The US And Pakistani Nuclear Horns (Daniel)

Nuclear War: Pakistan, India Test Nuclear Weapons; US Spends $1 Trillion For Arsenal

Nuclear War: Pakistan, India Test Nuclear Weapons; US Spends $1 Trillion For Arsenal

There is greater safety in mutual show of ability and might. This is long held assumption showing that an assured mutual destruction would lead to cessation of actions, which can lead to a deadly war. It seems, however, that neither Pakistan or India are done showing off their arsenal and capabilities with another. Some are even worried that their continued practice may take on a deadly direction.
In fact, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just found that Pakistan is actively “rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons.” Last year, retired Pakistan general Khalid Kidwai has said that the country was already able to develop a number of “short range, low yield nuclear weapons” as they believe there is no longer any “space for conventional war.”

At the same time, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has also once declared that his country might just use nuclear weapons against India. In response, India continues to conduct its training against such weapons. According to a report from the Fiscal Times, India is yet to disclose information about their nuclear weapons stockpile as well as on overview of their present and future nuclear capabilities. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also yet to do the same.

While tensions continue to brew in South Asia, the U.S. is busy enhancing its nuclear weapon capability in response to any nuclear aggression in the world. According to the latest report from the Arms Control Association, the total cost of the country’s nuclear weapons program is expected to cost as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of nuclear forces between FY 2015 and FY 2024 at around $348 billion.

The country is said to be in the process of modernizing and refurbishing its existing warheads. They are either being replaced with new systems or getting completely rebuilt using new parts. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has also told the House Armed Services Committee that the process of “modernizing and sustaining” the countries nuclear weapons will cost around $18 billion a year between 2021 and 2035 if estimated in FY 2016 dollars. With the combined cost of maintaining the country’s current nuclear weapons, however, that cost roughly doubles, going from three percent to seven percent of the overall defense budget.

As of the moment, the U.S. has already deployed as much as 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), and Strategic Bombers.

Pakistan And India Prepare For Nuclear War (Revelation 9)

Nuclear battles in South Asia

Pakistan-Test-Fires-Short-Range-Missile-Hatf-IX

Pervez Hoodbhoy

Zia Mian

The armies of Pakistan and India are practicing for nuclear war on the battlefield: Pakistan is rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons, while India trains to fight on despite such use and subsequently escalate. What were once mere ideas and scenarios dreamed up by hawkish military planners and nuclear strategists have become starkly visible capabilities and commitments. When the time comes, policy makers and people on both sides will expect—and perhaps demand—that the Bomb be used.

Pakistan has long been explicit about its plans to use nuclear weapons to counter Indian conventional forces. Pakistan has developed “a variety of short range, low yield nuclear weapons,” claimed retired General Khalid Kidwai in March 2015. Kidwai is the founder—and from 2000 until 2014 ran—Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division, which is responsible for managing the country’s nuclear weapons production complex and arsenal. These weapons, Kidwai said, have closed the “space for conventional war.” Echoing this message, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry declared in October 2015 that his country might use these tactical nuclear weapons in a conflict with India. There already have been four wars between the two countries—in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999—as well as many war scares.

The United States, which at one time deployed over 7,000 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe aimed at Soviet conventional forces, has expressed alarm about Pakistan’s plans. Amplifying comments made by President Barack Obama, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained in April 2016 that “we’re concerned by the increased security challenges that accompany growing stockpiles, particularly tactical nuclear weapons that are designed for use on the battlefield. And these systems are a source of concern because they’re susceptible to theft due to their size and mode of employment. Essentially, by having these smaller weapons, the threshold for their use is lowered, and the[re is] risk that a conventional conflict between India and Pakistan could escalate to include the use of nuclear weapons.”

Responding to US concerns, Kidwai has said that “Pakistan would not cap or curb its nuclear weapons programme or accept any restrictions.” The New York Times reported last year that so far, “an unknown number of the tactical weapons were built, but not deployed” by Pakistan.

India is making its own preparations for nuclear war. The Indian Army conducted a massive military exercise in April 2016 in the Rajasthan desert bordering Pakistan, involving tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, and 30,000 soldiers, to practice what to do if it is attacked with nuclear weapons on the battlefield. An Indian Army spokesman told the media, “our policy has been always that we will never use nuclear weapons first. But if we are attacked, we need to gather ourselves and fight through it. The simulation is about doing exactly that.” This is not the first such Indian exercise. As long ago as May 2001, the Indian military conducted an exercise based on the possibility that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons on Indian armed forces. Indian generals and planners have anticipated such battlefield nuclear use by Pakistan since at least the 1990s.

Driving the current set of Indian strategies and capabilities is the army’s search for a way to use military force to retaliate against Pakistan for harboring terrorists who, from time to time, have launched devastating attacks inside India. In 2001, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed credit for an attack on India’s parliament. India massed troops on the border, but had to withdraw them after several months. International pressure, a public commitment by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to restrain militants from future strikes, and Pakistan’s threat to use nuclear weapons if it was attacked caused the crisis to wind down. Following the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants, General Deepak Kapoor, then India’s army chief, argued that India must find a way to wage “limited war under a nuclear overhang.”

Paths to destruction. It could come to pass that Pakistan’s army uses nuclear weapons on its own territory to repel invading Indian tanks and troops. Pakistan’s planners may intend this first use of nuclear weapons as a warning shot, hoping to cause the Indians to stop and withdraw rather than risk worse. But while withdrawal would be one possible outcome, there would also be others. It is more likely, for instance, that the use of one—or even a few—Pakistani battlefield nuclear weapons would fail to dent Indian forces. While even a small nuclear weapon would be devastating in an urban environment, many such weapons may be required to have a decisive military impact on columns of well-dispersed battle tanks and soldiers who have practiced warfighting under nuclear attack.
India’s nuclear doctrine, meanwhile, is built on massive retaliation. In 2003, India’s cabinet declared nuclear weapons “will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere … nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.” According to Admiral Vijay Shankar, a former head of Indian strategic nuclear forces, such retaliation would involve nuclear attacks on Pakistan’s cities. Kidwai describes such Indian threats as “bluster and blunder,” since they “are not taking into account the balance of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, which hopefully not, but has the potential to go back and give the same kind of dose to the other side.” For nuclear planners in both countries, threatening the slaughter of millions and mutual destruction seems to be the order of the day.

There are also risks short of war, of course. Nuclear weapon units integrated with conventional forces and ready to be dispersed on a battlefield pose critical command-and-control issues. Kidwai believes that focusing on “lesser issues of command and control, and the possibility of their falling into wrong hands is unfortunate.” He claims “Our nuclear weapons are safe, secure and under complete institutional and professional control.” The implication is that communications between the nuclear headquarters and deployed units in the field will be perfectly reliable and secure even in wartime, and that commanders of individual units will not seek—or have the capability to launch—a nuclear strike unless authorized.

It is difficult to believe these claims. Peering through the fog of war, dizzied by developments on a rapidly evolving battlefield, confronting possible defeat, and fuelled by generations of animosity towards India as well as a thirst for revenge from previous wars, it cannot be guaranteed that a Pakistani nuclear commander will follow the rules.

Add to this the risks in what now passes for peacetime in Pakistan. The Strategic Plans Division may dismiss fears that its nuclear weapons will be hijacked. However, the military has rarely succeeded in anticipating and preventing major attacks by militant Islamist groups in Pakistan. Look no further than the May 2011 attack on Karachi’s Mehran naval base. The attackers, who may have numbered up to 20 and had insider help, “scaled the perimeter fence and continued to the main base by exploiting a blind spot in surveillance camera coverage, suggesting detailed knowledge of the base layout,” The Guardian reported. It took elite troops 18 hours to regain control of the base.
It is also unclear how the officers who are in charge of Pakistan’s military bases and those who make security-clearance decisions are chosen, and whether their own commitment to fighting Islamic radicalism is genuine. In 2009, the former commander of Pakistan’s Shamsi Air Force Base was arrested for leaking “sensitive” information to a radical Islamist organization. In 2011, a one-star general serving in Pakistan’s General Headquarters was arrested for his contacts with a militant group. In a religion that stresses its own completeness, and in which righteousness is given higher value than obedience to temporal authority, there is room for serious conflict between piety and military discipline.

Grasping at straws? A first step to reducing all these nuclear dangers is to prevent an escalation of tensions. This must start with Pakistan tackling the threat of Islamist militancy at home and preventing militant attacks across the India-Pakistan border. The outlook is mixed on both fronts. Pakistan’s army accelerated its war against radical Islamist groups after a 2014 attack on an army school in Peshawar that killed more than 140 students and staff. Despite military claims of success, though, responding with massive force and inflicting countless deaths will not resolve what is at its core a political and social problem. Ending the threat of radical Islam in Pakistan will require sweeping changes in public attitudes and major policy reversals in many areas. These are nowhere in sight.

To its credit, Pakistan has recently been more forward-leaning in dealing with militants who attack India. Following the assault on India’s Pathankot airbase in January 2016, Sartaj Aziz, foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, made the surprising revelation that a mobile phone number used by the attackers was linked to the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed based in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. To collect evidence for possible legal action against Jaish-e-Mohammed leaders, Pakistan sent a fact-finding mission to Pathankot with the approval of the Indian government. This kind of cooperation by the two governments is unprecedented.

Rather than limit cooperation to crisis management after an attack, Pakistan and India could agree on a South Asian version of the Open Skies Treaty to provide each with limited access to the other’s air space for surveillance purposes. India has an interest in monitoring possible militant camps within Pakistan and border areas where militants may cross. Pakistan seeks early warning in case India is preparing to mount a surprise attack. The 1992 Open Skies Treaty, covering the United States and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization members and Russia and its former Soviet and Eastern European partners, allows for controlled surveillance flights with agreed instruments such as photographic and video cameras, radar, and infrared scanners. The goal is to promote “greater openness and transparency in their military activities” and “to facilitate the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control agreements and to strengthen the capacity for conflict prevention and crisis management.” The United States and other parties to the Open Skies Treaty could share their technical tools and flight management experience with Pakistan and India, as well as what they’ve learned about the value of the agreement.

The two countries should also prepare in case things go wrong. The 1999 Lahore Agreement committed Pakistan and India to “notify each other immediately in the event of any accidental, unauthorised or unexplained incident that could create the risk of a fallout with adverse consequences for both sides, or an outbreak of a nuclear war between the two countries, as well as to adopt measures aimed at diminishing the possibility of such actions, or such incidents being misinterpreted by the other.” The question is, who will each side call and how? One possibility is a direct line of communication—a hotline—from Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division chief to the head of India’s Strategic Forces Command. There are other hotlines, and they are not always used or used wisely, but in a crisis this may be better than relying on television, Facebook, Twitter, or Washington.
Progress towards even such limited measures will confront the fact that in both India and Pakistan, nationalist passions forged over seven decades are being reinforced by the institutional self-interests of emerging nuclear military-industrial complexes and their political patrons and ideological allies. The United States and Soviet Union saw such deepening militarization during the Cold War. The institutional forces and ideas—what the great English anti-nuclear activist, thinker, and historian E.P. Thompson called “the thrust of exterminism”—proved so strong that even when the Cold War ended, and the Soviet Union fell, the Bomb remained. With expansive and costly nuclear arsenal modernizations underway in the United States, Russia, and the other established nuclear weapon states, the Bomb now seems ready for a second life. Increasingly subject to the same exterminist forces, South Asia may be locked in its nuclear nightmare for a very long time.

The Nuclear Threat From Pakistan (Daniel 8:8)

Are Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets Under Threat?

nasr-multitube-ballistic-missile-is-displayed-during-the-pakistan-day-picture-id467324930

April 28, 2016
The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington D.C. on March 31- April 1 2016, once again reiterated the apocalyptic threat of nuclear terrorism. Having over 1,000 atomic facilities across 50 odd countries, all having different standards of security, is bound to raise alarm bells in an age where terrorist organizations have expressed their intention of using the “absolute weapon.” The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) even asserted in the May 2015 issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq that it can buy a nuclear bomb through links to corrupt officials in Pakistan. While there is no evidence of these alleged links, such statements are part of the group’s psychological war of spreading fear. They also accentuate the Islamic State’s interest in acquiring the bomb.

With al-Baghdadi’s group losing ground in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS is becoming more and more desperate to carry out spectacular attacks and reaffirm its strength. Already numerous reports have claimed that the Islamic State has enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb and use it in Europe. The recent incident of a Belgian nuclear plant worker shot dead and his security pass stolen, alongside reports of two Belgian nuclear plant workers joining ISIS, signify the colossal threat confronting European states.

At the same time, some experts, journalists, and government officials have insinuated that Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, especially its tactical weapons developed in response to India’s “Cold Start” doctrine, could be stolen by terrorists, including ISIS. President Barack Obama also mentioned in his speech at the Summit that “small, tactical nuclear weapons … could be at greater risk of theft.”

Do terrorist pose a threat to Pakistan’s nuclear assets? The answer is both yes and no.

Security of Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets

More than once, Pakistan has come under the limelight for not ensuring the security of its nuclear assets. For instance, in January 2001, Pakistani nuclear scientists with extremist sympathies created a what was supposedly a humanitarian nongovernmental organization, Ummah Tameer-e-Nau (UTN). Bashiruddin Mahmood, the former head of Pakistan’s Khushab plutonium reactor, was its chairman. In November 2001, at the request of the United States, Pakistan’s intelligence services arrested a number of UTN associates and members, including Mahmood. Mahmood later confessed that he met with Osama bin Laden and they discussed the possibility of developing a nuclear bomb.

Similarly, the discovery of the infamous AQ Khan network in 2004 almost jeopardized Pakistan’s entire nuclear program. The father of the country’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was found proliferating nuclear technology to other countries, including Libya, North Korea, and Iran. While members of al-Qaeda also tried to contact Khan’s associates for assistance with their weapons program, the AQ Khan network reportedly rejected them.

The aforementioned events, together with the General Headquarters attack in 2009 by Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP), underscore that Pakistan’s nuclear security might not be impregnable.

However, time and again Pakistan has expressed confidence in the security arrangements of its nuclear weapons. Even at the Nuclear Security Summit 2016, Pakistan reiterated that its nuclear assets are secure, and of a modest level, in accordance with the country’s doctrine of minimum deterrence. While the entire program is engulfed in secrecy, reports have ascertained that Pakistan is doing enough to prevent its weapons being used by rogue elements, including terrorists.

For instance, according to Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, who has been closely involved with the country’s nuclear program, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are stored in “three to four different parts at three to four different locations.” Therefore, they are stockpiled in component form, which means if the weapon is not about to be launched then it is not in an assembled form.

With the warheads disassembled, they cannot be used by terrorists. Similarly, Islamabad has improved the reliability of its nuclear personnel by making security clearance procedures more stringent, decreasing the likelihood of an insider threat. However, Islamabad recognizes more can be done to control its nuclear expertise. The Nuclear Security Summit has raised awareness and the sense of urgency of increasing nuclear security among all nuclear states. Pakistan, being part of the NSS, has also pledged to take the necessary steps.

ISIS in particular does not have a profound presence in Pakistan and exists only in the form of small, independent cells. It’s extremely doubtful it can steal Pakistan’s nuclear material. However, a threat does emanate from local militant groups who can exploit the already unstable security environment in South Asia. India’s Cold Start doctrine and Pakistan’s acquisition of battlefield nukes are a cause for concern, and can be exploited by terrorists.

Exploiting Cold Start Doctrine and Tactical Nuclear Weapons

The Cold Start doctrine was developed after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament. India claimed that the attacks were perpetrated by Pakistan-based militant groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, who were in cahoots with some institutions of Pakistan. In response, the Indian state initiated the largest military build-up since 1971. However, it took India three weeks to get to the international border. By that time Pakistan was able to counter-mobilize, which allowed for the United States to intervene and forestall the conflict from precipitating. Then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf also denounced terrorism, and promised a crackdown. This reduced India’s political justification for a military action.

Unsatisfied with this slow response, India developed the Cold Start doctrine. The said doctrine involves offensive operations, allowing India’s conventional forces to perform holding attacks in order to prevent a nuclear response from Pakistan. In reply to this, Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons to deter any military action from India.

This situation should raise concern. If terrorist attack is plotted against India from Pakistani soil and India operationalizes its doctrine, presumably, in reaction, Pakistan will deploy its tactical nuclear weapons. India too then is likely to use its conventional nuclear weapons, inviting a full-blown nuclear war between the two neighboring states.

As such, the combination of tactical nuclear weapons and the Cold Start doctrine provides an opportunity for terrorist elements to initiate a nuclear war. Both India and Pakistan need to work out a plan whereby India gives up its Cold Start doctrine in the event of a militant attack, and in response, Pakistan abandons its tactical nuclear weapons. Otherwise, there will always be room for militants to ensure a nuclear attack by conducting traditional acts of terror. If a terrorist can compel a nuclear war between two nations, how is that different from nuclear terrorism?

Shahzeb Ali Rathore is a Research Analyst at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore.

North Korea Fires More Missiles

South Korea says North Korea fired short-range projectile

Associated Press
By KIM TONG-HYUNG, Associated Press 10 hrs ago
In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers remarks at a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.

© Wong Maye-E/AP Photo In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers remarks at a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired a short-range projectile from an area near its eastern coast on Tuesday, South Korean officials said, in what appears to be another weapons test seen as a response to ongoing military drills between Washington and Seoul.
The projectile was fired near the North Korean port city of Wonsan and flew about 200 kilometers (125 miles) before crashing into land northeast of the launch site, South Korean military officials said.
It was unclear whether the projectile was a ballistic missile or an artillery shell, said a Joint Chiefs of Staff official who didn’t want to be identified, citing office rules. It was too early to tell whether North Korea used a land target to test the accuracy and range of its weapons or experienced problems after planning a launch into the sea, said an official from Seoul’s Defense Ministry, who also didn’t want to be named because of department rules.
North Korea has fired a slew of short-range missiles and artillery shells into the sea and has threatened nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul since the start on March 7 of the annual springtime war games between the United States and South Korea.
North Korea also launched a medium-range ballistic missile into waters off its east coast for the first time since 2014 and touted a new artillery system it says could turn the South Korean capital of Seoul into a “sea of flames.” Experts say the North’s new artillery launchers can fire 300-millimeter shells up to 200 kilometers (125 miles), theoretically reaching Seoul and its surrounding metropolitan area, where nearly half of the 50 million South Koreans live.
North Korea routinely tests short-range missiles and artillery systems but tends to do more launches in times of tension with the outside world. It condemns the annual military drills between Washington and Seoul as a rehearsal for an invasion. Tensions are particularly high this year because the drills are the largest ever and follow a recent North Korean nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch. Washington and Seoul say the drills are defensive in nature and they have no plans to invade North Korea.

North Korea fires more short-range missiles


North Korea fires short-range projectiles into sea amid tension over nuclear ambitions

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired five short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, South Korea’s military said, amid heightened tension over the isolated country’s nuclear and rocket programs.

The unidentified projectiles were launched from south of the city of Hamhung and flew about 200 km (120 miles), landing in waters east of North Korea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

On Friday, North Korea fired two mid-range ballistic missiles into the sea in defiance of tough new U.N. and U.S. sanctions slapped on the country following nuclear and rocket tests earlier this year.
“North Korea should refrain from all provocative actions, including missile launches, which are in clear violation of U.N. resolutions,” Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, told reporters in Seoul when asked about Monday’s firing.

In recent weeks, North Korea has stepped up its bellicose rhetoric, threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Washington and Seoul and firing short-range missiles and artillery into the sea.
The North protests annual ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military drills.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said last week that the country would soon test a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in what would be a direct violation of U.N. resolutions that have the backing of Pyongyang’s chief ally, China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was “deeply concerned” about the situation on the Korean peninsula.

“We hope North Korea does not do anything to contravene U.N. Security Council resolutions. We also hope all sides can remain calm and exercise restraint and avoid doing anything to exacerbate confrontation or tensions,” she told a daily news briefing.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and James Pearson; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Nick Macfie and Tony Munroe)

Russia and China’s New Hypersonic Missiles (Daniel 7:7)

 
Russia and China are building hypersonic missiles and it’s ‘complicating’ things for the US
The Washington Free Beacon

BILL GERTZ, THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
Jul. 30, 2015, 10:13 AM

OMAHA—China and Russia are developing maneuvering high-speed strike vehicles that pose new threats to the United States, U.S. Strategic Command leaders said Wednesday.

Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Strategic Command’s (Stratcom) senior leader, said during remarks at a nuclear deterrence conference that despite arms control efforts, hypersonic weapons are among several threatening strategic trends emerging in the world.

China has conducted four flight tests of a 7,000 mile-per-hour maneuvering strike vehicle, and Russia is developing high-speed weapons and reportedly tested a hypersonic weapon in February.
“Nation states continue to develop and modernize their nuclear weapon capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear and non-nuclear nations are prepared to employ cyber, counter-space, and asymmetric capabilities as options for achieving their objectives during crisis and conflict, and new technologies such as hypersonic glide vehicles are being developed, complicating our sensing and defensive approaches.”

The advanced weapons capabilities are being proliferated by U.S. adversaries and “are becoming increasingly mobile, hardened, and underground, which is further compounded by a lack of transparency,” the four-star admiral said.

Asked later about the hypersonic missile threat, Haney said the Pentagon is developing capabilities that can be used to counter hypersonic arms.

“As I look at that threat, clearly the mobility, the flight profile, those kinds of things are things we have to keep in mind and be able to address across that full kill chain,” Haney said.

“Kill chain” is military jargon for the process used to find targets, gauge location and speed, communicate data to weapons used to strike the target, and then launch an attack.

Stratcom is in charge of U.S. nuclear weapons and warfighting, and is tasked with protecting and countering threats to strategic space systems and cyberspace, which is used for command and control of both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Hypersonic weapons are ultra-high speed weapons launched atop missiles that accelerate to speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10—five and ten times the speed of sound. The vehicles fly along the edge of space and can glide and maneuver to targets.

Air Force Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the outgoing deputy commander at Stratcom, said hypersonic strike vehicles are part of efforts by nations to gain strategic advantage.

Hypersonic weapons technology “certainly offers a number of advantages to a state,” Kowalski said.
“It offers a number of different ways to overcome defenses, whether those are conventional, or if someone would decide to use a nuclear warhead, I think gives it an even more complicated dimension,” Kowalski added.

The three-star general said, “at this point since nothing is fielded it remains something that concerns us and may be an area of discussion in the future.”

Hypersonic weapons are being developed by China and Russia to defeat U.S. strategic missile defenses that currently are designed to counter non-maneuvering ballistic missile warheads that travel in more predictable flight paths that are tracked by sensors and can be hit by missile interceptors.
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center has testified to Congress that China’s hypersonic glide vehicle will be used to deliver nuclear weapons. A variant also could be used as part of China’s conventionally-armed anti-ship ballistic missile system, which is aimed at sinking U.S. aircraft carriers far from Chinese shores.

Russian officials have said their hypersonic arms development is aimed to penetrate U.S. missile defenses.

China has conducted four tests of what the Pentagon calls a Wu-14 hypersonic glide vehicle. The four tests over the past several years are an indication the program is a high priority for Beijing.
The Pentagon is also developing hypersonic vehicles, both gliders and “scramjet” powered weapons. A year ago, an Army test of a hypersonic weapon blew up shortly after launch from Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Haney said some of his concerns are being reduced by U.S. weapons research.

“I am assured in some regards because we ourselves are doing some research and development associated with understanding that kind of capability,” Haney said.

“But at the same time, clearly, we are working to ensure that we can do what we always do with any threat—be able to understand it and then be able to have a variety of courses of action in order to address it, number one, to deter its use, but then of course to be able to have our own mechanisms to counter that kind of capability.”

Haney said it is “very important that we pay attention to that kind of capability.”

Nuclear deterrence, preventing foreign nuclear weapons states from attacking, requires more than warheads and bombs on aircraft and missiles, Haney said.

“To have a credible, safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent, we must also ensure we have the appropriate intelligence and sensing capabilities to give us those early indications and warnings of threats coming against the U.S. and our Allies including—but not limited to—missile launches and bomber threats,” he said. “We must also maintain the ability to communicate and provide the president options should deterrence fail.”

As a result, Stratcom also must protect space assets and cyberspace in a conflict, he added.
“Peacetime activities must shape the environment of crisis and conflict and dissuade our adversaries from considering the use of cyber, space, or nuclear in a strategic attack,” Haney said.

Kowalski, the deputy commander, also was asked in a meeting with reporters about China’s development of multi-warhead missiles and whether the deployment of additional weapons will change the U.S. nuclear force posture.

“I’m not aware that there’s been any significant change in the overall size of the Chinese [nuclear] inventory that may cause us to go back and reassess,” Kowalski said.

Right now we’re pretty comfortable that they’re well below 300 [warheads] and there’s a mix in there,” he said, adding that intelligence estimates of the Chinese arsenal are deficient and that there is a need for greater openness on the part of the Chinese.

Good luck stopping the Russian nuclear horn (Dan 7:7)

 

Russia plans for hypersonic nuclear missiles by 2020
Dr. Abdul Ruff

The Cold War threatening word peace had in 1980s subsided after the unification of Germanies and the fall of mighty USSR leading to perestroika era, leaving the world some breathing space for years following the historic step by Russia and USA led by their respective presidents Gorbachev and Reagan in 1981, seems have resurfaced in recent times with USA seeking to get all former Soviet republics into the dreaded NATtO military organization. Russia has obvious reasons to feel threatened by the US move of cornering and containing the Kremlin by using these former republics.

US-Russia nuclear rivalry continues to threaten world peace and upsets regional strategic balances. Russia has repeatedly expressed concern that America’s missile defense systems threaten its strategic nuclear forces. In order to face the impending US-NATO danger Moscow upgrading its security postures. Now Russian president is planning to commission high precision hypersonic missiles. Obviously, Moscow would like to equip its hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads.

Jane’s Intelligence Review published a report revealing that Russia secretly tested its Yu-71 hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) from an SS-19 missile in February of this year. And, according to a new report, Russia plans to build 24 nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles over the next decade to protect its territories and people from enemy attacks. A test launch from the Dombarovsky missile division site in February 2015 suggests that Russia is actively pursuing the development of a hypersonic glide vehicle that could potentially expand the long-range strike capabilities of its Strategic Rocket Forces,

The report indicates that by the time Russia’s Yu-71 hypersonic missile enters into service, Moscow may also have its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile to launch it from. The Sarmat is a liquid-fuel ICBM that is able to carry multiple warheads. It suspects that PAK-DA, the next-generation strategic bomber Russia is currently developing, will also be able to fire hypersonic missiles. That being said, the tremendous speed of hypersonic missiles makes them better suited for land-based missiles.

Russia appears to be considering the option of deploying its hypersonic system in a nuclear, as well as conventional, configuration. Unlike America’s conventional global prompt strike (CGPS) program, Russia is developing its hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads in mind. Along with countries like China and the United States, Russia’s been developing hypersonic missiles in recent years under its Project 4202. The Yu-71 missile is expected to reach 11,200 kilometers per hour (7,000 miles per hour) and is extremely maneuverable. The maneuverability of hypersonic missiles allows the projectiles to skirt most missile defense systems, which are aimed at targeting the predictable trajectories of ballistic missiles.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over NATO encirclement of Russia and that NATO missile defense systems threaten its strategic nuclear forces. As such, it makes sense that Moscow would equip its hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads, maybe even before 2020 – its own deadline for the commissioning of the ultra precision missiles.

MAD: mutually assured destruction (Rev 16)

 
Regular missile tests maintain India-Pakistan status quo

New Delhi, May 15 Abheet Singh Sethi IANS1 day ago

Last month, India tested its indigenously-developed 3,000-km Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni III, while Pakistan tested its 1,300-km Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) Ghauri.

Both missiles are part of an ever-growing arsenal capable of reaching every corner of rival territory (including India’s Andaman Islands) and carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. Ironically, these tests are also a good way of ensuring the two countries do not go to war.
“Such tests are considered routine exercises for the two arch-rivals since they developed nuclear weapons capabilities in 1998,” according to Foreign Policy.

Nuclear weapons carried by ballistic missiles are strategic weapons of mass destruction meant primarily to scare and deter, usually ending in strategic stalemates between countries that possess such arsenals.

The possibility of “mutually assured destruction“, or MAD, as it is commonly known, also prevents their use on the subcontinent.

India’s ballistic-missile programme is driven by the threat it perceives from its nuclear armed neighbours Pakistan and China.

On May 11, 1998, India’s then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared to the world that India had become a nuclear weapons state after successfully detonating three devices. Less than three weeks later, Pakistan also conducted nuclear weapons tests.

On the 17th year anniversary of India’s nuclear weapons test, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of Indian scientists with the following tweet.

“We salute efforts of our scientists & political leadership behind the success of Pokhran Tests on this day in 1998. pic.twitter.com/vPVb1v6xxk — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 11, 2015″

Almost 17 years later, the arch rivals each test fired ballistic missiles. These are strategic delivery systems capable of delivering either nuclear or conventional warheads deep inside each other’s territory, with the focus being predominantly on the former.

Land, fire and falcons

When it comes to Pakistan, India has developed/is developing the Prithvi and Agni series of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

The Prithvi series comprises three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) with a range of 150-350 km, capable of targeting major Pakistani cities, such as Lahore, Sialkot, the capital Islamabad and Rawalpindi according to an IndiaSpend analysis.

The Prithvi series are road mobile and deployed. Development of the Prithvi series began in 1983.
Agni I and II, with ranges of 700 km and 2,000 km respectively, are capable of targeting almost all major Pakistani cities, including Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Peshawar, Karachi, Quetta and Gwadar.

The development of the Agni I began in 1999, and it was first tested in January 2002. The Agni I fills the gap between the SRBM Prithvi series and medium-range Agni II missile. It has been in service since 2004.

The Agni II is a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), first tested in April 1999. It allows India to attack all of Pakistan, although it falls short of major targets within China. Like Agni I, it too is highly accurate and is road and rail mobile.

Agni III, IV and V, with their longer ranges, might be able to reach all of Pakistan, but it can be safely said that they are directed more towards China.

Pakistan’s Hatf (named after the sword of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) series of ballistic missiles have been developed–and is still under development–keeping India in mind. These missiles have varying ranges starting from 70 km, and go up to 2750 km. Some of these missiles are variants of existing Chinese and North Korean ballistic missiles, according to a report on Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore.

Of these, the operational SRBM Ghaznavi (named after the 11th-century Afghan invader Mahmud Ghazni) is a shortened version of the Chinese M-11 missile and has a range of between 270 km to 350 km; this means it can target Ludhiana, Ahmedabad and the outer perimeter of Delhi.

The recently-tested Ghauri (named after 12th-century Afghan king Shahbuddin Ghauri, also known as Muhammad of Ghauri) is an MRBM, with a claimed range of 1,300 km and is “clearly and unambiguously North Korean in origin”, according to the NIAS report. The report adds that the missile is deployed and can target Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal and Lucknow.

The Shaheen-III, a road-mobile IRBM was tested this March and has a claimed range of 2,750 km.
Addressing the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference 2015 in Washington, Lieutenant General Khalid Kidwai (retd), a former head of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons division, said Pakistan has developed the Shaheen III to prevent India from attaining a nuclear second-strike capability from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public-interest journalism platform, with which Abheet Singh Sethi is a policy analyst. The views expressed are personal. Additional inputs from Ramya Panuganty, junior research fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies)

–IANS/IndiaSpend
abheet/vm

Pakistan Prepares For Conventional NUCLEAR War (Daniel 8:8)

thediplomat_2015-03-23_17-00-57-386x217

With Military Parade, Pakistan Sends Message to India, Taliban

Today, Pakistan held its first military parade after a seven-year suspension due to “security concerns” amidst an escalating conflict with the Pakistani Taliban. The last parade was held on March 23, 2008 and reviewed by then-President Pervez Musharraf.

March 23 holds special importance in Pakistan. On that date in 1940, the All-India Muslim league adopted a resolution for the creation of “independent states” for Muslims in northwestern and eastern British India. The resolution was later interpreted to have been a specific call for the creation of Pakistan.

The March 23 parade is meant to illustrate Islamabad’s resolve, sending messages to both its nuclear-armed neighbor India and to Taliban extremists. “Pakistan is resolved to redeem its pledge given to its founding fathers that it will protect the homeland,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emphasized in a statement.

This year, personnel from all three service branches, the Army, Navy, and Air Force, participated in the parade — including the army’s strategic command force, which administers Islamabad’s land-based nuclear weapons arsenal.

The parade featured nuclear-capable and conventional missiles, including Nasr, Shaheen, Ghauri, Babur, and Ghaznavi weapons systems, indigenously manufactured tanks  (such as the Al-Zarar,  and  Al-Khalid models), and  a squadron of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, a multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan.

Next to the regular army, air force, and navy units defiling past Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain, army chief Raheel Sharif and other dignitaries, paramilitary forces (including the Frontier Corps and Pakistan Rangers) and the police also marched on the new Parade Ground, specifically built for this occasion near the Shakarparian hills in Islamabad.

A particular highlight was the flyover of Pakistan’s first locally manufactured armed UAV – the Burraq drone equipped with the laser-guided Barq missile, which was successfully tested for the first time on March 13, 2015.

The drone “will enormously help in the campaign against militants,” a government official said. Almost a third of Pakistan’s military is engaged in fighting Taliban extremists in the Af-Pak border region.

“I believe the Chinese helped Pakistan manufacture these drones, which fits into the pattern of this relationship,” a Western defense official notes in recent a Financial Times article.

However, notably absent from the parade ground was China’s President Xi Jinping, who officially had been invited in January this year. Many observers perceived that invitation to be Pakistan’s direct response to Barack Obama’s presence as “chief guest” at India’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi at the beginning of 2015.

Islamabad cited security reasons for  China’s declining the invitation. But even though Xi did not put in an appearance, “there will be plenty of China to see,” as the Western defense official put it.

Between 2010 to 2014, Pakistan was China’s top customers in military hardware. According to the Financial Times, Chinese defense technology constitutes the “ the bulk of Pakistan’s military arsenal.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a conciliatory response to the recent display of Pakistan’s military prowess on Twitter: “It is my firm conviction that all outstanding issues can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.”

In an interview with The Diplomat, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Jalil Abbas Jilani, emphasized the importance of “trust building through continued dialogue and engagement,” including in Pakistan-India relations. Jilani also warned of the dangers of a “growing military imbalance in a region beset with long standing territorial conflicts.”

For further reading on military parades in Asia, see my commentary in the International New York Times, “Parades to Fear, Not Celebrate.”

The New Conventional War Will Be NUCLEAR (Rev 16)

Tactical Nuclear Weapons In Europe

tactical map

By The Danish Pugwash Group
20 March, 2015
Countercurrents.org
Abstract
The danger of nuclear war is very great today, especially because of the Ukraine crisis and the danger of accidents. We would like to suggest that, in exchange for withdrawal of U.S. Nuclear weapons from Europe, the Russian government might be persuaded to eliminate its tactical nuclear weapons directed against Europe.
The dangers are very great today
Let us first consider the urgent reasons why all nuclear weapons must be eliminated. Although the Cold War has ended, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than ever before. There are 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world today, of which 15,300 are in the hands of Russia and the United States. Several thousand of these weapons are on hair-trigger alert, meaning that whoever is in charge of them has only a few minutes to decide whether the signal indicating an attack is real, or an error. The most important single step in reducing the danger of a disaster would be to take all weapons off hair-trigger alert.
Bruce G. Blair, Brookings Institute, has remarked that “It is obvious that the rushed nature of the process, from warning to decision to action, risks causing a catastrophic mistake… This system is an accident waiting to happen.” Fred Ikle of the Rand Corporation has written,“But nobody can predict that the fatal accident or unauthorized act will never happen. Given the huge and far-flung missile forces, ready to be launched from land and sea on on both sides, the scope for disaster by accident is immense… In a matter of seconds, through technical accident or human failure, mutual deterrence might thus collapse.”
Although their number has been cut in half from its Cold War maximum, the total explosive power of today’s weapons is equivalent to roughly half a million Hiroshima bombs. To multiply the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by a factor of half a million changes the danger qualitatively. What is threatened today is the complete breakdown of human society.
Nuclear terrorism
There is no defense against nuclear terrorism. We must remember the remark of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan after the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He said, “This time it was not a nuclear explosion”. The meaning of his remark is clear: If the world does not take strong steps to eliminate fissionable materials and nuclear weapons, it will only be a matter of time before they will be used in terrorist attacks on major cities. Neither terrorists nor organized criminals can be deterred by the threat of nuclear retaliation, since they have no territory against which such retaliation could be directed. They blend invisibly into the general population. Nor can a “missile defense system” prevent terrorists from using nuclear weapons, since the weapons can be brought into a port in any one of the hundreds of thousands of containers that enter on ships each year, a number far too large to be checked exhaustively.
As the number of nuclear weapon states grows larger, there is an increasing chance that a revolution will occur in one of them, putting nuclear weapons into the hands of terrorist groups or organized criminals. Today, for example, Pakistan’s less-than-stable government might be overthrown, and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons might end in the hands of terrorists. The weapons might then be used to destroy one of the world’s large coastal cities, having been brought into the port by one of numerous container ships that dock every day. Such an event might trigger a large-scale nuclear conflagration.
The Ukraine crisis
Today, the world is facing a grave danger from the reckless behavior of the government of the United States, which recently arranged a coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. Although Victoria Nuland’s December 13 2013 speech talks much about democracy, the people who carried out the coup in Kiev can hardly be said to be democracy’s best representatives. Many belong to the Svoboda Party, which had its roots in the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU). The name was an intentional reference to the Nazi Party in Germany.
It seems to be the intention of the US to establish NATO bases in Ukraine, no doubt armed with nuclear weapons. In trying to imagine how the Russians feel about this, we might think of the US reaction when a fleet of ships sailed to Cuba in 1962, bringing Soviet nuclear weapons. In the confrontation that followed, the world was bought very close indeed to an all-destroying nuclear war. Does not Russia feel similarly threatened by the thought of hostile nuclear weapons on its very doorstep? Can we not learn from the past, and avoid the extremely high risks associated with the similar confrontation in Ukraine today?
Lessons from World War I: The danger of escalation
Since we have recently marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, it is appropriate to view the crisis in Ukraine against the background of that catastrophic event, which still casts a dark shadow over the future of human civilization. We must learn the bitter lessons which World War I has to teach us, in order to avoid a repetition of the disaster.
Another lesson from the history of World War I comes from the fact that none of the people who started it had the slightest idea of what it would be like. Science and technology had changed the character of war. The politicians and military figures of the time ought to have known this, but they didn’t. They ought to have known it from the million casualties produced by the use of the breach-loading rifle in the American Civil War. They ought to have known it from the deadly effectiveness of the Maxim machine gun against the native populations of Africa, but the effects of the machine gun in a European war caught them by surprise.
Nuclear war: an ecological catastrophe
Few politicians or military figures today have any imaginative understanding of what a war with thermonuclear weapons would be like. Recent studies have shown that in a nuclear war, the smoke from firestorms in burning cities would rise to the stratosphere where it would remain for a decade, spreading throughout the world, blocking sunlight, blocking the hydrological cycle and destroying the ozone layer. The effect on global agriculture would be devastating, and the billion people who are chronically undernourished today would be at risk. Furthermore, the tragedies of Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us that a nuclear war would make large areas of the world permanently uninhabitable because of radioactive contamination. A full-scale thermonuclear war would be the ultimate ecological catastrophe. It would destroy human civilization and much of the biosphere.
One can gain a small idea of the terrible ecological consequences of a nuclear war by thinking of the radioactive contamination that has made large areas near to Chernobyl and Fukushima uninhabitable, or the testing of hydrogen bombs in the Pacific, which continues to cause leukemia and birth defects in the Marshall Islands more than half a century later.
The illegality of NATO
In recent years, participation in NATO has made European countries accomplices in US efforts to achieve global hegemony by means of military force, in violation of international law, and especially in violation of the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles.
Former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Christof von Sponeck used the following words to express his opinion that NATO now violates the UN Charter and international law: “In the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the Charter of the United Nations was declared to be NATO’s legally binding framework. However, the United-Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine. NATO’s territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its members to include the whole world”
Article 2 of the UN Charter requires that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” This requirement is somewhat qualified by Article 51, which says that “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”
Thus, in general, war is illegal under the UN Charter. Self-defense against an armed attack is permitted, but only for a limited time, until the Security Council has had time to act. The United Nations Charter does not permit the threat or use of force in preemptive wars, or to produce regime changes, or for so-called “democratization”, or for the domination of regions that are rich in oil. NATO must not be a party to the threat or use of force for such illegal purposes.
In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously affirmed “the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal”. The General Assembly also established an International Law Commission to formalize the Nuremberg Principles. The result was a list that included Principles VI, which is particularly important in the context of the illegality of NATO:
Principle VI: The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
a Crimes against peace: (I) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (I).
Robert H. Jackson, who was the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, said that “To initiate a war of aggression is therefore not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
Article VI of the NPT requires states possessing nuclear weapon to get rid of them within a reasonable period of time. This article is violated by fact that NATO policy is guided by a Strategic Concept, which visualizes the continued use of nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future.’
The principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons has been an extremely important safeguard over the years, but it is violated by present NATO policy, which permits the first-use of nuclear weapons in a wide variety of circumstances.
Russian tactical nuclear weapons
Russian nuclear weapons, both tactical and strategic, also represent a grave danger to human civilization and to the biosphere. We would like to suggest that a bargain might be reached. In exchange for the withdrawal of US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, as well as the lifting of the present European sanctions directed against the Russian economy, it might be possible to persuade the Russian government to eliminate all of their tactical nuclear weapons directed against Europe.
Establishment opinion shifts towards nuclear abolition
The complete elimination of nuclear weapons is by no means a hopeless cause. While the Ukraine crisis is a great step backwards, there are indications that the establishment is moving towards the point of view that the peace movement has always held: – that nuclear weapons are essentially genocidal, illegal and unworthy of civilization; and that they must be completely abolished as quickly as possible. There is a rapidly-growing global consensus that a nuclear-weapon-free world can and must be achieved in the very near future.
One of the first indications of the change was the famous Wall Street Journal article by Schultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn advocating complete abolition of nuclear arms. This was followed quickly by Mikhail Gorbachev’s supporting article, published in the same journal, and a statement by distinguished Italian statesmen. Meanwhile, in October 2007, the Hoover Institution had arranged a symposium entitled “Reykjavik Revisited; Steps Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons”.
In Britain, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Hurd and Lord Owen (all former Foreign Secretaries) joined the former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson as authors of an article in The Times advocating complete abolition of nuclear weapons . The UK’s Secretary of State for Defense, Des Brown, speaking at a disarmament conference in Geneva, proposed that the UK “host a technical conference of P5 nuclear laboratories on the verification of nuclear disarmament before the next NPT Review Conference in 2010” to enable the nuclear weapon states to work together on technical issues.
In February, 2008, the Government of Norway hosted an international conference on “Achieving the Vision of a World Free of Nuclear Weapons”. A week later, Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, reported the results of the conference to a disarmament meeting in Geneva. On
July 11, 2008 , speaking at a Pugwash Conference in Canada, Norway’s Defense Minister, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, reiterated her country’s strong support for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons .
In July 2008, Barack Obama said in his Berlin speech, “It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.” Later that year, in September, Vladimir Putin said, “Had I been told just two or three years ago I wouldn’t believe that it would be possible, but I believe that it is now quite possible to liberate humanity from nuclear weapons…”
Other highly-placed statesmen added their voices to the growing consensus: Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, visited the Peace Museum at Hiroshima, where he made a strong speech advocating nuclear abolition. He later set up an International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament co-chaired by Australia and Japan. On January 9, 2009, four distinguished German statesmen (Richard von Weizäcker, Helmut Schmidt, Egon Bahr and Hans-Dietrich Genscher) published an article entitled “Towards a Nuclear-Free World: a German View” in the International Herald Tribune.
Going to zero
On December 8-9, 2008, approximately 100 international leaders met in Paris to launch the Global Zero Campaign . They included Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Norway’s former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former UK Foreign Secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Margaret Beckett and David Owen, Ireland’s former Prime Minister Mary Robinson, UK philanthropist Sir Richard Branson, former UN Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala, and Nobel Peace Prize winners President Jimmy Carter, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prof. Muhammad Yunus. The concrete steps advocated by Global Zero include:
• Deep reductions to Russian-US arsenals, which comprise 96% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
• Russia and the United States, joined by other nuclear weapons states, cutting arsenals to zero in phased and verified reductions.
• Establishing verification systems and international management of the fuel cycle to prevent future development of nuclear weapons.
The Global Zero website contains a report on a new public opinion poll covering 21 nations, including all of the nuclear weapons states.The poll showed that public opinion overwhelmingly favors an international agreement for eliminating all nuclear weapons according to a timetable. It was specified that the agreement would include monitoring. The average in all countries of the percent favoring such an agreement was 76%. A few results of special interest mentioned in the report are Russia 69%; the United States, 77%; China, 83%; France, 86%, and Great Britain, 81%.
On April 24, 2009, the European Parliament recommended complete nuclear disarmament by 2020. An amendment introducing the “Model Nuclear Weapons Convention” and the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol” as concrete tools to achieve a nuclear weapons free world by 2020 was approved with a majority of 177 votes against 130. The Nuclear Weapons Convention is analogous to the conventions that have successfully banned chemical and biological weapons.
More recently, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon initiated a comprehensive 5-point program for complete nuclear disarmament, and in December, 2014, Austria hosted the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. At the conference, the Austrian government issued an extremely strong statement in which they pledged to work for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. More than 50 governments have already signed statements endorsing the Austrian pledge.
Long-term goals
Both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 1996 decision of the International Court of Justice require all nuclear weapons states to rid themselves completely of their nuclear weapons. In response to questions put to it by WHO and the UN General Assembly, the IJC ruled that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and particularly the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” In addition, the Court added unanimously that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict international control.” Article VI of the NPT also requires signatories of the treaty to completely eliminate their nuclear weapons.
It is a life-or-death question. We can see this most clearly when we look far ahead. Suppose that each year there is a certain finite chance of a nuclear catastrophe, let us say 2 percent. Then in a century the chance of survival will be 13.5 percent, and in two centuries, 1.8 percent, in three centuries, 0.25 percent, in 4 centuries, there would only be a 0.034 percent chance of survival and so on. Over many centuries, the chance of survival would shrink almost to zero. Thus by looking at the long-term future, we can clearly see that if nuclear weapons are not entirely eliminated, civilization will not survive.
Civil society must make its will felt. A thermonuclear war today would be not only genocidal but also omnicidal. It would kill people of all ages, babies, children, young people, mothers, fathers and grandparents, without any regard whatever for guilt or innocence. Such a war would be the ultimate ecological catastrophe, destroying not only human civilization but also much of the biosphere. Each of us has a duty to work with dedication to prevent it.
The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs is an international organization that brings together scholars and public figures to work toward reducing the danger of armed conflict and to seek solutions to global security threats. It was founded in 1957 by Joseph Rotblat and Bertrand Russell in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, following the release of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955. Rotblat and the Pugwash Conference won jointly the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for their efforts on nuclear disarmament