Thursday, November 08, 2012

Cold War II is Back, Almost

Within two years China is expected to begin deploying  a fleet of nuclear missile subs.  Nuclear missile  subs or "boomers"in Soviet, American and British fleets were a hallmark of Cold War I.  Many credit their unstoppable retaliatory capability with underwriting the MAD (mutually assured destruction) reality that dampened both sides' appetite for nuclear war.

China in the meantime remains "the most threatening" power in cyberspace and presents the largest challenge to U.S. supply chain integrity, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in a draft of its 2012 report to the U.S. Congress.
China is alone among the original nuclear weapons states to be expanding its nuclear forces, the report said. The others are the United States, Russia, Britain and France.

Beijing is "on the cusp of attaining a credible nuclear triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and air-dropped nuclear bombs," the report says.

...The deployment of a hard-to-track, submarine-launched leg of China's nuclear arsenal could have significant consequences in East Asia and beyond. It also could add to tensions between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies.
Any Chinese effort to ensure a retaliatory capability against a U.S. nuclear strike "would necessarily affect Indian and Russian perceptions about the potency of their own deterrent capabilities vis-à-vis China," the report said, for instance.

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