BUTTON BUTTON WHO PUSH THE BUTTON
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
The Trump administration announced last week long-anticipated plans to stop complying with the INF Treaty. A treaty that was supposed to end the arms race and to alleviate some of the worries about a nuclear war with Russia.
The treaty, signed by then-President Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, bans nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles, including those that can carry a nuclear warhead, with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Moscow has indicated it will also abandon INF, with plans to develop two new land-based missile launch systems by 2021 in order to counter U.S. developments in its missile capabilities.
The US pullout from INF came after years of accusing Russia of a violation of the treaty based on a single missile. Russia maintains that missile was never tested in the range that would be covered by the INF, and was only deployed and tested at a shorter range.
Now as we are in the process of withdrawing from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Pentagon is saying that there are no plans to actually develop any intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
Intermediate range missiles are more practical for Russia than the US at any rate. The US replaced their traditional INF-covered missiles with submarine-based ones and would struggle to convince EU nations to host US nuclear arms even if they were developed.
With no intention of making new missiles, it makes even less sense for the US to withdraw from the deal. If there are no plans for new missiles, all they did was give Russia a legal justification to develop new missiles.
But of course, all of the talk of not developing new missiles contradicts what President Trump had said during his State of the Union Speech.
President Trump stated Tuesday night, President that the United States “is developing a state of the art missile defense system,” and “will never apologize for advancing America’s interests.”
It was also announced yesterday that the US military has announced plans to buy and test out Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The system, which uses radar and interceptor missiles to combat incoming threats, has been in use since 2011.
The US Department of Defense has said the system will be used on a test basis, while it assesses options for the military’s long-term needs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has labeled the sale a “great achievement for the country.”
Iron Dome works by tracking incoming short-range projectiles by radar, then analyses data about the likely impact zone before assessing whether to provide coordinates to a missile firing unit to intercept.
Israeli officials claim the missile system, which works in all weather and is transportable, has a success rate of up to 90%.
It is said to be able to provide city-sized protection against incoming aerial threats and has been utilized heavily to intercept missiles fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.
The US has already heavily subsidized the system’s creation, and some of its components already come from American firms.
In a statement, Israel’s Military of Defense said the purchase was made because of the “immediate needs” of the US army.
Reports emerged in defense media about the rumored sale last month.
US Army Colonel Patrick Seiber has said the system would be “assessed and experimented” with to protect deployed US personnel on a test basis only.
Now, within hours of the announcement of the pullout of INF, the United States, Russia, and France have all test-launched nuclear-capable missiles.
The Cold War is now turning frigid and the chilling part is that many countries are now preparing for nuclear conflict.
The French military said Tuesday that its Air Force conducted a rare test Monday of the nuclear-capable medium-range air-to-surface missile.The U.S. then fired a nuclear-capable Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile later Tuesday night in local time and, about an hour and a half later; the Russian armed forces fired a nuclear-capable RS-24 Yars ICBM.
Though none of the tests were said to have been equipped with nuclear warheads and all were likely scheduled far ahead of time, they came at a period of major uncertainty as key nonproliferation agreements were dismantled.
In a press release, the French Ministry of Defense hailed a “successful demonstration” of the ASMP. Aircraft from Fighter Squadron 2/4 La Fayette departing from Saint-Dizier – Robinson Air Base in northwestern France was supported by the 31st Strategic Supply and Transport Aerial Escadre and fired the unarmed weapon at a testing center of the DGA Essais de missiles, near Biscarrosse, in southwestern France.
The ministry said that the 11-hour mission had been “planned for a long time” and was a “demonstration of the reliability of the airborne weapons system over time.”
The U.S. Air Force’s 30th Space Wing conducted what was described as a “developmental test” of the Minuteman III at around 11:01 p.m. PST, or 2:01 a.m. EST. In a statement sent to local NBC affiliate KSBY, Global Strike Command said its representatives “assert that missile tests are scheduled months or years in advance, this test comes just four short days after the Trump administration suspended…the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a crucial landmark Treaty between the U.S. and Russia that eliminated entire categories of nuclear weapons.”
Just 90 minutes later, at 11:31 a.m. in Moscow and 12:31 a.m. in California, Russia’s RS-24 Yars flew from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the northwestern Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast toward a target positioned more than 3,000 miles away at the Kura Missile Test Range on the far eastern Kamatchka Peninsula. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the weapon was “equipped with multiple warheads” and that “the purpose of the launch was to confirm the tactical, technical and flight characteristics of the advanced missile system.”
At last count Russia is believed to possess the largest nuclear weapons arsenal on Earth, with an estimated 6,800 warheads. The U.S. is a close second with about 6,000.
Moscow has stated that the abandonment of the treaty will most certainly put us closer to a nuclear conflict somewhere on the planet.
Back in December during our “At Edge of the End” show, we reported that during Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference, he stated that failures in respecting nuclear treaties could lead the world into a nuclear conflagration.
He pointed out that with the United States walking away from INF, and our reluctance to negotiate the extension of the 2010 New START agreement could pose an immediate threat to the safety of the world.
Also you may remember that at the end of 2018 it was announced that Russia has in its possession a new strategic weapon that can travel 27 times faster than the speed of sound.
This makes this new weapon impossible to intercept.
The weapon is called the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.
Putin said the Avangard will enter service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces next year.
Unlike previous nuclear warheads fitted to intercontinental ballistic missiles that follow a predictable trajectory allowing it to calculate the spot where they can be intercepted, the Avangard chaotically zigzags on its path to its target, making it impossible to predict the weapon’s location.
The Avangard could be fitted to the Soviet-made UR-100UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missile, which is code-named SS-19 Stiletto by NATO.
They are on the ready to be put into the silos.
The test and development of this doomsday weapon, of course, seemed inevitable. Russian U.S. relations have turned cold over the Ukranian crisis, and the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
I can’t help but think that all of this has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For at least two years, the mainstream media has taken the position that Russia should not be trusted.
The New START treaty will expire in 2021—whoever the next President will be will not matter – The United States does not seem to be interested in renewing the treaty.
After that, it will be a matter or “button, button who push the button” if a threat manifests.
If President Trump decided to launch a nuclear strike, how would it all go down? Is he the sole power alone that makes the decision to push the button and send the missiles skyward to find their targets?
According to an analysis undertaken by Bloomberg, the U.S. president’s power is absolute in this situation – he or she gives the order and the Pentagon is obliged to go along with it.
It can take as little as five minutes from the president’s decision to strike to intercontinental missiles launching from their silos. When it comes to submarine-launched weapons, however, it takes a little bit longer – approximately 15 minutes.
If the President orders a launch, the Pentagon has to comply.
Once the missiles are in the air they cannot be stopped.
A threat could manifest tomorrow and for the record, Russia isn’t the only country that we are concerned about with regard to nuclear exchange capabilities.
Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea are also believed by the international community to possess nuclear weapons. The rivalry between New Delhi and Islamabad has left South Asia a stagnant flashpoint in global conflict, while Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its possession of weapons of mass destruction and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un was set to meet President Donald Trump later this month for their second summit of a historic denuclearization-for-peace process.
Almost everyone agrees that nuclear weapons cannot be used to for an advantage in war because to do use them would most certainly be suicide. But the policy of nuclear deterrence requires that those weapons always be ready for use. Deterrence is, therefore, a gamble that what we are always ready to do, and we would like to think that we will not ever do.
So far the gamble has worked for the decades but, in the long run, is our luck running out?
When you gamble you have to understand that there can be the risk of loss.
This suicidal game with Russia is like loading one chamber of a two-chambered revolver, spinning the cylinder, putting the gun to your head, and pulling the trigger.
Even if we were playing with one bullet in a 600-chambered revolver—it prolongs the process. We now can expect to live one hundred times as long as with a six-chambered revolver.
But that does not change the inevitability of your death. If you play once each day, you might be lucky enough to live for several years. Or you might be unlucky enough to go in the first month – there is roughly a 5 percent chance of that.
During the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy estimated the odds of nuclear war as being “somewhere between one out of three and even.” So the Cuban missile crisis was equivalent to nuclear roulette – a version of pistol roulette in which the entire world is at stake – with a two- or three-chambered revolver.
Now, we continue to see small wars and conflicts with The United States playing sides with countries that get their support from Russian and China… during this new Cold War, every “small” war pulls the trigger in the game of nuclear roulette.
Many small wars create many probabilities for escalation and eventual nuclear conflict.
Each of these probabilities are relatively small that they would escalate to full on nuclear exchange. But taken together over decades of time, they add up to a cumulative probability which is no longer small … Taken together over nearly a century, they make nuclear war virtually inevitable.
It has now been nearly 75 years since nuclear weapons have been used on a country and the United States dropped them on Japan in 1945.
It has always been my worry that is that all of our past “sins,” which include Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all of our military campaigns where we have killed hundreds of thousands with high tech weapons, all of the depleted uranium we have dropped on the Earth and all of the resources we have gobbled up for so-called military threats will “blowback” or “blow up” in nuclear fire.
Life goes on and some say panic is unwarranted because of the fact that people are still living– we haven’t used nukes and we will never reach that point.
We have, however, reached that halfway point with the use of weapons of depleted uranium.
The truth is that “The word “depleted” is a public relations spin. It makes it sound like the nuclear material is worn out.
It’s not. It’s uranium and yes it is radioactive and it creates long term problems for areas where it is used in war.
Nuclear waste remains radioactive for billions of years, contaminating ground, water, and air, causing cancer, birth defects and death, although Depleted Uranium is allegedly “safe” for humans, according to Pentagon scientists.
Safe even though it is made to kill people? Stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
It is now known that Gulf War Syndrome was caused by the large-scale use of depleted uranium against Iraq in 1991. Additionally, about 70% (even possibly more) of Gulf War Veterans have had children born after the Gulf War with mutations, deformities, genetic disorders, and severe medical illnesses.
Causal analysis of the increasing rates of mutation, medical problems, and cancer in both foreign troops and local populations alike in Iraq and Afghanistan indicates that it is the military application of nuclear waste (Depleted Uranium) being used against civilian populations and resistance movements that is the cause.
Walking away from the INF treaty distracts from the most basic truth about nuclear weapons: They are dangerous. The more weapons there are, scattered among more countries, ungoverned by international accords, the greater the likelihood of miscalculation or accidental launch and as we reported in the show “From my Cold Dead Mechanical hand the world has had a few close calls.
Back in January of 1995, we nearly met our nuclear end when an innocuous science rocket meant to analyze the northern lights triggered a launch alert – someone forgot to tell Russian radar technicians. The technicians sent an alert to Moscow suggesting that an American first strike might be incoming. This forced then-President Boris Yeltsin to decide if he should launch Russian nuclear weapons in retaliation.
It was the first time a Russian or Soviet leader had used a nuclear briefcase in response to an actual alert. Yeltsin concluded that it was not actually a first strike and did not retaliate.
Now after the announcement of the disbanding of the treaty, it is obvious that with the various launches of test missiles around the world impulses to launch don’t appear to be restrained.