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If America Splits Up, What Happens to the Nukes? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2021

The Israeli state is an important and illustrative case. This is a country with a GDP smaller than Colorado’s and a population smaller than that of the US state of Georgia, yet Israel is thought to maintain a nuclear triad of sea, air, and land-based warheads. In other words, this is a small state which has taken full advantage of the relatively economical nature of a small nuclear arsenal (estimated to include approximately eighty assembled warheads).

https://mises.org/wire/if-america-splits-what-happens-nukes

Ryan McMaken

Opposition to American secession movements often hinges on the idea that foreign policy concerns trump any notions that the United States ought to be broken up into smaller pieces.

It almost goes without saying that those who subscribe to neoconservative ideology or other highly interventionist foreign policy views treat the idea of political division with alarm or contempt. Or both.

They have a point. It’s likely that were the US to be broken up into smaller pieces, it would be weakened in its ability to act as a global hegemon, invading foreign nations at will, imposing “regime change,” and threatening war with any regime that opposes the whims of the American regime.

For some of us, however, this would be a feature of secession rather than a bug.

Moreover, the ability of the American regime to carry out offensive military operations such as regime change is separate and distinct from the regime’s ability to maintain an effective and credible defensive military force.

Last month, we looked at how even a dismembered United States would be more than capable of fielding a large and effective defensive military force. A politically divided America nonetheless remains a very wealthy America, and wealth remains a key component in effective military defense. In other words, bigness is not as important as the extent to which a regime can call upon high levels of wealth and capital accumulation.

[Read More: “When It Comes to National Defense, Bigger Isn’t Always Better” by Ryan McMaken]

That analysis, however, concentrated on conventional forces, and this leaves us with the question of how the successor states to a postsecession United States would fare in terms of nuclear deterrence.

In this case, there is even less need for bigness than in the case of conventional military forces. As the state of Israel has demonstrated, a small state can obtain the benefits of nuclear deterrence without a large population or a large economy.

In other words, an effective military defense through nuclear deterrence is even more economical than conventional military forces.

After Secession, Who Gets the Nukes?

But how would secession actually play out when nuclear weapons are involved?

One example we might consider is Ukraine’s secession from the Soviet Union the early 1990s.

In 1991, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly to secede and set up an independent republic. At the time, the new state of Ukraine contained around one-third of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. This means there were literally thousands of nuclear warheads within Ukraine’s borders, making Ukraine’s arsenal the third largest in the world. In 1994, Ukraine began a program of denuclearization and today is no longer a nuclear power.

The relations between Ukraine and the new Russian Federation were acrimonious in the early nineties—as now—so this means that the lessons of the Ukraine situation are limited if applied to American secessionist movements. American pundits may like to play up the red-blue division in America as an intractable conflict of civilizations, but these differences are small potatoes compared to the sort of ethnic and nationalist conflicts that have long existed in Eurasia. 

Nevertheless, we can glean some insights from that separation.

For example, the Ukrainian secession demonstrates that it is possible for nuclear weapons to pass into the control of a seceding state without a general conflict breaking out. Indeed, Ukraine was not alone in this. Kazakhstan and Belarus “inherited” nuclear arms from the Soviet Union as well. If Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus can all peacefully negotiate a resolution on how to deal with a suddenly decentralized nuclear arsenal, the Americans can pull it off, too.

Nonetheless, the Ukraine situation highlights some of the technical and logistical problems involved in working out who exactly controls nuclear weapons in a postsecession situation.

For example, it was never a simple matter for the Ukrainian regime to assert technical control over land-based nuclear missiles. It is unlikely that Ukraine ever obtained all the tools necessary to actually launch the nuclear missiles within its territory.1

It is likely, however, that Ukraine could have eventually gained this power, as it was already developing its own control system for the arsenal in 1993. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Russian regime was unenthusiastic about helping the Ukrainians in this respect.

When it came to using nuclear-capable bombers, on the other hand, it appears Ukraine’s regime had total control.2

It is likely the successor states of the US would face similar issues. The use of land-based missiles would be heavily reliant on authorization from whichever faction most recently controlled access and launching authority, even if those missiles are physically located within the borders of a separatist state. It must be noted, however, that the state within which land-based nuclear missiles exist has the ability to prevent usage in most cases. This is because even if the missiles themselves cannot be directly controlled, the personnel that maintains and controls the sites can far more easily be traded out for personnel loyal to the new regime.3

When it comes to submarines and bombers, a secessionist US region might find itself better able to assert control in the short term. Where those bombers and subs end up would have a lot to do with the likely chaotic situation in the wake of the independence movement and shifting borders.

Separatist Regions May Be Unwilling to Give Up Nukes

Ukraine had denuclearized in part due to bribes and pressure from both the United States and Russia. Russia wanted Ukraine’s arsenal for obvious reasons. The United States was obsessed with deproliferation, although it naturally insisted on keeping its own massive stockpile. 

Neither the US nor Russia had the ability to force Ukraine to denuclearize—short of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, of course. However, Ukraine capitulated to pressure when the Russian Federation, the US, and the UK (and to a lesser extent China and France) pledged in the Budapest Memorandum to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. 

In 2014, many interpreted this move as a grand folly when Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine and none of the other parties to the memorandum intervened. Ukraine had given up its best guarantee against Russian intervention—its nuclear arsenal—in exchange for weak “assurances” from foreign states.

Some foreign policy scholars—most notably John Mearsheimer—had predicted this and advised against denuclearization in Ukraine. Indeed, in 1993, Mearsheimer doubted that Ukraine would cave to denuclearization pressure precisely because reliable assurances from outsiders were unlikely. Even after the Budapest Memorandum became a reality a year later, it was nonetheless a rather weak reed on which to hang denuclearization. As Mearsheimer pointed out, should the Americans fail to provide an effective defense for Ukraine—as ended up being the case with the Crimea crisis—the Americans “would not have to live with the consequences of a Russian attack.”4 Nonetheless, some Ukrainians insist the Crimea crisis is not evidence of a need for a nuclear deterrent

Many, Americans, however, may be much less sanguine—even to the point of unwarranted paranoia—about the prospects of foreign intervention on American soil. This is why it is best to proceed assuming that at least some successor states to the current US would insist on retaining a nuclear arsenal. After all, while the Ukraine might have been betting on the US as the enforcer of the international order, such guarantees would be even more unlikely in the wake of an American secession crisis. Postsecession American states, in other words, would need to rely on a self-help system of deterrence.

On the other hand, we should not assume that all successor states to the United States would seek permanent nuclear arsenals. Some would likely give up nuclear programs, just as Sweden and South Africa have abandoned nuclear programs that were well advanced toward assembling arms (Sweden) or had already completed the construction of functioning warheads (South Africa). While the Ukrainian example of voluntary denuclearization may appear to be a blunder to many now, the situation in North America is different. North America is not eastern Europe with its long history of interstate conflict. In North America, Canada and the United States have been at peace for more than two centuries, and Canada has never made much effort to move toward assembling a nuclear arsenal. Rather, Canada’s proximity to the United States shields it from nuclear threats from outside North America. Any conventional or nuclear arrack on Canada from, say, China or Russia is likely to be interpreted as an attack on the United States, with disastrous consequences for the initial aggressor.

In other words, Canada benefits from what Baldur Thorhallsson calls “shelter” in the international arena. Canada requires no nuclear arsenal of its own, because it can use its close alliance with the United States as a substitute.

So long as some successor states of the United States maintain a functioning arsenal, other nonnuclear states in North America will be able to function similarly. It stands to reason that just as the United States in its current form has been at peace with all other former British colonies, it is likely that new North American republics will share a similar fate.

Big States Are Not Necessary: A Deterrent Nuclear Force Is Entirely Feasible for Small States

A new American republic need not be especially large to maintain a working arsenal.

While a sizable economy and population are extremely helpful in terms of building a large conventional military, these factors are not nearly as important when it comes to a nuclear force capable of deterring foreign powers.

As Kenneth Waltz has explained, “Nuclear parity is reached when countries have second-strike forces. It does not require quantitative or qualitative equality of forces.”5 That is, if a regime can plausibly hide or move around enough nuclear warheads to so as to survive a nuclear first strike, it is able to deter nuclear aggression from other states altogether. Moreover, the number of warheads necessary to achieve this number “not in the hundreds, but in the tens.”6

This is why Waltz has concluded that “deterrence is easier to contrive than most strategists have believed”7 and that “some countries may find nuclear weapons a cheaper and safer alternative to running economically ruinous and militarily dangerous conventional arms races. Nuclear weapons may promise increased security and independence at an affordable price.”8 In other words, deterrence “can be implemented cheaply.”9

[Read More: “Why No State Needs Thousands of Nuclear Warheads” by Ryan McMaken]

The Israeli state is an important and illustrative case. This is a country with a GDP smaller than Colorado’s and a population smaller than that of the US state of Georgia, yet Israel is thought to maintain a nuclear triad of sea, air, and land-based warheads. In other words, this is a small state which has taken full advantage of the relatively economical nature of a small nuclear arsenal (estimated to include approximately eighty assembled warheads).

Clearly, claims that even medium-sized American states—such as Ohio with 11 million people and a GDP nearly as large as that of Switzerland—are too small to possibly contemplate functioning as independent states are quite detached from reality. Moreover, there is no reason to assume any postsecession American state would seek to act alone in the realm of international relations. Kirkpatrick Sale has pointed out what should be regarded as obvious: “Historically, the response of small states to the threat of … aggression has been temporary confederation and mutual defense, and indeed the simple threat of such unity, in the form of defense treaties and leagues and alliances, has sometimes been a sufficient deterrent” (emphasis added).10

On the other hand, a continuation of the current trend toward political centralization in Washington—and the growing political domination of every corner of the nation by central authorities—is likely to only harm future prospects for amicable separation and peaceful cooperation on the international stage. 

  • 1. John J. Mearsheimer, “The Case for a Ukrainian Nuclear Deterrent,” Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (Summer 1993): 50–66, esp. 52.
  • 2. Ibid., p. 52.
  • 3. Graham Allison notes the importance of personnel in the post-Soviet Ukraine situation in the National Interest: “Officially, the chain-of-command continued to run from the new President of Russia through communications and control systems to missile officers in Ukraine. Physically, however, the missiles, warheads, officers, and mechanisms for launching weapons resided on the territory of Ukraine. Moreover, the individuals who operated these systems now lived in houses owned by the government of Ukraine, received paychecks from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and were subject to promotion or firing not by Moscow, but by Kiev.” See “Good News From Ukraine: It Doesn’t Have Nukes,” National Interest, Mar. 21, 2014.
  • 4. Mearsheimer, “The Case for a Ukrainian Nuclear Deterrent,” p. 58.
  • 5. Kenneth Waltz, “Structural Realism after the Cold War.” International Security 25, no. 1 (Summer 2000): 5–41, esp. 32n75.
  • 6. Kenneth Waltz, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities,” American Political Science Review 84, no. 3 (September 1990): 731–45.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Kenneth Waltz, “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better,” Adelphi Papers 21, no. 171 (1981).
  • 9. Waltz, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities.”
  • 10. Kirkpatrick Sale, Human Scale Revisited (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2017), p. 312.

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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The U.S. Should Stop Collecting Military Allies Like Facebook Friends | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2020

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili believed Washington would rescue him after his forces began bombarding Russian troops stationed in South Ossetia. More recently, after a naval clash between China and the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte turned to Washington: “I’m calling now, America. I am invoking the RP-US pact, and I would like America to gather their Seventh Fleet in front of China. I’m asking them now.” He helpfully added: “When they enter the South China Sea, I will enter. I will ride with the American who goes there first. Then I will tell the Americans, ‘Okay, let’s bomb everything’.”

No need to ‘un-friend’ anyone, but some of them should be supplying their own boots and bombs by now.

Some of them?

 

There absolutely is a need to unfriend certain NATO members. The members in this “one for all, all for one” organization with countries whose size and militaries are closer to that of the Vatican’s. Members whose only reason they were admitted to NATO was their proximity to Russia, in violation of James Bakers promise to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand East once Germany was unified.

That NATO is obsolete and one public arm of the CIA is not mentioned in this CATO linked author.

Neither are there references to avoidance of “foreign entanglements” as described by a certain first US president.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-u-s-should-stop-collecting-military-allies-like-facebook-friends/

No need to ‘un-friend’ anyone, but some of them should be supplying their own boots and bombs by now.

Donald Trump at NATO Summit in 2018 (Gints Ivuskans / Shutterstock.com)

President Donald Trump has offended professional foreign policy practitioners since taking office. They accuse him of manifold offenses. But none is more serious than “mistreating allies.”

For instance, Mira Rapp-Hooper of the Council on Foreign Relations penned a lengthy article entitled “Saving America’s Alliances.” She complained that the president has targeted “the United States’ 70-year-old alliance system. The 45th president has balked at upholding the country’s NATO commitments, demanded massive increases in defense spending from such long-standing allies as Japan and South Korea, and suggested that underpaying allies should be left to fight their own wars with shared adversaries. Trump’s ire has been so relentless and damaging that U.S. allies in Asia and Europe now question the United States’ ability to restore itself as a credible security guarantor.”

For her, this is a damning, even crushing, indictment. Yet that reflects her membership in the infamous Blob, the foreign policy establishment which tends to differ over minor points while marching in lockstep on essentials, such as the imperative for Washington to defend the world.

Consider the transatlantic alliance. Seventy-five years after the conclusion of World War II, Europe collectively has ten times the wealth and three times the population of Russia. Yet the continent cowers helplessly before Moscow, expecting American protection. Not one supposedly vulnerable member of NATO devotes as large a share of their economy to defense as the U.S., not even the Baltic States and Poland, which routinely demand an American military presence.

Among the continent’s largest and wealthiest nations, Italy and Spain barely bother to create militaries. The readiness of Germany’s forces is a continuing joke, despite persistent calls for reform. Only the United Kingdom and France possess militaries of much capability, and primarily for use in conflicts linked to their colonial heritage. They have, for instance, shown little interest in fighting Russia to rescue “New Europe.”

Prior presidents have badgered, cried, begged, asked, demanded, and whined about the Europeans’ lack of effort, without effect. European states obviously aren’t particularly worried about attack. And they figure Washington would save them if something unexpected occurred. So why bother?

From an American standpoint, doesn’t scorching criticism seem appropriate?

Then there is the president’s pressure on the Republic of Korea and Japan to do more. The president is rude, to be sure, but there is much to be rude about. The Korean War ended 67 years ago. Today the ROK has about 53 times the GDP and twice the population of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Why does Seoul require an American garrison for its defense? Why don’t the South Koreans do what is necessary to protect their own country?

Indeed, the main reason the North is building nuclear weapons is for defense against America, which has shown its proclivity to oust any regime which disrespects the U.S. The only circumstance under which the DPRK would use its nukes is if the U.S. joined in war between the two Koreas and threatened to defeat North Korea. Is anything at stake on the peninsula worth the risk of nuclear war? Foreign policy, defense guarantees, and military deployments should change as circumstances change. The U.S.-ROK alliance no longer makes sense.

Japan has spent years underinvesting in defense, even during the Cold War. Technically its constitution does not even allow a military, so Tokyo fields a “Self-Defense Force,” upon which it spends no more than one percent of GDP. Had Japan spent more on the SDF when it enjoyed the world’s second-ranking economy, the People’s Republic of China still would be working to overcome its defense gap with Japan before that with America.

There are obvious historical issues, of course. Tokyo points to the “peace constitution” foisted on defeated Japan by the U.S., but successive Japanese governments have interpreted away the military ban. And the constitution could be changed. The Japanese won’t do so as long as they can rely on America. Their assumption is that the U.S. is willing to risk Los Angeles to protect Tokyo. But that is a bad bargain for America.

Rapp-Hooper also complained that other countries might not believe in Washington’s security guarantees. That would be all to the good, however. Constantly “reassuring” America’s allies discourages them from doing more to defend themselves. There is something perverse about foreign nations believing that Washington has a duty to convince them that it is worthy of protecting them.

No doubt, allies are useful in a fight, but they should be viewed as a means rather than an end. That is, America should acquire allies when it needs them. Today Washington treats allies as an end, the more the merrier. It acts as if America benefits when it picks up helpless clients that must be defended against nuclear-armed enemies. Indeed, Uncle Sam appears to view allies like Facebook friends: the primary objective is to have more than anyone else, irrespective of their value or merit. What else can explain adding North Macedonia and Montenegro to NATO? Next up, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick!

Today the U.S. has no cause for conflict against Russia. Vladimir Putin is a nasty character, but has shown no inclination for war against Europe, even his neighbors in “New Europe,” let alone America. Washington and Moscow have no essential interests that clash or warrant war. So how does NATO benefit the U.S.?

The Europeans probably need not fear attack either, but they are in greater need of an insurance policy. In 1950 assurance had to come from America. But no longer. The Europeans are collectively able to protect themselves and their region. They should do so. Then how much they spend could be left up to them, without hectoring from Washington.

So too Japan and South Korea. Once they could not defend themselves. Decades later they are capable of doing so. And they have far more at stake in their survival than does America. They should take over responsibility for their own security.

Where a potential hegemon is on the rise—only the People’s Republic of China fits this description—the U.S. could play a role as an offshore balancer, backstopping the independence of important friendly states, such as Japan. However, even then the commitment should be limited. It is not America’s job to insert itself in a Chinese-Japanese fight over peripheral, contested territory, such as the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Or, even worse, to go to war to save the Philippines’ control over territorial bits like Scarborough Shoal.

Moreover, it is critically important not to discourage allied states from making serious efforts on their own behalf, which Japan and the Philippines, to name two in East Asia, do not. It also shows the problem with Rapp-Hooper’s praise of America security guarantees for discouraging allies from developing nuclear weapons. What is at stake in the defense of America’s allies worth risking a nuclear assault on America’s homeland? How many cities should the U.S. sacrifice to save the ROK or Germany? In contrast, what would be a better constraint on the PRC than nuclear-armed Japan and Taiwan? There would be risks in that course, of course, but extending a “nuclear umbrella” over-friendly states creates real and potentially catastrophic dangers for Americans.

Analysts such Rapp-Hooper assume alliances are net positives financially. Why? Other countries offer cheap bases! But Washington does not need to scatter hundreds of facilities and hundreds of thousands of troops around the world for its own defense. America is perhaps the geographically most security nation on earth: wide oceans east and west, pacific neighbors south and north. Bases are used to protect other states and become tripwires for other countries’ conflicts.

Moreover, defense commitments require force structure. The military budget is the price of America’s foreign policy. The more Washington promises to do, the most Americans must spend on the military. Every additional commitment adds to the burden.

While alliances theoretically deter, they also discourage partners from taking responsibility for their own futures. And security guarantees ensnare. Countries as different as Georgia and Taiwan have acted irresponsibility when presuming America’s protection. Washington sometimes has worried about South Korean plans for retaliation against North Korean provocations, which could trigger full-scale war.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili believed Washington would rescue him after his forces began bombarding Russian troops stationed in South Ossetia. More recently, after a naval clash between China and the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte turned to Washington: “I’m calling now, America. I am invoking the RP-US pact, and I would like America to gather their Seventh Fleet in front of China. I’m asking them now.” He helpfully added: “When they enter the South China Sea, I will enter. I will ride with the American who goes there first. Then I will tell the Americans, ‘Okay, let’s bomb everything’.”

Ending obsolete alliances does not preclude cooperation as equals to advance shared interests, such as terrorism, cybersecurity, piracy, and much more. How to deal with China is becoming a shared concern. Less formal partners can develop plans, launch joint exercises, provide base access, and much more. Alliance advocates act as if the only way America can work with other nations is by promising to defend them. Other states might like to create that impression, but they are the supplicants, not the U.S.

There is much to criticize in Donald Trump’s foreign policy. However, his criticism of alliances is not one. The Blob has made them into a sacred cow. However, policymakers should start treating alliances as only one of many means to advance U.S. security.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.

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With apparently fabricated nuclear documents, Netanyahu pushed the US towards war with Iran | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2020

Graham Fuller, a 27-year veteran of the
CIA who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and
South Asia as well as Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence
Council, offered a similar assessment of the Israeli claim. “If the
Israelis had such a sensitive source in Tehran,” Fuller commented, “they
would not want to risk him.” Fuller concluded that the Israelis’ claim
that they had accurate knowledge of which safes to crack is “dubious,
and the whole thing may be somewhat fabricated.”

In this time of trouble it is comforting to know some things never change.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/29/fabricated-nuclear-documents-netanyahu-war-iran/

An investigation of supposed Iranian nuclear documents presented in a dramatically staged Netanyahu press conference indicates they were an Israeli fabrication designed to trigger US military conflict with Iran.

By Gareth Porter

President Donald Trump scrapped the nuclear deal with Iran and continued to risk war with Iran based on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim to have proven definitively that Iran was determined to manufacture nuclear weapons. Netanyahu not only spun Trump but much of the corporate media as well, duping them with the public unveiling of what he claimed was the entire secret Iranian “nuclear archive.”

In early April 2018, Netanyahu briefed Trump privately on the supposed Iranian nuclear archive and secured his promise to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That April 30, Netanyahu took the briefing to the public in a characteristically dramatic live performance in which he claimed Israel’s Mossad intelligence services had stolen Iran’s entire nuclear archive from Tehran. “You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons…” Netanyahu declared. “Well, tonight, I’m here to tell you one thing: Iran lied. Big time.”

However, an investigation of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents by The Grayzone reveals them to be the product of an Israeli disinformation operation that helped trigger the most serious threat of war since the conflict with Iran began nearly four decades ago. This investigation found multiple indications that the story of Mossad’s heist of 50,000 pages of secret nuclear files from Tehran was very likely an elaborate fiction and that the documents were fabricated by the Mossad itself.

According to the official Israeli version of events, the Iranians had gathered the nuclear documents from various locations and moved them to what Netanyahu himself described as “a dilapidated warehouse” in southern Tehran. Even assuming that Iran had secret documents demonstrating the development of nuclear weapons, the claim that top secret documents would be held in a nondescript and unguarded warehouse in Central Tehran is so unlikely that it should have raised immediate alarm bells about the story’s legitimacy.

Even more problematic was the claim by a Mossad official to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman that Mossad knew not only in what warehouse its commandos would find the documents but precisely which safes to break into with a blowtorch. The official told Bergman the Mossad team had been guided by an intelligence asset to the few safes in the warehouse contained the binders with the most important documents.  Netanyahu bragged publicly that “very few” Iranians knew the location of the archive; the Mossad official told Bergman “only a handful of people” knew.

But two former senior CIA official, both of whom had served as the agency’s top Middle East analyst, dismissed Netanyahu’s claims as lacking credibility in responses to a query from The Grayzone.

According to Paul Pillar, who was National Intelligence Officer for the region from 2001 to 2005, “Any source on the inside of the Iranian national security apparatus would be extremely valuable in Israeli eyes, and Israeli deliberations about the handling of that source’s information presumably would be biased in favor long-term protection of the source.” The Israeli story of how its spies located the documents “does seem fishy,” Pillar said, especially considering Israel’s obvious effort to derive maximum “political-diplomatic mileage” out of the “supposed revelation” of such a well-placed source.

Graham Fuller, a 27-year veteran of the CIA who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia as well as Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, offered a similar assessment of the Israeli claim. “If the Israelis had such a sensitive source in Tehran,” Fuller commented, “they would not want to risk him.” Fuller concluded that the Israelis’ claim that they had accurate knowledge of which safes to crack is “dubious, and the whole thing may be somewhat fabricated.”

No proof of authenticity

Netanyahu’s April 30 slide show presented a series of purported Iranian documents containing sensational revelations that he pointed to as proof of his insistence that Iran had lied about its interest in manufacturing nuclear weapons. The visual aides included a file supposedly dating back to early 2000 or before that detailed various ways to achieve a plan to build five nuclear weapons by mid-2003.

Another document that generated widespread media interest was an alleged report on a discussion among leading Iranian scientists of a purported mid-2003 decision by Iran’s Defense Minister to separate an existing secret nuclear weapons program into overt and covert parts.

Left out of the media coverage of these “nuclear archive” documents was a simple fact that was highly inconvenient to Netanyahu: nothing about them offered a scintilla of evidence that they were genuine. For example, not one contained the official markings of the relevant Iranian agency.

Tariq Rauf, who was head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2001 to 2011, told The Grayzone that these markings were practically ubiquitous on official Iranian files.

“Iran is a highly bureaucratized system,” Rauf explained. “Hence, one would expect a proper book-keeping system that would record incoming correspondence, with date received, action officer, department, circulation to additional relevant officials, proper letterhead, etc.”

But as Rauf noted, the “nuclear archive” documents that were published by the Washington Post bore no such evidence of Iranian government origin.  Nor did they contain other markings to indicate their creation under the auspices of an Iranian government agency.

What those documents do have in common is the mark of a rubber stamp for a filing system showing numbers for a “record”, a “file” and a “ledger binder” — like the black binders that Netanyahu flashed to the cameras during his slideshow. But these could have easily been created by the Mossad and stamped on to the documents along with the appropriate Persian numbers.

Forensic confirmation of the documents’ authenticity would have required access to the original documents.  But as Netanyahu noted in his April 30, 2018 slide show, the “original Iranian materials” were kept “in a very safe place” – implying that no one would be allowed to have any such access.  Read the rest of this entry »

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“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2020

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to expand its interests from the region and begin toppling noncompliant governments and invading nations all around the world.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to circle the planet with hundreds of Iranian military bases.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to obtain thousands of nuclear weapons, and actually use a couple of them.

The US doesn’t want Iran to be like America. The US wants Iran to be like the other nations which have allowed themselves to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/01/13/iran-must-begin-acting-like-a-normal-nation-says-totally-normal-nation/

The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“What we want all countries to join in,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a recent Fox News interview, “is to help us not only to de-escalate any tensions with Iran, but to help us bring Iran to a place where they are ready to stop their terrorist and malign behavior, and where they are ready to discuss with the United States, with Europe, with everyone, about how they can change their behavior to act like a normal nation.”

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.

This would be the same Iran whose cultural heritage sites were threatened with destruction if it retaliated for the totally normal assassination of its top military official via flying robot. The same Iran whose financial system was just threatened with destruction using the totally normal hegemony of American central banking. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.

So what can Iran do to become a “normal nation”? Well, since it’s the United States making this demand, we can safely assume that it’s the model Iran should look to.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to expand its interests from the region and begin toppling noncompliant governments and invading nations all around the world.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to circle the planet with hundreds of Iranian military bases.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to obtain thousands of nuclear weapons, and actually use a couple of them.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to become the most dominant military, economic and cultural force in the world, and then use that dominance to destroy any government, political party, ideology, faction, movement or person who stands in its way.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to arm violent extremist factions all around the world with the goal of eliminating all governments that refuse to bow to its interests.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to become the dominant producer of films, music and TV shows and use this influence to propagandize its power structure’s ideology to every possible cultural sphere.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to begin meddling in scores of democratic elections all around the world and then crying for years at the possibility of any nation returning the favor.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to shore up economic control of the world so that it can crush any sort of disobedience by starving civilians and depriving them of medical care while pretending that it’s a force for peace.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to indefinitely occupy a vast region on the other side of the planet with thousands upon thousands of troops and trillions of dollars in military equipment, to no benefit of a single ordinary Iranian, and against the will of the people who live there.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to create a presidency led by a reality TV star oligarch who is only supported because Iran’s populace is so disgusted with the status quo of their government.

I am kidding, of course. The US government does not want Iran to become like the US. The US government does not want any nation to become like the US. The US likes its abnormality among nations just the way it is, thank you very much. The US is the exception to all its own rules. That’s how American exceptionalism works. This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” situations.

The US doesn’t want Iran to be like America. The US wants Iran to be like the other nations which have allowed themselves to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Saudi Arabia: arming terrorist factions, beheading heretics, committing war crimes and deliberately creating humanitarian disasters for geostrategic convenience, yet aligning fully with US military, financial, and resource control agendas.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Israel: a nuclear-armed military outpost which constantly bombs adjacent nations, interferes in the US and other nations’ politics to shore up support, works toward the slow extermination of its indigenous population and fires upon protesters with live ammunition.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand or the EU: obedient military/intelligence assets who function as extra American states when it comes to foreign policy and international affairs.

That is what the US means by acting “normal”. Not acting moral. Not acting healthy. Certainly not acting like the US. It means acting obedient, compliant, and enslaved.

Which is precisely what Iran is resisting.

________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Oligarchy’s Plans For Our Future Keep Getting Dumber – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2019

Perhaps spending money to DIScourage nukes instead of thinking up reasons to justify their existence would be of more benefit to mankind.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/08/20/the-oligarchys-plans-for-our-future-keep-getting-dumber/

It’s rare to get a billionaire to share their grand plans for the future, which is weird because billionaires pretty much rule the world. Whenever they do, though, it’s always something incredibly sociopathic, like replacing all jobs with billionaire-owned automation/AI and giving people a Universal Basic Income set by the billionaire-owned government. Or loading all the humans onto rocket ships and sending them to live on Amazon Space Dildos.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who hates unions and wants to implant AI into human brains, has been continuing this trend of idiotic plutocratic futurology with a new campaign to detonate nuclear weapons on the planet Mars. This is not because Musk hates Mars, but because he wants to colonize it; the idea is to vaporize the red planet’s polar ice caps and throw carbon dioxide into the air to ultimately make the planet more habitable.

Scientists are voicing skepticism that such a plan could even work, before even opening up the “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should” debate. Sending nuclear weapons into space for any reason whatsoever should receive an outright rejection from all of humanity, since getting nukes into earth’s orbit has been the wet dream of war machine engineers for decades and pretending they went to Mars would serve as an ideal cover story to circumvent international space treaties until it’s too late to prevent it.

Musk claims he wants to colonize Mars because a new dark age ensuing from a third world war appears “likely”, and he wants to ensure that there will be humans living off of the planet to re-populate it after we wipe ourselves out here. Rather than pouring wealth, brainpower and resources into pushing for a change in the status quo which has set the world’s nuclear-armed powers on a collision course for a world military confrontation that will destroy our biosphere, this billionaire has decided it’s better to nuke Mars so that a back bench of reserve humans can live on a desert space rock.

This is the class of people who are calling the shots in our world. These are the minds who are choosing our fate for us. I wouldn’t trust them to run a fucking gas station.

And Elon Musk is one of the saner billionaires.

I’m going to take a lot of flak for saying this, but I honestly believe that the impulse to colonize space is one of the more pernicious cultural mind viruses in our society. I mean, think about it: we’ve got a planet right here for which we are perfectly adapted, and we’re burning it to the ground while looking up at a red dot in the sky going “You know I bet if I nuked that bitch I could build a hermetically sealed house on it someday.” How much more insane could you possibly get?

I’m pushing against a cultural dogma that’s been mainstream doctrine for generations, but I really find all this blather about adventure and the indomitable human spirit of exploration quite tedious and idiotic when it comes to space colonization. We’ve got creatures swimming in our own oceans with brains many times larger than our own, and we’re killing them all off before we’ve even developed any kind of real theory about what they’re doing with all that extra gray matter. There are parts of the moon that are better explored than vast expanses of our own seas. We don’t even know what consciousness is, and science is largely uninterested in answering this question. I don’t believe the spirit of exploration and adventure is what’s driving our longing to break for the stars. I think it’s nothing but garden variety escapism.

We’ve all got that one friend or family member who’s completely miserable and is always quitting jobs and relationships and moving house and changing their diet in a desperate attempt to find happiness. They rearrange their lifestyle for the umpteenth time and they’re barely settled in before their gaze lands on some other aspect of their life and they think, “That’s the source of my unhappiness right there. If I can only escape from that, I’ll be happy.”

Such people are exasperating to be around, because you can see what they’re doing and you just want to sit them down and go “The problem is in you, babe. Moving won’t help; your inner demons will follow you every time. You’ve got to stay put and deal with your issues.”

Our species reminds me of that type of personality right now. So many of us are looking forward to some escape route coming from outside of us to rescue us from ourselves; some are looking forward to the second coming of Jesus, some are looking forward to the aliens coming in to save the day, some are looking forward to the Democrats or the Republicans finally capturing the whole entire government and setting things right with the world, and some are looking forward to billionaires setting up a space colonization program so we can get off this accursed blue orb before we destroy it. But there is no deus ex machina here. No one’s going to save us from ourselves. Even if we do succeed in running away from home, we’ll inevitably bring the same inner demons with us that got us into this mess in the first place.

We’ve got to turn inward and evolve beyond our self-destructive impulses. The only way out is through. The mind virus of celestial escapism stops us from doing this, because it offers us yet another false promise of deus ex machina. It lets us run away from doing the hard but necessary real inner work, just like doing drugs or binging on Netflix or any other kind of escapism.

Can you try a little thought experiment for me? Imagine, just for a moment, if we took space colonization off the table. Completely. Forever. We just decided that it’s never going to happen and we all moved to accept that. Really imagine it. Really put yourself there for a minute.

What does that change in you? What does that change about your attitude toward our future? If we’re honest with ourselves, I think it would change quite a bit. For me, when I take space conquest off the table, it takes me in a direction that just so happens to look extremely healthy. It makes me say, “Oh, okay, so we’ll obviously have to get rid of the status quo of endless war and ecocide, since those will ruin this place, and that will mean radically changing our relationship with each other and with our ecosystem. It will mean getting women around the world full reproductive sovereignty and education since that’s proven to reverse population growth. It will mean ceasing to think like a cancer, believing that endless growth is a virtue. It will mean ceasing to believe that the existence of trillions of humans is the best thing we can hope for for our species when we have yet to even scratch the surface of our own potential on a large scale. And I suppose it will mean getting together and figuring out how to detect and neutralize the threat of apocalyptic meteor strikes, too.”

Imagine that. Imagine if instead of trying to figure out how to fill the sky with trillions of mediocre humans we turned inward, healed our inner demons, and realized our full potential. Such a world would be a paradise. I know from my own experience that humans are capable of so very, very much more than what we have attained so far; we really haven’t scratched the surface at all. If we’re going to explore, the direction of that exploration ought to be inward.

I really think the mainstream idea that we can always make a mad dash for the black emptiness in the sky if things go to shit here keeps us from truly confronting our urgent need to preserve the ecosystemic context in which we evolved, and which there’s no evidence that we can live without.

I mean, we don’t even know that space colonization is possible. As of yet we have no evidence at all that humans are sufficiently separate and separable from Earth’s biosphere for survival apart from our ecosystem to be a real thing. Humans aren’t really separate “things”; they’re a symbiotic collaboration of organisms with ecosystems of their own, all of which as far as we know are entirely dependent on the greater ecosystem from which we blossomed. So far all our attempts at creating independent biospheres have failed miserably, and the closest we’ve come to living in space has consisted of nothing but glorified scuba excursions: visits to space stations fully dependent on a lifeline of terrestrial supplies. That’s the difference between flying and jumping. It might be as delusional as our brains thinking they can hop out of our skulls and live independently of our bodies, or some river eddies saying they’re moving to dry land.

And even if it is possible, why would you want it? Do people not know what space is? Are they aware that it’s nothing but boring desert wasteland that’s really really hard to get to and survive on? Have you ever been trapped for a long time surrounded by nothing but man-made things, like on an airplane or a cruise ship? Picture that, but way worse and for much longer. It would be a sterile, artificial existence; even if you managed to bring in plants and animals it would be ordered in a man-made way that is no more natural than the saplings grown on traffic islands. At best it would be like being in a mall your entire life. You’d be cut off from the primordial thrum of your home world. There’d be no real life there. No real soul.

Imagine never feeling the starry spatter of a shower of rain on your face. Imagine never ever again hearing the roar of wind on a wintry night or experiencing the thunder of the ocean on a big surf day. Imagine never again being blown away by the brightness of a rainbow or the thrilling crack of lightning or the astonishing beauty of a sunset or the first rays of springtime sunshine fondly warming the back of your neck. Imagine never again coming across a friendly squirrel or a shy possum or a little feast of wild blackberries. Imagine never again lying in the dappled light filtered through a magnificent tree. I don’t know about you but I would just miss the breeze playing in my hair too terribly to ever leave. I love it here and it loves me like a mother loves her child. This is not just my home, I grew from the earth as surely as a mushroom or a seahorse. I am a part of the earth and the earth is a part of me. We belong together. 

It’s easy to feel helpless. The wise ones do not have any money and therefore any power. We are being run by a handful of coddled man-children and it seems like they might have the last word. But I have been thinking about Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas on morphic resonance a lot lately and I’m increasingly convinced that even just one of us bringing consciousness to an aspect of our collective darkness is enough to wordlessly and instantly inform the herd. So, do me a favor if you are willing. Go and run one more experiment for me. Go outside now and place your hand on the ground and say to the earth these words — “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” Say it as many times as you feel like. Say it, and mean it. 

And then let’s see what happens next. 

____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The NYT’s Pro-War Arguments Against War With Iran | FAIR

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2019

https://fair.org/home/the-nyts-pro-war-arguments-against-war-with-iran/

The New York Times has published five editorials since the beginning of May that are ostensibly critical of a possible military war between the United States and Iran. As anti-war arguments, however, they are woefully lacking—vilifying Iran without subjecting the US to comparable scrutiny, and hiding US aggression towards Iran.

The editorials regurgitate the same anti-Iran demonology pro-war voices offer to try to justify an attack on the country. In one case (5/4/19), readers are told that

there is no doubt that the Revolutionary Guards is a malign actor. Founded in 1979, it was the revolution’s protector. In time, the corps became a tool of violence and military adventurism as Iran expanded its regional influence in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.

The same editorial implies that Iran has a nuclear weapons program about which Americans should be concerned, writing:

The administration has fiercely debated imposing sanctions on European, Chinese and Russian entities working with Iran to convert facilities capable of pursuing nuclear-weapons related activities to more peaceful, energy-oriented projects. On Friday, the State Department announced that while work at three key facilities will be allowed to continue for 90 days, the administration will reconsider the decision at the end of that period. Some other nuclear-related activities will be prohibited.

Saying that Iran has “facilities capable of pursuing nuclear-weapons related activities,” which should be “convert[ed]” so that they can work on “more peaceful, energy-oriented projects,” strongly implies that Iran has a nuclear weapons program or is close to having one, as does an editorial (7/19/19) that claims Iran has “nuclear ambitions.” There is no basis for this insinuation: Iran has no nuclear weapons program, hasn’t been close to having one since at least 2003, and perhaps never has. (See FAIR.org, 10/17/17.)

The series of editorials in this series, furthermore, describe Iran as doing (presumably nefarious) “work on missile systems” (7/19/19), and as “a despotic Middle East regime” (6/20/19) that provides “support for regional terrorist organizations” (7/19/19).

No US institution or practice is sweepingly condemned in a comparable fashion. Carrying out an invasion of Iraq, as the US military did, and causing as many as a million deaths is not considered the conduct of a “malign actor” or “a tool of violence and military adventurism”; nor is keeping children in cages or having the world’s largest prison population evidence of a “despotic…regime.” Whatever the Times’ definition of “support for regional terrorist organizations” is, it evidently does not include backing racist groups in Libya, laying waste to Syrian cities or flooding the country with weapons that helped ISIS, or carrying out massacres in Afghanistan, or underwriting brutality in Yemen and Palestine.

In this respect, the Times’ apparent anti-war editorials bolster the case for war against Iran: If Iran is a “despotic . . . regime” that provides “support for regional terrorist organizations” and has a military outfit that is “no doubt . . . a malign actor” and a “tool of violence and military adventurism,” readers can be forgiven for failing to rush out and organize a peace movement. And if the United States is or has none of these things—or, in the case of a nuclear weapons program and “work on missile systems,” is presumably allowed to have them—they may be confused about why the US shouldn’t bomb or invade Iran, or overthrow its government, or some combination of these.

The editorials also muddy responsibility for the crisis, presenting what is happening as roughly equally the fault of the United States and Iran. The first editorial (5/4/19) argued that the “Trump administration is playing a dangerous game in Iran, risking a serious miscalculation by either side.” The problem isn’t so much the risk of “a serious miscalculation by either side” as it is deliberate US calculations to inflict misery on Iranians in an effort to force Iran to submit to US orders. US sanctions are severely harming Iranians, causing food shortages, undermining the healthcare system, preventing flood relief from getting to Iranians, setting off a collapse in economic growth and driving the country into a deep recession while helping to push up inflation; all of this information was publicly available before any of these editorials were published. Iran, of course, has done nothing comparable to US society…

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propaganda

 

 

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MoA – No, Iran Is Not Rushing To Build A Nuclear Weapon

Posted by M. C. on July 4, 2019

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/07/no-iran-is-not-rushing-to-build-a-nuclear-weapon.html

John Mearsheimer is a political science scholar who adheres to the realist school of thought. He developed a theory of offensive realism that at times produces valid predictions of the behavior of some states. But his theory does not account for cultural factors and its predictions fail when these predominate in a state’s decisions.

His ridiculous op-ed in today’s New York Times is proof for that.

Mearsheimer may not be responsible for that fakenews headline. The NYT is generally anti-Iran and some of its editors are the worst warmongers.  But even as the claims made in the headline are false, they are not far from what Mearsheimer writes.

For the record: No, Iran is not rushing to build a nuclear weapon. And if it would do such Trump could stop it.

Mearsheimer starts:

President Trump says he wants to make sure Iran never acquires nuclear weapons. His policy, however, is having the opposite effect: It is giving Tehran a powerful incentive to go nuclear, while at the same time making it increasingly difficult for the United States to prevent that. On Monday the official Iranian news agency announced that the country had breached the limits for enriched uranium imposed on it by the 2015 international agreements.Indeed, American policy toward Iran over the past year makes it clear that Iranian leaders were foolish not to develop a nuclear deterrent in the early 2000s.

The Iranians had good reason to acquire nuclear weapons long before the present crisis, and there is substantial evidence they were doing just that in the early 2000s. The case for going nuclear is much more compelling today. After all, Iran now faces an existential threat from the United States, and a nuclear arsenal will go a long way toward eliminating it.

The current “existential threat” against Iran, says Mearsheimer, is the economic war and blockade the U.S. wages against it.

But where is the evidence that nuclear weapons would prevent the economic war and blockade? North Korea, which has nuclear weapons and even the ability to strike the United States with them, is under similar measures. In sight of that how does this make the case to go nuclear more compelling for Iran?

Before 2003 Iran likely had a nuclear research program to find out what it would take to make a nuclear weapon. But the reason to pursue that was not the threat from the United States. The threat to Iran was a potentially nuclear Iraq, a country which had already used weapons of mass destruction against its cities. When the U.S. invaded Iraq that threat went away and Iran’s nuclear weapon research program was canceled.

Iran has a much better weapon than nuclear devices to deter the U.S. from threatening its existence. It can block the flow of oil from the Gulf to the global economy. It is a relatively cheap capability and nothing but a full fledged invasion of Iran can take it away.

Mearsheimer believes that Iran would need nukes to do that:

[I]f its survival was at stake, Iran could credibly threaten to use a few nuclear weapons to completely shut down the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf.It might seem hard to imagine Iran using nuclear weapons first in a crisis, but history tells us that desperate states are sometimes willing to pursue exceedingly risky strategies […] The Trump administration would surely be aware of the dangers of provoking a nuclear-armed Iran. In short, nuclear weapons would profoundly alter Iran’s strategic situation for the better.

If Iran destroys the loading stations for oil along the western Persian Gulf coast with conventional ballistic missiles it would slow the flow of oil to a trickle. Additional attacks on tankers would bring it to effectively zero. There are no nukes needed to achieve either.

By not pursuing nuclear weapons and by adhering to the framework of the nuclear agreement, Iran has kept the Europeans on its site. If it goes nuclear Iran will bring the world into a united position against it. UN Security Council sanction would immediately be back. Other Persian Gulf states would soon try to also acquire nukes. Iran would be confronted by a large coalition of states whereas today only the U.S., Israel and some of their Gulf minions are hostile to it. Which is the better strategic situation for Iran?

There is absolutely no need for Iran to go nuclear and there would be no strategic advantage for it in possessing nukes…

The first one is the spending that is necessary to build a military advantage over other states. What are the marginal returns for investing more money into military might? The population of a state may well prefer peaceful consumption over an increase of its hegemony.

The second point is even more cultural. States have characters. While some are aggressive others are not.

Iran is an Islamic Republic led by jurists of Shia believe. Its leader issued a religious verdict against making and possessing nukes. Under Shia doctrine outward Jihad, religiously justified war, is only legitimate in defense, not as aggression. During the last 300 years Iran behaved  non-aggressive. Despite having the financial means and population size to fight its smaller neighbors, it did not initiate any war. Its military posture and doctrine is defensive.

Mearsheimer ignores these facts. Most likely because they contradict his political theory.

Iran will not go nuclear and it will not start a war. It is Israel that is threatening to do that over Iran’s slightly increased stockpile of low enriched Uranium…

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U.S. firm facing allegations of bribery and war ...

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Time to Pull US Nuclear Weapons Out of Turkey – Defense One

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2019

The same Turkey that staged a false flag gas attack to get US to kill Kurds.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/05/get-us-nuclear-weapons-out-turkey/157101/

Storing nuclear weapons close to trouble is a bad idea, and giving Ankara a shared finger on the nuclear trigger is rapidly losing its charm.

Amid the recent self-congratulatory celebrations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th anniversary, there was no mention one of its strangest policies: the nuclear sharing program that keeps American nuclear bombs in five NATO countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey) and trains host air forces to use them. Thus at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 100 miles from the Syrian border, the United States stores some 20 to 80 B61 nuclear weapons for delivery by Turkish or American aircraft. There is not much comfort in knowing that these weapons are under direct American control in heavily guarded bunkers and are designed to be unusable without the proper codes. It is time to bring them home.

American-Turkish relations are not good and are likely to turn worse. Kurds populate parts of Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq and have been our close ally in the struggle with the Islamic State, but are regarded by the Turks as secessionists and terrorists. The United States has promised not to abandon the Kurds as it has in the past, but that promise puts the United States’ hopes to stabilize the region on a collision path with Turkey…

The presence of American tactical nuclear systems like the B61 bombs would tie American forces to the fate of their hosts. The sharing of the weapons’ delivery would give these countries a direct role in the nuclear enterprise without requiring them to actually build weapons…

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Breaking : North Korea Threatens To Nuke Turkey ...

 

 

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Israeli Pot Calls Iranian Kettle Black – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/05/eric-margolis/israeli-pot-calls-iran-kettle-black/

Netanyahu repeatedly warned the world about Iran’s alleged nuclear arsenal while making no mention at all of Israel’s own large, secret nuclear arsenal, which is believed to comprise of over 100 warheads, perhaps even several hundred, that can be delivered by aircraft, missiles and submarines. Every Mideast nation can be hit by Israeli nukes as well as Russia, which some experts say is or was on Israel’s target list.

Trump, of course, made no mention of the awkward fact that Israel had stolen much of its nuclear technology and uranium from the United States, sometimes with the connivance of very senior US government officials. France, that paragon of world peace, had the rest…

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US nuclear weapons: first low-yield warheads roll off the production line | World news | The Guardian

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2019

Many critics say that is an optimistic scenario that assumes there will be no miscalculation on the US side

Miscalculation in war is a given. War itself is a miscalculation.

Some wise person, whose name I cannot recall, once said that war plans always go awry once the first shot is fired.

National Nuclear Security Administration...yet another administration

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/28/us-nuclear-weapons-first-low-yield-warheads-roll-off-the-production-line

The US has begun making a new, low-yield nuclear warhead for its Tridentmissiles that arms control advocates warn could lower the threshold for a nuclear conflict.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced in an email it had started manufacturing the weapon at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in Texas, as ordered by Donald Trump’s nuclear posture review (NPR) last year.

The NNSA said the first of the new warheads had come off the production line and that it was on schedule to deliver the first batch – an unspecified number referred to as “initial operational capability” – before the end of September, according to the email, first sent in response to an enquiry fromExchange Monitor, which covers the nuclear weapons complex. Read the rest of this entry »

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