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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Phillyguy's picture

Minuteman nuclear missiles will not protect the US in a war with Russia/China. The US has two major vulnerabilities to a nuclear attack: 1) US society/commerce is completely dependent on the internet, 2) US agriculture is completely energy dependent- it takes circa 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food, the average food commodity in the US travels 1500 miles from production point to consumption site. Thus, in any war with the US, expect the Russian and Chinese military to target: 1) data transfer infrastructure- fiber optic cables and computer server farms, and 2) energy infrastructure- refineries, pipelines, loading docks, etc. These are “soft” targets which are difficult to defend. Bottom line, those not perishing in the initial attacks, will starve.

silverer's picture

Cities will fall into total chaos in just three or four days without electricity. You are right, but it will be worse than the picture you paint, unfortunately.

northern vigor's picture

Agriculture in North America is very vulnerable to satelite killing missiles from China.

Did you ever notice how straight all the corn rows and sprayer tracks are when driving down highways? 99% of agriculture is done by GPS. The corporate big farmers hire kids that have no idea how to run a planter, sprayer, or combine anymore without a computer and gps. 

Not that it will matter...the military all need the same gps satellites to fight. 

HoserF16's picture

Nothing say's "Cease Fire or World Peace" better than a good ole' ICBM missile test.... Except maybe Two in one week....

silverer's picture

"...The department would need $18 billion a year between 2021 and 2035..." Isn't that AFTER they run out of social security to pay to US citizens? So where's THAT money coming from? I guess "whatever it takes" to threaten world peace. Think of what just that one test firing cost.

HoserF16's picture

" Charlie you Dumb Ass, I said the Other Key..... Fuck"

GreatUncle's picture

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.

Total sum of the population against is ? Got to be 2 billion and that does not include all those other countries around the world that are feeling the antagonistic behaviour of the US. In the end for any empire when you have conquered the known world and you lay down your oppressive behaviour on all those subjucated it only ever turns out like it is now!

So is the US prepared to blow 2 billion souls out of this world to maintain its own economic and military prowess on being top dog?

It always happens when one side reaches a maximum in the known world (it everything this time) and will not allow any self governance by its opposition "fearing" them as a threat.

hoppingrobot's picture

US will be castrated in no time.

North Korea itself can send US back to the stone age.

UK is so small one can jog from one side to the other. UK will be grid-bombed with nukes.

NATO stength is all about the financial system. It will be the first thing to vaporize. Real economy will take over.

Cold war policing weapons and fine instrumentation(for spying) which NATO excels in are peacetime weapons.

Europe will freeze to death without oil & gas supply which will cease immediately.

NATO lifestyle(all food, drinks, spices etc. imported from Asia) will evaporate.

Anglo-Saxons should prepare to go back to the caves they came from.

Russian missiles will knock out entire NATO surface navy within 30 minutes of the start of the war. NATO missiles(subsonic) are 30 years behind Russia(hypersonic). Subs are very slow, limited in number and useless for actual fighting.

NATO air force will be swatted down like flies. Stealth is a false weapon. The theory of stealth was first written by a Russian and the Russians are not fond of stealth. There is no such thing as absolute stealth.

NATO Army is the weakest. No amount of personal guns can save NATO against billions of opposition army.

idontcare's picture

It looks as though the elites are thinking of eliminating urban blight with one fell swoop.  The question is:  where are the elites going to wait out the great cleansing?

hoppingrobot's picture

NATO dont even have a theoretical chance of survival against Russia/China/North Korea combined let alone victory.

Add India(swing state) which is officially neutral but will align with Russia, its game over for NATO.

Iran will take care of the Sunni filth in Saudia & Turkey.

silverer's picture

"...Obama’s final defense budget unveiled this month calls for a $1.8 billion hike..."

These sick, twisted bastards always seem to have plenty of money on tap for ending humanity. In the meantime, the sheeple happily drop coins into cans held by high schoolers at intersections to find a cure for cancer. Any of this make sense to you?

BigDawgz's picture

Doesn't matter how many sheeple donate their meager earnings, never gonna be a cure for cancer.  Too much money to be made by big pharma to ever honestly go wholeheartedly after a cure.  Yes, we dabble here & we dabble there & there's a "small but significant" breakthrough from time to time just to keep the public believing the lie & throwing more money at it, but you'll never see a cure.  Even if they could come up with a vaccine, I doubt we'd ever see it hit the market.  Lots more money to be made from chemo drugs & radiation treatments than from a one-and-done vaccine.

One of these is not like the others..'s picture

No, not when you can do the job with cannabis oil (and there are alleded other methods, but I've only seen the cannabis oil actually work) easily and cheaply.


J Jason Djfmam's picture

No one who claims to be prepared to use nuclear weapons can be sane.

pine_marten's picture

There are 7,000 billion lethal doses of plutonium loose in our biosphere because of these psychopaths.   God damn monsters.

Baa baa's picture

ET is coming and boy, is he pissed at us. Planet destruction is viewed very harshly by the galactic community.

fancyfree's picture

Zerohedge just erased this comment.  Here it is again.  Zerohedge likes to run this kind of fearmongering story.  The United States is in interregnum while its allies, the BRICS and G-77, are assisting in returning the US' monetary gold reserves in the Global Debt Facility that is administered by the Board of Governors of the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank and IMF).  The US armed services, which includes the Joint Japan US Committee under the Status of Forces Agreement, is able to return to the rule of law and ignore the treasonous Network of Global Control's lackeys.  These traitors are all bankrupt and are losing their houses.  Meanwhile, the social media keeps everyone informed of the real insolvency and impotence of these corrupt people.  

onmail1's picture

<-- STD eaten brain of gay obamma had an attack


yepyep's picture

time to grow up and realize nukes are a hoax guys.

just like everything else the regime pushes to you as reality.