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Thursday, August 13, 2015

The MAD insanity of War Planning with Atom bombs and Bunker Busting

The "Mutually Assured Destruction" doctrine known as MAD planning illustrates the insanity of War Planning with Atom bombs comes from the fact that Atom bombs are a doomsday device. Sadly that insanity is still the only thing that is sane about our international regime at the moment. Instead of working to stop proliferation, reckless leaders are using fear-mongering while seeking to sabotage arms negotiations and use warfare to attack Iran.

The reasons that nobody has used them in (intentional) mass murder since the USA did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are manifold:

Radioactive Fallout ignores National Boundaries. For example the USA is downwind of both Russia and Japan.
If one country attacks another, the country attacked will definitely retaliate
They are totally useless as weapons except to destroy the targets one might be fighting over.

But even so, that doesn't stop 1984 style fear-mongering on the subject!

The Treaty is in Israel's Interest

I wrote on the importance of this treaty to preventing proliferation and stabilizing the Middle East back in March this year. I also wrote about how important congressmen such as John Boehner were violating the spirit of the Logan act. At that time I shared the common thread of Billionaire interference in both the USA and Israeli politics by irresponsible (and frankly crazy) billionaires and millionaires like Sheldon Adelson. I detailed how a few fanatic Neo-Millennialists were bankrolling Tom Cotton's candidacy. Well it looks like a few Democrats are after that billionaire money too. Nevermind that it could plunge the world into a "fin de mundo" war. We might finally see that Mutually Assured Destruction because the insanity of our Billionaires has caught up with the insanity of Nuclear warfare -- and passed it.

Nevermind that it's a great Deal!

David Nasiby lists 5 of the reasons:

"A nuclear weapons–free Iran"
"A nuclear deal with Iran will guarantee that Iran’s nuclear capacity remains exclusively peaceful with no possible military dimensions and with enough time for the international community to detect a breakout, should Iran ever feel the unlikely need to “dash for the bomb.” Through a comprehensive agreement, Iran would cap its uranium enrichment to 5 percent and would have a mutually agreed limit on the number of centrifuges it would operate. Iran would also either convert its stockpile of enriched uranium to oxide or ship it overseas, potentially to Russia as it has been recently suggested."
"Regional cooperation and détente"
""President Obama’s secret letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader stressing that any cooperation against ISIL was contingent upon Iran reaching a nuclear deal with the so-called P5+1 highlights the overlapping strategic interests between the United States and Iran."
Global economic impact
"Economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the European Union and others have significantly restricted international commercial opportunities with Iran, negatively impacting the Iranian economy, as well as having an impact on the global economy through foregone commercial activity. Increased economic relations with Iran could only help strengthen the global economic environment."
Human rights
"During his 2013 presidential campaign, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani promised to uphold the constitution by guaranteeing the “rights of the people.”"
Let’s make a deal
"The benefits of a nuclear deal are clear. Those contending otherwise and advocating for additional sanctions and obstructing any meaningful engagement between Washington and Tehran should outline their own list of benefits that their actions would lead to."

It's possible that none of the above list will produce an enduring peace. However, the alternative to a peace treaty is war. And the only benefit of renewed war is for war-profiteers.

The list of folks endorsing this deal spans the globe, includes (or included) a majority of Israelis and Americans, and reflects the consensus of thinking people around the globe. The opposition is the consensus of fear-mongering, war-mongering and war-profiteering people around the world. For some reason I can't stop thinking of "Cats Cradle" and ICE NINE

Consensus of Thinking People

The list of people who think this treaty is a good idea includes in addition to the White House:

  1. UN Security Council
  2. China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States
  3. European Union
  4. Surprisingly: Saudi Arabia!
  5. The list of people who think this treaty is a good idea includes Israeli Intelligence!:

  6. According to Haaretz: "There are those in the Intelligence Corps, including those in the research division dealing with Iran, who have a very positive view of the nuclear agreement. Their views, at variance with the totally negative stance taken by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, have bubbled up to the level of Halevy, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and others, but there too they have been swallowed up as if they had never existed. Although this is not usually the case in the Intelligence Corps, as opposed to that regarding state secrets, these views are being concealed from the public. Where is the oversight department that is supposed to present contrarian views to the accepted wisdom?" [Netanyahu Busted]
  7. Many Jews not willing to risk life and limb to speak too loudly (see 110205)
  8. Gary Samore (who led the lobby group criticizing the deal)
  9. Navid Hasibi

The Little Games won't stop

Nevertheless, Netanyahu is doing his level best to sabotage the treaty:

"Netanyahu announced he would use his considerable foreign authority over America to leverage real congressional resistance to the deal by using “every available means at his disposal; including persuasion directed at the Congress, and American public opinion in general.” [Netanyahu Busted]

Before the last election the same folks who elected Netanyahu were backing GOP candidates who would share their fear-mongering narrative and try to scuttle a treaty. I wrote about the one man but well funded organization "One Voice" and how it elected Tom Cotton back in March.

Even so the GOP is allying with Netanyahu and his Likud to commit a little treason, subvert the treaty and try to start a war.

Netanyahu "lays out concerns for the future about what the world could look like,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader who is spending the week in Israel along with 35 mostly new members." [GOP Pilgrimage]

Last week Netanyahu had meetings with important Democrats and this week he managed to win over at least one, Senator Schumer. to his side on vetoing the Nuclear agreement. The author at Politicus puts it a bit bombastically, but is not really exaggerating when he says:

"He is confident his Israeli caucus in the U.S. Congress is solidly against peace and will serve his interest in attempting to scuttle the deal. However, there are just as significant numbers of Americans, Israelis, nuclear scientists, and the U.N. Security Council that support peace with Iran." [Politicus]

The Grand Game is back on!

Thanks to the Breakup of the Soviet Union, the Iranian Revolution and oil, the "grand game" as the British, French, English and other actors used to call their struggles over the borders in Central Asia, is back on. Apparently key to that for some bit players is that Iran be taken down the same way as Iraq, Syria, and most of the Middle East has been taken down by arms-profiteering, war-mongering propaganda and funding. The oil rich Gulf States and Saudis seem to have (temporary) common cause with Israel over Iran, symbolized by terror at the prospect of them getting the bomb. For that reason the war profiteers (and same actors who are allegedly smuggling arms to Iran) are fear-mongering over the prospect that an arms treaty designed to prevent Iran from getting "the Bomb" will somehow ensure it gets the bomb!

Our Own little Arms Race

And we have an amazing Conventional Weapon to use on their Bunkers. It's called the "Massive Ordnance Penetrator" — or MOP —

"weighs in at 30,000 pounds, is almost 20 feet long and is designed to burrow through 200 feet of earth and 60 feet of concrete before detonating."

Our military is confident that it could destroy even Iran's Gigantic hollowed out mountain!

"Delivered by the stealthy B-2 Spirit heavy strategic bomber from as high as 20,000 feet, the MOP hits the ground at supersonic speed before slamming its way toward a hardened target through layered subterranean defenses such as native rock, reinforced concrete, and steel plates."

And in theory:

"Once it reaches the bunker, the MOP's 5,300-pound warhead detonates, obliterating tunnels, underground chambers and … you name it."

But even if we launched a successful Air War with Iran that would only guarantee that Iran pursued the bomb later and had a grudge and a reason to use it, or even retaliate! As the article notes;

"Iran, which has placed key components of its nuclear program such as centrifuges deep beneath the earth. But the MOP's delivery system could be shot out of the sky if an adversary has the right kind of air-defense missiles."

As a result, we have an arms race which only a peace treaty can mitigate.

"Iran badly wants to update its antiquated air-defense systems. That could pose serious problems for air crews tasked with flying MOP missions. In 2007, Russia committed to selling Iran the SA-300, one of the most sophisticated surface-to-air missiles in the world."

Deal or broken deal, Russia is liable to sell them sophisticated surface to Air missiles which would raise the cost of an Air Strike. Israel now has it's own refueling capability so in theory it could try. But it doesn't have the capacity to bomb all the targets it would need to. and only the USA has the massive bunker Buster bombs needed.

"Russia "paused" on the deal, however, after international sanctions brought the sale into question. However, in 2015, the Kremlin offered to sell Tehran the SA-300VM variant of the air-defense system — and there is no indication that there will be any hold on this deal."

The USA vetoes this deal and the sanctions are broken anyway. The world thinks we are crazy or MAD.

"An SA-300VM can shoot down aircraft more than 120 miles away. In addition to missiles, it has advanced radar that can detect and track as many as 200 aerial targets as far as 150 miles away from the SAM battery. Whether that radar is capable of tracking a stealthy B-2 bomber is an open question."

But it's not just the ability to shoot down aircraft that is at issue. They'll also be able to detect attacks. Which gives those working in such a place time to evacuate to even deeper bunkers than our bunker busters can penetrate.

"However, if Tehran acquires the SA-300VMs in sufficient numbers to station the batteries on its southern coast, Iran will possess the ability to detect U.S. or allied aircraft taking off from neighboring countries, as well as from carriers in the Persian Gulf. Iran could also ring its sensitive nuclear sites with the SAMs."

More importantly they can always bury them even deeper.

So of course this means that if we were going to attack them, it would have to be soon.

"B-2s would most likely fly their MOP missions from the United States and depend on aerial refueling to make the trip — but many mission support aircraft would be launched from the region."

MOP is not Mutually Assured Destruction. Just something our Staff Officers think will do the job.

"The SA-300VM's radars could easily track these assets, such as electronic counter-measure planes flying nearby to aid the B-2s on their mission. Whatever the scenario, the U.S. has never faced the SA-300 or its variants in combat."
"But if an American president ever orders the Spirits carrying MOPs to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, that could all change … and raise the stakes on whether the United States can successfully use military power as a hammer if Iran violates the new agreement." [MOP]

So we get an Iran determined to get revenge against both the USA and Israel if we attack them. And they are doing what they can to harden Iran's backup plant at Fordham:

"Iran acknowledged that it was building a second uranium-enrichment plant and soon allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency in for a visit. The U.N. inspectors saw a series of chambers built into the side of a mountain and connected by tunnels with thick walls and blast-proof doors. Some of the bunkers were protected by as much 200 to 300 feet of mountain."

This is a direct response to our Bunker Buster Bombs and threats.

"The underground plant — not yet fully operational — is relatively small, with space for about 3,000 centrifuges, compared with the tens of thousands planned for Natanz. But analysts say it’s big enough to process the enriched uranium necessary for at least one nuclear weapon a year, should Iran decide to build them."

Our planners are sure they can destroy it with MOP. But can they really count on that? If I were an Iranian Planner. I'd just keep putting backup levels even deeper and with other exits, or other locations. And if the USA were to replace it's conventional bomb with a Thermonuclear warhead. I'd be planning something big for retaliation. It never ends.

Notes and Further Readings
White House:
The Hill:
What is Mutually Assured Destruction?
Washington Post article on the Bunkers:
Schumer defects from Common Sense:
GOP Pilgrimage:
Politicus USA:
Netanyahu Busted:
Wobbly Democrats and crooked War-Mongers:
Astroturfed Opposition:
Jewish supporters of the Treaty Bullied:
Bibi comes out of closet on Two State Solution:
Logan Amendment:
Cats Cradle:
Some on why even Civilian Nuclear is a bad deal:

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