Part of today’s reading was the Federation of American Scientists issue brief The B61 Life-Extension Program: Increasing NATO Nuclear Capability and Precision Low-Yield Strikes. I caught this typo, which is pretty funny for such a polished document:
Nuclear weapons are not a normal area of interest for me, but these are not normal times. Specifically:
I’m paying close attention to Election 2016 Cybersecurity & “Operations Psychological”, and this will continue to be of interest after the 2016 election is complete. We really need to pass the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016.
A Russian sub was spotted in the English Channel, and in general there are a lot of reports like those I recall from the late seventies and early eighties, when tensions with the Soviet Union were high. There are a lot of reports like this, more often stuff involving aircraft over the North Sea and in the Baltic region.
If we add a JDAM style tailkit to the B61 Nuclear Bomb they can be made much more accurate. These are Dial-A-Yield weapons, with capacity ranging from 400 kilotons down to 0.3 kilotons. A sub-kiloton weapon that can hit within five meters of an underground bunker’s entrance is a very tempting tool in the hand of a military commander when the facility is hardened against the GBU-28, our most capable conventional bunker buster.
But such a use would create fallout, both physical and political. Maybe it’s better than we amp up development of things like the GBU-28, and leave the nuclear genie in its bottle.