US Nuclear Weapons Program Faces Disruptive Lithium Shortage

So, basically, the United States may not even be able to catch up with modernizing its nuclear deterrent, even if it did decide to wake up to the Chinese and Russian threat and attempt to counter it. There’s so many flaws in every aspect of the entire U.S. national security apparatus, from military purges across all branches to 1970’s hardware being used in the American nuclear deterrent, that a successful Russian or Chinese first strike isn’t implausible.

 

 

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government is running short of lithium which will be a key bottleneck in its ambitious plans to replace and expand its nuclear arsenal, a General Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

“The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) has identified various challenges in its lithium production strategy that may impact its ability to meet demand for lithium in the future,” the report, issued on Monday, warned. Continue reading

Homeland Security Taps Generals to Run Domestic Drone Program: The Rise of Predators at Home

DHS decided – with virtually no reviews or evaluations – to purchase unarmed versions of the Predator drones used abroad for “signature strikes” (targeted drone killing). The department, whose mission includes “border security,” has also relied on military bases along the land border and coastal waters to host its own drone fleet.Since DHS began acquiring Predators, along with Predator variants called Guardians, from General Atomics nine years ago, this domestic drone program has proved an abysmal failure – whether measured by its effectiveness in immigration enforcement, drug control, or counterterrorism.  A series of reports by the General Accountability Office, Congressional Review Service, and the DHS Inspector General’s Office have documented the paltry achievements, the alarming strategic confusion, and near-systemic logistical and technical shortcomings of the DHS drone program.

These government reports pointed to the complete absence of any cost-benefit evaluations and efficiency assessments of the DHS drone program.

Yet these official reviews failed to shed any light on the department’s controversial decision to deploy only the hugely expensive military-grade Predator drones and to enter into sole-source contracts with General Atomics to provide, maintain, and even operate the federal government’s domestic drone fleet. Continue reading