Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Winning a Nuclear War

That's the thinking in certain corridors of power in Washington:

"The missile is designed to be used in a survivable, limited nuclear conflict — survivable, meaning it doesn’t result in mutual annihilation." 

We are all at the mercy of psychopaths and their preconceived bunkers.

"The idea of a nuclear cruise missile raise old fears" by Christopher Rowland Globe Staff  June 03, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump has called for a new global arms race, and the Pentagon is ready. It has a nuclear weapon on the drawing board that the military considers essential but that critics fear could put the United States on the inside lane to Armageddon.

The new weapon is the planned update of the Air Force’s nuclear cruise missile. Price tag: at least $20 billion. Fear factor for arms-control advocates: maximum.

Trump’s newly released budget for 2018 contains hundreds of millions of dollars to speed up development of the Long Range Stand Off missile — a jet-propelled nuke designed to be launched from an airborne bomber and stealthily zip to a target virtually anywhere in the world.

It's a Third Offset from the Death Star.

It will carry a “variable yield’’ warhead that can be adjusted to deliver an atomic blast ranging from 5 to 150 kilotons — that is, from about one-third of a Hiroshima-sized bomb to as much as 10 Hiroshima bombs.

The ability to limit the scope of devastation and highly flexible targeting offer a powerful allure to Air Force generals, but are also precisely what worry antiproliferation specialists. They contend these capabilities make the idea of a “limited’’ nuclear strike on a target like Iran or North Korea — aggressive provocateurs but not superpowers — more likely, with a high risk for catastrophic escalation. It could also give Pentagon planners an intriguing option as they study ways to deter Russia’s ambitions to reassert sway over Eastern Europe.

They are seeing threats and enemies where there are none! Iran just signed a nuclear deal and is living up to its obligations, the Russians are reacting to NATO creeping up to their borders, and the Koreans haven't forgotten the last war.

Umm, one more question: who is going to be empowered to make the call against whom they should be used?

The new missiles are part of a $1 trillion upgrade of America’s nuclear arsenal kicked off by President Barack Obama, replacing missiles, submarines, and planes that have been in service for decades. Now Trump is positioning the military to pursue those plans aggressively, with $1 billion in his new budget to keep the Pentagon on an accelerated course for updating warheads, including a refurbished warhead for the 1,000 new, improved cruise missiles.

Yeah, that's the same Mr. Peace Prize president that has three wars (Libya, Yemen, Syria) around his neck as well as the hypocrisy to have pushed nonproliferation (for others, not us) while being praised by the pre$$. The guy was the most phony president we have ever had.

“It is very dangerous to have this excessive, unnecessary rebuilding of the arsenal take place under the Trump administration,’’ said Tom Collina, policy director at the Ploughshares Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons development. “The United States wants a new arms race, and is willing to push for it, and willing to pay for it, and we’re going to see other countries including Russia respond in kind, which is not good for global security.’’

Not only that, it totally undercuts the government's position when they go in and lecture some nation.

The potential for nuclear brinkmanship and a war “goes up when you have weapons that are perceived as less risky to use in a first strike,’’ he said.

Under an order Trump signed soon after he took office, the Pentagon is beginning a Nuclear Posture Review, due for completion by the end of the year. It gives the new administration a chance to articulate the president’s nuclear vision and decide what atomic weapons and strategies he deems most important. 

Well, all incoming administrations do that. 

Trump’s White House has not yet provided details of the president’s views, but in some of his remarks, he appears prepared to push the United States closer to a Cold War footing, a shift in tone and possibly in tactics that could have an impact on global nuclear security long after he leaves office.

“Let it be an arms race,’’ Trump, then president-elect, was quoted by MSNBC as saying in December. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.’’

And go bankrupt in the process while befouling the environment (Hanford? Oak Ridge?).

Tough talk, or something more? Certainly the tone runs sharply counter to the trend over the last three decades. Since the destruction of the Berlin Wall, there has been a sharp reduction in nuclear arms deployed by the United States and Russia.

They have been quiet reductions.

Among all the nuclear systems, the plan to update the air-launched cruise missile is the most controversial, because of what critics consider its “destabilizing’’ effect. The missile is designed to be used in a survivable, limited nuclear conflict — survivable, meaning it doesn’t result in mutual annihilation. Intended to replace an existing, less capable system built in the 1980s, it would be widely deployed by 2030, with the first one ready by 2025.

It's not the idea that the world wouldn't end with a couple of nuclear explosions, it wouldn't. It's crossing the taboo of thought, because once you have broken it, it is easier to do the next time, and even easier the time after that.

The other component is the massive amount of destruction and loss of life it would cause, as well as the disruption of world economics. It would change the world as we know it, and the fun times of profit-gouging and greed would be seriously hampered. 

Lastly, there would always be the horrific images caught on cameras of a mushroom cloud over Tehran or Pyongyang. They would surpass 9/11 in the visceral horror, and be indelibly seared into the minds of generations to come for centuries -- if we survive.

It could be shot thousands of miles away from enemy territory, and then fly low and fast to its target. The new version will have a stealthy profile and skin, making it difficult to detect by radar.

Well, we will see. Doesn't always work out that way in the tests.

Proponents in the Air Force have said the missile is indispensable because it eliminates the need for long-range strategic bombers to enter enemy airspace. They contend it can act as an even stronger deterrent than ballistic missiles.

“We want our adversaries to think we have the capability — and the will — to use our nuclear weapons,’’ said Adam Lowther, director of the Air Force’s School for Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies, at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. With the new missile, he said, “we’re not in a situation where it is all or nothing.’’

It is in America’s interest to keep the Russians guessing if the “crazy Americans’’ will pull the trigger, he said. Enemies know that America will be extremely reluctant, he said, to deliver an atomic blast from an ICBM, given the almost certain retaliation that would follow.

Blog editor is aghast. It's the Nixon madman (and Ike before him) theory. That either means Trump is convincingly playing his role and is part of the smoke, sound, and fury of the show, or he is being portrayed in that way for geopolitical goals. 

Could Trump be, gulp, the one person holding the MIC back from these insane ideas? 

Yes he has escalated everywhere but Libya (as far as we know), but a few hundred troops here and there, and pop-shot at Syria, vexed by troop increases for McMaster’s War, pissing off Israel, was that all to get the war-mongers off his back? Would it have been worse under a different president?

The gears of Pentagon procurement bureaucracy are already turning, supported by weapons manufacturers.

Early development of the cruise missile’s updated warhead is under way at Sandia National Laboratories . Requests for bids for the full missile systems were issued last year; prime bidders are expected to be Waltham-based Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin, according to defense trade journals.....

Well, THAT puts me at ease. 

This isn't about using one of these weapons; it's about getting a pipeline of money flowing to these big defen$e firms.


That's my A1 right-hand lead (as opposed to feature); you flip the page and at the bottom of A2 is this:

"Israel drew up ‘doomsday’ plan in 1967: a nuclear display" by William J. Broad New York Times  June 03, 2017

NEW YORK — On the eve of the Arab-Israeli war, 50 years ago this week, Israeli officials raced to assemble an atomic device and developed a plan to detonate it atop a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula as a warning to Egyptian and other Arab forces, according to interviews with a key organizer of the effort.

The secret contingency plan, called a “doomsday operation” was described by Itzhak Yaakov, a retired brigadier general, in interviews to be published Monday. He said the plan would have been invoked if Israel feared it was going to lose the 1967 conflict.

The demonstration blast, Israeli officials believed, would intimidate Egypt and surrounding Arab states — Syria, Iraq, and Jordan — into backing off.

Israel won the war so quickly that the atomic device was never moved to Sinai. But Yaakov’s account, which sheds new light on a clash that shaped the contours of the modern Middle East conflict, reveals Israel’s early consideration of how it might use its nuclear arsenal to preserve itself.

“It’s the last secret of the 1967 war,” said Avner Cohen, a leading scholar of Israel’s nuclear history who conducted the interviews.

And the one group of people who may use a nuclear weapon. The article will explain why and how later.

Yaakov, who oversaw weapons development for the Israeli military, detailed the plan to Cohen in 1999 and 2000, years before he died in 2013 at 87.

“Look, it was so natural,” said Yaakov, according to a transcription of a taped interview. “You’ve got an enemy, and he says he’s going to throw you to the sea. You believe him.”

“How can you stop him?” he asked. “You scare him. If you’ve got something you can scare him with, you scare him.”

I didn't know Israeli generals were advising Kim Jong-un.

Israel has never acknowledged the existence of its nuclear arsenal, in an effort to preserve “nuclear ambiguity” and forestall periodic calls for a nuclear-free Middle East.

And they get a pass from the West.

In 2001, Yaakov was arrested, at age 75, on charges that he had imperiled the nation’s security by talking about the nuclear program to an Israeli reporter, whose work was censored.

At various times, US officials, including former President Jimmy Carter after he left office, have acknowledged the existence of the Israeli program but have never given details.

Didn't Olmert spill the beans a while back, too?

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said the Israeli government would not comment on Yaakov’s role.

If the Israeli leadership had detonated the atomic device, it would have been the first nuclear explosion used for military purposes since the United States attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 22 years earlier.

The United States considered a similar demonstration during the Manhattan Project, as the program’s scientists hotly debated whether to set off a blast near Japan in an effort to scare Emperor Hirohito into a quick surrender. The military vetoed the idea, convinced that it would not be enough to end the war.

According to Yaakov, the Israeli plan was code-named Shimshon, or Samson, after the biblical hero of immense strength. Israel’s nuclear deterrence strategy has long been called the “Samson option,” because Samson brought down the roof of a Philistine temple, killing his enemies and himself.

You understand the implications in such things, right? 

It's blackmail, and now you see why western governments are in thrall to the Zionist state.

That's another reason this appears in my Zionist War Pre$$. Israel WANTS YOU TO KNOW they have a BOMB! The question is why now?

Yaakov said he feared that if Israel, as a last resort, went ahead with the demonstration nuclear blast in Egyptian territory, it could have killed him and his commando team.

Cohen, the author of “Israel and the Bomb” and “The Worst-Kept Secret,” described the idea behind the atomic demonstration as giving “the prime minister an ultimate option if everything else failed.”

Cohen, who was born in Israel and educated in part in the United States, has pushed the frontiers of public discourse on a fiercely hidden subject: how Israel became an unacknowledged nuclear power in the 1960s.

Do you know from where and how they got it?

On Monday, the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington — where Cohen is a global fellow — is releasing on a special website a series of documents related to the atomic plan.

The project maintains a digital archive of his work known as the Avner Cohen Collection. President Trump’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of all federal funding for the center, which Congress created as a living memorial to Wilson

Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister who died last year, hinted at the plan’s existence in his memoirs. He referred to an unnamed proposal that “would have deterred the Arabs and prevented the war.”

I see. For some its a deterrent, others.... looks to me like it deters the U.S. from attacking. Iraq and Libya were bombed and invaded, North Korea is still standing.

Cohen said he struck up a relationship with Yaakov after he published “Israel and the Bomb” in 1998. He interviewed him for hours in summer and fall 1999 and in early 2000, always in Hebrew and mainly in midtown Manhattan, where the former general lived.

Those interviews paint a picture of Israel’s recognition in the early 1960s that it needed a crash program to get the bomb.

In 1963, Yaakov, a freshly minted colonel with engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, became the senior liaison officer between the Israel Defense Forces and the nation’s civilian defense units, including the project to make an atomic bomb.

So he's the one who helped steal them from the U.S.


Imagine if North Korea set one off atop Mount Paektu to "scare him."

"Pentagon chief turns up heat on North Korea and China" by Robert Burns Associated Press  June 03, 2017

SINGAPORE — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis turned up the heat on North Korea and its main benefactor, China, on Saturday, calling the North Koreans a ‘‘clear and present danger’’ and chastising the Chinese for coercive behavior in the South China Sea.

Message received.

His sharp words for both countries suggest he believes China will, out of self-interest, exert leverage on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile programs even as Washington pushes Beijing to change course in the South China Sea.

Speaking at an international security conference in Singapore, Mattis said the Trump administration is encouraged by China’s renewed commitment to working with the United States and others to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons. He also said he thinks China ultimately will see it as a liability rather than an asset.

China blocked tough new sanctions against North Korea that the United States pushed in the UN Security Council on Friday. However, the Security Council did vote unanimously to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to the North’s nuclear and missile programs to a UN sanctions blacklist.

In his speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mattis sought to balance his hopeful comments on China with sharp criticism of what he called Beijing’s disregard for international law by its ‘‘indisputable militarization’’ of artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

‘‘We oppose countries militarizing artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law,’’ he said. 

Unless we do it.

And here is the crux of it all:

“We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo.’’

That's what all the U.S. saber-rattling in the region has been about as formerly iron-clad allies look to distance themselves from U.S. madness.

Representative Mac Thornberry, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told a news conference that he believed Mattis had effectively stressed the US commitment to allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Overall, Mattis’ speech struck a positive, hopeful tone for cooperation and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, where he and his predecessors have made it a priority to nurture and strengthen alliances and partnerships.

As he turned up the heat with sharp criticism. WTF is with the mixed messages anyway?

He was, however, unrelentingly critical of North Korea, a politically and economically isolated nation whose leaders have long viewed the United States as a military threat, in part because of periodic US military exercises with South Korea, which the North sees as preparations for attacks aimed at destroying its ruling elite.

They remember the first Korean War.

He called North Korea an ‘‘urgent military threat.’’ In a question-and-answer session with his audience of national security experts from across the globe, Mattis was asked whether the United States might attack the North preemptively and without warning South Korea in advance.

‘‘We’re working diplomatically, economically, we’re trying to exhaust all possible alternatives to avert this race for a nuclear weapon.”

That's not a no.

The United States has about 28,500 troops permanently based in South Korea, a defense treaty ally.

That caught my eye. 

So they are never coming out of there no matter what, huh? 

What else is in this world is permanent besides death?

Mattis made no mention of President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The issue arose briefly during questions from his audience, but he did not address it directly.

‘‘There’s going to be fresh approaches taken’’ to various issues by Trump, Mattis said, while making it clear that he personally believes the United States needs to avoid isolationist tendencies. ‘‘Like it or not, we’re part of the world,’’ he said....

Which is what I would like to be, not the one running an Empire with a massive war machine to back it up (the worlds' biggest polluter, btw).



"Malaysia said Saturday it will work with the Philippines and Indonesia to conduct joint patrols in the Sulu Sea targeted at members of the Islamic State. Malaysia said the patrols will begin later this month between Sabah and the southern Philippines, where Islamic militants want to form a caliphate. Plans were announced at a security conference in Singapore attended by 39 countries (AP)."

Say a prayer for the planet before dining tonight, for it may truly be your last supper.