Hagel's No-Nukes "Global Zero"
They Cheat, We Don't
Generally it means that even the severely reduced number of warheads deployed in our arsenal would not -- if they were needed in a crisis -- be available for use. If that in fact took place -- with countries hostile to the US having arsenals in excess of the US force -- it would probably be in irresistible invitation to them to attack.
Former Senator Chuck Hagel, nominated to be Secretary of Defense, is also a signatory of what is known as the "Global Zero" plan. It calls for the United States and Russia to begin comprehensive nuclear arms negotiations in early 2013 to achieve zero nuclear weapons worldwide by 2030 in four phases.
The first phase would be a reduction of the US nuclear arsenal to 1,000 weapons from its current level -- some number slightly less than 5,000 warheads. While the US has now deployed 1,550 strategic nuclear weapons, the new total would include stored and reserve weapons, as well as warheads considered tactical and deployed in Europe, and therefore not regulated by current arms control agreements. By way of comparison, the former head of the US Strategic Command laid out in a summer 2012 essay the comparable Russian arsenal, which he estimated was probably in excess of 10,000 nuclear warheads -- a number considerably higher than many current and previous estimates of the Russian nuclear arsenal, and nearly twice that of the United States.
The Global Zero plan first would remove all US tactical nuclear weapons from US combat bases in Europe to storage facilities in the United States. However, while these tactical US weapons would no longer be able to defend Europe and NATO, Russians weapons would be able to attack all of Europe in a relatively short time -- launching weapons from bases in Russia, where they would be stored, reconstituted and redeployed. Given the nature of such weapons systems, the verification of such efforts would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The real eye-opener is that the 1,000 ceiling for the US would include our tactical nuclear weapons and stored weapons for reserve emergencies, and the currently deployed 1,550 weapons. The implication is that Hagel is pushing an 80% cut in overall US deployed weapons. If done proportionately, that would involve a reduction to fewer than roughly 300 total deployed strategic nuclear warheads, a level less than China, and less than India and Pakistan combined.
This further signals the elimination of the US strategic nuclear Triad (air, sea and land) -- 300 accountable warheads would enable the deployment of a limited bomber or submarine or IBM leg of our nuclear deterrent, but certainly not all three legs. This would have the effect, by virtually eliminating all serious deterrent capability to our adversaries, of massively increasing the instability of the international security environment -- a dramatic reversal of the promises made within the New START Treaty ratification process, in which enhancing and maintaining strategic stability was one of the cornerstones of the US Nuclear Posture Review.
By quickly withdrawing our tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, we would be emasculating the extended deterrent umbrella which now covers Europe, and as a result seriously weaken the defense ties to our allies and friends across the Atlantic. There would also be a corresponding weakening of our deterrent umbrella over the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, just at a time when these three nations, and others, are threatened by an expanding North Korean missile and nuclear weapons capability and a major modernization program by China of its nuclear weapons. The result, based on reasonable mid-point estimates of the current PRC arsenal, would be a Chinese deployed nuclear arsenal in excess of that deployed by the United States, to say nothing of what Peking could deploy in the near and intermediate future.
The Global Zero plan also calls for "de-alerting" our nuclear weapons. That would mean any number of things, but generally it means even the severely reduced number of warheads in our deployed arsenal would not, in a crisis, be available for use if they were needed. The warheads might be removed from their missiles or bombers; they might be disabled and stored remotely -- requiring many hours, days, or longer to be redeployed.
Previous administrations, as well as the current government, have in various ways discussed and considered such a move. In every instance, de-alerting has been firmly rejected. First, the proposal is totally unverifiable. Second, it is highly destabilizing: in a crisis, there would be a race to re-alert and rearm, making the first and sudden use of nuclear weapons a greater or more likely possibility. Third, de-alerting solves no "nuclear" problem, whether in concerns abut proliferation, threats of an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] attack, or any other deterrent or arms control requirement.
The second phase of the Global Zero plan would occur from 2014-2018. In a multilateral framework, the US and Russia would agree to reduce to 500 total warheads each, to be implemented by 2021. All other countries, including China, Pakistan, North Korea and others, would freeze their nuclear stockpiles until 2018, followed by proportionate reductions until 2021 -- irrespective of whether the US deployed arsenal was smaller and less effective than many other countries. If in fact that took place — with nations hostile to the US having arsenals in excess of the US force -- it would be the first time in the history of the nuclear age that such an event took place, and probably an irresistible invitation to them to attack.
Moreover, this plan assumes that a comprehensive verification and enforcement system will have been established -- including agreed-on no-notice, on-site inspections, and that safeguards on the civilian nuclear fuel cycle would be strengthened to prevent their being diverted to build weapons.
The final two phases would include a "binding" 'Global Zero Accord' between 2019-2023, signed by all nuclear capable countries, for the phased, verified, proportionate reduction of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030. The whopping loophole in this plan is that any nation deeming itself not nuclear-capable could opt out of such an agreement, then be completely free to surprise the world with a nuclear arsenal once all the major powers had eliminated theirs.
Between 2024-2030, finally, there would be a complete "phased, verified, proportionate dismantlement of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030," with an accompanying comprehensive verification and enforcement system prohibiting the development and possession of nuclear weapons.
Apart from the "Alice in Wonderland" nature of this proposal, there is the sense that its advocates share a less than serious understanding of both the nature of US deterrence needs, and the geopolitical balance between the United States and Russia, not amenable to international or treaty law.
Reader comments on this item
|The smearing strikes again [51 words]||Avi Marranazo||Jan 11, 2013 09:21|
|↔ Honest Analysis is Not Smearing [226 words]||Peter Huessy||Jan 23, 2013 08:34|
|↔ Peter Huessy Is To Be Commended [559 words]||Noel Griffin||Feb 23, 2013 14:09|
|Global Zero Nuclear Weapons [108 words]||Fereydoun||Jan 11, 2013 06:20|
Comment on this item
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.