Tag Archives: Atomic Weapons

Israel now has 80 nuclear warheads, report says | The Times of Israel

Israel possesses some 80 nuclear warheads — rather fewer than once thought, and lower than the nuclear arsenal of countries that are officially in possession of atomic weapons — according to the new 2013 yearbook put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading think tank on global security issues.

Of those warheads, 50 are for medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 are for bombs carried by aircraft, the report said. In addition, “Israel may also have produced non-strategic nuclear weapons, including artillery shells and atomic demolition munitions,” the Guardian reported Monday.

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Israel now has 80 nuclear warheads, report says | The Times of Israel

When they give you a figure like “some 80”, then you know there is a problem. What does that mean? What are the lower and upper bound estimates? For example, is it 60-80-100? Or is it 10-80-300? The left number is the lower bound and the right one the upper bound. No bound information is a big problem. The estimate cannot be taken seriously unless more information is provided. You need a range of numbers because your information is not complete. Some numbers must be estimated. How accurate are those estimates?

I wouldn’t trust any institute with the name “Peace” in it.

South Korea and Japan Thinking About Nuclear Weapons

Growing concern about North Korea’s nuclear program has led many in South Korea to favor the idea of building atomic weapons. Japan too is discussing such a move.

Perhaps it is merely basic human desire to keep up with the neighbors, but an increasing number of South Koreans are saying that they want nuclear weapons too.

Even in Japan, a country still traumatized by the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is a debate about the once-taboo topic of nuclear weapons.

The mere fact that the bomb is being discussed as a policy option shows how North Korea’s nuclear program could trigger a new arms race in East Asia, unraveling decades of nonproliferation efforts. The government in Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test in February and is believed to be preparing a fourth.

More South Koreans support developing nuclear weapons – latimes.com

Japan must develop nuclear weapons, warns Tokyo governor – Asia – World – The Independent

Tokyo’s outspoken Governor says his country, which suffered history’s only nuclear attack, should build nuclear weapons to counter the threat from fast-rising China.

In an interview with The Independent, Shintaro Ishihara said Japan could develop nuclear weapons within a year and send a strong message to the world.

“All our enemies: China, North Korea and Russia – all close neighbours – have nuclear weapons. Is there another country in the world in a similar situation?

Japan must develop nuclear weapons, warns Tokyo governor – Asia – World – The Independent

‘Stuxnet virus attacked Iran earlier than thought’ | The Times of Israel

A version of the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was activated in 2007, two years earlier than previously suspected, according to a report released by the antivirus company Symantec on Tuesday at a security conference.

Stuxnet made international headlines in 2010 when it wrought havoc on enrichment equipment at the Iranian plant and complicated its production of uranium, which the West suspects is intended for making atomic weapons.

According to Symantec, an early version of the malicious program, which it labeled “Stuxnet 0.5,” was in development as far back as 2005, when Iran was still constructing the Natanz facility. The virus was deployed in 2007, the same year that the site began operating, the report said.

‘Stuxnet virus attacked Iran earlier than thought’ | The Times of Israel

Iranian buying spree raises concerns about major expansion of nuclear capacity – The Washington Post

Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.

Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets — which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions — from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said. It is unclear whether the attempt succeeded.

Iranian buying spree raises concerns about major expansion of nuclear capacity – The Washington Post

Jon Kyl: What’s at Stake in the Missile-Defense Debate? – WSJ.com

As he said on his recent trip to South Korea, President Obama believes that, because we are “the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons,” we now have a “moral obligation” to pursue nuclear disarmament. In fact, the United States used two atomic weapons to end World War II in order to fulfill a moral obligation to save the lives of perhaps a million American GIs.

Today, the federal government has no higher moral obligation than to protect the American people and to help ensure the human race never again experiences the ruin and destruction of the wars that occurred before the advent of nuclear weapons. Supporting a robust nuclear deterrent and an effective missile defense is a moral obligation for all those who are entrusted with ensuring our nation’s security.

Jon Kyl: What’s at Stake in the Missile-Defense Debate? – WSJ.com

So we have a moral obligation to eliminate our nuclear arsenal. Is it all that hard to see that America is going to get eliminated in the process?

De Borchgrave: New Mideast War Coming Soon

Several generations of Americans and Israelis have no recollection of the game of nuclear chicken played by Russia and China after World War II. In 1957, Mao Zedong said China could survive and prevail in a nuclear war.

Mega death for Mao was a shortcut to defeating capitalism and its imperial powers. He claimed he was not afraid of atomic warfare. China then had a population of 600 million extremely poor people.

Even if 200 million were killed by American atomic weapons, Mao concluded, 400 million would survive and China would still be a major power while the U.S. would lose its raison d’etre, or reason for existing.

Chinese hyperbole saw a new beautiful civilization growing on the ashes of imperialism.

During China’s “Great Leap Forward” (1958-60), 43 million died. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), one of Mao’s interpreters estimated 10 percent of a population of about 800 million had been killed. All told, 123 million were killed by order of the “Great Helmsman.”

Throughout the 1940s and ’50s, till his death in March 1953, Stalin repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear annihilation. Some analysts at the time said Stalin believed he could destroy America and inherit Europe intact.

For Stalin, 20 million people “purged” during his bloody dictatorship (1929-53) were just a statistic. Another 20 million were killed in World War II, including 11 million soldiers.

De Borchgrave: New Mideast War Coming Soon

Since threats of nuclear war by Stalin and Mao were just bluffs, doesn’t that imply current day threats of nuclear attack by Russia and China are bluffs as well?

Take a look at the American arsenal versus the Russian arsenal during the 1950s.

The US had overwhelming nuclear superiority over Russia and China in the 1950s. Also, America had a civil defense program in place to help protect its people in the event of nuclear war. The current American nuclear weapons program is going back to the 1950s in size, and so is Russia’s. But China’s is unknown and could potentially have 2,000 to 3,000 nuclear warheads. Finally, Americans have no fear of nuclear war – they have changed their thinking. America is totally unprepared for nuclear war in its thinking. One can read over and over from experts that the risk of nuclear war is near zero. It’s near zero at the same time Russia and China are threatening nuclear war over Iran and Syria.

The next problem is that the people alive during the 1950s directly experinced the horrors of World War II. This is going to heavily affect their thinking. The generations of leaders who did not directly experience World War II will have different thinking about another World War.

The risk of war is not constant from year to year. Historically, major crashes including war for America have occurred in 80 year cycles. The potential crash period lasts about 20 years. The last crash period started in 1925 and lasted until 1945. Counting from 1925, adding 80 years gives us 2005. The next crash period lasts from 2005 to 2025.

In the end, a bluff in 1952 is not the same as a bluff in 2012. The world has changed. Wouldn’t it be wise and prudent to take threats of nuclear attack seriously and prepare for them? Instead, everybody just assumes that current day Russia and China are bluffing about a nuclear attack concerning Iran and Syria. This is neither wise nor prudent.

Iran Nuclear Sabotage Suspected After Reports of Blasts at Atomic Centers – Bloomberg

Reports of a blast in the province of Isfahan, home to one of Iran’s atomic facilities, adds to a
series of unexplained incidents that have raised suspicions of sabotage against the country’s nuclear program.

An explosion was heard in Isfahan at 2:40 p.m. yesterday and an investigation is underway, the state-run Fars news agency said. …

Still, coming after the deaths of several people linked to Iran’s nuclear program, and amid increased pressure on Iran from the U.S. and its allies, which accuse the Islamic republic of
seeking to develop atomic weapons, the incident has strengthened the argument that sabotage is involved.

Iran Nuclear Sabotage Suspected After Reports of Blasts at Atomic Centers – Bloomberg

How much longer will we hear about these types of events before Iran retaliates in a big way?

Iran Dangerous Now, Imagine It Nuclear

What would it mean if such a regime went nuclear? Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that a nuclear-armed Iran would never use its atomic weapons or give them to terrorists. Even under that optimistic scenario, Tehran’s acquisition of nukes would make the world an infinitely more dangerous place.

For one thing, it would surely spark a wave of proliferation throughout the Greater Middle East, with the likes of Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia – all Sunni-majority Muslim countries – going nuclear to counter the threat posed by Shiite Persian Iran. For another, it would gravely weaken the credibility of U.S. security guarantees. After all, Washington has repeatedly said that the Islamic Republic will not be permitted to get nukes. If Tehran demonstrated that these warnings were utterly hollow, rival governments and rogue regimes would conclude that America is a paper tiger.

Hudson Institute > Iran Dangerous Now, Imagine It Nuclear

Nuclear Bomb Refurbishment May Alarm Russia, Imperil Obama Plan

A U.S. Air Force plan to refurbish aging nuclear bombs deployed in five European countries would increase the weapon’s power and accuracy and risks re-igniting tensions with Russia, an arms control group says.

The $4 billion program to extend the life of the B61 bomb is part of a larger atomic weapons maintenance plan approved by President Barack Obama. The work is designed to ensure the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent force without building new weapons or adding capabilities that might prompt Russia to do the same.

Nuclear Bomb Refurbishment May Alarm Russia, Imperil Obama Plan

Suspected Syria Nuclear Site Found – WSJ.com

A second suspected nuclear installation has been identified in Syria, according to commercial satellite photos, providing new evidence that Damascus may have been pursuing atomic weapons before a 2007 Israeli military strike.

The publishing Wednesday of the photos by Washington’s Institute for Science and International Security could increase pressure on the United Nations to demand expansive new inspections of suspect Syrian facilities during a March board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Suspected Syria Nuclear Site Found – WSJ.com