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bobbymike

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http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/trump-to-pull-plug-on-russian-arms-control-treaty

US President Donald J. Trump confirmed on October 20 that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The agreement, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, sought to ban both countries’ armed forces from keeping ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

White House officials, especially National Security Advisor John Bolton, have been pushing to abandon the treaty as they believe it is limiting Washington’s ability to counter China’s growing nuclear arsenal in East Asia. US military officials have estimated that as many as 95% of Beijing’s missiles fall in the intermediate range covered by the INF, making it impossible for the United States to counter this build-up.
 

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https://us.cnn.com/2018/10/22/opinions/trump-nuclear-treaty-china-intl/index.html

Sydney (CNN)US President Donald Trump blamed repeated Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to justify his announcement over the weekend that the United States will soon withdraw from the bilateral agreement which has been in place since 1987.

That China is not a signatory to the treaty was mentioned only briefly as a contributing reason.
While Russia and other European countries will probably loudly voice their views on America withdrawing, Asian countries will be less vocal. But do not read reluctance to comment as indifference. Trump's decision is likely to have the greater impact on matters with respect to China and other Asian powers than it will Russia and Europe.
 

bobbymike

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/10/what-weapons-will-the-us-build-after-the-inf/?fbclid=IwAR1u8YwdR4DJV1AgjV1iyOih7fgcVOlJBiwXBAkZwNNGsfmrkyRqcaMCDpA

So what could the US military do without the treaty that it can’t do already? A congressionally mandated Pentagon report from 2013, unpublished but obtained by Breaking Defense, says that withdrawing from the treaty would create four possibilities:
Army photo

1. Modifications to existing short range or tactical weapon systems to extend range.

While the US has plenty of sea- and air-launched weapons that were never covered by the treaty, the only existing ground-launched system that comes close to the banned ranges is the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). But the Army’s already decided it’s not worth upgrading the 1980s-vintage ATACMS for a significantly longer range.

Instead, the Army’s developing an all-new Precision Strike Missile (PRSM) to hit targets out to 499 km — but officers acknowledge that’s an arbitrary limit imposed by the INF treaty, not the available technology. So, practically speaking, the end of INF would remove this restriction on the new PRSM, but not magically enable a radical enhancement of the aging ATACMS.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/23/the-inf-treaty-hamstrings-the-u-s-trump-is-right-to-leave-it/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.01184984b963

The Trump administration has announced that it plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987. This treaty banned the United States and Russia from possessing any ground-launched ballistic and cruise missile systems with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles). The administration’s decision is sure to elicit a cacophony of criticism, but the truth is that the United States should no longer tolerate the INF status quo. The reasons basically boil down to two: Russia appears unwilling to give up the systems that violate INF (meaning INF is essentially a dead letter), and, more important, the United States no longer benefits from a ban on ground-based intermediate-range systems — but because of China, not Russia.
https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/10/23/one-nuclear-treaty-is-dead-is-new-start-next/

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration moves closer towards exiting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, experts are left to wonder whether another nuclear treaty may be in the administration’s crosshairs.

Signed in 2010 between the U.S. and Russia, the New START treaty limits the deployed forces of both nations to 1,550 nuclear warheads over 700 delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers.

Asked about New START’s future while in Moscow, John Bolton. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said the government is “currently considering” its position on the agreement, but then added that the administration “does not have a position that we’re prepared to negotiate.”

This isn’t the first time the administration has raised fears about the future of New START. In February 2017, Trump called the agreement “a one-sided deal” and a "bad deal.”
 

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/world/europe/russia-cruise-missile-arms-control-treaty.html

WASHINGTON — Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.

The new Russian missile deployment also comes as the Trump administration is struggling to fill key policy positions at the State Department and the Pentagon — and to settle on a permanent replacement for Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned late Monday. Mr. Flynn stepped down after it was revealed that he had misled the vice president and other officials over conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.
 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/11/democratic-house-hurts-space-corps-nuke-modernization-pentagon-topline/?fbclid=IwAR3Lt6GH4v-X8eI4dSFd0O8w_5xupYxE0RxNjfojzyZokiE2qP5_vqX2E1Q

The most likely losers are nuclear modernization programs, which leading Democrats like Adam Smith, the prospective House Armed Services Committee chairman, have criticized as unnecessary, excessive, and destabilizing.

President Obama had supported nuclear modernization as the price for ratifying the New START treaty, the theory being that the United States would be secure with fewer nuclear weapons if that remaining inventory were modernized. That means the programs that were not in Obama’s plans would be most vulnerable, particularly the low-yield nuclear weapon and the Long Range Stand-Off cruise missile (LRSO). The low yield weapon has been called dangerous because it arguably makes it easier to escalate from conventional to nuclear warfare. The cruise missile has been called unnecessary, since US bombers already have other nuclear weapons like the B61 variable-yield bomb, although proponents argue that non-stealthy bombers like the B-52 will only be able to hit defended targets with a long-range weapon.
 

Grey Havoc

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https://news.usni.org/2018/11/12/first-nuclear-deterrence-patrol-marks-major-step-indian-submarine-force
 

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https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-Relations/India-s-nuclear-submarine-provokes-Pakistan-to-renew-arms-race
 

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From AFA

STRATCOM Boss: Don’t Reduce Nuclear Posture

US nuclear force structure should remain unchanged until the threats facing the United States subside, the head of US Strategic Command told a gathering at the Harvard University Kennedy School Nov. 14. The likely next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) suggested in September that nuclear force structure could be reduced. Not so fast, said STRATCOM boss Gen. John Hyten: “If you want to save money, change the threat.” The US and Russia are each able to field up to 1,550 deployable weapons under the New START Treaty, a level and balance Hyten said provides “strategic stability.” Reductions depend on negotiations to reduce those totals, he said, and U.S. defense is predicated on having a combination of land-, sea- and air-based nuclear weapons. “My advice is that we need to have a force that can respond to any threat that is in the world today, and in order to do that I have to have a triad,” Hyten said. Russia currently has a “significant” triad aimed at the US, and that threat must be countered with a corresponding triad to be effective. —Brian Everstine
 

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https://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-secret-plans-build-five-nuclear-warheads/
 

bobbymike

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https://submarinesuppliers.org/programs/ssbn/columbia-class/?fbclid=IwAR3NLBMMtm3IaL0kKF8_mfmME-2_h4Z_0XFS4yKIG7j4K0EiSnDfCCaZ1Js

The United States is developing the Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), formerly know as the Ohio Replacement SSBN program, to maintain a continuous at-sea strategic deterrence as the current force of 14 Ohio Class SSBNs reach the end of their unprecedented 42 year service life in the late 2020s. Columbia Class is the United States Navy’s Number 1 acquisition priority.

The Columbia Class SSBN program consists of a minimum of 12 submarines to meet the requirements for U.S. strategic deterrent force structure as set forth in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. The Columbia Class program completed Acquisition Milestone B on January 4, 2017 and is in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase.

Current plans call for a minimum of 12 Columbia Class SSBNs, with initial construction of the USS COLUMBIA (SSBN 826) beginning in 2021. According to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Richardson, SSBNs are essential to national security and are ”…foundational to our survival as a nation.” (January 2016). Because these new SSBNs will be in service until 2080, a new ship design that advances critical stealth capabilities and survivability is required.
Next-Gen SLBM Not Completely New, Trade Studies Start in 2020

By Staff Reports

The next-generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) to be featured on the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine will incorporate some elements of the current Trident D5 Life Extension (D5LE) weapon
 

bobbymike

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-america-needs-low-yield-nuclear-warheads-now/2018/11/29/c83e0760-f354-11e8-bc79-68604ed88993_story.html?utm_term=.1f33a3cd9779

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/11/not-so-fast-rep-smith-why-we-need-modernized-nuclear-weapons/
 

bobbymike

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https://www.heritage.org/missile-defense/commentary/not-so-fast-rep-smith-why-we-need-modernized-nuclear-weapons?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thf-fb&fbclid=IwAR3rz5c8pqUA--jmAFSLCA0OxS8RCQxY_0bSx-KKIV1naxGvPgxsEKBuC4U

Rep. Adam Smith, presumptive chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says he wants to curtail modernization of the nation’s sea-, air- and ground-based nuclear forces. He also opposes developing a low-yield submarine-launched nuclear cruise missile.

In a mid-November speech to the anti-nuke Ploughshares Fund, Smith asserted that the country cannot afford the $1.2 trillion nuclear modernization program due to the growing national debt, combined with the need to modernize the nation’s conventional military forces. He hopes the Senate and White House will back a reduction in the nuclear arsenal—and a possible departure from nuclear triad—in exchange for more conventional weapons systems.

Interestingly, the congressionally-mandated National Defense Strategy Commission’s recent report contradicts Rep. Smith’s approach. It states that the Pentagon “must remain committed to the bipartisan nuclear modernization program…especially to modernizing the triad of bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and ballistic missile submarines.” This was a consensus view of experts appointed by Republicans and Democrats, including two Rep Smith appointed.

The U.S. has not produced a new nuclear warhead since 1988. The oldest warhead in the arsenal, the B61 gravity bomb, was first deployed in 1963. It was originally designed for a 10-year operational life.
 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/beyond-inf-missiles-networks-the-new-trench-warfare/?utm_campaign=Breaking%20News&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=68105621&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_qIMBVR-qu9JBjOCrngr7D7UmLWntsthf8MFxBqTo1kcStaKdVe3fkxCTivl-qb86YvJNJnR3wd1AGCyDw2dxzzvbYVA&_hsmi=68105621

WASHINGTON: Fifty-nine days from now, assuming no change of heart by Trump or Putin, the United States will formally kick off the six-month process to end the INF arms control accord, potentially eliminating the final obstacle to a new era of long-range smart missiles. The massive shift in post Cold War arms control would have the potential to turn future battlefields into the kind of bloody stalemate not seen since World War I. But that stalemate could be good news for the United States.

As US strategy shifts from striking rogue states that can’t fight back on even terms — Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Libya, Syria — to stopping great powers who can — Russia and China — it might benefit from technology that favors the defense. There are times and places in the history of war in which improvements in firepower force anyone in range to take cover instead of advancing, as machineguns and howitzers did a century ago on the infamous Western Front. The fundamental difference today is the width of the killing zone would be measured, not in hundreds or thousands of yards, but in hundreds or thousands of miles.
 

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/b61-12-nuclear-bombs-guided-tail-kit-approved-for-p-454286/
 

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https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/2177652/operation-z-machine-chinas-next-big-weapon-nuclear-arms-race
 

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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/20/north-korea-may-have-used-foreign-scientists-nuclear-ambitions/
 

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https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/china-conducts-first-test-of-new-jl-3-submarine-launched-ballistic-missile/
 
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