http://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-should-get-its-nuclear-house-order-14963“>This Analysis of US nuclear weapons policy makes clear why it is so hard to move toward the Obama announced goal of Nuclear Weapons Aboltion. Of course it is the Congress that is the stumbling block making it unrealistic for a President to get these treaties ratified and setting up future Presidents to annul commitment to current treaties.
Action Request — write letters to your local papers–Kill the destabilizing Long Range Stand Off Nuclear Weapon.15 Jan
Here are 4 LTEs from Tri-Valley CAREs folks published over the past 4 weeks on the new, destabilizing Long-Range Stand Off nuclear weapon.
Here is the request. Many of you have key members of Congress in your area (i.e., members who are on the House or Senate armed services, appropriations or foreign affairs committees).
Your letters will sound a bit different from these – because they will have your local context and points. However, some points bear repeating, and so I am offering these four letters as “grist” for your letter-writing “mill.”
Please consider writing a letter to the editor now (and then have someone else from your group submit a second Letter to the Editor later, after the FY 2017 budget request goes to Congress in February).
Thank you! Together, we will put the stink on this new warhead and delivery system.
1. The Independent- January 14, 2016
No to New Weapons
I believe we who live and work in the Tri-Valley have a special duty to pay attention to activities at the Livermore Lab.
In recent years, the Lab lost its authority to use large quantities of nuclear material because it failed to secure them. Consequently, the Lab’s role in the US nuclear weapons enterprise began to diminish.
Rather than committing to civilian (non-nuclear weapons) science, the Lab began pushing for a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile, known as the Long Range Stand Off warhead.
The need for this new weapon is highly questionable at best. In fact, our Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who is the Ranking Member on the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, said earlier this year, “I know of no compelling case” for developing it.
Senator Feinstein is in a position to halt funding for this weapon. I urge people to call her through the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
It is time for Livermore Lab to get out of the nuclear weapons business and to commit its significant scientific prowess to more pressing needs.
Scott Yundt, Livermore
2. Union Democrat- December 24, 2015
Cancel LRSO weapon plan
The Pentagon has requested that a new nuclear capable Long-Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon be developed to replace an old air-launch cruise missile. The Air Force has plans to purchase over 1,000 LRSO’s. The development of the LRSO would increase U.S. nuclear air launch cruise missile capacity by nearly 200 percent.
The Lawrence Livermore Lab has been placed in charge of refurbishing the nuclear explosive package and developing detonators for the new LRSO. Sandia Lab, also in Livermore, is responsible for the construction of some non-nuclear parts and for systems integration.
The Federation of American Scientists estimate the full development of the LRSO including the W80-4 warhead to be as high as $20 billion. Here are a few facts about $20 billion:
• Stacking $20 bills, $20 billion would reach over 60 miles high.
• $20 billion could purchase 35 billion bushels of wheat at current market price. Just one bushel of wheat yields roughly 90 one pound loaves of whole wheat bread.
The LRSO is incredibly costly and it is a weapon that the United States can never use. The creation of these weapons is incredibly detrimental to the environment and increases the risk of nuclear terrorism in Livermore. In 2008, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab failed a terrorist exercise. Canceling the LRSO would be a significant first step toward fiscal responsibility and global security.
Joseph Rodgers, Sonora
3. Valley Times-Herald, Contra Costa Times
– December 15, 2015
Christmas wish is fewer funds for nasty nukes
All I want for Christmas is fewer dollars for a dangerous, destabilizing nuclear cruise missile.
Current plans call for designing and building 1,000 new nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The estimated cost is $20 to $30 billion. This is an outrage.
I call on President Obama to cancel this new “Long-Range Stand-Off” warhead and the cruise missile that would deliver this nuclear horror when he finalizes the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request later this month.
Further, I call on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the appropriations subcommittee through which the nuclear weapons budget must pass, to make sure that no funds are used for its development.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all will not be brought into existence by another potential first-strike nuclear weapon, let alone one intended to be a stealthy surprise when it incinerates an unsuspecting target population.
Pamela Richard, Danville
4. The Independent, Mailbox- December 17, 2015
I oppose the development of a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile. Recently, I discovered I have unexpected allies.
William Perry, our 19th Secretary of Defense, and Andy Weber, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense, have written an analysis of this nuclear weapon titled, “Mr. President, Kill the New Cruise Missile.”
The analysis states, “Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional versions, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon.”
The estimated cost would be $20-30 BILLION! And you and I would pay for it with our tax dollars.
Fortunately, this new nuclear-tipped cruise missile can be stopped. President Obama can submit his next budget to Congress without requesting money for it.
Also, Congress can refuse to fund it. I called Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and asked them to oppose this destabilizing new nuclear weapon. Call them at (202) 224-3121.
I urge people to get additional information, including the full William Perry/Andy Weber analysis, at www.trivalleycares.org.
Jo Ann Frisch, Livermore
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
2582 Old First Street,
Livermore, CA 94550
From: Sharon Tennison [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I had opportunity to hear Prof. Stephen Cohen at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club November 18, 2015.
There was no transcript, only an audio version (the video is out now if you have time for an hour plus to devote to it). I felt it was so important for his passionate oral presentation to get out that I spent hours listening to the tape and getting it in transcript form. He made a few meticulous corrections––it follows.
It’s not all Putin’s Fault< by Stephen Cohen I am delighted to be here in San Francisco with you. The farther you go from Washington and the mainstream media, the better introductions you get! Some of you may know that the small group of us who have been protesting against the American policy since the Ukraine crisis began two years ago have been described in harsh and derogatory language as "Putin's apologists, Putin's useful idiots and Putin's best friends in America." Paris should have changed everything but for these people it hasn't. I clicked on the Internet this morning and there it was again. So let me begin with a word about myself. My answer to these charges is that, "No, I …. not you, am a patriot of American national security," And I actually have been since I started studying Russia about 50 years ago. I started out in Kentucky and then went to Indiana University, and old friends here today can testify that I was doing this many years ago. Along the way I came to a conviction, exactly how and why doesn't matter that American national security runs through Moscow. It means that an American President must have a partner in the Kremlin--- not a friend, but a partner. This was true when the Soviet Union existed, and this is true today. And it is true whichever existential or grave world threat you may emphasize. For some people it is climate change, for others it is human rights, for some it is the spread of democracy. For me, for quite a while, it has been the new kind of terrorism that afflicts the world today. These terrorists are no longer "non-state actors." These guys are organized, they have an army, they have a self-professed state, they have ample funds and they have the ability to hurt us gravely in many parts of the world. Everyone seems to have forgotten 9-11 and Boston, but Paris should have reminded us of what's at stake. So for me, international terrorism is the threat in the world today that should be America's national security priority. And I mean it should be the top priority for the President of the United States whether he or she is a Republican or Democrat. It is the existential threat represented by a combination of this new kind of terrorism, religious, ethnic, zealous civil wars––and, still worse, these guys desperately want the raw materials for making weapons of mass destruction. A cup of radioactive material in those planes on 9-11 would have made lower Manhattan uninhabitable even today. Terrorists today are using conventional weapons, bombs, mortars and guns. But if they had cup of this radioactive material in Paris, Paris would have needed to be evacuated. This is the real threat today. This kind of threat cannot be diminished, contained, still less eradicated unless we have a partner in the Kremlin. That is the long and short of it; note again I didn't say a "friend," but a partner. Nixon and Clinton went on about their dear friend Brezhnev and their friend Yeltsin; it was all for show. I don't care whether we like the Kremlin leader or not; what we need is recognition of our common interests for a partnership--–the way two people in business make a contract. They have the same interests and they have to trust each other–-because if one person violates the agreement, then the other person's interests are harmed. We don't have this with Russia, even after Paris, and this is essentially what I've been saying we need for the past several years. In return people say that my view is “pro-Putin” and unpatriotic, to which I say, "No, this is the very highest form of patriotism in regard to American national security." So I will make a few points today, very briefly and rather starkly, rather than give a lecture. I'm less interested in lecturing than in finding out what others here have to say. My first point is this: The chance for a durable Washington-Moscow strategic partnership was lost in the 1990 after the Soviet Union ended. Actually it began to be lost earlier, because it was Reagan and Gorbachev who gave us the opportunity for a strategic partnership between 1985-89. And it certainly ended under the Clinton Administration, and it didn’t end in Moscow. It ended in Washington — it was squandered and lost in Washington. And it was lost so badly that today, and for at least the last several years (and I would argue since the Georgian war in 2008), we have literally been in a new Cold War with Russia. Many people in politics and in the media don’t want to call it this, because if they admit, “Yes, we are in a Cold War,” they would have to explain what they were doing during the past 20 years. So they instead say, “No, it is not a Cold War.”
Here is my next point. This new Cold War has all of the potential to be even more dangerous than the preceding forty-year Cold War, for several reasons. First of all, think about it. The epicenter of the earlier Cold War was in Berlin, not close to Russia. There was a vast buffer zone between Russia and the West in Eastern Europe. Today, the epicenter is in Ukraine, literally on Russia’s borders. It was the Ukrainian conflict that set this off, and politically Ukraine remains a ticking time bomb. Today’s confrontation is not only on Russia’s borders, but it’s in the heart of Russian-Ukrainian “Slavic civilization.” This is a civil war as profound in some ways as was America’s Civil War.
Many Ukrainian antagonists were raised in the same faith, speak the same language and are intermarried. Does anyone know how many Russian and Ukrainian intermarriages there are today? Millions. Nearly all of their families are intermixed. This continues to be a ticking time bomb that can cause a lot more damage and even greater dangers. The fact that it is right on Russia’s border, and in effect right in the middle of the Russian/Ukrainian soul … or at least half of Ukraine’s soul …. since the half of Ukraine yearns to be in Western Europe, this makes it even more dangerous.
My next point and still worse: You will remember that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Washington and Moscow developed certain rules-of -mutual conduct. They saw how dangerously close they had come to a nuclear war, so they adopted “No-Nos,’ whether they were encoded in treaties or in unofficial understandings. Each side knew where the other’s red line was. Both sides tripped over them on occasion but immediately pulled back because there was a mutual understanding that there were red lines. TODAY THERE ARE NO RED LINES.
One of the things that Putin and his predecessor President Medvedev, keep saying to Washington is: You are crossing our Red Lines! And Washington said and continues to say, “You don’t have any red lines. We have red lines and we can have all the bases we want around your borders, but you can’t have bases in Canada or Mexico.” Your red lines don’t exist.” This clearly illustrates that today there are no mutual rules of conduct.
In recent years, for example there have already been three proxy wars between the United States and Russia; Georgia in 2008, Ukraine beginning in 2014, and prior to Paris …. it appeared Syria would be the third. We don’t know yet what position Washington is going to take on Syria. Hollande made his decision; he declared a coalition with Russia. Washington as they understand in Russia, “is silent or opposed to a coalition with Moscow.”
Another important point: Today there is absolutely no organized anti-Cold War or Pro-Detente political force or movement in the United States at all––not in our political parties, not in the White house, not in the State Department, not in the mainstream media, not in the universities or the “think tanks.” I see a colleague here, nodding her head, because we remember when, in the 1970s through the 1980s, we had allies even in the White House, among aides of the President. We had allies in the State Department, and we had Senators and Members of the House who were pro-detente and who supported us, who spoke out themselves and listened carefully to our points of view. None of this exists today. Without this kind of openness and advocacy in a democracy, what can we do? We can’t throw bombs to get attention; we can’t get printed in mainstream media, we can’t be heard across the country. This lack of debate in our society is exceedingly dangerous.
My next point is a question: Who is responsible for this new Cold War? I don’t ask this question because I want to point a finger at anyone. I am interested in a change in U.S. policy that can only come from the White House, although Congress could help. But we need to know what went wrong with the U.S.-Russia relationship after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, and why…. or there won’t be any new thinking. And there will be no new policy. At this point, there is no new thinking in the American political-media establishment. There is a lot of new thinking in the European Parliament. There is a lot of angst in the French media and in Germany and in the Netherlands and even Cameron in London is rethinking.
The position of the current American political media establishment is that this new Cold War is all Putin’s fault––all of it, everything. We in America didn’t do anything wrong. At every stage, we were virtuous and wise and Putin was aggressive and a bad man. And therefore, what’s to rethink? Putin has to do all of the rethinking, not us.
I disagree. And this is what has brought the outrageous attacks down on me and my colleagues. I was raised in Kentucky on the adage, “There are two sides to every story.” And these people are saying, “No to this story, the history of Russian and American relations, there is only one side. There is no need to see any of it through the other side’s eyes. Just get out there and repeat the “conventional mainstream establishment narrative.” If we continue doing this, and don’t address the existing situation, we are going to have another “Paris” and not only in the United States.
This is why I say we must be patriots of America’s national security and rethink everything. For whatever reason, the Clinton Administration declared a “winner-takes-all policy” toward Post-Soviet Russia. It said, “We won the Cold War.” This isn’t true. Former Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, explains in his books what happened as he stood by Reagan’s side at every step of the negotiations with Gorbachev. The reality is that the Clinton administration adopted unwise policies in its winner-take-all approach. What were the consequences of these policies? There were a lot of consequences. The worst was, it blew the chance for a strategic partnership with Russia at a turning point moment in history.
The four U.S. policies that have most offended the Russians:
1) The decision to expand NATO right to Russia’s borders: It’s nonsense when we say Putin has violated the Post-Cold War order of Europe. Russia was excluded from the post-Cold War order of Europe by NATO’s expansion. Russia was pushed “somewhere out there” (beyond a zone of security). Russia kept saying, “Let’s do a Pan European Security Arrangement like Gorbachev and Reagan proposed.” The NATO-expanders said, “This is not military, this is about democracy and free trade, it’s going to be good for Russia, swallow your poison with a smile.” And when the Russians had no choice in the 1990s, they did; but when they grew stronger and had a choice, they no longer stood by silently.
Russia started pushing back, as any Russian leader would have done who was sober and had the support his own country. I don’t say this as a joke. By the end, Yeltsin could barely walk. He was pushed out of the presidency, he didn’t resign voluntarily. But the point is, anyone could have predicted this situation back in the 1990s––and some of us did so, often and as loudly as we were permitted.
2) The refusal on the part of the United States to negotiate on missile defense: Missile defense is now a NATO project. That means missile defense installations, whether on land or sea (sea is more dangerous) are now part of NATO expansion and its encirclement of Russia. Missile defense is part of the same military system. Russians are absolutely convinced that it is targeted at their nuclear retaliatory capabilities. We say, “Oh no, it’s about Iran, it’s not about you.” But go talk to Ted Postel at MIT. He explains that latter-stage missile defense is an offensive weapon that can hit Russia’s installations. It also violates the IMF Agreement because it can fire cruise missiles. Meanwhile we are accusing Russia of developing cruise missiles again; and they have begun doing so again because we are back in an unnecessary tit-for-tat arms race for the first time in many years.
3) Meddling in Russia’s internal affairs in the name of democracy promotion: In addition to funding the National Endowment for Democracy’s “opposition politics” programs across Russia and Ukraine––are you aware that when Medvedev was President of Russia and Ms. Clinton and Michael McFaul had their wondrous “reset” (which was a rigged diplomatic game if you looked at the terms of it), that Vice President Biden went to Moscow State University and said that Putin should not return to the presidency. He then said it directly to Putin’s face. Imagine, Putin comes here in the next few weeks and tells Rubio or Clinton they should drop out of the U.S. presidential race!
Are there any red lines left anymore when it comes to our behavior toward Russia. Do we have the right to say or do anything we wish? This extends to everything, and it certainly extends to politics. The White House simply can’t keep its mouth shut, being egged on by vested anti-Russian lobbies and mainstream media. We all believe in democracy, but like it or not, we will not be able to impose democracy on Russia; and if we could, we might not like the democratic outcomes that might result.
So ask yourself, is there a Russian position that needs to be carefully thought through in the aftermath of Paris? And does Russia have any legitimate interests in the world at all? And if so, what are they? What about their borders? Do they have legitimate interests in Syria?
4) My last point is a prescriptive hope (until Paris, I didn’t think there was much hope at all). Now there is still a chance to achieve the lost partnership with Russia, at least in three realms.
• Ukraine: You know what the Minsk Accords are. They were formulated by Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko and President Putin. They call for a negotiated end to the civil war in Ukraine. They recognize that the conflict has been primarily a civil war and only secondarily a matter of Russian aggression. I don’t care what American mainstream media says––this has been basically a Ukrainian civil war. To put an end to that civil war would be exceedingly security-building today.
• Syria: before Paris I thought there was almost no chance for an American coalition with Russia. Part of it …. and I’m not big on psychological analyses, but at least in part it was due to Obama’s mind-fix about Putin. He resents him and speaks out about him in ways that are not helpful. But with Paris and Hollande announcing that there is now a French-Russian coalition, with Germany agreeing, and I would say almost all of Western Europe is on board, there is a chance, but only if the White House seizes the opportunity. We will see very soon.
• The false idea that the nuclear threat ended with the Soviet Union: In fact, the threat became more diverse and difficult. This is something the political elite forgot. It was another disservice of the Clinton Administration (and to a certain extent the first President Bush in his re-election campaign) saying that the nuclear dangers of the preceding Cold War era no longer existed after 1991. The reality is that the threat grew, whether by inattention or accident, and is now more dangerous than ever.
Last year, in an unwise pique of anger, Russia withdrew from the Nunn-Lugar Initiative which you may remember was one of the wisest pieces of legislation that Congress ever passed. In the 1990s, we gave Russia money to lock down and secure their materials for making weapons of mass destruction. In addition we paid salaries to their scientists who knew how to make and use these materials and who might otherwise have gone to Syria, Yemen or the Caucasus to sell their knowledge in order to employ themselves. Russia did withdraw but said it wants to renegotiate Nunn-Lugar on different terms. The White House has refused. After Paris, one hopes that Obama picked up the phone and said, “I’m sending someone over, let’s get this done.”
Unfortunately, today’s reports seem to indicate that the White House and State Department are thinking primarily how to counter Russia’s actions in Syria. They are worried, it was reported, that Russia is diminishing America’s leadership in the world.
HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE: We in the United States cannot lead the world alone any longer, if we ever could. Long before Paris, globalization and other developments have occurred that ended the monopolar, US-dominated world. That world is over. A multipolar world has emerged before our eyes, not just in Russia but in five or six capitals around the world. Washington’s stubborn refusal to embrace this new reality has become part of the problem and not part of the solution.
This is where we are today …. even after Paris.
The above link reveals a story that contradicts the narrative which neocons have constructed about Russia/Putin. They have construct it with military challenges via NATO moving East beyond Berlin, locating ABM systems on Russian borders, supporting separatist movements in Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic States etc. and then portrayed Russian responses to such as aggression in opposition to human rights. Why is this important to preventing Nuclear War? Cause Russia has a nuclear arsenal equal to our own.
here is another piece of this puzzle. Really Poland? Wherever did you get the idea you need nuclear weapons to defend yourself? My My.
Former SecDef Perry: US on ‘Brink’ of New Nuclear Arms Race
By Aaron Mehta 12:35 p.m. EST December 3, 2015
(Photo: US Air Force)
WASHINGTON — The US is on the “brink” of kicking off a new nuclear arms race that will elevate the risk of nuclear apocalypse to Cold War levels, former Secretary of Defense William Perry warned Thursday.
Perry also called for the breaking of the nuclear triad by dismantling the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) stockpile.
“We’re now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race,” Perry said at an event hosted by the Defense Writer’s Group. “This arms race will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the Cold War, which is a lot of money.”
The Pentagon is starting a major overhaul of its nuclear triad, made up of bomber, submarine and ICBM nuclear options. The Air Force is starting work on its Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) program, a conventional bomber that later could be nuclear-certified; it is also planning a new version of the ICBM. Meanwhile, the Navy is figuring out funding plans for the Ohio-class submarine nuclear replacement program.
In an August assessment, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments projects that it will cost more than $700 billion over the next 25 years to recapitalize the nuclear triad.
Future US Nuclear Spending Likely to Remain Strong
Speaking on Wednesday, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall indicated the nuclear modernization programs would be protected in the fiscal 2017 budget and remain a priority for the department going forward.
To Perry, who served in a number of Pentagon positions before becoming the 19th US secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, spending that money is foolish when the US is both short of cash for other programs and capable of a robust nuclear deterrence already.
The risk of nuclear war is exacerbated by the dismantling of the relationship between Russia and the US that had been formed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without clear military-to-military communication between those two nations, the risk of an accidental conflict increases.
“Today, probably I would not have said this 10 years ago, but today we now face the kind of dangers of a nuclear event like we had during the Cold War, an accidental war,” he said.
“I see an imperative,” Perry added, “to stop this damn nuclear arms race from accelerating again.”
The greatest source of that danger, to Perry’s mind, are the ICBMs, which he said are simply too easy to launch on bad information and would be the most likely source of an accidental nuclear war. He referred to the ICBM as “destabilizing” in that it invites an attack from another power.
Because of that, he said, the US should look to break the nuclear triad and go down to a force of simply bombers and submarines – a major change in strategic posture, and one he openly acknowledged isn’t likely to happen due to US domestic politics.
ICBMs “aren’t necessary … they’re not needed. Any reasonable definition of deterrence will not require that third leg,” Perry concluded.
Perry did note that he supported the LRS-B and submarine programs as they can service non-nuclear missions as well.
Please find below my new piece, “A New Arms Race Threatens to Bring the U.S. and Russia Back to the Nuclear Brink.” If you like it please share it via your networks.
All my best,
PLOUGHSHARES FUND | President
Phone: 202.783.4401 | Mobile: 202.441.9825 | Twitter: @Cirincione
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A New Arms Race Threatens to Bring the U.S. and Russia Back to the Nuclear Brink
Joe Cirincione Become a fan
President, Ploughshares Fund; Author, ‘Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late’
The horror and reactions to the Paris massacre have overshadowed a troubling new twist in the U.S.-Russian rivalry that could prove even more terrifying. Russian state media recently “accidentally” revealed plans for a bizarre new nuclear torpedo. More of an underwater drone, it is designed to swim 6,000 miles — enough to span the oceans underwater just as long-range missiles do in the air.
It would detonate a huge warhead, a hydrogen bomb equal to a million tons of TNT or more but “salted” with special metals to vastly increase the amount of radiation it would pour into a U.S. port city.
The explosion would create a radioactive tsunami. The purpose, according to Russian TV, would be to devastate “the important components of the adversary’s economy in a coastal area and [inflict] unacceptable damage to a country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination that would be unsuitable for military, economic or other activity for long periods of time.”
This is an insane, inhumane weapon that deliberately targets civilians. It deliberately seeks to turn a city into a radioactive wasteland that would last for decades. It is a throwback to the worse designs of the Cold War, long since abandoned.
Russia’s nuclear torpedo deliberately seeks to turn a city into a radioactive wasteland that would last for decades.
In the early 1950s, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wanted to drop dozens of enhanced radiation “cobalt bombs” on the Korean border to create a poisonous barrier to advancing Chinese troops. In the 1970s, U.S. nuclear scientists designed a”neutron bomb” with intense bursts of radiation to increase the number of people killed but lessen the number of buildings destroyed by blast and heat. Then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger hoped it would make it more likely we would use nuclear weapons in a European war, thus theoretically adding to their deterrent value.
American presidents rejected these weapons. None were ever constructed. We thought that such grotesque concepts had been buried with the Cold War, along with notions of doomsday machines, featured in various sci-fi movies and at least one of which was actually built.
Well, they’re back. Indeed, that may have been the point of the Russian reveal. As Dr. Strangelove said in Stanley Kubrick’s epic film, “The whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.”
We thought that such grotesque concepts had been buried with the Cold War.
The Russians want us to know about it. The new Russian “dirty” H-bomb is the latest move in a new arms race that could bring Russia and America back to the nuclear brink.
The Russians are building new nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines to replace those built in the 1980s and now reaching the end of their operational lives. They claim that they must modernize their arsenal and increase the role of nuclear weapons in their military doctrine to counter U.S. missile interceptors being deployed in Europe. These, they say, could “neutralize” their nuclear deterrent, allowing the U.S. and NATO to dominate Russia.
The U.S. is rearming as well. The Obama administration is planning to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on an entire new generation of nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines to replace those built during the Reagan years. This is a staggering turn around for a president who promised “to put an end to Cold War thinking, [by reducing] the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.”
The Obama administration is planning to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on an entire new generation of nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines to replace those built during the Reagan years.
First up, the U.S. will deploy almost 200 new nuclear bombs in Europe. More accurate than the current bombs, proponents argue they are more usable in battles.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is developing 12 new submarines to prowl the world’s oceans, carrying over 1,000 warheads on missiles that can hit any spot on earth. The U.S. Air Force is developing a new strategic bomber and wants 1,000 new cruise missiles to go with them, plus a new fleet of almost 650 intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Individually, none carry a warhead as big at the Russian nuclear torpedo, but collectively they would unleash death and destruction on a massive scale. All of these systems deliver hydrogen bombs — weapons that are 10, 20, even 30 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We don’t know if the Russians think they can afford this new arms race, but we do know that there is great concern in the defense department. Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord told Inside Defense last week that the price tag for all these new nuclear weapons “is the biggest acquisition problem that we don’t know how to solve yet.”
All of these systems deliver hydrogen bombs — weapons that are 10, 20, even 30 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
For example, when the Navy’s new nuclear sub goes into production, it will devour almost half of the Navy’s annual shipbuilding budget. These nuclear terror weapons threaten to siphon away funds needed for the conventional weapons actually used by troops in combat, to fight the self-described Islamic State for example.
This is a dangerous situation. In his new book, “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink,” former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry warns “far from continuing the nuclear disarmament that has been underway for the last two decades, we are starting a new nuclear arms race.”
What should we do about this new Russian weapon, for example? It won’t be long before someone calls for a massive new program to deploy underwater anti-torpedo drones to counter Russia’s concept.
Rather than build more weapons, Perry wants President Obama to build fewer. In a recent op-ed with former Director of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Council Andy Weber, the two urge Obama to kill the new cruise missile. Instead, they say we should champion a new effort to ban these “extremely destabilizing” weapons.
These nuclear terror weapons threaten to siphon away funds needed for the conventional weapons actually used by troops in combat, to fight ISIS for example.
A similar push could be made to ban weapons like the Russian torpedo. The U.S. could take the lead in denouncing these weapons as inhumane and incompatible with modern civilization.
We would be in good company. Pope Francis called for a ban on all nuclear weapons at the United Nations this September, saying their “threat of mutual destruction” was “an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations.”
Analyst Jeffrey Lewis argues passionately for just such an approach. The levels of destruction in the U.S. and Russian arsenals are far beyond anything needed for deterrence. “Why not admit that nuclear weapons are awful?” he asks. “And that it would be a humanitarian catastrophe if even a single bomb were ever dropped.”
It would be a powerful move. But unless Obama acts soon, his nuclear policy legacy may be the launch of a terrifying arms race that threatens destruction far beyond the horrors committed by ISIS.
Nov 13: CityMetric, Which cities are at greatest risk of nuclear war?
For example, 2 excerpts:
” India versus Pakistan, the poll suggests, is seen by far the most likely potential great power conflict with a 40 percent chance of war and a 9 percent chance of nuclear exchange.”
” Our PS21 panel, incidentally, estimated a 21 percent chance NATO and Russia would fight at least a limited conventional war in the next 20 years, with a 4 percent chance it might go nuclear.”
Let’s get rid of them.
The Below editorial reveals again the fact that the US Military does not build and maintain nuclear weapons for deterrent purposes but also includes them in war fighting plans (or wants to).
Mr. President, kill the new cruise missile
By William J. Perry and Andy Weber October 15 at 8:42 PM
William J. Perry was U.S. secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. Andy Weber was assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs from 2009 to 2014.
Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional variants, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon. President Obama can lead the world to a stabler and safer future by canceling plans for a new U.S. nuclear-capable cruise missile. Moreover, taking such a step — which would not diminish the formidable U.S. nuclear deterrent in the least — could lay the foundation for a global ban on these dangerous weapons.
Two years ago, when Britain decided not to pursue a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, Philip Hammond, then-British defense secretary and now-foreign secretary, explained the problem well: “A cruise-based deterrent would carry significant risk of miscalculation and unintended escalation. At the point of firing, other states could have no way of knowing whether we had launched a conventional cruise missile or one with a nuclear warhead. Such uncertainty could risk triggering a nuclear war at a time of tension.”
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev recognized the destabilizing nature of nuclear cruise missiles and prioritized the elimination of ground-launched versions in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Similarly, in 1991, President George H.W. Bush unilaterally ordered all sea-launched Tomahawk nuclear cruise missiles taken off surface ships and attack submarines and put into storage. There they sat unused until Obama formally retired and directed their dismantlement in 2011.
The Defense Department’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report stated that a decision would be made “whether and (if so) how” to replace the current air-launched cruise missile. This missile will reach the end of its operational life in about 2030, and the only bomber that can deliver it — the B-52 — dates to 1955. The vastly superior B-2 stealth bomber carries not the cruise missile but two types of nuclear gravity bombs, the B61 and megaton-plus B83.
The Obama administration deserves great credit for increasing investment in B-2 sustainment, command and control, and a costly but vital program to extend the life of the B61 nuclear bomb. The extended B61 will replace four existing models, including the tactical version deployed to Europe in support of NATO, and allow for the retirement of the very high-yield B83. With these efforts, the B-2 and B61 will provide the core capability of the bomber leg of the strategic air-land-and-sea nuclear triad for decades to come. The Air Force has also prioritized procurement of 80 to 100 next-generation stealth bomber aircraft, which will be called the Long-Range Strike Bomber, or B-3.
One of us (William J. Perry) led the Defense Department’s development and procurement of the current air-launched cruise missile and the B-2 stealth bomber in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, the United States needed the cruise missile to keep the aging B-52, which is quite vulnerable to enemy air defense systems, in the nuclear mission until the more effective B-2 replaced it. The B-52 could safely launch the long-range cruise missile far from Soviet air defenses. We needed large numbers of air-launched nuclear cruise missiles to be able to overwhelm Soviet air defenses and thus help offset NATO’s conventional-force inferiority in Europe, but such a posture no longer reflects the reality of today’s U.S. conventional military dominance.
With the updated B-2 and B61 expected to remain in service for many decades, and the planned deployment of new B-3 penetrating bombers with B61 bombs starting in 2025, there is scant justification for spending tens of billions of dollars on a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile and related warhead life-extension program. The old Cold War requirement for such a capability no longer exists. We can, and should, maintain an extremely effective bomber leg of the triad without it.
Some have argued that a new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missile is needed to allow future presidents the “flexibility” to engage Russia or China in limited nuclear war. That is Cold War thinking, and it is dangerous. Such “tactical” use of nuclear weapons would be a grave mistake. As Bush told the nation in 1991 when he announced his path-breaking Presidential Nuclear Initiative: “We can enhance stability and actually reduce the risk of nuclear war. Now is the time to seize the opportunity.”
We therefore urge President Obama to cancel the current plan to develop and buy 1,000 to 1,100 new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles. Such strong U.S. leadership, coupled with a challenge to the other major nuclear powers to eliminate or, in the cases of China and India, forgo deployment of this extremely destabilizing class of weapons, would reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use and be a historic practical step in the direction of a world without nuclear weapons.