Tag Archives: Nuclear Security

Does cutting U.S. nukes really matter? – CNN.com

Can the United States maintain its current level of nuclear security with fewer nuclear weapons — if the weapons are more accurate?

For nuclear weapons analyst Michaela Dodge of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, the answer is no. It’s all about targeting, she says. Having fewer weapons allows fewer possible targets. According to Dodge, having fewer weapons to reach the same or increased number of targets is bad. With lower numbers of nukes, the U.S. won’t have enough weapons to cover military targets in Russia, China and elsewhere, she says.

As an alternative, war planners will be forced to consider shifting targets toward civilian populations. “That is just not a good idea,” she says, adding that it brings new ethical and moral choices into play.

Does cutting U.S. nukes really matter? – CNN.com

What happens when you bet everything on one assumption that might not be true?

The Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

John Meriwether, super-brain, helped put together LTCM. Between 1994 and 1998, the fund showed a return on investment of more than 40% per annum. However, its enormously leveraged gamble with various forms of arbitrage involving more than $1 trillion dollars went bad, and in one month, LTCM lost $1.9 billion.

LTCM bet everything on one key assumption that was wrong: People make their decisions independently.

Concerning the US nuclear arsenal, it is based on one key assumption that is wrong: Leaders put their people before themselves.

Leaders will not risk attacking the US because the subsequent retaliation will kill too many people. In fact they will risk attacking the US if the leaders and military can survive the retaliation. In the past the US could retaliate many times over many years – ensuring the death of leaders and military. Now it can only retaliate one time, and that is not enough. The red line has already been crossed. Given the right circumstances the US is currently in trouble.

Corker and Inhofe: ‘Nuclear Zero’ Offers Nothing Worth Having – WSJ.com

If anything, reducing the American arsenal is likely to cause the very instability that the U.S. seeks to avoid. Without an American commitment to a strong nuclear deterrent, the country’s friends and allies could develop doubts about where the U.S. stands and what it would do to safeguard its own interests and theirs.

Many other nations depend on U.S. nuclear-security assurances and could come to question whether further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal—and an American political leadership that prizes disarmament posturing over the hard work of counter-proliferation—can credibly protect them against proliferators and other threats.

Corker and Inhofe: ‘Nuclear Zero’ Offers Nothing Worth Having – WSJ.com

The authors are right about this instability, but it’s already too late. Unless the US has an arsenal big enough to launch multiple independent strikes over several years, then it isn’t big enough. The key to deterrence is making it personal. Enemy leaders, like those in Russia and China, must know that ultimately they (personally) cannot survive attacking the US. Right now they (the leaders) can survive, so the US has already crossed the line into instability. Also, it’s not so much the number of warheads that matter. It’s the delivery vehicles. If you can’t get a bomb to its target, then it’s not all that good, is it? Right now the US is short of delivery vehicles.

Is Pakistan’s Nuclear Security On The Verge Of A ‘Meltdown’? | Economy Watch

The U.S.’s Threat To Pakistan

The Pakistan high command believed that the U.S. does not want a Moslem country to possess nuclear weapons and will at some time in the future attempt to seize or destroy its arsenal. Since September of 2001, much of the American military action has been directed towards Moslem states. As the sole nuclear Islamic country, that convinces the Pakistanis that they too will be targeted.

Washington worries that Pakistan with a number of terrorist organizations supported by the Inter-Service Intelligence is the one place where terrorists would be the most likely to acquire a nuclear weapon or nuclear materials. A high ranking official of the Inter Service Intelligence told The Atlantic for a December 2011 article on the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, You must trust us that we have maximum and impenetrable security. No one with ill intent can get near our strategic assets.”

Is Pakistan’s Nuclear Security On The Verge Of A ‘Meltdown’? | Economy Watch

Do you trust Pakistan? I think a lot of things about Pakistan, and trust is not one of them.

Global Zero Nuclear Proposal Would Make U.S. More Vulnerable

The Global Zero Nuclear Policy Commission Report recently proposed that the United States cut the total number of its nuclear warheads to 900 from today’s level of about 1,700. In his most recent blog, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs visiting fellow Peter Huessy argues that this nuclear posture would make the use of nuclear weapons more likely.

Yet dismantling hundreds of nuclear weapons is not enough for the supporters of the Global Zero. They also propose de-alerting remaining warheads. Not only is it unlikely that U.S. adversaries would follow the U.S.’s example, but proponents of the Global Zero would be the first ones to argue that re-alerting would exacerbate a potential crisis. De-alerting would deprive U.S. policymakers of options to signal intent and willingness to resolve before a crisis becomes disaster. This would impact not only U.S. security but also that of our allies, as the U.S. provides nuclear security guarantees to more than 30 nations around the world.

Global Zero Nuclear Proposal Would Make U.S. More Vulnerable

Please note that the 900 nuclear weapons would consist of 450 deployed nuclear weapons and 450 in reserve. Then they propose to put the nuclear weapons in reserve on a de-alert status. There isn’t an exact definition of “de-alert”, but it is generally thought to mean a decrease in operational readiness.

The Global Zero crowd thinks they are making the world safer by its actions. Their focus is solely on accidental nuclear war, because they know that non-accidental nuclear is impossible. Due to the rise of modern liberalism, it is thought that hostile countries will only react to the US. So unless the US launches a nuclear attack, then it is impossible to suffer a nuclear Pearl Harbor.

Chinese strategists are thinking how to win a nuclear war. What is the U.S. doing?

President Obama used the occasion of the just-concluded Nuclear Security Summit, which tackled nuclear terrorism, to reiterate his “vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” as he put it to an audience of South Korean university students. It is a noble goal, but one which remains unrealistic given the need for great power nuclear deterrence.

The problem is Russia and China do not share President Obama’s “global zero” goal. Russia is actually increasing its reliance on nuclear weapons for defense as its ability to maintain a first-class conventional force wanes. More worrying at the moment, China’s nuclear program is so cloaked in secrecy that it is difficult to discern just how Beijing understands nuclear deterrence—we simply don’t know how large Beijing’s arsenal is or how committed it is to its declared “no first use” policy.

Michael Mazza: Obama Lets America’s Nuclear Guard Down – WSJ.com

World leaders: Nuclear terrorism a ‘grave threat’

It’s not what you don’t see that will get you into trouble. It’s what you see but don’t understand that will do it.

In the case of nuclear terrorism, it’s not a rogue group that manages to get its hand on a nuclear bomb or material that is the problem. It’s a terror sponsoring state with nuclear weapons that is the problem. That means for the most part we have to wait until Iran gets nuclear weapons for nuclear terrorism to start. Yes, the rogue group scenario is possible, but it is less likely.

Interestingly, world leaders focus on nuclear terrorism while pretty much ignoring nuclear war.

World leaders have called for closer co-operation to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism at a summit on nuclear security in Seoul.

A communique at the end of the summit reiterated a joint call to secure “vulnerable nuclear material”.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said nuclear terrorism remained a “grave threat”, while US President Barack Obama said action was key.

BBC News – World leaders: Nuclear terrorism a ‘grave threat’

U.S. and Turkey to Step Up Nonlethal Aid to Syrian Rebels – NYTimes.com

Turkey and the United States plan to provide “nonlethal” assistance, like communications equipment and medical supplies, directly to opposition groups inside Syria, and will urge other allies to do so as well, the White House deputy national security adviser said on Sunday, after President Obama met with the prime minister of Turkey at a nuclear security conference in Seoul, South Korea.

U.S. and Turkey to Step Up Nonlethal Aid to Syrian Rebels – NYTimes.com

Saudi royal warns that Mideast could face nuclear arms race – The Washington Post

An influential member of the Saudi royal family warned Wednesday that unless the Middle East becomes a nuclear weapon-free zone, a nuclear arms race is inevitable and could include his own country, Iraq, Egypt and even Turkey.

Prince Turki Al Faisal said the five permanent U.N. Security Council members should guarantee a nuclear security umbrella for Mideast countries that join a nuclear-free zone — and impose “military sanctions” against countries seen to be developing nuclear weapons.

AP Interview: Saudi royal warns that Mideast could face nuclear arms race – The Washington Post

Nuke expert: Time to attack Iran – Israel News, Ynetnews

A former special adviser on Iran policy to the Obama Administration said that a US-perpetrated strike on the Islamic Republic on is the “least bad” option in dealing with its nuclear threat.

“The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States,” Matthew Kroenig, a nuclear security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who served as a strategist under Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said in an article published by Foreign Affairs Magazine.

Nuke expert: Time to attack Iran – Israel News, Ynetnews

Mark Steyn: Obama’s nuke summit dangerously delusional | nuclear, obama, summit – Opinion – The Orange County Register

In years to come – assuming, for the purposes of argument, there are any years to come – scholars will look back at President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit and marvel. For once, the cheap comparisons with 1930s appeasement barely suffice: To be sure, in 1933, the great powers were meeting in Geneva and holding utopian arms-control talks even as Hitler was taking office in Berlin. But it’s difficult to imagine Neville Chamberlain in 1938 hosting a conference on the dangers of rearmament, and inviting America, France, Brazil, Liberia and Thailand …but not even mentioning Germany.

Mark Steyn: Obama’s nuke summit dangerously delusional | nuclear, obama, summit – Opinion – The Orange County Register