Arsenal of Information




Dossiers:

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review
Flashpoint: North Korea
Flashpoint: NATO-Russia
UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
Plutonium Pit Production at LANL
B61-12 Enhanced Nuclear Bomb
LRSO: New Nuclear Cruise Missile
Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
MOX / Plutonium Disposition
Fukushima Disaster and Updates
Nuke Lab Contractors Illegal Lobbying
Nuclear Testing Since 1945
Atomic Histories



Weapons Complex Map
Nuclear Watch Interactive Map of the
Nuclear Weapons Complex
View full size

Facilities:
    Kansas City Plant
    Lawrence Livermore National Labs
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Nevada National Security Site
    Pantex Plant
    Sandia National Laboratories
    Savannah River Site
    Washington DC
    Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
    Y-12 National Security Complex



The Man Who Saved the World (2015)
An award-winning documentary about Stanislav Petrov, one of the unsung heroes of the nuclear age. "Few people know of him... Yet hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him. The actions of Stanislav Petrov, a retired Soviet military officer, prevented the start of a worldwide nuclear war and the devastation of much of the Earth."
Opening now in theaters in the USA.
- Film review in The Spectator (UK)
- IMDB listing
"I was only 50/50": Russian who saved world from nuclear war



Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Grills SecDef Ash Carter
On dangers of US-Russian collision in Syria going nuclear; during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Dec 2, 2015
TG: Approx how many nuclear warheads does Russia have aimed at the US, and how many does the US have aimed at Russia?
AC: Uh, Congresswoman, we'll get you those precise numbers as best we know them... Let me just summarize it by the fact that I'm confident we have a strong, safe, secure and reliable deterrent, but it's also true that Russia, like the Soviet Union that precedes it, has a massive nuclear arsenal.*
TG: And it would be accurate to say that both our of countries have the capacity to launch these nuclear weapons within minutes.
AC: We do.

*Note the Secretary's choice of words: The US has "a safe and reliable deterrent", while Russia has "a massive nuclear arsenal".

Current nuclear stockpiles- for country reports and other details see original annotated infographic at Ploughshares.org.

World Nuclear Arsenals


Worldwide Nuclear Weapon Modernization Programs
Extensive report by Hans Kristensen, director, Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists, presented at ANA conference at the UN April 28, 2015. View/download PDF.

Modernizing nuclear arsenals: Whether and how
9-part 2015 roundtable on the modernization of nuclear arsenals at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. ("Modernizing..." at the Bulletin)


Jay Coghlan"What few Americans realize is that the U.S. is completely rebuilding the production side of its nuclear weapons complex, with new multi-billion dollar factories expected to operate until ~2075. The aim of the for-profit nuclear weapons establishment is a never-ending cycle of exorbitant Life Extension Programs for existing nuclear weapons. These programs will not only extend their service lives for up to six decades, but also endow them with new military capabilities, despite denials at the highest levels of government..."
-Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico; comment on NYTimes article U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms 21 Sept, 2014.



ANA 2016 Report

ANA 2016 Report:
The Trillion Dollar Trainwreck



New ANA Report: The Growing U.S. Nuclear Threat

ANA 2015 Report:
The Growing U.S. Nuclear Threat
Spending on "modernization" increases the nuclear danger. Lack of accountability wastes billions and puts the public at risk.
Alliance For Nuclear Accountability Report 5/2015


"The unfortunate truth of the US nuclear weapon 'modernization' is that it clearly demonstrates that the United States plans to build more and 'better' nuclear weapons for at least the next 30 to 50 years." - James Doyle (ref)



Long-Range-Strike Bomber

Long-range-standoff bomber update
Shrouded in Mystery, New Bomber Makes Waves
"The program is targeting a production line of 80-100 planes. It will replace the fleet of B-52 and B-1 bombers. It will be stealthy, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and optional manning has been discussed. A down-selection will be made this spring or early summer, with initial operating capability planned for the mid-2020s. Nuclear certification will follow two years after that.
"The target price, set by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is $550 million a copy. To keep the price down, the Air Force is looking to use mature technologies that are available now, rather than launching new developments... " (Defense News, Jan 19, 2015)



B-2 Stealth Bomber Upgrades

Massive Upgrade For B-2 Stealth
6/25/14: Air Force officials have started planning a ten billion dollar modernization of the B-2 stealth bomber fleet to include a new receiver using VLF waveform technology that allows the bomber to receive messages in the event of a high altitude electro-magnetic pulse, and outfitting the aircraft for next generation digital nuclear weapons such as the B-61 Mod 12 with the new tail kit, and Long Range Stand-Off weapons- (air-launched nuclear cruise missiles). (more)


Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth "The whole pyramid of nuclear command is full of places where mistakes can be made. A lot of them are people mistakes- the system is so sophisticated, and the weapons so complicated, much of it covered with secrecy, that a human error can occur almost anywhere in the system."
-Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth (Ret.) (ref)


Worldwide Nuclear Weapon Modernization Programs
Extensive report by Hans Kristensen, director, Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists, presented at ANA conference at the UN April 28, 2015. View/download PDF.

Modernizing nuclear arsenals: Whether and how
9-part 2015 roundtable on the modernization of nuclear arsenals at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. ("Modernizing..." at the Bulletin)




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Nuclear Flashpoints: NATO-Russia


April 11, 2018:
Russian military: incoming missiles will be shot down if they threaten Russian personnel. Trump: "Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!" (ref) Might be a good moment to watch this:

A BBC production, 2016.


April 4, 2018:
"Europe has become a nuclear flashpoint where tensions could easily escalate to the level of a nuclear confrontation... Both NATO and Russia are engaging in 'terrifying nuclear brinkmanship'... that increases the risk of the actual use of nuclear weapons - by design or by accident." (ref) -Dr. Bruce Blair, Princeton, Global Zero


March 30, 2018:
Growing Alarm Over Possibility of Nuclear War Between NATO and Russia
Read the recent articles linked below to get a feel for how alarmed some in the know are at this time. These concerns are not heard much on US mass media. You may find some alarmist, but the general drift is unmistakeable. And lets' not forget that those who know, such as Former Defense Secretary William Perry, have been saying we are not alarmed enough, nowhere near enough. Perry: "The danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than during the Cold War. Our public is blissfully unaware." (ref)
- Foreign Policy: On the Verge of Nuclear War
- Time: Mikhail Gorbachev: The U.S. and Russia Must Stop the Race to Nuclear War
- The Nation: Unproven Allegations Against Trump and Putin Are Risking Nuclear War
- Counterpunch: The Skripal Poisonings and the Ongoing Vilification of Putin
- Salon: Behind this week's Russia headlines:
  A mystery, a leap to conclusions and a fateful turn

How did we get to this point? Here's some background:
- Andrew Lichterman: U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years
- Austin Long: Red Glare: The Origin and Implications of Russia's 'New' Nuclear Weapons


March 4, 2018:
US and Russia Nuclear Arsenals: Different Frames Make for Dangerous Times
The worrisome aspects of Trump's Nuclear Posture Review represented the arguments of the "Second Nuclear Age" hawks, i.e. that the world is no longer bi-polar, that the US needs more small nukes widely deployed so as not to be caught with either no response or a strategic response in regional conflicts, where the adversary might doubt we would go strategic. Thus US 'deterrence' had weakened. In this view, numerous smaller, widely deployed nukes are meant to sustain 'deterrence' into the more chaotic "Second Nuclear Age".
On the other hand, the Russian response is framed by their overriding anxiety that the US, with its missile defense systems surrounding Russia, and NATO troops on Russian borders, is intent on developing the ability to win a nuclear war with Russia. Russia is afraid of the destabilization of the Cold War strategic equilibrium model, wherein neither side sought an advantage so great that it might consider a surprise attack. ABMs - anti-ballistic missile systems- were banned so that neither side could hope to launch a first strike and take out the remaining retaliatory missiles with a missile defense system.
The Russian high command stated last year that they in fact did now think the US was working to develop this capability (ref). The Trump Nuclear Posture Review, with its emphasis on war-fighting nukes, only reinforced Russian command fears that the US could be preparing for a fight. The weapons systems Putin announced last week were all noted for their ability to defeat missile defenses and thus, in the Russian view, to preserve 'MAD'- mutually assured destruction- the Cold War's solution to preventing a nuclear war. To understand better the Russian view, it's worth remembering what Yuri Andropov said in 1981: "The US is preparing for war but it is not willing to start a war... They strive for military superiority in order to 'check' us and then declare 'checkmate' against us without starting a war." (ref)
Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly March 1, 2018:
"Back in 2001, the US announced its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Russia was categorically against this. We saw the Soviet-US ABM Treaty signed in 1972 as the cornerstone of the international security system...
"Together with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the ABM Treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust but also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons, which would have endangered humankind, because the limited number of ballistic missile defense systems made the potential aggressor vulnerable to a response strike.
"We did our best to dissuade the Americans from withdrawing from the treaty. All in vain. The US pulled out of the treaty in 2002...
"Despite our numerous protests and pleas, the American machine has been set into motion, the conveyer belt is moving forward. There are new missile defense systems installed in Alaska and California; as a result of NATO's expansion to the east, two new missile defense areas were created in Western Europe: one has already been created in Romania, while the deployment of the system in Poland is now almost complete..." (transcript):
Defeating missile defenses, from Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly, March 1:
- The Sarmat ICBM "is untroubled by even the most advanced missile defense systems."
- A nuclear-powered, nuclear-capable cruise missile: "invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems."
- A high-speed, deep ocean nuclear drone "There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them."
- The RS-26 "Avangard" (aka YU-71) A nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that can travel at 20 times the speed of sound. "It flies to its target like a meteorite, like a ball of fire"

The intersection of these two contrasting frames of reference could see misunderstandings, confusion, and conflict. Putin seemed to feel obliged to make a clear warning.
president Putin "We are greatly concerned by certain provisions of the revised Nuclear Posture Review, which... reduce the threshold for use of nuclear arms... in response to conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber-threat."
"As such, I see it as my duty to announce the following.
Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences."
But he continued: "There should be no doubt about this whatsoever. There is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilisation. We have been saying this all along. All these proposals are still valid. Russia is ready for this."
And in closing, "I hope that everything that was said today would make any potential aggressor think twice, since unfriendly steps against Russia such as deploying missile defenses and bringing NATO infrastructure closer to the Russian border become ineffective in military terms and entail unjustified costs, making them useless for those promoting these initiatives.
"It was our duty to inform our partners of what I said here today under the international commitments Russia had subscribed to. When the time comes, foreign and defense ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire." (more details- see full speech transcript)
Stephen Cohen: How Washington Provoked- and Perhaps Lost- a New Nuclear-Arms Race


March 2, RT:
"Russian lawmakers emphasize that Putin's address was a call for peace and talks"
Senator Pushkov "Senator Aleksey Pushkov said in comments to RT that he thought that the main message of Putin's address to the international community was very clear: 'don't even think of using any kind of weapons against Russia and don't have any illusions about Russia's strength in the military field.'
"Pushkov noted that certain circles in the United States tend to calm themselves by calling Russia 'a weak regional power' but the presentation made by the Russian president had made it absolutely clear that any speculations about Russia's supposed weakness were total nonsense.
"However, the senator also stressed that the display of strength was not aimed at intimidation. Putin suggested a reconsideration of the western strategy of strategic encirclement, as well as the US strategy of creating new weapons that can overcome the Russian strategic nuclear potential.
"'He says this is meaningless, you will not achieve anything so let us sit down and talk. I am absolutely sure that now we will see a hysterical reaction from the US mass media, but it is important to stress that there is a second part to Putin's message- it is not just a display of our capabilities, it is also an offer to discuss and come to some solutions,' Pushkov told RT."


Feb. 22, 2018:
Why Russia is Emerging as the World's Indispensable Diplomatic Power
Patrick Lawrence, writing in The Nation:
"It is time to reckon up the cost of our dedication to adversarial relations with Moscow, which are now moving rapidly toward that of Cold War enemies. At worst the price may be war, of course, but for now it is to be measured in lost opportunity.
"... Review once again the cases I have noted. Moscow, working in concert with others, has helped set courses toward diplomatic resolutions that hold plausible degrees of promise. They are to be built upon- to America's benefit as much as anyone else's.
"[But] at this point, any effort to work with Russia on any front is politically perilous. It is wasteful. It is destructive. Many people pay, and we should not miss it that Americans are not least on the list of losers." (source)


February 18, 2018:
NTI Report Presented at Munich Security Conference Calls for "Re-evaluation" of Forward Basing of Nuclear Weapons Across Europe.
NTI Report PDF
The report underscores the strong arguments for NATO to move to a safer, more secure, and more credible nuclear posture without forward-deployed U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.
"Now is the time and the opportunity to ask whether those weapons are more of a security risk than an asset to NATO and whether they increase or reduce the risk of nuclear use." Authors: Steve Andreasen, Isabelle Williams, Brian Rose, Hans M. Kristensen, and Simon Lunn; Foreword by Ernest J. Moniz and Sam Nunn. (source: NTI)
View/download NTI report (PDF)


Feb. 18, 2018. Op Ed published at the outset of the Munich Security Conference:
Preventing Nuclear Conflict in Europe
"Reducing and eliminating nuclear risks is an existential interest that all countries share. We have entered a new era, in which a fateful error- triggered by an accident, miscalculation, or blunder - could trigger a nuclear catastrophe.
"In the Euro-Atlantic region today, the risks of such an error are compounded by heightened tensions between NATO and Russia- and little communication between military and political leaders. In the absence of some positive initiative, we will continue to drift toward danger. In Munich, the EASLG will call on governments to work together to mitigate the risks of nuclear conflict."
Authors: Des Browne, a former British defense secretary, Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Chair of the European Leadership Network; Wolfgang Ischinger, former German Ambassador to the United States, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; Igor S. Ivanov, former Russian Foreign Minister and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation from 2004 to 2007, President of the Russian International Affairs Council; Sam Nunn, a former leading US senator, Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
- The Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG)
- Preventing Nuclear Conflict in Europe
- Recommendations to Improve Security and Reduce Nuclear Risks


December 13, 2017:
Yes, the US Did Promise Gorbachev That Nato Would Not Expand Eastward
For decades the Russians have been saying that Bush and Baker promised NATO would not expand eastward if Germany were allowed to re-unite and remain in NATO. American sources for years have been saying 'it's a myth- show me it in writing'.
Baker and Gorbachev, 1990 Now, George Washington University has released "a wealth of documents, all declassified in recent years, from the time Germany's reunification was negotiated". The documents make clear that the Western politicians meant no expansion to Eastern European countries, not just the East German territory. (Bloomberg)
Below are relevant excerpts of the official record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow, February 9, 1990: (download PDF) / (see docs at National Security Archive, GWU)

Baker: We fought alongside with you; together we brought peace to Europe. Regrettably, we then managed this peace poorly, which led to the Cold War. We could not cooperate then. Now, when rapid and fundamental changes are taking place in Europe, we have a propitious opportunity to cooperate in the interests of preserving the peace. I very much want you to know: neither the president nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place.
Baker: We understand that not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.
Baker: I want to ask you a question, and you need not answer right now. Supposing [German] unification takes place, what would you prefer, a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping it's connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO's jurisprudence of troops will not spread east of the present boundary?
Gorbachev: We will think everything over. We intend to discuss all these questions in depth at the leadership level. It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.
Baker: We agree with that.


October 18, 2017:
"The US is creating a military infrastructure near Russia's borders for the application of a sudden nuclear strike."
So said Viktor Poznihir, first Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Directorate, to the Moscow international security conference of the Russian Armed Forces, April 26.
Moscow International Security ConferencePoznihir said that US missile defense system launchers can be used with a wide range of missiles, including nuclear-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles...creating a "powerful hidden impact component for the application of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the Russian Federation". (source)
You probably never heard about that. The western press, along with NATO and Washington DC have turned a deaf ear to Russian concerns. It all reminds one of what happened in 1983 when Able Archer, one nuclear exercise too many in a fraught year, helped convince Soviet high command that the feared American first strike attack was imminent; preparations were made on their side for nuclear war. Thing is, the US command had no idea how alarmed the Soviets were and did not realize that the US had unknowingly brought the world to the brink of armageddon; we only found out in the 1990s how the Soviet side had perceived our actions.
Fmr. Sec. Def. William Perry: "I believe that today the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe is actually greater than it was during the Cold War."
Russian President Putin said to a meeting with international journalists: "Your people do not feel a sense of the impending danger- this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction, while they pretend that nothing is going on. I don't know how to get through to you anymore" And "It is worth wondering what the US response would be if Russia had put its missiles in Canada near the US border, had destabilized Mexico and was talking of putting missiles there too. To top it off, imagine if Russia were applying sanctions on the US for all of this 'aggression'." (ref)
Prophets of War Note that the original sin in the deterioration of relations between the US and Russia was the expansion of NATO in the late 1990s. There was a moment in fact when the entry of Russia in NATO was floated, until someone realized NATO had to have an adversary to justify it's existence as a military alliance, buying trillions of dollars of weapons... It's also worth noting the oversize role played in the NATO expansions by Lockheed Martin, outlined in detail by William Hartung in his book "Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the making of the military industrial complex". Today, Lockheed is the prime contractor for the THAAD Missile Defense System; it is also the developer and contractor for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Stephen Cohen: Have 20 Years of NATO Expansion Made Anyone Safer?


Flashpoint NATO-Russia and Able Archer, 1983
Just as the majority of the world's nations are now in the process of drafting a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, former leaders are warning we are closer to a nuclear war than at any time in the last 50 years.
Samantha Smith, 1983
"He promised he wouldn't start a war; Russia wouldn't start a war. And America says they won't start a war either. Then, how come we keep making bombs for a war if there's no-one to start it?" - Samantha Smith, 10 yrs old, commenting on her phone conversation with Yuri Andropov, Soviet Premier, 1983. (left: Slate.com)

Able Archer 1983, a timely and important reminder
Recently, a declassified report lifted the veil on the events of a week in November 1983, the year KAL007 was shot down and America watched "The Day After", when we had in fact, a very close brush with World Death. The Able Archer story is a timely and important reminder of the variety of things that can happen to drive a situation to the brink of nuclear disaster when there is posturing and provocation and no trust. Read Slate Magazine's in depth report:
"The Week the World Almost Ended"
.
- Flashpoint NATO-Russia:
Provoking Russia, as it must be said NATO is now doing in moving troops to the Russian borders, is extremely dangerous. Russia is the only nation that rivals the US in its nuclear arsenal. In fact, the US and Russia combined hold approximately 94% of the world's nuclear weapons, so a full scale nuclear exchange between these two would most definitely be the death of civilization, and likely of our species. Many of those weapons are still to this day on "hair-trigger".
And yet, provocative actions, belligerent posturing, and, especially on the US side, vilification of the "enemy" abound. Contact channels meant to serve to dampen and defuse misunderstandings during the Cold War have atrophied or been dropped. US troops are conducting military exercises on the Russian border in the Baltics.
New smarter bombs and delivery vehicles are under development in both countries. The US, which has a defense budget 9x as large as the Russian, is set to spend one trillion dollars over the next 3 decades on a wholesale "modernization" of our arsenal of nuclear bombs and delivery systems, including new bombs, bombers, ICBMs, nuclear cruise missiles, and submarines.
During the years of the Cold War, US-Soviet nuclear standoff forced both sides to see the avoidance a nuclear war as an imperative element of national security. Some of the leaders of those times who are still with us, William Perry, George Schultz, Mikhail Gorbachev, are all sounding the alarm, warning that we have become reckless and insouciant about a possible armed conflict with each other going nuclear. They have all publicly expressed worry that today's military and political leaders were not schooled in that long period of the imperative of conflict prevention.

  • Fmr. Secretary of Defense Bill Perry: "The nuclear danger today is more acute than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962." "What we're talking about is no less than the end of civilization." (ref)
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: The US and Russia now "on the verge of a military clash". (ref)
  • Prof. Stephen Cohen: "Powerful forces are out to make sure that there will be no improved relationship with Russia." (ref)
  • Russian President Putin: "I don't know how to get through to you anymore." (ref) "Somebody is trying to provoke war between the United States and Russia." (ref)
  • Fmr. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev: "It all looks as if the world is preparing for war... the nuclear threat once again seems real."

May 25, 2017:
Between Shield and Sword- NATO's Overlooked Missile Defense Dilemma
New Ploughshares Report on NATO Missile Defense A Ploughshares report, by Dr. Tytti Erasto.
"The expansion of the U.S. anti-missile system in Europe should be paused. This would pose no risk to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) security, as there is no nuclear missile threat that would warrant the new interceptor site that is now being built in Poland. Rather than the stated security concerns, the project is mainly driven by unstated political motives: Poland wants the site for the purpose of additional reassurance against Russia, even though the planned interceptors do not have the ability to thwart a Russian ballistic missile attack.
"Not only is Phase III unnecessary, it is harming European and broader international security by worsening tensions with Russia and undermining prospects for nuclear arms control. Indeed, The European Phased Adaptive Approach has created a new security dilemma in Europe, whose existence and implications are not yet fully understood within the Alliance." View/download PDF



April 13, 2017:
Stephen Cohen: This is Most Dangerous Moment in U.S.-Russian Relations Since Cuban Missile Crisis
"...The Russians want to ask Tillerson, "Who's making policy? Because we tell you that your narratives aren't true." "I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis. And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. And then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable- it's unprecedented."
"...The Russians want to ask Tillerson, "Who's making policy? Because we tell you that your narratives aren't true."


March 2, 2017:
Round Up the Usual Suspects, It's Time for a Show Hearing
By excluding dissenting voices on US policy toward Russia, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been reduced to a vehicle for prejudice reinforcement.
By James Carden, in The Nation.


Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
"The vast majority of Russians, including former President Gorbachev, President Putin, and Prime Minister Medvedev, believe strongly that the U.S. and the West violated their verbal promises not to expand NATO eastward in return for the Soviet Union's acquiescence to the unification of Germany as a member of NATO. Many leaders of the West have either denied any promises were made or downplayed the import of any such understandings. But reporters from the German weekly Der Spiegel discovered documents in western archives that supported the Russian point of view, and on 26 November 2009 published an investigative report concluding:
"After speaking with many of those involved and examining previously classified British and German documents in detail, SPIEGEL has concluded that there was no doubt that the West did everything it could to give the Soviets the impression that NATO membership was out of the question for countries like Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia."
"One thing is beyond dispute: The impression or understanding or promise not to expand NATO was broken by President Clinton- largely for domestic political reasons- making a mockery of President Gorbachev's hopeful vision of a greater European home.
"Clinton announced support for NATO expansion in October of 1996, just before the November election, to garner conservative and hawk votes, the votes of Americans of Eastern European descent, and in response to an intense NATO expansion lobbying campaign mounted by the MICC- and to steal the issue from his conservative opponent Senator Robert Dole.
"The expansion of NATO eastwards combined with President Bush's unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in June 2002, followed by the deployment of ABM systems to Eastern Europe certainly increased the Russians' sense of mistrust and menace regarding U.S. intentions. To this day, Putin's speeches repeatedly refer to the broken American promises." (ref)

February 22, 2017:
Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump
The Russia-connected allegations have created an atmosphere of hysteria amounting to McCarthyism.
By Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at Princeton and New York University, and a contributing editor of The Nation.
Prefessor Stephen Cohen"... So far as is actually known, Flynn did nothing unprecedented or incriminating. Communications, including meetings, between representatives of US presidents-elect and foreign capitals, particularly Moscow, have been "common practice" over the years, according to Jack Matlock, ambassador to Russia for Presidents Reagan and Bush; Matlock had previously arranged meetings in Moscow for President-elect Carter's transition team. Moreover, Obama's own Russia adviser, Michael McFaul, told The Washington Post recently that he visited Moscow in 2008, even before that year's election, for talks with Russian officials. The Post implied that this was "appropriate contact." So, it seems, was Flynn's, though perhaps inept.
"Indeed, if Flynn's purpose was to persuade the Kremlin not to overreact to Obama's last-minute sanctions, which were accompanied by a highly provocative threat to launch a cyber-attack on Moscow, his urging was wise and in America's national interest.
"In fact, it is not Putin who is threatening American democracy, but rather these Kremlin-baiting allegations against President Trump. It is not Putin who is endangering US and international security, but rather the high-level political and intelligence enemies of détente. Similarly, it is not Putin who is degrading the US media with "fake news." Nor is it Putin who is subverting the American political process, but rather the US intelligence leakers who are at war against their own president." (read the full article at The Nation).



July 10, 2016
"These are not defense systems. This is the nuclear strategy of the US, brought into the [Russian] periphery."
"How can you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? I don't know how to get through to you anymore."
(Above) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking to journalists from world news agencies, on the second day (17th June) of Russia's St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, about the new NATO actions in East Europe.
From the Russian view: "It is worth wondering what the US response would be if Russia had put its missiles in Canada near the US border, had destabilized Mexico and was talking of putting missiles there too. To top it off, imagine if Russia were applying sanctions on the US for all of this 'aggression'." (ref)



NATO expansion 1990-2009

The Nation, July 2016:
Is the US Pursuing a Rogue Policy by Waging Undeclared War Against Russia?
Washington's NATO buildup on Russia's borders, its refusal to cooperate with Moscow in Syria and Ukraine, and its anti-Putin propaganda form an ominous pattern.
John Batchelor, interviewer: Stephen F. Cohen raises three "hypothetical" and heretical questions for discussion. Does the recent escalation of anti-Russian behavior by Washington, from its growing NATO military buildup on Russia's western borders and refusal to cooperate with Moscow against the Islamic State in Syria to the Obama administration's refusal to compel its government in Kiev to implement a negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian civil war, reflect an undeclared US war against Russia already underway? Given that many US allies are unhappy with these developments, has Washington gone "rogue"? And does the recent spate of warfare media "information" reflect these new realities? (ref)


July 5, 2016
A Stark Nuclear Warning
From California Governor Jerry Brown's review of William Perry's memoir in the New York Review of Books:
"[The post cold war] goodwill did not last long. In 1996, Richard Holbrooke, then an assistant secretary in the State Department, proposed to expand NATO by bringing in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic nations. Perry thought this was a very unwise move and should be delayed at all costs. A prominent group of fifty leading Americans, both conservative and liberal, signed a letter to President Clinton opposing NATO expansion. Among the signers were Robert McNamara, Sam Nunn, Bill Bradley, Paul Nitze, Richard Pipes, and John Holdren. It was to no avail. Perry was the lone cabinet member to oppose President Clinton's decision to give Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic immediate membership in NATO." (ref)


June 7, 2016
NATO-Russia: So What Happened After the Cold War Ended?
Mort Zuckerman, Chairman, US News: Review of William Perry's recently published memoir included this summary of how the US and Russia have turned from cooperation to confrontation:
"... NATO expansion turned out to be the first slip down a slick slope leading to the hostile relations we have today.
Mort Zuckerman "Russia today genuinely feels threatened and concerned regarding what it believes is U.S. pursuit of military superiority and political and economic hegemony. It views our actions as inconsistent with traditional notions of strategic stability. Thus Russia presently is an unlikely partner in the process of nuclear disarmament. Perry makes the case that it is in U.S. and Russian interest to change our present momentum toward a new Cold War and he emphasizes that this process requires listening carefully to the concerns of others.
"Failing that, the germinating threat is evident today: Look, for example, to Russia's action in the Ukraine and the Baltics, where President Vladimir Putin has pursued an aggressive policy based on the stated belief that his country bears a responsibility to protect ethnic Russians in those countries. This policy has already led to warfare in the Ukraine; if it were applied to any of the Baltic nations, all of which have a substantial number of ethnic Russians, it could lead to a military conflict between Russian and NATO troops. Clearly the greatest danger is an escalation to the use of nuclear weapons, either by foolish design or miscalculation. The expressions by the Russian government of its dependence on nuclear weapons make this danger all the more pressing. Neither the Russian nor NATO leadership would want this outcome of course; but the escalation could occur beyond their control, especially with the Russian emphasis on "tactical" nuclear weapons whose management might be in the hands of battlefield military commanders, as it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis."
- ref: On the Brink of Oblivion
- of note: Is NATO Undermining Global Stability?"



Igor Ivanov
"Russia is no longer the Eastern flank of the failed 'Greater Europe'; it is... the Western flank of the emerging 'Greater Eurasia'."

At the Brussels Forum, March 19: Russia, Ukraine, and the Future of Europe
Ivanov: risk of use of nuclear weapons today in Europe is higher than in the '80s
Igor Ivanov, Russian Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2004, speaking at the Brussels Forum March 19: "Russia and the West seem to have entered a new phase of the arms race, in which Europe has become the center stage. It can be assured that once U.S. deploys its missile defense system in Poland, Russia would respond by deploying its own missile defense system in Kaliningrad. If developments take this direction, we may face a situation like the missile crisis in Europe in the mid eighties.
"But the big difference is at that moment, in the eighties, we had the full scale of mechanisms of dialog, of negotiations, of contacts on the highest levels, on the level of military people, and with all problems, we managed the crises. Today all those mechanisms are blocked or destroyed; and the risk of confrontation with the use of nuclear weapons today in Europe is higher than in the eighties. And this is the paradox: today we have less nuclear warheads but the risk of them being used is growing.
"Where should we go from here? First we have to admit that the paths of Europe and Russia are seriously diverging and will remain so for a long time ... probably for decades to come. This continental shift, the drifting apart of the two European geopolitical plates, will have a huge and lasting impact on both Europe and the World. There will be no return to the autumn of 2013, even if the situation in Ukraine is, by some miracle, brought back to normal.
"The changes taking place before our eyes are not only radical, but also irreversible, putting an end to some political projects, and opening an opportunity for other projects. When I say about previous projects, as you remember, many of us, we were speaking about "Greater Europe", about common Euro-Atlantic security space, about common humanitarian and economic space from Vladivostok to Lisbon. Beautiful plans- but I think those beautiful plans we have to forget. We are in a new reality, and we have to start to think in that new reality.
"In the imagined new geo-political reality, Russia is no longer the Eastern flank of the failed 'Greater Europe', it is becoming the Western flank of the emerging 'Greater Eurasia'."

For more on 'Eurasianism' and the 'Eurasian' perspective on geo-politics, see the writings of Alexander Dugin. -Ed.



Status-6 Supertorpedo
Nov. 12, BBC: Russia Reveals Giant Nuclear Torpedo In State TV 'Leak'

Do We Really Want This New Nuclear Arms Race?
The US pursues a new nuclear cruise missile (see below); Russia plans a nuclear super-torpedo

Excerpts and summaries from the BBC report:
"Just before the torpedo diagram came into view, Russian President Putin could be heard telling the generals that the US and its NATO allies were forging ahead with a global anti-missile defense system 'unfortunately ignoring our concerns and our offers of co-operation', and that the Western defense project was 'an attempt to undermine the existing parity in strategic nuclear weapons and essentially to upset the whole system of global and regional stability.' Putin continued: 'References to an Iranian or North Korean nuclear missile threat are just used to conceal the true plans- their real goal is to neutralize the strategic nuclear potential of other nuclear states... above all, of course, Russia.' Putin said Russia would continue developing strategic offensive systems capable of penetrating any anti-missile defense."
At that point, a viewer could see over the shoulder of a general studying a diagram of the 'devastating' new torpedo system. The document reads "oceanic multi-purpose Status-6 system", designed to "destroy important economic installations of the enemy in coastal areas and cause guaranteed devastating damage to the country's territory by creating wide areas of radioactive contamination, rendering them unusable for military, economic or other activity for a long time". The supertorpedo's range: up to 10,000 kilometers; cruising speed: 185 kilometers per hour at a depth of up to 1000 meters; to be carried by the Belgorod and Khabarovsk submarines.
State-run Rossiiskaya Gazeta noted that the destructive power attributed to the new torpedo's warhead would fit the description of a cobalt bomb, a thermonuclear warhead 'salted' with a layer of cobalt-59, which on detonation would be transmuted into highly radioactive cobalt-60 with a half-life longer than five years. Such a weapon would guarantee "that everything living will be killed", the paper said - there would not even be any survivors in bunkers. A cobalt bomb has never been tested because of the devastating radiation it would unleash.
Russian military experts told BBC Russian Service:
Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst: "The plan is to deliver a 100-megaton nuclear bomb to the U.S. shores," he said. "It would cause a highly radioactive tsunami."
Konstantin Sivkov, Russian Geopolitical Academy: A warhead of up to 100 megatons could produce a tsunami up to 500m (1,650ft) high, wiping out all living things 1,500km (930 miles) deep inside US territory.
"But it can be considered as a means of deterrence- like the Perimeter system, which is on combat readiness, which guarantees retaliation with all of Russia's nuclear forces even if command posts and the country's leadership have been annihilated".
- BBC: Russia reveals giant nuclear torpedo in state TV 'leak'



See earlier items from this dossier

NATO: All for One, One For All
"The defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London."- President Obama, speaking in Estonia, Sept. 2014 (ref)
Ready to lose Boston for Tallinn? VP Pence in Estonia: Attack on 1 NATO ally is attack on all


"As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance."
(NATO statement re Ban Treaty)


"A deliberate act of political violence"
"The most disturbing aspect about the spectacular crash and burn of US-Russia relations in the last year is not necessarily the lightning speed with which it occurred, but that it was a deliberate, premeditated act of political violence that was absolutely avoidable." - Robert Bridge (ref) Bridge is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire' (2013).


Trump, April 3, 2018:
"'Nobody has been tougher on Russia,' Trump said during a luncheon meeting with leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania April 3, 2018... but he "also said it 'would be a good thing, not a bad thing,' if the United States got along with Russia...'And just about everybody agrees to that, except very stupid people, OK?'" (ref)


Dec. 14, 2017:
Documents show that top US, German, and UK officials assured Gorbachev and Shevardnadze that NATO would not expand toward the Russian borders (Bloomberg News)


Did US promise not to expand NATO eastward?
"After speaking with many of those involved and examining previously classified British and German documents in detail, SPIEGEL has concluded that there was no doubt that the West did everything it could to give the Soviets the impression that NATO membership was out of the question for countries like Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia. Der Spiegel, November 6, 2009



What Putin Wants
Alexei Arbatov details the basis for an understanding between the US and Russia from Putin's perspective; this event organized and hosted by the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies on May 13, 2016.


US helped Yeltsin win election
Time Magazine Cover, July 15, 1996



Selected Press Items -

* Russia and NATO: How to overcome deterrence instability?

* Ukraine's NATO Bid Risks Even Worse U.S.-Russia Ties

Ellsberg: it's still US policy to launch a first-strike nuclear attack

Russia Prepares for Nuclear War With U.S., Instructing Citizens to Buy Water and Gas Masks

Ukraine Defense Council Secretary Turchynov: Nuclear disarmament of Ukraine was historical mistake

Trump Hurtles Toward Three Nuclear Crises

* Red Glare: The Origin and Implications of Russia's 'New' Nuclear Weapons

* U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute: A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War

Stephen Cohen: How Washington Provoked- and Perhaps Lost- a New Nuclear-Arms Race

Amid Heightened Tension, Markey, Merkley, Feinstein, and Sanders Press Trump Administration to Jumpstart New Strategic Talks with Russia

Pres. Putin March 1, 2018 Address to the Federal Assembly (transcript)

Ploughshares: Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race

Russia accuses Trump of getting Europe ready for nuclear war

US-Russia agenda now contains just one issue: the prevention of war

The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War

Why Russia is Emerging as the World's Indispensable Diplomatic Power

In Munich, Warnings Of Nuclear Confrontation, 'Major Interstate Conflict'

Preventing Nuclear Conflict in Europe

New NTI Report Questions Need for Forward-Deployed U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe

Kissinger, Shultz Warn Senate Armed Services Committee of Rising Nuclear Perils

NTI Report: US wasting billions on B61 nuclear bombs that serve no purpose and are security liability in Europe, Turkey

US policy doc hints at 'limited' nuclear arms use, alarming Russians

The Pentagon's alarming nuclear posture review

Donald Trump Is Playing a Dangerous Game of Nuclear Poker

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: Leaked NPR Draft Misinterpreted on Nuclear Response to Cyber

Moldova Pres: "Our people want their country to be neutral. They don't want NATO here- NATO means war. I don't want my people to be used as cannon fodder."

The Discrimination Problem: Why Putting Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons on Submarines Is So Dangerous

Daniel Ellsberg Thinks We're in Denial About Nuclear War

EU, NATO Face Growing Threat of Inadvertent Military Clash- Munich Security Report

To Counter Russia, U.S. Signals Nuclear Arms Are Back in a Big Way

Newly Declassified Documents: Gorbachev Told NATO Wouldn't Move Past East German Border

Daniel Ellsberg, 'Nuclear War Planner', reflects on "insane" nuclear war strategies and still looming dangers

US, Russia missile treaty in jeopardy as tensions escalate

Deterrence in Retreat: How the Cold War's Core Principle Fell Out of Fashion

Democracy Now interview: Former Nuclear War Planner Daniel Ellsberg on his new book: "The Doomsday Machine"

German top diplomat says sustainable security in Europe is impossible without Russia

'The Nuclear Enterprise Is on Autopilot' - interview with William Hartung on nuclear overkill

Stephen Cohen: 'Russiagate' Zealots (Mainly Democrats) Have Become a Major Threat to US National Security

Hartung: Massive Overkill in Nuclear Politics

Special Report: in Modernizing Nuclear Arsenal, U.S. Stokes New Arms Race

Listen Liberals: Russia Is Not Our Enemy

Who is Really Driving Nuclear-Weapons Production?

Perry & Cartwright: Spending less on nuclear weapons could actually make us safer

Ballistic missiles: Limit them first. Then ban them.

Trump denounces as 'pure fiction' a widely carried NBC report that he wanted a ten-fold increase in US nuclear weapons stockpile

Trump's overhaul of US nuclear weapons policy may make nuclear war more likely

Understanding the Threat Posed by Hypersonic Weapons

ICYMI- Eric Schlosser: World War Three, by Mistake

NATO seeking to revive cold war-era climate - Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

What would it take to trigger war between Russia and NATO? Just a spark

START from the Beginning: 25 Years of US-Russian Nuclear Weapons Reductions

Lavrov reminded UN a West-inspired coup d'état started Ukraine crisis, not Russia

Turkey signs deal for Russian S-400 air defense missiles

Germany has put most arms exports to Turkey on hold: minister

71% of Germans in favor of signing nuke ban treaty

Germany: Caught between America and Russia again

Huge pacifist sentiment in Germany supports removal of US nuclear weapons

Foreign Minister Gabriel joins call to withdraw US nukes from Germany

SPD's Martin Schulz wants US nuclear weapons out of Germany

Looking out Five Years: What Should Washington and Its European Allies Expect From Moscow?

We Need to Stop Using Russia as a Political Football

'Russiagate' Allegations, Irresponsibly Promoted by Congress and the Media, Have Become a Grave Threat to American National Security

VP Pence in Estonia: Attack on 1 NATO ally is attack on all

Security expert warns NATO against adding members

U.S., U.K., Ukraine, Others Begin Massive Military Drills In Georgia

NATO Members, Partners Join Forces In Georgian Drills

NATO Deputy Secretary General and US Special Representative Kurt Volker hold talks on Ukraine

China, Russia and Nato forces put on a huge show of strength as the world's powers flex their military muscles

Sam Nunn on Russia: 'We Have a Choice Between Cooperation or Catastrophe'

4 US Ambassadors Offer a Positive Agenda for US-Russian Relations

Rising Nuclear Dangers: Steps to Reduce Risks in the Euro-Atlantic

Russian Lawmaker: We Would Use Nukes if US or NATO Enters Crimea

NATO is making up Russian threat to justify its own existence - former French intelligence chief

Lockheed F-35s, due to port B61-12s now lined up in bases, just a few minutes flight time from Russia

Satellite images show expansion of Russian nuclear weapons sites on Kola Peninsula

U.S. Military: 'We Are Prepared to Use Nuclear Weapons'


Rand Corp Report:
False Alarms, True Dangers?
Current and Future Risks of Inadvertent U.S.-Russian Nuclear War
"This report uses simple fault tree models- top-down, graphical depictions- to examine three primary scenarios in which an inadvertent nuclear conflict is a possible outcome..." (view/download PDF)


Jan 16, 2017:
Don't Add Montenegro To 'Obsolete' NATO: Senate Shouldn't Sacrifice U.S. Security For Balkan Mouse
Doug Bandow in Forbes
"...After the collapse of the Soviet Union NATO acted like a gentleman's club which every civilized European state wanted to join. Thus entered former Warsaw Pact nations and Soviet republics, extending the alliance up to Russia’s borders. That included Poland and the Baltic States, all essentially irrelevant to the security of the rest of the continent and the latter almost indefensible, at least at reasonable cost, as the U.S. and other Europeans finally have come to recognize.
"More recent proposals to bring in Georgia and Ukraine suggested that Washington had gone slightly mad. The two prospective members would offer nothing to America's defense but would bring along potential conflicts with nuclear-armed Russia." (ref)


July 18, 2016:
War Fever
Jill Dogherty, Wilson Center: "In the past two months, I've traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere... On to Moscow, where 'war fever' is at fever pitch. Here, there is no softening of language; NATO and the U.S. are the enemy and Russia must be ready for attack."
Gorbachev: NATO "talks about defense, but actually is preparing for offensive action." (ref)


Russia gathers troops at Baltic military bases ahead of Cold War-style stand-off with Nato
July 5, 2016:
"Russia is assembling military forces in eastern Europe as it draws closer to a potential Cold War-style standoff with Nato in the Baltic states. The Russian military has been mobilizing troops, trucks and equipment to various bases around Kaliningrad, a crucial outpost between Poland and Lithuania, as well as sites further inland according to Reuters." (Independent UK)


Is NATO Undermining Global Stability?
June 18, 2016:
"From a Western perspective, the Cold War really could not have ended any better. Why then, when the status quo was so much in its favor and the world was (mostly) stable, has NATO expanded, provoked Russia, and arguably contributed to undermining global stability?" (read all at ModernDiplomacy.eu)


1997: Former Policy-Makers Urged Clinton Not To Expand NATO
"June 26, 1997. We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S.-led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion is neither necessary nor desirable and that this ill-conceived policy can and should be put on hold."
Senator Bill Bradley
Ambassador Richard T. Davies
Ambassador Jonathan Dean
Susan Eisenhower
Dr. Morton H. Halperin
Senator Mark Hatfield
Professor John P. Holdren
Fred Ikle
Edward Luttwak
Ambassador Jack Matlock
Robert S. McNamara
Senator Sam Nunn
Professor Richard Pipes
Admiral Stansfield Turner
Paul Warnke
See the letter


Planned Eurasian Apocalypse, c. 1956

Here are the 1100 [declassified] nuclear targets in the 1956 US target list for the Eurasian communist nations. Click image above to see the interactive infographic at the Future of Life site- clicking on any target dot will bring up a satellite map of the target area with the blast zone, variable depending on the yield you choose, fallout paths, and other info.



spheres of influence
click to enlarge


New Ohio class missile submarines

Defense Bills Would Create Separate Fund for New Ohio-Class Nuclear Submarines
"Far-reaching implications"
"The creation of a National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to pay for an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine replacement could significantly alter the typically underfunded Navy shipbuilding account, while also establishing a precedent that other military services may attempt to leverage in years to come.
More: Frank Oliveri, CQ Roll Call, 6/9/14

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General Lee Butler on Nuclear Weapons
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- George Kennan, 1981

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