Digging into China's secret nuclear tunnels
The Chinese have called it their â€œUnderground Great Wallâ€ â€” a vast network of tunnels created to hide their country's progressively advanced missile and nuclear arsenal.
For the past three years, a small band of obsessively committed college students at Georgetown College has referred to as it some thing else: homework.
Led by their hard-charging professor, a previous best Pentagon official, they have translated hundreds of files, combed via satellite imagery, obtained limited Chinese military files and waded via hundreds of gigabytes of online knowledge.
The consequence of their work? The greatest physique of public knowledge about thousands of miles of tunnels dug by the Second Artillery Corps, a secretive department of the Chinese military in cost of defending and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
The examine is yet to be released, but already it has sparked a congressional listening to and been circulated among leading officials in the Pentagon, which includes the Air Force vice chief of workers.
Most of the consideration has focused on the 363-web page examine's provocative summary â€” that China's nuclear arsenal could be numerous times more substantial than the well-established estimates of arms-control experts.
(Graphic: Evidence of China's nuclear storage system)
â€œIt's not fairly a bombshell, but individuals ideas and estimates are currently being checked towards what individuals think they know dependent on classified details,â€ stated a Defense Department strategist who would discuss the review only on the condition of anonymity.
The research's critics, however, have questioned the unorthodox Internet-dependent research of the pupils, who drew from resources as disparate as Google Earth, sites, military journals and, maybe most startlingly, a fictionalized Tv docudrama about Chinese artillery soldiers â€” the rough equivalent of watching Fox's Tv show óˆ¬ˆâ€ for insights into U.S. counterterrorism attempts.
But the strongest condemnation has occur from nonproliferation specialists who worry that the review could gas arguments for maintaining nuclear weapons in an era when attempts are getting made to decrease the planet's publish-Chilly War stockpiles.
Outside of its influence in the coverage globe, the project has made a profound mark on the students â€” like some who have since graduated and taken research work opportunities with the Defense Department and Congress.
â€œI don't even want to know how several hrs I put in on it,â€ explained Nick Yarosh, 22, an international politics senior at Georgetown. â€œBut you question men and women what they did in college, most just say I took this class, I was in this club. I can say I invested it studying Chinese nuclear strategy and 2nd Artillery manuals. For a nerd like me, that actually means some thing.â€
For students, an obsession
The pupils' professor, Phillip A. Karber, 65, had invested the Cold War as a top strategist reporting directly to the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Personnel. But it was his early work in defense that cemented his status, when he led an elite research workforce created by Henry Kissinger, who was then the national security adviser, to probe the weaknesses of Soviet forces.
Karber prided himself on recruiting the best intelligence analysts in the govt. â€œYou didn't just want the best-rating or brightest guys, you wanted the types who ended up hungry,â€ he said.
In 2008, Karber was volunteering on a committee for the Defense Danger Reduction Agency, a Pentagon agency charged with countering weapons of mass destruction.
Right after a devastating earthquake struck Sichuan province, the chairman of Karber's committee recognized Chinese news accounts reporting that countless numbers of radiation technicians were speeding to the region. Then came photos of strangely collapsed hills and speculation that the caved-in tunnels in the area had held nuclear weapons.
Find out what's likely on, the chairman asked Karber, who commenced searching for analysts once more â€” this time between his students at Georgetown.
The first inductees came from his arms-control lessons. Each and every semester, he set apart a day to show them tantalizing movies and paperwork he had started gathering on the tunnels. Then he concluded with a straightforward query: What do you assume it means?
â€œThe reality that there were no solutions to that actually received to me,â€ mentioned previous student Dustin Walker, 22. â€œIt began out like any other class, checks on this day or that, but people stored coming back again, even following graduation. .â€‰.â€‰.
Sources and more information:
US students dig up Beijing's secret nuclear stockpile The rising power has thousands of kilometres of tunnels to hide its most dangerous weapons, writes William Wan in Washington. The Chinese have called it their ''underground Great Wall'' - a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their missile and nuclear arsenal.
WASHINGTON - The Chinese have called it their "Underground Great Wall," a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country's increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal. For the past three years, a group of Georgetown University students has called it something else: homework. Led by a hard-charging professor, a former top...
( via news.yahoo.com )
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