Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New Report Says Number Of Global Usable Nuclear Warheads Increased In 2022

DW: Number of usable nuclear warheads increased in 2022 — report  

The world's stockpile of usable nuclear warheads increased by over 130 in 2022, Norwegian People's Aid has reported. The authors have warned of the risk that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. 

The number of nuclear warheads that states could deploy reached a total of 9,576 at the beginning of 2023, up from 9,440 the previous year, according to a report published by the NGO Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) on Wednesday. 

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor report said that the weaponized nuclear power amounted to a "collective destructive power of more than 135,000 Hiroshima bombs."

The issue of nuclear weapons has become its most prominent since the end of the Cold War thanks in part to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent aggressive rhetoric, as well as fears over Iran's nuclear program and North Korea's renewed missile tests.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Driven by Russia and China, world's usable nuke arsenal rose in 2022, reveals study (First Post) 

Update #2: World’s arsenal of nuclear weapons now has power of 135,000 Hiroshima bombs, report says (Stars and Stripes)  

WNU Editor: The Norwegian People's Aid's report is here .... NPA’s latest Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor is out.

Russia Stages Major Nuclear Missile Exercises


Daily Mail: Putin stages major nuclear missile exercises involving 3,000 troops in show of strength to the West 

* Putin staging war games with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system 

* Putin has aimed to make Yars missile system part of Russia's 'invincible weapons' 

Vladimir Putin is staging major nuclear missile exercises involving 3,000 troops in a show of strength to the West. 

The Russian despot's troops are staging war games with his 'invincible' Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system in three regions of Russia. 

A video shows the Yars missile system - which replaced the Topol - on drills amid his war against Ukraine and high tension with the West.  

Read more .... 

Russia Stages Major Nuclear Missile Exercises  

Russia starts exercises with Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles -- Reuters  

Russia announces exercises with nuclear capable Yars missiles following deployment deal with Belarus -- SKY News 

Russia Practicing Launches of Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles -- Newsweek 

Russia starts Yars intercontinental ballistic missile drills -- Al Jazeera

US Has Stopped Exchanging Nuclear Data With Russia After Moscow's Treaty Suspension

CNA/Reuters: US to stop exchanging nuclear data with Russia after Moscow's treaty suspension  

WASHINGTON: The United States has told Russia it will cease exchanging some data on its nuclear forces following Moscow's refusal to do so, the White House said on Tuesday (Mar 28), calling this a response to Russia's suspending participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty. 

While Russian President Vladimir Putin has not formally withdrawn from the treaty, which limits the two sides' deployed strategic nuclear arsenals, his Feb 21 suspension imperils the last pillar of US-Russian arms control. 

Between the two of them, the United States and Russia hold nearly 90 per cent of the world's nuclear warheads - enough to destroy the planet many times over. "Under international law, the United States has the right to respond to Russia's breaches of the New START Treaty by taking proportionate and reversible countermeasures in order to induce Russia to return to compliance with its obligations," a spokesperson for the National Security Council said.  

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WNU Editor: This US action is a response to Russia doing the same thing a few days ago .... Russia stops sharing missile test info with US, opens drills (Defense News/AP). Sighhh .... this is unprecedented. I cannot help but think that we are already at Defcon level two or three. And the rhetoric between the two countries continues to scalate .... Russia Calls Out 'Nuclear Weapons Hypocrisy': US Has Tactical Nukes In 5 Non-Nuclear Weapon States (Zero Hedge).

The Incredible Rise Of China As An Export Country

WNU Editor: Impressive.

Top US General Says A Rusian Victory In Ukraine Would Force A 'Doubling' Of The US Defense Budget

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies before the House Appropriations Committee-Defense on the 2024 DoD Budget in the Rayburn House Office Building, March 23, 2023, in Washington D.C. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza) Not Stopping Russia in Ukraine Would Force 'Doubling' of US Defense Budget, Milley Says 

The top general in the U.S. military warned Thursday that not supporting Ukraine now would lead to a massive increase in future defense budgets -- and global conflict that has been avoided since World War II ended. 

 "If that rules-based order, which is in its 80th year, if that goes out the window, then be very careful," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley testified to Congress on Thursday. "We'll be doubling our defense budgets at that point because that will introduce not an era of great power competition. That'll begin an era of great power conflict. And that'll be extraordinarily dangerous for the whole world." 

Milley's remark at a House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee hearing comes amid growing skepticism from Republicans about the price tag of U.S. aid to Ukraine. Milley was testifying alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the Biden administration's $842 billion request for Pentagon spending for fiscal 2024.  

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WNU Editor: The proposed 2024 US defense budget is $886 billion .... Biden wants $886 billion defense budget with eyes on Ukraine and future wars (Reuters).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 3.29.2023 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris gives his updates on the war below. 

Tweets On the Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Months Of Leaks Rattle Canada’s Spy Agency

A sign outside the CSIS headquarters in Ottawa. Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters  

The Guardian: ‘This is very bad for them’: months of leaks rattle Canada’s low-profile spy agency  

Allegations of attempted meddling by China put uncomfortable spotlight on publicity-shy CSIS 

Most Canadians have no idea where the country’s spy agency is located, nor do they know much about its daily operations. This is not because the Canadian Security Intelligence Service operates in a particularly clandestine fashion, it’s because most Canadians don’t care. 

The CSIS, a civilian-run organisation based in a triangular structure of concrete and glass on the outskirts of Ottawa, lacks the intrigue of Britain’s MI5 and the notoriety of America’s Central Intelligence Agency. 

“I look nothing like Daniel Craig, and I did not arrive here in an Aston Martin. I’m just as disappointed as you are – on both fronts,” its director, David Vigneault, said in a speech in 2018, poking fun at the service’s largely uncharismatic reputation. “Most of you remember the movie Fight Club. And you will know that the first rule of Fight Club is ‘don’t talk about Fight Club’. Well, the first rule of CSIS has always been ‘don’t talk’. Period.”  

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WNU Editor: No one really knows where these leaks are coming from. But it is clear that there is at least one person in the national security bureaucracy who is not satisfied with the complete lack of response from the Canadian government on intelligence reports that China is interfering in Canada's elections.

Ukraine President Zelensky Invites Chinese President Xi Jinping To Ukraine


Politico: Zelenskyy to Xi Jinping: Come to Ukraine 

'We are ready to see him here,’ Ukrainian president says. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday invited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Ukraine, for what would be the first direct communication between the two leaders since the beginning of Russia’s all-out war on Ukraine. 

“We are ready to see [Xi] here,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with the Associated Press, a U.S. newswire, on a train to Kyiv, adding, “I want to speak with him.” “I had contact with him before full-scale war. But during all this year, more than one year, I didn’t have [contact],” Zelenskyy said.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Zelensky invites China’s Xi to visit Ukraine (The Hill)  

Update #2: Zelensky invites Xi Jinping to Ukraine (Ukrinform)  

WNU editor: I personally would not mind if Chinese President Xi goes to Kyiv. Anything to get the peace process moving forward should be supported. But I also know the Chinese do not operate like this. The will want Zelensky to first fly to Beijing to meet Xi. I also know the Chinese will first want to enter into talks before any official announcement is made. 

Beijing will not want President Xi to fly to Ukraine, or President Zelensky flying to Beijing, just for a photo-op. Beijing will want something concrete in return, but the problem is that I do not see Ukraine President Zelensky willing to compromise on anything right now.  

Update #3: This is not a good sign. The Chinese Foreign ministry does not know what the Ukraine President is talking about .... China’s MFA has no information about possible Zelensky–Xi meeting (Ukrinform).