Rebuttal of arms control advocates’ lies about New START implementation

By | April 10, 2014

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Yesterday, the DOD announced it would continue to slavishly adhere to the treasonous New START unilateral disarmament treaty signed by Barack Obama four years ago, even despite Russia’s ongoing, rapid nuclear buildup and its illegal invasion and occupation of the Crimea.

In order to implement the treaty – which requires only the US, not Russia, to cut its nuclear arsenal – the DOD will eliminate 50 ICBMs, disable four launch tubes on each ballistic missile submarine and disable the nuclear weapon carrying ability on 30 of the USAF’s 66 B-52 bombers, rendering them only nuclear-capable. Thus, the USAF will have only 56 nuclear-capable bombers: the remaining 35 B-52s plus 20 B-2s, while Russia has 251 nuclear-capable Tu-95, Tu-160, and Tu-22M strategic bombers.

Yet, non-governmental disarmament advocates are not satisfied with these unilateral cuts and have called on the Obama administration to cut the US nuclear arsenal much deeper – and unilaterally – even as Russia, China, and North Korea are all rapidly building up and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and as Iran is racing to reach nuclear weapon capability.

To justify such dramatic unilateral cuts, they falsely claim that a) the US has more nuclear weapons than it needs, and b) disarming oneself makes one safer – both lies that have already been refuted here on CDN many times.

The Arms Control Association’s executive director, Daryl G. Kimball, falsely claims that the Obama administration’s implementation of New START “is modest in the extreme and still leaves the US with far more nuclear weapons than the President and the Pentagon say they need for nuclear deterrence.”

FAS blogger and Danish pro-unilateral-disarmament activist Hans M. Kristensen, who has campaigned for the West’s unilateral disarmament, falsely claims that the Obama administration, in deciding to keep 450 ICBM siloes and not making deeper cuts, “was not driven by national security concerns” – as if disarming oneself unilaterally could make one more secure!

All of their claims are utterly false. Disarmament only makes a country LESS secure, and America does NOT have more nuclear weapons than she needs for deterrence; in fact, the US barely has enough of them. This is because Russia and China wield large nuclear arsenals, while North Korea is growing its and Iran is racing to build one.

Putin’s Huge Nuclear Buildup

According to US State Department diplomats in Moscow, who monitor Russia daily, Moscow is “vastly increasing” its nuclear arsenal and aims to reach “nuclear superiority over, not nuclear parity with, the US”, as Bill Gertz reports in his newest column in the Washington Free Beacon.

This is consistent with previous media and think-tank reports that Russia was building up its nuclear arsenal, was building additional strategic Tu-160 bombers, and had ordered 400 new ICBMs. The State Department and Bill Gertz have now simply confirmed this.

Thus, we have irrefutable evidence that a) Russia is dramatically increasing its nuclear arsenal, and b) its buildup is aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over, not parity with, the US. Which also proves that  New START is a treasonous treaty highly dangerous to US and allied security, because it requires nuclear arsenal cuts only of the US, while allowing Russia to dramatically increase its own arsenal.

Russia currently has:

  • About 414-434 ICBMs capable of delivering at least 1,684 (and probably more) nuclear warheads to the CONUS, with its fleet of 68-75 SS-18 Satan ICBMs alone being able to deliver 10 warheads each (750 in total);
  • 13 ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 ballistic missiles (20 in the case of the sole Typhoon class boat), each missile being itself capable of delivering 4-8 warheads (12 in the future, when Bulava and Liner missiles replace the currently-used Skiff) to the CONUS even if launched from Russian ports (Moscow has had such long-ranged missiles since the late 1980s), meaning over 1,400 warheads in total deliverable by Russia’s strategic submarine fleet;
  • 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M), each capable of delivering between 7 (Tu-95) and 12 (Tu-22M) nuclear warheads to the CONUS. Russian bombers have, in recent years, repeatedly flown close to, and sometimes into, US airspace.
  • 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads in total, of which 1,500 are now deployed – and more will be deployed in the future – on the forementioned ICBMs, submarines, and bombers.
  • Over 20 attack and cruise missile submarines, each carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles (one such submarine of the Akula class popped up last year near the US submarine base at King’s Bay, GA).
  • The world’s largest tactical nuclear arsenal, with around 4,000 warheads deliverable by a very wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles to artillery pieces to tactical aircraft (Su-24, Su-25, the Flanker family, Su-34), to surface ships using nuclear depth charges.
  • Illegal (banned by the INF Treaty) intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles (Yars-M, R-500, Iskander-M) that can target any place in Europe and China. (Nonetheless, despite these facts, the Obama administration and NATO are too afraid to recognize and name Russia as an INF Treaty violator.)

Russia is now dramatically increasing that arsenal, as the State Department and the Strategic Command’s leader have now confirmed. In addition to deploying more warheads and building more bombers from stockpiled components, it is:

  • Deploying new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava and the Liner) that can carry 10-12 warheads each. Russia plans to procure around 140-150 missiles of each type; when these are fully deployed on Russia’s 13 ballistic missile subs, that fleet will be able to carry 2,000-2,200 nuclear warheads all by itself.
  • Deploying additional Yars-M, R-500, and Iskander-M IRBMs – in violation of the INF Treaty.

Russia is also steadily modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems. It is:

  • Developing and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying missiles such as the Bulava and the Liner. Two of them have already been commissioned and at least eight in total will be built.
  • Developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber, slated to first fly in 2020 – before the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber will.
  • Developing a new submarine-launched cruise missile, the Kaliber;
  • Procuring and deploying a new air-launched cruise missile, the Kh-101/102;
  • Developing and deploying three new ICBM types – the light Yars (RS-24, SS-29) to replace the single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles, the midweight Avangard/Rubezh (slated to replace SS-19 Stiletto missiles), and the Sarmat (AKA Son of Satan), intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs.
  • Developing a rail-based ICBM type on top of the forementioned ICBM classes.
  • Developing a hypersonic missile that could carry nuclear warheads to any point on Earth in an hour and easily penetrate US missile defenses.

Note that the RS-24 (SS-29) Yars ICBMs will be able to carry 10 warheads each, whereas the missiles they’re replacing – the Topol (SS-25 Sickle) and Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle-B) – can carry only one warhead. Therefore, as these missiles enter service, the warhead carriage capacity of the Russian ICBM fleet will greatly increase beyond the (already huge) number of 1,684 warheads immediately deliverable to the CONUS.

By 2018, 80%, and by 2021, 100% of Russia’s ICBMs will be missiles of the new generation – the he Avangard/Rubezh, and the Sarmat heavy ICBM, as well as the forementioned rail-based ICBM.

By contrast, the US, under the Obama administration, has unilaterally retired and scrapped its nuclear-armed Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and their warheads, plans to kill the procurement of conventional Tomahawks, has no program to replace its ICBMs or air-launched cruise missiles, has delayed the induction of its next-generation bomber until the mid-2020s (and plans to procure only 80-100 of these crucial aircraft), has no plans to develop or deploy mobile ICBMs or medium- or short-range ballistic missiles, and has delayed its ballistic missile submarine replacement program. And even when these boats enter service, there will be only 12 of them, each carrying 16 missiles as opposed to the current Ohio class carrying 24 missiles each.

This is as simple as “Russia and China have nuclear-armed submarine- and ground-launched cruise missiles and IRBMs, the US does not.”

Which means that, even without further cuts, the US will be at a nuclear disadvantage vis-a-vis Russia (and China).

Russia would’ve been a huge nuclear threat necessitating the maintenance of the US nuclear arsenal at no less than its current size even WITHOUT this nuclear buildup. With it, it is becoming an even greater nuclear threat, thus necessitating that the US nuclear arsenal be increased, too.

The Dragon’s Huge Nuclear Teeth

China also has a large nuclear arsenal. How large, exactly? Retired Chief of Staff of Russia’s Strategic Missile Troops, General Viktor Yesin, based on Russian intel data, estimates it at 1,600-1,800 nuclear warheads and enough fissile material for another 1,800 warheads.

China’s delivery systems arsenal currently consists of:

  •  24-36 DF-5 ICBMs and an unknown number of DF-41 ICBMs capable of carrying 10 warheads each;
  • over 30 DF-31/31A ICBMs capable of carrying 4 warheads per missile;
  • 20 DF-4 ICBMs;
  • 120 DF-3 and DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles, now being joined by the DF-25 and the DF-26;
  • over 1,600 DF-11, DF-15, and DF-16 short-range ballistic missiles, the vast majority of them stationed opposite Taiwan;
  • 440 nuclear-capable bombers and strike aircraft (H-6, Q-5, JH-7), each armed with a nuclear freefall bomb and many H-6K bombers being armed with air-launched CJ-10 and CJ-20 cruise missiles; and
  • 6 ballistic missile submarines (1 Xia class, 5 Jin class), capable of carrying 12-16 missiles each (JL-2 missiles in the Jin class’s case, each carrying 4 warheads); a new class of ballistic subs, however, the Type 096 Tang class, is due to begin strategic patrols this year, armed with 24 JL-2 missiles.

Of course, like Russia, China is now rapidly expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal. It is building additional ICBMs, shorter-ranged missiles, ballistic missile submarines, and strike aircraft. It is also:

  • Developing nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles;
  • Modifying more H-6 bombers to carry nuclear-armed cruise missiles;
  • Developing new, longer-ranged variants of the JL-2 submarine-launched missile that will be able to carry 12 warheads over a distance of 14,000 kms; and
  • Developing a nuclear-capable stealthy intercontinental bomber.

Yet, in the face of this huge nuclear buildup by both Russia and China, arms control advocates like Kimball and Kristensen continue to falsely claim America has more nuclear weapons than needed for nuclear deterrence – and leftist press agencies like Reuters and AP uncritically print their blatant lies!

The American people, and members of Congress, must not buy their blatant lies. No, America does not have more nuclear weapons than necessary for nuclear deterrence; it barely has enough. As Russia and China increase their nuclear arsenals, America will have to do the same if it wishes to be secure.

For it is military strength, not weakness, that guarantees peace and security, contrary to Kristensen’s and the ACA’s blatant lies.

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