China’s New Nuclear Threat (Revelation 7)

A Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: China’s New Hypersonic Weapons

China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1 in typical fashion – with a military parade. Some of the new weapons on display that day provide cause for serious concern among U.S. policymakers.

China showcased its new stealthy bat-winged unmanned aerial vehicle—the Gongji-11. But more significantly, it displayed the new road-mobile DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile and its submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-2. The DF-41 ICBMs are capable of striking the United States while carrying multiple nuclear warheads. The U.S., meanwhile, depends on nuclear delivery platforms that are in some cases 30-40 years old.  China is nearly done with an across-the-board modernization of all its platforms.  The U.S. does not even have a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.

But that’s not the worst of it.

The starkest example of China’s new capabilities was its unveiling of its DF-17 hypersonic glide vehicle. These vehicles are capable of traveling at least five times the speed of sound (greater than Mach 5). They use a standard ballistic missile booster at the outset but become a low-flying projectile for their second stage. They can be used to hit a target after the first stage’s ballistic re-entry.  Hypersonic glide vehicles are especially problematic because they are difficult to detect and defend against.

Despite aspirations, the United States has yet to successfully test a hypersonic glide vehicle. Much of this has to do with the fact that the U.S. industrial base is not yet ready to begin producing these weapons. Conversely, the Chinese have thrown mass amounts of research and development money into hypersonics and prioritized their production. Experts have seen this showcase not only as a display of their rapidly growing military capabilities but also a sign of their intent to be a major military power.

This could all be chalked up to military gamesmanship, but it presents a vivid reminder to the U.S. military and policymakers that our military capabilities are currently outmatched in this area. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of all is that the United States has little to no hypersonic defensive systems.

Most of the Department of Defense’s funding for hypersonics is devoted to creating offensive weapons, not defending against them. Of the $2.6 billion devoted to the hypersonic program, only 6% is assigned for defensive systems. Perhaps it would be wise to devote more money to defensive systems, as both China and Russia are expected to be able to attach nuclear warheads to hypersonic glide vehicles as early as next year.

In addition to lacking the necessary industrial capabilities to even produce these weapons, the U.S. has no current plans to build these vehicles with a capacity to carry nuclear warheads. As a result, American hypersonic glide vehicles will need to be more precise in order to match our adversaries’ capabilities. This will make them more difficult to build as a whole than their Chinese (or even Russian) counterparts.

Regardless of whether the weapons displayed by the Chinese are fully operational, one thing is certain: The United States appears woefully unprepared to deal with this potential threat.

This first appeared in The Daily Signal here.

China Shows Off Her Nuclear Weapons (Daniel 8:8)

BOOM: China Is Showing off Their New, Shiny Weapons of War

Key point: During major holidays, Beijing likes to show off its latest weaponry (and Western intelligence takes notice).

A military parade through Tiananmen Square, part of the Oct. 1 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, showcased some of the People’s Liberation Army’s never-before-seen weapons systems. With the display, China sent a clear message about how far along the development path its yearslong military modernization drive had taken it.

Among the equipment that was rolled through the streets of Beijing included public debuts of a number of strategic and tactical weapons and systems, from a new assault rifle on the lower end all the way to strategic nuclear weapons. The parade revealed the areas of focus for China in the military sphere.

The DF-41 road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile is the most advanced such missile in the Chinese arsenal. Each DF-41 can carry multiple warheads, has a range of about 13,000 kilometers, and represents a leap in survivability over the older DF-5 due to its mobility. Because it is solid-fueled, it can be launched rapidly, offering less time for adversaries to target it.

The DF-31AG is another solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile in service with the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force. Unlike the more capable DF-41, however, the DF-31AG missile is equipped with a single warhead and has a lesser range: 11,000 to 12,000 kilometers.

The JL-2, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, also made its public debut this year. With a range of about 7,000 kilometers and equipped with a single nuclear warhead, the JL-2 represents the core of the Chinese seaborne nuclear deterrent. Each Chinese Type 094 nuclear ballistic missile submarine carries 12 JL-2 SLBMs.

The DF-26, the so-called “Guam killer” missile due to its ability to reach the island that is home to numerous U.S. military bases, made a repeat appearance in this year’s parade. The DF-26 is a road-mobile intermediate-range missile with a range between 3,000 and 5,500 kilometers. Unlike the DF-41 and DF-31AG, the DF-26 is used in both nuclear and conventional roles. When equipped with maneuverable conventional warheads, the missile could be used to target distant enemy bases as well as enemy ships.

One of the most intriguing new additions to this year’s parade was the DF-17 hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). With an estimated range of 2,000 kilometers and the reported ability to carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, the DF-17 is able to penetrate even very well-defended targets with a very high speed (in excess of Mach 5) and a maneuverable warhead. The DF-17 is one of the first HGV-type missiles that are entering service among the world’s most advanced militaries.

China revealed for the first time its new DF-100 road-mobile cruise missile during this year’s parade. A significant improvement on the previous CJ-10 cruise missiles, the DF-100 has a range of between 2,000 and 3,000 kilometers and is reportedly capable of flying at hypersonic speeds. Their low-altitude flight path makes cruise missiles harder to detect than ballistic missiles. The combination of range and maneuverability enhances China’s long-range strike capabilities.

This year’s parade marked the debut of the WZ-8 supersonic reconnaissance drone. While not much is known about the drone, it is likely attached to and launched by a larger aircraft such as an H-6 bomber and it then lands on its own following the completion of its mission. The WZ-8 will allow China to improve its ability to gather intelligence over areas that are well protected by enemy air defenses.

On display Oct. 1 was the GJ-2, otherwise known as the Wing Loong 2, an unmanned aerial vehicle used by the Chinese military in a role equivalent to that of the Reaper in U.S. service. Capable of long loiter times and able to carry a large payload of missiles and bombs, the GJ-2 is suitable for persistent surveillance over battlefields, precision strikes on key targets and the ability to support friendly troops in direct fights with an adversary. Its lack of stealth and speed, however, significantly reduce its survivability over heavily defended enemy targets.

China Lifts the Veil on Its Advanced Weaponry is republished with the permission of Stratfor Worldview, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm.

The Truth About Nuclear Weapons

Free Julian Assange rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 2019.

Kazi Salahuddin/PA. All rights reserved.

What we know about nuclear weapons and the nuclear industry thanks to WikiLeaks

“The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on 11 October. Why I support the nomination of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.”

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on 11 October. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been nominated for the prize again this year, as they have since 2010. As the first staffer of the campaign that won the Peace Prize in 2017, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), I support this nomination for a number of reasons.

The vast majority of governments on this planet want nuclear disarmament negotiations to occur and produce results. ICAN has been mobilising this willingness to push for a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. From the outset, the campaign deployed accurate information to mobilise public opinion and reeducate a new generation. In facing the truth about nuclear dangers, answers became available and courageous action was taken. Facing the truth about climate change similarly involves the public having accurate information and courageously acting on it.

Facing the truth about climate change similarly involves the public having accurate information and courageously acting on it.

WikiLeaks and Assange have made a great deal of information available about nuclear weapons and the nuclear industry. A search on the WikiLeaks site for the word ‘nuclear’ brings up 284, 493 results. These documents traverse the nuclear fuel cycle – from uranium mining to nuclear waste – with many thousands exposing nuclear energy industry giants, and nuclear weapon threat assessments, numbers, doctrines and negotiations.

Ten examples

Below are just ten examples of where WikiLeaks exposed wrongdoing on the part of governments and corporations that meant citizens could take action to protect themselves from harm, or governments were held to account:

– Chalk River nuclear reactor shut down – released 11 January 2008 – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on Chalk River reactor

After the Chalk River nuclear reactor was shut down for routine maintenance on 18 November 2007, inspectors verified the reactor’s cooling systems had not been modified as required by an August 2006 licensing review. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) did not start the reactor but said upgrades could be done as part of maintenance while still operating safely. This impasse lasted a month, with the government intervening to grant an exemption to the reactor to allow its restart. The responsible Minister for Natural Resources, Gary Lunn MP, fired Linda Keen, the President of the Nuclear Safety Commission. Their exchange of letters revealed much about the safety standards and routine practices of the Canadian nuclear regulatory system, and particular problems with the ageing Chalk River reactor previously unknown to the public.

– Footage of the 1995 disaster at the Japanese Monju nuclear reactor – released 25 January 2008

Following the 2008 announcement that the Japanese Monju fast breeder nuclear reactor would be reopened, activists leaked the suppressed video footage of the sodium spill disaster that led to its closure in 1995. Named after the Buddhist divinity of wisdom, Monju, located in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, is Japan’s only fast-breeder reactor. Unlike conventional reactors, fast-breeder reactors, which “breed” plutonium, use sodium rather than water as a coolant. This type of coolant creates a potentially hazardous situation as sodium is highly corrosive and reacts violently with both water and air. On December 8, 1995, 700 kg of molten sodium leaked from the secondary cooling circuit of the Monju reactor, resulting in a fire that did not result in a radiation leak, but the potential for catastrophe was played down the extent of damage at the reactor and denied the existence of a videotape showing the sodium spill. Further complicating the story, the deputy general manager of the general affairs department at the PNC, Shigeo Nishimura, 49, jumped to his death the day after a news conference where he and other officials revealed the extent of the cover-up.

– Serious nuclear accident lay behind Iranian nuke chief’s mystery resignation – released 16 July 2009

WikiLeaks revealed that a source associated with Iran’s nuclear program confidentially told the organisation of a serious, recent, nuclear accident at Natanz. Natanz is the primary location of

Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and the site targeted with the Stuxnet worm that contained 4 zero days and was designed to slow down and speed up centrifuges enriching uranium. WikiLeaks had reason to believe the source was credible, however contact with this source was lost.

180 confirmed US tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Europe – released 7 December 2010

In advance of the nuclear posture review, a briefing was provided by US Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller to NATO in July 2009. Federation of American Scientists nuclear weapons expert Hans Kristensen stated, “Whether Miller was providing certified U.S. intelligence numbers or simply referenced good-enough nonofficial public estimates is less clear. But his use of a specific number (180) for Europe rather than a range suggests that it might an official number.”

– Italian nuclear industry corruption – released 18 March 2011

American diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks revealed how, “bribes could have a major impact on the future of the country’s energy industry,” in a four-year US campaign, which began in 2005, to encourage Italy to re-start a nuclear power program with a view to reducing its energy dependence on Russian gas and limiting the influence of the partnership between Italian energy company ENI and Russia’s Gazprom.

– Cash payments were made to Indian MPs for support of US India nuclear deal – released 18 March 2011

WikiLeaks revealed a cable by US Charge d’Affaires Steven White dated 17 July 2008 that indicated that the ruling Congress Party in India had bought MPs a vote on the 2008 India-US nuclear deal. Nachiketa Kapur, a political aide to Congress leader Satish Sharma showed a US Embassy employee “two chests containing cash” saying it was part of a bigger fund of Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 60 crore that the party had assembled to purchase the support of MPs.

– The IAEA warned Japan about safety issues at nuclear plants in 2009 – released 17 March 2011 In 2009, years before the Fukushima disaster, Japan was warned that its power plants could not withstand powerful earthquakes. The US was highly critical of Japan’s senior safety director at the International Atomic Energy Association “particularly with respect to confronting Japan’s own safety practices.”

Safety and security issues with the UK Trident nuclear weapon system – released 17 May 2015

In an exclusive report to WikiLeaks, Trident nuclear weapons submariner, Royal Navy Able Seaman William McNeilly, aged 25, stated, “Please make sure this information is released. I don’t want to be in prison without anyone knowing the truth,” about the detailed nuclear safety problems he says he has been “gathering for over a year… This is bigger than me, it’s bigger than all of us. We are so close to a nuclear disaster it is shocking, and yet everybody is accepting the risk to the public… Our Nuclear weapon systems are the prime target and we are wide open to attack. We must unite globally in order to eliminate the biggest threat the world has ever seen.”

– Western and Chinese companies expose workers in African uranium grab – released 5 February 2016

WikiLeaks released a collection of documents that open up a corrupt multi-billion dollar war by Western and Chinese companies which grab uranium and other mining rights in the Central African Republic (CAR) and escape paying for the environmental consequences. French giant Areva failed to protect miners from high levels of radiation who processed soil samples with no radiation protection, and neglected local employees when pulling out of a financially and politically disastrous venture in the CAR.

Uranium One links with the Clinton Foundation – released 7 October 2016

As Russian Rosatom company Uranium One gained control of 1/5th of the US uranium production between 2009 – 2013, its chairman used his family foundation to make donations of over USD$ 2 million to the Clinton Foundation. Because uranium is a strategic asset, such a deal had to be approved by a Committee, whose decision was signed off by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Uranium One paid $20,000 to The Podesta Group to lobby the State Department for this deal, a lobbying firm founded by Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman, John Podesta.

Assange, an Australian based in the UK at the time of publication, is on the health ward of Belmarsh Prison, facing… an effective death sentence.

WikiLeaks and Assange have brought forward many truths that are hard to face, publishing well over 10 million documents since 2006. Often forgotten is that each one was provided by a whistleblower who trusted this platform to publish, and who sought reform of how political, corporate and media power elites operate. Each release has shared genuine official information about how governments, companies, banks, the UN, political parties, jailers, cults, private security firms, war planners and the media actually operate when they think no one is looking.

Assange is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of these many releases of information, used as evidence in court cases, freeing prisoners and exposing scandals, torture, murder and surveillance for which redress is only possible when the wrongdoing is dragged into the light. For publishing this true information, Assange, an Australian based in the UK at the time of publication, is on the health ward of Belmarsh Prison, facing extradition and charges attracting 175 years in a US jail, an effective death sentence.

The Real Risk of Nuclear War With Russia (Revelation 16)

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss

We’re More at Risk of Nuclear War With Russia Than We Think

U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to start addressing the danger.

By GEORGE BEEBE

10/07/2019 05:04 AM EDT

George Beebe is vice president and director of studies at the Center for the National Interest, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. He is also the former head of Russia analysis at the CIA, and the author of The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans genuinely and rightly feared the prospect of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Schoolchildren regularly participated in air raid drills. Federal, state and local governments prepared for operations in the event of a nuclear emergency. More than a few worried citizens built backyard bomb shelters and stockpiled provisions.

Today, that old dread of disaster has all but disappeared, as have the systems that helped preclude it. But the actual threat of nuclear catastrophe is much greater than we realize. Diplomacy and a desire for global peace have given way to complacency and a false sense of security that nuclear escalation is outside the realm of possibility. That leaves us unprepared for—and highly vulnerable to—a nuclear attack from Russia.

The most recent sign of American complacency was the death, a few weeks ago, of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—a pivotal 1987 agreement that introduced intrusive on-site inspection provisions, destroyed an entire class of dangerous weaponry, and convinced both Washington and Moscow that the other wanted strategic stability more than strategic advantage. The New START treaty, put in place during the Obama administration, appears headed for a similar fate in 2021. In fact, nearly all the key U.S.-Russian arms control and confidence-building provisions of the Cold War era are dead or on life support, with little effort underway to update or replace them.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials from both parties are focused not on how we might avoid nuclear catastrophe but on showing how tough they can look against a revanchist Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin. Summit meetings between White House and Kremlin leaders, once viewed as opportunities for peace, are now seen as dangerous temptations to indulge in Munich-style appeasement, the cardinal sin of statecraft. American policymakers worry more about “going wobbly,” as Margaret Thatcher once put it, than about a march of folly into inadvertent war. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States and Russia might explore ways to manage their differences diplomatically has produced mostly head-scratching and condemnation.

In my more than 25 years of government experience working on Russia matters, I’ve seen that three misguided assumptions underlie how the United States got to this point.

The first is that American policymakers think that because neither side wants nuclear war, then such a war is very unlikely to occur. Russia would be foolish, we reason, to cross swords with the powerful U.S. military and risk its own self-destruction, and many Americans find it hard to imagine that modern cyber duels, proxy battles, information operations and economic warfare might somehow erupt into direct nuclear attacks. If the Cold War ended peacefully, the thinking goes, why should America worry that a new shadow war with a much less formidable Russia will end any differently?

But wars do not always begin by design. Just as they did in 1914, a vicious circle of clashing geopolitical ambitions, distorted perceptions of each other’s intent, new and poorly understood technologies, and disappearing rules of the game could combine to produce a disaster that neither side wants nor expects.

In fact, cyber technologies, artificial intelligence, advanced hypersonic weapons delivery systems and antisatellite weaponry are making the U.S.-Russian shadow war much more complex and dangerous than the old Cold War competition. They are blurring traditional lines between espionage and warfare, entangling nuclear and conventional weaponry, and erasing old distinctions between offensive and defensive operations. Whereas the development of nuclear weaponry in the Cold War produced the concept of mutually assured destruction and had a restraining effect, in the cyber arena, playing offense is increasingly seen as the best defense. And in a highly connected world in which financial networks, commercial operations, media platforms, and nuclear command and control systems are all linked in some way, escalation from the cyber world into the physical domain is a serious danger.

Cyber technology is also magnifying fears of our adversaries’ strategic intentions while prompting questions about whether warning systems can detect incoming attacks and whether weapons will fire when buttons are pushed. This makes containing a crisis that might arise between U.S. and Russian forces over Ukraine, Iran or anything else much more difficult. It is not hard to imagine a crisis scenario in which Russia cyber operators gain access to a satellite system that controls both U.S. conventional and nuclear weapons systems, leaving the American side uncertain about whether the intrusion is meant to gather information about U.S. war preparations or to disable our ability to conduct nuclear strikes. This could cause the U.S. president to wonder whether he faces an urgent “use it or lose it” nuclear launch decision. It doesn’t help that the lines of communication between the United States and Russia necessary for managing such situations are all but severed.

A related, second assumption American policymakers make is seeing the Russian threat as primarily a deterrence problem. The logic goes something like this: Wars often happen because the states that start them believe they can win, but the United States can disabuse a would-be aggressor of this belief through a show of force, thus deterring conflict. Indeed, Washington seems convinced that showing the Kremlin it will punish Russian transgressions—through toughened economic sanctions, an enhanced military posture in Europe and more aggressive cyber operations—is the best path to preserving peace.

But, when dealing with states that believe they are under some form of assault, focusing on deterrence can be counterproductive. Rather than averting aggression by demonstrating the will to fight back, America might be unintentionally increasing the odds of a war. To a great degree, this is the situation the United States already faces. Years of enlargement of NATO and perceived U.S. involvement in Russia’s internal affairs have convinced the Kremlin that America poses an existential threat. In turn, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, coupled with a string of aggressions against its neighbors, have convinced Washington that Moscow is going for the West’s jugular.

The United States experienced this spiral phenomenon with Georgia in 2008. Convinced that Russia harbored aggressive designs on its southern neighbor, Washington policymakers accelerated U.S. military training in Georgia, openly advocated bringing Tbilisi into the NATO alliance and issued multiple warnings to Moscow against military action, believing this firm resolve would deter Russian aggression. In fact, it had the opposite effect. Russia grew increasingly alarmed by the prospect of Georgian membership in NATO, while Tbilisi felt emboldened to launch a military operation in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, which yielded an immediate and massive Russian military response.

Lastly, the United States assumes that Russia’s anti-American hostility flows from the internal nature of its regime, and therefore is likely to diminish when a more enlightened leader with more liberal approaches succeeds Putin. Sooner or later, the unsatisfied longing for freedom will produce new leadership in Russia that will advance liberal reforms and seek cordial relations with Washington, just as Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin once did. Compromising with the Putin regime, American policymakers believe, is not only immoral, but also unnecessary and counterproductive.

But the notion that Moscow hates us for what we are—a democracy—rather than the ways we influence important Russian interests is inconsistent with Russia’s business-like, if not cordial, relations with democracies that it does not see as threatening, including Israel, India and Japan. Moreover, Putin’s domestic critics include not only the country’s narrow slice of liberal reformers but also its wider expanse of hard-liners on the left and right who think he has been too soft on Washington. The reality is that Russia’s differences with Washington flow from a deep mix of geopolitical, perceptual, historical and systemic factors that will not go away once Putin eventually does.

Managing and containing the combustive mixture of volatile factors in the U.S.-Russian relationship is a daunting, but far from impossible, challenge. Washington’s approach must dispassionately balance firmness with accommodation, military readiness with diplomatic outreach—all without skewing too far toward either concession or confrontation. It’s a difficult balance, but the United States is not even attempting it at the moment. It will require more robust U.S.-Russian communication, as well as new rules of the game to deal with new weapons systems, game-changing cyber technologies and the shifting geopolitical order.

None of this will be possible, however, absent a recognition that real danger is looming—not a modern variation of World War II-style planned aggression, but a nascent World War I-type escalatory spiral that few recognize is developing. That danger could end catastrophically if nothing changes.

***

All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other U.S. government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

The Futile Argument Against the Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Australia’s nuclear-weapons debate: shifting the focus | The Strategist

Albert Palazzo

Australia’s national security community is once again in the midst of a debate on whether or not Australia should acquire nuclear weapons. This latest round was initiated by the publication of Hugh White’s new book, How to defend Australia, which includes a chapter on the possibility of Australia developing a nuclear capability.

Having a debate on the nation’s future security is a good thing, even a necessary one, because it recognises that a reconsideration of national security is needed as Australia navigates a more dangerous and problematic era. While for many it’s natural that nuclear weapons be included in such a discussion, it shouldn’t take too long to dismiss them.

There are two reasons why the discussion will be a brief one: the lack of wisdom in relying for security on weapons that can’t be used, and their irrelevance to Australia’s most pressing future security risk—climate change.

Every security thinker and military professional who supports Australia joining the nuclear club can do so only if they accept the following consequence: the result of a use of nuclear weapons would likely be the extermination of the human species, as well as many others. Some may counter that they’ve been used before and, except for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity has gone on to enjoy the greatest period of prosperity that it has ever had. It’s easy to forget that the United States dropped only two bombs because it didn’t have more. Today, that’s not the case.

Anyone who authorises a nuclear attack against another nuclear-armed state is deluding themselves if they think escalation will not result. Some nuclear-weapons states field thousands of these devices, each more powerful than those used in 1945, and the employment of even a small percentage would still trigger an extinction-level event. Those who were lucky to survive the initial blasts would eventually expire in the ensuing nuclear winter.

It can be comforting to consider these weapons in the abstract, but once they’re created the consequences of their use becomes real. Defence thinkers need to factor in what such weapons can do; otherwise, the current debate is nothing more than a game.

The second reason for Australia to reject nuclear weapons is that they have no utility to address the most critical security risk facing Australia. White’s book doesn’t even give climate change a passing reference, and it has been largely absent from the current debate. Unfortunately, the discourse of security thinkers is dominated by analysis of the possibility and consequences of state-on-state conflict, with occasional mentions of non-state actors.

Nation-states are human constructs. They are part of the made environment. But what many commentators too often overlook is that the made environment exists within a natural environment. For thousands of years the natural world has been relatively benign, which has allowed humanity to propagate and construct the civilisation that we know today.

While defence thinkers may be comfortable talking about the shift in power that is underway in East Asia, they display less enthusiasm for discussing the security implications of climate change that is happening at the same time. Of the two, however, climate change is the far more significant threat, not just for Australia, but for all of humanity.

The question to ask in the current debate, therefore, is what part nuclear weapons can play in mitigating the security risks of climate change. My sense is that nuclear weapons have no utility in such a scenario. In fact, the opportunity costs of investing in a nuclear capability would consume resources that Australia could allocate to capabilities that are more relevant.

The best we can expect from the current episode of climate change is that the overall experience will be catastrophic for all of humanity. In part, this is a prediction, but it’s one based on the fact that all prior climate change events that humanity has undergone have been catastrophic. This one is likely to be the same, especially as efforts to minimise its effects have been slow to gain traction.

Past climate events suggest that many states will come under immense strain as climatic shifts disrupt their access to essential resources. Already-fragile states won’t be able to bear the additional pressure and intra-state conflicts will likely hasten their collapse. As societal support structures such as public health fail, epidemics and famines will break out and mass migrations will occur. These societies will have to make hard decisions if any of their people are to survive. Many of these fragile states sit within Australia’s primary area of interest and the Australian Defence Force may need to become involved.

Nuclear weapons will offer no assistance in such a situation. Rather, what the ADF will need is more medical, engineering and strategic and tactical lift, for example, and the greater numbers of personnel essential to separate warring factions of a collapsing society. These capabilities and the means to get them to where they are needed should be the priority, not nuclear weapons.

Defence thinkers can provide answers only to the questions they actually ask. The current debate has been robust and wide-ranging, but the proposals that have been made are derived from asking the wrong questions. A solution that includes the extermination of the species is not a useful one. Nor is one that offers little relevance to the main risk humanity faces. From the point of view of climate change and human survival, nuclear weapons are a non-starter. Instead, different questions need to be posed so that a more useful and relevant debate can be held.

Albert Palazzo is the director of war studies in the Australian Army Research Centre. The views expressed here are his own. Image: Department of Defence.

China’s Potent Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7) China’s Potent Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7) l

The Dongfeng-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile at a military parade in Beijing on Tuesday.

Getty

China unveils nuclear-ready Dongfeng-41 supersonic missile to test US

Bill Bostock Oct 1, 2019, 8:30 AM

• China used a huge military parade on Tuesday to show off a new intercontinental missile designed to bypass the US missile-defense system.

• The Dongfeng-41 passed through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as part of a parade marking 70 years of Chinese Communist Party rule.

• Chinese authorities say each missile can carry 10 nuclear warheads. Defense analysts believe the missile has a range of 9,320 miles and could travel at 25 times the speed of sound.

• The Dongfeng-41 is also designed to bypass barriers like the US’s Ballistic Missile Defense System by firing decoy missiles.

China used its 70th-anniversary national parade on Tuesday to unveil a supersonic, nuclear-capable missile designed to test the US’s missile-defense system.

The People’s Liberation Army showed off at least 16 Dongfeng-41 missiles and transports as part of the parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The Dongfeng-41 is believed to be the world’s longest-ranged intercontinental weapon and capable of striking targets 9,320 miles away, the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank said, according to The Associated Press.

Defense analysts told the AP they believed the missile could travel at 25 times the speed of sound and could reach the US in 30 minutes. Neither US nor Chinese official figures are available.

The three-stage solid-fuel missile can carry a payload of 10 warheads, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser with China’s Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper in August.

The Dongfeng-41 could pose a legitimate threat to the US’s missile-defense system. This is because the Dongfeng, which means “east wind” in Chinese, carries decoy missiles to deceive such systems into targeting them instead of the actual warheads, the Financial Times reported.

This feature was designed to bypass defense systems like the US’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, the nation’s primary defense against long-range attacks.

Read more: China steals US designs for new weapons, and it’s getting away with ‘the greatest intellectual property theft in human history’

Yue Gang, a retired People’s Liberation Army colonel, told the Financial Times: “We want to use this big killer to contain America.

“Although we have no way to compete with you, we are now developing some unique equipment so that America does not dare to go first against us.”

China’s Xinhua state news agency has also called the missile “the country’s most advanced and powerful deterrent.”

Tuesday’s massive military parade involved 15,000 troops, 580 pieces of military equipment, and more than 160 fighter aircraft, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported, citing a Ministry of Defense spokesman, Maj. Gen. Cai Zhijun.

Chinese authorities ordered residents to vacate their apartments and banned flying kites, lanterns, and homing pigeons to make way for the parade, The New York Times reported.

China Displays Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

China set to unveil Dongfeng-41 nuclear weapon at military parade commemorating 70 years of Communist rule

OCTOBER 1, 2019 8:45AM

A look into the building military force China has been building, featuring a second aircraft carrier turned warship.

NEWS.COM.AU0:57

Chinese Military Might

Benedict Brook and AP

news.com.au

China is set to unveil the “ultimate doomsday weapon” during one of the nation’s biggest military parades on Tuesday in a clear sign of the country’s growing arsenal.

A clutch of new military hardware is expected to take centre stage at a huge parade in China’s capital Beijing on October 1 to mark 70 years of Communist rule. It will take place in Tiananmen Square in front of officials, selected members of the public and 188 military attaches from 97 countries.

The most hotly-anticipated piece of equipment is the Dongfeng-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile that is said to have the furthest range of any nuclear missile and could reach the United States in 30 minutes.

Speculation has been rife as to what weapons will be unveiled, with parade rehearsals showing missiles and aircraft under camouflage wraps.

The parade comes against the backdrop of worsening economic relations with the US and continued angry protests in Hong Kong. The Chinese government is keen to assert its dominance in Asia and particularly in the South China Sea where it has been busy building militarised islands in international waters.

It also wants to enforce its claim to Taiwan which has been effectively an independent nation since the Communists took over the Chinese mainland in 1949 and which Beijing regards as a renegade province.

China’s message to the US is that it is closer to matching it in terms of military might. A defence ministry spokesman recently said China had no intention to “flex its muscles” but was instead keen to show a “peace-loving and responsible China”.

A Chinese paramilitary policeman is silhouetted by a display showing the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. Picture: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan). Source: AP

Shoppers spend their time near a "I love China" sign at a popular shopping mall in Beijing. Picture: AP Photo/Andy Wong. Source: AP

Tuesday’s parade will include 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment, according to Ministry of Defence spokesman Major General Cai Zhijun.

A supersonic drone, hypersonic missile and a robot submarine could all be shown off. But all eyes will be primed for whether the huge Dongfeng 41 (DF-41) missile rolls through Tiananmen Square in what would be its debut public appearance.

Many new weapons “will be shown for the first time,” Cai told reporters last week. Asked whether that would include the DF-41, Cai said, “Please wait and see.”

No details of the DF-41 have been released, but the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said it may have the world’s longest range at 15,000 kilometres.

US nuclear tipped missiles fall a few thousand kilometres short of that.

Analysts say the DF-41, flying at 25 times the speed of sound, might be able to reach the US in 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets — a technology known as MIRV, or multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

New weapons, wrapped up, have been seen on the streets of Beijing ready for Tuesday’s parade. Picture: AP Photo/Andy Wong. Source: AP

China’s current mainstay missile the Dongfeng-31 — Dongfeng means “east wind” — has a range of more than 11,200 kilometres that puts most of the continental US within reach.

Australia is well within reach of this weapon, with Brisbane, for instance, around 7000 kilometres from the Chinese mainland.

Chinese academics have previously said the DF-41 “can hit every corner of the earth”.

Speaking to news.com.au in 2017, Dr Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the DF-41 was China’s most advanced ICBM.

“It’s a road-mobile, solid fuelled ICBM with the range to cover all targets in the continental US,” he said.

The missile can carry multiple nuclear warheads — up to 10 warheads each with yields of around 150 kilotons (150,000 tons TNT equivalent) — or a single warhead with a yield up to 3 megatons (millions of tons of TNT).”

“It would also carry penetration aids designed to confuse US missiles defences.”

Could this be the Dongfeng-41 nuke? (AP Photo/Andy Wong) Source: AP

A Chinese military vehicle possibly carrying a drone passes along the Jianguomenwai Ave in Beijing on Saturday. Picture: Andy Wong/APSource:AP Source: AP

Nuclear disarmament campaigner John Hallam said the DF-41 was the most powerful nuclear missile in the world and was the “ultimate doomsday weapon”.

“It’s a whopper, comparable to the biggest Russian missiles, which it resembles,” Mr Hallam said.

“Just one of these missiles, with 10 warheads each, could essentially destroy either the major cities or the significant military capacity of the US, especially if command and control nodes are prioritised.”

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s biggest military with two million men and women in uniform and the second-highest annual spending after the US, is also working on fighter planes, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines.

Photos circulated on Chinese social media of parade preparations show blurry images of a possible attack drone dubbed “sharp sword” and another drone, the DR-8 or Wuzhen 8.

Last year’s spending on the PLA rose 5 per cent to $US250 billion, or about 10 times its 1994 level, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). the US, with a force of 1.3 million, was far ahead at $US650 billion.

“This parade will highlight Chinese military power, at a time when Sino-American relations are deteriorating and international arms control treaties are being called into question,” Antoine Bondaz and Stéphane Delory of the Foundation for Strategic Research in France told the Washington Post.

“Our research indicates that unprecedented conventional and nuclear ballistic capabilities will be paraded, some for the first time, demonstrating the quantitative and qualitative modernisation of China’s ballistic arsenal,” the foundation wrote in a research note.

“Highly rapid, even hypersonic weapon systems could also be shown, illustrating that China is, in some respects, at the forefront of global innovation.”

China has about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6450 for the United States and 6850 for Russia, according to SIPRI.

Beijing says it wants a “minimum credible nuclear deterrent” but won’t be the first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

China’s Growing Nuclear Horn (Revelation 7)

China could unveil new weapons at the parade celebrating 70 years of the People’s Republic of China ( AP )

China ‘poised to unveil new nuclear missile’ at military parade in warning to Trump

Many weapons ‘will be shown for the first time’, says Ministry of Defence

Joe McDonald

A parade by China’s secretive military will offer a rare look at its rapidly developing arsenal, including possibly a nuclear-armed missile that could reach the United States in 30 minutes, as Beijing gets closer to matching Washington and other powers in weapons technology.

The Dongfeng 41 is one of a series of new weapons Chinese media say might be unveiled during the parade marking the ruling Communist Party’s 70th anniversary in power.

The parade will highlight Beijing’s ambition to enforce claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other disputed territories – and to challenge Washington as the region’s dominant force.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s biggest military with 2 million men and women in uniform and the second-highest annual spending after the United States, also is working on fighter planes, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines.

“There are quite a lot of observers, including the US military, who say ‘this is getting close to what we do’ and they are starting to worry,” said Siemon Wezeman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

The parade on Tuesday will include 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment, according to Ministry of Defence spokesman.

Many new weapons “will be shown for the first time,” Maj Gen Cai told reporters last week. Asked whether that would include the Dongfeng 41, he said: ”Please wait and see.”

The ability to project power is increasingly urgent for Chinese leaders who want to control shipping lanes and waters also claimed by Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and other governments.

“China has developed nuclear, space, cyberspace and other capabilities that can reach potential adversaries across the globe,” the US Defence Intelligence Agency said in a report in January.

Last year’s spending on the PLA rose 5 per cent to $250bn (£228bn), or about 10 times its 1994 level, according to Sipri. The United States, with a force of 1.3 million, was far ahead at $650bn, or more than twice China’s level.

Beijing is regarded, along with the United States, as a leader in drone aircraft, which it sells in the Middle East.

“In unpiloted aerial vehicles, China has made a lot of progress in recent years and has a vast array of systems under development,” said Harry Boyd of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

No details of the Dongfeng 41 have been released, but the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington says it may have the world’s longest range at 15,000km.

China’s state media releases footage of armed police in Hong Kong anti-demonstration drill

Analysts say the DF-41, flying at 25 times the speed of sound, might be able to reach the United States in 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets – a technology known as MIRV, or multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

China’s current mainstay missile, the Dongfeng 31, has a range of more than 11,200 km which puts most of the continental United States within reach.

Photos circulated on Chinese social media of parade preparations show blurry images of a possible attack drone dubbed “Sharp Sword” and another drone, the DR-8 or Wuzhen 8.

The parade also might give more subtle signs of China’s plans, said Mr Wezeman.

Airborne tankers or marines in amphibious vehicles could “indicate the importance of long-range intervention”, he said. Air defence missiles might show Beijing is preparing for war with the United States or another advanced opponent.

War with US would be a disaster, China says

Analysts want to know about Chinese software, electronics and wireless control networks, said Mr Wezeman.

“Ten vehicles full of antennas may give an indication that is something that is becoming more important for China,” he said.

If mobile launchers for nuclear missiles are displayed, that might help to shed light on how Beijing sees “the challenge of maintaining credibility with their nuclear deterrent”, Mr Boyd added.

China has about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6,450 for the United States and 6,850 for Russia, according to Sipri. Beijing says it wants a “minimum credible nuclear deterrent” but will not be the first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

Mobile launchers “would make it more difficult for any potential enemy to do a first strike,” said Mr Boyd.

Satellite photos show China is increasing the number of launchers for DF-41 and DF-31 missiles from 18 to as many as 36, Mr Boyd said.

That suggests planners believe that minimum nuclear force “needs to be larger”, he said. “It needs to have more advanced systems with MIRV capability to remain credible, in their eyes.”

Associated Press

Trying to Survive Through the Fire (Revelation 16)

If a nuclear bomb is dropped on your city, here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) do to stay alive

Aria Bendix

DO: Drop to the ground with your face down and your hands tucked under your body.

Reuters/Issei Kato

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends this position because it will keep your hands, arms, and face away from any flying debris or sweltering heat that could burn your skin. Once the shockwaves have subsided, you can get up and look for shelter.

DON’T: Stare directly at the blast.

Depending on how close you are to a nuclear explosion, it might be impossible to avoid the initial burst of light, which can blind you for about 15 seconds to a minute. But for those farther away, it’s best to avert and cover your eyes, according to the CDC.

A 1-megaton bomb (that’s about 80 times larger than the “Little Boy” atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan) could temporarily blind people up to 13 miles away on a clear day, and up to 53 miles away on a clear night.

DO: Cover your face with a towel or article of clothing.

If you have a scarf or handkerchief nearby at the time of a nuclear explosion, it’s wise to cover your nose and mouth. Even before fallout reaches the ground, an explosion stirs up other debris that might be dangerous to breathe in.

DON’T: Seek shelter in your car.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises people not to take shelter in their vehicles. Cars’ glass windows and metal frames make them too flimsy to protect you from nuclear fallout. Driving away is also futile, since it’s tough to anticipate where radiation will travel.

The one exception to this rule is ducking inside your car in an underground parking garage, which could provide an added layer of protection.

DO: Find a brick or concrete building, such as a school or office.

FEMA identifies brick or concrete buildings as the safest forms of shelter after a nuclear attack. Ideally, the best shelter would have few to no windows and a basement for camping out.

Schools or offices usually meet these criteria. Mobile homes, however, are considered too fragile to offer enough protection.

If there aren’t any sturdy buildings within 15 minutes of where you’re standing, it’s better to find some form of shelter than stay outside. If you discover that there’s a safer building close by, wait at least an hour before attempting to move. By that time, the potential for radiation exposure would likely have decreased by around 55%.

DON’T: Stand near windows once you’re indoors.

If you take cover in multistory building, choose a central location and steer clear of the top and bottom floors.

If your structure has windows, FEMA advises standing far away from them, in the center of a room. That’s because shockwaves can shatter windows up to 10 miles away from an explosion, resulting in flying glass that could injure people who are too close.

DO: Shut off heaters and air conditioners.

Heating or air-conditioning units pull in air from the outside, so they could spread contaminated particles throughout your home or shelter.

DON’T: Search for your family members right away.

The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends staying indoors for at least 24 hours in the event of a nuclear explosion. After 48 hours, the exposure rate from a 10-kiloton explosion (the type that might damage but not destroy a city) goes down to just 1%.

“While sheltering is a priority for protecting public health, it goes against natural instincts,” a collection of government agencies wrote in a 2010 report. “After a nuclear detonation, people will need to understand why they and their families are safest staying sheltered.”

DO: Take a shower as soon as possible.

People who were outside during an explosion should shower as soon as possible, making sure the water is warm and soap is applied gently. Scrubbing too hard could break your skin, which acts as a natural protective barrier.

You should also cover any cuts or abrasions while you’re rinsing off. For those without access to a shower, FEMA recommends using a sink or faucet. The next-best option is to clean your body with a wipe or wet cloth. Blowing your nose and wiping your ears and eyelids is also important, since debris could get stuck in these orifices.

DON’T: Use conditioner after you shampoo.

Rinsing your hair with shampoo is critical after being exposed to radiation, but conditioner is a major no-no, according to the CDC.

That’s because conditioners carry compounds called cationic surfactants, which bind to radioactive particles and can trap them in your hair. They’d essentially act like glue between your hair and radioactive material.

As a general rule, it’s best to only use products on your body that are designed to get rinsed off in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. Items like body lotion and face cream should wait until a second or third wish.

DO: Seal away contaminated clothes.

Because outer layers of clothing would likely be contaminated by fallout, the CDC recommends sealing them in a plastic bag that’s out of the reach of children and pets. You should also seal off any tissues or cloths used to wipe your body or face.

DON’T: Eat unpackaged food or food that was left outside.

Following any kind of nuclear explosion, the CDC says it’s alright to consume food from sealed containers such packages, bottles, or cans. You can also eat things from your pantry or refrigerator, as long as you wipe off food containers, cookware, counters, and utensils.

But anything that was left uncovered, especially if it was outdoors — such as fruits or veggies from a garden — would be unsafe to eat.

DO: Listen to the radio for instructions.

Nuclear explosions produce a powerful phenomenon called a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP), an invisible burst of energy that can slash power, phone, and internet lines. A nuclear EMP could also disrupt radio waves, but that’s less likely, since radios have a simpler circuitry.

So in the wake of an explosion, emergency-response officials will likely broadcast safety instructions over the radio. Unless these officials tell you it’s safe to go outside, it’s best to stay put until the risk of contamination has gone down.

Nuclear War Will End Humanity (Revelation 16)

Nuclear war warning: Threat remains the ‘biggest risk’ to humanity – claim (Image: GETTY)

NUCLEAR war is the “single most existential risk” humanity faces and they have the ability to “end our species”, an expert has warned.

By SEAN MARTIN

PUBLISHED: 16:45, Wed, Sep 25, 2019

UPDATED: 16:52, Wed, Sep 25, 2019

United States: Simulation shows possible nuclear war with Russia

Simulation from Science & Global Security shows the possible escalation of nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

In April this year, a report from the House of Lords’ International Relations Committee said that “the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater now than it has been since the Cold War.” The report cited “disintegrating relationships between nuclear possessor states, new capabilities and technologies” as the reason behind the escalated tensions, and one expert now believes it is the biggest risk humanity faces. Bryan Walsh, author of the existential risk book End Times, believes the threat of nuclear war far outweighs any natural disaster, such as a supervolcano eruption or an asteroid strike.

“Not asteroids, not disease, not artificial intelligence, but the old nuclear nightmare.

“There is no defence against them should they be used. They are weapons of war but primarily murder civilians.

There is no defence against them should they be used. They are weapons of war but primarily murder civilians” (Image: GETTY)

They have the capacity to ruin the entire planet, even end our species.

“And after years of hopeful progress, we now somehow find ourselves in a moment of renewed peril.”

However, Mr Walsh does offer a glimmer of hope and believes the fate of nuclear war is in our own hands.

He continued: “For just as the ability to end this world with nuclear weapons is in our power, so is the ability to save ourselves.”

The Doomsday Clock remains at two minutes to midnight (Image: GETTY)

When the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – the organisation behind the Doomsday Clock – made their annual announcement this year, they also cited the threat of nuclear was as one of the main reasons for keeping the clock at two minutes to midnight.

The threat of nuclear war among powerhouses including the US, China and Russia remained a huge threat, said the scientists, with climate change also being a major cause for concern.

The organisers wrote: “Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention.

European cities wiped out in US-Russia nuclear war revealed [STUDY]

Countries with nuclear weapons (Image: EXPRESS)

“These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilisation in extraordinary danger.

“There is nothing normal about the complex and frightening reality just described.”