Non-Nuclear Test Will Simulate Nuclear Weapon Strike

Update (February 22, 2007): DTRA announces that Divine Strake has been canceled.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) today confirmed to FAS that the upcoming Divine Strake test widely reported in the media to be a non-nuclear event is in fact a low-yield nuclear weapons calibration simulation against an underground target.

A few, including Albuquerque Journal and disarmamentactivist.org, have speculated that Divine Strake was a nuclear-related event, but DTRA has up till now declined to confirm or deny the nuclear connection.

In response to an email earlier today, a DTRA spokesperson confirmed that Divine Strake is the same event that is described in DTRA budget documents as being a low-yield nuclear weapons shock simulation designed to allow the warfighters to fine-tune the yield of nuclear weapons in strikes on underground facilities.

It also turns out that Divine Strake is “an integral part” of STRATCOM’s new Global Strike mission, which is normally reported to develop mainly non-nuclear capabilities against time-urgent targets. Global Strike is one of the pillars of the Bush administration’s so-called New Triad which is said to be reducing the role of nuclear weapons.

According to a Department of Energy document associated with Divine Strake, the event comes only two years after President George W. Bush in Summer 2004 signed a presidential decision directive that ordered STRATCOM to “extend Global Strike to counter all [Hard and Deeply Buried Targets] to include both tactical and strategic adversarial targets.”

Divine Strake was not mentioned during last week’s Senate hearing on the Global Strike mission.

More: Divine Strake Background | Global Strike Chronology

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No Responses to “Non-Nuclear Test Will Simulate Nuclear Weapon Strike”

  1. S April 4, 2006 at 6:33 am #

    S: In the article “Non-Nuclear Test Will Simulate Nuclear Weapon Strike” you stated a “DTRA [spokesperson] today confirmed to FAS that the upcoming Divine Strake test widely reported in the media to be a non-nuclear event is in fact a low-yield nuclear weapons calibration simulation”.

    Okay, from this phrase it sounds like the event will be a weapons simulation of a low-yield nuke’s effects. A SIMULATION of a nuke. It DID NOT say it was a test of a low-yield nuclear weapon. Specifically, it stated it was a TEST of a small nuke. In fact, I quote you later in the same article that the test is “a low-yield nuclear weapons shock simulation…” A SIMULATION of a nuclear shock. Other weapons are capable of simulating a nuclear shock. Heck, with enough TNT, you can simulate one (one way of measuring a nuke’s blast effects are in kilotons – kilotons of TNT, that is.)

    Ask the same DTRA official if the weapon that will be used to conduct the “low-yield nuclear weapons calibration simulation” is in fact a NUCLEAR WEAPON. Let me know what he says.

    This kind of irresponsible journalism has been rampant lately, to the point where I wonder if there’s some secret agenda among the internet media. In the past 24 hours, IndiaDaily reported in its breaking news an article with the headline “North Korea has six nuke weapons, says former US commander.” Then, the FIRST line of the article read, “North Korea has UP TO six nuclear weapons…” (my emphasis added). The article was short, and was also carried by ITAR-TASS, but didn’t contain any direct quotations. Could it have been that the quoted general was speculating about North Korea’s nuke capabilities? We’ll never know, as long as the public allows this kind of sensationalist journalism without holding the media accountable. Irresponsible events like this lead countries to invade countries looking for WMD that may not in fact exist.

    Reply: I made it clear that the event is not a nuclear weapons explosion but a simulation. The very headline begins with “Non-Nuclear Test” to underscore this point. Furthermore, the in-depth description that the blog links to provides detailed information both of the chemical nature of the experiment as well as to DTRA’s written confirmation:

    “Yes, the event described is Divine Strake. Better predictive tools will reduce the uncertainties involved with defeating very hard targets, and therefore reduce the need for higher yield weapons to overcome those uncertainties. There are no nuclear tests planned or desired.”

    Bringing these facts to the public’s attention is responsible journalism. – MK

  2. Hans Kristensen April 4, 2006 at 9:56 am #

    Stacy, you jump very quickly from “simulation of a low-yield nuke’s effects” to “a SIMULATION of a nuke.” As I made clear throughout the story, Divine Strake will use chemical explosives to create the a chock wave to calibrate the yield of nuclear weapons against underground targets. Here is how DTRA described it: “Yes, the event described [in the DTRA FY2007 budget request] is Divine Strake. Better predictive tools will reduce the uncertainties involved with defeating very hard targets, and therefore reduce the need for higher yield weapons to overcome those uncertainties. There are no nuclear tests planned or desired.” In other words: a non-nuclear nuclear simulation.

  3. Grace April 9, 2006 at 11:19 am #

    Divine Strake has more than one purpose. The most obvious being a show of force. Iran, North Korea and Venezuela have all been rattling their chains. Chavez and Castro are best friends, and it is no secret that Iran has taken a “come get me” stance with regard to the UN, and the nuclear issue.
    Kim Jong Il has already engaged in a hissing match with John Bolton. The Nuclear issue is on the forefornt of everyones mind for a reason. The leaders of Iran,Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba all show signs of mental disturbance.( I am putting this mildly…They are fruitcakes, and sadistic, Bi Polar, rage filled, power hungry intelligent beings. They are all intelligent, just mentally and morally ill.) The leaders of these countries all have the capability to wreak unspeakable global havoc and death. Most, with the exclusion of Cuba, have some nuclear weapons, purchased from eachother, or “some other” nation(s). There must be a strong show of force by the USA, or we are all sitting ducks. It is in no ones’ interest to use Nuclear weapons ( see Fas Hand-Helos) . When you are dealing with Insane leaders, anything can happen, and anything “Will”.
    The second reason for Divine Strake, is for calibration purposes. Iran, for example, lies over one of the most delicate and active series of fault lines on this planet. There are weekly earthquakes in Iran, yet, their heaviest nuclear capabilities lie buried, over this fault. Nuclear weapons, or any weapon, must be calibrated for payload, and accuracy in strike. Too much, in the wrong place, and “we all go for a little ride”.
    Last week, there was a strong earthquake in Tehran, and an earthquake in California, a few days later. I do not have to spell it out for you, we are scientists, but you must know “what” is coming, and “why”. With Irans’ direct threat to Israel, and their display last week of marvelous weaponry ( some of it Russian and Chinese ) Then, Divine Strake is a necessity. Perhaps this show of force will at least buy time, if not intimidate.

  4. TWE February 7, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    TWE: Are you totally out of your minds? No, it isn’t nuclear, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what this bomb will do concerning the release of dormant radioactive soil. It proves once again that the government doesn’t care about their tax-paying people.

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