Arsenal of Information




Dossiers:

UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Conference
B61-12 Enhanced Nuclear Bomb
LRSO: New Nuclear Cruise Missile
US Nukes at Incirlik AFB, Turkey
Trump Admin and Nuclear Weapons Policy
Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
Flashpoint: NATO-Russia
Flashpoint: North Korea
MOX / Plutonium Disposition
Fukushima Disaster and Updates
Nuke Lab Contractors Illegal Lobbying
Revolving Door: The Case of Heather Wilson
Marshall Islands Lawsuit
CMRR-Nuclear Facility
Conference on the Humanitarian Impact
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)


Jan. 19, 2016, CSIS, Wash. DC:
Ballistic Missile Defense System Update
2-3pm ET. With Vice Admiral James D. Syring, Director, U.S. Missile Defense Agency
- See archived video podcast


"The United States can deter any country from using nuclear weapons against America and its treaty allies with a nuclear force that is far smaller, less destabilizing, and less expensive than the one the Pentagon is planning to build.
"This White House has caved to the nuclear priesthood in the bureaucracy. Instead of staying on nuclear autopilot, the next administration needs to fundamentally rethink the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy, the costs of implementing the current strategic force modernization program, and the alternatives that could provide greater stability and less risk of nuclear conflict at a much lower cost."
-Richard Sokolsky; Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment, writing in Defense One (ref)


Why the U.S. Should Be Paying Attention to Russia's Latest Strikes in Syria
Nov. 18, 2015. Renewed Russian Syria campaign: capability tests for new generation of bombers and missiles. (story)



Northrup Grumman
    Click to enlarge

"Any effort to disrupt this critical program can jeopardize national security. It is vital this program moves forward without delay."
AmericasNewBomber.com This is the entrance screen at a site put up by Northrup-Grumman after its success in winning the contract for the next strategic bomber force met a legal challenge from Lockheed. (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)


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


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)


Why the U.S. Should Be Paying Attention to Russia's Latest Strikes in Syria
Nov. 18, 2015. Renewed Russian Syria campaign: capability tests for new generation of bombers and missiles. (story)


The War That Must Never Be Fought
George P. Shultz, Former U.S. Secretary of State and James Goodby, Former Vice Chairman, U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks; Co-editors of "The War That Must Never Be Fought" at the Commonwealth Club, June 17, 2015. Moderator: Terry Gamble Boyer, Board of Directors, Ploughshares Fund.




Find us on Facebook
Join our mailing list Nukewatch at Tumblr

Nuclear Flashpoints: NATO-Russia


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) (also reproduced here)



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?"



A BBC production, 2016.


PSR Action Alert
President Obama: Please restore critical military-to-military communications between the U.S. and Russia!
Ask President Obama to restore vital military-to-military communication channels with Russia. These channels were established during the Cold War to avoid an accidental nuclear war. We need them now more than ever!



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'


Nuclear Weapons: 70 Years On and Riskier Than Ever
When on the early morning of July 16, 1945, the first nuclear bomb was detonated in southern New Mexico, observers spoke of their feelings of awe and dread. 3 weeks later, when further nuclear bombs were detonated above the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the appalling results could only elicit horror; the only documentary footage immediately following the attack was suppressed for decades. In the aftermath, many scientists called for the abolition of the bomb; statesmen called for its control by an international agency. But the Cold War confrontation saw a staggering proliferation of nuclear weapons between the two superpowers; finally the sense of dread grew so great that the leaders of both sides sought ways to jointly reduce their arsenals, and even, in the case of Reagan and Gorbachev, dreamt of abolishing these weapons. When in the early nineties the Cold War ended without a shot, many assumed we might finally move rapidly on nuclear disarmament, in keeping with the pledges made when we signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
And indeed, the insane arsenals of the US and Russia were cut back significantly. But ultimately, instead of seizing the chance to be rid of nuclear weapons for good, the prevailing attitude seemed to become 'might as well keep some around, you know, just in case, you never know.' A quarter century after the end of the Cold War, there are still 15,700 nuclear weapons in the world, and the US and Russia together account for 14,700 of them. (ref) These numbers are still plenty insane, but the weapons are indeed there, and they are deployed, and many are still on hair-trigger. And vast funds are being budgeted for across-the-board "modernizations".
And as it happens, tensions in Eastern Europe have flared with Russia's annexation of Crimea and President Putin's warning to NATO, more or less, 'You've gone too far- back off'; now both sides are conducting military maneuvers on each other's borders. The destabilization of the post Cold War status quo has provided fuel for the "Second Nuclear Age" constituency, those advocating a deep review of our nuclear doctrine and a re-commitment to our nuclear arsenal, and those eager to give our bombs faster delivery with greater accuracy; and smaller ones too, to give decision makers more 'options', to be more 'usable'.
Battlefield nukesDangerous Mirroring
In a reversal of the Cold War postures in Europe, it is now the US/NATO conventional forces which are superior. And, like our nuclear doctrine during the cold war, Russia's current military doctrine posits the use of nuclear weapons if in danger of losing to superior conventional forces; the doctrine calls for the use of nuclear weapons to de-escalate a conflict- meaning that if locally overpowered by superior NATO/US conventional forces, a nuclear weapon may be used to stop the conflict from going any further. Whether that would be a realistic outcome is obviously open to question.
We've heard a lot about Russia's aggressive behavior toward her neighbors; on the Russian side it's the reverse; see for example this infographic from sputniknews.com titled "NATO exercises and deployments near Russia since 2014"; with the text caption, "NATO has repeatedly blamed Russia for its aggressive behavior, but it looks like the alliance forgot about its own military maneuvers along the Russian border."
Another example: the western press was abuzz with Putin's announcement that 40 new ICBMs would be added to the Russian arsenal, and condemnations of Putin's "threatening behavior" were widespread, while at the same time little attention was paid to the US Air Force proposal to procure 642 new ICBMs to replace the Minuteman III fleet.
"The atmosphere is a feeling that war is not something that's impossible anymore... The perception is that somebody would try to undermine Russia as a country that opposes the United States, and then we will need to defend ourselves by military means."- Fyodor Lukyanov, chief of Russia's most important foreign policy think tank and its most important foreign policy journal, quoted by Max Fisher.
"Lukyanov, pointing to the US and Russian military buildups along Eastern Europe, also worried that an accident or provocation could be misconstrued as a deliberate attack and lead to war. In the Cold War, he pointed out, both sides had understood this risk and installed political and physical infrastructure- think of the 'emergency red phone'- to manage tensions and prevent them from spiraling out of control. That infrastructure is now gone. 'All those mechanisms were disrupted or eroded... That [infrastructure] has been degraded since the end of the Cold War because the common perception is that we don't need it anymore.'" (ref)
- Note Ahmed Rashid's "Russia: Twenty Feet from War" in the May 14, 2015 New York Review of Books: "A senior Estonian official explained to me in vivid detail how a Russian Su-27 fighter jet buzzed a US military plane over the Baltic Sea, only veering off after coming within twenty feet of causing a mid-air collision. Such an event could have prompted retaliation by NATO and possibly given Moscow a pretext for invading Estonia..."
- The Guardian, June 24: Nato to review nuclear weapon policy as attitude to Russia hardens
"Among potential topics is an enhanced role for nuclear weapons in Nato military exercises." "In a development that has attracted remarkably little attention, the world has arrived at a perilous crossroads in the effort to reduce the dangers of nuclear weapons. Much recent progress stands to be lost in a hazardous wave of brinkmanship and arms races. Before it becomes too late, the United States should design and lead a new campaign to control nuclear risk."- Michael J. Mazarr, senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation writing in Newsweek, July 15, 2015.

On January 19th of this year, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the hands of the Doomsday Clock were advanced to 3 minutes to midnight.

Recommended:
- How World War III became possible- A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think- Max Fisher on Vox.com.
- Russia and America: Stumbling to War by Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes on The National Interest.
- Who is the bully? The U.S. has treated Russia like a loser since the end of the Cold War by Jack Matlock, last Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1987-1991


Game On: East vs. West, Again
"Didn't they tell us after the fall of the Berlin Wall that NATO would not expand eastwards? However, the expansion started immediately... This is the main issue of current international relations. Our partners never stopped. They decided they were the winners, they were an empire, while all the others were their vassals, and they needed to put the squeeze on them."
"Do we place our troops at US borders? Who is placing NATO troops, military infrastructure closer to us? Does anyone listen to us, talk to us about it? No, nothing. There is always the same response: it's not your business."
-Russian President Putin, 12/18/14 Press Conference

N.B.: NATO calls this narrative of an understanding "a myth" on its official website. See NATO-Russia Relations: The Facts

So was there an understanding that NATO would not expand to the East? In a 2009 article for Foreign Policy titled "A Diplomatic Mystery", former senator Bill Bradley attempts to shine some light on "a misunderstanding... that has brought decades of grief."

In the same year, Der Spiegel examined the mystery more extensively; see "NATO's Eastward Expansion: Did the West Break Its Promise to Moscow?"

In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev was apparently assured by top US officials that in return for allowing East and West Germany to unite and be a full NATO member, NATO would not expand "one inch" to the east. But by 2009, 12 more ex-Warsaw Pact nations had joined NATO.

Andrew Cockburn Andrew Cockburn details the sequence of events that brought us to today's crisis in Ukraine:
"[For the arms contractors] one especially promising market was among the former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact. Were they to join NATO, they would be natural customers for products such as the F-16 fighter that Lockheed had inherited from General Dynamics.

"There was one minor impediment... Secretary of State James Baker had unequivocally spelled out Washington's end of that bargain in a private conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990, pledging that NATO forces would not move "one inch to the east", provided the Soviets agreed to NATO membership for a unified Germany.
"Even at the beginning, not everyone in the administration was intent on honoring this promise. Robert Gates noted in his memoirs that Dick Cheney, then the defense secretary, took a more opportunistic tack: 'When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.'

"Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post cold-war era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."
- George F. Kennan, 1997

"... As it happened, NATO was indeed active, under Bill Clinton's leadership, and moving decisively to expand eastward, whatever prior Republican understandings there might have been with the Russians... Already plushly installed in Warsaw and other Eastern European capitals were emissaries of the defense contractors. 'Lockheed began looking at Poland right after the Wall came down,' Dick Pawloski, for years a Lockheed salesman active in Eastern Europe, told me. 'There were contractors flooding through all those countries.'
"The vision of [Lockheed Martin CEO] Augustine and his peers that an enlarged NATO could be a fruitful market has become a reality. By 2014, the twelve new members had purchased close to $17 billion worth of American weapons, while this past October Romania celebrated the arrival of Eastern Europe's first $134 million Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore missile-defense system." Game On, Harper's, January 2015

Andrew Cockburn is currently Washington Editor of Harper's Magazine. Cockburn's most recent book is "Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy". more


How the Obama Administration Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
US nuclear policy is undermining our safety and national security.
Theodore A. Postol, The Nation, Dec. 10. 2014
Theodore Postol, MIT "In a highly celebrated speech in Prague in April 2009, Obama declared that "the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War," and he restated "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Later that year, the Nobel Committee cited the president's leadership on this issue when it awarded him the Peace Prize.
"Why, then, we must ask, is the Obama administration moving forward with an ambitious nuclear-weapons modernization program that could dramatically raise the threat of nuclear war?
"Many Russians, including those with moderate political views, believe the United States has been engaged in an endless campaign of disrespect, opportunism and predation toward Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union. Many Americans regard Russia as intransigent, dangerous and aggressive.
"This politically charged environment has grown increasingly tense since the Ukraine crisis erupted last winter. US nuclear hawks now regard the modernization program as an urgent national-security priority, while Russian leaders perceive US rhetoric about the need to increase the reliability of supposedly aging US forces as yet another lie aimed at lulling Russia into a trap.
"Sophisticated Russian analysts, especially those who understand the technical aspects of nuclear weapons, see the modernization drive as a disturbing indication that the US military believes a nuclear war against Russia can be fought and won.
"Our policy-makers have not attempted to analyze the benefit to US security of pushing the Russians to a higher state of alert. Nor have they asked how an increased US nuclear threat to Russia improves the security of US allies- or, for that matter, anyone else around the globe.
"What does the Obama administration hope to achieve by modernizing US nuclear forces? Do the president and his staff realize they are creating conditions that will reduce the security of all involved parties, or have they wrongly convinced themselves that they are creating a more stable deterrence? No rational actor would take steps to start a nuclear war. But the modernization effort significantly increases the chances of an accident during an unpredicted, and unpredictable, crisis- one that could escalate beyond anyone's capacity to imagine.

"The real problem is not irrationality but unpredictability. The reasons things happen are far more complex than obsessive nuclear planning can ever predict. The US modernization program is producing nuclear forces that will severely complicate the chances of backing away from disaster if a crisis were to occur. Anyone who looks at history knows that such crises will occur, and that they result from unpredictable and unforeseen events.

"This basic truth should be the basis for a sober re-evaluation of the modernization program: in a world that is fundamentally unpredictable, the pursuit of an unchallenged capacity to fight and win a nuclear war is a dangerous folly." More: Theodore A. Postol, The Nation, Dec. 10. 2014

Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT... more


Trouble Brewing for U.S.- Russia Nuclear Treaties
US-Russian Cold Shoulder Here are some of the current disputes:

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Suspicion regarding Russian INF commitment
Daily Beast, 11/26: U.S. Knew Russia Violated Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Nikolai Sokov's response at Arms Control Wonk: "Allegations of Russian Arms Control Cheating are Unfounded, But a Good Reason to Revisit Treaty Options"
U.S. Says Russia Tested Missile, Despite INF Treaty- Michael Gordon, NYTimes, 1/29/14
National Interest, February 11, 2014: Is Russia Violating the INF Treaty?
"The issue of INF compliance encompasses three separate, but closely related strands. One is technical- the substance of allegations, the properties of the missiles in question, and verification issues. Another relates to arms control and strategic concerns- how the INF treaty provisions fit or don't fit into the Russian national-security strategy. The third is politics- the reasons why allegations about treaty noncompliance continue to surface in public debate and the likely consequences for US foreign policy."
The Russians note that while the US is unlikely to need INF capabilities in dealing with Mexico or Canada, Russia's geographical situation is different. One of Russia's concerns with the INF restrictions could be neighboring China: for example it's deployment of Long Sword, a ground-launched long-range cruise missile. See an inventory of Chinese cruise missiles here. Note that a joint Indian-Russian program is developing a hypersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos 2, to be ready for Indian forces in 2017.
Feb 26, Global Security Newswire: Ex-Chief of Russian Strategic Forces: U.S. Has Violated Arms Control Pact 'Numerous' Times

US Europe-Based Ballistic Missile Defense Systems
US BMD deployments in Europe- Russian withdrawal from START?
The USS Donald Cook has deployed in Spain, the first of four ships carrying Aegis' ballistic missile defense system planned for stationing in Europe. The deployment was announced at the Munich Security Conference by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who called it, "An important posture enhancement is European missile defense in response to ballistic missile threats from Iran."
Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry department for security and disarmament said, "We are concerned that the US is continuing to build up missile defense capability without considering the interests and concerns of Russia. Such a policy can undermine strategic stability and lead to a situation where Russia will be forced to exercise its right of withdrawal from the START treaty."
Read more at Voice of Russia: Russia may quit START III after US deploys the USS Donald Cook, equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, in Spain

Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Russia will not disclose, says U.S. in violation of NPT
Feb. 2, 2014. Russia does not intend to disclose information about the storage locations for its tactical nuclear weapons or about their amount, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry department for security and disarmament Mikhail Ulyanov has said.
"Yes, we are invited to adopt some confidence-building measures by disclosing the storage places of the armaments and their quantity. But whom will it make life easier for, if we disclose such information? Only for terrorists."
As for U.S. and and NATO calls for Russia to reduce tactical nuclear armaments, Ulyanov said: "The subject of Russian tactical nuclear armament is far-fetched and fanned quite artificially. In the past 20 years Russia reduced its tactical nuclear armaments by 75%. All these armaments are deployed solely on Russian territory. They are stored at centralized facilities, i.e. are not deployed and pose no threat to anyone. The situation is absolutely different with NATO and the Americans. Approximately 200 tactical nuclear warheads are located in six countries of Europe and they are deployed. Which means they pose a potential threat to us. Moreover, NATO has such a notion as nuclear sharing which means that pilots from non-nuclear countries are trained to pilot nuclear-carrying aircraft. From the viewpoint of nuclear nonproliferation this is a violation of the letter and sprit of the NPT. Many countries share this viewpoint. We are not refusing to conduct a dialogue but we don't see a subject for even a preliminary conversation until all these weapons are withdrawn beyond Europe and before the infrastructure that permits their rapid return to the European continent is liquidated." (ref: Voice of Russia)

Further reference: Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons, Congressional Research Service, Jan. 2014.
See previous: 'Obama says Putin is trapped in Cold War logic, it's true. But so is Obama'
Also:
How to Avoid a $60 Billion Bailout for Navy Submarines
No More Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missiles


Putin and Obama
'Obama says Putin is trapped in Cold War logic, it's true. But so is Obama'
Washington Post's Ezra Klein interviews Joseph Cirincione on the Wonkblog:
"If Russia would agree, Obama would dramatically reduce the U.S. arsenal. He's hesitant to do it independently. He wants Russian agreement. But Russia won't agree. And Russia is hanging all these other issues on nuclear agreement. Putin wants to talk NATO conventional forces. He wants to talk new precision strike weapons the U.S. has that some fear can knock out Russian nuclear targets. He wants to talk missile defense. And he has a very active missile industrial complex in Russia.
"When Obama says Putin is trapped in Cold War logic, it's true. But so is Obama and so is his bureaucracy. The only reason you need all these weapons is if you're preparing for global thermonuclear war with Russia. You don't need them to deal with Iran or North Korea. It does nothing about terrorism. It just keeps going because it's tethered to the nuclear-weapons complex. The people who build nuclear weapons keep building them. The people with the bases want to keep maintaining them. The commanders of the strategic forces are vested in this complex. But do you need it? You have to really go down to some hard-core, unreconstructed Cold War theorists in town to find people who will justify this arsenal."
(see the Wonkblog interview)

Nuclear Nightmares, by Joe Cirincione

Joe Cirincione is the author of the newly published "Nuclear Nightmares: Securing The World Before It's Too Late". Former Secretary for Defense William J. Perry says, "If you read only one book on [nuclear weapons], this is the one." 'Nuclear Nightmares' website. Read a New York Post review of "Nuclear Nightmares".

Joseph Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, and a member of Secretary of State John Kerry's International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations. The Ploughshares Fund is a funder of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.



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)



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 -

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'

Risk Of 'Accidental' Nuclear War Growing, UN Research Group Says

Russian Officials Say U.S. Global Missile Defense Could Lead to Nuclear War in Europe

Russia, West Moving Towards New Cold War, Gorbachev Warns

NATO still has 'birthmarks' of Cold War- and continues living in a paradigm of bloc confrontation- Putin

The Case for a European Nuke

This reckless Russia-baiting must stop

Alexey Arbatov: Understanding the US-Russia Nuclear Schism

Fearing U.S. Withdrawal, Europe Considers Its Own Nuclear Deterrent

Stephen Cohen: Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump

A Visit To Russia's Secret Nuclear Labs

Putting Missile Defense on Pause

Missile Defense: Blocking Threats or Blocking Diplomacy?

'Confrontational agenda': Russian envoy blasts NATO border activities

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China

Biggest shipment of American tanks since the Cold War lands in Germany

In Moscow, Trump's tapping of Tillerson lifts hope of US rapprochement

Trump Should Halt US Missile-Defense Plans in Europe

How President Trump Could Actually Reduce Danger Of War In Europe For The U.S.

How David Petraeus and Vladimir Putin Are Risking a Syrian Armageddon

Is Nuclear War Becoming Thinkable?

That brief U.S.-Russia strategic partnership 15 years ago?

Do We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia?

Russia accuses U.S. of nurturing an aggressive nuclear strategy

NATO's Expiration Date

U.S. Defense Contractors Tell Investors Russian Threat Is Great for Business

NATO, Stop Expanding Eastward

Rossiyskaya Gazeta Talks With William Perry about US-Russia Relations

War With Russia Looms, Says Former NATO General in New Book

US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia: Risking Nuclear War

NATO-Russia: War Fever

Gorbachev: 'The Next War Will Be the Last'

US-Russian relations: The middle cannot hold

NATO Ratchets Up Missile Defense Despite Russian Criticism

Handle the Bear with care

Flush With Cold War "Victory," U.S. Still Fails to Understand Russia's Security Needs

Document: 2016 U.S. European Command Posture Statement


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



only search nukewatch.org

General Lee Butler on Nuclear Weapons
"We cannot at once keep sacred the miracle of existence and hold sacrosanct the capacity to destroy it." -Gen. Lee Butler (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command

Our Mission: Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities, mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs, greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex, and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico is supported by the Ploughshares Fund: Investing in Peace and Security Worldwide, the Windfall Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation Donor Advised Grants, the New Mexico Community Foundation, the New-Land Foundation, and by generous donors like you. Thank You!

Last modified: May 24 2017 20:14:27.
Website management: Dvmx.net
Hosted by Studio X

Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
903 W. Alameda, #325
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505.989.7342 - phone and fax
info@nukewatch.org

Join our mailing list