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The End of Arms Control in the Second Nuclear Age?
The United States may have come to the end of traditional nuclear arms control. Since 1972 the United States and Russia have signed seven major nuclear weapons treaties, beginning with the SALT I agreement in 1972 and concluding with the 2010 New Start treaty; however, upwards of 65% of all nuclear warheads in the world still remain under no treaty limits, mainly because countries with such arsenals have no interest in agreeing to nor the technical means to verify, such controls.
Between 1972 and 2015, the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons peaked at roughly 13,000 in each country’s arsenal, then declined to between 1,800-2,500. This reduction represents a cut of more than 80% in their respective deployed arsenals, a remarkable accomplishment.
Despite this progress, advocates of what is termed “global zero” are pressing the United States to reduce even further its deployed and stockpiled weapons to no more than 500-1000 strategic weapons.
The problem, if examined closely, is that such proposals will simply make the military balance between the two nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, highly unstable.
There is, for example, in Congress, one legislative proposal that adopts such a warhead ceiling. It would unilaterally eliminate American nuclear bombers and land-based missiles through attrition, while significantly cutting the planned twelve new nuclear-armed submarines to eight. So radical is this proposal that — while Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are arming themselves to the gills and seizing territory in regions such as the Arctic Circle, the South China Sea and the Middle East — it would reduce America’s nuclear “assets” from over 500 missiles, bombers and submarines to just a few nuclear-armed submarines.
It’s about time. The depletion of US nuclear firepower was a tremendous mistake. Our strategic missile systems doesn’t even have the MX (Peacekeeper) missiles online anymore. We rely on ancient Minuteman 3 missile systems and old Trident submarine missiles for deterrence. We have destroyed all our B-52 bombers except for a handful of B-52Hs that are expected to soldier on for years. We junked all of our supersonic F-111 bombers. We don’t even know if our nuclear weapons even WORK anymore, relying on simulations. Would you rely on nuclear weapons of dubious reliability that cannot be tested? Our nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore need to reinvigorated with contracts for new weapons designs. The Russians have a new ICBM; where is our new ICBMs? This is not something useless. I just saw a headline about how the PRC does not fear war with the USA. Obama has for sure implemented “Change” as he has promised: We are a genuine “PAPER TIGER” to our enemies.
Nuclear weapons matter: you can’t be a Superpower without a whole lot of deliverable nukes.
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Earthquake a ‘warning from Allah’: seminaries body (tribune, Oct 26, 2015)
“Pakistan’s top religious scholars urged the nation on Monday to turn to God and collectively repent for their sins as the earthquake was a ‘warning’ by God.
The comments came in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale which claimed over 140 lives in Pakistan alone. The earthquake struck Afghanistan and Pakistan and tremors were felt as far as New Delhi.
“We should Thank Allah Almighty as the country has been saved from any major disaster,” a statement issued by Wafaq-ul-Madaris-e-Arabia said.
Wafaq-ul-Madaris-e-Arabia is the country’s major organisation of religious seminaries representing the Deobandi school of thought.
“We are pleased at reports that many people are going to mosques after the earthquake. Organising gatherings for collective repentance is the need of the hour,” the scholars said.
The statement was issued by the secretary general of the organisation, Hanif Jalandhary, and known scholars Maulana Salimullah Khan, Maulana Dr Abdul Razaq Sikandar and Maulana Anwarul Haq.
“Allah Almighty has protected Pakistan of major harm and disaster. The people should offer special prayers giving thanks,” they said in a joint statement.
A powerful earthquake struck Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least 140 people, officials said….”