Former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina of the Arms Control Association, now want to kill another US nuclear weapon. This time it’s the option of having low-yield nuclear warheads on our D-5 sea-launched ballistic missiles. Unfortunately, Perry and Collina, in their rush to downsize our nuclear arsenal on the way toward their adopted goal of zero nuclear weapons, miss the entire point of the newly proposed low-yield nuclear variant.
Peter Huessy | All Articles
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Mr. Peter Huessy is President of his own defense consulting firm, GeoStrategic Analysis, founded in 1981, and was the senior defense consultant at the National Defense University Foundation for 22 years. He was the National Security Fellow at the AFPC and is currently Senior Defense Consultant at the Mitchell Institute of the Air Force Association.
We all remember 1979. Iran fell to the Mullahs, Russia invaded Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein started a war with Iran. And Islamic radicals took over the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
In his first visit ever to the United States, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, (commonly called MBS) started with interview on "60 Minutes," continued in Washington with a meeting and state dinner with the president of the United States, and then a follow-on dinner with the vice president. Subsequently, his week-long visit will culminate with a trip to Silicon Valley, Texas and Wall Street.
The New York Times has suggested that the Patriot missile defense batteries in Saudi Arabia did not work, but that the Yemeni-based Houthi rebel last week launched ballistic missiles simply luckily missed when they targeted the airport in Riyadh.
Vladimir Putin’s government continues to show signs that it would not hesitate to launch a nuclear war, two top analysts of Russian strategic thinking said at a recent Mitchell Institute Forum on Capitol Hill which I had the privilege to host.
Are there reasonable grounds to believe that the time is ripe for the United States and its Middle Eastern allies to put together a new, but sound, positive, and effective Middle East regional security policy? And which would have as its core three objectives the US and its allies might adopt: (1) the elimination of the Iranian Revolutionary Islamic objectives (found in the Iranian constitution); (2) an end, not a pause, to Iran’s nuclear weapons program; and (3) limits on Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities.
The United States is planning to modernize its nuclear deterrent over the next 25 years, an effort already two decades late in implementation. That delay, a procurement holiday, resulted in all elements of our nuclear enterprise—the warheads, the communications, the submarines, the land based missiles and the bombers and their associated cruise missiles--reaching the end of their service life nearly simultaneously.
America’s top nuclear adversaries—Russia and China—are both markedly improving their nuclear forces at a pace not seen even during the height of the Cold War. Russian President Putin has called for continued such modernization, describing Russian nuclear forces as already sixty percent modernized and the strongest in the world. Russia also has a multi-thousand advantage in tactical or theater nuclear weapons (not subject to arms control limits) which further complicates US deterrent policy. China’s modernization involves all three elements of its nuclear forces, but especially both its new land based missiles and submarines.
The United States has not modernized or upgraded its nuclear forces for roughly 30 years, except for building 21 B2 bombers shortly after the end of Cold War, when the plane's production was cancelled. And it will be another decade at the earliest when the United States begins to build the planned new nuclear deterrent force.
The government thinks there are 32 million illiterate people in America, about 10% of the population.
Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin warns us that in the past 10 months North Korea despite some missile test failures launched a second satellite aboard the giant Unha rocket, unveiled a second generation ICBM and a close-up of what is described as an implosion nuclear warhead for ballistic missiles. The North also launched a live test of an indigenous air defense missile – which looks like a twin brother of the Russian S-300, a flight test of the hitherto mysterious “Musudan” IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile), and an underwater solid propellant SLBM (sea-launched ballistic missile) – which looks like the twin brother of the vintage Soviet liquid propellant SSN 6.
American victims of terror want to strike back at their attackers. One way could be by court rulings allowing seizure of the assets of terror states and their terror affiliates. The idea is, hurt them financially and their terrorism will be deterred and their victims compensated. For many years survivors and families of victims of the 9-11 attacks have tried to secure the right to bring civil suits agains state sponsors of terrorism, especially Saudi Arabia, as set forth in a bill entitled, Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
Brad Roberts, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and head of the nuclear posture review, warned June 28th in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment that regional conflicts could very well see the use of nuclear weapons against the United States. The reason is that superior U.S. conventional capability forestalled Chinese and Russian objectives in Ukraine and the South China Sea.
In the Washington discussion over the future of our nuclear deterrent the arguments continue to emphasize that it is better to have fewer warheads in our force than what we have today.
Every day, two-thirds of all oil consumed world-wide passes through seven ocean choke points. The most vital of these, the Strait of Hormuz, is the gateway to the Persian Gulf’s oil shipment ports, and is bordered by Iran, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
Since 1991, arms control has been a driving force in our relationship with Russia. In that period the two countries agreed to three nuclear weapons agreements with arsenals on both sides reduced by over 90 percent.
The president’s visit to the Gulf Cooperative Council Summit this month is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
We have heard much about how the United States can unilaterally reduce its strategic nuclear deterrent to 1,000 warheads from the current 1,550 (plus additional bomber weapons not counted) because the number of secure, retaliatory survivable weapons would be the same -- essentially 4-5 submarines at sea at any one time irrespective of the number of other warheads deployed on land based missiles and bombers, both legs of the Triad that are not considered “survivable."
The North Korean regime is often described as dangerous and unpredictable, particularly after Pyongyang launches missile tests or explodes another nuclear weapon. Others dismiss the North Korean actions as primarily all bluff and bluster, primarily aimed at solidifying internal political support for the Kim family enterprise rather than a preliminary move toward actually carrying out a military attack against ROK or USA forces in the region.