Video Above - Nuclear Issues: Hedge Strategies, Low Yield Nuclear Weapons & Deterrence

Peter R. Huessy, President, GeoStrategic Analysis

Presented to the AOC, Army Navy Country Club, October 14th, 2010

The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism: New Challenges

• Four Challenges:

• (1) Understanding the Terror Masters and Terror Groups

• (2) Transforming American Strategy

• (3) Elements of American Strategy: Deterrence, Arms Control, Pre-Emption, PSI/Interdiction, Follow the Money, Then Take It!, Law Enforcement, & Port/Maritime Security and Domain Awareness, Missile Defense, Divestment, Economic Boycott, Nuclear Forensics, Nunn-Lugar, DTRA

• (4) Taking These Threats Seriously: The Role of Intelligence, the Media and Political Leadership/Diplomacy

Who Are the Terror Masters?

• On 9/10/01: Libya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, China, & Russia were the key state sponsors of terrorism or providers of assistance to state sponsors, including rockets, missiles and WMD technology; 8 of the 12 were nuclear or aspiring nuclear weapons powers

The Terror Masters

• Country Reports on Terrorism, 2007, US Department of State:

• “Iran is the most significant state sponsor of terrorism…”

• Government organs of the Tehran regime are identified as “directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist attacks…”

• Both Iran and Syria routinely provide “safe haven substantial resources and guidance to terrorist organizations”, “Terror Inc.” by Oliver North, May 6, 2007, Washington Times

The Poisonous Coalition

• Al Qaeda…was just one element in a "poisonous coalition," Massoud explained, that included "Pakistani and Arab intelligence agencies; impoverished young students bused to their deaths as volunteer fighters from Pakistani religious schools; exiled Central Asian Islamic radicals; ... and wealthy sheikhs and preachers who jetted in from the Persian Gulf." *

• *Massoud was head of the Northern Alliance

(2) US Strategy: What Is The Nature of the Required Transformation? 

• Cold War Thinking: Deterrence Works Against Soviet Union with 12,000 Nuclear Weapons: Can’t We Do The Same?

• Deterrence Required a Defined Frontier—the Fulda Gap in Germany and the 38th Parallel on the Korean Peninsula

• We could “Count” the Russian Nuclear “beans”—missiles, submarines and bombers

• Holding at risk these targets was the essence of deterrence

• Arms Control could be verified through satellites and inspections

• The balance of terror known as “Mutual Assured Destruction”

• Do we want US cities to be held hostage by North Korea, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda?

The Threat: Nuclear Weapons Programs

• Libya: Major Progress Made. Shipment of 13,000 Centrifuges/Parts Interdicted by US and Allies—Creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative

• Iraq circa 1991 was within “months” of a “nuclear weapon” according to Butler and Ekeus, the two UN weapons inspectors following the Gulf War 91


Step 1: Cause the “appearance” of tension

Step 2: Blame the UNC, ROK and US for the tense situation

Step 3: Quickly agree “in principle” to a major improvement in relations. Publicize the “Breakthrough.”

Step 4: Set artificial deadlines to pressure the other side

Step 5: Politicize and draw out negotiations front-loading the agenda and demanding preconditions (the preconditions are often the true objectives)

Step 6: Blame UNC, ROK and US for the protracted talks

Step 7: Demand compensation or a major concession, before attending future meetings

Step 8: Go back to Step 1


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North Korea…A Crime Family Masquerading as a Country


Nuclear Threats Continued

• Iran: Used the NPT process to delay, deceive, obstruct

• Have ambitious, complex and diffuse national program to build a nuclear arsenal

• “If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, we will live in a new world. That is the fundamental issue we must now face. And our only choice is either to prevent it or pay the price of not having prevented it.” Henry Kissinger, May 2006

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Iran Missile Threats…

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Iran…. Of course, nothing to hide….

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Will Diplomacy Stop Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions?

• “Iran's latest defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency says it all: Further diplomacy has no chance of stopping Iran's nuclear program. Neither will UN sanctions have any effect.

• “Unless there is a timely defensive first strike at pertinent elements of Iran's expanding nuclear infrastructures, it will acquire nuclear weapons. The consequences would be intolerable and unprecedented.

• “A nuclear Iran would not resemble any other nuclear power. There could be no stable "balance of terror" involving that Islamic Republic. Unlike nuclear threats of the cold war, which were governed by mutual assumptions of rationality and mutual assured destruction, a world with a nuclear-armed Iran could explode at any moment. Although it might still seem reasonable to suggest a postponement of preemption until Iran were more openly nuclear, the collateral costs of any such delay could be unendurable.” The Christian Science Monitor, May 8th, 2007 


• Follow The Money

• The State of Maryland Retirement and Pension System has invested in 101 Companies with ties to terror sponsoring and proliferation states

• How Much? $1,925,716,152.24

• These companies are involved in $23 billion in projects in Iran, North Korea, the Sudan and North Korea, Syria

• Legislation has been implemented in Missouri, Louisiana and elsewhere which now has “terror free investing”

• Legislation has been introduced in Georgia, Illinois, California, Maryland and additional states to eliminate such investment

Money Games

Washington - For three years, the Bush administration has waged a campaign to choke off North Korea's access to the world's financial system, where U.S. officials say the nation launders money from criminal enterprises to fuel its trade in missile technology and its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.

U.S. pressure forced Macao this year to freeze North Korean assets in one of its banks, then foiled North Korea's panicky attempts to find friendly bankers in Vietnam, Mongolia, Singapore and Europe. And after North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test, China ordered some of its major banks to cease financial transactions with the country. 

October 14, 2001, Israeli security arrested a man linked to Osama bin Laden armed with a radiological backpack bomb, as he attempted to enter Israel from the Palestinian Territories via a border checkpoint at Ramallah. The arrest led to the recovery of a device which held a small explosive core encased in radioactive material. "It would not kill a great many people, but it would contaminate a considerable area with radiation."

Nuclear Forensics

• Establish the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office to establish a global detection architecture

• Trained 1200 law enforcement and first responders to detect and interdict radiological and nuclear material

• Scanning seaport cargo and cargo at land crossings—500 Portal Monitors Deployed

• Moving to deploy scanning and detection of air cargo

• Have established nuclear detectors at 88 border crossings in the FSU

• Currently developing third generation of nuclear detection technology—Antwerp and Rotterdam latest to adopt

• Seeking to fully develop technology for determining “nuclear fingerprints”

14 of the world’s largest ports under Megaports Program

Nuclear Forensics

• “Every week, a group of experts from agencies around the government - including the C.I.A., the Pentagon, the F.B.I. and the Energy Department - meet to assess Washington's progress toward solving a grim problem: if a terrorist set off a nuclear bomb in an American city, could the United States determine who detonated it and who provided the nuclear material?

• So far, the answer is maybe. That uncertainty lies at the center of a vigorous, but carefully cloaked, debate within the Bush administration. It focuses on how to refashion the American approach to nuclear deterrence in an attempt to counter the threat posed by terrorists who could obtain bomb-grade uranium or plutonium to make and deliver a weapon.” New York Times, May 8th, 2007

Port and Maritime Security: Is the Job Too Big?

• 7500 miles of border

• 95,000 miles of shorelines

• Can We Detect HEU/Shielded Material?

• 1000 airfields within 10,000 miles

“They won’t use ship containers”?

Terrorists have already used such containers for transport. In 1998, a vessel transported explosives into Mombassa that were used in the East African embassy bombings. And in October 2001, a container headed for Toronto was opened during a stop in Italy. Authorities found inside a suspected al Qaeda member who fitted the livable container with forged documents, electronics equipment, and blueprints and floor plans or a number of facilities throughout North America.

Why Should We Stop the Stuff Before Its gets Here? 

• We need to have port security here and abroad; to secure port inspections overseas we have to adopt the same practices here at home re: sea, land and airborne cargo…The following slides show why….

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• Nunn-Lugar and DTRA remain critical programs to both eliminate nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons related material—globalization of the DTRA work excellent goal, the four year lock-down of nuclear material should be fully supported but………

• The IAEA in Vienna, Austria is only capable of monitoring nuclear energy programs in cooperative states

• “Without information about the location of hidden nuclear material and installations, no meaningful inspections are feasible.” Hans Blix, Director, IAEA, The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1992

Missile Defenses

• By 2014, the US and its allies will have deployed 1400 interceptors on land and sea capable of shooting down rockets of all ranges;

• Cooperative Allies include Japan, Israel, Germany, Italy, England, Denmark, Australia, Taiwan, ROK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria

• Since September 2005, US and allies have conducted some 21 Successful tests of hit to kill technology including 15 successful consecutive tests

• “Missile Defenses Are a Key Non-Proliferation Tool”, Paula DeSutter, Assistant Secretary of State, April 10, 2006

Intelligence: The “Mother of All Failed Dot Connections…”

• Former Secretary of the USAF Thomas Reed in his 2006 book “At The Abyss” notes that in 1981 DCI Casey asked the agency for an assessment of the USSR connections to terrorism. The reply: the USSR was “opposed to terrorism.” The evidence: editorials of Pravda and Tass.

(5) The Role of the Media: Are They Serious?

• Three Pigs Trigger Fire in Siberia, AP

• Artist hopes to Float Giant Banana over Texas, AP,

• Hollywood Women Say They Are Too Busy to Shave Armpits, AP, Tijuana Police Issued Slingshots, MSNBC,

• UK Government is Failing Sex Workers, Reuters,

• Man Loses Nose in Circumcision Ceremony,

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Future Choices Are Not Between Diplomacy and Force:

• “A free standing diplomacy is an ancient American illusion. History offers few examples of it. The attempt to separate diplomacy and power results in power lacking direction and diplomacy being deprived of incentives.” Henry Kissinger, 1/21/07

• “Diplomacy without the threat of force is but prayer”, former Senator Malcolm Wallop, farewell Senate address, October 1994

"Nuclear Warfare is the Solution for Destroying America"

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