Author Topic: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.  (Read 8472 times)

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Offline dominique

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I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« on: April 03, 2006, 03:17:35 AM »
. . . from re-entry to impact . . . one minute.



Testing at the Kwajalein Atoll of the Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles, all eight fired from only one missile.
Each line, were its warhead live, represents the explosive power of twenty-five Hiroshima-sized (Little Boy) weapons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG-118A_Peacekeeper



Since the beginning of space exploration the atmospheric reentry of man-made artifacts has created what could be considered synthetic meteors.
The tragic breakup of the space shuttle Columbia was certainly the most widely viewed of these events.
Columbia breakup
http://www.billdolson.com/reentryseries/reentryseries.htm



Equally compelling but far less widely known were the tests of the MIRVed "Peacekeeper" ICBM nuclear missiles at Kwajalein Atol in the Pacific. ("MIRV" stands for Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles"). In these tests up to ten simulated warheads effected simultaneous reentry, creating haunting geometrically organized synthetic meteor showers whose impact was magnified by the realization that this would be the visual precursor to nuclear annihilation.




































« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 11:49:27 PM by dominique »
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Offline dominique

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 03:23:27 AM »
The New York Times
September 13, 1981, Sunday Book Review

Call It Suigenocide

MX Prescription for Disaster. By Herbert Scoville Jr. Illustrated. 231 pp.   
Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. Cloth, $15. Paper, $6.95.

By THOMAS POWERS

BACK in 1969 it was proposed to Henry Kissinger that the United States seek a ban on MIRV technology in the first round of strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) with the Soviet Union. MIRV stands for multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle. MIRV is to missiles what Samuel Colt's six-shot revolver was to the cap-and-ball horse pistol. With a six-shooter, one man may shoot many men. With MIRV, one missile may shoot many missiles. This may seem a small and obvious improvement, but it had a large effect. MIRV destroyed the only genuine nuclear strategy we had - the idea of the perpetual standoff, the ''mutual assured destruction'' that made war unthinkable. MIRV was ''destabilizing.'' Accurate MIRV's reintroduced the idea of war - something you could win by being first with the most.

Back in 1969 only a few people saw this clearly. Henry Kissinger did not. He h as since publicly regretted not having paid closer attention. At the time, he was inclined to side with the Department of Defense, which saw MIRV as an advantage, something we had and the Soviets didn't. As a result SALT I was negotiated and signed without an agreement on MIRV, which the United States began to deploy on its Minuteman and Poseidon missiles in 1970. There are no secrets in the world of strategic arms. The Soviets knew what we were doing. They began to deploy MIRVs in 1975. Now Soviet ICBM's with accurate MIRV's threat en - at least theoretically - the entire U.S. land-based missile force of 1,000 Minutemen and 52 Titans.

It would be hard to exaggerate the alarm this has generated in military and intelligence circles in Washington. It's not that the Pentagon thinks the Russians are working toward the moment when they can catch us on the ground in a bolt-out-of-the-blue surprise attack. But, in the sort of crises that might lead to war, they could - thus facing us with the awful choice of kissing our ICBM's goodbye, or preparing to launch on warning, which means, in effect, to launch when the computers tell us to. The problem is a genuine one, and it lends an aura of safety, simplicity and innocence to the long-ago days of single-shot missiles in hardened silos when there was simply no way for either side to destroy the weapons of the other.

The Department of Defense has a solution to the problem. It is the Missile Experimental, or MX - a large new missile, the biggest allowed us under SALT - each one equipped with 10 superaccurate MIRVs. The Air Force wants to hide 200 of the missiles among 4,600 protected shelters in Nevada and Utah. The Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, is currently trying to decide if this is a good idea. The cost of the Air Force proposal has been variously estimated at up to $100 billion. The purpose of the proposal is to protect our landbased missiles against a Soviet surprise attack. The cause of the proposal is the failure to reach a SALT ban on MIRV technology in 1969, when there was still time. We might refer to this as the $100 billion misunderstanding.

There is a great deal more that might be said about the MX. It can all be found in Herbert Scoville's short lucid book ''MX: Prescription for Disaster,'' which is also the best and the most accessible introduction to the entire issue of strategic arms. I can think of no other single volume that so well captures the flavor of the debate, summarizes its main arguments and outlines its history, without forgetting what it's all about - the threat of war on a scale so awesome we ought to call it suigenocide. M r. Scoville is clear on this point: What we need is not a Band-Aid like the five-year MIRV lead, but a policy that offers ''security now and in the next century.'' This may seem overambitious, but nothing less will do. Men can never forget how to make nuclear weapons. We must learn to control them and - in all probability - to survive them for so long as the race shall live.

There are two basic styles in the discussion of nuclear war - the prophetic and the rationalist. Mr. Scoville is a rationalist. He has spent his entire life in one end or another of the weapons business, beginning with the nuclear weapons laboratory at Los Alamos in 1946 and including eight years with the C.I.A. (trying to keep track of what the Russians were building) and six years with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. For the last decade he has been active with various private arms control efforts. He writes in the tone of one confident that man is a thinking animal, that a persuasive argument, clearly expressed, will carry the day against fear or bureaucratic inertia. This is a surprisingly hopeful view for a man who has spent so many years watching the arms builders achieve one technical triumph after another.

Mr. Scoville has two main arguments against the MX as proposed by the Air Force. The first is that it will not really be hidden. The Soviets can target 4,600 warheads on the 4,600 shelters and destroy them, just as they are rapidly approaching the point where they can destroy Minuteman now. Where is the sense in giving the Soviets reason for scrapping SALT limits and building 4,600 more warheads?

The second argument addresses a point even more troubling. The MX's 2,000 warheads will threaten the entire Soviet ICBM force - 1,400 launchers representing three-quarters of the Russian strategic forces. (United States ICBM's represent only one-quarter of our strategic forces.) In a crisis tipping toward war, the very existence of the MX will push the Russians toward a pre-emptive strike. Where is the sense in giving the Russians incentive for a desperate act in times of tension?

But clearly Washington is determined to build something. Mr. Scoville has sensible suggestions: Phase out land-based missiles entirely, put the MX on small submarines at sea and exercise restraint in its design (don't make it so accurate that the Russians have to do so mething to protect their ICBM's). These are breathtaking proposals. Take ICBMs away from the Air Force? Give MX to the Navy, which likes big nuclear-powered subs, not small diesel-powered craft? Voluntarily refrain from building superaccurate missiles, when the Russians are busy doing so? In the world of Washington these proposals are unthinkable, and Mr. Scoville knows it. But he believes in reason, he has exercised it powerfully in this sane little book, and the rest of us must hope his faith is well placed.

 

Thomas Powers is the author of ''The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA.'' He is currently writing a history of American strategic weapons.

http://www.clw.org/scoville/nyt-091381.html
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Offline dominique

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 03:27:31 AM »


High altitude nuclear explosion
Bluegill Triple Prime shot, 1962, altitude 31 miles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_altitude_nuclear_explosion
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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2006, 11:44:06 AM »
What MIRV Warheads Look Like




The above photo is of the warhead components to the Peacekeeper ICBM.
http://www.geocities.com/peacekeeper_icbm/warhead.htm

The LGM-118A Peacekeeper was a land-based ICBM deployed by the United States starting in 1986.
Under the unratified START II treaty, the missile was removed from the US nuclear arsenal in 2005,
leaving the LGM-30 Minuteman as the only type of land-based ICBM in the US arsenal.

The Peacekeeper was a MIRVed missile: each rocket could carry up to 10 re-entry vehicles,
each
armed with a 300 kiloton W-87 warhead/MK-21 RVs
(twenty-five times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG-118A_Peacekeeper


Ten x 25 Hiroshimas


« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 04:11:58 PM by dominique »
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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 11:55:35 AM »
Peacekeeper ICBM Cold Launch Sequence


























These and other photos:  http://www.geocities.com/peacekeeper_icbm/photo_gallery1.htm

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2006, 12:01:40 PM »



From Launch to Impact . . . 34 1/3 Minutes.

Vandenberg AFB, California, USA to the lagoon of Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands = 7,000 miles

« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 04:06:38 PM by dominique »
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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006, 04:03:37 PM »



World map with nuclear weapons development status represented by color.

Red:  Five "nuclear weapons states" from the NPT. (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and People's Republic of China).

Dark Orange:  Other known nuclear powers. (India and Pakistan).

Yellow:  States suspected of having possession of, or suspected of being in the process of developing, nuclear weapons and/or nuclear programs. (Israel, North Korea and Iran).

Purple:  States which at one point had nuclear weapons and/or nuclear weapons research programs. (Argentina, Australia, Ukraine, Belarus, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Yugoslavia).

Green:  Other states capable of developing nuclear weapons within a short amount of time. (Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia).

Grey:  States which are not believed to have nuclear weapons, nor the capability of developing them quickly.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nuclear_weapon_programs_worldwide.png

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2006, 04:05:54 PM »
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2006, 04:31:12 PM »

:o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o 

. . . Try our new . . .

Bomb-A-City Calculator


Pick an American city.
Pick the size of the bomb you wish to detonate virtually (1 kt to 4 MT).
Choose your method of delivery (aircraft or automobile/suitcase).
Then see the radius within which most buildings would be destroyed.




other interesting resources:
http://www.fas.org/main/content.jsp?formAction=315&projectId=7&projectName=Nuclear+Weapons&contentTypeId=41&contentTypeDesc=Resources



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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2006, 06:00:25 PM »
Northrop to replace ICBM reentry vehicles

Mar. 31, 2006 at 12:10PM

Northrop Grumman will begin production of re-entry vehicles that will replace the nuclear armament on the U.S. Minuteman III ballistic missile fleet.

      The $135 million contract announced Friday is part of the Safety Enhanced Re-entry Vehicle (SERV) program that swaps out the Minuteman's current reentry vehicles with those from decommissioned Peacekeeper missiles.

      The project will equip the Minuteman III with a single Mk 21 reentry vehicle that has capabilities superior to those of the ICBM's current W78 vehicle. All 500 vehicles are expected to be refitted by 2011.

      The Mk-21/W87 is a 300-kiloton weapon that packs a slightly smaller thermonuclear punch than the W78, but is considered to be more accurate and more flexible in its targeting.

      The SERV program is one of eight ICBM modification projects under way and managed by Northrop Grumman.

      Northrop said it was given the full-rate production contract following a third round of flight testing in February in which modified hardware and software was successfully integrated with the Minuteman's existing weapons system.

      "The significance of this third flight test is that it also demonstrated the successful integration of every major Minuteman III modernization and life-extension effort managed by Northrop Grumman, such as the guidance and propulsion and command center upgrades," said company Vice President John Clay.

http://washtimes.com/upi/20060331-120252-1744r.htm
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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2006, 01:57:30 PM »
The Challenges of Avoiding Nuclear Holocaust

SYDNEY DRELL

Interviewed by John M. Whiteley

Quest for Peace Video Series

Sydney Drell is Professor and Deputy Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Co-Director of the Stanford Center for International Security and Arms Control. He is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Prize. Today he shares some of his central views on the quest for peace.

Whiteley: Professor Drell, you`ve written that however difficult the path in our slow evolutionary voyage, we must catch up with the nuclear revolution, and the sooner the safer. What are you trying to share with us?

Drell: Well what I`m saying there is that with the transition to nuclear weapons we have increased the destructive energy release in our bombs by factors of a million, and we`ve turned each weapon into a weapon of mass destruction. We`ve come to the point that with weapons of this enormous destructive potential, and with the numbers that now exist in the world (altogether more than fifty-thousand nuclear weapons), we have reached the point that we can literally destroy the conditions for human survival. We certainly have reached a point of being able to destroy the civilization built through the centuries by human genius and sweat, and we`ve brought into question the survival of the human race. This is a revolution. Nuclear weapons now are so destructive that we can kill ourselves, and it seems to me that while we have to develop a new way of resolving our disputes as people, we have to develop a new understanding of what these weapons can and cannot do and how they threaten us, to see to it that for the first time in history we won`t use weapons that we have created.

Whiteley: You`ve written and quoted George Frost Kennan that the whole concept of advantage is simply not relevant anymore.

Drell: Well that`s because I believe that nuclear weapons are not weapons of direct military value; they are weapons of no direct military value. They have a single purpose: to deter the use of nuclear weapons by others, and this is in contrast to previous periods where when one went to war, victory usually resulted by first exhausting your enemy, and then defeating them. We are now in a condition where I believe (President Eisenhower first said this back in the middle 1950s) that war is no longer possible; we have reached a point where war now becomes the destruction of the enemy and suicide. These were his words. And so as long as we both have now many thousands more than 20,000 each, speaking of the two Superpowers (the Soviet Union and the United States) which have more than 99% of the world`s weapons (about that percentage), we`ve reached a point where going to war may very well mean committing suicide. We both have much more than necessary to deter an opponent by physically having the capacity to destroy in a retaliatory strike, and on this level, one is to ask how much is enough? Is there an advantage to having more weapons when we both can have so much overkill? I can see prudent planning for a stable deterrent posture in the world. Prudent planning to have stability in our strategic relationship, particularly in time of crisis, calls for us to have weapons that we can have confidence in, that they cannot be destroyed in a preemptive strike, that they are secure, they can survive an attack on them, so that we know, and a potential attacker knows, that he risks unacceptable damage to himself in retaliation for a first-strike.

Whiteley: This is the fruits of development since World War II that the fabric of civilization is at risk, and it raises the question of the uses of scientific knowledge. But the involvement of scientists, as you`ve written, from Archimedes to Michelangelo to the present in making war is nothing new, but you describe as in a Faustian dilemma now. What do you mean?

Drell: Well, I would say that scientists who leave their laboratories and their research institutes and enter into the public domain, advising, participating in military planning and thinking, have always made somewhat of what I would call a `˜Faustian bargain.` We leave our laboratories where we have our expertise, where we have confidence in the fixed laws of nature; we come out into the world where the political laws, the political climate changes, where we`re not trained experts but we are dealing with the political forces, and where the consequences of what we are doing sometimes cannot be perceived or, in fact, may be results which we don`t approve of.

I always have in mind the poignant picture of my good friend Andrei Sakharov, now in his exile in the Soviet Union in Gorky. He made his Faustian bargain when in the 1940s, when he finished his studies, he contributed so crucially to the development of the Soviet hydrogen bomb on a premise. His premise was that the world would be safer if there were a socialist bomb to balance the capitalist bomb, as he said. But then he grew over the next fifteen years to realize that what he had helped create was in a certain sense a monster out of control, as his government created more weapons, continued testing in the atmosphere, threatening the help of peoples, and he could not support this policy anymore. So in fact he became disillusioned, he opposed the system. He now is rejected by the system. We, of course, closer to home, have the tale of a Robert Oppenheimer who created a weapon, but then society rejected him and didn`t trust him. So we take risks when we go out into the world as scientists; we make the bargain. What makes the situation so poignant now, so dangerous now, is that we are dealing with cosmic forces when we`re dealing with nuclear weapons. We`re dealing with energy releases that are so great that the danger to mankind as a result of the weapons we`ve created is much greater than before, and as I say at the offset, even raises questions about the survival of mankind, and certainly of our civilization.

Whiteley: Well here`s where you`ve drawn on C. P. Snow`s observation about the bizarre occurrence in an advanced technological society where the people most affected by decisions are not privy to the debates, and the decision-making by a handful of people that fatefully affect us all. What`s the proper role of an informed public opinion at this time in our history?

Drell: Well, I think that in view of the enormous danger posed by nuclear weapons, particularly in a world armed at the level we are now, it is a very major burden of responsibility on an informed public to think our way through the challenge and see how best we can meet it. I think it`s a responsibility of very great proportions because I think the number one challenge we face as a civilization today is to avoid a nuclear holocaust. We have weapons. In the past, history shows that every weapon that has been created has eventually been used, and yet we now sit in a world with more than 50,000 nuclear weapons which, if used, in large part will alter the conditions of survival. So the challenge, the dangers have never been greater, and I think it is the responsibility of thinking people, of informed people to address the difficulty as best they can. One does not have to be a nuclear physicist to face these problems; in fact the problems are by and large political problems. But one has to understand the danger posed by these weapons; one has to therefore address the challenge of how to develop means of resolving our differences without resorting to weapons. If they are, as President Eisenhower said, `˜weapons of suicide` they are not legitimate means anymore for us to resolve differences. And this is obviously a very great challenge, but it`s one in which I think there`s hope we will succeed. Because as I look at the history of the nuclear era since 1945, I see that public constituencies have been created that have had a significant effect on our policy in dealing with nuclear weapons.

Whiteley: As a prelude to thinking about current issues before our democracy, I would like to ask you to reflect back on several key and fateful decisions, and share with us what you would have us learn from them. Let`s start with the decision to proceed with the development of the hydrogen bomb.

Drell: Well that`s a very good example because in the early 1950s we faced this fateful decision, as did the Soviet Union. Now that is a decision that was made by a small group of people - scientists, government leaders `” and it was made behind closed doors. The public was not part of that debate. I have no notion that we could have prevented the development of the hydrogen bomb. What I`m referring to here is that first we had the A-bomb, the atomic bomb, such as destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The hydrogen bomb uses that A-bomb as a trigger, and has destructive energy releases up to a thousand times greater. Now, was it necessary to take that step? Might we have negotiated in the face of the enormous danger, evil of such weapons? Might we have negotiated to avoid taking that step? I don`t know. The relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union then in the Cold War were not relations that make one optimistic that we might have had constructive negotiations, but we never tried. The people never were involved in the discussion, the public at large of either country. Several leaders decided to go ahead unilaterally, and we made this fateful decision to go ahead. We lost what might have been an opportunity, however slim, to try and head off the development of hydrogen bombs. The scientists involved, as we now know from the unclassified record, Oppenheimer, Ferme, Rabe, all the great scientists involved (and the senior statesmen then) questioned whether it might be possible to avoid this step, but there was no public debate. There was no diplomacy, no effort through diplomacy with the Soviet Union; we lost an opportunity to head off that escalation and destructive power.

Whiteley: Let`s take a second example, the ban against atmospheric testing and the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty.

Drell: Those are two distinct examples; let me take them because they`re very important. In the late 1950s, 1960 time-frame we had been testing (the United States and the Soviet Union) many `” had been making many tests in the atmosphere, generating atmospheric fallout, increasing the background radiation, and I think (led by scientists realizing the consequences of the fallout) there was a growing perception that continued atmospheric testing created a very major environmental problem. I`m not talking about an arms control problem, but an environmental problem. The question was being raised `˜is this fallout good for our families, for our friends, for our children?` And I think with a large public interest aroused, coupled with studies made by scientists themselves as to how far the bomb development had gone, how far it could go, with what confidence could one verify that if there were a ban on testing nuclear explosions so that they were not tested any longer in the atmosphere, but perhaps only underground, we came to the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty, so-called Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1962 when it was ratified.

Here I`d say that the element of the public in, shall I say, in encouraging, persuading governments to focus their attention on this problem and realize it was a problem of major concern to peoples around the world was an important ingredient in getting that Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty. I think that just shows that the role of the public can be effective, can be very important, as I think it was also in the second example you mentioned - the ABM negotiation and Treaty. Remember that in 1967-68 the United States began to make plans to deploy some ballistic missile defenses. The Soviet Union had already started making a limited deployment around Moscow, and we in this country (first a proposal by President Johnson, and then President Nixon) began to think of deploying the system. There what happened was that people, when they learned of this decision (and it was approved by the President) realized that in its original form this system was going to call for the deployment of nuclear-tipped defensive missiles; interceptors near the major northern cities of the United States to protect them. And citizens in the major northern cities - Boston, Detroit, Chicago and the like - woke up to the question of - to the fact, I should say - that there were going to be nuclear-tipped missiles, figuratively speaking, in their backyard, and this did not prove to be a very attractive idea.

This generated a public discussion. Out of that public discussion there were hearings, open hearings in the United States Congress about whether we should proceed in this direction; and out of this involvement of the public - not in a straight arms control issue, but in an issue - I`ll call it again an environmental one - `˜do we want nuclear-tipped interceptor missiles trying to defend against the intercontinental attacking ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads in our backyard?` Out of this debate there grew a far deeper understanding of two important issues: namely, the technical one of could this defense be very effective, or could it be countered technically by the offense; and two, what will be the impact of such a development on the arms race, on the prospects of reducing the risk of nuclear war, on stability? And this major debate in the United States, triggered by public hearings in the Senate, led us to recognize how futile was the quest for a ballistic missile defense of the nation, and indeed we ended up negotiating the ABM Treaty of 1972, which is enforced today; it`s a treaty of unlimited duration. I think it`s our most important arms control achievement. And I cite that along with the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty as two examples when a public became a vital force in the discussion in our democracy, and I believe led us to take very constructive action.

Whiteley: Before proceeding to the issues before our democracy today, let`s take one final historical example: the decision to deploy multiple-independently targeted reentry vehicles.

Drell: So-called MIRVS, yes.

Whiteley: Would we be safer as a society today if there had been a public debate at the time of deployment and a determination, concert with an agreement with the Russians, not to move into this deployment?

Drell:  Unquestionably. Unquestionably, we would be safer. Much of the debate of recent years about the "window of vulnerability" that some people have for a period claimed that we are suffering now; much is debate about strategic stability, and whether it`s been challenged, has been the result of the build-up of MIRVs on both sides. The point is that a key to deterrence is the recognition by both of the Superpowers, as we face one another, that there can be no advantage to attacking first. With MIRVs, which are a multiplier - they make each missile with its many warheads, each of which can be aimed with precision on individual targets - they make it possible now for one attacking missile to, in principal, destroy many of the ICBMs and hardened silos of their opponent. And so it makes it possible to think that if you attack first, you can destroy enough of your opponents` retaliatory power that you might have an advantage. I find that very difficult and specious reasoning, because I think that there is no way in a first-strike to destroy the entire retaliatory power of the other side.

But nevertheless, our confidence in the survivability of our deterrent force has been reduced by the MIRV. The MIRV has tripled the number of intercontinental warheads in the world since we`ve started our arms control negotiation. They created the perceived need in this country for the MX missile, some way of beefing up our ICBM capability because of our fear that Minutemen near silos might be vulnerable to Soviet attack, because they MIRV. We`d be much better off had we agreed not to MIRV. But that`s an example where a decision was made without public debate. We were focusing on the ABM debate which was the most important first step to take, but there was no public pressure saying we don`t want MIRVs in the middle of Wyoming or North Dakota. There were no major political forces operating, and so without proper scrutiny we made a decision which Henry Kissinger said recently we`d be much better off if we hadn`t made. If he had understood then what he now understands (those were his words), we might not have MIRV`d. We didn`t make the serious effort. There was no political pressure. It was a military system that was easy to build, cheap to build - people went ahead and did it.

We`d be much better off if we scrutinized very thoroughly the implications of MIRV, of having MIRV. That`s a lost opportunity. That would have taken an arms control constituency. It was not an environmental question really. There were no population centers being affected, or existing missile silos were just having more weapons put on them instead of just one in the MIRV, and so it would have taken a real arms control constituency to have an effect on that debate, but we have one now. The very fact that programs like this are being made, the debate in the public which has surrounded issues like the MX, or whether Star Wars is a good thing or not; the issues that have been raised by the Catholic Bishops in their letter, by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, by the entire freeze movement. These issues are now before the public.

We have a public constituency, and so I personally have some optimism that as we move into the years ahead now, there`s a good chance that we will have a continuing and an informed public debate on the issue posed by continual weapons build-up, by the move toward Star Wars (or the Strategic Defense Initiative), or the move toward more weapons in space in general including any satellite weapons, and that a product of this informed debate may be a more carefully thought through policy, and therefore more prospect, I hope, for arms control success; but above all, improvement in our understanding of the dangers of these strategic weapons and therefore perhaps in reducing the risk that they might be used.

Whiteley: What would you have your fellow citizens think about on a number of issues currently before the democracy? Let`s take first the notion of whether defense is possible in the nuclear age, and particularly, is it possible with the Strategic Defense Initiative to make the world safer?

Drell: Well, I would have citizens think of two questions: One is, when one thinks about a defense, is the technical side. Can we achieve it; what can we do? And then the other side, I`ll call the political or strategic side, how will the effort affect stability and the risk of a war occurring? On the technical side a general public has a certain disadvantage. We`re talking about very sophisticated technologies that are coming along: the most advanced performances that can be achieved with very bright lasers, with very elegant optical systems that are huge, but are operating at their theoretical limit of perfection. And here, without being a scientist it`s somewhat difficult to know when you hear competing ones, which ones to believe. My own view is that one has to first listen to the arguments and not be put off by such statements as `˜there are secrets I can`t tell you. If you knew what I knew then you would agree with me.`

Whiteley: You`ve said that`s often an argument that `˜the emperor has no clothes.` What do you mean?

Drell: Well I mean that these issues with a little effort can be understood. Whatever system is being built is being built according to the laws of physics, and those are not classified or secret laws. I think with good common sense and effort one can understand the basic elements. For example, the Star Wars idea is to have many layers of a defense, each one less than perfect, but in their accumulated action, layer after layer, one would have a defense that is highly effective. Technically one can think of each component of that system: the sensors, the satellites that are going to acquire the targets, that are going to discriminate targets from decoys, that are going to focus the kill mechanisms. One can look at the kill mechanisms and see how bright a laser can be made. One doesn`t want to be a technical naysayer and say that each one of these elements can`t work. But remember, to have an effective defense of a nation, to put an astrodome over one, to make these weapons impotent and obsolete, this entire system of hundreds of platforms, hundreds of elements, the most advanced computers that have yet to be designed has to work perfectly the first time it`s turned on in a nuclear atmosphere.

I think that for a defense to lead to stability, to contribute to making the world safer it has to be - it has to proceed in a framework of restraint on the offensive weapons that we`ve achieved some progress in arms control. Without that restraint I fear that as one moves ahead with defense, and I`m speaking now about the imperfect defense because I think all recognize that`s all one can realistically talk about, as the defense proceeds, each side in order to preserve its deterrent is most likely to build up further offensive forces --countermeasures with more offenses and more penetration aids on the offenses. After all, that`s how the MIRV was born.

When we saw the first primitive Russian ABM around Moscow, we said quite properly, how do we protect our deterrent capability? and we MIRVd and the world is not safer as a result. If one is looking for a safer world with nuclear weapons I think the principle to be understood is that there`s no technological fix to our problem. The fix has got to proceed with improved diplomatic relations with progress in arms control. I think the path to a safer world has to start with serious dialogue, serious progress in arms control, which I hope we are returning to now. In such a framework where there are limits on the offenses, indeed not only limits but severe reductions, then it would be a wonderful challenge to try and figure out with the Russians and with all nuclear nations, how to proceed to a safer world in which we have an effective defense, and the threat of nuclear weapons is reduced to the point of being not as serious as it is today.

And I think that one has to start one`s way to a safer way with progress in arms control, with limits, with reductions in the offense, and a development of perhaps then of some means of making the transition from where we are today, with the terrible threat of more than 50,000 nuclear weapons, to a safer world.

Whiteley: Professor Drell, thank you for sharing with us today your insights into the way to a safer world and the role of an informed citizen toward a more peaceful world.


http://www.ucf.ics.uci.edu/~zencin/peace2/interviews/drell.html
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Offline dominique

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2006, 07:53:29 PM »
The Zero-Sum Game

Why the Bush administration's policy of 'preventative' engagement could make nuclear warfare a reality

By Peter Byrne

The year before George W. Bush became president, I saw a truly frightening Hollywood film. It was written and directed by Rod Lurie and starred Kevin Pollak as President Walter Emerson. The low-budget thriller culminated in a 10-minute monologue by the president explaining that he just dropped a hydrogen bomb on Baghdad to "deter" Saddam Hussein. This was not Dr. Strangelove, not an antiwar movie`”this was a real argument for nuking millions of Iraqis to serve a political end.

The movie was called Deterrence, but it should have been called In Cold Blood since it argued "logically" that protecting American business interests abroad justifies the vaporization of a city. Lurie's polemical art extolled the use of nuclear weapons to wage "preventive" warfare, which has replaced the concept of "mutually assured destruction" in the lexicon of those who think the unthinkable.

Fast-forward six years to the living room of Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who gave the top-secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1969, thereby exposing the Vietnam War as a dirty, aggressive affair that had nothing to do with liberating the Vietnamese, and everything to do with securing Southeast Asian markets for corporate America. For three hours, the septuagenarian Ellsberg regaled me with an eyewitness account of debates about the meaning of deterrence inside the nuclear warfare complex from Eisenhower to Nixon.

During the Cold War, Ellsberg worked as a "game theorist" for the Rand Corporation and, then, at the Department of Defense as a high-ranking official developing nuclear attack options. At Rand, he used the statistical methods of game theory`”which purports to describe how "rational" people act when confronted with rational choices`”to show that it was irrational to develop nuclear first strike capabilities against the Soviet Union. Ellsberg's math demonstrated that manufacturing attack missiles capable of destroying Soviet missiles would achieve the opposite of deterrence: It would encourage the Soviets to bomb us before we bombed them, so we should bomb them before they bombed us, ad infinitum. His recommendation to concentrate on planning how to survive an attack, and being able to retaliate proportionately, was ignored by civilian and military policy makers who, as Eisenhower famously pointed out, were more interested in making money and manufacturing arms than in avoiding Armageddon.

Ellsberg makes a distinction between "pre-emptive" warfare, which is the policy of planning to strike an enemy when you know it is about to strike you, as opposed to "preventive" warfare, a medicinal-sounding term which pleads self-defense as an excuse for aggression. The United States has long practiced preventive warfare`”short of employing its nuclear option`”in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq and covert actions galore.

Ellsberg points out that, like his predecessors, President Clinton approved of pre-emptive warfare and the "first use" of nuclear weapons as an instrument of foreign policy. But President Bush and his neoconservative advisers are the first leaders to publicly favor preventive use of nuclear weapons against perceived threats to American business interests. And they have reconfigured the Pentagon's war plans to that end. According to the nonpartisan Arms Control Association, based in Washington, D.C., Bush is ready to preventively deploy strategic and tactical nuclear weapons against all enemies (including stateless terrorists). The Pentagon's CONPLAN 8022-22 does not differentiate between the battlefield use of conventional and nuclear weapons, except as to their effectiveness in destroying targets.

Ironically, Bush's Joint Doctrine for Nuclear Operations accepts Ellsberg's Cold War analysis that deterrence will not work when your enemy sees you arming for a first strike. According to the Arms Control Association, "The new doctrine appears to be precipitated by anticipation among military planners that deterrence will fail and U.S. nuclear weapons will be used in a conflict sooner or later." In other words, maintaining peace through deterrence is no longer our official goal; instead we will wage aggressive wars, including nuclear wars, on the political basis of deterrence.

The Bush doctrine identifies two basic scenarios for nuclear aggression by the United States: An adversary "intends" to use weapons of mass destruction against ... anybody ... as determined by the president ... or a field commander. Or as a demonstration of U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter adversaries. Suddenly, just like in Lurie's movie, deterrence is synonymous with preventive attack. Ellsberg points out that, now that the Soviet threat is vastly diminished, the American public is much more inclined to accept the first strike use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction by the United States, since it is unlikely that the practically defenseless countries we typically bomb can retaliate.

The Congressional Research Service reports, "[T]he possible preemptive use of nuclear weapons against nations or groups that are not necessarily armed with their own nuclear weapons [is] a striking change in U.S. national security policy, with the United States possibly contemplating nuclear use early or at the start of a conflict, rather than in response to actions taken by an adversary."

China, North Korea, Syria, Iran and Russia (if it re-emerges as a superpower) are our prime targets. "Not only would these nations receive no security benefit from the absence of nuclear weapons in their arsenals, they might also conclude that they could only deter a U.S. attack if they were to acquire their own nuclear weapons."

Not interested in nuclear disarmament and peace, Bush abrogated several decades' worth of nonproliferation treaties and policies in his first term. Recently, in an act that is widely viewed as incompetent, even insane, he overtly sided with nuclear India against nuclear Pakistan and nuclear China`”throwing kerosene into the fire of the nuclear arms race.

Our United Nations ambassador John Bolton recently told a meeting of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that the United States must be prepared to "use all the tools at our disposal to stop the threat that the Iranian regime poses." Vice President Cheney told the same group, "We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon." These remorseless neocons are clearly eager to "deter" Tehran with a hydrogen bomb. On the other hand, nuking Iran, which is not even close to building one atom bomb, would be a profoundly irrational act that would focus the righteous hatred of the world's people upon America.

Leaders of emerging industrial markets in the Third World could employ game theories, too, to figure out the best way to respond to the belligerence of the United States. The most well-known games are zero-sum games, in which the winner takes all. For example, Bush is playing a zero sum game in which the fate of the world seems to count as nothing against the short-term profits of Halliburton, Exxon, AT&T, Citicorp and the Carlyle Group.

In more rational games, though, winners are rewarded for cooperating with each other and committing altruistic acts. In fact, the successes of natural selection in biology and socioeconomic cooperation between humans can be modeled by game and probability theories that demonstrate the efficacy of cooperation over competition. In the end, Bush's enemies (who are not the enemies of the American people) will probably be forced to cooperatively arm themselves with nuclear bombs so as to cooperatively deter us from deterring them.

http://www.metroactive.com/metro/04.05.06/nukes-0614.html
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« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 10:17:52 PM by dominique »
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« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 02:02:47 PM by dominique »
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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2006, 07:28:04 PM »
MIRVs, De-Classified

A summary of a full HTML page-by-page breakdown of de-classified information on MIRV technology:

Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs)


Document one:"MIRV: A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINUTEMAN and MULTIPLE REENTRY VEHICLES" by Daniel Buchonnet, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, February 1976

Released through FOIA request to Defense Department, June 1997

At the request of the National Security Archive, the Department of Defense has released the only known classified history of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles [MIRV]. This heavily excised document reflects a declassification review by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. Due to the numerous redactions, some of which appear to be unjustifiable, the Archive has requested the Energy Department (which has the principal equity in this document) to determine whether additional portions may be released.

This document confirms much of what has been known about the basic purposes of the MIRV but provides additional valuable detail1. Among the findings:

  • An anticipated benefit of MIRVs was that they would permit the "enhancement of a first-strike capability" for U.S. strategic forces (p. 12). According to the study, "the issue of first strike capability was raised and widely discussed" (p. 9). That is, by increasing the numbers of warheads per missile, whether land or sea-based, MIRVs would put the United States in a better position to penetrate Soviet defenses and simultaneously strike diverse targets, especially Soviet missile and air bases.
  • The idea of multiple warheads dates back to the mid-1960s, but the key year in the history of the MIRV concept was 1962 when several of technological developments made it possible for scientists and engineers to conceive of multiple, separately targeted warheads that could hit a growing list of Soviet nuclear threat targets. One important innovation was that the weapons laboratories had designed small thermonuclear weapons, a necessary condition for deploying multiple reentry vehicles on the relatively small Minuteman. Equally significant were the ABLE-STAR and TRANSTAGE space vehicles which made it possible to place several space satellites on different orbits. Those vehicles were the "direct predecessors" of the MIRV "bus" used to propel the reentry vehicles to target.
  • A major event in MIRV history was a decision in 1966 to enlarge the Minuteman's third stage, thus creating Minuteman III (pages 19 and 43). This made it feasible to deploy MIRVs on the Minuteman because earlier versions had a relatively small throw- weight (payload) which limited the size of the weapons package and supporting equipment.
  • MIRV would be used to reduce collateral damage "by matching the yield to the target." MIRVs could hit point targets, such as a missile base or silo, so accurately that only a small nuclear warhead would be necessary to achieve the anticipated destruction. Collateral damage, therefore, would be less compared to that caused by larger, enormously destructive thermonuclear warheads. The yield of the Minuteman III MIRV is excised from this document but as of the early 1970s it approximated 170 kilotons, substantially less than the Minuteman I's 1.2 megaton yield. (Nevertheless, one Minuteman MIRV warhead would have had over eight times the yield of the 20 kiloton weapon dropped on Hiroshima, thus, collateral damage would still be extensive).
  • While some proponents of MIRVs argued that they would have a "stabilizing effect" on the U.S.-Soviet balance of power, the author acknowledges that they "probably contributed to an escalation of the arms race" to the extent that the Soviets perceived the "U.S. MIRV systems ... as strengthening the U.S. counterforce capability (high accuracy of low yields) and improving the first-strike capability (large number of warheads" (p. 6)

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/NC/mirv/mirv.html
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2006, 07:30:00 PM »
Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs)

Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear warheads were key weapons of strategic offense during the Cold War (1945`“1991) between the United States and the Soviet Union. Ballistic missiles followed the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957, and several types of ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) were in operation within the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as in Great Britain and France, by the 1960s. An early ballistic missile operated as follows: Upon launch from an underground silo or submerged submarine, the missile traced an arc up through the atmosphere until its booster burned out, at which point its reentry vehicle (RV)`”the "bus" that protects the nuclear warhead as it reenters the Earth's atmosphere`”was mechanically released to start its descent to target based on predetermined coordinates programmed into the RV.

While hundreds of ICBMs were being deployed, the American military initiated several antiballistic missile (ABM) programs, including the Nike-Zeus system. American strategists concluded that the Soviets also were preparing an ABM system of their own, and to ensure "deliverability" of the warheads, the RVs either had to be maneuverable or each missile had to carry several RVs. By the early 1960s, the technical community already had worked on RV bus maneuverability with small rocket motors. Years before maneuverable RVs enjoyed support, though, the idea of using multiple warheads had taken hold in strategic thinking.

In the United States, the first multiple warhead missile was a SLBM made for the Polaris submarine. Authorized in September 1960, the Polaris A-3 missile carried three RVs with 200 kilotons (KT, the equivalent of 2,000 lb [907 kg] of explosives) each, but the separation was not adjustable, leading to a "footprint" phenomenon in which the warheads created a distinct pattern when hitting their target. Technically, that RV design was called a MRV, or multiple reentry vehicle, because it lacked the capability of independent targeting. The A-3 became operational in September 1964 for the U.S. Navy. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force had started work on the MK. 12, 13, and 14 series, which were true multiple independent reentry vehicles for the new Minuteman II missile. The MIRV bus released its warheads in sets of two, which permitted dual targeting of enemy sites. Traditional measures of accuracy, or CEP (circular error probable), reflected the two-warhead targeting by estimating the outermost limit in which either of the two warheads would land. (In the case of the modern D-5 Trident II missile, for example, the CEP is 122 m [400 ft], meaning that one of the two warheads destined for a particular target would be expected to land within 122 m of that target.)

While the MK. 13 and 14 were never authorized, the MK. 12 received approval in 1963, with General Electric named as the prime contractor. In 1964, the government proceeded with MK. 12 development, then production, for the Minuteman II and for the new Poseidon navy missile. Megatonnage on the warheads varied with target characteristics, distance to target, and number of warheads designated for target, but the trade-off was clear: Any MIRV missile could carry only a fraction of the explosive power contained in a single-warhead missile. (The Soviet SS-18, for example, carried a single 26-megaton warhead`”the equivalent of 26 million tons of TNT`”while MK. 12 MIRVs carried several 500 KT warheads.)

Final approval for the deployment of MIRVed missiles in the United States occurred in 1965 as part of the planning for the FY1967 budget, at which time both the Minuteman II and the Poseidon were to incorporate the MIRV MK. 12 RVs. A Poseidon test vehicle was fired in late 1966, followed by 1967 flight testing of the RVs. The Department of Defense concluded at that time that it would rely on identical, real RVs rather than decoys to penetrate Soviet defenses, and the navy commenced refitting more than 30 Poseidon subs with the new missiles.

During those planning sessions, the number of RVs per missile varied, depending on whether they were deployed on the Minuteman or the Poseidon, on the perceived needed range of the missile, and on the use of lighter decoys that by this time had supplanted real RVs. Over the next decade, further upgrades occurred with the Minuteman III missiles and development and deployment of the new Trident submarine. The U.S. Air Force and Navy both continued research on an upgraded MIRV, the MK. 500 ("Evader") MARV, or maneuverable reentry vehicle. MARVs were tested but never deployed. Meanwhile, the Trident submarine carried the new Trident I (C-4) missile capable of carrying 10 RVs each. Another upgrade, the Trident II missile, began to be deployed in some submarines in the late 1980s. Originally, the navy intended each missile to carry up to 8 RVs, but the collapse of the Soviet Union permitted navy planners to change the mix of RVs to include large, "silo buster" warheads (known as AORs or "All Out Rounds" of approximately 3,175 kg [7,000 lb]). In any targeting scenario, however, a decrease in accuracy required more megatonnage per warhead, and vice versa. This was significant, for the more maneuvers a RV had to perform, the less accurate it was, hence the need for more explosive power.

As the threat of the Soviet Union diminished and as the Soviet Union itself came to an end, the need for MIRVed missiles has likewise declined (although Russia and some of the former components of the Soviet Union still maintain powerful nuclear arsenals). Instead, recent strategic thinking has emphasized refitting the MIRVed missiles with "silo buster" or conventional warheads for use against threats such as the one posed by Iraq in the 1990`“91 Gulf War. Created to penetrate ABM systems that never saw full deployment, the nuclear MIRV outlived its usefulness, and in the post`“ Cold War era, the technology of multiple independent RVs still may have use, but with conventional warheads.

Policy considerations centering on the MIRV involved criticisms that it accelerated the "arms race" by making each existing (or new) missile into multiple weapons. Consequently, arms control advocates constantly were divided between those who favored limiting launchers and those emphasizing the limitation of warheads. Conversely, the charge that MIRVs were a response to ABM systems led critics to work for the abolition of any antimissile technology. That approach culminated in the ABM Treaty of 1972. Yet efforts to limit the delivery systems proved futile for the most part: Restrictions on launchers were circumvented by expansion of RV numbers, and vice versa. Ultimately, the demise of the Soviet government proved the only successful means of reducing the number of MIRVs.


Larry Schweikart
Citation:
Text: Schweikart, Larry. "Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs)." In Volti, Rudi. The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1999. Facts On File, Inc. Science Online. <www.fofweb.com>.


http://www.fofweb.com/subscription/science/Helicon.asp?SID=2&iPin=ffests0552
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2006, 06:22:52 PM »
4-17-06

Bush's Latest Nuclear Gambit

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Dr. Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York, Albany. His latest book is Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971 to the Present (Stanford University Press).

In 2005, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, recognizing that the Bush administration's favorite new nuclear weapon--the "Bunker Buster"--was on the road to defeat in Congress, told its leading antagonist, U.S. Representative David Hobson (R-Ohio): "You may win this year, but we'll be back."

And, now, like malaria or perhaps merely a bad cold, they are.

The Bush administration's latest nuclear brainchild is the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). According to an April 6, 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times (Ralph Vartabedian, "U.S. Rolls Out Nuclear Plan"), the RRW, originally depicted as an item that would update existing nuclear weapons and ensure their reliability, "now includes the potential for new bomb designs. Weapons labs currently are engaged in design competition."

Moreover, as the Times story reported, the RRW was part of a much larger Bush administration plan, announced the previous day, "for the most sweeping realignment and modernization of the nation's system of laboratories and factories for nuclear bombs since the end of the Cold War." The plan called for a modern U.S. nuclear complex that would design a new nuclear bomb and have it ready within four years, as well as accelerate the production of plutonium "pits," the triggers for the explosion of H-bombs.

Although administration officials justify the RRW by claiming that it will guarantee the reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and reduce the need for nuclear testing, arms control and disarmament advocates are quite critical of these claims. Citing studies by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers, they argue that U.S. nuclear weapons will be reliable for decades longer than U.S. officials contend. Furthermore, according to Hoover Institution fellow Sidney Drell and former U.S. Ambassador James Goodby: "It takes an extraordinary flight of imagination to postulate a modern new arsenal composed of such untested designs that would be more reliable, safe and effective than the current U.S. arsenal based on more than 1,000 tests since 1945." Thus, if new nuclear weapons were built, they would lead inevitably to the resumption of U.S. nuclear testing and, thereby, to the collapse of the moratorium on nuclear testing by the major nuclear powers and to the final destruction of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Most worrisome for nuclear critics, however, is the prospect that the administration will use the RRW program to develop new kinds of nuclear weapons. Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, remains convinced that the replacement process initiated by the RRW program could serve as a back door to such development. Peace Action, the nation's largest peace and disarmament organization, maintains that "the weapons labs and the Department of Defense will be the ones to decide the real scope" of the RRW program.

Even Representative Hobson, who seems to favor the RRW, appears worried that the administration has a dangerously expansive vision of it. "This is not an opportunity to run off and develop a whole bunch of new capabilities and new weapons," he has declared. "This is a way to redo the weapons capability that we have and maybe make them more reliable." Hobson added: "I don't want any misunderstandings . . . and sometimes within the [Energy] department, people hear only what they want to hear. . . . We're not going out and expanding a whole new world of nuclear weapons."

Certainly, some degree of skepticism about the scope of the program seems justified when one examines the Bush administration's overall nuclear policy. Today, despite the U.S. government's commitment, under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, to divest itself of nuclear weapons through negotiated nuclear disarmament, the U.S. nuclear stockpile stands at nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads, with more than half of them active or operational.

Not only does the Bush administration steer clear of any negotiations that might entail U.S. nuclear disarmament, but it has pulled out of the ABM treaty and refused to support ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (negotiated and signed by former President Bill Clinton). According to the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review Report of February 2006, "a robust nuclear deterrent . . . remains a keystone of U.S. national power."

Furthermore, there are clear signs that the Bush administration is shifting away from the traditional U.S. strategy of nuclear deterrence to a strategy of nuclear use. The nuclear Bunker Buster, for example, was not designed to deter aggression, but to destroy underground military targets. Moreover, in recent years, the U.S. Strategic Command has added new missions to its war plans, including the use of U.S. nuclear weapons for pre-emptive military action. Seymour Hersh's much-cited article in the New Yorker on preparations for a U.S. military attack upon Iran indicates that there has already been substantial discussion of employing U.S. nuclear weapons in that capacity.

This movement by the Bush administration toward a nuclear buildup and nuclear war highlights the double standard it uses in its growing confrontation with Iran, a country whose nuclear enrichment program is in accordance with its NPT commitments. Of course, Iran might use such nuclear enrichment to develop nuclear weapons--and that would be a violation of the NPT. But Bush administration policies already violate U.S. commitments under the treaty, and this fact appears of far less concern to Washington officialdom. Logic, however, does not seem to apply to this issue--unless, of course, it is the logic of world power.

http://hnn.us/articles/23825.html
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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Re: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2006, 07:56:43 PM »
The following hyperlink takes you direct to the USA part of the page - as posted earlier, the Peacekeeper warheads are being recycled into the Minutemen stock. Please peruse for further details, and check out other countries' arsenals too.

http://www.cdi.org/issues/nukef&f/database/nukearsenals.cfm#United%20States

I don't think complete or even massive disarmament is realistic, but it pays to stay informed of where we're at, IMO.
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni