A Pentagon authorization, turned into law on January 2, suggest to use traditional and nuclear options against China’s underground facilities for storing nuclear weapons, defense expert Wendell Minnick writes in Defense News.
President Barack Obama on Jan. 2, orders the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) to submit a report by Aug. 15 on the “underground tunnel network used by the People’s Republic of China with respect to the capability of the United States to use conventional and nuclear forces to neutralize such tunnels and what is stored within such tunnels.”
A Georgetown University team led by Phillip Karber conducted a three-year study to map out China’s complex tunnel system, which stretches 3,000 miles.
The 2011 report, “Strategic Implications of China’s Underground Great Wall,” concluded that the number of nuclear weapons estimated by U.S. intelligence was incorrect. His team estimated that as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons could be hidden within a vast labyrinth in several locations in China. U.S. intelligence estimates have been reporting consistently that China had, at the most, 300 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
Karber’s report presents evidence of a complex system of tunnels in areas noted for nuclear testing and storage — a far greater subterranean cavity than needed for just 300 nuclear weapons.
The China Weekly Hangout discussed on November 1, 2012 the US-China relations with Greg Anderson, Janet Carmosky and Fons Tuinstra
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