Russian Horn Helps Iran Nuclear Horn – For Now

File photo – An anti aircraft machine-gun is seen in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, February 26, 2018

Tehran Says Russia Collaborates With Iran On Development of Nuclear Plant

July 22, 2019

Radio Farda

Chairman of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi says the construction of the second phase of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant will start next month in collaboration with Russia.

Salam Amini, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Energy Committee quoted Salehi as having said on Sunday July 21 that “concrete foundations for this part of the nuclear power plant will be laid next month.” The nuclear chief made the remarks during a visit to The Iranian parliament, Majles.

The main contractor for the building is a Russian company which completed the nuclear power plant’s first phase after many years of delay in 2011.

Last month Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian signed a contract for the construction of the 2nd and 3rd phases of the power plant during a visit to Russia.

The United States has exempted some of Iran’s nuclear activities, including those at the Bushehr Power Plant from sanctions. However, following the reduction of Iran’s commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal with the West, many members of the U.S. Congress have called for sanctions against all of Iran’s nuclear activities

The Facts About the Russian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

FACT: Russia’s New Stealth Submarine Carries 72 Deadly Nuclear Missiles

Each of the submarine’s sixteen R-30 Bulava (“Mace”) missiles typically carries six 150-kiloton nuclear warheads designed to split apart to hit separate targets. This means one Borei can rain seventy-two nuclear warheads ten times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on cities and military bases over 5,800 miles away.

On May 22, 2018, the Russian submarine Yuri Dolgoruky slipped beneath the waves of the Arctic White Sea. Hatches along the submerged boat’s spine opened, flooding the capacious tubes beneath. Moments later, an undersea volcano seemingly erupted from the depths. 

Amidst roiling smoke, four stubby-looking missiles measuring twelve-meters in length emerged one by one. Momentarily, they seemed on the verge of faltering backward into the sea before their solid-fuel rockets ignited, propelling them high into the stratosphere. The four missiles soared across Russia to land in a missile test range on the Kamchatka peninsula, roughly 3,500 miles away.

Like the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operated by United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, and India, the primary purpose of Borei-class submarines is almost unimaginably grim: to bring ruin to an adversary’s cities, even should other nuclear forces be wiped out in a first strike. 

Each of the submarine’s sixteen R-30 Bulava (“Mace”) missiles typically carries six 150-kiloton nuclear warheads designed to split apart to hit separate targets. This means one Borei can rain seventy-two nuclear warheads ten times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on cities and military bases over 5,800 miles away.

The Borei is the most advanced SSBN in the Russian Navy, and is designed to replace its seven Soviet-era Delta-class SSBNs. Throughout most of the Cold War, Soviets submarines were noisier than their Western counterparts, and thus vulnerable to detection and attack by Western attack submarines. 

This problem was finally appreciated by the 1980s, when the Soviets managed to import technologies from Japan and Norway to create the Akula-class attack submarine, which finally matched the U.S. Navy’s workhorse Los Angeles-class attack submarines in acoustic stealth.

Concept work on the Project 955 Borei began during the 1980s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1996 cash-strapped Russia decided to lower costs by taking three incomplete Akula hulls and convert them into a revised Borei design.

Construction proceeded at Severodvinsk, and lead ship Yury Dolgoruky (named after the Russian prince who founded the city of Moscow) launched in 2008 and was commissioned five years later in January 2013.

An SSBN’s primary purpose is to remain undetected long enough to unleash its terrifying firepower—a strategy made easier thanks to their nuclear reactors allowing them remain submerged for months at a time. Towards that end, the Borei is designed to higher standards of acoustic stealth than Soviet-era designs, and is more capable of evading enemies that do get an inkling of its position.

The Borei’s sleek 170-meter-long hull is considered more typical of Western-style submarine engineering, than the boxier Delta-class. Both the hull and the machinery inside the gargantuan 24,000-ton (submerged) submarine are coated in sound-dampening rubber.

The Borei’s OKF-650B 190-megawatt reactor powers a pump-jet propulsion system that allows it to remain unusually quiet while cruising near its maximum underwater speed of thirty knots. This probably makes the Borei quieter, and able to remain discrete at higher speeds, than the propeller-driven Ohio-class submarine. Russian media claims its acoustic signature is one-fifth that of the Typhoon and Delta-IV class SSBN and that the Borei was also uniquely suited to perform nuclear deterrence patrols in the southern hemisphere, though Russian SSBNs have historically remained close to friendly waters for protection.

For defense against enemy ships and submarines, the Borei also has eight 533-millimeter torpedo tubes and six countermeasure launchers atop its bow. Should things go terribly wrong for the relatively small crew of 107, the Russian SSBN has a pop-out escape pod on its back.

Troubled Missiles

The Borei was originally intended to carry twelve larger and more advanced R-39 “Bark” submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). But the R-39 was canceled in 1998 after failing in three test launches. 

Thus, the Borei had to be redesigned to carry sixteen smaller Bulava missiles derived from the land-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile. The Bulava also proved very troubled, however, failing in ten out of twenty-seven test launches due to manufacturing defects. Two failures occurred after the Bulava was operationally deployed on the Borei in 2013.

The Bulava has an unusually shallow flight trajectory, making it harder to intercept, and can be fired while the Borei is moving. The 40-ton missiles can deploy up to forty decoys to try to divert defensive missiles fire by anti-ballistic missiles systems like the Alaska-based Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

However, publicized specifications imply the R-30 may be nearly four times less accurate than the Trident D5 SLBMs on U.S. and British submarines, with only half of shots landing within 350 meters of a target. This implies the R-30 is a purely strategic weapon lacking the precision to reliably take out hardened military targets like nuclear silos in a first-strike scenario.

The New Generation Borei-A

Of the three active Boreis, the Yuri Dologoruky is based at Ghadzhievo (near Murmansk) assigned to the Northern Fleet, while the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh are part of the Pacific Fleet, based at Vilyuchinsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Severomash shipyard laid down five new generation Project 955A Borei-II/Borei-A submarines. Lead boat Knyaz Vladimir (Prince Vladimir) launched in 2017 and is due to be commissioned in 2019.

While retaining the same basic tear-drop profile, Knyaz Vladimir appears to be six meters longer based on satellite photos. The 955’s distinctive forward-slanted sail (conning tower) has been replaced with a more conventional tapered design in the 955A. As you can see in this diagram, 955A’s tail has a larger pump jet, an all-moving rudder and new end plates to its horizontal fins for improved maneuverability. A new long blister on the lower hull may house an improved flank-array sonar, or serve as a stowage hangar. You can see detailed imagery, deck plans and analysis of the Borei-A at the website Covert Shores.

Other upgrades include modernized combat, sensor and communications systems, improved acoustic stealth and crew habitability. One Russian source claims the new model is optimized “to decrease launch time to the minimum.”

All five Boreis-A are due to be commissioned by 2021, though Russian shipbuilding frequently falls behind schedule. Nonetheless, given the Russian Navy has had to cancel, downsize or downgrade numerous projects in the last few years, the money invested in completing the subs testifies to the importance Moscow places on submarine nuclear deterrence. The boats cost slightly less than half the cost of their American Ohio-class counterparts at $890 million, but Moscow’s defense budget is only one-twelfth that of the United States.

The eight Boreis would maintain, but not expand, on a standing force of eight Russian SSBNs evenly split between the Pacific and Northern fleets—enough for multiple submarines to perform deterrence patrols at the same time.

Russian media has variously indicated two or six more Boreis could be built in the mid to late 2020s, for a total of ten to fourteen Boreis of both types. Two of these could potentially be a cruise-missile-carrying Borei-K variant that would parallel the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class SSGN cruise missile submarines.

However, the Borei represents only half of the Russian Navy’s future sea-based nuclear deterrence force. The other half will come from a unique fleet of four Khaborovsk-class submarines each carrying six nuclear-powered Poseidon drone-torpedoes designed to swim across oceanic distances to blast coastal cities and naval bases with megaton-yield warheads. Moscow, it seems, would like a little more redundancy in its ability to end civilization as we know it in the event of a nuclear conflict.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

Image: Reuters.

US and Russia Preparing for WW3

Yesterday, it was claimed Vladimir Putin has a secret plan to launch a war on Europe while the rest of the world is distracted. Heinrich Brauss, a retired German lieutenant general, said while NATO’s attention is focussed on issues world leaders have deemed more pressing, the Kremlin is plotting a regional war with member states right under their noses, with the aid of nuclear weapons. President Putin may turn his attention to his six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled in March 2018.

However, there is one that will have the US more hot under the collar than the rest.

The 9M730 Burevestnik is a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile, which officials have claimed has unlimited range and the potential to outmanoeuvre any defence.

Given the missile has an on-board nuclear reactor, the missile is the first of its kind for any nation – largely given the engineering challenges and safety concerns involved

According to US military intelligence, only one of 13 known tests of the missile has been moderately successful.

The missile has successfully been tested

The missile has successfully been tested (Image: YOUTUBE)

During its flight, the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity and provided the necessary propulsion

Vladimir Putin

However, the latest test, in January 2019, is believed to have gone smoothly, The Diplomat reports.

Despite this, in his original speech unveiling a suite of new weapons before the Russian Federal Assembly in March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed it had already passed a trial two years earlier.

He said: “In late 2017, Russia successfully launched its latest nuclear-powered missile at the Central training ground.

“During its flight, the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity and provided the necessary propulsion.”

He additionally claimed that the missile’s range was “unlimited” and that it could “manoeuvre for as long as necessary”.

According to Pavel Podvig, director of the Russian Nuclear Forces Project, this will be a “truly revolutionary weapon”.

While original plans were for the missile to be unveiled in 2020, Putin may look to unleash it earlier.

The Burevestnik was announced alongside a range of new nuclear weapons, including the Avangard, a hypersonic boost-glide reentry vehicle, the Poseidon, an autonomous thermonuclear torpedo, the Sarmat, a new intercontinental-range ballistic missile, and the Kinzhal, an air-launched ballistic missile.

The latest test precedes the US notice of withdrawal from The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on October 2018, after Russian violations of the agreement.

In response, US President Donald Trump announced the release of the 2019 US Missile Defence Review, calling for the development of new technology to augment existing capabilities again cruise and ballistic missile threats.

Putin said the missile has already been successfully launched

Putin said the missile has already been successfully launched (Image: YOUTUBE)

Tensions are high between the US and Russia

Tensions are high between the US and Russia (Image: GETTY)

Military experts are alarmed by the fact Russia continues to arm itself with super and hypersonic missiles.

The US has also been urged to disarm along with Russia, as tensions between the two nations threaten to replicate the heights seen during the Cold War.

External Representative Federica Mogherini said on behalf of the EU she was deeply concerned and warned of a new arms race.

It comes as the three global superpowers – Russia, the US and China are all battling for domination in unclaimed territory.

Beijing has claimed waters in the South China Sea, Moscow has claimed ice in the Arcticregions and the US is battling for space.

Modernization for the Upcoming Nuclear War (Revelation 16)

Nuclear Proliferation: Global Stockpiles Modernize, New US DOD Doctrine Suggests Dangerous Pivot

Peacekeeper missile system being tested at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This is a long exposure photo showing the paths of the multiple re-entry vehicles deployed by the missile. One Peacekeeper can hold up to 10 nuclear warheads, each independently targeted. Were the warheads armed with a nuclear payload, each would carry with it the explosive power of twenty-five Hiroshima-sized weapons which is equivalent to around 400 kilotons of TNT. (Photo: David James Paquin)

The new document is very much conceived as a war-fighting doctrine – not simply a deterrence doctrine, and that’s unsettling.”

The total global quantity of nuclear warheads fell in a comparison of data from 2019 to 2018. However, while the stockpile is smaller, it is more advanced as countries continue to modernize and build more sophisticated stockpiles, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) latest report. The SIPRI report comes just weeks after a startling new nuclear doctrine released by the U.S. Department of Defense appears to show the U.S. is more willing to launch nuclear strikes.

Nuclear Proliferation by the Numbers

At the start of 2019, nine countries – Russia, the U.K., the U.S, France, India, China, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea – jointly had 13,865 nuclear warheads, 600 less than were reported in early 2018. The number of global warheads has dropped drastically since the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1980 when there were around 70,000 nuclear warheads worldwide.

Only the U.S. and Russia decreased their warhead inventory, by 265 and 350 respectively, according to the report. All other countries maintained or increased their inventories.

Despite the reduction, the report noted, “the pace of their reductions has slowed compared with a decade ago.” Additionally, neither Russia nor the U.S., which account for 90 percent of global nuclear weapons, has committed to making further negotiated reductions in their respective nuclear forces.

“At the same time, both Russia and the USA have extensive and expensive programs underway to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities,” the report added.

SIPRI research showed that Russia has the most warheads with 6,500, followed by the U.S. in second with 6,185. Both nuclear powerhouses have seen a decline in their number of warheads since the implementation of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (also known as the New START) in 2010.

New START Set to Expire

Raising extreme concern, however, is the fact that there are no talks between related parties to extend the New START, which expires in 2021.

“There are currently no discussions about extending New START or negotiating a follow-on treaty,” Shannon Kile, director of SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation Program, told Radio Free Europe.

“The prospects for a continuing negotiated reduction of Russian and U.S. nuclear forces appears increasingly unlikely given the political and military differences between the two countries,” he added.

Both Russia and the U.S. are modernizing their weaponry. The former is developing a weapon that can infiltrate America’s anti-missile shield. While Washington is trying to manufacture a short-range tactical nuclear arsenal to counter perceived Moscow threats. The U.S. alleges Russia “has developed and deployed a mobile ground-launched cruise missile with a flight range prohibited under the (INF) treaty,” according to the SIPRI report.

Pakistan, India and China Nuclear Proliferation

According to the SIPRI report released in June of last year, Pakistan currently houses 140-150 nuclear warheads while its neighbor India possesses 130-140.

Even though Pakistan has a more significant number of warheads, India is believed to have more modernized equipment and an advanced defense system which can launch retaliatory attacks.

India and Pakistan have been engaged in a long-term conflict over the region of Kashmir. Both countries are not signatories of the NPT and openly flaunt their nuclear arsenals.

A joint study from Rutgers University, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of California in 2007 calculated that if a war between India and Pakistan took place and involved 100 warheads, then 21 million lives would be lost.

China is extremely secretive about its nuclear arsenal but SIPRI reports estimate that currently it has 290 warheads up from 280 in January of 2018 and 270 the year before that. However, a 2017 National Institute for Public Policy Report said, “The Obama Administration estimated that China has several hundred nuclear weapons, but other estimates place the number much higher.”

A SIPRI report at the end of April this year revealed that Chinese and U.S. military spending in 2018 accounted for more than 60 percent of global military expenditures.

US Nuclear Doctrine Pivot

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after three months at sea, March 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Kimber/Released)

On June 11, the Pentagon shockingly released a secretive file describing its basic principles for planning, carrying out, and assessing nuclear operations – the first such doctrine in 14 years. The DoD later deleted the document, titled Nuclear Operations, but Steven Aftergood, an activist at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), downloaded the paper before its removal and made it publicly available on the FAS website.

Arms control experts worry the document reflects a change in U.S. policy towards fighting and using nuclear weapons.

As Aftergood told the Guardian: “That kind of thinking itself can be hazardous. It can make that sort of eventuality more likely instead of deterring it.  The new document is very much conceived as a war-fighting doctrine – not simply a deterrence doctrine, and that’s unsettling.”

“Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

According to the Guardian, the document quotes controversial cold war theorist Herman Kahn who argued that nuclear war was “winnable.”

Kahn’s quote, “My guess is that nuclear weapons will be used sometime in the next hundred years, but that their use is much more likely to be small and limited than widespread and unconstrained,” begins a chapter on nuclear planning and targeting.

Another expert claimed that the Pentagon’s sudden decision to delete the doctrine after posting it showed a lack of coherent strategy amid Washington’s withdrawal from two nuclear deals: the JCPOA signed with Iran in 2015 and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) signed with Russia in 1987.

“Posting a document about nuclear operations and then promptly deleting it shows a lack of messaging discipline and a lack of strategy. Further, at a time of rising nuclear tensions, casually postulating about the potential upsides of a nuclear attack is obtuse in the extreme, “ Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, told the Guardian.

The release of the DoD nuclear doctrine comes following the Department of Defense’s legislative-mandated 2018 Nuclear Posture Review which was widely condemned for calling for a “modern” nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile, as LawFare reported.

In 2010, under the Obama administration, the Nuclear Posture Review announced the retirement of the previous nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile.

Germany, Iran, and Russia slammed the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review for recommending the expansion of the Pentagon’s nuclear arsenal. One of the most shocking parts of the Review was the suggestion that F-35 fighter jets expand their capabilities to firing nuclear weapons.

The Reason For Nuclear Modernization

A Trident II D5 missile is test-launched from the Ohio-class US Navy ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska. © Reuters / US Navy

US wants low-yield nukes to blackmail dissident countries, not to deter Russia – Moscow

Published time: 22 Jun, 2019 20:02

US generals are well aware that there’s no way of limiting the use of nuclear weapons in a war between superpowers, so the claim that some “low-yield” nukes are needed to match Russia is an outright lie, the Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow’s statement comes in response to the vice-chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva, who vehemently promoted the modification of the warheads on Trident missiles, which are carried on Ohio-class submarines, in order for them to be able to carry low-yield nuclear weapons.

Selva argued that the US will be put in a difficult situation if Russia decides to hit an American city with a low-yield nuclear weapon. “The US doctrine says it will respond in kind, but without a low-yield nuclear weapon in its inventory, responding in kind means it will have to respond with a high-yield nuclear weapon,” supposedly provoking and all-out nuclear war.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday blasted the general’s claims as “disingenuous” and pointed out that the use of low-yield nuclear weapons wasn’t even a part of Russia’s military doctrine.

An obvious deception is also the idea that it’s possible to ‘limit’ the use of nuclear weapons in a clash between two nuclear powers.

The yield of an incoming enemy warhead can only be determined after it detonates and the Americans are well aware of that, the ministry said in a statement.

“Therefore, any launch of a strategic nuclear carrier aimed at Russian territory… regardless of the capacity of its warhead, will be treated as an aggression with the use of nuclear weapons, and met with an appropriate response.”

US must show evidence if it wants to claim Russia breached nuke test treaty – Moscow

American attempts to turn nukes into “battlefield weapons” have nothing to do with Russia, Moscow insisted.

It seems Washington wouldn’t mind making low-yield warheads a means of blackmailing the countries, who oppose American dictates.

The US returning to its views “from 60 years ago,” when they believed that a “limited nuclear war” was acceptable and winnable, is a source of serious concerns, the Foreign Ministry said, adding that “this is apparently linked to the growing signs of Washington’s desire to refuse its obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).”

CTBT, which forbids nuclear explosions in all environments, was adopted at the UN General Assembly in 1996. However, the treaty has never gone into force, due to not being ratified by over a dozen countries, including the US.

Environmentalist Recognizing the Bowls of Wrath? (Revelation 16)


Despite their incessant drumbeat about global warming, mainstream media knows climate doomsday is not imminent and are probably uncomfortable when doomsayers like Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) say, “The world will end in 12 years” unless we do something, drastic, now.But they are well aware that political catastrophes could cause much greater harm to humanity—not in the far distant future, but within months, weeks, or even a single day.That’s why climate change and the “Green New Deal” finally disappeared from headlines this week, trumped by news of more immediate threats.The Return of Nuclear War as an Imminent Threat

With the end of the Cold War, the risk of nuclear war has receded from many people’s fears. Certainly the likelihood of a major nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, or now Russia, has declined since the nervous 1960s and 1970s.

But the threat is reviving in the form of rogue nuclear states.

North Korea is the most notorious. President Donald Trump’s second meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which ended with no agreement when Trump refused Kim’s demand that sanctions be lifted, occupied headlines worldwide. Even climate-alarmist CNN abandoned climate change headlines to focus on the historic meeting in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago, India and Pakistan were on the verge of war. The reason? A surgical strike by India’s Air Force on a terrorist camp inside Pakistan, and Pakistan’s response to it.

As many as 16 Indian Air Force fighter jets using 2200 pounds of laser-guided bombs in a 30-minute air raid demolished the camp. It was the same camp (not far from the infamous Abbottabad, where American forces found and killed Osama Bin Laden) from which terrorists launched an attack earlier in February in Jammu & Kashmir, killing around 40 Indian paramilitary forces.

In response, Pakistani fighter jets engaged in air combat with Indian fighters. One jet from each country was shot down. The Indian pilot was captured by Pakistan’s army after he was ejected. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told his parliament on Thursday that the pilot would be released as a “peace gesture.”

But tensions remained high. Pakistan closed its entire airspace to commercial traffic. India closed its northern airspace temporarily.Thousands of flights were affected worldwide. Thai Airways cancelled most of its overnight flights to Europe, and all flights normally routed through Pakistani airspace were re-routed.

Both India and Pakistan are nuclear armed, and with volatile leadership in both states, the dangers from a possible nuclear conflict far exceed those touted by climate fear mongers at the United Nations and the leftist environmentalists who support them.

Political Bombshells Overshadow Climate Alarm

While American media focused on testimony by Michael Cohen, headed for prison for lying to Congress, former Canadian Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould dropped what could be the biggest bombshell in Canadian political history—with a possible major impact on Canadian climate and energy policy.

The Star reported, “Wilson-Raybould said she was the target of ‘veiled threats’ and a ‘consistent and sustained’ effort by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior officials to politically interfere in criminal charges against [engineering company] SNC-Lavalin,” which serves the oil and gas, nuclear, mining and metallurgical, and clean power industries.

If confirmed, this could be a criminal offense. Opposition party leader Andrew Scheer called for an immediate investigation and formally asked Trudeau to resign. The scandal could become a deciding factor in Canada’s upcoming election, joining many Canadians’s dislike for carbon taxes Trudeau’s party has imposed.

Across the Atlantic, Brexit has dominated news in Europe, and its environmental aspects have received little to no coverage compared with that given to its economic and developmental aspects.

There are endless examples from around the world of people beginning to realize the futility of climate alarmism and showing increasing concern for more serious matters like domestic tax rates, ethical leadership, energy, and economic development.

Nonetheless, expect the mainstream media to return to their obsession with climate alarmism. They’ve made it a habit.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

Bolton Prepares Babylon the Great For War With Iran

John Bolton is trying to steer Trump and the US into another Mideast war. Don’t let him.

I thought neocons were gone, but the most bombastic of them all has Trump’s ear. Let’s learn from Iraq mistakes and avoid a devastating war with Iran.

Michael Morford  |  Opinion contributor 9:41 a.m. MST Mar. 7, 2019

I was surprised to see my commanding general in the conference room that December 2001 day. Almost immediately following 9/11, he had been in Kuwait at Camp Doha overseeing the logistics of the Afghanistan War efforts alongside my direct commander and a small team from our Theater Support Command. Now, a mere two months later, he was back.

I became even more surprised when he sent word to finish the Operations Plan for Central Command, a project we had been developing and honing for several years. This plan was essentially the go-to-war strategy for the United States against Iraq. Although we were only weeks removed from the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, we knew the anti-U.S. terrorists involved were in Afghanistan, not Iraq. We also knew that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

I wasn’t sure what invading Iraq had to do with our Global War on Terror. It did not seem to be about national security; after all, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had been successfully contained for  more than a decade. However, I was just an Army captain. If our two-star commanding general said that’s what we were doing, then that’s what we were doing

We now know the truth behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It had very little if anything to do with the 9/11 attacks and everything to do with the hubris of men. In the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney, Undersecretary of State John Bolton and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz were three of the leading neoconservative architects in the late 1990s. What they cared about was spreading their vision of a new world order. These delusions of grandeur were their personal goals, and they were guiding our nation’s strategic policies.

I heard echoes of that era during the recent Middle East Conference in Warsaw. Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton sounded eerily similar to the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion. And I have the same uneasy feeling now that I had then.

Bolton was a driving force in 2002, when he was undersecretary of State for arms control. He insisted on access to raw intelligence data before it had been evaluated, and he also insisted that it confirmed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. “The end of the story is clear here,” he said in a BBC debate. “And if Saddam Hussein does not cooperate, we have made it clear this is the last chance for him.”

Neocons are back and making same mistakes

These same statements and patterns are in front of our eyes today. One could hear the sound of Bolton’s new war drum in 2007 when he said, “Ultimately, the only thing that will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons is regime change in Tehran.”

That clamor has only intensified. “President Trump told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid,” Bolton said last July. During the Warsaw event, he released a short video with a not-so-veiled threat to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: “I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy.”

Until recently, I believed that the neocons had become a footnote in America’s history — that the multiple threats to our national security that arose as a result of failed foreign policy had shown our nation and our leaders the errors of the neocon approach. I was wrong.

But Bolton, the most bombastic of that group, is now whispering in President Donald Trump’s ear, and the United States is heading down a familiar path. In Trump, Bolton has found someone focused not on national security but on dismantling presidential actions that preceded his term. Trump is not interested in the nation of Iran, the Iranian people or any Iranian threat. He merely abhors former President Barack Obama and the  Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal that the Obama administration negotiated.

Bolton is trying to repeat his 2003 role as a worldview maker, and in Trump he has a receptive commander in chief. The difference this time, however, is that there is no 9/11 for political cover. And even more troubling, Iraq is no Iran.

Learn from history, don’t repeat it

In geographic and demographics consideration, Iraq has just more than  40 million citizens; Iran has more than  80 million. Iraq is close to  169,000 square miles, a bit larger than  California. Iran is almost  four times that size. Iraq has struggled with decades of internal sectarian strife between the Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects. In Iran, up to 95 percent of its citizens are Shiite, which translates to minimal internal distraction.

Experts estimate that Iraq’s army, 1 million troops strong during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, was down to about  40 percent of that total, or 400,000, in 2003. Iran now has about  550,000 active military personnel and is armed with newer and better weapons. The U.S. military was fresh and itching for a fight in 2003. Now, after 18 years of war since 9/11, our readiness levels are ill-equipped to handle anything more than a protracted skirmish in a new region. Plus, where the Bush administration developed a coalition of international support for invading Iraq, the Trump administration has spent two years intentionally fracturing our relationships across the world.

From Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to Carl von Clausewitz’s “On War,” decision-makers have been taught that they need “the will of the people” to go to war. Currently, the political and societal environment of Iran meets this requirement. In the United States, there is none.

These differences between Iraq and Iran are not minor; the United States would be fighting not a single house cat but a pride of mountain lions. It is imperative that those in Washington who understand national security thwart this absurd direction in which John Bolton is trying to steer President Trump and America. We should learn from our mistakes, not willingly repeat them.

Michael Morford, a former Army captain, is a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project. He is also president of VertiPrime Aerospace Manufacturing, a service disabled veteran-owned small business. The views expressed here are his own.

The Growing Risk of Nuclear War

An unsettled year in nuclear weapons

By John Mecklin, December 24, 2018

In 2018, the world’s arms control architecture teetered on the brink of collapse as the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and threatened withdrawal from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Negotiations between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear program stalled. And Hawaii went through 38 dreadful minutes of believing it was under nuclear missile attack.

The Bulletin’s coverage of these events and many other aspects of the modern nuclear dilemma was truly comprehensive last year. What follows, then, is not a “best of” list, per se, but eight prime examples from the remarkably consistent and excellent offerings our expert authors provided throughout the year. I thank and applaud them all.

Facing nuclear reality, 35 years after The Day After

A special report by Dawn Stover

A comprehensive look at the meaning, in today’s world, of a landmark TV movie, including an interview with Ted Koppel, who led an expert panel discussion after the airing of a film that changed world nuclear history.

Dawn of a new Armageddon

By Cynthia Lazaroff

 The truly gripping account of 38 minutes of chaos that ensued after Hawaii received an all-too-believable warning that it was under what appeared to be a nuclear missile attack.

 

George H.W. Bush worked toward a soft nuclear landing for the dissolving Soviet Union

By Siegfried S. Hecker

How the late president aided the effort to secure the Soviet Union’s nuclear material and scientists as the USSR dissolved.

Expert comment: The INF and the future of arms control

By John Mecklin

A collection of extraordinary experts assesses the import of the Trump administration’s declared interest in leaving the landmark Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a foundation of the world’s arms control regime.

Robert Oppenheimer: The myth and the mystery

By Richard Rhodes

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb explains, in brilliant detail, the reality of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in contrast with his portrayal in the opera Dr. Atomic.

 

Under siege: Safety in the nuclear weapons complex

By Robert Alvarez

One of the premier experts on the US nuclear weapons complex explores an Energy Department attack on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, which oversees and reports on safety practices in the complex.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

A collection

Through the decades, the Bulletin has been home to distinguished analysis of the US atomic bombing of two Japanese cities at the end of World War II. This collection provides an authoritative starting point for anyone interested in understanding the lasting meaning of those attacks.

Russia Expands Her Nuclear Horn

Russia Begins Testing Nuclear Weapon That Can Travel Underwater And ‘Nothing’ Can Stop It, Report Says

By Tom O’Connor On 12/25/18 at 4:13 PM

Moscow has reportedly begun testing an underwater nuclear weapon that has been touted as invincible by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Poseidon, previously known as the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System and dubbed Kanyon by the U.S.-led NATO Western military alliance, is a state-of-the-art nuclear-capable drone being developed by the Russian armed forces. Citing a defense industry source, the state-run Tass Russian News Agency reported Tuesday that the Russian navy had begun trails for the weapon at sea.

“In the sea area protected from a potential enemy’s reconnaissance means, the underwater trials of the nuclear propulsion unit of the Poseidon drone are underway,” the source said, according to the official outlet.

Russia’s nuclear-capable “doomsday” drone, named Poseidon by Russia and Kanyon by the U.S., is seen in this simulation played by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his state of the nation address, on March 1. RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

The Poseidon’s true power has never been revealed, but rumors of its existence have swirled among defense circles for years. In September 2015, The Washington Free Beacon cited Pentagon sources as saying Russia was developing submarines armed with “Kanyon” nuclear-capable drones dubbed “city busters,” with “tens” of megaton explosive power and capable of traveling long distances at high speeds. Two months later, Russian state media outlet NTV showed blueprints of a nuclear-capable underwater drone, titled “Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System,” while covering a meeting of officials.

Putin revealed the drone’s existence during his State of the Nation address in March, along with an arsenal of other advanced weapons said capable of thwarting even the most modern defense systems—and many of which were capable of being fitted with nuclear warheads. At the time, he said that Russia had completed its development of “an innovative nuclear power unit” 100 times smaller than existing submarine reactors, but still more powerful and capable of hitting its maximum capacity 200 times faster, while carrying “massive nuclear ordnance.”

“We have developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths (I would say extreme depths) intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface vessels, including some of the fastest,” Putin told his federal assembly in March. “It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them.”

The Poseidon received its name later that month after the Russian Defense Ministry held a poll in which users also dubbed the Peresvet laser weapon system and 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile.

A number of reports have claimed that the weapon may be capable of producing massive, radioactive tsunamis that would pose a threat to major cities. Some experts have corroborated this theory, although they have questioned the tactical effectiveness of this strategy.

Russia has set out to modernize its strategic and conventional arsenal in response to a perceived threat posed by the U.S. military dominance and development of a global missile shield made possible by Washington’s withdrawal of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in 2001. President Donald Trump has since threatened to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty banning land-based missile systems ranging from 310 to 3,400 miles, while Moscow has claimed that the Trump administration has not responded to offers to start talks regarding the renewal of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Washington has accused the Kremlin of attempting to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor, something Putin and his officials have denied. Though the Republican leader set out to rebuild deteriorating ties between Washington and Moscow upon coming to office, the U.S. has since expanded sanctions against Russia and relations have only worsened between the two leading powers.

Trump’s Legitimate Nuclear Option

Trump can launch nuclear weapons whenever he wants, with or without Mattis

Dec. 23, 2018

Bruce Blair and Jon Wolfsthal, The Washington Post

The abrupt and pointed resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday alarmed official Washington. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., called him an “an island of stability amid the chaos of the Trump administration.” Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told The Washington Post that “having Mattis there gave all of us a great deal more comfort than we have now.”

Mattis’ departure seems to be provoking unease, especially considering how dangerous our nuclear-command arrangements are. The notion that Mattis, a former four-star Marine Corps general, could have blocked or defied a move by Trump to impulsively launch nuclear weapons may have seemed comforting, but it shouldn’t have been. The secretary of defense has no legal position in the nuclear chain of command, and any attempts by a secretary of defense to prevent the president from exercising the authority to use nuclear weapons would be undemocratic and illegal. With or without Mattis, the president has unchecked and complete authority to launch nuclear weapons based on his sole discretion.

The reaction to Mattis’ resignation, however, could open the door for the new Congress to create long-overdue legal barriers preventing the president from initiating a nuclear strike. Such a step could be implemented without any negative impact on U.S. security or that of our allies.

Every day, the U.S. nuclear early warning system is triggered by some event or another, mostly civilian and military rocket launches by one or more of a dozen countries with ballistic missiles. When such launches appear to threaten North America, the head of U.S. Strategic Command is alerted, and sometimes these alerts warrant the urgent notification of the president. That alert comes by way of a direct call from the Strategic Command or via the White House Situation Room, the emergency-operations bunker beneath the East Wing, or the national security adviser. Partly a remnant of the Cold War, this system remains in place today to ensure the president can be notified quickly of any direct threat to the United States’ nuclear arsenal and the facilities that control it. That way, he can launch nuclear missiles before they are destroyed or the U.S. government is incapacitated by incoming weapons.

In normal times, this system is precarious, and it can pressure even experienced leaders to consider nuclear weapons in a crisis sooner than warranted. Alerts stemming from ambiguous ballistic nuclear missile threats occurred multiple times during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and some alerts went directly to those presidents.

Yet, this system seems especially ill-suited to a president who has demonstrated time and again that he can be provoked into taking rash action, and who, as a candidate, openly questioned why the United States could not use the nuclear weapons it possesses. This is a dangerous set of instincts for a commander in chief with sole and unchecked authority over almost 4,000 nuclear weapons, nearly 1,000 of which could be fired within a few minutes.

For over a year, Mattis has been trying to reassure congressional leaders that he could help check some of Trump’s impulses, in part by intervening in the nuclear chain of command. In a break with normal procedures, Mattis reportedly told the commander of the Strategic Command to keep him directly informed of any event that might lead to a nuclear alert being sent to the president. He even told the Strategic Command “not to put on a pot of coffee without letting him know.”

Congressional leaders interpreted this to mean that Mattis would either deal with a possible threat before it reached Trump or ensure he was present to advise Trump when such an alert arrived.

This assurance may have helped ease concerns about our nuclear weapons for some members of Congress, but only if they were unfamiliar with how the command and control structure truly works. Personal relationships and back channels are no way to manage a nuclear arsenal.

Even informed observers are surprised to learn the president can order the use of nuclear weapons without the input – or consent – of the secretaries of Defense or State, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the vice president. They only have a role in the presidential launch protocol if the president has given prior approval for them to be notified and solicits their advice. Otherwise, none of these people would need to be involved or informed that the president has decided to use a nuclear weapon.

Under standard procedure, an attempt would be made to contact key national security officials, but in some real-world and exercise scenarios, it has proven impossible to tie them into a quickly convened emergency teleconference. Should he wish, the president could exclude all of them, and even bypass the primary designated adviser – the four-star general in charge of U.S. strategic forces – by ordering a low-ranking on-duty emergency operations officer at the Pentagon or elsewhere to transmit a launch order directly to the executing commanders of strategic U.S. submarines, silo-based missiles and bombers.

Trump could have learned all this in a briefing about nuclear weapons shortly after he took office, and his military aide, ever at his side, could explain and assist in issuing a direct order to a lower-level officer at any time.

Even if Mattis had been with Trump at a time of nuclear crisis, his resignation letter drives home the fact that Trump might very well have simply ignored his counsel. Trump, as he is proving in stark terms, listens only to himself. And any attempt by another person to physically block the president from issuing a launch order would probably result in his or her removal by the Secret Service. It is delusional and fundamentally undemocratic to think that our strongest check on a president bent on initiating nuclear war without justifiable cause might be a defense secretary trying to keep the president from communicating his launch authority using the so-called Gold Codes.

When the United States faced the prospect of sudden nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, this system helped reinforce deterrence based on a balance of nuclear terror. But since the demise of the U.S.S.R., and even with a more aggressive Russia, the whole arrangement raises questions about its necessity, risks and consistency with democratic values. It is well past time for the system to be reformed to ensure that it hews to our Constitution and mitigates as much as possible the very real risks associated with a renewed arms competition with Russia.

One key issue is whether Trump – or any president – should have the legal ability to independently initiate the use of nuclear weapons. It seems reasonable that the president needs to be able to quickly order a nuclear response if an adversary employs nuclear weapons first against us, and that he would not have time to consult with Congress or the Cabinet if nuclear missiles were headed here. (The flight time of ballistic missiles over intercontinental distances is 30 minutes or less, and the president would have only about five to seven minutes to decide whether and how to respond.)

However, our chain of command is not just a presidential preference – it can be determined by legislative action. Congress can and should prohibit any president from using nuclear weapons first. The incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., proposed such legislation last year. It states that it is the policy of the United States not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. Congress could make any first-use illegal, constraining the president from issuing such an order and obligating any member of the military to disobey a command to do so. A no-first-use policy would also ratchet down tensions with Russia and facilitate reductions in the number and types of nuclear weapons in both U.S. and Russian arsenals. The logic and political salience of this position is growing, with some 20 members of the incoming Congress – including House Speaker-to-be Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – now on record supporting no first use.

Legislation to bar first use probably wouldn’t get through the Republican Senate or be signed into law by Trump. But recognition that the system puts too much power in the hands of one person increases the likelihood that the next president will either adopt such a posture or accept legislative controls. Maintaining an outdated and unstable system is clearly too dangerous.

Bending norms and the military chain of command to prevent a disastrous presidential decision is not a reliable safeguard, and extralegal measures should not be how the United States prevents a nuclear war. Neither Mattis nor anyone else can reassure the American people that a president will not, on a whim, use the most fearsome weapons humans have ever invented. Only laws can constrain such a dangerous prospect. It is well past time for our country to take control of the nuclear chain of command.

Blair is a research scholar in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security and a founder of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Wolfsthal is a former senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation. He is now a senior adviser to Global Zero in Washington.