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Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
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The Nuclear Question is becoming increasingly obfuscated by spin and lobbying as the West sleepwalks into Cold War II — a walk made all the more dangerous when the loose lips of the U.S. tweeter-in-chief announced that another nuclear arms race is a great idea (see link and link). Two Cold War II issues are central and almost never addressed: What will be the Russians’ understanding of all the propaganda surrounding the Nuclear Question and the looming American defense spendup? And how might they act on this understanding?

Background

Barack Obama first outlined his vision for nuclear disarmament in a speech in Prague on 5 April 2009, less than three months after becoming President. This speech became the basis for what eventually became the New Start nuclear arms limitation treaty. But Mr. Obama also opened the door for the modernization of our nuclear forces with this pregnant statement:

“To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same. Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies –- including the Czech Republic.”

Why call for nuclear disarmament while opening the door to nuclear rearmament?

Obama’s speech paved the way to his Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009, but he was also trying to manipulate the domestic politics of the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC). By 15 December 2009, 41 Senators sent a letter to President Obama saying that further reductions of the nuclear arsenal would be acceptable only if accompanied by “a significant program to modernize our nuclear deterrent.”

Viewed in retrospect, it is clear that the new President — either naively or cynically — acquiesced to that senatorial spending demand in order to keep the powerful nuclear laboratories and their allies in the defense industry and Congress from lobbying against his new arms limitation treaty. In April 2009 Obama took the first steps that launched a huge spending plan to modernize U.S. nuclear forces across the board. Eight years later, during his first call to President Putin on 28 January 2017, President Trump locked that program in place by denouncing Obama’s New START as a “bad deal,” saying it favored Russia.

A particularly dangerous component of the Obama nuclear spending plan is the acquisition of low-yield precision-guided nuclear bombs/warheads. These weapons only make sense within a radical strategy for actually fighting a nuclear war — as opposed to the almost universally accepted idea that our nuclear arsenal exists only to deter any thought of using these weapons — since actual use is unthinkable, with profoundly unknowable consequences. Last December, the prestigious Defense Science Board — an organization replete with members closely connected to the nuclear labs and their defense industry allies — added its imprimatur to this radical strategy by resurrecting the old and discredited ideas of limited nuclear options (LNOs). LNOs are based on the unproven — and unprovable — hypothesis that a president could actually detonate a few nukes to control a gradually escalating nuclear bombing campaign, or perhaps to implement a psychological tactic of encouraging deterrence with a few small “preventative” nuclear explosions.

Adding to Obama’s expansion of our nuclear posture is President Trump’s intention to fulfill his campaign promises to strengthen all nuclear offensive and defensive forces, with particular emphasis on spending a lot more for the ballistic missile defense (BMD) program — which implies expanding the current deployments of BMD weapons in eastern Europe within a few hundred miles of the Russian border.

Early cost estimates — really guesses — for Obama’s entire nuclear modernization program are for one trillion dollars over the next 30 years. No missile defense costs are included in this estimate — nor are the costs of Trump’s promised expansions.

The components of the currently authorized program — e.g., a new bomber, a new ballistic missile carrying submarine, a new ICBM, a new air-launched cruise missile, a complete remanufacturing upgrade of the existing B-61 dial-a-yield tactical nuclear bomb that also adds a precision guidance kit, a new family of missile warheads, new nuclear warhead production facilities, and a massive array of new large-scale intelligence, surveillance, command and control systems to manage these forces — are all in the early stages of development. Assuming business as usual continues in the Pentagon, the one-trillion dollar estimate is really a typical front-loaded or “buy-in” estimate intended to stick the camel’s nose in the acquisition tent by deliberately understating future costs while over-promising future benefits.

The money for all of these programs is just beginning to flow into hundreds of congressional districts. As the torrent of money builds up over the next decade, the flood of sub-contracting money and jobs in hundreds of congressional districts guarantees the entire nuclear spend-up will acquire a political life of its own — and the taxpayer will be burdened with yet another unstoppable behemoth.

Readers who doubt this outcome need only look at how the problem-plagued F-35 Strike Fighter lives on, resisting reductions in money flows and even receiving congressional add-ons, despite mind-numbing effectiveness shortfalls, technical failures and unending schedule delays (e.g., see this recent 60 page report by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation).

Locking hundreds of congressmen and senators into this nuclear modernization program guarantees that the money flow and cost overruns will increase without interference for the next thirty to fifty years. Our many years of observing and analyzing DoD’s largest politically-engineered acquisitions makes it obvious that the initial buy-in guess of a trillion dollar total will turn into at least a three trillion dollar price tag by the end of three decades. In short, the Pentagon is planting the seed money for another F-35-like disaster, only this time on steroids.

But there is more. Once this multi-trillion dollar, self-sustaining money gusher is sluicing steadily into the boiler rooms of the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC), U.S. force deployments, alliances, treaties and threat assessments will be shaped even more heavily than now to support the domestic politics of ever-increasing spending for the MICC. Despite this, our nation’s foreign policy mandarins seeking to steer the ship of state from their perch on Mount Olympus will remain oblivious to the fact that their “policy” steering wheel is not connected to the ship’s rudder.

As one perceptive Pentagon wag succinctly observed years ago, “In the real world, foreign policy stops at the water’s edge,” i.e., the domestic politics of the MICC always trump foreign policy. President Eisenhower understood this, though he did nothing about it before leaving office.

As of now, no one in the MICC really gives a damn how the Russians (or the Chinese) might actually react to America’s looming nuclear (and non-nuclear) spending binge. This is clearly seen in the cognitive dissonance of the Obama Defense Department: It was torn between insisting the Russians are not the target of the nuclear program but at the same time justifying the nuclear build up as a means to counter Russian conventional aggression. Equally revealing, an 8 February editorial in the Pentagon’s favored house organ, Defense News, described President Trump’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review without once mentioning the Russians or Chinese nor how they might react to the looming American spending spree. On the other hand, the editorial took great pains to explain in detail how the forces of domestic political consensus will ensure steady funding for Obama’s nuclear spending plans throughout the Trump Administration years.

Do Actions Trigger Reactions (1)?

So, how might the Russians react to the threat of increased American defense budgets?

Let’s try to look at the nuclear modernization program — and the looming defense spendup — from the Russian leadership’s point of view.

The Russians, particularly those internal political and industrial factions that benefit from Russian defense spending, are very likely to characterize the American spending program as an aggressive sharpening of the U.S. nuclear sword and a strengthening of its nuclear shield, synchronized with a threatening buildup of America’s conventional force. And that will be used to argue that Russia is spending far too little on defense because it faces an existential threat due to increased American spending.

Don’t laugh, this is a mirror image of the argument used successfully by President Ronald Reagan in a televised address to the nation on 22 November 1982. His subject was also nuclear strategy, as well as the need to increase America’s entire defense budget. Reagan said [excerpted from pp. 3-5],

You often hear that the United States and the Soviet Union are in an arms race. The truth is that while the Soviet Union has raced, we have not. As you can see from this blue US line in constant dollars our defense spending in the 1960s went up because of Vietnam and then it went downward through much of the 1970s. Now, follow the red line, which is Soviet spending. It has gone up and up and up. …

Chart 1 -Reagan Spending comparison

“The combination of the Soviets spending more and the United States spending proportionately less changed the military balance and weakened our deterrent. Today, in virtually every measure of military power, the Soviet Union enjoys a decided advantage” …

If my defense proposals are passed, it will still take five years before we come close to the Soviet level.

Mirror imaging Reagan’s argument, Russian defense advocates emphasizing the dangers of the U.S. spendup are likely to point out that the United States and its allies are already spending far more on their military forces than Russia is spending. Moreover, America certainly intends to rapidly increase the size of this spending advantage, because the large new American nuclear modernization program is only part of a yet-larger long term spending buildup.

After all, have not President Trump and Senator McCain proposed huge increases to President Obama’s defense budget to rebuild what Messrs. Trump and McCain claim is a “depleted” military (see link 1 and link 2 respectively)? Advocates of increased Russian defense budgets might also ask, are not Messrs. Trump and McCain declaring an emergency by calling on Congress to exempt defense spending from the spending restrictions imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011?

Indeed, Russian politicians, echoing Mr. Reagan in 1981, might construct a graphic using the West’s own numbers to prove their points, beginning perhaps with something like this (Chart 2):

Chart 2 World Military Spending

Chart 2

A Russian defense advocate using the Janes’ metric in Chart 2 could argue that (1) Russia is now spending slightly less than Saudi Arabia, less than India, and less than the UK; (2) the size of Russia’s budget is only a quarter of China’s; and (3) the size of Russia’s defense budget is an astonishing one-twelfth of that of the United States!

Add to the U.S. defense budget the contributions of its allies and close friends and the spending balance in favor the U.S. and its allies to that of Russia alone becomes an astounding 21 to 1! Even if Russia could trust China to be a reliable ally — which it can’t — the current spending imbalance is over four to one in favor of the U.S. and its allies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

Advocates of increased Russian defense spending might even argue their comparison does not suffer from the gross distortions created by Reagan’s earlier chart because (1) the Ruble was not convertible into dollars in 1982 (whereas it is today), and Reagan’s comparison severely overstated Soviet spending levels using an artificial exchange rate; and (2) the dollar numbers in their Chart 2 comparison start from zero, unlike the deliberately truncated dollar scale (100 to 275) Reagan used in Chart 1 to exaggerate his point.

Do Actions Trigger Reactions (II)?

Of course, from a Russian leader’s point of view, the strategic threat goes well beyond the madness implied by the asymmetries in defense budgets.

They might see the Trumpian expansion of both nuclear offense and missile defense as evidence the U.S. is planning to dominate Russia by preparing to fight and win a nuclear war — a radical shift from America’s 50+ years of building nuclear forces only for deterrence (often referred to as Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD).

Faced with such a threat, militarist factions inside Russia are likely to insist on a rational application of the precautionary principle by the Russian nation.

That principle will dictate a response, presumably a massive Russian nuclear arms race with the United States. The obvious fact that the politically engineered U.S. nuclear program cannot be reined in or terminated by politicians in the U.S. is almost certainly understood by the Russians. But that appreciation would serve merely to magnify the sense of menace perceived by patriotic Russian leaders.

Bear in mind, the Russians are unlikely to view the emerging nuclear menace in isolation. For one thing, there is the toxic question of NATO’s expansion and the mistrust it created.

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.

There is more to an appreciation of the Russian point of view. In parallel with the NATO expansion, the European Union (EU) expanded eastward, precipitously like an expanding cancer, beginning in 1995 and continuing to 2013. The EU’s exclusion of Russia from the “greater European home” further fueled an atmosphere of mistrust and menace.

From a Russian perspective, the NATO and EU expansions worked to deliberately isolate and impoverish Russia — and the potential (though to date frustrated) expansion by the West into Ukraine and Georgia intensified the sense that Russia had been hoodwinked by the West.

The perception of a deliberate U.S. and EU campaign to cripple Russia has a history dating back to the end of the First Cold War in 1991: Russian leaders, for example, are unlikely to forget how, during the Clinton Administration, U.S. NGOS combined with American pressure, supported the extraordinarily corrupt privatization of the former Soviet state enterprises in the 1990s (aka “Shock Therapy”). In the words of the Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (16 June 2000):

“In the early 1990s, there was a debate among economists over shock therapy versus a gradualist strategy for Russia. But Larry Summers [Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, then Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, now Secretary] took control of the economic policy, and there was a lot of discontent with the way he was driving the policy.

The people in Russia who believed in shock therapy were Bolsheviks–a few people at the top that rammed it down everybody’s throat. They viewed the democratic process as a real impediment to reform.

The grand larceny that occurred in Russia, the corruption that resulted in nine or ten people getting enormous wealth through loans-for-shares, was condoned because it allowed the reelection of Yeltsin.”

And in a touch of irony, given the current hysteria over President Putin’s alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election, it gets worse. Russian leaders are also unlikely to forget American intervention on behalf of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian elections of 1996, including using American control of the International Monetary Fund to float a $10.2 billion loan in March to 1996 to help the corrupt and malleable Boris Yeltsin to win the election in June.

Yeltsin Time Cover

July 15, 1996

So, from a Russian perspective, the recent increasingly severe U.S. sanctions are not only hypocritical, they certainly reinforce the view that the U.S. led campaign to cripple the Russian economy is ongoing and perhaps endless.

Moreover, the rapid, opportunistic expansion of NATO and the EU created a kaleidoscope of internal frictions. Now both institutions are in trouble, riven by contradictions and disharmonies. Great Britain is leaving the EU but will remain in NATO. Northern Europe and the EU bankers are imposing draconian austerity measures on Southern Europe, particularly Greece. Turkey, long a key NATO ally, is turning to Russia while being rejected by the EU. The destruction of Libya, Iraq and Syria, under U.S. leadership with European participation, has created an unprecedented flood of refugees into the EU, deeply threatening the EU’S organizing principle of open borders. The increasing tide of European instability and chaos, accompanied by the looming specter of growing Fascist movements from Spain to Ukraine, inevitably add to the traditional Russian sense of being endangered and encircled.

That sense of endangerment is certainly heightened by a recent creepy piece of nuttiness coming out of Poland, perhaps the most Russophobic member of the EU and NATO. The German daily DW says Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a very conservative former prime minister of Poland, chairman of the ruling nationalist-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS), has called for a massive EU nuclear force — trading on Polish fears that the United States will not sacrifice Chicago to save Warsaw. That France and Britain already have nuclear weapons and are members of NATO is, of course, left unsaid in Kaczynski’s demagoguery.

Russian leaders cannot ignore the fact that Kaczynski called for a nuclear EU shortly after the U.S. 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division (3,500 troops and 2,500 vehicles) deployed to Poland. Even worse, the commanding officer promptly declared the brigade is “ready to fight,” though it is intended to “deter” any threat to Poland. One brigade is a trip wire … or a kind of blank check that might be exploited for nutty reasons to trigger a shooting war — and as Kaczynski just demonstrated, nuttiness is afoot in that part of the world.

Now, if you were a Russian; and

(1) you remembered the West’s destruction to your homeland beginning in 1812, 1914, and 1941 together with the recent string of broken promises, economic exclusion, and destructive meddling in Russian internal affairs that made a mockery of the ideal of a post-Cold War common European home; and …

(2) you faced a country that excluded you from Europe, suborned your election and is intent on crippling your economy, a country already outspending you on defense by a factor of twelve to one while expressing an intent to increase that lopsided ratio in a major way; and …

(3) that country has already started a nuclear arms race with a hugely expensive across-the-board modernization program to buy atomic weapons some of which can be justified only in terms of fighting and winning nuclear wars;

What would you do?

To ask such a question is to answer it. For patriotic Americans interested in increasing their real national security (rather than their national security budget), the nuclear issue boils down to a question of understanding the powerful impact of America’s spending decisions and actions on patriotic Russians. In other words, it is a question of reasoned empathy and pragmatic self-interest.

Yet the mainstream media and the politicians of both parties in thrall to our MICC are working day and night to pump up anti-Russian hysteria and hype fear to ensure Americans remain completely oblivious to the powerful, dangerous impact of our senseless Obama-Trump nuclear spend-up on the Russians — or on anyone else, for that matter.

Chuck Spinney and Pierre Sprey, between them, have over 75 years of Pentagon and industry experience in engineering weapons as well as in analyzing military systems effectivness and defense budgets. Sprey was one of the early whiz kids in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in the 1960s. He led the Air Force’s concept design team for the legendary A-10 attack aircraft and, together with colonels Boyd and Riccioni, fathered the enormously successful F-16 fighter. Working in OSD in the 1980s, Spinney’s critical analyses of the Pentagon’s defective planning and budgeting landed him on the March 1983 cover of Time. Leaving the Pentagon in 2003, he did an in-depth interview on the military-industrial-congressional complex with Bill Moyers which resulted in a special Emmy Award winning edition of Bill Moyers’ Now that aired on 1 August 2003. Sprey and Spinney have testified before Congress on many occasions and were founding members of the Military Reform Movement led by their close colleague, the renowned American fighter pilot and strategist, Colonel John Boyd.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, Russia 
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  1. El Dato says:

    The easiest countermove of Russia/China is to nonchalantly troll the US so much that they spend themselves to death (a reverse SDI gambit) or even better, someone trips over a nuke after the morning coffee and you get a fracking hole in Kansas (hopefully w/o setting off launch-on-warning automatics) with the result that the subsequent public outcry kills the nuclear retardation dead.

    Since reading Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control” and hearing repeatedly about the discombobulated state of US nuclear forces it seems that God’s merciful hand is the only thing that has stood between human self-serving stupidity and “ouch time”. So far. God may tire a bit.

    Well, we might see a regional nuking involving Pakistan/India, maybe that will chill people out a bit, too.

  2. Dan Hayes says:

    Messrs. Sprey and Spinney,

    A very authoritative and worthwhile article.

    I am not completely unacquainted with the thrust of your presented arguments since I have been listening to Prof Steve Cohen, Russian History Professor Emeritus Princeton and NYU, for the last few years on the John Batchelor radio program.

    Many times Cohen has lamented the fact that his arguments (which mirror yours) have not been readily available to the American populace.

    I sincerely commend your efforts to educate the American people about this extremely important topic. And of to Ron Unz for making this venue available.

  3. Kiza says:

    The extraordinary point of this great essay is the comparison between Cold War 1 and the Cold War 2, that is the big difference between the two that it emphasises. Whilst during CW1 the Soviet Union had a perception of almost matching the Western military might, Russia in CW2 can only have a highly pronounced feeling of inadequacy and unmatch. Adding on top constant Western trickery and breaking of all signed and unsigned agreements, plus this constantly expressed Judeo-Western desire to literally rule the World, then we get Russia which would, quite understandably, have a twitchy finger on the trigger. A study case example of how in CW2 things could easily escape the comfortable spending confines of CW1 and spin completely out of anyone’s control.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  4. attonn says:

    Russians are probably working day and night on Status-6 underwater drone with 100-megaton nuclear warhead (my guess is that their withdrawal from the plutonium accord is directly connected to this work). Just couple of these (each capable of producing 1700 feet high tsunami traveling 900 miles inland) would wipe out the UK and Northern Europe, and another 4-5 would completely obliterate the USA.
    Once Moscow fully deploys these things, it’s game over for the West. Since Russia is a continental power largely immune to the symmetrical threat, this will bring NATO to its knees.

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2016/12/did-russia-test-doomsday-weapon-arctic-waters

  5. Miro23 says:

    Unfortunately this article won’t be distributed to every American home with an obligation to read and discuss it.

    The Unz Review is fine, but it’s Special Interests that rule the US, with a corrupt use of power that is every bit as effective as the old One Party State dictatorship of the Soviet Union.

    And it’s interesting that the Soviet Union eventually fell apart when it was faced with the impossible economic cost of rearmament in response to Reagan’s Star War project. Their economy was already starving the population of consumer goods to feed the MIC with the process having reached the limit (also helped by very inefficient production). The key point seemed to be that in the more open world of the late 1980’s the Russian public could see clearly how comparatively poor they were in relation to their European neighbours (and their own leadership) and the Nomenklatura was forced to back down.

    The article could have usefully explored the economic aspects, because in some ways the US is the mirror image of the Soviet Union in the 1980’s.

    The enormous cost of the US MIC has to be met by the US public in general, either directly through taxes or indirectly through increased indebtedness, with only a small sector benefiting (MIC businesses and their political sponsors) in usual Special Interest style, and the US public is already experiencing real economic difficulties. Large sectors need welfare help, many have consumed virtually all their savings, and have taken on excess debt, quite apart from the $ 10.000’s of debt that the government has loaded onto each of them at the Federal level – all resources that will have to be taken from them later either through taxation of inflation.

    There’s also a growing awareness of the poverty, with comparative memories of the prosperity of the 1950’s, the obvious poor state of US infrastructure, industrial shells like Detroit, the economic rise of Asia, but most of all, the absolutely spectacular inequality in the US itself, where , 120.000 families (0,1%) now have the same wealth as the lower 90% of the population combined (source: David Stockman).

    The 2016 election result could be called the revolution of the economically dispossessed, channeled by Donald Trump, with his Presidential vote being a mandate to break up the Special Interest dictatorship. If he doesn’t then he’ll be discarded in favour of some leader who will, but in fact the US is already collapsing in the same way as the old Soviet Union.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  6. Krzys says:

    I think it’s a brilliant strategy. Let’s challenge Russia to an arms race. It worked so great for them in the 80’s.

    • Replies: @Randal
  7. Ram says:

    Russia has multiple enemies all aggregating along it’s borders. The above chart therefore means absolutely nothing. Russia’s defence efforts must take all these into consideration.

    That a Cohen is promoting war with Russia does not really come as a surprise.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A definitive move from deterrence to “compellence” will solve this and a lot more problems–Syrian and Ukrainian regime change comes to mind.

    America must stay at the top of the nuclear game. If Russia wants to bankrupt itself (again) by playing catch up, that is their problem.

  9. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    What would you do?

    Study Russia’s military doctrine, for starters. Not for once stated by Putin, Rogozin, Shoigu and the whole bunch of experts–there will be no nuclear “arms race”. In strategic containment the emphasis is on the conventional stand-off weapons. Yesterday on Solovyov’s Sunday Evening none other than Andrei Kokoshin confirmed, yet again, this point. Issues of a technology match or, depending on the “observer”, mismatch are a sort of voodoo in US where certain mantras have to repeated constantly. But even very general and imprecise calculations of the “weight” of Russia’s “response-head-on” (otvetno-vstrechnyi) strike today gives some idea why there will be no “nuclear arms race”. A simple projection to 2021-2025 basically explains why Russia is content with her new and perspective nuclear deterrent. FYI, Sarmat is capable of carrying hypersonic non-nuclear gliders. In general, using CW1 as a reference point or as the foundation for projection in current situation is not prudent–times changed, dramatically.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  10. Agent76 says:

    Here is a *BIG* picture view folks of the American Empire.

    January 5, 2017 US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES DEPLOY TO 138 NATIONS, 70 PERCENT OF THE WORLD’S COUNTRIES

    They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates. At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab. Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian militias, while also embedding with Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces. Across the border in Iraq, still others joined the fight to liberate the city of Mosul. And in Afghanistan, they assisted indigenous forces in various missions, just as they have every year since 2001.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38993-the-year-of-the-commando-us-special-operations-forces-deploy-to-138-nations-70-percent-of-the-world-s-countries

  11. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Miro23

    The article could have usefully explored the economic aspects, because in some ways the US is the mirror image of the Soviet Union in the 1980′s.

    No, it is not. Not even close–all this “mirror image” meme and drawing parallels with Soviet Union are a complete baloney. For starters, United States in general has no idea what WW II on European Theater was, and, unlike USSR which was practically destroyed in that war, US came out with her pockets packed with cash. The only remote parallel which could be drawn here is the fact that both USSR and current USA were (are) multicultural, multi-ethnic entities. USSR disintegrated since multi-ethnic-cultural empires do not last–the process we all observe today in the US.

    Russian and US approaches to weapons’ design and to the operational concepts which follow are very different and so are the economic realities.

    And it’s interesting that the Soviet Union eventually fell apart when it was faced with the impossible economic cost of rearmament in response to Reagan’s Star War project.

    A complete baloney since in space and space weapons USSR and US were clear peers. 1980s political dynamics in the Soviet Union was not what was conventionally thought in the US, huge echoes of that could still be heard today in how modern Russia behaves herself, as well as in a complete incompetence of the so called US “Russian” expertdom, which time after time failed to either predict or explain anything related to Russia. The main burden on USSR economically was not some abstract “Star Wars” but maintenance of a colossal ground army.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  12. Agent76 says:

    Mar 2, 2015 Relooking Europe: The Role of Land Forces

    Please join us for a discussion with COL Foster about the future of land forces in Europe and the role of the 173rd Airborne Brigade going forward. The discussion will cover a range of issues and current events facing USAREUR, the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s mission as part of OPERATION ATLANTIC RESOLVE, joint exercises with European allies, and the brigade’s upcoming training mission in Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Pandos
  13. @attonn

    Interesting link but would you care to spell out the physics of the 1700 foot high tsunami which otherwise is mere speculation by someone with no stated scientific qualifications.

    Here is my starting point for an argument that it is total rubbish

    By Googling for the Richter scale equivalent of kilo or mega tons of TNT I came across 63,000 megatons for the Sumatran 9.2/9.3 earthquake/tsunami of 26 December 2004 which I remember well because it swept through a beach house I often rent in August. Tsunamis are pressure waves (nothing like wind driven surface waves) which create havoc by rising where they strike coastal resistance. Even in Sumatra where over 200,000 people died close to the epicentre and hypocentre nothing remotely like a 500 metre or 1700 foot high tsunami was generated. And that, remember, was from an explosive force over 6000 times as powerful as the 100 megaton nuclear weapon.

  14. Pandos says:

    Spread the nukes around. Target Israel and Saudi.

  15. @attonn

    wow, for the survivors, that is actually more preferable than dying to nuclear fallout and doesn’t fuck up habitable land, as much.

  16. Agent76 says:
    @Pandos

    You got it and welcome to my world where I read view and research the whole world. Please file and share this if you will. Empires have thousands if not hundred of thousands of layers. Thanks for your time and comment Pandos.

  17. Randal says:
    @Krzys

    I think it’s a brilliant strategy. Let’s challenge Russia to an arms race. It worked so great for them in the 80′s.

    The difference is that in the 1980s the Soviet Union was an over-extended empire relying on a discredited universalist ideology to justify its rule and keep its people quiet, whereas today it’s the US that is in that position. Then you can add the fact that the US’s real near peer rival in the long run is not even Russia anyway, but China. The more effort the US regime puts into trying to subdue Russia and failing, the stronger its real rival becomes, and the more firmly Russia is reminded that its existence depends upon an alliance with China.

    US post-Cold War policy towards Russia has to be a candidate for one of the most egregious grand strategic errors in world history, and it looks as though Trump’s efforts to change it will probably be unable to overcome the forces pushing it.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  18. Randal says:

    Very good piece that asserts simple truths in response to all the over-hyped propaganda nonsense that dominates the debates on the issue in the US sphere.

    Like Miro23 I think it should be distributed to every American home with an obligation to read and discuss it. But it won’t, because the money and power required to push an argument in that way is all on the other side of the issue.

  19. Kiza says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I do agree with you that the strategic game differs fundamentally between CW1 and CW2. To simplify what you were saying in the military jargon – humanity overall (not only Russia) has reached the level of controlling the release of energy which enables destruction of an opponent without bankrupting the contry. Therefore, those in the West (such as the Anonimous above) who dream that CW2 will end up the same way as CW1 are completely deluded. We are not only talking about the Russian MIC now being about 10x more efficient than the Western MIC, that is the same old Western MIC wrapped around Congressional election districts. You, Smoothie, are talking about a different strategic approach of Russia. Whilst the West is still fighting the CW1 way, Russia is responding the CW2 way. In addition, SU may have had global ambitions, just like the CW1 winning US Empire has now, but the current Russian ambitions are much, much smaller – defense of the motherland and help to a few highly select friends. Long time ago, I compared Russia and its strategic partner China to two back-to-back soldiers with guns defensively pointed Westwards and Eastwards. Therefore, Russia is focusing its military spending, whilst the US is maintaining its (presumed) global empire. The completely different strategic goals are the reason why the direct comparison of the military budgets does not work as a measure of the potential for the achievement of goals.

    In summary, I am not worried about Russia being bankrupted by CW2, such fate is much more likely to befall the West this time because it is still spending the same way as in CW1. But I am worried about the law of unintended consequences, that is CW2 in which one side is convinced of its omnipotence and overwhelming power. For them, Russia is just like a timber log standing in the way of the global dominance. With US buildup on the Russian Western border, two militaries facing each other in a relatively narrow space, the potential for error (of judgement) is huge.

    In other words, the end of the world is more likely than the intended Russian bankruptcy.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  20. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Wiz, do you know the basic principle of how any radio antenna works, for example the one in your mobile/cellular phone and the one in the base station it communicates to? Instead of picking up power or sending out its power into a 360 degree spatial angle, all antennas/antennae focus power to/from a narrow spacial angle, down to 1% or even .001% of the total space.

    Now imagine a nuclear weapon which has such power transmitting antenna on it. Do you get why comparing a natural, unfocused event such is an earthquake and specifically designed weapon makes no sense?

    I am not saying that the tsunami weapon already exist in Russia, but I do believe that the Western stupidity can be measured in Megatons and it is the key Russian doomsday weapon. The West really, really needs to shake off this unhealthy AngloZionist idea that it can globalise and then rule the World.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  21. mp says:

    My question: let’s say we nuke it out with Russia and/or China. And let’s say we win, whatever that could mean. What the hell then are we going to do with Russia and China? Occupy them? I mean, where is this going, ultimately? Oh…and one other thing before we start. Can someone tell me why Russia is my enemy? Or should I just go drink some beer and forget about it?

    • Replies: @Bill
  22. Kiza says:
    @Randal

    The US is such a disjointed empire that it could not even play the ancient Divide and Conquer towards Russia and China. At least the Jewish Hitler Kissinger proposed this, but it appears that the Team Trump plan failed. The domestic military spending cake was too attractive and the piggybacking on the well established anti-Soviet propaganda was too convenient to resist the sensible approach of not turning Russia into an enemy before finishing the more urgent job of containing China.

    Too greedy and too lazy, how could it win? Can the US Empire do anything right?

  23. OutWest says:

    Why can’t we just get along? Actually, it’s a good question. Much of the historic warfare, particularly European warfare, has been to obtain/defend empires-spheres of influence, as was Japan’s go-it-alone attempt to establish an empire. But empires are now passé’. The Soviet Union would likely still exist if it hadn’t incorporated so many nationalistic satellites. Regional nationalism has made empire a tough go. Economically, it’s cheaper to buy a region’s goods than to own the cow.

    Germany needed living space. But now a truncated Germany is the most powerful economy in Europe. Until recently Germany was greatly advantaged by its lack of immigration from a past empire. For reasons unknown, German leadership decided to adopt a colonial obligation (as opposed to earlier immigration to replace the male population lost in empire building.
    Yet leadership throughout the world is stuck in the early nineteenth century.

    • Replies: @Craig Morris
  24. @Wizard of Oz

    There was no epicenter or hypocenter, the slippage occurred over a thousand mile or so line of rupture. It also occurred over several minutes rather than a thousandth of a second.
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake

    I too doubt the efficacy of such a weapon but the intent is to be applauded: it should be thought of as the Revenge of the Deplorables, scouring America clean of the coastal elites.

  25. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Kiza

    For them, Russia is just like a timber log standing in the way of the global dominance. With US buildup on the Russian Western border, two militaries facing each other in a relatively narrow space, the potential for error (of judgement) is huge.

    There is always a danger. The same goes for Syria, albeit couple days ago US top command in the area called for closer interaction with Russian forces to prevent any undesirable consequences. The technological paradigm is changing rapidly and US military will be making case, yet again, strictly on the base of Russia’s (and China’s) capability, not intentions. Some Russia’s capabilities, however, will be very difficult for US to counter. Plus, we may all see more of F-35 and LCS type weapon systems, which can hardly be called effective in any meaningful sense. It will be very difficult for US to match both militarily and economically. Now proliferation of Russia’s technologies of almost current generation (such as S-400 and SU-35) started into China, including a delivery of some anti-shipping missiles of Russia’s, not export, variety–those will have a major impact on the military-political situation around China. Andrei Kokoshin yesterday was explicit when pointing out that in the end the main target for US is China–I doubt US can handle China, with China’s northern rear being supported by Russia. In Europe Russia can face NATO in her Western vicinity, no matter what US does.

  26. Sam J. says:

    We shouldn’t take Russia’s nukes and count them as the only competitor. There’s also China. We’re often told that China only has a few hundred nukes. How do they know this? They have re-loadable launchers in tunnels. Why would they build re-loadable launchers for only a few hundred nukes? My guess is they have many, many more nukes than we’re publicly told.

  27. @Andrei Martyanov

    “The main burden on USSR economically was not some abstract “Star Wars” but maintenance of a colossal ground army.”

    Agree completely. And the reason of USSR maintaining such a colossal army was… WW2 and psychological impact from it. Also, Soviet leadership badly overestimated USA and her conventional capabilities. We clearly did no need such a huge military in peace time.
    “Обжегшись на молоке, будешь дуть и на воду.” so to speak.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
  28. Anonymous [AKA "Raygun Ron"] says:

    Reagan always had a loose relationship with the truth. So, nowadays a large block of people consider him one of America’s greatest Presidents, and they want to put him on the money. 🙂

    But that’s a very curious graph. According to that graph, US defense spending reached a peak when the Vietnam War began, then did a long decline during all the escalations and ramping up of the force deployed there, and only began to increase after the Vietnam War ended. According to that chart, by late in the war, the US defense spending was only about half of what it was when the US had only ‘advisers’ in Vietnam.

    If that’s really true, I’d love to learn more. Because its just the opposite of what I’d have expected. Then again, Reagan being the opposite of the truth sounds pretty much right to me.

  29. Anonymous [AKA "Benedict"] says:

    The problem with US defense spending is that huge amounts of money have been stolen by traitors. No, I don’t think they work for the Russians. But, I do consider it treason when people and companies put their own bank accounts and personal wealth ahead of what’s needed to defend the nation.

    Russia and China seem to have weapons systems designed and produced by people who are focused on making a good weapon the nation needs. The US has weapons designed and produced by people who want to maximize the amount of money that their bribery (often legal in the US) and lobbying have won in contracts for the company. So, the US tends to produce weapons that are billed as doing anything and everything to suck in giant stacks of taxpayer dollars, but really don’t do any of that stuff very well.

    As such, while the US has wasted trillions on weapons that don’t really work, Russia and China have spend much less and seem to have more effective weapons. And of course, the American taxpayer is then told that we have to fork over trillions more dollars to the same traitors and crooks because, OMG, look at the Russians and the Chinese. Great deal for the crooks, but a very bad deal for the nation. Especially when combined with warlike and aggressive leaders from both parties who believe the propaganda that says we are so powerful because we spend so much money, and these leaders then go and start wars. So far, they only have tried to fight small states (and lost). But it seems like many now want to fight the Russians and the Chinese who don’t seem to be beset by traitors who steal the lessor sums of money assigned to defending their nations.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  30. annamaria says:
    @Kiza

    “Russia in Cold War 2 can only have a highly pronounced feeling of inadequacy and unmatch. Adding on top constant Western trickery and breaking of all signed and unsigned agreements, plus this constantly expressed Judeo-Western desire to literally rule the World, then we get Russia which would, quite understandably, have a twitchy finger on the trigger.”
    Agree.
    More on the same topic: “..there is no way to rein in these lunatics.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46547.htm
    “Russia is not going to invade Europe, and Washington knows it perfectly well … The danger with letting pasty neocons in New York play with military forces is that brinksmanship, fun for fern-bar Napoleons, can have not-fun consequences. If Washington puts naval forces in Russian waters in the Black Sea, the Russians will feel compelled to shadow the ships, to keep fighters flying overhead. A mistake occurs–mistakes do occur–and one side downs a plane belonging to the other. The wounded side feels obliged to respond. We have a shooting war. In closed waters bordering Russia, the US Navy would not win. Washington would then feel that it had to defend its ego by expanding the war. Wounded ego is important to the vast combative vanities who so often rise to power.
    And there is no way to rein in these lunatics. They send the military where they like, attack whoever they choose, and we read about it after it has been done. One could almost wish we had constitutional government.”

    • Replies: @Kiza
  31. @Kiza

    My physics studies didn’t include lasers (or the Standard Model or a lot of other now old stuff) so maybe I misunderstand what you are trying to describe. The only way that your description of a mobile phone transmussion tower could work is if it used laser beams which, in successive pulses, changed direction every namosecond or so to simulate continuous 360 degree coverage. That is not my understanding of the mode of operation, but even if it were, I should be interested to know how it could apply anàlogously to multiply the pressure wave from an underwater explosion by a factor of thousands in just, say, 45 degrees of the explosions 360. After all the Large Hadron Collider which is a truly massive permanent structure of no possible use for the kind of warfare under discussion only sends streams of protons at targets which amount to an infinitesimal fraction of the mass and energy levels that the 500 metre high tsunami requires.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  32. @Bill Jones

    I haven’t had time yo look at the link but you make a good point. But how much difference does it make to have just one big explosion rather than hundreds quickly cumulating to thousands of times the energy level?

  33. Renoman says:

    The cock sucking has begun! I wonder if it ever really stopped. It’s hard to believe that Americans can be soooo stuuuuupid.

  34. Kiza says:
    @annamaria

    And there is no way to rein in these lunatics.

    This is alpha and omega of the current situation, it sums it all up.

  35. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You got carried away, as usual. This physics is much, much simpler than nuclear physics and colliders. But it appears you did recognise that tsunami weapon is about a nuclear explosion focused in a narrow space angle, which makes it thousands of times stronger than a standard nuclear explosion.

    Even the tsunami weapon is a bit irrelevant when all nuclear powers could destroy, irradiate and kill the food supply of each other. We humans just keep adding more ways to destroy each other thousands of times over, instead of cooperating to make out lives better. Even if one could accept the story of Western defense against expansionist Soviet Union, once SU collapsed the West kept expanding whilst inventing the lie of the eon that Russia was expansionist.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  36. Kiza says:
    @Anonymous

    So, the US tends to produce weapons that are billed as doing anything and everything to suck in giant stacks of taxpayer dollars, but really don’t do any of that stuff very well.

    A perfect summary of the F35 program.

    One company (which previously gobbled up many smaller military industrial companies) wanted to replace all competitors’ products with one hairbrained concept and failed miserably. A trillion dollars later still nobody is responsible. Then, yes, they need more money to this time develop something that really, really will work. Scout’s honor!

    • Replies: @bluedog
  37. @Bill Jones

    Also…. there were not the multiple tsunamis that your point seems to entail. There seems to have been only a single major one that, admittedly, did things that Grade 5 science wouldn’t make you anticipate. E.g. unlike a surface wind generated wave it went round Sri Lanka’s SW corner and derailed a train almost a mile inland some 50 miles north. One of the staff at the beach house I stay at observed the sea appearing to withdraw from the shoreline while he was sweeping the verandah early in the morning. He didn’t know what it was about but woke the house guests and shepherded them up a 50 foot rise just behind the house where they were safe when the big wave came roaring in and swept through the house – so quickly both ways in fact that the library books were not soaked but dried out and showed little sign of water damage.

  38. @Bill Jones

    Hey, over to you when you’ve read your linked piece properly. Just a glance at it and I find that it gives single locations for the epicentre and hypocentre!!

  39. @Kiza

    One thing I have become clearer about in recent years is how badly the US stuffed up relations with Russia from 1990 onwards, comprehensively in so many ways with so much lost opportunity. I am inclined to make an analogy with that country of many smart people,Israel. Why do smart people do or alliw to happen such stupid things (e.g. attacking that Turkish boat off Gaza instead of disabling it and pushing it 100 miles away)? The answer seems to be preoccupation with domestic politics in often demeaningly trivial forms.

    As to your focusing of a nuclear explosion in a “narrow space angle” (? 20 degrees) I am afraid that I see in my mind’s eye a bit of handwaving in the absence of a more detailed physics lesson.

    As I noted in another comment the multiple events in a short period off Sumatra in December 2004 still only produced one big tsunami despite its total 63,000 megatons. Divide 63,000 by 20/360 and you still get 35 100 megaton bombs!

    • Replies: @Kiza
  40. bluedog says:
    @Kiza

    Perhaps we should do it as they do in Russia where the military tells them what they want and then they produce it, rather than some corporation dreaming up something and then selling it to the military at inflated prices while they bribe the congress..

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  41. @bluedog

    So you would have the manufacturers bribe the military directly as a first step? I am accepting your gloomier premises I think.

  42. @OutWest

    Why can’t we just get along? Simple. There’s not enough money to be made by getting along.

    • Replies: @OutWest
  43. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Divide 63,000 by 20/360 and you still get 35 100 megaton bombs!

    Well, maybe you should refresh your trigonometry rather than particle physics. Why send mechanical energy to the bottom of the ocean or to the sky? Therefore, why are you treating a spatial problem as a one dimensional problem? Assume a nicely focused 10 degree special angle beam in two dimensions. If you project a sphere onto a flat surface, which is a good approximation for small spatial angles, concentrating energy into a narrow beam would require squaring of your ratio. Try a 10 degree angle: 63,000 MT x (10/360)^2=48 MT, whilst they are talking about a 200MT torpedo. Play with this formula to find out that even a 20 degree angle would be good enough for a 200MT device. But if this is a viable doomsday technology why not think of a much narrower beam, maybe 5 degrees or even 1 degree? A 200MT explosion focused into a 1 degree angle becomes equivalent to a 26 Teraton, that is 26,000,000 MT, tsunami generating earthquake.

    Swords into plowshares is definitely the biggest lost opportunity of humankind. The West had a chance to power down after “the evil empire” SU dissolved in 1991, instead it went hyperpower nuts trying to build a totalitarian police, military and media controlled global empire. This shows who was truly evil.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Wizard of Oz
  44. Kiza says:
    @Kiza

    The only small consolation of the man-made tsunami scenario is that the Hillary’s “progressive” and war hungry supporters would go first, before all the rest of us, as someone above suggested: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-do-progressives-like-war/.

  45. @Kiza

    I think you are probably right to emphasise the extra dimension but it doesn’t answer fmdoubts about the ability to focus all the energy from a nuclear device. A natural analogy is a volcano erupting and blowing millions of tons of rock and pollutants into the atmosphere. I haven’t tried to calculate the megaton equivalent but note that a pretty solid heavy structure is needed to focus the explosion.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    , @Kiza
  46. Krollchem says:

    Those who have read the book “Boyd –the fighter pilot who changed the art of war” will realize that this most important article by two of Boyd’s six “acolytes” is a stern warning of the dangers from the grave ossified state of the American military complex.
    Sprey and Spinney epitomize Col Boyd’s core philosophy:

    “One day you will take a fork in the road, and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You will have to make your compromises and … turn your back on your friends, but you will be a member of the club, and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way, and you can do something, something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. … You may not get promoted, and you may not get good assignments, and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors, but you won’t have to compromise yourself. … In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision: to be or to do.”
    –Col. John Boyd

    To ignore this warning is to abandon America to that described in the quote: “Prussia is not a country which has an army, but an army which is a country”. Unfortunately, most US military leaders and politicians are linear thinkers and also cannot recognize the escalation feedback loop of an arms race (See Peter Senge- The Fifth Discipline).

    Many of these US generals also believe that a nuclear war can actually be won. The full scale nuclear war models that predict the nuclear winter aftermath of a nuclear war appear to have even been rejected by John Holdren, the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama on Science and Technology or Rose Gottemoeller, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and the US Nuclear Weapons Council:
    https://fas.org/2017/01/turning-a-blind-eye-towards-armageddon-u-s-leaders-reject-nuclear-winter-studies/

    For more on even a limited nuclear war and its aftermath:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-winter2.htm

    It is also important to realize that you cannot have a limited nuclear war: https://warisboring.com/no-you-cant-have-a-small-nuclear-war-67af859bb1e5#.27xkrr8ve

  47. @Wizard of Oz

    I’ve been reading the conversation between Kiza and Wizard of Oz here, and while I don’t have time to go into to detail right now, I just wanted to point out that there is no such thing as a directed nuclear detonation. The claims of a tsunami that travels 1500 miles inland in the linked article are also extremely puzzling and likely the result of the author misunderstanding the information his sources were giving him. However, with a 100 megaton warhead at your disposal, it really doesn’t matter. Get that thing anywhere near the coast and it’s game over.

    Nobody knows what a 100 megaton surface burst would actually do, since no nuclear device even approaching that yield has ever been tested on the surface. The 52 megaton Tsar Bomba detonated by the Soviets was an air burst. So while we don’t have a lot of hard data to draw from, we can certainly say that the effects would be horrific.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  48. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    From high-school physics, it is easy to recall that no energy conversion is 100% efficient, every conversion ends up wasting a part of energy into thermal (entropy – disambiguation). Therefore, there are losses all the way. But the designers would not only concentrate energy then also optimize the wave production, which is what an earthquake cannot do. Obviously, you do not use any mechanical “structure”, a reflector, to focus the mechanical form of energy into a beam, you produce a thermonuclear explosion in a way which already focuses energy:
    1) by using directional fusion and
    2) maybe further augmenting beam creation using powerful electromagnetic fields (similar to the old Cathode Ray Tube TV or particle accelerator).

    I was not aware that a 200 MT fusion device existed, Tsar Bomba of 57 MT having been the largest one ever exploded (and then abandoned because of many reasons): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba.

    Therefore, the tsunami torpedo/bomb of such power is more likely to be a concept rather than reality. But I would not discard the possibility that it could be built. Human ingenuity towards destruction appears limitless.

  49. @Kiza

    Now I see Dasein shares my scepticism – in his case it is disbelief – concerning directional nuclear explosions. But then he seems to miss the point I was making about tsunamis produced by earthquakes. No doubt a 100 megaton bomb exploded at the bottom of Long Island Sound would do immense damage but it certainly wouldn’t be “game over” if not directional as he and I both assume.

    After all we know what an earthquake which was about 80,000 megatons equivalent did from a few miles offshore near Fukushima. That’s many times the power of a 100 megaton bomb.

  50. @Kiza

    Now I see Dasein shares my scepticism – in his case it is disbelief – concerning directional nuclear explosions. But then he seems to miss the point I was making about tsunamis produced by earthquakes. No doubt a 100 megaton bomb exploded at the bottom of Long Island Sound would do immense damage but it certainly wouldn’t be “game over” if not directional as he and I both assume.

    After all we know what an earthquake which was about 80,000 megatons equivalent did from a few miles offshore near Fukushima. That’s many times the power of a 100 megaton bomb.

  51. Randal says:

    A Russian defense advocate using the Janes’ metric in Chart 2 could argue that (1) Russia is now spending slightly less than Saudi Arabia, less than India, and less than the UK; (2) the size of Russia’s budget is only a quarter of China’s; and (3) the size of Russia’s defense budget is an astonishing one-twelfth of that of the United States!

    Add to the U.S. defense budget the contributions of its allies and close friends and the spending balance in favor the U.S. and its allies to that of Russia alone becomes an astounding 21 to 1! Even if Russia could trust China to be a reliable ally — which it can’t — the current spending imbalance is over four to one in favor of the U.S. and its allies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

    There’s a nice illustration of the dramatic gulf between US military spending and the rest of the world’s – including Russia’s and China’s, in the Intercept:

    On Monday, the White House said it would request $54 billion more in military spending for next year. That increase alone is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country, and it’s more than 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget in 2015.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  52. annamaria says:

    Canadian values, with a distinct stinking smell:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/

    [MORE]

    “Canada’s fiercely anti-Russian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says her Ukrainian grandfather struggled “to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine,” but she leaves out that he was a Nazi propagandist… whom she has portrayed as victims of Josef Stalin and the Red Army.
    So the truth appears to be that Chomiak [Freeland’s grandpa] moved from Ukraine to Nazi-occupied Poland in order to work for the Third Reich under the command of Governor-General Hans Frank, the man who organized the Holocaust in Poland. Mikhailo Chomiak comfortably settled his family into a former Jewish (or Aryanized) apartment in Krakow. The editorial offices for Krakivski Visti also were taken from a Jewish owner, Krakow’s Polish-language Jewish newspaper Nowy Dziennik. Its editor at the time was forced to flee Krakow for Lviv, where he was captured following the occupation of Galicia and sent to the Belzec extermination camp, where he was murdered along with 600,000 other Jews. So, it appears Freeland’s grandfather – rather than being a helpless victim – was given a prestigious job to spread Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler from a publishing house stolen from Jews and given to Ukrainians who shared the values of Nazism.
    Chomiak also hailed Governor-General Hans Frank: “The Ukrainian population were overjoyed to see the establishment of fair German authority, the bearer of which is you, Sir Governor-General. The Ukrainian people expressed this joy not only through the flowers they threw to the German troops entering the region, but also through the sacrifices of blood required to fight Polish usurpers.” (Because of Frank’s role in the Holocaust, the Nuremberg Tribunal found him guilty of crimes against humanity and executed him.) Beyond extolling Hitler and his henchmen, Chomiak rejoiced over Nazi military victories, including the terror bombings of Great Britain. While praising the Third Reich, Krakivski Visti was also under orders by the German authorities to stir up hatred against the Jewish population. Editorial selections from Chomiak’s newspaper can be found in Holocaust museums around the world, such as the one in Los Angeles, California. The Nov. 6, 1941 issue of Krakivski Visti ecstatically describes how much better Kiev is without Jews. “There is not a single one left in Kiev today, while there were 350,000 under the Bolsheviks,” the newspaper wrote, gloating that the Jews “got their comeuppance.”
    That “comeuppance” refers to the mass shooting of Kiev’s Jewish population at Babi Yar. In just two days, Sept. 29-30, 1941, a total of 33,771 people were murdered, a figure that does not include children younger than three years old. There were more shootings in October, and by early November, Krakivski Visti was enthusing over a city where the Jewish population had “disappeared” making Kiev “beautiful, glorious.” Chomiak’s editorials also described a Poland “infected by Jews.”

    Mrs. Chrystia Freeland is really stupid: “Editorial selections from Chomiak’s newspaper can be found in Holocaust museums around the world, such as the one in Los Angeles, California.” Chrystia Freeland has managed to expose herself as a liar – and a proud ideological (and biological) progeny of a Nazi collaborator. What a stinky surprise for those who recommended her to get to Harvard and Oxford (what’s wrong with these schools?) And what a stain on Justin Trudeau for his unwise choice.
    Take a note that Chrystia Freeland and Victoria Nuland-Kagan have found each other in their rabid Russophobia. Nuland-Kagan of course is more interested in her political career than in such trifles as the neo-Nazi “quality” of her collaborators.

  53. annamaria says:

    More on the Canadian friend of Poland Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs:
    “The sins of the grandfather can hardly be attributed to the granddaughter,” says Polish investigator Balcerac, “—except for two, race hatred and lying. Chomiak made a lucrative war selling hatred of Jews, Poles and Russians. Freeland is doing the same preaching race hatred of Russians. To mask what she’s doing, she has lied about the Nazi record of her family. The Chomiaks weren’t victims; they were aggressors.”
    http://johnhelmer.net/victim-or-aggressor-chrystia-freelands-family-record-for-nazi-war-profiteering-and-murder-of-the-cracow-jews/

    • Replies: @Kiza
  54. OutWest says:
    @Craig Morris

    I would think power rather than money –though the two are largely fungible. My thought in reducing war to simplistic considerations was to smoke out some of the sub rosa drivers. It was Goering that said it was a simple matter for a leader to whip the populace into war frenzy. FDR certainly toasted Lindberg though Lindberg probably represented the greater portion of the populace. From my viewpoint the post 9/11 wars have had nothing but negative results. Yet we continue to pursue more of the same to “fix” the situation. It’s all facile superstructure and no substance. But we can’t see it.

  55. Bill says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    This is a really good question. I find Kiza’s and Bill Jones’s answers interesting, but they aren’t convincing.

  56. Bill says:
    @mp

    The idea is not to occupy but to put into place a compliant elite and then leave.

  57. attonn says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Watch this. This is an 8-kiloton underwater nuke blast.

    What Russians are planning on detonating along US coastline is 12 000 times more powerful.

    TWELVE THOUSAND.

    Forget about comparing it to earthquakes, that’s pointless.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  58. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Randal

    Direct monetary comparisons of military budgets are wrong, period. And even PPP “adjustments” do not give precise figure. Let’s put it this way, not arguing about Pentagon’s waste and fraud, but Russia gets a bang for the buck on the order of magnitude more. Compare costs of SU-35s and of F-35, which is a technological disaster, no matter how one tries to put a lipstick on the pig, including its “stealth”. Russia can sell SU-35 for 65 millions a pop and make a killing. Try to sell F-35 for this price. This is just one example. There are also strategic and operational allowances to be made, as Russia’s activity in Syria so well demonstrated.

    • Replies: @Randal
  59. @Wizard of Oz

    Oops! Not >6000 times but >600 times. But of course y’all were too polite to pick me up on that…

  60. @attonn

    Interesting but comparing with earthquakes is not pointless because that deals with the underwater pressures that create tsunamis. Clearly the tonnage of water blown up vertically above sea level will vary depending on, inter alia, water depth and the depth of the bomb when exploded. The amount should be calculable as well as the force with which it will descend by gravity.

    Just as a very very rough test calculation i note that 10 cubic kilometres of water when one metre deep covers 100 kilometres × 100 kilometres of which perhaps a quarter might be on land. The mass of water that has been lifted out of the sea is 10 billion tonnes.

    • Replies: @krollchem
  61. Kiza says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    With respect, both you and Wiz are assuming that a a directed thermonuclear explosion is not possible. Even without reading about it, I am fairly certain that this is wrong, simply on the basis of physics. Just search (duckduckgo.com) for “directed thermonuclear explosion”, as I just did, and you will find a few references such as: http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/third-generation-nuclear-weapons.html. Although their focus is on Nuclear Directed Energy Weapons (NDEWs), that is directing nuclear explosion energy into X-ray weapons, the principle of focusing the energy from a nuclear explosion is very similar to a potential tsunami weapon.

    Nevertheless, in terms of destructive capacity, a weapon causing earthquakes would be much more effective than a tsunami weapon.

    Ultimately, death from radiation is possibly the worst and the scariest of all. Therefore, open air nuclear and thermonuclear explosions should do a good job of disinfecting the planet of us humans.

  62. Kiza says:
    @annamaria

    The fact that a lot of people know how Chrystia Freeland turned her family’s history from being very close Nazi collaborators into being the victims of the Russians and she is still a key cabinet minister in the Canadian Government says that this is now OK. The current Zionists care more about ruling the World (and profits) then about who killed their grandfathers and grandmothers. A few show trials were enough to sate the appetite for revenge and to switch to profiteering. It is now more important to crush Russia and to coopt China into the global empire than to serve justice for the victims.

    This reminds me of the former SG of UN from Austria, Kurt Waldheim, who used to be an SS officer killing Jews and Slavs in the Balkans, but TPTB considered him even more useful with this chip/log on his shoulder.

  63. annamaria says:

    Wow! The Empire is so thin-skinned that Wikipedia is suppressing the SouthFront site. The SouthFront has been providing invaluable factual information about the situation in Syria and about Ukrainian crisis. http://thesaker.is/open-letter-concerning-wikipedia-suppression-of-southfront-information/
    “A few days ago Wikipedia announced intention to remove its entry on SouthFront, explaining an issue by the pro-Russian position of the project and, by way of issuing an official reason, that the information about the project mostly cites the SouthFront site.”

    What a disgraceful decline of Wikipedia. Looks like a strangulation du jour by the deep state.

  64. krollchem says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I agree with you that the tsunami issue is no concern based on these fun calculations:

    A nuclear explosion wave is similar to a rock thrown into a pond where the amplitude of the wave may be high but the wavelength is very short. Available research demonstrates that surface waves from even a very large offshore undersea explosion would expend most of their energy on the continental shelf, resulting in coastal flooding no worse than that from a bad storm: “Water Waves Generated by Underwater Explosions” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235143557_Water_Waves_Generated_by_Underwater_Explosion

    In contrast, an underwater earthquake from a reverse fault yields a water displacement that has a much lower amplitude but a much greater wavelength. Thus a tsunami travels much further with little loss of energy:
    “Wind-generated waves usually have period (time between two successive waves) of five to twenty seconds and a wavelength of 100 to 200 meters. A tsunami can have a period in the range of ten minutes to two hours and wavelengths greater than 500 km. A wave is characterized as a shallow-water wave when the ratio of the water depth and wavelength is very small. The velocity of a shallow-water wave is also equal to the square root of the product of the acceleration of gravity, g, (10m/sec2) and the depth of the water, d.

    The rate at which a wave loses its energy is inversely related to its wavelength. Since a tsunami has a very large wavelength, it will lose little energy as it propagates. Thus, in very deep water, a tsunami will travel at high speeds with little loss of energy. For example, when the ocean is 6100 m deep, a tsunami will travel about 890 km/hr, and thus can travel across the Pacific Ocean in less than one day.”
    http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/Natural_Disasters/tsunami.htm

    If close to shore, a wave from an underwater nuclear explosion could be approximately modeled from known underwater explosions which constitute about 1% of all tsunamis. In the case of the 1650 AD Kolumbo tsunami, the source mechanism that best matches with the spatial distribution of tsunami deposits in Santorini is a 2E16 Joules underwater explosion initiated at water depths of 150 m. Initial wave surface displacement of 300m yielded a maximum coastal tsunami of 12m to a nearby island but dropped off rapidly with distance: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235143557_Water_Waves_Generated_by_Underwater_Explosion

    A 100MT would yield 41.84E16 J of energy. In case of an underwater nuclear explosion about 50% would be blast energy, 15% nuclear radiation and 35% thermal radiation. This would yield about 20E16 J of blast energy, or ten time that of the Kolumbo underwater explosion. Perhaps the initial wave might approach a nearby shore at a height of 40-100 m but would break at a corresponding water depths and end up as a very damaging storm surge. I would be more concerned by flooding caused radioactive rain due to some of the 1-5E12 tons of radioactive water raised in the column.
    (See: http://www.abomb1.org/nukeffct/enw77b2.html).

    A significant quantity of the radioactivity comes from non-fissile uranium-234, which is an alpha emitter with half life of 2.44E5years , as well as isotopes of plutonium formed by the neutron irradiation of U-238 in the explosion (at 80% U-235 enrichment).
    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2619320/the_forgotten_uranium_isotope_secrets_of_the_nuclear_bomb_tests_revealed.html

    In addition to other radioisotopes from the fission of U-235 there are seawater components that become radioactive from the 15% nuclear radiation of the detonation:
    Sodium-24 (half life of 15 hrs) and 0.1% of seawater
    Chloride-36 (half life of 300,000 years) and 0.1% of seawater
    sulfur -35 (half life of 87.5 days) and 0.09% of seawater

    The greatest seawater component concern is Na-24 which decays to Mg-24 by beta-minus decay emission of an electron and two gamma rays.

    Given that the thermal energy from a 100MT nuclear detonation = 3.5×1019
    Calories, you get up to 2.21E10 megatons of steam or a lot of really hot water and steam! Anyone for a warm radioactive bath?

    For fun, see Nukemap to get the radius of fireball for an air burst. Google quit supporting the more advanced Nukemap3D, as users were having too much fun blowing up things. Porn comes in many forms:
    http://www.nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  65. @krollchem

    Thank you. I have saved it for proper digestion later. To show that I have attended let me ask whether your “3.5×1019 Calories” means something that makes sense of it, as I can’t see it

  66. krollchem says:

    Thanks I was converting all the scientific notations to the the Ebase form and missed the 100MT nuclear detonation = 3.5×1019. It should read 3.4E19 calories (chemical). Thanks!!

  67. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Direct monetary comparisons of military budgets are wrong, period.

    Correct, but not as wrong as dismissing any importance for military budget size out of hand, especially when the difference is as colossal as that between the US and all other powers.

    Look, there are always arguments to be made why any particular country’s budget overstates or understates its military strength, and in general they mostly broadly cancel out. The trouble is that most of them are speculative (such as the performance of military systems untested in real warfare, or unproven claims of corruption) and highly subjective in nature, and so advocates for any particular side tend inevitably to believe in and exaggerate the ones that suit their own side.

    Is the US military budget massively impacted by corruption and incompetence? Yes. Is there any country’s military budget that is not massively impacted by corruption and incompetence? Probably not – the exception might be small countries facing genuine and direct existential threats such as early Israel.

    Is US military spending worse affected by corruption and incompetence than any other? Quite probably (almost certainly, in fact). The amounts of money available are vastly greater, and everyone involved knows, even if they don’t admit it to others or even to themselves, that there is no serious external military threat.

    But this only reinforces the argument that I was making and that you seem to be taking issue with – that US military spending is vastly too high.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  68. Kiza says:
    @Randal

    Is there any country’s military budget that is not massively impacted by corruption and incompetence? Probably not – the exception might be small countries facing genuine and direct existential threats such as early Israel.

    People such as you do not make a serious contribution to the debate here: http://www.timesofisrael.com/prosecutors-open-criminal-investigation-over-submarines-affair/
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-attorney-general-orders-criminal-investigation-benjamin-netanyahu-a7499326.html

    You appear a truth-spinning hasbara troll.

    • Replies: @Randal
  69. Randal says:
    @Kiza

    Grow up.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  70. Kiza says:
    @Randal

    Well, if you are not a hasbara troll, then you are a Hasbara brainwahed Western mug. You have no idea what you are typing about but you still do. Typical.

    Your parents must often tell you to grow up.

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