Doomsday Scenarios: UK's Hair-Raising Admissions About Prospects Of Nuclear War (Or Accident)

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by T J Coles via Counterpunch.org,

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published several reports over the last few years. They discuss geopolitics and related themes, one of which is the likelihood of nuclear war or accident, including what it means for long-term survival.

Experts say that even a so-called limited exchange or accident would be catastrophic. For example, a recent paper in Earth’s Future calculates that the most optimistic scenario of a “small,” regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan would wipe out millions of people through famine and result in a nuclear winter. An exchange between the USA and Russia, for instance, could be even bigger and more devastating.

America’s ongoing “Asia Pivot” encourages China to build up its arsenals. Proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine with Russia and continuing tensions with North Korea also increase the risk of brinkmanship and miscalculation between those nuclear powers.

Britain’s Role 

By training rebels in Syria and armed forces in Ukraine, the UK is particularly responsible for contributing to escalating tensions. Britain remains one of the USA’s closest allies and enjoys a “special relationship” with the US. It serves as a proxy for US Trident nuclear weapons systems. The UK’s Vanguard submarines host US-supplied Trident II D5 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. In 2016, a dummy ICBM was launched by the UK at a test target off the coast of Africa. It self-destructed and headed for Florida, according to news reports. The event took place a time when the British government voted to upgrade Trident in violation of Britain’s Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations and at a time when the newly-appointed Prime Minister, Theresa May (not yet elected), answered “Yes,” when asked by a member of Parliament if she would launch a nuclear missile and kill hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Let’s look at some examples of the UK MoD’s admissions that: 1) the world is getting more dangerous, 2) it is likely that some states will use nuclear weapons at some point, 3) brinksmanship increases the risk of miscalculation, and 4) that such events threaten human existence. These admissions are startling for a number of reasons: the MoD possesses nuclear weapons, yet acknowledges their danger; the media fail to report on these matters, despite their coming from establishment sources; and governments are not inherently compelled by this information to de-escalate.

“Doomsday Scenarios.”

Every few years, the MoD updates its studies concerning the nature of global developments. The third edition of the Strategic Trends Programme predicts trends between the years 2007-2036. It states (MoD’s emphases):

Accelerating nuclear proliferation will create a more complex and dangerous strategic environment, with the likely clustering of nuclear-armed states in regions that have significant potential for instability or have fears about foreign intervention.

 

For example, North Korean, Pakistani and potentially, Iranian nuclear weapon capability will increase significantly the risks of conflict in Asia if a system of mutual deterrence does not emerge. In addition, nuclear possession may lead to greater adventurism and irresponsible conventional and irregular behaviour, to the point of brinkmanship and misunderstanding.

 

Finally, there is a possibility that neutron technologies may reemerge as potential deterrent and warfighting options.

Neutron weapons supposedly kill living things but do not harm property. The report also notes a potential “revival of interest” among “developed states” in “neutron and smarter nuclear technologies.” Neutron bombs could become “a weapon of choice for extreme ethnic cleansing in an increasingly populated world.” The document concludes rather casually, stating: “Many of the concerns over the development of new technologies lie in their safety, including the potential for disastrous outcomes, planned and unplanned.” Note the word planned. It goes on to say: “Various doomsday scenarios arising in relation to these and other areas of development present the possibility of catastrophic impacts, ultimately including the end of the world, or at least of humanity.”

Will the US or Israel get impatience and attack Iran or North Korea? The now-archived Future of Character of Conflict (2010) predicts trends out to 2035 and states:

The risk of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) use will endure; indeed increase, over the long term. The strategic anxiety and potential instability caused by CBRN proliferation is typified by international frustration over Iran and North Korea, with the risks of pre-emptive action and regional arms races, and where soft power alone has not been notably successful.

Soft power refers to economic and diplomatic coercion. As the US expands its global reach, other countries might seek possession of nuclear weapons to deter the USA: “[t]he possession of nuclear weapons, perceived as essential for survival and status, will remain a goal of many aspiring powers.”

Unless enforcement mechanisms are imposed, will arms controls and treaties be effective? Out to the year 2040, says the MoD’s fourth edition of its now-withdrawn Strategic Trends Programme, “[t]he likelihood of nuclear weapons usage will increase.” It goes on (MoD’s emphases):

Broader participation in arms control may be achieved, although this is unlikely to reduce the probability of conflict. Effective ballistic missile defence systems will have the long-term potential to undermine the viability of some states’ nuclear deterrence.

Could that last statement refer to ICBMs being integrated into a so-called defense shield and used by the few countries that possess them against ones that do not? What is the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used for warfighting? Finally, Future Operating Environment 2035 states:

Some commentators believe it is increasingly likely that a range of state actors may use tactical nuclear weapons as part of their strategy against non-nuclear and conventional threats coming from any environment, severe cyber attacks. Limited tactical nuclear exchanges in conventional conflicts by 2035 also cannot be ruled out, and some non-Western states may even use such strikes as a way of limiting or de-escalating conflict.

Conclusion

These analyses and admissions on behalf of the UK MoD and its reliance on US-produced weapons systems should serve as enough of a warning to scholars and anti-nuclear weapons campaigners to suggest that, as long as weapons of mass destruction exist and as long as international treaties have no enforcement mechanisms with regards the powerful countries, the clock to midnight will continue ticking.

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bogbeagle's picture

Well, if these assertions are true ... then they've been lying to us for 70 years ... because for 70 years, they've been telling us that MAD keeps us safe.

 

It's just the gun-grabbing philosophy, writ large ... "Weapons for me, but not for you."

ChaoKrungThep's picture

Oh no, dear Beagle, they've been lying since the very beginning. MAD does keep you safe - when both sides are sane. The Russians are sane, but the Americans are delusional. The good news: Russia's missile defense system is complete, ie they're untouchable. Bad news: The US has wasted billions of toys and is totally vulnerable. OK news: Both sides know the US would be incinerated in a war. Advice: Be very polite to the Russians.

 

 

quadraspleen's picture

I expect these reports were written by people who work for arms companies

land_of_the_few's picture

UK has nukes to try and look like France's equal and peer.

And to do the bidding of the West. Nothing to do with defense.

EddieLomax's picture

I don't think France is the competitor to the UK anymore, that has not been true for 150 years.

As for nuclear weapons, I think its like chemical weapons in WW2, as long as both sides hold them then no one will use them.  It sounds like we need to get our own missile though if the trident is unreliable, the UK arms industry does produce some very good missiles, although these are much smaller.  But since people keep harping on about wanting the government to increase spending then a bit of R&D defence spending will go down well with the rest of the economy.

land_of_the_few's picture

Not sure that is the case, France has more nukes than China, builds its own military aircraft, and has a functioning nuclear powered aircraft carrier. When UK wants nuclear power plants built, it has to ask France. France has a much better trade and current account balance.

It also had a better GDP per capita than UK for most of the 80s and 90s, before the financialisation boom/bust, collapse of Lehmann / Enron / RBS ...

Pendolino's picture

Yeah it has absolutely nothing to do with coming a ball hair's width to being invaded by Germany and not caring for the prospect of anyone else doing the same, it's definitely all about trying to look like France. lol.

Pendolino's picture

The UK started developing nukes in 1940, round about the same time Hitler was admiring his Eiffel Tower. The UK detonated its first nuke in 1952. France didn't detonate its first weapon until 1960. So how is that the UK trying to look like France's equal?

webmatex's picture

Agree CKT.

The US (and NATO) have always treated its nuclear capability as a brute force offensive right.

Despite the star wars myth of space defense and buck rogers lazer defence the US has never had a credible defence from nuclear attack.

It reliance on the MAD philosophy mixed with a full spectrum commitment to include nuclear weapons if required ensured silent domination until now.

In this new era the US, despite the ever expanding defence budget is falling behind many other countries in the new market for DEFENCE WEAPONS i.e. weapons capable of effectively counteracting all US offensive tactits for a smaller price.

The characteristics of the Russian 3 layer SS defence in combination with their massive integrated multi layered EW/Radar systems can see everything out to Florida and appear capable of neutralising incoming war heads at 50-500 miles with 3 further integrated layers of terminal defences at 0-5.

The nuclear bluff is now obsolete and the old tactits no longer work.

Compare the 50 Tomahawk strike on Syria with the accuracy and effect of Kaliber.

All this Russian and Chinese shit is hitting the market in time for christmas and we don't have it!

A maniac is only a menace whilst armed - take the gun away and he is harmless.

 

Cloud9.5's picture

The neocons are completely insane with their assertion that we can win a nuclear war.  The truth is we have come extremely close to losing it on several occasions in the past.  Everything from trying to blowup a Soviet Submarine armed with nuclear tipped torpedoes to failed computer chips have pushed us to the very edge of annihilation.  It is only by the grace of God that any of us are still here.   Vasili Arkhipoy took the minority position and refused to fire his torpedoes and saved the world.  Next time we may not be so fortunate.

History has not stopped.  Hubris is endemic to the species.  Somebody will stumble, trip, or intentionally flip the switch.

 

 

AGuy's picture

" The good news: Russia's missile defense system is complete, ie they're untouchable"

Dead wrong. No missile defense system is untouchable:

1. First Salvo is NEMP which will disable even hardened radar systems. US would use multiple systems: CONUS based ICBMs, Sub-ICBMs & Nuclear tipped Cruise Missiles, Air launched Missiles and Bombs lauched from USAF bases surrounding Russia.

Even if Russia manages to not take any hits (pure fantasy), There is the problem with the Worlds 440+ Commercial Nuclear power plant which serve as a global doomsday device. When these meltdown they will make most, if not all of the world uninhabitable.

Dindu Nuffins's picture

If every American could own a nuclear weapon silo in his backyard, imagine how safe we'd be. Russia would keep its dirty hands off our elections then!

francis scott falseflag's picture

You can go back to sleep too, Muffins.

 

I just read that that while Trump was

in Asia the military contingent guarding

the White House was investigated and

changed.  "Deep State" is about to make

its move and install a military government.

 

It's only a matter of weeks before Big Brother

takes off his General's uniform and assumes

the real position he was trained for.

 

It can't be too soon for me. 

beijing expat's picture

I believe it's marines who are the military contingent, answerable to POTUS and very loyal to Mattis. If they were changed it would be to ensure they are very very loyal.

A game may be afoot, but I'm not entirely convinced it's Trump who has to worry.

There seems to be a war in the deep state and the minority faction, centred around the Army has its man in office. That's why there are so many generals there.

Remember trumps chief campaign advisor was Flynn, head of MI, hounded out by Obama officials, and done in by the NeoCons, but he was sure to represent a faction of the army who saw the empire as over extended and at risk; the other faction advocates of a party on approach.

francis scott falseflag's picture

Indeed, it probably isn't Trump who has to worry.  It's still you and me.

 

The DS wanted Trump to win, perhaps because they were aware that the Trump haters

were more motivated and serious than the Hillary haters.

 

The democrats had better organization of their younger voters and their hypocritical politics.  

They had a more destructive nature.  

It could be that another wing of the DS, acting as agent provocateurs, encouraged them to riot.  

As I said earlier, the DS may actually want a shoot out between the activists on both sides.  

Which would be seen by the MSM and "reasonable people" on both sides as a cause for the military (DS) to step in.

 

I used to think of the two factions in the deep state as a fighting each other, and they may be.

But now I realize that we are just guess how the DS is composed.  It could simply be that the

two wings are working together to confuse us.  With Trump's tweets and Hillary's nonsense.

 

The mixed message Trump has delivered about Russia/Putin vs. the US IC is amazing

it could go either way in a couple of days.  

I remain hopeful.  

White Devil's picture

Did somebody put paprika in your vagina?

francis scott falseflag's picture

No.     Why did someone put it in yours?

francis scott falseflag's picture

GO BACK TO SLEEP, DUDE.

 

15 YEARS AGO GEORGE W BUSH RESCINDED MAD WHEN HE WITHDREW THE US FROM THE

ABM TREATY.  MAD DID KEEP US SAFE FROM 1972 TO 2002 WHEN BUSH, WHO WAS BARELY

ELECTED BY THREE VOTES IN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE WHILE AL GORE GOT A HALF MILLION 

MORE POPULAR VOTES THAN THE SIMPLETON 43RD PRESIDENT, WHO WAS REALLY HIS FATHER'S

SECOND TERM.

 

THERE HAS BEEN NO MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION FOR 15 AND YOU DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE.

YOU AND MOST OTHER AMERICANS.

any_mouse's picture

POTUS is not directly elected by popular vote. Never was meant to be.

Neither were Senators, but someone did not like that and worked to change the system.

francis scott falseflag's picture

I entioned "popular vote" to point out to those who might not know the meaning of the word MANDATE.

 It implies large popular support.

 

GW Bush, not only acted without a mandate but actually had less votes than Gore.

'So with a 'negative mandate' our Supreme Simpleton rescinded the ABM Treaty,

which had kept Russia and US from a nuclear exchange for 30 years, and dragged

us into a war based on his lies and the lies of the IC.

 


AGuy's picture

"GEORGE W BUSH RESCINDED MAD WHEN HE WITHDREW THE US FROM THE
ABM TREATY. MAD DID KEEP US SAFE FROM 1972 TO 2002"

Exiting ABM Treaty did nothing to keep us safe. MAD is still in effect since any ABM system can be easily defeated by a large Salvo as well as short range missiles, as well as smart warheads that don't fly a pure ballistic trajectory.

The reason why the US pulled out is because smaller powers: India, Pakastan, Iran, & NK had or were in the process of developing ICBMs and Nukes. However these smaller players don't have the means to launch hundreds or thousands as the Russians can. The Smaller nuclear states are not as stable as the bigger states (US, Russia, China). The thought of Religios Zealots in Iran, Israel, Pakastan, and Perhaps KSA keeps me up at night. ABM also provides the means to defend against a rogue or accidental launch (by either side). Better to have the means to shoot down few missiles than to have one land on target and start WW3.

There are no easy or clear answers when it comes to nuclear war defense. Seems to me that WW3 is inevitable and likely will begin after the global depression. Sooner or later no amount of money printing and CB games is going to avoid a crisis. Too much debt, a Demographics cliff, and a rise of socialism in the West. When the Debt bomb explodes it going to trigger a whole lot of people everywhere. The People will choose insane charismatic leaders who make big promises the people, and drive the world into war.

Somewhere there is irony that the West is now embracing Socialism/Communism and the East is embracing capitalism.

land_of_the_few's picture

And, remember them blowing off about "cyber attack will be met by military response/nukes"?

Well then, turns out they were doing most of tbe cyber attacks themselves.

So either:

-they were trying to pull a cash-grab on the publlc to "protect" against cyber / "hybrid" (a Western concept) war - instead most likely just to fund astroturfing hatespeech in Russian media and hamfisted Western hacking in reality,

or-

-They were actually planning on using any old excuse to do a nuclear strike on their rivals. Probably Russia, because they saw the RU defenses were nearing completion.

It's not looking good either way. Either they are lying thieves, or enthusiastic genociders. Or both.

shankster's picture

It's the way of the Big Gubmit.

css1971's picture

Russia have already explicitly stated that an invasion of their territory will elicit a nuclear response.

Ivan de beers's picture

Tyler Alex Jones Durden cool down with the conspiracy theories. Leave some for infowars. No market crash coming and no doomsday coming. 

Bulgars's picture

ZH used to be a nice financial research blog, and it turned into a Russian / Doomsday / Economic Collapse propaganda... and when there is propaganda, there is fake news and money laundering.

Ivan de beers's picture

Fear porn sells views. Views bring in the money. Its a youtube trend

TheEndIsNear's picture

Give Tyler some slack. I like to come here for my daily dose of doom-porn/reality. It's entirely different than the headlines in the local paper, which this week is:

FAMILY CAT PERISHES IN STRUCTURE FIRE!

White Devil's picture

Did your mom get the sausages I mailed her?

ChaoKrungThep's picture

For those morons who like to play with nuclear war scenerios, try Threads, a BBC sponsored docu that proved so horrific it was canned then banned in the UK.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090163/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Bring a vomit bag...

CRM114's picture

'Threads' is pretty realistic (I was a Nuclear Warfare Instructor). Too realistic for popular consumption.

Also very good is the original 'Survivors', written by Terry Nation, about a worldwide epidemic. It too was never repeated, but is obtainable on DVD (Europe region).

https://www.amazon.com/Survivors-1-3-Box-FORMAT-DVDS/dp/B001EVP838

They did a rehash in the 1990s, but it (deliberately) hasn't the shock effect of the original.

theoilyboy's picture

mega-earthquakes, EMPs, stock market collapse, nuclear war, assissination robots, russian nuclear fallout, google tracking you and senators groping you.... that covers today's doom porn pretty well.

shankster's picture

Don't forget deep-fryer turkey explosions.

Kina's picture

As soon as a nuke was invented and tested they were with us forever.

How could you not have one, when you can never be sure if your enemy does.

shankster's picture

Exactly, once the nuclear cat was out of the bag it was out forever because the technology will always exist and the desire of many in power to have nukes will always exist.

any_mouse's picture

MAD was cover to produce more destructive weapons that had greater power, because the CIA told us they had better weapons than us. $$$$ for MIC.

At the same time they were the excuse to park our military throughout Europe, promote political leaders that would suppress Communism and Anti USA activities in their vassal states.

Why? Because the Evil Communists would take our freedoms away, if we did not defend against the Evil Communists.

The freedoms to worship, speak, bear arms, freely associate, etc.

Who really won the Cold War and who were the losers?

thebriang's picture

They are just easing people into the reality that already is. Tactical nukes are already in use, they just haven't told anyone yet.

JDFX's picture

What leader who has nukes isn't going to publicly state they would use them ? 

 

Peace through strength. DJT.

CRM114's picture

 

Has nukes, or say they have nukes?

The Israelis, and the Saudis.

Both will not officially confirm they have them.

South Africa didn't either.

The Iranians may well delay announcing they have them once they acquire them, until there is a direct threat.

Winston Churchill's picture

They've had them since the early 90's according to MI6 and the CIA, if you have the relevant

clearance and need to know.DJT may not have that.

south40_dreams's picture

Love the doomsday porn on Thanksgiving holiday

White Devil's picture

I knew a crazy chick that used to become sexually aroused at the possibility of a nuclear war. She had a Geiger counter collection and would frequently masturbate with a Geiger-Muller tube.

shankster's picture

If you think the US can actually shoot down several ICBM at once ..I've got some water front property on the lunar surface at a sweet price for you too.

yellowsub's picture

How can we have that technology if we don't have any that can't even avoid large cargo ships.

 

JailBanksters's picture

At least it will be a short war, but the effects will be long lasting.

So a Pre-emtive Pre-emtive War might be on the cards unless trump

counters with a Pre-emtive Pre-emtive Pre-emtive War. But my money

is still on the Pentagram to create the First False Flag.

 

libertyanyday's picture

finally a cure for global warming.............KA BOOM !!