A Day in the Life of a Nuclear Arms Race

As a strategic expert writes of an “unnoticed crisis”, strategic vantage points of those with vision offer clear outlines of nuclear ‘modernization’, escalation, resulting risks, and reduced security over time ….

An Unnoticed Crisis: The End of History for Nuclear Arms Control?

by Alexei Arbatov, Carnegie Moscow Center

“Beginning with the signing of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, an international arms control regime has limited existing nuclear arsenals and prevented further proliferation of nuclear weapons. But that entire system could soon unravel. Nearly all negotiations on nuclear arms reduction and nonproliferation have come to a stop, while existing treaty structures are eroding due to political and military-technological developments and may collapse in the near future. These strategic and technical problems can be resolved if politicians are willing to work them out, and if experts approach them creatively…”


The intent to work out nuclear arms “strategic and technical problems” and “experts (to) approach them creatively” seems a distant hope in the current climate of nuclear force modernization and attendant reciprocal responses.

Whether one looks at U.S. trillion dollar funding of modernized nuclear weapon systems with ‘smart’, more ‘useable’ nuclear capabilities, forward positioned, a triad with ICBMs, SLBMs, and global strategic and theater tactical delivery systems arrayed and projected in Europe via, as one deployment, the B61-12 equipped F-35… or as one looks at China’s evident decisions to expand its nuclear weapons and MIRV its ICBMs, or Russia’s decisions to counter NATO moves with defensive and offensive new nuclear weapons capabilities, the future of any politician or expert in the nuclear field advocating resolving “problems” is less promising than any who speak of increasing risk environments and ‘necessity’ of ‘modernized’ nuclear weapons.

The breakdown of the just concluded five-year Review Conference on Non-proliferation is only one of many indicators as to what way the wind is blowing and politicians or experts who choose to stand and face the wind, attempting to block the growing velocity, stand at their professional peril. It is not an overstatement to say that whether one looks at establishment figures in the U.S., China, or Russia, or other nuclear weapon states, declared or undeclared, that going up against the prevailing winds, and not going with the winds, is a threat environment on a basic personal level.

Let’s take a look at “One Day in the Life” of three weapon states, a last week in June looking back at this month’s nuclear weapons run-up and potential to breakout and flash…

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EU agrees to extend Russia economic sanctions by six months

EU to extend sanctions against Russia to January 2016

Russia, Germany see new Cold War

As Vladimir Putin Talks More Missiles and Might, Cost Tells Another Story

NATO Commander: Russia not acting as responsible nuclear power

Kremlin officials say Russian nuclear buildup is forced by West

US-Russia military tit for tat raises fears of greater conflict

EU Agrees to Extend Economic Sanctions Against Russia

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Restarting the Cold War / Salon’s point of view: 

“… the NATO buildup that the New York Times won’t tell you”

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Why is the US building up arms in Eastern Europe

Russian mistakes and western misunderstandings

Back to the past

Russian Army Re-Brands Under Putin

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(the result of U.S. Congressional actions re: the status of B61 guidance upgrades and increased funding has not been been brought up to date in the Wikipedia 2014-2015 B61 citation)

B61s on a bomb cart
USAF / B61 weapons, before smart guidance additions





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Escalating Tensions