Tag Archives: Russia

New York Times Finally Has Authentic Communist Columnist to Make Alger Hiss Would Red With Envy: Vladimir Putin!

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The New York Times finally has an authentic Soviet communist writing its progressive op-eds: Former KGB Assassin now thug Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And he rides in shirtless, his naked chest covered in gold chains and in bad need of a woman’s 18 Hour bra, atop a horse!

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Ah yes, it creates a whole new mean to the question: “Where’s the beef?”

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Alger Hiss would be red with envy!

This KGB assassin who views himself as Russia’s sexy killer beefcake is now an official featured op-ed contributor for the New York Times! And he has a column in the September 12th issue op-ed section titled “A Plea For Caution: What Putin Has To Say to Americans About Syria,” explaining his relationship with Obama. Don’t worry darling leftists; Vlad let us Americans know his “relationship” with Marxist pal Obama is

marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.

 

Good heavens, I hope American exceptionalism his considered treacherous to a dodgy murderous thug like Putin! We should want that S.O.B. afraid of America, not laughing at America because we have a mommy-pants-wearing Marxist president who handed the keys of free world leadership over to Putin on a Chinese-made silver-plated platter as he addressed the nation concerning Syria and Putin taking control of chemical weapons negotiations.

What could Putin tell Americans about Syria that we haven’t already figured out: Russia uses its veto power to protect Bashir Assad, Russia and Iran enable and aid Syria, Russia is in league with Iran and Syria and Russia is intent on becoming the world’s supper power and head of the free world.Yes, there’s much to trust there!

Look how Russia is now calling the shots– through the New York Times:

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades. No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

 

The UN falling by the wayside because an incompetent Marxist can’t swing anything but a golf club? Oh my, we don’t want the fate of the world suffering at the hands of a community organizer who’s only capable of organizing his golf swing. The profound wisdom of Putin can lead us as the “underpinning” for the weakened and unstable leadership of Obama.

The New York Times has found its Joseph Stalin!

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The op-ed killer warns us further:

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance… Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

 

Talk about clever. The devout Soviet officer taking the side of life and peace! A professional assassin talking about protecting the world from mercenaries: What does that tell you all?

Does Putin really want peace or is he in this for what he can gain? If you have to think twice about that answer, you might be an Obama voter.

The Russian assassin is warning America—via the Times— that Obama’s foreign policy will destabilize the world. As if we don’t know that already. But hey, Gulags never complicated anything!

The fact is Putin wants control of world and the United States: That way Putin, who never leaves office, has control of oil and world currency with his Muslim and Chinese friends on his side. And the backing of the New York Times of course!

Putin gave the anti-war crowd what they want: He criticized Obama’s Afghanistan policies: The war has been escalated, not ended, and more have been killed when Obama promised peace and hope.

Even Hitler would be in awe of this con job comment:

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

 

Russia, the land of torture-by-starvation, an advocate for peace? Russia, the home of bullets-to-the-head and poison soup, speaking out against aggression? Russia invented the Gulag for heaven’s sake! Russian leaders are as peaceful as a Roman Senate playing with knives in the month of March.

Putin will protect us as: “Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored,” and “We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.”

Since when does a Russian dictator care about attacks on Israel? Russia executed Jews in mass numbers during its Gulag years and ignores its starving Russian Jewish population left to die.

Since when does Putin not use the “language of force?” This guy is all about forcing civilization to his political will.

The New York Times must be on cloud nine. They finally have a writer who took five minutes of attention away from Rush Limbaugh! Five minutes is better than nothing when you are the New York Times and nobody except Chris Matthews and his six viewers care what you print.

Saturday Night Cigar Lounge Sept. 7th

When:Saturday, August 31st, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Saturday Night Cigar Lounge with Taylor on Blog Talk Radiosncl_logocdn

What: Saturday nights were meant for cigars and politics.

Hear Taylor and his co-host Liz Harrison talk about everything from the past week – from politics, to news, to books, and entertainment. Whatever comes to mind, and of course, sobriety is not likely.

Tonight: Jason Pye from United Liberty, and Jackie Bodnar from FreedomWorks join Taylor to talk Syria, liberty, and more.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

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.

Engaging Young Voters on Defense Issues

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A study released recently by the national leaders of Young Republicans (YRNC) polled young voters on numerous issues, including defense and foreign policy. The study reports that only 17% of youngsters believe that protecting the country should be the government’s top priority; that defense is “the place to start” budget cuts; that 35% of young voters, including 45% of young independents, believe defense spending should be cut [further]; and that in general, many if not most young voters want to reduce the size and budget of the military, withdraw it from foreign countries, and entrench America behind the oceans.

Why do so many youngsters hold such mistaken views? I believe this is due to confusion, as well as Republicans’ failure to clear up that confusion and explain why America needs to stop cutting its defense budget, retain the military at no less than its current size, and generally remain involved in the world.

This article aims to explain these issues and clear up the confusion. If you are a young voter, please give me 10 minutes of your time to explain.

Firstly, why shouldn’t the US cut its defense budget further?

Because, quite simply, significant cuts would seriously weaken the US military. There are many building bricks of military strength: brave troops, good training, competent leaders, world-class equipment, force size, a steady supply of ammunition and other provisions – but other than bravery, none of this is possible to have without sufficient funding. Without an adequate budget, the military will be very weak.

An army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon said – or more precisely, on its budget. To have an adequately-sized military, quality training and care for the troops, decent base and housing infrastructure, a sufficient supply of goods, and world-class weapons in sufficient quantities, you need adequate funding.

The military is not too big; if anything, it’s too small. The Navy, with the smallest ship fleet since 1915, is able to meet only 59% of Combatant Commanders’ needs for ships; the Air Force is strained beyond hope, flying its smallest and oldest aircraft fleet (average age: over 24 years, meaning the USAF’s aircraft, on average, were produced before you were born; they’re older than the pilots flying them). The Marines are on track to shrink to 182,100 men – but if sequestration sticks, they’ll have only 145,000 – not enough for even one major operation per the USMC’s Commandnant. The military is a shadow of its former self; in the Reagan years, it ahd over 2.6 million personnel and the Navy had 600 ships.

Some question why the US spends as much as it does compared to other countries.

But in all non-Western countries, one dollar can buy several times as much as it can in the US. And in countries like China, central governments pay only for capital military expenditures like weapons development and acquisition, while basing and personnel costs are borne mostly by regional governments. Thus, China’s military budget (up to $215 bn according to the DOD) is actually worth several times that amount. In Russia, the Defense Ministry gets much of its property as “free goods” from other ministries.

Moreover, total US military spending, including Afghan war costs, are only 4.1% of America’s GDP, the lowest share of GDP going to defense since 1948 (excluding the late Clinton years). That was a time of total military demobilization. Speaking of which, history shows that everytime the US has deeply cut its military’s size and budget, it later had to rebuild the military at a high cost when a new adversary perpetrated, or threatened, aggression – after both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

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Moreover, the US has a much larger economy (the world’s largest) and the 3rd largest population, so its natural that its military budget, in raw dollars, would be larger than those of other countries. Proportionally to its economy and population ($1,990 per capita, compared to almost $2,500 per capita during the Reagan years), the defense spending burden is quite low – especially by historical standards.

Many young voters are certainly frustrated with the waste in defense (and nondefense) spending. Believe me, so am I. That is why I’ve written, over the years, the largest DOD reform proposals package ever devised by anyone. But there isn’t enough waste in the DOD budget to pay for the budget cuts being contemplated by many young citizens – or those scheduled under current law. Because, you see, under the Budget Control Act of 2011, defense spending is on course to be cut by $1 trillion over the next decade (through FY2022, $550 bn of that under a mechanism called sequestration – which, making matters worse, doesn’t distinguish between legitimate defense priorities and waste, and instead requires cuts across the entire defense budget by 10%, in missile defense as much as in DOD bureaucrats. The DOD has zero legal flexibility to distribute those cuts.

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Before the sequester, the BCA had already mandated $487 bn in defense budget cuts; before that, Secretary Gates cut $178 bn in “efficiencies”; and before that, he had already killed over 50 weapon programs, including the F-22 fighter, the CG-X cruiser, and the Airborne Laser. Defense spending, in short, has already been subjected to deep, excessive cuts during President Obama’s tenure – while nondefense spending had not, prior to sequestration, faced any cuts (and even under sequestration, nondefense spending cuts will be shallow). And a full 60% of sequestration’s cuts are from defense.

Moreover, you could eliminate military spending entirely, and there still would be huge budget deficits for perpetuity. So defense spending is the wrong place to look for further cuts. It’s time for entitlements – which are exempt from sequestration – to face reductions now.

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Furthermore – and most importantly – defense is the most important function of the federal government, indeed its highest Constitutional duty, as made clear by the Constitution’s Preamble and Sec. 4 of Art. IV, and by the fact that half of all enumerated powers of Congress listed in Sec. 8 of Art. I of the Constitution pertain to military matters. Defense is therefore far more important than, say, farm aid or mass transit. And that is what the Founding Fathers believed.

George Washington told Congress in 1790 that “Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. (…) To be prepared for war is one of the effective means of preserving the peace.” John Adams said wisely that “National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” James Madison asked in one of the Federalist Papers: “How could readiness for war in times of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?”

Some will say, “But the US should do less around the world. It should be less interventionist.”

But less is not better. More is not better, either. Only better is better.

The US, of course, shouldn’t make every conflict around the world, and every nation’s governance or security problems, its own. But in crucial parts of the world, the US needs to intervene when (and only when) its interests or its key allies are threatened. Who rules in Bosnia, Zambia, or Lesotho is irrelevant to US interests.

But when North Korea tests nuclear weapons and missiles and threatens US allies and Guam; when China bullies and threatens countries across East Asia; when Russia flies bombers close to US airspace practicing attacks on the US; when Israel’s security is threatened, the US cannot stand by; it must do something. The key is to determine what constitutes an American national interest and thus when and where to intervene, if at all; I’ve attempted to do so here. Also, if and when the US intervenes, it needs to achieve victory quickly and then go home. Prolonged wars don’t serve the national interest.

You may ask, “What about Iraq and Afghanistan, then?” I believe the invasion of Iraq and the nationbuilding campaign in Afghanistan were big mistakes. The US, like other countries, sometimes makes them. But it’s crucial not to shift to the other extreme of the position spectrum and oppose any overseas interventions completely. The right path lies in the middle; the US should sometimes intervene, but only in defense of its vital interests and allies. Historically, that has been the policy of Republican Presidents such as… Ronald Reagan and his Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. The latter officially enshrined this policy as the Weinberger Doctrine.

Dear Young Reader, if you’ve read all of this to the end, I want to thank you – even if you don’t agree with me completely, or even in 50%. The US military needs the engagement and support of every US citizen – especially young citizens, who are the future and the hope of any nation and its armed forces.

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.

Russia has repeatedly violated the INF Treaty

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In 1987, the United States and the then Soviet Union signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which required both countries to completely dismantle all of their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles – nuclear or conventional armed – that had a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

No other nuclear power – not China, not India, not Pakistan, nor anyone else – was included in the treaty. However, it did at least require the Soviet Union to verifiably dismantle its medium-range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

However, since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia, Moscow has repeatedly violated the INF treaty.

It has tested and deployed the R-500 ground-launched (and nuclear-capable) cruise missile, which has a range within INF treaty limits, and last month, it tested a “missile defense killer” Rubezh/Yars-M “pseudo-ICBM” at a range of just 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) – again within INF treaty limits. This means it’s an intermediate-range missile, prohibited by the INF treaty.

The treaty, ratified in 1988 by both sides, completely prohibits any development or testing, let alone procurement or deployment, of ground-launched missiles of such range (between 500 and 5,500 kilometers).

The test occurred on June 6th and was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon the next day. The Rubezh IRBM was launched from a missile base at Kapustin Yar and impacted a test target at the Sary-Shagan range, about 2,000 kms (1,242 miles) away. This is INF Treaty range.

Again, it bears repeating: even the development or testing, let alone the production or deployment, of such missiles is completely prohibited by the INF treaty.

The fact that the test occurred at a 2,000 km range was first disclosed by the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, a veteran national security journalist, and confirmed by US intelligence officials as well as nuclear weapons expert Dr. Mark B. Schneider of the National Institute for Public Policy. Dr Schneider has been warning about Russian violations of arms reduction treaties for years.

Schneider has also warned that Russia’s air and missile defense missiles could be used as medium-range surface-to-surface missiles, and so could be the first stage of the SS-27 ICBM – as a stand-alone missile, it would have a 3,000 km range, clearly within INF treaty limits.

Also, the Republican chairmen of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Reps. Howard McKeon (R-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI), respectively, and chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), have been warning about Russian violations of such treaties for at least a year now.

The confirmation of Russia’s repeated violations of the INF treaty by the WFB and US intel officials confirms the soundness of their warnings.

Accordingly, the chairmen, not wishing to see America’s nuclear deterrent cut unilaterally, or in a worthless treaty with an untrustworthy partner who violates his obligations, have introduced amendments to the annual National Defense Authorization and Energy Appropriations bills that would prohibit ANY further reductions to America’s nuclear deterrent, except through a treaty or an Act of Congress itself.

American and foreign pacifist saboteurs, however, are not giving up. Desiring to see America disarmed, they continue to lie on Russia’s and Obama’s behalf, advocating for even deeper cuts than those Obama has proposed, and are whitewashing Russia to absolve it of its blatant violations of arms limitation treaties, including the INF treaty.

FAS’s Hans M. Kristensen, a Danish pacifist now living in the US, has recently written a FAS blogpost lying about the June 6th missile test, falsely claiming that the missile traversed over 5,500 kms, outside INF treaty range. He claims that the Washington Free Beacon and Dr Schneider merely “claim” the Russians have violated the treaty.

But, as US intel community officials have confirmed, the test actually occurred at a 2,000 km range, from Kapustin Yar to Sary-Shagan, meaning the test WAS a violation of the treaty.

By denying that a violation occurred, Kristensen is essentially accusing these officials, as well as the three House committee chairman (who have access to classified information, whereas Kristensen doesn’t and never will), and the WFB’s Bill Gertz of lying.

But why would Bill Gertz – a reputed journalist who has been covering national security issues for almost 3 decades – lie? And has anyone found even one instance in his long journalist career in which he lied?

On the other hand, Kristensen – a lifelong Danish pacifist whose explicitly stated agenda is to see the US give up its nuclear weapons – has a motive to lie, and indeed has repeatedly been caught lying, over and over again.

Kristensen is nothing but another anti-American, pro-Russian Danish pacifist propagandist. He’s been working for pacifist, anti-nuclear organizations since being 21 years old. He has no credibility and no integrity whatsoever.

Moreover, this is not the first time when Kristensen has (implicitly or explicitly) accused of lying people who are far more credible than he is. Not so long ago, he accused the commander of the USAF’s nuclear forces of hiding America’s nuclear modernization programs from PDF slides, even though these programs were all listed in one of the slides.

In short, Kristensen is a lying, dishonest, pro-Russian pacifist propagandist. Not one word he says is credible.

As for Russia’s recent missile test, the matter is quite simple. If the test did occur at a 2,000 km range, it WAS a clear violation of the INF treaty. If it occurred at a range of more than 5,500 kms, a violation did not occur.

US intel officials, Dr. Schneider, and the WFB’s Bill Gertz say the test did occur at a 2,000 km range.

Hans Kristensen denies that.

Whom will you believe?

UPDATE: The State Department’s annual arms control treaty compliance report completely omits – but does not deny – Russia’s violation of the INF treaty by testing that Yars-M (Rubezh) missile. Meanwhile, McKeon and Rogers continue to protest against further nuclear arms cuts and to criticize Russia for its noncompliance. They say the Obama administration has never addressed their concerns – neither publicly nor privately. Bill Gertz says more on that here.

Beware: Leftist Plan For Even Deeper Cuts in America’s Deterrent

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On June 19th, in Berlin, Barack Obama announced his plan to cut America’s strategic nuclear deterrent further, to a paltry 1,000 warheads, from the 1,550 warheads allowed by the New START treaty – unilaterally if Russia doesn’t agree to a new accord.

Leftist subversives gathered at this year’s Netroots convention universally applauded Obama’s proposal and discussed among each other how they can advocate, and persuade Democratic and Republican members of Congress, to agree to even deeper unilateral cuts in America’s deterrent, and the eventual scrapping of the US nuclear arsenal.

Among the attending groups were such stridently liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament groups as the Ploughshares Fund and Global Zero. Obama’s Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sat on the board of both organizations before being confirmed as Defense Secretary. Before he was nominated, the New York Times said he would ultimately be picked precisely because he wants to cut America’s nuclear deterrent and “kill some major weapon programs.”

At the Netroots convention, the strident pro-unilateral-disarmament liberals showed their real, anti-American, treasonous views and mindset. They made no effort to hide their intention to disarm America completely and unilaterally, regardless of what other nations around the world do.

And in defense of their treasonous disarmament policies, they stated a number of blatant lies designed to mislead the general public. Adam Kredo reports that:

““The size of our nuclear arsenal is ludicrous,” said an outraged John Robert Behrman, committeeman with the Harris County Democratic Party in Houston, Texas.

“The amount of money we spend on nuclear ordinance is ridiculous,” said Behrman, who said that nuclear modernization and maintenance issues “should be the lowest hanging fruit in the defense budget.”

“We have so many weapons already that you know we don’t need to keep these moldy sitting in bunkers around,” added a student activist who had attended the session. “I don’t think they’re necessary and something we should be spending money on at all.””

But their claims are all blatant lies. I’ll show you why.

Firstly, the US spends only a small amount of money on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and supporting infrastructure: about $32-36 bn per year according to the Stimson Center. This is just 6.19% of the FY2013 military budget ($613 bn per the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act) and a fraction of one percent of the total federal budget. It’s a drop in the bucket.

The delivery systems and warheads themselves are the cheapest part of this. The ICBM leg of the nuclear triad costs just $1.1 bn per year to maintain; the bomber leg, only $2.5 bn per year – and that bomber leg is capable of both nuclear and conventional strike. So for a tiny price of $2.5 bn per annum, America gets two capabilities in one weapon system.

(And as America’s overseas bases become more and more vulnerable to ballistic and cruise missile strikes, not to mention Iranian and Chinese political pressure on host nations, having long-range strike weapons like ICBMs and bombers in large numbers will be even more important than now, for these long-range strike weapons are based in the US and don’t need any foreign bases, or anyone’s permission, to operate and strike.)

No, the amount that the US spends on nuclear weapons and related assets is not “ludicrous” nor large. It’s tiny. It’s a small part of the defense, and the overall federal, budget.

Moreover, the US nuclear arsenal is THE most crucial and THE most needed asset that America has. It is not a “low-hanging fruit in the defense budget” that could be safely cut out of it. It is not some unneeded program. It’s a crucial, irreplacable, and needed asset. It’s the sine qua non of America’s national security.

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.

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 Obama when Russia is not complying with existing arms reduction treaties? We can’t!

China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver at least 1,274 of them. Among these are over 80 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 recently announced it will grow its nuclear arsenal) 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.

And how big is America’s nuclear arsenal, exactly? Is the number ridiculous?

No, it’s not. It’s over 75% smaller than it was just 21 years ago at the Cold War’s end. Only 1,800 deployed strategic warheads, due to shrink to New START’s limit of 1,550 within the next 6 years, plus 180 deployed tactical warheads and some 2,000-3,000 warheads in reserve or awaiting dismantlement. In total, some 5,000 warheads – less than a quarter of the arsenal’s size in 1991 (over 20,000 warheads).

Since the Cold War’s end, the US has cut its nuclear arsenal by over 75%; stopped designing, producing, or testing nuclear warheads; has not produced a single ballistic missile or strategic cruise missile; has retired all of its stealthy strategic cruise missiles built by Ronald Reagan; has cut its ballistic missile submarine fleet to just 14 boats; has produced only 20 B-2 bombers; has withdrawn its tactical nuclear weapons unilaterally from ships, submarines, and South Korea; has dramatically cut its ICBM fleet from over 600 to just 450 missiles (due to shrink to 420); has dramatically closed its bomber fleet; has closed the Ohio class SSBN, B-2 bomber, Minuteman ICBM, and Peacekeeper ICBM production lines; and has adhered to all of its arms control commitments (while no one else has).

Meanwhile, Russia has an estimated arsenal of anywhere between 6,800 and 8,800 nuclear weapons, and China an arsenal between 1,800 and 3,000 warheads.

No, the size of America’s nuclear arsenal is not “ludicrous” nor too big. If anything, it’s too small.

In 2010, when the Senate was holding hearings on the New START treaty, the then commander of the US Strategic Command overseeing nuclear weapons, Gen. Kevin Chilton, said that New START’s limit of 1,550 deployed warheads was the LOWEST number of weapons America could safely cut to. Many reputable analysts, such as former Under Secretaries of State for Arms Control John Bolton, Paula deSutter, and Robert Joseph, warned that even this level is unsafe.

America needs all of the nuclear weapons she currently has. If anything, America needs more of them.

The extremely liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament groups gathered at Netroots also praised Obama’s plan to deeply cut America’s arsenal again, and his selection of Chuck Hagel – their longtime ally – to be Defense Secretary. The unilateral disarmament advocates believe Hagel will be their key ally in disarming the US unilaterally. Adam Kredo reports that:

“Ploughshares director of communications Margaret Swink also praised the president’s anti-nuclear stance during an interview with the Free Beaconimmediately following the strategy session.

“I think the administration does support it and [we] saw again the speech this week that Obama, as Global Zero was saying, Obama supports this issue and the peace and security of a world without nuke weapons,” said Swink, whose organization funded an aggressive campaign to support Hagel during his contentious nomination process

“We were obviously very pleased that Chuck Hagel became secretary of defense and feel very excited about working with him as we move forward,” Swink said. “With regard to nuclear issues, he’s a strong partner. I don’t think anything has changed about that since when he was on our board to now being secretary of defense.””

Do you see? I was right about Hagel all along. Hagel DOES support America’s unilateral disarmament, and Republicans made a huge and unforgivable betrayal of conservative principles by voting to invoke cloture on his nomination and by voting to confirm him.

If Republicans want to redeem themselves, they ABSOLUTELY MUST block ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent – even by treaty. I repeat: if they want to redeem themselves, they MUST SUCCESSFULLY BLOCK ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent – even by treaty.

Edward Snowden could be bound for Venezuela

edward-snowdenToday has been a slightly confusing time for anyone paying attention to the Edward Snowden situation. He remains not quite on Russian soil, holed up in an airport hotel outside Moscow, could theoretically go to Venezuela, but apparently hasn’t made a definite decision on that. Some of the confusion was fed by Russian MP Aleksey Pushkov, who tweeted out of turn about the NSA leaker.

“Predictably, Snowden has agreed to [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro’s offer of political asylum. Apparently, this option appeared most reliable to Snowden,” Pushkov, the head of the lower house’s Committee on Foreign Affairs tweeted.

However, the post was deleted from the MP’s page on the microblog just minutes after it appeared.

“Information about Snowden accepting Maduro’s offer of asylum comes from [Russian TV channel] Vesti 24 newscast at 18:00. Contact them for all questions,” Pushkov tweeted shortly afterwards.

In spite of reports that Snowden apparently accepted the offer from Venezuela, WikiLeaks claims that isn’t the case. In the flurry of coverage, there are also conjectures about the logistics of getting to Venezuela in the first place, especially since the plane carrying President Evo Morales of Bolivia was diverted just over suspicion that Snowden was on board. The U.S. has threatened that the NSA leaker must not be permitted to fly anywhere but back to the states, and it remains unclear how he could get anywhere else, with the threat of retribution hanging over any nation that permits a flight to cross their aerospace. So, Snowden still has gone from “Catch Me If You Can” to “The Terminal”, at least until he can figure out travel arrangements that won’t land him back in the U.S.

Snowden reveals western states shared information with NSA

Abode of Chaos (CC)

Abode of Chaos (CC)

The righteous indignation of European states in the wake of Edward Snowden’s release that the U.S. was spying on them isn’t as upright as it may seem. The latest revelation is that while they were being monitored, they were also benefiting from U.S. intelligence operations. While this may not seem very earth-shattering in the current atmosphere of rampant invasions of privacy worldwide, it brings up another issue – contingency plans if such operations ended up in the public eye.

As reported by AFP:

In remarks published in German, Snowden said an NSA department known as the Foreign Affairs Directorate coordinated work with foreign secret services.

The partnerships are organised so that authorities in other countries can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” if it becomes public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy,” he said.

The interview was conducted by US cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras using “encrypted emails shortly before Snowden became known globally for his whistleblowing”, Spiegel said.

On cooperation with Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency, Snowden said the NSA provides “analysis tools” for data passing through Germany from regions such as the Middle East.

While there has been talk that these latest revelations about U.S. intelligence operations having a chilling effect on upcoming trade negotiations, leaders need to weigh the value of such an action. The implication at this point could be that they are upset not only about being spied on by the U.S., but also about the fact that they have plans to protect themselves from being associated directly with their own intelligence operations that involve invading the privacy of private citizens worldwide. Snowden has significantly changed the situation by releasing information that even implies that such plans exist.

Snowden remains in a Russian airport hotel, while three South American nations have suggested that they are willing to offer him asylum. Whether or not he will be able to take advantage of those offers is uncertain.

Russian Troops to be Deployed on US Soil?

A disturbing report has been cropping up on the Internet suggesting that the US Government under the Obama Administration has requested 15,000 Russian troops to provide security in case of contingency operations if a disaster occurs here on US soil. A source we’ve notified in regards to this story says its “nonsense”.

It’s like a scenario out of the movie “Red Dawn”, the original. Russian troops on US soil? It stirs the imagination. The online publication InfoWars.com under the direction of well-known Libertarian Radio Personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones first floated this theory this week. You can see the article by Infowars.com contributor Paul Joseph Watson here. Summarizing the story quickly, Watson says that US government and the Russian government officials have renewed a joint agreement to swap experts in contingency operations and emergency management paving the way for Russian security forces to provide augmentation for special security events and natural disasters here in the US.

Armchair Aviator (CC)

Armchair Aviator (CC)

Quoting the article, Watson writes, “As part of a deal signed last week in Washington DC between the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and FEMA, Russian officials will provide “security at mass events” in the United States, a scenario that won’t sit well with Americans wary of foreign assets operating on US soil.

 According to a press release by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies, US and Russian officials met on June 25 at the 17th Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations.

In addition to agreeing with FEMA to “exchange experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters,” the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will also be providing“security at mass events” in the United States.”

 A companion article from the EUTimes supports this claim and increases the fears of conspiracy theorists by stating that as many as 15,000 troops could be deployed to the US FEMA Region III in case of a contingency operation, national disaster or special security event. (Region III is a military zone surrounding Washington D.C.) The article places the responsibility of this request on the lap of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claiming the request originated in her office and went directly to the office of Russian Emergency Minister Vladimir Puchkov. The full article, that does not have author stated, can be viewed here.

A high-ranking reserve military official and conservative blogger I’ve contacted about the article said the story is bunk and “nonsense”. I’ve excluded his name because I do not have his permission to identify him. The source wouldn’t elaborate, so I’ll provide my own speculation on why this particular story is made up.

While I do not doubt that the US and Russia have a relationship in which they occasionally exchange expertise on crowd control, natural disaster and special security events, the idea of an exchange of troops on foreign soil is not credible. The Russians wouldn’t allow us to do it to them, and we wouldn’t tolerate it here.

Second, the US and Russia have a kind of a chilly relationship these days since the departure of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Remember the last public exchange between Russian President Vladimir Putin and our own President Obama, at which very few words were spoken and expressions were rather droll and luke-warm. The US is peeved because Russia won’t hand over Snowden outright and the Russians are P.O.’d about Obama’s support of Syrian rebels. Russia supports the Assad regime.

If the two Presidents can’t agree on these issues, they won’t come to a satisfactory agreement on the deployment of 15,000 ground troops. Think about that fact for a second. That is a lot of troops needing a lot of support. That is at least seven light brigades or three heavy brigades, including internal support. Deployment of that many troops would cost many millions of dollars or rubles just for the transportation costs. Day to day operations would cost even more. Who would pay for that? The Russians? Us?

Third: the US military would not stand for that many foreign troops to be deployed on US soil. There would be a mass exodus of talented leaders to the Reserves/National Guard and the conservative governors would be outraged. Such a request for forces would be the most foolish thing an American President could ever do, and as such, is highly unlikely for that reason.

Fourth: can you imagine Russian troops going door to door asking American citizens to turn in their guns? It’s outrageous when local law enforcement and Canadian mounties have done it in our own countries. Foreign troops would likely be shot on sight and Russian military officials have to know that. While DHS Secretary Napolitano may be the biggest dope that ever occupied that office, or any office, Russian counterparts under Putin surely are not that naïve. Putin himself is a former KGB guy; he’s not going to risk his troops where there is no long-term payoff. The Russians remember Afghanistan.

Fifth: the US doesn’t need foreign troops to secure the D.C. area. It’s a military zone. Posse Comitias doesn’t apply there and there are enough DHS security forces and ammunition to do the job. While the administration may not have the capacity to trust conservative leaning warfighters in the US military who’ve taken oaths the defend the constitution, DHS forces may not be constrained by the same oaths. Further, DHS forces wearing police uniforms would engender more trust and obedience of any kind over anyone in military uniform, especially foreign troops who don’t speak English.

Finally, the very fact that this story originated on a conspiracy theorist’s website as renowned as Infowars and Alex Jones makes me more than skeptical. While I must admit sometimes I find myself sucked into these conspiracy theories, after careful thought the black helicopters and FEMA camps kind of slip way under the light of sanity. Jones is 9-11 Truther of the first magnitude and anything he or his compatriots say deserves to be double and triple checked.

I’m not sure what the motivation is for these conspiracy theories, other than they get readership and tell great stories. I would have to tell the reader, beware! Not everything on the Internet is to be taken as gospel. I won’t believe in until some congressman calls Napolitano on the carpet, memo in hand and asks her direct questions about it. Until then, I’ll keep monitoring this story and gauging its credibility or lack there of.

Help STOP Obama’s unilateral nuclear disarmament of the US

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As everyone should know by now, Barack Obama intends to disarm the United States unilaterally and has already taken substantial steps in that direction. He has signed, and rammed through the Senate (in the twilight days of the 111th Congress) the New START treaty requiring unilateral cuts in America’s deployed nuclear arsenal and the fleet of delivery systems, while allowing Russia to grow its own arsenals of these. He has unilaterally withdrawn nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from US Navy ships and submarines – without Russia or anyone else reciprocating. He has banned the development of any new nuclear weapons, or even upgrades to current ones, cut funding for the service life extension of existing ones, and cancelled plans to develop a new ICBM. He has prohibited current USAF ICBMs to carry more than 1 warhead each, while both Russia and China have multiple-warhead ICBMs.

Obama deceptively claims that he wants to create a “world without nuclear weapons” (a fantasy that will never exist), and he has repeteadly repeated that claim. But let’s put aside for the moment even the fact that there will never be a world without nuclear weapons because these weapons are so powerful and so attractive (and what is powerful is automatically attractive), and the fact that NO ONE is following him on his imaginary road to “nuclear zero.” He couldn’t care less.

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.

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

Obama also deceptively claims that his unilateral cuts will enhance “nuclear security” and strategic stability and stem nuclear proliferation.

But cutting America’s nuclear deterrent – especially unilaterally – will only UNDERMINE security and stability by weakening America’s deterrent while Russia’s and China’s arsenals remain large and modern (and keep growing), and ENCOURAGE nuclear proliferation by both friend and foe – allies will no longer trust America’s nuclear umbrella and will develop their own arsenals, while enemies like Iran will only be emboldened to develop nuclear arsenals – since America’s deterrent will be smaller, weaker, and thus easier to destroy in a first strike. Fewer nuclear weapons equal fewer consequences of attacking the US or its allies.

Make no mistake: Obama’s unilateral disarmament of the US has nothing to do with “global zero”, and everything to do with simply disarming the US unilaterally and making it easier for America’s enemies to attack the US.

As a part of that unilateral disarmament, the Obama administration is now seriously considering, and will likely decide to, eliminate an entire Air Force ICBM wing – 150 missiles! It is not known which wing will it be – the one based at Minot AFB, ND, at Malmstrom AFB, MT, or at Francis E. Warren AFB. But they are now conducting an Environmental Impact Statement, the first step in the process.

The Obama administration deceptively and falsely claims it’s just an “implementation of the New START treaty.” But that is completely false. New START does not require cutting an entire ICBM wing with 150 missiles, or any further deep cuts on this scale.

Make no mistake: Obama is planning to make further deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent over and above those required by New START. That treaty, however damaging it is by itself to US national security, has nothing to do with the planned elimination of 150 ICBMs.

How do we know? Because in 2010, shortly before New START was ratified, then Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed what the force structure would be under New START limits: 420 ICBMs, 58 nuclear-armed B-52s, 20 B-2s, and 14 or fewer ballistic missile submarines with 20 or fewer missile tubes per boat.

Currently, the US has 450 ICBMs. Under the treaty, the remaining 30 ICBMs were to be decommissioned and put in storage, but not dismantled.

So under New START, America was required to cut its ICBM fleet by only 30 missiles – not 150, which is five times that much!

And contrary to the claims of pro-disarmament organizations, such cuts would save very little: only about $360 mn per year even according to ACA estimates. So eliminating 150 ICBMs would save close to nothing while deeply and unilaterally cutting the cheapest, most reliable, and most responsive leg of the nuclear triad, which has readiness levels of around 96-99% at any time.

But it gets worse. While Obama has been unilaterally cutting America’s nuclear deterrent, and plans to continue doing so, Russia and China have been building their arsenals up.

Russia is building up its nuclear arsenal – and the arsenal of delivery system – and has been doing so since New START’s ratification in early 2011. Before that treaty was ratified, Russia was below its ceilings of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 delivery systems per side.

But since then, Russia has built up to New START levels, as State Department data exchanges show – and as was precisely Russia’s goal and was promised by Russian leaders, including then-Defense Minister Anatoliy Syerdyukov, who correctly told Russia’s parliament that Moscow wouldn’t have to decommission a single warhead or delivery system.

Russia, as veteran journalist Bill Gertz writes in more detail, is in the midst of a massive nuclear (and conventional) military buildup. It is currently growing its arsenal of both warheads and delivery systems. It’s currently developing several different ICBM types: a road-mobile “Yars-M” ICBM, a rail-mobile one, a heavy liquid-fueled ICBM called “the Son of Satan” (slated to replace the famous SS-18 Satan), the “Avangard”, a “pseudo-ICBM” with a 6,000 km range (in violation of the INF Treaty), and another ICBM mentioned recently by Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin (it might be one of those previously mentioned ICBMs).

Concurrently, Russia is developing a next-generation strategic bomber, a next-gen cruise missile for its bombers (the Kh-102) and for its submarines (the Koliber[1]), and deploying a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class) with a new type of sub-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava, or SS-NX-30 in NATO nomenclature, with 10 warheads). It is also modernizing its already large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (artillery pieces, Su-34 tactical strike jets, SS-26 Stone SRBMs, etc.) and growing its fleet of Tu-160 bombers with production from stockpiled parts.

Also, Russia’s current-generation Bulava and Liner submarine-launched ballistic missiles can carry far more warheads (10 and 12, respectively) than previous generations of Russian SLBMs, such as the Sinyeva (R-29M). So Russia will be able to, and will, load more warheads on each of those new SLBMs.

Overall, Russia’s strategic nuclear triad currently has:

a) 434 ICBMs, all but 171 of which can deliver multiple warheads;

b) 14 ballistic missile subs with 16-20 intercontinental missiles each (and each can carry up to 12 warheads, depending on missile type); and

c) 251 intercontinental bombers (Tu-95s, Tu-160s, and Tu-22Ms).

Overall, Russia is estimated by the Federation of American Scientists to have 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads – deployed and nondeployed. Keep in mind that all of the above numbers – of missiles, bombers, and warheads – will only grow over time, and with them, the nuclear threat to America and its allies, and thus, the need for an American nuclear deterrent.

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

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!

How can the US sign any deals with Moscow, and believe anything the Kremlin says, when it doesn’t comply with its existing treaty obligations?

In addition, Russia is developing missile defenses – the same kind of defensive stuff which Russia doesn’t want the US to deploy – which would help Russia mop up the few remaining US missiles that might survive a Russian nuclear first strike.

China has a far larger nuclear arsenal than the Obama administration admits – at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and enough delivery systems to deliver at least 1,274… without even counting its SRBMs or ground-lauched cruise missiles, that is. With these systems, China could deliver thousands of warheads.

China has at least 86 ICBMs (36 DF-5s, at least 30 DF-31/31As, 20 DF-4s, and an unknown number of DF-41s), all of them multiple-warhead excluding the DF-4s; 6 ballistic missile submarines with at least 12 multiple-warhead missiles each; 440 nuclear-capable strike aircraft (H-6[1], Q-5, JH-7) capable of carrying both nuclear bombs and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles; and at least 100 DF-21 and DF-3 MRBMs. For local nuclear strikes, it has over 1,600 short-range BMs and hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles like the DH-10 and CJ-10.

Overall, former Russian strategic missile force chief of staff Gen. Viktor Yesin estimates China to have at least 1,600-1,800 nuclear warheads and enough fissile material for 3,600, while former DOD chief nuclear strategist Dr Philip Karber, now a Georgetown University professor, estimates China to have 3,000 warheads.

China itself continually refuses to disclose the size of its arsenal while deceptively claiming it has a “minimum deterrence” policy. Deception, of course, is what ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu advised.[3]

So while America’s potential adversaries are growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, Obama is deeply and unilaterally cutting America’s own. What term would you use to describe such behavior?

Please call your Congressman and both of your senators and tell them they MUST support the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014 (H.R. 1960) with the Rogers Amendment in it. The Rogers Amendment, authored by Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the widely-respected chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, will prohibit Obama from cutting the US nuclear arsenal any further unless a new arms reduction treaty, requiring proportional cuts in Russia’s arsenal, is ratified OR Congress itself consents to cutting the nuclear deterrent.

Also please tell your Congressman and both of your Senators to go further and pass a firm, TOTAL ban on ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, absent a decision by Congress itself. No more one-sided New START treaties.

Please tell them that you will NEVER, EVER vote for them again if they fail to support such important legal protections of America’s nuclear umbrella, which is the best nonproliferation tool ever invented.

And lastly, if your Congressman is Mike Rogers of Alabama, or one of the Republicans who voted for his amendment in committee, please contact his office to thank him.

Footnotes:

[1] Called the Kalibr in other sources.

[2] I conservatively count each of China’s 160 H-6 bombers as being capable of delivering only one warhead, even though some of these bombers – namely, those of the H-6K variant – can deliver at least 6 nuclear-tipped ICBMs over a distance of 4,400 kms. The bomber’s own combat radius is 2,200 kms, and the missile has its own additional range of another 2,200 kms.

[3] Indeed, Sun Tzu wrote that all warfare is based on deception.

Refuting the Left’s lies about nuclear weapons and the NDAA

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In crafting the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year, House Republicans have done some excellent work to safeguard America’s nuclear deterrent from unilateral cuts and from disarmament by neglect, as well as to prevent unilateral US compliance with idiotic “arms control agreements” that others don’t comply with.

At least on this issue, Republicans have displayed some fortitude – not to mention, have done decent work from a purely national-security-oriented, nonpartisan perspective.

Predictably, the Left, especially extremely leftist organizations advocating America’s unilateral disarmament, and their liberal Democrat allies in Congress, have attacked even the most modest provisions secured by House Republicans. Leading the vociferous lie campaign has been the so-called Nuclear Threat Initiative. In a recent screed, the liberal pro-disarmament groups claims that:

“House Armed Service Committee Republicans on Wednesday added additional provisions to their version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that could limit compliance with a key nuclear arms control treaty and restrict efforts to lock down vulnerable atomic materials.

Republicans also passed other controversial provisions they had introduced Monday, including measures aimed at increasing nuclear arsenal spending  and at streamlining federal oversight of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Committee Democrats offered several amendments designed to counter most of these points, but nearly all failed in largely party-line votes. (…)”

Oh! The dastardly HASC Republicans have introduced measures that could “limit compliance with a key arms control treaty and restrict efforts to lock down vulnerable atomic materials”! Is there any truth to this? Actually, no, there isn’t.

The treaty in question is the treasonous New START treaty, which is making America less secure and which requires only the US – not Russia and not anyone else – to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is free to grow its own (and is doing so); furthermore, the treaty contains many loopholes that are so huge you could drive a truck through them, and has a pathetically weak verification regime.

NTI continues to claim that:

“Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) added language that would hold back $75 million for arms reductions required under the New START treaty with Russia until the administration submits a detailed report on how it would use the funds. “The administration is calling for $75 million and we’re not going to give it to them unless they tell us what they’re going to do with it,” Rogers said.”

Oh! What a foolishness it is for Congress – which controls the nation’s purse – to withhold funding until President Obama actually figures out what to spend it on! It would be much better to give him a blank check or a slush fund!

Moreover, the money would be withheld until Obama submits a detailed plan on how he intends to implement the unilateral cuts required by New START.

“A separate measure from Rogers would limit the president’s ability to enter into any agreements with Russia to further reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Democrats, including Representative Jim Cooper (Tenn.), unsuccessfully opposed this and other Republican amendments.”

This is completely false. This amendment by Congressman Rogers would only bar the President from UNILATERALLY cutting the US, or through agreements that are not treaties. It stipulates that the President may not cut the US nuclear arsenal absent a treaty verified by the Senate or a decision by Congress itself. It would require the President to certify that any further cuts will be made only by treaty, not an “executive agreement.” It further requires that any such treaty must require proportional cuts in Russia’s arsenal as well.

It is common sense to bar the President from cutting America’s nuclear deterrent unilaterally, or through unverifiable non-treaty “agreements” that are worthless, unverifiable pieces of paper, and which the Senate has no control over. In fact, Congress should completely bar the President from reducing the nuclear deterrent further under any circumstance.

Yet, the Rogers Amendment wouldn’t do so; it would only bar the President from cutting the nuclear deterrent unilaterally or through unverifiable non-treaty paper “agreements”. The Rogers Amendment would not bar the President from negotiating, and submitting to the Senate, another treaty with Russia.

“Cooper said that while he would not support eliminating nuclear weapons entirely, the U.S. deterrent would likely still be effective if the quantities of weapons were reduced to a figure “slightly below” New START levels. The treaty requires Moscow and Washington by 2018 to deploy no more than 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads and 700 strategic delivery systems.

President Obama is reported to have received a Pentagon finding indicating the United States could remain secure with 1,100 or fewer deployed strategic warheads. No formal action has been taken on the determination.

Even with fewer than 800 nuclear weapons, the United States “could still hit multiple targets multiple times and make the rubble bounce if we wanted to,” Cooper said.”

These are blatant lies. 1,100, and even more so a mere 800, is not “slightly below” New START levels (1,550 deployed warheads). It is significantly below that level; at a mere half of New START’s ceiling, in the 800 warhead case.

And such a small nuclear arsenal – at 800 or even 1,100 warheads – would be way too small and thus woefully inadequate to protect America (let alone its 30 allies who depend on the nuclear deterrent).

Why? Because to deter and be able to retaliate, you need a highly survivable arsenal that can also strike many enemy targets in retaliation if the enemy strikes first. And for that, a LARGE nuclear arsenal is necessary. A small arsenal (e.g. 800 warheads, let alone fewer) would not suffice; it would be childishly easy for Russia or China to destroy in a first strike, because there would be much fewer targets for them to destroy.

Russia currently has 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 2,800 in total, and goodness knows how many tactical nuclear warheads (up to 4,000 or more, according to various estimates, including the SIPRI’s). It also has the means to deliver these thousands of warheads: 434 multiple-warhead ICBMs, over 220 sub-launched ballistic missiles, 251 strategic intercontinental bombers, dozens of nuclear cruise missile carrying subs, SRBMs, tactical strike jets, artillery pieces, and so forth. And it is growing, not cutting, it’s nuclear arsenal.

Furthermore, 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 has at least 1,600-1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads – we don’t know how many exactly, because China refuses to reveal. But its 3,000 miles of underground tunnels and bunkers could’ve been built only for a large nuclear arsenal. You don’t need 3,000 miles of tunnels to hide 300-400 warheads.

With 800 or fewer, or even 1,100, warheads, the US nuclear deterrent will be too small and unsurvivable, easy to destroy in a first strike. (Never give your opponents too few problems to solve, because if you do, he’ll solve them, as Robert Kaplan says.) And such a small arsenal would be woefully inadequate to overcome Russian and Chinese missile defenses (yes, they do have them) and conduct a credible retaliatory strike.

Thus, with such a pathetically small arsenal, the US wouldn’t be able to threaten a credible retaliation against a sufficient number of targets – and would thus lose its ability to maintain nuclear deterrence. It’s no coincidence that – as even the NTI has admitted – the Air Force general in charge of ICBMs and nuclear bombers is warning AGAINST a rush to further nuclear cuts. (And the forementioned DOD “study” was done completely without his input; he was not even invited to participate, as even the NTI admits.)

Rep. Cooper, other House Democrats, and the Obama administration are simply trying to lull the American people into a false sense of security in the drive to disarm the US unilaterally.

Disarming the US is not only dangerous to national security, it’s also immoral. The US has a moral right to protect itself and its allies with a nuclear deterrent. Seeking to dismantle that deterrent – especially unilaterally – is immoral.

As for the DOD’s supposed “findings”, those are not its findings. It is Obama who has imposed on the DOD an order to prepare pathways for him to cut the US nuclear deterrent to 1,100-1,000, 800, or just 300 warheads. Presented with such a diktat and these three unilateral cuts options, the DOD has chosen the relatively least bad – 1,100 warheads.

“One new provision offered by Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) would prevent the Defense Department’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program from spending money on work related to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty unless President Obama certifies that Russia and China are complying with the agreement.

Lamborn suggested the United States had already spent enough money supporting a treaty that it had not ratified and said his provision would keep Russian and Chinese officials’ “feet to the fire.””

Oh, holding the Russians’ and the Chinese’ feet to the fire! What a terrible idea!

But China still refuses to ratify the treaty – as do North Korea, India, and Pakistan, all nuclear powers. And the treaty is totally unverifiable, so spending any funds supporting it is a waste of money.

NTI then claims that:

“Lamborn also added a measure to require Energy Department officials to certify that they will complete the projected $10 billion modernization of the B-61 nuclear gravity bomb arsenal by 2019. Failure to provide that assurance could now lead to restrictions on funding for the DOE Global Threat Reduction Initiative.

The measure was added over the objections of Representative John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who argued it would increase spending on a controversial effort to modernize warheads that would likely never be used at the expense of the GTRI program, which he said aims to combat “real threats” to national security. The Global Threat Reduction Initiative works to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world that could be used by terrorists.”

Of course, for the Left, any measure to safeguard or increase America’s defenses is “controversial”; and as for the B61 bombs, we should hope that these, or any other, nuclear weapons will never be used! But hope is not a good basis for anything, let alone defense policy.

And those B61 bombs DO (and if modernized, will continue to) perform a crucial deterrence mission – reassurring America’s 28 treaty allies in Europe and deterring Russia, with a tangible, deployed in-theater deterrent: American nuclear bombs and delivery aircraft. These B61 bombs also reassure other allies around the world, because they can be redeployed to other allied countries if need be. 70% of South Koreans actually want American B61 bombs on their soil to deter North Korea. Moreover, CSBA expert Barry Watts believes the US also needs to refurbish B61 tactical nukes – or develop new ones – in order to be able to use them in limited contingency scenarios.

And it is Russia and North Korea that are the real threat to US national security, not the purely theoretical, unlikely-to-ever-materialize “threat” of terrorists wielding nuclear weapons.

Moreover, liberals are giving America a false choice between a nuclear deterrent and other nonproliferation efforts (the GTRI). The B61 mod program and the GTRI are not mutually exclusive or competing, and should not be viewed as such. Liberals are giving America a false choice.

Congressman Lamborn’s amendment would not cut, let alone eliminate, funding for the GTRI, merely make it contingent on Obama also investing adequately to modernize the B61 bomb. Obama will still receive full GTRI funding – if he also upholds his promise to modernize the B61 bomb.

Furthermore, it must be underlined that by far the most effective US nonproliferation program is, and has been, America’s nuclear deterrent.

NTI further claims that:

“Among the failed Democratic amendments was an attempt by Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) to negate Republican efforts to increase nuclear weapons funding by approximately $200 million above what the Obama administration had requested.

The White House for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1 is seeking $7.87 billion for work by the Energy Department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration to maintain a safe, secure and reliable atomic arsenal. That is up by $654 million from two years ago.

Rogers argued the administration’s request is not adequate to meet the terms of a deal made during negotiations over New START ratification, in which the president agreed to spend $85 billion over 10 years on nuclear arms complex modernization.”

Oh, holding Obama to his formal, written pledge made during the New START ratification process! What a terrible idea it is to hold someone accountable for their promises! Especially President Obama, who broke his promises shortly after he made them!

And yes, the additional $200 mn sum is necessary to refurbish America’s obsolete, dilapidated nuclear facilities, which date back to the Manhattan Project days. Moreover, $200 mn is a microscopic amount in the overall scheme of things – just a fraction of one percent of the defense budget, let alone the federal budget.

“Representative Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) tried but failed to scrap a Republican provision that could require the Pentagon’s Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to conduct cost-benefit analyses of recommendations it makes to improve the safety and security of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Larsen said the provision “would break the DNFSB budget” and limit its ability to ensure safety and security.”

Oh, what a terrible idea it is to require someone to make cost-benefit analyses of the recommendations they make!

No, Mr Larsen, this provision would not break the DNFSB’s budget, and it would INCREASE its ability to ensure safety and security – by requiring it to study whether its recommendations would deliver the promised benefits compared to the implementation costs.

“Larsen also attempted to strike a Republican provision that would give the Energy secretary special authority to fire any DOE employee who “endangers the security of special nuclear material or classified information.” The amendment stemmed from thedissatisfaction of Republican committee members over how the department handled an incident last year in which an 82-year old nun and two other peace activists were able to infiltrate the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.”

Oh, what a terrible idea to fire DOE employees who danger the security of nuclear materials or classified information! Let’s give DOE employees free rein to do so!

The pacifist “Council for a Livable World” mockingly asks, “Do you even have to HASC? House Republicans really love the bomb!” I don’t know if they love it, but they surely appreciate its great, unique value in deterring WMD and ballistic missile attacks on the US – something no other weapon system can do. Not even missile defense.

Do you see, Dear Readers? The Left’s claims about nuclear weapons – and the related provisions that House Republicans have rightly written into the House version of the defense authorization bill – are blatant lies. Cutting America’s nuclear deterrent and unilaterally complying with treaties that others don’t comply with will make America much less secure, not more.

http://missilethreat.com/limits-to-arms-control-threat-reduction-efforts-added-to-house-defense-bill/; http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-nuclear-commander-warns-against-rushing-further-arms-cuts/

For more excellent analysis of the House version of the NDAA, and excellent rebuttals of leftist lies about that bill and about nuclear weapons, please see here.

Edward Snowden Heads To Russia

edward_snowden

Update: BBC says Snowden is IN Russia.

The South China Morning Post is now reporting Edward Snowden is on his way to Moscow. No idea if this is true, but the SCMP is one of the few papers to actually talk to Snowden while he’s been holed up in Hong Kong. The Obama Administration was trying to get Snowden extradited to the US to face espionage charges, but now that could be all tossed away. Snowden isn’t expected to stay in Russia by the way, he’s supposed to be off to Iceland or Ecuador.

Of course, if Snowden is on his way to Moscow, let’s see how the US-Russia relations are doing. Ever since “flexibility,” of course.

Syria: Where the war stands now

FreedomHouse (CC)

FreedomHouse (CC)

The Obama administration has stated that they will send weapons to the rebels in Syria at this point, regardless of what the citizens in the U.S. or Syria think. And there isn’t a great deal of support for this action, in fact, it appears that even the recipients of the assistance are not wanting it. According to CNN:

If the outside world was excited about a U.S. retaliatory plan for the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against rebels, the families in the capital’s old Mezzah neighborhood struck a tone in utter contrast.

“America is inventing stories about chemical weapons,” one man told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen. “The Syrian government never used chemical weapons. The rebels have used them, not the government. So they are inventing stories because our army is winning.”

Another man, also shopping for household staples, said the U.S. action won’t make a difference. The government will prevail in the civil war, he asserted.

The intervention is in the wake of reports that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons against its own citizens. But, there remain reports that this simply isn’t the case on the ground. As Al Jazeera reports:

“The White House has issued a statement full of lies about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, based on fabricated information,” a statement issued on Friday by the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.

“The United States is using cheap tactics to justify President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the Syrian opposition,” it said.

Russia, a staunch ally of the Syrian government, also disputed the US charge on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters that the information provided by US officials to Russia “didn’t look convincing”.

Russian officials are also not supporting U.S. plans for a no-fly zone over Syria.

“There have been leaks from Western media regarding the serious consideration to create a no-fly zone over Syria through the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 jets in Jordan,” said Mr [Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei] Lavrov, speaking at a joint news conference in Moscow with his Italian counterpart.

“You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law,” he said.

Mr Lavrov also said evidence presented by the US of chemical weapons use in Syria apparently did not meet reliability criteria set out by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The three-year-long conflict in Syria has been increasingly involving neighboring nations, and Hezbollah leaders have stated that they do not intend to back down in the conflict. This does not bode well for any plans that the U.S. could have for assisting the Syrian rebels – without taking into account arguments from within the U.S. that getting involved at this point would only be giving weapons to existing enemies of the U.S. There is no secret that Al Qaeda has been making in-roads in the Syrian resistance. Add to that it appears that even Israel does not foresee a stable nation in Syria with or without Assad, there seem to be very few, if any, redeeming factors to the U.S. stepping in any more than it has already.

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