Some potentially dangerous military situations. PART 1.

Doc: Some dangerous situations
Version: 0.3
Date: 15 July, 2022
By: Albert van der Sel
Status: Ready

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Note: Sections are/were written at different dates.
In the section title, the date is explicitly mentioned.


- Nobody reads this anyway, but I must say beforehand,
that the text below, reflects my personal opinion only.

- Just to make sure a possible reader understand:
I am pro Europe, pro USA, pro Nato, pro Ukraine.

- Nobody has all facts available, so (obviously) be critical on any piece of text.

- Part I has some comments on the War in the Ukraine, and some comments about Iran
developing nuclear weapons. The text reflects on how I see these matters.
But I could, ofcourse, be completely wrong. Time will tell...

1. Some comments on the War in The Ukraine.
2. Iran and Nuclear Weapons.

1. Some comments on the War in The Ukraine:

1.1 The European "Cuba crisis", or Russia's "Trojan Horse" in Kaliningrad: (02 may 2022)

You undoubtly know about the Russian threats, to use nuclear weapons, if Nato interferes
with the Russia-Ukraine war.

I am quite sure, that up to the 30th of April, there were at least 5 spoken threats
by either Putin, Lavrov, and Medvedev.
The last statement (up to the 30th of April) by Putin, mentioned a harsh and "lightning fast response",
as never seen before.

It is known that around 2018, the Russian Federation transported short range nuclear tactical missiles (among others: the Iskander).
to Kaliningrad. This is a Russian enclave, in the heart of Europe. Yes, believe it or not. Almost in the middle of Europe.
It's located between the Baltic States and Poland. If it's new to you, just look it up in a map.

If you doubt the presence of short range nuclear tactical missiles in Kaliningrad, then just Google around a bit,
using keywords as nuclear missile and Kaliningrad.

This all is not new. It was known since (around) 2018. Too bad Nato did not acted as it should have, once this fact
was known.

It's why I call it "the European "Cuba crisis". Really close by, we have tactical nuclear missiles which can reach
any location in Europe, in a matter of minutes.

In the present conditions, a truly very dangerous situation.

I believe that the "lightning fast response" where Putin spoke of, can be connected to the tactical nuclear missiles
in Kaliningrad. Indeed, they can reach any place in Europe, in mere minutes.

I do not think Putin is boasting. There is a limit to what Europe and USA can do to help the Ukraine.
Ofcourse, I support all actions of Europe and USA, as long as they take care of the limits which exists.
Otherwise..., as I believe, we have at least a limited nuclear assault from Russia.
Sorry for that. But it's the way I see it.

For a better understanding of the terrible statement above, please see section 2.

1.2. Breach of the INF treaty. Shorter range nuclear missiles (02 may 2022):

Russia and the USA, both posess plenty ICBM's/SLBM's. These are the larger missiles, often with a range
well over 10000km, and often in MIRV configuration. These are typically used for deterrence.
You might say that they are (sort of) useless, unless one want to destroy civilization.
These are called "strategic nuclear weapons".
If one side launches these weapons (from silo's, subs, and other means), the other side will do too, resulting
in the end of civilization. A full nuclear war indeed.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have smaller missiles, often with a limited range, of say 400km, 1000km or so,
but most often well below 5500km.
Usually they have one warhead, with a limited yield (say 10kT, 20kT, and most often well below 100kT).
These are called "tactical nuclear weapons" and in principle could be used on the battlefield.

There is no need for all sorts of details here, but we can say that in the past, both Russia and the USA,
had plenty of different sorts of tactical nuclear weapons as well.

It was generally percieved, that shorter range, and lower yield, nuclear missiles, would reduce the treshold
for a nuclear conflict. Indeed, we understand that "just" a lower yield 10kT short range missile, is more apt
for battlefield circumstances compared to the larger ICBM's/SLBM's.

In 1987, both the Sovjet Union and the USA, signed the INF Treaty.
It prohibited the manufacture of short-range (up to 1000 km) and short medium-range (up to 5500 km) nuclear missiles.

The USA honoured the treaty, but the Russians did not. They secretly developed a range of different models and types.
When former pres. Trump was informed of this fact, he was furious as Hell, which I fully understood at that time.

There you have it. It follows that the Russians have the advantage to use tactical nuclear weapons, which allows
them to blackmail Nato, or even start a limited nuclear war.
You ask yourself: would Nato risk a full war, if Russia only uses a few tactical nukes ???
Most will not like me for this: I have strong doubts, and actually, I really do not think so. That's a personal opinion.

Maybe this section contributed in understanding section 1 above.

In hindsight, I regret that the West stepped into the INF trap, although the intensions were honourable.
I hope Nato will adress "the gap" as soon as possible.

You probably will see, that I consider a nuclear assualt on selected targets in Europe, as a realistic scenario.
It would be "great", and I believe also appropriate, if the USA would go to DEVCON 2 status, and also would
consider to station a number of B2's in Europe.

1.3. One of the goals of Russia: Ukraine fully land-locked, and Moldova must fall too: (02 may 2022)

Collary: Means of Exports (like grain etc..) from the Ukraine, will be destroyed/hindered.
Collary: Ukraine having Ports/access to Black sea, will be gone. Ukraine will be Fully dependent on Russia.

Ofcourse, nothing in this note is "new" or "fantastic", or something... It's all well-know stuff.

A few weeks after the Russia-Ukraine war began, I was amazed how poorly the Russian army performs.
But ofcourse, the Ukrainian soldiers are superb.

Military analysts generally seems to have consensus, that the Russians want to have all of the south (all territory in the south
bordering the Black Sea), and all of the Donbas region (including Loehansk and Donetsk).
Presently, it is 2 may, 2022, and it looks like the Russians will eventually succeed their objectives.
Although, fierce opposition exists from the Ukrainian forces.

Now, you have seen the title of this section, as well as both collaries.
If Ukraine want to export by sea, they now might go via Romania. If the Russians want to hinder that, they might
attack (with whatever means), the transport while in Romania. Then..., they are crossing Nato territory.
What then might happen..., I am not sure, but it cannot be good. That's why it is in this note called "possibly dangerous
military situations....".

1.4. After the war in Ukraine has paused (not stopped): (08 July 2022)

It won't stop entirely, so I believe. It is unlikely that the Ukraine will accept the loss of the Donbas region,
and the whole strip in the south, all along the Black Sea.
At some point, maybe negotiations will take place, but I fear that the Ukraine will be the looser in this
terrible situation.
Then..., Moldova, as I think will fall too in due time.

How about the West and the Russian Federation? Or, how now further with Nato and Russia?

I probably am the only person on the Planet who regrets we do not have appropriate tactical nuclear missiles.
It sounds bad ofcourse. But that's true. And I do not mean the gravitation B61 bombs.

Once, a western general said that there ain't no tactical nukes, implying, that usage of such weapon (automatically) leads to
a massive war using the large ICBM's/SLBM's.

I do not agree with these lines of thought. Imagine a scenario like this: Russia uses tactical (short-range)
missiles, which detonate several miles up, above selected area's of European Nato states.
The EMP's involved, disables a larger number of radar and other sophisticated installations.
This allows Russia to take further (of what they think are) appropriate steps.

What I mean to say is, is this:

I respect the European military. No doubt about that. However, nuclear firepower sits at the USA, and Russia.
Those two only. The others are dwarfs (even China, with respect to nuclear firepower).
Ofcourse I do know of the nuclear capabilities of the UK, France, India, China, Pakistan and a few others.

Now, a keypoint is that Nato is likely not to risk hunderds of millions of deaths, when a massive retaliation
will happen using large numbers of long-range ICBM's/SLBM's.
This gives Russia the unique position of black-mail, or limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, primarily
ment to chase out Nato from the Eastern European states.
True, this is what I think might happen.

Using EMP's of a limited tactical weapons, Russia might disable the Eastern Nato states to a considerable extend,
making it easier for them to chase out Nato.
Ofcourse, no-one swallows this story. For example, what about article 5 of Nato?
Well..., since we have a completely unprecedented situation, the choice can be "All or Nothing"...
Sorry, I simply do not believe Nato will start a full nuclear war, killing most of the inhabitants on Earth,
and destroying the environment completely.

I now want to bring back into memory, as what Putin said as of december 2021 (and even well before that date).

1. De-nazify the Ukraine, stop the genocide of Russian inhabitants in the East of Ukraine.
(as this lives in the mind of Putin and his elite).

2. Make sure that the Ukraine never can be member of Nato.

3. Nato must withdraw from the Eastern European states (like Poland, Baltic states, Romania etc..).

So, also point 3 is deadly serious for Putin, although most of the West seem to have forgotten this "statement".

Also, do not forget that never before, the relation between the West and Russia, was so poisonous
as it is today (8 July, 2022).

The spoken nuclear threats by the Russian elite, is almost countless, by now.
Russia is extremely agitated, and in war mode, no doubt.

I think that the material in the above section is quite radical, but this is how I think, how the cards are on the table.

(Sorry for this. It's not the nicest message. But nobody reads this anyway.).

2. Iran and Nuclear Weapons:

Any info below is my opinion only. It's impossible to find all relevant facts.
All facts that one can obtain from the Public domain, surely is insufficient for hard conclusions.

2.1. Iran and the Nuclear Program: (12 July 2022)

Iran's nuclear program, is not transparant. As you know, a "deal" was reached in 2015, between Iran and
the Superpowers, and Europe, to place restrictions on the program, in exchange for lifting of the sanctions.
Especially stopping the research and (possible) production of nuclear weapons, was a major part of the deal.

However, in 2018, former pres. Trump, in effect, blew up the deal. To tell the truth: I am (still) not sure this was for the good,
or the worse.

Since then, a number of attempts were done to revive the deal, but for several reasons, it (still) did not worked out.
At this date, the possiblities for a deal seems to be "dead" (?).

In fact, the political, and geo-political circumstances are very complex. Indeed, someone in Academic political/sociological/historical studies,
could easily create a very facinating "Phd thesis", analyzing and unraveling all that stuff.
From me, you won't hear a thing on these subjects.

But..., you might say that since 1979, Iran's interest in Nuclear Technology increased in an ever faster rate.

-A primary question has always interested me: How far is Iran in developing nuclear weapons?
-A secondary question is: How dangerous is it if Iran has operational nuclear weapons?

The first question is rather difficult, but I will try anyway. The second question is easy: very dangerous,
for quite obvious reasons. Ofcourse I do respect the common people in Iran. These are just people like you or me.
But their governments over the last few decades, was, and is, a pain.

(Not that the shah of persia, was so fantastic. No, he was not).

Question 2 explains why I have put this subject in this note, and why it falls under "potentially dangerous military situations".
When Iran is extremely close in having operational nuclear weapons, I cannot imagine that Israel would only be a spectator, and do nothing.
What would happen then? Difficult to say, but it won't be nice. Furthermore, in present times with high tensions between the
West and Russia, and China, it will even be more difficult to say anything of relevance.
A country like Israel does not have any choice left, but attack, when Iran is extremely close to producing operational devices.
That's simply the principle of self-defense.

Back to the key question: How far is Iran in developing nuclear weapons?

2.2. Iran developing Nuclear Weapons: (12 July 2022)

I am thinking about splitting this note in two: one for some comments on the Ukraine. and one for Iran.
Anyway, it will always be easily found on my site.

Since the '80's, all the way up to the present day, nummerous reports and investigations have been performed
in order to find out where exactly Iran is, in it's nuclear program. For example, the "International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)",
did a lot of research and monitoring over the years, resulting in a large library.

Ofcourse, even well before the '80's, Iran had some activity in it's nuclear program, like desirering/outlining energy production by reactors,
and doing research using research reactors.

It's reasonable to say that a "rupture" occurred "in the way of thinking", around 1979 (the revolution).

One can speculate endlessly on Iran's motivation for wanting "The Bomb", but I won't do that.
For me personally, it's clear they want it. Ofcourse, many will not agree on this.
For me, the only question is "how far are they?". I am sorry for this, since quite a few folks might sincerely
believe Iran is not after nuclear weapons at all.

Indeed, Iran supports the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT),
and other agreements, and maintains that the Nuclear Program is for peacefull appications only.
So, where is the proof of "bad plans"?

- Well, for example, I find the interpretation of the "Amad plan/project", rather convincing.
- Why the enrichment program, while about 3.5% - 5% of 235U would be good enough.

Later more on this. But it is true that 100% estabished facts, with general consensus, are not available.
So, if you say "Not guilty until proven otherwise...", then I can say not much against that.

  1. Up to this day, nations persuing a Nuclear Weapon, always started out with a pure Fission Weapon.
    In that case, the (socalled) (spherical) implosion type is the first one to think of.
    Here, Pu239 has some advantages over U235, since you need less Pu for the Pit.
    Later, when technology matured, a Thermonuclear weapon (fission+fusion) can (or might be) be constructed.

  2. Often, high-tech simulation equipment is not available at first, so real-live test(s) is needed with the prototype(s).
    This is great, since tests will give rise to seismic activity, even if it's a half-failed fizzle.
    You can clearly see that with the path followed by North Korea from about 2006 up to 2013.

  3. Fissile material is needed anyway, so (preferrably) 239Pu, but (not preferred) 235U will work too.

  4. Imports or smuggling of Berrillium (often seen as a neutron reflector in use at pure fission bombs)
    might serve as an indictor of a secret program. There indeed exists some unvalidated reports on this.

  5. Imports or smuggling of Lithium (often seen as a reagent in fusion)
    might serve as an indictor of a secret program. There indeed exists some unvalidated reports on this.

  6. Plutonium is extremely rare in nature. However, using a reactor, 238U may capture a fast neutron,
    and turn into a Plutonium nucleus. So, it might be considered as a "byproduct" of reactor processes.
    Especially Heavy water reactors (using deuterium oxide) and U238, produce Plutonium as a byproduct.
    However, it's not an easy task to extract the Plutonium from the fuel rods.

  7. Taken the above points into account, it seems that Iran takes the fissile U235 route for the production
    of a (first) fission weapon, since enrichment of Uranium to levels above 20%, is taking place.
    It's generally taken that for energy production, levels of 3.5% - 5% is good enough, while
    weapon grade U235 sits around the 90%. But Iran seems well underway to high levels of purity of U235.

  8. Since a long time, Iran had one plant, namely the "Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant", which is used for
    energy production, and likely also some low values of Plutonium.
    There exists also the "Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant" which is a fortified uranium enrichment centre.
    This is also an indicator, that Iran seems well underway to high levels of purity of U235.
    What's interesting, is that Iran, protected this site (2016?) with S300 sam missiles.

2.3. So, where exactly is the threat?: (15 July 2022)

We should realize that the Middle East is not particularly the most "stable" region.

Iran, as a nuclear power, would have a large impact, although it is hard (or even impossible),
to say what the effects would be.

That Iran is after "the bomb" is not proven. Many folks doubt it, and they may be right.
That for example, Iran enriches Uranium, to higher levels of U235, is often seen as a "handle",
to force the deal to be succesful after all.

Personally, I don't think so. The regimes of Iran, haven proven to be a pain, over many decades.
And why would they invest so much, really quite a lot, in enrichment of U235?

So, I am sorry, I think that having nuclear weapons is a real objective of the regime of Iran.
But that is not proven. But is is very likely. Very likely indeed.
For them, it is Status, Power, and no doubt as consequence, misery for a lot of people.
So, would it be fantasy, if Iran would smuggle a device to Hezbollah, or Syria?

That is why is see it as a "potentially dangerous military situation" for the rest of the world.
Especially for the state of Israel. And therefore, for the whole World.

(Sorry for this. It's not the nicest message. And it's not new. But nobody reads this anyway.).