The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) mentions some variant of “deter” 279 times. Deterrence is supposedly what today’s nuclear arsenals are about. The idea is that we have enough nuclear weapons so that if an enemy attacked us, we could still destroy them. That standoff, established after the nearly world-ending Cuban Missile Crisis, seems to have worked. Or it’s possible that the reason for no nuclear war in the past 56 years is that nations recognize that destroying the world is in nobody’s interests.
The NPR argues that deterrence requires several new nuclear weapons. What can be confusing about discussions of deterrence is that they take place on several levels. The broadest is that the point of deterrence is to avoid a nuclear war. With a little more detail, we can talk about conventional weapons and nuclear weapons, and the generalities of what it takes to extend American nuclear deterrence to our allies. The deterrence theorists get far down in the weeds of pitting one particular weapon against another. For a reality check, those levels need to be cross-correlated.
If we don’t want a nuclear war, there are a number of things we can do. Eliminating nuclear weapons is one. That would require setting up a strategy to get there and a complicated series of negotiations. I think it could be done, but the Trump administration wouldn’t be able to do it.
Another way to defend against nuclear war would be to convene negotiations to agree on conventions for when the use of nuclear weapons might be appropriate. Limiting or banning various types of delivery vehicles might also be a subject of talks. Making more information available about plans for their use would also be helpful. Information is a key to stabilizing the world against nuclear weapons.
Much of the discussion in the NPR and in discussions I’m seeing on Twitter is at the most detailed level. Here’s one example, from page 7 of the NPR.
While nuclear weapons play a deterrent role in both Russian and Chinese strategy, Russia may also rely on threats of limited nuclear first use, or actual first use, to coerce us, our allies, and partners into terminating a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. Moscow apparently believes that the United States is unwilling to respond to Russian employment of tactical nuclear weapons with strategic nuclear weapons.
This has been called the escalate-to-deescalate strategy. The idea is that Russia would use a small nuclear weapon on an aircraft carrier group or a city like Warsaw or Tallinn. That would prove that they are serious about using nuclear weapons, the United States would shy away from a nuclear response, and Russia would gain an advantage.
The situation that this applies to is where war is in progress between the United States and Russia, and Russia fears losing. So it is some distance down the escalation trail. There are other assumptions that I’ll skip over to focus on why some analysts believe that this is what Russia would do.
Strategists on both sides infer doctrines and intentions from the other’s words and actions. Although some strategies are explicit, others are not. Deterrence is bolstered by clear statements of the retaliation certain actions will bring, but keeping the other side guessing has its own benefits.
Olga Oliker and Andrey Baklitskiy explain how some US analysts have inferred the escalate-to-deescalate strategy. A combination of a paper in a 1999 Russian military journal, particular interpretations of military exercises, Russia’s larger number of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, and Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric lead those analysts to conclude that Russia would use such a strategy. However, the official doctrine does not mention such a strategy, and the other evidence can be interpreted against its existence.
Bruno Tertrais also examines the evidence and comes up with the same conclusion: That the escalate-to-deescalate strategy is not part of Russia’s nuclear doctrine.
But the authors of the NPR believe that it is and that they know the way to counter it. From page 31,
To correct any Russian misperceptions of advantage and credibly deter Russian nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attacks—which could now include attacks against U.S. NC3 [Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications]—the President must have a range of limited and graduated options, including a variety of delivery systems and explosive yields.
And thus (page 55)
DoD and NNSA will develop for deployment a low-yield SLBM warhead to ensure a prompt response option that is able to penetrate adversary defenses.
This option presents a number of problems of its own. For example, once a nuclear exchange starts, it is not clear whether the two sides will distinguish between strikes with lower or higher yields. But those problems are not considered in the NPR.
Let’s move the focus out. We already have flexibility in the yields of existing nuclear weapons. Overall conventional and nuclear deterrence is strong. A new capability is likely to provoke Russia and possibly China to develop new weapons of their own.
Deterrence cannot be numerically measured. Russia has more nonstrategic nuclear weapons, but we have more weapons in storage. The differences come about because of differences in our situations and the history of developing the nuclear arsenals. Russia feels it needs those weapons to defend near its long continental borders; we have weaknesses in our production complex.
There are other similar issues in the NPR. The calculus of deterrence is subjective and can be bent to justify new weapons. Little is said in the document about the arms control agreements that limit the numbers and types of weapons. The likely Russian violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty is met with a proposal for an equally violating American weapon to be developed.
The comparisons are not only of one weapon to another. Nor should all the arguments be of adding or subtracting particular weapons; a broader perspective is needed. That is simply a response to the other side and lacks leadership, either for stronger deterrence or moving away from nuclear weapons. It is a recipe for an arms race and escalation to full nuclear war if armed conflict occurs.
Graphic source. The cartoon is in homage to an earlier one of John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev.
Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.
Nuclear strategy is not for amateurs. The Trump administration gives amateurs a bad name. WASF
If we’re trying to determine yields of weapon(s) used, isn’t it too late to be checking a policy guideline?
And for this:
This is an actual strategy? I have to admit it has left me confused.
The Moar You Know
There is no American deterrence WRT to Russia these days, as Trump would never respond in kind unless they actually attack the US mainland, which will not happen.
There are other nuclear powers out there, though. Hope Vlad’s thought that through.
@Tom Levenson: I would have said “Is an insult to amateurs everywhere.”
This scares the utter crap out of me. Remember when Trump had us drop the MOAB in the caveman part of Afghanistan? He’d be just as tempted to fling a baby nuke.
Given that Russia is willing to violate international law by doing stuff like bombing maternity hospitals in Syria, I can see why the US would need to assume that Russia might blackmail us by nuking smaller areas and threatening to escalate further if we retaliate. There really are no good options if they get desperate enough to do that.
@Corner Stone: That’s part of my point. Russia has not declared it as a strategy, but some American analysts think that is what they would do. The people who wrote the NPR believe it, or at least want to use it as justification for some new toys.
The idea is that Russia would detonate a small nuke to show that it’s really serious, and the United States would be scared off. The argument for the new nukes is that then we wouldn’t be scared off and would detonate a little one of our own on, say, Rostov, and then Russia would be scared off.
I leave the rest to your imagination.
I know I want the author of The Art of the Deal handling this complicated shit for me!
This is insane on so many levels. What is mentioned here appears to assume that the US and Russia are the only nations at war. Are there similar analyses for US v China and Russia v China? How about India v Pakistan or US v Pakistan?
Also, destroying an entire carrier group would seem to be a major tactical action, that would happen in a serious war. Would a response really be limited and measured?
Also, this all reminds me of an odd little news item.
Are new weapons being developed and tested?
@Cheryl Rofer: Well then I am glad I was confused. As it is bugfuck crazy.
If war with Russia every got that bad – bad enough that a city of 1.75 M is attacked with a “small” nuclear weapon – then it doesn’t really matter how “small” it was – NATO would have to respond. Similarly for an attack on a US carrier. “Remember the Maine!” and all that.
Fail Safe was a good book and a decent movie, but it’s hard to see “reasonable” actions like that happening these days.
What does history say? The Atlantic on Able Archer in 1983:
It would be foolhardy for either side to think they know how the other would react, and to assume that the genie can be controlled once it is unleashed…
Thanks for continuing to cover this stuff for us, Cheryl. It’s important.
@Brachiator: I was trying to keep thing simple and focus on the uncertainties of one part of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR, yes, I know) and deterrence.
The NPR reviews US nuclear strategy and the status of its nuclear arsenal. The version I linked to is the unclassified version, but a classified one has presumably been prepared, with more detail.
The US’s only real enemy to which these complicated deterrence analyses apply is Russia. North Korea makes noise, but they know that if they launch a nuke at us first, their country is gone. The discomfort on our side is that they deter us by having their artillery trained on Seoul and whatever nuclear missiles that may be trained on Japan, Guam, and the mainland. It’s not much said in the sophisticated policy circles, but being deterred is felt to be for wimps. I look at it as common sense.
@Cheryl Rofer: Also, a stray comment you made in an earlier thread about Trump making up with Australia intrigued me. I didn’t know about the recent visit by the Australian prime minister. And in the end, it seemed as though this prime minister was eager to kiss Trump’s butt.
The Australian press had an article about what Trump wants from Australia. Some of this appears to be a show of force with respect to North Korea and China.
I wondered whether Trump has a coherent foreign policy. I don’t know if it is coherent, but he keeps coming back to the same themes. He wants to show China and Korea that we ar tough, and he wants other nations to pony up more for world defense, with the US dictating global strategy.
Probably not, but it looks like the crew of that sub did something that we’re not being told about, and they’re proud of it.
Maybe Trump could get the guy who did the fireworks for his and Melania’s wedding reception to run our nuclear weapons program. A good guy. A smart guy. The best.
@Brachiator: To the extent that Trump’s foreign policy is coherent, it is the policy of bullying other nations to bend them to our (his) will. Ultimately, it’s not going to work with enemies, and it will piss off allies. We can hope it doesn’t end in nuclear war.
@Steeplejack: Its Jared’s next assignment after he is done with bringing peace to the Middle East.
@Cheryl Rofer: The school yard bully foreign policy won’t work.
Makes sense. This stuff is, I suppose, standard procedure. The presumption is that Trump listens to the people who prepare this material and follows their advice. But I wonder whether he and his people have any big ideas that would shift from past policy.
I freely admit that this stuff is way over my pay grade. I am just looking for some sign that the Trump Administration approaches these area with some understanding and sensitivity.
@Steeplejack: He’s going to be very strong on this issue, very, very strong. He’ll be looking strongly at how we can do this. We’re going to do something, believe me, and it’s going to be very strong.
MAD was an insane strategy, but somehow it worked because Khrushchev and JFK were sensible people
Now? “Sensible” and our vacant headed C in C have never shared a zip code.
Nobody’s nuclear strategy foresaw a narcissistic, self-centered, mendacious, empty-headed four year old in charge
This is very, very scary
T is not the only North American head of government who has been committing foreign policy faux pas. Trudeau did not win over India with his Indian fancy dress while openly embracing Khalistani terrorists.
Barkha Dutt’s Wash Post op-ed.
a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio)
Cheryl, I am assuming you saw this, which kept popping up for me on Twitter these past few days. Any thoughts?
@The Moar You Know:
Actually, I think that modern war would have to include contingencies for attacking carrier groups, which is how lethal force is often delivered, and also attacking allied bases that might be used to deploy a nation’s forces.
But this is just wild ass guessing on my part, but I could see a lot of modern war taking place away from the mainland of the countries at war.
WELL THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WE DIDN’T ELECT THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.
@Chyron HR: We did save our selves from neo-liberalism though!
No,the dopes skipped that step and opted for ultimate evil.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
When I first started looking at this evil shit nearly 40 years ago, the first thing that occurred to me was that those who advocated the ability of first use typically weren’t stakeholders in any initial exchange. They’d be safely ensconced in a safe CP somewhere, unaffected by the massive scale of the carnage of failed diplomacy, the consequences of which had escalated beyond rational control.
The other thing which bugged me (and which did come out in a couple of late 80s to mid 90s fiction about limited nuclear war) was that none of the advocates of escalate to de-escalate style policies demonstrated any sort of awareness of social psychology and the economic and political circumstances which emerge from a limited nuclear exchange.
Imagine the American public after the loss of a carrier battle group, a port or two, or an airbase in Guam or Japan.
@efgoldman: Uh. Khrushchev sent more nukes to Cuba than we knew. Kennedy put nukes in Turkey that goaded Khrushchev to that move. Fortunately, when faced with the probability of blowing up the world, both backed off.
Even so, as you note, it was better than today’s situation.
@a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): I have been thinking of writing a post about that. What is most interesting to me is that the intelligence folks are making much more information available than they did in the past.
As far as Russia doing a false flag to make it look like North Korea hacked the Olympics, that is the kind of thing Russia does these days.
Christ, tactical nukes again? That’s so 1980s. The unofficial Russian doctrine they’re hallucinating looks more like a ruse to distract from the more effective weapons Putin’s recently developed, namely cybercrime and targeting the greed and vanity of western politicians. Of couse, we’ve helped weaponize these ourselves with things like Citizens United. Unlike the Soviets, this Russia seems to be driven by ethnocentrism and greed, not ideology, and doesn’t aspire to liberating Europe from the evils of capitalism. They like shiny BMWs and luxury apartments in the Med more than crappy ZiLs and dachas outside Moscow, and nukes would screw that up. They want the world to be a safe place for mobsters, not the proletariat. I think they’re mostly scared of us taking their turf, which we could avoid by leaving them alone (except for kicking their stooges out of our government).
Not only that but we have a handbag designer putting the North Koreans in their place.
I’m so sick of all this winning.
a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio)
@Cheryl Rofer: It seemed odd to me that they were so up-front about that–I figured we were at the point where the Russians were poking into everything they could find these days, on the grounds that you never knew if it might be useful or not–and what’s the point paying all those hackers if they weren’t busy hacking?
I believe the end result of that is best summed up as “Nukes Fall, everyone dies”.
Russia isn’t stupid enough to forget all the other nuclear powers.
You mean Tony Schwartz? He seems pretty smart and level-headed to me. Let’s swap Donny the Slut for Tony!
Not really. It presumed that national leaders with nuclear weapons were not fucking crazy. Given the circumstances at the time, it was really the best possible option out of a lot of bad ones.
Of course, this presumed that crazies would not eventually take over…..
The thought is grand, I’m pretty sure though that this is a fools game. They have demonstrated since day one and time and time again that understanding and sensitivity are non existent in drumpf world and that if someone, somewhere suggests anything that might be construed to have any at all, it will be rapidly squashed.
And how would that work? Missile, briefcase, or cargo hold?
Firing a missile would pretty much start Wargames live action.
Briefcase or cargo bomb would probably trigger a terrorism search first. Any State actor behind it would be traced back by the radiation signature of the nuclear core……Oh.
I trust this is sarcasm.
Sorry, couldn’t resist the fix.
Exactly. Doesn’t preclude the dumb shit either did first.
@TenguPhule: It would be via missile or bomber. Russia would want it to be unambiguously theirs to send the message.
One of the things that bothers me about these byzantine strategies is that the theme of “sending a message” runs through it. Russia would nuke a carrier group to send a message. Then we would nuke Rostov to send a message.
As Rikyrah says
“Hey there, North Korea. Nice little country you’ve got. Be a shame if anything bad happened to it. Now agree to beat the slave wage prices China is giving me for making my shitty stolen designer goods or you’ll see Phase II. Motherfucker.”
@Hoodie: Wait until you see the Missile Defense Report, which should come out in a week or so! Here’s a response in the Twitter conversation to the discussions so far of the leaks about it.
And China, France, India, Pakistan and Great Britain would presumably be adopting a wait and see attitude towards all of this instead of immediately trying to get their nukes launched in this scenario dreamed up by conservative lunatics?
Not knocking on you, Cheryl, just noting as others have that these stupid people have forgotten a bunch of other countries have nuclear weapons too.
Followed by Ivanka getting slapped in the face by two women with VX on their hands.
This whole post is a reminder that there are people whose job is to game out military procedure way past the point it makes sense. That’s a thing we should do, but hoo boy, has this crossed that line. I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin would use a tactic like that… in the incredibly unlikely situation of a major military war between our nations. That’s a gigantic, reality-warping counterfactual, and gets us into weird po ker scenarios where no additional type of weapon will ever have more importance than the psychological standoff between leaders.
Trump did not do that. It was a rare but conventional tactic already ordered that he had nothing to do with. The man is too chickenshit to escalate like that, thank goodness. But somebody in the media heard ‘mother of all bombs’ and the entire punditariat has a simultaneous orgasm.
I know we’ve established that it’s possible to have no more fucks left to give. Is it similarly possible to run out of I-can’t-evens? Because I’m at that point today. Everything Trump-related is hitting my last nerve.
Yes, by all means let’s “bulk up” our already dangerously overstretched (and expensive) hard power while we piss away our soft power at a fire-hose rate: TPP scuttled, no ambassador in Seoul (or Singapore, last I heard), State Department being dismantled from within, Trump so far unsuccessful in any trade deals with anyone in Asia, Don Jr. giving off-the-cuff policy speeches in between pimping condos, Ivanka briefing the South Koreans in between glamming it up at the Olympics, etc., ad nauseam. Grr.
That sends a goddamn message about American power to friends and foes around the region.
@Tom Levenson: We know Trump is the kind of person who would charge into a building erupting in gunshots, even if he isn’t properly armed…
And it will show Jhina what’s what!
Russia, eh, we don’t talk about that.
No Drought No More
“Thius is not a left-right thing”.
Nicole Wallace said that a few minutes ago re. Trump Inc. and the nation’s security. Wallace- a person who has only recently come to my attention, and seems otherwise sensible enough- is wrong about that, and/or in denial. She still clings to the memory of her former party as being, somehow, intrinsically foreign to the 2018 GOP corpse that appalls her.
Wallace ought to think back to Bob Dole’s gracious concession speech in 1996. It was so gracious, in fact, that it drew a loud and angry reaction from much of the assembled republican loyalists. Wallace surely remembers that. Libby was appalled, and shook her head disapprovingly at them, but it didn’t matter anymore.
I also wonder: who does she think Dick Cheney is?
Learning of a giant bomb with a kewhl name must have pleased Trump like a 6 YO discovering his new birthday skateboard. I remain curious about his reaction when the navy told him we have boats that drive underwater.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Hillary was a worse warmonger, and would have kept up the neoliberal consensus.
Doesn’t this sound familiar.
They lie ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
I doubt that Putin, or any other leader or their military or strategists gamed out a pre-schooler and a bunch of incompetents in the WH
@No Drought No More: You’re mis-characterizing her comment on WH security clearances. She was calling out Ryan and other R leaders at why they weren’t doing anything.
And you would be wrong.
That’s the one thing every leader on Earth is doing non-stop behind closed doors right now.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
And she would have ridden in to the WH on a pale horse.
I am starting to feel like the scared kid I was in the early 60’s. Just Sunday my sister was talking about a book she just read: Daniel Elsberg’s new book The Doomsday Machine. I just checked it out on Amazon but don’t know if I can read it and ever sleep again. It’s a fascinating story of how the book was written in the first place and why it took so long – The Pentagon Papers was just supposed to be a lead up to it.
The thing that stuck with me from my conversation was that when Elsberg first saw Dr. Strangelove, he gasped “This is a documentary!” Apparently he is saying that the Nuclear Football, which could only be used by the president, is just a prop and there are any number of potential Gen Jack D Rippers who could launch a nuclear strike.
That’s just one thing. Reading Chery’s post just brought all that back to me.
Any comments on that book?
@Steeplejack: What Marines? Clay soldiers like in ancient China? Paper equipment like WW2 Britain?
Okinawa has some, Guam has some, Hawaii has some.
Sure it would leave us naked, but the bodies are there if he wants them.
Digby dug up a quote (from Trump himself) which reveals just how brave he would have been at Parkland:
A man falls and bleeds so Trump turned away, and worried about the disgusting blood on his beautiful marble floor.
ETA: I just noticed that although it was nothing to do with the story, Trump had to mention about the man “a lot of people didn’t like him”. Completely irrelevant, but Trump had to tell us anyway.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: …and she had an email server in her basement.
@cintibud: The distributed authority that Ellsberg talks about was the case in the 1960s, but no longer. It’s solely up to the man in the White House, which is no longer good news. We did learn some things from the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Thank God we have Trump, he’d never do that*.
*He’s afraid of horses.
This is gonna be trouble when the decision comes down. 2018 and 2020 GOTV and fundraising are gonna get hurt when the Unions get assassinated by proxy.
Like there’s any doubt how the stolen justice will vote
@Cheryl Rofer: Thanks Cheryl, any comment on anything else in the book? I don’t know how Ellsberg is regarded these days – Is he respected or considered a crank? (I know, probably both)
Now? Sure. The previous 20-30-40-50 years not so much.
Pretty certain they just dusted off the Bush Jr. scenarios and adjusted them downwards for rationality and intelligence.
Partly. These plans seem to be standard operating procedure. We don’t know, or haven’t heard, whether anyone wants to seriously revise or scrap them.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@TenguPhule: Think this might help Union folks who have been squishy on Dems remember how Republicans treat their right to organize? Yeah, I didn’t either.
To reclarify: He didn’t really mean that he’d “be a leader.” Rather that he wants to recapture the high that time when he descended the golden escalator to say he would run.
@cintibud: I have not read the book. So many books, so little time. I did enjoy the film, “The Post,” in which he figures prominently, but with respect to the Pentagon Papers.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
I’ve long said that the entitled, useless, ignorant bloated fuck is emotionally incapable of personal sacrifice.
Ugh, the thought of what Twitler will do when his approval ratings really crater is scary as shit. It’s just like him to think that since so many of our idiot pundits praised him for the completely idiotic and wasteful bombing of a Syrian airfield that the way to get back into their good graces is to throw a Really Big Bomb at somebody. Since he appears fascinated with nukes that seems like where his mind would go.
Meanwhile, I am still worried about the stories a few months ago about Russian submarines hanging around the data cables at the bottom of the Atlantic connecting the US and Europe. If they went out, there would be cyber chaos. Hopefully the sub with the Jolly Roger was doing something about that.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: Do black people still exist?
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon:
The Average White Midwest blue collar voter:
“Sure, it’s harder to organize in order to improve my pay and working conditions. On the other hand, they’re progun, antigay, anti-woman and colored is gonna know it’s place and shut the hell up.”
O/T but I needed cheering up. This is cut and pasted from a Tumblr user named gallustrostomegalus, because I don’t know how to embed posts from there:
@TenguPhule: I have a really hard time believing anyone could decide that the law demands that…. unions protect and benefit ALL workers, but those same workers don’t have to pay or contribute to that protection.
But then, at least 4 of our Supreme Court Justices are more interested in hurting Democrats than they are in Justice, so it makes complete sense.
@schrodingers_cat: There’s been a lot of push-back on that point of view, mostly from journalists in the area (i.e. not Canadian) who call it bullshit, and point out that the person in question has a) been rehabilitated in the eyes of the law in India, and b) works with the government now. Also, most of the noise in NA has originated with bullshit Canadian RWNJ organs like the Toronto Sun, 689 Talk Radio, and Rebel Media.
I personally would really like it if the authorities here investigated Ezra Levant for possibly taking Russian and US money; there’s no reason to think Canada’s been exempt from ru/rw ratfscking, and in fact Trudeau and his domestic popularity are probably their biggest problems in portraying their inevitability.
For example, despite the attempts to portray his townhall tour as a failure, that has simply not flown with the vast majority of Canadians who remember all too well Harper’s allergy to dealing with mere citizens. They’ve been reduced to trying to take part of a joke out of context, selectively editing it, and trying to nail it to the wall; it hasn’t gone so well as when you look at their posts usually you find multiple replies with pointers to the entire publicly available video queued up to the moment in question and saying “this is bullshit” in more or less words. Oh, and trying to make fun of his socks, hair, and history as a teacher. It’s not working very well outside the fevered swamp; mostly it’s cementing the large middle’s dislike of the Reformatory party.
Relatedly, kinda sorta. Florida Man strikes again:
(via LOLGOP on Twitter)
@MisterForkbeard: Anyone want to bet where Gorsuch comes down on this?
Aww. That’s cute.
Nothing Trump says means anything that the words actually say.
Can you imagine President Obama’s spokesperson trying to excuse this level of bullshit?
The Ministry of Truth.
@Another Scott: Wasn’t Florida Man reserved for stupid weird acts? Not just good old fashioned snarking?
They’ve done it in over 20 states. “Right to Work as a Free rider”.
Bribery is gonna become part of the government service requirements soon. If you want anything done, you’re gonna have to pay the workers handling it for you, because for damn sure the government isn’t going to be paying them enough to make it worth their time.
Oh, please. When that day comes, I’ll still be laughing at his remark earlier today about rushing into a school shooting even if unarmed. Speaking of, why doesn’t he rush in empty handed and just steal North Korea’s nuclear weapons? Is he afraid or something?
@polyorchnid octopunch: Barkha Dutt* is not Canadian, she is an Indian journalist who is quite unpopular with the ruling BJP.
Another article from a decidedly non RWNJ Indian publication about Twitter reaction to the Trudeau trip
I am sure JT means well, he is good looking and so is his family but fwiw the entire dress-up bit comes across as a bit condescending. YMMV.
Indian government was not happy with the Atwal invitation. He was later uninvited to the Canada House party.
* I linked to her op-ed in Wash Post.
@polyorchnid octopunch: Article from the Guardian
Ellsburg supports Snowden, if that’s any indication.
Or for Johnny Depp. :-)
Not impressed by Donald J. Trump’s negotiation skills demonstrated so far as POTUS. He has an wide-open opportunity for a seriously-Nobel-peace-prize-worthy negotiation win with North Korea. He should pursue it. IMO. (Being serious here BTW.)
Indian Nationalists were playing their own political games with Trudeau’s visit.
Alain the site fixer
@Frankensteinbeck: oh, you can now write poker! And casino. And Cialis. And….
@schrodingers_cat: So, the twitter reaction article. Now, take a look at who Candace Malcolm works for. She is not disinterested. She has been part of the Canadian RWNJ propaganda contingent for years. She’s part of the machinery attempting to do to Trudeau in Canada what’s been done to Hillary in the US.
Now, as far as Mr. Satwal is concerned, here is a Canadian source talking about Satwal and India: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/02/22/trudeau-says-convicted-sikh-extremist-should-not-have-been-invited-to-event-in-india.html Money quotes here:
This is being run as an operation in an attempt to get rid of Trudeau and his overarching message of diversity making countries stronger and more peaceful. The more successful we are here in Canada at managing these things well (and we take in on a per-capita basis far more refugees and immigrants than the US does), the more we show up the reactionaries that currently run the show in your country.
@schrodingers_cat: Yeah… that looks mostly like people criticising sartorial choices. I’m yawning here. We have multi-culti here as a policy for a reason. I’d like to recommend some of John Ralston Saul’s books on Canadian political history and political philosophy (a lot of which is good even if a lucky accident of history for those of us here now) to get an idea of how it works here. It’s actually very very different from how it works in the US.
Did they actually say that, or were they advocating for massive spending increases in “cyber capabilities”. (Hate that adjective, more when used as a noun.)
@Jay: I think it’s important to remember that Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of Defence and an Af-Pak veteran is Sikh, as is the current leader of the New Democratic Party. These are both major firsts in Canadian politics, and show how truly truly differently we handle immigration and integration here in Canada; we don’t have random gun nut bigots shooting up Sikh temples, instead they’re made Minister of Defence and and get elected to run one of the three major political parties.
There are a lot of people (including a lot of powerful individuals in Russia and the US) that want this to end because it makes them look like the oligarchic bigots that they are.
@polyorchnid octopunch: I am looking at this from the Indian POV, not the Canadian POV. The articles I linked to with the exception of the last one in the Guardian are all from the Indian media. From what I have seen it looks like JT used his Indian trip as a stage to score points back home while ignoring what his hosts wanted.
I remember the Kanishka hijacking and General Vaidya’s and Mrs Gandhi’s assassination. The world doesn’t revolve around the concerns of western countries alone.
@schrodingers_cat: I have to say, not being Indian or clued in on Canadian politics, it does seem like kind of an unfair hitjob. Just an observation.
The NPR seems to say that the administration is willing to respond to cyberattacks with nuclear force, but the administration has said that it would have to be a very bad cyberattack. They’re still figuring it out.
Overall, expert opinion is that this NPR lowers the bar somewhat for the US to retaliate to conventional attacks with nukes.
@Corner Stone: I am not clued into Canadian politics either and I shared your opinion when I first started following the story. JT’s domestic politics may be noble but he seems to have used the India trip as a stage for his domestic politics. That is borderline offensive.
The Sikh separatist movement of the 1980s took a lot of lives, and it was an era political turmoil with many assassinations, including that of a prime minister. It would be like a US president inviting to go along with him in his delegation to the UK someone from the IRA, who was accused of attempted murder back in Britain.
@schrodingers_cat: Yeah, my point on that one is that the Canadian person used in the twitter article from the actual India newspaper is a rwnj. They are looking for a narrative and glommed onto a partisan actor pretending to be a journalist (Sun had a short-lived cable news network called, and I shit you not, Fox News North). They either got used by Canadian domestic partisan interests or they happily worked with it. All the rest of them are about sartorial choices on a family vacation… and most of them are hitting the same kind of points that the reactionary Canadian right does here (PM Selfie etc). Sorry, I’m not taking that article at face value… esp. given Modi’s well-documented reactionary proclivities.
It’s not like Modi and the BNP don’t do reactionary ethnic politics. And who is scroll.in really?
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Oh, look, a US company headed by a person living in Massachusetts. Yeah, definitely an Indian source.
This seems like a big error, but even the author of the article you cited noted that Trudeau appeared to be blindsided by one of his own people. He will have to learn from this.
Seems like a lot of people were trying to score points. But it does not appear that he was trying to offend, which is not the case with all leaders on these kinds of semi-staged events.
@schrodingers_cat: Yeah, you know, the one that as pointed out in the TorStar article above has a good working relationship with the Indian consulate in Vancouver and who was taken off the travel blacklist some time back by elements within the Indian government. And yeah, ’cause you know, there’s no examples of exactly that sort of thing in US politics: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/04/AR2011030406635.html
Yup, and there’s no shortage of “useful idiots” in the Canadian Media piling on.
It’s not hurting Trudeau’s numbers any.
Heh. That’s a damming data point
Yeah, Florida Man is stupid. Florida Man does not do trolling or nuance of any kind.
@Brachiator: May be not. I want to like him too. I would trade our Orange person for JT any day. You know who was really good at this sort of a thing without seeming that they were trying too hard, Barack and Michelle. They charmed everyone on their India visits. I miss those two.
@Mary G: Oh, ha ha, that is WONDERFUL news, because black cats (and dogs!) are usually the *last* to get adopted! And LOL at the “Killmonger” anecdote!
@polyorchnid octopunch: I defer to your superior knowledge of Canadian politics but Canadian politics is not the only thing at play here.
@TenguPhule: And then we’re right back to where we were in the Gilded Age, before the civil service acts were passed. Feature, not bug!
@Miss Bianca: Everything old is new again!
Yep. Absolutely agree on this point.
J R in WV
I saw this story at the time, it’s fascinating not to have a clue what that means.
I forget if there was also a broom, which means a clean sweep, used all weapons to good effect. But the Jolly Roger on a Navy vessel?!!
But the Jimmy Carter isn’t a boomer… not that it can’t ‘deliver a special weapon, but it’s primary purpose is espionage, black ops, SEALS, other spook stuff. So probably it means mission accomplished with no weapons used. Just a guess.
I was aboard subs a little bit, but they were ’50s era diesel boats, and I was an E-2. Not an O-anything… I do know what diesel boats smelled like after a mission, not with depth charges and explosions, just after being at sea. I hope the nukes smell better, being out for months rather than weeks.
J R in WV
Well, then, you are just shit out of luck!!