For many years, this writer has been warning against any reductions in the US nuclear arsenal, based on the fact that Russia was building up its own, China’s nuclear arsenal’s size was unknown and likely to be in the thousands of warheads, and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were steadily increasing.
Accordingly, this writer has always consistently opposed any cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, including those mandated by the New START treaty, and has argued vocally against proposals by Obama admin officials and non-governmental arms control advocates like the “Arms Control Association” to cut the nuclear deterrent even further.
As time passed, more and more evidence emerged proving this writer’s claims – and proving nuclear disarmament advocates wrong.
But last Wednesday, the most powerful piece of evidence arrived: State Department cables from Moscow and Congressional testimony by Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, in charge of America’s entire nuclear commander.
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.
This isn’t just Zbigniew Mazurak speaking; this is the State Department (through its diplomats in Moscow) and the Strategic Command’s leader, Adm. Haney (who is in charge of all US nuclear weapons), speaking. As Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports:
“The blunt comments [by Adm. Haney - ZM] came in response to reports that Russian strategic nuclear forces recently held a large-scale nuclear exercise coinciding with saber-rattling conventional military deployments close to Russia’s eastern border with Ukraine.
Haney said the Russians conduct periodic nuclear war games and in 2013 produced a YouTube video that highlighted “every aspect of their capability.” (…)
State Department cables sent to Washington earlier this year included dire warnings that Russia is vastly increasing its nuclear arsenal under policies similar to those Moscow followed during the Soviet era. The cables, according to officials familiar with them, also stated that the Russian strategic nuclear forces buildup appears aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over the United States and not nuclear parity.
The nuclear modernization has been “continuous” and includes adding fixed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and mobile ICBMs, along with a new class of strategic missile submarines, Haney said in testimony.
“Russia has articulated their value in having strategic capability, and as such, each area they have invested in both in terms of nuclear strategic capability as well as space capability and cyberspace capability in terms of things,” Haney said.
“And as a result, we have seen them demonstrate their capability through a variety of exercises and operations. They maintain their readiness of that capability on a continuous fashion. And it’s a capability I don’t see them backing away from.”
By contrast, Haney testified to the committee that U.S. nuclear forces are in urgent need of modernization to update aging nuclear weapons, delivery systems, and support and production infrastructure, most of which were made decades ago. Under budget sequestration, which could be re-imposed in 2016, U.S. nuclear force modernization will be undermined.”
These facts utterly refute any claims – including those of Barack Obama, Congressional Democrats, and other nuclear disarmament advocates like the Arms Control Association and the Ploughshares Fund – that the US has too many warheads and can afford to cut its nuclear arsenal safely, or that this arsenal is a “Cold War relic” cutting which is “overdue and in the national interest.”
These despicable traitors wanted – and still want – America to cut its nuclear arsenal further and unilaterally, without Russian reciprocation. And for that, they should be severely punished with the maximum penalty foreseen by law for treason.
They have been blatantly lying. All of their claims, without any exception, are blatant lies. No, the US nuclear is not “too large”, “ripe for cuts”, nor a “Cold War relic.” No, its mission is not obsolete by any means – on the contrary, its mission (nuclear deterrence) is more important now than ever. No, cutting the US nuclear arsenal is not “overdue” nor “in the national interest” – it would be completely AGAINST the US national interest and utterly suicidal. It would invoke a Russian nuclear first strike on the US.
No, America cannot afford to cut its nuclear arsenal ANY FURTHER. It should increase, not cut, her nuclear arsenal.
Specifically, the US must:
- Not enter into any more arms reduction agreements ever again, especially not with countries which routinely violate such treaties, like Russia.
- Not reduce its nuclear arsenal by even one warhead and not retire any warheads except those whose service lives cannot be extended.
- Begin quickly increasing its arsenal and the production of cheap, simple plutonium-based warheads. Ample plutonium for their production can be easily obtained from spent fuel from American nuclear reactors.
- Resume nuclear testing.
- Accelerate the development of the Long-Range Strike Bomber and procure 200, not 80-100, of these aircraft; and require that they be certified as nuclear-capable from the moment they enter service.
- Quickly begin developing and procuring new, longer-ranged, stealthy replacements for the USAF’s cruise missiles as well as the Navy’s Tomahawk. The new cruise missiles should be of the same type, launchable from a wide range of platforms, and capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads. Their range should be at least 2,000 kms.
- Accelerate the development of hypersonic weapons. The B-52, the B-1, and the B-2 should all be made capable of launching hypersonic missiles. The HTV and Blackswift programs should also be resumed.
- Accelerate the Ohio class replacement program.
- Develop and deploy a new ICBM for the USAF, which should come in rail- and silo-based variants.
- Build more tactical nuclear warheads to reassure US allies around the world.
Once again, it must be repeated: THE US MUST NOT CUT ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL ANY FURTHER, WHETHER UNI-, BI-, OR MULTILATERALLY. PERIOD.