It is expected the nuclear arms race between Russia and the US
Elena Chernenko, Mikhail Korostik, Ivan Safronov, see "Pushing the plutonium core," published in today's issue of "Kommersant" newspaper reported that the Pentagon's new draft budget for 2017 has caused a storm of controversy in the United States. The document was criticized by many prominent figures of the Democratic Party, former high ranking officials of the White House, Pentagon and State Department security experts. The objections relate primarily to large-scale plans of the country's nuclear arsenal modernization. Critics say the proposed plans to upgrade nuclear forces are too costly and contrary to the assertions of President Barack Obama that the United States will seek the elimination of nuclear weapons. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry "Kommersant" stated that Washington's plans concern and Moscow. Interviewees "Y", experts have warned of a new coil of the nuclear arms race between the US and Russia.
The American critics promulgated in February, the Pentagon's draft budget for 2017 two basic claims. Firstly, they consider the proposed plans for the modernization of nuclear forces in the country too expensive. According to preliminary calculations, for this purpose is planned to spend from $ 700 billion to $ 1 trillion over the next 25-30 years. And secondly, the published plans, according to critics, are contrary to the famous Prague speech President Barack Obama in 2009, in which it declared its commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons. "I clearly and with conviction affirm America's commitment to peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. I understand that this goal will not be reached quickly. But we have to stop to pay attention to the voices who tell us that the world can not change. we must state firmly: "Yes, we can", "- said the head of the White house.
The draft of the Pentagon budget for 2017 transmitted by the White House to Congress, provides for substantial sums on modernization of all three components of the nuclear triad - strategic aircraft, intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear missile submarines.
As one of the main threats to US national security in a document called the "Russian aggression in eastern Europe." "We counteract the aggressive actions of Russia by investing in a number of programs. The draft budget for 2017 will allow us to improve and expand air defense system, develop new unmanned systems, to start work on a new strategic bomber and a new cruise missile air-launched long-range as well as upgrade our nuclear arsenal, "- the document says.
The White House, in particular, insists on the separation:
- $ 25.7 million at giving the new F-35A fighter-bombers technical possibility of carrying nuclear weapons;
- $ 95.6 million in the continued development of new cruise missiles (CR) for nuclear equipment;
- $ 113.9 million for the continuation of a strategic containment land-based system designed to come to replace the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Minuteman III;
- $ 137.9 million for the development of the guidance system of the new unified B61-12 nuclear bomb;
- $ 1.36 billion in the work on the new generation strategic bomber (B-21), which is to replace the B-52 and B-2;
- $ 1.86 billion for the replacement of missile nuclear submarines such as Ohio;
- $ 9.2 billion for the secure storage and maintenance of nuclear weapons, including a program to extend the life of a number of nuclear warheads.
According to the military, while nuclear weapons exist, it is necessary to improve - it will keep its importance as a deterrent to opponents and ensure its safe storage, reliability and efficiency. Total for the modernization of the US nuclear arsenal in 2017 is planned to allocate about $ 16 billion. In the future, these costs should increase substantially. So, the final cost of a new strategic bomber kept secret (the contract for its development in October received Northrop Grumman Corporation), but US experts estimate it at more than $ 100 billion. And if in 2017 on the continued development of the new CD in the nuclear equipment is planned spend a little less than $ 100 million, then by 2021-mu in the appropriate program will be allocated more than $ 4.5 billion a year.
On the verge of a new race
According to an expert on nuclear weapons Federation of American Scientists, Hans Christensen, "at the heart of plans to modernize the nuclear arsenal is really striving to ensure its reliability and efficiency." "But there are two important factors associated with the modernization of the stage, which is carried out today and the United States, and Russian First, it takes place in the new deterioration of political relations between the two countries, when both sides are increasingly officially called each other adversaries. - the expert explained, "Kommersant" .- although the depth of the crisis and the scale of the modernization of inferior military preparations of the cold war, what is happening shows that the characteristic of the bipolar world relationship of rivalry between the two powers are returned to world politics. "
Secondly, he said, US and Russian modernization - it is not just a way to extend the life of nuclear weapons from its current capacity, but also a tool to improve it. "At a time when both countries are building up their nuclear capability, inevitable further damage confidence and the feeling that the threat is growing, and therefore need to be prepared for the worst scenarios," - said Hans Kristensen.
Many American experts urge the US president to review the plans to modernize the country's nuclear arsenal. Ellen Tauscher, occupied in 2009-2012 as Senior Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said in an interview with The New York Times, that many of her colleagues started to work with the expectations of a speedy reduction in the arsenal, but now frustrated. "We spend billions of dollars on maintaining the status quo, which does not make us safer," - said the former diplomat.
"Now we are on the edge of the abyss - perhaps I should say: on the verge of a new nuclear arms race," - said, commenting on the plans of the White House, former US Defense Secretary William Perry. According to him, "this arms race will be at least as expensive as in the days of the Cold War."
William Perry urged the US government to abandon plans to deploy strategic deterrence system of land-based, noting that the IDB is "destabilizing" weapons because they can be run on the basis of false information and thus lead to unintended nuclear war. In a joint paper with Andrew Weber, a former assistant secretary of defense and former director of the interagency Nuclear Weapons Council, William Perry opposed the creation of a new CD in nuclear warheads. According to experts, this type of arms is also a danger, because the enemy is not possible to know whether a nuclear warhead or a conventional warhead missile carries, and therefore there is a risk of unintended escalation. "Some say that the new KR airborne, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, need to have US Presidents had the opportunity to conduct" limited "nuclear war with Russia or China. This is a dangerous way of thinking in the spirit of the Cold War. Such a" tactical "use of nuclear weapons was would be a fatal mistake, "- warn William Perry and Andrew Weber.
At the Pentagon, with this interpretation, however, disagree. According to Deputy Minister of Defense for Strategy, Planning and military capabilities Robert Scher, fears of a new missile exaggerated as a new weapon will replace the existing one. "These plans are in any case can not be destabilizing, because it is a weapon that has been around for a long time", - he said.
However, most complaints heard in the address of the new atomic bombs B61-12. Its third and final test (without payload) was held in October last year at a military training ground in Tonopah, Nevada. B61-12 differs from previous versions B61, in particular with a tail rudder and improved guidance system, which greatly increases the accuracy of the lesion. B61-12 will be able to carry a warhead of variable capacity (up to 50 kilotons). The first samples of the new bombs allegedly entered service in 2020. B61-12 will replace four existing ones modified: B61-3, B61-4, B61-7 and B61-10. US officials estimate the cost of the modernization of B61 to $ 8.1 billion by 2024.
Last fall, it became known about the US plans to place 20 B61-12 bombs in Germany at Büchel Air Base (see. "B" of 24 September 2015), in the future, such bombs might appear in Turkey and Italy (already have US nuclear weapons in these countries ). At the same time before the Ukrainian crisis seriously discussed the question of the complete withdrawal of US tactical nuclear weapons from those countries, but now we are not talking about it.
According to an expert on nuclear weapons Federation of American Scientists, Hans Christensen, B61-12 be able to fully replace the current modification of the free-fall bombs in the US arsenal and placed on the aircraft as a strategic and tactical aircraft (F-15E, F-16, F-35A , Tornado, B-2, B-21). "But contrary to what officials say the United States, B61-12 program - is not just extending the life of existing bombs modifications and a significant improvement of military bomb will have a new managed part of the tail, which will increase the accuracy of its targeting and the effectiveness of defeat purposes. primarily underground - he explained "Kommersant" .- this is the first controlled nuclear bomb in the US arsenal Now there are none this way, B61-12 -.. it is a new weapon. "
Meanwhile, in the Review of US nuclear policy is said by 2010: "The United States will not develop new nuclear warheads, and the life extension program will use only nuclear components based on previous testing of designs and will not support new military missions or provide for establishment of new military capabilities ". However, this kind of doctrine periodically undergo revision.
However, experts have expressed, and other concerns in connection with the development of B61-12. "The nuclear bomb is usually a very large area of damage if we increase its accuracy, we can use a charge less power This allows the cause more damage to a specific purpose and less -.. Its vicinity At first glance, this is good, -., Said," Kommersant "Head of the Department defense policy studies named Harold Brown of the Center for strategic and international studies, a former deputy head of the uS Joint chiefs of Staff James Kartrayt.- But if we make it so small and precise, not arise if we desire to take advantage of it? She did not cause so much collateral damage. " Gen. Cartwright said that he was "brought up in a different culture": "I think that any use of nuclear weapons - is out of the ordinary event, which will have consequences not only for the destruction of the object, but also for geopolitical situation as a whole."
However, the current US administration officials insist that there are no risks of a new bomb is not responsible. In particular, the US Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, in an interview to "Interfax" and "Kommersant" said that the modernization of US tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe, will not increase the military potential of these weapons. "Military capability B61-12 will not increase, but will be equivalent to the military potential of the old types of B61 Number of US weapons deployed in Europe, and will not increase, but rather, on the contrary In the United States will be able to significantly reduce the number of bombs in its nuclear arsenal.." - she emphasized (see. "Kommersant" dated February 5).
The same was said later the deputy head of the Pentagon Arthur Hopkins, noting that "the reduction in the number of bombs and its modifications" in the US arsenal would make the most of this kind of weapons, "the efficacy and safety."
Sedatives arguments do not work
Russia is also actively engaged in the modernization of its nuclear arsenal (see. Certificate). At the same time Moscow is very concerned about Washington's corresponding program. "Modernization, in principle, acceptable, however, attention is drawn to the fact that the current US administration it has acquired unprecedented scope In the previous owners of the White House nothing of the kind observed, -.. Said" Y "director of arms proliferation and control on the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Michael Ulyanov.- Almost simultaneously update all the key elements of the US nuclear triad creates new media:. strategic bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles and new nuclear weapons for their addition to the upgraded nuclear bombs, the Pentagon plans to include nuclear and a new CD.. in this there is a clear decoupling between the public declarations of the US commitment to the speedy construction of a nuclear-free world, on the one hand, and the actual policies in this area, on the other. "
Of particular concern in Moscow are the plans for the development of bombs B61-12. According to Mikhail Ulyanov, "reassuring arguments" American officials that the new bomb, having increased accuracy will be less devastating, "raise serious doubts". "In reality, the situation is not so benevolently analysis of the characteristics of the new bombs suggests that their formulation adopted can significantly lower the threshold of using nuclear weapons, -. Said on.- Instead deterrence such weapons potentially become the" battlefield weapons "as it was during the cold war. "
According to Mikhail Ulyanov in Moscow with suspicion the statement by former US Deputy Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller that the presence of nuclear weapons in the arsenal of lower power will reduce civilian casualties if used. "He even called it a" reliable and ethical "approach sounds pretty cynical, since in terms of normal language means that US experts close to the US administration, according to the application of new bombs more likely and more acceptable, -. Says Russian diplomat.- Therein lie the main risks related to the fact that Washington is trying to introduce a routine upgrade. In any case, the "temptation" involvement of such weapons under certain circumstances, may increase substantially. "
Mikhail Ulyanov added that the practice of consulting with the deployment in Europe of US bombs violates the first two articles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). "According to them, the nuclear powers pledged not to transfer, directly or indirectly, nuclear weapons to non-nuclear States. A recent pledged not to accept such weapons again, either directly or indirectly. These prohibitions are completely ignored in the" joint nuclear missions "of NATO, in which pilots from non-nuclear member states of the alliance will develop skills circulation and use of nuclear weapons ", - says the source" b ".
"The dangers for Russia there is no"
Interviewees "Kommersant" Russian experts, however, urged not to dramatize the situation. "Exaggerate the significance of these bombs, which is still being developed, it is not necessary It's like a nuclear weapon -. Just so no one will be used, - told" Kommersant "head of the Center for International Security IMEMO, chairman of the program" The problems of non-proliferation, "the Moscow Carnegie Center Alex Arbatov.- in addition, the 20 bombs that the Americans will station in Europe are not comparable with the IDB, which replenish Russia's nuclear forces. in terms of this incomparable potential. "
Chief research fellow of Sciences, expert program "Non-Proliferation" Carnegie Center Vladimir Dvorkin is also convinced that the modernization of the US nuclear arsenal "no danger to Russia is not." "Neither Russia nor the United States will not exceed the thresholds established by the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, - he told" Kommersant ".- A weapon, including nuclear, should be modernized He also expires operation period. which creates problems of nuclear safety. " According to experts, an increased temptation to use a new kind of bombs can not speak, because in any case, the decision to use nuclear weapons to take political leadership of the country, which will weigh the pros and cons.
According to experts, to remove mutual concerns both in terms of modernization of nuclear arsenals of the two countries, and particularly on the issue of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) could be negotiated between Moscow and Washington. Mutual "probing" for the last topic already underway: the United States offered to launch comprehensive negotiations on the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons, but Russia is lagging behind in the general-purpose forces, and would consider the tactical weapons as a counterbalance, as a precondition for the start of the relevant consultations insisted on the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Europe . But the US did not go to it, referring to the fact that they have obligations to the European allies.
According to Alexei Arbatov, if Russia and the US will overcome this period of confrontation and making progress on the further reduction of strategic weapons and on missile defense, the tactical nuclear weapons also has a chance to become "a legitimate subject for negotiations."
Former US Senator, who is now the executive director of the fund "Initiative to reduce the nuclear threat," Nunn told "Kommersant" that the US and Russia would be worth to agree on the destruction of all tactical nuclear weapons.