July 30, 2015

One Last Excerpt From "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb"


An excerpt from, "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb" by Philip Taubman:
"If the United States ever sweeps away its Cold War cobwebs, how could it and other countries manage a nuclear countdown to zero? And once there, how could they sustain a nonnuclear equilibrium?

Realizing that answers to these questions are a precondition for nuclear disarmament, Shultz and his partners have spent a good deal of time trying to come up with sensible suggestions for what nuclear specialists call end-state issues. The ideas they are exploring are far from perfect or comprehensive, but they do suggest there is a way forward.

The five men start with a phased drawdown of American and Russian weapons that eventually expands to include other nuclear-armed nations. They imagine a reconsideration of defense strategy to make it less dependent on nuclear weapons and favor new technological measures that can verify the elimination of nuclear weapons and the maintenance of a nonnuclear state.

A core problem is adapting deterrence theory to a nonnuclear world. Bernard Brodie, one of the first and most influential nuclear weapons theorists, accurately predicted the shape of nuclear deterrence not long after the 1945 surrender of Japan. He said, "Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now on its chief purpose must be to avert them. It can have almost no other useful purpose."

Yet, while it is true, as General Chilton suggested, that the presence of nuclear weapons has inhibited global war, and the blockbuster American and Soviet arsenals sustained an uneasy Cold War peace, a  great deal of blood has been shed in local and regional military conflicts since the bomb was invented. Nuclear weapons did not prevent the Korean War or the Vietnam War, nor the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein's occupation of Kuwait. Moreover, a nuclear deterrent is also only as credible as the prospect that nuclear weapons would actually be used, and there is only the barest chance today that the United States would fire its weapons in self-defense. That seems especially so given the nature of current threats---trying to retaliate against al-Qaeda with a nuclear volley makes little sense.

That means the United States is left with an overwhelmingly powerful arsenal of weapons for which there is no obvious target, and a deterrence strategy that lacks credibility. We are like a muscle-bound giant. As Shultz, Drell, and Jim Goodby have noted, "Much has changed in the past twenty years, yet the basic concepts about how deterrence works have changed hardly at all in the popular imagination and even in a number of official statements about national policy. Conventional concepts about deterrence need to be reconsidered in the context of the specific contemporary threats our nation faces. Otherwise, national security policies will become detached from the reality that they are devised to influence, and our national security will become endangered."

What to do? Shultz, Kissinger, Perry, and Nunn gave their answer in another Wall Street Journal op-ed article in March 2011. As with the three earlier Journal articles, it took weeks of discussion and numerous drafts to come to agreement. They haggled for two weeks over the use of one word in the essay before settling on a final version that could be submitted to the Journal. The nub of their assessment: "Nations should move forward together with a series of conceptual and practical steps toward deterrence that do not rely primarily on nuclear weapons or nuclear threats to maintain international peace and security."

Shultz and his colleagues did not go into detail, but it would seem logical that the United States and Russia should scale back to a modest number of weapons more relevant to today's threat, and no longer pivot defense strategy around the threat of massive nuclear retaliation. America's conventional military forces, even if they are reduced over time, can provide ample firepower to defend the country and look after its interests abroad. And new technologies, such as hypersonic weapons that can deliver powerful conventional warheads to distant targets, are on the drawing board. Using a conventional intercontinental missile for that purpose sounds appealing on paper. Such a missile strike, for instance, might have reached the Afghan redoubt where Osama bin Laden was sighted in 1998 in time to kill him. The subsonic cruise missiles fired at President Clinton's order arrived too late. But launching long-range missiles runs the risk that Russia would think it was coming under attack as ballistic missiles headed in its direction.

If the nuclear deterrence spell can be broken, the path to nuclear disarmament will look more navigable. Reconstitution is likely to be a central element of any approach. A host of difficult issues are associated with reconstitution. One involves the terms of an international treaty that would govern a zero world, including permissible reconstitution enterprises. Another issue is how to monitor nuclear arsenals as they come down toward zero, and at zero, and how to ensure that reconstitution facilities operate within treaty limits. These can be arcane matters that scientists like Drell are exploring and are grist for niche publications like Nuclear Weapons Journal, which is published by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The science of arms monitoring has come a long way since the 1940s and early '50s, when the United States dispatched manned aircraft along the periphery of the Soviet Union hoping to get a glimpse of military installations inside its borders. The U-2 spy plane gave Washington a deeper look inside the Soviet Union from 1956 to 1960. Since then, spy satellites have provided a torrent of data by photographing and using other surveillance technologies while orbiting overhead. In recent years, more intrusive practices have been employed, including on-site inspections of military bases and missile factories. Ronald Reagan never tired of using the phrase "Trust but verify" when discussing arms control issues.

Edward M. Ifft, a former State Department on-site arms inspector and an expert on these matters, imagines four stages of monitoring and verifying a zero world. At stage one, the starting point for final reductions would have to be confirmed---if the number of warheads or delivery vehicles that a nation starts with were unknown, counting down to zero would be impossible. Then the retirement and dismantlement of warheads, or at least their separation from delivery systems like missiles, would have to be meticulously tracked. Next, the removal and storage or disposal of fissile material must be monitored. Last, surveillance would be required to ensure that reconstitution activities---at defense labs, bomb-making facilities, missile bases, and so on---did not exceed international limits.

The United States and other nations have some experience monitoring these sorts of things, but the degree of difficulty would be much higher in dealing with a countdown to zero and reconstitution facilities and materials. Drell and Goodby described a few techniques involved: "National technical means [satellites], data exchanges, on-site inspections (both routine ones and those prompted by a challenge), perimeter and portal continuous monitoring, tags and seals, sensors and detection devices to monitor nuclear activity and the resulting effluents, remote viewing as conducted already by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and---no less important---human intelligence, or good old-fashioned spying."

In 2011, Drell and Christopher Stubbs, a Harvard physicist, came up with an ingenuous proposal to expand aerial surveillance already conducted under the 2002 Open Skies Treaty. Dwight Eisenhower suggested in 1955 that countries open their skies to aerial surveillance of military installations by other nations but the Kremlin quickly rejected the idea. It was reborn after the Cold War. There have been more than 750 such flights involving dozens of countries since 2002. In 2010, the United States conducted fourteen Open Skies flights over Russia, and Russia conducted six in American airspace. Airmen and technical crews from both nations participated in both sets of flights.

Drell and Stubbs suggested that the practice could be used to monitor various aspects of a zero treaty and reconstitution activities. Flights, for instance, could be used to sample atmospheric gases and particulates that can signal the production of fissile materials. Aerial surveillance could also provide higher resolution images of ground facilities than spy satellites do. Exotic new monitoring technologies may appear in coming years, including laser-based techniques to detect uranium and its compounds from afar.

Their work fits nicely into the approach that Shultz, Kissinger, Perry, Nunn, and Drell have taken since the first Wall Street Journal article. "We have always insisted on saying, 'Let us test each proposition and see how it actually works and see whether it can be made to work,' " Kissinger said. "And we have not come to a point yet where one could say, 'It's unworkable.' And that I consider great progress." [Source: Taubman, Philip. 2012. "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb," Pg. 386-390. HarperCollinsPublishers: New York].

Death To NATO. Death Turkey. Death To ISIS. Death To EU. Death To America.

 The four horsemen riding the ISIS apocalypse: Erdogan, Cameron, the NATO asshole whose name doesn't matter, and Obama. They will all get slayed by the sword of time and the arrows of justice.

An excerpt from, "Nato backs Turkey on fighting Islamic State, PKK" Eyewitness News, July 29, 2015:
Nato gave Turkey its full political support in fighting militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday but several nations urged Ankara not to undermine the Kurdish peace process by using excessive military force.

Following a 90-minute meeting in Brussels, Turkey won the backing it sought for stepping up its role in the US-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes.

Ankara made no request to its 27 allies for military help and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg noted that it had the second-largest army in the alliance.

Instead, the meeting heard how Turkey was carrying out President Tayyip Erdogan’s sudden change in strategy against Islamic State - an al Qaeda breakaway that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq - and Kurdish militants based in Iraq.

“We all stand united in condemning terrorism, in solidarity with Turkey,” Stoltenberg told a news conference.
Stoltenberg why are you lying? NATO, America, Europe, and Turkey are the real terrorists.

Turkey isn't going after ISIS with these air strikes. It helped create ISIS.

Turkey, ISIS, America, and NATO will lose their immoral fight against the PKK. It is only a matter of time. Patience, honour, and strength are on the side of the PKK and the Kurdish people, not the ISIS supporters in Ankara, Washington, and Brussels.

NATO and ISIS will be destroyed together.

July 29, 2015

US-Turkey No Fly Zone In Syria Is A Very Bad Idea

President Obama and President Erdogan are heads of the two biggest terrorist states on the planet. Their covert plan to back ISIS against Assad and the PKK has led to nothing but death and destruction for the peoples in the region. They can stop their terrorism now and bow out gracefully, or be defeated and humiliated.

Turkey is a terrorist state. The United States is a terrorist state. NATO is a terrorist organization. They created ISIS and continue to protect it. 

ISIS will be the chief beneficiary of the proposed US-Turkey plan to establish a no fly zone in northern Syria. 

But they will fail. They will not accomplish any of their aims. Their terrorism has no purpose but destruction. NATO, the U.S., Turkey, and ISIS will be defeated. Obama and Erdogan will go down in history as the two biggest terrorist leaders in modern memory. 

The American and Turkish peoples need to reflect on the violence and terrorism their governments are perpetrating in the name of national security, do some national soul searching, and elect more moral leaders to guide them in the future.
An excerpt from, "Balkanizing Syria, Buffer Zone In Northern Syria. Redrawing The Middle East Map." by Stephen Lendman, Global Research, July 29, 2015:
At Monday’s daily State Department press briefing, AP’s Matt Lee asked spokesman Admiral John Kirby “what’s going on with the Turks? (I)t seems like a really bizarre situation has unfolded over the course of the past week with them (claiming to join) the air strikes against ISIS, but at the same time bombing PKK positions” in Syria and Iraq.
“So what exactly is going on here, and doesn’t this just make an even bigger mess out of the situation than” earlier?
Kirby ducked the question saying “(w)e are grateful for Turkey’s cooperation against ISIL (America’s ally, not enemy) to include now use of some of their bases for coalition (US/Britain/Israel and now Turkey) aircraft to go against targets – ISIL targets, particularly in Syria.”
Fact: Washington provides air support for IS proxy foot soldiers. Syrian infrastructure is targeted. Easily visible columns of IS elements (via satellite imagery) move free of US attacks.
They could easily be destroyed if Washington wanted them eliminated. Just the opposite. Kirby and other US officials claiming America is at war with IS is polar opposite truth.
Matt Lee pressed Kirby on attacking PKK fighters in Iraq and YPG Kurds in Syria – “perhaps the most effective (ones) on the ground against ISIS/ISIL,” he said. “You don’t have a problem with that,” he asked?
Kirby disagreed on Kurdish effectiveness, called the PKK “a foreign terrorist organization” because Washington say so, and added “Turkey has a right to self-defense” – the same rationale as Israel’s phony claim about a Palestinian threat.
Lee pressed further asking “(i)s the US telling Turkey not to go after the PKK if the PKK in Syria are going after ISIL – yes or no?”
Kirby seemed nonplussed – interrupted by another reporter asking “(s)o you don’t know (about Kurdish elements) fighting inside Syria?”
Kirby lied saying “I have no specific information.”
Question: “Who is shooting at whom at this point?”
Kirby ducked the question – without explaining sophisticated US satellite imagery he understands well as a retired navy admiral, able to follow ground activity wherever the Pentagon wishes.

Obama Struck A Home Run With Iran Deal, But Ditching Kurdish Allies In The Middle of Anti-ISIS Fight Was The Wrong Play

Washington is a sad clown who is juggling too many balls. Somebody needs to cut the lights and tell this clown to leave the stage and go home.

None of Washington's allies can or should trust it. Only blind fools put faith in American promises and deals. Although the P+1-Iran deal is good for the region and the world, it is not a sure thing because Washington is not a trustworthy actor. Never has been. Never will be. Anyone who believes otherwise is either dishonest or has not read enough history.

The best thing for the U.S. to do would be to leave the Middle East completely, every inch of it, leave every ally and enemy behind, and concentrate on rebuilding home. China is building the future and the U.S. should do the same. Too much money has already been wasted elsewhere.

The Middle East will blossom without America. The worst thing to happen to the region in the last half century, worse than ISIS and other idiotic extremists, worse than religious tyranny, worse than a hundred dictators, has been constant US interference.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey will take a hit from losing their ally, for sure, but Israel will be fine because it can defend itself on its own, and Israel's security is all that seems to matter in Washington anyways.

The alternative is to piss off ally and enemy alike. And the sad clown isn't strong or smart enough to juggle a region in total chaos.

The only option for Washington is to leave the stage before it is burned down and let the bloody show go on without it.

July 28, 2015

U.S. And Turkey Seek To Bolster ISIS In Northern Syria By Bombing The PKK

“History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes." - Mark Twain.

Ever since the illegal U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 the role of Pakistan has come under constant scrutiny. Numerous American officials and Western diplomats have said on record that Pakistan is playing a double game in the war on the Taliban and other extremists in Afghanistan. And they're absolutely right on this point.

In fact, a former top Pakistani spy named General Durrani openly bragged not too long ago in an interview with Al Jazeera that his government secretly aids the Taliban against the Afghan pepole and the international-backed Afghan government.

The man gave his reasons, and naturally morality and the lives of innocent Afghan civilians were not factors in his military calculations. He sincerely believes that backing the Taliban and Jihadist terrorism in general is in his country's best geopolitical and security interests.

It's may be in the army's best interests, but the nation's? Not so much.

The air of arrogance around him was off-putting, but at least he had the guts to say on camera that his government supports terrorist groups to promote the national interest. He knew the game the other side was playing, so clearly Mr. Durrani isn't a stupid man. But the thing that was most memorable from the interview was his boldness and matter-of-factness speaking style.

No former or current official from the Turkish, American, Israeli and Saudi states have ever revealed as much, whether to domestic or foreign media.

Turkey, like Pakistan, has backed Jihadist terrorist groups in a neighbouring country with the full knowledge and backing of the scum in Washington. The only difference is the duration of their support to Jihadist terror groups and their stated national objectives. The tools, the narratives, and the tactics are the same.

Afghanistan and Syria have been the unfortunate victims of their neighbours' pro-terrorist proxy policies. It also doesn't help them that the US and NATO have chosen the side of the aggressor and oppressor.

Afghanistan is a playground where the troublemakers are protected by the teachers. And there is a reason for this. Pakistan and the U.S. have made numerous deals about who to hit and who not to hit in the fraudulent war on terror. This is why the Taliban is still kicking around in 2015. They are being protected.

As part of the deal, the U.S. uses Pakistan's territory as a key supply route. Occassionaly there are threats from Islamabad to interupt the flow but it hasn't acted on them in a serious way.

In return for Pakistan's collaboration in the fraudulent war on terror, it gets to strike the so-called "bad Taliban" in its neck of the woods, who are targeting Pakistani soldiers, and feed the so-called "good Taliban" who are terrorizing Afghans and fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan. It's a messed up and failed policy. And Washington has went along with this policy more or less quietly because it also benefits from having Jihadist terror groups around.

Washington is making a similar arrangement with Turkey. Under a new deal signed recently by the Osama adminstration, the US gets to use a key Turkish airbase to do God knows what and Turkey in return will get strong diplomatic backing from Washington in its decades-long war on the PKK/YPG.

Officially Turkish officials are selling their renewed war on the PKK as an air campaign against ISIS but that is clearly a lie in order to get international credibility. The truth is that Turkey, America, Saudi Arabia, Israel, France, England, and Qatar have covertly backed ISIS since the beginning of the war in Syria and they're not about to stop now. ISIS is the only horse they have in Syria.

Will the Talibanization of Syria, envisioned by the tyrants in Saudi Arabia, America, Turkey, and Israel be complete? Will the U.S. and Turkey create an ISIS-free zone in northern Syria wherein ISIS will be free to terrorize and slaughter the local populations even more aggressively than it has before, under NATO air cover? Will Washington, Riyadh, and Ankara help to create the new Caliphate?

The answer to these questions depend on what Assad and the PKK decide to do next. They are being backed into a corner where the only option is to fight. Syrians and Kurds are tough, liberal, secular-minded people and they will not allow the U.S., Turkey, Israel, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to force feed them ISIS baloney.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey will find, like Pakistan has since the 1970s, that their own conservatively-inclined populations are more susceptible to the poison that ISIS is peddling than the populations they are currently terrorizing and brainwashing in other lands.

What darkness will the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey ultimately bring over Syria? Will ISIS reign supreme in Damascus as the Taliban once did in Kabul?

One thing is clear: the countries that support Jihadist terrorism only suffer and lose in the end. History shows that. Supporting the Taliban has backfired for Pakistan. Turkey and Saudi Arabia will discover the same bitter fruits on their doorstep in the near future as a result of their current support for ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

July 27, 2015

Philip Taubman, Award-winning journalist and long-time NYT reporter on the 1986 Reykjavik Summit

Video Title: Philip Taubman, Award-winning journalist and long-time NYT reporter. Source: CTBTO. Date Published: January 28, 2013. Description:
Philip Taubman is a journalist, author and two-time winner of the George Polk Award. For more than 30 years, he worked for The New York Times, including as bureau chief for the Washington and Moscow offices. Taubman is now Consulting Professor at the Center of International Security and Cooperation of Stanford University. He has authored two books: "Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage" and "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb".

This interview was conducted on 27 September 2012 at the 'Reykjavik' event organized by the CTBTO in New York, where Taubman moderated a panel discussion. Taubman recalls his experience as a reporter at the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, during which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev came close to an historic agreement on abolishing all nuclear weapons. He remembers the two leaders' disappointment after that goal had eluded them, and explains why Reykjavik was nonetheless a milestone for nuclear arms control.

July 21, 2015

Another Excerpt From "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb"

Related: PONI Live Debate: Global Zero + An Excerpt From "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb."

An excerpt from, "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb" by Philip Taubman:
The new look of weapons modernization work at Los Alamos is just one example of the kind of fundamental change that will be required to move the world toward nuclear disarmament. As Shultz, Kissinger, Perry, Nunn, and Drell well know, an imposing array of political, diplomatic, and technological forces must be favorably aligned---perhaps perfectly aligned---to reach the goal of abolition. Even if one sets aside some related international problems---such as the need to resolve intractable regional conflicts between India and Pakistan or between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East---the odds against global nuclear disarmament are formidable. President Obama acknowledged as much during his 2009 appearance in Prague when he said the goal might not be reached in his lifetime.

Considering the forty-one-year age difference between Barack Obama and George Shultz, it is easy to understand why Shultz and his partners have a more compressed time frame in mind. They are impatient to move ahead and are working with a sense of urgency on numerous fronts to advance their campaign. As Sam Nunn said, "You can repeat until you turn blue in the face that we want to move towards a world without nuclear weapons, but if you don't have some real accomplishments, and if you don't get some things done, you're not going to move very fast, if at all."

One of the issues they have studied is reconstitution, the notion that in a nuclear-free world the United States and other countries could maintain the expertise, equipment, and materials needed to build new nuclear weapons if faced with an unforeseen nuclear threat. At first blush, reconstitution seems a nuclear double cross to pure abolitionists. If weapons are to be eliminated, so too should the means to make them. But that outcome is unrealistic. The knowledge of how to make nuclear weapons cannot be eradicated. The next best outcome, many experts believe, is to let nations maintain the ability to produce new weapons so that they will not be left helpless if a rogue country goes nuclear at some point.

It is a provocative idea, but one with obvious appeal to realists like Shultz and his colleagues who want to eliminate nuclear weapons in a responsible way that does not leave the United States vulnerable to unpredictable future enemies.

The idea was championed by Jonathan Schell in The Abolition, published in 1984. He wrote: "As reductions continued, the capacity for retaliation would consist less and less of the possession of weapons and more and more of the capacity for rebuilding them, until, at the level of zero, that capacity would be all. Indeed, the more closely we look at the zero point the less of a watershed it seems to be. Examined in detail, it reveals a wide range of alternatives, in which the key issue is no longer the number of weapons in existence but the extent of the capacity and the level of readiness for building more."

The idea is back in vogue today, thanks in part to the work of Shultz, Kissinger, Perry, Nunn, and Drell. Indeed, they have gathered together some of the best minds in the field to study the issue in depth and organized a workshop on related technical issues in 2011.

Reconstitution could come in various forms. Schell initially proposed keeping a bank of bomb-grade materials available so that weapons could be quickly built. Michael O'Hanlon, director of foreign policy research at the Brookings Institution, favors pushing the startling line further back to a world where the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium has stopped and stocks have eliminated. Drell and other scientists propose keeping weapons laboratories in operation and a highly skilled workforce in place that can restart the bomb-building process. Some scientists at Los Alamos said continual design work on new warheads is necessary to retain top-flight engineers, but others disagree.

Reconstitution is just one of many issues Shultz and his partners are working on as they try to advance their disarmament initiative. The array of topics provides a good guide to the multiple barriers impeding passage to zero. In the diplomatic arena, Russian resistance to further arms reductions has to be overcome before global negotiations about eliminating nuclear weapons can commence. That will require creative American diplomacy with the Kremlin on a broad array of security issues. In the area of defense policy, the greatest obstacle to abolition is overcoming an entrenched Cold War mind-set in Washington that sees nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence as indispensable elements of national security. And in the technological realm, there are myriad challenges, such as coming up with ways to verify that nations that say they are going to give up their weapons actually do so and that a clandestine effort to rearm---known in the zero-nukes lexicon as a breakout---can be detected. As the work at Los Alamos suggests, the science of maintaining weapons is demanding and will only become more so during a drawdown of arms that may take decades to complete.

It is a daunting list, and covers only some of the matters that must be resolved if the world is to be free of nuclear arms. No wonder Nunn and his partners talk about creating a base camp partway to the summit they seek to conquer, a place where the world can regroup and prepare for the final ascent. As of early 2012, as this book is published, the summit is visible in the far distance, but barely.

Still, there is reason to be encouraged. When the five men take stock of what has happened since their first Wall Street Journal article in 2007, they see significant advances, far beyond their expectations. "I think the progress is astonishing," Shultz said in early 2011.

They have made surprising headway. Their greatest accomplishment is the wave of renewed interest in nuclear disarmament generated by their Journal op-ed and subsequent proselytizing. Government rhetoric so far has outdistanced government action, but garnering the support of President Obama and other world leaders, including the unanimous 2009 UN Security Council resolution endorsing the elimination of nuclear weapons, was no small achievement."[Source: Taubman, Philip. 2012. "The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors And Their Quest To Ban The Bomb," Pg. 361-64. HarperCollinsPublishers: New York].