Tag Archives: Warheads

Nuclear Disarmament May Endanger US Second-Strike Capability

Our current force – which numbers 420 to 450 Minuteman, 12 Trident submarines and 60 B52 and B2 bombers – allows us to do this. But at lower numbers, such a sustainable second strike capability is called into question. Already, some Congressional proponents of disarmament have pushed for cutting our platforms significantly (although House votes this week defeated such measures overwhelmingly).

Unfortunately, the possibility of future instability is greater than ever before. China may soon have 100 missiles capable of striking America. According to a new intelligence assessment by the U.S. Air Force, both North Korea and Iran will also have the capability of striking the U.S. with a ballistic missile by 2015. Russia is also fully modernizing its nearly 500 submarine and land based-missiles and bombers. China is doing the same with its nuclear arsenal, while building missiles at a faster rate than any other country in the world.

If we reduce our warheads to 1000 from 1550, it could mean the mothballing of an entire wing (or more) of Minutemen missiles – and a partial (but serious) hollowing of both our submarine and bomber capabilities. …

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Obama’s Nuclear Disarmament Plan is Dangerous Policy – World Report (usnews.com)

Do you see the problem with this debate? All the talk is about a second-strike capability. Further nuclear reductions might endanger the second-strike capability. However, no one is talking about a third or fourth-strike capability. A US second-strike capability allows Russian and Chinese underground, nuclear bunkers to be effective. One needs a third and fourth-strike capability to take out the leaders, military and other survivors. In other words, the ones making the decision to launch a nuclear attack against America can survive. And that is unacceptable.

The entire debate about US nuclear reductions is going the wrong way. It should be about increasing the size of the US nuclear arsenal so the US will always have a third and fourth-strike capability.

US expert issues warning over new missile submarines – Taipei Times

Taiwan should be “very concerned” by reports that China’s navy will soon begin the first sea patrols of a new class of strategic missile submarines, a US military expert said on Tuesday.

“While these missiles may not be aimed at Taiwan per se, they are aimed at America’s capacity to resist Chinese aggression against Taiwan,” International Assessment and Strategy Center senior fellow Richard Fisher said.

He was responding to questions from the Taipei Times following publication by the Washington Times this week of a report that US defense officials believe Beijing will begin the first sea patrols of three new Type 094 missile submarines next year.

The subs will carry the new JL-2 ballistic missile, which is thought to be equipped with multiple warheads capable of hitting the US.

Pentagon sources say the JL-2 poses a “potential first strike” nuclear missile threat to the US.

US expert issues warning over new missile submarines – Taipei Times

Tracking Pakistan’s nukes to Saudi Arabia?

Pakistan may have transferred nuclear weapons to the chief bankroller of its development program, Saudi Arabia, as far back as 2004, according to a then-U.S. government official who received the revelation in a Pakistani intelligence briefing at the time, says a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Larry Werline, in a little-noticed report in Blackwater Tactical Weekly last June, said the transfer was revealed in a briefing that Pakistani Inter-Service Directorate, or ISI, officials gave him and other U.S. experts when relations between the United States and Pakistan were on a far better political and diplomatic footing.

Werline said that it was unusual that the intelligence service would oversee Pakistan’s nuclear program. Nonetheless, the high-ranking ISI briefers told of the increasing cooperation Pakistan was receiving at the time from China.

Chinese assistance included advanced production of lighter plutonium warheads for miniaturization to fit on Chinese missiles, based on technology, Werline said, that was stolen from U.S. and British work.

Essentially, the result of such work is weapons, with plutonium, that are lighter and have a higher explosive yield than weapons based on enriched uranium.

[Published: 12/08/2012 at 8:05 PM]

Tracking Pakistan’s nukes to Saudi Arabia?

PressTV – Saudi Arabia mulls buying nuclear weapons from Pakistan: Report

A report has unveiled that Saudi officials are trying to strike “a secret deal” with Pakistan to buy nuclear weapons from the Asian country.

Citing the recent meeting between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Jeddah, United Press International (UPI) said that “these events heightened speculation Riyadh is trying to strike a secret deal with Islamabad to acquire nuclear weapons.”

The meeting came as Riyadh has started sending its special forces to Pakistan for military training.

PressTV – Saudi Arabia mulls buying nuclear weapons from Pakistan: Report

Pakistan Rapidly Expanding Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

Pakistan is spending about $2.5 billion annually to develop nuclear weapons, according to a report the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a Swiss-based NGO affiliated with the United Nations.“Pakistan has been rapidly developing and expanding its nuclear arsenal, increasing its capacity to produce plutonium and testing and deploying a diverse array of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles,” said the report entitled “Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Modernization Around the World.”Pakistan is believed to already possess between 90 and 110 nuclear warheads, while its principal rival, India, reportedly has between 80 and 100.“Pakistan is moving from an arsenal based wholly on HEU [highly enriched uranium] to greater reliance on lighter and more compact plutonium-based weapons, which is made possible by a rapid expansion in plutonium-production capacity,” the report adds.“Pakistan is also moving from aircraft-delivered nuclear bombs to nuclear-armed ballistic and cruise missiles and from liquid-fueled to solid-fueled medium-range missile. Pakistan also has a growing nuclear weapons research, development and production infrastructure.”The report suggests that Pakistan’s drive to accelerate its atomic arsenal is likely motivated by the United States seeking to deepen defense ties with India in order to counteract the growing military might of China.“This may tie the future of Pakistan and India’s nuclear weapons to the emerging contest between the United States and China,” the report indicated.The study estimates that Pakistan may currently boast a stockpile of 2,750 kg of weapon-grade HEU and may be producing about 150 kg of HEU per year.Pakistan’s intense focus on sophisticated military weapons has come at a great cost to the lives of millions of its impoverished people who cannot meet basic daily needs, the report commented.In an editorial in India’s Hindu newspaper, Praveen Swami noted that Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions were an obsession of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto more than 40 years ago. Even while languishing in his jail cell prior to his execution in the late 1970s, the deposed PM wrote: “the Christian, Jewish and Hindu civilizations have this [nuclear] capability. The communist powers also possess it. Only the Islamic civilization is without it.”Swami said he believes Pakistan suffers from deep “existential anxieties” and that the “existence of a strategic paranoia at the heart of the Pakistan military’s thinking — a pathology that will, if unaddressed, have huge consequences for India.”A report in Pakistan Kakhudahafiz, an alternative Pakistani newspaper, suggests Islamabad’s key ally, Saudi Arabia, has played an influential role in its path toward nuclear weaponry. 

Pakistan Rapidly Expanding Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

SCHNEIDER: Russia’s arms-control violations – Washington Times

Russian START compliance actually appears to have worsened under Mr. Putin. In 2007, Russia tested a multiple-warhead version of the SS-27 ICBM, despite a START prohibition against multiple warheads on this missile. The issue is not mentioned in the Obama administration’s unclassified compliance reports. Rather, the administration legitimized this otherwise noncompliant multiple-warhead SS-27 in New START. What about demanding compliance?

Even more significant are the reported Russian violations of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. Russian journalists and publications, including an official Russian news agency, have said that the Russian R-500 ground-launched cruise missile has a range of 600 to 1,800 miles, which would make it a violation of the INF Treaty; and two reports say that the missile is a modification of a missile specifically prohibited in the treaty. A second prohibited ground-launched cruise missile also is reported. In 2009, Britain’s House of Commons Defense Committee noted reports that the R-500 has a 1,200-mile range. The R-500, now operational, is not treated in the Obama administration’s unclassified compliance reports.

SCHNEIDER: Russia’s arms-control violations – Washington Times

The Obama administration’s risky disarmament agenda – The Washington Post

The president emphasized that the new warhead level is derived from a recent Defense Department study. According to administration officials, the study, which remains classified, sought to identify requirements for our nuclear forces and opportunities for reductions. Before the analysis began, some predicted that the president’s commitment to “global zero” would lead to a deployed force of 1,000 warheads based on “political guidance” to military authorities that arbitrarily reduced the scope of assets required to ensure deterrence.

The Obama administration’s risky disarmament agenda – The Washington Post

The Last Empire? | TomDispatch

It stretched from the Caspian to the Baltic Sea, from the middle of Europe to the Kurile Islands in the Pacific, from Siberia to Central Asia. Its nuclear arsenal held 45,000 warheads, and its military had five million troops under arms. There had been nothing like it in Eurasia since the Mongols conquered China, took parts of Central Asia and the Iranian plateau, and rode into the Middle East, looting Baghdad. Yet when the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, by far the poorer, weaker imperial power disappeared.

And then there was one. There had never been such a moment: a single nation astride the globe without a competitor in sight. There wasn’t even a name for such a state (or state of mind). “Superpower” had already been used when there were two of them. “Hyperpower” was tried briefly but didn’t stick. “Sole superpower” stood in for a while but didn’t satisfy. “Great Power,” once the zenith of appellations, was by then a lesser phrase, left over from the centuries when various European nations and Japan were expanding their empires. Some started speaking about a “unipolar” world in which all roads led… well, to Washington.

To this day, we’ve never quite taken in that moment when Soviet imperial rot unexpectedly — above all, to Washington — became imperial crash-and-burn. Left standing, the Cold War’s victor seemed, then, like an empire of everything under the sun. It was as if humanity had always been traveling toward this spot. It seemed like the end of the line.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Last Empire? | TomDispatch

China’s Anti-Carrier Missile Now Opposite Taiwan, Flynn Says – Businessweek

The Chinese military has deployed its new anti-ship ballistic missile along its southern coast facing Taiwan, the Pentagon’s top military intelligence officer said today.

Carrier Hunters

The missiles are designed be be launched to a general location, where their guidance systems take over and spot carriers to attack with warheads intended to destroy the ships’ flight decks, launch catapults and control towers.

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert told defense reporters in March 2012 that the Navy is evaluating how to defeat the missile during all phases of flight, using methods such as jamming the missiles’ sensors, reducing the electronic emissions from U.S. ships, and intercepting the missile.

China’s Anti-Carrier Missile Now Opposite Taiwan, Flynn Says – Businessweek

North Korea Is Not Even Close To Hitting The US With A Nuke

Reality, yet again, is not on the side of Pyongyang.

The North Koreans still need a few things — a reliable long range, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear warhead built to fit that missile, and the technology that can guide it through launch, reentry, and hitting the target, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

North Korea has test fired a number of missiles with varying ranges. They’ve been successful with some short and medium range platforms, but their long range capabilities have been marked with many failures.

US In Danger North Korean Nuclear Attack – Business Insider

Not yet, but could that change in the not too distant future? Also, what about ship launched missiles with super-EMP warheads? A few of those babies detonating over the US means the lights go out – permanently. 90% of the US population will die within a few years, mostly due to starvation.

The Federation of American Scientists is composed of a bunch of Leftists. That doesn’t mean they are always wrong, but it means you should not depend on them as your only information source. Get other sources of information before you come to a conclusion.

I am not worried about North Korea nuking the US anytime soon, but it’s just one more sign of gathering problems that will eventually come to a head. When things eventually head south, as they must, then it is going to be real bad. It’s like sleeping on train tracks. You might be able to get away with it for a long time, but eventually that train is coming.

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.

Arms control: The search for a nuclear legacy | The Economist

According to Daryl Kimball of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, the NPRIS will be discussed at Mr Obama’s first post-election security cabinet meeting next month. The president is wary of trying to get another treaty through the Senate, so he is contemplating both accelerating the New START reductions and, if agreement can be secured with Russia, moving below the ceiling, perhaps to 1,000 warheads—a figure that the joint chiefs of staff have recently agreed would not put deterrence at any risk.

Arms control: The search for a nuclear legacy | The Economist