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Thread: Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan

  1. #1
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan

    Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
    Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons

    By Walter Pincus
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, September 11, 2005; A01

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...001053_pf.html

    The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

    The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002. The strategy was outlined in more detail at the time in classified national security directives.

    At a White House briefing that year, a spokesman said the United States would "respond with overwhelming force" to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its forces or allies, and said "all options" would be available to the president.

    The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. A previous version, completed in 1995 during the Clinton administration, contains no mention of using nuclear weapons preemptively or specifically against threats from weapons of mass destruction.

    Titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and written under the direction of Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the draft document is unclassified and available on a Pentagon Web site. It is expected to be signed within a few weeks by Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, director of the Joint Staff, according to Navy Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, a public affairs officer in Myers's office. Meanwhile, the draft is going through final coordination with the military services, the combatant commanders, Pentagon legal authorities and Rumsfeld's office, Cutler said in a written statement.

    A "summary of changes" included in the draft identifies differences from the 1995 doctrine, and says the new document "revises the discussion of nuclear weapons use across the range of military operations."

    The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.

    Another scenario for a possible nuclear preemptive strike is in case of an "imminent attack from adversary biological weapons that only effects from nuclear weapons can safely destroy."

    That and other provisions in the document appear to refer to nuclear initiatives proposed by the administration that Congress has thus far declined to fully support.

    Last year, for example, Congress refused to fund research toward development of nuclear weapons that could destroy biological or chemical weapons materials without dispersing them into the atmosphere.

    The draft document also envisions the use of atomic weapons for "attacks on adversary installations including WMD, deep, hardened bunkers containing chemical or biological weapons."

    But Congress last year halted funding of a study to determine the viability of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator warhead (RNEP) -- commonly called the bunker buster -- that the Pentagon has said is needed to attack hardened, deeply buried weapons sites.

    The Joint Staff draft doctrine explains that despite the end of the Cold War, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction "raises the danger of nuclear weapons use." It says that there are "about thirty nations with WMD programs" along with "nonstate actors [terrorists] either independently or as sponsored by an adversarial state."

    To meet that situation, the document says that "responsible security planning requires preparation for threats that are possible, though perhaps unlikely today."

    To deter the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, the Pentagon paper says preparations must be made to use nuclear weapons and show determination to use them "if necessary to prevent or retaliate against WMD use."

    The draft says that to deter a potential adversary from using such weapons, that adversary's leadership must "believe the United States has both the ability and will to pre-empt or retaliate promptly with responses that are credible and effective." The draft also notes that U.S. policy in the past has "repeatedly rejected calls for adoption of 'no first use' policy of nuclear weapons since this policy could undermine deterrence."

    Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been a leading opponent of the bunker-buster program, said yesterday the draft was "apparently a follow-through on their nuclear posture review and they seem to bypass the idea that Congress had doubts about the program." She added that members "certainly don't want the administration to move forward with a [nuclear] preemption policy" without hearings, closed door if necessary.

    A spokesman for Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday the panel has not yet received a copy of the draft.

    Hans M. Kristensen, a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council, who discovered the document on the Pentagon Web site, said yesterday that it "emphasizes the need for a robust nuclear arsenal ready to strike on short notice including new missions."

    Kristensen, who has specialized for more than a decade in nuclear weapons research, said a final version of the doctrine was due in August but has not yet appeared.

    "This doctrine does not deliver on the Bush administration pledge of a reduced role for nuclear weapons," Kristensen said. "It provides justification for contentious concepts not proven and implies the need for RNEP."

    One reason for the delay may be concern about raising publicly the possibility of preemptive use of nuclear weapons, or concern that it might interfere with attempts to persuade Congress to finance the bunker buster and other specialized nuclear weapons.

    In April, Rumsfeld appeared before the Senate Armed Services panel and asked for the bunker buster study to be funded. He said the money was for research and not to begin production on any particular warhead. "The only thing we have is very large, very dirty, big nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said. "It seems to me studying it [the RNEP] makes all the sense in the world."

    2005 The Washington Post Company

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    Iraq and Afghanistan are both nuclear wastelands right now. Even though we didn't drop a A-Bomb, this country has launch some many nuclear depleted bombs that the country is practically growing green.

    As despicable as the change in doctrine is, I expect no less from this administration.

    Paging John Wilkes Booth... Paging Lee Harvey Oswald... Paging John Hinckley....

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ Squeaky Fromme ... please pick up.

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    If that happens, then we'll REALLY have a police state.

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    Labs compete to make new nuclear bomb

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060613/...mb_competition
    Tue Jun 13, 2:26 PM ET

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the San Francisco Bay area and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are competing to design the nation's first new nuclear bomb in two decades.

    Scientists at both facilities are working around the clock on plans that will be presented to the Nuclear Weapons Council, a federal panel that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons. The council will choose a winner later this year.

    "I have had people working nights and weekends," said Joseph Martz, the head of the Los Alamos design team. "I have to tell them to go home. I can't keep them out of the office."

    Congress approved the new bomb, known as the reliable replacement warhead, with bipartisan support in 2005 as part of a defense spending bill.

    The weapon would, by law, have the same explosive power as existing warheads.

    Proponents of the project say the U.S. would lose its so-called "strategic deterrent" unless it replaces its aging arsenal of about 6,000 bombs, which will become potentially unreliable within 15 years. A new, more reliable weapon, they say, would help the nation reduce its stockpile.

    Critics say the project could trigger a new arms race with Russia and China, and undercut arguments that countries such as Iran and North Korea must stop their nuclear programs.

    The United States and Russia signed a treaty in 2002 calling for the countries to each cut nuclear inventories to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012.

    Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

    Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.

  6. #6

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    The United States and Russia signed a treaty in 2002 calling for the countries to each cut nuclear inventories to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012.
    That ought to be enough to make the planet uninhabitable.

    .

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Why "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer" Matters


    Photo by Theresa Squire.
    Thomas Jay Ryan and Ensemble in "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer."

    NY Theatre Wire
    Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons
    June 4, 2006

    "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer"
    Directed by Carl Forsman
    Presented by Keen Company

    The Connelly Theater
    220 East 4th St, between avenues A and B
    Opens June 7, 2006
    Tues. thru Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
    $19 (212) 868-4444 or
    www.smarttix.com
    Closes June 27, 2006

    When every day we hear about Iran's attempts to create nuclear weapons and our government's secret wiretapping, what could be timelier than Heinar Kipphardt's 1968 docu-drama that sets security against democracy, "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer"?

    The play is the final show of Keen Company's 2005/2006 season, and it is directed by the company's artistic director, Carl Forsman. As usual, Keen Company gives a sensitive, thoughtful and powerful treatment to a play that deals with difficult issues.

    "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer" is set in 1954, at the height of the McCarthy witch hunt. Oppenheimer, who leaned to the left in his youth, and had numerous friends and relatives who were Communists or Communist sympathizers, has been stripped of his security clearance. In an effort to get it back, he has requested a hearing before the personnel board of the Atomic Energy Commission.

    As the play begins, the three members of the board: Gordon Gray (Wilbur Edwin Henry), Ward V. Evans (Dan Daily) and Thomas A. Morgan (Peter Davies); counsel for the Atomic Energy Commission: Roger Robb (Rocco Sisto) and C.A. Rolander (Matthew Rauch); and counsel for Oppenheimer: Lloyd K. Garrison (Ian Stuart) and Herbert S. Marks (Steve Routman) sit stiffly on a tiered stage, all facing the audience.

    Oppenheimer, played by the superb Thomas Jay. Ryan, sits alternately on a bench and in the witness chair. In sharp contrast to the other men, he is remarkably at ease, even confident.

    The men are all dressed in somber black suits and white shirts. This tone is echoed in the black, whites and grays of the set, only relieved by the red, white and blue of the American flag. (Nathan Heverin is the scenic designer and Theresa Squire is the costume designer.)

    Oppenheimer speaks with intelligence, humor and a resignation that borders on arrogance. He is clearly making the mistake of trying to win the minds of these men and not their hearts.

    But his statements contain wisdom today's leaders would do well to consider: "We should have knocked before opening the door to the horrible world we live in." "If the devil himself were on the other side, one would have to reach an understanding with the devil." And the line that made the biggest impression on the audience: "There are people willing to protect freedom until there's nothing left of it."

    Oppenheimer was a complicated personality. He was the father of the atomic bomb, but after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he became a major opponent of escalating the arms race. He was an urban sophisticate and also surprisingly nave. He claimed to love his country, but it was apparent he loved mankind more.

    Ryan deftly portrays Oppenheimer in all his inconsistency and ambivalence. He gives Oppenheimer heroic qualities but (fortunately) keeps him much too human to be a tragic hero.

    Oppenheimer is certainly not the only person onstage capable of eloquence. Edward Teller (Keith Reddin), the evil genius, makes a good case for the devil. While Marks mounts a valiant defense, claiming sardonically that Oppenheimer's "faith in the power of argument makes him a worse witness than Joan of Arc, who could not read." And Hans Bethe (Matt Fischel) defends his friend, saying, "History will not remember the ideas we fought for but the methods we used to enforce them."

    In the end, Oppenheimer is convicted of "ideological treason." In other words, the mere act of thinking the wrong thoughts makes someone suspect, even in the absence of evidence.

    One can only guess what might have happened to Oppenheimer had the Internet existed in 1954.

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Clowns Sabotage Nuke Missile

    defensetech
    June 23, 2006

    On Tuesday morning, a retired Catholic priest and two veterans put on clown suits, busted into a nuclear missile launch facility, and began beating the silo cover with hammers, in an attempt to take the Minuteman III missile off-line. Seriously.



    The trio -- members of the Luck, Wisconsin group Nukewatch -- said the break-in was part of "a call for national repentance" for the Hiroshima and Nagaski A-bombings in 1945.

    The activists used bolt-cutters to get into the E-9 Minuteman II facility, located just northwest of the White Shield, North Dakota.

    "Using a sledgehammer and household hammers, they disabled the lock on the personnel entry hatch that provides access to the warhead and they hammered on the silo lid that covers the 300 kiloton nuclear warhead," the group said in a statement. "The activists painted 'It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon' on the face of the 110-ton hardened silo cover and the peace activists poured their blood on the missile lid."


    This was all done while wearing face paint, dunce caps, misfitting overalls, and bright yellow wigs.
    We dress as clowns to show that humor and laughter are key elements in the struggle to transform the structures of destruction and death. Saint Paul said that we are “fools for God's sake,” and we say that we are “fools for God and humanity.” Clowns as court jesters were sometimes the only ones able to survive after speaking truth to authorities in power.
    Guards responded within minutes. And when they arrived, the protesters "ate a lot of gravel," I'm told.

    "The individuals were taken from the area and brought to the McLean County Jail," the AP notes. "The three are being charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both Class A misdemeanors, and bond was set at $500 each...

    The FBI is involved in the case and federal charges are pending."

    Links to more info:

    Press Release
    Their Statement
    Bios and Pictures
    Fact Sheet

    Silo Graphics
    Jail Address/Legal Updates
    News Articles
    Some Pictures
    Comments about the Action
    International Law

  9. #9

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    Not the best thought out plan....since silos are designed to withstand a non-direct hit from a H-bomb, I think a hammer even a priestly hammer is not going to do much (assuming that their intent was to actually attempt to harm the silo)

    for that matter, when was the last time anything was fired out of a silo???

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Labs compete to make new nuclear bomb


    Scientists at both facilities are working around the clock on plans that will be presented to the Nuclear Weapons Council, a federal panel that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons. The council will choose a winner later this year.

    "I have had people working nights and weekends," said Joseph Martz, the head of the Los Alamos design team. "I have to tell them to go home. I can't keep them out of the office."
    [/I]

    When I read that I found it deeply depressing and a terrible indictment on the young people of today. Previous generations would have been vociferously protesting new nuclear weapons not competing with such enthusiasm to build better ones like this. Its such a contrast to previous generations of the 60 & 70s; I was reminded of this last night watching a BBC documentary on the GI revolt against continuing fighting in the Viet Nam war:-



    Sir, No Sir! The GI Revolt

    Tue 27 Jun, 11:20 pm - 12:10 am 50mins
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/storyville

    BBC FOUR on BBC TWO

    This is the story of how active-duty American GIs, in their thousands, created a massive, unprecedented movement against the war in Vietnam.

    Through demonstrations, underground newspapers, combat refusals and more, these GIs altered the course of the war and rocked the foundations of the American military. By 1971, resistance had grown to a level of mass defiance that rendered the majority of ground troops unreliable in the eyes of the government. A Pentagon study that year determined more than half of all troops in the military opposed the war.

    Yet today, the memory of the GI Movement has been buried. Along with gripping, exclusive interviews with key participants in the movement, the film unearths a wealth of visual material including never-before-seen film footage and personal archives, to tell the startling story of a movement that couldn't be suppressed. Some strong language and upsetting scenes. [S]

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    Poland reluctant to give America sovereignty
    over missile base

    Guardian

    Ian Traynor, central Europe correspondent
    Thursday July 27, 2006

    Poland's president has expressed reservations about surrendering sovereignty to the US at a site being touted as the sole European base for Washington's controversial missile defence programme.

    Concerns have been raised over America's insistence that the base would be a sovereign US installation on Polish soil, and beyond the scrutiny of local legal and defence officials. "I approach the problem of extra-territoriality with reserve, I won't hide that," said the president, Lech Kaczynski.

    The Warsaw newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported this week that Poland's government would be kept in the dark about the US base's operations and would not be consulted about missile launches.

    Poland, a staunch American ally which is increasingly at odds with its European neighbours and partners under a national-conservative government, is the frontrunner to host the sole national missile defence site outside the US.

    A site in north-eastern Poland is being touted as the most likely place for the multibillion-dollar project, which would entail the stationing of 10 interceptor ballistic missiles claimed to be capable of neutralising a ballistic missile attack on Europe from the Middle or Far East.

    US officials wound up a tour of Poland and the Czech Republic this week, scouting for sites for interceptors the Pentagon plans to have in place in five years' time. They are expected to propose their site for the installation within six weeks.

    A senior Polish defence official said earlier this year that Polish assent hinged on calculating the benefits and risks to national security. "We're not absolutely forced to accept this offer if we judge that it's not advantageous for us."

    The Polish defence minister, Radek Sikorski, a former scholar at the Washington American Enterprise Institute - viewed as a thinktank for neo-conservatives in the Bush administration - said Warsaw had tabled a list of questions on the proposed "Son of Star Wars" site and was waiting for the US response.

    It may be that the reservations being voiced in Warsaw are a bargaining chip aimed at securing the best deal possible from what would be the first permanent US military base in Poland.

    With relations between Poland and Russia perennially poor, the siting of the base also has the potential to trigger a Russian backlash. The Kremlin is convinced that the project is directed not at "rogue states" such as Syria, Iran and North Korea, but in the long term against a stronger Russia.

    The US has budgeted $56m (30m) for work on the European site this year and will double that for next year.


    Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

  12. #12

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    Glad they're dismantling this monster.


    US's most powerful nuclear bomb being dismantled
    By BETSY BLANEY - Associated Press | AP – 4 hrs ago




    AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs — a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War.
    The final components of the B53 bomb will be broken down Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. The completion of the dismantling program is a year ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, and aligns with President Barack Obama's goal of reducing the number of nuclear weapons.

    Thomas D'Agostino, the nuclear administration's chief, called the bomb's elimination a "significant milestone."
    Put into service in 1962, when Cold War tensions peaked during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the B53 weighed 10,000 pounds and was the size of a minivan. According to the American Federation of Scientists, it was 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, killing as many as 140,000 people and helping end World War II.
    The B53 was designed to destroy facilities deep underground, and it was carried by B-52 bombers.
    With its destruction, the next largest bomb in operation will be the B83, said Hans Kristensen, a spokesman for the Federation of American Scientists. It's 1.2 megatons, while the B53 was 9 megatons.
    The B53's disassembly ends the era of big megaton bombs, he said. The bombs' size helped compensate for their lack of accuracy.(Jeez!) Today's bombs are smaller but more precise, reducing the amount of collateral damage, Kristensen said.
    Since the B53 was made using older technology by engineers who have since retired or died, developing a disassembly process took time. Engineers had to develop complex tools and new procedures to ensure safety.

    "We knew going in that this was going to be a challenging project, and we put together an outstanding team with all of our partners to develop a way to achieve this objective safely and efficiently," said John Woolery, the plant's general manager.
    Many of the B53s were disassembled in the 1980s, but a significant number remained in the U.S. arsenal until they were retired from the stockpile in 1997. Pantex spokesman Greg Cunningham said he couldn't comment on how many of the bombs have been disassembled at the Texas plant.
    The weapon is considered dismantled when the roughly 300 pounds of high explosives inside are separated from the special nuclear material, known as the pit. The uranium pits from bombs dismantled at Pantex will be stored on an interim basis at the plant, Cunningham said.
    The non-nuclear material and components are then processed, which includes sanitizing, recycling and disposal, the National Nuclear Security Administration said last fall when it announced the Texas plant's role in the B53 dismantling.
    The plant will play a large role in similar projects as older weapons are retired from the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal.

    http://news.yahoo.com/uss-most-power...071325260.html

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