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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

RUSSIA PREPARES FOR NUCLEAR WAR BY BUILDING NEW UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR SHELTERS and increasing missile production, while the Obama administration reduces USA nuclear arsenal and battles CLIMATE CHANGE

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  • History may one day record that the greatest strategic blunder in history was the failure of U.S. leaders to take the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia seriously once the Cold War ended.  In yet another troubling sign for America's tense relations with Russia, U.S. intelligence officials say Putin has been constructing new nuclear-proof underground bunkers and increasing missile production.
  • 'Russia is getting ready for a big war which they assume will go nuclear, with them launching the first attacks,' Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear policy official told the Washington Free Beacon. 'We are not serious about preparing for a big war, much less a nuclear war.'  
  • Schneider added that sharp U.S. nuclear cuts indicate the Obama administration is moving ahead with a unilateral disarmament scheme, while Russia continues to add hundreds of nuclear warheads.

 Continue reading

SUMMARY BY THE DAILY MAIL:  The US and Russia have been working together to get rid of their nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War, but the revelation coupled with Russia's recent surge in missile production suggests they are preparing for conflict. 

Few details about the new nuclear bunkers have been released, but Russian state-run media says they are being built in Moscow as part of a new national security strategy.

Russia built several similar underground bunkers during and right after the Cold War both in Moscow and in the Ural Mountains.

Russia's new nuclear defense strategy is reportedly costing the country billions, and there are questions about whether some of that money may have come from USA aid.

Military experts say the US may respond to the new threat by developing deep penetrating nuclear weapons that would reach the depths of the new bunkers.

The  news of the new bunkers comes as one senior Army official issued a warning about Russia's 'alarming' nuclear rhetoric. 
'It is clear that Russia is modernizing its strategic forces,' Army General Curtis Scaparrotti said recently. 
'Russian doctrine states that tactical nuclear weapons may be used in a conventional response scenario. 
'This is alarming and it underscores why our country’s nuclear forces and NATO’s continues to be a vital component of our deterrence.'

A Russian nuclear missile silo / AP
A Russian Nuclear Missile Silo

Earlier this year reports emerged of Russia preparing to test a nuclear missile which is so advanced it could get past NATO defences and decimate a large slice of Europe within seconds of launching.

The RS-28 Sarmat missile, dubbed Satan 2, has a top speed of seven kilometres (4.3 miles) per second and has been designed to outfox anti-missile shield systems.   The Sarmat missile could deliver a warhead of 40 megatons - 2,000 times as powerful as the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Zvezda reported the missile could destroy an area the size of France or Texas. It is expected to have a range of 10,000 km (6,213 miles), which would allow Moscow to attack London and other European cities as well as reaching cities on America's west and east coasts. 

Dr Loren Thompson, a top defence expert from the US think-tank Lexington Institute, told The National Interest: 'The possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing.


'And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
'History may one day record that the greatest strategic blunder in history was the failure of U.S. leaders to take the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia seriously once the Cold War ended.' 
Russia building new underground nuclear command posts
By Bill Gertz for The Washington Free Beacon
Russia is building large numbers of underground nuclear command bunkers in the latest sign Moscow is moving ahead with a major strategic forces modernization program.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has invested in top-secret reinforced bunkers across Moscow, according to reports
U.S. intelligence officials said construction has been underway for several years on “dozens” of underground bunkers in Moscow and around the country.
Disclosure of the underground command bunkers comes as Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, warned recently that Russia has adopted a nuclear use doctrine he called “alarming.”
“It is clear that Russia is modernizing its strategic forces,” Scaparrotti told a conference sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command.
“Russian doctrine states that tactical nuclear weapons may be used in a conventional response scenario,” Scaparrotti said on July 27. “This is alarming and it underscores why our country’s nuclear forces and NATO’s continues to be a vital component of our deterrence.”
Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear policy official, said Russia’s new national security strategy, which was made public in December, discusses increasing civil defenses against nuclear attack, an indication Moscow is preparing for nuclear war.
Russia is getting ready for a big war which they assume will go nuclear, with them launching the first attacks,” said Schneider, now with the National Institute for Public Policy, a Virginia-based think tank.
“We are not serious about preparing for a big war, much less a nuclear war,” he added.
Additionally, Russian officials have been issuing nuclear threats.
“A lot of things they say they are doing relate to nuclear threats and nuclear warfighting,” he said. “Active and passive defense were a major Soviet priority and [current Russian leaders] are Soviets in everything but name.”
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of strategic nuclear forces, building new missiles, submarines, and bombers. A State Department report on Russian activities under the New START arms treaty stated in the spring that Moscow added 153 strategic nuclear warheads to its arsenal under the treaty.
The increase in warheads is said to be the result of the deployment of new SS-27 Mod 2 intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads and SS-N-32 submarine-launched missiles.
In addition to new missiles, Russia is building a drone submarine, code-named “Kanyon,” which is said to be designed to carry a megaton-class warhead. Moscow also is moving ahead with a hypersonic strike vehicle designed to deliver nuclear warheads through advanced missile defense systems.
A report by the National Institute for Public Policy concludes that one reason for the Russian nuclear expansion is to sow fear of Moscow.
“Russian leaders appear to view nuclear weapons as the ultimate way to make the world ‘fear,’ or at least respect Russia, and provide a political lever to intimidate, coerce, and deter Western states from attempting to interfere militarily against Russian expansionism,” the report said.
It has been claimed the Russian hardman has invested heavily in the structures around the capital city (pictured) in the event of war with the West
Military analysts say possible U.S. responses to Russia’s underground nuclear complexes include the development of deep-penetrating nuclear bombs capable of placing Russia’s command structure at risk.
Another option proposed by nuclear experts is to develop low-yield nuclear arms that could be used in precision strikes.
Few details about the new nuclear underground bunkers were disclosed. State-run Russian press reports have said underground bunkers are being built in Moscow as part of the strategic forces buildup.
Russia’s Defense Ministry revealed in January that a modernized command and control system will be delivered to strategic forces this year.
The system was described by RIA-Novosti as a fifth-generation advanced command and control system.
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Dmitri Andreyev stated that the new system, known by its Russian acronym IASBU, will use digital signals to send combat orders and control strategic forces.
“The fifth-generation advanced integrated automated combat control system is being tested at industry enterprises,” Andreyev said, adding that by the end of the year missile units will be equipped with the “modernized control posts and advanced strategic missile systems under development with IASBU sections.”
The new system is being used with new SS-27 intercontinental missile units and will provide greater security so that orders will reach those units.
“This will enable use of missile systems without limiting distances while carrying out maneuvering and broadening of options in choosing their combat patrol routes,” the spokesman said.
The new underground nuclear facilities appear similar to earlier construction for command and control complexes during the Cold War, one official said. Russia also continued building underground nuclear facilities after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The CIA reported through classified channels in March 1997 that construction included an underground subway system from the residence of then-President Boris Yeltsin outside Moscow to a leadership command center.
The underground construction appears larger than previously assessed,” a CIA report on the facilities stated. “Three decrees last year [1996] on an emergency planning authority under Yeltsin with oversight of underground facility construction suggest that the purpose of the Moscow-area projects is to maintain continuity of leadership during nuclear war.”
Construction work was underway on what the report described as a “nuclear-survivable, strategic command post at Kosvinsky Mountain,” located deep in the Ural Mountains about 850 miles east of Moscow.
Satellite photographs of Yamantau Mountain, also located about 850 miles east of Moscow in the Urals near the town of Beloretsk, revealed development of a “deep underground complex” and new construction at each of the site’s above-ground support areas. Yamantau Mountain means “Evil Mountain” in the local Bashkir language.
“The command post at Kosvinsky appears to provide the Russians with the means to retaliate against a nuclear attack,” the CIA report said, adding that the Russians were building or renovating four complexes within Moscow that would be used to house senior Russian government leaders during a nuclear conflict.
The CIA identified a bunker to be used by Russian leaders at Voronovo, about 46 miles south of Moscow. A second bunker located at Sharapovo, some 34 miles from Moscow, was equipped with a special subway running directly to it.
The nuclear war preparations are estimated to cost billions of dollars, and raise questions about past U.S. aid to Moscow that was aimed at helping secure Russian nuclear facilities.

Map of Europe
Why the Baltic States are where
Nuclear War is More Likely to Begin
By Lauren B. Thomson for The National Interest

Location of the  Baltic states  (dark green)in Europe  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]

Successive administrations failed to take any steps toward providing the U.S. with active defense against even a modest Russian attack.  Plans to replace aging deterrent forces were repeatedly deferred, until some portions of the nuclear complex had become decrepit.  And Washington continued to make security commitments in Russia's "near abroad" areas -- countries once satellites or integral parts of the Soviet Union -- as if the likelihood of nuclear conflict was close to zero.

However, the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing.  And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  Since those nations and several other Eastern European states joined NATO in 2004, the United States has been committed to defending their freedom and territorial integrity under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Because NATO from its inception was aimed at containing the expansion of a nuclear country -- Russia -- a vital part of the U.S. security commitment to Europe consists of Washington's willingness to use its nuclear arsenal in defense of allies. 
The formal name for that strategy is "extended deterrence," and since 2004 it has included the Baltic states.  Simply stated, the United States seeks to deter aggression or blackmail against NATO allies from a nuclear-armed Russia by threatening to use atomic weapons.
The Obama Administration's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review confirmed that extended deterrence remains a pillar of U.S. global strategy.  Although the credibility of extended deterrence ultimately resides in the U.S. strategic "triad" of long-range bombers and missiles, the posture review explicitly stated that the U.S. would preserve the ability to deploy nuclear weapons with suitably equipped tactical fighters in places like Europe.
According to Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, the U.S. currently deploys about 200 B61 nuclear gravity bombs in Europe for use by American or allied forces in a future East-West war. 
The weapons are receiving life-extension modifications that will allow their use for decades to come, first on F-16 fighters and later on the stealthy F-35 fighter.  Russia also deploys a sizable number of so-called "non-strategic" nuclear weapons in the European theater, although like the U.S. it does not disclose numbers or locations.
While nuclear weapons could potentially be used in any number of future warfighting scenarios, there are multiple reasons to suspect that the greatest danger exists with regard to the three Baltic states.  Here are eight of those reasons.
First, both Washington and Moscow assign high strategic significance to the future disposition of the Baltic states.  From Moscow's perspective, the three states are located close to the centers of Russian political and military power, and therefore are a potential base for devastating attacks. 
For instance, the distance between Lithuania's capital of Vilnius and Moscow is less than 500 miles -- a short trip for a supersonic aircraft. 
From Washington's perspective, failure to protect the Baltic states from Russian aggression could lead to the unraveling of America's most important alliance.
Second, Washington has been very public about it commitment to the Baltic states.  For instance, in 2014 President Obama stated during a visit to Estonia that defense of the three countries' capitals was "just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London." 
That is an extraordinary assertion considering that the population of metropolitan London (about 8 million) is greater than that of all three Baltic states combined (about 6 million), and that the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea is so close to the Russian heartland.
Third, there is a disconnect between the rhetoric that Washington applies to Baltic security and the tactical situation that would likely obtain in a future war.  Russia has massive local superiority in every form of military force, and the topography of the three states presents few obstacles to being quickly overrun. 
The RAND Corporation reported earlier this year that in a series of war games, Russian forces were always able to overcome indigenous defenders and reach Baltic capitals within a few days.  The forces of other NATO nations had little time to respond.
Fourth, for all of its talk about reinforcing NATO at the recent alliance summit ("we will defend every ally" President Obama said), there is scant evidence the U.S. is willing to make the kind of commitment of conventional forces needed to blunt a Russian invasion in the Baltic region. 
The proposed placement of NATO-led battalions in each state totaling about 1,000 soldiers each is widely described as a "tripwire" defense, meaning it might trigger a bigger alliance response but would not be able to prevent Moscow from reaching its military objectives quickly.
Russia adds hundreds of nuclear warheads under nuclear treaty
By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Russia increased its deployed nuclear warheads over the past six months under a strategic arms reduction treaty as U.S. nuclear warhead stocks declined sharply, according to the State Department.  During the same period, the United States cut its deployed nuclear warheads by 114, increasing the disparity between the two nuclear powers.

Russia’s warhead increases since 2011 suggest Moscow does not intend to cut its nuclear forces and will abandon the New START arms accord as part of a major nuclear buildup.

“It is now highly unlikely that Russia intends to comply with New START,” said Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear weapons specialist now with the National Institute for Policy.  At the same time, the Obama administration is continuing a program of unilateral nuclear disarmament despite promises by President Obama to modernize and maintain U.S. nuclear forces as long as strategic dangers are present.

The latest Russian warhead increases coincide with increased tensions between Moscow and the West.

The nuclear buildup is raising new fears Russia plans to break out of New START treaty limits rather than comply with the accord. Russian forces have deployed 249 warheads above the warhead limit set by the treaty to be reached by February 2018.
Since the treaty went into force in 2011, Moscow increased its total warhead stockpile from 1,537 warheads to 1,796 warheads, an increase of 259 warheads.
By contrast, the Obama administration has cut U.S. nuclear forces by 433 warheads during the same period.
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, nominee to be the next commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, warned the Senate during a hearing last month that Russia is modernizing both its strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.
“It seems clear that Russia has been making large investments in its nuclear weapon programs as well as modernizing both its strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons,” Hyten stated in answers to questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“In addition to advancing nuclear capabilities, Russia is emphasizing new regional and strategic approaches, and declaring and demonstrating its ability to escalate if required,” he added. “Collectively, Russian development of advancing weapons capabilities and its evolving warfighting doctrine is concerning.”
Under New START, the United States and Russia agreed to reduce deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 warheads. Deployed land-based and submarine-launched missiles and bombers  will be cut to 700. Missile launchers and non-deployed heavy bombers will be reduced to 800.
While U.S. nuclear forces are very old and in need of modernization, Russian nuclear forces are being modernized. By 2020, nuclear missile submarines, land-based missiles, and bombers will be modernized, with 70 percent of the nuclear forces replaced with advanced systems, according to U.S. officials.

In a related development, Russia announced on Tuesday it is abandoning a 2000 agreement to reduce stockpiles of plutonium originally intended for nuclear weapons.
“We’re disappointed with their decision,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said of the Russian rejection of the plutonium agreement.
The Russian action followed the State Department’s decision to cut off talks with Russia on Syria.
Schneider, the nuclear weapons expert, said Moscow appears to be on a path to doubling its warheads.
“With or without New START, Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads are likely to increase to 3,000 by 2030,” he said.
Other troubling signs of Russian nuclear weapons advances include intelligence reports that Moscow is expanding underground nuclear command bunkers, violating New START terms, and planning to double its warhead stockpiles for new multiple-warhead missiles.
Schneider added that the sharp U.S. nuclear cuts indicate the Obama administration is moving ahead with a unilateral disarmament scheme.
“I think it is also clear that the Obama administration has an unannounced program to implement Obama’s proposed one-third reduction in strategic nuclear forces from the New START level unilaterally,” he said.

A strategic military balance that existed in 2011 when the treaty was approved has now been reversed by Russian increases and U.S. cuts.  "In 2011, the United States had a lead of 263 deployed warheads,” Schneider said. “We are now 429 deployed warheads below Russia. The Russians will think this is quite important. It could impact Putin’s willingness to take risks.”

Russia has adopted a new nuclear strategy that lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear arms in a conflict. Moscow calls the nuclear doctrine, escalate to de-escalate.

Blake Narendra, spokesman for the State Department’s arms control bureau, dismissed the Russian warhead increase, saying it was part of a “business-like” implementation of the treaty provisions.  

“The United States and Russia continue to implement the New START treaty in a business-like manner,” Narendra said. “The treaty does not prescribe interim limits. We fully expect Russia to meet the treaty’s central limits by February 2018.”

Narendra said current tensions with Russia highlight the need to abide by treaty provisions on verification and confidence-building measures.   Without the treaty, the United States would lack information about Russian strategic forces that are currently being modernized, he said.

“Fluctuations in the number of deployed warheads is an expected process as the Russians replace older missiles dating from the 1980s that are being retired and eliminated,” Narendra said.
Hans M. Kristensen, an analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, a group that favors nuclear arms cuts, said he believes the Russians will continue to abide by the treaty despite the 259 warheads it has deployed over New START levels.
“Rather than a nuclear build-up, however, the increase is a temporary fluctuation caused by introduction of new types of launchers that will be followed by retirement of older launchers before 2018,” Kristensen said, adding “Russia’s compliance with the treaty is not in doubt.”
Regarding other New START provisions, Russia had reduced its deployed strategic delivery systems—land-based and submarine missiles and bombers—slightly from 521 systems to 508 systems. The United States cut its missile and bomber forces by 60 systems over the same six-month period.
Russia cut its deployed and non-deployed delivery systems, another New START category, by 18 launchers and bombers. The United States cut 30 systems over the same period.



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