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The Doomsday Weapon
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While we agonize over such life and death questions as clumsy men groping women and the crucial need for gender and racial ‘inclusion,’ let me spare a few seconds thought to something really important and scary: Russia’s doomsday nuclear torpedo.

Code-named by NATO ‘Kanyon,’ it’s reportedly something new and terrifying, a ‘third strike’ weapon designed to obliterate the US east and west coasts in a nuclear war. US intelligence seems to think this doomsday weapon is very real indeed.

I just re-watched for the umpteenth time the wonderful, 1964 Kubrick film, ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and marveled anew at how prescient this razor-sharp satire was. In the film, the Soviets admit they ran out of money to keep up the nuclear arms race with the United States. Their answer was to create a secret, automated doomsday nuclear device that would destroy the entire planet in the event of a major war.

Now, the Russians appear to have responded to a new, trillion dollar US program to develop and deploy an anti-missile system that would negate their ballistic missile system: the ‘Kanyon.’ Fact imitates fiction.

This revelation comes just after the Trump administration has also embarked on new programs to deploy an entire new generation of lower yield nuclear weapons that can be used for tactical war-fighting purposes. North Korea and Iran are the evident targets, as well as Afghanistan. But there is now talk aplenty in Pentagon circles about waging a limited tactical nuclear war against Russia. New US bomber and drone programs are being speeded up. War talk is in the air. Military stocks are booming.

‘Kanyon,’ according to the right-wing Heritage Foundation, a cheerleader for military spending, is a mammoth 100-megaton nuclear device carried by an unmanned submarine. This monster weapon is designed to detonate on the US west coast, destroying the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The device is reportedly covered with cobalt, for maximum radioactive effect.

A similar device launched from the Atlantic Ocean would devastate the US East coast, leaving it under a lethal shroud of radiation for generations.

If these reports are true, any hopes that some US generals have of fighting and winning a ‘limited’ nuclear exchange with Russia or China (never mind India) are absurd. But in fact any serious nuclear exchange between the great powers would be a death sentence for the entire planet, wrapping us in a lethal shroud of nuclear winter.

One US intelligence study done of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan estimated two million immediate dead and 100 million deaths within weeks. That was from a rather limited nuclear war using first generation weapons. Today’s weapons have ten times the explosive power.


Russia has a large and effective nuclear arsenal. The sharp decline of Russia’s once-mighty conventional military forces after 1991 drove Moscow to place ever greater reliance on nuclear weapons to defend its interests. Russia has also begun introducing modernized nuclear weapons in strategic and tactical versions. China is also slowly developing its nuclear forces to be able to fight a thermonuclear war against the United States and India at the same time.

President Trump, who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War on spurious medical grounds, appears infatuated by military affairs and the panoply of weapons that he commands. In an act of historic irresponsibility, he has brought the US to the edge of nuclear war against North Korea heedless of the dire consequences of even a ‘small’ nuclear war in Asia.

Anyone who thinks a nuclear war can be waged without permanently polluting our planet should be put under psychiatric care. As crazy as this notion sounds, there are some senior US generals who share this view and, most likely, President Trump, the man with the big red button. Russia’s marshals are more cautious. They still see the scars of World War II, in which some 27 million Soviet civilians died, and know what war means.

Perhaps leaks about this Russian monster weapon are clever disinformation spread by Moscow to give the Americans a big scare. Let’s hope so because, if real, they should scare the pants off all of us.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Nuclear War, Russia 
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  1. Renoman says:

    I doubt that any of todays leaders are nuts enough to go Nuke. It’s really the only thing that keeps them from going nuts but hey, I’ll take it.

  2. El Dato says:

    Ah, a cobalt bomb.

    That kind of planetary sterilization device was rumored to have actually been implemented in the 80s as I remember. It was meant to be a “fuck everything” card. It is really weird that it is now being talked about again.

    I mean just after the dutch confirmed that the Russia is Fancy Bear and they have Fancy Bear attacking the DNC on tape.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    , @JR
  3. “In an act of historic irresponsibility, he has brought the US to the edge of nuclear war against North Korea heedless of the dire consequences of even a ‘small’ nuclear war in Asia.”

    We were already there, dude, courtesy of the three administrations that preceded Trump. Trump has blustered, but at the same time he has acknowledged Kim and addressed him directly rather than dictating to the more nebulous, impersonal entity of North Korea, which is what previous US administrations did (and the neo-cons headlined by Nikki Haley continue to do), and in doing so seems to have given Kim the opening to be more human on the world stage.

    This constant hysterical drumbeat of how evil and dangerous Trump is plays well to roughly half the USA, and seems to ignore and alienate the other half who put him over the top. Keep at it, and you’ll get the same result in 2020.

    If you really want change, try a rational, careful and thoughtful analysis and discussion of what Trump and his minions are doing on the subject and how that might fail or even work. Better still, tell us about rational, thoughtful people in the opposition who would be better at the job and why (I can’t think of any, but there must be some).

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
  4. @The Alarmist

    Kudos to you for pointing this out. It was the Obama administration that committed to and began the one trillion dollar “upgrade” of the US nuclear arsenal that is so concerning to Mr. Margolis. During his presidential campaign, one of Trump’s promises was to improve relations between the USA and Russia. He probably would have if the deep state, aided and abetted by the rest of the US establishment and anti-Trump progs, hadn’t sabotaged his attempts at deescalation of tensions. The most obvious instance of this sabotage is the absurd and ongoing “Russiagate” campaign. This is being conducted against a background of constant attacks on President Putin, a man, who is ironically by far the world’s current most popular leader.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  5. El Dato says:

    Meanwhile in the UK.

    RT: UK defence secretary drops latest fear bomb, casually warns Russia is planning mass murder

    “What they [Russia] are looking at doing is they are going to be thinking ‘How can we just cause so much pain to Britain?’” [UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson] said. “Damage its economy, rip its infrastructure apart, actually cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths, but actually have an element of creating total chaos within the country.”

    Politicians are now providing creepypasta as a matter of course? Of course! It’s 2018!

    Reuters: UK defence minister says Russia looking to cause thousands of deaths in Britain

    The Russian Defence Ministry said on Friday that Williamson’s comments showed he had lost his understanding of what was reasonable, RIA news agency reported.

    “It is likely he has lost his grasp on reason,” RIA quoted ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.

    No, Reuters, Konashenkov-san does not mean to say the pommy has “lost his understanding of what is reasonable”, he means to say he is stark raving bonkers.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @c matt
  6. El Dato says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Currently: Nuclear Gavage!

    Trump wants more nukes than US can handle – outgoing nuclear warhead chief

    Klotz pointed to four life extension programs the NNSA is currently working on to extend the life of nuclear warheads by an additional 20 to 30 years.

    The agency is currently working on a life extension for the W76-1 warhead to be used on SLBMs, the W80-4 to be used by Air Force cruise missile, the B61-12 gravity bomb to be used by bombers and fighter jets, and the W88, another SLBM warhead.

    Klotz says the agency is already at working capacity with the four life extension programs, more than the agency has handled since the Cold War.

    “We are working pretty much at full capacity,” Klotz said. “We’ve never done more than one life extension program at a time, since the end of the Cold War. We’re now doing essentially four.”

    The modernization of US nuclear forces could carry an estimated price tag of $1.2 trillion from 2017 until 2046, according to the US Congress Budget Office (CBO) report released in October.

    That planned modernization would also increase the total costs of maintaining the current number of nuclear weapons and delivery system by 50 percent over normal operating costs, according to the CBO.

    Klotz said that the agency will “need more investment” as time passes, but that the funds need to come in strategic phases.

    “You can’t spend it all at the same time. No wine served before it’s time. We need our funds when we need our funds,” he said. “So we need to think in terms of that.”

    It’s as if Satan had decided to have a little fun before the big show.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  7. @El Dato

    Trump wants more nukes than US can handle – outgoing nuclear warhead chief

    Admiral Arleigh Burke–a hugely talented and courageous US Navy’s Admiral, also a fanatical anti-communist–during his tenure as Chief Of Naval Operations wanted 900-ship strong Navy (eat this Reagan and John Lehman). He, obviously, didn’t care that a whole massive US industry at that time was barely capable to satisfy even a third of that. But, really, get the scale of dreams;-)

  8. JR says:
    @El Dato

    That Dutch source is the Volkskrant with a track record of government pleasing Russophobes for editorial staff. Closely associated with British intelligence operation known as Bellingcat. Also the Volkskrant is quoting unnamed officials of the Intelligence service which as close as you can get to the CIA. Looks as a deflection to increase the credibility of the Russiagate narrative promoted by the FBI/CIA/DNC complex.

  9. @El Dato

    We are in the age where the Political Class and the Literati are trolling the common man.

  10. This monster weapon is designed to … destroy the ports …

    Not the ports! In the event of world-wide nuclear holocaust*, keeping our ports open will be a top priority. We don’t want have Japan corner the world market of S&M bondage gear for post-apocalyptic gangs and anti-mutation skin creams because our ships couldn’t conduct foreign trade.

    Also, apparently, these weapons are able to bypass the energy shields that are in place over coastal cities only that protect them from regular ballistic missle attacks that would otherwise destroy them completely in nuclear firestorms.

    * I don’t mean to imply that the deaths of thousands of millions and the reduction of thousands of millions more to a barbaric state of existence would in any way detract from the uniqueness of the Holocaust.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  11. @Hippopotamusdrome

    I dunno, sacrificing the East and West Coasts seems like a small price to pay.

  12. c matt says:
    @El Dato

    Ha. The irony is that to any Brit with two brain cells to rub together, it should be obvious Russia doesn’t need to do anything. The UK is damaging its economy, screwing up its infrastructure, killing its citizens and causing chaos with self-inflicted immigration from the “religion of piece.”

  13. Anonymous [AKA "bomb boy"] says:

    There is only one country that has used a nuclear weapon and still wants to use them and that is the US. You also have a stupid, ignorant and narcissistic president who just can’t wait to press his big button. Everyone else are angels.

  14. Anonymous [AKA "Peace Chic"] says:

    If this is not a wake up call, I do not know what this is. We are in dangerous, unchartered territory here.

    If you have not seen Dr. Strangelove do and then after that watch the British docu-drama: Threads. It is the closest thing to reality about what a nuclear war and aftermath would look like. (Available for free online.)

    Great piece Eric! Thank you.


  15. mr meener says:

    over 100 million dead if india and Pakistan go at it? who in the US would run gas stations 7-11 dunkin donut subway every hotel and motel etc after they get old? maybe Americans? if they can can free no interest loans that don’t get paid back

  16. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Not the ports!

    It’s not ‘just the port’, most of the U.S. population lives on the coastline.

    Making this public is meant to let the U.S. leadership know that they cannot delude themselves into believing that they can prevail in a nuclear war with Russia by launching a first strike and then using ABM systems to swat down their second strike via conventional ballistic missiles. The Russians are developing a variety of systems to stay ahead of our ABM technology such as hypersonic missiles. They have to make these things public in order to keep its value as a deterrence.
    chris chuba (I don’t remember my official ‘nickname’)

  17. Because of the 648 missiles in Poland and Romania and on 32 ships Russia will likely deploy Launch On Warning. The bloody fools in Pentagon/NATO force them to do it. So, we´ll probably commit Suicide because of the aggressive, stupid, crazy bloody fools in Pentagon/NATO ! Get rid of nuclear weapons or they will get rid of us !

  18. Anonymous [AKA "Fenster-6"] says:

    Correct. Western actions like admitting the Baltics into NATO, the “revolution” in Ukraine, economic sanctions, etc. push Russia to come up with ways to maximize the amount of damage it can cause with its limited military budget.
    From that perspective, the Kanyon (or Status-6, as the Russians call it) is logical because it doesn’t involve any new and expensive technologies:
    -it’s been called a “torpedo” but it’s really more like an underwater cruise missile, with ranges of 7,000 miles being talked about.
    -anything launching from the surface and flying through the air can be instantly observed and tracked by satellites–it’s physics, no way around it. It’s much harder to know for sure what’s going on underwater from far away.
    -missiles have to fight gravity, so making them bigger makes them more expensive very quickly. Compared to that, things that travel on or under the water can be made arbitrarily large. The largest nuclear explosion ever, the “Tsar Bomba”, was 50 megatons, and required a specially-modified aircraft to carry even one. The problem wasn’t building bigger bombs, it was how do you get them there? *Each* of these will be 100 megatons, big enough to produce tsunamis HUNDREDS of feet high, laced with cobalt. Not only will everything within many miles of the coast be leveled, but the land will be too “hot” to live on for decades.
    -these things can be truly silent, powered by batteries or a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (like satellites use) using Polonium as the fuel
    In short, if one is willing to sacrifice speed of delivery, one gets a “missile” that is cheaper, much harder to detect and stop, and with a much larger warhead, for very little R&D cost because all its components are already proven technologies. If American foreign policy of the past 2-3 decades towards Russia results in the creation of these devices and them being pointed at every coastal city, what price are we really paying for these decisions?

  19. Ivy Mike says:

    It’s a really cool James Bond (Roger Moore era) type weapon but the Russkies don’t need it, they are technologically advanced enough to know ballistic missile defense is of limited effectiveness and can be cheaply and easily overwhelmed with cheap decoys. They reacted to Reagan’s vaunted Star Wars buildup by doing nothing because they had already investigated the tech and found it useless. Same thing applies. Hey, check out one of my favorite movies, Three Stooges In Orbit.

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