Tag Archives: Nuclear Weapons

Steinitz: Iran Could Have 50-100 Nuclear Warheads by the Year 2024

He said that in the event that the P5+1 group of world powers – US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – sign an unsatisfactory deal with Iran that does not dismantle its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic could have 50-100 nuclear warheads by the year 2024. In addition to the nuclear bombs, Steinitz warned Iran would also possess ballistic missiles with the ability to reach western Europe and the east coast of the United States ten years from now.

Steinitz said in this scenario, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, and perhaps other Middle East states, would begin their own nuclear weapons programs in answer to Iran.

“It is a difficult scenario, but not an impossible scenario,” Steinitz stated.

Steinitz: A bad deal will lead to an Iran with dozens of nuclear bombs 10 years from now | JPost | Israel News

Another great power is rising. This one is different from the rest. It is much more aggressive. It’s Islamic government is unlike the others. It threatens Israel and the US with death.

Personally, if Iran does get 50-100 nuclear warheads then I think we are looking at the end of the EU before 2024. Obviously, I will keep monitoring the Iranian threat.

N. Korea Won’t Cause a Nuclear Domino in Asia (But China Might) | The Diplomat

Although North Korea is unlikely to precipitate a nuclear arms race in Asia, China’s growing military capabilities and assertive diplomatic posture very well might. Indeed, just as history has demonstrated that states don’t need nuclear arsenals to deter rivals from attacking them with nuclear weapons, it has also demonstrated that nuclear weapons are extremely effective in deterring conventional military attacks. Thus, states that face rivals with overwhelming conventional military power have a strong incentive to acquire nuclear weapons to negate their rivals’ conventional superiority.

This is especially true if a state fears that its conventionally superior rival covets its territory. A nuclear arsenal cannot always deter low level skirmishes from nuclear and non-nuclear powers. But nuclear weapons are extremely effective at deterring states from challenging core interests, first and foremost territory.

N. Korea Won’t Cause a Nuclear Domino in Asia (But China Might) | The Diplomat

Nuclear Rogue States Promise to Create an “Exceedingly Volatile Poly-Nuclear Middle East”

The clandestine production of nuclear weapons by rogue states promises to create what Yale Professor Paul Bracken terms an “exceedingly volatile poly-nuclear Middle East.”[1]

What can history tell us?

On one side, in 1981 and 2007, Israel warplanes respectively struck an Iraqi and Syrian nuclear reactor.

Great Britain and the United States in 2003 seized a Libya-bound nuclear centrifuge shipment aboard the ship BBC China after it was diverted to an Italian port.

And in 1991 the U.S. liberated Kuwait — also discovering and dismantling Iraq’s nuclear program — while using a coalition of military forces.

On the other side, in 1994 the U.S. made a “deal” with North Korea. Pyongyang cheated immediately, now has a small arsenal of nuclear weapons, and is assisting other countries in acquiring nuclear weapons.

If one is concerned about the future of the U.S. and the free world, the choice seems clear. Will politicians have the courage to make it?

[1]The Second Nuclear Age: A Conversation with Professor Paul Bracken“, Luncheon Series, The Hudson Institute, May 6, 2014.

[2] See, for further discussion of these cases, the website of The Wisconsin Project on Arms Control, “Libyan Timeline;” “Iraq’s Real Weapons Threat” by Rolf Ekeus, Former Head of UN Inspections Effort in Iraq, The Washington Post June 29, 2003; and Micah Morrison, “New A.Q. Khan Documents Suggest Pakistan Spread Nuclear Weapon Technology“, Fox New, November 18, 2011.

[3] For an excellent chronology of these events, see “North Korean Nuclear Developments: An Updated Chronology” and “CRS Issue Brief for Congress, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program“.

Is the U.S. Willing to React Effectively?

Ukraine Crisis Stirs Fears of New Nuclear Arms Race

The risk, says Illarionov, is that Iran, North Korea and other prospective nuclear countries will conclude that the only way to guarantee their own territorial integrity is by being nuclear powers.  Implicit is the suggestion–which others have made– that if Ukraine had not given up its nuclear weapons, Russia would never have dared interfere in Crimea.

“This is the most serious challenge to the system of international relations since the Second World War,” Illarionov said, “and unless the United States, the United Kingdom, the West as a whole are able to solve this problem in a reasonable period of time, it will lead to the nuclearization of the world.”

“Like a bad movie…”

Ukraine Crisis Stirs Fears of New Nuclear Arms Race

US: The Era of Nuclear Neglect

In addition to the US having seriously neglected the sustainment and improvement of its nuclear deterrent enterprise for over two decades, equally serious is that the U.S. seems to have lost sight of some of the alarmingly real nuclear dangers America still faces.

Since 1972, for example, the U.S. and the Soviet Union — and now Russia — have concluded seven major nuclear arms agreements regulating or reducing the level of nuclear weapons. Now the U.S. is seeking another round of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons cuts beyond the 2010 New Start Treaty.

But should there be other, more pressing, priorities — such as, for instance finally dealing with the huge stockpile of thousands of Russian tactical nuclear weapons — small, mobile, easily hidden, and not subject to any arms control agreement? Or China’s nuclear proliferation record?

Former Secretary of the Air Force and national security adviser to President Reagan, Thomas C. Reed, warns that China has transferred nuclear technology to Pakistan; “catered to the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian ayatollah’s,” and has also been the lead supplier of WMD technology to the third world.

US: The Era of Nuclear Neglect

Let Asia Go Nuclear

America’s policy of opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons needs to be more nuanced. What works for the United States in the Middle East may not in Asia. We do not want Iran or Saudi Arabia to get the bomb, but why not Australia, Japan, and South Korea? We are opposed to nuclear weapons because they are the great military equalizer, because some countries may let them slip into the hands of terrorists, and because we have significant advantage in precision conventional weapons. But our opposition to nuclear weapons in Asia means we are committed to a costly and risky conventional arms race with China over our ability to protect allies and partners lying nearer to China than to us and spread over a vast maritime theater.

Let Asia Go Nuclear

Obama’s new nuclear weapons – The Week

The U.S government today released a precise accounting of its strategic nuclear forces, something it is required to do by treaty, and it’s worth a careful read.

The world now knows that, by February of 2018, the U.S. will have approximately 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles, down from 450; 240 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, down about 50; and 60 nuclear-capable heavy bomber fighters (B-2As and B-52Hs), converting 30 B-52s to a non-nuclear role.

Since most of the nuclear payloads contain multiple warheads, the U.S. must also disclose the number of strategic nuclear weapons it will maintain on an alert status. As of 2018, that will be 1,550.

Obama’s new nuclear weapons – The Week

Clapper: Iran ‘making technical advancements’ that point to nuclear weapons | World Tribune

The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran, despite its agreement with the West, would continue to enhance its nuclear weapons capability.

Officials said the intelligence community has dismissed the prospect that Iran would slow down its nuclear weapons program.

The officials said the community, despite assurances by the White House, assessed that Teheran would continue with nuclear weapons research and could stockpile enriched uranium at undeclared facilities.

Clapper: Iran ‘making technical advancements’ that point to nuclear weapons | World Tribune

“The International Order is Unraveling” – Fire-sale of US Treasuries is a warning of acute stress across the world – Telegraph Blogs

“The global situation is extremely serious,” Lars Christensen from Danske Bank. “Russia is committing economic suicide, there is a massive corruption scandal in Turkey, and capital outflows from China threaten to have huge ramifications.”

“If the US dollar were to strengthen drastically at this point, we would go straight into a global recession.”

Indeed it is. The international order is unravelling. Russia is of course smashing the post-Cold War order by seizing Ukraine, and blowing up the global architecture of nuclear non-proliferation. Let us not forget that Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons – the world’s third biggest arsenal at the time – in exchange for a guarantee by the great powers in 1994 that its territorial integrity would be upheld. Russia was one of the signatories.

China is laying claim to large parts of the East China and South China Seas, and has established an air identification control zone over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands.

China and Japan are one blow – or misjudgement – away from outright military conflict. …

Fire-sale of US Treasuries is a warning of acute stress across the world – Telegraph Blogs

I hope you are paying attention to this. It’s important. We are near a point of large collapse which may include both financial collapse and war. A great-power war would probably be delayed until a catalyst is hit.

I’ve posted this many times in the past, and here goes again:

Key Points from the Global Trend 2025 Report [from 2008]

  • The international system—as constructed following the Second World War—will be almost unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors
  • By 2025, the international system will be a global multipolar one with gaps in national power continuing to narrow between developed and developing countries.
  • Historically, emerging multipolar systems have been more unstable than bipolar or unipolar ones.
  • We do not believe that we are headed toward a complete breakdown of the international system, as occurred in 1914-1918 when an earlier phase of globalization came to a halt.
  • However, the next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks. Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments, and technological innovation and acquisition, but we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion, and military rivalries.
  • China is poised to have more impact on the world over the next 20 years than any other country.
  • Russia has the potential to be richer, more powerful, and more self-assured in 2025 if it invests in human capital, expands and diversifies its economy, and integrates with global markets. On the other hand, Russia could experience a significant decline if it fails to take these steps and oil and gas prices remain in the $50-70 per barrel range.
  • For the most part, China, India, and Russia are not following the Western liberal model for self-development but instead are using a different model, “state capitalism.”
  • Resource issues will gain prominence on the international agenda. Unprecedented global economic growth—positive in so many other regards—will continue to put pressure on a number of highly strategic resources, including energy, food, and water, and demand is projected to outstrip easily available supplies over the next decade or so.
  • The world will be in the midst of a fundamental energy transition away from oil toward natural gas, coal and other alternatives.
  • The World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 percent by 2030,
  • Climate change is expected to exacerbate resource scarcities.
  • Types of conflict we have not seen for awhile—such as over resources—could reemerge.
  • The risk of nuclear weapon use over the next 20 years, although remaining very low, is likely to be greater than it is today as a result of several converging trends
  • By 2025 the US will find itself as one of a number of important actors on the world stage, albeit  still the most powerful one.
  • The above trends suggest major discontinuities, shocks, and surprises, which we highlight throughout the text. Examples include nuclear weapons use or a pandemic.
  • Also uncertain are the outcomes of demographic challenges facing Europe, Japan, and even Russia.

Entering the Age of Great Upheaval | 1913 Intel

Are New Nuclear Weapons Affordable?

The astronomical funding required to replicate our Cold War arsenal does not square with the security threats in today’s world. Nor will our conventional forces be able to withstand the cuts necessitated by the price burden of these nuclear delivery systems.

Procurement is racing ahead of policy. Do we need these new nukes? Can we do with fewer? Simply delaying these programs and scaling them back modestly could yield $60 billion in savings over the next 10 years, experts say. Deeper cuts would yield larger savings.

Lavishing funds on obsolete weapons designed to fight the Soviets robs our troops of the resources they need to fight terrorists. Policy makers need to reevaluate their spending plans on nuclear forces in the coming years to reflect today’s budgetary constraints and the diminishing utility of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy.

Are New Nuclear Weapons Affordable? | Joe Cirincione

Do you see a trend here? US leaders have made massive reductions in the country’s nuclear arsenal. They let everything age. Now people are complaining about the cost of replacing systems that are being retired.

Wouldn’t it just be easier not to replace these aging systems due to cost? Isn’t this the path to nuclear zero?

So that’s where the US headed – nuclear zero. Probably forced on you due to cost.

The US has long passed the red line in terms of nuclear reductions. It’s not how many times one can bounce the rubble that counts. It’s the recognition by enemy leaders that they cannot escape that counts. Only being about to retaliate one time is past the red line – enemy leaders know they can survive. Now there is virtually no talk of expanding the US nuclear arsenal. There is only talk of more reductions.