by ZeroHedge News
Well, we’re finally here: stocks are officially trading with nuclear war headlines.
Moments ago, as part of his closely watched speech, Vladimir Putin appeared to rule out the likelihood of a nuclear attack on Ukraine:
*PUTIN: NO POLITICAL AND MILITARY MOTION IN THE NUKE STRIKE IN UKRAINE
Which, however, is more than can be said for the US.
As Bloomberg has just reported, the Pentagon’s new national defense strategy rejects limits on the use of nuclear weapons long championed by arms control advocates (and, in the not too distant past, by Joe Bide) citing growing threats from Russia and China.
“In the 2030s, the United States will face, for the first time in its history, two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries.” the Defense Department said in the long-awaited document issued Thursday. In response, the US will ‘keep the bar very high for nuclear employment’ without ruling out the use of weapons in retaliation for a non-nuclear strategic threat to the homeland, US forces abroad, or allies.
In another brutal shift for the senile occupant of the White House basement, in his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden had pledged to declare that the US nuclear arsenal should only be used to deter or retaliate against a nuclear attack, a position blessed by progressive Democrats and reviled by defense hawks. But as with every other position held by the pathological liar who even outdoes Trump in the mendacity department, this one has just been reversed and “the threat environment has changed dramatically since then” and the Pentagon strategy. it was forged in cooperation with the flip-flopping White House.
In a surprising move that should – or rather “must” – provoke outrage among so-called progressives, but at best will lead to very severely retracted letters, said the nuclear report which is part of the broader strategy . The Biden administration reviewed its nuclear policy and concluded that the No First Use and Sole Purpose policies would “result in an unacceptable level of risk in light of the range of non-nuclear capabilities developed and deployed by competitors who could inflict strategies.” level damage” to US and allies.
in the meantime…
Putin: The only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state is the United States of America
— Paul Sonne (@PaulSonne) October 27, 2022
The nuclear strategy paper does not explain which non-nuclear threats could produce a US nuclear response. but current threats include hypersonic weapons possessed by Russia and China for which the US does not yet have a proven defense.
It is explained, however, in the strongest terms, what would happen to another nuclear power, North Korea, if it launched a nuclear attack on the US, South Korea or Japan. This action “will lead to the end of this regime”, he says. US nuclear weapons continue to play a role in deterring North Korean attacks.
Therefore, the brilliant neocon minds behind the report concluded, it is better to instill fear of disproportionate nuclear retaliation, making a direct nuclear attack much more likely. (if the US is going to bomb you anyway, you might as well do the whole thing).
In the document, which was framed long before the invasion, the Pentagon says Russia continues to “proclaim its nuclear weapons in support of its revisionist security policy,” while its modern arsenal is expected to grow further. In other words, the Pentagon knew what Putin was going to do even before he did it and that defined the dramatic overhaul of the US nuclear posture. Almost as if the Pentagon directed the entire sequence of events…
In the meantime, China remains America’s “most important strategic competitor for decades to come.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a letter outlining the new defense strategy. He cited China’s “increasingly coercive actions to reshape the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its authoritarian preferences” even as it rapidly modernizes and expands its military. China wants to have at least 1,000 deliverable nuclear warheads by the end of the decade. The nuclear strategy paper says it could use them for “coercive purposes, including military provocations against US allies and partners in the region.”
The nuclear strategy affirmed modernization programs, including the ongoing replacement of the aging US air-sea-land nuclear triad. Among them are the Navy’s Columbia-class nuclear ICBM submarine, the ground-based replacement for the Minuteman III ICBM, the new long-range air-launched weapon, and F-35 fighter jets for Europe that they carry nuclear weapons.
The review confirmed earlier reports that the Pentagon will retire the B83-1 gravity bomb and cancel the sea-launched cruise missile program. But the review endorses a controversial Trump-era naval weapon, the low-yield W76-2 submarine-launched nuclear warhead, which it describes as “an important means of deterring limited nuclear use.”
The broader strategy report also offered mild criticism of major U.S. weapons programs, which are often years behind schedule and billions of dollars over initial budgets.
“Our current system is too slow and too focused on acquiring systems not designed to address the most critical challenges we face now.” the Pentagon said. He called for more “open systems that can quickly incorporate cutting-edge technology” while reducing problems of “obsolescence” and high costs.
The Pentagon’s strategy documents were sent to Congress in classified form in March, so they were considered during Congress’ approval of the 2023 defense budget.
So how do you negotiate all of this? Well, the initial instinct now that the nuclear war headlines are rolling in is that it might be time to sell…but as Art Cashin so astutely said a while back, “Never bet on the end of the world, because it only happens once.”
Now, thanks to Biden’s stewardship, that once-in-a-lifetime event is that much closer to happening.
Read the full article at ZeroHedge News
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Posted on October 27, 2022