US Nuclear umbrella

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090807a3.html

    U.S. nuclear umbrella crucial: Aso

    HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Prime Minister Taro Aso stressed on Thursday the need for Japan to stay under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, while opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama supported President Barack Obama in seeking a nuclear-free world.

    "Located next to a country possessing nuclear arms and thinking of making an attack by using them, Japan is in alliance with the United States, which tries to use its nuclear arsenal as a deterrence," Aso told reporters, referring to North Korea, after attending Hiroshima's annual ceremony marking the atomic bombing.

    "It is not true to say if someone unilaterally abandons them, everyone else will follow," Aso said. "It is unimaginable that nuclear weapons will be altogether abolished around the world."

    Aso made the comments while reiterating that Japan seeks a nuclear-free world.

    "Realizing a nuclear-free world as called for by U.S. President Obama is exactly the moral mission of our country as the only state to have been hit with atomic bombs," said Hatoyama, president of the Democratic Party of Japan.

    At a ceremony in Hiroshima organized by the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, Hatoyama said Japan should lead the world in efforts to abolish nuclear arms, particularly at the coming U.N. review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty next May.

    He said to attain that goal, it is important to appeal directly to leaders of other countries, and he is willing to work for an early realization of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2010/August27/2721.html

    Obama weighs offer of US nuclear umbrella if Israel scraps Iran strike

    A study of the mood among Israeli leaders and military chiefs indicates that at any moment a strike on Iran's nuclear sites must be taken into account. The Israeli media show nothing of this; they are totally absorbed in guessing whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will extend the 10-month settlement construction moratorium beyond its Sept. 25 expiry date at the talks opening with the Palestinians next week. The American media, in contrast, are highlighting speculation about a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

    debkafile's Washington and Jerusalem sources believe Israel has revived its military option against Iran - especially since Iran activated its first nuclear reactor at Bushehr on Aug. 21, thereby placing Washington under enormous pressure. In addition to the dire predictions of catastrophe planted on various op-ed pages, the Obama administration this week sent two big guns to Jerusalem to try and check an Israel attack.

    The first to arrive was International Atomic Energy Agency Director Yukiya Amano, who explained that under his stewardship the nuclear watchdog's treatment of Iran would be quite different from the lenience shown by his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei. He promised its inspectors would henceforth clamp down hard on Iran's nuclear activities including the Bushehr reactor.

    Thursday, Aug. 26, Amano was joined by Daniel Shapiro, Middle East Director of the National Security Council and close friend of many Israeli leaders. He came laden with offers of security gifts - possible rewards both for restraint on Iran and as a softener for Netanyahu to be generous with concessions to the Palestinians in the forthcoming negotiations.

    Shapiro has taken three days to make his pitch on Iran, while Netanyahu has less than a week to decide whether he can again trust the US president's new promises after they were not exactly upheld in the way the Bushehr reactor was allowed to go on stream or the modalities for the negotiations with the Palestinians.

    While preparing the Shapiro mission, the administration let it be known that the security gifts on offer would be dramatic and make the IDF one of the strongest and most advanced armies in the world.

    Advance notice came in a series of leaks to former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, who is very close to President Obama, for an article he published in the influential The National Interest on Aug. 25 under the caption "If Israel Attacks."

    Riedel urged the US to do everything in its power to stop an attack happening as it would spell catastrophe and advised Israel to adjust to the fact that the development of an Iranian atom bomb can no longer be halted.

    To make Israel feel secure in the new reality, Riedel "proposed" four steps for strengthening the Israeli armed forces and lending it a second-strike capability - even against an Iranian nuclear attack.

    1. The US must spread a nuclear umbrella over Israel that would entail the installation of American nuclear depots in Israel to show Tehran that a nuclear attack on the Jewish state would meet with a US nuclear response.

    2. American nuclear submarines would be supplied to the Israeli Navy as the backbone of its nuclear counter-strike capability. There are two categories - ballistic missile submarines and attack submarines.

    3. The Israeli Air Force would receive US F-22 Raptor stealth jets, the most sophisticated warplane in the skies today. They would be equipped with all the systems and ordnance needed to strike the Iranian nuclear program.

    4. The US would arrange for Israel's full membership of NATO, so rendering an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel subject not just to US retaliation but a declaration of war by the 26-member alliance.

    To qualify for these American security perks, Riedel made it clear that Israel would be required to come to terms with a nuclear-armed Iran and eschew military action against it, a provision which debkafile's military and Jerusalem sources say the Netanyahu government is most unlikely to accept.

    For the Riedel analysis, which runs to 3,600 words, has a built-in contradiction. He portrays the Iranian leadership as consisting, behind their fiery rhetoric, of reasonable people who, when it comes down to it, will react to military and political pressure situations in a way that will not endanger their regime and their country's very survival.

    However, this proposition does not take into account the Islamic Republic rulers' persistent threats to wipe Israel off the map (without regard to the hazards this would incur) or his own and the Obama administration's conviction that if Israel attacks Iran, Tehran will hit back at US targets and interests (even more hazardous).

    debkafile's sources ask: Why would a "reasonable" regime risk going to war with America instead of limiting its military action to Israel?

    And what good would all the wonderful new military systems be to Israel for a second-strike capability when an initial Iranian nuclear attack would suffice to destroy the tiny Jewish state?
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/49679/ted-galen-carpenter/closing-the-nuclear-umbrella

    Closing the Nuclear Umbrella


    Summary:

    The nonproliferation regime is unraveling, and the Soviet rival is gone. The first goal of U.S. policy should be to keep America out of potential nuclear crossfire.

    Ted Galen Carpenter is Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is “A Search for Enemies: America's Alliances after the Cold War.”


    The recent crisis over North Korea's nuclear program is merely the latest evidence that the global nonproliferation regime, symbolized by the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), is inexorably breaking down. Although U.S. concessions may ultimately induce Pyongyang once again to allow international inspections, that will be a meager accomplishment. It will hardly offer reliable guarantees that a regime as secretive and politically opaque as North Korea's cannot evade International Atomic Energy Agency scrutiny while pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Iraq, for one, was certainly able to do so while complying with all IAEA inspection requirements.

    North Korea is only one of several states with nuclear ambitions. India and Pakistan have also emerged as threshold aspirants to, if not already full-fledged members of, the once-exclusive global nuclear club. Persistent reports surface of Iranian and Libyan efforts to exploit the political chaos in the former Soviet Union to purchase their own small arsenals. Even Ukraine's agreement with the United States and Russia to turn over its nuclear warheads is far from certain, given the foot-dragging and obstructionist tilt of the Ukrainian parliament as well as the widespread public sentiment for retaining the weapons. These worrisome trends more than offset any positive developments, such as France's and China's decisions to adhere to NPT provisions or South Africa's announcement that it has given up the arsenal it had developed surreptitiously in the 1980s.

    It is time for U.S. leaders to reassess Cold War policies on nonproliferation, security commitments and extended deterrence and to adapt them to changed international circumstances. These commitments may once have made sense, given the need to thwart the Soviet Union's expansionist agenda. But they are highly dubious in the absence of the superpower rivalry. They now threaten to embroil the United States in regional conflicts where nuclear weapons have already proliferated or will inevitably proliferate soon. Washington should give up its fruitless obsession with preserving the NPT and the unraveling nonproliferation system that it represents.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200...e-umbrella-gulf-iran-obtains-nuclear-weapons/

    Clinton: U.S. Will Extend 'Defense Umbrella' Over Gulf if Iran Obtains Nuclear Weapons

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran Wednesday that the United States would extend a "defense umbrella" over its allies in the Persian Gulf if the Islamic Republic obtains a nuclear weapons capability.

    Appearing on a Thai TV program, Clinton said the U.S. would also take steps to "upgrade the defense" of America's Gulf allies in such an event, a reference to stepped-up military aid to those countries.

    Clinton's reference to a U.S. "defense umbrella" over the Persian Gulf represented a potentially significant evolution in America's global defense posture. Washington already explicitly maintains a "nuclear umbrella" over Asian allies like Japan and South Korea, but seldom, if ever, has any senior U.S. official publicly discussed the concept in relation to the Gulf.

    The secretary's remarks also suggested the course the Obama administration might pursue if, as many analysts predict, an unchecked Iran succeeds in obtaining a nuclear weapons capability before President Obama's term expires -- in effect, how the United States might live with a nuclear-armed Iran. Clinton's comments evoked a vision of the U.S. countering such a threat by bolstering regional defenses and reminding Iran of the dangers of mutually assured destruction -- but not by seeking regime change in Iran or by taking military action to destroy the country's nuclear apparatus.

    "We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment that if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it's unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won't be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon," Clinton said.

    A senior aide to Clinton, speaking to reporters on background while the secretary's traveling party flew from Bangkok to Phuket, said Clinton's comments did not reflect her acceptance of a nuclear-armed Iran nor a literal accounting of what the U.S. would do if Tehran did acquire nuclear weapons.

    Rather, the aide said, the secretary was only articulating what arguments the Obama administration makes to influence Iran's calculus. The aide also said Clinton's use of the term "defense umbrella" was not synonymous with the term "nuclear umbrella," even though the context of her comments centered on Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons.

    In Jerusalem, though, Dan Meridor, Israel's Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, told Army Radio: "I was not thrilled to hear the American statement from yesterday that they will protect their allies with a nuclear umbrella, as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear Iran. I think that's a mistake."

    Asked about the Obama administration's
    attempts to engage Iran, Clinton said she "had hoped we would get a positive response ... but then their elections happened." Clinton told her Thai TV interviewers there was "no doubt" that "irregularities" occurred in Iran's disputed presidential election and that the regime then "brutally repressed" those citizens that protested the announced outcome.

    Because of these events, the secretary said, the Iranian regime has been "preoccupied" and thus not responded to American overtures. "The nuclear clock is ticking," she said, noting that Tehran has continued to pursue its nuclear programs and adding that the U.S. and its allies in the nuclear diplomacy surrounding Iran "will not keep the window open forever." She repeated previous pledges to work to impose "crippling" sanctions if Iran does not halt its enrichment of uranium.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Israel knows well that countries under USA's nuke-umbrella are easily bullied by both usa and their enemies. Japan and south korea are recent example.Israel is a country which gives top priority to its security hence it will not fall for this bait of Obama.
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/159/...brella:_Extended_Deterrence_in_East_Asia.html

    North Korea and the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella: Extended Deterrence in East Asia


    A panel of experts on Monday discussed the utility and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, or extended deterrence, in East Asia in the wake of a nuclear North Korea. The experts agreed that the U.S. policy of extended nuclear deterrence is doing little to stimulate North Korean denuclearization, but has been effective symbolically.

    Leading the discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC on “North Korea and the U.S Nuclear Umbrella in North East Asia,” Dr. Patrick Morgan of the University of California said that the U.S. originally had several aims for extending nuclear deterrence to allies in North East Asia:
    - to protect and reassure allies;
    - to project U.S. power and become part of the region’s security management structure;
    - to constrain allies by reducing the impetus for them to go nuclear;
    - to build “better communities” by historically allowing for substantial adjustments in the capacities of states in the region such as China and Japan.

    As for North Korea’s nuclear motivations, Morgan said that the ever increasing gap between North and South’s economic, military and political indicators led to vulnerability and resulted in a “terrible deterrence problem,” which Pyongyang“has worked very hard to try and overcome” by building its own nuclear weapons.

    Morgan explained that many of Washington’s current policy goals cannot be realized through the provision of extended deterrence in the region. He highlighted how little the nuclear umbrella has helped in reversing North Korea’s nuclear program, curbing its proliferation related activities or in limiting its capacity to conduct nuclear blackmail. However, he did concede that Washington’s extended deterrence has been useful in keeping allies from developing their own nuclear arsenals.

    Morgan said Washington’s current North Korea approach would not achieve results because the real target is, and should be, China, not the North. He explained, “doing it the way we’re doing it now is putting more and more pressure on North Korea in the [same] way we’re trying to put a lot of pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan – and they’ve got a fallback…[in this case] Chinese supplies, aid, and investments.”

    He added, “in effect, we have tried hard to budge North Korea and we have had no success. China has tried to budge North Korea with an alternative approach, also without success. If we don’t get success because of their efforts, we have serious costs in terms of what we want. But if they don’t get a success in terms of our efforts, they [in contrast] are not paying a huge price.”

    To achieve positive outcomes in the current context, Morgan recommended the U.S. gradually detach extended nuclear deterrence from the North Korea problem, and then try to find adjustments in the regional security management arrangement to compensate for the detachment. He suggested that one such adjustment could be a strengthening of conventional forces in the area. Morgan also recommended adjusting Chinese and Russian positions. One way to do so, in terms of deterrence theory, would be threatening to act in ways that will damage Beijing’s interests.

    Dr. Victor Cha, the CSIS Korea Chair, agreed with Morgan that extended deterrence has not been overly successful in the North East Asian context. While underscoring the utility of it in helping deter a second Korean war or an attack on Japan, Cha pointed to Washington’s inability to deter Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and conventional belligerence. He also warned that it is unclear how North Korea would perceive the symbolic ramifications of either maintaining or not extending Washington’s nuclear deterrence. Still, Cha stopped short of recommending an end to the umbrella because it could be perceived by the North as an admission of defeat and perhaps give Pyongyang a misconceived confidence of “nuclear superiority” on the Korean peninsula.”

    Cha believed that extended deterrence was increasingly becoming symbolic and most often used by senior U.S. officials to reassure allies of Washington’s unchanging commitment to its nuclear umbrella.. He cited U.S. visits to the ROK and Japan immediately after both nuclear tests as evidence of this. However, Cha warned that such reassurance is perceived by allies as situational, and that they are receiving mixed signals from the U.S. He explained, “Any time you take an action of reassurance…. it registers as a positive statement, but it’s only because of the situation...On the other hand, when the U.S. says they will not attack North Korea with nuclear or conventional weapons [as in September 2005], that is not situational. That truly reflects American disposition. [So] this is a constant battle in the reassurance game.”

    To deal with the current impasse, Robert Carlin, Co-Chair of the National Committee on North Korea said, “There’s a lot of things we have to know about their [North Korea] concept of the utility of their nuclear weapons, apart from the public statements. Unless we sit down and talk to them about it at length, in depth, we are not going to be able to figure out the danger points, the points at which they may have misconceptions, and the points they are willing not to press on the nuclear issue – not to use it for compellence (sic)”

    Victor Cha later agreed with Carlin’s point of view, but pointed to the policy dilemma currently facing policy makers in the U.S. While admitting it would be useful to debate nuclear deterrence with North Korea, as was done with the Soviets during the Cold War, he said, “Even if you don’t explicitly or tacitly accept North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the minute you engage in that dialogue, everybody’s going to say you are accepting a nuclear North Korea, and that will have all sorts of ripple effects throughout the region, particularly among allies, who will then question the credibility of the US extended nuclear deterrence.”

    After reaffirming the U.S. commitment of extended nuclear deterrence to allies in North East Asia, State Department representative Jofi Joseph pointed out, “It’s very, very difficult for any U.S. administration to engage in such talks unless that issue [nuclear issue] is front and center. The reason why we frankly care about North Korea is because of what they have done in the nuclear field, and without that, this wouldn’t be high on the agenda for any administration.”

    Lamenting on the current impasse, Robert Carlin remarked, “I wouldn’t think that bad policy would be sustainable for a long time, except that it has been since 2002… and I’m afraid it can last longer. Not because there aren’t smart people in the right places, but because the politics of the situation, not just in this country, but among our allies, just don’t favor the right decisions and the sense of leadership coming to the fore. It’s not hopeless, but perhaps it’s a good time to go fishing.”

    The event was organized by the Korea Chair and the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the National Committee on North Korea in Washington D.C.
    Nukes of Hazard
    The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/opinion/16iht-edischinger.html

    NATO and the Nuclear Umbrella

    A recent report by George Robertson, a former secretary general of NATO, and two co-authors, Franklin Miller and Kori Schake, criticizes the German proposal to withdraw the remaining American nuclear weapons from German territory as damaging not only to Germany, but to the alliance as a whole.

    The authors argue that the proposal was driven more by populist sentiment than any long-term strategic goal. This observation is wrong and misleading. While the Robertson report is based on outdated perceptions, the arguments presented merit a substantive response.

    First, it would be a grave mistake for NATO and its members to cling to the Cold War perception of Russia as a potential aggressor and not as a strategic partner with whom we share interests. Security and stability in Europe are only possible with Russia. NATO must live up to the criteria of mutual trust established in the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997 if we want Russia to look at NATO and its enlargement not as a threat but as an opportunity. Recent Russian suggestions to take another look at the question of eventual Russian membership show that this opportunity exists.

    Second, those who argue that a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Europe would make NATO members more vulnerable miss an important point. As early as 1987, NATO foreign ministers proposed significant reductions of short-range nuclear weapons in their Reykjavik declaration. And 15 years ago, when U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry developed the formula that there is no need and no plan to deploy nuclear weapons to new NATO member states, he correctly clarified that European NATO countries would be covered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella regardless of whether nuclear weapons are stationed on their territory.

    Third, the Robertson report ignores the fact that the role of nuclear weapons has changed fundamentally. While these weapons deterred military conflict during the Cold War, most military experts today agree that any residual benefits of nuclear arsenals are now overshadowed by the growing risks of proliferation and nuclear terrorism. The world is nearing a “proliferation tipping point” where nuclear weapons have spread beyond the capacity of any effort to rein them in and the danger increases that they will be used in a war, or by accident, or by terrorists.

    It is against this background that we should pursue a double track policy — redefining nuclear deterrence and the needed capabilities, and developing a concept for nuclear arms control which reflects current political objectives and strategic realities. The fundamental question is: What action by whom needs to be deterred? What capabilities will be needed to credibly deter nuclear attack?

    The likelihood that political leaders in Bejing or Moscow would launch a surprise nuclear attack on the United States and her allies is close to zero. This assessment is also the basis for current efforts to significantly reduce American and Russian strategic nuclear weapons. In this context, sub-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe lose their purpose and should become subject to serious arms control initiatives. Such initiatives have to take into account that the U.S. has several hundred operational nuclear warheads in Europe, compared to much larger numbers of Russian operational warheads for delivery by a variety of land, air and sea-based means.

    In the past, Russia and the United States have been reluctant to include tactical weapons in bilateral nuclear arms reduction talks. Verification of strategic weapons is exercised through monitoring delivery vehicles. Tactical nuclear weapons use dual-purpose vehicles, which makes verification much more complicated, and in the view of some, impossible.

    Negotiations on the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons which might lead to the withdrawal of the remaining U.S. weapons should therefore be determined by three principles:

    1. The alliance as a whole should reaffirm its reliance on the U.S. nuclear umbrella and on extended deterrence — even after significant cuts as a consequence of further arms control agreements.

    2. Withdrawals should be based on the principle of reciprocity.

    3. Most easily verifiable would be the total elimination of tactical nuclear weapons by both sides. Because of concerns regarding potential threats on its southern flank, Russia may not be prepared for such a far-reaching step. A good alternative would be to move all tactical nuclear warheads from their forward bases for centralized storage deep inside national territory. Withdrawing all tactical nuclear weapons rather than only some of them would make verification much easier. Moving these weapons to centralized storage sites will also ensure better physical protection from seizure by terrorists.

    As the United States and Russia commit themselves to nonproliferation, a proposal by European NATO members to reduce and withdraw tactical nuclear weapons would be an important contribution to broadening this bilateral effort to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world.

    Wolfgang Ischinger is a former deputy foreign minister of Germany and chairman of the Munich Security Conference. Ulrich Weisser was director of the policy planning staff of the German defense minister.
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://warsclerotic.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/us-spreads-nuclear-umbrella-over-saudis-gulf/

    US Spreads Nuclear Umbrella over Saudis, Gulf


    Obama Sets Limits for a Nuclear-Armed Iran


    On Wednesday, March 31, the dawn of April 1 in the Middle East, a Western military official in Riyadh reported an American submarine had test-fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads from “Saudi territory.” It was part of a joint US-Saudi naval exercise last week-.
    He reported that US Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, head of the Missile Defense Agency, attended the launch. It was the first time the region had ever seen the firing of a nuclear-capable multiple-warhead missile from Saudi territory aimed in the direction of the Persian Gulf and Iran.
    The source did not reveal whether the submarine was nuclear or indicate the size of US and Saudi forces taking part in the exercise.
    A few hours later, a US defense department spokesman in Washington denied the Trident launch or any other missile during the exercise. He said Lt. Gen. O’Reilly was in the region, but did not attend a missile launch.
    DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Middle East sources report that the initial story was leaked from Riyadh which stands by it, but the implications of a Trident test-fire from Saudi Arabia are so wide-reaching that the US administration preferred to deny it for now – although it sounded confused.
    DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources stress that whether the Trident was fired from the Red Sea or Saudi Persian Gulf bases was less relevant than the point the Obama administration made: An American nuclear umbrella has been spread over Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab principalities to protect them against Iranian nuclear attack. No matter from what direction or which angle it was fired, the US nuclear-capable missile’s trajectory would have brought it close to Iranian shores, either in the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/new...neral/nclouds-over-a-us-umbrella/1587059.aspx

    N-clouds over a US umbrella

    In the Cold War, the United States protected its allies from possible attack by a nuclear-armed Soviet Union by threatening a devastating nuclear response. This policy became the foundation for extended deterrence.

    Although the Cold War is long gone, the assurance offered to non-nuclear allies by the so-called US nuclear ''umbrella'' remains. It still covers over two dozen major allies. They include member states of NATO as well Asia-Pacific countries that have long-standing mutual defence treaties with the US, among them Australia, Japan, South Korea.

    Defence white papers issued by Australian governments at least as far back as 1994 have stated that Australia will continue to rely on the US to deter any nuclear threat or attack on Australia.

    The latest white paper, published in May, said that stable nuclear deterrence was expected to be a feature of the international system for the foreseeable future, and that in this context extended deterrence would continue to be viable.

    It added, ''The challenge will be to deter rogue states of concern, some of which may develop a level of capability in terms of long-range ballistic missiles, coupled potentially with WMD (weapons of mass destruction) warheads.

    ''Iran and North Korea, and possibly others in the future, will continue to pursue long-range ballistic missile programs that pose a direct, though remote, risk to our own security.''

    Extended deterrence was designed not just to protect non-nuclear allies such as Australia but also to assure them that it was unnecessary to develop their own nuclear weapons.

    This has helped to limit the number of states known to have nuclear arms to nine the five nuclear powers acknowledged in the non-proliferation treaty (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US), plus India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea.

    However, in Asia, the value of extended deterrence is being called into question by several recent developments.

    Chief among them is North Korea's detonation of two nuclear explosive devices since 2006, most recently in May, its declared intent to make more nuclear weapons and never abandon the program, and its parallel testing of a wide range of missiles that may one day be armed with nuclear warheads as well as the North Korea's existing extensive stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

    Unlike the former Soviet Union, North Korea is seen by its neighbours as unpredictable and possibly even prepared to use WMD. In such a situation, how effective is US extended deterrence likely to be and what does it mean in practice?

    Would any US response to a North Korean attack involve nuclear arms or only conventional weapons? And could such a response achieve its aim of destroying a leadership and military assets in reinforced shelters deep underground?

    North Korean belligerence has been accompanied by another unsettling development: the Obama Administration's strong push for nuclear disarmament.

    While Japan and South Korea welcome eventual abolition of nuclear arms in principle, they worry that it may dilute US willingness and capacity to deter an attack and respond resolutely if it occurs. Also in the background is China's rising power and influence, and its often-stated objection to US offers of extended deterrence to allies.

    China says that its objection is based on the principle that nuclear weapons should be used solely in self-defence. China believes that the US nuclear umbrella covers Taiwan (which it regards as a renegade province) as well as Japan, its rival for eminence in Asia.

    In this climate of uncertainty, some conservative Japanese and South Korean politicians have argued that their countries should have nuclear weapons for self-protection.

    If this were to happen, other Asian countries might follow, triggering a nuclear arms race that would destabilise the region and undermine economic growth.

    Since 1968, Japan has been formally committed to three non-nuclear principles of not possessing or producing nuclear arms, and not permitting their entry into the country.

    In March, Yukio Satoh, a leading Japanese strategic thinker, said that Japan's adherence to these principles depended largely on the credibility of the US-Japan Security Treaty and America's commitment to defend Japan from any offensive action, including nuclear threats.

    He added, ''A unique feature of the Japan-US security arrangements is that there have been no consultations on how American extended deterrence should function, nor even any mechanism put in place for such consultations.''

    To arrest this dangerous drift, the US sent senior officials to Tokyo for talks last month. They gave an assurance that the US commitment to protect Japan was ''absolutely unshakeable''.

    The two sides also agreed to establish an official framework for discussions on how the nuclear umbrella should function and other deterrence measures.

    A similar consultation channel is expected to be set up by the US and South Korea.

    The US aim is to discourage growth of pro-nuclear sentiment in Asia and send a clear message not only to North Korea but to other potential nuclear proliferators, such as Iran, that any aggressive moves against its neighbours would bring a strong response, including possible use of nuclear weapons.

    Whether Japan or South Korea would approve a nuclear response is questionable. Recently South Korea ruled out the redeployment of US nuclear arms on its soil, despite North Korea's nuclear program.

    South Korea and the US say that all US nuclear weapons were withdrawn from South Korea in 1991, one year before the two Koreas agreed to keep the peninsula nuclear-free.

    However, other measures are being put in place to strengthen Japanese and South Korean defences against possible attack.

    Both countries are being provided by the US with extra interceptor rockets that can be fired from land and warships to destroy incoming missiles.

    The US is also reminding allies as well as adversaries that although it seeks universal nuclear disarmament, it will keep its weapons for as long as others have them.

    The writer is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Israel is rumored to have 200 + nuclear warheads, they have thought ahead and are more than prepared for any retaliatory strike if needed.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Thats true coz they knew usa's true colors of dumping allies from beginning only.
     

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