A recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, prepared by a number of strident pro-disarmament leftists led by Danish pacifist Hans M. Kristensen, complains that no nuclear power is willing to give up its nuclear arsenal and thus lead by example, but at the same time, it openly admits and even underlines the fact that no nuclear weapon state is willing to scrap its arsenal and most of them are growing and modernizing their nuclear deterrents.
The report, in fact, claims that all nuclear powers, including the US, are either deploying or planning to deploy new warheads or new delivery systems within the next decade.
But it is precisely for that reason why the US, Israel, Britain, and France must NOT disarm themselves and must NOT give up or cut their nuclear arsenals.
It would be utterly foolish and suicidal for these decent representative government countries – these pillars of Western civilization – to give up their nuclear weapons, or even to cut their nuclear arsenals further, while everyone else – Russia, China, Pakistan, India, North Korea – is growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals and their delivery systems.
It would practically mean inviting a nuclear attack on the US, Britain, France, and Israel.
Don’t even think for a moment that Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and China’s hawkish, anti-American generals wouldn’t do that if they could do so without facing retaliation.
Russia is building up its nuclear arsenal – and the arsenal of delivery system – and has been doing so since New START’s ratification in early 2011. Before that treaty was ratified, Russia was below its ceilings of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 delivery systems per side.
But since then, Russia has built up to New START levels, as State Department data exchanges show – and as was precisely Russia’s goal and was promised by Russian leaders, including then-Defense Minister Anatoliy Syerdyukov, who correctly told Russia’s parliament that Moscow wouldn’t have to decommission a single warhead or delivery system.
Russia, as veteran journalist Bill Gertz writes in more detail, is in the midst of a massive nuclear (and conventional) military buildup. It is currently growing its arsenal of both warheads and delivery systems. It’s currently developing several different ICBM types: a road-mobile “Yars-M” ICBM, a rail-mobile one, a heavy liquid-fueled ICBM called “the Son of Satan” (slated to replace the famous SS-18 Satan), the “Avangard”, a “pseudo-ICBM” with a 6,000 km range, and another ICBM mentioned recently by Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin (it might be one of those previously mentioned ICBMs).
Concurrently, Russia is developing a next-generation strategic bomber, a next-gen cruise missile for its bombers (the Kh-102) and for its submarines (the Koliber), and deploying a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class) with a new type of sub-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava, or SS-NX-30 in NATO nomenclature, with 10 warheads). It is also modernizing its already large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (artillery pieces, Su-34 tactical strike jets, SS-26 Stone SRBMs, etc.).
Moscow is not only growing its arsenal but also becoming more aggressive as well. In the last 12 months, Russia has practiced simulated nuclear bomber strikes on US missile defense facilities five times, each time flying dangerously close to US or allied airspace, and three times flying into Air Defense Identification Zones – forcing US or allied fighters to scramble. For more, see here and here.
“Who told you that the Cold War was ever over? It transforms; it is like a virus,” said Russian KGB/FSB defector Sergei Tretyakov in an interview with FOX News in 2009.
And yet, the Left, including the SIPRI, wants America to disarm unilaterally in the face of such an aggressive Russia wielding thousands of nuclear weapons!
China has a far larger nuclear arsenal than SIPRI admits – at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, not the mere 250 SIPRI claims, and enough delivery systems to deliver at least 1,274… without even counting its SRBMs or ground-lauched cruise missiles, that is. With these systems, China could deliver thousands of warheads.
China has at least 86 ICBMs (36 DF-5s, at least 30 DF-31/31As, 20 DF-4s, and an unknown number of DF-41s); 6 ballistic missile submarines with at least 12 missiles each; 440 nuclear-capable strike aircraft (H-6, Q-5, JH-7); and at least 100 DF-21 and DF-3 MRBMs.
So it’s utterly ridiculous for SIPRI to complain that Western nuclear powers (the US, Britain, France, Israel) are not willing to disarm themselves when Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are also not willing to disarm themselves and are GROWING, not cutting, their nuclear warhead and delivery system arsenals – and steadily modernizing them.
What is the West supposed to do? Disarm itself (or cut its arsenal) unilaterally?
Those who disarm themselves unilaterally to “lead by example”, as Obama says (and plans to do with America), will not set any example for anyone and will not be followed by anyone on the ficticious road to “Global Zero.” They will instead be attacked with nuclear weapons by a hostile power.
It’s also utterly ridiculous for SIPRI to wail that prospects for “nuclear disarmament” are bleak and that this goal is remote. Global “nuclear disarmament” is utterly unrealistic and will NEVER happen. N-E-V-E-R. The current nuclear buildups and modernization programs of Russia, China, North Korea, India, and Pakistan prove this abundantly.
It will never happen unless weapons even more powerful than nuclear arms are invented – which is unlikely and, in the best case, might only happen several decades from now.
The fact that all nuclear powers around the world, other than the US, are modernizing their arsenals or growing them – which SIPRI has openly admitted, and which SIPRI’s Hans M. Kristensen has also admitted on his blog, thus utterly disproves the Left’s claim that nuclear weapons are relics of the Cold War, that America doesn’t need them, and that it can afford to dramatically cut or even completely scrap its nuclear arsenal.
All of these Leftist blatant lies – repeated in a Goebbels-like manner by the Left for over two decades – have once again been proven to be blatant lies.
If nuclear weapons are “relics of the Cold War” and unneeded, why is everyone else around the world – Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, France, Britain – growing and/or modernizing their nuclear arsenals?
Because they all know the high military and geopolitical value of nuclear weapons – and their unmatched deterrent, but also coercive, power. They know it all too well.
How can America afford to continue to cut, let alone scrap, its nuclear arsenal while Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan are growing theirs, and when Russia and China already have large nuclear arsenals?
What’s more, Russia, China, and North Korea have, since the 1990s, significantly INCREASED the role nuclear weapons play in their militaries and in their national security and defense strategies. In Russia’s and North Korea’s, nuclear weapons play the CENTRAL role, and both countries, as well as China, have reserved for themselves the “right” to attack the US with nuclear weapons preemptively. (China’s famous “no-first-use” pledge applies only to non-nuclear states, not to the US.)
It would be utterly foolish and suicidal to disarm oneself in the face of such potential adversaries who are not only growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals but also prioritizing their nuclear arms above all other weapons and willing to use them against America first, if they think they can get away with it without facing retaliation.
No, the US should not cut its nuclear arsenal at all, let alone scrap it. The US should NEVER disarm itself. If anything, the US ought to INCREASE its nuclear arsenal. Only that can ensure continued deterrence of Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan – today and well into the future. The US nuclear deterrent needs to be large enough, modern enough, survivable enough, and capable enough to provide deterrence – i.e. to be a highly credible retaliatory threat – against adversaries for decades to come. For that, stockpile expansion and a comprehensive modernization program are absolutely needed.
Footnotes: While the US is in the early development stages of its next-gen ballistic missile submarine and bomber, these systems won’t enter service until the 2020s, a decade from now, and the development of a replacement cruise missile has been delayed by years. Also, there is no program whatsoever to develop a replacement ICBM for the obsolete, 1970s’ vintage Minuteman-III, the cheapest, most reliable, most responsive retaliatory weapon the US has. What’s more, the Obama administration is now studying plans to decommission 150 ICBMs – i.e. an entire Air Force missile wing – unilaterally!  I conservatively count each of China’s 160 H-6 bombers as being capable of delivering only one warhead, even though some of these bombers – namely, those of the H-6K variant – can deliver at least 6 nuclear-tipped ICBMs over a distance of 4,400 kms. The bomber’s own combat radius is 2,200 kms, and the missile has its own additional range of another 2,200 kms.