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Liberals Never Stop Seeking To Disarm America Unilaterally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Российские разработчики создали уникальную ракетную систему Ярс

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the cost?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He also falsely asserts that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Defense Issues Weekly – week of May 12th, 2013

Chinasub

A satellite photo, with markings, of China’s underground submarine base at Jianggezhuang near Qingdao in northeastern China. The base is super-hardened against air and missile attacks. While this 2000s photo depicts only a Han and a Xia class submarine present outside the base, more submarines were based inside. This is the base from which Chinese SSBNs going on deterrence patrols against the US probably operate. Photo source: DigitalGlobe/”China’s Nuclear Forces,” Imaging Notes, Winter 2006, p. 25.

DOD releases report on China’s military power

On Tuesday, May 7th, the DOD released its annual report on China’s military power and defense policies. The report is much longer and more detailed than last year’s, which was dramatically shortened to just 10 unclassified pages, ostensibly to cut costs while costing more to prepare than 2011’s much longer report.

This year’s version, at 92 pages, gives a great amount of information – both verbal and graphic – on China’s military power, the dispersal of its troops and bases, and the ranges of its missiles. However, while analysts consider it a significant improvement over last year’s document, this year’s still significantly understates China’s military power.

For example, it claims that China’s air force still flies, for the most part, obsolete 2nd- and 3rd-generation fighters and that modern fighters are still a minority in its fleet. This is factually incorrect: the J-7 and J-8 fighters which the report refers to, at 569 aircraft, are now less numerous than the PLAAF’s modern fighters, which number 587 (J-10s, J-11s, Su-27s, Su-30MKKs, JH-7s). Moreover, modern aircraft’s share of the PLAAF’s fleet will only grow overtime: 70 additional J-11s as well as 24 Su-35s are on order and an unknown number (but possibly hundreds) of 5th generation stealthy J-20 and J-31 fighters are poised to join the fleet.

Moreover, the J-7 and J-8, despite their age, are actually superior to the costly F-35 now under development: they can fly much higher and faster and are more agile. The J-7 has a max altitude of over 57,000 feet and a top speed of Mach 2; and its light weight and low wingloading ratio make it a superior dogfighter to the F-35. The J-7 can defeat an F-35 easily by simply refusing to be a straight, level target. In Vietnam, MiG-21s (on which the J-7 is based) routinely defeated American F-4 fighters.

The report also significantly understates China’s nuclear arsenal and submarine fleet. It claims that only 3 modern Jin class SSBNs (“boomers”) are in service, even though there were that many as early as 2007/2008; China actually has 5 in service with a sixth one under construction. This is intended to replace the old Xia class SSBN, still in service, which, together with the Jins, gives China a 6-boat SSBN fleet and thus already a continous at-sea nuclear deterrent – which the report falsely claims China doesn’t yet have.

Nonetheless, the report does warn of a large ongoing expansion of China’s sub fleet – it plans to deploy a total of 8 Jins and 6 Shangs (other sources say 6-8) and is developing a new SSBN (Type 096) and attack submarine (Type 095, Tang class). Two Tangs have already been deployed, and these are much quieter than China’s previous, noisier submarine classes.

This makes mockery of Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s recent claim that “we own the undersea domain” and that “the Chinese are not there yet”, especially in light of the fact that the USN can only supply 10 attack submarines to combatant commanders when its own minimum need is 16, and the fact that the USN’s anti-sub-warfare skills and equipment have atrophied.

The report claims that the range of the JL-2 SLBM is only 7,200 kms and can reach only parts of Alaska. But the JL-2 actually has a range of 8,000 kms according to multiple Chinese and Western sources (including SinoDefence and GlobalSecurity), and the report’s map deceptively shows the JL-2’s range as if it were launched from Chinese mainland. (p. 81)

But the JL-2 is a submarine-launched missile, meaning China can launch it from anywhere on Earth. Even with a 7,200 km range, the JL-2 could reach Los Angeles if launched from 160 degrees east, well west of Hawaii. With an 8,000 km range, it can reach LA from a position just east of 150E, i.e. just east of Japan.

Similarly, the report wrongly claims that the DF-21 land attack and anti-ship ballistic missile’s range is only 2000 kms. In fact, the DF-21A, the longest-ranged land attack variant, has a range of 2,700 kms, and the DF-21D ASBM, 3,000 kms – stretching out almost to the Second Island Chain, including Taiwan. This means any surfance ship within 3,000 kms of China’s coast can be sunk.

The report admits, for the first time, that China is testing a DF-41 multiple-warhead ICBM, but does not include it on its missile range map nor acknowledge that the DF-41 may very well already be deployed (it was first photographed in 2007). It also claims the DH-10 land-attack cruise missile has only a 2,000 km range; in reality, it’s 4,000 kms, more than enough to reach Guam.

Last but not least, Richard Fisher, a Chinese affairs expert with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, has criticized the report for failing into account China’s supply of transporter-erector-launchers for North Korean KN-08 ICBMs.

General Dempsey bows to the Muslim Brotherhood

An Army Lieutenant Colonel currently lecturing at the Joint Forces Staff College has been denied promotion and faces possible dismissal following an intervention by Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Dempsey, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, ordered an investigation after Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organizations filed a complaint with the DOD urging LTCOL Matthew Dooley, a combat veteran and West Point graduate, to be punished after LTCOL Dooley was found to teach his students about the dangers of radical Islam. The National Defense University, which oversees the college, has not found any fault with Dooley’s teachings.

Dooley, a West Point graduate, has 6 combat deployments and 18 years of military service under his belt. An Army promotion board unanimously recommended him for promotion to battalion command, praising his career and accomplishments. However, in 2011, a student of Dooley’s complained about his supposedly offensive teachings to the DOD, and General Dempsey was informed. Dempsey, a political general, personally ordered that Dooley be denied promotion and that an investigation aimed at throwing him out of the military be initiated. The investigation has reached its predetermined conclusions, claiming that he was a “poor officer” and resulting in his firing.

The Washington Times has narrated the story in more detail here.

France makes defense cuts, retains ambitions

The French government announced some painful cuts to the military last week, as it looks to defense spending to cut France’s massive budget deficit.

While the cuts will not be as deep as in other countries – defense spending will be frozen in nominal terms (and cut slightly in inflation-adjusted euros) – there will be a cut of 24,000 personnel, mostly from the defense ministry’s administrative staff, but also a reduction of the number of troops deployable abroad from 30,000 to 15,000-20,000. The Navy will have only 15 “first-rang frigates” rather than 17, and the fleet of fighters for the Air Force and Navy combined will be cut sharply, from 300 to 225. France will also not resume production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Moreover, the government has delayed the delivery of new weapon systems, which, in the long term, will cost more than if they were to be delivered sooner. The decisions, outlined in the new White Paper on National Defense, will form the basis of the Law on Military Procurement for 2014-2019 and for the defense budgets for those years.

The defense cuts have been criticized from both the Right and the Left. Far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon has denounced them as weakening the stature of France; far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called for defense spending to be ring-fenced and kept permanent at 2% of GDP. Mainstream right-wing UMP (neo-Gaullist) party politicians have also expressed worries. So have retired generals, who estimate that with just 15-20K troops deployable abroad France will have little capacity to intervene abroad in defense of its national interests and be only a minor contributor to coalition operations alongside the US, Britain, or other allies.

Under the plans, announced recently in detail by Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the Ecole Militaire in Paris, the French military will avoid the deep cuts in programs imposed on other Western militaries. However, it is already a small military by American standards. Furthermore, it is estimated that 20,000 deployable troops won’t be enough to make a significant contribution to allied operations. The same can be said of its plan to cut the combined Air Force – Navy fighter fleet to just 225 aircraft, down from 300 today.

Moreover, there is a basic criticism of the White Paper: that it is being made to fit the budget, rather than the other way around, i.e. some critics claim that the government is putting the cart before the horse by making the strategy fit the budget. This is the same mistake that the governments of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, and other countries have made, which has made them less secure.