US Starts A New WMD Race

On 19th October 2023, it was reported that the United States had conducted a strong experiment using chemicals and radioisotopes at a nuclear test base in Nevada.

Bloomberg states that although the test was legal, its timing was notable. This is because it occurred shortly after Russia’s decision not to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear explosions. The Treaty did not become legally binding, but both Russia and the United States have followed it since the end of the Cold War.

However, the US had arranged tests beforehand. Back in September, a spokesperson for the US Department of Energy stated: they were “ready to demonstrate that their engineers are not breaking a 30-year ban on nuclear weapon testing, with the aim of encouraging Russia and China to be more open and reduce military tensions.”

At the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna, there was a suggestion to permit foreign observers to witness secret US tests, but this was conducted without any.

On 17 October, Russian deputies from the State Duma passed a bill in the first reading to withdraw their country’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. They clarified that this would not lead to a withdrawal from the treaty or any immediate nuclear testing.

It should be noted that the United States has not ratified this treaty and has taken no legal action in relation thereto. This is in line with Washington’s typical approach of avoiding complications.

Russia’s actions were reactive and related to overall security concerns.

However, all these can hardly be called coincidences. Instead, evidence suggests that the United States has spent many months carefully planning and executing a detailed strategy. The available documents support this conclusion.

Preparation for an underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site in the 1990s as the diagnostic cables are being installed.

In mid-October, the US Congressional report “On America’s Strategic Position” was published.

It declared that:

“The objectives of U.S. strategy must include effective deterrence and defeat of simultaneous Russian and Chinese aggression in Europe and Asia using conventional forces. If the United States and its Allies and partners do not field sufficient conventional forces to achieve this objective, U.S. strategy would need to be altered to increase reliance on nuclear weapons to deter or counter opportunistic or collaborative aggression in the other theater.

The size and composition of the nuclear force must account for the possibility of combined aggression from Russia and China. U.S. strategy should no longer treat China’s nuclear forces as a “lesser included” threat. The United States needs a nuclear posture capable of simultaneously deterring both countries.

The Commission recommends the United States maintain a nuclear strategy consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), based on six fundamental tenets—assured second strike, flexible response, tailored deterrence, extended deterrence and assurance, calculated ambiguity in declaratory policy, hedge against risk—and apply these tenets to address the 2027-2035 threat.”

The questions here are — what does “calculated ambiguity in declaratory policy” mean? Double standards? Or purposely being unclear in actions?

Page 27 states that “U.S. nuclear strategy has long retained a degree of calculated ambiguity regarding the precise circumstances in which the United States might employ nuclear weapons.  This contributes to deterrence by creating uncertainty in the mind of potential adversaries and by assuring U.S. Allies that the United States reserves the right to employ nuclear weapons first in their defense if necessary”.

Page 31 says to “Maintain a declaratory policy of calculated ambiguity about the conditions in which the United States may employ nuclear weapons to preserve options for the President under all circumstances, complicate adversary decision-making regarding going to war with the United States, and deter an adversary from escalating a conflict with the United States”.

Put simply, the US plans on using nuclear weapons first if they deem it necessary.

Moreover, the report advises the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to broaden the nuclear infrastructure beyond the production of weapons to also include research and development. In addition, it suggests that emphasis should be put on creating long-distance accurate weapons, high-speed missiles, defense systems, analyzing big data, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

The primary dangers to the United States remain Russia and China, as in the past.  DPRK and Iran are also acknowledged, however, Iran is referred to purely as a ballistic missile hazard, not as a nuclear threat.

The report was prepared by members of the special commission and held hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The twelve commissioners concluded that America has an “unprecedented” threat. They have to fight two equal nuclear-armed countries, Russia and China, at the same time. The independent commission in 2010 didn’t consider this finding.

Two other documents that are related to this topic should be pointed out as well. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction was released the day before.

Same issues, same threats (China, Russia, DPRK and Iran), but a slightly different focus.

It says of necessity to:

  1. Develop credible options to deter WMD use and assure Allies and partners;
  2. Build a Joint Force that can campaign, fight, and win in a CBRN environment;
  3. Enable Allies and partners to counter WMD proliferation and use;
  4. Degrade actor capability to develop, acquire, or use WMD;
  5. Take action, as part of whole-of-government efforts, to prevent proliferation and respond to use of WMD; and
  6. Pursue advanced research and development efforts to counter future chemical and biological threats.

The document stresses that Russia and China are making chemical and biological weapons. It also purposely gives untrue data about Russia breaking the duties concerning the conventions on biological and chemical weapons. They mention a “novichok,” yet there is never any proof given about its use by Russia. It seems that the West still thinks we should accept everything from the USA as true, even though much of it is untrue and lacks evidence. Meanwhile, the US has not yet fulfilled its promise to get rid of its chemical weapon reserves. There is a possibility they could pass them on to terrorists in different parts of the world to take actions against lawful governments.

Recently, on 19th October, the US Department of Defense presented a yearly report to the American Congress on China’s military capabilities and force development in 2023.

It also touches on nuclear capabilities, which a number of media outlets in the US have highlighted. Specifically, that “As of May 2023, Beijing had more than 500 operational nuclear warheads, and Washington is predicting that number will “likely” grow to more than 1,000 operational nuclear warheads by 2030… Those numbers broadly align with last year’s prediction that Beijing could produce some 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035. Additionally, the PRC completed construction on three new solid-propellant silo fields last year, which consists of at least 300 new intercontinental ballistic missile silos, DoD said”.

It is telling that China’s foreign policy per se has been “dragged by the head and ears” to China’s military strategy. Specifically, it says that “The PRC uses BRI to support its strategy of national rejuvenation by seeking to expand global transportation and trade linkages to support its development and deepen its economic integration with nations along its periphery and beyond. In 2022, BRI projects saw mixed economic outcomes, experiencing both growth and decline. However, overall spending on BRI projects remained consistent with the previous year and Beijing continued to prioritize public health, digital infrastructure, and green energy opportunities”.

Clearly, the Pentagon is more worried about China’s global presence than its military power, because China poses a threat to the “rules-based order” of US domination. This is evident in China and Russia’s joint military exercises and their activities in the Far East and the Arctic region.

The report does not suggest anything, but the outcomes on further US moves are likely — more sanctions, more troops in China’s surrounding, and demonizing China in controlled media.

Generally, from these records, it’s obvious that the United States intends to escalate and provoke a new arms race. And Russia, China, as well as other nations must create their own means to deter aggression, as dictated by the ancient aphorism — ci vis pacem para bellum.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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