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  • Tag Archive for 'NDAA' at Forget the Rest
    Los Alamos Study Group FY2013 Defense Authorization Conference Bill Powerfully Advances Nuclear Weapons Contractors Contact Greg Mello 505 265 1200 office 505 577 8563 cell Albuquerque NM This year s Defense Authorization conference bill H R 4310 should it become law would powerfully protect the business interests of the nuclear weapons contractors who spend more than Tags CMRR NF Greg Mello Los Alamos Study Group NDAA Press releases Add a

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  • Tag Archive for 'nuclear' at Forget the Rest
    I recently returned from a week in Washington where I was mostly at the annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit organized by the Nuclear Weapons and Material Monitor along with a couple of meetings on The Hill That summit themed Maintaining a Credible Deterrent Amidst Funding Constraints was as it always is a pretty good Tags Deterrence Greg Mello Los Alamos Study Group modernization nuclear Bulletins Add a comment You are currently

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  • Category Archive for 'Bulletins' at Forget the Rest
    complex Perennially they protest too much Blame and there is plenty of it to go around is for them something that must always be shifted to the federal hand that so bounteously feeds them This is an endlessly creative process after all science which at these laboratories is mostly an amalgam of propaganda careerism institutional advancement personal bank account building and lobbying must march on Former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks remarked that he had never heard any nuclear weapons plant manager complain about federal micromanagement He left it at that Despite its internal contradictions this system is remarkably resilient as long as its ideology remains unchallenged which is to say as long as the dollars continue to flow in very large amounts and the salaries are to die for Right now the nuclear bureaucrats are furiously writing nuclear work requirements to make sure there is lack of that in the coming years The White House will soon ask for more money than ever for the plants and labs but it is far from clear that they will get it all I would like to tell you in general terms about those plans but that must wait for the next Bulletin Greg Mello for the Los Alamos Study Group 1 One of the speakers made the interesting private suggestion that these actors could be called a faction in the sense of Federalist No 10 2 I think the real challenge to the nuclear enterprise posed by the break in of the Y 12 three Michael Walli 63 Sr Megan Rice 82 and Greg Boertje Obed 57 was not exposure of security and operational lapses or even exposure of failed management and federal oversight overall but rather the intrusion of the suppressed moral values which these three embodied and represented Fences cameras and guards are no barriers to truth especially truths about human security and how it should be fostered which is very inconvenient and threatening to the nuclear weapons enterprise Denial is not just a physical security measure but also a way to minimize cognitive dissonance manage personnel and maintain ideological coherence 3 This has management implications The failure to acknowledge and to the extent possible attempt to reconcile the moral legal and strategic imperative to disarm along with NNSA s mandate to maintain the stockpile is the biggest root cause of NNSA s management difficulties How does one reconcile such opposites One of these mandates is supported as polls repeatedly show by citizens the other by the militarized state In place of acknowledging this difficult but potentially fruitful contradiction NNSA s mission as it is portrayed by its leaders at conferences such as this is entirely one sided so much so that it is strongly at odds with universal human morality and standing U S treaty law And that is how the agency is managed with very poor results NNSA has trouble recruiting managing and above all trouble deciding what to do which is rather devastating In the suspension of

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  • Category Archive for 'Commentary' at Forget the Rest
    civilizations believed that fate history superior virtues or a divine force guaranteed their eternal triumph As they collapsed they constructed repressive dystopias They imposed censorship and forced the unreal to be accepted as real Those who did not conform were disappeared linguistically and then literally The vast disconnect between the official narrative of reality and reality itself creates an Alice in Wonderland experience Propaganda is so pervasive and truth is so rarely heard that people do not trust their own senses We are currently being assaulted by political campaigning that resembles the constant crusading by fascists and communists in past totalitarian societies This campaigning devoid of substance and subservient to the mirage of a free society is anti politics While Hedges fierce generalizations should not be all accepted at face value there are some exceptions and he is implicitly challenging us to find them or to create our own beachheads in occupied territory he is correct in the main Most of the so called political activity we see around us in the U S will fail or has failed already because it based on hopeful lies This creates a political and personal crisis for us because the activity that is apparently required is not at all convenient or so it may seem More of us are waking up now Have a cup of coffee We ve got a job to do It s not that bad once you wake up Dress warmly Our friends are waiting Many hands make light work Commentary Add a comment The Manhattan Project National Historical Park Moral Failure for America Danger to This Country and the World November 10th 2015 by Greg Mello This is the text of the brochure some of us will hand out in Los Alamos tomorrow November 11 at the Grand Opening of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park As a rushed paper product it has no hyperlinks except a couple at the bottom See here for some background and of course the Atomic Heritage Foundation AHF for much more In fact given AHF who needs a Park Their products are better than a Park as I have told them But they have wanted both The creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park MPNHP represents a triumph of parochial self interest over the judgment of history serious national security policy and basic human morality The purposeful incineration of cities was then as it would be now a heinous war crime There were and still are no extenuating circumstances for that kind of crime full stop But will that be the story told at this Park Of course not The Nuremberg Tribunal articulated the principle that even those in the military are required to disobey unlawful orders in cases where moral choice exists Of course we know the institutionalized impetus to wanton destruction can be very difficult to resist in war for everyone military and civilian alike So we must resist justifying it now in peacetime We cannot avoid judgment just because we won the war or hide behind a false moral relativity It was simply a terrible mistake to build and use the bomb a mistake in which people were swept along in a kind of enforced but well paid group trance note 1 They handed over moral agency to others above them others who at the very top once Roosevelt died were thoroughly racist or who saw the coming victory as a great imperial opportunity There is nothing great about the regimentation of thousands of technicians and divorce of science from morality resulting in state sponsored mass murder with strong racist overtones that can be heard down to the present day The communities surrounding the three MPNHP sites have been eager for some sort of recognition and prestige to compensate for the crimes they enabled during the war and even more so to vindicate themselves and their communities for creating the doomsday arsenals that still threaten the human race from which they have profited enormously both personally and as communities Politicians and businesspersons have their own very personal agendas in this matter as well Last week the First Committee of the United Nations passed a resolution by a vote of 124 to 35 with 15 abstentions affirming that given the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons it is inconceivable that any use of nuclear weapons irrespective of the cause would be compatible with the requirements of international humanitarian law or international law or the laws of morality or the dictates of public conscience The resolution further states that given their indiscriminate nature and potential to annihilate humanity nuclear weapons are inherently immoral note 2 What is there to celebrate here until the day when the Manhattan Project finally ends in Los Alamos The Park Will Be Hostage to Parochial Interests The political pressure to adopt supportive narratives regarding past and current weapons activities at two of these sites which involve billions of dollars in appropriations annually is already overwhelming There is no reason whatsoever to believe the National Park Service NPS can or will be an objective interpreter of current national security issues which is part of what this Park would implicitly do NPS will need to work with the Department of Energy DOE the partnership being celebrated today as well as civic groups local governments businesses donors and volunteers Under such conditions objective interpretation of the Manhattan Project which involves war crimes for which the U S has never apologized is inconceivable The proposed Park sites are near or within active nuclear weapons design testing and production sites underscoring the impossibility of any objective interpretation at these locations Multibillion dollar contracts and projects are at stake This is not Manzanar The significance and continuing legacy of the Manhattan Project is politically contentious and disputed This significance is central to the Park idea The original bill S 507 at sec 2 2 A and SA 2492 at a 2 A quotes a panel of experts who state that the the development and use of the atomic bomb during World War II has been called the single most significant event of the 20th century Really Creating such a Park inherently endorses the Manhattan Project and its modern day successor activities as positive national achievements Indeed that is the purpose of the Park Supposedly objective background materials supporting the Park proposal are already one sided significantly incomplete and or historically incorrect Bechtel National Park The balkanization of ownership and control of these sites between federal and powerful non federal actors ensures in practical terms that NPS will be subordinate to these other actors For example Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL is operated by a for profit consortium of contractors Los Alamos National Security LLC which annually receives and spends in the neighborhood of 2 2 billion LANS and DOE jointly control access security safety and maintenance at LANL LANS is a highly interest conflicted party DOE does not manage these sites Quite simply this proposal aims to use NPS for propaganda purposes for the state and for its contractors This will be quite apparent and jarring to many domestic and international visitors The propaganda aspect of the proposed Park is oddly invisible to many well intentioned supporters The Park Adds No Real Value The proposal does not involve significant natural or national resources and is therefore not harmonious with core National Park missions The DOE properties at LANL involved in this proposal are basically worthless ugly sheds and bunkers These sites will not provide a comprehensive picture of the Manhattan Project which occurred at dozens of sites not three Extensive interpretative museums concerning the Manhattan Project already exist at Los Alamos and elsewhere Some are taxpayer funded Extensive resources are available on the internet for those who are interested Few if any of these sites will be tourist draws or provide marginal economic value to the surrounding communities At LANL that s a fantasy Some sites are already national landmarks It is not clear there is any added benefit to National Park status At Los Alamos Park status will not add preservation value These assets are already protected Some sites will be accessible by the public only rarely and under guard and public access will interfere with the national security missions underway surrounding those sites At other sites public access may interfere with cleanup activities Public enjoyment referencing here the NPS mission will be minimal for these locations The Park Will Be Costly and Hard to Administer The cost of the proposed Park which is not yet fully known will compete with the massive maintenance backlog in the National Park system Or if borne by DOE these additional costs will compete with other missions DOE does not have anywhere close to enough funds to clean up its sites or even tear down its large inventory of abandoned buildings some of which date from the Manhattan Project Given the inherent management problems it is quite likely that the cost of the proposed Park for the NPS in dollars and otherwise will exceed current expectations It is also quite possible that the chronic problems at some of these sites combined with the inherent problems in this proposal will combine to damage the reputation of NPS not just in this country but to some degree worldwide The sites are small widely separated have complicated ownership and boundary configurations and significant safety and security issues will be rarely accessible to the public in some cases and in some cases LANL are operated by for profit contractors not the federal government As of April 2013 DOE had not assessed the operational difficulties in terms of security and public health and safety applicable statutory and regulatory requirements and the potential new cost of national park designation at our sensitive national security and cleanup sites At present there are no management plans no budgets and no appropriations At present the Park consists only of enabling legislation the Memorandum of Agreement and a map of initial DOE locations As NPS web site says Details of the park interpretive themes park facilities visitor contact stations park management structure and specifics about what eligible properties outside the Department of Energy properties should be included in the park are not included in this agreement and will be identified in future planning efforts The Park Glorifies Nuclear Weapons Undercutting Nonproliferation Norms and Promoting a Militarized Society If producing and using nuclear weapons was a great achievement for one country why should it not be so for others and for terrorist groups We may believe America is exceptional in this way but others do not and it is their views which are important to them not ours Why is it in the interest of U S national security to establish what amounts to a multi site nuclear weapons national park There are already other NPS administered parks dating from the Cold War Because it has the largest economy the largest military by far and the largest cultural influence the U S is a norm setting state It is one thing to make terrible mistakes even great ones many states have done so It is quite another to celebrate historic and continuing mistakes as if they happened merely in the past The Park Suborns NPS to Serve a Militarized State This Park is already a disinformation machine obscuring present realities as much or more as past ones thus continuing the work of the propagandists hired by the Manhattan Project in 1945 As such it harnesses NPS to a militarized and corporatized state that creates ignorance and passivity in an increasingly powerless population As Stewart Udall wrote in the Myths of August the first big change of the Atomic Age was to alter the American system of government creating new national security institutions to safeguard atomic secrets The national security state was born Today that militarized security state has metastasized to a scale and degree that would be unrecognizable to the America of 1946 or 1947 in terms of cost deployments and in its unquestioned prominence in our society This Park would not have been proposed or approved in a peace oriented society Its existence is as much part of the militarization and authoritarian shift in American life as it is an illustration of the growing moral numbness which has accompanied the application of violence by the U S in more and more countries around the world Notes 1 In this regard see Charles Tart quoted in Brian Davey http www resilience org stories 2015 11 04 the attention seeking economy information and the manufacture of ignorance 2 For text background and votes see links in http www lasg org press 2015 press release 06Nov2015 html Commentary Add a comment Beyond peace September 23rd 2015 by Greg Mello Yesterday September 21 was the International Day of Peace I hope not to be misinterpreted but I don t like it for all sorts of reasons Is it because I am not in some horrible war and can t see the value of peace Not really Would anyone shooting at me stop because it was the International Day of Peace It s a feel good holiday isn t it Is it because I like war No I was a conscientious objector in 1971 and have ordered my life accordingly since then leaving easy and lucrative work to work for what Peace No for nuclear disarmament justice environmental wholeness and economic security They go together especially in New Mexico where nuclear armaments are such a powerful industry Not for peace then For something like human dignity and solidarity in the living landscape For us in the U S peace is not something we have and it is not something we will have Our president recently bragged that he has bombed seven countries since taking office If anything that is an undercount Of course I don t like it but it s a fact Americans tend to take aspirations for peace personally It s about my peace I want to be peaceful the heck with you The aspiration for peace is just terribly ambiguous and it comes with a bad psychology which we as community workers have to face Psychologist James Hillman in A Terrible Love of War Penguin 2004 pp 29 36 explains quoting at length The name of this void of forgetfulness is peace whose short first definition is the absence of war More fully the Oxford English Dictionary describes peace Freedom from or cessation of war or hostilities a state of a nation or community in which it is not at war with another Further peace means Freedom from disturbance or perturbation especially as a condition of an individual quiet tranquility When Neville Chamberlain and his umbrella returned from Munich in 1938 after utterly failing to grasp the nature of Hitler he told the British people he had achieved peace in our time and that now everyone should go home and get a nice quiet sleep The worst of war is that it ends in peace that is it absents itself from remembrance a syndrome Chris Hedges calls collective or blanket amnesia beyond understanding beyond imagining Peace is visible already writes Marguerite Duras It s like a great darkness falling it s the beginning of forgetting I will not march for peace nor will I pray for it because it falsifies all it touches It is a cover up a curse Peace is simply a bad word Peace said Plato is really only a name Even if states should cease from fighting wrote Hobbes it is not to be called peace but rather a breathing time True yes cease fire yes surrender victory mediation brinkmanship standoff these words have content but peace is darkness falling The dictionary s definition an exemplary of denial fails the word peace Written by scholars in tranquillity the definition fixates and perpetuates the denial If peace is merely an absence of a freedom from it is both an emptiness and a repression A psychologist must ask how is the emptiness filled since nature abhors a vacuum and how does the repressed return since it must The emptiness left by repressing war from the definition of peace bloats it with idealizations another classic defense mechanism Fantasies of rest of calm security life as normal eternal peace heavenly peace the peace of love that transcends understanding peace as easy shalvah in the Hebrew Bible and completeness shalom The peace of naivete of ignorance disguised as innocence Longings for peace become both simplistic and utopian with programs for universal love disarmament and an Aquarian federation of nations or retrograde to the status quo ante of Norman Rockwell s apple pie These are the options of psychic numbing that peace offers and which must have so offended Jesus that he declared for a sword To dispel such quieting illusions writers along with those hounded by Mars roil the calm The pages are thick with death because writers do not hold their peace keep silent play dumb Books of war give voice to the tongue of the dead anesthetized by that major syndrome of the public psyche peace The one virtue of the dictionary s definition of peace is its implied normalization of war War is the larger idea the normative term giving peace its meaning Definitions using negation or privation are psychologically unsophisticated The excluded notion immediately comes to mind and in fact the word peace can be understood only after you have grasped the war War is also implied in another common meaning of peace peace as victory The fusion of peace with military victory shows plainly enough in the prayers for peace which tacitly ask for winning the war Do people ever pray for surrender Unconditional surrender would bring immediate peace Do they ever light candles and march in supplication of defeat The Romans understood this inner connection between peace and victory Pax the goddess of peace was usually configured with a cornucopia of riches and plenty an idealization that recurred in recent fantasies of a peace dividend to fill our coffers now that the Cold War was won Also accompanying Pax were a caduceus twin serpents winding around a staff indicating the healing arts and an olive branch Soon enough around the turn of the era 40 BC she became Pax Victoria an the olive branch merged with laurel leaves the crown of victors Not only does peace too quickly translate into security and a security purchased at the price of liberty Something more sinister also is justified by peace which de Tocqueville superbly describes as a new kind of servitude where a supreme power covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules minute and uniform through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise above the crowd The will of man is not shattered but softened bent and guided men are seldom forced by it to act but they are constantly restrained from acting Such a power does not destroy but it prevents existence it does not tyrannize but it compresses enervates extinguishes and stupefies a people till a nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrial animals of which government is the shepherd We are engaged in a struggle for life It will not be peaceful nor should it be It should be nonviolent but in the hands of peace advocates nonviolence has almost lost the name of action In the contexts in which we work the dangerous ambiguity of peace works against the clarity and commitment that are the sine qua non of harmonious productive nonviolent action of all kinds Peace even begins to mean something like civility A lot of blocking destructive and unethical conduct is justified in the name of peace Even nonviolence can be a kind of bludgeon For the peaceful violence can be defined as anything which makes us uncomfortable and threatens our peace Peace out What good is this word and this idea There are usually better ones Commentary Add a comment Comment to colleagues regarding a comprehensive nuclear disarmament treaty as a viable diplomatic option April 19th 2015 by Greg Mello Sent to a number of colleagues this morning Dear colleagues With great respect to all who are working on this issue I think it is important to face the fact that the US and Russia just to pick the two states with most of the nuclear weapons will not for the foreseeable future negotiate any kind of nuclear weapons convention or enter into any other comprehensive disarmament treaty under any circumstances Neither will they enter into a ban treaty again for the foreseeable future a long time long enough to make any such strategy irrelevant for us the living Those who imagine that there could be a nuclear weapons convention negotiated need to supply some convincing data and arguments There are none I know of It is all wishful thinking The historical data all go the other way What the General Assembly says or what Ban Ki Moon says is meaningless in this regard because no significant political process that commits voting states lies behind these pronouncements and votes and because the US and Russia will not surrender their nuclear weapons because of ANY UN votes or pronouncements They simply have no influence To say otherwise would be to assume an unthinkable surrender of sovereignty and national identity for these two states as well as other nuclear weapon states The chemical weapons convention and biological weapons convention are not good models for eliminating nuclear weapons because these other weapons were not so deeply interwoven with the identity of these two states and because in the US at least their military utility was correctly perceived as low to nil to negative and at the time nuclear weapons were and still are available as the winning weapons in any conflict whatsoever should a Dunkirk style defeat loom for US expeditionary i e imperial forces anywhere in the world for example I am quoting from some or another old official justification The above describes the political reality prior to the US fomented coup in Ukraine and the advent of open efforts to destabilize Russia economically and politically an effort which in the US is perceived by dominant factions as necessary for the long term health of the US economy however mistaken and stupid that is Both the US and Russia understand what is going on not just in Ukraine but in many other modalities and across many other fronts as a kind of hybrid but real conflict or in a single syllable a war This is a very serious situation with deep US roots and it will not be resolved into the kind of relative amity many thought existed during the START II era for the foreseeable future NATO expansion Yugoslavia US withdrawal from the ABM treaty and now Ukraine have permanently ended that among many other insults Politics in the US and in Russia have moved to the right in the last decade or two In the US I would say this process has gone on since the late 1970s In the US this process is continuing with no end in sight In the US it takes 67 Senate votes to ratify a treaty and those 67 votes wouldn t be there even if a president wanted such a treaty which no foreseeable future US president will I say foreseeable because these conditions will eventually change in the US but only I believe when the existence of the US state is visibly threatened from non military threats internal and external or else when a thorough political change occurs as a result of unmistakeable magisterial forces that galvanize ruling elites and citizens alike Don t think of the US as a democracy please Meanwhile while nuclear weapons are expensive they are expected assuming a trillion dollar outlay over the next 30 years a low estimate for the program of record to not rise to more than 6 of all military spending While DoD and military leaders already say repeatedly that the program of record is not affordable under current budgets and Republicans look to further cuts to social programs including from mandatory spending in pension accounts filled by paycheck deductions over many years nuclear weapons aren t so expensive as to drive the US to seek a nuclear weapons convention or ban One interesting question is the limit of foreseeable how far in the future lies the prediction limit of even the most broad brush judgments such as the above For example will the US be able to put a single new Ohio class replacement submarine into service in 2031 as planned The US Navy is a very impressive organization the contractors are very capable and the individuals in charge of this program are very impressive people Even so I for one can t say for sure they will succeed because there are too many environmental and resource issues that will come to bear which will be expressed economically socially industrially and politically These are black swans or really grey swans because some of the coming crises are already visible to some extent The nature of these and other growing problems and of our social and political response to them is unknowable of course But the default political tendency in the US is to move to the political hard right in response to scary problems US participation in a nuclear weapons convention is probably even less likely in the event of serious internal crises To be sure the US nuclear modernization program of record is already failing to some extent and is understood to be failing to some extent by sophisticated internal actors We can be confident it will fail further and more and more deeply over time We can t tell how or how much But none of this adds up to endorsement of complete nuclear disarmament or negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention The only disarmament diplomacy which can succeed for the foreseeable future is one that does not require participation by the nuclear weapons states including the US and Russia This is one of the many reasons why efforts to produce a ban are so important even though the US Russia and other nuclear weapons states will never sign such a treaty The mechanisms by which a ban will help produce disarmament in non signatory nuclear weapons states are in general not going to be those which are discussed by diplomats let alone NGOs in open international settings To pick just one example a ban will immediately lower the legitimacy of nuclear threats in the world s eyes and therefore the likelihood of nuclear use This is very important because the risks of nuclear war are I believe growing All nuclear weapon states are implacably hostile to effective disarmament diplomacy by definition really I take it as obvious that there is no disarmament process anywhere underway now Anybody who wants nuclear weapon states involved in disarmament diplomacy is in effect helping that diplomacy fail I really hope that values such as openness in diplomatic processes and any other values that are quite secondary or tertiary to nuclear disarmament don t get in the way of producing a ban treaty The US at least can be expected to use all of its resources to undercut efforts to produce any threatening disarmament measure including a ban up to and including putting financial pressure on states and actors within states blackmail getting disarmament diplomats fired or transferred away and so on Greg Mello Commentary Add a comment Pouring Gas on the Ukrainian Fire February 8th 2015 by Greg Mello This is a guest post by Steven Starr Steve is first class activist parent medical scientist and director of Clinical Laboratory Science at the University of Missouri He teaches on nuclear weapons issues and maintains the highly recommended nucleardarkness org web site We have been following the developing situation in Ukraine a disaster that was made in the West led by the U S with great alarm Steve s letter is timely and completely accurate as far as I can tell There appears to be almost no serious objections being raised against the loud voices now calling for the US to send large quantities of weapons to Ukraine It is not just John McCain demanding that Obama OK massive arms shipments to Kiev Consider the new report Preserving Ukraine s Independence Resisting Russian Aggression What the United States and NATO Must Do released by three prominent think tanks this last week the Brookings Institution the Atlantic Council and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs The report was signed by Ambassador Steven Pifer Senior Fellow the Brookings Institution and former U S Ambassador to Ukraine Strobe Talbott President the Brookings Institution and former Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador Ivo Daalder President the Chicago Global Affairs Council and former U S Permanent Representative to NATO Michele Flournoy Chair Center for a New American Security and former Under Secretary of Defense Ambassador John Herbst Director Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center the Atlantic Council and former U S Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Lodal Distinguished Fellow and former President the Atlantic Council and former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Admiral James Stavridis Member of the Board the Atlantic Council Dean Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Charles Wald Member of the Board the Atlantic Council and former Deputy Commander U S European Command The report see http www brookings edu research reports 2015 02 ukraine independence russian aggression recommends that The White House and Congress should commit serious funds to upgrade Ukraine s defense capabilities specifically providing 1 billion in military assistance this year followed by an additional 1 billion each in the next two fiscal years The U S government should alter its policy and begin providing lethal assistance to Ukraine s military and The U S government should approach other NATO countries about also providing military assistance to Ukraine Strobe Talbot of the Brookings Institution states at 21 minutes into this interview that In the context of what is happening in Ukraine today the right way to characterize it is an act of war on the part of the Russian Federation This means that there is going on in Ukraine today a literal invasion it is not a proxy war it is a literal invasion by the Russian Armed Forces it is a literal occupation of large parts well beyond Crimea of Eastern Ukraine and it is a virtual annexation of a lot of territory other than just the Crimea And in that respect this is a major threat to the peace of Europe to the peace of Eurasia and therefore a threat to the interests of the United States and I would say a threat to the chances of a peaceful 21st century However I would note that the Chief of Staff of Ukraine s Armed Forces General Viktor Muzhenko stated on January 29th 2015 stated that there was no evidence of the presence in the conflict zone in the southeast of Ukraine any regular units of the Russian army Muzhenko said that There is absolutely no way you can possibly hide huge military formations on a relatively small territory wide open to reporters and OSCE representatives It is certainly true the war in Ukraine has become a proxy war between the US and Russia and no doubt the Russians are supplying arms and material along with troops not in Russian uniforms But if the US chooses to take the course recommended by Brookings et al this will surely cause a major reaction from Russia and it will encourage the ultra nationalists and neo Nazis in Kiev to continue the war This is a deadly combination of events that will propel the US and Russia ever closer to armed conflict At present the Ukrainian military forces are about to suffer another major defeat in Donbass having something like 8 000 of its troops surrounded and cut off in a cauldron If they do not surrender they are likely to be butchered Meanwhile the Ukrainian currency has lost half its value the economy is in ruins and armed groups are forming in many of the largest cities apparently in anticipation of a coup against Poroshenko It is precisely these armed groups who are made up of the neo Nazi factions who have absolutely no intention of seeking a diplomatic solution with the separatists in Donbass The country is in utter turmoil with some of the most violent extreme right wing groups having the most control in the Kiev government Is this who we wish to arm It is not clear that Poroshenko can even remain in power much longer Hence the hasty trip by Merkel and Hollande to Moscow to meet with Putin Note that no American representative went with them and that the meetings with Putin were held without any staff members attending It seems fairly clear that Merkel and Hollande do not want a US Russian war to break out in Ukraine which seems to put them at odds with the majority of politicians in the US But it is a little late for them to change course at this point given how far down the road they have come in support of US policy But there is already a war which our news does not cover Western news organizations have no reporters there they rely upon reports from the Ukrainian government which they tend to repeat verbatim It is as if we pretend that the relentless shelling of the cities of Eastern Ukraine which has produced more than 1 million refugees destroyed much of the infrastructure and killed many thousands of people is somehow not important enough to notice Yet this anti terrorist operation has been carried out largely against the civilians of Donbass because the US fully supported it and financed it Whether or not we Americans are aware of what has been and is happening to the 5 5 million people of Donbass the Russian people certainly are as this story dominates Russian news Russia has accepted the great majority of the Ukrainian refugees who are mostly ethnic Russian hence the charge that the war is really about ethnic cleansing Russia is the only nation that has supplied food medicine and other aid to the people of Donbass Donetsk city of one million Lughansk city of about half a million The people who remain there are living on starvation rations similar to what Russians lived on during the siege of Stalingrad by the Nazis It is not lost on the Russians that some of the Ukrainian National Guard units fly the same flags that were flown by Hitler Russian news covered the story when the Ukrainian Prime Minister recently went on German TV and said that it was important to prevent another Russian invasion of Germany Russia which lost 27 million people to the Nazis notices when Obama declines an invitation to attend the Moscow ceremony of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II I am personally ashamed of what the US is doing in Ukraine and I am astounded that we have what appears to be a bi partisan push to send unlimited weapons and military aid there especially since this action is aimed primarily at Russia Do all these important Americans honestly believe that Russia is going to back down in a fight on its borders Isn t it past time to start talking in detail about the likely consequences of a war with Russia that is a nuclear war Commentary Add a comment Turning point for oil and us February 6th 2015 by Greg Mello There are big things happening just now in oil which will affect literally everything including of course

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  • Category Archive for 'News highlights' at Forget the Rest
    have been allocated for one The B83 is on a glide path to retirement As an aside it would be interesting to investigate whether the more accurate 50 kt B61 12 could accomplish the destructive missions of the B83 whatever they may be for example holding deep command and control targets at risk In the matter of creating forces on targets significantly deeper than the accuracy of the B61 12 I doubt that a bomb with only 4 of the yield can do that comparably at the relevant depth say 100 meters even with the B61 12 s greater accuracy Similar questions arise for the B61 11 earth penetrator We need to ask do either the B83 or B61 11 really have a military mission today or more rigorously one that passes the smell test even from the military perspective Do any of these bombs in fact Upon information and belief the B61 4 has had at least until recently if not still also today no military mission no target set We believe NATO nuclear weapons have no pre planned targets In the event of a crisis they ll think of something to bomb Just considering the military perspective aren t the missions for all nuclear gravity bombs evaporating Aren t all these bombs obsolete or on the verge of becoming so But of course these plans plus NATO expansion and forward basing plus the U S planned neocon coup in Ukraine have triggered a variety of Russian reactions including some announced this week So the potential target set of the B61 12 in the same minds that have promoted it may be expanding quickly From this perspective isn t the B61 12 with its new capabilities over a simpler B61 4 LEP just keeping faith in nuclear gravity bombs alive for a new generation of delivery aircraft and a new generation of NATO leaders Isn t that the big secret of this bomb that without the glitz of its new technology and its compatibility with expensive new delivery systems the NATO nuclear mission would become visibly obsolete In any case it is very far from proven that the B61 12 will replace these bombs with the exception of the B61 4 from which it is to be physically made Third the very idea of a smaller nuclear weapon is problematic from all relevant perspectives except one nuclear war fighting In terms of international politics humanitarian and nonproliferation law supporting infrastructure and program commitments and the pork barrel politics that so massively drive procurement decisions which is to say in most of the real world where politics is done and history is made a smaller and more accurate nuclear weapon describes a distinction without a difference Only in weapons phenomenology targeting and strategy is there a difference and that difference is less than might appear For example is the risk of nuclear escalation from an accurate B61 12 detonation significantly and knowably different than that from detonating a B61 4 So then how is the B61 12 more usable or more credible as a deterrent than the B61 4 it is to replace How is the proposed new bomb smaller in this sense from the point of view of prospective nuclear war To take another example we say that the combination of high accuracy stealthy delivery forward basing and selectable yields enables the B61 12 to address a larger target set all of which is certainly true to some extent But what is the actual increment of that B61 12 target set beyond the target set of a life extended B61 4 with the same forward basing same stealthy delivery and the same original selectable yields In other words how much of this bomb s purported greater utility is just hype What about collateral damage then Wouldn t that be smaller Well blast overpressure and thermal deposition from nuclear weapons scale with the 1 3 power of the yield so the B61 12 s highest yield 50 kt would produce a given overpressure or thermal pulse reaching to 67 the radius of the B61 3 s 170 kt explosion or to 52 of that from the B61 7 s 360 kt To my view this is not an impressively smaller bomb in this sense either In what important sense for civilization or for the target country would the detonation of a B61 12 be much smaller than that of any other nuclear bomb or warhead Would a blast of more than three times the size of Hiroshima be more acceptable So I would say that Broad and Sanger have fallen into the trap of privileging the nuclear war fighting perspective Unfortunately most arms control discourse about this bomb does so also The great bulk of arguments against this weapon have rested on its novel features The differences are real but narrow and overall they do not touch or refute enough of the real political and strategic motives for pursuing this bomb That is one reason they fail You could say that we who oppose this bomb have too often confined ourselves to arguments that are so narrow that they are logically and factually flawed For example we say that the B61 12 costs more than a simpler LEP That is true But what if spending money hiring new weapons engineers and supporting the labs and plants and giving them all something to do are goals not costs And of course they are In that case the greater the cost the better And in comparison to the goal of keeping NATO nuclear and Europe in the U S geopolitical orbit the cost of the B61 12 is beyond trivial What about the increased risk of nuclear war it appears to represent Yes every gain in deterrent credibility is also an increase in the risk of nuclear war But is the B61 12 really that much worse in this regard than the B61 4 or any of the other bombs it is

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  • Category Archive for 'Press releases' at Forget the Rest
    bill as passed by the House and Senate Armed Services markup of this legislation here Study Group Director Greg Mello Overall this is a nuclear lobbyist s bill Numerous provisions are included that will add bureaucratic complexity to the management of the warhead complex tie up federal efforts in ways that stifle reform provide new political power to nuclear management and operating M O contractors and tilt the playing field toward new programs and projects It creates numerous intra federal reporting requirements and duplicative federal work while creating additional review and advisory bodies some of which will place contractors in a federal oversight capacity overseeing their own overseers Running contrary to past direction from a previous Republican controlled House it encourages laboratory employees to augment and substitute for federal employees the number of which it caps and the budget for whom it cuts There could be nothing more federal than national security and within that sphere nothing more inherently federal than nuclear weapons Nonetheless this bill would weaken still further the federal character of this enterprise It ties nuclear warhead policy into a Gordian knot of complexity that will be difficult to set free It establishes presumptions favoring new warheads and multibillion dollar facilities while partially casting aside long standing safety standards that might show up contractor failures This has come about primarily because of a profound failure of leadership by the White House and the Democrats in Congress Pressure by contractors for more business is a constant factor What is new and what is creating these profoundly negative outcomes is the nearly complete collapse of White House leadership starting with the ineffectual and in some cases disloyal seniormost appointees who are currently running NNSA The top individual NNSA Administrator Tom D Agostino was originally appointed by President Bush and

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  • Category Archive for 'Quotes' at Forget the Rest
    and lion in the same image so that if we wish to find the responsive heart again we must go where it seems to be least present According to Physiologus the traditional lore of animal psychology the lion s cubs are still born They must be awakened into life by a roar That is why the lion has such a roar to awaken the young lions asleep as they sleep in our hearts Evidently the thought of the heart is not simply given a native spontaneous reaction always ready and always there Rather the heart must be provoked called forth which is precisely Marsilio Ficino s 52 etymology of beauty kallos he says comes from kaleo provoke The beautiful fathers the good Plato Hipp Maj 297b Beauty must be raged or out raged into life for the lion s cubs are still born like our lazy political compliance our meat eating stupor before the TV set the paralysis for which the lion s own metal gold 53 was the paracelsian pharmakon What is passive immobile asleep in the heart creates a desert which can only be cured by its own parenting principle that shows its awakening care by roaring The

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