Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

America’s new more “usable” bomb makes nuclear bombing more likely

bomb B61-12it also poses the contrary reality of an increased probability that nuclear weapons will actually be launched.

This concept of greater usability entirely forgoes the core assumption of deterrence theory, which asserts that credible nuclear deterrents are always present but never utilized.

The Pentagon’s New Nuclear Gravity Bomb, Global Risk Insights  ,  January 8, 2016 Despite its advertisement as a low-yield, lower-risk alternative to existing missile models, the recently tested B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb presents several risks that may in fact elevate the threat of nuclear use and encourage proliferation.

Late last year, the United States successfully completed testing of the newest addition to its nuclear arsenal — the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb. Part of a $355 billion effort to modernize its increasingly outdated nuclear capability, the U.S. has developed the B61-12 to the tune of over $10.4 billion as the most adaptable, precise nuclear gravity missile on the planet.

Successful testing of the missile has now created a clear pathway for production engineering to begin in 2016, and with that, the United States is now poised to acquire 480 bombs total by the 2020-2024 period.

Washington argues that the development of an enhanced B61 gravity bomb is an important facet of the broader nuclear modernization efforts required to protect itself and its Western allies from threats like Russia and Iran. Other countries, especially non-nuclear states, underscore the hypocrisy of a nuclear modernization effort given President Obama’s stated commitment towards disarmament and nonproliferation…….

Lower Nuclear Yield, Higher Nuclear Probability

Yet, in contradictory fashion, the same unique technical qualities that make the B61-12 a more accurate, secure, and effective U.S. nuclear deterrent also conjure implied risks with the potential to negate any positive impacts.

By significantly increasing accuracy and eroding the barriers to use previously presented by unintended casualties, the B61-12 does indeed increase the deterrent capability of the United States — but it also poses the contrary reality of an increased probability that nuclear weapons will actually be launched.

This concept of greater usability entirely forgoes the core assumption of deterrence theory, which asserts that credible nuclear deterrents are always present but never utilized. In short, B61-12s will broaden the range of circumstances that U.S. military strategists might reasonably consider employing nuclear weapons, a move which in turn would naturally create an immediate possibility of escalation towards full-fledged nuclear war.

In addition, the sheer expense and symbolism of creating a highly modernized, highly precise nuclear weapon like the B61-12 challenges the notions of nonproliferation and disarmament.

Washington’s pursuit of the B61-12 simultaneously legitimizes Russian vertical proliferation while potentially intimidating Beijing into accelerated arsenal growth. It also assures unofficial nuclear powers like Pakistan, India, and Israel that acquisition of low-yield nuclear weapons is an acceptable alternative to procuring high-yield strategic missiles……….http://globalriskinsights.com/2016/01/the-pentagons-new-nuclear-gravity-bomb/

January 8, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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