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Front Page News Items From 2005

US SSBNs are now tasked
under new preemption war plan

New Nuclear Notebook Published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

US Nuclear Forces Profiled (December 29, 2005)

The US military has made nuclear strike plans "more flexible" for "a wider range of contingencies," dramatically increased the strategic submarine force in the Pacific to target China, and put long-range forces on near-alert under a new offensive strike plan that implements the Bush administration's preemption doctrine. This and more in the latest Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as the Pentagon prepares to complete a new Nuclear Posture Review early in 2006.

New Article Published By The Royal Canadian Military Institute

"Preparing For The Failure Of Deterrence"
(December 8, 2005)

The Royal Canadian Military Institute has published an article about how U.S. nuclear planners are preparing for the failure of deterrence by putting new strike plans into operation onboard long-range bombers and strategic submarines. This includes options to strike preemptively with nuclear weapons, if adversaries make preparations to use weapons of mass destruction. Some U.S. lawmakers (see below) recently objected to such a broadening of the role of U.S. nuclear weapons.

New Article

Lawmakers Say
"Do Something George!"

More Trouble for Doctrine For Joint Nuclear Operations

Lawmakers Object To Nuclear Doctrine (December 6, 2005)

Sixteen members of Congress have asked President George W. Bush to intervene in the Pentagon's revision of Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. In a joint letter published by Representative Ellen Tauscher's office, the lawmakers object to language that appears to broaden the role of U.S. nuclear weapons. The letter follows my critique of the doctrine in Arms Control Today and a subsequent front-page story in the Washington Post. Doctrine background is available here.

New STRATCOM Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike

Global Strike Command Achieves Initial Operational Capability
(December 1, 2005)

On November 18, 2005, U.S. Strategic Command's new Space a Global Strike command achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The new command, is tasked with implementing the new Global Strike mission assigned to STRATCOM in 2003. This includes CONPLAN 8022, a new strike plan that includes preemptive nuclear strike against weapons of mass destruction facilities anywhere in the world. For additional information, see here.

Global Strike Command Achieves IOC

Rumsfeld in
"old Europe"

US sends nuclear ball back into European court

Rumsfeld: Europeans Keep Nukes In Europe (November 3, 2005)

During an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel on October 31, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested that it is European governments, not the United States, that are responsible for the lingering deployment of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe
. Rather than defending the mission of the weapons, Rumsfeld said: "Some European countries in Europe made the decision to allow them to be on the continent. It was seen to be in their interest and is still seen that way today." For more background, go here or read the report "US Nuclear Weapons In Europe."

Opposition builds against aggressive nuclear doctrine

Physicists Speak Out Against Nuclear Doctrine
(October 26, 2005)

More than 470 physicists, including seven Nobel laureates, have signed a petition to oppose a new and revised U.S. doctrine for joint nuclear operations. The petition refers directly to the article in the Washington Post that followed the article in Arms Control Today which criticized the doctrine for falling short of President Bush's pledge to reduce the role of nuclear weapons.

Professors at University of California, San Diego, launch petition against nuclear doctrine

Rumsfeld reaffirms U.S. nuclear umbrella over South Korea

Continuing nuclear deterrence on the Korean Peninsula

Nuclear Umbrella Over Korea Reaffirmed (October 24, 2005)

Less than a month after the United States pledged
"it has no intention to attack...[North Korea] with nuclear...weapons," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reaffirmed the "continued provision of a nuclear umbrella for [South Korea]" that includes nuclear strike planning against targets in North Korea. Rumors about modifying the nuclear umbrella turned out not to be true, missing an important opportunity to move the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula forward.

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations and the Latest in Silly Secrecy

Existing Nuclear Doctrine Removed From Pentagon Website
(October 19, 2005)

After critique of a forthcoming revised Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, the Pentagon has removed the existing ten-year old unclassified nuclear doctrine from its website. The document, known as Joint Pub 3-12, has been publicly available for almost a decade since it was published in December 1995. While drafts of the forthcoming update were removed earlier this year, this is the first time the existing version has been pulled. Also gone is the accompanying Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Theater Operations. Both documents are available on this web site and many other.

old doctrine removed

No new thinking at
NATO Headquarters

New Section Added to NATO Nuclear Weapons Section

NATO Nuclear Arguments Fall Short (October 6, 2005)

U.S. nuclear weapons are needed in Europe to defend against unknown future enemies and because of Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons, according to Ed Kronenburg, director of the NATO General Secretary's Private Office. These and other justifications contained in a letter from Kronenburg are more than poor excuses; they are a disfavor to NATO interests. All can be easily countered, as I do in this new section to the website. See also report U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

More Documents About the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations

Just How Close Was The Nuclear Doctrine?
(October 1, 2005)

New Pentagon documents suggest the forthcoming revision of Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations was considerably closer to completion than stated by Gen. Richard Myers, who retired yesterday as Chairman of the Joint of Staff. According to the documents, the draft was "final" and ready for "signature" and publication on August 15, 2005. After exposure in Arms Control Today and the Washington Post, Meyers suggested the doctrine was in an early draft a nowhere near completion. See also document collection.

Claim by Former JCS Chairman Gen. Meyers is contradicted by Pentagon documents

New Section Added on U.S. Nuclear Weapons in South Korea

Korea and U.S. Nuclear Weapons (September 28, 2005)

On September 19, 2005, the Bush administration pledged that
it "has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack...[North Korea] with nuclear...weapons." This new section describes the history of U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea and gives examples of modern nuclear strike planning against North Korea.

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations Analysis Reaches the Top

Pentagon Rejects Criticism of Doctrine
(September 21, 2005)

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Meyers and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected my criticism of the forthcoming revision of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. Yet the rebuttal was vague and poorly articulated, glossing over significant changes and contradicting previous statements about changes to U.S. nuclear strike planning. See document collection and background article.

Changes but no changes

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations

Washington Post Describes Doctrine (September 11, 2005)

Under the headline Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post profiles my research and analysis of the forthcoming Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. See also:
» Analysis and documents collection.
» Background article in Arms Control Today.

   » See also news coverage.

New Document Section and Article on Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations
(September 6, 2005)

Almost four years after the Bush administration completed the Nuclear Posture Review in 2001, and more than two years behind schedule, the Pentagon is putting the final touches on an update of Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. This collection of documents reviews the evolution of the doctrine since the first version was published in 1993. An article in Arms Control Today examines how the new doctrine compares to the Bush administration's pledge to reduce the role of nuclear weapons.

USS Pennsylvania arrives at Bangor, Washington, in October 2002.

Nuclear Weapons Research Cited By Japanese Kyodo News Service

China At The Center Of SSBN Upgrade (September 5, 2005)

The Japanese news wire Kyodo News reports that the U.S. transfer of several strategic submarines from the Atlantic to a new homeport in the Pacific in an
apparent move to keep China and North Korea in check. The transfer coincides with a modernization of four older Pacific-based submarines to the longer-range Trident II missile, and an upgrade of the W76 warhead on the subs to be able to strike harder targets.

New Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Indian Nuclear Forces Profiled
(August 22, 2005)

At the same the Bush administration is granting India new privileges, India is gradually becoming a full-fledged nuclear power with a wide variety of nuclear weapons for delivery by land, air, and sea-based forces. The third leg of a nuclear triad has been test-launched from a warship, according to this review of Indian nuclear forces published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. India has not yet defined the size of its "minimum deterrent."

Chapter on World Nuclear Forces in SIPRI Yearbook

SIPRI Chapter Profiled by Global Security Newswire (August 17, 2005)

The news wire service Global Security Newswire made the latest overview of World Nuclear Forces published in the SIPRI Yearbook for 2005 their top story. Under the headline
"Global Nuclear Stockpiles Decreasing, Experts Report in Study," the newswire reported that eight countries countries currently deploy an estimated 13,470 nuclear weapons, with another 14,000 weapons held in reserve.

New Section Added About Russian Nuclear Submarine Patrols

Russian Nuclear Submarine Patrols (August 3, 2005)

Once seen as one of the most formidable threats to the United States, Russian ballistic missile submarines today rarely sail on deterrent patrols. Attack submarine patrols have also almost ended. Information obtained from the U.S. Navy shows the dramatic decline since 1981 at the height of the Cold War. Surprisingly, the change began several years before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russian nuclear submarines are
spending most of their time in port

US nuclear bombs in Europe
continue to be political issue
in Belgium

Calls Continue in Europe for Change to NATO Nuclear Policy

Belgian House of Representatives Calls For Withdrawal of US Nuclear Bombs From Europe (July 15, 2005)

Only a month after NATO reaffirmed the continued deployment of US nuclear bombs in Europe, the Belgian House of Representatives on July 13th passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of those bombs and not to deploy any in new NATO member states. The resolution follows the Belgian Senate's unilateral resolution in April also calling for a withdrawal. For background, see U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

New FOIA Document and Analysis Section Added

Deterring Proliferators of Weapons of Mass Destruction
(July 11, 2005)

The role of nuclear weapons in deterring "rogue" states armed with weapons of mass destruction has become an important element of post-Cold War US nuclear policy and strategy, and a contentious element of the public debate. Declassified documents from Working Group 5 of the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review provide insight into the rationale and limitations of this new mission.

Deterring Proliferators

Ukraine says it will not permit NATO to deploy nuclear
bombs at Ukrainian air bases

Another Reality Check For NATO's Nuclear Policy

Ukraine Says "No" To NATO Nukes (July 5, 2005)

Ukrainian defense minister Anatoliy Grytsenko told Interfax on June 30th that "there will be no nuclear arms on our territory" if Ukraine joins NATO. The NATO Nuclear Planning Group declared on June 9 that widespread deployment of US nuclear bombs in Europe is necessary, but Grytsenko said "there is no need to deploy such weapons, as nuclear arms have almost unlimited range." See also report U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

Victory For the Freedom of Information Act

OSD Overrules STRATCOM FOIA Fee Determination
(June 23, 2005)

In an important victory for the Freedom of Information Act, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has ruled in favor of my appeal of STRATCOM's fee determination and established that I "meet the criteria of a representative of the news media." The ruling ends a dubious effort by STRATCOM to establish new restrictions on who can use of the FOIA and how much they must pay.

STRATCOM looses FOIA fee appeal

French nuclear modernization

New Nuclear Notebook Published

French Nuclear Forces Profiled
 (June 21, 2005)

Approximately ten nuclear cruise missiles are routinely carried onboard the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, according to the latest Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. France is the only nuclear power that routinely deploys tactical nuclear weapons at sea. Another 340 operational nuclear warheads arm missiles on strategic submarines and land-based strike aircraft. All of these weapons are scheduled to be replaced with new and more capable missiles with upgraded warheads over the next ten years.

Secret Nuclear War Planning Guidance Document Profiled

Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan Nuclear Supplement
(June 16, 2005)

One of the most secret U.S. nuclear weapons planning guidance documents has been partially declassified. Although most of the sensitive portions of the document, known as CJCSI 3110.04, were deleted before release, the remaining sections for the first time reveal the structure and elements of a document few have ever seen before.

Top Secret nuclear weapons planning guidance document declassified

NATO Nuclear Policy:
"Same procedure as every year."

Nuclear Policy Seems Frozen In Time

NATO Reaffirms Nuclear Deployment  (June 9, 2005)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) today reaffirmed the deployment of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe in quiet rejection of Belgian and German suggestions that the weapons should be withdrawn. The reaffirmation came in the Final Communiqué from the Nuclear Planning Group on the first of a two-day meeting in Brussels. The language is almost identical to the language from the previous Communiqué in December 2003. See also the report: U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

Nuclear Initiative Dies At The Hands Of Government Bureaucrats

Germany Retreats on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Withdrawal
(June 5, 2005)

According to a report in Der Spiegel, the German government has decided not to raise the issue of withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany after all. With an upcoming national election, the Schröder government did not want to tie the hands of the next government or risk a clash with the United States. For background on U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, see report.

Name Change For
The Ultimate Plan?

Some Things Are Just Hard to do: Changing the SIOP Nomenclature

US Nuclear Strike Plan Finally Adopts Name Proposed More Than a Decade Ago
(May 17, 2005)

Thirteen years after STRATCOM's first commander, General George Lee Butler informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he had decided to rename the SIOP, the Chiefs appear to finally have conceded. Yet some things are known by many names, and the nation's nuclear war plans are no different. See update box on the SIOP name page.

US Nuclear Stockpile Declining But Strategy Increasingly Option-Hungry

Princeton University Briefing Describes US Nuclear Mission Creep (May 11, 2005)

The fear of proliferation of mass destruction and the shock over the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, has prompted US military planners to create new nuclear strike options for the president in anticipation of the day when deterrence will fail, according to a briefing given to the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University. See also "Not Just A Last Resort" by William Arkin.

New Briefing

Does NATO Violate
the NPT Treaty?

Nuclear Strike Mission of Non-Nuclear NATO Countries Issue at NPT Conference in New York

NATO's "Nuclear Sharing" Raised at UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference
(May 10, 2005)

On behalf of the non-aligned members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Malaysia called on May 2nd for an end to "nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements." Egypt said it would examine whether "nuclear sharing" constitutes a violation of the treaty. Five non-nuclear NATO countries have fighter-jets equipped to deliver US nuclear weapons in war, according to the report US Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

German Government Responds to Domestic Nuclear Pressure

US Nuclear Weapons Deployment in Europe to be Raised by Germany in NATO (May 9, 2005)

Germany plans to raise the issue of US nuclear weapons in Europe within NATO, German defense minister Peter Struck said during a visit to Ramstein Air Base. He said Germany also plans to discuss the matter with the other NATO countries where US nuclear weapons are stored. The report in Deutche Welle uses the research from the report US Nuclear Weapons In Europe. NATO will meet next time in June.

German Defense Minister Peter Struck Plans to Raise Question of US Nuclear Weapons in Europe

Nuclear dilemma

Should US Nukes Be Withdrawn?

  Overall CDU/CSU SPD Greens FDP
Yes 76 73 82 90 66
No 18 24 15 5 29

Source: Der Spiegel (18/2005)

NATO Nuclear Policy Looses Support in Germany

Large Majority of Germans Favors Withdrawal of US Nuclear Weapons
(May 2, 2005)

A poll published by the German magazine Der Spiegel shows that more than three-quarters of the German public want U.S. nuclear weapons withdrawn from Germany. Der Spiegel asked 1,000 Germans if they wanted the 150 US nuclear bombs in Germany withdrawn, the number from the report US Nuclear Weapons In Europe.

New Document Collection Published

The Birth of a Nuclear Bomb: B61-11 (April 27, 2005)

An extensive collection of FOIA documents provides new insight into the design, production and mission of the B61-11 earth-penetrating nuclear bomb. This history of the B61-11 provides an important background for understanding how the Bush administration plans to develop and produce the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP).

German Parliament Debates
US Nuclear Weapons

Another European Parliament Debates US Nukes in Europe

Resolution in German Parliament Calls for Withdrawal of US Nuclear Weapons (April 2005)

The German FDP (Liberal Party) has submitted a resolution to the German Bundestag that calls for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany, according to an article in Der Spiegel. For background on the US deployment, see "US Nuclear Weapons in Europe."
Added: copy of resolution here (in German).

Cold War Nuclear Weapons Deployment Challenged

Belgian Senate Unanimously Calls For Withdrawal of US Nuclear Weapons  (April 2005)

The Belgian Senate unanimously adopted a resolution on April 21 calling for (among other issues) a withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Belgium and Europe. The resolution passed unchanged from the one adopted by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in March. For background on deployments, see "US Nuclear Weapons in Europe." Also see Global Security Newswire article.

Belgian Senate Wants
Nuclear Weapons Out

New Nuclear Notebook Published

North Korea's Nuclear Program (April 2005)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has published the Nuclear Notebook assessment of North Korea's Nuclear Program in 2005. The Notebook includes an assessment of the technical capability needed to build nuclear weapons and includes new missile range estimates obtained from he U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

New Information About A Possible Design Flaw In America's Most Numerous Warhead

New York Times Article on W76 Uses Research (April 2005)

The nuclear warhead that makes up the backbone of the United States' nuclear deterrence may have a flaw, according to a New York Times article. More than 1,700 of the 100-kilotons W76 warhead currently arm 336 Trident missiles on a dozen Ohio class submarines, according to the latest Nuclear Notebook. Although the rumor has been around from some time, the New York Times article brings new information to light.

A W76 warhead is released from a
Trident missile "bus"

Proposal to withdraw U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe gets wide support in Belgian Senate

U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe Trigger Political Move In NATO Ally

Belgian Senate Resolution Calls for Withdrawal of U.S. Nuclear Bombs From Europe (March 2005)

The Belgian Senate Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee adopted a resolution on March 22 calling for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe. The resolution received near-consensus. The full Senate will vote on the resolution in mid-April. Twenty U.S. nuclear bombs are stored in Belgium, according to the report "U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe."

Change In NATO Review Of Nuclear Planning

NATO Nuclear Planning Group Slows Down (March 2005)

The Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will only meet once a year in the future, ending a decade-long tradition of meeting twice a year to review the alliance's nuclear policy and war plans. The slower pace is the result of a "Ministerial streamlining," according to information received from NATO. The NPG met last time in December 2003, held no meetings at all in 2004, and will meet for the first time in accordance with the new schedule in June 2005.

Beg sees NATO nuclear planning as model for
Pakistani-Indian nuclear umbrella over Iran

U.S. Nukes In Europe Trigger Proposal For Pakistani-Indian Nuclear Umbrella Over Iran

Pakistan's Former Army Chief Refers to Euro Report
(March 2005)

Mirza Aslam Beg, who was chief of Pakistan's Army from 1988 to 1994 and involved in Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons capability, refers to the report "U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe" in an opinion piece published by UPI. General Beg calls the U.S. practice of "outsourcing" nuclear strike missions to non-nuclear NATO countries "interesting as well as regrettable" and characterizes it as "enlightened nuclear proliferation." Yet in another publication, Beg says that Pakistan and Indian should do the same in Iran.

New Report on U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe

Up to 480 U.S. Nuclear Weapons Still in Europe
Report Described in New York Times
(February 2005)

A new report concluded that the United States continues to deploy about 480 nuclear bombs at eight bases in six European NATO countries. The report, "U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe," was published by the Natural Resources Defense Council covered by The New York Times and in the International Herald Tribune.

New: briefings to members of the German and Belgian/Dutch parliaments.

Tu-160 Blackjack drops AS-15
nuclear cruise missile

New Nuclear Notebook Published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Russian Nuclear Forces Profiled (February 2005)

The number of nuclear warheads on Russia's operational land-based strategic nuclear missile force will decrease by nearly 70 percent over the next five years, according to the latest Nuclear Notebook. The result will be a total arsenal that is more balanced between land- and sea-based missiles. The bomber force will remain essentially the same size, but with new weapons.

    New Air Force
Threat Assessment
Latest Threat Assessment Obtained From the Air Force

Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat (February 2005)

The U.S. Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center has published an updated assessment of the ballistic and cruise missiles threat. The document provides the Air Force's view of the world's potential threats against the United States with details about status and capabilities of individual weapon systems. Both the latest revised threat assessment and the previous version from 2000 are made available here.

New Book About Code Names Discloses Secrets and Secrecy

Secret Code Names See The Light of Day (January 2005)

In the 9/11 world the U.S. military and intelligence organizations have created secret plans, programs, and operations at a frenzied pace, each with their own code name, according to a new book by defense analyst William M. Arkin. The book, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World (Steerforth Press, 2005), shows that while most genuine secrets remain secret, other activities labeled as secret are either questionable or remain perfectly in the open. Code Names identifies more than 3,000 code names and details the plans and missions for which they stand. This book is a must for anyone working against excessive secrecy.

New Book by Arkin

  U.S. Nuclear
Arsenal Profiled
New Nuclear Notebook Published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Name For U.S. Nuclear War Plan (January 2005)

The United States has formally changed the name of its strategic nuclear war plan, according to the Nuclear Notebook. Known as the SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan) for the past 44 years, the war plan is now known as OPLAN 8044. Changing the plan into an Operations Plan reflects an attempt to make nuclear planning more flexible and more coherent with conventional war planning.
(click here for brief about name change)

See also: Front Page News Items from 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2004




  © Hans M. Kristensen