“The US Signals Readiness to Launch Nuclear Strike Against Russia”

Yves here. Please note that the title is in quotes because it is the translated title of a new article from a Russian military journal that Helmer has translated in full below. Aside from this nervous-making reading, officials in Russia do appear to be genuinely edgy:

By John Helmer who has been the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to have directed his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

Last week on October 19 the US Navy announced that “General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla [lead image, lower right] , commander of CENTCOM, conducted a visit aboard the USS West Virginia [top], a U.S. Navy Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine at an undisclosed location at sea in international waters in the Arabian Sea. Kurilla was joined on the USS West Virginia by Vice Admiral Brad Cooper [lower left], commander of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and NAVCENT.”

The Fifth Fleet and the Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) are headquartered at Bahrain on the Persian Gulf.  From Bahrain down the Gulf to the Masirah Island airbase, off Oman, is a flight distance of 1,047 kilometres. From Masirah to the West Virginia and its escort was within helicopter flight range.

Two days later,  the Pentagon reported that “on October 21, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu. Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine.”  They spoke again on October 23, according to Austin’s spokesman, because Shoigu had “requested a follow up call.”

Less than 24 hours elapsed before Austin telephoned his Kiev counterpart, Alexei Reznikov,  to “reiterate[d] that the United States rejects the public and false allegations by Russia about Ukraine and any attempt to use them as a pretext for further Russian escalation of its unlawful and unjustified war against Ukraine.”

The same day, in the Moscow evening,  the US Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a communiqué confirming that “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley spoke with Chief of Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov today by phone. The military leaders discussed several security-related issues of concern and agreed to keep the lines of communication open. In accordance with past practice, the specific details of their conversation will be kept private.” RIA, the Russian state news agency,  reported that in their conversation the generals “discussed the possibility raised by Moscow that Ukraine might use a ‘dirty bomb’.”

“The call took place shortly after a similar conversation between Gerasimov and his British counterpart.”

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the British chief of staff, announced that Gerasimov had requested their conversation. According to Radakin,  he had “rejected Russia’s allegations that Ukraine is planning actions to escalate the conflict, and he restated the UK’s enduring support for Ukraine. The military leaders both agreed on the importance of maintaining open channels of communication between the UK and Russia to manage the risk of miscalculation and to facilitate de-escalation. The conversation followed the Defence Secretary’s call with his Russian counterpart yesterday and a call between the Foreign Ministers of France, the UK, and the USA last night.”

That preceding call of foreign ministers, involving Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the US, produced a joint statement of “committ[ment]  to continue supporting Ukraine’s efforts to defend its territory for as long as it takes. Earlier today, the defense ministers of each of our countries spoke to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu at his request. Our countries made clear that we all reject Russia’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory. The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. We further reject any pretext for escalation by Russia.”

Blinken then telephoned his Kiev counterpart, Dmitry Kuleba, to repeat both parts of the message – that the Ukraine should not escalate to using a nuclear weapon, and that Russia should do likewise.

In case there was hardness of hearing or weakness of command and control in Kiev, or ambiguity between what Reznikov and Kuleba thought they were hearing from Washington and London, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had met Austin at the Pentagon on October 18.  They then telephoned to talk again on Sunday, when they “reaffirm[ed] the U.S.-UK defense relationship and the importance of transatlantic cooperation. Their conversation today was a continuation of their discussion at the Pentagon last week, which covered a wide range of shared defense and security priorities, including Ukraine.”

Austin telephoned Kiev again yesterday to repeat to Reznikov that he should make sure the allegation of a Ukrainian nuclear weapon escalation was “false”;  and that the allies had given Moscow this assurance in exchange for Moscow’s undertaking against “further escalation” – read Russian nuclear response.

At the same time yesterday, Vzglyad, the Moscow security publication, published its assessment of the escalating nuclear threat to Russia from the US, as the Kremlin, Defence Ministry, General Staff and the Stavka see it now.  A translation into English follows.

Left to right: General Valery Gerasimov; General Mark Milley; Admiral Sir Tony Radakin; General Lloyd Austin. 

Source: https://vz.ru/

The US has shown its readiness to launch a nuclear strike on Russia.  
October 24, 2022
Text: Alexander Timokhin 

Does the United States have the ability to instantly, within a few minutes, launch a disarming and unreciprocated nuclear strike on Russia? For decades, it was assumed that no, any US attack would cause an immediate similar response from the Russian armed forces. But now there is reason to believe that Washington has come to a different conclusion – and brazenly demonstrates it.

On Thursday, October 20, an exceptional event took place in the Arabian Sea. It was publicly announced that Michael Kurilla, commander of the US Central Command, paid a visit to the Ohio-class West Virginia SSBN (submarine with ballistic nuclear missiles), which specially surfaced in the Arabian Sea. This submarine, like all its ‘sister ships’, is armed with 24 Trident II ballistic missiles, each of which can carry 10 warheads at a maximum,  which in total gives the vessel an ammunition supply of 240 strategic nuclear warheads.

But the fact is that the purpose of such vessels is always to be secretive and never to reveal the location of their patrol. The fact that now the location of this SSB [ballistic missile submarine] is expressly highlighted, it is impossible to understand otherwise than a special signal. It is difficult to remember when earlier in this way any American military commander so clearly and openly visited a boat at sea on combat duty. All this is directly related to the nuclear deterrence system that exists between Russia and the United States.

Nuclear deterrence and nuclear attack

Nuclear war, the preparation for it and its conduct, is not as simple as the average person thinks. Let’s briefly list the key concepts.

When two sides – in this case, Russia and the United States – both have nuclear weapons, and the means of their delivery to enemy territory, a missile attack warning system, and the technical capability to launch ballistic missiles after this system detects the launch of enemy missiles, then a simple missile attack becomes suicide for the attacker. If the United States or Russia launches their ballistic missiles at the enemy, the enemy will be able to launch their missiles before the attacking side’s missiles reach their target.

Such a strike, when a counterattack is carried out before the enemy’s missiles have reached target, is called a ‘counter-counter’ [ответно-встречным]. It is applied with the help of intercontinental ballistic missiles based in deep underground silos and ready to launch immediately.

The problem is that the interval from launch command to the counter-strike takes time. And besides, it is necessary that someone from among the leaders who have the authority to order such a strike would be physically able to do it — that is, would be alive, conscious, and so on.

This vulnerability can be exploited by delivering a so–called обезглавливающий удар (for Americans, the term is decapitation strike). A strike aimed at destroying the leadership. There are various ways to prevent or to balance the consequences of such a strike — we will not list them, nor the methods of their application (not only by missile strike).

In addition to the decapitating blow, there is such a thing as a disarming blow (удар обезоруживающий — counterforce strike). Its goal is to attack the nuclear arsenal of the victim country in such a way that the enemy, even with a workable leadership, simply does not have time to launch its missiles in response. To do this, the time for which the blow is struck should be less than the enemy needs to make a decision and pass the order to the launchers.

Therefore, in addition to providing a retaliatory nuclear strike, the country’s nuclear forces have been invested with the means of ensuring the guaranteed possibility of a retaliatory strike. Which will be produced even if the enemy struck first, and all his missiles hit their targets before at least something was launched in response. The most common way to ensure a retaliatory strike is  strategic submarines. As a result, the enemy’s attack in any case causes a counter-counter or retaliatory strike. Nuclear war turns out to be a dead end;  it cannot be won;  and even the initiator who has attacked successfully also dies.

This principle is called “mutually assured destruction”. It was this, and not anything else, that guaranteed the absence of major wars on our planet since 1945.

However, today the situation is somewhat different. The number of nuclear warheads has become such that the exchange of nuclear strikes cannot lead to the guaranteed death of all living things. The number of carriers of nuclear weapons has fallen to such numbers that even after a massive, all-out strike, wildlife, untouched cities and towns, and people will remain in the Northern Hemisphere. A nuclear war without the death of all participants has become possible.

The second problem is the combat stability of the Russian nuclear forces in their current configuration. Russia was able to revive the Missile Attack Warning System (SPRN). The missiles that are supposed to retaliate and counter-strike are regularly updated.

But now our fleet has fewer ships than Japan. There is no possibility to intercept or block all dangerous waters with the operations of Russia’s anti-submarine forces. And this means that, as in the case of the Arabian Sea, the Americans and the British who can hold the area, will be free to manoeuvre there in order to strike from locations where the missiles can reach us too quickly. For example, in the Northern, Norwegian, Barents, Mediterranean and Arabian Seas.

Russian strategic submarines are few in number today compared to the Soviet times. Together with the qualitative superiority of the US Navy, this creates an environment where the Americans can destroy our submarines immediately before the attack begins. This, alas, is a fact known to specialists. At the same time, 44% of all strategic nuclear warheads in Russia are placed on submarines. And almost all of them are in two (!) fleet bases vulnerable to the first strike. The Russian strategic aviation has never learned to fight like the American one, and it is not a means of guaranteed retaliation.

The combination of these factors creates a technical opportunity for the United States to launch a successful disarming nuclear strike against Russia without receiving a significant blow in response. At the same time, the intensity of anti-Russian propaganda is such that the western man in the street will not have to justify anything — from that  perspective everything is already prepared. And right now there is the hint of the possibility of such a strike when the West Virginia surfaced in the Arabian Sea.

Chinese factor, flight time and impact mechanics

Some experts believe that the American SSB was carrying out tasks to put pressure on China during the CPC [Chinese Communist Party] Congress. On the one hand, it is indeed easy to attack China from the Arabian Sea ‘from the rear’ – the approach of missiles to its populated areas will be from its deserts in the west of the country.

But there is no logic in such pressure. The Americans don’t know exactly where the Chinese have missiles. In addition, China does not have its own full-fledged SPRN [missile attack warning system]. The Americans can organize a sudden strike on this country with Pacific submarines from other directions. They simply do not need to threaten China from the Indian Ocean, and without this, they have a full array of threats.

In contrast to China, the coordinates of Russian underground launchers and the corridors along which mobile installations moved until recently are known to the Americans extremely accurately. We gave them all the information ourselves during mutual inspections of each other’s missile positions. Thus, the strategic missile submarine in the Arabian Sea is a hint not to China, but to Russia. At the very least we should not rule it out.

In order for the strike on our country to be successful, it must be delivered faster than we will have an alarm, an assessment of the situation for the command to launch. To do this, the distance from which the strike is carried out must be about 3,000 kilometres, otherwise the flight time of the missiles will be too long. So now let’s look at the map.

When the SSB is deployed in the northern part of the Arabian Sea, it just happens to be at about such a distance from the installations of the 31st Missile Army of the RVSN [Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, HQ Orenburg] and some parts of the 33rd Guards Army of the RVSN [Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, HQ Omsk], which allows the submarine to deliver the same disarming blow in the minimum flight time.

It is clear that such a task cannot be solved by one submarine. And it is clear that such a task cannot be solved solely from the Arabian Sea. But no one is talking about ‘one’ and ‘only’. The deployment of SSBMS in this sea area is not a preparation for a strike against Russia. But this is a demonstration that technically the United States can strike such a blow if it sees fit. And they’re not bluffing.

There is one technical aspect that is little-known to the layman. A ballistic missile can fly not only along the normal trajectory for itself, when the payload is lifted into the upper point of the trajectory and drops down from there. In addition to ballistic trajectories, missiles can also fly along the so-called flat (depressed in English terminology). The meaning of the flat trajectory is that the rocket goes very low, not even rising to 300 kilometres.  With such a trajectory, ranges and accuracy suffer greatly, the dispersion of combat warheads increases, but this turns out to give a serious gain in flight speed to the target and a very small flight time.

If during a strike from the Arabian Sea, for example on the 13th missile division [13th Orenburg Red Banner Rocket Division] in the Orenburg region, employing a conventional trajectory, the flight time of the missiles is comparable to the time required for making a decision and passing the command for a counter-strike. However, when striking from there by a flat trajectory, the picture changes dramatically, and not in our favour.

At the same time, there are ways to compensate for the dispersion of interceptors.  Firstly, these are the new fuses in the W76-2 combat warheads, which allow for time-synchronized detonation of the warheads, preventing them from flying past the target. Secondly, there is the mutual overlap of the affected areas when working on a target from several submarines. Thirdly, the US has made progress in hypersonic gliding attack warheads.

A clear sign of the ambition of the United States to deliver such disarming strikes sometime in the future would be evidence that they are firing missiles along flat trajectories, and there is such evidence. Since 2015, three videos of such tests have been filmed by random eyewitnesses – and have become publicly available.

The Americans are clearly working on launching missile strikes using such schemes. And now they are showing us their readiness to bring a strategic submarine to the point of a salvo ‘at point-blank range’. Across Russia.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. One still needs to deploy a sufficient number of submarines to strike. It is necessary not to frighten the enemy and not to cause an emergency exit to the sea of all its strategic missile carriers, not to cause the dispersal of strategic bombers, tankers and cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. What is necessary is that that the mobile ground-based missile systems do not have time to ‘run away’ too far for the inconspicuous B-2 and B–21 bombers, which will go in the second wave to mop up those remnants of the strategic missile forces that would have survived the missile strike – unless the [US] launch team still did not pass through the [Russian] system known as Perimeter [western name, Dead Hand]  or otherwise.

It’s all very complicated, and the risks of loss of surprise are very high. But their chances of success are not zero. With the visit of West Virginia to our ‘soft underbelly’, the Americans clearly show how far they are willing to go if they deem it necessary. The Americans are sending an extremely clear signal – for them, nuclear war is no longer unthinkable, and not impossible.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    Does this forces Russia, China & therefore all nuclear states into permanent states of DEFCON 1.5 readiness (shoot upon detection of launch)? If so nuclear winter is a matter of when, not if.

    1. Louis Fyne

      yes, if they were rational and distrustful of the US.

      which is probably why Russia developed its tsunami H-bomb drone….what good is it if the US wins WW3 if the Beltway and Westchester County, NYC, southern Cal., and the Hamptons are radioactive exclusion zones?.

      (at least that is what a sane person would think)

      1. Michaelmas

        Let’s start with this Timokhin person’s claim that: ‘The number of nuclear warheads has become such that the exchange of nuclear strikes cannot lead to the guaranteed death of all living things. The number of carriers of nuclear weapons has fallen to such numbers that … A nuclear war without the death of all participants has become possible.’

        To ask just one basic technical question: How can Timokhin know the scale and radiation release pattern of the thermonuclear blasts that each warhead in the Russian and American arsenals – no matter that he may know the official count of 5,977 Russian warheads and 5,428US warheads — is built and programmed to deliver?

        He cannot. That’s because no nuclear state today uses atomic bombs for their deterrent (except N. Korea, probably, and some of Pakistan’s nuclear force, maybe). They use some variant on the Teller-Ulam Super, which involves a process of staged fusion to produce thermonuclear explosions. Staged fusion thermonuclear weapons are known popularly as H-bombs and they’re what allowed nuclear weapons to be physically miniaturized to the extent that ten warheads can be mounted on one ICBM as MIRVs (multiple injection reentry vehicles).

        This technology also allows for explosions, on the one hand, to be as big as the USSR’s Tsar Bomba, which would have had a yield in excess of 100 megatons had it included the uranium-238 fusion tamper in the original design that was omitted in the test to reduce radioactive fallout; and, on the other hand, an explosion so small that Ted Taylor, the US’s most talented bomb designer, could light a cigarette (mounted in a metal wall) with it. Radiation release patterns are also subject to adjustment with thermonuclear weapons.

        All this means that first basic claim Timokhin makes simply isn’t credible. Still, what matters here, you may say, is whether Putin and the Kremlin believe that the US Navy’s Ohio-class West Virginia surfacing in the Arabian Sea was a demonstration of improved US capability to hit Russia without a counter-strike.

        The Arabian Sea is 6,382 km from Russia, FFS, so one doubts it. As the Russian high command would know very well, the true history of the first and second Cuban missile crisis – rather than the simplified tripe they feed Americans — demonstrates that throughout the Cold War’s final decades the USSR (and the US) routinely had their missiles ready to launch at distances of as little as 20 kilometers.

        The US propaganda version of the first Cuban Missile Crisis revolves around the canonization of John F. Kennedy. It’s all bunk, but for reasons of space I won’t go into that here.

        Point is, there was a Second Cuban Missile Crisis — at least, potentially. That’s because the Soviets maintained nuclear strike-capable forces in Cuba — nuclear subs, bombers, and missiles — starting in 1970 and running through to the USSR’s fall in 1991. For most of the Cold War, these forces were based around Cienfuegos Bay in Cuba. For a contemporary account, see forex —


        The Soviets built them anyway, and the Cubans’ cooperation with the Soviets’ basing was the reason for the financial and material support the USSR gave Cuba during those years, under which Cuba was admitted to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, a USSR-led organization of Warsaw Pact countries.

        How come you’ve never heard of the Second Cuban Missile Crisis? Because Nixon and Kissinger decided — rightly — that it really didn’t make any difference where the ICBMs were launched from once they were in the air and it wasn’t worth a rerun of 1963. Thus, after that 1970 NYT report linked to above, they simply suppressed Western media reporting of the Soviet nuclear build-up in Cuba and ignored it. As did Carter and Reagan.

        There are only limited accounts available of all this, as it doesn’t accord with official US propaganda. Those of you with access to university library networks can check out —
        ‘Handling the Cienfuegos Crisis’ by Raymond L. Garthoff
        International Security, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Summer, 1983), pp. 46-66 (21 pages)

        Also, these events are mentioned in —
        ‘The Revolutionary City: Socialist Urbanisation and Nuclear Modernity in Cienfuegos, Cuba’

        Conclusion: Through much of Cold War 1, Russian nuclear weapons were routinely kept in Cuba – distance 723 kilometers – and Russian nuclear subs routinely cruised as near as 20 kilometers to the US coast. As did US subs to Soviet territory. And now this Timokin person claims that a distance of 6,382 km between the Arabian Sea and Russia is a cause for worry?

        That’s bunk. As is Timokhin’s claim that the US has made progress in hypersonic gliding attack warheads and so that represents a threat, when Russia is ahead in this field and already has the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.

        Bunk, too, is Timokhin’s implied claim that Russia can be surprised by a first strike to the extent that MAD no longer applies. Russia’s Poseidon nuclear torpedos are basically undetectible/unstoppable and, similarly, its Deadhand/Perimeter system still remains in operational use as far as is known –

        Timokhin is someone in the Russian MIC, probably connected to the Russian navy or ancillary industries, who wants more Russian SSBNs built. It’s that simple.

        1. cfraenkel

          Let’s start with this Timokhin person’s claim that:

          I read the ‘claim’ you’re objecting to as his outlining the American view. He’s laying out the case for the Americans being batshit insane. (which is true enough, at least for the crazies at SAC. They’ve always thought a nuclear war was winnable. Or at least wanted to play with their toys. It was the rest of the DOD that kept them under leash.)

          1. Michaelmas

            He’s laying out the case for the Americans being batshit insane … which is true enough, at least for the crazies at SAC.

            SAC ceased to exist in 1992.

            But it was increasingly irrelevant from as early as 1961 on, once Gen. Curtis LeMay got kicked upstairs to the Joint Chiefs after he lost the argument to Gen. Schriever about whether it would be Schriever’s ICBMs or LeMay’s bombers that would be the delivery system for US nuclear weapons.

        2. Cat Burglar

          During the Carter administration episode when Soviet Backfire bombers were discovered in Cuba by the US, I had a college roommate whose father worked in DOD imaging and mapping. He told me his Dad said Soviet bombers had been there a long time already. Hearsay, and anecdotal, but something I never forgot.

      2. trapped in Europe

        Only one single submarine is equipped with these Poseidon drones, the Belgorod, and can of course also be sunk if the US would really proceed with such a crazy plan. It is also not clear whether the Poseidon drones are already in service.

        It would be interesting to see whether there are fewer submarines at their berths than usual, especially SSBN. That would indicate a serious level of alarm. Unfortunately i don’t have access to one of these “live” satellite maps.

  2. griffen

    Well the mid terms are coming up quickly, and nothing is really going right in the US economy. Housing looks poised to walk off a cliff and interest rates have zoomed higher. One can hope saner minds will prevail, but the location of those saner minds is actually debatable.

    To quote the loquacious Hudson from Aliens, we are on an express elevator to hell.

    1. 1 Kings

      We must stop these idiots so we don’t live the other immortal Bill Paxon’s line, ‘Game over man, we’re dead’..

  3. Stupid to the Bone

    Oh boy, full on madness. I remember from my childhood in the early 80s the nuclear war scare. However, I have no idea if the media looked like this at the time too with escalations and provokations.
    Anybody having any memories as a grown-up from then?

    Maybe that is irrelevant because our misleaders are really stupidier than at the time.

    1. John Steinbach

      You are thinking about the Abel Baker scare in 1983. A-B was a full scale NATO nuclear war exercise. The Soviets were alarmed about the deployment of Pershing 2s & cruise missiles to Europe & Reagan’s ‘evil empire rhetoric. We now know that the Soviet leadership thought A-B was the real thing & brought their nukes to high alert. Today we know that the A-B incident arguably brought the world closer to nuclear war than the Cuban Missile Crisis 20 years earlier. “The Brink,” by Marc Ambinder will result in some vivid “nuclear nightmares.”

  4. SocalJimObjects

    The scariest sentence in the whole article: “A nuclear war without the death of all participants has become possible.” There’s zero mention of radiation and its deleterious effect, it’s like the writer is talking about hypersonic missiles and not nuclear bombs.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be one of my eat cereal for breakfast day, but I think the most logical response to this article is to help myself to a big bowl of noodle come morning.

    1. Karl

      I can imagine the war councils going on now in the Pentagon, where you have DOD Secretary Austin as General Turgidson:

      Mr. President, the time has come when we must distinguish between two regrettable but very distinguishable postwar outcomes: one, where you have 20 million people killed, and the other where you have 150 million people killed.

      And of course, the Russians have their own hardliners who are giving the same advice to Putin.

      Actually, it would be more accurate to have the roles reversed, where Biden is telling Austin the reasons to pursue nuclear war…?

      Can someone please remind me why helping Ukraine is worth risking nuclear war over? We are acting as though Ukraine is already a member of NATO!

  5. timbers

    My opinion: signals and actions of US escalation are mounting. I think dismissing them is a mistake. I’m not yet convinced by Mercouis and others who suggest US told Ukraine to back off dirty nukes. Just read how no reverse gear has officially responded to Russia.

    1. Marco

      I was also puzzled why Mercouis seemed so assured in making that point yet offered no analysis why he believed it to be so.

    2. WillD

      As I understood it, he was saying that the US told Ukraine not to do it (false flag dirty bomb attack) because it wanted to decide if/when to launch a false flag attack. I.e, the US wants to control such an attack, if/when.

  6. Amfortas the hippie

    “You know we are in trouble when Donald Trump is the voice of reason.”-chris hedges(https://scheerpost.com/2022/10/24/chris-hedges-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb/)

    and the idiot wind himself:https://twitter.com/TheInsiderPaper/status/1579034325387202563

    and further down that thread: https://twitter.com/TRetrospective/status/1579083912676274176 (the one about “naive appeasers”)

    and an oldie, but goodie:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/12084264/Google-apologises-after-labelling-Russia-Mordor.html

    dem part of Blob embraced Bush/Cheney, and here we are.
    this is not how i wanted to start my day,lol.
    i remember reading leaked and foia-ed things out of PNAC, et alia back then…about the “survivable nucular war”(sic).
    and even the wik pages on Nuclear Winter have been massaged of late to reflect that nihilistic stance.
    I mean Sagan was just a pot smoking kook, right?
    from a lifetime of yelling at the powerful, my first reaction is to email the frelling white house and yell at biden to immediately put the Nuland adjacent crowd in a locked box, and stick that box in a hole somewhere.
    but what’s the point any longer to all that when its obvious they dont care about us, at all?
    i don’t know what kind of “preps” i can do, aside from my normal way of life, to mitigate this risk.
    my youngest is all set to go to the world series in houston…BIL has $50 tickets from his company…and i dont want him to go.
    out here, we’re at least out of the likely fallout plumes for all but total nukewar.
    but the Port of Houston is likely high on the list of strategic targets.
    we’re a cruel and stupid country, led by power mad octogenarians(i keep using my almost 80yo mom as a near to hand analog for the folks calling the shots, which is even more depressing)

    1. Wukchumni

      I may knock the 5th largest city in Cali on occasion, but it has one strategic defense against a nuke being used on it, for there is nothing in Fresno worth targeting and would be a waste of a perfectly good weapon.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        goodfellow afb in san angelo is the only potential target that’s potentially upwind(about 100 miles to my northwest.)
        we rarely have easterly winds, so ft hood(100+miles to my east north east) is not my concern(save for refugees and maybe mutant zombie bikers(MZB’s in the old LATOC parlance)
        the big bunch of bases in El Paso is almost 500 miles west.
        since praying for sanity doesn’t seem to work, so far…i suppose praying for a “limited nuclear exchange” is what i’m left with.
        and speaking of LATOC…we had people living close by some of those private, hoity toity airports outside of NYC, etc…as well as someone living in a sort of closet on the docks on manhattan, where the lordly kept their escape watercraft.
        they watched for unusual activity at those ssites…like the rich fleeing.
        perhaps a good DIY early warning system.
        i’d also be curious as to the disposition of us and russian subs…as mentioned somewhere here, how many are in port(which is when they’re trackable)?

        1. Wukchumni

          There was 9 of us @ Saline hot springs a couple weeks ago including 2 quite high up rocket scientists from JPL and a dominatrix from Cleveland among our camp, and aside from NAS China Lake about 75 miles away, really a safe location we all thought from a nuclear exchange, that is aside from getting anywhere other than our camp with plenty of water but after a short while not a morsel to eat.

          It’d be about a 75 mile walk with no shade to speak of, to the Owens Valley where no food is grown aside from pistachios in Ridgecrest. Along the way there would be only a few opportunities to get water.

          Even being far from the blast protected by not just the Sierra Nevada range, but the Inyo range as well, we reckoned we’d all be dead in a month, tops.

          And then we opened another 3 liter of box wine to drown our assorted sorrows~

          1. Cat Burglar

            Fresno would not be a target, but Lemoore NAS is right nearby, and could easily be a target. On the other side of the Sierra, the Owens Valley would be sheltered from blast effects, but the fallout would come up the west slope of the Sierra and be deposited right on the valley, to say nothing of what could come from whatever blows up in Nevada (like the Test Site, Creech AFB, the missile range, or Area 51). The Wild West.

        2. Cato the Uncensored

          Goodfellow is an Air Education and Training Command, so not much of a target, but Dyess AFB is an Air Force Global Strike Command base near Abilene, so plan accordingly.

      2. fresno dan

        Look, after a mere 3 hours of examining all internet references, I found this that highlights why Fresno would be such a tempting target…um, so many people are living here so they can travel to nearby destinations.
        So, hitting Fresno would seriously undermine the economy by depriving all those other places of Fresnans spending their dollars in a desperate bid to be entertained and distracted from actual living in Fresno, as well as experiencing sub 110 degree temps…

        1. Wukchumni

          Fresno would be Ash?
          Inside joke alert: Fresno translates to ‘ash tree’ in Spanish

  7. zagonostra

    I can only hope this is some sick school play where the script has Kissinger coming in at the last moment to negotiate a peace deal and really earn his 1973 Noble Peace Prize. After all in Vietnam, he ramped up the bombing in Laos just before there was a deal.

    It’s insane to allow the current political class to stay in power.

  8. thoughtful person

    The nuclear winter scenarios I’ve found doing a quick search include recent studies linked to here.

    These studies going back to Sagan et al in the early 80s assume at least 100 nuclesr bombs.

    Any first strike scenario such as discussed above would require that. So a first strike is still “SAD” (Self assured destruction).

    The dirty bomb scenario is different. That might be just 1 explosion, no nuclear winter.

  9. Manderson

    A few things here strike me as wrong in the translated portion. First, Russian strategic nuclear subs are not qualitatively inferior to American subs and in fact are superior in exactly the areas mentioned as important: quiet and low profile. This superiority is at least a decade long. Second, nothing here describes the upgrades to launch detection via satellite and early warning systems. Finally, Russians have anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capabilities that are superior to the US (S-400).

    While that US visit to the nuclear sub may have been the signal described in the article, the Russian author in this article is overplaying their vulnerability (possibly to rightly heighten attention).

    1. Polar Socialist

      Nor does it take into account that currently (in September) 36% of US subs were having maintenance of some sort going on. Virginia-class subs especially seem to take much longer in maintenance than expected (in average 9 months(!) longer). Because of constant delays (and using cheap, substandard parts in the early Virginias), there’s a good chance that more than 36% of the fleet needs maintenance, but can’t get any at the moment.

      Of course, for a decapitating strike (attempt) not all subs are needed, so there’s that going for the article.

        1. Polar Socialist

          It’s my understanding that at least US submarines have to submerge before launch, may have something to do with the steam pushing the missile out.

          I also think that the missiles are removed when the submarine is dry-docked for maintenance.

        2. Spanky

          Technically possible to launch from the dock or tender, but since the boat is moored it would take some time… and since sub docks and tenders are first-strike priorities, time will be in very short supply. If possible, most will try to get to sea…

          Missiles are off-loaded before shipyard maintenance (i.e. dry-dock), which is what I think Polar is referring to…

      1. scott s.

        The number of deployed launchers and missiles is fixed in New START, so it doesn’t seem likely there is a large reserve that could be placed into “deployed” status. I’m not sure about the reference to Virginia class SSNs? But the USN’s biggest procurement program is the Columbia class SSBN program. The oldest Trident boats (first 4) were converted into SSGNs.

    2. cfraenkel

      I didn’t read the article claiming the Russian subs were inferior. Rather that the US has many many more attack subs deployed. So the US can expect to sink more of the Russian SSBN fleet than the Russians can expect to sink the US’ boats.

      1. trapped in Europe

        The US can only sink Russian SSBN at sea if they manage to get in striking distance without getting detected themselves. That may work with the old Delta IV but is rather unlikely to work with the modern Borei class submarines.

        Also they would basically need to sink ALL of the SSBNs plus the Belgorod to prevent a counterstrike which i would say is nearly impossible.

  10. The Rev Kev

    I am going to label this nuclear sabre-rattling as an enormous bluff in order to make Russia roll over for the west which is admittedly a pretty big call. Consider. The US and the west have literally bet the bank on beating Russia and plundering what is left for decades to come. We live under a predatory financial system that has even devoured their own home economies and to keep going, must go after the few countries worth plundering. And the big prizes are Russia and China. So for Russia how much is it worth? I mean all that land, the mines, oil, gas, diamonds, farming regions, aluminium, titanium, etc. How many trillions of dollars. But this attempt has failed miserable. So what does the US have left in their bag? NATO trying to fight Russia would be a bad joke and if the US fought Russia in a land war, that would be at the end of a very long, vulnerable logistics trail. There isn’t even the equipment and ammo to fight Russia for more than a few weeks. So what else is left? The nukes. And that is what we are seeing. The US is telling Russia to let the Ukraine win and give them anything they want or maybe, just maybe, the nukes will fly. Biden would not be the first President to try the crazy President ploy. But I don’t think that they understand the word ‘existential.’ In any case, fighting another nuclear armed country is like trying to fight another guy with a hand grenade – while you are both in a telephone booth.

    1. Wukchumni

      …and don’t underestimate that we are fast approaching the fourth turning since Hiroshima & Nagasaki

      A similar epoch in US history would be the stretch between the debacle of hyperinflationary Continental Currency (…not worth a Continental!) and the first issuance of Federal fiat paper money in 1861.

  11. Patrick Donnelly

    No mention of ABMs.
    No mention of the huge underwater drones designed to destroy US coasts by tsunami.
    No mention of Rus subs carrying ICBMs or hypersonics.

    More fear mongering and posturing. Those who own the USA make the decisions, not the fools in the White House or anywhere else in the blob.

    The Joke continues. Just keep calm and carry on as the banking system reaches some new stable point. This all started because of Sept 2019 and 10% overnight rates.

  12. Irrational

    Western leaders are totally delusional.
    Interestingly Scott Ritter mentioned the Perimeter/Dead Hand system in an interview with Sarah Westall on Odyssee that he posted on his TG channel just overnight. Slightly less breathless explanation than the link in the article, no less scary.
    Re. the 80s I only remember the German coverage on the stationing of Pershing II cruise missiles in 1981-1982 following the NATO “Double-Track Decision” (Doppelbeschluss) which called for missiles AND arms control negotiations in tandem. Same good sense does not seem to be prevailing today. I also remember the German peace demos being covered.
    I guess the sabre rattling between the superpowers was in the 1970s when I definitely was not following the news yet.

    1. Alex Cox

      It’s astonishing that the author of Helmer’s linked article, presumably a Russian, hasn’t heard of nuclear winter and doesn’t know about his own country’s Perimeter system.

      Perimeter is designed – in the event of a US/NATO decapitating strike – to launch ALL Russia’s surviving nuclear weapons at the west.

      Surviving historians – if there are any – will no doubt conclude that WW3 began with McCain and Nuland handing out candy in Ukraine in 2014. When it ends is anyone’s guess. But it is unlikely to end well.

  13. Mark Gisleson

    I would fully support a coup d’etat by the Joint Chiefs at this point in time. The entire line of succession is now so polluted that I would rather take order from generals than continue to listen to the insane warmongering lies coming from Biden’s handlers.

    1. Alex Cox

      Na ga happen, as they say here. The Chiefs don’t get to be generals covered in fruit salad by being knowledgeable or intelligent. They float to the top by not asking questions and doing what they’re told. If you look at any US military documents re. nuclear war, you’ll see the Pentagon doesn’t believe in nuclear winter either.

  14. Lex

    It’s important to remember that many of the processes we scoff at in our home countries happen in other countries. I won’t dismiss the threat Russian analysts see, but I will suggest that it could have a component of jockeying for funds and attention.

    In the bigger picture, if the US is seriously contemplating a nuclear strike to defeat Russia that means that the internal analysis is all sorts of bad not just for Ukraine but for most other hotspots, potential hotspots and even the assumed trajectory of places like Europe. The US is far too ready to bluff massive escalation, but there must be people in the USG that are cautioning against not just the massive escalation but also the bluff. At least we have to hope there are such people and they’re loud.

    1. Michaelmas

      Lex: I will suggest that it could have a component of jockeying for funds and attention.

      No question.

      That’s all it is. Its author is someone connected to the Russian navy or ancillary industries who wants more Russian nuclear subs built.

  15. nippersdad

    While all of this very well may be true, I am not buying it.

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, had the US wanted to make such a signal they could have just as easily coordinated the surfacing of ALL of the subs within strike range of Russia. Now that would have been a threat. But, instead, they decided to surface the sub adjacent to Saudi Arabia immediately after threatening to withdraw all military support for the Kingdom over their leadership position on oil sales and who they should benefit.

    Those things do not just have nuclear weapons on them, they also have cruise missiles that can take out royal palaces, and that is the implicit threat that I think was intended; “We can replace you” is a message well understood in the Middle East, and would be a standard response for such as ourselves having a snit over repudiation of our perceived prerogatives. MBS’s cousin was cited as having said that the entire family would go on jihad against anyone who threatened their kingdom, and ending our military presence there is hardly the threat that a surfacing submarine packed with cruise missiles represents for them.

    Such an action is also not bright, but I find it very difficult to believe that it was calculated to put a (rightfully) paranoid Russia on full alert. That it did so is of a piece with nearly everything this Administration does; it was just badly thought out.

    1. divadab

      I don’t know – perhaps they were going for a two-fer.

      In any event, it seems to me to be more of a warning than a serious threat. Like the sound of a shotgun being cocked – tends to focus the mind….

  16. David

    If the story is based on the Russian MoD alert in the Tweet, this refers to troops being issued with CBRN protection outfits in order that they can work in a contaminated environment. It may be nuclear-related, or for that matter some other contaminant, but it’s nothing to do with the rest of the story which is about strategic nuclear weapons, from which CBRN suits don’t, unfortunately, protect you.

    The main story itself is the latest in a long line of such stories going back generations – really from the 1950s, or even the 1920s when air power advocates began to fantasise about “decapitating strikes.” It has, indeed, always been a fantasy, even if theoretical cases like this can be made (which they often have been).

    In essence, the idea is that a surprise attack could somehow destroy an enemy’s capital, political system, command structure, back-up systems and all of its major nuclear systems in the space of a few minutes, and disarm the opponent before any retaliation could be launched. There are two fundamental flaws here.

    First, nobody has ever launched a nuclear missile in anger, and the accuracy of guidance systems (on which this argument entirely depends) is essentially theoretical. Nobody knows what happens if you fire them over the Pole for example. Nobody knows how many would fail, how many warheads would land off target, what happens when nuclear warheads pass through the blast effects of other etc. etc. This was all gone into in immense detail in the 1980s, and the underlying physics hasn’t changed as far as I know. There aren’t words to describe how insanely risky such a venture would be, never mind the collateral effects of fallout on most of the world.

    Second, such a lunatic scheme depends on total surprise which is not possible. Preparations for such an attack could not possibly be hidden: ships and submarines ordered to sea, dispersal of the political and military leadership, dispersal of nuclear-capable aircraft etc. This is why it was always assumed that a strategic attack would only take place once war was under way, and all these things had happened anyway. Once the Russians saw such preparations, they would carry out their own wartime plans, including sending all their SSBNs to sea and moving key personnel to wartime locations. They would put their (very limited) ABM system on high alert. In particular, SSBN commanders almost certainly have (as other nations’ commanders do) orders about how to act if they don’t receive orders after a certain number of hours during a crisis. The US would have to be sure that it could locate, hunt down and destroy every single Russian SSBN pretty much simultaneously.

    So it’s all very interesting, but belongs in a TV mini-series.

    1. jsn

      I continue to believe you are right and that at some level somewhere in the war making bureaucracy sane heads persist. Against that, however, I’ve had the experience over the last 25 years of watching DC think tanks fund and nurture the writing of densely footnoted (and entirely self referential to similarly motivated texts) counter-histories, first against the New Deal, then against the causal order of WW2: US greatness and victory in WW2 was despite Roosevelt, not because of him; Stalin started it, not poor misguided Hitler.

      Of course established historians have systematically debunked most of these, even as students raised on them have found express lanes to the political posts floating in the detached Blob bubble over those sane and diligent bureaucrats. Freeland, Nuland, etc. there are now so many true believers of the counterfactuals in prominent political roles, can sanity still intrude?

      The assumption of competence somewhere down the chain of command, in this instance, may just require heroic self sacrifice to prevent disaster. The people giving orders are insane, can the military chain of command resist it, or have its political ranks lost tether to reality too? And if so, who is left to act and how?

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ummm…doesn’t that leave the sanity/cooler heads stuff to the bidness elite, wall st et all, by default?
        after all, we regularly assume such creatures are really in charge anyway…what’s their cui bono in a nuke war with russia?
        what makes the risk of armageddon worth it?
        (assuming a more or less unified, if not monolithic, class consciousness)

        sure, Brzzinskkii laid it out in the chessboard book(all those resources in eurasia!), but was he of the class in question…or part of the fp blob exclusively?
        i mean sure…people like me wondered at the end game of the walmartisation of usa 30+ years ago…’who will buy their crap?’
        but an irradiated siberia would be difficult to “develop”…and an irradiated wasteland in “The West” would likely be a poor consumer market to exploit…
        so where’s the cui bono?
        power, alone?
        “we win!”.
        “we’re kings of the Cinder Earth!”

        (notably, ive seen verbiage like “i don’t want to be queen of the ashes” in lots of places of late…and not just in the recent GOT and LOTR offshoots.)

        1. jsn

          WRT the Wall Street guys, I figure that’s what operations like Epsteins were about: keeping them onside in a crisis.

          The tech titans on the other hand could be a brake I suppose. Not Musk, but maybe Bezos, Brin, and their ilk, but Epstein got Gates.

          On rereading David and Michaelmas above, I’ve calmed down a bit.

    2. Silent Bob

      Were Western arms manufacturers any less rapacious or duplicitous in the 80s? I imagine they knew the military’s plans (hell, they probably told the generals what to say) and, counting on the fact that the nukes wouldn’t be used, did a more than usually half-assed job on everything (actual missile construction, guidance systems, etc). In fact, I remember thinking this at the time Obummer decided to spend billions upgrading our nuclear inventory. More money for the rathole! I wouldn’t bet money on it though. . .

  17. Dave in Austin

    This game of “Let’s play tennis without a ball and then issue statements about where the ball is and who’s hitting it” is beginning to drive me nuts. This isn’t news. It isn’t even good sports coverage.

    The article says “Blinken then telephoned his Kiev counterpart, Dmitry Kuleba, to repeat both parts of the message – that the Ukraine should not escalate to using a nuclear weapon, and that Russia should do likewise.”

    That is not true according to the State Department statement text: https://www.state.gov/secretary-blinkens-call-with-ukrainian-foreign-minister-kuleba-32/ which says:

    “The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

    Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.  Secretary Blinken expressed to Foreign Minister Kuleba that the United States rejects Russian Defense Minister Shoygu’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory and that the world would see through any attempt by Russia to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation.  They also discussed the U.S. and international commitment to continue supporting Ukraine with unprecedented security, economic and humanitarian assistance for as long as it takes, as we hold Russia accountable. They further noted our ongoing efforts to manage the broader implications of President Putin’s war.”

    Is there some other source I should consult?

    And the Helmer’s article… at the bottom of a very long article it quotes a Russian journal which cites American preparations for war. And the “preparations” cited have absolutely nothing to do with a dirty bomb! This is like quoting a speculative article from the Naval Institute Proceedings as proof that the Russians are planning a preemptive strike against the US.

    The headline should read “All parties in the Ukraine War suggested the other side may be making plans to use a dirty bomb as an excuse to escalate. No evidence was provided.”

  18. HH

    Yet another complication to this story is the arming of some U.S. missile submarines with low-yield nuclear warheads. Supposedly one missile on each sub has a one kiloton war head for demonstration/intimidation purposes. This dangerously destabilizing step was pushed through by the DC blob to make nuclear war more “fightable.” Madness reigns in Washington.

    1. scott s.

      The reference I guess is to the W76-2 warhead? That’s considered to be 10 kiloton. The argument for and against such a capability probably can’t be concluded at any level of certainty.

    1. fresno dan

      there are probably many NC readers too young to remember the halcyon days of the 1950’s where the US had an impenetrable system of nuclear defense
      Now, many readers are thinking fresno dan must be nuts – how can a school desk prevent the incineration of any school child? Of course it can’t, silly – what it protects is something much more important – belief. What we had was mass psychosis – the imprenetrable defense of delusion fostered by our government, our best and brightest, that we could survive nuclear war. Oh the nostalgia, scurrying to hide underneath our desks, with all of the brave and free, secure that everything we do is for freedom, and thinking we wouldn’t melt…

      1. HH

        During the Cold War, American planners became aware of large-scale fallout shelter construction in the USSR, and decided to mount a comparable civil defense effort in the U.S. This plan backfired because the public became educated to the horrors of nuclear war. The prospect of spending two weeks in an underground shelter (if you survived the initial blast) only to emerge to witness the anarchy of a collapsed society made people very afraid.

        Today, in the United States of Ignorance, this fear is gone. The idiots in the NYC government have actually issued information for city dwellers on how to take precautions in a nuclear attack. The chances of surviving a multiple-warhead strike on the NY metro area are near zero. The crazed Neocons in DC are willing to escalate to nuclear war, and we are all along for the ride.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          In the chemical-biological-nuclear session of my Army basic training nearly 60 years ago, when Sergeant Rowan, our platoon’s DI, finished the nuclear piece he said “Now I’ve told you what to do per the book, but all you can really do is bend over at the waist, put your head down between your legs and kiss your a** good bye.”

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      In one of Richard Rhodes books regarding nuclear weapons is an illustration of what a 15 megaton detonation 18K feet above Manhattan would do. Quite sobering to say the least.

  19. orlbucfan

    Y’know, I can’t and won’t speak for anyone else; but I am (family blog) sick and tired of living my whole life under the threat of thermonuclear war! I’m sick of the stupid threats from all sides; I’m sick of the propaganda and (family blog) mind games! Why won’t the RF just knock the idiot Ukrainians, NATO, and whomever else out, and force them to the peace table? From what I’ve been reading, the Russians hold the upper hand, both militarily and economically. They don’t need nukes!

    1. ambrit

      Turn that argument on it’s head. Since the Russians have an almost guaranteed conventional win in this war coming, it is the West that must resort to nukes if it deems ‘winning’ this war an existential item.
      It’s a classic case of “psychological projection.”

        1. KLG

          What a dreary read at lunchtime.

          I suppose it makes me a bad person that this cheer made me LOLOL!

          Thank you, Wuk!

  20. Alex Cox

    Have any of the Commentariat seen Peter Watkins’ film THE WAR GAME?

    I see occasional references to THE DAY AFTER and THREADS, but neither comes close to the ghastly, hopeless reality of what a nuclear war would be like (THE DAY AFTER ends with a sentimental scene in a functioning hospital with electricity and water!). Watkins made his film for the BBC in 1966. The BBC has a link to it but doesn’t include it on BBC Player, presumably for the same reason that got the film banned in the first place – its awful veracity.

    You can find it on the internet, or on a DVD, if you look hard enough. It’s harrowing but essential viewing.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I’ve not yet seen it myself but perhaps also worthy of consideration is Hideo Sekigawa’s ‘Hiroshima’. Based on a true story.

    2. Jason Boxman

      True. The Day After was silly. It entirely ignored that consequences of nuclear fallout that would result from what was quite clearly a full scale exchange between the USSR and the US. That’s game over. The movie could have ended in the first 15 minutes. After that there’s nothing left. So as horrific as it might have been, it was a disservice by illustrating a nuclear exchange as in any way survivable.

      On the Beach was better, the book specifically, which included the full horrors of radiation sickness as well. (Chernobyl that HBO recently released covers radiation poisoning thoroughly in graphic detail.)

  21. Zephyrum

    Apparently humanity inevitably includes a certain percentage of psychopaths. Also, humans have constructed a large number of nuclear weapons. The question is how do we keep these two apart?

  22. Anthony G Stegman

    The aggressive posturing by the US may well convince Russia that it is in its best interests to launch a nuclear first strike. Use ’em or lose ’em applies. China may feel the same.

  23. Anthony G Stegman

    It must irk Biden to no end that he, a senator for 30 years, played second fiddle for eight years to Obama, who served less than a single term as Senator prior to occupying the Oval office. Now Biden has his chance to be the Big Dog, and he sure as heck is not going to waste the opportunity. Bush Jr. may have been a “war president”. Biden is aiming to be a “nuclear war president”. Take that Obama!!

  24. Anthony G Stegman

    It may well be that these aggressive military moves are political posturing in anticipation of the upcoming mid-term elections. Biden and the Democrats must be seen as tough on both Russia and China, or they face a wipeout at the polls. If the Democrats retain control of the House and Senate there may be some movement towards negotiating with Russia, and easing of sanctions on China. Wait and see. In any event, 2024 is the more important year.

    1. Karl

      I beg to differ. I think a loss of both Senate and House may be the stronger path to peace. The strategy (if indeed there is one) that war fears cause a “rally ’round the President” electoral bump sufficient to trump economic concerns will, in that case, have clearly failed. Biden would then no longer have a political motivation (or base of support) to keep doubling down on Ukraine. A Dem wipe-out in November might actually give Biden an exit ramp. At the very least, I would see little appetite by the Democrats in a lame duck Congress –many of whom will have lost their jobs–to pass another $50B Ukraine aid bill. It would absolutely split the Party. The House Progressive Caucus, despite today’s retraction of their demand for diplomacy, accomplished this much: if they survive November, they won’ be silent when the next aid bill comes up. Hopefully most Democrats will see the writing on the wall and give Pelosi the middle finger if she brings up the aid bill.

      I’m appalled that I–a Democrat–am writing this. Can I possibly be hoping for a total humiliation of my Party come November?

  25. Rip Van Winkle

    Easy Peasy. Watch Threads (1984 movie) for post-nuclear war gardening tips!

    Very uplifting ending with a baby being born!

  26. Roland

    BMD wasn’t mentioned, and yet it could be very significant in the context of first-strike. BMD is useless as a passive defense strategy. However, if enemy forces were weakened and their communications disrupted by a first-strike, then BMD might be able to cope with the remnants. BMD has never been about defense; it’s always been about offense.

    Of course, it is impossible for a layperson to obtain accurate information about such secret systems. Public reports, whether of success or of failure, are certain to be misinformation. If the stuff doesn’t work, you don’t want an enemy to know that, because you want them to fear it. If the stuff does work, you still don’t want an enemy to know that, because you don’t want to help them focus on appropriate countermeasures. Therefore, when it comes to BMD, as a member of the public, all you know is that anything you’ve been told is a lie.

    Nevertheless, what is knowable is this: the USA has invested enormous sums, over the course of decades, into various BMD systems. Work has continued without pause or alteration, regardless of the president or party in power.

    While it would be comforting to dismiss such costs and labours as nothing more than MIC corruption, your deeper and truer cynicism should tell you that there is probably a bit more to it than that.

    I keep saying that this war is dangerous to everybody. UKR fights because they were invaded. RF fights because NATO won’t stop pushing. The West keeps pushing, because they want to rule the world while they still think they have the chance (n.b. do not underestimate vanity as a factor in affairs–remember that careerists, with whom the West abounds, live for little else).

    Between the peoples who fight because they think they have nothing to lose, and those who fight because they think they have everything to gain, our world is in acute danger.

    Nuclear escalation will not happen because it should happen. Nuclear escalation will happen because nothing else can happen, unless there should take place some radical and rapid political change among one or more of the combatant parties.

  27. digi_owl

    And in the middle of this Andøya is planning to launch a sat to orbit.

    Same place that nearly scared Yeltsin into pushing the button back in 95…

Comments are closed.