Beyond the Cusp

December 15, 2014

Obama Ignores Russian Discovery that Neuters Nuclear Warheads


Recent revelations have indicated that the Russians have discovered a neutering weakness of all the nuclear warheads in the arsenals of the United States and likely other nuclear powers as well. This discovery which completely alters any perceived balance of power is that the heat shields used on the United States nuclear missiles use polymeric compounds as a component in their heat shields which protect the warhead during the stages of reentry are able to be destroyed when subjected to intense x-rays. This discovery means that if the warheads which utilized polymers that were reinforced with asbestos fibers, such as the aging United States arsenal employ, were subjected to an intense blast of x-rays they would literally become brittle and crumble when subjected to reentry vibrations and thus permit the heat of reentry to cook and destroy the warheads. This would mean that the Russians would need to simply launch a few nuclear warheads to detonate within a reasonable distance of even an all-out nuclear strike from the United States and the resultant burst of x-rays, along with gamma-rays and other effects, would cause the entirety of the missiles to be crippled as their heat shields would become compromised making the entire strike to become ineffective and inert. Such a discovery would make the United States enter into a frantic and immediate upgrading of their nuclear warheads and thus modernizing them in such a manner as to make them no longer susceptible to such a neutering vulnerability. Hard as it may seem to believe but the current budget actually decreased the funding for maintenance of the United States nuclear arsenal.


This decreasing of the budget for upkeep and research into ways to modernize the United States nuclear arsenal is also surprising for other reasons. One glaring reason has been the upgrading and researches the Russians and the Chinese have invested in with their nuclear inventories with both nations producing nuclear weapons which are two generations removed from those which they maintained previously to gain parity with the NATO powers. The research that both nations have placed as a priority has been aided further with the recent exchange of information between the two world powers such that they have also gained from each other’s research and development. The Russians have almost completed a substantive upgrading of their entire nuclear inventory replacing their older warheads with their latest improved both their designs and the means of weaponizing the detonation sequencing for greater yields and also for specialized effects such as using warheads specifically for generating EMP waves or neutron yields which leave structures relatively intact while causing yields of radiation that is lethal for living organisms. Meanwhile the United States has sat idle in the fields of nuclear weapons research and has retained with minimal upkeep their weapons from the Cold War period. This makes the youngest warheads in the United States arsenal to be over thirty years of age. Fortunately for the United States, these just over thirty year old devices are equipped with a superior graphite-reinforced heat shields which are not vulnerable to a burst of x-rays or any other such vulnerability but the remainder of the United States and NATO warheads still have this vulnerability and there does not appear to be any great rush to upgrade these warheads.


When one thinks about the effect of the smug attitude amongst the western nations that they no longer need to upgrade their nuclear weapons and that there is no potential dangers where such weapons might enter into the exchanges in any future conflict shows a general disdain for preparing for any and all potential conflicts. This is the same smugness which has plagued the United States placing them in vulnerable positions and always having to play catch-up at the onset of hostilities. This smugness and perception that the world has entered a stage where committing a nation to start a war is beyond their ability to conceive and thus relegated to the realm of the impossible. Holding such an attitude will actually make the potential for a future war more likely than not as it leaves the United States, western nations of NATO and the free world in general ill prepared for any conflict which may occur. Such an attitude also ignores other realities such that these new developments in warhead design and rocket designs, some of which allow for the reentry vehicle carrying the warhead to approach its target along a trajectory other than a simple gravitational parameter making them impregnable to standard existing anti-missile systems, have been exchanged between Russia and China and thus likely to have been shared with North Korea and Iran. This would allow all these nations to produce nuclear weapons systems which could potentially be impervious to United States and NATO as well as potentially Israeli anti-missile interceptors currently in use. This would make the requirement for research and concurrent upgrading of the nuclear weapons systems and anti-missile systems urgent and of primary concern in the immediate future, but considering the complete aversion to the military and its requirements by the current administration under President Obama completely impossible. What is even more frightening is that the next President is also not likely to be all that interested in investing the funding and placing such emphasis on the urgent needs to acquire the leading minds in these fields to simply start what will need to be a prolonged and continuous effort.


The Russians and Chinese have been placing just such an emphasis on their weaponized systems including and especially nuclear warhead design and missile technology which made a special effort on making the missiles more capable of defeating anti-missile systems currently in use. These new warheads will have placed an emphasis to require newer systems which use particle beam and laser intercept pulsed systems as these would counter the newest systems as the delivery speed of the intercepting device would travel near or at the speed of light. Systems using rail-gun technologies would also be another area to research as such would be very practical for intercepting directed missiles such as the Russian and Chinese anti-ship Sunburst Missiles which carries a 750 pound conventional warhead or can carry a tactical nuclear warhead and has a range of up to one-hundred miles and reaches a top cruising speed of Mach 2.1 which is more than twice the speed of sound plus utilized a low height trajectory just over wave while performing erratic and radical course changes during flight enabling it to defeat most anti-missile defenses. This is but one of the new challenges that the Russian and Chinese have developed directly resultant to their doubling and redoubling their funding and investment in new and advanced weapons systems. Both nations realized that they would be incapable of matching the United States ship for ship, aircraft for aircraft and missile for missile so they instead invested in developing systems with vast capabilities and with a direct input demanding that these systems be capable of defeating all countermeasures in use by the United States and NATO nations. This is the situation which the western nations have thus far ignored either from disbelief that the Chinese or the Russians could have progressed that far ahead of the current technologies in use even though most of these systems are decades old with a few and rare exceptions.


The problem is more dire and serious than many in the west have realized as many of these technological advancements are being made available to nations who are potential enemies who would not think twice about attacking United States or NATO forces and initiating the confrontation responding to even the most minimal affront including rhetorical attacks which many would not perceive as rising to the level of causing an actual military response. Iran has been given access to the anti-ship Sunburn missile which they could conceivably use as a ground based weapon and not necessitate placing it on a ship which would be more vulnerable. Iranian technological expertise has been witnessed by Israel during their last operation in Gaza where they realized the extent to which Hamas and Islamic Jihad relied upon tunnels and underground stationing of rocket launching platforms which would rise up and fire their missile or rocket only to retreat back underground placing a cover which concealed the location from detection. These systems proved only to be vulnerable to detections based on knowledge gained through intelligence gathering. Gathering intelligence on Gaza is not anywhere near the difficulty that gathering such intelligence on Iran would pose simply due to proximity and size of area over which such intelligence would need to cover. Iran would pose an impossible challenge to even the highest and best intelligence gathering and would take a large investment and still might be dependent upon satellite data gathered over a prolonged period. As Russia has grown close with Iran especially in respect to arming Syria and Hezbollah which Iran has made ample investments purchasing weapons used by Iran and their satellite interests. China has a similar relationship with North Korea whose current leader is more of an enigma than a known and understood entity. All of these relations and new realities are challenges which the western nations need to realize, identify and invest in the necessary upgrades and the research which will produce the next generations of weapons systems and defenses. The west and the world in general cannot afford to enter any conflict being decades behind in technology and sophistication of their weapons and defensive systems and hope to have the time to play catch-up after hostilities have broken out. It was sufficient a challenge during World War II and one that almost cost the allies their victory. Had the Third Reich had just a few more months before the Normandy Invasions and Russian turning around the field of battle at Moscow and Stalingrad and they might have developed and produced their latest technologies such as jet aircraft and three-stage rockets capable of reaching the United States mainland from launchers within Europe and nuclear warheads to place atop such rockets and the results would have been very different. In the next conflict there will be no time to play catch-up as the distances which once proved to be insurmountable and provided the United States with a seclusion of invulnerability which has vanished in the current situations. Believing that the world has reached the sophistication where nobody would start a war because the potential price they might have to pay was too high is an innocence of thought and misunderstanding of the realities of the world that could prove fatal to any nation living under that dream. There are nations, Iran and North Korea come to mind and potentially Russia should their internal distress reach an unbearable point, for whom starting a war despite the potential for devastating result on the home front would not be sufficient deterrence. Can the west honestly believe they are safe because nobody would dare be fool enough to attack them as doing so would be suicide? First off, are they sure it would be suicide and if so is that an honest assessment? There are no such guarantees that the world will act in any manner which some believe are based on valid and sane assessments as nations throughout history have entered into conflicts which were ill thought out and resulted in disasters. They will continue to do so in the future as mankind has not actually evolved beyond such foolishness no matter how much we desire to believe so.


Beyond the Cusp



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