Dec 23, 2008

Cheney Reaffirms U.S. Nuclear Destructive Power

By Greg Webb, Global Security Newswire

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney offered tough words to potential U.S. nuclear adversaries as he delivered a spirited defense of executive power during a Fox News interview Friday (see GSN, Dec. 9).

Responding to critics who have charged Cheney and U.S. President George W. Bush with overstepping their constitutional authority in leading the U.S. war on terrorism, the vice president argued that a wartime president has vast authority to act quickly and unilaterally.

For example, "the president of the United States, now for 50 years, is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a 'football' that contains the nuclear codes that he would use, and be authorized to use, in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States," Cheney said. "He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in".

Artwork created by Gary Eschman.


Eric said...

Rod Blagojevich also has a 'football' that goes with him everywhere. His football is his favorite black hair brush. (NYT this week)

Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

Russia appears to be sending a not too subtle message to the United States. Is the new Democratic controlled Congress and Obama Administration paying attention?

Russia to raise nuclear missile output fourfold - Guardian, Dec 24

Russia has thrown down a new gauntlet to Barack Obama with an announcement that it will sharply increase production of strategic nuclear missiles.

In the latest of a series of combative moves by the Kremlin, a senior government official in Moscow said the Russian military would commission 70 strategic missiles over the next three years, as part of a massive rearmament programme which will also include short-range missiles, 300 tanks, 14 warships and 50 planes.

Military experts said the planned new arsenal was presumed to consist of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) rather than submarine-launched missiles. If this is the case, the plans represent a fourfold increase in the rate of ICBM deployment. The arsenal will include a new-generation, multiple-warhead ICBM called the RS-24. It was first test-fired in 2007, with first deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov boasting it was "capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defence systems".

Frank Young said...

I think they should deploy 70 of these Bulavas:

Russian Missile Malfunctions Again
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008

The Russian submarine-launched Bulava ballistic missile failed today in another test, RIA Novosti reported (see GSN, Dec. 2).

The missile was launched from the submarine Dmitry Donskoy in the White Sea and was aimed at the Kura firing range in Kamchatka.

"The launch was a failure," a Russian naval source said. "The crew performed well. The missile left the tube, but went off course due to a malfunction after the first stage separation."

Naval officials are set to investigate the failure, the fifth in 10 test-launches of the Bulava.

The navy had planned to deploy the missile next year, but now intends to conduct a number of additional flight tests before deciding whether the field the weapon, a high-level official said this month (RIA Novosti, Dec. 23).

"This is a serious blow to Russia's military plans to deploy the Borei submarines," military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer told the Associated Press. "The failure delays (Bulava's) production and deployment indefinitely."

The Bulava would be able to hit targets at ranges up to 6,200 miles with as many as six independently targeted nuclear warheads, AP reported. It would be deployed on three Borei-class vessels that are still being built (Mansur Mirovalev, Associated Press I/Google News, Dec. 23).

RIA Novosti identified the missile's maximum range as 5,000 miles and said it could carry as many as 10 warheads (RIA Novosti).

A total of 70 Russian strategic nuclear missiles are set to be commissioned over the next three years, AP reported. Moscow in recent years has commissioned a number of Topol-M ICBMs annually, for a total of 50 over roughly a decade. The announcement yesterday from a Cabinet commission suggests it plans a significant boost in the pace at which the Russian strategic missile forces receive new weapons.

An estimated $141 billion in spending in the next three years is also expected to buy 30 short-range Iskander missiles and additional fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and naval vessels, according to Russian news agencies (Associated Press II/Google News, Dec. 22).

Some Topol missiles might be deployed in Belarus to counter U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe, Agence France-Presse reported.

"If the United States continues to bring elements of its strategic forces closer to Russia's borders, including missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, which are aimed at the reduction of our nuclear deterrent, mobile Topol complexes could be placed in Belarus," a Russian Defense Ministry official told Interfax (Agence France-Presse/, Dec. 23).

Anonymous said...

Not just Russia. Saudi Arabia and the UAE suddenly don't have enough oil and need to invest in civilian nuclear power? Yikes. And is it a coindicence this is coming at the same time that Mubarak is warning of the Persians trying to "devour" the Arab states?

Interesting times are undoubtedly coming.

Anonymous said...

We test all our nukes on computers. They always work just fine. Someday the Russians will see the wisdom of our defense policy and test their equipment on computers too. It gets around all that pesky science and engineering experimental stuff that those Lab cowboys and C-students whine about.

-"Princeton Pete" Nanos

former Naval Vice Admiral
former LANL Director
full-time swamp draining expert

Anonymous said...

"We test all our nukes on computers. They always work just fine."

Yip, but only after we hit Control-Alt-Delete.

Anonymous said...

What an insult to Peter Sellers.

Anonymous said...

Nah, more a testimonial to Seller's genius for insightful (yet faithful) parody.