Mark Twain once complained that the theory of evolution returned wholesale dividends of speculation for a minimum investment of fact, but that might be a statement more appropriate to today's high octane speculation. What I'm referring to is the new one trillion dollar (that's $1,000,000,000,000 folks) defense appropriations being proposed by the Obama Administration to upgrade the U.S.A.'s nuclear weapons arsenal:
What caught my interest - to be more honest, the odor that wafted through the room as I read about this, and tickled my nose - were these two paragraphs:
"According to the Times report, an effort to ensure that the antiquated nuclear arsenal being held by the US remains secure has since expanded to the point that upwards of $1 trillion dollars is now expected to be spent on various realms of the project during the next three decades, the likes of which are likely to keep the trove of American nukes intact and do little to discourage other nations from doing differently.
“'The original idea was that modest rebuilding of the nation’s crumbling nuclear complex would speed arms refurbishment, raising confidence in the arsenal’s reliability and paving the way for new treaties that would significantly cut the number of warheads,” the journalists wrote. “Instead, because of political deals and geopolitical crises, the Obama administration is engaging in extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.'”(Boldface emphasis added, italicised emphasis from RT)
As the article also points out, the "selling point here" will be "Russian bellicosity":
“With Russia on the warpath, China pressing its own territorial claims and Pakistan expanding its arsenal, the overall chances for Mr. Obama’s legacy of disarmament look increasingly dim, analysts say,” they wrote. “Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington’s escalating confrontation with Moscow.”
The odor that wafted through the room as I read this had nothing to do with "Russia being on the warpath," but rather the odor of something not quite "adding up," and hence, my high octane speculation for today: Ostensibly, this vast investment is to upgrade and maintain the USA's remaining nuclear triad - submarine, land-based, and air-based - nuclear weapons. Presumably, one can add to this the intermediate range ballistic missile capability, "tactical" nukes, and some "suitcase" nukes. So let's assume for a moment that this is not for "upgrading and maintaining" current systems, but rather, designing whole new ones, let's say, a new ICBM with, say, 10 mirved warheads of various yields suitable for "strategic purposes," say(to estimate on the high yield high expense side) between 100-200 kilotons. So let's also assume this new ICBM system would cost $1,000,000,000. Add to this a "new supersonic stealth bomber" with a price tag of $5,000,000,000. And so on. Add 10 Virginia class nuclear attack submarine(see US Navy Orders 10 Virginia Class Submarines at a record cost of 17.6 Billion). In other words, one trillion dollars would buy 1,000 of our hypothetical ICBMS, with 10,000 nuclear warheads, or 200 super stealth bombers, or 56 attack submarines, or some mixture of various things. And it would buy lots of them.
In other words, such a vast expenditure would buy a nuclear arsenal several times over that which we already have. And if this trillion dollars is just for upgrades of current systems, then that cost would be considerably lower.
In other words...
... it's the numbers that aren't adding up for me. The sum would seem to exceed the cost of such systems several times over, even if one factors in research and development and maintenance of new systems.
So my high octane speculation is this: doubtless some of this vast sum wiil be for thermonuclear weapons, probably of all types. But I don't think for a moment they will be the real center or motivation of such a vast expenditure. I suspect this will go for much more exotic, and hence, expensive and hidden technologies. "Russian bellicosity" and "nuclear deterrence" are in my opinion the cover stories for something else. We may be looking at the black budget being paraded before our very eyes.
See you on the flip side...