Caught On Tape: U.S. Test Fires Nuclear ICBM, Warns "We Are Prepared To Use Nuclear Weapons"

Tyler Durden's picture

Less than two years ago, news of Russia test-firing an ICBM just as the east Ukraine civil war was heating up, was sufficient to send the stock market into a brief tailspin. Since then, the launches of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles has become an almost daily occurrence, with the market hardly batting an eyelid.

In fact, it happened just last night at 11:01pm PST at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where - for the second time this week - the US test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile in the past seven days, seeking to demonstrate its nuclear arms capacity at a time of rising strategic tensions with Russia, North Korea, China and the middle east.

The unarmed Minuteman III missile roared out of a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California late at night, raced across the sky at speeds of up to 15,000 mph (24,000 kph) and landed a half hour later in a target area 4,200 miles (6,500 km) away near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific.

The entire launch was caught on the following video, which was released by Vandenberg just 4 days after the previous ICBM launch.


What was more disturbing than the actual launch, however, was the rhetoric behind it: instead of passing it off as another routine test, and letting US "adversaries" make up their own mind about what is going on, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who witnessed the launch, said the U.S. tests, conducted at least 15 times since January 2011, send a message to strategic rivals like Russia, China and North Korea that Washington has an effective nuclear arsenal. "That’s exactly why we do this," Work told reporters before the launch.

Of course, the #1 unspoken rule when launching ICBMs is to never explicitly say why you are doing it. By breaking said rule, it marks a much greater escalation in international diplomacy than merely test firing the nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

That, however, was not an issue and Work piled on, with the following stunner

"We and the Russians and the Chinese routinely do test shots to prove that the operational missiles that we have are reliable. And that is a signal ... that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons in defense of our country if necessary."

Well that's good to know.

As Reuters adds, demonstrating the reliability of the nuclear force has taken on additional importance recently because the U.S. arsenal is near the end of its useful life and a spate of scandals in the nuclear force two years ago raised readiness questions.

The Defense Department has poured millions of dollars into improving conditions for troops responsible for staffing and maintaining the nuclear systems. The administration also is putting more focus on upgrading the weapons.


President Barack Obama’s final defense budget unveiled this month calls for a $1.8 billion hike in nuclear arms spending to overhaul the country's aging nuclear bombers, missiles, submarines and other systems.

That said, the irony of the Nobel Peace Prize winner re-escalating the arms race was not lost on Reuters: the nuclear spending boost is an ironic turn for a president who made reducing U.S. dependence on atomic weapons a centerpiece of his agenda during his first years in office.

Obama called for a world eventually free of nuclear arms in a speech in Prague and later reached a new strategic weapons treaty with Russia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in part based on his stance on reducing atomic arms.  "He was going to de-emphasize the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security policy ... but in fact in the last few years he has emphasized new spending," said John Isaacs of the Council for a Livable World, an arms control advocacy group.

Perhaps the Nobel committee should watch the video above and decide if it is not too late to ask for their prize back.

And just like that the nuclear arms race is back.

Critics say the Pentagon's plans are unaffordable and unnecessary because it intends to build a force capable of deploying the 1,550 warheads permitted under the New START treaty... Hans Kristensen, an analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, said the Pentagon's costly "all-of-the-above" effort to rebuild all its nuclear systems was a "train wreck that everybody can see is coming." Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association, said the plans were "divorced from reality."


The Pentagon could save billions by building a more modest force that would delay the new long-range bomber, cancel the new air launched cruise missile and construct fewer ballistic submarines, arms control advocates said.


Work said the Pentagon understood the financial problem. The department would need $18 billion a year between 2021 and 2035 for its portion of the nuclear modernization, which is coming at the same time as a huge "bow wave" of spending on conventional ships and aircraft, he said.


"If it becomes clear that it’s too expensive, then it’s going to be up to our national leaders to debate" the issue, Work said, something that could take place during the next administration when spending pressures can no longer be ignored.

As a reminder, the last time the U.S. engaged in a nuclear arms race with the USSR, it led to the collapse of the "evil empire." It would be even more ironic that Obama launching nuclear rockets if this time around the tables on the ultimate loser are turned.

In the meantime, just think of all the GDP-boosting "broken windows" that would result from a nuclear war.

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Sam Clemons's picture

Federal employment seems to attract a lot of the worst kinds of people.

VladLenin's picture

I have 12.5 years in the fed govt...dod, intel.

I can tell you they are fucking dangerous. 80% of them are hardened statists and will fight to protect their position to command and loot the rest of society. There is only one answer to this tyranny... and we all know what that is...


VladLenin's picture

Nostradamos said the name "Mabus" was associated with the 3rd anti-christ.

Well the Secretary of the Navy is named Ray Mabus, so yes Obama could be the man. He's either really evil or completely fucking stupid.

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

To the USA: Settle down Beavis. Chill out faggot. 

flaminratzazz's picture

Looney-It is the case of  same thing I see on every construction job site I go on. "My cock is bigger and I am all that" Humans are about as smart as fvkin snails I am telling you. How we have not extincted ourselves yet is a mystery.

Schroedingers Cat's picture

Well said Looney!  Ash Carter really IS a retarded little Chihuahua that licks McCains balls.   McCain is crazier than a fist full of SHIT and together with his little Chihuahua friend  they just might end 2.5 billion years of life on Earth. 

DeadFred's picture

Retarded chihuahua because it mixed things up? Lick every tire and mailbox and bite...

neutrino3's picture

@looney ... Sir,

Disagree. There is no we, only them that hide behind Americans, Turks, Zaudis, Gangella, Golland ...

What is the name of that bird that puts own eggs under somebody else's butt ... buttbird, buttman?

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) ParkAveFlasher Feb 26, 2016 12:52 PM


Bastiat's picture


Bwahahhaaa.  We came, we saw, they fried.  Vote for Hillary!

vq1's picture

the bombing of japan saved thousands of lives bla bla bla. 


copy and paste. 

BlindMonkey's picture

We need Banzai to make up Barry as Cartman cop on the big wheel saying: "Respect my authoriti" with a nuke in his hand and a Nobel Peace Prize around his neck.


Well, this is old news for a fifties raised person. I'll just dust off the bomb shelter, and stock up with more food. Get some more ammo to deal with the post apocalyptic mutant zombies, and I think we are good.

All you next gen fresh faced newbies, just crawl under a table with your scissors and your emp dead face sucking phones, and wait for the proper authorities to come help you.

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) SILVERGEDDON Feb 26, 2016 1:04 PM

Be sure to build yourself a Kearny Fallout Meter. Materials are cheap at home and readily available(or get the kit.)  It's a great science project for the kids. Zero electronics to go wrong at the wrong time.

 "This kit will save many lives"
-Cresson Kearny

"It isnt pretty and won't win awards for sophistication, but under primitive conditions you'll also discover there is little to go wrong"
-American Survival Guide, pg 12, 4/94

"Makes a great Science experiment."
-American College of Nuclear Physicians

elephant's picture

yikes!  I thought you were joking

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) elephant Feb 26, 2016 2:15 PM

:) Not joking. I read and learned a long time ago that the "I'd rather just die" approach to planning for nuclear war is silly. Unless you're really close to a target, you're going to end up being alive, and then what are you going to do? Death from radiation poisoning is agonizingly long and painful.


MYTH #01: Almost everyone will suddenly be killed on doomsday.
MYTH #02: Most people would be quickly killed by the bomb blasts, thermal radiation, or radioactivity.
You Will Survive Doomsday

By Bruce Beach

vq1's picture

I have about 240ish fallout shelters near me. The catch is how fast they will they fill up, shutter their doors or someone armed take them over?

BorisTheBlade's picture

All the millenials are properly prepared to survive in post-Apocalyptic mayhen via Fallout 4 conditioning, as ghouls and supermutants that is.

Gab Timov's picture

Nuke, nuke.

Who's there?


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Nuke who? Nuke whoever pissed off the Global Bankster Cartel of Pharisees.

Especially if they don't have enough nukes themselves, to be able to retaliate in convincing fashion, i.e. more than a few cities/sites which the Banksters would be willing to sacrifice, to gain total global dominance/control.

adanata's picture

This guy is falling, this guy is falling..... run for your life! ... say it fast...

mosfet's picture

The reason wasn't just to show the world that we had nukes, it was also to ask the American people which president they want to have their finger on the button.  Are you comfortable with hot-headed Trump being that person?


vulcanraven's picture

I wonder what all those Liberals whining that a Trump presidency will start a nuclear war have to say for themselves now?

iggenFlot's picture
iggenFlot (not verified) ParkAveFlasher Feb 26, 2016 3:00 PM

This was a no-nonsense statement. I'm glad our country isn't making any bones about the purpose of these tests, conspiracy nuts notwithstanding.

peddling-fiction's picture



You are liked just about as much as open-range, our friendly neighborhood spammer. /s

The best Sun's picture


Does not play well with others.

Reminds me of a slightly smarter version of Alphahammer.

The way Bill is slightly smarter than Ted,

and Beavis is slightly smarter than Butthead.

open-range's picture
open-range (not verified) ParkAveFlasher Feb 26, 2016 3:40 PM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

post turtle saver's picture

this isn't news... of course we do testing to demonstrate capability and well-maintained deterrent... call me when the US unilaterally decides to conduct above ground tests again, that will be news...

consider me gone's picture

Who do you want to nuke? Every Friday we grant to one of listeners, the 6th caller, a free nuklar annihilation of the coordinates of their choice. So be our sixth caller and keep listening to WUSA.1 Call now!!!!

Element's picture



Nuke who?


E V E R Y O N E !




The best Sun's picture

For the last time.

It is NOT nucular.

For fucks sake people.

This cow is supposed to be some kind of official spokesbint and can't even say nuclear.

Dumb as a Bush.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

wow...Ameridumb acting just like North Korea...


Syrin's picture

That's what it seems like.   Do we really think that the world has forgotten we have ICBM nukes?

MadVladtheconquerer's picture
MadVladtheconquerer (not verified) Syrin Feb 26, 2016 1:01 PM

If you got em, flaunt em.

Or, in this case, launch em!


Arnold's picture

We gotta be really pissed at the Marshall s to be flying nukes at them regularly.

You'd think that if there were any of them left, they would give up and take the reparations.

vq1's picture

Ours is bigger than yours!



HowdyDoody's picture

North Korea is a strategic rival to the US? How the mighty have fallen now that a tin-pot country is now a strategic rival.


consider me gone's picture

They need reminding idiot. Oooh, it's a mean world let's tell them we want peace and they will go away. It's idiots like you Obama and Hillary that have the aggressors coming out of the woodwork. Oh wait, let me guess Russia and N Korea are the noble nation? Even that dope smoking, cke snortin douchbag Obama knew we had to send a message.

MadVladtheconquerer's picture
MadVladtheconquerer (not verified) Feb 26, 2016 12:51 PM


Cold War anyone?

Different yrs; same result.