The Russian Doomsday Nuclear Plan (Revelation 16)

Russia’s “Dead Hand” Nuclear Doomsday Weapon is Back

Russia has a knack for developing weapons that—at least on paper—are terrifying: nuclear-powered cruise missiles, robot subs with 100-megaton warheads .

Perhaps the most terrifying was a Cold War doomsday system that would automatically launch missiles—without the need for a human to push the button—during a nuclear attack.

But the system, known as “Perimeter” or “Dead Hand,” may be back and deadlier than ever.

This comes after the Trump administration announced that the United States is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which eliminated the once-massive American and Russian stockpiles of short- and medium-range missiles. Donald Trump alleges that Russia has violated the treaty by developing and deploying new, prohibited cruise missiles.

This has left Moscow furious and fearful that America will once again, as it did during the Cold War, deploy nuclear missiles in Europe. Because of geographic fate, Russia needs ICBMs launched from Russian soil, or launched from submarines, to strike the continental United States. But shorter-range U.S. missiles based in, say, Germany or Poland could reach the Russian heartland.

Viktor Yesin, who commanded Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces in the 1990s, spoke of Perimeter/Dead Hand during an interview last month in the Russian newspaper Zvezda [Google English translation here]. Yesin said that if the United States starts deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will consider adopting a doctrine of a preemptive nuclear strike. But he also added this:

Zvezda: “Will we have time to answer if the flight time is reduced to two to three minutes when deploying medium-range missiles near our borders? In this version, all hope is only on Perimeter. And for a retaliatory strike. Or was Perimeter also disassembled for parts?

Yesin: “The Perimeter system is functioning, it has even been improved. But when it works, we will have little left – we can only launch those missiles that will survive after the first attack of the aggressor.”

It is not clear what Yesin meant when he said the system has been “improved,” or even exactly what he meant by “functioning.” Perimeter works by launching specially modified SS-17 ICBMs, which transmit a launch signal to regular nuclear-tipped ICBMs in their silos.

David Hoffman, author of “The Dead Hand,” the definitive book on Perimeter, describes Perimeter in this way:

“Higher authority” would flip the switch if they feared they were under nuclear attack. This was to give the “permission sanction.” Duty officers would rush to their deep underground bunkers, the hardened concrete globes, the shariki. If the permission sanction were given ahead of time, if there were seismic evidence of nuclear strikes hitting the ground, and if all communications were lost, then the duty officers in the bunker could launch the command rockets. If so ordered, the command rockets would zoom across the country, broadcasting the signal “launch” to the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The big missiles would then fly and carry out their retaliatory mission.

There have been cryptic clues over the years that Perimeter still exists. Which illustrates one of the curiosities of this system, which is that the Soviet Union kept its existence secret from the American enemy whom it was supposed to deter.

What is unmistakable is that Perimeter is a fear-based solution. Fear of a U.S. first-strike that would decapitate the Russian leadership before it could give the order to retaliate. Fear that a Russian leader might lose his nerve and not give the order.

And if Russia is now discussing Perimeter publicly, that’s reason for the rest of us to worry.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Creative Commons. 

Russia Builds Up Forces in Crimea

Two weeks after Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels in the contested Kerch Strait, satellite images obtained exclusively by Fox News on Sunday show that additional forces may be headed to the region.

In the images taken on Saturday, three Russian Ilyushin -76 cargo planes were spotted in the Dzhankoi airbase in Crimea.

The images, captured by Imagesat International, appear to show that Russia is continuing to step up and consolidate its military forces in the Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

According to social media reports in Russia, Four IL-76 planes departed on December 6 from Anapa airport in Novorossiysk and landed in Dzhankoi.

© FoxNews.com 24 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia near Crimea have reportedly been extensively questioned and will appear before a Russian court; Trey Yingst reports.

One of those airplanes returned Saturday to Anapa, while the three remain on base.

Ilushin-76 cargo planes are used by the Russian Army to deliver outsized or heavy cargo unable to be carried on the ground. The cargo planes are also used for mobilizing large numbers of troops.

The base of the elite unit of the Russia Airborne troops, the 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division is located in Novorossiysk, not far from Anapa.

The division’s troop participated in the last round of violence between Ukraine and Russia in August 2014, in addition to the fighting in Syria.

The IL-76 were spotted in the same airbase where the fourth S-400 surface-to-air missile battery was deployed, Fox News has previously reported.

The mobile S-400 missile has a range of up to almost 250 miles and can climb to an altitude of almost 19 miles. It’s intended to bring down a variety of aerial threats, from aircraft to cruise and ballistic missiles.

The apparent troop buildup comes as Ukraine’s defense ministry warned Friday that it will soon send naval ships through the Kerch Strait.

Ukraine has responded to the actions by Russia by introducing martial law for 30 days, a measure Kiev did not take even after Crimea’s annexation and amid large-scale fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in 2014-2015.

As part of martial law, Ukraine has beefed up its forces on the border with Russia and called up reservists for training. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told reporters on Friday that his country intends to send naval ships through the Kerch Strait soon, saying that “otherwise Russia will fully occupy the Sea of Azov.”

Russia Spreads Her Nuclear Horn

Russia sends 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela

The Associated Press

FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)more +

Two Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers arrived in Venezuela on Monday, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said a pair Tu-160 bombers landed at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas on Monday following a 10,000-kilometer (6,200-mile) flight. It didn’t say if the bombers were carrying any weapons and didn’t say how long they will stay in Venezuela.

The ministry said the bombers were shadowed by Norwegian F-18 fighter jets during part of their flight. It added that a heavy-lift An-124 Ruslan cargo plane and an Il-62 passenger plane accompanied the bombers to Maiquetia.

The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500 kilometers (3,410 miles). Such bombers took part in Russia’s campaign in Syria, where they launched conventionally-armed Kh-101 cruise missiles for the first time in combat.

Code-named Blackjack by NATO, the massive warplane is capable of flying at a speed twice exceeding the speed of sound. Russia has upgraded its Tu-160 fleet with new weapons and electronics and plans to produce a modernized version of the bomber.

The bombers’ deployment follows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s visit to Moscow last week in a bid to shore up political and economic assistance even as his country has been struggling to pay billions of dollars owed to Russia.

Russia is a major political ally of Venezuela, which has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the U.S. and the European Union, which accuse Maduro of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis that is worse than the Great Depression.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at last week’s meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez that Russia would continue to send its military aircraft and warships to visit Venezuela as part of bilateral military cooperation.

Russia sent its Tu-160 strategic bombers and a missile cruiser to visit Venezuela in 2008 amid tensions with the U.S. after Russia’s brief war with Georgia. A pair of Tu-160s also visited Venezuela in 2013.

Russia-U.S. relations are currently at post-Cold War lows over Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Russia has bristled at U.S. and other NATO allies deploying their troops and weapons near its borders.

Asked about the Russian bombers, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said he had no specific information about the deployment.

However, Manning cited the humanitarian assistance provided in Central and South American by a U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, in the past eight weeks. Numerous Venezuelan migrants were among the people who received medical and dental treatment.

“Contrast this with Russia, whose approach to the man-made disaster in Venezuela is to send bomber aircraft instead of humanitarian assistance,” Manning said.

———

Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Winter (Revelation 16)

Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change Threaten Human Survival

Ramesh Jaura09 December 2018

Photo credit: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Shigeo Hayashi – RA119-RA134

John Avery interviews David Krieger

COPENHAGEN | SANTA BARBARA, CA (IDN) – One of the five “M’s” can trigger a nuclear war any time: malice, madness, mistake, miscalculation and manipulation. “Of these five, only malice is subject to possibly being prevented by nuclear deterrence and of this there is no certainty. But nuclear deterrence (threat of nuclear retaliation) will not be at all effective against madness, mistake, miscalculation or manipulation (hacking),” David Krieger tells John Scales Avery in an exceptional interview.

Krieger is the Founder and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) that has been committed to a world free of nuclear weapons since 1982. He has been working steadily and unwaveringly for peace and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Avery is an eminent academician and scientist, and an impassioned peace activist.

As reflected in this Q&A, Avery and Krieger have great admiration for each other, which has not been filtered out. Nor have the style and content been confined in an editorial straitjacket.

The following is the full text of the interview:

John Avery (JA): Dear David, I have long admired your dedicated and heroic life-long work for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. You did me the great honor of making me an advisor to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). Could you tell us a little about your family, and your early life and education? What are the steps that led you to become one of the world’s most famous advocates of the complete abolition of nuclear weapons?

David Krieger (DK): John, you have honored us by being an advisor to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. You are one of the most knowledgeable people I know on the dangers of nuclear and other technologies to the future of life on our planet, and you have written brilliantly about these threats.

Regarding my family, early life and education, I was born three years before the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by nuclear weapons. My father was a pediatrician, and my mother a housewife and hospital volunteer. Both were very peace oriented, and both rejected militarism unreservedly.

I would describe my early years as largely uneventful. I attended Occidental College, where I received a good liberal arts education. After graduating from Occidental, I visited Japan, and was awakened by seeing the devastation suffered by Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I realized that in the U.S., we viewed these bombings from above the mushroom cloud as technological achievements, while in Japan the bombings were viewed from beneath the mushroom cloud as tragic events of indiscriminate mass annihilation.

After returning from Japan, I went to the graduate school at the University of Hawaii and earned a Ph.D. in political science. I was also drafted into the military, but was able to join the reserves as an alternate way of fulfilling my military obligation. Unfortunately, I was later called to active duty.

In the military, I refused orders for Vietnam and filed for conscientious objector status. I believed that the Vietnam War was an illegal and immoral war, and I was unwilling as a matter of conscience to serve there. I took my case to federal court and eventually was honorably discharged from the military. My experiences in Japan and in the U.S. Army helped shape my views toward peace and nuclear weapons. I came to believe that peace was an imperative of the Nuclear Age and that nuclear weapons must be abolished.

JA: Humanity and the biosphere are threatened by the danger of an all-destroying thermonuclear war. It could occur through a technical or human failure, or through uncontrollable escalation of a war fought with conventional weapons. Can you say something about this great danger?

DK: There are many ways in which a nuclear war could start. I like to talk about the five “M’s”. These are: malice, madness, mistake, miscalculation and manipulation. Of these five, only malice is subject to possibly being prevented by nuclear deterrence and of this there is no certainty. But nuclear deterrence (threat of nuclear retaliation) will not be at all effective against madness, mistake, miscalculation or manipulation (hacking).

As you suggest, any war in the nuclear age could escalate into a nuclear war. I believe that a nuclear war, no matter how it would start, poses the greatest danger confronting humankind, and can only be prevented by the total abolition of nuclear weapons, achieved through negotiations that are phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent.

JA: Can you describe the effects of a nuclear war on the ozone layer, on global temperatures, and on agriculture? Could nuclear war produce a large-scale famine?

DK: My understanding is that a nuclear war would largely destroy the ozone layer allowing extreme levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth’s surface. Additionally, a nuclear war would dramatically lower temperatures, possibly throwing the planet into a new Ice Age. The effects of a nuclear war on agriculture would be very marked.

Atmospheric scientists tell us that even a “small” nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side used 50 nuclear weapons on the other side’s cities would put enough soot into the stratosphere to block warming sunlight, shorten growing seasons, and cause mass starvation leading to some two billion human deaths. A major nuclear war would produce even more severe effects, including the possibility of destroying most complex life on the planet.

JA: What about the effects of radiation from fallout? Can you describe the effects of the Bikini tests on the people of the Marshall Islands and other nearby islands?

DK: Radiation fallout is one of the unique dangers of nuclear weapons. Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. conducted 67 of its nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, with the equivalent power of detonating 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for a twelve-year period. Of these tests, 23 were conducted in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Some of these tests contaminated islands and fishing vessels hundreds of miles away from the test sites. Some islands are still too contaminated for the residents to return. The U.S. shamefully treated the people of the Marshall Islands who suffered the effects of radioactive fallout like guinea pigs, studying them to learn more about the effects of radiation on human health.

Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. conducted 67 of its nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, with the equivalent power of detonating 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for a twelve-year period. Of these tests, 23 were conducted in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

JA: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation cooperated with the Marshall Islands in suing all of the nations which signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] and which currently possess nuclear weapons for violating Article VI of the NPT. Can you describe what has happened? The Marshall Islands’ foreign minister, Tony de Brunn, received the Right Livelihood Award for his part in the lawsuit. Can you tell us something about this?

DK: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation consulted with the Marshall Islands on their heroic lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed countries (U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). The lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague were against the first five of these countries for their failure to fulfill their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT for negotiations to end the nuclear arms race and achieve nuclear disarmament. The other four nuclear-armed countries, those not parties to the NPT, were sued for the same failures to negotiate, but under customary international law. The U.S. was sued additionally in U.S. federal court.

Of the nine countries, only the UK, India and Pakistan accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. In these three cases the Court ruled that there was not a sufficient controversy between the parties and dismissed the cases without getting to the substance of the lawsuits. The votes of the 16 judges on the ICJ were very close: in the case of the UK the judges split 8 to 8 and the case was decided by the casting vote of the president of the Court, who was French.

The case in U.S. federal court was also dismissed before getting to the merits of the case. The Marshall Islands was the only country in the world willing to challenge the nine nuclear-armed states in these lawsuits, and did so under the courageous leadership of Tony de Brunn, who received many awards for his leadership on this issue. It was an honor for us to work with him on these lawsuits. Sadly, Tony passed away in 2017.

JA: On July 7, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was passed by an overwhelming majority by the United Nations General Assembly. This was a great victory in the struggle to rid the world of the danger of nuclear annihilation. Can you tell us something about the current status of the Treaty?

DK: The Treaty is still in the process of attaining signatures and ratifications. It will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country deposits its ratification or accession to it. At present, 69 countries have signed and 19 have ratified or acceded to the treaty, but these numbers change frequently. ICAN [the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons] and its partner organizations continue to lobby states to join the treaty.

JA: ICAN received a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts leading to the establishment of the TPNW. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is one of the 468 organizations that make up ICAN, and therefore, in a sense, you have already received a Nobel Peace Prize. I have several times nominated you, personally, and the NAPF as an organization for the Nobel Peace Prize. Can you review for us the activities that might qualify you for the award?

DK: John, you have kindly nominated me and NAPF several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, for which I deeply thank you. I would say that my greatest accomplishment has been to found and lead the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and to have worked steadily and unwaveringly for peace and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. I don’t know if this would qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize, but it has been good and decent work that I am proud of. I also feel that our work at the Foundation, though international, focuses largely on the United States, and that is a particularly difficult country in which to make progress.

But I would say this. It has been gratifying to work for such meaningful goals for all humanity and, in doing such work, I have come across many, many dedicated people who deserve to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, including you. There are many talented and committed people in the peace and nuclear abolition movements, and I bow to them all. It is the work that is most important, not prizes, even the Nobel, although the recognition that comes with the Nobel can help with making further progress. I think this has been the case with ICAN, which we joined at the beginning and have worked closely with over the years. So, we are happy to share in this award.

JA: Military-industrial complexes throughout the world need dangerous confrontations to justify their enormous budgets. Can you say something about the dangers of the resulting brinkmanship?

DK: Yes, the military-industrial complexes throughout the world are extremely dangerous. It is not only their brinkmanship which is a problem, but the enormous funding they receive that takes away from social programs for health care, education, housing, and protecting the environment. The amount of funds going to the military-industrial complex in many countries, and particularly in the U.S., is obscene.

I have recently been reading a great book, titled Strength through Peace, written by Judith Eve Lipton and David P. Barash. It is a book about Costa Rica, a country that gave up its military in 1948 and has lived mostly in peace in a dangerous part of the world since then. The book’s subtitle is “How Demilitarization Led to Peace and Happiness in Costa Rica, & What the Rest of the World can Learn from a Tiny Tropical Nation.”

The Romans said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The Costa Rican example says, “If you want peace, prepare for peace.” It is a much more sensible and decent path to peace.

It is a wonderful book that shows there are better ways of pursuing peace than through military strength. It turns the old Roman dictum on its head. The Romans said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The Costa Rican example says, “If you want peace, prepare for peace.” It is a much more sensible and decent path to peace.

JA: Has Donald Trump’s administration contributed to the danger of nuclear war?

DK: I think that Donald Trump himself has contributed to the danger of nuclear war. He is narcissistic, mercurial, and generally uncompromising, which is a terrible combination of traits for someone in charge of the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal. He is also surrounded by Yes men, who generally seem to tell him what he wants to hear. Further, Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the agreement with Iran, and has announced his intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty [INF Treaty] with Russia. Trump’s control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal may be the most dangerous threat of nuclear war since the beginning of the Nuclear Age.

JA: Could you say something about the current wildfires in California? Is catastrophic climate change a danger comparable to the danger of a nuclear catastrophe?

DK: The wildfires in California have been horrendous, the worst in California history. These terrible fires are yet another manifestation of global warming, just as are the increased intensity of hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related events. I believe that catastrophic climate change is a danger comparable to the danger of nuclear catastrophe. A nuclear catastrophe could happen at any time. With climate change we are approaching a point from which there will be no return to normalcy and our sacred earth will become uninhabitable by humans. [IDN-InDepthNews – 09 December 2018]

Photo (top): David Krieger, Founder and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Credit: NAPF

IDN is the flagship of International Press Syndicate.

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Russia Horn threatens to develop nuclear missiles

Putin threatens to develop nuclear missiles banned by US-Russia treaty

MOSCOW: A defiant Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under a treaty with the United States after Washington gave Moscow a deadline to comply with the key arms control agreement.

The latest spike in tensions came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms within 60 days if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the US claims breach the deal.

Putin dismissed Pompeo’s statement as a smokescreen, saying Washington had already decided to ditch the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).

“They thought we would not notice,” the Kremlin chief said, claiming the Pentagon has already earmarked an amount for the development of missiles banned by the treaty.

“We are against the destruction of this treaty. But if this happens, we will react accordingly.”

Putin said about a dozen countries were now producing mid-range missiles of the type banned by the INF treaty.

“Apparently now American partners believe the situation has changed so much that the United States should also have such weapons.

“What will be our answer? A simple one: we will also do this,” Putin said.

In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russia and the US to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.

“The INF has guaranteed peace and security in European territory for 30 years now,” Mogherini said as she arrived for talks with NATO foreign ministers.

In October, President Donald Trump sparked concern globally by declaring the United States would pull out of the deal and build up America’s nuclear stockpile “until people come to their senses”.

Putin at the time warned that abandoning the treaty and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New START, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.

On Monday, the US leader said he wants talks with Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “to head off a major and uncontrollable arms race”.

Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia’s General Staff, said that Moscow would increase the capabilities of its ground-based strategic nuclear arms.

“One of the main destructive factors complicating the international situation is how the US is acting as it attempts to retain its dominant role in the world,” he said in comments released by the defence ministry.

“It is for these purposes that Washington and its allies are taking comprehensive, concerted measures to contain Russia and discredit its role in international affairs.”

Signed in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

But it was a bilateral treaty between the US and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

Pompeo said at a meeting with fellow NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday that there was no reason why the US “should continue to cede this crucial military advantage” to rival powers.

NATO said it was now “up to Russia” to save the treaty.

The Trump administration has complained of Moscow’s deployment of Novator 9M729 missiles, which Washington says fall under the treaty’s ban on missiles that can travel distances of up to 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles)

The nuclear-capable Russian cruise missiles are mobile and hard to detect and can hit cities in Europe with little or no warning, according to NATO, dramatically changing the security situation on the continent.

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over a number of crises including accusations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

The two Cold War enemies are also at odds over Russian support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria’s civil war, and the conflict in Ukraine.

Washington on Tuesday promised Russia more “pain” if Moscow did not release three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors captured off Crimea last last month.

Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Horn

This Pictures Should Terrify Russia, North Korea and China Like Nothing Else

The bomber’s weapons bay could end up being more of a mission payload bay, with surveillance, communications, drone or electronic warfare packages loaded inside to facilitate a variety of missions, particularly in denied environments. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

On October 27, 2015, nearly thirty-four years to the day after Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the first stealth bomber, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a contract for a new bomber: the B-21 Raider. While many of the details of the Raider are shrouded in mystery, we do know a few things about it, and can infer others.

(This first appeared last year.)

The B-21 Raider bomber takes its name from both the twenty-first century and the legendary 1942 raid by Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle’s force of B-25 Mitchell bombers against targets in and around Tokyo, Japan. In invoking the Doolittle Raid, the Air Force is drawing attention to attack’s audacious nature, the strategic and tactical surprise, and the epic distances General Doolittle and his “raiders” flew to accomplish their mission.

A tailless, batlike aircraft, the official rendering of the B-21 Raider released by the Air Force bears a superficial resemblance to the B-2 Spirit bomber. There are important distinctions, however. The B-21 moves its engines closer to the wing root, where they occupy the juncture between wing and fuselage, whereas the B-2’s twin pairs of General Electric F118-GE-100 engines are distinctly apart from the fuselage on the wing. The Raider’s engine air intakes are angled and not serrated like those on the B-2 Spirit. The Raider also has overwing exhausts to mask the infrared signature of the four engines, unlike the B-2. (Interestingly, this is exactly how the B-2’s exhausts were depicted in an April 1988 artist’s conception of that bomber.)

The aircraft appears similar in size to the B-2 Spirit, almost certainly making it a four-engine bomber. The  announcement of Pratt and Whitney in 2016  as a B-21 subcontractor narrows down the new bomber’s engines to two designs: the F-100 and the F-135. The mature F-100, which powers the F-15 Eagle series of fighters, seems a sound choice, but the Air Force may want the F-135, which powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for its growth potential and ability to lower engine costs for the F-35 fleet.

Like its predecessor, the B-21 Raider will be a heavy strategic bomber designed to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons. If the B-2 is of similar size, it follows it will carry a similar amount of ordinance. This means two bomb bays. In order to keep costs down, the Air Force may elect to reuse the Advanced Applications Rotary Launcher from the B-2 bomber. The AARL is fitted one per bomb bay, each capable of carrying eight bombs or missiles.

In the nuclear mission, the Air Force will arm the B-21 with the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) missile, the next-generation stealthy nuclear cruise missile. It will also carry B-61 free-fall nuclear gravity bombs, particularly the new  B61-12 bomb  with “dial-a-yield” capability. A combination of these two weapons will allow the B-21 to use its stealthy cruise missiles to clear a path through the enemy air-defense network before dropping B-61 bombs on primary and secondary targets.

For conventional missions, the B-21 will carry the  JASSM-ER conventional cruise missile  and two-thousand-pound  GBU-31 Joint Directed Attack Munition  satellite-guided bombs. The B-21 could use these weapons in a similar manner as its nuclear weapons, blasting its way through the enemy’s defenses before dropping JDAMs. Alternately, the B-21 could be used as a missile truck, launching up to sixteen JASSM-ERs at enemy targets from a distance, or penetrating less sophisticated enemy defenses to deliver JDAMs on target. The B-21 will also need to carry the thirty-thousand-pound  Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb , the largest conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal, as the B-2 is currently the only bomber capable of lifting the enormous bomb.

Like many new weapons systems, the Air Force has instructed Northrop Grumman to build the bomber with a so-called “open architecture” hardware and software system. As a result, unlike previous bombers, the B-21 could become much more than just a heavy bomber. The open-architecture specification should ensure that future upgrades will be relatively easy to integrate into the B-21, and for the bomber to adapt to a slew of new, different missions. The bomber’s weapons bay could end up being more of a mission payload bay, with surveillance, communications, drone or electronic warfare packages loaded inside to facilitate a variety of missions, particularly in denied environments. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

The B-21 Raider is set to fly in the mid-2020s, and the Air Force plans to buy at least a hundred of the bombers to replace the B-52H Stratofortress and B-1B Lancer bombers. A larger fleet of up to two hundred bombers is possible, but entirely bound to fiscal realities. We don’t know what the Raider in its final form will look like, or when the Air Force will release more information on an aircraft it wants to carefully protect. The B-21 has disappeared into the “black” world of military technology, and will only reemerge when the bomber is ready.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the  Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring  and the  Daily Beast.  In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter:  @KyleMizokami.

Russia Extends Her Nuclear Horn Into Crimea

Russia deploys nuclear weapon carriers in occupied Crimea – Yelchenko

Ever since Russia occupied Crimea, it has been tightening its military grip over the illegally annexed peninsula, according to the Ukrainian envoy.

REUTERS

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said Russia deployed in occupied Crimea carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

“After the Russian Federation occupied Crimea, it has been tightening its military grip over the occupied peninsula. Comparing to the pre-occupation period, Russia has more than doubled its military personnel from 12,500 to over 28,000, and up to 31,500 probably, according to the recent estimations,” he said at a briefing on the security in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov Region.

“Russia has also substantially reinforced and modernized its military land, air, and naval components,” he said.

“Russian military in Crimea got tanks and anti-aircraft systems, which were not present there before, up to six-seven times more combat vehicles, artillery systems, combat aircraft.”

He added that Russia more than doubled the number of combat helicopters, combat ships and submarines in the area.

“These forces are capable of carrying out comprehensive military operations in south-western strategic direction, which includes water and coastal areas, corresponding airspace over the Azov and Black Seas, as well as in the far-operating zone of the Mediterranean,” Yelchenko stressed.

Particularly dangerous are the Russian actions, which could lead to re-nuclearization of Crimea. The occupation authorities in Crimea are preparing military infrastructure for potential deployment of nuclear weapons, including the refurbishment of the Soviet-era nuclear warheads storage facilities.”

“Since 2015, the 12th General Directorate of the Russian Military General Staff, which is known to be in charge of the maintenance, transportation and disposal of nuclear warheads for tactical and ballistic missiles, conducts regular inspections in the occupied Crimea,” he said.

The Ambassador noted that Russia had “already deployed in the occupied Crimea carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Among them there is a “Russian cruiser ‘Moskva’ with the missile system ‘Vulkan,’ three submarines, one frigate, two small missile ships, which are equipped with cruise missiles ‘Kalibr,’ SU-24 bombers, which can carry nuclear bombs.”

“Anytime Moscow can bring back other means of delivery of nuclear weapons to Crimea, which have been already used in the occupied territory for training purposes. This includes operational tactical missile complexes ‘Iskander,’ additional fighter bombers and other armament,” Yelchenko said.

America and Russia are threatening Nuclear War (Revelation 16)

America and Russia, the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, are threatening to make more weapons. Here’s how many nukes each nation has

Amanda Macias | @amanda_m_macias

Published 3 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago

CNBC.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will develop ground-launched nuclear missiles if the U.S. withdraws from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

• Nine nations make up the world’s nuke club, with approximately 14,500 nuclear weapons.

• The U.S. and Russia own the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

A deactivated Titan II nuclear ICMB is seen in a silo at the Titan Missile Museum on May 12, 2015 in Green Valley, Arizona.

The two leaders of the world’s nuclear club are threatening to withdraw from an arms control agreement, a move that will allow each country to bolster its arsenal with more nukes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he will develop ground-launched nuclear missiles if the U.S. withdraws from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty.

The pact, signed by the U.S. and Soviet Union in 1987, prohibits the development of midrange nuclear-tipped missiles. The agreement forced each country to dismantle more than 2,500 missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,420 miles. The arms ban kept nuclear-tipped cruise missiles off the European continent for three decades

Of the 14,500 nuclear weapons on the planet, Russia and the United States own the lion’s share, with a combined total of approximately 13,350 nukes. The remaining 1,150 weapons are held by seven countries.

North Korea, the latest unwelcome addition to the world’s nuke club, remains the only country to test nuclear weapons in this century.

While the exact number of nukes in each country’s arsenal is closely guarded, below is a breakdown of how many weapons exist, according to estimates from the Arms Control Association and Federation of American Scientists.

North Korea

KCNA | Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

• Total nuclear weapons: ~10 to 20

• Total nuclear tests: ~6

• First tested: October 2006

• Most recent test: September 2017

Israel

• Total nuclear weapons: ~80

• Total nuclear tests: 0

• First tested: No confirmed tests

• Most recent test: No confirmed tests

India

• Total nuclear weapons: ~120 to 130

• Total nuclear tests: ~3

• First tested: May 1974

• Most recent test: May 1998

Pakistan

• Total nuclear weapons: ~130 to 140

• Total nuclear tests: ~2

• First tested: May 1998

• Most recent test: May 1998

United Kingdom

• Total nuclear weapons: ~215

• Total nuclear tests: ~45

• First tested: October 1952

• Most recent test: November 1991

China

Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping

• Total nuclear weapons: ~270

• Total nuclear tests: ~45

• First tested: October 1964

• Most recent test: July 1996

France

• Total nuclear weapons: ~300

• Total nuclear tests: ~210

• First tested: February 1960

• Most recent test: January 1996

United States

• Total nuclear weapons: ~ 6,550

• Total nuclear tests: ~ 1,030

• First tested: July 1945

• Most recent test: September 1992

Russia

Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov at the Naval Base of Black Sea Fleet on September 23, 2014 in Novorossiysk, Russia.

• Total nuclear weapons: ~6,800

• Total nuclear tests: ~ 715

• First tested: August 1949

• Most recent test: October 1990

US Ready to Break Russian Nuclear Deal

Pompeo says US suspending landmark nuclear deal because of Russian violations

By Conor Finnegan

Dec 4, 2018, 1:48 PM

One of the key treaties that helped to end the Cold War and reduce nuclear tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and now Russia could be dead within a matter of months.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at NATO Headquarters Tuesday that the U.S. will suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty in 60 days because of Russia’s continued violations of the treaty, shortly after NATO’s foreign ministers affirmed its support for that conclusion in a new joint statement.

“We had a party– a treaty that had two parties, only one of which is compliant!” Pompeo said Tuesday in Brussels, Belgium. “That’s not an agreement, that’s just self-restraint, and it strategically no longer made sense to remain in that position.”

President Trump and National Security Adviser John Bolton had previously suggested the U.S. would withdraw from the treaty, but Pompeo’s announcement Tuesday officially starts the clock.

The decision comes as the U.S. seeks to counter a “larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage,” according to Pompeo, but also to take on China’s growing military power, with the top U.S. diplomat warning the treaty gives China a military advantage. But to some arms control experts and Democrats in Congress, the decision was a hasty one that will make the world less safe.

The U.S. will remain in compliance for the next 60 days and then begin the six-month notice period before withdrawal, he said, adding that if Russia comes back into compliance before then, the U.S. could remain in the agreement.

“We would welcome a Russian change of heart, a change in direction, the destruction of their program, and their followed-on continuance of the terms of the treaty, and so over the next 60 days they have every chance to do so,” he said. “But there’s been no indication to date that they have any intention of doing so.”

Pompeo said there is “complete unity” among NATO members on this decision, and it comes after the Foreign Ministers of NATO released a joint statement that says Russia’s development and deployment specifically of the 9M729 missile system “poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security” and “is in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty,” paving the way for U.S. withdrawal.

The U.S. has remained in compliance of the treaty, the group added, despite claims by Russia to the contrary.

Russia has denied violating the INF treaty, at first denying the existence of the weapons system and then later admitting it existed but arguing it was in compliance.

President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting at Finland’s Presidential Palace on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki.

Russia’s violations of the landmark nuclear treaty are also part of a “larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage,” Pompeo added, citing its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, its intervention in Syria in support of the Assad regime, its election interference in the U.S. and other countries, its use of a nerve agent against an ex-spy in the U.K., and most recently its seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors in international waters.

But Pompeo did give other reasons for U.S. withdrawal, including the fact that China is not a party to the treaty and is beefing up its military capabilities.

China, North Korea, and Iran are not obligated by the treaty’s limitations, and, “This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles they would like,” he said. “There is no reason the United States should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, in particular when these weapons are being used to threaten and coerce the United States and its allies in Asia.”

There was no immediate response in Moscow to Pompeo’s announcement, but Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said earlier on Tuesday that he and President Vladimir Putin had discussed how to take measures to increase Russian troops’ “military capabilities” in response to a potential new “arms race.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. National security adviser John Bolton shake hands during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Oct. 23, 2018.

“Measures were looked at for increasing the military capabilities of troops and forces in the conditions of an arms race, connected with the plans of the U.S. to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty,” Shoigu said, according to Russian-state media.

President Trump lamented this possible arms race in a tweet Monday, calling on Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet to “start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race.”

I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018

It’s that concern that upset Congressional Democrats, blasting the administration’s decision as a dangerous move that “play[s] directly into President Putin’s plans,” according to Rep. Adam Smith, the incoming Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

“The Trump administration should instead work with our allies to take meaningful actions to hold Russia accountable for its violation of the treaty, press Russia back into compliance, and avoid a new arms race,” said Smith, D-Washington, in a statement.

ABC News’s Patrick Reevell contributed to this report from Moscow.

Babylon the Great Withdraws from Nuclear Treaty

US makes case for withdrawal from missile treaty with Russia

Maria Danilova, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Russia has for years been developing, testing and deploying a missile that violates a landmark nuclear weapons treaty, a senior White House official said Tuesday, making a case for the administration’s planned withdrawal from the accord ahead of a scheduled meeting between the leaders of the two nations.

The nuclear-capable missile, the official said, can reach over 300 miles (500 kilometers), in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed amid Cold War hostilities in 1987 and which the Trump administration is now seeking to exit.

Russia developed the weapon between 2000 to 2010 and completed testing by 2015, the official said. But when questioned about it in recent years, Moscow officials have denied violating the treaty and demanded to know how the U.S. detected the apparent violation, the official said.

The official said the Trump administration believes it was Russia’s intention to keep the U.S. constrained by the treaty while they developed and deployed the illegal missiles that threaten Europe. The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive foreign policy issue.

The future of the treaty is likely to come up this week when President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 Summit in Argentina. Administration officials have said it is time to withdraw from an accord that is outdated, has prevented the U.S. from developing new weapons and has already been violated with this Russian missile, the 9M729.

It comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries. Trump suggested Tuesday in an interview with The Washington Post that he may cancel the sit-down with Putin over Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval ships last weekend.

Russia has denied that it has violated the treaty, saying the 9M729 has not been tested for the range that would make it prohibited. Moscow has also alleged the United States has also breached the accord.

Putin has warned that a U.S. decision to withdraw from the treaty would destabilize Europe and prompt Russia to “respond in kind.” On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reiterated that position.

“We won’t be able to turn a blind eye to the potential deployment of new U.S. missiles on the territories where they may threaten Russia,” Ryabkov said.

The senior U.S. official said the administration, which is seeking support for withdrawal from NATO allies, can still reverse its plan to pull out if Russia acknowledges its violations and takes corrective steps.