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A $1 trillion defense budget would be madness — Beyond Nuclear International

And more than half of it will go to weapons manufacturers

Biden has requested an obscene $886 billion for defense, but it could go higher

By William Hartung, 26 Mar 23

The Pentagon has released its budget request for Fiscal Year 2024. The figure for the Pentagon alone is a hefty $842 billion. That’s $69 billion more than the $773 billion the department requested for Fiscal Year 2023

Total spending on national defense — including work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy — comes in at $886 billion. Adding in likely emergency military aid packages for Ukraine later this year plus the potential tens of billions of dollars in Congressional add-ons could push total spending for national defense to as much as $950 billion or more for FY 2024. The result could be the highest military budget since World War II, far higher than at the peaks of the Korean or Vietnam Wars or the height of the Cold War. 

The proposed budget is far more than is needed to provide an effective defense of the United States and its allies.

If past experience is any guide, more than half of the new Pentagon budget will go to contractors, with the biggest share going to the top five — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman — to build everything from howitzers and tanks to intercontinental ballistic missiles. Much of the funding for contractors will come from spending on buying, researching, and developing weapons, which accounts for $315 billion of the new budget request.

he National Priorities Project gives us a look at the imbalance of government spending for 2021 with the military consuming almost half.

As suggested above, Congress will probably add a substantial amount to the Pentagon’s request, largely for systems and facilities located in the states and districts of key members. That’s no way to craft a budget — or defend a country. When it comes to defense, Congress should engage in careful oversight, not special interest politics. 

Unfortunately, in recent years the House and Senate have accelerated the practice of jacking up the Pentagon’s budget request, adding $25 billion in FY 2022 and $45 billion in FY 2023. Given threat inflation with respect to China and the ongoing war in Ukraine, there is a danger that the $45 billion added for FY2023 could be the floor for what might be added by Congress in the course of this year’s budget debate.

Exceptions to the rush to throw more money at the Pentagon may come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) have introduced the “People Over Pentagon Act,” which calls for a $100 billion annual cut in the DoD budget. A group of conservative lawmakers centered around the Freedom Caucus have called for a freeze on the discretionary budget at FY2022 levels. But different members have given different views on how Pentagon spending would fit into a budget freeze, from assertions that it will be “on the table” to a denial by one at least one member, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), that Pentagon cuts should come into play at all.

It has been reported that President Dwight D. Eisenhower believed that we should spend all we need for national defense and not one penny more. But the new motto of the Pentagon and the Congress appears to be “spend now and ask questions later.” Rather than matching funding to a viable national security strategy, the Pentagon and the Congress are pushing for whatever the political market will bear. The notion that tradeoffs need to be made against other urgent national priorities is a foreign concept to most members of the House and Senate, as they have routinely raised the Pentagon budget at the expense of other urgent national needs. 

There is more than money at stake. An open-ended strategy that seeks to develop capabilities to win a war with Russia or China, fight regional wars against Iran or North Korea, and sustain a global war on terror that includes operations in at least 85 countries is a recipe for endless conflict.

We can make America and its allies safer for far less money if we adopt a more realistic, restrained strategy and drive a harder bargain with weapons contractors that too often engage in price gouging and cost overruns while delivering dysfunctional systems that aren’t appropriate for addressing the biggest threats to our security.

The Congressional Budget Office has crafted three illustrative options that could ensure our security while spending $1 trillion less over the next decade. A strategy that incorporates aspects of these plans and streamlines the Pentagon budget in other areas could be sustained at roughly $150 billion per year less than current levels. 

A new approach would take a more objective, evidence-based view of the military challenges posed by Russia and China, rely more on allies to provide security in their own regions, reduce the U.S. global military footprint, and scale back the Pentagon’s $2 trillion plan to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. Cutting wasteful spending practices and slowing or replacing spending on unworkable or outmoded systems like the F-35 and a new $13 billion aircraft carrier could save billions more. And reducing spending on the half a million-plus private contractors employed by the Pentagon could save hundreds of billions over the next decade.

The Pentagon doesn’t need more spending. It needs more spending discipline, tied to a realistic strategy that sets clear priorities and acknowledges that some of the greatest risks we face are not military in nature. Today’s announcement is just the opening gambit in this year’s debate over the Pentagon budget. Hopefully critics of runaway spending will have more traction this year than has been the case for the past several years. If not, $1 trillion in annual military spending may be just around the corner, at great cost to taxpayers and to the safety and security of the country as a whole.

William D. Hartung is a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. His work focuses on the arms industry and U.S. military budget. He was previously the director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy and the co-director of the Center’s Sustainable Defense Task Force.


March 26, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Declassified Video Shows How B-52 Crews Would Conduct Nuclear Strikes During Cold War

The Aviationist March 26, 2023 STEFANO D’URSO

A 1960 Strategic Air Command training video familiarized B-52 crews with the devastating effects of nuclear weapons and how to navigate through a nuclear battlefield.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently declassified some very interesting training films and film reports that the Strategic Air Command prepared in the 1960s to prepare bomber pilots and crews for a potential nuclear war. Among these there is the United States Air Force Training Film 5363, “Nuclear Effects During SAC Delivery Missions,” made in 1960 and which kept its secret classification until now.

The purpose of Training Film 5363 was to familiarize SAC pilots and crew members with the devastating effects of nuclear weapons detonations and the detailed plans that were developed so the crews could evade the dangers of a nuclear battlefield and return home after completing their mission. These plans were among the contents of the “Combat Mission Folders,” which included guidance needed to reach targets and return to base safely and were assigned to each nuclear-armed bomber on alert duty.

…………………… The film begins with a B-52 flying a sortie of the Emergency War Order, launched under Positive Control and on its way to the “go/no-go” position, but without the crew knowing if this is a real mission or an exercise until they get there. Before eventually going in, however, the narrator explains that, while they know that the mission can be successfully accomplished as it was carefully planned and reviewed by highly qualified combat planners and they flew countless profile missions, they need to know the nuclear effects of a detonation.

The narrator then takes the viewers trough the basics of a nuclear detonation’s thermal, blast and radiation effects and the efforts that the U.S. Air Force had taken to prepare the crews for situations where they might experience them. In fact, the central part of the film covers the effects of nuclear explosions of both aircraft and crew and the measures taken to minimize crew exposure, like carefully planned routes that created a safe distance between the bomber and the detonation of their weapon and the detonations caused by other SAC bombers operating in the same area.

The film then returns to the B-52 approaching the turnaround point, when then a radio message from SAC comes in: “Sky King. Sky King. This is Migrate. This is Migrate. Do not answer. Break. Break. Alpha Sierra Foxtrot Juliet Oscar Papa Mike Tango. Break. Go-Code.” The crew scrambles to verify the code and discover that this is the go code for a real mission: “Pilot to crew. We checked the go code and verified it. This is it. We’re going in”.

After a very brief moment of disbelief, the crew members get down to business and prepare the aircraft for the nuclear strike mission as they are about to cross the H-Hour Control Line on the way to their assigned target in the Soviet Union. As they navigate towards the target, the crew experience the shockwave from another nuclear bomb dropped in the vicinity of their route, before a low-altitude flight over lakes, mountains, forests and fields to avoid Soviet air defense missiles…………………………………………………. more

March 26, 2023 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Where the $1.3 Trillion Per Year U.S. Military Budget Goes

The Duran, by Eric Zuesse, March 24, 2023

Nobody can give a precise dollar-number to U.S. ‘Defense’ spending because the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department has never been able to pass an audit, and is by far the most corrupt of all federal Departments (and is the ONLY Department that has never passed an audit), and also because much of America’s military spending is being paid out from other federal Departments in order to keep down the published annual U.S. Government ‘Defense’ expenditure numbers (which come from ONLY the “U.S. ‘Defense’ Department)

Those are expenditures for America’s privatized and overwhelmingly profit-driven Military-Industrial Complex. (By contrast: Russia and China require, by law, that their armaments-firms be majority-owned by the Government itself.)

According to the best available estimates, the U.S. Government has been spending, in total, for over a decade now, around $1.3T to $1.5T annually on ‘defense’, and this is around half of all military spending worldwide by all 200-or-so nations, and is more than half (around 53%) of all of the U.S. federal Government’s ‘discretionary’ (or congressionally voted for) annual expenditures.

Unlike regular manufacturers, which sell entirely or mainly to consumers and to businesses, not to their Government, armament-firms need to control their Government in order to control their markets (which are their Government and its ‘allied’ Governments — including NATO), and so they (in purely capitalist countries such as the U.S.) do control their Government. This is why the armaments-business (except in countries whose armaments-sector is socialized) is infamously corrupt. In order to hide the extent of that corruption (and to promote ever-higher military spending), the ‘news’-media need — in those countries — to be likewise effectively controlled by the investors in those firms.

Consequently, America, which has no national-security threat from any country (so, these astronomical ‘defense’-expenditures are blatantly inappropriate), spends annually around half of all of the money that the entire world spends on the military. And most of that money gets paid to its armaments-firms. Or, as Stephen Semler, an expert on these matters, put it regarding last year’s numbers, “How much of the $858 billion authorized by the FY2023 NDAA will be transferred to military contractors? I estimate $452 billion.”  ………………………………

If this had not been happening each year after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, then the current U.S. federal debt would be far less, if any at all — but, in any case, that expense (which went, and is going, to exceptionally rich individuals) will be paid by future generations of Americans, by means of both increased taxes and reduced services from the U.S. Government. What pays for bombs (and funds the purchase of yachts) today will be taken from everyone’s infants tomorrow. And it is taking millions of lives in the targeted lands, and has been doing so for decades now. A psychopathic U.S. Government is producing these results………………………………………………………………………………………………

The presumption is that the voters don’t care, and that the ‘news’-media won’t enlighten the voters about this matter, and about how it impacts, for example, which nations the US will categorize as being an “ally,” to sell weapons to, and which nations it will categorize as being an “enemy,” to target for conquest………………………………………………….. more

March 26, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Stolen Valor: The U.S. Volunteers in Ukraine Who Lie, Waste and Bicker

People who would not be allowed anywhere near the battlefield in a U.S.-led war are active on the Ukrainian front, with ready access to American weaponry.

By Justin Scheck and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, New York Times . Justin Scheck, an international investigative reporter, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, the Ukraine correspondent, reported this article from Ukraine and around Europe.

March 25, 2023, 

They rushed to Ukraine by the thousands, many of them Americans who promised to bring military experience, money or supplies to the battleground of a righteous war. Hometown newspapers hailed their commitment, and donors backed them with millions of dollars.

Now, after a year of combat, many of these homespun groups of volunteers are fighting with themselves and undermining the war effort. Some have wasted money or stolen valor. Others have cloaked themselves in charity while also trying to profit off the war, records show.

One retired Marine lieutenant colonel from Virginia is the focus of a U.S. federal investigation into the potentially illegal export of military technology. A former Army soldier arrived in Ukraine only to turn traitor and defect to Russia. A Connecticut man who lied about his military service has posted live updates from the battlefield — including his exact location — and boasted about his easy access to American weaponry. A former construction worker is hatching a plan to use fake passports to smuggle in fighters from Pakistan and Iran.

And in one of the more curious entanglements, one of the largest volunteer groups is embroiled in a power struggle involving an Ohio man who falsely claimed to have been both a U.S. Marine and a LongHorn Steakhouse assistant manager. The dispute also involves a years-old incident on Australian reality TV.

Such characters have a place in Ukraine’s defense because of the arms-length role the United States has taken: The Biden administration sends weapons and money but not professional troops. That means people who would not be allowed anywhere near the battlefield in a U.S.-led war are active on the Ukrainian front — often with unchecked access to weapons and military equipment.

Many of the volunteers who hurried to Ukraine did so selflessly and acted with heroism. Some have lost their lives. Foreigners have rescued civilians, aided the wounded and fought ferociously alongside UkrainiansOthers raised money for crucial supplies.

But in Europe’s largest land war since 1945, the do-it-yourself approach does not discriminate between trained volunteers and those who lack the skills or discipline to assist effectively.

The New York Times reviewed more than 100 pages of documents from inside volunteer groups and interviewed more than 30 volunteers, fighters, fund-raisers, donors and American and Ukrainian officials. Some spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

The interviews and research reveal a series of deceptions, mistakes and squabbles that have hindered the volunteer drive that began after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, when President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called for help. “Every friend of Ukraine who wants to join Ukraine in defending the country, please come over,” he said. “We will give you weapons.”

Thousands answered the call. Some joined military groups like the International Legion, which Ukraine formed for foreign fighters. Others took roles in support or fund-raising. With Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, under attack, there was little time for vetting arrivals. So people with problematic pasts, including checkered or fabricated military records, became entrenched in the Legion and a constellation of other volunteer groups.

Asked about these problems, the Ukrainian military did not address specific issues but did say it was on guard because Russian agents regularly tried to infiltrate volunteer groups. “We investigated such cases and handed them over to law enforcement agencies,” said Andriy Cherniak, a representative for Ukrainian military intelligence.

‘A Million Lies’

One of the best-known Americans on the battlefield is James Vasquez. Days after the invasion, Mr. Vasquez, a Connecticut home-improvement contractor, announced he was leaving for Ukraine. His local newspaper told the tale of a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who left behind his job and family and picked up a rifle and a rucksack on the front line.

Since then, he has posted battlefield videos online, at least once broadcasting his unit’s precise location to everyone, including the enemy. He used his story to solicit donations. “I was in Kuwait during Desert Storm, and I was in Iraq after 9/11,” Mr. Vasquez said in a fund-raising video. He added, “This is a whole different animal.”

Mr. Vasquez, in fact, was never deployed to Kuwait, Iraq or anywhere else, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. He specialized in fuel and electrical repairs. And he left the Army Reserve not as a sergeant as he claimed, but as a private first class, one of the Army’s lowest ranks.

Still, Mr. Vasquez had easy access to weapons, including American rifles. Where did they come from? “I’m not exactly sure,” Mr. Vasquez said in a text message. The rifles, he added, were “brand-new, out of the box and we have plenty.” He also tweeted that he should not have to worry about international rules of war while in Ukraine.

He fought alongside Da Vinci’s Wolves, a Ukrainian far-right battalion, until this week, when The Times asked about his false military service claims. He immediately deactivated his Twitter account and said he might leave Ukraine because authorities discovered he was fighting without a required military contract.

Mr. Vasquez said he had been misrepresenting his military record for decades. He acknowledged being kicked out of the Army but would not talk publicly about why. “I had to tell a million lies to get ahead,” Mr. Vasquez said in an interview. “I didn’t realize it was going to come to this.”

Public Quarrels

The International Legion, hastily formed by the Ukrainian government, spent 10 minutes or less checking each volunteer’s background early in the war, one Legion official said. So a Polish fugitive who had been jailed in Ukraine for weapon violations got a position leading troops. Soldiers told The Kyiv Independent that he misappropriated supplies, harassed women and threatened his soldiers………………………………………………………………..

The dispute goes to the heart of who can be trusted to speak for and raise money for the Legion……………………………………………………………………………………….

Misdirected Donations

……………………………………………………………………….. Examples of wasted money in the hands of well-intentioned people are common. Mriya Aid, a group led by an active-duty Canadian lieutenant colonel, spent around $100,000 from donors on high-tech U.S.-style night-vision devices. They ended up being less-effective Chinese models, internal documents show…………………..

Earlier this year, the Mozart Group, which two former Marines established to help Ukraine, disbanded after one sued the other, alleging theft and harassment.

Absent Paper Trail

…………………………………………………………………………….. Colonel Rawlings has said that his group is awaiting American nonprofit status. But he has not revealed his spending or proof of a nonprofit application to The Times or to donors who have asked. So it is not clear where the money is going. “I believed these guys,” said Shaun Stants, who said he organized a fund-raiser in October in Pittsburgh but was never shown the financial records he asked for. “And they took me for a fool.”

Corporate records in Poland and the U.S. show that Colonel Rawlings also started a for-profit company called Iron Forge. In an interview, he said he expected his charity and others to pay Iron Forge for transportation, meaning donor money would be used to finance his private venture. 

But he said no conflict of interest existed because Iron Forge would ultimately send money back to the charities. Details are being worked out, he said.

In the days after The Times approached Mr. Vasquez and others, members of the squabbling groups — Ripley’s, the Legion, the dissident Legion members and more — escalated their feud. They accused one another of misappropriating funds and lying about their credentials…………..

Najim Rahim contributed reporting from Berkeley, Calif., and Maria Varenikova and Daria Mitiuk from Kyiv, Ukraine.

March 26, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Poland’s prime minister boasted of “very good compensation” from the European Union for Polish weapons sent to Ukraine 25 Mar 23
The European Union will thank Poland for the supply of weapons to the Kyiv regime. This was stated by Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, speaking to reporters following the results of the EU summit in Brussels.

Morawiecki noted that Warsaw is waiting for “very good compensation” for playing one of the leading roles in supplying Ukraine with a variety of weapons and military equipment. Earlier, by the way, the Polish leadership proudly stated that Poland is in second place after the United States in the list of countries providing military assistance to Ukraine.

The Polish Prime Minister also announced the amount of compensation from the EU authorities. According to him, even before Easter, Warsaw will receive 300 million euros, and then “another” 500-600 million euros. Thus, one of the key allies of the Kiev regime does not hide the financial interest in military assistance to Ukraine, and therefore in the further continuation of the Ukrainian conflict, at least in its current form.

According to Morawiecki, Warsaw will become the largest recipient of funds from the European Peace Fund in the coming months. The Polish government will be able to spend this money on the needs of ensuring the security and defense of Poland itself. For example, it is planned to acquire modern weapons of American and European production for the Polish Army, as well as to create, develop and improve their own lines for the production of weapons, military equipment and ammunition, the head of the Polish Cabinet of Ministers emphasized.

Note that Russia negatively assesses the transfer of military equipment and weapons to Ukraine by the West. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has repeatedly warned the West that “weapon tranches” only entail a further escalation of the armed conflict.

March 26, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

UK could fuel radioactive disaster in Ukraine – Russia

24 Mar 23,

Depleted uranium shells promised to Kiev by the UK would “cause irreparable harm” to soldiers and civilians alike, Moscow claimed.

The potential use of British-supplied depleted uranium shells by Ukraine would have a devastating impact on the country’s economy and population, lasting for centuries to come, the Russian Defense Ministry warned on Friday.

Speaking at a briefing, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, who is in charge of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, issued a scathing criticism of the UK’s plans to support Kiev with armor-

rounds containing depleted uranium.

He noted that such munitions have only ever been deployed in combat by NATO countries, most notably during the Iraq War, when the US used at least 300 tons of depleted uranium-piercing rounds containing uranium.

“As a result, the radiation situation in the [Iraqi] city of Fallujah was much worse than in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear bombings by the United States,” Kirillov stated, recalling that Fallujah had been dubbed “the second Chernobyl,” while the local population suffered from a skyrocketing number of cancer cases.

The West is well aware of the consequences of using such weapons, the general stressed. Even though it “will cause irreparable harm” to the health of Ukrainian troops and civilians, “NATO countries, in particular the UK, express a readiness to supply this type of weapon to the Kiev regime,” Kirillov stated.

He warned that the use of the munitions will contaminate farmland. “In addition to infecting its own population, this will cause tremendous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex of Ukraine… reducing any export of agricultural produce from Ukrainian territory for many decades, if not centuries to come,” the general said.

The UK’s plans to send depleted uranium shells to Ukraine for use with Challenger 2 battle tanks were first unveiled on Monday, prompting an outcry from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which called the move a sign of “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity” on the part of London and Washington.

While the US has said it does not plan to support Ukraine with such ammunition, it shrugged off Russian concerns over the matter, describing depleted uranium shells as “a commonplace type of munition” which has “been in use for decades.”

March 26, 2023 Posted by | depleted uranium, Ukraine | 1 Comment

NATO sending depleted uranium shells to Ukrainian military in major escalation 24 Mar 23

Scottish Baroness Annabel Goldie, a conservative deputy minister of defense in the government of the United Kingdom, has confirmed that the U.K. will be sending depleted uranium shells to the Ukrainian military for use against Russian forces.

In response to a parliamentary crossbench question from Lord Hylton on March 20, Goldie stated:

“Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium. Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.”

Depleted uranium is highly toxic to humans, leading to cancers, birth defects and other horrific outcomes. According to the journal Scientific American:

“Used as ammunition, it penetrates the thick steel encasing enemy tanks; used as armor, it protects troops against attack. And when it was used in the Gulf War and later during the Allied bombing of Yugoslavia and Kosovo, depleted uranium (DU) was hailed as the new silver bullet that would solve most of the military’s problems. After the end of Operation Allied Force, however, several Italian soldiers were diagnosed with leukemia. Politicians and the media soon forged a link between the disease and depleted uranium use. They further drew a parallel with Gulf War Syndrome, and in no time, depleted uranium became the Agent Orange of the Balkan conflict.”

This decision to send depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine did not go unnoticed by the Russians……………………

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova chimed in with the following statement:

“We consider the plans officially confirmed by the UK Department of Defense for the transfer of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine as a step fraught with a further escalation of the conflict. The British supply of weapons to Kiev, especially such sensitive species, leads to further destabilization of the situation and pushes the prospect of finding mutually acceptable interruptions. They are contrary to international law. The radioactivity, high toxicity and carcinogenicity of such weapons are well known. Among the consequences of using depleted uranium – the growth of oncological diseases among the population and the enormous environmental damage for the Ukrainian territory where it will be applied.

“The civilians of Serbia and Iraq, who still feel the impact of such actions, can tell about all of this. It is unlikely that the leadership of the UK itself, which was directly involved in these conflicts, forgot about it.”

Biden administration spokesman John Kirby dismissed the Russian concerns about depleted uranium as “a straw man” and, like the U.S. government has always done, he denied there are any negative health effects of depleted uranium. To do otherwise would be to admit that the U.S. poisoned thousands of its own troops in Iraq, as well as the Iraqi people.

2019 study documented the devastating impacts of depleted uranium on Iraqi children born with birth defects……………………………………………………………………………………….

March 25, 2023 Posted by | depleted uranium, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

The West has ‘brought humankind to the brink of nuclear Armageddon’ with its decision to use depleted uranium ammo in Ukraine, says Russia’s US envoy

  • Anatoly Antonov was responding to statements by US officials that depleted-uranium munitions are standard types of weapons
  • The British defense ministry on Monday confirmed it would provide Ukraine with armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium


Western countries led by the US have decided to bring humankind to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in Washington on Wednesday.

He was responding to statements by US officials that depleted-uranium munitions are standard types of weapons that have been used for decades and do not pose any heightened risk.

The British defense ministry confirmed on Monday that it would provide Ukraine with armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

……….. ‘US officials have reached a new low with their irresponsible statements. There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens,’ Antonov said, according to a statement from the embassy…………….

The ammunition, which enhances ability to overcome defenses on tanks, ‘is not radioactive’ and ‘not anywhere close to going into’ the sphere of nuclear weaponry, Kirby said.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby called Moscow’s complaints a ‘straw man’ argument………… ‘This is a commonplace type of munition that is used particularly for its armour-piercing capabilities. “

……….. Kirby said, however, that the US is ‘not providing depleted uranium’………………………………………………

March 25, 2023 Posted by | depleted uranium, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Cry from soldier, unrecognised victim of depleted uranium radiation

Depleted uranium, used in some types of ammunition and military armour, is the dense, low-cost leftover once uranium has been processed….

A high-ranking official from Veterans Affairs says a handful of vets mistakenly believe their bodies have been damaged by depleted uranium…..

the Federal Court of Canada has found depleted uranium to be an issue.  The court ruled the Veterans Affairs Department must compensate retired serviceman Steve Dornan for a cancer his doctors say resulted from exposure to depleted uranium residue.

text-from-the-archivesPoisoned soldier plans hunger strike at minister’s office in exchange for care, Montreal Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 30 Oct 11,  MONTREAL — An ex-soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas is planning to go on a hunger strike outside the office of Canada’s veterans affairs minister until he gets medical treatment.

Or until he dies.

Continue reading

March 24, 2023 Posted by | Canada, depleted uranium, health, PERSONAL STORIES, Uranium | 2 Comments

Britain supplying depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine

The UK will send “armour piercing rounds which contain depleted
uranium” to Ukraine, for use with the tank squadron donated by the
British army. Defence minister Baroness Goldie made the admission yesterday
in response to a written parliamentary question from crossbench peer Lord
Hylton. Goldie said: “Such rounds are highly effective in defeating
modern tanks and armoured vehicles.” Russia has previously warned it
would regard the use of depleted uranium in Ukraine as a ‘dirty bomb’.

 Declassified UK 21st March 2023

 Putin threatens response over Britain’s toxic tank shells.

 Times 21st March 2023

March 24, 2023 Posted by | depleted uranium, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s depleted uranium plan threatens all of Europe – Moscow 22 Mar 23

The Ukraine conflict could descend into a fight “to the last European,” a top Russian lawmaker has warned.

The British decision to supply depleted uranium munitions to Kiev is part of a dangerous trend that makes the Ukraine conflict a threat to the whole of Europe, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has warned.

“The war to the last Ukrainian could become a war to the last European,” the politician said in a social media post. Numerous Russian officials have claimed that Kiev’s Western backers are prepared to sacrifice every Ukrainian for their geopolitical interests.

Volodin argued that Kiev’s acquisition of depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come, could become a stepping stone to even more dangerous weapons.

The next step “could be the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime or the deployment of a tactical nuclear weapon,” added Volodin.

President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the British decision earlier this week, warning that Russia “will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.”……………………………………………………………………

The British government announced on Monday that it will send Ukraine armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium, alongside previously-promised Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

March 24, 2023 Posted by | depleted uranium, Gaza, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sung-Hee Choi reports on U.S.-NATO military expansion in South Korea.
Struggle continues in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island opposing U.S. Navy operations at the new naval base
Global Network Advisory Board member Sung-Hee Choi reports on the latest developments in South Korea as Washington expands military operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
‘We are a target’, she says.

This aggressive military expansion, labeled the ‘Asia Pivot’ by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is creating major tensions in the region as the US prepares for war with China, North Korea and Russia.

During the interview Sung-Hee talks about the US Navy destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) that recently ported at the Navy base in Gangjeong village on Jeju. She shares a short video of a protest held at the base as the destroyer crew members were bussed to a hotel outside of the village.

The DDG 115 was built in Bath, Maine and during the ‘Christening’ of the warship in 2015 several members of the peace community from across the state were arrested for non-violently blocking the streets and entrances surrounding the shipyard as the public was invited to attend the ceremony. (Regular peace vigils are held at Bath Iron Works in Maine where these destroyers are built. Currently there are seven more under construction.)

There has long been a connection between Maine and the activists in Gangjeong village.  Over the years eight Maine-based activists (as well as hundreds of other international peaceniks) traveled to the village to join protests against the Navy base construction that was forced on South Korea by Washington.

In another part of the interview Sung-Hee reports on recent (and on-going) US-NATO war games aimed at North Korea. She shares a second short video of protests in Seoul opposing these war games.

Near the end of the interview Sung-Hee talks about how the US Space Force has assigned personnel to South Korea and is drawing their nation into the larger US program of militarizing space.

March 24, 2023 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Richard Marles’ ill-advised spending on completely inappropriate Tomahawk missiles for Australia’s existing submarines

Marles the drunken sailor: Rex Patrick on Defence Minister’s haste to defence spending waste

by Rex Patrick | Mar 22, 2023

News yesterday that our Collins Class submarines will get fitted with Tomahawks reveals a serious lack of understanding about the tactical use of land attack missiles on submarines. Exposing the blithe war enthusiasts of the Murdoch press, former submariner Rex Patrick explains why Tomahawks on a Collins is a dumb idea.

Richard Marles is behaving like a drunken sailor as he spends your money. Drunken sailors, most of whom are happy souls, buy things like several rounds for everyone in the bar, pink Hawaiian t-shirts for themselves and their families, or tattoos of the name of the girl they met the night before. Upon sobering up they realise that what they had purchased was a hole in their wallets.

And that’s what Mr Marles will discover in time. The Tomahawk missiles he’s purportedly buying for our Collins Class submarines, as reported in The Australian yesterday, are not a good match.

Let me explain why.

Submarines and Tomahawk Missiles

Just after noon on 19 January 1991, during operation “Desert Storm”, USS Louisville became the first submarine to launch a land attack missile in anger, when she fired eight missiles at targets in Iraq. She did this operating from the Red Sea. Shortly afterwards, USS Pittsburgh became the second submarine to launch Tomahawks when she fired four more missiles from the Mediterranean Sea.

Submarines have subsequently fired land attack missiles in a number of other operations.

USS Miami fired some into Iraq In 1998 at the start of “Desert Fox” (the 4 day bombing operation undertaken in response to Iraq’s failure to comply with UN Security Council resolutions). USS Albuquerque, USS Miami and HMS Splendid fired some into Kosovo a year later as part of “Allied Force” during the Balkan war. HMS Trafalgar and HMSTriumph fired them into Afghanistan. In 2001 as part of operation “Enduring Freedom,” and in 2003, 12 US Navy submarines and the Royal Navy submarines HMS Splendid and HMS Turbulent attacked land targets in Iraq as part of “Iraqi Freedom”.

Finally, in March 2011 guided missile submarines USS Florida, and nuclear attack submarines USS Providence, USS Scranton and HMS Triumph fired some into Libya as part of operation “Odyssey Dawn”.

The role of land attack from submarines is clearly established.

Why land-strikes from submarines?

A submarine’s endurance, autonomy and relative impunity to detection allow pre-strike positioning to occur several weeks or months prior to the commencement of hostilities. This can occur without the “presence” of a force that might otherwise negatively influence diplomatic efforts to resolve an issue. The submarine can also conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance until such time as the land strike capability is needed. The submarine can be discreetly withdrawn if offensive action is not required.

The submarine also allows a land strike capability to be deployed into an area of operation where there is a lack of sea or air control, with the aim of attacking enemy defences to make the area safer for other more vulnerable units to enter. This includes ships with larger missile magazines and aircraft who can return the next day to launch more missiles.

Finally, when the strike order is given, having an undetected submarine very close to shore provides an advantage when striking the most sensitive of military targets or executing the most time critical attacks. Launch surprise maximises targeting effectiveness and minimises the chance of the weapons being intercepted. Close-to-shore submarines can also reach targets that are further inland.

Collins submarines’ limitations

Almost all submarines fitted with Tomahawks have nuclear propulsion, The Spanish S-80 submarines are the exception.

That’s because conventional submarines have their limitations………………………………………………………………………………………

Defence of Australia or like a tattoo?

There’s hardly a case to argue that our Collins class submarine’s need land attack cruise missiles to help defend Australia.

They would only be acquired to assist in a conflict with China, where we’re acting as part of a coalition. But even then, the issues associated with conventional submarines armed with Tomahawks are highly challenging and make the choice highly questionable.

So is Richard Marles behaving like a drunken sailor? Yes. But with some difference. Mr Marles seems loose with the money, but can’t really bring himself to look back on his commitment to spend.

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