K. Inquest Into Spy’s Radioactive Death | TIME – http://goo.gl/mSYl2Y
WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as ‘mafia state’ | World news | The Guardian – http://goo.gl/nWrMfF

Threat of Hot War
Mikhail Gorbachev warns Russia, West tensions headed to ‘hot war’ – Washington Times – http://goo.gl/qIvFol
Are NATO and Russia setting the fuse for a hot war? (+video) – CSMonitor.com – http://goo.gl/neDntw
The West Must Decide Whether Putin Is Hitler – Bloomberg View – http://goo.gl/TU1vVe
From Baltic to Asia, East-West aerial confrontations heat up | Reuters – http://goo.gl/8CjK1p
Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says – Bloomberg Business – http://goo.gl/vxtAeg

History tells us that if you want peace then prepare for war. This article is not promoting that idea. Fewer nuclear weapons is the way to western defeat and destruction

Air Force admits nuclear flaws, faces uncertain path to remedying underinvestment, low morale | Fox News

Faced with one of its biggest challenges in years — repairing a troubled nuclear missile corps — the Air Force has taken an important first step by admitting, after years of denial, that its problems run deep and wide.

Less certain is whether it will find all the right fixes, apply them fully and convince a doubting force of launch officers, security guards and other nuclear workers that their small and narrow career field is not a dead end.

The stakes are huge.

The nation’s strategy for deterring nuclear war rests in part on the 450 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand ready, 24/7, to launch at a moment’s notice from underground silos in five states.

Air Force admits nuclear flaws, faces uncertain path to remedying underinvestment, low morale | Fox News

The Most Dangerous Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About | The National Interest Blog

While Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs are all the rage these days, the most dangerous nuclear threat facing the world continues to go largely unnoticed.

Namely, China and India are both on the cusp of deploying multiple independently targetable reentry (MIRV) vehicles on their ballistic missiles, a development that is likely to have profound, far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond.

In other words, MIRVs are extremely destabilizing because they make adversary’s nuclear arsenals vulnerable to being wiped out in a surprise first strike. To compensate for this fact, states must come up with innovative ways to secure their deterrent from an enemy first strike. This usually entails increasing the size of one’s arsenal, and further dispersing to make it more difficult for an enemy to conduct a successful first strike. For example, when the U.S. first deployed MIRVed missiles in 1968, the Soviet Union had less than 10,000 nuclear warheads. A decade later, however, it had over 25,000 (of course, the Soviet Union deploying its own MIRVed missiles incentivized expanding the size of its arsenal since more warheads were needed per missile).

The Most Dangerous Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About | The National Interest Blog

Welcome to China and America’s Nuclear Nightmare | The National Interest

FOR ALL the focus on maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas, there is an even greater peril in Asia that deserves attention. It is the rising salience of nuclear weapons in the region. China’s military buildup—in particular its growing capabilities to blunt America’s ability to project effective force in the western Pacific—is threatening to change the military balance in the area. This will lead to a cascade of strategic shifts that will make nuclear weapons more central in both American and Chinese national-security plans, while increasing the danger that other regional states will seek nuclear arsenals of their own. Like it or not, nuclear weapons in Asia are back.

For seventy years, the United States has militarily dominated maritime Asia. During this era, U.S. forces could, generally speaking, defeat any challenger in the waters of the western Pacific or in the skies over them. Washington established this preeminence and has retained it in the service of a strategy motivated both by parochial interests such as protecting American territory and commerce as well as by more high-minded aspirations to foster the growth and development of prosperous, liberal societies within the region. Military primacy has been the crucial underwriter, the predicate of broader American strategy.

Welcome to China and America’s Nuclear Nightmare | The National Interest