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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on nuclear weapons

atomic-bomb-lUSA election 2016How Close Are We to Nuclear War? By William Boardman Global Research, July 28, 2016 And what might we expect from the next American President?

“……….Republican Donald Trump seems to have published no formal policy on nuclear weapons or foreign policy. In interviews, Trump has indicated a dislike of nuclear proliferation, but has also said it’s probably “going to happen anyway,” and maybe the U.S. “may very well be better off” if countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea had their own nuclear weapons. He implied a willingness to use nuclear weapons against the Islamic State, or even in Europe under undefined circumstances: “I’m not going to take it off the table.” He also told the New York Times on July 20 that if Russia, for no particular reason, attacked one of the Baltic states, he’d want to make sure that they “have fulfilled their obligations to us” before coming to their defense. He did not address the U.S. treaty obligations under NATO. He has called for re-negotiating treaties that he says are too expensive for the U.S. But, in an odd and perhaps inadvertent way, his answer on the Baltic states speaks indirectly to the 20-year madness of putting Russia’s neighboring countries into the hostile NATO alliance. Trump has also spoken of pulling back forward deployments of American forces around the world, including elements of nuclear deterrence.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has called Trump’s positions “truly scary.” Clinton has indicated her willingness to use nuclear weapons – “massive retaliation” – against Iran in defense of Israel. She has expressed but limited support and limited opposition to the Obama administration plan to spend $1 trillion upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In an ad falsely claiming she was responsible for “securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons,” Clinton has over-stated the impact of the new START treaty, which has been minimal in reducing nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State, Clinton appointed an utterly unqualified political donor to the International Security Advisory Board dealing with nuclear weapons. Clinton, like Trump, seems to have published no formal foreign policy on nuclear weapons of foreign policy. She has opposed the idea of Japan having its own nuclear arsenal, while at the same time falsely saying Trump “encouraged” the idea.

Where is the candidate who speaks truthfully of reality?………..

Those who don’t speak up are complicit in silence

In 1996, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry was the only member of President Clinton’s cabinet who got it right, including the President himself. Perry was the only cabinet member who opposed enlarging NATO with former Soviet bloc countries. Perry was the only cabinet member then, and perhaps since, to object to the American policy of steady, stealthy, soft aggression against Russia (including the Ukraine coup) that would lead inevitably to direct confrontation between the world’s largest nuclear weapons states. Perry has called for radical change in the U.S. nuclear force structure consistent with actual deterrence, actual defense, not aggressive war. He would reduce the nuclear triad (about which Trump apparently knew nothing last October), keeping only the sea-based missiles in nuclear submarines and eliminating nuclear bombers and nuclear missiles. This would save millions of dollars and reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. But it is heresy among the believers in faith-based nuclear policy.

And yet, in an election year, “no one is discussing the major issues that trouble Perry,” as Jerry Brown wrote: “And why does most all of official Washington disagree with him and live in nuclear denial?” In January 2016, while promoting his book, Perry wrote:

What I am really advocating is not so much a particular force structure, but a serious national discussion on this issue, the outcome of which has hugely important security and financial consequences — for the U.S. and for the world. Considering the huge costs entailed, and, even more importantly, the transcendental security issues at stake, we must not simply drift into a decision….

And yet the country drifts on, blissfully unaware, and it’s a mystery why a man as accomplished and respected as Perry has not done more to wake the country out of its sleepwalking incomprehension. But it may be a tragedy that we have neither a President nor a would-be President who would or could confront our potentially fatal collective denial.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-close-are-we-to-nuclear-war/5538453

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How many nuclear detonations would create a global wasteland?

apocalypseHow Close Are We to Nuclear War? By William Boardman Global Research, July 28, 2016 “I believe that the risk of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War – and yet our public is blissfully unaware of the new nuclear dangers they face.” – William J. Perry, U.S. Defense Secretary (1994-1997), January 2016

Former Bill Clinton cabinet member Perry perceives a danger that none of this year’s presidential wannabes have paid much if any attention to. The most recent candidate to make nuclear arms a central issue was Congressman Dennis Kucinich in 2008. President Obama has played both sides of the nuclear dilemma: rounding up and securing nuclear materials around the world, but also modernizing and miniaturizing American nuclear weapons to make them more “usable.” These days, no one in leadership – or aspiring to leadership – seems committed to actually making the world any safer from nuclear catastrophe. With rare exceptions like Kucinich, this unquestioned reliance on nuclear weapons is mainstream American military group-think, endlessly echoed in mainstream media, and that’s the way it’s been for decades

In November 2015, William J. Perry published “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink” with Stanford University Press, a short book (234 pages) with a global warning that goes unheeded and almost unmentioned in out denial-drenched culture. A quick Google search turns up no reviews of the book – none – in mainstream media. Pro forma book trade reviews by outfits like Kirkus or Publishers Weekly or Amazon make Perry’s book sound pretty bland and boring, but then so does the publisher’s own blurb. It’s as if these people are saying: yes, we know there’s a pack of wolves in the woods, and that’s not necessarily such a good thing, but we don’t want to be accused of crying wolf, and besides we’ve got our own wolves at home, and they’re trim and well fed, and they haven’t attacked anybody since 1945, so why is anyone worried?

That’s Perry’s point, of course, that nobody’s worried – worse: “our people are blissfully unaware.” He doesn’t go on to argue that our people are deliberately kept unaware by a government and media pyramid that manages public consciousness for its own ends. Listen, Perry was free to publish his book, people are free not to read it, what more can one ask? That’s the nature of repressive tolerance.

“A Stark Nuclear Warning”

California governor Jerry Brown reviewed Perry’s book in the New York Review of Books for July 14, 2016, under the headline: “A Stark Nuclear Warning.” William J. Perry spent an adult lifetime working in the world of nuclear weapons. Perry has long expressed his concern that the detonation of just one nuclear weapon could produce a “nuclear catastrophe … that could destroy our way of life.” Perry has been a manager of nuclear weapons “deterrence,” which he now considers “old thinking.” The fact that deterrence hasn’t failed for more than 70 years is not evidence that the policy is successful. In Perry’s view, nuclear weapons do not provide security for anyone, and the more nuclear weapons there are in more and more and more hands, the more they endanger us all.

In his review, Brown tried to break through the complacent collective quiet in response to the bipartisan American nuclear risk-taking that Perry objects to:

… as a defense insider and keeper of nuclear secrets, he is clearly calling American leaders to account for what he believes are very bad decisions, such as the precipitous expansion of NATO, right up to the Russian border, and President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, originally signed by President Nixon.

Twenty years of American stealth aggression against Russia, particularly in Ukraine and Georgia, is only the most obvious flashpoint, though perhaps not the most dangerous one……..

How many nuclear detonations would create a global wasteland?………http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-close-are-we-to-nuclear-war/5538453

July 29, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Interactive tool shows you what would happen if a nuclear bomb hit London

see-this.wayWhat would happen if a nuclear bomb hit London? Use this interactive tool to discover your fate, Mirror, UK 28 July 16    What would happen if a nuclear bomb hit Britain?

The effects would be devastating but this tool shows just how widespread they would be.

It’s a highly unlikely scenario, of course.

However, 60 years ago, crisis planners were desperately worried about the threat of a nuclear attack and identified key cities and towns in the UK which were a likely target to be wiped out with one nuclear bomb.

Here’s what the effects could be today if a nuclear bomb detonated in London.

We’ve used the Nukemap website and looked at three different bombs, all of which have been either used or tested.

It’s a highly unlikely scenario, of course. However, 60 years ago, crisis planners were desperately worried about the threat of a nuclear attack and identified key cities and towns in the UK which were a likely target to be wiped out with one nuclear bomb.

Here’s what the effects could be today if a nuclear bomb detonated in London. We’ve used the Nukemap website and looked at three different bombs, all of which have been either used or tested.

1. Ivy Mike – the first H-bomb (10.4 megatons)

Estimated fatalities: 2,336,920

Estimated injuries: 2,614,180

Fireball radius (orange): The entire city centre including monuments such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace would be consumed by a nuclear fireball 3.2km wide – stretching up to Camden Town and down to Brixton. The fatality rate is 100%.

Radiation radius (green): Slightly wider than the fireball radius. Without medical treatment, expect between 50% and 90% mortality from acute effects alone. Dying takes between several hours and several weeks

Air blast radius (red – 20psi): The most intense air blast would have a radius of 4.75km and demolish heavily built concrete buildings in Chalk Farm, London Bridge, Chelsea and Kensington among other areas. The fatality rate is still 100% or very close.

Air blast radius (grey – 5psi): A lesser air blast radius would still cause the collapse of all residential buildings within a 10km radius. That means houses would collapse all the way out in East Finchley, Stratford, Poplar and Streatham. Injuries are universal and fatalities widespread.

Thermal radiation radius (lighter orange): The thermal radiation radius is 29.1km. This would mean third degree burns “throughout the layers of the skin”, which could cause severe scarring, disablement and even amputation. This radius covers Watford, Hayes, Epsom, Croydon, Twickenham, Dartford and Epping.

2. The Tsar Bomba – the largest USSR  bomb tested (50 megatons)……

3. ‘Fat Man’ – the Nagasaki bomb (20 kilotons)……..http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-would-happen-nuclear-bomb-8514152

 

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s aggressive military policies in Europe increase risk of nuclear annihilation

US must stop playing with nuclear hellfire, Ecologist ,Conn Hallinan 26th July 2016 

Thanks to an increasingly aggressive US foreign policy pursued over decades, NATO nuclear missiles and armed forces are poised on Russia’s border, writes Conn Hallinan – forcing it to abandon its ‘no first use of nuclear weapons’ pledge in view of the massively asymmetrical threat it faces. The world must step back from the brink of nuclear annihilation……….

bombed city

Playing with hellfire

What has made today’s world more dangerous, however, is not just advances in the destructive power of nuclear weapons, but a series of actions by the last three US administrations.

  • First was the decision by President Bill Clinton to abrogate a 1990 agreement with the Soviet Union not to push NATO further east after the reunification of Germany or to recruit former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact.
    NATO has also reneged on a 1997 pledge not to install “permanent” and “significant”military forces in former Warsaw Pact countries. This month NATO decided to deploy four battalions on, or near, the Russian border, arguing that since the units will be rotated they are not ‘permanent’ and are not large enough to be ‘significant’. It is a linguistic slight of hand that does not amuse Moscow.
  • Second was the 1999 US-NATO intervention in the Yugoslav civil war and the forcible dismemberment of Serbia. It is somewhat ironic that Russia is currently accused of using force to “redraw borders in Europe” by annexing the Crimea, which is exactly what NATO did to create Kosovo. The US subsequently built Camp Bond Steel, Washington’s largest base in the Balkans.
  • Third was President George W, Bush’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the decision by the Obama administration to deploy anti-missile systems in Romania and Poland, as well as Japan and South Korea.
  • Last is the decision by the White House to spend upwards of $1 trillion upgrading its nuclear weapons arsenal, which includes building bombs with smaller yields, a move that many critics argue blurs the line between conventional and nuclear weapons.

The Yugoslav War and NATO’s move east convinced Moscow that the Alliance was surrounding Russia with potential adversaries, and the deployment of anti-missile systems (ABM) – supposedly aimed at Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons – was seen as a threat to the Russian’s nuclear missile force.

One immediate effect of ABMs was to chill the possibility of further cuts in the number of nuclear weapons. When Obama proposed another round of warhead reductions, the Russians turned it down cold, citing the anti-missile systems as the reason.

Playing with hellfire

What has made today’s world more dangerous, however, is not just advances in the destructive power of nuclear weapons, but a series of actions by the last three US administrations.

  • First was the decision by President Bill Clinton to abrogate a 1990 agreement with the Soviet Union not to push NATO further east after the reunification of Germany or to recruit former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact.
    NATO has also reneged on a 1997 pledge not to install “permanent” and “significant”military forces in former Warsaw Pact countries. This month NATO decided to deploy four battalions on, or near, the Russian border, arguing that since the units will be rotated they are not ‘permanent’ and are not large enough to be ‘significant’. It is a linguistic slight of hand that does not amuse Moscow.
  • Second was the 1999 US-NATO intervention in the Yugoslav civil war and the forcible dismemberment of Serbia. It is somewhat ironic that Russia is currently accused of using force to “redraw borders in Europe” by annexing the Crimea, which is exactly what NATO did to create Kosovo. The US subsequently built Camp Bond Steel, Washington’s largest base in the Balkans.
  • Third was President George W, Bush’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the decision by the Obama administration to deploy anti-missile systems in Romania and Poland, as well as Japan and South Korea.
  • Last is the decision by the White House to spend upwards of $1 trillion upgrading its nuclear weapons arsenal, which includes building bombs with smaller yields, a move that many critics argue blurs the line between conventional and nuclear weapons.

The Yugoslav War and NATO’s move east convinced Moscow that the Alliance was surrounding Russia with potential adversaries, and the deployment of anti-missile systems (ABM) – supposedly aimed at Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons – was seen as a threat to the Russian’s nuclear missile force.

One immediate effect of ABMs was to chill the possibility of further cuts in the number of nuclear weapons. When Obama proposed another round of warhead reductions, the Russians turned it down cold, citing the anti-missile systems as the reason……..

There is no evidence that Russia contemplates an attack on the Baltic states or countries like Poland, and, given the enormous power of the US, such an undertaking would court national suicide.

Moscow’s ‘aggression’ against Georgia and Ukraine was provoked. Georgia attacked Russia, not vice versa, and the Ukraine coup torpedoed a peace deal negotiated by the European Union, the US, and Russia. Imagine Washington’s view of a Moscow-supported coup in Mexico, followed by an influx of Russian weapons and trainers.

In a memorandum to the recent NATO meetings in Warsaw, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity argued, “There is not one scintilla of evidence of any Russian plan to annex Crimea before the coup in Kiev and coup leaders began talking about joining NATO. If senior NATO leaders continue to be unable or unwilling to distinguish between cause and effect, increasing tension is inevitable with potentially disastrous results.”

The organization of former intelligence analysts also sharply condemned the NATO war games“We shake our heads in disbelief when we see Western leaders seemingly oblivious to what it means to the Russians to witness exercises on a scale not seen since Hitler’s army launched ‘Unternehumen Barbarossa’ 75 years ago, leaving 25 million Soviet citizens dead.”

European states are getting scared – and so they should be!

While the NATO meetings in Warsaw agreed to continue economic sanctions aimed at Russia for another six months and to station four battalions of troops in Poland and the Baltic states – separate US forces will be deployed in Bulgaria and Poland – there was an undercurrent of dissent. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for deescalating the tensions with Russia and for considering Russian President Vladimir Putin a partner not an enemy.

Greece was not alone. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeler called NATO maneuvers on the Russian border “warmongering” and “saber rattling”. French President Francois Hollande said Putin should be considered a “partner”, not a “threat”, and France tried to reduce the number of troops being deployed in the Baltic and Poland. Italy has been increasingly critical of the sanctions.

Rather than recognizing the growing discomfort of a number of NATO allies and that beefing up forces on Russia’s borders might be destabilizing, US Secretary of State John Kerry recently inked defense agreements with Georgia and Ukraine.

After disappearing from the radar for several decades, nukes are back, and the decision to modernize the US arsenal will almost certainly kick off a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. Russia is already replacing its current ICBM force with the more powerful and long range ‘Sarmat’ ICBM, and China is loading its ICBM with multiple warheads.

Add to this volatile mixture military maneuvers and a deliberately opaque policy in regards to the use of nuclear weapons, and it is no wonder that Perry thinks that the chances of some catastrophe is a growing possibility.

Conn Hallinan is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus, A Think Tank Without Walls, and an independent journalist. A winner of a Project Censored ‘Real News Award’, he lives in Berkeley, California, and blogs at Dispatches from the Edge.  http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2987941/us_must_stop_playing_with_nuclear_hellfire.html

July 29, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hans Kristensen verified Ploughshares’ facts on America’s nuclear arsenal and its costs

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT: HANS KRISTENSEN  http://www.ploughshares.org/issues-analysis/article/grantee-spotlight-hans-kristensen  Nuclear weapons information vital to debate in Washington State, Ploughshares.org. Will Lowry, July 26, 2016

  A growing number of leaders like Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, are increasingly concerned about the US government’s $1 trillion plan to rebuild our nuclear arsenal – a plan that could trigger a new arms global arms race with Russia and China. “I think to have a Cold War nuclear [weapons] policy is completely inappropriate to the current times,” the US Congressman from Washington State recently said.

He has reason to worry. Few people in the US are aware of this dangerous taxpayer-funded plan that could profoundly impact Washington State. And few locals know that if Washington State were a country, it would be the third largest nuclear state in the world, that just 20 miles west across the Puget Sound is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States at the Kitsap-Bangor base, and that the US Navy is planning to expand the Kitsap-Bangor base to accommodate Trident-class nuclear weapons submarines.

That is why the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action recently sponsored a public bus advertising campaign in Seattle to raise public awareness of the nuclear threat so close to home.

“We hope to generate a measure of citizen interest, and to begin a public discussion of nuclear weapons in the Puget Sound region. In this election year the danger of nuclear weapons ought to be a topic of discussion,” Ground Zero member Rodney Brunelle recently said of the bus ad campaign.

However, Ground Zero encountered an unanticipated problem. According to the group, the county was hesitant to run the ad, doubting the accuracy of the claim.

That’s where Ploughshares Fund grantee, renowned nuclear expert Hans Kristensen, came into the picture.

Ground Zero contacted Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, to verify the facts in order to convince the county that their ad was not making false claims. He regularly provides the general public and policymakers with information and analysis on the status, number, and operation of nuclear weapons, the policies that guide their potential use and nuclear arms control.

We believe the public needs this type of information and analysis if for no other reason than that we live in a democracy where people should have a say in the most important decisions the country makes – and this includes policy decisions related to nuclear weapons.

Funding expert sourcing and verification of information around nuclear weapons can help democratize important decisions and inform expert policy analysis at the same time. We are proud to support Kristensen and the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. Information is the lifeblood of a democracy. We believe that through reason, information and dialogue, the threat of nuclear weapons can be reduced – and one day – even eliminated.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

B61 thermonuclear warheads in Turkey – a worry in the light of coup attempt

Coup attempt in Turkey raises a nuclear concern at US air base Incirlik Air Base was an operational centre of the attempted coup. It is also America’s largest foreign stockpile of nuclear weapons.  South China Morning Post, 24 July, 2016  A little more than 100 miles from the territory held by Islamic State, there is a little piece of Americana. It has an eight-lane swimming pool, a baseball diamond and housing tracts built on carefully manicured cul-de-sacs.

The Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey has some other American assets: several dozen B61 thermonuclear warheads. The base has been a linchpin in Nato’s southern flank for more than half a century, the staging ground for US anti-terrorism missions and the fight against Islamic State.

warheads nuclear

But the failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has increased long-standing concerns about the military usefulness and security of the Incirlik armoury, America’s largest foreign stockpile of nuclear weapons. Security remains at the highest level. Electrical power was restored Friday after a weeklong blackout that strained living conditions at the base. The 3,000 US service personnel stationed there have been ordered to remain inside the gates. Hundreds of dependents were sent home months ago because of fears of a terrorist attack.

The base was an operational centre of the attempted coup. Its commander and his subordinates were arrested on suspicion of trying to overthrow the Turkish government, leaving junior officers in control. The developments have shocked US military experts who say they demonstrate a worrying level of instability in Turkey’s military command close to the B61s.

Defence officials have never acknowledged the existence of these weapons on the base and refused at news briefings after the coup attempt to answer questions about them…….

The weapons are in underground vaults in a mile-long security zone at the base, protected by an Air Force guard unit with attack dogs. The nearly 12-foot-long weapons have devices that are supposed to prevent unauthorised detonation, but experts are divided on the effectiveness of those controls.

Unlike the strategic weapons that the US deploys in missile silos, submarines and intercontinental bombers, the B61s at Incirlik are tactical weapons that can be deployed at low altitude in the battlefield……..

“The weapons should be pulled back,” said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “They have been in excess of what is needed in Europe for the past two decades. And now we have this new situation. This is the US nuclear base closest to a war zone. The country has a deeply fractured political and military system.” http://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/1994052/coup-attempt-turkey-raises-nuclear-concern-us-air-base

July 25, 2016 Posted by | safety, Turkey, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No room for wives in BBC’s staff nuclear cold war bunker

atomic-bomb-lBBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust – but wives left at men onlyhome http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/23/bbc-staff-offered-chance-to-survive-nuclear-holocaust—but-wive/ Telegraph Reporters 23 JULY 2016 

BBC employees were offered the chance to survive a nuclear holocaust by broadcasting from an underground bunker, but they could not tell their wives, newly released files reveal.

The broadcaster secretly drew up plans during the Cold War for how it would run a Wartime Broadcasting System in the event of a major disaster.

Early versions of the plan – known as the ‘War Book’ – say that staff were “assigned” or “designated” to go underground, but later editions suggest they were “invited”. Chosen workers were informed not to tell their wives or bring them to the bunker, the files released by the BBC reveal.

“My clearest memory is of a discussion about whether people with spouses could bring them along,” Bob Doran, an experienced editor in Radio News in the 1980s, who attended a civil service seminar in Yorkshire said. The answer was no.
BBC bosses planned to set up 11 protected bunkers – known as ‘Regional Seats of Government’ – spread across the UK, each with a studio and five staff from nearby local radio stations.

A bunker at the Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton in Worcestershire would be a headquarters staffed by 90 BBC staff including engineers, announcers, 12 news editors and sub-editors.

The output would be controlled by the government, but the BBC made a collection of cassette tapes of old radio comedies to entertain the public.

Shows chosen to amuse listeners during Armageddon included the Goon Show, Just a Minute and Round the Horne.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | history, media, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

BBC reveals its plans for nuclear war during the Cold War period

atomic-bomb-lflag-UKThe BBC’s detailed plans for nuclear war, BBC News 23 July 2016  For the first time, the BBC has given detailed access to the plans it drew up in the Cold War for a Wartime Broadcasting System to operate in the event of nuclear war. Paul Reynolds, a former BBC diplomatic and foreign correspondent, has been studying the secrets of what was known as the “War Book”.

The War Book reveals a world of meticulous BBC planning. The Wartime Broadcasting System (WTBS) – referred to in the book as “Deferred Facilities” – would have operated from 11 protected bunkers spread across the UK.

Known as “Regional Seats of Government”, these would also have sheltered government ministers and staff from government departments during what is termed a “nuclear exchange”. The BBC had a studio in each, usually with five staff drawn mostly from nearby local radio stations.

The BBC’s headquarters would have been a bunker at the Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton in Worcestershire, where 90 BBC staff would have been assembled, including engineers, announcers, 12 news editors and sub-editors and ominously “two nominations from Religious Broadcasting”. Output would have been controlled by the government…….http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36865345

July 25, 2016 Posted by | history, media, UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

North Korea’s nuclear weapons not able to reach Britain

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea admits ‘our nuclear weapons aren’t a threat to the UK’, Mirror UK, , 22 JUL 2016, [good pictures and video] 

The rogue state claimed that Theresa May’s comments on the nuclear threat that Kim Jong-un poses were “absolutely astonishing”. North Korea has admitted that its nuclear weapons CAN’T reach the United Kingdom. Pyongyang said that claims made by Theresa May on the threat it poses were “absolutely astonishing”.

A statement from the North Korean foreign ministry said: “It is illogical that the DPRK’s nuclear weapons pose a threat to the UK.

“It is a pity that the UK makes an excuse for the building of [nuclear submarines] by finding fault with the DPRK, thousands [of] kilometres away from it.”

Prime Minister May was making the case for renewing Britain’s Trident missile defence system when she pointed out that the UK must be prepared to act should it come under attack. May added: “We must continually convince any potential aggressors that the benefits of an attack on Britain are far outweighed by their consequences and we cannot afford to relax our guard or rule out further shifts which would put our country in grave danger.”

However North Korea responded: “The DPRK does not regard the UK’s nuclear weapons as a threat to it.

“Therefore, the UK has no need to regard the DPRK’s nukes as a threat to it.”………http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/north-korea-admits-our-nuclear-8469712

July 23, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India will never sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

flag-indiaIndia Will Never Sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Says Sushma http://www.news18.com/news/india/india-will-never-sign-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty-says-sushma-1271759.html CNN-News18 July 20, 2016,  New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that India will never sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

While making statement in the Lok Sabha, she said, India will continue to engage with China over its opposition to India’s entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

“If someone does not agree to something once, it doesn’t mean that they will never agree to it. We are continuing our efforts in engaging with China on this issue,” the foreign minister said on India’s bid to gain entry to the NSG.

Swaraj’s statements on the NSG issue came in response to queries from Opposition members on the status of India’s bid for entry into the elite nuclear trading group.

July 23, 2016 Posted by | India, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Total cost of Pentagon’s secretive bomber program estimated at $100 billion

nuclear-missile-readydollar-2How much does the Pentagon’s secretive bomber really cost? (And should you be allowed to know?), WP By Christian Davenport July 20 There’s been controversy swirling around the Pentagon’s newest bomber program ever since last year, when the Air Force awarded the contract for what’s considered to be the most important national security procurement project over the next decade.

First, the losers, a team made up of defense giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, filed a legal challenge, saying the Air Force’s selection of Northrop Grumman “was fundamentally flawed.” Northrop successfully fended off that protest, but now it faces more challenges, this time on Capitol Hill, where a backroom fight for funds and arguments over the largely classified bomber’s secrecy have begun.

Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee, led an effort that would have forced the Air Force to reveal the total cost of the program—which one analyst estimated could reach $100 billion. But in a closed-door session, a band of senators blocked the move, arguing that revealing the figure would also divulge the bomber’s capabilities and allow potential enemies to defend against it……….

Falls Church-based Northrop is working on building 100 of the so-called B-21 bombers, designed to penetrate deep into enemy territory and capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The fleet is slated to enter service in the 2020s and would eventually replace the aging B-52s and the B-1…..

Since the company won the contract to build the Pentagon’s stealthy and highly classified bomber, some details about the project have begun to seep out. But one significant detail has remained under wraps: what it will end up costing.

Air Force officials have maintained that revealing the projects total price tag would also allow enemies to glean details about it, such as how far it can fly and how many bombs it can carry.

To which McCain had this to say: “Nonsense.”

The Air Force has already revealed the so-called average “unit cost” of each B-21 bomber in 2016 dollars: $564 million. It has also disclosed the development cost: $23 billion. But it has not said what the total costs would add up to over the life of the program with inflation added……

Todd Harrison, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that adversaries could, in fact, glean insights into the program by knowing the cost. But that argument is problematic, he said, since the Pentagon has already revealed so much about the cost already.

“It baffles me,” he said. “They may be politically naïve and think they don’t have to tell Congress or the public. It’s going to create a headache for them every year because folks like John McCain are going to continue to demand the total cost.”

Based on the unit cost and the development figures, Harrison estimates that the total cost is about $100 billion. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/07/20/how-much-does-the-pentagons-secretive-bomber-really-cost-and-should-you-be-allowed-to-know/

July 22, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Democratic senators Urge Obama To Cancel super costly Nuclear Cruise Missile

missile-moneyFlag-USASenators Urge Obama To Cancel Nuclear Cruise Missile , Defense News July 21, 2016 WASHINGTON — A group of ten Democratic senators have penned a letter to US President Barack Obama urging him to cancel development of a new nuclear-capable cruise missile, in what appears to be the next salvo from nonproliferation advocates on Capitol Hill against the weapon.

At issue is the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) cruise missile, which will replace the Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) program with 1,000 to 1,100 cruise missiles, representing the US Air Force’s standoff nuclear delivery capability. The ALCM program is scheduled to age out in 2030.

Proponents say the LRSO is vital to maintaining America’s nuclear posture into the future. But opponents argue the weapon is too costly and unnecessary given other nuclear options, with a vocal minority in Congress starting to advocate heavily for that position.

“Independent estimates suggest that nuclear weapons sustainment and modernization plans could cost nearly one trillion dollars over the next 30 years, putting enormous pressure on our defense budget at a time when non-nuclear systems will also require major expenditures,” wrote the authors of the letter. “In particular, we urge you to cancel plans to spend a least $20 billion on a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile, the Long Range Standoff weapon, which would provide an unnecessary capability that could increase the risk of nuclear war.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who recently ended his campaign for the presidency…….

The letter also urged Obama to officially adopt a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, something the United States has traditionally been unwilling to do.

“In light of our unmatched conventional military capabilities, we do not need to rely on the threat of nuclear first-use to deter non-nuclear attacks on our homeland or our allies,” the authors wrote. “By adopting a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, the United States could reduce the risk of accidental nuclear conflict while deterring both conventional and nuclear threats to our security.”

Neither the desire to drop the LRSO, nor the goal of a no-first-use policy, appears likely to gain much traction with Donald Trump, officially named the Republican nominee for president this week.

Speaking to The New York Times, Trump reaffirmed a commitment to the so-called nuclear triad but was noncommittal on the no-first-use idea………http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/congress/2016/07/21/senators-obama-nuclear-missile-lrso/87384128/

July 22, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Socorro a national sacrifice area for depleted uranium

SOCORRO – The City of Depleted Uranium
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/782822554/socorro-the-city-of-depleted-uranium
by Norbert G. Suchanek, 20 July 16,   Depleted uranium contamination in the USA: Socorro in New Mexico was used for decades as testing range for depleted uranium (DU).   About this project

The mountain of Socorro in the South of New Mexico was used for decades as a testing range for depleted uranium weapons.
URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON’S DIRTY POOL

Socorro became a national sacrifice area. People in Socorro are suffering similar health effects as the local population in Iraq who were hit by DU-Weapons during the Gulf Wars. The film gives details of the abuses and transgressions on the people of Socorro who’s community was downwind and downgrade of the depleted uranium testing sites which had been active since 1972. Until today most of the population of Socorro are unaware about the testing on the Socorro mountain and the dangers of depleted uranium.

Main character of the film is Damacio A. Lopez, who was born in Socorro. He served the US-army during Cold war and Cuba Crisis and became later a professional golf player. When he found out about the horrible consequences of the use of depleted uranium on the battle fields during the Gulf wars in Iraq and in his native town, he became one of the first activists fighting for a global ban of these weapons.

Damacio studied the terrible health effects of DU Weapons in the battlefields of Iraq and the Balkans for many years.  He has founded the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST) and influenced and produced several important reports and films about Depleted Uranium like the film: “URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON’S DIRTY POOL”. This film won the Jury Award as the Best Short Film of the first International Uranium Film Festival in 2011. Damacio is also the principle founder of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) and works at the UN on a treaty to ban uranium weapons.

SOCORRO – THE CITY OF DEPLETED URANIUM will be the first film that this testing of depleted uranium will be exposed to world public. It will make clear that not only the populations in Iraq or in the Balkans are suffering from DU but also US citizens across the US who live close to the military testing sites and firing ranges.

Damacio Lopez says: “I am from a family in Socorro in New Mexico and I have been working to create an International Treaty to ban Depleted Uranium Weapons for the past 30 years. In 1986 I discovered that depleted uranium testing was taking place on the Socorro Mountain just 2 miles away down wind from our family home. My father would spends hours in his garden while black clouds moved over head from the DU test site. He eventually died of various cancers.”

See also: Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonorhttp://www.democracynow.org/1999/4/19/depleted_uranium_metal_of_dishonor

International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) –http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/

The Case for an Immediate Ban on the Military Use of Depleted Uraniumwww.ru.nl/publish/pages/630064/archief_lopez_uranium_en.pdf

“Uranium 238: The Pentagon’s Dirty Pool” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEqE8DdpHOM

Depleted uranium weapons have left behind a trail of human misery and vituperative debate. What’s not known about them is just as disturbing as what is..https://newint.org/features/2007/11/01/keynote/

FRIENDLY FIRE, THE LINK BETWEEN DEPLETED URANIUM MUNITIONS AND HUMAN HEALTH RISKS http://www.gulfwarvets.com/du8.html

July 20, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Britain’s Parliament votes to renew Trident nuclear missile system

atomic-bomb-lflag-UKCommons votes for Trident renewal by majority of 355  Over half Labour MPs but not Jeremy Corbyn back motion after Theresa May says she would order nuclear strikeGuardian, 

Theresa May has said she would be willing to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill 100,000 people, as the House of Commons voted overwhelming to replaceBritain’s Trident programme.

The prime minister confirmed she would be prepared to press the nuclear button if necessary as she opened a debate about whether the UK should spend up to £40bn replacing four submarines that carry nuclear warheads.

After more than five hours of discussion, parliament voted in favour of Tridentrenewal by a majority of 355 in a motion backed by almost the entire Conservative party and more than half of Labour MPs.

It was opposed by all Scottish National party (SNP) MPs, the Lib Dems and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong unilateralist who spoke out strongly against the plans during the debate.

Other members of Corbyn’s frontbench team, including the shadow defence secretary, Clive Lewis, and the shadow foreign affairs secretary, Emily Thornberry, abstained after claiming in a Guardian article that the government was turning an issue of “national security into a political game”.

However, around 140 of his MPs – including leadership challengers Angela Eagle and Owen Smith – voted in favour of renewing Trident, with many highlighting Labour’s historic position in support of a continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. Forty-seven Labour MPs joined Corbyn in voting against Trident, while another 41 were absent or abstained.

While Labour were split on the issue, the Conservatives have been hoping the Trident issue could help unify their party after a fractious EU referendum campaign.

However, May attracted gasps during the debate when she made clear she would be willing to authorise a nuclear strike killing 100,000 people, when challenged by the SNP about whether she would ever approve a nuclear hit causing mass loss of life……. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/18/mps-vote-in-favour-of-trident-renewal-nuclear-deterrent

July 19, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Teresa May would approve a nuclear weapon strike on a population

flag-UKTheresa May would authorise nuclear strike causing mass loss of life Asked in Trident debate if she would approve attack that could kill 100,000 people, PM answers with a decisive ‘yes’,Guardian, , and , 19 July 16.  Theresa May has said she would be willing to authorise a nuclear strike killing 100,000 people as she made the case for replacing Britain’s Trident submarines ahead of a House of Commons vote on the matter.

The prime minister answered decisively when challenged by the Scottish National party about whether she would ever approve a nuclear hit causing mass loss of life.

Intervening in her opening speech, the SNP MP George Kerevan asked: “Is she personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that can kill a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children?”

atomic-bomb-l

May responded: “Yes. And I have to say to the honourable gentleman the whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it, unlike some suggestions that we could have a deterrent but not actually be willing to use it, which seem to come from the Labour party frontbench.”

Her statement was met by gasps from some MPs on the opposition benches, as the chamber debated whether or not to renew Trident.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, responded to May by making the case for nuclear disarmament, pointing out that the party’s pro-Trident position was under review.

He has given his MPs a free vote during Labour’s ongoing defence review, which the Guardian understands involves at least five options ranging from complete replacement to disarmament by the 2030s. The three other options are reduced patrols and fewer submarines, missiles carried by aircraft, and adapted submarines to carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Speaking in the Commons, Corbyn said there were currently 40 warheads, which are each eight times as powerful at the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people at Hiroshima in Japan in 1945.

“What is the threat we are facing that one million people’s deaths would actually deter?” he said, adding it did not stop Islamic State, Saddam Hussein’s atrocities, war crimes in the Balkans or genocide in Rwanda.

“I make it clear today I would not take a decision that kills millions of innocent people,” Corbyn told MPs. “I do not believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate way to deal with international relations.”

May said it would be a “dereliction of duty” to give up Britain’s nuclear deterrent and pledged to keep to the Nato target of spending 2% of national income on defence while she is prime minister.

Addressing the idea of downgrading the deterrent to a cheaper option, she said: “I am not prepared to settle for something that does not do the job.”……https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/18/theresa-may-takes-aim-at-jeremy-corbyn-over-trident-renewal

July 19, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

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