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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Secret Weapon's picture

I don't see a rocket, I see tax dollars going up in smoke. 

wally_12's picture

A nuclear attack by Russia, China and North Korea is not as likely as a smuggled nuclear device by middle eastern fanatics bent on destroying western civilization. Russia and China are busy trying to beat us at our own game- Capitalism. The drop in oil prices was orchestrated by the west to severly damage the Russian economy.

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) wally_12 Feb 26, 2016 6:17 PM

If there is a suitcase bomb, it will be the Statists here in the US with their typical dirty tricks.  It won't be a "middle eastern" (Arab) fanatic.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

The 'suitcase bomb' will be grandpappy of all false flags.

wally_12's picture

Iranians do not consider themselves "Arabs". They are Persians. Over 30 countries have "volunteers" working for isis. They can't all be Arabs. middle eastern fanatics!

beijing expat's picture

Islamic fanatics have learned they do need to destroy western civilization. They can just walk through the front door and take anything they like. I can't understand what we're all fighting over?

northern vigor's picture

If your goal as POTUS was to destroy western society...this is the ultimate way to hurry things up.

Wow72's picture

Isnt it comforting to know we have the INSANE ones representing US? Our leaders are certified NUT JOBS!

I should be working's picture

"Of course, the #1 unspoken rule when launching ICBMs is to never explicitly say why you are doing it."


No that is exactly wrong.  The whole point of MAD theory is you let your opponent know you have the weapons and are ready to use them in order to deter them from attacking first.

Wild E Coyote's picture

It is more complicated than that. The purpose is to avoid MAD.
All Countries would start building their own nuclear weapons based on a threat from others. As North Korea claims it is doing.
Thus the principles of Mad is to provide communications line to assure all is well and good.
So, to explicitly say, I am testingit, to use it, defeats the purpose of avoiding MAD.

RichardParker's picture

This is nothing. 

Just wait until the US gov unleashes their most powerful (untested) nuclear weapons to date; NIRP and cashless currency.

fowlerja's picture

We are prepared to launch nuclear weapons....hey guy...I know you can do that...but what I want to know...are you ready to receive nuclear weapons in exchange?

Legolas's picture

Encouraging sign today.  A nuclear event may be obsolete.  4.1 earthquake about 2 hours south of Yellowstone.  Less than 2 miles deep.  I keep hoping anyway.





Legolas's picture

Sorry, a little over 3 miles in depth.  A little too hopeful in the post above.

Baa baa's picture

Now that is worth concern!!!

permarig's picture

Nuclear weapons are WWII and Cold War propaganda. A hoax if you will. They extracted a lot of (fear based) societal control and money out of it and the Cold War. (Soviets acquired nukes too, yeah right. They're all in on it. It might even have been for an excuse why not to liberate the Soviet Union. So they're all in on it. War and tension is about controlling the populace.)

So it's a psyop, a theater (against everyone again). Not to say it isn't completely nuts that they're doing this, that this is happening like it seems be (also when you disregard that nukes don't exist), just that there's one more layer of deception and disconnect.

Ms No's picture

If that was the case it might be a moot point though being that there are plenty of other weapons that can be used in WWIII.

Baa baa's picture

Is there any non-government research on your proposition?

Middle Pillar's picture

Nukes don't exist?

Someone should inform the Japanese. They'll be thrilled to hear that Nagasaki and Hiroshima were hallucinations.

Yonathan Zwift's picture

Um, isn't this the Most Open Presidency in the world that decided to decimate our Ground Nuclear Forces, Destroy (unilaterally) our ICBM forces, Dock more than half our Submarine Nuclear fleet in shallow water ports ... and eliminate, cancel and give away our ICBM intercept technologies?

Actions seem to speak louder than words, Mr. O.  G*d D@mn America seems to be your motto.  Where did you ever hear that before?

Time to load up on the sunblock 10K ... you're gonna need it next month.


PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Feb 26, 2016 8:27 PM

This is your State at work.

Piggy Wiggy "LEO" doing what they do best

Joe Tierney's picture

Noooks R us


The Pantygon is just using the global situation to push for a big fat budget....


Won't work, though, because the liberal slimebags in govt want more freebies for immingrants and other lazy losers so they can, in effect, buy democrat votes for the foreseeable future.

Kina's picture

Ameridumb  is exactly right. They are willing to use nuclear weapons to defend the American mainland.  


WELL you will only need to defend the American mainland if you have caused somebody to try and nuke you, idiots. SO is America thinking it can start a war with Russia and China and think that America will be safe because they have nukes, they will use. LoL


America, if you use nukes, or cause war to come to the mainland, the USA will become mostly ashes and glass and the remaining 100 million will starve to death.  But I guess if the neocons are away safely somewhere they wont care.

VW Nerd's picture

In order to defend our country we have to destroy the world??

Nanur's picture
Nanur (not verified) Feb 26, 2016 8:52 PM

I have this vision of a flop sweating President Rubio, finger on the button, grabbing for a glass of water to gulp down.

Kina's picture

MDB appeared a few years back as a Parody, or joke commenter. That his gig. To try and find the most offensive point of view on the subject. Many of us remember and know this.

VW Nerd's picture

In order to defend our country we have to destroy the world??

VW Nerd's picture

I see lots of broken windows.  Krugman must be smiling.  Bullish...

VW Nerd's picture

In order to defend our country we have to destroy the world??

hadabazinka's picture

Propaganda:  Nukes are a hoax. Sorry, sell that fear porn somewhere else. 

Faeriedust's picture

Arms races are traditionally wars of fiscal attrition that bankrupt the least economically stable state.  Do we REALLY want to bet that we would win?

Joe A's picture

A nuclear weapons free world is alas an illusion. Getting rid of of nuclear weapons is just like getting rid of guns: "You first". Not gonna happen.

As long as MAD is assured and that nobody thinks that a first strike will knock out your opponent and therefore will prevent a counter strike then there is no worry (apart from some crazy rogue state or terrorist group). The problem is, some people think just that: that a first strike is possible. The world nowadays is run by people that have not lived through the horrors of WWII. That generation is gone. Now we have people that want to take a shot at getting their place in the history books. The thing is, there won't be any history book if they have their way.

johnnycanuck's picture

Clearly missile waging will solve all the problems that beset the world. 


News flash Uncle Sam, the world already knew you have ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.  No need to remind us.

Ms No's picture

Maybe we are stuck in a parallel Flinstones reality and this is the Bamm-Bamm creed of international relations. 

Ms No's picture

This is interesting because I believe it was the same day or the previous day that I saw a huge contrail on a clear day over white sands at sunrise.  I have seen a couple of launches from there and the contrails are pretty distinct.  This time I didn't see a missle but the trail was exactly like it had been on previous launches.  I was sure that I would see in the news that they launched something but I never did.  They would've had to have launched it before sunrise.  I'm a skywatcher and it's weird that I would misidentify that and that it would occur the next day.  Who knows what they are doing.

If they want their war, they will have their war.  There is definitely no shortage of useful idiots around to facilitate it. 

Baa baa's picture

If the contrail is curly, it's a rocket. If not, aircraft.

Jack Oliver's picture

You would think the Zionist/US would have learned their lesson - they have thrown EVERYTHING at Russia with ZERO success - Russia is certainly the 'form' horse in this race - China sits on the 'bench' FUCKING giggling - Putin has cleverly avoided confrontation whilst arming Russia to the teeth - GOD knows what Russia has up its sleeve - the US is determined to find out the HARD way though - IDIOTS !

Infinite QE's picture

It's the mental illness brought on by the centuries of inbreeding of the jews.

me or you's picture

In a nuclear war Americans will be let to die because the US government doens't give a damn about you.


---> Did you know that the Russians have a massive underground complex in the Ural mountains that has been estimated to be approximately 400 square miles in size?  In other words, it is roughly as big as the area inside the Washington D.C. beltway   


-----> * So what about us in America?

Has the U.S. government constructed any bunkers for the survival of the general population in the United States?

Of course not.  In the event of a nuclear war, I guess they just expect pretty much all of us to die.

Baa baa's picture

There is an old saw the pops up every time the nuclear sabres rattle, "In the end, the living will envy the dead". In case someone hasn't said this already.

fireant's picture

It's interesting to read passages in the Bible that refer to what could be construed as nuclear war on the day of judgment

Isaiah 24:6

Rev 6:14-17

Isaiah 2: 19-21

Zech 14: 12-13

Ezek 39:11-15

Ezek 38: 21-23

2  Peter 3: 10-12

Ezek 39: 6-7

northern vigor's picture

We should all blow the dust off our Bibles. Now.

Yen Cross's picture

  I thought Independence Day was in July?

  * silly me

Moonflower's picture

I know of a Defence HQ that has emergence escape coloured arrows painted on the walls

1 Red leads to a massive nuclear under ground bunker
2. Blue to a secure bunker
3. Green to a blast proof bunker
4. Yellow leads you out of the building and on to the car parking lot.

All ID cards are appropriately colour coded. Discuss in five hundred words or MOAR!

dogismycopilot's picture

In all wars, the most destructive weapons are used.

War is about forcing your will upon your enemy through the use of complete violence.

I have no doubt that at some point in the future, a war will be waged in which the most destructive weapons (nuclear) will be used. 

It is only a question of 'when' and at what 'scale'.

Moonflower's picture

America already has...Japan 1945

dogismycopilot's picture

Japan 1945 was testing out a new microwave oven.

Paracelsus's picture

   You can do almost anything with bayonets except sit on one.

The money for all the bailouts wasted.Money for arms,wasted....

The funny side is the re-pricing of risk.Muni bonds used to be boring,low yield

and safe.Now with all the city bankruptcies piling up.......

I think it is a matter of time before the Europeans plop down two million refugees

on our doorstep.And Rahm "Da Man" is gonna double your property taxes in Chicago

next year or sooner.