Bush the beast of the sea finally tells the truth: Revelation 13

Trying to condemn the war in Ukraine, Bush inadvertently calls Iraq war unjustified

Former President George W. Bush was criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday when his old nemesis, the verbal slip, struck again. Bush eventually condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — but not before he condemned “a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”

Bush was drawing a parallel between how countries conduct elections and their stance toward other nations when his tongue went rogue.

“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq — I mean of Ukraine,” Bush said.

Iraq… anyway,” he said with a shake of his head, as members of the audience chuckled. He then cited his age, 75, before returning to his speech.

Bush was speaking to an audience at his presidential library in Dallas, Texas, at an event focused on the importance of ensuring free, fair and secure elections, aiming to bolster voters’ confidence in U.S. elections. But the former president’s verbal gaffe quickly drew notice on social media and in headlines.

In 2003, Bush led the U.S. into an invasion and war in Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction and was working toward a nuclear weapon. No evidence of such threats was found in the country. Members of his administration have insisted they were acting on faulty intelligence.

In Thursday’s speech, Bush was comparing the free and fair election of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Putin’s suppression of his political opponents.

He also said he recently spoke to Zelenskyy via Zoom, declaring the Ukrainian leader to be a “cool little guy — the Churchill of the 21stcentury.”

Bush has famously been a wellspring of malapropisms, even prompting the term “Bushisms” and sparking research into slips of the tongue. His latest high-profile foray into mangled speech adds to what is shaping up as an odd return to the early 2000s, when news outlets tracked Brittney Spears and reported on the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The China Horn is Prepared to Use Nuclear Weapons: Daniel 7

China surrounds Taiwan for massive invasion-Warns US-Putin may go nuclear if he felt war being lost on May. 12, 2022( Dina Amelia Kalmeta/Screenshot via TheBL/Youtube)

War games predict China to launch nuclear weapons if it invades Taiwan

TheBL Staff 05/16/22

According to the latest cross-strait war game exercise, China could launch a nuclear weapon if it decides to invade Taiwan.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, D.C., created the war scenario in response to fears of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

The original plan was for China to decapitate Taiwan’s leadership as soon as possible. It would begin by striking American bases in Japan and Guam.

According to NBC News, CNAS experts say that after the first week of the fight, neither Beijing nor Washington will have the upper hand, signaling a protracted conflict.

The war game also highlighted how quickly the battle could escalate if China and the US crossed red lines.

The Taiwan News stated that U.S. officials also believe that China using nuclear weapons is a possible scenario.

Radioactive: Inside the top-secret Australian Nuclear Horn

Radioactive: Inside the top-secret AUKUS subs deal

Peter HartcherMay 14, 2022

Secret meetings and subterfuge over many months shored up Australia’s “40-year fantasy” of a mighty nuclear marriage with the US and the UK.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden and British PM Boris Johnson were the three signatories to the AUKUS agreement. Richard Gilibertonone

When Joe Biden was first briefed on Australia’s request for nuclear-powered submarines, he did not say “yes”. He was cautious, even sceptical. Among his doubts was whether Australia was up to it.

In the meeting with about a dozen of his top national security officials in a secure White House situation room, the US president remarked that while Australia was a stalwart ally, this was an enormously complex and expensive undertaking.

“He asked lots of questions,” said the official who led the briefing, the Indo-Pacific Co-ordinator in Biden’s National Security Council, Kurt Campbell. “He wanted to be convinced.”

The Australians were asking for the crown jewels in the national security vault, one of America’s remaining decisive advantages over China. The US had shared its nuclear sub secrets with only one nation, Britain, in 1958. Much had changed since.

AUKUS announcement: Scott Morrison at the virtual joint press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden. AAPnone

The transformational power of nuclear-propelled subs is that they could allow Australia to pose a direct threat to the Chinese mainland. For the first time. It had come to that.

With unlimited range because they never need to refuel, and with vertical launch tubes for firing missiles, a nuclear-propelled submarine could stand off China’s coast and threaten it with cruise missiles.

Australia’s existing fleet of submarines, the six diesel-powered Collins class, is equipped with torpedo tubes only. Which means it can fire torpedoes at targets in the water but not missiles at targets on land.

But it had been a 40-year fantasy of Australian governments to get American nuclear propulsion. Canberra had been turned down every time. Indeed, no earlier request had even reached the president’s desk. The US Nuclear Navy, guardians of the technology, had ruled it out of the question.

Now the Australian appeal had the president’s full attention. The briefing paper in front of him ran through the positives and negatives of such an arrangement –it did not contain a recommendation.

On the positive side of the ledger, the top consideration was that it would help counter China. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has the advantage over the US in warfighting on and above the ocean. Arming an ally with nuclear-powered subs would help blunt China’s edge.

Nuclear-propelled submarines “are fast, they have stamina, they bring a whole spectrum of weapons, and if you are China, how are Australian and US forces working together?” poses the former chief of US Naval Operations, retired Admiral Jonathan Greenert.

“You don’t know their sovereign decisions. Your imagination is your biggest nightmare – what could they be doing? They can reposition fast, 25 knots [46km/h] for a full day. If an adversary says, ‘I’ve got a detection of a nuclear sub’, great – when? Two days ago. Then you draw a circle on the map and see where it might be. It’s a big circle.”

The US today has 68 submarines, all nuclear-powered. China has an estimated 76 subs, of which 12 are nuclear-powered. But the US fleet is shrinking as it retires older subs faster than it can build new ones. China’s nuclear-powered fleet is expanding. The AUKUS agreement aims to help Australia acquire eight.

Second, it would cement the alliance with Australia. Just a few years earlier, many in the US foreign policy community including Campbell had tipped Australia to be the ally most vulnerable to China’s influence, that it would “flip” and align with Beijing.

Instead, Australia had “set an incredibly powerful example for the world in standing up to China, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview this year. A nuclear subs deal would lock Australia more tightly into the US bloc.

Third, it would help the US to deter China’s expansion through the Indo-Pacific. It would signal US commitment to the region and to US allies, reassuring other Indo-Pacific nations who might be doubting American staying power. “The president said, ‘this could be quite powerful’,” according to an official who was present.

But on the other side of the ledger, Biden himself raised four big concerns with the Australian request. First was nuclear proliferation. Since the deal with Britain in 1958, Washington, London and Canberra, among others, had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If we give the Australians this technology, won’t we be in breach of the treaty, Biden wanted to know?

Second was the response from China. How will Beijing react if we agree to this? Will it provoke Xi Jinping into accelerating his own naval build-up, into getting more aggressive?

Third was Australia’s capability. Would the Australian political system be capable of bipartisan commitment for the decades required? Is Australian politics stable enough? Could Australia afford the price tag?

Fourth, would the US Nuclear Navy be prepared to deliver? This had been the obstacle to every other Australian inquiry. This elite priesthood is the guardian of the fast, stealthy, underwater Doomsday machines that are America’s last line of defence.

America’s nuclear warfighting is structured on a “triad” – ground-based, airborne and undersea forces. The ground-based and airborne forces are the most vulnerable to enemy attack. But even if these are destroyed in a surprise first strike by an enemy, its nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed subs are designed to survive, undetected in the dark depths, to deliver annihilation to the enemy. By guaranteeing “second strike” capability, they deter any adversary from even thinking about launching a first.

Australia was not asking for nuclear weapons; it was content to arm its subs with conventional missiles. And Canberra was not so much concerned about nuclear Armageddon. Australia has entrusted that responsibility to the US, sheltering under America’s nuclear “umbrella”. Australia was feeling threatened by China and wanted the capacity to threaten it in return.

As the discussion around the White House table unfolded last year, other concerns emerged. The group included Secretary of State Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley.

What if we attempt this three-way agreement with Australia and Britain and it fails? The credibility of all three nations would be damaged. Have the Australians consulted fully with the French about their contract? Do we risk alienating one ally to gratify another?

The meeting broke up without a decision and with big questions needing to be answered. In the meantime, Australia had a contract with Paris – and French President Emmanuel Macron was deeply invested in it.

“Ambition”. That was the one-word brief that Macron personally gave his ambassador to Australia, Jean-Pierre Thébault, when he sent him to Canberra in 2020. The president urged his ambassador to be ambitious and imaginative in expanding the relationship. The submarines were to be the strategic anchor, evidence of shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is code for resisting China’s expansionism.

Macron thoroughly charmed Australia’s previous defence minister, Linda Reynolds, for instance. He made sure she was invited to the launch of the first of France’s newest class of nuclear-powered submarines, the Barracuda, in the Normandy seaside city of Cherbourg, in 2019. He arranged for her to tour the sub’s interior, which she found impressively spacious, with no head-ducking required.

As Macron pressed a ceremonial launch lever, it illuminated a video art installation designed to evoke the sights and sounds of the ocean along the sub’s sides. “You,” Macron addressed the workers who’d built the boat, “are building the independence of France. It’s our very status as a great global power.”

L’Express newspaper had hailed Australia’s order for 12 diesel-powered French submarines, nicknamed the shortfin Barracuda and also known as the Attack Class, as “the contract of the century”. Malcolm Turnbull’s government had put the deal in place and in February 2019 while Scott Morrison presided over the formal signing of the Strategic Partnering Agreement to allow it to proceed.

In France, national pride and national honour were engaged, not to mention French economics – it was the biggest defence export contract France had signed, and the biggest Australian acquisition. The contract value was $50 billion but adjustments for inflation and extras took the total deal to at least $90 billion.

Macron’s charm soon wore off. Reynolds found herself in a ritual quarterly exchange with her French counterpart, Florence Parly. “She’d begin each meeting by telling me what her department had told her. Then I’d have to tell her, no, this is the situation, and I’d start unpacking it,” Reynolds told colleagues.

Thoroughly charmed: French President Emmanuel Macron made sure then defence minister Linda Reynolds, seen here with her French counterpart Florence Parly, was invited to the launch of the first of France’s newest class of nuclear-powered submarines, the Barracuda, in Cherbourg in 2019. Abacanone

This was the frustration phase of the contract with the builder, Naval Group, the new name for the state-owned shipbuilder founded four centuries ago by the famed strategist and prime minister, Cardinal Richelieu, who, incidentally, was the inventor of the table knife. He wanted France to muscle up to English naval power and the enterprise was born.

But in early 2020, only a year after the deal was signed, the Australian National Audit Office reported that the design phase was running nine months late. It could not verify that the initial outlay of nearly $400 million had been spent effectively, it said. And it revealed that the government’s expert submarine advisory group had questioned the viability of the whole plan at its very earliest phase.

“Alarm bells are ringing,” said the only former submariner in parliament, South Australia’s independent Senator Rex Patrick. The government, he said, should consider a Plan B.

Reynolds defended the French deal in public: “The first Attack Class submarine is scheduled for delivery to the Royal Australian Navy in 2032. The Australian National Audit Office report confirmed there has been no change to this delivery timeframe or budget.”

But in private Reynolds agreed with Patrick and the other sceptics: French Defence Minister Florence Parly “was working with us in good faith, but I started to discuss with the PM, ‘is there an alternative if this falls over’?”

Within six months of winning the May 2019 election, Scott Morrison was worried enough to tell Macron personally of his growing concerns. He was frustrated with the time it was taking, the difficulties with design and the lack of responsiveness. Morrison relayed this to Macron, who replied: “Keep me informed.”

Towards the end of 2019, Morrison started to ask his closest advisers about fallback options, including nuclear-propelled ones. They told him of the joyless history of Australian requests for nuclear propulsion and that the likelihood of getting the technology from the US or Britain was “very, very low”. And they warned him that Australia would need a civil nuclear industry. Without one, it couldn’t maintain the nuclear reactors that drive the boats. On March 19, 2020, two months after the Audit Office report, the prime minister took the first formal step towards exploring contingencies.

Secretly, he asked the secretary of the Defence Department, Greg Moriarty, for a discussion paper about all the options, including nuclear-propelled ones. He had the result within a fortnight.

The next month, Macron replaced the global chief executive of Naval Group, a step applauded in Canberra. The new boss, Pierre Eric Pommellet, was considered more amenable to Australia’s concerns. The prime minister felt encouraged that Macron was making an effort to get the deal back on track.

Morrison decided to take the next step regardless. In May, 2020, he asked Moriarty and the military co-leader of the Defence Department, Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, to form a small, expert group to see whether it was feasible for Australia to acquire and operate nuclear-powered subs. The top-secret exercise was led by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

It came back with the conclusion that it was potentially feasible, but on two conditions. One, it was only possible with the help of the US, Britain or both. This was the only way Australia could operate nuclear-powered subs without setting up a civil nuclear industry to support them.

America and Britain use highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium to run their subs’ reactors. That means the reactors don’t need refuelling for the life of the boat itself, some 30 years.

Two, the same consideration ruled out the French nuclear-propelled sub, the big Barracudas Macron had launched so proudly, as an option. The French use low-enriched uranium, meaning their reactors need to be refuelled every decade or so in a lengthy process called full-cycle docking. This would keep the Australian fleet permanently dependent on Paris.

Moriarty’s opinion was that this would not be a sovereign Australian capability. Unless Australia started its own civil nuclear industry to refuel and maintain the reactors, something which Morrison would not countenance.

Tantalised, Morrison immediately asked Defence to contact the Pentagon to test its assumptions. Through a series of secure video conferences between the Pentagon and Defence’s headquarters on Russell Hill, the US Navy gave a guarded endorsement, summarised by an Australian official: “There’s nothing in your thinking that’s completely implausible”. But there was no enthusiasm from the Americans and certainly no commitment to help.

For the prime minister, this was a “game changer” nonetheless, as he’s described it to colleagues. The revelation: It was possible to have a nuclear-powered attack submarine, or SSN as navies call it, without needing to service the reactor.

To now, Morrison had briefed only two members of his cabinet, Linda Reynolds and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne. But now that he envisaged raising the idea with the American president and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he decided to widen the circle.

When he briefed Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, he met an enthusiastic response. He remarked that the politics in the three capitals of Washington, London and Canberra seemed to be in alignment. “You could never do this deal with (the former leader of British Labour) Jeremy Corbyn,” said Frydenberg. “When a gate like this opens, you go through it.”

But what of the multibillion-dollar cost of cancelling the French deal and the far greater cost of building SSNs? “Everything is affordable if it’s a priority,” was the treasurer’s attitude. “This is a priority.”

Morrison then took it to the National Security Committee of his cabinet. This is the overarching mechanism for co-ordinating defence and security and includes top officials and ministers responsible for defence, foreign affairs, home affairs and intelligence. It gave Morrison the green light to take it further. “It was a high level of secrecy because there was no guarantee we could pull it off,” Morrison told colleagues. He didn’t want to disrupt progress with the French toward a conventional sub in case he failed with the Anglo American nuclear option, and end up with neither.

Morrison kept it so tight that the PM’s personal permission was required before any official could be brought into the charmed circle, a top civil servant explained. “So if anything leaked, you knew you’d be personally accountable to the PM himself,” said the official.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Rear-Admiral Jonathan Mead during a Senate estimates hearing. Mead was a crucial choice to lead the pursuit of SSNs. Alex Ellinghausennone

Donald Trump lost the US election around this time. Morrison decided it was pointless to approach the outgoing president, but he would pursue the incoming one at the first opportunity.

In the meantime, Morrison wanted to see what the Brits might be able to offer. In February 2021, Defence made contact with Whitehall. The British Navy was encouraging but non-committal.

In the same month, Linda Reynolds instructed the ADF’s General Campbell to advise the government on how to give Australia strike power. It was part of the government’s awakening to Australia’s strategic puniness against its great rival, China.

Australia then, and now, had no long-range strike capability whatsoever. None on land, none in the air force, none in the navy. The ADF was set up for counterinsurgency wars as part of a US alliance like those in Afghanistan and Iraq, and low-level conflict in the Pacific Islands like the missions in East Timor and the Solomons, but was unprepared for high-intensity warfighting with a capable nation state.

Reynolds tasked the Capability Enhancement Review with recommending the strike power Australia needed. One part was to be the nuclear subs project. Campbell made a crucial choice by appointing Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, a one-time clearance diver with a PhD on Indonesia and merit awards for skippering 186 Persian Gulf boardings in six months of the Iraq war in 2005, to lead the pursuit of SSNs.

Eventually, the moment arrived for Australia’s first approach to the Biden White House. Mid-pandemic, there had been very few openings to allow travel between Canberra and Washington. And this proposal was considered too sensitive for anything but face-to-face discussion.

In May 2021, the moment came. The director-general of Australia’s peak intelligence assessment agency, the Office of National Intelligence, Andrew Shearer, was planning a routine visit to Washington to consult with his US counterparts. He’d been briefed on the nuclear subs project. Would you like me to broach it with the White House, he asked the prime minister? Morrison agreed. Shearer managed to sidestep the Russian roulette of Australia’s vaccine rollout with the help of doctors at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

When the softly spoken Australian spy walked into the West Wing of the White House, his American interlocutors knew only that he wanted to discuss a matter of “the utmost sensitivity”. He walked into the ornate, chandeliered office of the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, with only one other person present, Kurt Campbell, one of Sullivan’s senior staff and Biden’s Indo-Pacific co-ordinator.

Shearer and Campbell had known each other for decades. He explained what Australia wanted. “As China’s capability advances, we need to have submarines capable of meeting it. We need to be able to operate without the risk of easy detection by the Chinese,” Shearer said, according to the participants.

Top spy: National intelligence chief Andrew Shearer broached the plan with the White House in April 2021. Louie Douvisnone

Shearer told the Americans that the Coalition government had chosen the French diesel-powered option when it expected to be contesting the waters in its near neighbourhood and dealing with low-level threats. But “the security circumstances have changed dramatically and the only way we can remain strategically relevant in highly contested circumstances is if we have the ability to launch cruise missiles over long distances”.

My sources didn’t put it quite this bluntly, but everyone in the room understood that this was about Australia acquiring the power to pose a direct threat to China’s forces and the Chinese mainland.

Sullivan and Campbell immediately were interested. Biden has described the US rivalry with China as “the competition for the 21st century”. With this request, Australia was choosing sides emphatically.

Campbell told me afterwards: “What most countries do when grappling with relevance, when risks and costs are enormous, is they just opt out. Australia chose relevance.” It was “a bold and important idea”.

Shearer emphasised that Australia had no intention of developing a civil nuclear industry or developing nuclear weapons. He said that Canberra was satisfied it could operate the subs while preserving Australia’s strong record on nuclear non-proliferation.

Sullivan and Campbell had lots of questions about Australian technological, personnel and financial capacity but the potential killer at this threshold meeting was Australian politics. “We asked lots of questions about politics,” said Campbell. “Would this be contentious? Would this hold?”

Bipartisan political commitment, Labor and Liberal, was a prerequisite, the Americans said. “This would be a military marriage. It would have to hold over decades.”

President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in April last year with (from left) his Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Kurt Campbell, coordinator for the Indo-Pacific on the National Security Council. APnone

Shearer’s reply was that, though the government hadn’t had the conversation with Labor, “public debate about the threat had changed significantly and there was a pretty strong bipartisan agreement with the Left on the security environment in Australia”.

At the close of the meeting, Sullivan told Shearer that “this will be looked at very seriously over months, not years, and we’ll try to cut through the bureaucracy”.

Shearer didn’t trust even secure communications channels to tell Morrison about the meeting, only sending him an oblique message that “the proposition had been well-received”. But when Shearer returned to Canberra he made clear to Morrison and his other colleagues that the White House had set political bipartisanship as a non-negotiable condition. “If Albo says ‘no’, the deal will be dead,” as Australia’s ambassador to Washington, Arthur Sinodinos, put it to colleagues.

The White House trusted Morrison to bring Labor in on the secret and the US made no approaches, formal or otherwise, to test Labor’s reaction. Yet the prime minister decided not to brief Labor leader Anthony Albanese for five months. He briefed him on the day before the deal was to be announced in a three-way piece of theatre with Morrison, Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden. It was high stakes on a very tight deadline.

This is part one of a two-part series by Peter Hartcher examining the AUKUS deal. The series concludes on Sunday, May 15.

Peter Hartcher is political editor and international editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Provoking the Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Russia to respond if NATO moves nuclear forces closer to its borders

ByAgencies

Moscow will take adequate precautionary measures if NATO deploys nuclear forces and infrastructure closer to Russia’s border, Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Saturday.

“It will be necessary to respond … by taking adequate precautionary measures that would ensure the viability of deterrence,” Interfax agency quoted Grushko as saying.

Moscow has no hostile intentions towards Finland and Sweden and does not see “real” reasons for those two countries to be joining the NATO alliance, Grushko added.

He also reiterated the Kremlin’s earlier statement that Moscow’s response to NATO’s possible expansion will depend on how close the alliance moves military assets towards Russia and what infrastructure it deploys.

Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, announced on Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent.

Russian Horn Warns Of “Full-Fledged Nuclear War: Revelation 16

B-52

Russia Warns Of “Full-Fledged Nuclear War” Over Ukraine

ByJack Buckby

A 2nd Bomb Wing B-52H Stratofortress taxis under a spray of water after returning from a mission July 12, 2014, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. This marked the last flight for one crew member on the aircraft, Lt. Col. Ronald Polomoscanik, the 343rd Bomb Squadron director of operations, who is retiring after 23 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele/Released)

Russia Reverts to Threatening West, Warns of “Catastrophic” Conflict

Deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev appeared to threaten Western countries in a Telegram post this week, warning of “catastrophic” conflict beyond Ukraine.

In the post, Medvedev complained that NATO countries were “pumping” Ukraine full of weapons and training troops to use Western equipment.

“Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war,” the Kremlin official added. “This will be a catastrophic scenario for everyone.”

The comments come as the Ukrainian troops head to Germany to receive training to use new Western howitzers. The activity is expected to take as long as 40 days. It also comes as Russia faces the genuine possibility of Finland and Sweden being accepted as new members of NATO.

After the Kremlin put the nation’s tactical nuclear warheads on standby and repeated threats of the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, a spokesperson from the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Moscow would not launch a nuclear attack in Ukraine.

Alexei Zaitsev told reports that tactical nuclear weapons are “not applicable to tasks in the special military operation.” Similar comments were made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier this year, who clarified Putin’s “existential threat” comments. Peskov insisted that the idea of an existential threat to Russia that would prompt the use of nuclear weapons is separate from the war in Ukraine.

Threats Arrive As Finland Asks for NATO Membership

Medvedev’s outburst came on the same day that Finnish leaders called for NATO membership for the country “without delay,” while Sweden still mulls over the decision.

It was initially expected that Finland and Sweden would make a decision together and announce those decisions jointly. Still, the direct call from Finland on Thursday suggests that the two countries may not see eye to eye on the matter.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday that they support joining the military alliance, defying threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin and expanding NATO territory eastwards towards Russia.

B-52

A B-52H Stratofortress is prepared for fight at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 25, 2021. The last B-52H built was delivered in Oct. 1962. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright)

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” the two leaders of Finland said, adding that they hope the next steps towards Finland officially applying for membership would take place in the next couple of days.

While nuclear war could still be quite some time off, Vladimir Putin warned earlier this year that he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea if Finland or Sweden joined NATO.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

THE UNITED STATES SHOULD PREPARE FOR A PROTRACTED CONFLICT IF CHINA HORN INVADES TAIWAN: DANIEL 7

The United States should prepare for a protracted conflict if China invades Taiwan, the war game suggests

THE UNITED STATES SHOULD PREPARE FOR A PROTRACTED CONFLICT IF CHINA INVADES TAIWAN, THE WAR GAME SUGGESTS

RakeshMay 12, 2022

The year is 2027. China has invaded Taiwan and the wheels of total war have begun to turn.

“We will not let them survive the first attack from our military operations,” said one of the masterminds behind Beijing’s military strategy. “We will not let the Taiwanese president survive the first day.”

To achieve the rapid beheading of the Taiwanese government, China is throwing a broad network of destruction – even pre-emptive strikes on US bases in Japan and Guam. The United States responds by bombing Chinese ports, and Australia mobilizes forces against Beijing, while the worst fears of the United States and its allies unfold in the Asia-Pacific.

It may sound like a purely academic exercise, but in reality it is deadly serious.

These hypothetical military operations were planned by U.S. lawmakers, former Pentagon officials and China experts as part of a war game exercise that unfolded in NBC News’ Washington office in April. The teams spent about five hours on an exercise that for the Pentagon would typically take up to five days.

The purpose was to think through what a Chinese invasion of Taiwan might look like now that the world has had to navigate the initial fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war game was organized in collaboration with the DC-based think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS). It took place amid growing concern among U.S. officials in several administrations and in capitals across Asia-Pacific about the possibility of China attacking Taiwan.

This week, the director of the National Intelligence Service, Avril Haines, said that “a central focus area” for US intelligence officials is the intention of Chinese President Xi Jinping for a forced takeover of Taiwan. “China would prefer a forced alliance that avoids armed conflict,” Haines told Congress. “At the same time, Beijing is ready to use military force if it decides it is necessary.”

The overall takeaway from the participants in the war game: If China invades Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific region will plunge into a broad, protracted war that could include direct attacks on the United States, including Hawaii and potentially the continental United States.

“Neither Beijing nor Washington is likely to have taken over after the first week of the conflict, suggesting that it would eventually become a protracted conflict,” CNAS experts said. “The war game showed how quickly the conflict can escalate, with China and the United States crossing red lines.”

According to the war game, this escalation could lead to China using a nuclear weapon, a step that US officials worry Russia could take in Ukraine. For China, the cause of a potential nuclear reaction is Beijing’s limited capacity to react with conventional weapons.

“New issues of Russian military strength also apply to China’s military,” CNAS wrote in its preliminary conclusion.

Also, as was the case with Russia, the war game found that the United States’ efforts to deter China from attacking Taiwan failed. It prompted war participants to outline a range of measures that Taiwan, as well as the United States and its allies, should take to strengthen a deterrent effort.

Bryce Barros, China's affairs analyst at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, joins the red team in a fake war game in which the United States and China fight over Taiwan, on
Bryce Barros, China’s affairs analyst at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, participates in a fake war game in which the United States and China fight over Taiwan, at the “Meet the Press Reports” in Washington on April 25.William B. Plowman / NBC

These include improvements to Taiwan’s military through better training of its forces and new investment in additional weapons.

One of the most important things the exercise illustrated was the difficulty of defending and helping Taiwan compared to US efforts in Ukraine. NATO, which has largely united in Ukraine’s defense, is stronger than alliances in the Indo-Pacific. And Ukraine’s geographical location makes it easier to help than Taiwan, a number of islands off the coast of China.

“With Ukraine, you have borders that you can move things across,” said retired Air Force General Mike Holmes. “Taiwan is far away.”

The United States’ decision not to officially recognize Taiwan as an independent nation unless its status changes peacefully has been a long-standing cornerstone of US-China relations.

However, the “one-China policy” has been tested in recent years, as China claims that Taiwan is its territory and can be taken by force, and it has stepped up its saber-rattling. Taiwan maintains that it is an independent, democratic country that has the right to defend itself.

For four decades, the United States has pursued a policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward Taiwan, which essentially keeps watch over whether Washington would intervene if China tried to take Taiwan by force, hoping to deter such a move. This attitude has been increasingly questioned by some US officials.

And while Washington has no formal ties with Taipei, the United States counts Taiwan among its best trading partners and is obligated to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons under the Taiwan Relations Act.

Another important part of the war game is, in fact, whether the United States should consider arming Taiwan prior to a potential war with China, because it would be incredibly difficult to get these weapons into the country after an invasion has begun.

The findings also include recommendations that the United States, Australia and Japan do more to improve their ability to respond quickly to an attack on Taiwan, and that the United States strengthen its bases in the region and acquire more long-range, precision-guided weapons and submarine capabilities.

All in all, according to CNAS ‘conclusion, everyone should prepare for a protracted, deadly conflict, not just a rapid invasion and takeover of the government.

Former Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy said the war game revealed the need for the United States and Taiwan to take steps now, such as “pre-deploying ammunition, getting Taiwanese ready, pre-positioning your armed forces, developing your payout bases.”

“If you have not spent years preparing for this,” Flournoy said, “then you will be behind the octopus all the way.”

The Australian Horn Prepares for Nuclear War: Daniel 7

Vice Adm. Mike Noonan

Australia drops China, Russia from big navy show; nuclear education a focus

“Steps are now underway to Australia to ensure Australia has a workforce with the necessary skills, training and qualifications to build, operate, sustain, and [decommission] a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability,” Vice Adm. Mead noted.

By   COLIN CLARKon May 10, 2022 at 10:03 AM

Vice Adm. Mike Noonan, Chief of Royal Australian Navy, speaks at Sea Power 2022. (Colin Clark/Staff)

SYDNEY: While Navy leaders from more than 40 countries arrived at Sydney’s International Conference Center this week for Australia’s biggest naval conference, two of the largest Pacific nations — China and Russia — were obvious non-invites.

The invitations for those two nations from the Royal Australian Navy, which runs the Indo-Pacific Sea Power Conference, were “torn up,” as ABC put it. PLA representatives had attended in past years, but China’s trade strikes, interference in Australia’s elections and general bolshiness drove the RAN to drop them from the first Indo-Pacific Maritime show since COVID struck.

The day before the show began, naval representatives from 13 Pacific island states met with Navy Chief Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, which he mentioned in his show opening speech. That group included the Solomon Islands, the scene of recent discord over its prime minister’s decision to sign a secret security pact with China.

Noonan’s remarks made clear why the Chinese had not been invited this time.

He said the RAN will operate “as a force for good against tyranny, oppression and authoritarianism. The Royal Australian Navy will serve to represent our nation and the hopes we all share for a free liberal, stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific in our ambitions for peace, and for our mutual prosperity.”

As for Russia, Noonan didn’t name it, but he clearly addressed Putin’s perfidy in his address: “We will all observe around the world today the incredible suffering and violence — violations of international law — that none of us expected to see in 2022.”

The only navy program to have its own session, the AUKUS nuclear attack submarine, highlighted just how thin Australia’s nuclear expertise is and how much needs doing to ensure the country can manage the advanced technologies that a nuclear sub entails.

Vice Adm. Jonathan Mead, head of AUKUS task force, speaks at Sea Power 2022 in Sydney. (Colin Clark/staff)

Noonan said in a Q&A with reporters that the task force is paying close attention to the lessons of Adm. Hyman Rickover, father of the nuclear navy in the United States. Rickover created a culture of openness and questioning, something at odds with much of what the Navy taught and trained to. Rickover also prized nuclear safety above all. His approach, and his commitment to engineering excellence, became the heart of American naval nuclear culture.

Vice Adm. Jonathan Mead, who heads the Australian task force overseeing the first 18 months of the AUKUS sub project, said he’s just returned from a tour of nuclear sub shipyards in America. And he spent a fair bit of his speech talking about safety.

“Australia’s decisions, both now and the task force and into the future, must reflect unwavering commitment to safe and secure stewardship of nuclear propulsion technology. This commitment, this nuclear mindset, must be part of our DNA,” Mead said. “Australia will have the highest safety and security standards as we build a nuclear powered submarine enterprise. This is a whole-nation effort first, which will generate opportunities for decades to come.”

Much of the rest of his remarks dealt with efforts to train military and civilians in things nuclear. Australia has a tiny number of nuclear trained personnel.

“Steps are now underway to Australia to ensure Australia has a workforce with the necessary skills, training and qualifications to build, operate, sustain, and [decommission] a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability,” Mead noted.

“We are working to strengthen the nuclear workforce in Australia. Scholarships have been offered to encourage more Australians to study nuclear science and engineering and as I speak, defense personnel, both military and non-uniform, are studying for a masters of nuclear science at Australia’s National University in Canberra, and a masters of nuclear engineering here in Sydney in New South Wales at the University of UNSW.”

Tactical nuke may be used on Ukraine TODAY: Revelation 16

Putin

Putin warning: Tactical nuke may be used on Ukraine TODAY: ‘Only way to change war’

VLADIMIR PUTIN could drop a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine today amid Victory Day celebrations to “change the shape of the war”, an expert has warned Express.co.uk.

By JACOB PAUL

07:01, Mon, May 9, 2022 | UPDATED: 08:36, Mon, May 9, 2022

Putin could ‘broaden enemy’ to NATO and US on May victory day

On May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day to commemorate the country’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. James Nixey, director of the Russia-Eurasia Programme at Chatham House told CNN that the celebration is “designed to show off to the home crowd, to intimidate the opposition and to please the dictator of the time”. And according to weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Russia could use this special day to send its most terrifying warning yet.

He told Express.co.uk: “The biggest concern is perhaps the use or direct threat of use of a tactical/battlefield nuclear weapon.

“If things are still going so badly on May 9, which is likely, Putin could decide that a nuke is the only way to change the shape of the war.

“Western leaders have been slightly ambiguous about what would happen if Putin used a tactical nuke.”

A tactical nuclear weapon differs from “strategic” nuclear weapons in that they can be used over relatively short distances.

“Tactical” refers to a wide range of weaponry, including smaller bombs and missiles that are considered “battlefield” weapons.

Putin could drop a nuke on Ukraine “tomorrow” (Image: Getty )

Victory day

Victory day is a military celebration on May 9 commemorating Russia’s defeat of the Nazis (Image: Getty )

Strategic nukes on the other hand refer to the bombs that the US and the USSR threatened to use during the Cold War.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon urged the West to stand up to Russia to stop it from deploying any nuclear weapons.

He told Express.co.uk: “I think we need them to state very clearly that even a small nuclear weapon would lead to NATO directly targeting strategic Russian targets with sophisticated conventional weapons.

“These targets would be any nuclear launchers in or around Ukraine, command and control sites, basically making further Russian advances in Ukraine untenable.”

Russia nukes

The Russian Horns Love of the Nuclear Bomb: Revelation 16

Vladamir Putin and nuclear bombs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times
Vladamir Putin and nuclear bombs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times more >

Vladimir Putin’s love for the nuclear bomb

By Jed Babbin – – Saturday, May 7, 2022

OPINION:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has evidently learned how to stop worrying and love the bomb. 

The day before his invasion of Ukraine began, Mr. Putin implied a threat that Russia would use nuclear weapons in response to any interference. He said, “… anyone who tries to interfere with us … must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history.” He added that Russia remains “one of the most powerful nuclear powers” with “certain advantages in a number of the latest types of weapons,” meaning the hypersonic missiles he revealed in 2018.

Days later, Mr. Putin put Russia’s nuclear forces on special alert.

If that was all we’d heard from Mr. Putin’s regime, it would concerning, but not terribly so. There have been, however, repeated rumors that U.S. intelligence officials had concluded that Russia might use chemical or tactical nuclear weapons (those of far smaller explosive yield than strategic weapons) in Ukraine

The Pentagon says it does not believe Russia will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, which is probably correct. Russia wants Ukraine with its agricultural production intact, not an incinerated version of it. Ukraine’s wheat, added to Russia’s, equals almost one-quarter of the world’s annual wheat production.

How serious is Russia about nuclear war? Revelation 16

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Mikhail Tereshchenko/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, Vadim Savitskiy/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Alexander Nazaryan

·Senior White House Correspondent

Sat, May 7, 2022, 3:00 AM·9 min read

WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine has led some military experts to rethink the conventional wisdom on nuclear weapons, a reconsideration rooted in an acknowledgment that as frightening as the prospect of nuclear war is, a policy predicated on these fears has given the Kremlin too much license in Ukraine.

“I think we have exaggerated the threat of the Kremlin using nuclear weapons and have made some policy decisions based on that exaggerated fear,” retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, chair of strategic studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis, told Yahoo News.

Mainstream thinking about nuclear war has been guided by two related realities: that atomic weapons are immensely destructive and that if used once, they will be used repeatedly in a series of back-and-forth strikes that will only compound the devastation until there is nothing much left to devastate.

Those were the lessons of Proud Prophet, an intensive 1983 simulation conducted by the U.S. government at the National Defense University in which dozens of security agencies and military commands took part.

Proud Prophet began with what was expected to be a limited nuclear strike by the Soviet Union, only to quickly slip from the grasp of the combatants. “The result was a catastrophe that made all the wars of the past five hundred years pale in comparison,” Yale historian Paul Bracken wrote. “A half-billion human beings were killed in the initial exchanges and at least that many more would have died from radiation and starvation.”

Given the diligence with which the simulation was conducted, Proud Prophet offered chilling evidence that however a nuclear war began, it could end only in annihilation.