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US Nuclear weapons

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bobbymike

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Chinese Defense Budget Boost Seen Aiding Nuclear Force
Monday, March 7, 2011

China on Friday announced it had set aside roughly $90 billion in defense funds for 2011, a 12.7 percent boost over the nation's declared 2010 defense budget, the Asahi Shimbun reported (see GSN, March 3).

The People's Liberation Army's Second Artillery Corps, which oversees China's strategic nuclear force, would benefit significantly from the additional spending, one military insider said. "Along with the second artillery (the strategic missile unit), the navy also received preferential budget treatment," the source said.

National People's Congress spokesman Li Zhaoxing attempted to downplay possible concerns about the planned spending increase. "China continues to push a defensive national defense policy and it will not become a threat to any nation," the official said (Kenji Minemura, Asahi Shimbun, March 6).
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Since roughly 1991 the US has not built or tested a nuclear weapon and had massively downsized the strategic arsenal from around 12,000 warheads to, soon to be, New Start limits of 1550. All the way down to this level we were told that "US leadership" would allow the rest of the world to see the folly in developing their own nukes. Even today in the Wall Street Journal Kissinger, Nunn and Schultz repeated the "US must lead nuclear disarmament". What the heck have we been doing the last 20 years but disarming.
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
Chinese Defense Budget Boost Seen Aiding Nuclear Force
Monday, March 7, 2011

China on Friday announced it had set aside roughly $90 billion in defense funds for 2011, a 12.7 percent boost over the nation's declared 2010 defense budget, the Asahi Shimbun reported (see GSN, March 3).

The People's Liberation Army's Second Artillery Corps, which oversees China's strategic nuclear force, would benefit significantly from the additional spending, one military insider said. "Along with the second artillery (the strategic missile unit), the navy also received preferential budget treatment," the source said.

National People's Congress spokesman Li Zhaoxing attempted to downplay possible concerns about the planned spending increase. "China continues to push a defensive national defense policy and it will not become a threat to any nation," the official said (Kenji Minemura, Asahi Shimbun, March 6).
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Since roughly 1991 the US has not built or tested a nuclear weapon and had massively downsized the strategic arsenal from around 12,000 warheads to, soon to be, New Start limits of 1550. All the way down to this level we were told that "US leadership" would allow the rest of the world to see the folly in developing their own nukes. Even today in the Wall Street Journal Kissinger, Nunn and Schultz repeated the "US must lead nuclear disarmament". What the heck have we been doing the last 20 years but disarming.
More importantly, what the hell are they smoking? Is there any evidence, any at all, that unilateral disarmament will cause others to lay down their arms? Not that I've ever heard of. I can't believe how naive this administration is. :mad:
 

bobbymike

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Interesting

Tokyo Leader Calls For Japanese Nuclear Deterrent
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Japan's No. 2 most powerful elected official called for his nation to develop a nuclear arsenal to respond to the evolving military situations in China, Russia and North Korea, the London Independent reported on Tuesday (see GSN, Dec. 2, 2010). Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara told the British newspaper that his country had the capacity to build a nuclear weapon in a year or less time.

"People talk about the cost and other things but the fact is that diplomatic bargaining power means nuclear weapons. All the (permanent) members of the (United Nations) Security Council have them," he said. "All our enemies: China, North Korea and Russia -- all close neighbors -- have nuclear weapons. Is there another country in the world in a similar situation?" Ishihara asked. China is rapidly growing its military forces. In the last year, a longstanding feud flared up over the Senkaku Islands when a Chinese fishing vessel crashed into a Japanese coast guard ship not far from the Japanese-controlled islands over which Beijing claims dominion (see GSN, March 7). "China wouldn't have dared lay a hand on the Senkakus (if Japan had nuclear weapons)," Ishihara said of the maritime incident. Japan diplomatically crossed swords with Moscow last month over four islands that Russia has occupied since World War II, though Tokyo also claims them. Russia has announced plans to deploy antimissile systems and other weapons to the islands in light of the dispute (see GSN, Feb. 17). A nuclear arsenal would give Moscow greater pause in its dealings with Tokyo over the disputed islands, the conservative governor said. North Korea's continued nuclear and missile development has long been viewed as a serious threat by Japan (see GSN, March 8). Tokyo publicly abides by three voluntary non-nuclear principles that bar the country from ever developing or holding nuclear weapons, or allowing their movement across its territory. Japan is the only nation to ever be attacked with nuclear bombs and has been one of the most vocal international voices calling for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

Ishihara urged his country to throw out domestic limitations on the development and exportation of weaponry. "We should develop sophisticated weapons and sell them abroad. Japan made the best tanks in the world before America crushed the industry. We could get that back," he said. The governor asserted that onetime Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, who received international praise for his introduction of the three nonnuclear principles in the 1960s, behind closed doors sought U.S. assistance in acquiring a nuclear weapon (see GSN, June 18, 2010). "If the Sato administration had unilaterally developed weapons then, for a start North Korea wouldn't have taken so many of our citizens," Ishihara said in reference to the infamous kidnappings by the North (David McNeill, London Independent, March 8).
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There were some that said if the US went down to too few warheads and launchers our allies would question our commitment to "extended deterrence" and contemplate building their own arsenals and therefore our disarmament will increase proliferation. This is the EXACT opposite of what the arms control crowd said would happen (see my prior post on "US leadership")
 

Lauge

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Orionblamblam said:
......unleashing several dozen Trident missiles, with hundreds of warheads, wiping out a whole lot of cities.
Just curious: In this fictitious example, how did The Prez decide which cities to nuke? Darts at a wall atlas?

My point is that if "needs to retaliate in kind" immediately translates into "retaliate against someone, regardless of what (if anything) they had to do with the matter", I think I'll go brush off those old emergency A-bomb shelter plans..... ;)

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

bobbymike

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South Korean Lawmaker Pushes For Nuclear Deterrent
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A conservative South Korean legislator on Tuesday again raised the issue of Seoul developing nuclear weapons as a deterrent to potential new attacks by the North, the Korea Times reported (see GSN, March 4). "Until when should we beg a robber who threatens us to throw away his knife?" Song Young-sun, a member of the small opposition party Future Hope Alliance, asked at a conference she sponsored on the matter. South Koreans must realize that no amount of international pressure would prompt North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, Song said (see GSN, March 8). "Pyongyang will never give up its nukes," she said. "North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is convinced that his last resort to keep and maintain the regime is nuclear arms." This is not the first time Song has argued in favor of a South Korean nuclear deterrent (see GSN, Feb. 15). Korea Institute for National Unification senior researcher Cheon Seong-whun said it was crucial for South Korean legislators to publicly affirm that the 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is no longer viable due to the North's frequent violations of the pact.

"That agreement became scrap paper virtually before the ink was dry," Cheon said. Seoul should still heed the agreement's intent, he said. Korea Institute for Defense Analysis senior researcher Kim Tae-woo argued "it is neither feasible nor [an] ideal option for South Korea" to acquire a strategic deterrent. South Korea would lose more than it would gain by going nuclear, as a move of this kind would harm Seoul's ties with Washington and cause other significant negative international repercussions, Kim said. "South Korea, whose economy heavily depends on exports, will suffer greatly once it is isolated economically and diplomatically from the western world," Kim said (Lee Tae-hoon, Korea Times, March 8).
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Gee US disarmament is sure stopping nuclear proliferation :D
 

Orionblamblam

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Lauge said:
Just curious: In this fictitious example, how did The Prez decide which cities to nuke? Darts at a wall atlas?
As memory serves:
1: Major religious sites were specifically targetted, since it was a religious war
2: Major population centers
3: And since the nuking of the western cities was carried out by a terrorist group largely composed of Egpytians, IIRC something over a hundred nukes were lavished upon the Nile river valley from north to south.

The purpose of this was not proportional retaliation, but extermination. In the book, the nuking of the western cities was met with dancing in the streets across the Muslim world, which only grew when it became clear that the US president at the time was not going to drop the hammer. This of course PO'ed the US populace to no end, and bad things started happening to the co-religionists of the terrorists in the US. During the term of the first Pres, elements of the US public started taking things into their own hands, with lynchings and firebombings; once the next Pres gets in, deportation en masse become official policy.

Things get *really* bad in Europe.


The point being, everybody can get along kinda ok. Until someone pops the cork on nukes. And at that point, there will be *no* good response possible. Every imaginable response to a terrorist city-nuking will be Really, Really Bad.


My point is that if "needs to retaliate in kind" immediately translates into "retaliate against someone, regardless of what (if anything) they had to do with the matter", I think I'll go brush off those old emergency A-bomb shelter plans.....
You might want to get started on that sooner rather than later. A bomb shelter is kinda like a fire extinguisher or a personal firearm... you'd rather have one and not need it than need it and not have it.
 

Orionblamblam

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bobbymike said:
A conservative South Korean legislator on Tuesday again raised the issue of Seoul developing nuclear weapons ...
An upside to this is that [donlafontaine] in a world [/donlafontaine] with rampant nuclear weapons development, it becomes really hard for the western anti-nuke activists to make any sort of point whatsoever.

Maybe we could finally get Orion back.

Relevant:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28htktcco_s
 

sferrin

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Japan has been making noise about nukes as well. Personally, I'd prefer both SK and Japan build their own nukes. If Taiwan was smart, they'd do the same.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
Japan has been making noise about nukes as well. Personally, I'd prefer both SK and Japan build their own nukes. If Taiwan was smart, they'd do the same.
Countries like this have been saying for a while now that if the US does not maintain a robust "extended deterrence" force then they will produce their own weapons. Hillary Clinton (and Gates, I believe) went to Japan during New Start to assuage the Japanese that they still were under our nuclear umbrella despite the deep cuts to our arsenal. I guess the talk did not convince them.

Military leaders in China have stated they plan on matches the US arsenal and I said at the time it is much easier to "match" 1550 warheads than 12000 or even old Start levels of 5000. Our disarmament has invited this nascent arms race when the exact opposite of what we were told would happen - something like path to zero singing kumbaya or something.
 

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Nuclear Weapons work:

“Mininukes” and low-yield weapons: Future new design work will likely center on low-yield weapons in the five kilotons or below range (including so-called “mini-nukes”). These weapons would inherently be more dangerous because they are more likely to be used. The Warner-Allard provision of the FY 2001 Senate Defense Authorization Bill required DOE to undertake mini-nuke research and development, a direction that has been legislatively barred since 1994 (funding for that provision was not appropriated in House/Senate conference). SNL Director Paul Robinson has urged that the US develop low-yield weapons, most specifically for forward-based submarine-launched strategic and cruise missiles that would use GPS guidance systems for precise accuracy. He has also proposed using “dummy” secondaries in existing designs so that only single-stage (plutonium pit-only) yields would be obtained. Steve Younger, LANL Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons Technologies, has proposed low-yield weapons based on existing HEU designs. These would have the advantage of requiring neither full-scale testing nor a massive plutonium infrastructure.

Submarine Warhead Protection Program: The weapons labs are planning for a “replacement warhead design for the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Warhead Protection Program.” In Spring 2000 Sandia Labs conducted a flight test of a new warhead concept that “investigated potential future replacement options.”

Supporting Research and Development: “General supporting R&D [under Directed Stockpile Work] pursues technologies which are used to support the nuclear weapons stockpile, but are not designed for a specific weapons system. Activities include military characteristics as issued by the Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC), technology development/material studies, and advanced development systems engineering.” This may well be a source of funding ($32.5 million in FY00) for new design work.

Future Plutonium Pit Production: As already stated, DOE NNSA is spending $217.7 million at LANL in FY02 for plutonium pit production. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that LANL’s limited capabilities are not sufficient for the future pit production rates that NNSA believes is necessary for the “enduring” nuclear weapons stockpile. In FY01, NNSA requested $2 million for conceptual design activities for a “modern” pit facility that could have production rates of up to 450 pits annually (roughly half of Cold War levels). For FY02, the request is $4 million. Senior government officials have recently described LANL’s pit production capabilities as a mere “interim, R&D effort” and have stated that concrete planning for the super facility must begin immediately. It can hardly be overstated that US plans for a new and modern plutonium pit production facility is evidence enough of the lack of genuine US commitment to NPT Article VI.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF): DOE has touted the NIF as a vitally needed dual-use (both weapons and physics R&D) inertial confinement fusion facility. It is currently far over budget and way behind its construction schedule. Among other future weapons applications, one of its future missions is to “conduct laser/fireball test in National Ignition Facility (NIF) to improve understanding [of] in-tunnel blast.” This is likely related to ongoing work on earth-penetrating nuclear weapons and/or low-yield weapons under Directed Stockpile Work and Threat Reduction Programs.

Joint Test Assemblies (JTAs): JTAs are real warheads minus their nuclear parts and real delivery systems launched through their entire warfighting “Stockpile to Target Sequence.” New, high-fidelity JTAs are now being developed for the W76, W80 and W87. JTAs are a major component of the benign-sounding Stockpile Surveillance Program. DOE conducted 43 JTA flight tests in 1999.

Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF): LANL and the Air Force are attempting to super compress deuterium-tritium into a high-density plasma which burns as nuclear fusion, all in a cylinder the size of a beer can. While MTF research is being advertised for future energy production, empirical demonstration would likely have immediate and profound weapons applications. If MTF was ever successful, pure fusion weapons could be possible. The implication is that fission triggers (plutonium pits) would no longer be necessary for initiating fusion in thermonuclear weapons. This, in turn, could lead to “mini-nuke” development. LANL has projected that several billion dollars of research will be spent on MTF.
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The problem is that many of these programs are older (2000 to 2005) and I have not read much since about weapons research and development. I don't know how much, if any, work is being done today to insure the US has preeminence is all things nuclear.
 

sferrin

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I'd be astonished if there was anything on that list that hasn't been cancelled or scaled back to "powerpoint presentation" status.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
when the action was carried out by an Al Queda stand-in using former Soviet nukes, who do you actually declare war on?
You can nuke an ideology. Give me three warheads. My target list consists of three places, two beginning with "M" and one with "Q". THAT is the only acceptable nuclear response to a terrorist nuclear strike on an American city.

Orionblamblam said:
it becomes really hard for the western anti-nuke activists to make any sort of point whatsoever.
When did they ever?
 
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