Category Archives: Nuclear

These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s | The National Interest

Given the evidence, the United States lags far behind Russia in the development of land-based ICBMs. The United States has one, to be fair very outmoded, ICBM: the Minuteman III, capable of carrying only one warhead, and the prospects of developing a replacement are very indistinct. In Russia, the situation could not be more different. Land-based ICBMs are being renewed on a regular basis—in fact, the process of developing new missiles never really ends. Each new ICBM is designed to penetrate missile-defense systems, which makes the EuroPRO project and Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (the U.S. antiballistic system for intercepting incoming warheads) ineffective against Russia in the foreseeable future.

These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s | The National Interest

Iran’s Nuclear Missiles in Our Future

  • Iran has not only failed to sign the agreement, it passed a parliamentary resolution reiterating Iran’s right to do the nuclear activities the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) forbids.
  • Iran’s purpose seems obvious. By blocking transparency for its nuclear activities and evading enforcement of the terms of the JCPOA, Iran gets to move forward with its nuclear weapons development even as it pretends not to.
  • Most of the media have ignored satellites photos showing that Iran has hidden its Parchin military atomic complex by completely bulldozing the area and then building an underground nuclear facility off limits to any inspections.
  • A missile can be launched from the sea–as Iran has done at least twice– by a freighter, which leaves no return address. Even the threat of missile launch can have significant coercive political effect particularly if one does not know from where it will be fired.
  • As for accuracy, if a missile in the mode of an electro-magnetic pulse exploded anywhere in the atmosphere between Atlanta and Boston, it would knock out most of America’s electric grid.

Iran’s Nuclear Missiles in Our Future

I see this risk emerging somewhere around 2030 +/- 2 years. The nuclear treaty with Iran expires in 2025. Iran will need a few years to generate the highly enriched uranium needed for its bombs. I assume that the bombs (minus uranium) and missiles will exist by 2025 thanks to the work being done in North Korea.

China Flight Tests New Multiple-Warhead Missile

Disclosure of the DF-41 test follows a newsletter report last month that stated China is nearing deployment of the new ICBM.

Kanwa Asian Defense reported last month that the new ICBM is in the final testing phase, and its expected deployment area will be near Xinyang in Henan province, in central China.

From that location, the missile would be capable of striking the United States in around 30 minutes, either through a polar trajectory or over the Pacific.

An earlier flight test of the DF-41, also with two dummy warheads, was carried out Aug. 6.

The new missile poses a significant strategic threat because it is larger than other road-mobile ICBMs and the new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

China Flight Tests New Multiple-Warhead Missile

More Evidence of Possible Reprocessing Campaign at North Korea’s Yongbyon Facility | 38 North

Recent commercial satellite imagery shows new developments at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center indicating that North Korea has already begun or plans to commence a reprocessing campaign to separate additional plutonium for nuclear weapons. This activity consists of the presence of a loaded railroad flatcar at the Radiochemical Laboratory, excavation alongside the old “Building 500” used to store waste from earlier reprocessing campaigns and excavation work at the Experimental Light Water Reactor’s (ELWR) cooling water cistern. Such a conclusion is consistent with a February 2016 statement by US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper that North Korea “…. could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor’s spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months.”

Imagery also indicates that there is continuing and expanding work at the ELWR still under construction. However, it remains unclear when that facility will become operational.

More Evidence of Possible Reprocessing Campaign at North Korea’s Yongbyon Facility | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea

How North Korea Got Its Nukes – YouTube

“Forbes columnist Gordon Chang, and the Potomac Foundation’s Phillip Karber trace the origins of North Korea’s nukes right to China’s doorstep.”

The wild child of North Korea – Dictator-in-Chief Kim Jong-un – has overseen four nuclear tests to date, the earliest in 2006 and the latest just this year. It is now only a matter of time until Pyongyang can order direct strikes on Seoul, Tokyo, or Seattle.

Just how did the Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. let North Korea get the bomb? In my book/film Crouching Tiger, the Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, Princeton’s Aaron Friedberg, Forbes columnist Gordon Chang, and the Potomac Foundation’s Phillip Karber trace the origins of North Korea’s nukes right to China’s doorstep.

How North Korea Got Its Nukes – YouTube

North Korea got the nuclear weapon designs from Pakistan who got the designs from China. Pakistan traded more advanced centrifuge designs (stolen by A.Q. Khan) for help from China.

A.Q. Khan’s China Connection | The Jamestown Foundation

However, China’s initial attempts to play the role of a disinterested, neutral bystander in the fast unraveling nuclear network came to an abrupt halt soon after fresh evidence of the China-Pakistan-Libya nexus turned up in the 55,000 tonnes of nuclear material and documents that Libya turned over to the United States and which was flown to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in early 2004. Apparently, the design that Khan delivered to the Libyans in the shopping bag of his Islamabad tailor was of a Chinese nuclear weapon tested on October 27, 1966. As soon as Libyan arms designs sold by Khan were traced to China, Washington’s leverage over Beijing increased significantly. The evidence provided clinching proof of Beijing’s involvement in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program and insights into the state of both Chinese and North Korean nuclear weapons capabilities. It also raised new questions about the extent and nature of Chinese contributions to Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation activities. Although the bomb designs sold to Libya were of a 1960s Chinese vintage, an analysis of Pakistan’s May 1998 nuclear tests reveals that China supplied more advanced nuclear weapons designs of the late 1980s and early 1990s to Pakistan, which may have been shared with other countries. Furthermore, it is inconceivable that Chinese security agencies were unaware of Pakistan’s nuclear dealings with North Korea, Iran and Libya.

A.q. Khan’s China Connection | The Jamestown Foundation

Russia has 185 strategic warheads more than limited by the New START agreement

“When the treaty was signed in 2011, Russia had 1,582 strategic warheads.” Now it has 1,735 strategic warheads. The New START agreement limits strategic warheads to 1,550 by February, 2018. There are no interim limits. The US currently has 1,481 strategic warheads. That’s a difference of 254 strategic nuclear warheads.

Yury Dolgoruky” and “Vladimir Monomakh” can each carry 96 nuclear warheads if all 16 missiles are tipped with six warheads. In total, the two submarines can carry 192 warheads.

The latest aggregate data released by the U.S. State Department tells that Russia by March 1st had 1,735 strategic nuclear warheads deployed. That is up 87 from the 1,648 reported by September 1st 2015.

The New START agreement from 2011 says neither the United States nor Russia can have more than 1,550 strategic warheads when the treaty enters force in 2018. But instead of reducing, the latest figures shows that Russia continues to increase its number of nuclear weapons ready for launch.

In the same half-year period, the United States reduced its number of strategic warheads by 57, from 1,538 to 1,481. The United States is by that within the limits to be fulfilled by 2018 as agreed on in the New START treaty.

87 nuclear warheads more today than in September | The Independent Barents Observer

Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear forces policymaker, said the increase by Russia in deployed warheads is greater than analysts expected and signals Moscow is set to violate New START in the coming months.

“Russia is now at 198 more deployed warheads than at entry into force [of the New START treaty],” Schneider said.

The treaty went into effect in February 2011. Since then, Russia gradually has built up its warhead totals. The warhead numbers increased sharply over the past year, reflecting multiple-warhead missile deployments.

“I believe the odds are that Russia will terminate the treaty in 2017,” Schneider said. “That would pocket all the U.S. reductions, give them more weapons, and it might be seen by [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin as revenge for the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty [withdrawal].”

Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

Iran intends to produce the explosive used in atomic bombs – Octogen

Tehran’s defense minister says the terrorist state will produce a massive explosive used to detonate atomic bombs. Obama’s Iran deal is increasingly delivering the opposite of its promises.

Why would Iran want to produce the nuclear weapons detonator Octogen [pron. okto-jen], also known as HMX, or “high melting point explosive,” if it doesn’t have its eyes on becoming a nuclear weapons power?

Moreover, why is Tehran seeking HMX only three months after official implementation of the nuclear pact that the West negotiated with it (without Iran signing it, though)? Clearly, pursuing Octogen earlier would have been a red flag indicating that Iran’s claims of not seeking nuclear weapons were false.

Under Nuclear Deal Iran Can Have Nuclear Detonators | IBD

HMX is used almost exclusively in military applications, including as the detonator in nuclear weapons, in the form of polymer-bonded explosive, and as a solid rocket propellant.

HMX – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Check out the disco ball from North Korea. That ball is covered by discs which are made of, wait for it, octogen. Of course, North Korea and Iran are working together on nuclear and missile technology.

Why Analysts Aren’t Laughing At These Silly North Korean Photos : Parallels : NPR

The ball is supposed to be a miniaturized nuke, capable of fitting on a missile. But, as with many North Korean photos, it looks kind of silly.

“A lot of people started calling it the disco ball,” Hanham says. There were disco inferno jokes on Twitter.

But as experts started to analyze the pictures more closely, they weren’t laughing. The ball on the table was obviously a model, but many of the details were reasonably close to a real miniaturized warhead.

Why Analysts Aren’t Laughing At These Silly North Korean Photos : Parallels : NPR

Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear forces policymaker, said the increase by Russia in deployed warheads is greater than analysts expected and signals Moscow is set to violate New START in the coming months.

“Russia is now at 198 more deployed warheads than at entry into force [of the New START treaty],” Schneider said.

The treaty went into effect in February 2011. Since then, Russia gradually has built up its warhead totals. The warhead numbers increased sharply over the past year, reflecting multiple-warhead missile deployments.

“I believe the odds are that Russia will terminate the treaty in 2017,” Schneider said. “That would pocket all the U.S. reductions, give them more weapons, and it might be seen by [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin as revenge for the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty [withdrawal].”

Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

Why Russia Is Rebuilding Its Nuclear Arsenal | TIME

The previous week, the White House had begun talks with the Kremlin on an arms reduction treaty it called New Start. But the two sides came to the table with very different ambitions. “We wanted to get rid of as many nuclear weapons as we could,” says Michael McFaul, who was then serving as Obama’s top adviser on Russian affairs. The Kremlin did not seem to share that dream. During one round of talks at the Defense Ministry in Moscow early in 2010, Obama’s Prague speech came up in some idle conversation, McFaul says, and the Russians started laughing. “They said, ‘Yeah, of course you guys want a nuclear-free world, because then you would dominate the world with your conventional weapons. Why would we ever want to do that?’”

For Russia, the Cold War had never simply disappeared. It had resulted in defeat and the loss of empire, leaving Russia’s rival of more than 40 years to dictate the terms of peace in Europe. By the time Putin took power in 2000, the only vestige of his country’s superpower status was its nuclear arsenal, which was still the biggest in the world. So he began to use it as a crutch.

“Even in the darkest days of the Russian military, when they weren’t able to afford to pay their soldiers and fly their airplanes, they paid close attention to the readiness and modernization of their nuclear forces,” says David Ochmanek, who served as a U.S. Air Force officer during the Cold War and, between 2009 and 2014, was the Pentagon’s top official for force development. “Their doctrine reflected this,” he says.

Why Russia Is Rebuilding Its Nuclear Arsenal | TIME

“Even in the darkest days of the Russian military, when they weren’t able to afford to pay their soldiers and fly their airplanes, they paid close attention to the readiness and modernization of their nuclear forces,”

Well, it goes beyond that. They paid close attention to the development of underground nuclear bunkers – “even in the darkest days.” And that attention pretty much put me in shock a couple of years after the revolution in 1991. It also completely changed my view of Russia. Russia was flat broke yet still it worked on its underground nuclear bunkers. What kind of a country does something like this? Hint: Not a friendly one.

Russia is still a country where the cold war never ended. It was never a true friend of the West. And the reason for that was because the revolution was incomplete – it was a partial collapse. The communist party members and KGB members were still walking around. Had they all been shot then the revolution would be much more complete. Instead, they all worked hard to get themselves back into power. There was never a chance that Russia was going to be a true friend of the West. So blaming the West for Russia today is a nonstarter.

Why is Russia rebuilding its nuclear arsenal?

Because it’s original arsenal is old and falling apart. And because it hates and does not trust the West. If the West weren’t filled with so many idiots, it would be rebuilding its nuclear arsenal too. Not that nothing is being done in the West, but it is too little, too late. Now the West is vulnerable as too many people complain about the cost of a full nuclear upgrade. The likely meaning is that the West will eventually get an upgrade but on a much small nuclear arsenal.

The new nuclear arms race – LA Times

Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry, one of the nation’s wise men on national security, delivered an arresting message last week: We’re about to find ourselves in a new nuclear arms race.

“The danger of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than during the Cold War,” Perry said.

The danger stems not only from terrorist groups like Islamic State, which would gladly steal or buy nuclear material on the black market, but also from the huge nuclear arsenals the United States, Russia and other big powers maintain more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War. Those nuclear forces are bigger than they need to be — almost 16,000 warheads in all. And they still include hundreds of missiles on hair-trigger alert.

The new nuclear arms race – LA Times