Thursday, March 29, 2012

We Must End Nuclear Brinksmanship

Common Dreams: For Nuclear Security Beyond Seoul, Eradicate Land-Based 'Doomsday' MissilesBy Daniel Ellsberg and David Krieger, 28 March 12

[excerpted] "Last month we were among 15 protesters who were arrested in the middle of the night at Vandenberg Air Force Base, some 70 miles north of Santa Barbara, Calif. We were protesting the imminent test flight of a Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile.

The Air Force rationale for doing these tests is to ensure the reliability of the US nuclear deterrent force; but launch-ready land-based nuclear-armed ballistic missiles are the opposite of a deterrent to attack. In fact, their very deployment has the potential to launch World War III and precipitate human extinction - as a result of a false alarm.

We're not exaggerating. Here's why: These nuclear missiles are first-strike weapons - most of them would not survive a nuclear attack. In the event of a warning of a Russian nuclear attack, there would be an incentive to launch all 450 of these Minuteman missiles before the incoming enemy warheads could destroy them in their silos.

If the warning turned out to be false (there have been many false warnings), and the US missiles were launched before the error was detected, World War III would be underway. The Russians have the same incentive to launch their land-based missiles upon warning of a perceived attack.

...This is because smoke from the enormous nuclear firestorms created by even a "successful" US nuclear first-strike would cause catastrophic disruption of global climate and massive destruction of the Earth's protective ozone layer, leading to global famine.

Recent peer-reviewed studies, done by atmospheric scientists Alan Robock (Rutgers), Brian Toon (University of Colorado-Boulder), Richard Turco (UCLA) and colleagues, predict that such an attack would create immense firestorms that would quickly surround the planet with a dense stratospheric smoke layer...."

Majia here: Think again, everyone who thought that nuclear brinksmanship ended with the Cold War.

Succeeding Where Bush Failed: The Obama Administration's Nuclear Weapon Surge. Counterpunch. By Darwin Bond-Graham

[excerpted] "Obama's first term will go down in history, however, as containing one of the single largest spending increases on nuclear weapons ever. His administration has worked vigorously to commit the nation to a multi-hundred-billion-dollar reinvestment in nuclear weapons, mapped out over the next three-plus decades.At the center of Obama's ambitious nuclear agenda is the expansion of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex via a multibillion-dollar construction program.

...Also, at the center of Obama's nuclear agenda is a commitment of tens of billions of dollars to designing and building the next generation of nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers. Stockpiled nuclear warheads will receive billions more in refurbishment and new components. All of this is now underway. Completion dates for various pieces of this puzzle span the next half-century. Finally, Obama's nuclear policies have been designed to leave the door open to new weapons at some future date..."

Majia here: Hence, the US has actually been building up, rather than down, its nuclear arsenal (especially under Obama)

China is serving as the primary adversary, at least the overt primary adversary, in this new cold war

and Japan seems happy to play also in this dirty game of death


1 comment:

  1. Just another reason to SHUT THEM DOWN

    Nuke makes no sense from an economic viewpoint.

    It costs around $15B to build a modern nuke plant, and takes about 10 years.

    Investors want a 10% or even 20% annual rate of return in general, maybe on something super safe and reliable they would be willing to receive 7%.

    But with nuke, picture that at year 5 you have the heavy infrastructure in place, much of the big money spent, say $10B,

    At that point investors would want at least $1B minimum a year, and yet you have to wait 5 more years to get anything........more here