Friday, October 15, 2021

Russia, China and the New Global Multipolar Reality

At the recent Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDP) which was held in Moscow, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made some very interesting comments about the current state of global geopolitics and how it is evolving.  Here are some of the interesting excerpts with all bolds being mine.

  

1.) The multipolar world - The current stage in global development consists of a transition to a global multipolarity, which has been going on for many years now. This transition from a US-led model with the West at its core to a more democratic and sustainable world order will take a long time.

 

2.) The shift in the geopolitical centre of gravity - Everyone understands that as far as international affairs and development are concerned, the centre of gravity is shifting from the Euro-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific, and Eurasia as its essential component. International relations are becoming increasingly inclusive and open to a diverse mix of influences. It builds on a multitude of intertwined factors such as development and statehood models, political traditions, cultural and civilisational codes, and much more. All these processes need to be conceptualised. One thing is clear. The traditional balance of power will not bring about a sustainable and lasting solution to this issue. What we need is a balance of interests.

 

3.) Washington's current strategy - One of the fashionable trends today is the US-invented Indo-Pacific strategies embodied in the foursome QUAD – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – and the recent creation of the bloc [known as] AUKUS. All of this tends to erode the universal formats in the APR, which have existed for the last few decades under the ASEAN aegis and have been ASEAN-centric....The Indo-Pacific concept is aimed at breaking up this system that relied on the need to respect the indivisibility of security and has openly proclaimed that its chief objective is containing China.

 

4.) Russia's current foreign policy - The goal of our current policy, which has been formalised in the Foreign Policy Concept approved by President Putin, is to create maximally favourable external conditions for our internal development in terms of security, economic objectives, the social situation of our citizens and the improvement of our positions within the country. Unlike the United States – trust me that this is so indeed – we have no ideological likes and dislikes, or any taboos in relations with our foreign partners. This is our methodological and practical advantage, because it allows us to play an active mediation role during the settlement of conflicts, which we consider important to keep on our agenda, to maintain contact with all the players without exception when it comes to both irreconcilable state entities and to antagonists within the countries in the flames of conflict.

 

Russia's leadership is very aware of Washington's shift to the Far East, particularly driven by its dislike for China.  

  

If we want to get a sense of how Russia views China and its relationship with Taiwan, a key sticking point in the relationship between Washington and Beijing, here is a key exchange from a brief press conference held following Lavrov's visit to Kazakhstan on October 12, 2021:

 

Question: What does Russia think about the actions of China, which has recently resumed its attempts to reunite with Taiwan? Do we see them as a threat to regional security?

 

Sergey Lavrov: Russia, like the overwhelming majority of other countries, considers Taiwan to be part of the People's Republic of China. We have proceeded and will proceed from this premise in our foreign policy.

  

As background, Taiwan has diplomatic relations with only 15 nations as follows:

 

 

Taiwan also has substantial ties with Australia, Canada, EU nations, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. 

  

Let's close this posting with this exchange from a recent press conference held with China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian which was held on October 8, 2021:

  

Shenzhen TV: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently said that by putting forward an Indo-Pacific strategy and creating the Quad mechanism and the AUKUS security partnership, the US intends to undercut the decades-old ASEAN-centered cooperation model. Such a strategy towards handling regional politics is aimed at openly containing China and undermining the existing system. Does the Chinese side have a comment?

 

Zhao Lijian: That's very well-put indeed! Foreign Minister Lavrov's views reflect the shared concern of the vast majority of ASEAN countries. The US Indo-Pacific strategy, AUKUS and Quad are all closed and exclusive cliques informed by the Cold War zero-sum mentality with strong military security undertones. They will spur regional arms race, aggravate tension, and undermine regional unity and cooperation. The US practice of ganging up against a third party runs counter to regional countries' common aspiration to seek shared development through dialogue and cooperation and advance regional integration. It wins no hearts and has no future. Many ASEAN countries have questioned and opposed these moves to various degrees.

 

The ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture is consistent with East Asian tradition and realistic needs. It is of great significance for enhancing regional countries' solidarity, cooperation and common development, and should be cherished and consolidated. Regional countries should be on high alert for any attempt to weaken and hollow ASEAN centrality and jointly reject all erroneous practices that violate international fairness and justice, create division and stoke confrontation in the region.

  

...and, finally this:

 

The US should abandon the obsolete Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow geopolitical notions, and stop such erroneous practice (cooperating with Australia over the acquisition of nuclear submarines) that undermine regional peace, stability and development.

 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

California's Latest Answer to Climate Change

Recent legislation from California shows the world just how thoroughly the political left has swallowed the climate change KoolAid.  Let's look at the bill that Governor Gavin Newsom passed into law on October 9, 2021.

 

Here is Assembly Bill 1346 in its entirety:

 




The bill proposes that by July 1, 2022, the state board will adopt cost-effective and technically feasible regulations to prevent engine exhaust and emissions from new small off-road engines (SORE) (i.e. generators, lawn mowers, leaf blowers etcetera) with the regulations to be applied to engines produced on or after January 1, 2024 or as soon as the state board determines its feasibility, whichever is later.

 

Here is the history of Assembly Bill Number 1346 as it evolved into law:

 

Here is the analysis of AB 1346 with key points highlighted:

 



 

Notice that the following very important issues that have not yet been considered by California's decision makers:

 

1.) Legislators in California have not considered the impact of increased demand for electricity for the charging of the batteries for this equipment.

 

2.) The high cost of battery-operated commercial equipment and the fact that multiple batteries will be required which will need frequent recharging and replacement.

 

3.) Banning the sales of new internal combustion small engine equipment could result in the prolonged use of older, dirtier engines and the purchase of equipment from out-of state.

 

4.) The State of California will be obliged to fund a program that will provide incentive funding to implement zero-emission small off-road equipment purchases.

  

5.) The availability of zero-emission commercial equipment of this type is basically unknown.

 

The state legislators in California are making the same illogical decisions that are plaguing the rest of the world when politicians try to create a so-called green economy.  While the equipment itself may not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, the electricity to charge this equipment has to come from somewhere and the sun doesn't shine every day and the wind doesn't blow every day.  As well, there is a significant carbon footprint to the mining of lithium batteries, the current element used in rechargeable batteries.

  

As is typical of governments, talk is cheap but the cost of their actions will cost small businesses, particularly in the landscaping sector, a great deal of money and may result in very little impact on greenhouse gas emissions.  But, then again, given Gavin Newsom's links to the World Economic Forum at its Great Reset movement, why should anyone be surprised at this move?

 


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Saudi Arabia 4th Industrial Revolution

While the mainstream media would love for us to believe that the World Economic Forum's Fourth Industrial Revolution aka the Great Reset is nothing more than a conspiracy theory cooked up by tinfoil hat-wearing wing nuts, there is one very clear cut example of the implementation of a new economic reality in the world.

  

In this posting, we'll look at the links between the World Economic Forum and Saudi Arabia.  Let's start with this screen capture from the WEF's "Special Meeting on the Middle East in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Overview" which was to be held in Saudi Arabia on April 5th and 6th, 2020:



If you look through the entire document, you will notice that there is not a single mention of human rights since apparently Saudi Arabia's abysmal record on human rights is immaterial when it comes to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 

On July 28, 2021, Saudi Arabia inaugurated the nation's Fourth Industrial Revolution Center in partnership with the World Economic Forum at the first Saudi forum for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Riyadh which was attended by WEF founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab.  

 

Here is the announcement the inauguration on the KSA government's website:

  

Here is an excerpt from the announcement with my bold:

 

"Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Eng. Abdullah Amer Al-Sawahah announced today the inauguration of the 4th Industrial Revolution Center in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF).


This was on the sidelines of the first Saudi Forum for the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is organized by KACST at its headquarters with the participation of the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, a number of ministers and officials, and a group of local and international speakers.


The inauguration of the center comes within the support and empowerment of research, development, and innovation system in Saudi Arabia by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.


For his part, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, congratulated Saudi Arabia on inaugurating the 4th Industrial Revolution Center, which aims to harness new technologies with the best principles of flexible governance, which need government, business, and civil society together to make technology a force for good and ensure that society benefits from it.

 

The forum had four sessions as follows:

  

1.) Harnessing the techniques of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to serve the development and the application of flexible governance between the government, business sector, and civil society.

 

2.) Enabling Fourth Industry Techniques for Industrial Transformation and Increased Productivity, Sustainability, and Innovation”

 

3.) Shaping the future of transportation and enacting policies to avoid obstacles to self-driving vehicles and drones

  

4.) Using Fourth Industrial Revolution Techniques to Build Health Systems Capable of Facing Future Crises

 

 

Here is the lead page for the website of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's (KSA) Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aka C4IR KSA:

 


...and, just in case you would happen to think that the KSA's choice of the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" moniker is merely coincidental, you will notice this in the top left-hand side of the webpage:

 


Saudi Arabia's C4IR not a think-tank, rather it is:

 

"...a do tank to advance the benefits of 4IR in Saudi Arabia through the development and implementation of practical and adaptive protocols for the governance of emerging technologies."

  

C4IR KSA is one of many WEF Affliliate centers around the globe that form the C4IR Network, connecting centers across the globe to catalyze international collaborative efforts towards concert multi-stakeholder output fo route development and testing of scalable technology governance frameworks, whatever that may mean.

  

Here are the objections of C4IR KSA:

 

(1) Optimize the technological benefits from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to accelerate the implementation of robust protocols for the governance of emerging 4IR technologies 

 

(2) Engage with key public-private sector stakeholders to co-design and pilot innovative approaches for the adoption and governance of 4IR technologies. 

 

(3) Empower the 4IR capabilities landscape by building national talents through hands-on international collaborations with the global C4IR network of partners.

 

Given Klaus Schwab's fixation on the mitigation of climate change, one wonders how on earth the world's largest producer of oil fits into his grand vision of a hydrocarbon-free, Greta Thunberg-approved world.  At the Forum's session on "Acclerating Clean Energy Transformation", Saudi Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stated the following:

 

"We can use the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to observe energy transition and reach goals for reduction of greenhouse emissions, whether it is increasing efficiency and use of renewables like wind and solar power, or the development of new fuel sources like blue and green hydrogen."

  

Here are some additional quotes from the Forum which are very reminiscent of issues that are discussed on the World Economic Forum's website:

 

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the basics of human life, and the Kingdom has achieved good, significant and outstanding results in several sectors related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and it is leading many sectors in the world....Saudi Arabia has human resources that enable the Kingdom to become an engine for digital transformation in energy with the presence of the younger generation, and most importantly, for the benefit of humanity as a whole, not just Saudi Arabia. The Internet of Things allowed us to monitor and transport oil."

 

In the recent past, he has claimed that Saudi Arabia wants to become another Germany when it comes to renewable energy as shown in this quote from January 2021:

  

"We're working with so many countries on green hydrogen and blue hydrogen and ... I could say that we will be pioneering more of that blue hydrogen and green hydrogen...We would be converting 50 per cent of our power sector's fuel into gas, and the rest will be coming from renewables.  In tandem with that, we will be saving thousands and hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that are going to waste, that we could export....We [as] Saudi Arabia [are] a staunch believer of [the] Paris Agreement. And we will do everything as a government to enable our government companies to achieve their targets,"

  

Let's close this posting with this definition from the World Economic Forum:

  

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organisations create value and even what it means to be human. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centred future. The real opportunity is to look beyond technology, and find ways to give the greatest number of people the ability to positively impact their families, organisations and communities."

 

So, as you can see, whether we like it or not, the World Economic Forum's vision of a future technological utopia has already been adopted wholeheartedly by at least one nation.  What is fascinating to see is that the World Economic Forum makes no mention of Saudi Arabia's shameful record on human and women's rights, choosing to ignore those uncomfortable issues since they involve the lives of the useless eaters.  In fact, here is the only mention that I could find about Saudi Arabia's strict policies on the WEF website:

 


But, then again, Schwab's Fourth Industrial Revolution was never about improving life for the sweaty masses of useless eaters, was it?


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines - Comparing the Traditional Vaccine Trial Paradigm and the Outbreak Trial Paradigm

Governments keep assuring us that it is safe to get vaccinated with the "fully tested COVID-19 vaccines" that were developed in record time to beat back the pandemic.  Without thinking too deeply about it, one might believe their anti-unvaxxed rhetoric if it weren't for the fact that information which can be gleaned from various government and scientific websites showing this to be at least questionable and, at the worst, a complete fabrication.  In this posting, we'll look at several different sources showing the timelines for the development of vaccines throughout history and compare it to the current situation for the vaccines being administered during the pandemic.

  

Let's start with this video from Canada's federal government about the COVID-19 vaccines and why you should trust the government's approval of the products:

 


Here's Canada's taxpayer funded CBC (aka the Coronavirus Brainwashing Corporation) weighing in on the subject of mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccine doses:


 

Note the comment by Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam, that "...recommendations undergo evolution over time and this is the next stage of the increased understanding of our vaccines."

 

Let's look at several different sources which will clearly show us just how novel the process has been for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.


1.) Here's what the Canadian government has to say about the development of vaccines (in general) as found on the nation's Library of Parliament HillNotes website which was posted in June 2020 and revised in November 2020:

 

 

Notice that according to the Canadian government it can take between 9 and 15 years to complete all three phases of a clinical trial.

 

Here is the key quote:

 

"Once an appropriate immune response is detected, the candidate vaccine moves into three phases of human clinical trials to test its safety and efficacy. Each clinical trial phase for a vaccine can still take several years or more to complete."

 

2.) Here is a graphic from Pfizer showing how pharmaceutical trials work:

 

What is important to note in this graphic is that Phase 3 trials involve between several hundred to three thousand people and Phase 4 trials involve several thousand people.  Such is not the case in the current "trials" of the COVID-19 vaccines where hundreds of millions of test subjects have been given up to three doses of the newly minted vaccines.


3.) A paper that appeared in Nature back in September 2020 entitled "Traditional and accelerated vaccine-development pipelines" by Florian Krammer provides an interesting comparison of normal vaccine development timelines and the timeline for development of the COVID_19 vaccines as shown here:


4.) Here is a graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the "Vaccine Life Cycle" which doesn't show the actual time periods required for each phase of the trial but does show Phase 4 which takes place after FDA approval:


The CDC does state this about the development of vaccines:


5.) A paper entitled "Developing COVID-19 Vaccines at Pandemic Speed by Nicole Lurie et al which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2020 actually provides us with an interesting comparison of the traditional vaccine development paradigm and the paradigm used during a pandemic which clearly shows where changes to the normal process occur:


Here is a quote from the paper:


"Vaccine development is a lengthy, expensive process. Attrition is high, and it typically takes multiple candidates and many years to produce a licensed vaccine. Because of the cost and high failure rates, developers typically follow a linear sequence of steps, with multiple pauses for data analysis or manufacturing-process checks. Developing a vaccine quickly requires a new pandemic paradigm (see diagram), with a fast start and many steps executed in parallel before confirming a successful outcome of another step, hence resulting in elevated financial risk. For example, for platforms with experience in humans, phase 1 clinical trials may be able to proceed in parallel with testing in animal models."


One thing that the authors of the paper do not mention is that the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines still could prove to be failures at stopping the transmission  of the virus as well as reducing hospitalizations and the occurrence of serious cases.  While some researchers are stating that the vaccines are reducing serious cases, the data is still incomplete and with the rise of the Delta variant, all bets are off.


Now, let's look at the facts as they currently stand.  According to the manufacturers of the current COVID-19 vaccines, the trials are not even close to being completed:

  

1.) PfizerBioNTech - Phase 3 to be completed on May 2, 2023 (estimated)

 

 

2.) Moderna - Phase 3 to be completed on October 27, 2022 (estimated)

 


3.) Johnson & Johnson/Janssen - Phase 3 to be completed on January 2, 2023 (estimated)

 


4.) AstraZeneca - Phase 3 to be completed on February 14, 2023 (estimated)

 


Now, let's look at Canada's "mix and match" vaccine strategy.  Actually, there are plans to study this issue as shown here:


...however, the trial status is "pending" and the study only started on May 3, 2021 so, despite what Theresa Tam says, Canadian researchers still have no idea of whether this mixing of vaccines could result in adverse events or whether it will provide immunity to the COVID-19 virus.


As far as administering a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (booster dose), here is the plan to study that issue using residents of long-term care facilities, noting that the study has not even commenced:



Given the fact that proper vaccine testing can take up to a decade and a half to complete through to the end of Phase 3 or Phase 4 trials as I have outlined in this posting and that we still have between 13 and 20 months to complete Phase 3 trials for the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson  and AstraZeneca vaccines, how can governments around the world allow Phase 3 trials for the COVID-19 vaccines to be taking place using hundreds of millions of their citizens rather than the several hundred to several thousand participants as would be typical for a Phase 3/Phase 4 trial?  


 

Friday, October 8, 2021

The High Civilian Cost of the American Airwar on Terror

With the United States recently withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan after a 20-year-long nation-building exercise failure, a recent study by Airwars provides us with some interesting background on the War on Terror that has pretty much faded into the background, at least according to the mainstream media.

 

The Airwars study looks at the impact of 20 years of war on the civilian populations of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Libya.  Data for the study was gleaned from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the NGO Iraq Body Count, the Buruea of Investigative Journalism and Airwars own data.

  

The war was fought (and is still being fought) on several fronts and has used different tactics:

 

1.) Full invasions and occupations - Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021 and Iraq from 2003 to 2009.

 

2.) Major bombing campaigns against the Islamic State - Iraq from 2014 to 2021, Syria from 2014 to 2021 and Libya in 2016.

 

3.) Targeted United States drone and airstrike campaigns against terrorist and militant groups - Somalia from 2007 to 2021, Yemen from 2002 to 2021, Pakistan from 2004 to 2018 and Libya from 2014 to 2019.

 

Based on official United States military data, the authors of the report concluded that the United States military carried out a minimum of 91,340 airstrikes throughout the 20 years of the "Forever Wars".

 

Here is a summary of the minimum and maximum civilian body counts for each nation along with the peak year or years) and the minimum and maximum for those years (excluding Afghanistan):

 

1.) Iraq - between 11,474 and 24,136 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2003 - 5,494 to 6,677 civilian deaths

 

b.) peak year 2017 - 1,423 to 9,967 civilian deaths

 

2.) Syria - between 5,731 and 15,573 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2017 - 3,279 to 9,318 civilian deaths

 

3.) Afghanistan - between 4,815 and 6,799 civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2008 - 552 civilian deaths

 

b.) peak year 2019 - 546 civilian deaths

 

4.) Somalia - between 72 and 333 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2019 - 6 to 64 civilian deaths

 

5.) Yemen - between 156 and 412 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2017 - 48 to 147 civilian deaths

 

6.) Pakistan - between 424 and 969 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2009 - 100 to 210 civilian deaths

 

7.) Libya - between 7 and 86 total civilian deaths

 

a.) peak year 2016 - 7 to 68 civilian deaths

 

In total, Airwars' calculations show that between 22,679 and 48,308 civilians lost their lives thanks to America's airstrikes in the War on Terror.  Based on U.S. military data, the authors of the report concluded that the United States carried out a minimum of 91,340 airstrikes throughout the 20 years of the war with a maximum of 18,695 strike sorties in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq alone.

 

Let's close this posting with this summary video:

 


There is no doubt that the cost of the War on Terror has been particularly high for civilians in the 7 nations that have been involuntary participants in the 20 year exercise.  Innocent men, women and children have paid a high price because they happened to live in an area that was being targeted by the United States and its allies in the 7 theatres of military operations.


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Stepping Closer to Nuclear War

Lost in the overwhelming mainstream media coverage of all things COVID-19 was an interesting study that was released by the United Kingdom government entitled "Global Britain in a competitive age - The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy" as shown here:

 

Given the recent formation of the AUKUS (Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) trilateral security pact to counter the influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region and the accompanying announcement that Australia will receive nuclear-powered submarines to replace its existing fleet as shown here:

 

"The first initiative under AUKUS is for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology, leveraging decades of experience from the US and UK.

 

Under AUKUS, the three nations will focus immediately on identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

 

Over the next 18 months, Australia, the UK and US will intensely examine the full suite of requirements that underpin nuclear stewardship and demonstrate a clear pathway to becoming a responsible and reliable steward of this sensitive technology. Australia will establish a Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce in the Department of Defence to lead this work.

 

Nuclear-powered submarines do not have the same limitations that face conventional submarines on weapons storage, speed and endurance. They can stay completely submerged for many months, limiting the opportunities for detection by adversaries.

 

As a three-ocean nation, it is necessary for Australia to have access to the most capable submarine technology available. As a nation, we are ready to take the step to pursue the most advanced submarine technology available to defend Australia and its national interests.

  

While Australia claims that it will remain nuclear weapons free as quoted here:

 

"Australia has no plans to acquire nuclear weapons and this proposal will remain consistent with Australia’s longstanding commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.  All three nations are deeply committed to upholding leadership on global non-proliferation."

  

...with the United States and the United Kingdom being nuclear powers, one should never say never, particularly since the Australian Defence Force will acquire long-range strike capabilities as follows:

  

1.) Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, to be fielded on our Hobart class destroyers, enabling our maritime assets to strike land targets at greater distances, with better precision.


2.) Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (Extended Range) will enable our F-A-18F Super Hornets and in future, our F-35A Lightning II, to hit targets at a range of 900km.


3.) Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (Extended Range) (LRASM) for the F/A-18F Super Hornet.


4.) Continuing collaboration with the United States to develop hypersonic missiles for our air capabilities.


5.) Precision strike guided missiles for our land forces, which are capable of destroying, neutralising and suppressing diverse targets from over 400km.


6.) Accelerating $1 billion for a sovereign guided weapons manufacturing enterprise – which will enable us to create our own weapons on Australian soil.


With this in mind, let's go back to the study mentioned at the beginning of this posting.  In this study, the current Johnson government releases its vision for 2030, outlining a framework of four issues:

 

1.) sustaining a strategic advantage through science and technology.

 

2.) shading the open international order of the future.

 

3.) strengthening security and defence at home and overseas.

 

4.) building resilience at home and overseas.

  

Under point 3 we find the Johnson government's vision for countering state threats which includes the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons program.  Here is how the UK will develop its already in-place nuclear deterrence:

 




Here are the key sentences:

 

"In 2010 the Government stated an intent to reduce our overall nuclear warhead stockpile ceiling from not more than 225 to not more than 180 by the mid-2020s. However, in recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats, this is no longer possible, and the UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads."

 

As background, here is the estimated nuclear weapons inventory for the world's nuclear-armed states:

 

 

While the growth from a maximum of 180 (the original planned reduction level which was announced in 2010 and again in 2015 to 260 nuclear weapons not a significant increase given the massive size of the total global inventory, it is still a rather stunning development given that the UK states the following (with bolds being mine):

 

"We remain committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons....We are strongly committed to full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in all its aspects, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; there is no credible alternative route to nuclear disarmament. The UK has taken a consistent and leading approach to nuclear disarmament....We will continue to press for key steps towards multilateral disarmament, including the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and successful negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. We will continue to take a leading international role on nuclear disarmament verification; this is an essential step for nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control."

  

It would certainly appear that the United Kingdom is planning to take the world closer to the nuclear brink as both the United Kingdom and, in particular, the United States take actions such as the AUKUS trilateral agreement with the goal of defending their positions at the top of the unipolar world, acting together to ensure that both Russia and China remain secondary military powers.  Unfortunately, Russia and China have made clear that their position will not be neutralized as shown in this recent article on Russia's TASS website:

 

 

Here is a quote from Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister regarding the United Kingdom's expanding nuclear arsenal and the signing of the AUKUS security agreement:

 

"We are concerned especially by the statements produced earlier in the year in London on future prospects for expansion of its nuclear capabilities. [We’re] also concerned by the most recent announcement by the US, the UK and Australia to develop a technologically advanced partnership that could allow Australia after eighteen months of consultations and some years of practical efforts to acquire nuclear-powered submarines in sufficient numbers to become among the first five to possess this type of similar capability."

 

The world is sliding closer and closer to a nuclear confrontation and with China and Russia proving that they can do far more for far less when it comes to arming their national militaries, the United Kingdom and the United States may find that they have bitten off far more than they can chew when it comes to waging war on these well-armed and very determined foes, all in the name of preserving the current unipolar world where Washington is in control of everything.