Entries Tagged as 'Nuclear weapons'

Biden: U.S. Will Use Military Action if Necessary to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

PBS Newshour
March 4, 2013

Watch Biden: U.S. Would Use Military Action to Stop Nuclear Iran on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Vice President Biden warned that the U.S. will use military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Margaret Warner talks to Flynt Leverett, former National Security Council director, and former Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns about the state of diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear activity.

Read transcript: www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june13/iran_03-04.html

Obama to Renew Drive for Cuts in Nuclear Arms

New York Times
By David E. Sanger
February 10, 2013

President Obama will use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to reinvigorate one of his signature national security objectives — drastically reducing nuclear arsenals around the world — after securing agreement in recent months with the United States military that the American nuclear force can be cut in size by roughly a third.

Mr. Obama, administration officials say, is unlikely to discuss specific numbers in the address, but White House officials are looking at a cut that would take the arsenal of deployed weapons to just above 1,000. Currently there are about 1,700, and the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia that passed the Senate at the end of 2009 calls for a limit of roughly 1,550 by 2018. …

Read on: www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/us/politics/obama-to-renew-drive-for-cuts-in-nuclear-arms.html

US nukes to stay in Germany

September 6, 2012

Berlin has decided to drop plans to remove remaining American nuclear weapons from German soil, local media say. The bombs and the German aircraft that can deploy them will be instead upgraded.


The plans would go against the promises Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made in 2009, when the coalition government was being formed, the report in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper says. At the time he pledged to seek the removal of the nuclear stockpile from Germany.

Germany is one of the European NATO members hosting US nuclear weapons as part of the nuclear sharing agreement. It is thought to have between 10 and 20 B61 nuclear bombs stored at the Büchel Air Base. They are a fraction of some 200 American nuclear weapons that were deployed in the country in the Cold War era.

The bombs are meant to be dropped by German Panavia Tornado IDS fighter-bomber jets in case of war. The Bundeswehr is expected to spend around 250 million euro to keep the fleet in service until 2024, the report says.

The bombs themselves are currently undergoing a multibillion refurbishment program. Initially priced at $2 billion, the upgrade is expected to be closer to $6 billion…

Read on: http://rt.com/news/germany-us-nukes-upgrade-519/

Op-Ed: US nuclear carrier group base in Perth? Real possibility in play

Digital Journal
By Paul Wallis
August 1, 2012

The reconfiguration of US military assets is getting very interesting. The proposal for a US carrier group based at HMAS Stirling in Perth is particularly intriguing, because it does relate to a comprehensive reworking of US deployment profiles.
The three basic options for a new US carrier group base are very different. The choices have been narrowed down to three places which have little in common apart from being on the same planet. The strategic issues are different for each, the operational capabilities are different, and the structural contexts are different. Apart from that, it’s a pretty easy problem that US military thinkers are pondering.
Now consider for yourself the ramifications of a naval base in either:

A US carrier group is basically capable of fighting a reasonable size war on its own. It’s also quite capable of knocking out opposing navies and air forces.

The proposed group is indicative of a lot of strike power:

The strike group would include a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, a carrier air wing of up to nine squadrons, one or two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, one or two nuclear powered submarines and a supply ship.

Read in full: www.digitaljournal.com/article/329805

The Bomb and the Drone: The Grim Reaper Keeps Taking Its Toll

By Ed Kinane
August 6, 2012

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong always before us. The agony of those two cities must remain our dark beacon.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn’t so much about targets as about audiences. We – or rather, the very highest reaches of the US government – annihilated a couple hundred thousand nameless, unarmed, undefended human beings to warn the world: “Don’t mess with us; we run things now.”

Thanks to its atomic prowess –-showcased at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – for over 65 years the United States has been able to hold the planet hostage. …

Every August 6, letters to editors perpetuate the last century’s most enduring myth: the Bomb forced the fanatic, loathsome Japs to surrender. Japan would not have to be invaded. Thousands of G.I. lives were thereby saved. Thank God for the Bomb! …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10389-the-bomb-and-the-drone-the-grim-reap

MoD spends £2bn on nuclear weapons ahead of Trident renewal decision

The Guardian
By Rob Edwards
November 27, 2011

The Ministry of Defence is spending £2bn on new nuclear weapons plants before a formal decision has been taken over whether to replace Trident warheads, according to ministers.

The revelation has prompted fierce attacks on the MoD for making “a complete mockery” of the democratic process by pre-empting a decision and so attempting to force the hands of future governments.

The ministry says the investment helps to ensure the safety of the existing Trident warheads, but accepts that the money also maintains the capability to design a new warhead “should that be required”.

Details of the MoD’s investments have been unveiled for the first time. They include a £734m facility called Mensa for dismantling and assembling of warheads, a risky but essential maintenance process; a £634m highly enriched uranium plant called Pegasus; and a £231m high explosives factory called Circinus.

The plants are being built at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire. Other facilities with similarly stellar names but smaller bills – Orion, Gemini, and Leo – are also being built as part of the AWE development plan covering 2005 to 2015. The costs of two more – Octans and Orchard – are being kept secret for commercial reasons. …

Read on: www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/27/mod-trident-nuclear-weapons-spending

Russia opposes new Iran sanctions over IAEA report

By Steve Gutterman
November 9, 2011

Russia on Wednesday vehemently criticized a U.N. nuclear watchdog report saying Iran appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb, saying it contained no new evidence and was being used to undercut efforts to reach a diplomatic solution.

Sharpening opposition to any new sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council, where Russia has veto power, senior diplomats said further punitive measures would be “destructive” and urged a revival of talks between Tehran and global powers.

The Russian remarks came during a visit by a senior Iranian official for talks on the program which Tehran says is peaceful but the United States and its allies fear is aimed at developing the capability to build atomic weapons.

They underscored a divide between Russia and the West over a report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency that deepened U.S. and European suspicions about Tehran’s intentions.

“According to our initial evaluations, there is no fundamentally new information in the report,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We are talking about a compilation of known facts, given a politicized tone,” it said, adding that interpretations of the report brought to mind the use of faulty intelligence to seek support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. …

Analysts say Moscow may have calculated that it has little to gain from supporting new sanctions against Iran. This would further hurt ties already damaged by Russia’s backing of the most recent measures in June 2010, when President Dmitry Medvedev also scrapped a deal to deliver air-defense missiles to Tehran.

Those sanctions were adopted at a time of improving relations between Russia and the United States, after President Barack Obama downsized a European missile defense plan that Russia opposed and signed a nuclear arms limitation treaty with Medvedev.

Read in full: www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/09/us-nuclear-iran-russia-idUSTRE7A857620111109

Last Cold War-era B53 nuclear bomb dismantled in Texas

BBC News
October 25, 2011

The last of America’s most powerful Cold War-era nuclear bombs – the B53 – has been dismantled in Texas.

Experts have separated around 300lb (136kg) of high explosives from the bomb’s uranium “pit”.

Weighing 10,000lb, the B53 was the size of a minivan and said to be 600 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

It was first put into service at the height of the Cold War in 1962, and remained in the US arsenal until 1997.

The bomb was designed to hit targets deep underground, such as bunkers in which military and civilian leaders might be sheltering.

Carried by B-52 bombers, the “bunker busters” used five parachutes to land softly on their targets before detonating a nine megaton explosion, in effect simulating an earthquake.

They have been superseded by bombs that burrow into the ground and then explode.

The first B53s were destroyed in the 1980s but several remained in service until 1997, when they were all retired. …

Read on: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15453872

Russia to launch new airborne early warning system by 2016

August 10, 2011

The head of Russia’s air force says the country will launch a new flying radar system by 2016.

The plane will counter the activities of the US’s Airborne Early Warning and Control System.

Flying radar is used for collecting radio-electronic intelligence. The new Russian radio-location antenna has already been developed.

Two of the world’s most powerful cargo planes, the ANT-24 and the IL-76, may be used as carriers for the system.

Meanwhile, Russia has confirmed the creation of the world’s most advanced solid-fuel sea-based nuclear missile with payload capabilities surpassing all others developed by members of the “nuclear club”.

By distance/payload ratio, the new missile exceeds any analogues designed in the US, UK, France or China.


AF Pulls ‘Jesus Loves Nukes’ Training

by Bryant Jordan
August 2, 2011

The Air Force has suspended decades-old Bible-centric ethics training intended to make Christian officers comfortable with the possible use of nuclear weapons. The training program was given to all new missile officers by Air Force chaplains.

“We’re in the process of reviewing that training and we’ll make a determination whether or not to continue [it] or if it will be a different course,” Air Education and Training Command spokesman Dave Smith told Military.com.

Smith said the ethics training has been in place more than 20 years, although he didn’t know exactly when it was begun.

The training slides include quotations from the Bible, portraits of Christian saints, prophets, and famous American generals known for their faith, including George Washington, Union Army Gen. Joshua Chamberlain, and Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

Every new missile officer had to take the training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, regardless of their own religious beliefs or lack of them, according to Smith.

AETC halted the ethics training last week after an article on the training was posted at Truthout.org. …

Read more: www.military.com/news/article/af-pulls-jesus-loves-nukes-training-.ht