Russia’s New Satanic Nuke

Putin’s scientists readying ‘TEXAS KILLER’ nuke that could obliterate whole countries

The RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile known in Russia asSatan 2” will be the world’s heaviest and most powerful nuclear missile when it is complete.

Satan 2 missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads with payloads of up to 20,000 kilotons – more than one thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

At maximum payload a direct hit on New York would kill 4.5million people, injure 3.6million, and send radioactive fallout stretching more than 600 miles.

SHOCK: The missile has the power to take out an area the size of Texas

The “Texas Killer” is Russia’s newest nuclear missile design, and when completed will be the heaviest weapon of its kind to ever be deployed.

It can reportedly carry 10 heavy nuclear warheads and is designed to break through U.S. missile defense systems.

Last year, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda news agency claimed Sarmat was so powerful, that a single missile could evade Washington’s defenses and wipe out the entire state of Texas.

DANGER: This missile has the potential to level several cities in one go

But, the Russian scientists in charge of developing Satan 2 have suffered a setback which means that it won’t be ready until later this year according to the Moscow Times.

Fears over all-out nuclear war are now at fever pitch after Kim Jong-un revealed that North Korea is ready to launch its most powerful nuke ever.

Donald Trump has not allayed fears by preparing to set up a missile system on the border with the secretive state.

In January it was also revealed that the US was planning a surprise nuke attack on China and Russia.

Sweden Prepares For Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

Sweden preparing nuclear fallout bunkers across the country amid fear of Russian war

War preparations come as Nordic country reintroduces military conscription

NUCLEAR war shelters are being readied in Sweden to prepare for a surprise Russian attack, according to reports.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has reportedly been ordered to carry out a review this year of bunkers the coming weeks as the Scandinavian country also reintroduces military service.

Bunkers are being reviewed in Sweden in case war breaks out with Russia

Bunkers are being reviewed in Sweden in case war breaks out with Russia to protect as many as seven million people

A system of 65,000 bunkers was established in the Cold War to protect the population from nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

According to MSB, the bunkers currently protect against blast and radiation as well as chemical or germ warfare.

With a distinctive logo, they can easily be located by civilians seeking shelter.

But with fears growing over threat posed by Vladimir Putin and his resurgent Russia they are being reviewed to make sure they are ready.

Russian military drills in the region have raised fears among neighbouring nations that an attack could happen in the coming months.

Civil defence measures are therefore being stepped up, especially in the Island of Gotland where Sweden has already re-opened a garrison.

Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio reported that Mats Berglund had ordered a review of the island’s 350 civilian bunkers.

Should you be in Sweden and need to take shelter this is a public nuclear bunker sign

Should you be in Sweden and need to take shelter this is a public nuclear bunker sign

The network of public bunkers originates from the Cold War but are now being dusted down, according to reports

The network of public bunkers originates from the Cold War but are now being dusted down, according to reports

The Nuclear Winter (Revelation 16:10)

Nuclear Famine

Daryl Williams

EnvironmentScience

(Image via en.wikipedia.org.)

Daryl Williams discusses a recent scientific report in which the devastating global impacts of a small nuclear conflict, including “nuclear famine”, are outlined.

THE COLD WAR is over, the Berlin Wall has fallen, nuclear warhead numbers have declined significantly — so the threat of nuclear catastrophe has passed, right?

Well, sadly no.

In fact, things may be more dangerous today than at the height of the Cold War.

Computer simulations of the indirect climate effects of even a “small” regional nuclear exchange indicate that the whole world would still be imperiled.

A recent 16-page scientific paper, ‘Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a ‘regional nuclear conflict‘, by Mills, Toon, Lee-Taylor and Robock, outlines the horrific unexpected consequences. Once you boil down the “science-speak” it paints a bleak picture – via an “Earth system model” which includes atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics and interactive sea ice and land components – which we should do everything we can to avoid.

It deserves far more attention than it has received and its findings should be informing our foreign, defence and emergency management policies. In summary, the scenario it simulates is as follows:

Firestorms in India and Pakistan from a “small” regional conflict and nuclear exchange would inject 5 Tg (or one million tonnes) of black carbon (smoke, soot, dust) into the stratosphere which spreads globally.

The black carbon heats the stratosphere (by up to an amazing 80 degrees C) and cools the lower atmosphere and surface (by 1.1 degrees C in the first four years, down to 1.6 degrees in the fifth year, slowly rising to 0.25 to 0.5 degrees 20 years later). The colder surface temperatures reduce precipitation by 6% globally for the first five years and still by 4.5% one decade on.

Oh, and hundreds of millions of Indians and Pakistanis would be incinerated to death … but let’s concentrate on the long-term climate repercussions.

Source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full

The heating of the stratosphere caused by the black carbon produces a dramatic loss of ozone (30% to 45% at mid-latitudes for the first five years, 50 to 60% at northern high latitudes) giving ‘a global ozone loss on a scale never observed‘.

It is the combination of dramatic extended drops in surface temperatures termed ‘the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years’ and precipitation with a dramatic increase in UV radiation.

That spells big trouble for Earth in the form of

widespread damage to human health, agriculture, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.’

That is,

‘…combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger global nuclear famine.’

As well, ‘… the average growing season is reduced by up to 40 days throughout the world’s agricultural zones over these five years’. The increased UV-B radiation would reduce plant height, shoot mass and foliage area, damage DNA and significantly increase insect losses. A 16% loss of ozone could reduce phytolankton levels in the ocean by 15%, resulting in a loss of seven million tons of fish per year.

Change in frost-free growing season in days for (a) January to December in the Northern Hemisphere and (b) July to June in the Southern Hemisphere. Values are 5 year seasonal ensemble averages for years 2–6, experiment minus control. (Source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full.)

The report also states:

‘The combined effects of elevated UV levels alone on terrestrial agriculture and marine ecosystems could put significant pressures on global food security.’

And yet, I didn’t read anything about this in the 2016 Defence White Paper or in any plans by Emergency Management Australia. Why not?

The above effects are globally averaged figures. Regional extremes can be worse. Large areas of continental landmasses would experience significantly greater cooling than average:

Winters (JJA) in southern Africa and South America would be up to 2.5 degrees C cooler on average for 5 years … [and] … most of North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East would experience winters (DJF) that are 2.5 to 6 degrees C cooler … and summers (JJA) 1 to 4 degrees C cooler.

Which is worse than any volcanic winter in the last 1000 years. There would be significant regional drying over the Asian Monsoon region, including the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, as well as the Amazon, the American South-East and Western Australia — which would be 20% to 60% drier.

All from a “minor” nuclear exchange  between India and Pakistan. Amazing, no?

Given the consequences found and the quality of the work (state-of-art climate model with stratospheric chemistry included) it is hard to understand why governments, the media and most of all, the public ignored its findings.

The report gives no estimates of death tolls but suggests they would be huge.

Another report, ‘Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk?’ by Dr Ira Helfand, puts

‘ … the number of people potentially threatened by [nuclear] famine at well over two billion.’

And this may be conservative, as possible cascading effects from social breakdown, disorder, military actions, migration upheavals don’t seem to have been considered.

In terms of probability (one in 100 year chance?) times impact (hundreds of millions dead, collapsed world economy, radioactive fallout), this problem dwarfs all other natural and man-made disasters.

Sadly, public awareness of nuclear famine seems minimal. The handful of videos on YouTube on the subject have very few views. For instance, the video Nuclear Famine by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has had only 8490 views while Nuclear Famine – a Billion People at Risk by Physicians for Social Responsibility has had only 314 views … over three years!

We need to be more aware and if enough people make the effort, perhaps we can put these serious problems on the map and hopefully progress towards a nuclear-famine-free world.

As Winston Churchill said:

“The Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science, and what might now shower immeasurable blessings upon mankind may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say: time may be short.”

Russia Broadens Its Nuclear Triad

Russia set to launch its most powerful nuclear sub this month

Press TV

Russia will shortly put afloat a second, nuclear-powered Yasen-class submarine — its strongest — in a northern port, a Russian defense source says.

The new vessel, dubbed Kazan, is a fourth-generation Russian submarine, and “is expected to be rolled out and put afloat on March 30,” a Russian defense source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

Russian media refer to the country’s fourth-generation submarines as the backbone of the Russian Navy’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

The nuclear-powered, multi-purpose Yasen-class submarines have been designed by the St. Petersburg Malakhit (Malachite) Marine Engineering Bureau. The first Project 885 submarine cruiser “Severodvinsk” was delivered to the Russian Navy in 2014.

In a separate development, US media reported that a Russian ship was seen sailing just 20 miles south of the US Navy submarine base at King’s Bay, Georgia, again.

The Viktor Leonov, an AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) trawler, has a port call scheduled in Jamaica for mid-April, and the assumption among US officials is that it will make one more run up and down the US’s East Coast before heading to Jamaica.

The Russian trawler made a similar journey along the East Coast in February, sailing close to a US naval base in Virginia and Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, which the Navy describes as the “Home of the Submarine Force.”

The US and Russia have been locked in a dispute over a range of issues, including most primarily the Ukrainian crisis.

Nuclear Winter Is Unavoidable (Revelation 8:10)

(updated 11:37 09.12.2014)

Scientists from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research said even if a small scale nuclear war broke out in one region of the world, the entire planet would be at risk, as the planet would experience falling temperatures, less precipitation and reduced sunlight, among other grave consequences.

VIENNA, December 9 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — In the event if a nuclear war breaks out in one region of the Earth, the entire planet would suffer grave consequences, characterized by falling temperatures, less precipitation and reduced sunlight, Mike Mills, a scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, told Sputnik Tuesday.

“Even if the nuclear war happened in one part of the planet – India and Pakistan – the whole globe would be affected by the temperatures dropping, precipitating dropping, sunlight dropping and also the amount of harmful ultra-violet would increase, because of the ozone layer,” Mills said on the sidelines of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.He described a scenario where after an initial explosion cities would be engulfed by giant firestorms, like those seen during World War II – in Tokyo and Hiroshima.

“And this would produce a tremendous amount of smoke. We looked at a scenario in which India and Pakistan each used 50 of the smallest nuclear weapons, the size used on Hiroshima – on each other’s cities. Researchers estimated this would produce about 6.5 million tons of smoke, black smoke that would absorb a lot of sunlight,” the atmospheric scientist said, citing results of his research.

Heat from the sun would encourage smoke from the fires to rise up into the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is. Since weather features like rain do not occur this high up in the atmosphere, the smoke could not be simply washed away by rain, like it would lower down. Thus it could remain in the stratosphere for years, absorbing sunlight, preventing it from reaching the surface of the Earth. As a result, temperatures at the surface would drop and precipitation patterns would be affected. This in turn would have an impact on agriculture and ecosystems, leading to reductions in crop production, which in turn could give rise to a global famine.

Mills pointed out that as long as countries possess nuclear weapons, it is not a question if they will be used, but when.

“You know that governments change, and relations between countries can change; and as long as we possess the ability to annihilate each other and pose this catastrophic risk to the survival of our species and others on the planet, if we gave as long enough time, they would be used, eventually. Right now there is an increasing number of countries with nuclear weapons and that increases the risk of conflict between different nuclear armed states exponentially,” Mills told Sputnik urging to reverse that.

He stressed that nuclear powers are not doing enough to eliminate nuclear weapons. For instance, the new START treaty signed in 2010 between the United States and Russia, did not consider the climatic consequences of nuclear war. Mills pointed out the need to raise awareness about the risks of a nuclear winter, as in his view, greater awareness would put more pressure on governments to push for disarmament.“You really can’t ignore the impact on humanity of that kind of a war, and if someone were to say – well, we don’t care what happens to human beings after nuclear war, we have to question that kind of leadership whether it is coming from the military or diplomats,” Mills said adding that the well-being of society should be at the forefront of international leaders’ minds.

The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons is taking place on December 8-9 in Hofburg Palace in the Austrian capital. Its aim is to promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. According to the conference’s organization committee, over 16,000 nuclear warheads still exist, many of which are on “high alert”.

Trump’s Comrade States The Obvious

BN-JB080_russia_P_20150623091509Russia Could Annihilate U.S. With Nuclear Weapons, Trump Nominee Warns

The man President Donald Trump was set to nominate Thursday for a key Defense Department position once wrote an editorial that slammed Russia’s aggressive nuclear posture and the U.S.’ response.

The White House announced it intended to nominate David J. Trachtenberg to serve as the principal deputy under the secretary of defense for policy. In a December 2015 opinion piece for Defense News, Trachtenberg—the president of a national security consulting firm and former Department of Defense staffer—wrote that Russia had taken on a “threatening nuclear posture” and that the current approach left “Americans hostage to nuclear annihilation by Russia” in the name of strategic stability.

“In the most critical areas of nuclear deterrence and defense, it’s time to square the circle between Russia’s actions and America’s response,” Trachtenberg concluded in his Defense News piece. “Bolstering our nuclear offensive and defensive capabilities is long overdue. Let’s get on with it.”

The Trump administration’s ties to Russia have regularly come into question. The U.S. intelligence community determined that the country worked to help Trump get elected over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton through a hack of the Democratic National Committee and an “influence campaign.”

Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn stepped down after he misrepresented a conversation with a Russian ambassador to Vice President Mike Pence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, meanwhile, recused himself this month from an ongoing investigation of ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia after it was revealed that he did not disclose his meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the run-up to the election.

Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump have expressed a desire to further their nation’s nuclear capabilities.

Russia must “enhance the combat capability of strategic nuclear forces, primarily by strengthening missile complexes that will be guaranteed to penetrate existing and future missile defense systems,” Putin said in December.

Trump tweeted around that time, the U.S. “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.”

“Let it be an arms race,” Trump said in a statement to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the day after that tweet. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Strengthening the Russian Nuclear Horn

Russia’s Most Powerful Nuclear Attack Submarine Ever Is Almost Ready for Sea

Dave Majumdar
March 15, 2017

Russia is set to launch its second Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine on March 30. Called Kazan, the new vessel is an upgraded Project 885M design that is in many ways much more capable than the lead ship of the class, K-560 Severodvinsk.

“Kazan is expected to be rolled out and put afloat on March 30,” a Russian defense source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

The Russian Navy will take delivery of Kazan in 2018. Once the vessel is operational, she will be the most formidable enemy submarine that the U.S. Navy has ever faced. “It’s probably the most capable nuclear powered submarine out there fielded by a potential adversary,” Center for Naval Analyses Russian military affairs specialist Michael Kofman told The National Interest.

Indeed, Kazan is expected to be substantially improved over her older sister, the Severodvinsk. The vessel incorporates new technological developments that have emerged since Severodvinsk started construction in 1993. Kazan also incorporates lessons learned from testing the older vessel.

“The 885M is really the first ship of the class,” Kofman said. “The 885M is intended as a substantial improvement, based on the lessons learned from the lengthy development, construction, and testing process for the original 885.”

The Project 885 vessels are a departure from previous Soviet and Russian submarine designs. Unlike older Soviet vessels, the Project 885 submarines are multimission boats similar in concept to American vessels like the Seawolf or Virginia-classes.

“[Severodvinsk] is Russia’s first truly multipurpose submarine,” Michael Kofman and Norman Polmar wrote in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings journal. “The Severodvinsk is capable of antisubmarine, antiship, and land-attack missions. Among the more interesting features are a large bow sonar dome for the Irtysh-Amfora sonar system and an amidships battery of eight vertical-launch cells that can carry 32 Kalibr (SS-N-27/30 Sizzler) or Oniks (SS-N-26 Strobile) cruise missiles. These antiship and land-attack weapons are particularly significant after Russian surface ships and submarines fired long-range mis­siles into Syria in 2016.”

Russia plans to build a total of seven Project 885M submarines—Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk and Perm are currently under construction at the Sevmash shipyards on the White Sea port city of Severodvinsk.

Meanwhile, Russia is planning on developing a follow-on class of attack submarine that would hunt U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines. According to the authors of that article, “Now in development is a new Russian ‘hunter-killer’ submarine. This SSN will have the primary role of countering Western SSBNs. The new SSN is probably a significant program, but very little is known about it other than construction is slated to begin in the near future.”

The Russians undoubted have the technical skills to develop an extremely formidable new class of attack submarines. The question is does the Kremlin have the financial wherewithal to fund another expensive new defense project.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.

Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Preparing For The Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

THE FEDS ARE SPENDING MILLIONS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE NUCLEAR WAR

AUTHOR: MEGAN MOLTENI. MEGAN MOLTENI SCIENCE DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03.14.17

Last week, as tens of thousands of US and South Korean soldiers gathered at a base in Iwakuni, Japan for an annual joint military exercise, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles from Pyongyang into the sea off Japan’s northwest coast. In a world where the US is headed by a Twigger-happy political neophyte and the risk of a Cold War reboot looms larger with each Wikileaks disclosure, this demonstration wasn’t just an empty display of dictatorial propaganda. It was a reminder that the nuclear threat is still alive and well.

But even if you’ve taken a decades-long break from stocking your fallout shelter, the federal government hasn’t. Over the last ten years the US has poured millions of dollars into technologies and treatments it hopes to never have to use, but could, in the event of a nuclear catastrophe. From assays that measure radiation exposure to cell therapies that restore dwindling blood cells to liquid spray skin grafts, government officials are now far better equipped to deal with diagnosing and treating people if the unthinkable were to happen. And the next generation of treatments are being funded right now.

In 2006, the Department of Health and Human Services established the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise to coordinate federal solutions to large-scale public health threats, including the nuclear one. Pretty much every agency you can think of is involved—CDC, NIH, FDA, DoD, DHS, USDA, VA, and OEM, among others. But in terms of nuclear countermeasures, three programs nested within HHS do the bulk of the heavy lifting.

The NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is the first stop; it runs clinical and preclinical trials for promising technologies. Then there’s the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority—Barda—which is basically a taxpayer-backed investment firm that develops these potential drugs, vaccines, treatments, and supplies and ushers them through FDA approval. Finally there’s Project BioShield, which Barda uses to contract with companies when their products are almost ready, ensuring a national market. To date, the program has acquired 12 products related to a nuclear blast or reactor meltdown, some FDA-approved, some still in late stage development, but all destined for the Strategic National Stockpile, the CDC-managed backup supply of drugs and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency. And each class of products addresses a different part of the threat.

The first is diagnosis. When a person is exposed to high levels of radiation, unpaired electrons careen around their cellular machinery, breaking DNA and causing damage to every organ, including the bone marrow. This means you can’t generate new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, so you can’t fight off infections or coagulate your blood. People usually don’t start feeling the effects of acute radiation syndrome for 24 to 48 hours, but damage to their cells’ DNA starts almost immediately. Which is why you need a reliable diagnostic device; following a nuclear event, people who feel well might actually be in danger, and people who weren’t exposed will want treatment just to be safe.

So using Project BioShield, Barda has acquired two diagnostic devices, known as biodosimeters, to tell the difference. One works by measuring gene expression, the other by visually analyzing cell nuclei. “In the event of a nuclear event, the countermeasures we’ve procured will be precious resources,” says Joe Larsen, acting director of Barda’s division of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures. “We’re going to end up with a lot of worried well demanding treatment, and we can only afford to treat people that need it.”

That treatment, at least right now, consists of injections of immune-boosting cytokines, developed for cancer patients to restore depleted white blood cells lost during radiation treatments or chemotherapy. Project BioShield has acquired three such cytokine treatments—but, Larsen notes, they won’t work for about 20 percent of people. For them, the only option will be bone marrow or cord blood transplants, which come with the extra obstacle of having to be matched with a donor. So Barda is now looking for cellular therapies that don’t require any donor matching to their portfolio—a universal treatment. “That could shore up gaps in our initial capability to treat radiation.” And they’ve got at a few promising options coming down the pipeline.

Barda recently signed a $188 million contract to develop a stem cell therapy produced by California-based Cellerant Therapeutics, which restores white blood cells in leukemia patients who’ve had theirs taken out by chemotherapy. The cells are cryopreserved and shelf-stable, important features for a stockpile item. But the treatment is focused on white blood cells, and radiation exposure doesn’t limit itself to the immune system’s front-line fighters.

To that end, NIAID is funding clinical trials for a placenta-derived stem cell treatment developed by an Israeli company, Pluristem, that has shown the ability to restore all three blood cell lines—red and white blood cells, as well as platelets—in animal models. Like Cellerant’s, the treatment comes cryogenically frozen along with a thawing device to deploy it easily in the field. The cells stay viable on liquid nitrogen inside their canisters, so you don’t have to worry about losing them if the power goes out. From their injection site, the placental stem cells sense stress signals in bone marrow tissues, and send more than 20 signaling molecules to repair and restore their functions. The company isn’t testing efficacy in humans, for obvious reasons. But Pluristem says their animal studies showed close to 100 percent survival rates with the treatment, compared to 30 percent without.

Arik Eisenkraft, who began working on an ARS application for Pluristem’s technology following the Fukushima disaster, isn’t surprised that a potential solution to nuclear radiation would come out of a place like Israel. “We live in a world of imminent threats, not theoretical ones,” he said. “Even though we don’t have the same budgets and the same scope of institutes, what we do have is a real sense of urgency.”

Neither Barda nor Pluristem could confirm whether or not a contract is somewhere in their future. But the agency did say it was looking at all the options. And with Barda’s budget cut by $160 million last year and an uncertain future for disaster preparedness funds in a Trump administration, there’s no time like the present for some urgency of their own.

The European Nuclear Horns Grow (Daniel 7)

Fearing U.S. Withdrawal, Europe Considers Its Own Nuclear Deterrent

The New York Times By MAX FISHER 4 days ago

A technician under the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. In Europe, there is talk of forming a joint nuclear deterrent in the event the Trump administration withdraws American protection. © Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters A technician under the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. In Europe, there is talk of forming a joint nuclear deterrent in the event the Trump administration withdraws American protection.
BERLIN — An idea, once unthinkable, is gaining attention in European policy circles: a European Union nuclear weapons program.

Under such a plan, France’s arsenal would be repurposed to protect the rest of Europe and would be put under a common European command, funding plan, defense doctrine, or some combination of the three. It would be enacted only if the Continent could no longer count on American protection.

Though no new countries would join the nuclear club under this scheme, it would amount to an unprecedented escalation in Europe’s collective military power and a drastic break with American leadership.

Analysts say that the talk, even if it never translates into action, demonstrates the growing sense in Europe that drastic steps may be necessary to protect the postwar order in the era of a Trump presidency, a resurgent Russia and the possibility of an alignment between the two.

Even proponents, who remain a minority, acknowledge enormous hurdles. But discussion of a so-called “Eurodeterrent” has entered the mainstream — particularly in Germany, a country that would be central to any plan but where antinuclear sentiment is widespread.

Jana Puglierin of the German Council on Foreign Relations said that a handful of senior European officials had “for sure triggered a public debate about this, taking place in newspapers and journals, radio interviews and TV documentaries.”

She added: “That in itself is remarkable. I am indeed very astonished that we discuss this at all.”

A Nuclear ‘Plan B’

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s former prime minister and now the head of its ruling party, provided the highest-level call for a European Union nuclear program in a February interview with a German newspaper.

But the most important support has come from Roderich Kiesewetter, a lawmaker and foreign policy spokesman with Germany’s ruling party, who gave the nuclear option increased credibility by raising it shortly after President Trump’s election.

In an interview in the German Bundestag, Mr. Kiesewetter, a former colonel who served in Afghanistan, calibrated his language carefully, providing just enough detail to demonstrate the option’s seriousness without offering too much and risking an outcry from German voters or encouraging the American withdrawal he is hoping to avoid.

My idea is to build on the existing weapons in Great Britain and France,” he said, but acknowledged that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could preclude its participation.

The United States bases dozens of nuclear warheads in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands as both a quick-reaction force and a symbol of its guarantee to protect the Continent. Mr. Kiesewetter said his plan would provide a replacement or parallel program.

This would require, he said, four ingredients: a French pledge to commit its weapons to a common European defense, German financing to demonstrate the program’s collective nature, a joint command and a plan to place French warheads in other European countries.

The number of warheads in Europe would not increase under this plan, and could even decrease if the United States withdraws.

“It’s not a question of numbers,” Mr. Kiesewetter said. “The reassurance and deterrence comes from the existence of the weapons and their deployability.”

He envisioned a program designed to deter nuclear as well as conventional threats — a clear nod to Russia’s military superiority.

This would require a doctrine, he said, allowing Europe to introduce nuclear weapons to a non-nuclear conflict. He compared it to the Israeli program, which is believed to allow for a nuclear strike against an overwhelming conventional attack.

“These are political weapons. Their use must be unpredictable,” he said. Smaller nuclear powers often maintain vague doctrines to deter more powerful adversaries.

The goal, he said, would be to maintain Europe’s defense, seen as crucial for its internal unity, as well as its international diplomatic standing.

German lawmakers across the political spectrum worry that Mr. Trump could strike a grand bargain with Russia that excludes Europe, a potential first step toward Washington and Moscow dictating Europe’s future. Mr. Kiesewetter believes a European nuclear program would allow Europe to preserve its autonomy.

‘A Political Minefield’

Mostly, Mr. Kiesewetter said he hoped to spur Mr. Trump to end doubts over American security commitments to Europe, rendering unnecessary the nuclear “Plan B.”

For now, Mr. Kiesewetter’s intention is merely to “trigger a debate” over addressing “this silent, gigantic problem.”

It has worked. A small but growing contingent of German analysts and commentators haveendorsedversions of a European nuclear program.

Mr. Kiesewetter said he had heard interest from officials in the Polish and Hungarian governments, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and within relevant German ministries, though he would not say which.

But any European nuclear program would face enormous hurdles.

“The public is totally opposed,” Ms. Puglierin said, referring to German antinuclear sentiment, which has at times culminated in nationwide protests against the weapons.

In practical terms, the plan would change the flag on Europe’s nuclear deterrent from that of the United States to that of France. But this would risk making an American exit from Europe more permanent.

Oliver Thränert, a German analyst with the Switzerland-based Center for Security Studies, warned in a white paper that any plan “would not only be expensive, but also a political minefield full of undesirable potential political consequences.”

The biggest challenge may be who controls the French arsenal and where it is based.

The United States currently shares warheads with allies like Germany, whose militaries are equipped to deliver the weapons, granting the program credibility as a Pan-European defense.

But France has shown no willingness to share its weapons, much less put them under a joint European command. If Paris maintains final say over their use, this might cause an adversary to doubt whether France would really initiate a nuclear conflict to protect, say, Estonia.

France and ‘a Special Responsibility’

These sorts of problems are why Bruno Tertrais of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris said, “In other times I would have told you don’t bother, there’s no story here.”

Similar proposals have been floated before, including by the French government, and always rejected as politically risky and strategically unnecessary. But, he said, that calculus appears to have a potential to change with Mr. Trump.

“There’s already a bit more interest in Berlin and in Paris,” Mr. Tertrais said, though he emphasized that this talk would become action only if there were “a serious loss of trust in the U.S. umbrella.”

But a joint European command or funding scheme would most likely be impossible, he warned. The French government would insist on maintaining “the final decision to use nuclear weapons.”

That is also United States policy in Europe, which is why Mr. Tertrais believes a more workable plan would be for France to reproduce American-style practices of basing its warheads abroad, while keeping them under French control.

While most French warheads are lodged on submarines, a few dozen are fitted to air-launched cruise missiles that could be housed in, for example, German airfields. These are smaller, shorter-range tactical weapons — exactly the American capability that Europe most fears losing.

French policy already allows for, though does not require, using nuclear weapons in defense of an ally.

With Britain’s exit from the European Union, “the French might feel they have a special responsibility” as Europe’s sole nuclear power.

Vipin Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies regional nuclear powers, was initially skeptical but came to see such a plan as both technically and politically feasible.

For France, he said, “it extends their frontier,” making it likelier that a nuclear conflict would be fought far from French soil. For Germany and other European states, it would “increase the credibility of the forward deployment against Russian aggression.”

An Insurance Policy

Some observers believe that official shows of support are intended only to pressure Mr. Trump into maintaining the status quo, which Mr. Kiesewetter emphasized is his preferred outcome.

But Mr. Narang said that, regardless of intentions, there is a blurry line between mere signaling and actually pursuing a fallback nuclear option.

Nuclear scholars call this “insurance hedging,” in which a protectee comes to doubt its protector and responds by taking steps toward, but not actually completing, its own nuclear program. This is meant to goad the protector into staying, and to prepare in case it doesn’t.

Japan, for instance, has quietly developed latent capabilities that are sometimes figuratively described as a “screwdriver’s turn” away from a bomb.

Because Europe’s primary challenges are political rather than technical — France already possesses the warheads — sparking public discussion and exploring options makes those challenges more surmountable and the option more real.

“In order for it to be credible there has to be some sort of workable option,” Mr. Narang said.

‘I Never Thought We Would See This Again’

Mr. Kiesewetter hopes the United States will come around. He puts particular faith in Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, whom he met in Afghanistan and Brussels while both were military officers.

But Mr. Mattis has echoed Mr. Trump’s warnings that the United States could lessen its support for Europe, saying in a recent speech in Brussels, “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States.”

If Europeans grew more serious about a nuclear program, Mr. Tertrais said, “you would not necessarily see it.” Negotiations would most likely remain secret for fear of giving Mr. Trump an excuse to withdraw — or of triggering a reaction from Russia.

Mr. Narang said he was reeling from the seriousness of the discussion, the first since a failed and now-forgotten effort in the 1950s for French-German-Italian nuclear cooperation.

“I never thought we would see this again. I never thought there would actually be this concern,” he said. But, he added, “You can see where the debate is surfacing from. There is a logic to it.”

The Nuclear Truth (Revelation 15)

Nuclear reality: Former U.S. chief scientific officer gives his take on world’s nukes

Ashley Collins | ashley.collins@naplesnews.com; 239-213-60292:44 p.m. ET March 8, 2017

Nuclear weapons can wipe out an entire city and kill millions. That power shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet, several countries, including Iran, Pakistan and North Korea, continue to actively engage in creating and testing nuclear weapons. North Korea just test-launched four ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan Monday.

According to Dr. John Psaras, former chief scientific officer with the U.S. Department of Energy, the threat isn’t something to ignore. He spoke to more than 150 curious individuals at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples late last month during the annual “Progressive Voices Speak Out” lecture series.

His lecture — the fourth in the series — honed in on, “Nuclear Weapons in the Wrong Hands – Terrorism, Iran, Pakistan and North Korea.” Other lectures in the series touched on the new presidential administration, rise in sea levels and the 2016 presidential election.

Psaras, now retired, dedicated more than 25 years to the U.S. Department of Energy.

In order to explain the current nuclear weapons situation, Psaras started off with its origin.

The nuclear age began in 1945; the year the U.S. tested a nuclear bomb in New Mexico, and dropped a uranium bomb over Japan’s Hiroshima, and a plutonium bomb over Nagasaki towards the end of World War II.

“Plutonium, to give you an idea, is roughly about, pound for pound, three times more vile than uranium,” Psaras said to the audience.

Ashley Collins

During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a nuclear arms race. At the peak of the war, the U.S. had more than 30,000 nuclear device units, Psaras added.

“Russia had almost double that amount. So we could have blown the world 100 times over with that power,” he said.

In order to quell the use and testing of nuclear weapons, an international treaty called Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was born in 1968, and was extended indefinitely in 1995.

The treaty recognized the U.S., Russia, United Kingdom, France and China as nuclear-weapon states, and according to the Arms Control Association, legitimized those states’ arsenals. However, not all states’ agreeing to the treaty have stuck by the treaty’s rules. North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003 and has tested nuclear devices since. Iran engages in secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms.

To date, there are still about 15,000 nuclear warheads worldwide, with more than 90 percent belonging to the U.S. and Russia, according to Psaras.

However, he added, all eyes should be on countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

Pakistan not only has a weak government, but is the Islamic world’s sole nuclear weapons state.​

“In those instances you could have a situation where somebody may be able to steal a nuclear device… In the event that they do try to actually hit anybody, either ourselves or alternately our allies, we are ready, having anti-ballistic missiles located strategically in both Southeast Asia as well as Europe and the Middle East,” Psaras said.

He added that while he isn’t sure what the new presidential administration plans to do against nuclear weapons, it should be placed in high priority.

In a February interview with the Reuters news agency, President Donald Trump said he wants a world free of nuclear weapons, but if it can’t be, the United States should be “at the top of the pack.”

The lecture series concluded March 8 with Brendan Fischer, associate counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, speaking on the role of gerrymandering and voter suppression during the 2016 presidential election.

The congregation’s Rev. Tony Fisher hopes participants take action based on the information learned from the series.

“What we learn in these lectures hopefully just doesn’t sit in our brains and make us feel good that we’ve heard it. But that it motivates us to turn around and go out and do something in the wider world,” Fisher said to the audience.