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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

U.S. lawmakers want defense budget of $577 billion

weapons1Thornberry’s Defense Budget Exceeds Pentagon’s Request by $16 Billion, DoD Buzz By  | Friday, February 27th, 2015 A lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives is calling for a fiscal 2016 defense budget that would exceed spending caps by $50 billion.

Rep. William “Mac” Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, submitted the proposal in a letter Friday to Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Thornberry and most of his colleagues on the defense panel recommended a national defense budget of $577 billion. The figure is $16 billion more than the Obama administration’s request — which already exceeds spending caps for the Defense Department’s base budget by about $35 billion. More importantly, it signals a growing divide within the GOP over how much funding the Pentagon should receive at a time when the U.S. military is taking on new missions in the Middle East, Europe and Asia……..

While defense hawks like Thornberry and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, are pushing for more military spending and an end to automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, budget hawks such as Price are trying to reduce overall federal spending to cut the deficit and balance the budget………http://www.dodbuzz.com/2015/02/27/thornberrys-defense-budget-exceeds-pentagons-request-by-16-billion/

February 28, 2015 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons expansion in North Korea

Atomic-Bomb-Smflag-N-KoreaNorth Korea’s Nuclear Expansion, NYT By FEB. 27, 2015 North Korea could be on track to have an arsenal of 100 nuclear weapons by 2020, according to a new research report. The prediction, from experts on North Korea, goes well beyond past estimates and should force renewed attention on a threat that has been eclipsed by other crises.

At the moment, the United States and five other major powers are negotiating an agreement that would constrain the nuclear program in Iran, which does not possess any nuclear weapons. North Korea, on the other hand, is estimated to have already produced 10 to 16 weapons since 2003.

The new assessment comes from Joel Wit, a former American negotiator with North Korea who is now a senior fellow with the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security. They conclude that North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have been growing since 2009 and are now “poised for significant expansion over the next five years.” That poses serious threats for other countries in Asia and for the United States.

Details about the programs are hard to come by given North Korea’s closed system. As a result, the researchers have outlined possible scenarios for the next five years, ranging from 20 nuclear weapons to 100, which would put North Korea on a par with India, Pakistan and Israel. Independently, China has also estimated the program to be capable of producing the higher range of weapons, another expert on North Korea told The Times.

North Korea already has 1,000 ballistic missiles including the medium-range land-based Nodong missile, which is mobile and accurate enough to attack cities, ports and military bases in Japan and South Korea. The country may also possess limited long-range missiles that can reach targets in the United States, the report said. It has also succeeded in miniaturizing nuclear weapons so they can fit on both medium-range and long-range missiles………….http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/opinion/north-koreas-nuclear-expansion.html?_r=0

February 28, 2015 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Obama’s Nuclear Zero Dream fading

text-relevantIs Obama’s Vision of Nuclear Zero Leading to Nowhere?, CounterPunch, by SHAMS UZ ZAMAN Islamabad. 27 Feb 15 

As the Second Cold War gathers pace between Moscow and Washington, over range of issues, optimism is fading over possibility of ‘a world free of nuclear weapons’ envisioned by nuclear pessimists since the dawn of nuclear age. The prospects had never been so promising, as had appeared to be, after President Obama’s speech at Prague in 2007 followed by the announcement to cancel deployment of missile defence shield in European theatre, presumably due to Russian concerns. However, the situation changed after U.S. adopted the off-shore rebalancing policy, referred to as ‘Asia-Pivot’, in 2011 which presumably was aimed at containing China and Russia. Obama’s recent pledge to grant India the privileged nuclear status amongst the non-NPT signatory states has further damped the prospects to envision a world free of nuclear weapons in foreseeable future.

Since the promulgation of new set of U.S. strategic priorities for the Asia-Pacific region, China and Russia appears to be in the process of reviewing and enhancing their nuclear and missile capabilities. China recently tested its improved variant of road missile ICBM DF-31B, capable of delivering multiple warheads Multiple Independently Targeted Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) on the U.S. mainland, while its improved version, named DF-41, is still under development. China is also arming its fleet of stealth submarines with JL-2 ballistic missiles to acquire an assured second strike nuclear capability. Beijing’s antagonism to Washington’s Asia Pivot has seemingly provoked the former to forsake its traditional policy of non-interventionism and neutrality. Chinese non-traditional approach on Ukraine crisis and implicit support to Russia in this new escalating cold war can thus be better understood in the context.

Russians are not lagging behind either. Their newly developed SLBM, Bulava with a strike range of 10000 kms and capability to carry up to 6 – 10 MIRVs of 100 – 150 KT each has become part of the nuclear inventory. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Sochi, criticized Washington for pursuing plans to develop hypersonic weapons under the Global Strike Programme and repudiated the U.S. allegations of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) which according to him was in response to U.S. unilateral abrogation of ABM treaty back in 2002. Russian emerging nuclear posture has also become a source of concern for the U.S. and NATO.

The U.S. nuclear initiatives also appear to be out of step with the contemplated roadmap towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Washington is in a process of revitalizing its nuclear arsenals at an astounding cost of $ 1 trillion spanning over a period of thirty years. Such plans risk undermining President Obama’s initiative for global nuclear zero and the future of new START initiative between Russia and United States.

In South Asia, Indian massive defence spending and conventional arms buildup risks offsetting the regional strategic balance. ……..

To mitigate these risks major powers, especially the U.S., China and Russia, shall have to take major initiatives by formulating a cooperative framework for debating and finding solutions to the contentious issues, (UN can also provide such a platform). State situated in troubled regions like India, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and Israel could subsequently be involved to take on the challenging issues along with the subject of nuclear proliferation, without which Obama’s dream of nuclear zero would remain a distant utopia.

Shams uz Zaman holds M.Phil degree in Strategic & Nuclear Studies from National Defence University Islamabad. He is visiting faculty member at Roots University International College, Islamabad and frequently writes in newspapers, magazines and research journals on nuclear and strategic issues. He has has also co-authored the book: “Iran and the Bomb – Nuclear Club Busted”. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/27/is-obamas-vision-of-nuclear-zero-leading-to-nowhere/

February 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

If a nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?

What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 25 Feb 15  Steven StarrLynn EdenTheodore A. Postol Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched. Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. What follows is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of New York City.

nuclear-firestorm-NY

The initial fireball. The warhead would probably be detonated slightly more than a mile above the city, to maximize the damage created by its blast wave. Within a few tenths of millionths of a second after detonation, the center of the warhead would reach a temperature of roughly 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or about four to five times the temperature at the center of the sun.

A ball of superheated air would form, initiallly expanding outward at millions of miles per hour. It would act like a fast-moving piston on the surrounding air, compressing it at the edge of the fireball and creating a shockwave of vast size and power.

After one second, the fireball would be roughly a mile in diameter. It would have cooled from its initial temperature of many millions of degrees to about 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly 4,000 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun.

On a clear day with average weather conditions, the enormous heat and light from the fireball would almost instantly ignite fires over a total area of about 100 square miles.

Hurricane of fire. Within seconds after the detonation, fires set within a few miles of the fireball would burn violently. These fires would force gigantic masses of heated air to rise, drawing cooler air from surrounding areas toward the center of the fire zone from all directions.

As the massive winds drove flames into areas where fires had not yet fully developed,the fires set by the detonation would begin to merge. Within tens of minutes of the detonation, fires from near and far would joinhave formed a single, gigantic fire. The energy released by this mass fire would be 15 to 50 times greater than the energy produced by the nuclear detonation……….

No survivors. Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately five to seven miles of Midtown Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius).

After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried, unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone could burst into flames when exposed to air—months after the firestorm had ended.

Those who tried to escape through the streets would have been incinerated by the hurricane-force winds filled with firebrands and flames. Even those able to find shelter in the lower-level sub-basements of massive buildings would likely suffocate from fire-generated gases or be cooked alive as their shelters heated to oven-like conditions.

The fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else.Tens of miles downwind of the area of immediate destruction, radioactive fallout would begin to arrive within a few hours of the detonation.

But that is another story.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from “City on Fire” by Lynn Eden, originally published in the January 2004 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. http://thebulletin.org/what-would-happen-if-800-kiloton-nuclear-warhead-detonated-above-midtown-manhattan8023

February 27, 2015 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The long and tortuous process of ridding the world of nuclear weapons

As long as any state has nuclear weapons, others will want them. As long as they exist, they will be used again someday, if not by design and intent, then through miscalculation, accident, rogue launch or system malfunction. Any such use anywhere could spell catastrophe for the planet.

The only guarantee of zero nuclear weapons risk, therefore, is to move to zero nuclear weapons possession by a carefully managed process.

text-relevantBelling the nuclear wildcat, Japan Times, 26 Feb 15  BY RAMESH THAKUR

“………..The peoples of the world recognize the dangers of nuclear arsenals. Curiously, however, their concerns and fears find little reflection in the media coverage or in governments’ policy priorities. Continue reading

February 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India could develop thermonuclear weapons: it is secretly enriching uranium

text-relevantIndia nuke enrichment plant expansion operational in 2015IHS BY DOUGLAS BUSVINENEW DELHI Fri Jun 20, 2014 (Reuters) – India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.

The revelation highlights a lack of nuclear safeguards on India under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while sanctions-bound Iran faces minute scrutiny in talks with world powers over its own nuclear programme.

New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would boost India’s ability to produce weapons-grade uranium to twice the amount needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, IHS Jane’s said.

The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015, the research group said, basing its findings on analysis of satellite imagery and public statements by Indian officials.

“Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess,” Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, told Reuters.

“One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons.” No comment was available from the Indian government press office or the foreign ministry. Pakistan reacted with consternation, with a senior aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying the news underscored India’s “established hegemony”…….http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/06/20/india-nuclear-idINKBN0EV0JR20140620

February 21, 2015 Posted by | India, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In the 21st Century Nuclear Command-and-Control has become too complex

The humbling truth is that strategic analysts have no clue as to what unanticipated event or events in combination may trigger nuclear war in the 21st century. It behooves us to start thinking about it

text-relevantNuclear command-and-control in the Millenials era Nautilus Institute by Peter Hayes17 February, 2015 

SUMMARY

In this report Peter Hayes writes about the risk of nuclear war and complexity. He states that “very few leaders or even strategic scholars pay attention to the new complexity of the operating environment in which national nuclear command-and-control systems operate, or the new characteristics of the command-and-control systems and their supporting CISR systems that may contribute to the problem of loss-of-control and rapid escalation to nuclear war.

“Today, the underlying ground is moving beneath the feet of nuclear-armed states. The enormous flow across borders of people, containers, and information, and the growth of connectivity between cities, corporations, and communities across borders, is recasting the essential nature of security itself to a networked flux of events and circumstances that no agency or state can control. The meta-system of nuclear command-and control systems has emerged in this new post-modern human condition.”

Peter Hayes is Co-founder and Executive Director of Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability; Honorary Professor at the Center for International Security Studies, Sydney University, Australia………… Continue reading

February 18, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India builds up nuclear submarines

Govt approves construction of 7 stealth frigates, 6 nuclear-powered submarines,TNN | Feb 18, 2015, NEW DELHI: In a major step towards building a formidable blue-water Navy for the future, the Modi government has cleared the indigenous construction of seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered attack submarines, which together will cost well upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore. ……http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-approves-construction-of-7-stealth-frigates-6-nuclear-powered-submarines/articleshow/46281364.cms

February 18, 2015 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear projects between China and Pakistan – a weapons proliferation worry

China, Pakistan, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Recent evidence regarding China’s involvement in Pakistan’s nuclear program should provoke international scrutiny. The Diplomat By Rohan Joshi February 16, 2015 China’s confirmation that it is involved in at least six nuclear power projects in Pakistan underscores long-standing concerns over both the manner in which both China and Pakistan have gone about engaging in nuclear commerce and the lack of transparency around China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation in general. The guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 48-nation body that regulates the export of civilian nuclear technology, prohibit the export of such technology to states, like Pakistan, that have not adopted full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Yet over the last decade, China has accelerated nuclear commerce with Pakistan while contending that its actions are in compliance with NSG guidelines, an argument that is not entirely convincing.

Today, China is not only a violator of global nuclear non-proliferation norms, but also presents the most convincing evidence of the non-proliferation regime’s ineffectiveness. The pattern of its behavior on the nuclear front as it relates to Pakistan goes well beyond the scope of what may be construed as the state’s legitimate ambition to be a leader in the supply of civilian nuclear technology…….http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/china-pakistan-and-nuclear-non-proliferation/

February 18, 2015 Posted by | China, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear nonproliferation is under threat

text-relevantNuclear nonproliferation is under threat, and so is American national security WP By Rebecca Davis Gibbons February 14 The newly released 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS), the aspirational security blueprint for the final years of the Obama administration, refers to the risk of nuclear proliferation and nuclear material no fewer than eight times in its 29 pages of text. The key passage on Page 11 reads “no threat poses as grave a danger to our security and well-being as the potential use of nuclear weapons and materials by irresponsible states or terrorists.”  One of the greatest tools the United States has to combat this threat is the nuclear non-proliferation regime. However, shifting global power could threaten the nonproliferation regime architecture in ways that could have serious long-term security consequences.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or the NPT, is the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, a set of treaties, agreements, and norms aimed at curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons and dangerous nuclear materials. It was this very architecture—the NPT, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, IAEA inspections, IAEA referrals to the U.N. Security Council, and six rounds of sanctions — that brought Iran to the negotiating table, and which remains the most viable way to approach nuclear proliferation peacefully. . ……http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/02/14/the-2015-national-security-strategy-and-the-future-of-nuclear-nonproliferation/

February 16, 2015 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA – India agreement raises danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear war

text-relevantEven more serious has been the deal’s impact on the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan……..

By granting India access to uranium, the deal allows India to divert its indigenously-mined uranium to military applications without detracting fuel from the civilian program. To get uranium to India, the U.S.  pressured members of atomic-bomb-Athe Nuclear Suppliers Group to “[ease] long-standing restrictions on nuclear trade with India.” Since then, Australia has committed to providing India with uranium

The international community would do best if it encouraged and helped India and Pakistan to settle their differences and accede to the NPT – and if no nation provided either of them with new nuclear technology or fuel until they scale back their military nuclear programs………

The Darker Side of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal The recent “breakthrough” is cause more for concern than it is for celebration. The Diplomat  By Amitai Etzioni February 13, 2015 The American media is gushing about improvements to the United States-India relationship in the wake of President Barack Obama’s January visit to India. Among the achievements stemming from the visit is what the media had called a “breakthrough” that paved the way for implementing the two nations’ civilian nuclear cooperation deal. However, examining the reasons why this deal was first struck, its components, and its side effects suggests that it is a cause more for concern than for celebration. Continue reading

February 14, 2015 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Forgotten Pacific Island nuclear bomb atrocities – example Kalama Island and Sand Island

atomic-bomb-A

As with all Pacific nuclear test sites, the end of nuclear testing has not ended the nuclear hazard for the peoples of the Pacific. The US government must take responsibility for the full clean up of Johnston Atoll.

Cleaning up Johnston Atoll, Nautilus Institute, Nic Maclellan, 25 November 2005 

From the beginning of the nuclear age, the peoples of the Pacific islands have borne the brunt of nuclear weapons testing by France, Britain and the United States. Seeking “empty” spaces, the Western powers chose to conduct Cold War programs of nuclear testing in the Pacific. Between 1946-1996, over 315 atmospheric and underground nuclear tests were conducted at ten different sites in the desert of Australia and the islands of the central and south Pacific. The nuclear powers showed little concern for the health and well-being of nearby island communities, and those civilian and military personnel who staffed the test sites.

Between 1946 and 1958, the US military conducted 67 nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the Marshall Islands. Less well known are the US nuclear tests on Johnston Atoll in 1962.

Johnston Atoll is located between the Marshall Islands and Hawai’i, and is known to the Kanaka Maoli people as Kalama Island. The island was claimed for the Kingdom of Hawai’i in July 1858, with the support of King Kamehameha.

With the US take-over in Hawai’i in 1898, Johnston effectively became a US possession, even though the Territory of Hawai’i continued to claim jurisdiction over Kalama Island and Sand Island (which made up the atoll) into the twentieth century. Continue reading

February 12, 2015 Posted by | OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sending more nuclear weapons to Europe is the wrong move

text-relevantThe Wrong Move: Adding Nuclear Weapons to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Defense One, FEBRUARY 9, 2015 BY LT. GEN. ROBERT GARDGREG TERRYN

Despite the wishes of two key Congressmen, more nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe is a bad idea.

You may have missed it, but last month two key members of Congress asked the military to move additional U.S. nuclear weapons and dual-capable aircraft into Eastern Europe. Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, sent a joint letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry advocating the addition of new sites in Eastern Europe for the deployment of additional U.S. nuclear weapons and dual-capable aircraft.

In their letter, the two chairmen extend a Russian statement claiming its sovereign “right” to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea to an “intention” to do so. They also assert Russian “moves to deploy nuclear-capable Iskander short-range ballistic missiles as well as nuclear-capable Backfire bombers in the illegally occupied territory [Crimea].”

There is no evidence that Russia has taken or is preparing to take any of these actions; but the letter alleges that they pose a new military threat to U.S. allies and our forces in Europe, and that the U.S. must respond “to change President [Vladimir] Putin’s calculus.”

Fortunately, nuclear weapons have played no overt role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea or its ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine. And while the U.S. and its European allies must react, introducing a nuclear confrontation into the already dangerous situation is more likely to cause Putin to respond in kind than to change his calculus. Declared U.S. policy is to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security, not to employ them in hopes of intimidating a hostile head of state……..

Deploying additional U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to Europe would make them more vulnerable to a Russian preemptive attack, even with conventional weapons, in the event of an escalating crisis. Also, it is well-known that Russia possesses a far larger stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons than the U.S.has in its inventory. Russia could be tempted to employ its tactical nuclear weapons superiority to take out the U.S.weapons deployed in Europe in the mistaken belief that it could confine the conflict to Western Europe. ……

Deploying additional U.S. tactical nuclear weapons and more dual-capable aircraft in Europe provides no advantage: It would be an expensive initiative that would add nothing to our security, divert funds from higher priority defense expenditures, likely provoke Russia to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea, increase the possibility of nuclear war, and be divisive amongst our NATO allies http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/02/wrong-move-adding-nuclear-weapons-russia-ukraine-conflict/104940/

February 11, 2015 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Complicated nuclear weapons problems for USA’s new secretary of defense-in-waiting

text-relevantVOICE The Nuclear Trials of Ashton Carter The new secretary of defense-in-waiting faces some complicated decisions when it comes to the modernization of America’s nuclear triad.  FP, BY JEFFREY LEWIS FEBRUARY 5, 2015

“………Carter inherits a mess. In November, the Pentagon received two reviews of the Department of Defense’s nuclear enterprise. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel pledged more money and high-level attention to the nuclear mission after a series of embarrassing stories that undermine public confidence in the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Implementing those changes will land in Carter’s lap.

It will not be an easy task. The pair of reviews were, depending on how one counts them, the ninth and tenth separate review ordered to stop the series of humiliations visited upon the nation’s nuclear stewards in the past seven years.

A partial list of embarrassing stories includes: the so-called “munitions transfer incident” in which six nuclear weapons were mistakenly flown across the country; an accidental shipment of Minuteman III nosecones to Taiwan; the removal of the commander of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force for an epic bender involving a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow; the reprimand of the number two official at U.S. Strategic Command who is the subject of a criminal probe involving gambling with fake casino chips; the court-marshal of a launch officerinvolved with a drug ring — as well as a plethora of other embarrassments ranging from widespread cheating on examinationspoor marks in unit assessments, and violations of security procedures including launch officerssleeping with the door to the command capsule propped…….

American nuclear posture has remained essentially unchanged since the Cold War. There was, during the early years of the Clinton administration, a brief moment when something different seemed possible. The Clinton administration undertook a comprehensive review of defense policy after the end of the Cold War called the Bottom-Up Review. As a kind of complement, the administration also conducted the first Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). ……..

missile-moneyThe problem is that just outside of 10 years, the United States will be simultaneously purchasing the following systems:

      • A new ballistic missile submarine (called SSBN-X) with procurement stretching overFY21-35Cost: $77-102 billion.
      • A new ICBM, with procurement stretching over FY 2027-2034Cost: $80-120 billion.
      • A new long-range strike bomber (LRS-B) that will be in service “by the mid-2020s” with procurement stretching into the 2030s. Cost: $55 billion, plus a few tens of billion in R&D.
      • A new long-range standoff cruise missile (LRSO) that no one thinks will survive austerity.Cost: $20-30 billion, including that of a new warhead.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the Air Force will also be spending between $8-10 billion per year through 2037 on procuring F-35 aircraft.

People who don’t want to admit that the current nuclear modernization plan is impossible like to imply that my estimates are somehow off. That’s what I don’t make my own estimates. I am simply curating the estimates by the Department of Defense, the services, or independent government entities like Government Accountability Office or Congressional Budget Office. (Go ahead, click on the links.) When you put the plans next to one another, it is immediately clear there isn’t enough money.

Defense Department officials are already calling this period in the late 2020s a “modernization mountain” — a period when the United States will be attempting to simultaneously replace all three legs of the triad, in addition to purchasing new fighters. I have already written that I think our effort to climb the modernization mountain ends like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. ……..https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/05/nuclear-triad-modernization-strategic-defense-ashton-carter-pentagon/

February 6, 2015 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Documents reveal America’s Doomsday Plan To Declare Martial Law

text-relevantPlan C: America’s Nuclear Doomsday Plan To Declare Martial Law http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/01/plan-c-americas-nuclear-doomsday-plan-to-declare-martial-law/  31 JANUARY 2015
Muckrock has obtained these new Cold War-era documents detailing the doomsday scenario through Freedom of Information Act requests sent to the FBI.

Plan C evolved and changed as different people in the chain of command got involved. At one point, Plan C was envisioned as a measure that would be implemented before any potential war might start. In other iterations, it was to be the course of action only after nuclear war with the Soviets had begun.

On November 22, 1955 the Soviet Union first successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, finally catching up to the United States with its nuclear tech capabilities. The H-Bomb was roughly 1000 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that had been dropped on Japan a decade earlier, and more than ever, the US was concerned about the prospect of worldwide nuclear annihilation. By April of 1956 it had drafted its new emergency response.

civil liberties USAreleased in 2009.

As Muckrock notes, Plan C was never distributed widely and details of the plan were ordered destroyed in July of 1957. Only about 30 pages about Plan C have been released so far. There are roughly 150 more pages that are still being processed. Some of the remaining unreleased documents are being looked over by FEMA.

We’re no longer embroiled in the middle of a Cold War. Or at least we’re not supposed to be. But you can bet that the US government has all kinds of contingency plans in place in the event of nuclear war or the like. Do those plans include martial law and the rounding up of people considered subversive? I suppose we’ll find out in another 60 years. Provided we’re lucky enough to avoid nuclear war in the first place.

You can read all of the documents released by the FBI about Plan C over at Muckrock.

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

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