Tag Archives: Iran

All the Way to Baghdad and All I Got Was this Satellite

Iran_Iraq

President Barack Obama loves to complain about all the things he was saddled with as he rose to become the most powerful man in the world: the economy, the Constitution, Joe Biden… but he’s rarely taken to the stage to talk about the war in Iraq. You could hardly blame him: he was steadfastly against the Bush surge, which ended up stamping down the daily suicide bombings, and provided a sustainable level of security.

True to his campaign pledge, on October 21, 2011, Obama announced the end of the war and pulled US forces out of the desert nation. With the exception of Vietnam, it may have been the worst US pullout of all time.

Whatever one might think of the US invasion, after 8 years of war, thousands of casualties and tens of thousands of wounded, one would have to hope all of it meant something. That it was all worth something. In the end, that’s a hard argument to make.

The nation we invaded was ruled by a sadistic, paranoid psychopath: Saddam Hussein, and terrorized by his even more psychotic sons. No one is sorry to see the likes of them gone. For years the Bush administration pushed to establish a functioning Arab democracy in Iraq, and to some degree he was moderately successful in that aim by the time he left office. With the 2007 troop surge, the daily suicide bombings were all but eliminated, allowing the Iraqi people and their government to function.

After Obama took office, the press quickly got very quiet about troop deaths and violence in Iraq. In fact, when Obama announced the end of the war in 2011, most Americans responded with, “What? Oh, yeah, I remember that war…” And the nation we left behind we left behind fell quickly into chaos.

It wasn’t hard to predict: the US pullout came with absolutely no plan for long-term security of the country, and no strategic agreement with the government of Iraq. When the troops took off, they left a power vacuum in their wake, and as vacuums are want to do, it pulled in all comers.

It was also not overly difficult to predict who would emerge victorious in the new bloody battle for power either. After all, the 2010 re-election of Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was not due to American security or support, but due to the backing of the Shi’ite regime in Tehran. Iranian supplied and supportive militias roam the streets of Iraq while the Sunni dissidents rely on suicide bombings.

This year Iraqis killed in terrorist attacks are at levels unseen since their height in the US occupation. Recently, over 1,000 Iraqis are killed in terrorist strikes every month.

American influence in Iraq is nonexistent. Iraqis know as well as any American that the US is certainly not putting boots on the ground in Iraq again anytime soon. And whatever aid we send over can’t be cut out without an admission that the Obama administration utterly failed to responsibly end the war.  So Maliki, being the good puppet of Iran that he is, expresses his support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and has allowed Iranian weapons and supplies to flow through Iraq on their way to Syria. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, even flew all the way to Baghdad to pressure Maliki to put an end to it. Maliki seemed as impressed with Kerry as… well… just about everyone else, plainly telling the top US diplomate to take a hike.

Last month, 52 Iranian exiles were murdered, execution style, by Iraqi Security Forces. The exiles were members of the Iranian Mujahedin Khalq (MeK) group, which has long fought the theocratic rule of Tehran. After renouncing violence in 2001, the UN was in the process of providing safe passage for the exiles to Algeria.

Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, a division of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard, had other plans. After visiting Baghdad on August 27, the exiles were executed September 1. The mass murder was highly lauded in the halls of Tehran.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, Hassain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, has announced Iraq is ready to help Iran develop her nuclear program.

 

Eight years.

4,500 KIA.

35,000 wounded.

1 Iranian satellite nation.

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With Love From Iran: Egg on Your Face

Hassan Rouhani

The Iranian election of Hassan Rouhani is the ushering in of a new era of peace and transformation for the Islamic Republic, at least to hear the world press tell it, and the Obama administration is right on board. Unfortunately, it turns out that the politics of empty rhetoric is the same in the Middle East as it is in the West, and while Rouhani may appear softer and gentler, there’s nothing new coming out of Iran.

You could hardly blame Obama for jumping on the Rouhani bandwagon, what with the Iranian’s campaign slogan of “change and prudence.” It’s almost as if Rouhani attended a liberal buzzword training course in Foggy Bottom, not to mention looking oddly similar to Santa.

Rouhani_Santa

The State Department, for its part, is all too eager to believe their policies of engagement with the world’s most tyrannical actually works, especially after the catastrophe in Syria.

Those who keep their eyes on such things may remember the State Department’s new policy in 2010, after the blackout of “engagement” under Bush, to send an ambassador to Damascus. This was despite Syria’s refusal to cooperate with the IAEA. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “we’re putting an ambassador in Damascus so we can have the kind of direct conversation and engagement that we think is necessary in the region in the 21st century.” But that didn’t really work out so well.

But if the Obama knows anything, it’s that when you find yourself in a hole, keep digging. Now’s the time for the same sort of “engagement” with Tehran’s new president. Of course, the idea that anything has changed in Iran ignores the fact that there’s been no change in Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, or in the Guardian Council which pre-approves presidential candidates before they go before the voters. But, in diplomacy, ignorance is bliss, and there may be no one more ignorant than Rouhani.

Take his UN speech, in which he referred to Iran as an anchor of peace in the ocean of instability that is the Middle East. Never mind Iran arming and training Hezbollah, and arming and training Hamas, and arming Iraqi insurgents to kill Americans, and arming Afghani insurgents to kill Americans, and the execution of political dissidents… Never mind these things, Rouhani assures us that Iran’s nuclear program won’t develop weapons, which would “contradict [their] religious convictions.” Exactly why this form of indiscriminate killing would contradict Iranian religious convictions, no one’s quite sure, but it sure does sound good on the world stage!

The West would be well served to greet the new boss the same as the old boss. Empty rhetoric aside, Iran has demonstrated none of the long-held conditions for engagement, but has promised their centrifuges will continue to spin. Iran gets that much closer to her nuclear weapon, and the West only ends up with radioactive egg on her face.

 

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The utter failure of Obama’s “reset” policy

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Russia’s decisions to grant asylum to Edward Snowden and to send warships to the coast of Syria to protect that country’s regime from the United States are just the latest hostile steps taken by Russia against the US, in a long line of hostile actions take against the US under Vladimir Putin’s rule.

But these two events are notable in and of themselves, because they are the final nails in the coffin of the Obama Administration’s utterly failed “reset” (read: appeasement) policy towards Russia.

Despite, or perhaps because of, this utterly failed and shameful policy, Russia is even more hostile and virulently anti-American than it was in January 2009.

This is not surprising to anyone who actually knows foreign policy well – unlike the self-appointed “experts” populating the Council on Foreign Relations, the Obama administration, RINO Republicans like Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell, and most Washington (and European) think-tanks, who to this very day delude themselves that the “reset” has been a success and that Russia is a partner rather than a foe. (Obama himself falsely claimed in September, AFTER the Snowden affair and Assad’s chemical weapons attack on Syria, that “we succeeded” and that the “reset” allegedly produced “a whole host” of outcomes beneficial to the US.)

Nor is it any surprise to Mitt Romney, who, last year, correctly called Russia “America’s #1 geopolitical foe”, although China seems to compete hard for that coveted title. Mitt Romney was absolutely right, and Obama absolutely wrong, all along.

Already during the Bush years, I was warning that the Bush administration, where Condoleezza Rice (a RINO of the same mold as Colin Powell who, just like Powell, voted for Obama) called the shots on foreign policy, was engaged in craven appeasement of Putin’s Russia – a policy that even Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s nat-sec advisor, condemned as shameful and Chamberlain-like.

President Bush unilaterally cut America’s nuclear deterrent, scrapped the USAF’s most modern and capable ICBMs (MX Peacekeeper missiles), and retired the USAF’s most capable cruise missiles, the AGM-129s. Moreover, he cravenly sought Vladimir Putin’s permission to deploy a meager 10 interceptors in Central Europe to protect the US from Iran.

Barack Obama and his administration elevated appeasement to an art, calling it “reset” and starting a long, one-way street of concessions to Russia in the vain hope the Kremlin would reciprocate.

Since 2009, the US has agreed (under New START) to cut its own nuclear deterrent by 33% while allowing Russia to grow its own; to intrusive inspections of its missile defense facilities; to allow Russia to join the WTO; to make no more than symbolic complaints about Russia’s massive human rights violations; and to cancel plans to deploy missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Obama has also made massive cuts in missile defense spending and programs, killing those programs that would’ve provided the most effective defense (MKV, KEI, ABL, SM-3 4th stage). In 2012, he even promised the Russians “more flexibility” on missile defense and nuclear weapons after his reelection.

And yet, Russia has not become even one iota more cooperative or less hostile since 2009.

While Russia has provided some meager assistance to the US in Afghanistan – renting aircraft and opening its supply lines to that country – it had already been cooperating on that front since 2001. Obama and his utterly failed “reset” policy had nothing to do with this. Russia is cooperating on Afghanistan out of its own national interest – NOT because of any desire to collaborate with the US on anything. Terrorists based in Afghanistan pose a much greater danger to Russia than the US.

Russia, in any case, is not much help there – renting its aircraft is far more expensive than operating the USAF’s own, and delivering supplies through Russia is several times more expensive than through Pakistan.

So Russia’s “help” on Afghanistan is utterly useless. The US could’ve procured a number of additional American-made C-17 aircraft (and thus also create some US jobs) instead of renting those grotesquely-expensive Russian planes.

On nothing else has Russia been cooperative.

It has not cancelled the sale of S-300 air defense systems as is often erroneously claimed – it has decided to sell a different (but equally capable) S-300VM instead of the S-300PMU. Moreover, it now plans to sell it to Syria as well.

It supplies America’s enemies – Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and even Hezbollah – with diplomatic protection and (excepting NK and Cuba) with weapons. Russia’s deputy foreign minister has even said this about Hezbollah:

“We cooperate with Hezb’allah and respect the Lebanese people’s will… this party, which has proven its credibility [over the course of time], must [have its opinions] respected.”

Russia has built nuclear reactors in Iran, has supplied tons of nuclear fuel to that country, and continues to supply it with that, as well as weapons and diplomatic protection. If Iran ever acquires a nuclear weapon, let alone uses it against anyone, Russia will be directly responsible.

Russia had the Boston bombers (the Tsarnayev brothers) wiretapped for months before the Boston bomb attack, and withheld critical information from US intel and law enforcement – information that could’ve prevented the terrorist attack. In other words, it willfully allowed the terrorist attacks to succeed. (But that doesn’t stop Putin from deceitfully posing as a friend of the US, and many Americans, including many Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher and Pat Buchanan, from being utterly duped by Putin.)

Moscow also continues to widely disseminate anti-American propaganda – at home and in the US itself – through state-owned radio and TV channels such as “Russia Today”/RT, which broadcasts in the US and on the Internet, is wholly owned and operated by the Kremlin, employs Russian propagandists and some useful American idiots, and spreads vociferous anti-American propaganda. (And because of births of a feather tend to flock together, Ron Paul fans like Julie Borowski love to appear on that channel.)

RussiaToday is, BTW, operating ILLEGALLY in the US, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires all those who perform PR work for a foreign actor, and all media outlets which perform such work or present a foreign actor’s viewpoint or propaganda, to register at the DOJ as foreign agents, constantly notify the DOJ of their financial operations, and, in case of TV channels, permanently display a “Acts on behalf of a foreign actor” strip on the TV screen.

RT has not satisfied any of these legal requirements, meaning that it is operating illegally in the US and is thus a criminal organization.

And, as a part of their craven appeasement policies, the Bush and Obama administrations have tolerated this.

You can see what persons and entities have registered in the US on behalf of any country here. Pick “Russia” from the list and see for yourself – the RussiaToday channel has NOT registered as with the DOJ as an agent of the Russian government.

Russia has been busy for the last several years building an increasingly capable missile defense system – while demanding that the US stop developing and upgrading its own and foreswear deploying it abroad.

Moscow has, simoultaneously, been pursuing an offensive arms race against the US – extending the service lifetimes of its current weapons while ordering large numbers of new ones. On order are, inter alia, 400 new ICBMs, hundreds of SLBMs, 8 ballistic missile subs, hundreds of 5th generation stealthy PAKFA fighters, and new tanks. Russia is also building new Tu-160 from stockpiled components and developing a new, stealthy bomber – the PAK DA. Russia’s navy is building new, more capable classes of ships as well, and one Akula class submarine spied on the USN’s submarine base at Kings Bay (GA) last year.

In the last year, Russia’s provocative and hostile actions have only worsened, as it has begun flying  nuclear-armed bombers (and their escort fighters) very near US airspace and twice INTO Japanese airspace, as well as into Swedish airspace once. This included simulated strikes on US missile defense sites in Alaska, California, and Japan, on Japanese bases, on US bases in Guam (a strategically important island in the Western Pacific), and Sweden’s military bases.

What’s worse, Russia’s aggressive, simulated attacks have found Sweden completely unprepared to defend itself, due to its shortage of fighters and pilots.

When asked by reporters what they were doing flying close to Alaska, the Russians said they were “practicing attacking the enemy.”

This is what they consider the US to be: “the enemy.” Those are their words, not mine.

In September, the civilized world observed the 30th anniversary of the Soviet massacre of KAL007, a civilian airliner that erroneously ventured into Soviet airspace and was shot down. The commander of the base from which the Su-15 interceptors executing the shootdown originated was one Anatoliy Kornukov – later Commander of the Russian AF under Yeltsin and Putin, photographed happily sharing drinks with the later.

This criminal is one of Putin’s drinking friends.

But I’m not surprised. Once a KGB thug, always a KGB thug. Putin has spent his entire adult life learning to hate and to destroy, then trying to destroy, the Western civilization, including the US. He’ll never change, just like an Islamic terrorist will never forego jihad. What I am surprised by is that so many Americans were so foolish that they reelected Barack Obama, the author of the “reset” appeasement policy, last year – over the realist, tough, no-nonsense Gov. Mitt Romney. November 6th, 2012, will likely be the most shameful date in American history for perpetuity.

Below: Photos of Vladimir Putin meeting and shaking hands with other virulently anti-American dictators around the world.

putin

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to attack Iran

DonkeyHotey (CC)

DonkeyHotey (CC)


While President Obama is signalling that he’s willing to talk with Iran’s president, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is calling for an attack. While he admits that it’s not likely that he’ll get enough support to carry out any military action against Iran, Graham is insisting that it is something that the U.S. must do, to protect our interests in the region – or more importantly, to protect Israel.

“The mixed message and the debacle called Syria can’t be repeated when it comes to Iran,” Graham continued. “So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to get a bipartisan coalition together. We’re going to put together a use-of-force resolution allowing our country to use military force as a last resort to stop the Iranian nuclear program, to make sure they get a clear signal that all this debacle about Syria doesn’t mean we’re confused about Iran.”

Beyond the issue of involving the U.S. in yet another war, one issue with Graham’s proposal would be defining exactly what “last resort” is, especially in light of the current problem in Syria, with Obama’s “red line” on chemical weapons. While Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did define what the limit should be in regard to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, that may not be the line the U.S. would want to draw. While attempts at diplomacy are being considered now with the President Hassan Rouhani, it’s also true that any talks are not likely to cause Iran to stop the centrifuges that are rapidly moving toward the point of producing weapon-level nuclear material.

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Obama willing to meet Iran’s Rouhani at UN

Official_Photo_of_Hassan_Rouhani,_7th_President_of_Iran,_August_2013

The White House has expressed the President Obama is willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the UN, offering the possibility of warming relations between the two nations that have been at odds since the 1979 revolution in Iran. This is undoubtedly in response to a less militant veneer that Rouhani has brought to his office, since the end of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s departure. The change in posture in Iran has been credited to Rouhani being more “moderate” than his predecessor, however as far as Iran’s nuclear aspirations are concerned, it is important to remember that he had been instrumental in advancing the nuclear program in that nation for years.

While Obama may be open to trusting the new leadership in Iran, Israel is not so sure. The Israelis are acutely aware of Rouhani’s history in regard to Iran’s nuclear program, and are assuming that the new president is going to attempt to use a softer touch to get what the leaders in his nation want – nuclear capability. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also pointed out that Rouhani’s claims that he does not intend to continue work on acquiring a nuclear weapon are “deceptive”.

“The Iranians are spinning stories in the media so that the centrifuges can keep on spinning,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The true test is not in Rowhani’s words, but in the actions taken but the Iranian regime, which—while Rowhani is giving interviews—continues to push its nuclear program.”

An Obama Scheme

So, today, as Secretary of State, John Kerry, reeled off the reasons that the United States should find itself embroiled in a civil war in the Middle East, as Vladimir Putin weighs his responses, and as Obama declares that the U.S. will go it alone if they have to, the world waits. The world seems to split into a few different camps .

Some wonder who actually used the poison gas that killed thousands of Syrians (despite Kerry’s swearing that he is positive it was Assad’s men, not rebels). Some wonder, why now? Suddenly, gas is a thousand deaths too far? Yet others may wonder why there is not more pressure on the U.N. to provide peacekeepers, or to investigate if it was actually gas used, or to hold a vote, in the face of an assured Russian veto, to allow nations to intervene.

Here at home, there are any number of Obama administration scandals that a person could point to, that would easily take a backseat to a brand new war. While the country is war-weary, the men that do the fighting are fathers, sons, and brothers, and using them as some sort of executive strike force would lose far more respect for the president than allowing most of the scandals to run their course. Of course, that takes for granted that this administration still has respect left to lose.

As it seems now, any Syrian actions will revolve around the use of tomahawk cruise missiles, which cost around $1.4 million per launch. The odd thing about a new attack (or kinetic military action, as they are now known), is that the president may have waited so long to act, he has excuses no matter the outcome. Perhaps that is what the delay was all about – coming up with explanations to describe what has happened, no matter what happens.

Plan A: Obama orders $140 million worth of missile strikes (probably a very low total estimate of what strikes would actually cost), and they will have little to no effect on the man who Obama intends to punish, Bashir Assad. Assad has already had plenty of time to move the missiles and other weapons that Obama would ostensibly target. So, the missile strikes would amount to little more than another giant waste of money and manpower, and accomplishes nothing…Except anger Russia and Iran. For his part, Obama stresses how he only had the most positive outcome in mind. He was trying to do the right thing.

Plan B: Obama orders his strikes, and through either bad intelligence or some other missile snafu, a strike hits a Russian or Iranian-owned building or other concern. In that scenario, I would anticipate a quick reaction of the administration to be to throw money at the problem, to quickly make it go away. For Russia or Iran’s part, they could probably take the issue to the United Nations, and seek to shame the United States. As a result, the U.S.’s standing in the world gets tarnished again. Obama says it was an unfortunate event, (and without mentioning the payoff) he is glad that the country who suffered the loss decided against any “rushed actions”, and that the countries have something to build on now.

Plan C: Obama orders more extensive actions than just a missile strike. This not only entails aircraft, both fighters and bombers, it also risks pilots’ lives – something that missiles do not do. One can only guess how an angry Assad, unjustly attacked (in his eyes) would treat a downed American pilot. In that case, who does Obama turn to, being allied with Al-Qaeda elements and France, for diplomatic channels to get the pilot released? Once he figures out the magic word (or amount) I would expect Obama to spin the achievement of his State Department.

When you are a Teflon president, there is little worry of having a scandal or war failure attach to you. With the ongoing scandals having little effect on Obama so far, it may have only emboldened him to act more brazenly than he might have previously. With so many yes-men in place, willing to fall on a sword for you, what is the your source of critical thought or reflection of your actions? Having only been told positive things about your actions, while having a press that minimizes negativity, warranted or not, is not good for a leader. Of the many things that Barack Obama has done, and has taken upon himself to enact via executive order, this should truly bear the title of Obama’s War, regardless of outcome.

The Left’s blatant lies about nuclear weapons

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The Left never ceases to make attacks on what makes America great and strong – including its military power. And by far the most important and powerful component of America’s military power is its nuclear deterrent. Hence, it is the #1 target in the Left’s crosshairs as it seeks to disarm America unilaterally – gutting both its conventional and strategic arsenals, as well as missile defense.

But of course openly seeking to disarm America for its own sake – and to expose it to danger – would be rejected by most Americans. So to get the public to accept unilateral disarmament, the Left has made up a plethora of lies: that it will supposedly make America and the world more secure and peaceful, that others will follow suit and disarm themselves, that lots of money will be saved, that terrorists will be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, that America’s “moral leadership” will encourage the “world community” to pressure North Korea and Iran into forgoing nukes… There’s seemingly no end to these Leftist fantasies.

I wonder if they’ll also claim that scrapping America’s nukes will solve the problem of obesity in America.

Let’s review the most popular Leftist lies about America’s nuclear arsenal and see if any of them have even a grain of truth.

1. Myth: “Cutting America’s nuclear arsenal, per se, will make America and the world more secure and peaceful. Less is more. Less is inherently better.”

Fact: On the contrary, it would make America and the world less secure and peaceful. It would weaken America’s deterrent against the gravest threats to US, allied, and world security – nuclear, chemical, biological, and ballistic missile attack, against which nothing else can protect (except, to a limited extent, missile defense). It would thus encourage such attacks by America’s adversaries, for whom the consequences of such attack – because of cuts in America’s deterrent – would be much smaller than when America’s nuclear arsenal is large.

To be secure, you MUST have a large nuclear arsenal – at least as large as that of your biggest adversary. This is because:

1) it needs to be big enough to survive an adversary’s first strike, thus deterring him from attempting one in the first place; and

2) it needs to be big enough to hold the vast majority of an enemy’s assets at risk – and there are thousands of such targets that need to be held at risk.

The more nuclear weapons America has, the safer she and her allies are and the more peaceful the world is. It is STRENGTH, not WEAKNESS, that ensures peace and security.

Just ask yourself: has the world gotten more secure and peaceful over the last 21 years, while America has cut her nuclear by over 75%? Of course not. Russia has rebounded, China has become a superpower, multiple rogue states have become grave threats (and are developing nuclear weapons), and multiple wars have engulfed the world.

2. Myth: “It will entice other countries, e.g. Russia and China, to cut and eventually eliminate their own nuclear arsenals.”

Fact: Quite the contrary, there is abundant evidence that they’d only increase, not cut, their nuclear arsenals. As even Jimmy Carter’s SECDEF, Harold Brown, has said, “When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.” He has called nuclear disarmament a fantasy.

Under New START, Russia has INCREASED, not cut, its nuclear arsenal – as it is allowed to, because New START only requires America to cut its arsenal. Previous unilateral American cuts have also failed to entice Russia to reciprocate. The only time Moscow has cut anything was under the old START treaty, signed in 1991. Now it is GROWING its nuclear arsenal and developing intermediate range missiles in violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Meanwhile, China, North Korea, and Pakistan, not bound by any treaty, have indeed GROWN their nuclear arsenals since then – China to as many as 3,000 warheads![1]

In addition, Russia is blatantly violating the INF Treaty by developing and testing an IRBM, and also violating the CFE Treaty! How can we trust Russia to comply with New START and reciprocate the newest cuts proposed by Obama when Russia is not complying with existing arms reduction treaties? We can’t!

3. Myth: “It will show America’s “moral leadership” and “moral example” to “the world community” and encourage it to heavily and successfully pressure North Korea and Iran to forego nuclear weapons.”

Fact: On the contrary, there is abundant evidence the world wouldn’t apply sufficient pressure on North Korea and Iran. And of course, these countries, by themselves, will not be impressed by America’s useless “moral example”. How do we know that?

Because we’ve already tried the Left’s useless, suicidal “arms control” policies and they have utterly failed. Since 1991, America has cut its nuclear arsenal by over 75%, from over 20,000 warheads to just 5,000 today – and has unilaterally withdrawn tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea, ships, and submarines, and unilaterally scrapped its most powerful ICBMs, the Peacekeepers.

Yet, the “world community” has utterly failed to significantly pressure North Korea and Iran – who, to this day, have or pursue nuclear weapons (and North Korea intends to grow its arsenal). Iran even recently opened a heavy-water facility that will enable it to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Why has the “world community” failed to apply meaningful pressure? Because there is no such thing as a unified “world community”! (Despite the Chicago community organizer’s fantasies and those of Ploughshares’ Joe Cirincione.) America’s allies, including the Gulf states, Israel, Japan, and South Korea[2], have always supported strong pressure against Iran and North Korea, and they’d support such pressure regardless of what the US would’ve done.

(In fact, allies are more likely to back the US and be content with mere “pressure” and sanctions if the US provides a large, strong nuclear umbrella to them, and much less likely to back the US if it continues to cut its nuclear deterrent – which will force them to develop their own nuclear arsenals.)

It is America’s adversaries, Russia and China, who shield those regimes from meaningful pressure. And cutting America’s nuclear deterrent won’t impress them at all – it will only make them even MORE unwilling to influence Iran and North Korea, because an America with fewer nuclear weapons is a militarily weaker America (thus fewer reasons to fear it).

4. Myth: “It will lead to a world without nuclear weapons, which is both desirable and achievable.”

Fact: A world without nuclear weapons is neither desirable nor achievable. There is ZERO chance of there ever being a world without nukes. Russia and China have large and growing arsenals – and are growing and modernizing them. Russia is developing an IRBM in violation of the INF Treaty. North Korea, already wielding nukes, intends to grow it (and has the facilities to do so) – and frequently threatens nuclear war. Iran is well on its way to the nuclear club. Worried about Iran, the Gulf states are seriously considering “going nuclear.” Besides them, India, Pakistan, and Israel all have nuclear weapons and refuse to discuss, let alone scrap, them.[3]

As SIPRI recently admitted, no nuclear power is willing to scrap, or even stop modernizing, its nuclear arsenal. (Other than Obama’s America, that is.) SIPRI’s Hans Kristensen speaks of “rampant modernization” of the arsenals of all nuclear powers.

Moreover, Russia claims her nuclear weapons are “a sacred issue” and utterly refuses to scrap or even cut them. It accords them absolute priority in its military doctrine and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first, even if its adversary doesn’t have nuclear weapons.

The goal of “a world without nuclear weapons” isn’t just “distant”; it’s utterly unrealistic and ridiculous.

The world is not “moving towards nuclear zero”; it isn’t even on the beginning of the road to nuclear zero, and never will be. The world (other than Obama’s America) is going in the EXACTLY OPPOSITE direction: more nuclear weapons and more nuclear-armed states.

Barack Obama’s legacy will not be “a world without nuclear weapons”, or even a planet going in that direction. Barack Obama’s legacy will be a planet going in the exactly opposite direction, and quite possibly, a nuclear-armed Iran.

So there is ZERO chance of there ever being a world without nuclear weapons. A world with unicorns is more likely.

Nor would such a world be desirable. Nuclear weapons should be liked, not hated, because they’ve prevented any war between the major powers since their inception in 1945. They have a superb, stellar record in deterring enemies and preventing war – a record no other weapon system can claim.

And as Sun Tzu taught, the acme of military skill is to win without fighting.

Humanity lived through “Global Zero” – in a world without nukes – for almost its entire history from its dawn to 1945. During that time, there were numerous and horribly destructive wars between the great powers of the time, each one leading to huge casualties among combatants and civilians and to great destruction. Examples included the Peloponesian war, Rome’s wars of conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the Seven Years’ War, the Napoleonic Wars, and of course, the two World Wars. Not to mention the numerous bloody civil wars such as those in the US (1861-1865) and Russia (1918-1923).

5 million people, including 1 million Frenchmen, died in the Napoleonic Wars. Proportionally to the populations of today, that would be 50 million Europeans, including 10 million Frenchmen. French casualties in these wars were 14% higher than in WW1. In that war alone, about 10 million people died; in World War 2, over 60 million, and its perpetrators attempted the extermination of entire nations (peoples) and even races. The sheer barbarity and murder witnessed during that war is unmatched by any conflict before or after that war.

Since 1945, however – the advent of nuclear weapons – there has been NO war between the great powers. And it is mostly, if not entirely, because of nuclear weapons, which have moderated their behavior and forced them to accept coexistence with each other even if they have diametrically opposed ideologies. Nuclear weapons have taught them that even the most difficult compromise is better than a nuclear exchange.

5. Myth: “It will prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Fact: This claim is so ridiculous, it’s laughable. Scrapping America’s deterrent will do nothing to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons. They can’t steal American weapons, because these are too well protected. And scrapping America’s nuclear arsenal, as proven above (and by real life experience), will do nothing to entice other countries to give up their nukes, nor prevent terrorists from stealing such weapons or buying them on the black market (if it’s possible).

Besides, having a nuclear warhead is not enough. One must also have a delivery system – a missile or aircraft and mate the two. That is too difficult for terrorists.

6. Myth: “America’s nuclear arsenal is too expensive and not worth the cost of maintaining it. And it siphons money away from other defense programs.”

Fact: America’s nuclear deterrent is one of the cheapest parts of its defenses. It costs only 6% of America’s annual budget, thus giving taxpayers a great return on investment – namely, peace and security from the gravest military threats of this world: nuclear, biological, chemical, and ballistic missile attack.

The ICBM leg of the nuclear triad – the cheapest, most ready, most responsive, and most dispersed leg – costs only $1.1 bn per year to maintain; the bomber leg costs only $2.5 bn per year. The entire nuclear arsenal, including all the warheads, missiles, bombers, submarines, supporting facilities, and personnel costs only $32-38 bn per year to maintain, which is only 6.3% of the entire military budget ($611 bn in FY2013, pre-sequestration).

Numbers don’t lie; liberals do.

For that low cost, taxpayers get a large, diverse, survivable nuclear triad capable of surviving even a large-scale first strike and of striking anywhere in the world with any needed measure of power. A triad that gives the President huge flexibility in where, when, and how to strike; a triad that keeps the enemy guessing as to how the US would retaliate.

No, the nuclear deterrent is not siphoning money away from other defense programs. It is certain other, far more expensive defense programs – notably the Junk Strike Fighter and $13.5-billion-per-copy aircraft carriers – that are siphoning it.

7. Myth: “America’s nuclear deterrent is a relic of the Cold War irrelevant to the current security environment.”

Fact: Nuclear weapons are HIGHLY RELEVANT in the 21st century security environment. They protect America and all of its allies against the following three, potentially catastrophic, security threats: a nuclear/chemical/biological attack, a large-scale conventional attack, and nuclear proliferation.

The US nuclear arsenal is the most effective counter-proliferation program ever created. It has discouraged all of America’s allies except Britain and France from developing nuclear weapons, reassuring them that they don’t need to do so because the US provides a powerful nuclear umbrella to them. Such an umbrella is ESPECIALLY needed now – more than ever – given the nuclear threats posed by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (including 1,550 deployed) and up to 4,000 tactical warheads – and the means to deliver all 6,800 if need be. Its 434 ICBMs can collectively deliver 1,684 warheads to the CONUS; its 14 ballistic missile submarines can deliver over 2,200 warheads to the CONUS (while sitting in their ports); and each of its 251 strategic bombers can carry up to 7 warheads (1 freefall bomb and 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles). Its Tu-95 bomber fleet alone can deliver over 700 warheads to the middle of America.

China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver 1,274 of them. Among these are almost 70 ICBMs, 120 MRBMs, over 1,600 SRBMs, dozens of land-attack cruise missiles, six ballistic missile submarines, and 440 nuclear-capable aircraft. While the vast majority of its SRBMs and cruise missiles are reportedly conventionally-armed at present, they could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime, which is called “breakout capability.”

Then there’s North Korea with its nuclear arsenal (which it has announced it will grow) and ICBMs capable of reaching the US, and Iran, which is coming closer to achieving nuclear weapon status everyday. Only nuclear weapons can protect America against these threats. So they are HIGHLY RELEVANT in the 21st century.

Besides deterring nuclear attack, nuclear weapons also protect America’s treaty allies against a large-scale conventional attack – ensuring that it has never happened so far.

8. Myth: “A small nuclear deterrent (minimum deterrence) will suffice; we don’t need a large arsenal. Our arsenal is too big right now.”

Fact: A small nuclear arsenal will not suffice. Not even close. A small arsenal would be very easy to destroy in a first strike – as there would be far fewer targets for the enemy to destroy – thus stripping America of her nuclear retaliatory power. As Robert Kaplan rightly writes, “Never give your adversary too few problems to solve, because if you do, he’ll solve them.”

Destroying a US arsenal of only 300, 400, or even 800 weapons and a few submarines and bombers would be far easier for Russia and China than destroying America’s current arsenal.

It would also be, in and of itself, due to its small size, unable to threaten any credible retaliation because of too few weapons.

Why? Because, with a small arsenal, the US could threaten only a small number of Russia’s and China’s assets (such as military bases or weapon production plants). Yet, both Russia and China have thousands of assets that America must be able to strike in retaliation – and that doesn’t include North Korea and Iran. The 1,550 deployed strategic warhead ceiling is the absolute minimum needed to threaten credible retaliation against Russia and China. The Heritage Foundation estimates the US needs to have between 2,700-3,000 deployed warheads. The explanation why, and a simple discussion of the principles, the “mechanics”, and the needs of nuclear deterrence are here. Also please see my article here. Also see here.

May I remind you that Russia has between 6,800 and 8,800, and China has between 1,600-3,000, nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver all of them?

Thus, all leftist lies about America’s nuclear weapons have been utterly refuted once again. There isn’t even a kernel of truth in them. They’re all blatant lies.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Former DOD chief nuclear strategist Dr Philip Karber estimates China has up to 3,000 nuclear weapons, mostly hidden in its vast, 3,000-mile-long network of tunnels and bunkers. Retired Russian missile force general Viktor Yesin estimates China’s arsenal more conservatively at 1,600-1,800 warheads.

[2] While South Korea was somewhat hesitant to pressure the North under Presidents Kim and Rooh, that era is long over; current President Park is fed up with North Korea’s incessant threats.

[3] Israel, of course, has good reasons to have a nuclear deterrent, as does America.

Nuclear deterrent cuts: wrong in the 90s, wrong today

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The Left never ceases trying to make America weaker and less secure. Their biggest target right now is America’s nuclear deterrent – the country’s only defense against WMD attack, the only weapon system that has proven itself to always work, the only deterrent that has never failed and has kept America and its allies secure for 67 years (and counting), the most effective nonproliferation program ever invented, which discourages allies from developing their own nuclear weapons by reassuring them with an American nuclear umbrella.

Yet, the Left now wants to dismantle that crucial deterrent and thus disarm America unilaterally. This would be very dangerous and foolish. The deep unilateral cuts made by President Bush I between 1989 and 1993 are sometimes invoked as cuts that supposedly were “a good thing” and an example are emulate.

But the Left is wrong on that one as well. Those unilateral cuts of the Bush administration were also wrong.

The elder President Bush slashed the total nuclear stockpile by 50%, signed two START treaties (in 1991 and 1993), killed B-2 stealthy bomber production at just 21 aircraft, killed Midgetman small ICBM and air-launched cruise missile production, and completely stopped the development, production, upgrades, and testing of nuclear warheads. What were, and are, the results?

China has, since then, dramatically increased its nuclear arsenal – to between 1,600 and 3,000 nuclear warheads, according to General Viktor Yesin (a former Russian strategic missile force chief of staff) and Georgetown Professor Philip Karber, respectively. (Professor Karber was the DOD’s chief nuclear strategist under the Reagan Administration.)  It has also produced enough fissile material for 3,600 nuclear warheads (Yesin says half of it has been used so far) and built 3,000 miles of tunnels and bunkers for its nuclear warheads and their delivery missiles). It has also modernized all three legs of its nuclear triad – the submarines, ICBMs, and bombers.

Russia initially cut its nuclear arsenal within the old START treaty framework, but since President Putin came to power, it has begun rebuilding it, and the New START treaty allows it to. START data exchanges show that Russia has significantly increased its nuclear arsenal since New START’s ratification by the US – exactly as Russian leaders said they would.

And throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Russia has been steadily modernizing its nuclear arsenal, especially the ICBM leg, but also the bomber and submarine legs of its nuclear triad. A new class of SSBNs has entered service, the modern Tu-160 Blackjack bomber is in production from stockpiled parts, Moscow is now developing a new bomber, and throughout that time, new ICBM types have been introduced in large numbers – the Topol, Topol-M, Yars, and now Yars-M.

Also, since 1991, India and Israel have significantly increased their nuclear arsenals, and two new states hostile to the US have joined the nuclear club: Pakistan in 1998 and North Korea in 2006. Iran, meanwhile, has made great progress towards nuclear weapons acquisition.

If the goal of Bush’s nuclear arsenal cuts was to convince others to do the same and rogue states to stop pursuing nuclear weapons, his policy is utterly failed – as it was always doomed to, because that is what always happens when the US nuclear deterrent is cut.

Another disastrous consequence of Bush’s foolish nuclear policies was the degradation of America’s nuclear weapons complex: the facilities, dating back to the Manhattan Project days, are now utterly dilapidated and require an urgent, complete renovation. Renovation that has been constantly delayed by successive administrations, including the Obama administration.

Yet another disastrous consequence of Bush’s stupidities has been the progressing obsolence of the nuclear warheads themselves and their delivery systems. Because no new warheads have been produced or tested since 1992, we don’t know if they’re reliable, and existing warheads require service life extensions. As for delivery systems, the majority of them are obsolete and nonstealthy and overdue for replacement.

The Air Force has already foolishly dismantled all of its stealthy cruise missiles and the contract to BEGIN developing new ones won’t be awarded until FY2015. The Air Force’s newest ICBMs, Minutemen-III, were deployed in 1976. (President Reagan deployed the more powerful Peacekeeper missile in 1986, but the elder Bush killed its production and the younger Bush dismantled all of the Peacekeepers the US had already produced. Russia, of course, did not reciprocate and actually increased ICBM production. The USAF, meanwhile, won’t get any new ICBMs until 2030 – if ever.)

Bush also killed B-2 stealthy bomber production at just 21 aircraft, instead of the 132 originally planned, thus causing the unit cost to shoot up dramatically, to 2 bn dollars per copy (including development and testing costs) because economies of scale were lost. Had the 132 originally planned B-2s been built, each of them would’ve cost no more than a B747.

As a result, the USAF now has only 20 bombers capable of penetrating anything better than primitive Soviet air defense systems – only 20 capable of defeating advanced Russian and Chinese air defense systems like the S-300, S-400, HQ-9, HQ-12, and HQ-16, and upgraded Soviet systems like the SA-11/17. 20 stealthy bombers is not even close to enough. As a result, in 1996, during that year’s crisis with Iraq, US commanders in the Middle East had fewer than 20 stealthy bombers available to deal with Iraq – proving that 20 B-2s were not enough, as Gen. Chuck Horner observed.

Carrier-based aircraft were not and aren’t stealthy, and short-range stealthy strike jets couldn’t take off because US allies in the region forbade the US to use their bases and airspace in 1996.

And now, because Bush killed the B-2 at 21 aircraft, and because the next generation bomber program has been repeatedly and inexplicably delayed, the USAF will not get a new bomber until the mid-2020s – and that’s assuming that the Democrats don’t kill the next gen bomber program, as they have repeatedly tried to.

Bush’s unilateral nuclear cuts and utter neglect of the nuclear weapons complex also resulted in thousands of highly-educated, highly-skilled nuclear scientists leaving government service and joining the private sector or retiring without being replaced. The nuclear weapons complex today suffers as much from a brain drain and personnel shortage as from obsolence. And you can thank the two Bushes, as well as Clinton and Obama, for that.

Also, Bush unilaterally withdrew US tactical nukes from South Korea and from surface warships. Did anyone reciprocate? No. North Korea has, since then, developed, deployed, and tested nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of all ranges, while Russia continues to keep numerous nuclear weapons in various forms on its surface warships and submarines.

Those are the disastrous consequnces of the elder Bush’s deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent. And these consequences still bedevil us today.

Yet, despite that, the Democrats and other proponents of America’s unilateral disarmament falsely claim that this “was a good thing” and that the US should continue to cut its arsenal further and unilaterally.

They want to cancel long overdue facility and warhead refurbishment programs; long overdue bomber, cruise missile, and submarine replacement programs; and cut America’s existing arsenal deeply and unilaterally, below 1,000 or even below 800 (according to Rep. Jim Cooper) warheads – at least twice less than what China has.

They want to disarm America unilaterally at a time when – as even the pacifist Stockholm Institute for Peace Research Studies (SIPRI) and Danish pacifist Hans M. Kristensen admit – everyone else is modernizing and/or growing their nuclear arsenals.

Indeed, America’s adversaries – Russia, China, and North Korea – are all growing and modernizing their arsenals.

Russia’s and China’s nuclear arsenals, militaries, and base infrastructure are so large and so reduntant and disperses that the US needs thousands, not mere hundreds, of nuclear warheads to deter them – especially to deter both of them. And both of them will have the ability to reduce the US arsenal in a preemptive first strike, if it’s cut as deeply as the Dems’ and their pacifist bankrollers like the Council for a Livable World want to.

Russia is in the midst of the largest nuclear buildup since the Soviet times. Russia has 2,800 strategic and up to 4,000 tactical nuclear warheads, deployed and nondeployed. It has 434 ICBMs *most of them multiple/warhead/armed), 251 strategic bombers (each carrying up to 6 nuclear cruise missiles and many also carrying a nuclear freefall bomb), and 14 ballistic missile subs with 16-20 missiles each, and 4-12 warheads per missile, depending on its type (Sinyeva missiles carry only 4 warheads; Liner missiles carry 12). Russian boomer subs can launch their missiles while being homeported.

Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal is even larger. It consists of up to 4,000 warheads in various forms: nuclear depth charges, nuclear bombs, warheads for short-range missiles, nuclear artillery shells, etc. Russia can deliver them by many means: surface warships, submarines, cruise missiles, artillery pieces, SRBMs, etc.

What’s more, Russia and China are GROWING, not shrinking, their nuclear arsenals. Russia has been doing so since New START ratification – as allowed to do so by that one-sided treaty, which requires cuts only in the US arsenal. Russia is adding warheads as well as delivery systems. It has resumed Tu-160 bomber production from stockpiled parts.

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 wants America to disarm unilaterally in the face of such an aggressive Russia wielding thousands of nuclear weapons!

China also has a large arsenal – contrary to the false claims of pacifist groups. It has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads according to General Viktor Yesin (former Russian missile force chief of staff) and Professor Philip Karber, respectively. It has recently built 3,000 miles of tunnels and bunkers for its nuclear missiles and warheads. You don’t build such a vast network for only a few hundred warheads.

China currently has 86ICBMs (20 DF-4s, 36 DF-5s, at least 30 DF-31/31As, and at least one DF-41), over 1,600 SRBMs, hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles, at least 100 MRBMs (DF-21s and DF-3s), 6 ballistic missile submarines (5 Jin class, 1 Xia class, with at least 12 nuclear-armed missiles per boat), and 440 nuclear-capable aircraft (H-6, Q-5, JH-7).

Both Russia and China are also rapidly modernizing their entire arsenals of warheads and delivery systems. Russia is developing or producing several new ICBM types: the Yars silo-based and Yars-M road-mobile ICBM, a rail-mobile ICBM, the “Avangard” ICBM (little is known about it), the “Son of Satan” ICBM intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBM, a “pseudo-ICBM” with a 6,000 km range, and another ICBM recently mentioned by Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin.

Russia is also developing a next-generation bomber and has recently fielded the Kalibr sub-launched cruise missile, the Kh-102 air-launched cruise missile, new warheads, and the Su-34 attack aircraft.

China is also modernizing by fielding new ICBMs (DF-31As, DF-41s), a new air-launched cruise missile (CJ-20), the new Jin class of SSBNs, improved variants of the JL-2 sub-launched ballistic missile with a 12,000 km range, and a sub-launched cruise missile. It’s also developing a new class of SSBNs (follow-on to the Jin class) and has ordered 36 Tu-22M bombers. Concurrently, both China and Russia are also developing missile defenses.

Moscow and Beijing aren’t the only nuclear threats to America, though. North Korea has 8-12 nuclear warheads, ICBMs capable of reaching the US, and – through its successful satellite test conducted last December – demonstrated capability to mate nuclear payloads to missiles, confirmed by the DIA and by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. North Korea has, since the last crisis, announced it will GROW, not give up, its nuclear arsenal – and has recently test-fired several SRBMs again. Meanwhile, Iran is racing towards nuclear weapons.

And yet, the Dems want America to dramatically and unilaterally cut America’s nuclear deterrent in the face of all of these nuclear threats! What’s more, they lie that cutting America’s deterrent unilaterally will make her and the world safer and more peaceful!

Do you see the absurdity of their claims, Dear Reader?

Let’s not mince words. The elder Bush, like his son, was a fool. His unilateral cuts in and neglect of America’s nuclear deterrent dramatically weakened America and put its security, and that of its allies, at unnecessary risk, while emboldening America’s adversaries and encouraging nuclear proliferation.

Cutting America’s nuclear deterrent further – especially unilaterally – would only aggravate these problems, and could possible invite a nuclear first strike on the US.

Rebuttal of Kingston Reif’s and Greg Thielmann’s newest lies – about missile defense

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Kingston Reif – a pacifist propagandist working for the extremely-leftist “Council for a Livable World” – has shown his utter ignorance, as well as his extremely leftist beliefs and desires to disarm the US unilaterally, on quite a few occassions, and in December, I even took the time to completely refute his utter garbage calling for scrapping the nuclear triad. Since then, however, Reif has not stoppped writing his ignorant leftist garbage, and has recently (on June 4th) written a screed in the liberal Time magazine criticizing House Republicans for “all sorts of madness on nuclear weapons, missile defense, and related issues” – especially their proposal to create an East Coast missile defense site in the northeastern United States (e.g. New York state or Maine).

Reif claims that it would be “unnecessary, technically dubious, and cost-ineffective”.

Regarding the latter, he invokes CBO’s estimate that creating such a site would cost $3.6 bn over 5 years, and another by the National Academy of Sciences saying that their proposed “evolved GMD system” would cost $25.4 bn over 20 years.

But those numbers are not only small by themselves, they’re even small when put into perspective on a per year basis. Reif, to exaggerate the cost and scaremonger taxpayers, conveniently omits the “over X years” part of the price tag.

Divided over 5 years, $3.6 bn is $720 mn; that is 0.152% of the DOD’s base budget for FY2014 even under sequestration ($475 bn), or % if sequestration is cancelled (the DOD’s base budget would then be $526 bn).

Divided over 20 years, $25.4 bn is $1.27 bn, i.e. 0.276% of the DOD’s base budget for FY2014 even under sequestration.

So the cost would be tiny – a small fraction of one percent of the base defense budget even with sequestration accounted for. A fraction of 1% of the DOD’s budget is all that it would cost to build an EC missile defense site.

Reif claims it’s “unnecessary.” But the DOD and the Intelligence Community estimate Iran will have an ICBM in 2015/2016. That is just 2-3 years from now. So the US has just 2-3 years to prepare itself for a potential Iranian ICBM threat. Iran has made considerable progress  in long-range missile development, including being able to launch satellites into orbit (e.g. with the Safir space rocket).

Reif invokes the recent statement by VADM James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, that money for East Coast missile defense would not be used in the next FY. Of course, Syring was just expressing the position of the leftist Obama Administration – he can’t speak against his own president. But former Missile Defense Agency Director Henry “Trey” Obering, in a recent article, has expressed strong support for an East Coast BMD site.

In his screed, Reif totally contradicts himself, claiming, alternately, that the current ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California are either sufficient for protecting the East Coast or deficient and unreliable. He alternately claims they already offer adequate protection… or don’t work at all. So which is it, Kingston?

As for thereal experts on the issue (other than Gen. Obering), current Strategic Command leader Gen. Bob Kehler says that:

“I am confident that we can defend against a limited attack from Iran, although we are not in the most optimum posture to do that today… it doesn’t provide total defense today.”

The Commander of the Northern Command (charged with defending the US homeland and Canada), Gen. Charles Jacoby, says that the current GBI system is “sub-optimum.” This is no surprise; the interceptors in Alaska and California would be at the extreme margin of their performance envelopes if tasked with shooting down an ICBM heading for the East Coast.

A “sub-optimum” defense posture is not good enough. Not even close.

Moreover, in March, just 3 months ago, Gen. Jacoby told the Senate:

“What a third site gives me, whether it’s on the East Coast or an alternate location, would be increased battle space; that means increased opportunity for me to engage threats from either Iran or North Korea.”

Also in March, Gen. Jacoby told the House:

“I would agree that a third site, wherever the decision is to build a third site, would give me better weapons access, increased GBI inventory and allow us the battle space to more optimize our defense against future threats from Iran and North Korea.”

Doesn’t this nation owe it to the Northern Command – the one charged with protecting the homeland?

The requirement for a third site to protect against Iranian ICBMs was also stated in the 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which said:

“… defense of the US homeland will be augmented by Europe-based SM-3 Block IIB interceptors, which are planned to be able to provide an early-intercept capability against potential Iranian ICBMs.”

But the SM-3 Block 2B has been cancelled now, so an EC missile defense site is needed.

Reif also claims that the proposal is “technically dubious” because GBIs supposedly don’t work. Here, he’s wrong as well. GBIs have passed most of their tests, including a recent flight test, and more tests are planned for later months. The interceptors themselves work, as do their current, first generation kill vehicles (kinetic “warhead” counterparts). Critics love to seize on the two failed intercept tests from 2010, but in those tests, it was a new generation of kill vehicles that failed – not the older kill vehicles, and not the missiles themselves. The MDA, in any case, is working to solve the problem.

And even if and when a weapon fails, this teaches us something and doesn’t mean the weapon can never work. Quite the contrary. The Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile – the first American nuclear-armed missile deployed on submarines – failed the vast majority of its tests: 17 out of 22. Yet, it passed 5, was ultimately proven to work (with President Kennedy watching), and was deployed on 41 USN ballistic missile subs – and later became the basis for the development of the Trident ballistic missile.

Reif bemoans the GBI’s low ability to distinguish real missiles and warheads from decoys. But the MDA actually had a program to solve that problem – called the Multiple Kill Vehicle, essentially a bus carrying dozens of small kill vehicles sufficient to kill all warheads and countermeasures – until April 2009, when President Obama killed the program and when General Obering had already retired. (General Obering, of course, points this out in his piece.)

So the problem of enabling GBIs to discriminate between genuine targets – like real missiles and warheads – and decoys can be solved quite easily, if the MKV program is simply revived.

Reif complains that there is “no guarantee” that this problem will ever be solved and the GBI system made highly effective. Actually, in life, there is no guarantee of anything. There is no guarantee that your car will always start (especially in winter), or that your bus, train, or flight won’t be delayed, or that even the best friends will not fail you, or that even the most reliable weapons will always work perfectly.

There is no perfect person, vehicle, weapon, plane, ship, or anything that humans make.

But if the development and improvement of ground-based interceptors is continued, and the MKV program revived, there’s a high likelihood that these interceptors will become highly effective.

Moreover, Reif and other missile defense opponents are contradicting themselves. On the one hand, they claim that US BMD systems can’t distinguish real warheads from decoys, but OTOH, they also claim that North Korea and Iran don’t know how to mate nuclear warheads to missiles.

But if they don’t know how, they also certainly don’t know how to make credible decoys (or mate them to missiles). Why? Because decoys, in order to deceive anyone, must EXACTLY match real warheads in size and flight patterns – they must look and fly exactly like the real thing. Any decoy not matching a real warhead EXACTLY in size, shape, and flight patterns will immediately be seen on radars as what it really is – a fake.

In order to make a fake of something that exactly matches that “something” in size, shape, and flight patterns, you must first be able to make the real thing. Otherwise, you don’t know how to mimic it exactly. It’s simple logic.

So simple logic alone utterly refutes the lies of missile defense opponents like Reif. It exposes their real motivation – ideological, implacable knee-jerk opposition to missile defense per se, which motivates them to make any false claims, even contradictory ones.

You can’t have it both ways, Kingston. Either North Korea and Iran  can make credible decoys and mate them with missiles – in which case they can do the same with real warheads – or they can’t.

In short, there is a clear need for the East Coast missile defense site; it would be cheap; and if the GBI system continues to be developed and improved, and if the MKV program is revived, the system can become very effective.

Like Reif, ACA’s Greg Thielmann falsely claims that an East Coast missile defense site – and deploying the now-cancelled SM-3 Block 2B missile also intended against ICBM – would be too expensive and that the Iranian ballistic missile threat hasn’t even even begun to emerge. He even claims it’s doubtful that Iran will have an ICBM by the end of this decade.

But that threat has already begun to emerge: the US intel community and the DOD estimate Iran will have an ICBM by 2015/2016, and it could simply buy one from North Korea or China. It has already (allegedly) bought Musudan-ri MRBMs (with a 4,000 km range) from North Korea and has developed its own solid-fuel Sejjil and Ashoura MRBMs with a range of 2,500 kms. Moreover, it has also launched a satellite into space, thus making a huge step towards constructing an ICBM and demonstrating the capability to mate nuclear payloads with missiles.

Again, this truth must be repeated: the technology used to install satellites on missiles is THE SAME as that used to mate warheads to missiles. Fact.

Moreover, the point of defense, including missile defense, is to stay AHEAD of the threat, not to barely keep up with it. Yet, the US intel community and the DOD project Iran to have an ICBM by 2015/2016, so the US now has only 2-3 years to build an East Coast missile defense site.

But Thielmann goes even further, falsely claiming that North Korea doesn’t have ICBMs either and that its successful December 2012 launch of a satellite on an Unha-3 (Taepodong-2) rocket, i.e. on an ICBM. Again, the technology used to marry satellites and warheads to missiles is the same.

Moreover, after that successful launch, the South Koreans retrieved the upper stages and the delivery bus of the rocket from water; TheDailyBeast investigative journalist Eli Lake was the first to report this fact. The retrieved pieces of the missile demonstrated that North Korea DOES have the ability to marry payloads to missiles. CDN’s Defense Issues Weekly duly reported the story.

North Korea’s TD-2 ICBM, capable of reaching the CONUS, was the basis for the successful space rocket. On top of that, North Korea also has the road-mobile KN-08 ICBM, whose existence and genuity were recognized by the DOD (spoken for by Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld) in March.

Thielmann also wrongly touts the utterly false numbers given for Russia’s and China’s nuclear arsenals by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris (for Russia, 466 ICBMs and SLBMs and less than 1,500 deployed warheads; for China, only 300 warheads and 50-75 ICBMs and SLBMs). This is supposed to prove that even the Russian and Chinese nuclear threat isn’t big; like other advocates of America’s disarmament, he dramatically understates the real size of China’s nuclear arsenal.

But both countries have far more weapons than that. Russia has 434 ICBMs and 224 SLBMs (16 for each of its 14 ballistic missile subs), a total of 658 intercontinental missiles, and 1,550, not 1,466, deployed strategic warheads – right at New START limits. (It has significantly built its arsenal up since New START’s ratification, while the US has had to cut its own.)

China has at least 86 ICBMs, plus at least 60 SLBMs on its five Jin class submarines (which, contrary to Thielmann’s blatant lies, ARE operational, and China has 5 of these, not merely 2), plus another 12 on its Xia class sub. And China’s real nuclear arsenal numbers at least 1,600-1,800, not 300-400, warheads.

Thielmann also falsely claims that Russia and China have many common interests that make their attacks on the US unlikely. This is also a blatant lie.

The US and China share no interests whatsoever; their national interests are diametrically opposed. The US wants to safeguard freedom of navigation at sea and in the air, freedom of trade and travel around the world, and to preserve its own and its Pacific’ allies security, as well as the international rules-based order. China wants to replace the US as the world’s top power, turn the Western Pacific into an internal Chinese lake, seize the Okinawa, the Senkakus, the Spratlys, Taiwan, and goodness knows what else, and push the US out of Asia completely.

China has behaved in a very hostile manner towards the US, whether by harassing unarmed American ships, stalking American carriers, blinding American satellites with lasers, threatening war with the US, or launching massive cyberattacks on US networks. The same is true of Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin openly vents his hatred of the US at every opportunity, while conducting an arms race against America, bullying US diplomats, launching his own cyberattacks on America, and supplying America’s enemies around the world (including Iran) with weapons and nuclear fuel.

Russia and the US share very few, if any, interests.

Lastly, Thielmann falsely claims that missile defense is impeding new arms control agreements and “additional” cuts in Russia’s arsenal. This is totally false. Since the late 2000s, Russia has not been cutting anything; under New START, it has significantly increased its nuclear arsenal.

Moreover, both Russia and China know that America’s current and planned missile defense systems are of limited scope and capability – capable enough against Iran and North Korea, but not against Russia’s and China’s much more advanced missiles, let alone the huge arsenals that Moscow and Beijing have. The idea that US missile defense systems pose any threat whatsoever to Russia’s or China’s nuclear arsenals is utterly ridiculous – like everything that Thielmann and his Arms Control Association colleagues write.

Thielmann’s ACA program is ridiculously called the “Realistic Threat Assessment Project”; in fact, it’s a Threat Dramatic Understatement Project and should be called that way.

Thus, Kingston Reif’s and Greg Thielmann’s claims have once again been exposed for what they really are – blatant lies.

Rebuttal of the 6 most popular myths about nuclear weapons

As it continues to campaign for deep cuts in America’s defenses, the Left has particularly aimed its arrows at the US nuclear deterrent, which protect America and over 30 of its allies against the most catastrophic threats: a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack; a large-scale conventional attack; and nuclear proliferation. It is the most effective nonproliferation program ever enacted.

It is falsely claimed that:

1)      Nuclear weapons are irrelevant in the 21st century security environment. They are relics of the Cold War.

2)      A “world without nuclear weapons” is both realistically attainable and desirable.

3)      The nuclear triad is too expensive and not worth the cost.

4)      The entire nuclear arsenal is too expensive and siphons money away from other defense programs.

5)      Conventional weapons, missile defense systems, and cyberweapons can replace nuclear weapons in a very wide range of missions and scenarios and against the vast majority of targets.

6)      The fewer nuclear weapons the US has, the better; cutting America’s nuclear deterrent makes America safer.

Let’s deal with these myths one after another.

Myth #1: Nuclear weapons are irrelevant in the 21st century security environment. They are relics of the Cold War.

The facts: Nuclear weapons are HIGHLY RELEVANT in the 21st century security environment. They protect America and all of its allies against the following three, potentially catastrophic, security threats: a nuclear/chemical/biological attack, a large-scale conventional attack, and nuclear proliferation.

megoizzy (CC)

megoizzy (CC)


The US nuclear arsenal is the most effective counter-proliferation program ever created. It has discouraged all of America’s allies except Britain and France from developing nuclear weapons, reassuring them that they don’t need to do so because the US provides a powerful nuclear umbrella to them. Such an umbrella is ESPECIALLY needed now – more than ever – given the nuclear threats posed by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (including 1,550 deployed) and up to 4,000 tactical warheads – and the means to deliver all 6,800 if need be. Its 434 ICBMs can collectively deliver 1,684 warheads to the CONUS; its 14 ballistic missile submarines can deliver over 2,200 warheads to the CONUS (while sitting in their ports); and each of its 251 strategic bombers can carry up to 7 warheads (1 freefall bomb and 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles). Its Tu-95 bomber fleet alone can deliver over 700 warheads to the middle of America.

China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver 1,274 of them. Among these are almost 70 ICBMs, 120-140 MRBMs, over 1,600 SRBMs, dozens of land-attack cruise missiles, six ballistic missile submarines, and 440 nuclear-capable aircraft. While the vast majority of its SRBMs and cruise missiles are reportedly conventionally-armed at present, they could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime, which is called “breakout capability.”

Then there’s North Korea with its nuclear arsenal (which it has announced it will grow) and ICBMs capable of reaching the US, and Iran, which is coming closer to achieving nuclear weapon status everyday.

Besides deterring nuclear attack, nuclear weapons also protect America’s treaty allies against a large-scale conventional attack – ensuring that it has never happened so far.

Myth #2: A “world without nuclear weapons” is both realistically attainable and desirable. 

The facts: A world without nuclear weapons (“Global Zero”) is neither achievable nor desirable. Not achievable, because no other country in the world is following America’s disarmament “example” (and foreign countries don’t care about America’s “examples”; they care only about their self-interest). No other country is following the US on the road to “Global Zero”. Accordingly, there will NEVER be a world without nuclear weapons.

Russia has recently declared it will not cut its nuclear arsenal nor enter into any negotiations to that end. It is actually building UP its arsenal (as allowed to do so by the New START) and modernizing it. China, which has up to 3,000 nuclear warheads, is also rapidly building up and modernizing its arsenal, and refusing to even disclose its size or enter into any talks – let alone formal treaty negotiations – about it. Likewise, India and Pakistan refuse to join the Nonproliferation Treaty, disclose the size of their arsenals, or enter into any talks – let alone arms control treaties – pertaining to these arsenals. Ditto North Korea, which has recently announced it will NEVER give up its nuclear arsenal and that, if anything, it will INCREASE its size and restart the Yongboyng reactor to harvest plutonium from spent fuel rods.

So NO nuclear power wants to join the West in its suicidal nuclear disarmament quest. None whatsoever. Not Russia, not China, not India and Pakistan, not North Korea. And, of course, Iran is racing towards nuclear power status.

Even Bruce Blair, a supporter of America’s nuclear disarmament, testified recently before the House Armed Services Committee on March 19th that even if America cut its nuclear arsenal deeply, e.g. along the lines of what his organization (Global Zero) proposes, NOBODY would reciprocate. (1:04:41)

Which is true – Russia, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, etc., are all refusing to even cut, let alone eliminate, their nuclear arsenals. Obama has NO followers on the road to his totally unrealistic goal of “global zero”. There will never be a “global zero.”

Nuclear weaponry is a genie that cannot be put back into the bottle. It cannot be “un-invented” or banished from the face of the Earth, contrary to the unrealistic dreams of several US Presidents, including Ronald Reagan (this shows that, alas, Reagan wasn’t perfect and had some flaws).

Nor would a “nuclear-free world” be safer and more peaceful than it is now, contrary to Obama’s false claims that the US should “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” On the contrary, it would be less peaceful and secure.

Humanity lived through “Global Zero” – in a world without nukes – for almost its entire history from its dawn to 1945. During that time, there were numerous and horribly destructive wars between the great powers of the time, each one leading to huge casualties among combatants and civilians and to great destruction. Examples included the Peloponesian war, Rome’s wars of conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the Seven Years’ War, the Napoleonic Wars, and of course, the two World Wars. Not to mention the numerous bloody civil wars such as those in the US (1861-1865) and Russia (1918-1923).

5 million people, including 1 million Frenchmen, died in the Napoleonic Wars. Proportionally to the populations of today, that would be 50 million Europeans, including 10 million Frenchmen. French casualties in these wars were 14% higher than in WW1. In that war alone, about 10 million people died; in World War 2, over 60 million, and its perpetrators attempted the extermination of entire nations (peoples) and even races. The sheer barbarity and murder witnessed during that war is unmatched by any conflict before or after that war.

Since 1945, however – the advent of nuclear weapons – there has been NO war between the great powers. And it is mostly, if not entirely, because of nuclear weapons, which have moderated their behavior and forced them to accept coexistence with each other even if they have diametrically opposed ideologies. Nuclear weapons have taught them that even the most difficult compromise is better than a nuclear exchange.

Nuclear weapons have not ended war completely – no invention will ever do that – but they have eliminated great power wars. All wars since 1945 have been either between smaller, non-world-power countries (e.g. conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors), or between a world power and a weaker country (e.g. Iraq, Vietnam), or between a country and an insurgency (e.g. the US vs the Taleban).

Such conflicts have a much smaller scale, body count, and destructive power than great power wars. Since WW2, there hasn’t been a conflict even approaching the sheer barbarity and destruction of WW2, and it is mostly, if not entirely, due to nuclear weapons.

Instead of seeking their scrapping, we should all learn to love them.

Myth #3: The nuclear triad is too expensive and not worth the cost.

The facts: The nuclear triad is NOT too expensive and is well worth the cost. The ICBM leg of the nuclear triad – the cheapest, most ready, most responsive, and most dispersed leg – costs only $1.1 bn per year to maintain; the bomber leg, only $2.5 bn per year. The entire nuclear arsenal, including all the warheads, missiles, bombers, submarines, supporting facilities, and personnel costs only $32-38 bn per year to maintain, which is only 6.3% of the entire military budget ($611 bn in FY2013, pre-sequestration).

For that low cost, taxpayers get a large, diverse, survivable nuclear triad capable of surviving even a large-scale first strike and of striking anywhere in the world with any needed measure of power. A triad that gives the President huge flexibility in where, when, and how to strike; a triad that keeps the enemy guessing as to how the US would retaliate.

As Robert Kaplan says, “Don’t give your enemy too few problems to solve because if you do, he’ll solve them.”

Without the ICBM leg, the enemy would have to destroy only 2 submarine bases, 3 bomber bases, and any SSBNs that would be on patrol. WITH the ICBM leg still existing, the enemy would also have to make sure he destroys every single USAF ICBM silo; there are 450, and the USAF may have built decoy siloes.

Numbers don’t lie. Liberals do.

Without a triad, the nuclear deterrent would’ve been much less survivable than it is. This will be even MORE important as the arsenal is cut to even lower, post-New-START, levels.

A nuclear triad is the most survivable and most flexible nuclear arsenal arrangement ever invented, which is why the US, Russia, China, and Israel all have it, and why India is developing it. The Air Force is also considering the development of a rail-mobile ICBM, which could be hidden in innocently-looking, civilian-style railroad cars.

Myth #4: The entire nuclear arsenal is too expensive and siphons money away from other defense programs.

The facts: According to the Stimson Center, maintaining the US nuclear deterrent costs ca. $32–36 bn per year, including all the warheads, delivery systems, support facilities, personnel, and nuclear-related intelligence. This is a paltry 5.872% of the FY2013 military budget ($613 bn per the FY2013 NDAA). Modernizing the nuclear arsenal will, according to Stimson, cost up to $390 bn over the next decade, i.e. $39 bn per year on average. This is 6.4% of the FY2013 military budget. These are microscoping percentages.

So the US provides a large nuclear umbrella to itself and to over 30 allies at a cost of only 6% of its total military budget.

Furthermore, even if the ENTIRE nuclear arsenal were scrapped IMMEDIATELY and UNILATERALLY today, that would “save” a paltry $36 bn per year and thus fail to come even close to paying for sequestration, let alone balancing the federal budget.

No, the US nuclear arsenal is not siphoning money away from anything. As usual, it’s a scapegoat for liberals.

It is, in fact, other, more costly defense programs that are siphoning money away from nuclear deterrence and other defense priorities. For example, the development and acquisition of 2,400 short-range, understealthed, slow, sluggish F-35 strike jets will cost $400 bn. A single aircraft carrier costs $15 bn, yet is tragically vulnerable to ballistic and cruise missiles, submarines, and naval mines. Yet, the biggest cost drivers in the defense budget are personnel programs (pay, benefits, healthcare, retirement, etc.), which, unless seriously reformed, will consume the ENTIRE defense budget by no later than FY2039. That means no money for nuclear deterrence or for weapons of any kind.

And while F-35s and aircraft carriers are increasingly and prohibitively expensive, they’re also increasingly vulnerable and useless for the threat environments the US military will have to operate in. Meanwhile, the next generation bomber will be able to strike from well over the horizon – even the CONUS – and submarines have always been stealthy. USAF ICBMs sit in hardened siloes, can strike any place on the planet, and may be replaced by rail-mobile ones (see above).

Myth #5: Conventional weapons, missile defense systems, and cyberweapons can replace nuclear weapons in a very wide range of missions and scenarios and against the vast majority of targets.

The facts: Such claims are preposterous. None of these weapons have anything even close to the destructive, crippling power of atomic weapons.

Conventional weapons utterly lack such power. Even the most powerful conventional bombs – MOABs and the now-retired Daisy Cutters – have the explosive power approaching only that of the lowest-yield nuclear warheads, and MOAB is not even designed to penetrate anything.

Cyberweapons can shut down computer networks, but only temporarily, and can’t physically destroy anything. Buildings, vehicles, warships, aircraft, and humans will still exist. Cyberweapons can only complement other types of arms, but never replace them.

Nor can missile defense ever replace nuclear weapons. It has long been an article of faith among conservatives, including conservative think-tank analysts, that it can, but the truth is that it can’t. This truth will be uncomfortable for them, but my job as defense analysts is to tell people the truth, not what they want to hear.

Missile defense technology is still in its infancy. Moreover, one needs several interceptors to shoot down one missile. For example, to shoot down one Russian ICBM would take 7 ground-based interceptors of the type deployed in AK and CA. US missile defense systems (except the PATRIOT) have never been tested in massive missile barrages – the type of missile attacks the US will actually have to counter.

Furthermore, BMD systems’ ability to distinguish real warheads from decoys is yet unclear, and there are no systems available for boost-phase interception. But worst of all, BMD interceptors are far more expensive than the ballistic missiles they’re designed to intercept. A THAAD missile costs $9-10 mn; an SM-3, $10 mn; a ground-based interceptor, $70 mn. It is far cheaper to build and launch ballistic missiles than to intercept them. Furthermore, America’s enemies already have such huge inventories of BMs of all types – measured in thousands – that they are and will always be able to overwhelm American BMD systems through sheer numbers.

The best way to protect against missiles of any kind is to kill the archer, not the arrow. Only “offensive” systems – strike systems – can do that. This includes ICBMs, SLBMs, cruise missiles, bombers, and theater strike aircraft.

Myth #6: The fewer nuclear weapons the US has, the better; cutting America’s nuclear deterrent makes America safer.

The facts: These claims are also completely false. No nation in history has become more secure by disarming itself – whether uni-, bi-, or multilaterally. No nation in history has increased its security by indulging in arms reduction and disarmament – such policies have only weakened, and reduced the security of, the  nations practicing them.

Myth #6 is, in fact, an utter rejection of any principle or notion of deterrence or of peace through strength; it turns these principles upside down. Myth #6 is essentially a claim that weakness is good and leads to peace and security; that weakening one’s own military (and that’s what cutting its arsenals of weapons does – it weakens the military) makes one more secure and the world more peaceful.

Many variations of this myth have been uttered by the Left. For example, during the forementioned HASC Strategic Forces Subcommitteee hearing, its ranking member, Democrat Jim Cooper of Tennessee, an ardent enemy of nuclear weapons, claimed that the biggest cut in America’s nuclear deterrent – made by the elder President Bush in the early 1990s – was “a good thing”, that it made America and the world more secure and peaceful, and that this is supposedly shared by the “mainstream” of American opinion. Another strident leftist, John Garamendi (D-CA), claimed that “whatever we can do to cut nuclear arsenals – here, in North Korea, around the world”  is a good thing.

Their claims are blatant lies, of course. As I’ve already stated, no nation in history has become more secure by disarming itself, and America won’t be the first. President Bush’s deep unilateral cut in America’s deterrent is a textbook example of that. He cut the arsenal by almost half, withdrew US nuclear weapons from Korea and from surface warships unilaterally, terminated MX ICBM production and B-2 bomber production at just 21 aircraft, terminated the Midgetman SRBM, and terminated warhead production and testing.

Yet, no one else has reciprocated. Since then, China has dramatically increased its nuclear arsenal – to at least 1,800 and up to 3,000 warheads – while North Korea and Pakistan joined the nuclear club, India and these two countries have conducted nuclear tests, and Iran has made dramatic progress towards nuclear weapon capability. Russia has begun rebuilding and modernizing its arsenal.

So Bush’s deep nuclear cuts only weakened America’s deterrent (and confidence in it) while utterly failing to discourage others from developing or increasing their own arsenals. Two new states have joined the nuclear club, others have conducted tests, and Iran is well on its way there.

That’s because cutting America’s nuclear deterrent DOES NOTHING to prevent or even slow down nuclear proliferation or encourage others to disarm themselves. It is perceived (correctly) as a sign of American weakness and appeasement. It only emboldens America’s enemies while leading America’s allies to doubt the US umbrella. It does NOTHING, and will never do anything, to eliminate or even reduce the arsenals of other powers.

Other nuclear (and aspiring) powers don’t care about America’s “example” or observance of arms control treaties; they care only about their own military strength and see nuclear weapons as a key element of that. America has NO followers on the road to “Global Zero” – which other nuclear powers simply DON’T want to travel. Even Bruce Blair has admitted at 1:04:41 that even if the US totally disarmed itself, NO ONE would follow suit.

Thus, we have refuted all of the 6 most popular leftist lies about nuclear weapons. It is impossible (and not even necessary) to refute all myths that have been made about these crucial instruments of deterrence; and the vast majority of the lies about them fall under one of these 6 categories.

Nuclear weapons are NOT a threat to America’s or the world’s security; on the contrary, they are key to preserving it far into the future. They are irreplaceable instruments of peace and deterrence.

Hagel proving his own inadequacy

As Washington insiders argue the finer points on the merits (and demerits) of having Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, the man himself had been running around for years proving that he probably isn’t the best option for the position. His abysmal performance in the confirmation hearings aside, Hagel has been wandering around proving his lack of basic knowledge necessary to do the job for well over a year now.

The American Enterprise Institute blog, AEIdeas aptly pointed out at least one shortcoming when it comes to Hagel’s comprehension of the Defense budget and sequestration cuts on the horizon. AEIdeas points out from a short snippet of a September 2011 interview by Financial Times, that Hagel’s lack of real knowledge of the issues at hand in the Department of Defense, when it comes to spending, is not a new development.

It is true that traditionally defense spending is a sacred cow to conservatives. Any talk of cuts typically garners at best, cynicism – at worst, outright attacks and derision. However, there is fat to be trimmed, and that concept has been explored by at least one blogger at Their Finest Hour. That source is mentioned primarily because of its pro-military stance. But, that is not the sort of cuts that Hagel is referring to, either in his 2011 interview with the Financial Times, or in his confirmation hearing testimony. On the contrary, in both he is showing a sophomoric understanding of the important issues at hand – of balancing budget requirements with maintaining the level of national security this nations needs. And this was not lost on former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during his appearance on “Meet the Press.”

Hagel is not a an appropriate choice for Secretary of Defense at this point, not only because of his own shortcomings, but also because John Kerry is now taking the post of Secretary of State. These two departments must work hand-in-hand to ensure the safety of American citizens abroad, and provide relatively safe situations for American businesses to expand worldwide. It has come to light that the suicide bomber that attempted to attack the U.S. Embassy in Turkey was known to U.S. authorities, and unlike the Benghazi attack, the administration has come out from the beginning admitting that this was a terrorist attack. But, one has to wonder what Hagel’s ideas for cutting fat at the Pentagon would do to the security overseas that arguably prevented that bomber from breaching even the outer defenses of our Turkish Embassy.

And maintaining the safety of our personnel and business interests abroad is not the only concern our incoming Secretary of Defense will have thanks to the new Secretary of State. With Iran stepping up development of weapons for use against its enemies in the Middle East and beyond, there will be serious issues to address in the Department of Defense. Whether one considers the possibility of Iran making its own fighter jets, or the possibility of them being able to send rockets into space, there are seriously disturbing issues on the horizon when it comes to dealing with Iran going forward. Couple this with their determination to acquire a nuclear weapon, and it is a deadly combination that will require competent leadership in the Department of Defense – not willy-nilly running about talking about the need to cut funding. This is especially important, since the Iranians appear to be dangling a carrot when it comes to talks on nuclear weapons – something Kerry probably will not navigate through well. In this administration, the Department of Defense will play a pivotal role, if only because it will be left to clean up messes made by the Department of State, for one. Hagel cannot handle that, if for no other reason, because he would fail to recognize the need to do it in the first place – at least until there was a significant loss of civilian lives, at home or abroad, to force the issue.

Iran Gets Missile Shield

Barack Obama’s administration, despite all the blood and treasure America spent in Iraq, somehow managed to fail in reaching a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government.  That means that the United States, after overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and ahmadinejad-shaking-hands-with-bho-nuke-explosianfreeing a country uniquely located on the most strategically important piece of real estate in the Middle East does not have strategic residual forces within Iraq.

That failure has allowed Iran to fly freely over Iraqi airspace, prolonging the Syrian civil war by delivering arms to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.  Month after month, nothing has been done by the Obama administration to help the people of Syria while Assad has butchered them.

Could it be that the plan all along has been to enable Iran’s assistance of Syria so Iran could get their hands on a sophisticated, mobile missile defense shield, thereby tipping the balance of power in the region away from Israel towards Iran?

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2046964026001/intel-reveals-irans-payback-for-supporting-assad-regime/

That Israel is destined to strike at the existential threat posed to them by a nuclear armed Iran demands the question: Has the Obama administration been actively working on behalf of Iran’s Islamofascist regime, enabling them to obtain the tools needed to ensure an Israeli attack is incapable of eliminating their nuclear capabilities?

Is this part of Obama being “more flexible” on missile defense now that the election is over?

Just a little something to think about next time you hear Obama and/or whichever weak, dishonest  enabler he names as Secretary of State to replace “Hillary-the disaster going someplace to happen” (read: John Kerry) bragging about how through the UN, America has imposed “crippling economic sanctions” on Iran.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/iran-gets-missile-shield/

Love. Early American Style.

Egypt latest launching point for artillery strikes on Israel

Egypt has become the latest launching point for rocket and artillery strikes against Israel joining the Gaza Strip and Syria in unprovoked attacks on the Jewish state.

The Jerusalem Post reported on Friday that rockets were fired from the Sinai Peninsula towards an Isreali village on the southern border. No injuries were reported.

These latest attacks come after President Obama spoke with Egypt’s President Morsi on Wednesday and Egypt’s Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visited Gaza to show solidarity with Hamas on Thursday.

Egyptian President calls for takeover of JerusalemSpeaking in Cairo on Thursday, President Morsi said that in his conversation with Obama, he told the U.S. President that Israel’s offensive must stop while calling Israel’s defensive actions “unacceptable aggression.” President Mohammed Morsi pledged Egypt’s support of Hamas as he said that Cairo “would not leave Gaza on its own.”

The Egyptian government’s actions are no surprise. Since the rise to power of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Spring, Egypt’s interest in peace with Israel has steadily lessened. It is unlikely that President Obama will be able to affect the situation as the U.S.’s influence in the region has significantly weakened over the last four years. In a separate statement, President Morsi said that “Egypt today is not the Egypt of yesterday, and Arabs today are not the Arabs of yesterday” heightening fears that Egypt is no longer a diplomatic partner in the region.

In sending the leader of the Egyptian government to Gaza in a friendly gesture to Hamas, Egypt is openly partnering with a group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Japan, the European Union and Israel. There is some concern that some of the more than $2 Billion in annual U.S. military and economic aid to Egypt may be funneled to Hamas.

The current crisis began as Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel were joined by Syrian artillery positions firing on the Israeli region known as the Golan Heights. Israel returned fire against the Syrian artillery.

In order to defend itself, Israel began Operation “Pillar of Defence” during which it killed the military commander of Hammas and struck numerous rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip.

News reports offer confusing timelines often tuned to show Israel as the first aggressor. These reports often ignore the continual and escalating rocket attacks that pre-dated the Isreali offensive. Isreali President Shimon Peres briefed the U.S. President informing him that the current operation was in response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.  During a visit to an Israeli border town, Peres said “”Israel is not interested in stoking the flames, but for the past five days there has been constant missile fire at Israel and mothers and children cannot sleep quietly at night.”

In response to reporting and editorials tilted against Israel, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham H. Foxman submitted a letter to the editor at the New York Times in which he pointed out some unfair editorialization on the conflict and how a failure to condemn Hamas’ constant attacks on Israel may have missed opportunities to prevent the escalation of hostilities.

Real understanding would be shown in discussion about how Israel is being surrounded by states and entities controlled by Islamic extremists, either the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah, all committed to Israel’s destruction.

Real recognition of the problem would have been articulated by words calling on the international community to condemn Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians long before it came to this.

Three Israelis were killed and 18 injured by rockets fired from Gaza and 19 Palestinians were killed as Israel counter-attacked in defense of herself. 75,000 Israeli reservists have been called up for duty following the Palestinian attacks and resulting tensions.

Hamas is heavily supported by Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, all vocal adversaries of the Jewish state. Armaments are steadily streaming into Gaza from Africa through smuggling tunnels in Egypt. The latest Hamas attacks included the Iranian Fajr-5 medium range guided missiles which can strike anywhere in Israel. These more dangerous Iranian arms are credited as the real reason for the Israeli counter-attack.

Why the Next Generation Bomber is needed

There are some who question whether the Air Force’s planned Next Generation Bomber is needed.  An example is this article published by the liberal CPI, wherein David Axe asked many questions that are easy to answer. In this paper, I will answer them and thus show why the NGB is absolutely needed.

First, I’ll rebut his questions regarding the requirement for next-gen bomber, and then, explain why it can be developed and produced affordably.

The requirement is clear, and it’s undisputable. The air defense systems of China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and even North Korea are dense, very deadly, and, excepting Iran and North Korea for now, very modern. Russian and Chinese air defense systems have proliferated and continue to proliferate globally.

Any notion that the B-52 or the B-1 could survive in such an environment is ridiculous and not supported by any facts. The B-52 and the B-1 would be useless in any defended airspace; nowadays, they’re useful only for COIN campaigns in very benign environments where the only opponents are insurgents unable to contest control of the air. David Axe touts these bombers’ upgrades, but these “upgrades” won’t make them viable in any contested airspace. These bombers are not stealthy, due to a lack of both a stealthy shape AND radar-absorbent materials. No amount of upgrades or even RAMs can overcome this huge deficiency. It’s inherent in these bombers’ nonstealthy design with perfect radar wave reflectors. Even legacy Soviet SAM systems like the SA-2, SA-3, SA-4, SA-5, and SA-6, with upgraded radar, could easily detect and shoot down these aircraft – and they were widely exported. Matters are even worse if you’re facing the S-300 (which Russia, Belarus, China, and Venezuela all have), China’s HQ-9 and HQ-16, or Russia’s S-400.

For purposes of any campaigns in any contested airspace, the B-52 and the B-1 practically do not exist, leaving the USAF with just 20 B-2s. But B-2s’ stealth technology is 1980s’ vintage. They won’t remain stealthy forever. Even if they did, 20 stealthy bombers are insufficient for campaigns against anyone but a trivial opponent. Bombing campaigns against the forementioned countries would require a huge number of sorties, and consequently, a LARGE number of stealthy bombers.

Cruise missiles are no substitute for the NGB. Even buying 50,000 of them would not help, as they are easily detectable and easy to shoot down. So if the USAF bought 50,000 cruise missiles, the vast majority of them would be easily shot down by the opponent’s air defense systems, and only a tiny minority of them would reach their targets. Now THAT would be a real waste of money – NOT buying a needed next-gen bomber.

Cruise missiles are also TOO EXPENSIVE to be used en masse, which is what Axe and others seem to be proposing. The reason why so few Tomahawks have been used in past wars is because… they’re too expensive. In 1996, CENTAF commander Gen. Chuck Horner was ordered to stop launching Tomahawks after just 100 were used because of their cost. Moreover, once you expend a cruise missile, you can’t use it again. It’s gone. Money is thus blown. By contrast, a bomber, once you buy it, can fly for 50 years or more. It’s an investment you make that pays off many times over during several decades.

Bombing campaigns over China – if the PRC starts a war – are viable and would be necessary to break the PRC’s back (and thus to win). The point of wars is WINNING, not achieving a draw. What Wayne Hughes (cited by Axe) is proposing is self-limiting, which would lead to self-defeat. He’s proposing a limited war doctrine of the same kind that caused defeat in Vietnam and nearly caused defeat in Korea.

Winning in war requires breaking the enemy’s capability and/or willingness to make war. Winning any war against China (or any other adversary) requires breaking its warmaking capability, which requires large-scale strikes against its military bases, nuclear/ballistic missile stockpiles, weapon factories, bunkers, and military units/SAM batteries/missile regiments. That can only be done by bombers.

Secondly, can the USAF deliver the bomber on budget?

If it pursues it in a no-frills manner as promised, it can. There are BIG differences between this program and the B-2. The B-2 was designed from stratch, and used mostly new parts. The NGB will have very few new components and will mostly use parts already used for other aircraft – from mission computers, to engines, to radar, to bomb bay and landing gear bay doors, to the landing gear itself.

The CSBA’s Mark Gunzinger has estimated that such a bomber, with a 20,000 lb payload, would cost only $440 mn dollars, not $550 mn, so the USAF has probably planned for a large MOE. He furthermore listed several ways in which the DOD could achieve the low $440 mn unit cost, including reusing existing aircraft parts, fully funding the EMD phase, and purchasing enough test vehicles to weed out any bugs.

Furthermore, the total projected program cost – $55 bn – is the cost of the TOTAL program over its duration over many decades. Even if it lasted only one decade, it would be only $5.5 bn per year. If it’s done over 2 decades, it will cost only $2.75 bn annually.

Removing a pilot cockpit would save only a pittance. It would reduce the aircraft’s weight, and thus cost, only by 4%, as it wouldn’t make a meaningful difference in the weight of a large, heavy plan like a bomber. The DOD buys planes by the pound, so no large weight savings mean no large cost savings. Yet, a drone would be VERY vulnerable. Its comm links could break down or be jammed by the enemy, who could also commandeer a drone; or it could somehow else go haywire. The capture of a Sentinel drone by the Iranians proved this.

BTW, Axe is contradicting himself. He repeatedly underlines the risks related to an unmanned plane’s development (let alone as large as a bomber), yet, he claims that making the bomber unmanned would yield savings which Robert Gates and Gen. James Cartwright dreamed about. So he’s contradicting itself. Which is it, Mr Axe? Would an unmanned bomber be less or more costly and risky than a manned one?

And if an optionally manned bomber – the solution offering the USAF maximum flexibility – becomes too risky to develop, the Service can make it purely manned. Problem solved.

Thirdly, the article by Axe contains many false claims about how the B-2 and NGB sagas unfolded.

The B-2 did NOT cost $3 bn dollars to purchase, not even including R&D funds. It cost only $1.2 bn to buy, and only including research and development costs. Even then, it would have cost significantly less if the DOD had bought the 132 bombers originally planned (as it should have), instead of a puny 21. Unfortunately, the hunt for the “peace dividend” was already underway, so the B-2 was killed along with many other crucial weapon programs. As a result of these idiotic decisions, America’s long-range conventional strike capability is now limited to 20 stealthy bombers.

The NGB was not killed because the USAF overloaded it with pricey gizmos. It was killed for purely political reasons, due to Obama’s desire for defense cuts (to fund his unconstitutional domestic programs), and of course, Cartwright’s meddling, as the defense weakling and strident liberal who was then the VCJCS didn’t want America to have any weapon that could challenge China or Russia. (Cartwright, as the leader of the “Global Zero” group, has recently proposed that America essentially unilaterally disarm itself while Russia, China, and others are building up their nuclear arsenals. That should tell you a lot about his leftist ideology.)

But Gates endorsed a new bomber program in 2010 – while Cartwright was still VC of the JCS still the frontrunner for Chairman. He did so after the DOD’s 2010 QDR, in a holistic analysis, found a real need for the NGB. Gates consequently requested 200 mn for the NGB in the FY2011 defense budget – a year earlier than Axe claims. Meanwhile, the CSBA, which Axe likes to quote, found in its own holistic, impartial analysis, that 100 NGBs are indeed very much needed, and that without them, the USAF will lose its long range penetration capability when the B-2 loses its.

Gates has reaffirmed the need for the NGB several times since then, as has his successor, two successive CSAFs, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, multiple retired USAF generals, and analysts from the CSBA, the Heritage Foundation, the National Defense University, and other entities.

And if Leon Panetta, faced with a $487 bn (and potentially $1 trillion) cut to his department’s budget took care to find money for the NGB, it must be worth it.

No, the NGB will not be on the chopping block in the 2020s. This program is too important for the USAF, and there’s a clear requirement for it. If anything gets cancelled, it will be the F-35, which can’t do long range strike and is not truly stealthy.

The Next Generation Bomber is needed, and fast.

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