A New Arms Race

Over the Summer Trump decided in his wisdom to pull out of a decades old treaty limiting missiles, the INF Treaty…..and now after the Russia tested a new missile and now the US felt obligated to do the same….

The Pentagon on Thursday flight-tested a missile that had been banned under a treaty that the United States and Russia abandoned last summer, the AP reports. Some US arms control advocates said the test risks an unnecessary arms race with Moscow. The prototype missile was configured to be armed with a non-nuclear warhead. The Pentagon declined to disclose specifics beyond saying thew missile was launched from a “static launch stand” at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and landed in the open ocean. The Defense Department said the ballistic missile flew more than 500 miles. The test comes amid growing uncertainty about the future of arms control. The last remaining treaty limitation on US and Russian nuclear weapons—the New Start treaty of 2010—is scheduled to expire in February 2021. That treaty can be extended for as long as five years without requiring a renegotiation of its main terms. The Trump administration has indicated little interest in doing so.

The Pentagon declined to reveal the maximum range of the missile tested. Last spring, when US officials disclosed the testing plan, they said it would be roughly 1,860 miles to 2,480 miles. That is sufficient to reach potential targets in parts of China from a base on Guam, for example. The Pentagon has made no basing decisions and has suggested that it will take at least a few years before such a missile would be ready for deployment. Under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 310 miles and 3,417 miles were prohibited. The Trump administration chose to abandon the INF treaty, saying that while it had adhered to the treaty’s limitations, Russia had violated it by deploying a noncompliant cruise missile aimed at US allies in Europe. Shortly after exiting the treaty in August, the Pentagon flight-tested an INF-range cruise missile.

Oh crap!

Here we go again!

How much will this cost the American taxpayer?

Arms experts see the danger of this ill-advised policy…..

Arms experts warned of negative global implications after the Pentagon on Thursday test-launched a second missile that would have been banned under a Cold War-era treaty that U.S. President Donald Trump ditched in early August.

Trump ignored concerns about the impacts on global security and formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty after suspending U.S. obligations under the deal in February and giving Russian President Vladimir Putin six months to destroy weapons that the U.S. government and NATO deemed noncompliant with the bilateral agreement. The deal outlawed land-launched missiles with a range of 500–5,500 kilometers or about 310–3,400 miles.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/13/arms-expert-warns-reckless-and-unnecessary-escalation-after-pentagon-tests-missile

The drama continues…..

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Here Comes The Noise

We need something massive to change the attention of the country from the impeachment thing…..and presto change-o….we have suspicious missiles appearing in Iraq…..was reported over the weekend.

There are always missiles in Iraq but these are reported to be Iranian missiles….

Ballistic missiles are appearing in Iraq, US officials say—only they’re not Iraqi. Details are scant, but Iran has apparently taken advantage of Iraqi unrest by sneaking short-range missiles into the country, the New York Times reports. Seems Iran is using Shiite militias under its control to move and conceal the missiles, which can probably fly about 600 miles and hit Jerusalem from Baghdad. Iran’s placing of missiles in Iraq isn’t new—Reuters reported on it last year—but the latest intelligence shows it hasn’t stopped, either. “People are not paying enough attention to the fact that ballistic missiles in the last year have been placed in Iraq by Iran with the ability to project violence on the region,” says Rep. Elissa Slotin, D-Mich

The news comes amid ongoing Mideast turbulence, with Washington trying to bolster its military presence with about 14,000 more troops, Iran engaging in shadow attacks on other countries, and violent protests rocking Iran. Just this week, CNN reported on Iran moving weapons and forces to possibly attack US interests. Missiles positioned in Iraq could also be used to disguise their true origin, the Times notes. All this can be seen as an indictment of America’s attempts to deter Iran’s interests in the region. It also reaffirms Iran’s military strategy: “Lacking a modern air force, Iran has embraced ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region,” the Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report last month.

None of the officials offered any evidence that this was the case, simply claiming this was a known part of Iran taking advantage of “chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government.”

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t Iranian missiles in Iraq. Iran and Iraq are allies, and Iranian arms are often exported into Iraq for use by Shi’ite militias. With the US generally confusing Iraqi militias with “Iranian proxies,” it wouldn’t be surprised if they treated arms sold to the militias as Iranian stockpiles.

For me this news is a bit suspicious….why?  It was released the day that the impeachment thing moves into the drafting of the articles of impeachment….

I do not believe in coincidence!

Beyond that……is there a threat of Iranian “muscle”?

Iran’s missile force is in fact a product of Iranian weakness, not Iranian strength. A state that wants a deep strike capability and pursues missiles rather than aircraft suffers real disadvantages. It’s the same story with Iran’s proxy groups, covert actions, and small boat swarms: as ballistic missiles are the weaker substitute for an air force, these are substitutes for more effective forms of power. Yet missiles, proxy forces, covert action, and small boats make up the bulk of Iran’s ability to hit back at those who might hit it.

Pentagon Report Undermines Hawks’ Claims On Iranian Ballistic Missile Threat

The war drums are heating up….how long will they play?  Why are they playing at all?  Who are we protecting?  Everyone in the region spends billions with the US on defense and yet they need the protection of the US.  So do they spend the money on ordinance or on people?

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16 October 1962

2 days ago…a memory……my bad….all the silliness, the craziness of the last couple of days and I missed posting this bit of history……an important piece of history….

A day us old farts will never forget……ever hear of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Let us look at the event and the timeline…..

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. In a TV address on October 22, 1962, President John Kennedy (1917-63) notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. However, disaster was avoided when the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s (1894-1971) offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. promising not to invade Cuba. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis

This was a huge deal for about 2 weeks……us older Americans remember just how the situation played out……or did we?

John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to learn that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. With these offensive weapons, which represented a new and existential threat to America, Moscow significantly raised the ante in the nuclear rivalry between the superpowers—a gambit that forced the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. On October 22, the president, with no other recourse, proclaimed in a televised address that his administration knew of the illegal missiles, and delivered an ultimatum insisting on their removal, announcing an American “quarantine” of Cuba to force compliance with his demands. While carefully avoiding provocative action and coolly calibrating each Soviet countermeasure, Kennedy and his lieutenants brooked no compromise; they held firm, despite Moscow’s efforts to link a resolution to extrinsic issues and despite predictable Soviet blustering about American aggression and violation of international law. In the tense 13‑day crisis, the Americans and Soviets went eyeball-to-eyeball. Thanks to the Kennedy administration’s placid resolve and prudent crisis management—thanks to what Kennedy’s special assistant Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterized as the president’s “combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve, and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated, that [it] dazzled the world”—the Soviet leadership the world”—the Soviet leadership blinked: Moscow dismantled the missiles, and a cataclysm was averted.

Almost every word of that statement is FALSE.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/

Just another Cold War situation that could have boiled over into a real life war…….and calmer heads prevailed…..

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Is That North Korea Again?

All the talk about Barr and Rudy and Trump and Ukraine and Biden has allowed a couple of important stories fall between the cracks…..and then there is North Korea and its missiles.

Japan seems to be in the bull’s eye for these missiles fired by North Korea and possibly fired from a submarine……

North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the sea Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, in a display of its expanding military capabilities hours after saying it would resume nuclear diplomacy with the US this weekend. South Korean officials said the missile was fired from North Korea’s eastern waters, suggesting it may have been submarine-launched. But South Korean defense officials won’t officially disclose whether the missile was fired from a submarine, a barge, or any other possible platform. North Korea having the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be alarming because such weapons are harder to detect in advance, the AP reports.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga earlier said the North fired two ballistic missiles from the country’s east coast, and one of them appeared to have landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, The North had not fired a weapon that reached inside Japan’s EEZ since Nov. 2017 at the height of an unusually provocative run in nuclear and missile tests.The launches, which were the North’s ninth round of weapons tests since late July, came hours after a senior North Korean diplomat said North Korea and the United States have agreed to resume working-level nuclear negotiations this weekend.

Not to worry…..remember those talks that the US and North Korea were having…….wait those talks broke down awhile back…..wait….good news they are back on again……..

North Korea and the US have agreed to resume nuclear negotiations on Saturday following a monthslong stalemate over withdrawal of sanctions in exchange for disarmament, a senior North Korean diplomat said Tuesday. Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, said the two nations will have preliminary contact on Friday before holding working-level talks on Saturday, per the AP. In a statement from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, Choe expressed optimism over the meeting’s outcome but didn’t say where it would take place. “It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the [North Korean]-US relations,” Choe said. Nuclear negotiations have been at a standstill for months following a February summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Those talks broke down after the US side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities. North Korea followed the summit with belligerent rhetoric and a slew of short-range weapons tests that were widely seen as an attempt to gain leverage ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations. North Korea says it will never unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons and missiles and insists that US-led sanctions against it should be lifted first before any progress in negotiations. The Trump administration has vowed to maintain robust economic pressure until the North takes real steps toward fully and verifiably relinquishing its nuclear program. There are doubts about whether Kim would ever voluntarily deal away an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

Not to worry…..Trump may get another photo op out of the deal….after all that is about all that is accomplished with these talks…..

Just before the 202w0 election would be a good time so it can be used as a campaign lie.

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North Korea On My Mind

By now many people know just how pathetic our policies are when dealing with NK…..there have been one ‘summit’ and one failed ‘summit’….but Fearless leader does not see a problem with NK’s short range missiles…bet Japan does not see it the same as Trump….

I have written about the recent missile launches…..https://lobotero.com/2019/08/26/north-korea-missiles-and-other-stuff/

Looks like Trump is allowing NK to develop and test some ingenious weapons……

Clicking through a series of photo slides that depict recent North Korean missile tests, South Korean military defense expert Choi Kang reacts in a tone suggesting he’s both fearful and impressed.

“This is really imaginative or creative thinking of using missiles,” said Choi, a former director of South Korea’s National Security Council and now vice president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a prominent conservative think tank in Seoul.
Experts say the latest missile tests by Kim Jong Un’s regime show Pyongyang is, for the first time, actively using testing weapons to target weak points in the advanced missile defense system that protects the US, Japan and South Korea.
Before resuming ballistic missile testing in May, North Korea hadn’t test-fired any missiles since November 2017. That pause was a crucial factor in helping create the right conditions for the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June 2018.
 
Weapons tests and the promise of new talks with the US…..
North Korea launched two projectiles toward the sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said. The move came hours after the North offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States but warned its dealings with Washington may end without new US proposals. The launches and demand for new proposals were apparently aimed at pressuring the US to make concessions when the North Korea-US talks restart, reports the AP. North Korea is widely believed to want the US to provide security guarantees and extensive relief from US-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps. The North Korean projectiles fired from its South Phyongan province, which surrounds Pyongyang, flew about 205 miles across the country and in the direction of the waters off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Ministry.
 
The JCS didn’t immediately say whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery. “More detailed analysis is needed to determine the exact specifications,” JCS spokesman Kim Joon-rak said. Tuesday’s launches were the eighth round of launches since late July and the first since Aug. 24. On Monday night, the North’s vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, said North Korea is willing to resume nuclear diplomacy in late September but that Washington must come to the negotiating table with acceptable new proposals. She said if the proposals don’t satisfy North Korea, dealings between the two countries may end. “We’ll see what happens,” President Trump responded. “In the meantime, we have our hostages back, we’re getting the remains of our great heroes back and we’ve had no nuclear testing for a long time.”
This foreign policy soap opera has not changed much since the first ‘summit’ then two had earlier.
 
But it is always interesting to see just how silly these events can become….
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Wayward Missile

By now everyone with a Twitter feed or a TV has heard about the missile accident in Russia…..but in case your rock is not equiped with either of those news sources….I can help……

A deadly explosion rocked the Nenoksa Missile Test Site in Russia last week, and Moscow has offered shifting accounts of what happened. A new report in the New York Times might explain why Moscow is being so cagey: This might have been the region’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, though on a much smaller scale. Specifically, US intelligence officials think a nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded just offshore, or at least a prototype of one that is near and dear to Vladimir Putin’s heart. On Sunday, officials of a Russian research institute confirmed that a nuclear reactor exploded, though they did not say it was linked to cruise missile tests. Seven people were killed, including five scientists. The institute says only that they were working on “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

It’s not just US experts who suspect this involved an experimental cruise missile. A UK scientist tells the Guardian that independent experts think the blast came from the failure of a missile NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall and Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. Putin boasted of the weapon in 2018, saying its nuclear source would make it virtually unstoppable. However, international nuclear experts have remained skeptical about whether such a missile could actually work. The Times phrases the biq question like so: “Beyond the human toll, American intelligence officials are questioning whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

This is a nuclear powered missile….do you know what the means?

We are not talking about a warhead attached….we are saying that the missile has its own nuclear power source.

Maybe you should think about that for a minute.

A flying unshielded nuclear reactor would spew massive amounts of radiation, and that’s if it’s working correctly.

When President Donald Trump heard that Russia’s experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile had exploded, killing seven scientists and causing a major radiological incident less than 300 miles from the Finnish border, he fired off a boastful tweet. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology,” he said. 

This is…not accurate. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States pursued a less advanced version of a similar technology but abandoned the effort before ever launching an actual test vehicle. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles, the Pentagon concluded, are a bad idea. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/08/nuclear-powered-cruise-missiles-are-terrible-idea-russias-test-explosion-shows-why/159189/

Now what about the US…well I do what I always do…..give you a shot of history….

The US spent a few years looking into something along these lines…it was called Project Pluto…..

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of controlled release of nuclear energy (as opposed to runaway reactions in nuclear weapons) seemed to make previously impossible things straightforward matters of engineering. On occasion, it made the unthinkable all too thinkable. Project Pluto, also known as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM), is one of the most extreme exemplars of this epoch. Unlike Project Orion, which envisioned a four thousand ton interplanetary spaceship powered by nuclear bombs, and Project Plowshare, which proposed using nuclear explosions for large civil engineering projects such as digging a new sea-level Panama canal, Pluto/SLAM (which I’ll henceforth refer to as Pluto) was developed and tested to the point where the technology had been proved. Pluto could have been deployed in the 1960s had the project not been cancelled due to financial reasons, competition from rival technologies, and people coming to their senses.

https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/pluto/

The history says it was abandoned in 1964….but after Trump Tweeted what he did are we still pursuing this or did it die in 1964?

Did Trump let slip some state secret that needed to remain secret?

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Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

INF–Something Else To Fear

The year was 1987 and a treaty signed between the US and then USSR in essence ended the Cold War,

It is official…the end of the Cold War has ended.

The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the US and Russia ripped up on Friday. Washington and Moscow walked out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987, raising fears of a new arms race. The US blamed Moscow for the death of the treaty, saying that for years Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the US and its allies, particularly in Europe. “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released on Friday, per the AP. Russia, meanwhile, pointed a finger at America.

“The denunciation of the INF treaty confirms that the US has embarked on destroying all international agreements that do not suit them for one reason or another,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. “This leads to the actual dismantling of the existing arms-control system.” Pompeo said the US first raised its concerns that Russia was violating the treaty in 2013 during the Obama administration. He said the US tried for six years to prod Russia back into compliance. In February, Trump determined that Moscow was in material breach of the treaty, and the US suspended its own obligations under the agreement. That started a six-month clock to get Russia back into compliance—time that ran out on Friday. “As it has for many years, Russia chose to keep its non-compliant missile rather than going back into compliance with its treaty obligations,” Pompeo said. “The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.

How absolutely fabulous! (Sarcasm)

With the treaty now officially gone, the Pentagon is acting quick to start testing and developing new intermediate-range nuclear tests, since of course such missiles couldn’t be developed since 1987.

Officials are concerned, however, that in bankrolling nuclear-capable missiles that were up until yesterday illegal to develop, they don’t have enough money set aside, and US officials say that they are concerned House Democrats may resist further funding.

Defense officials were already criticizing Congress for not giving them more money to develop the missiles, saying “it’s going to help Russia” to not spend more money on nuclear-capable arms.

Russia, for their part, issued an offer for the US to join them in announcing a temporary moratorium on deploying any intermediate-range nuclear missiles to try to prevent a race to put a bunch of more nuclear arms into the theater in Europe.

The US is unlikely to agree to such a deal, as the Pentagon seems to have been salivating, from the moment the INF’s collapse was suggested, about the chance to get a bunch of new missiles into testing.

(antiwar,com)

I have said it before and I shall say it again…..”Oh goody we are watching the end of the Cold War end”.

“Ignorantia Interficit Vos Lente”

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