Nuke Abolition, etc.

Alice Slater5:35 AM (5 hours ago)
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Just read this immoral rot if you can stomach  it!  They should all be locked  up in a madhouse!! Alice

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From: john hallam <>
Date: June 22, 2021 at 6:22:06 AM EDT
To: Nuclearnews Group <>, John Hallam <>
Subject:Where Biden Stands on Nuclear Weapons

Where Biden Stands on Nuclear Weapons


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Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Walter Pincus is a contributing
senior national security columnist for The Cipher Brief. He spent
forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear
weapons to politics.  He is the author of Blown to Hell: America’s
Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders (releasing in November 2021)

OPINION — Back in 1964, Chairman J. W. Fulbright of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee gave a long speech he entitled “Old Myths and New

Fulbright began by saying, “There is an inevitable diversion,
attributable to the imperfections of the human mind, between the world
as it is and the world as men perceive it. As long as our perceptions
are reasonably close to objective reality, it is possible for us to
act upon our problems in a rational and appropriate manner. But when
our perceptions fail to keep pace with events, when we refuse to
believe something because it displeases or frightens us, or because it
is simply startlingly unfamiliar, then the gap between fact and
perception becomes a chasm, and action becomes irrelevant and

Fulbright’s speech came to my mind last week after I listened to two
hearings that dealt with nuclear weapons. One was from June 10, when a
House Armed Services subcommittee heard from four current
administration officials on the fiscal 2022 budget request for
“Nuclear Forces and Atomic Energy Defense Activities.” The other was a
session last Wednesday of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on
Strategic Forces where four former government officials discussed
“United States Nuclear Deterrence Policy and Strategy.”

During the first hearing, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Melissa Dalton disclosed that the
Biden administration Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is just starting and
will not be finished until January 2022. Its impact will appear in the
fiscal 2023 Biden budget. Dalton said the NPR will cover such
practical things as current modernization efforts; Defense Department
delivery systems and platforms; the nuclear weapons required for those
systems; and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
infrastructure necessary to produce and maintain those weapons.

The NPR will also deal with U.S. declaratory policy, which essentially
is a statement or set of statements describing the circumstances under
which the President would consider using nuclear weapons. Dalton said
that of course would be a Biden decision but that the options for the
President would be discussed and explored during NPR inter-agency

The 2010 Obama NPR said the US “will not use or threaten to use
nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to
the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and in compliance with their
nuclear non-proliferation obligations.” Against states that possess
nuclear weapons and states not in compliance with their nuclear
non-proliferation obligations, the Obama NPR kept open retaliatory use
of nuclear weapons against nuclear, CBW [chemical or biological
weapons) or in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of
the United States or its allies and partners.”


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The Trump NPR 0f 2018 expanded the “extreme circumstances,” to include
not only nuclear attacks but “attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner
civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied
nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack
assessment capabilities.” The Trump NPR also contained the threat:
“Our adversaries must understand that a terrorist nuclear attack
against the United States or its allies and partners would qualify as
an ‘extreme circumstance’ under which the United States could consider
the ultimate form of retaliation.”

Biden’s past statements indicate that the Trump declaratory policy
will change. In a January 2017 speech while he was Vice President,
Biden said, “The President and I strongly believe we have made enough
progress that deterring—and if necessary, retaliating against—a
nuclear attack should be the sole purpose of the US nuclear arsenal.”
He reiterated that idea in a March 2020 “Foreign Affairs” article in
which he wrote: “I believe that the sole purpose of the US nuclear
arsenal should be deterring—and, if necessary, retaliating against—a
nuclear attack. As president, I will work to put that belief into
practice, in consultation with the US military and US allies.”

The Biden strategic guidance given to the NPR team, also includes that
“this administration will take steps to reduce the role of nuclear
weapons in our national nuclear strategy.”

While that guidance implied the Biden administration may eventually
change the current nuclear program, the Biden budget now before
Congress carries forward aggressive plans that were proposed during
the Trump administration. These include initial funds for a new,
low-yield, warhead for a submarine-launched cruise missile and a new
warhead for ICBMs, the W-93. It also has increased funds for producing
future plutonium pits, the triggers of thermonuclear weapons, for a
controversial multi-billion-dollar facility at Savannah River, South
Carolina. Also disclosed at the House hearing was that the original
goal for producing 80 plutonium pits by 2030 at Savannah River and Los
Alamos National Laboratory has been pushed back to 2032-to-2035
because of delays in getting necessary equipment.

Dalton did note one fact that fit into the Biden guidance, that
current US investment in a new hypersonic missile “at present” is only
for a “conventional capability,” despite Russian statements that
Moscow’s hypersonic missiles will be nuclear capable.

While the earlier House hearing focused on current and future nuclear
weaponry, last Wednesday’s Senate session, chaired by Sen. Angus King
(I-Maine), went over the policy and strategy issues that are to be
part of the NPR.

In doing so, the witnesses and Senators raised old issues and
arguments long part of the nuclear weapons debate.

For example, Dr. Matthew Kroenig, a senior policy advisor to the
Pentagon during the Trump administration and currently Deputy Director
of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security,
described the differences between U.S. and Chinese nuclear targeting
in a manner that needed further explanation.

He said the U.S. practices so-called “counterforce nuclear targeting,”
which means its nuclear weapons would be used “only against legitimate
military targets, such as: enemy nuclear forces and bases, command and
control nodes, and leadership sites.” He said such US targeting
“potentially allows the United States to destroy enemy nuclear weapons
before they can be used against the United States or its allies,
limiting damage and potentially saving millions of lives.”

When it came to the Chinese, Kroenig said they practice “countervalue
targeting,” which meant they would use their “nuclear weapons against
US population centers with the goal of slaughtering as many innocent
civilians as possible.”

Here’s a historic note: The original atomic bomb target of Hiroshima
was chosen because it could be claimed as a military objective because
Hiroshima served as the headquarters for Japan’s 2nd Army, which
defended the southern part of the country. However, the real reason
for the choice was that a large civilian population lived around the
area and the targeting committee wanted to destroy a city with one
bomb for psychological effect to end World War II. In short, the US’
first use of a nuclear weapon demonstrated, by Kroenig’s terms,
countervalue targeting.

Kroenig said targeting “has important implications for nuclear force
sizing.” He explained, “If the United States pursued a countervalue
policy designed to kill large numbers of innocent civilians in Beijing
and Moscow, then a small nuclear arsenal might suffice. A counterforce
policy, however, requires the United States to possess sufficient
numbers of nuclear weapons to cover the nuclear-related targets
(missile silos, naval bases, air bases, command and control nodes,
leadership sites etc.) in Russia, China, and North Korea.”

In short, Kroenig used the targeting strategy to explain why the US
today has over 1,500 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, and over
2,000 more not deployed, while the Chinese for years have had fewer
than 300. Even the current threat that in the coming decade Beijing
may double or even triple that number, China still would not get close
to the US-sized nuclear stockpile.

The claim that US counterforce targeting potentially saves lives,
while countervalue targeting kills large numbers of innocent civilians
would just not be true. Counterforce nuclear weapons would be used
against ground-based or silo-based weapons creating radioactive
fallout, and in the numbers planned – two warheads for each enemy
weapon – even with China – we are talking currently about using 600 or
more 100 kiloton-or-higher US warheads. In the case of Russia, it
would be in the thousands. The numbers of prospective people killed
and wounded plus square miles of unlivable cities, towns and areas
created because of residual radioactivity cannot be estimated.

No one talks about that any more, although it makes use of nuclear
weapons more unlikely to be employed, particularly because cyber has
provided US Presidents with a new and much more usable class of
strategic weaponry that does not have the same devastating and
potential world-ending consequences.

An interesting fact about Presidential nuclear hesitancy came up
during the Senate hearing testimony of Prof. Sharon K. Weiner of
American University, who has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory,
the Joint Staff’s Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, and the
National Security Division of the White House Office of Management and
Budget. She told the panel, “Only one President of the United States
ever actually participated in these [nuclear weapon] drills when they
were asked to. Everybody else sent a delegate – somebody else. And so
you may have the President of the United States in this crisis, the
clock is ticking, trying to figure out what to do. Keep in mind there
is a huge amount of uncertainty, right. You don’t have perfect intel
at that point and so the President is trying to make a decision, and
they may never have practiced what it’s been like to be in a nuclear

Subcommittee Chairman King responded, ““I find it shocking that only
one President in the nuclear age has physically participated in one of
these exercises. I participated in one in the NAOC [National Airborne
Operations Centers, planes that allow leaders to issue commands from
the sky] four or five years ago and it was a stunning experience. I
would think you would want to have some experience in what that
situation would be like.”

That one President that did participate was Jimmy Carter, according to
Weiner, who as a Navy officer had dealt with nuclear submarines.
Given what’s at stake, it may be time to make room on the calendar.

Read more expert-driven national security analysis, perspective and
opinion in The Cipher Brief



Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Walter Pincus is a contributing
senior national security columnist for The Cipher Brief. He spent
forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear
weapons to politics.  He is the author of Blown to Hell: America’s
Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders (releasing in November 2021)
He also won an Emmy in 1981 and the… Read More

John Hallam
Australian Coordinator PNND
People for Nuclear Disarmament UN Nuclear Weapons Campaigner
Human Survival Project
Co-Convenor Abolition 2000 Nuclear Risk reduction Working Group

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Marcy Winograd <>9:52 AM (44 minutes ago)

 Thanks, Alice–disturbing to say the least.  Below are House and Senate bills I recommend we ask our reps to co-sponsor, along with an alarming 2019 Joint Chiefs document and select quotes, and rationales for co-sponsoring H.R. 1554 and H.R. 2603.
I would ask our House reps to co-sponsor these bills:
H.R. 2850-Nuclear AbolitionH.R. 1554: Prohibit the use of funds for the design, development, production and deployment of the nuclear-armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (Courtney)
H.R. 2603-Prohibit first use of nuclear weapons (Smith) 
I would ask our Senators to co-sponsor these bills:

S. 1148: Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons (Markey) 

S. 1219 A bill to establish the policy of the United States regarding the no-first-use of nuclear weapons. (Warren)

S. 1862 – (Markey)

A bill to reduce spending on nuclear weapons and related defense spending and to prohibit the procurement and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads, and for other purposes

Here’s another must-read:
2019 Joint Chiefs of Staff/Nuclear Operations Document (From Joint Chiefs–one of who was Mark Miller, Sec. of the Army, Now Chair, Joint Chiefs)

a.   Employment of nuclear weapons can radically alter or accelerate the course of a campaign. A nuclear weapon could be brought into the campaign as a result of perceived failure in a conventional campaign, potential loss of control or regime, or to escalate the conflict to sue for peace on more-favorable terms. The potential consequences of using nuclear weapons will greatly influence military operations and vastly increase the complexity of the operational environment.

Theater Planning & Targeting Considerations (III-3)

“Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the doctrine opines. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

a.    “CCDRs advise the President, through SecDef, on the introduction of nuclear weapons into a conventional conflict.”

“Joint forces may rely on external support from multiple agencies for assistance with targeting; nuclear/conventional planning integration …”

“Integration of nuclear weapons employment with conventional and special operations forces is essential to the success of any mission or operation.”H.R. 2603- Approve No First Use From Arms Control Association:The idea is simple: we don’t need to use nuclear weapons first. We can protect ourselves and our allies without having to start a nuclear war. A “No First Use” policy would make clear that the purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is deterrence, not nuclear war-fighting. A policy like this is just common sense. As President Reagan said, “A nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.” Implementing a No First Use policy would make America and its allies safer by increasing clarity on how and when the United States would use nuclear weapons, and would reduce nuclear risks worldwide. Below, you’ll find a quick explainer as well as additional resources on No First Use. You can also view and download our factsheet.

H.R. 1554–No to the SLCM-N (from William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy)

The Nuclear-Tipped Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N) is costly, dangerous, and unnecessary, and should be cancelled.  The Sea-Launched Cruise Missile resembles non-nuclear armed cruise missiles, a fact that could confuse an adversary and start a nuclear war by mistake. Because it is a low yield tactical nuclear weapon, the SLCM-N is more likely to be used in a conventional war, particularly since the Nuclear Operations Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a 2019 document promoting “nuclear integration” or first use of nuclear weapons in a conventional war. This is dangerous and delusional, for there would be no such thing as a “limited nuclear war.” Additionally, the SLCM-N is a Trump-era weapon that wasn’t even part of the Pentagon’s original nuclear modernization plan, and a recent memo from the Secretary of the Navy proposed scrapping it in next year’s budget.

So why waste money on it this year? The United States has many other weapons systems that will deter any nation from attacking us, making the Sea-Launched Cruise Missile redundant.  The amount in the budget for the system is $15 million in the FY2022 proposal, for research on the missile and a warhead to go with it. But if the system is allowed to go forward it will cost billions in the years to come, funds that could be better spent meeting urgent needs. Now is the time to end this dangerous program.

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