Tags: Missile | Nuclear | War

Missile Nuclear War

Tuesday, 28 May 2002 12:00 AM

Many Pentagon critics continue to use the successful Sept. 11 terror attack on America to suggest that the U.S. does not need a sophisticated missile defense system. The critics argue that an expensive missile defense system will be useless against future unconventional strikes against America.

Yet the nation states that have been directly associated with global terrorism are working feverishly to develop some very conventional weaponry aimed at America. The Bush "axis of evil" and friends are working hard to deploy advanced, long-range missiles armed with nuclear warheads. These missiles are pointed at Israel, India, Taiwan and the United States.

Iran announced on May 20 that it test-fired the Shahab-3, a long-range missile capable of reaching Israel and southern Europe. The latest Shahab-3 launch occurred on May 5 in Iran's Semnan region. The Shahab missile is reported to be a duplicate of the North Korean No Dong missile.

The recent Shahab-3 flight is reported to be the fifth successful test of the long-range missile. The 1,000-kilometer flight test was the first full trial of the missile, showcasing substantial advances in engine, warhead and navigation systems.

The Iranian government has carefully hidden the extensive missile program. However, numerous North Korean engineers associated with its No Dong missile program have been inside Iran, assisting Tehran's grab for new long-range weapons.

According to national security sources inside Capitol Hill, Iran has accelerated its missile development program using oil revenue from sales to the West to finance its North Korean-made missile program.

"Iran is trading oil in exchange for missile technology," stated a congressional national security adviser who requested that he not be identified.

"The three main sources of Iranian missile technology are Russia, China and North Korea. The Shahab-3 is reported to be an improved version of the North Korean No Dong missile."

Top Iranian officials pledged further development of the Islamic Republic's missile program. Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani stated that Tehran plans to continue its efforts "to promote the power and precision of the Shahab-3 missile."

Iran's successful test of its Shahab-3 missile has raised fears in Israel about a growing vulnerability to ballistic missile attack. The Israeli Arrow missile defense system continues to suffer delays, and a dispute has halted the anti-missile defense facility at Ein Shemer, in Northern Israel. The Ein Shemer Arrow site was to be completed by mid-2002.

However, a dispute between the Israeli Defense Ministry and local residents concerned about the adverse side effects of the facility's high-frequency radar has brought construction to a standstill. This deadlock has left the north of the country undefended against the new Iranian Shahab-3 missile.

The Bush administration raised concerns with Russia for its support of Iranian efforts to construct a nuclear power plant. The concern is that the nuclear reactor may be used by Tehran to construct atomic warheads for its Shahab-3 missiles. The Bush administration pressed Russian President Putin on this issue, threatening to withhold economic assistance to Moscow unless it reconsiders its nuclear program with Iran.

The Russians have reacted swiftly to allegations of missile assistance by U.S. sources. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov rejected U.S. claims of Moscow's nuclear and missile assistance to Tehran as "groundless."

"Russia sticks firmly to international obligations, and we have repeatedly told the United States this," stated Ivanov.

"Cooperation between Russia and Iran is not of a character that would undermine the process of non-proliferation," said Putin during a recent news conference.

However, Putin quietly told his U.S. counterpart that Russia would work with America on this issue. Bush noted that Putin had agreed to international inspections of Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor to determine whether the Russian-aided project is helping Iran's nuclear weapons program.

In contrast, the Clinton administration paid little more than lip service to confronting the problem of Iranian weapons development. The Clinton administration did no more than denounce a previous test of the Shahab-3, which it said could reach Israel or U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

"We regard their aggressive efforts to develop missile capability as a serious threat," said Clinton's State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker during a State Department news conference.

Pakistan has joined Iran in firing off a series of missile tests, raising tensions with neighboring nuclear rival India. On May 25, Islamabad conducted a high-profile launch of its Guari nuclear-capable medium-range rocket.

The "Guari" test was followed on May 26 by the first public trial of Pakistan' s indigenously developed Hatf-III short-range missile, capable of striking Indian troops massed along the tense border between the two countries. Pakistan also conduced a third missile test, using a 180 kilometer-range Hatf-II missile that was test-fired by the Pakistani army on May 28.

It is well known that Pakistan's source of missile and nuclear weapons technology is China. During the Clinton years, Pakistan reportedly obtained 34 Chinese-made Dong Feng 11 missiles, each reportedly equipped with a 20-kiloton nuclear warhead. The export of the nuclear-tipped missiles by Beijing was a direct violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) signed by China.

According to documents obtained from the Clinton administration, China sold Pakistan the 34 nuclear-tipped DF-11 missiles in 1992. The DF-11 missiles, exported as the M-11, are based at Sargodha air force base, west of Lahore, next to the Pakistani plutonium reactor at Khushab.

The Clinton administration ignored the illegal nuclear weapons sale, only imposing sanctions in August 1993 for "missile parts" exported to Pakistan in violation of the MTCR treaty. The Clinton ban was lifted just prior to a visit to Beijing by Loral aerospace CEO Bernard Schwartz. Schwartz is well known in Democrat Party circles mainly due to the million of dollars in donations that he gave Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In August 1994, Ron Brown wrote a briefing document for Schwartz. That document is one of many from the withheld files of Ron Brown obtained by this author using the Freedom of Information Act. The document is a pre-China briefing report prepared for the Loral CEO in August of 1994 by Commerce and is titled "Background Information."

"EXPORT CONTROLS. Last August [1993], the U.S. imposed sanctions on China for an M-11 missile-related transfer to Pakistan. On January 7, 1994 it was decided that although communications satellites licensed by the State Department are covered by the sanctions law, export licenses for communications satellites licensed by the Department of Commerce may be approved. Two such export licenses for communications satellites were recently approved by the Department of Commerce."

In August 1994 Schwarz met with Chinese Gen. Shen Rong-Jun with the personal approval of then-President Bill Clinton. Gen. Shen eventually would purchase Loral space technology and sell satellite launch systems to Loral with the personal approval of Bill Clinton.

Today, Bush is aware that China continues to be a primary source of illegal missile and nuclear weapons exports. The Bush administration recently imposed sanctions against a Chinese army-owned company, warning Beijing to curb its missile exports.

However, unlike Moscow, Beijing is unwilling to honor its treaties banning such exports and is, in fact, rapidly expanding its own missile forces. Chinese Maj. Gen. Huang Bin, a professor at the PLA's National Defense University and a noted military strategist, recently predicted that China would win a future conflict with Taiwan and defeat any U.S. efforts to assist the island nation.

"From the military angle, the 'crises' in the Taiwan Strait occurring in 1995, 1996, and 1999 were no 'crises' in a military sense. ... Actually, we conducted some military exercises in coordination with the political struggle. In March 1996, we just test-fired some missiles and had no plan to attack Taiwan," wrote Gen. Huang.

"It was true that a U.S. aircraft carrier arrived but suddenly fell back by 200 nautical miles, as Chinese nuclear submarines were operating close to the U.S. aircraft carriers, I think that the United States was somewhat worried because aircraft carriers are not secure against assault. It can be seen from this that Taiwan's reliance on the United States is unreliable and that once its own security is threatened, it will run away at once," noted Gen. Huang.

"Once a military conflict occurs in the Taiwan Strait, the United States certainly will intervene, but the scale will be limited. The U.S. may send several aircraft-carrier battleships, but they will never dare to sail to the Taiwan Strait to get into a dangerous position. It should be known that an aircraft carrier has many blind angles of safety. Missiles, aircraft, and submarines all are means that can be used to attack an aircraft carrier," wrote Gen. Huang.

"The United States likes vain glory; if one of its aircraft carriers should be attacked and destroyed, people in the United States would begin to complain and quarrel loudly, and the U.S. President would find the going harder and harder. The United States is also afraid of China and wants to do everything possible to avoid a war. Of course, if a war broke out, China would be determined to fight and would never flinch," concluded the Chinese general.

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Many Pentagon critics continue to use the successful Sept. 11 terror attack on America to suggest that the U.S. does not need a sophisticated missile defense system.The critics argue that an expensive missile defense system will be useless against future unconventional...
Tuesday, 28 May 2002 12:00 AM
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