Tag Archives: lies about the nuclear deterrent

Liberals Never Stop Seeking To Disarm America Unilaterally

Liberals never give up in their campaign to disarm America unilaterally. As the service lives of the components of America’s nuclear triad – the missiles, the aircraft, the submarines, and the warheads – come to an end, the Pentagon will have to replace them with new ones in the years ahead. Liberals believe this is a great opportunity for them to disarm the US unilaterally – through neglect and nonreplacement of America’s aging nuclear arms.

As the necessity to replace these aging weapons approaches, liberals are spreading blatant lies about the nuclear arsenal replacement’s costs, necessity, and the scope of the nuclear threats facing the US. In fact, liberals deny there are any nuclear threats to America’s security. This article will utterly refute their lies and state the truth on the subject.

The “director for disarmament and threat reduction” at the Arms Control Association (a far-left pro-unilateral-disarmament group funded by other far-left organizations), Kingston Reif, a pro-unilateral disarmament hack already refuted a few times here, has recently lied:

Instead of moving forward with an overly ambitious and excessively expensive modernization plan that would recapitalize a US nuclear force that is, by the Pentagon’s and the president’s own analysis, far larger than US nuclear deterrence needs require, the White House, Pentagon and Energy Department should examine common-sense options for reshaping the arsenal in ways that would save billions and still provide more than adequate nuclear deterrence capabilities. Such options exist.”

“The Pentagon’s and the president’s own analysis” that Reif invokes is Obama’s own, singular, completely baseless claim from June 2013 that America can supposedly deter Russia, China, and North Korea with just 1,000 deployed warheads, while these two states pursue a limitless nuclear buildup.

But contrary to Reif’s and Obama’s blatant lies, the size of the nuclear force planned by the Pentagon for the future (similar to today’s nuclear force) will barely be adequate – and only assuming Russia and China don’t grow their arsenals much further. If they do build their arsenals up further, the US will also have to.

Russia currently has 375 ICBMs capable of delivering over 1,000 warheads to the CONUS, 80 strategic bombers capabe of delivering 886 warheads, and 14 ballistic missile subs capable of delivering over 1,200 warheads to the CONUS.

On top of that, Russia possesses 13 attack submarines and 8 guided missile submarines capable of unexpectedly attacking the US with hundreds of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and 171 “continental” Tu-22M bombers capable of reaching the US with their payload (10 nuclear-tipped missiles each) if refueled mid-air.

In addition, Russia has a huge tactical nuclear arsenal that numbers up to 4,000 warheads. Their delivery systems range from short- and medium range Iskander and R-500 ground-launched missiles (which violate the INF treaty

Moscow is now busy replacing all of its Soviet-era systems with new weapons. It is building a fleet of new ballistic missile subs, building an additional 50 Tu-160 intercontinental bombers, and developing a new, stealthy strategic bomber as well as a hypersonic glide vehicle which, if delivered by a missile, could itself deliver a nuclear payload anywhere in the world in less than an hour. And, by 2022, all of Russia’s Soviet-era ICBMs will be replaced by new ones; what’s more, the fleet will grow to more than 400 missiles from 375 today.

Furthermore, Vladimir Putin has just announced that he’ll add over 40 new ICBM’s to Russia’s missile fleet this year alone. There is currently a dispute on th Net on whether these new missiles will be an addition to or a replacement for Russia’s current ICBMs. But even if they’re just replacing older missiles, that’s still a huge boost – this mean replacing 13% of Russia’s entire ICBM fleet in one year.

Российские разработчики создали уникальную ракетную систему Ярс

A Russian RS-24 Yars ICBM being test-launched. Russia will add 40 such ICBMs to its arsenal this year, President Putin said on June 16th. Photo credit: Sputnik News

Moreover, Russia’s new ground- and submarine-launched ballistic missiles can carry far more warheads than the old Soviet-era missiles they’re replacing. The new Yars and Rubezh missiles can carry 6-10 warheads each, unlike the old single-warhead RT-2PM Topol (SS-25 Sickle) ICBMs they’re replacing. Likewise, Russia’s new Bulava and Layner (Liner) submarine-launched missiles can carry 10 and 12 warheads, respectively, per missile; the Skiff missiles they’re replacing can only carry four. So a single Russian submarine armed with 16 such missiles can deliver 192 warheads to the CONUS; keep in mind Russia has 14 ballistic missile subs, including 9-10 operationally available at any moment.

Russian Navy's Strategic Nuclear Force to Become 2.5 Times more Effective with Modernization of SLBM Sineva

A Russian Liner submarine-launched ballistic missile being test-launched. A single such missile can carry 12 warheads. Photo credit: NavalToday.

As the UK Daily Telegraph has noted about those 40 new ICBMs Putin will deploy this year:

“The older weapons will be withdrawn and succeeded by new SS-27 missiles, each capable of delivering between four and six strategic nuclear warheads. If loaded to full capacity, these new ICBMs could deliver 240 nuclear warheads – more than Britain’s entire arsenal.”

So not only is Russia deploying more missiles and bombers, they can carry far more warheads than the missiles/bombers they’re replacing.

Deputy Secretary Work is keenly aware that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is designed to do one thing: intimidate and threaten America and its allies:

“Bob Work, deputy defense secretary, told lawmakers at the House Armed Services Committee that Russia is “literally playing with fire” through recent actions, which have seen that nation speak openly about increasing its nuclear arsenal.

“Senior Russian officials continue to make irresponsible statements regarding Russia’s nuclear forces, and we assess they are doing it to intimidate our allies and us,” Work said.”

China is likewise deploying ever more missiles capable of carrying ever more warheads. It is now deploying the DF-41 mobile ICBM capable of carrying 10 warheads, has 4-5 Jin-class ballistic missile subs deployed (12 missiles each), and its H-6K bombers’ cruise missiles can reach Hawaii. Beijing is now developing the 24-missile Tang class of submarines, hypersonic nuclear-capable glide vehicles (similar to Russia’s), and a stealthy intercontinental bomber.

China's Type 094 Jin-class submarine will adopt JL-2 ballistic missiles. (Internet photo)

A Chinese Jin-class submarine. China has 4 such boats with a fifth slated to join them soon, and each of them can carry at least 12 JL-2 missiles, which in turn can carry at least 4 warheads each. A four-boat fleet gives China a continous at-sea nuclear deterrent like France and the UK have. Photo credit: Military-Today.com.

In short, both Russia and China already have large nuclear arsenals and are building them up further; arsenals which, in the future, will be even bigger and deadlier than today.

Against this background, it would be utterly suicidal for the US to cut its arsenal any further or to neglect to modernize it.

The truth is that the US – and its 30 allies who rely on the American nuclear umbrella for their security – must have a nuclear deterrent that can survive any potential Russian or Chinese first strike not only today, but indefinitely into the future.

The US nuclear arsenal must be large enough – and survivable enough – to withstand any blow, even a huge one – by Russian and Chinese nuclear forces – not only those of today, but more importantly those of the future.

In short, we must think of the future, not just the present. The new nuclear deterrent the Pentagon plans to build must protect America against any nuclear threat well into the future.

Thus, the US will need to increase – not cut – its nuclear arsenal, and modernize it fully.

In addition, the new Long-Range Strike Bomber is absolutely necessary to perform conventional bombing campaigns as well. And if used against a nuclear power like China or North Korea, it would greatly REDUCE the threat to the US and its allies by being able to destroy enemy missile launchers BEFORE they have a chance to launch their deadly payloads. The LRSB will be a transformational weapon giving the US military new capabilities – not a mere replacement for old bombers. As Dr Robbin Laird rightly writes here:

“The B-3 is not simply going to provide more ordnance over greater distance to do strategic missions; it is about reinforcing and enabling greater capabilities for a radically different combat air force. Range and payload will be important elements of the basic platform, as will leveraging new concepts of stealth to provide low observability. But that is simply a foundation.”

And the cost?

The Pentagon says it will need to spend $18 bn on nuclear deterrent modernization starting in 2021 and ending in 2035, for a total cost of $270 bn over 15 years.

The Pentagon’s total annual budget is around $600 bn; $18 bn is 3% of that. It is utter nonsense to claim that the Pentagon cannot afford to spend a pitiful 3% of its budget on modernizing America’s nuclear umbrella that also shields over 30 allies and friends.

Liberals falsely claim that the total modernization cost will be $1 trillion over 30 years, with $348 bn over the next 10 years.

But that figure is nothing but a claim of the Monterey Institute for Strategic Studies, another liberal pro-disarmament group.

But even if that figure were correct – which it likely won’t be – $1 trillion over 30 years is just $33.3 bn per year, i.e. around 6% of the Pentagon’s total budget. Deputy Secretary Robert Work estimates it at about 7%.

A few other liberals (CSIS’s Clark Murdock, Thomas Karako, and Angela Weaver) recently (and falsely) claimed, for their part, that:

Nuclear weapons do not achieve U.S. policy objectives, dominant conventional forces do. The U.S. interest lies in seeking to minimize the importance accorded to nuclear weapons by narrowing the roles they are perceived to play. U.S. doctrine, policy, forces, and diplomacy should all be configured to support this interest. The posture described in this paper achieves just that, in contrast to postures that imagine uses of nuclear weapons that have never actually been demonstrated. After 70 years of indulging fantasies of what nuclear weapons can do, it is high time to acknowledge that they do very little and adapt U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, and forces to those facts.”

What they’re saying, though, are blatant lies, not facts. Nuclear weapons achieve three supremely important US policy objectives:

  • Preventing a nuclear, chemical, biological, or major conventional attack on the US or its treaty allies;
  • Reassuring those allies so that they don’t have to develop their nuclear arsenals, and thus limiting nuclear proliferation; and
  • Preventing wars between the world’s great powers.

And contrary to their lie that “The U.S. interest lies in seeking to minimize the importance accorded to nuclear weapons by narrowing the roles they are perceived to play”, America’s national interest actually lies in preventing WMD or major conventional attacks against America’s allies and achieving the other objectives stated above.

Fantasising about “mimizing the importance accorded to nuclear weapons by narrowing the roles they are perceied to play” will not achieve any US policy objectives. Such childish fantasizing therefore contrary to America’s national interests.

No matter how badly these liberals – and Obama admin officials – wish to minimize nuclear weapons’ role, their importance in the world is huge, and will only grow in the future, as more countries acquire these arms and as existing nuclear powers modernize and expand their arsenals.

Russia, China, North Korea, India, and Pakistan are all growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals. Because of their actions, the global, objective importance of atomic weapons is growing, not shrinking, no matter how much the US wishes it were otherwise.

It doesn’t matter what America wants; what matters is what the world is currently like. And the world is currently headed in the direction of MORE nuclear weapons and MORE countries armed with them, and thus, MUCH GREATER importance accorded to them.

The Arms Control Association’s Greg Thielmann, for his part, claims that the US should augment its “nuclear disarmament bona fides” by accelerating the nuclear arsenal cuts mandated by the New START treaty and by cutting that arsenal even further, to just 1,000 warheads.

But “nuclear disarmament bona fides” count for nothing in this world. They don’t make a country more secure – on the contrary, they only expose it to danger. Just look at Ukraine, which voluntarily gave up its nuclear arms during the 1990s in exchange for paper promises of respect for its territorial integrity and its independence. Russia brazenly violated these promises last year.

Finally, Adam Mount of the leftist Council on Foreign Relations falsely claims that there are no new nuclear threats, and that:

“It will certainly not help to worry about “new” nuclear threats where there are none. The best way to prevent a new arms race is to refuse to engage in one.”

He also falsely asserts that:

“There are already calls in the United States to fight fire with fire and add to our own nuclear forces. However, there is little reason to believe that building new nuclear capabilities or forward-deploying the ones we already have would restrain Russia. There is every reason to believe that Putin would take these steps as license to divert attention to the nuclear balance, to abrogate existing arms control treaties, to launch a new arms race, and to use his nuclear arsenal to cover aggression at lower levels—in short, to start a new Cold War.”

Like other liberals’ claims, these are also blatant lies. Russia and China have already started a new arms race against the US. At this point, the US only has a choice whether to accept the challenge (and thus develop counter-weapons it needs to defend itself) or not to respond and thus to fall behind its adversaries (which is essentially unilateral disarmament by neglect).

And contrary to his blatant lies, there are new nuclear threats to America’s security: Russia’s and China’s nuclear buildups, North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals, and Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.

As for Mount’s false claim that Putin would use an American nuclear buildup as an excuse to “divert attention to the nuclear balance, to abrogate existing arms control treaties, to launch a new arms race, and to use his nuclear arsenal to cover aggression at lower levels” – he’s already doing all of that.

He has already launched an arms race against the US, is violating arms control treaties with impunity, is building up his nuclear arsenal and diverting the Russian public’s attention to it, and is using that arsenal to cover his aggression against his neighbors.

At this point, the US faces a simple choice: it will either build up its nuclear deterrent to a superior level, or it – along with all of its allies – will live under constant threat from an ever-aggressive Russia.

 

Rebuttal of Obama’s SOTU lies about America’s nuclear deterrent

arton1691

When he delivers the SOTU tonight, Obama will likely mention his plan to deeply cut (read: dramatically weaken) further America’s already excessively cut nuclear deterrent at a time when Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are all growing and modernizing nuclear arsenals, and just a day after North Korea tested a nuclear weapon – thus utterly refuting Obama’s notions of a “nuclear-free world”.

Republicans have the duty and the power to stop his cuts of America’s nuclear deterrent while explaining to the public – in their rebuttal of Obama’s SOTU as well as on other occassions – why Obama’s policy is suicidal and treasonous and why America needs a large nuclear deterrent and will need it for the foreseeable future.

The following is offered as advice on how to refute the lies that Obama is likely to make in his remarks.

Obama will likely falsely claim that:

1) “America has more nuclear weapons than needed for national security.”

Yet, on close inspection, this claim is completely false.

A significantly smaller nuclear arsenal will not be able to meet most, let alone all, of America’s defense requirements and those of its allies. It will not be able to effectively deter America’s enemies for the simple reason that it will be too small. Being significantly smaller, it will not be survivable enough and will thus be much easier for both Russia and China to destroy in a nuclear first strike on the US. Even if they refrain from such a drastic action, they will certainly use America’s weakness to intimidateWashington and its allies and to attack American allies and interests around the world. Don’t delude yourself that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran would refrain from doing that if they had the opportunity to do so.

The fact is that a nuclear arsenal, in order to be survivable, MUST be large – there’s no way around that fact. In order to be an effective deterrent, it also must be able to hold the vast majority of enemy military and economic assets at risk. A smaller arsenal and the new nuclear strategy prepared for Obama’s signature will be utterly unable to do so.

This is because there are simply so many strategic and nonstrategic weapon sites and other important military (and economic) targets in Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran that being able to target a majority of them will require far more warheads than Obama would allow – not a mere 1000-1100, but at least 1,550, if not more. The Heritage Foundation’s nuclear weapons experts have estimated that about 2,700-3,000 nuclear warheads are required for that.

And why is it important to target at least a majority, if not the vast majority, of an enemy’s assets? Because only then will he suffer a truly devastating and prohibitively costly retaliation if he commits aggression. If he loses only a minority of his assets – even if they’re the most important ones – he will not be deterred from attacking. Only if the vast majority of his assets are held at risk will he refrain from aggression.

A small nuclear arsenal could only target Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian population centers, as it would be woefully insufficient to hold the majority of enemy military assets at risk. This would mean a shift from counterforce to countervalue targeting – i.e. targeting innocent civilian populations (which Russian, Chinese, NK, and Iranian leaders don’t value anyway) instead of enemy warmaking capability. Is this the policy we want? The proponents of arms reduction do.

But such a policy would arguably be immoral, and would not be accepted by most Americans. So the only credible and acceptable policy is counterforce – which requires a large number of warheads.

Yet, Obama and his bureaucrats and apparatchiks don’t care about that. All they care about is disarming the US and creating their pipedream “world without nuclear weapons”, a fiction that will never exist (as NK’s nuclear test yesterday proves).

So instead of reviewing possible targets and then deciding on how many warheads the US needs, they’ll instead impose an ideological, arbitrary warhead cut on the military: no more than 1000-1100 warheads, and the military will have to adapt its targeting strategy to that.

They’ve got it exactly backwards. They’re imposing an arbitrary warhead limit on the military and forcing it to THEN come up with a targeting strategy to fit that limit.

2) “Nuclear weapons are relics of the Cold War.”

This false claim doesn’t even meet the straight face test. Nuclear weapons are highly relevant in today’s security environment.

The biggest military threats to America are Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. The first three have nuclear weapons; Iran is racing to acquire them. The biggest threat posed by these countries is that of a large-scale nuclear or (in Russia’s or China’s case) attack by them.

Russia has a very large strategic nuclear arsenal (2,800 warheads, 1,500 of them deployed and 1,300 in reserve) and the means to deliver it:

  • Over 250 strategic bombers (64 Tu-95s, 16 Tu-160s, and 151-171[1] Tu-22Ms), each capable of carrying six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and a nuclear freefall bomb;
  • 14 ballistic missile submarines (5 Delta III class, 7 Delta IV class, 1 Typhoon class, and 1 Borei class submarine), which can carry 16 ballistic missiles each (the Typhoon class boat can carry 20); these missiles include the 12-warhead Liner SLBM and the 10-warhead Bulava SLBM;
  • 434 ICBMs, including (numbers in parentheses refer to the maximum warhead carriage capacity):
  1. 58 SS-18 Satan missiles (10 warheads and 30 penetration aids each);
  2. 136 SS-19 Stiletto missiles (6 warheads/missile);
  3. 171 SS-25 Sickle (RT-2PM Topol) missiles (single-warhead);
  4. 74 SS-27 Sickle B (RT-2UTTH) missiles (single-warhead);
  5. at least 18 SS-29 (RS-24) missiles (4 warheads/missile).

The Satan fleet alone can carry 580 warheads to the CONUS. Russia’s ICBMs are not currently loaded with the maximum possible number of warheads, but can be thus loaded at any time, if the Kremlin so orders.

Russia also has a huge tactical nuclear arsenal – far larger than America’s. It is estimated to have at least 1,000-4,000 tactical nuclear warheads – by any measure, far more than the US has (about 500). These are warheads of various types: missile warheads, aircraft bombs, nuclear depth charges, nuclear torpedo warheads, nuclear artillery shells, etc. They are deliverable by a wide range of systems, including aircraft (e.g. the Su-24, Su-25, Tupolev bombers, and the Su-27/30/33/34/35 Flanker family; Russia plans to procure 200 Su-34s), short-range ballistic missiles (e.g. the SS-26 Stone), surface warships, submarines, and artillery pieces.

So Russia alone has a huge nuclear arsenal which America must defend itself and its allies against. It has, in recent years, made repeated threats (over a dozen in the last 4 years alone) to use these weapons against the US or its allies if they don’t succumb to Russia’s demands on various issues.

Thus, the Russian threat, by itself, is huge and justifies the retention of a large US nuclear arsenal.

China has 1,800, and potentially up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, as determined in objective, impartial studies independently by Professor Philip Karber (Georgetown) and Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, a former Russian missile force chief of staff. Their estimates are based on Chinese fissile material stockpiles, delivery system inventories, potential targets for China, and itsst, 3,000-mile-long network of tunnels for nuclear missiles (which the US has to be able to destroy to be capable of credible retaliation if China attacks). China’s nuclear arsenal is so large and so sophisticated and survivable that General Yesin visited the US last year to warn US policymakers about that fact.

North Korea has about 12 nuclear warheads and the capability to deliver them to the US, as demonstrated by its successful December 2012 test of a genuine ICBM and the fact that it can mate nuclear warheads to ballistic missiles. North Korea, of course, also has large arsenals of SRBMs and MRBMs.

Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons and may have them by next year. It is also developing an ICBM capable of hitting the US, which US intel estimates it may have by 2015, and already possesses ballistic missiles which can hit targets as far away as Warsaw (e.g. the Sejjil missile).

Moreover, while Russia and China are threats to many but protectors to nobody, the US has to provide a nuclear deterrent not only for itself but also for 30 allies, many of whom would otherwise develop their own nuclear weapons. If the US nuclear arsenal is further cut significantly, they (especially Japan and South Korea) will have no choice but to “go nuclear.” This will make the proliferation problem much worse.

3) “Nuclear weapons are too costly to maintain. We can save a lot of money by cutting their number.”

This claim is also utterly false. The entire ICBM leg of the nuclear triad costs only $1.1 bn to maintain; the bomber leg, only $2.5 bn. The total nuclear arsenal and its supporting facilities and workforce cost $32 bn to $35 bn per year to maintain according to the Stimson Center. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the DOD’s annual budget (over $600 bn), the annual federal budget deficit ($1 trillion), or the total annual federal budget ($3.6 trillion).

Eliminating both the bomber and ICBM legs of the triad would “save” a tiny $3.6 bn per year – 0.1% of the total federal budget. It’s nothing. It’s less than a rounding error.

4) “Cutting our nuclear arsenal will convince others to give up their nukes. If we give up ours, North Korea will give up its.”

This false claim is downright laughable. There is zero evidence supporting it. In fact, while the US has been dramatically cutting its nuclear arsenal since the Cold War’s end – from over 20,000 warheads in 1991 to 5,000 today – two new states (Pakistan and North Korea) have joined the nuclear club and fielded ICBMs, while China has dramatically expanded its nuclear arsenal. India and Israel have grown theirs. Moreover, all of these countries consistently refuse to even talk about, let alone give up, their nuclear arsenals. China has recently categorically rejected nuclear disarmament and North Korea has just tested a nuclear weapon. What’s more, China has actively AIDED North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Other countries don’t give a damn about America’s “moral example” or “leadership by example”. They don’t care about American gestures. All they care about is THEIR military strength and how it compares to America’s. If the US cuts its nuclear arsenal, they will only see it as a sign of weakness – which it would be. It will never convince them to give up their nuclear arms.

Signing and implementing New START has not convinced other countries to give up their nukes.

Moreover, further cuts to America’s arsenal will not enhance America’s “credibility” in the yes of the “international community” or convince that community to place meaningful pressure on North Korea and Iran; the “international community” has utterly failed to do so.

That Obama (reportedly) plans to cynically use North Korea’s nuclear test to justify further deep reductions in America’s own deterrent is mindboggling, ridiculous, despicable, and outrageous. As North Korea, China, and Russia grow their nuclear arsenals, it is foolish and suicidal to cut America’s. North Korea’s nuclear test is an argument AGAINST Obama’s US nuclear arsenal cuts, not for them.

In sum, there are absolutely NO reasons to cut the US nuclear arsenal. But there are many reasons NOT to do it. Republicans should study the above facts and disseminate them widely to counter the blatant lies that Obama will likely make tonight to defend his indefensible, deep cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent and thus America’s deterring power. Republicans also have the power AND the duty to STOP Obama’s gutting of America’s nuclear arsenal.

For more information and analysis of America’s nuclear deterrence needs, check out my website. Recommended reading includes this, this, this, this, this, this, this, thisthis, and this article.

Also, Dear Readers, please call your Congressman and both of your Senators and tell them that you will NEVER vote for them again if they don’t stop America’s unilateral disarmament by Obama.