A few days ago, the commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), LTG Jim Kowalski, had a press briefing in which he used a set of slides showing the ambitious, comprehensive nuclear modernization programs of all nuclear powers except the US and Britain.
Shortly after that, the advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament, such as Monterey Institute hack Jeffrey Lewis and lifelong Danish pacifist and Greenpeace activist Hans M. Kristensen (who now lives in the US and is actively working towards America’s unilateral disarmament), attacked LTG Kowalski and his presentation, claiming it contained multiple errors, denying that some of the systems presented there were deployed, in testing, or even existing (even though they are), and accused him of merely trying to garner broad support of modernizing America’s nuclear deterrent (which Kristensen, Lewis, and other Western pacifists strongly oppose, of course).
But they are lying, as usual. Read on, and I will show you what specific claims Kristensen has made and refute them. But before I do, I’ll first debunk his (and other leftists’) general premise that nuclear disarmament will make the US and the world safer.
Kristensen has called on the “international community” to exert unspecified pressure on all nuclear powers to “curtail their modernization programs” and on the Obama administration to “reenergize its efforts to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons.” He furthermore claims that Obama admin officials haven’t done enough to disarm America despite delivering many speeches on the subject.
Of course, this is not surprising, since Kristensen is a lifelong anti-American pacifist who advocates the West’s unilateral disarmament, even to this day. Of course, such policy would not make America, the West at large, or the world any more secure – quite the contrary, it would only invite a Russian nuclear first strike, and Putin’s Russia would only be too happy to carry it out if it could do so without inviting US retaliation; Russia’s current nuclear doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapon first, even if the opponent doesn’t use them or is a non-nuclear state.
Disarming the US unilaterally will not convince anyone else to cut, let alone dismantle, their nuclear arsenals – on the contrary, it will only encourage them to attack the US and its allies and to continue building up their arsenals. Even Jimmy Carter’s secretary of defense, Harold Brown, has admitted that “When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.”
Continuing to cut America’s nuclear deterrent will also force, at some point, America’s allies to develop their own nuclear arsenals, as they cannot bet their security, and indeed their existence, on the fallacious “if we just disarm ourselves, others will be nice and do so as well” fantasy – or on America breaking free of Dhimmicrat rule by 2017.
Already, 66% of South Koreans, according to recent polling, want their country to go nuclear, and Japan has a facility capable of producing enough fissile material for 3,000 warheads should it prove necessary. The fact is that – as even Kristensen’s blogpost confirms – NOBODY is following Obama on his fictional road to “Global Zero”, and no one ever will.
As for nonproliferation, it is arms control and cutting America’s nuclear deterrent, combined with appeasement of rogue regimes, that has encouraged nuclear proliferation. Cutting the arsenal further will cause even MORE proliferation by encouraging America’s enemies to develop their own nukes, while also forcing America’s allies to do the same, as the US nuclear umbrella, or what will be left of it, will no longer be reliable.
But Kristensen doesn’t care one iota about America’s or the West’s security. He’d actually be quite happy to see it attacked and subjugated by Russia – the country he really owes allegiance to.
Now, the specifics:
1) Kristensen denies that the CJ-10A and the CJ-20 are nuclear capable.
The CJ-10A (CJ=Chang Jian, i.e. long sword) IS nuclear-capable and is one of the strategic arms of the Xian H-6 bomber. It has a range of 2,000 to 2,200 kms. The CJ-20 (a newer variant of this missile) is also likely to be nuclear-armed, as it would be pointless for China to develop a new missile variant only for conventional operations; it would be a waste of money. This website, among others, while not being the best source, says the CJ-10 and -20 are nuclear-capable:
Moreover, between 1999 and 2001 China acquired 6 Soviet Kh-55 (AS-15 Kent) LACMs from Ukraine, as confirmed by that country’s prosecutor general. The AS-15 was not only nuclear-capable, delivering nuclear warheads was its SOLE mission. China’s acquisition of such missile could’ve therefore served only one purpose: aid China in developing its own. And it has.
Also, Kristensen’s fellow pro-unilateral-disarmament hacks, like Jeffrey Lewis, say that any missile is nuclear-capable – if you can make a warhead small enough to fit on it. One of them says (correctly) that a missile doesn’t care whether you put a nuclear, chemical, bio, or conventional warhead, or a hippo, on it, as long as it’s small enough and fits.
The same goes for all other CMs and BMs, including North Korea’s KN-09.
The fact is that the air variant of the CJ-10 IS nuclear-capable, as is the CJ-20, which has already entered service according to www.global-military.com, which has a photo of an H-6K bomber carrying the missile.
2) Kristensen denies that the DF-41 is in service or even in testing and believes it should not be counted for China.
The DF-41 was first photographed in 2007, 6 years ago. It already existed at that time. It was first tested (at least officially) last year. So it has already been tested, though it might not yet be in service (though it likely is).
3) Kristensen denies that North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads yet, or has mated them to ballistic missiles.
But the truth is that North Korea HAS mastered the technique of miniaturizing nuclear warheads and mating them to missiles. In Dec. 2012, after the successful NK “space launch vehicle” test, the upper stages of the missile were recovered from water by the South Koreans. Study of these parts revealed, and NK’s successful launch of a satellite proved, that NK has mastered miniaturization and mating techniques. Eli Lake was the first to report this on TDB, followed by this writer on ConservativeDailyNews:
The technology used to miniaturize satellites and mate them to rockets is the same as the one used for miniaturizing nuclear warheads.
That fact was later confirmed by the Defense Intelligence Agency. Of course, since then, Obama admin officials have been denying that and downplaying the NK threat – because they don’t want to let anything get in their way of gutting US BMD systems to please their Russian friends. Obama has already promised Putin that.
In any case, NK IS capable of mating warheads to missiles and delivering them to the US. That is a FACT and cannot be seriously disputed.
The Musudan-ri is certainly deployed, and Pyongyang even deployed it to coastal regions during the recent crisis on the Peninsula, as was confirmed by US intelligence agencies and widely reported by the world media. That the Musudan-ri is operationally-deployed is no surprise, given that it was unveiled over 2.5 years ago during a parade in Oct. 2010, and has also been exported to Iran according to a leaked DOS cable.
The KN-08 is very much a real missile, as confirmed by the IASC, by expert Gordon Chang, and by no less an authority than Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Sandy Winnefeld, who listed in March it as one of the threats the GBI system must counter.
4) The British cabinet has not yet authorized the replacement of the Trident missiles, the Vanguard class, or the warheads. It might never occur. So counting it as an extant modernization program is utterly dishonest.
5) The “planned” cruise missile and next-gen ICBM do not exist, except on the USAF’s wishlist. Their design and development hasn’t even started yet, and will not start for many years to come. No funding has so far been secured for them. Not even one dollar. So counting them as modernization programs is utterly dishonest. As is counting the F-35, which might be nuclear capable but won’t be capable of penetrating enemy air defenses and might never even enter service, as the program’s costs spiral out of control and eat an ever increasing portion of the defense budget.
And BTW, the F-35 is not a “fighter-bomber”. There is no such thing. A “fighter-bomber” is a completely wrong term used by utter amateurs like you, Hans. The F-35 will be a strike jet with some fighter/self-defense capabilities. But it was never designed to be an air superiority fighter or penetrate enemy air defenses.
The B61 may or may not be modernized, depending on whether funding is appropriated. Though according to Barry Watts, it better be, in light of new threats.
The SSBNX and LRSB (NGB) programs are in their infancy, having been begun just a few years ago (one year ago, in the NGB’s case).
And most importantly, none of these programs/plans will survive if sequestration remains on the books, as it is likely to be. Then-SECDEF Leon Panetta warned that if sequestration persists, the DOD would have to cancel both the NGB and the SSBNX.
Also, the briefing by AFGSC DOES mention all of the above-mentioned US programs (B61 modernization, new ALCM, MMIII follow-on, LRSB, SSBNX) in one of the last slides. So Kristensen’s claim that the briefing completely ignores American programs is, like everything else he writes, a blatant lie.
6) Contrary to Kristensen’s denials, the nuclear threats to America ARE growing. Russia IS increasing its nuclear arsenal – as it is allowed to do by New START, which requires cuts only in America’s arsenal, not Russia’s. Moscow was below New START limits when the treaty was signed and since then has been rapidly increasing its arsenal – as Russian leaders publicly said they would, and as was recently confirmed by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times. Russia’s tactical arsenal, already much larger than America’s, is not bound by any limits, so it’s likely growing in line with Russia’s military doctrine prioritizing nuclear weapons above all others.
China has a large nuclear arsenal, contrary to Kristensen’s pious denials. According to credible estimates by General Viktor Yesin (former SMF CoS), former chief DOD nuclear strategist Dr Philip Karber, and this writer, China has at least 1,600-1,800, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and enough fissile material to 3,600.
This is not surprising. You don’t build 3,000 miles of underground tunnels for just 240, 300, or even 400 warheads. You build such a vast network only for a large arsenal. And claiming with certainty that China’s arsenal is still as small as it was in the early 1980s is utterly ridiculous given a) China’s total secrecy about its arsenal; b) the passage of more than 2 decades; and c) China’s vast conventional military buildup.
And then, of course, is North Korea and Iran.
So the nuclear threats to America are growing, not shrinking. Russia, China, and North Korea are all building up, while the US is cutting its arsenal unilaterally. This is utter idiocy and needs to be reversed. So yes, the US DOES need to modernize its nuclear deterrent – all three legs.
7) India is developing a nuclear-capable cruise missile, jointly with Russia. It’s called BrahMos.
In short, Kristensen’s claims are blatant lies – as usual. They are his trademark product. No intelligent person treats what he writes seriously or would call him an “expert” (which he believes himself to be), and if he doesn’t know that, he’s mentally deficient.