Two experts explain the unbalancing of the nuclear world & the drumbeat for war. Hans Kristensen from the Nuclear Information Project about his warning in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Then Greg Mello from the Los Alamos Study Project explains why America seems to need a Russian enemy. This is the election to survive.
A stronger chorus of voices warn that we are once again at the nuclear precipice. The balance of atomic power is shifting, at a moment of global discord. The heads of two nuclear countries appear to be mentally unstable. In this program, you will hear two voices about what we should and should not worry about. I’m Alex Smith, welcome to Radio Ecoshock.
ARE WE CLOSER TO A NEW USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS? HANS KRISTENSEN
There is a new panic on the alt-right. They warn the United States could be planning a first strike nuclear attack on Russia. Infamous radio show host Alex Jones loves to cover the alleged plot, and former Reagan cabinet member Paul Craig Roberts is practically screaming about it.
Should we worry about nuclear war again? I was suspicious, until I found the real data, published in the well-respected Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The lead author is Hans M. Kristensen. He is “the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists.” Oxford University Press publishes his assessments as part of an annual review of global nuclear forces. Kristensen is the author of two books on nuclear affairs.
From Washington, Hans Kristensen, welcome to Radio Ecoshock.
President Donald Trump promised to fund the development of new nuclear weapons. But long before he took office, America gained a critical edge with the “burst-height compensating super fuse”. What the heck is that?
Hans has been tracking this new nuclear tech. His latest piece is a must-read. It’s “How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze” written with Matthew McKinzie and Theodore A. Postol.
Let’s just call it the “super-fuze”. Here is my take-home, after talking with Hans Kristensen and reading his article carefully (there’s a couple of graphics too!). Previous nuclear-capable missiles, mainly ICBM’s, contained three triggers. One would set off a burst in the upper atmosphere, to create an electro-magnetic pulse wave (EMP) which cripples electronics, and therefore civilization, below it. The second would detonate the nuclear bomb when it reaches a particular altitude. The third would explode on contact with the ground. I hope I have that right – it’s in the interview if you want to check.
The problem with that triple fuze system is that long-range missiles are not as accurate as the strike pictures occasionally shown on TV for “smart-bombs”. There are a lot of physics factors on re-entry, “air-drag”, wind, etc. Because of this inaccuracy, to demolish a hardened target, like an “enemy” missile set deep in a concrete silo – it would be necessary to send two or three nuclear attack missiles to be sure the target was destroyed. That matters, if you think that missile will come back toward your own country, possibly destroying a whole mega-city.
Now the have a new design of atomic fuze which has the intelligence to blow off at the exact best time to destroy the target. So maybe one missile will do. Which would free up one or two other missiles for other uses. It might, I suggest, go so far as to double American missile power, without adding any additional nuclear weapons.
Hans tells us the U.S. military has plenty of nuclear weapons, and does not want more. But the super-fuzes are being installed on all long-range missiles, including on American nuclear submarines.
But Kristensen tells us this is not a new development by Donald Trump (who has already expressed support for more nuclear weapons spending). Rather this is part of a long-range refurbishment of the nuclear weapons from the 1960’s. America started this process as early as the 1980’s. Russia began the same process a few years later. This nuclear game goes on no matter who is President, or what party. Republicans and Democrats do it.
I THINK DONALD TRUMP IS A VERY BIG NUCLEAR DANGER, VERY BIG
Heading away from Hans, and into my own opinion: we’ve grown accustomed to thinking humans have survived their own nuclear doom possibilities. There have been no nuclear weapons used in war since 1945. But now, I’m not so sure.
Donald Trump is a big part of the growing nuclear insecurity. He’s shown he will cross pretty well any line, whether he understands the consequences or not. During the campaign, Trump played with the idea of encouraging nuclear proliferation. Maybe Japan or Saudi Arabia should have nuclear weapons he said. Note the Saudis have just concluded an arms deal which the media reports as worth somewhere between $110 billion and over 500 billion dollars. America just sold the Saudi dictatorship a THAAD anti-missile system. Are those to stop missiles from Iran, or Israel? But I digress.
Donald Trump has also learned he is rewarded to increasing state violence. His 59 Cruise missiles into Syria made him “Presidential” in the minds of TV commentators. Then he tested the “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan. Would it be all that different, to him, to launch a couple of nukes on North Korea? TV host Jo Scarborough said in a broadcast that a source reported Trump asking repeatedly “Why have nuclear weapons if we can’t use them?” There is no video or audio of Trump actually saying that. But it sounds about right.
Meanwhile, we have this report: “Pentagon Panel Urges Trump Team to Expand Nuclear Options; Report suggests ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use’”
Trump may stumble into a mess so bad, perhaps American troops surrounded in some foreign misadventure, that he orders nuclear weapons to be used. But will that order be carried out?
The story given out publicly is that any American President carries around a code (formerly contained in a satchel called “the football”) which can launch one or many nuclear weapons on his sole command. However, during this program we learn from out next guest Greg Mello, that during the end days of the troubled Richard Nixon presidency, a watch-keeper was installed in a key office in that launch chain precisely to make sure Nixon did not take the world into a nuclear conflict, even to distract from his own developing impeachment.
Did I say “developing impeachment”? That does sound familiar. Trump may need a very large distraction… bigger than any distraction you’ve ever seen! The biggest distraction in history! What better than a big bang and a mushroom cloud.
WHAT ABOUT PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS SAYING WAR WITH RUSSIA IS COMING?
I began this blog with a link to a panicked story by Paul Craig Roberts. In the early 1980’s, he held a Cabinet post in the Reagan administration. He’s a serious man, an author, but is he a credible source?
Unfortunately Paul Craig is part of the “false flag” gang, like Alex Jones where he is often a guest, including on April 6, 2017. On Infowars on April 27 Alex Jones has done numerous programs claiming America is gearing up for a nuclear war with Russia. It’s one of the Jones memes.
For example, this You tube video: “Liberals Panic, Call For Nuclear War With Russia”
Published on Dec 29, 2016
Both Alex Jones and David Icke have videos out saying World War III has begun!
Paul Craig Roberts claimed the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris was executed by the American government as a punishment to France which was acting too freely.
It isn’t just Alex Jones and Paul Craig Roberts. There is a cottage industry of people trying to scare you into a deep bunker. Australian journalist John Pilger is on the “nuclear war is coming” bandwagon. He explains it on RT, the Russian propaganda channel.
WHAT PUTIN SAYS ABOUT THE NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE
Even so, there is a direct message coming out of Russia, in the public record, from Vladimir Putin himself.
As Vladimir Putin told the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2016 (based on the English Translation in this You tube video:
Putin: “It’s simple how it works – where one side becomes dominant in their military potential, they are more likely to want to be the first, to be able to use such power.”
Putin says when the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 missile treaty, the Russian military industrial complex was prostrate and the country fighting terrorism verging on a civil war. He thought at the time not to respond “We are not going to burn money”. Since then though, the country has recovered, and built new military systems to counter developments in American weaponry. Putin claims they made real offers to contain the developing new arms race, but were rebuffed by the Americans.
Putin continues: “Your people, in turn, do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me....” “How can you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction?”
“From what I can see, we are in grave danger….” “I don’t know where this will end. But I do know we have to defend ourselves. And I even know how they will package this as ‘Russian aggression’ again.”
He says the balance of power which gave humanity safety from a major war for 70 years has been broken.
For me, here is the most telling clip from Putin (in translation): “We can match you in your actions and build an equally great multi-million dollar anti-missile defense system … Or, taking into account our economics and financial capability in the current day – we can respond asymmetrically…”
I think this is the basis for the Russian adventure into cyberwarfare and election manipulation, the “asymmetrical” response to the breaking balance of power. Feeling insecure as America surrounds Russia with new weaponry, Putin the chess player makes a different move to destabilize the American and European political systems, sowing discontent and suspicion. He hopes, among other things, to isolate countries from organizations like NATO.
Donald Trump promised to re-arrange Nato and open better relations with Russia. So he must get elected. Similarly, Marine LePen wanted to withdraw from the European Union and Nato, which would help Russia. The news reported LePen got $10 million in Russian support for her campaign. That failed, but the divisions within France did not.
So RT and whatever sympathizers can be found in America and elsewhere are put to the task to sow doubt and create weakness. But after all, part of their goal is to avoid becoming the victim of a massive nuclear attack, which could exterminate us all.
If you want to dig deeper, watch out. No matter what the Alt-Right is saying, there are more serious people discussing whether we are already on the road to a nuclear war. Check out this piece from the Brookings Institute for example. Or this helpful article on why Russians genuinely fear a nuclear war may happen. Or this from Global Research.
GREG MELLO – WHY WOULD ANYONE IN AMERICA WANT A NUCLEAR WAR WITH RUSSIA?
Is America out to defeat Russia? Why? Is Russia that rich? Is America that broke? Why did Russia help Donald Trump get elected? Who is pushing stories of nuclear war, and profiting from public fear?
I have my suspicions, but it’s hard to know. Looking for answers, or at least some clues, I’ve phoned Greg Mello. He trained as an engineer and planner. In 1989, Greg co-founded a non-profit called Los Alamos Study Group. He’s still the Executive Director. Greg researches and writes about global security. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times and more.
From Albuquerque New Mexico, we welcome Greg Mello to Radio Ecoshock. It’s a great and sane discussion.
I’m not a fan of Russian autocracy. I’m wary of Russian organized crime. But I can’t help notice American actions to threaten Russia by putting troops into Estonia, and missiles into countries on the Russian border, like Poland and Romania. Am I just imagining that the United States is encircling Russia militarily? Not really. Many people, including Greg Mello have written about that.
In fact, Mello relates a story where a senior US advisor suggests putting nuclear weapons right on the borders of Russia – just to make the Russian angry.
WHY, WHY, WHY?
So it’s a lot of things. First and always foremost, it’s money. There are billions, even trillions of dollars going into the whole missile/nuclear/submarine/support systems in several countries. But Mello tells us the recent increase in U.S. military spending is about the same size as the entire military budget of Russia, although the real numbers in both countries is hard to know with any certainty. It’s a huge business for sure, making some American billionaire families even richer.
Then there’s history and habit. We’ve been imaginarily fighting against the Russians for so long we don’t know how to stop. The economy of the United States requires at least one major enemy. Without an enemy, the surveillance state becomes revealed as really domestic, the crushing military spending dwindles, the propaganda of the flag becomes weaker – there are too many dominoes to count. So we know there will be people and organized groups who are working daily to defeat any Trump détente with Russia. That would break up the story.
Maybe that’s the only place I can agree with Donald Trump, or at least one of the former Donald Trumps (he flip-flops instantly). We don’t need Russia as an enemy. We certainly can’t survive a nuclear war with Russia, and only mad-men talk about a winnable nuclear war or a first strike.
It’s hard to imagine a full nuclear war. In my mind, the only comparison is the asteroid that hit Earth about 65 million years ago. Scientists believe the sun was blotted out by the dust, most species shivered and died. I thought we’d moved on from all this. Apparently not.
WHY WE DO THIS
I know most of the world is distracted by the greatest show on Earth, the current drama of madness and corruption in Washington and many other capitals. When a bolt of lightening tears us away from everything, we call it “thunder-struck”. Now we are “Trump-struck” as the world’s new global media system delivers the soap opera of a life-time. I have to remind myself, there is radio to make, dinner to prepare, a garden to plant. I have to remind myself, the clock is ticking for the timeless natural world. Our emissions change the atmosphere more daily. More guns are sold, more plastic fills the oceans, and less time remains to wake up from the manufactured dream.
The other day I was standing in a field by the river, amid a chorus of river birds. Looking down, there was a perfect sample of the living world. A swirl of plants filled every space, with insects treading about, seen above and unseen below. It all continued without any need for humans, and will continue, unless we manage to destroy it. I dedicate this radio project to them, and remind you that love is the reason we confront the darkest things within.
A special thank you for listening to Radio Ecoshock again this week. Please tell others to tune our the noise, and tune in to our determination to make Earth great again.