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Scott Ritter decries the de facto death of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, also known as the INF Treaty, in his excellent piece in The American Conservative. But by now, anyone with even a rudimentary background in international politics and military affairs knows very well that most arms limitations treaties with the United States are not worth the paper on which they were written. It is specifically in this field, arms limitations, where the United States serves as Exhibit A of a treaty un-worthy party. The INF Treaty was hailed as a milestone in arms limitations in the late 1980s. Even a Tony and Pulitzer nominated play A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing described the circumstances leading to the signing of this treaty. But that is the end of any connection with the strategic reality about the first major Soviet-American nuclear arms reduction treaty of the Gorbachev period.

Despite Gorbachev’s claims of the elimination of the whole class of nuclear weapons, since that treaty’s signing one fact of the negotiations and agreement remains often overlooked. Gorbachev singled out Intermediate-Range Nuclear Weapons from the larger framework of the Soviet-American arms limitations negotiations, the main course of which was SDI, known as Star Wars and the 1972 ABM Treaty. Ground based interceptors, as envisioned by SDI, would violate this key 1972 agreement on the limits of the ground-based anti-ballistic missiles interceptors allowed for deployment by both the United States and the Soviet Union.

Mikhail Gorbachev, a man of a very limited, if any, grasp of strategic reality and military-technological issues, as events of the last 30 years demonstrated so dramatically, even today loves to use the allegory of the American short and medium range missiles being a “gun aimed at the Soviet Union’s temple.” He still uses this allegory for the justification of signing this rather humiliating 1988 treaty for the Soviet Union—the USSR destroyed roughly two and a half times more short and medium range missiles than did the United States. Of course, the technological and strategic reality was far more complex than Gorbachev’s primitive “temple” analogy and the Soviet Union did have all means necessary for being in a position to respond and bargain for a much better deal. For that Gorbachev and his circle of confidants needed only to talk to their military people.

This failure to bargain does explain Gorbachev, Shevardnadze and their “team” being extremely unwelcoming of Soviet military professionals during April 1987 negotiations with Americans. In fact, the Soviet military was excluded from negotiations altogether—a first indicator of shady intentions on Gorbachev’s part. The compromise reached was so one-sided that even Gorbachev himself started to feel very uncomfortable. He expressed his concerns to…US Secretary of State George Shultz, instead of conferring with his own military.

In fact, Gorbachev’s behavior was absolutely bizarre and betrayed for any trained eye his desperate desire to be liked by the combined West regardless of costs for his own country. It was also then that Gorbachev and his circle started to propagate absolutely mindless, completely off the wall figures for Soviet military expenditures and the costs of War in Afghanistan which since then have been debunked by many serious economic and military scholars, thus confirming what many suspected all along—Gorbachev was merely making numbers up in order to promote his disastrous reforms. The INF Treaty, despite its obvious lop-sidedness, was one of many political measures Gorbachev needed to undertake to at least show something up as an achievement against the background of an increasing economic crisis in the Soviet Union, much of which was spurred by his incompetence.

But the deal was done and the treaty was signed. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and until the mid-1990s the INF Treaty simply faded into the background of events in the post-Soviet Russia and Europe. Yet, today, in 2017, the INF Treaty is a hot topic again. Here are some crucial background facts for understanding the fate of the INF Treaty. Several factors must be considered before forecasting where the whole situation with the INF is going now and why the United States is currently fabricating the case that Russia is violating the parameters of a Treaty that doesn’t allow ground-based missiles, both ballistic and cruise, with ranges of between 500 and 5500 kilometers. Some of those factors are:

  1. The United States leaving the 1972 ABM Treaty in 2001;
  2. NATO’s continued expansion eastward to Russia’s borders starting in 1999;
  3. NATO’s (mostly US) aggression against Yugoslavia, 1999;
  4. Actual moves to deploy Aegis Ashore in Poland and Romania;
  5. The Iraq War.

All these listed factors have two things in common. One is that NATO has violated several treaties and tacit understandings that were viewed by the Russians as keys to Russia’s national security. The other, however, is even more important—while all those events, from bombing Yugoslavia to destabilizing Middle East, starting from the ill-conceived military adventure in Iraq, were unfolding, Russia was continuously viewed in the US as a declining economic and military power whose status, the way it was defined in Washington D.C., made any serious treaties with her irrelevant for the American vision of a new world. Russia was viewed as inherently weak; Russian concerns were simply dismissed out of hand. There also was a condescending attitude towards Russia’s military technology, which were viewed as no match for American systems.

Reality, of course, turned out to be completely different. How the US establishment “analysts” missed this rather obvious fact is a matter of a separate discussion on the real merits of US analytical community which consistently fails to reconcile itself with the facts on the ground, but Russia’s demonstration of her technological capability first in Crimea (and Donbas) and, in the end, in a dramatic fashion in Syria, made a huge impression on the United States.

The INF Treaty specifically forbids ground-based cruise missiles from being deployed in Europe. For the United States, which is the greatest naval power of the modern age and is used to thinking within the framework of MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) with dozens of cells on all major US Navy’s surface combatants, such as destroyers of the Arleigh Burke-class, the whole notion of many small surface ships armed with extremely capable long-range land attack cruise missiles sounds like anathema. Yet, there they were, those small ships which unleashed a salvo of 3M14 (Kalibr family) missiles on October 8, 2015, from the Caspian Sea. Salvos of even greater than 3M14 range X-101 air-launched missiles followed. All of those missiles were compliant with the INF Treaty. It is in this segment of the missile technology where the United States suddenly found itself lagging. In some cases the lag was critical.

Russia simply outmatched the United States, which is not a secret to anyone who attentively observed Russia for the last few decades. What the war in Syria demonstrated was that Russia simply didn’t need land-based intermediate range missiles—she could unleash massive conventional or nuclear salvos from the sea and the air. This capability puts Russia at a distinct advantage over NATO in Europe, should NATO decide to act recklessly. The way Russia constructs her A2/AD (Anti-Access, Area Denial) capability already today leaves very little chance for the US Navy to launch its TLAMs at any Russian coastal, let alone inland targets—the range is simply not there for TLAMs, without putting their carriers, from destroyers to submarines, at a mortal risk of being destroyed. This is not a reality the United States wants or can face. The only way to counter Russia, in Washington’s mind, was to shorten the flight time of the American missiles to Russia. This can be done only if they are launched from continental Europe and that means those missiles, both cruise and ballistic, being ground-based. This means the violation of the INF Treaty.

To do so, the United States needed to accuse Russia of such a violation—a pretty standard MO for Pentagon and the US mass-media. The United States continues to use the Cold War 1.0 playbook, thinking that it knows how the Cold War 1.0 worked—it doesn’t. Very wrong lessons have been learned from the Cold War. The United States was lucky to get an ultimately ambitious and incompetent group of people headed by Gorbachev in power in 1980s. American power elites, which still largely reside in the perpetual Chalabi moment, still think that they can make a “case” conflating totally legitimate and compliant 3M14 cruises missile with 9M729 missile. As Ritter notes:

The specificity of the charge, as articulated by Christopher Ford in his talk at the Wilson Center, carries with it the implication that the information behind the American allegation against Russia is sound. This may not, in fact, be the case. The 9M729 missile is produced by the same Russian company, Novator, based in Ekaterinburg, that produces the 3M14 sea-launched cruise missiles used by Russia to target opposition forces in Syria. These missiles are closely related in terms of design and technology, and the 3M14 was developed along a parallel timetable as the 9M729. The fact that the United States monitored a test of the 9M729 in September 2015 that flew less than 300 kilometers, thereby making it compliant with the INF Treaty, raises the possibility that the U.S. intelligence community confused a test of the 3M14 with the 9M729 back in 2008, and that Russia has not, in fact, violated the INF Treaty.

For the US, the death of INF Treaty is needed for exploitation of an “opening” which the alleged breach by the Russians provides and which the US thinks it can be successful in gaining massive strategic benefits from. The United States thinks that positioning ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at Russia in Europe will achieve the same effect as had happened with Gorbachev. That is what the Cold War 1.0 American playbook says. Obviously, it is not going to work as no US attempts at taming Russia did since 2008. But Washington doesn’t learn, it is incapable of doing so. The new military construct is not going to work for two reasons:

  1. Unlike Gorbachev in 1980s, the current Russian leadership does defer to its own military professionals when considering its responses. As an example, the name of Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov is one of the most mentioned in Western media. It shows the degree of prominence that the Russian military plays in formulation of defense policies. Most importantly, unlike Gorbachev’s incompetent clique, the current Russian leadership is, indeed, competent and Putin or Shoigu are not even trying to be liked by the combined West. Their only concern is Russia.
  2. Russia does have an edge over the United States in a number of crucial military technologies, especially missile and anti-missile ones. I would go as far as to suggest that in some technologies the gap will grow dramatically. Unlike it in 1987 with Gorbachev, who simply ignored any competent advice from his military people, who pointed out that inexpensive responses were already there for both American intermediate range weapons and even SDI, the current Russian leadership knows that technological responses are in place already.

That is why the news of INF being on the chopping block is received in Russia with a degree of resignation, despite the expected official rhetoric in favor of preservation of this Treaty. The Russians in general know that any arms treaty with the US will be no good one way or another, so why bother. As was stated already, the US elites are trying to reuse Cold War 1.0 playbook and it is not working. If the Treaty will be killed, Russia will have no serious problems in addressing possible deployment of the American ground based systems—the MK 41s in Romania are totally capable of launching TLAMs already—by either increasing the range of existing systems such as Iskander or producing newer and more capable ones.

A New Russian State Defense Order emphasizes further development and procurement of SMART, high precision stand-off weapons, including ones using new physical principles. Meanwhile the stockpile of Russian cruise missiles is growing and also growing are capabilities in anti-missile defenses, with the S-500 slated to go into operation by 2020, as one of many systems already in place capable to dramatically reduce effectiveness of any salvo by any means at Russia proper, while simultaneously providing a devastating response. Gorbachev never even bothered to learn what real capabilities his military had and what the real balance sheet was—we all know the result. Putin and his circle know their capabilities extremely well, they also know that the United Sates cannot be trusted. That is why there will be no repeat of the Cold War 1.0 with or without INF Treaty. There will be no American “gun aimed at the Russia’s temple”, in fact, the opposite scenario is being written. That is why the United States is so desperate for any measure to free itself from any arms limitation obligations thinking it still has a chance—it doesn’t.

 
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  1. From my blog. The hyperlinks don’t embed so I must paste them:

    Mar 30, 2017 – America’s European Missile Offense System

    The Russians think the new American missile bases in Romania and Poland are not defensive systems designed to shoot down their offensive missiles. The small SM-3 missiles said to be inside MK-41 launchers based there lack the range to shoot down Russian missiles, unless they are aimed at Romania or Poland! The SM-3 missile defense scheme is either a huge fraud,

    http://www.g2mil.com/NMD_Fraud.htm

    or a covert excuse to use these MK-41 launchers to fire offensive cruise missiles from where they can secretly attack Russian missile sites.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/zakharova-disappointed-us-generals-decision-open-his-mouth/ri19202

    [The INF bans launchers, not just missiles, lest some con men field launchers with missiles and say "trust us, these are just defensive missiles" as the American Generals have now done, thus openly violating the INF.]

    The Russians think this is the reason,

    http://katehon.com/article/us-anti-missile-shield-or-sword

    which is why they deployed missiles to Kaliningrad and western Russia. Yet warmongering American Generals spin this as aggression. How dare those Russians deploy missiles within their own borders to counter American missiles deployed nearby!

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/03/08/us-general-says-russia-deployed-banned-missile.html

  2. Land base stationery missiles placed small military bases are totally vulnerable. Only defensive missiles like patriot makes sense to be placed this way. So Russians have no reason to worry

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    , @Anon
  3. I read this article with technological interest, but strategic despair. The United States and Russia have no genuine conflicts that require resolution with bows and arrows, let alone this high-faluting technology. But Russia is an obstacle to the American Deep State’s aim of global hegemony, so off we’ll go in a pointless arms race that benefits neither the people of the United States nor of Russia. Perhaps the only hope is that European leaders will wake up and realize that they’re mere tools of the U.S. Deep State. Unfortunately, I see eastern European distrust of Russia trumping their fear of becoming mere American puppets.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  4. WHAT says:

    I wouldn`t be so sure about S500 being ready by 2020, or being that much more capable compared to S400, all things considered.

    But hey, russians have finally cracked their toughest nut and put a working supercruise engine on their fifth-gen, which should be in serial production sometime in 2018. So, in some reasonable timeframe chinese will have their fifth-gen with all the features too.
    Considering they are gearing their thing towards sea operations, things will get very intersting.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  5. Tom Welsh says:

    “But by now, anyone with even a rudimentary background in international politics and military affairs knows very well that most arms limitations treaties with the United States are not worth the paper on which they were written”.

    I’m afraid there seems to be a typo in that sentence. Shouldn’t it read:

    “But by now, anyone with even a rudimentary background in international politics and military affairs knows very well that all treaties with the United States are not worth the paper on which they were written”.

  6. Brabantian says: • Website

    Really, seriously … the overall evidence, considered objectively, is that ‘nuclear weapons’ have never existed. From the evidence, it’s clear that ‘nuclear weapons’ as a whole were fake from the beginning, with multiple proofs now that, e.g., Hiroshima was a chemical fire-bombing war crime, just like Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Dresden, Hamburg.

    The United Nations etc initiative to ‘ban nuclear weapons’ is actually a concerted effort to bury the hoax. Unfortunately they have been unable to think of a similar plan to bury another massive global hoax, the USA alleged ‘landings on the moon’ of 1969-72 with no one ever going back since then.

    The political context for the nuclear weapons scam after Hiroshima, was the USA-Moscow deal in Stalin’s later years, that Stalin would pretend to be a ‘nuclear weapons power’ too, riches & tech would be passed on to Soviet elites (as Antony Sutton, ‘Best Enemy Money Can Buy’ proved was happening); and the world would be in fear of ‘nuclear terror’ supporting big-power domination of the earth & trillions of profits for oligarchs via ‘weapons industries’. All the ‘nuclear powers’ have their reasons and motivations to continue colluding in this hoax today.

    Swedish nuclear engineer Anders Björkman, once asked to investigate ‘nuclear weapons’ for Sweden, has been showing in detail for years that nuclear weapons are impossible, fake, & have never existed (versus nuclear power, which does work). From a recent overview of why Hiroshima was not a ‘nuclear’ or ‘atomic bomb’ explosion:

    http://www.newnationalist.net/2017/08/01/was-hiroshima-firebombed-and-not-nuked/

    [MORE]

    - The area destroyed in Hiroshima, was only one-fourth the size of the area destroyed in Tokyo fire-bombing with identical devastation

    - US military Major Alexander de Seversky, surveying Japanese cities shortly afterwards, found wooden-house-burned Hiroshima to show no signs at all of anything other than chemical fire-bombing, just like Tokyo, Yokohama & Osaka … central iron-steel buildings were intact, fragile objects undamaged, even flag poles still up beneath ‘ground zero’ … no spot where things had been ‘vapourised’

    - The ‘smoking gun’ proving Hiroshima was fake, is in 1945 US military records, logging 66 aeroplanes as ‘chemically fire-bombing Imabari, Japan’, close to Hiroshima, at the same date & hour as the alleged ‘atomic bomb’ … Imabari which no longer existed, having been totally destroyed in 2 previous fire-bombing raids … this was the fleet that fire-bombed Hiroshima

    - German Jesuit Rev John Siemes, eye-witness in Hiroshima, documented local witnesses reporting planes spreading incendiary material

    - At the time of Hiroshima there was huge intimidation, ‘death penalty for unauthorised speaking’, suppression of Japanese & USA witnesses & involved persons … whilst allowed statements seem scripted & false-seeming

    - Photographs of Hiroshima smoke look exactly like columns of smoke from chemical fire-bombing, confirmed by Japanese witnesses who eventually did speak … in general, the ‘mushroom clouds’ eventually marketed as the ‘nuclear weapon signature’, are also from certain types of chemical explosions, as recently exploding Chinese factories have shown

    - A 1990 medical study, completing 40 years of investigation of Hiroshima & Nagasaki survivors, showed no genetic damage, as is typical of those exposed to too-high radiation

    Recently, there has been a move to wind down the nuclear weapons hoax, with this year’s ‘UN resolution to ban & destroy all nuclear weapons’ … a ‘great favour’ the coming one-world globalist government will do for us, putting the nuclear weapons hoax to rest. They can claim to dis-assemble all the nuclear weapons like South Africa claimed to do in the past.

    But over 72 years, all 10 alleged ‘nuclear bomb nations’ have played along, in what has been a global scam, trillions for oligarchs owning armaments industries, the ‘nuclear weapons’ scam a major tool for the big and medium powers who are allowed to claim to have them … Consider the history:

    1945 – USA chemically bombs Hiroshima & Nagasaki (like Tokyo, Dresden, Hamburg…), also dumping illness-inducing radioactive rubbish. Witnesses ordered to shut up under threat of death, chemical-blast ‘mushroom clouds’ in film & photos – USA HAS NUCLEAR BOMBS

    1949 – Soviet Union accepts deal for Russian elites to get wealthy by playing along with Cold War & global nuclear terror – COMMIE RUSSIA HAS THE BOMB

    1952 – UK Brits & London financial centre don’t want to be 2nd class – UK HAS THE BOMB

    1960 – France chafes not to be 2nd class to Brits – FRANCE & DE GAULLE HAVE THE BOMB

    1964 – China upgraded to major league – COMMIE CHINA HAS THE BOMB

    1966 – Israel joins the club in time to terrorise & blackmail Arabs in 1967 & 1973 wars – JEWS HAVE THE BOMB & JEWS ARE READY TO SAMSON OPTION EVERYBODY, later ‘confirmed’ by Mordechai Vanunu to MI6 London Times & then maybe living on Haifa beach, not ‘in Israeli prison’, like ‘not really in Ecuador Embassy’ Julian Assange

    1974 – India accepted as big power, debasing its heritage naming its bomb programme ‘Smiling Buddha’ – INDIA HAS THE BOMB

    1979 – South Africa’s white apartheid gov gets to play – WHITE RACIST SOUTH AFRICA HAS THE BOMB READY TO KILL BLACK PEOPLE … but ‘dismantles bombs’ before Mandela & black government can find out the scam

    1998 – Pakistan becomes central player in new Western anti-Muslim theme – PAKISTANI MUSLIMS HAVE THE BOMB & OSAMA OR TERRORISTS MIGHT GET AHOLD OF IT

    2006 – North Korea, always making deals, gets to upgrade – CRAZY NORTH KOREA HAS THE BOMB

    ‘Nuclear terror’ – A greatly profitable business, & a superbly sticky piece of hoax propaganda

    • LOL: Alden
  7. Kiza says:

    Andrei, is it not obvious then that the real solution for US is to kill Putin? Thinking the way the Westerners think, maybe Russia still has a supply of imbeciles such as Gorbachev, maybe extinguishing Communism did not extinguish the spring of such “leaders”. Therefore, after Putin maybe Russia would have another Gorbachev. Problem solved for US.

    But is history not terribly ironic sometimes: soon after one Gorbachev, one Putin popped out! Even if the next Russian leader is not another Putin, he/she will be nothing like Gorbachev. You wasted your chance to control Russia because you celebrated winning the Col War 1.0 basking in hubris and such chance will never come again.

    Honestly, anyone who followed the Western press about Gorbachev at the time knew that Soviet Union was f’ed, I swear I did. Ironically again, anyone following the US MSM now knows equally well that US is f’ed. The wheel of fortune turns.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @WHAT
  8. One has to ask at what Gorbachov was competent at at all. Which brings a question of how a man of such caliber could get elected and managed to stay as long as he did. I remember options of countering possible American star wars fantasized were published in arguments and facts either just before Gorbachov coming to power or soon thereafter . You are quite rightfully noted reasons behind his behavior. Desire to be liked by the West. Hence numerous trips and his wife shopping.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @Avery
  9. @Kiza

    Andrei, is it not obvious then that the real solution for US is to kill Putin? Thinking the way the Westerners think, maybe Russia still has a supply of imbeciles such as Gorbachev, maybe extinguishing Communism did not extinguish the spring of such “leaders”. Therefore, after Putin maybe Russia would have another Gorbachev. Problem solved for US.

    Alexandr Prokhanov openly, including from the podiums on the leading TV talk shows, floats this idea, that the United States is keenly interested in physical removal of Putin. No one, to my knowledge, tried to contradict him. People are aware.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  10. Breaking treaties is what the U.S. gov does, its in the govs DNA, hell just as the native American Indians, the treaties the gov broke with the Indians are in the hundreds if not the thousands, so no surprise there, its what the gov does.

  11. @WHAT

    I wouldn`t be so sure about S500 being ready by 2020, or being that much more capable compared to S400, all things considered.

    I am sure, just saying;) Per 2020? We’ll see. But coming of S500 is ONE of the major reasons why the US is in such a rush–a technology mismatch is becoming more and more apparent. In other words, in defense issues one is supposed to place his bets right.

  12. @Sergey Krieger

    Desire to be liked by the West. Hence numerous trips and his wife shopping.

    Yep, a national leader with a psychology of a… tractorist, a provincial bureaucrat till the very end. Nothing against tractor-drivers per se.

  13. Flavius says:

    I defer to those more knowledgeable than myself to judge Gorbechev’s military and political competencies.
    Nevertheless I believe that it should be said in his favor that his failure came in gambling for peace and that the US would prove to be a trustworthy partner. He turned out to be wrong as to the latter and consequently the bet was lost.
    Into the vacuum caused by the implosion of the USSR rushed the ideological nonsense of the “indispensible nation” that combined with hubris, “what’s the point of having this wonderful military if you don’t use it,” to create a beltway nation that is both addicted to war and incapable of learning from failure.
    The result is that the last 26 years has been a tragic waste and prospects for peace were better before Gorbechev made his gamble because Russia, and China as well, will have learned the lesson that Washington is an untrustworthy partner; for at least the next generation there will be no more bets: welcome to Cold War II.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  14. @Diversity Heretic

    so off we’ll go in a pointless arms race that benefits neither the people of the United States nor of Russia.

    It benefits the RIGHT people, the people that profit from the building of these fire crackers. THEY are the only people that matter in this life anymore.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  15. @Brabantian

    I am totally with you. Also Chernobyl was hoax. (Trying to be a little bit satirical)

  16. @Jim Christian

    Always appreciate your comments, Jim. Yes, there will be selective benefits from building these systems. But even these people may find their day spoiled if these toys go off with nuclear weapons on them. Like I said, I hope the Europeans intervene to stop this insanity, but I’m not hopeful.

  17. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Well, that settles is then. Thank you for providing this deep strategic and operational insight; you must be an expert. Should we also send you our SSN, DOB, and bank account info?

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  18. The usual pro-Putin propaganda. Putin’s irresistible hoards with their super modern technology! Capitulate, America, while you’ve still got a chance! Crimea: a surprise attack by what appears to have been private contractors which met no military resistance. What a stupendous feat of arms! Donbas: Putin denies the troops there are even his. Whoever they are, they’ve been stopped dead in their tracks by the rickety, cold war-era Ukrainian military. What a stupendous feat of arms! Syria: air power used against insurgents who themselves had no air support. What a stupendous feat of arms! Moral of the story: Putin doesn’t dare use his rickety conscript army. The Caspian thing is an obvious scam which nobody beleives. “NATO has violated several treaties and tacit understandings”. With whom? Russia has existed as a sovereign state only since 1991 and is the largest piece of wreckage from the collapse of the Soviet Union, a communist dictatorship. If Putin claims that Russia, as a successor state to the Soviet Union, is entitled to the benefit of treaties concluded with the Soviet Union, he must also accept the treaty obligations entered into by the Soviet Union. By invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea, Putin violated the Helsinki Final Act. Thus, by his own act, he has renounced the benefit of successor state status. He can’t have it both ways! Thus, the impression this article makes is that the Rusian government considers its military forces inferior to those of the US and the European members of NATO. I think most of the planet would agree.

  19. WHAT says:
    @Kiza

    Oh, they controlled it allright, taking everything of value out. You`re forgetting that before Putin there was Yeltsin, and russians tend to gnash teeth when talking about him so much more compared to Gorbachev.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  20. @Flavius

    I generally agree but with this:

    his failure came in gambling for peace

    I don’t remember if it was in his or Raisa’s memoirs but I repeat almost verbatim what he said to Raisa and Shevardnadze when facing a crowd of adulating people in one of the Italy’s major cities during one of his visits in late 1980s: “That is why it is all worth it”. He wanted admiration, he craved being liked and he was NOT gambling, he merely followed his lust. It wasn’t a gamble, it was a very conscious choice on his part.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  21. Ivan K. says:

    I’m uncertain to what extent this has been known until now … In any case, to me it sounds like quite a revelation:

    Daniel Ellsberg – America’s most famous whistleblower, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers which helped end the Vietnam war [BTW, from my understanding based on Newsbud.com, Pentagon Papers was a project controlled by the establishment, not some act of genuine rebellion.- I.K.]– has just published a book revealing that he was also one of the main nuclear war planners for the United States in the 1960s.
    Ellsberg said in an interview this morning that the U.S. had plans for a first strike on every city in Russia and China … and that numerous field-level commanders had the power to start nuclear Armageddon:

    The weapons, the machinery that will carry this out, this was no hypothetical plan, …. This was an actual war plan for how we would use the existing weapons ……

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/daniel-ellsberg-u-s-military-planned-first-strike-on-every-city-in-russia-and-china-and-many-field-level-commanders-could-push-the-button.html

  22. Beckow says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Crimea…how about Kosovo?

    If you can explain the ‘one off’ Nato military attack on Serbia to assist in separation of Kosovo, please do so. If not, you are wasting your time here.

    By the way, there is no such thing as ‘inferior‘ nuclear power. So all that verbiage you provide is redundant.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  23. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    “So Russians have no reason to worry”
    – Sure. Your words are a word-by-word repeat of what the ziocon “experts” from various “think tanks” have been telling, despite reality.
    The reality: “…the United States is now spending $46 million per hour on nuclear weapons: that’s $46 million every hour, 24 hours a day, every day.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/12/silencing-of-courageous-documentaries/

    The war profiteers and the half-wit “exceptional” and “chosen” want, in their imbecile arrogance, a total dominance. Read PNAC to get the glimpse of the world we live today, governed by the psychopaths, opportunists, and cowards.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  24. @Michael Kenny

    I think most of the (ignorant, uninformed and stupid people on the) planet would agree.

    There, I fixed it for you. All the dummies agree on it, so it must be correct. When have crowds ever been wrong?

  25. peterAUS says:

    So, post ’91 lessons, for Russia/Rusophiles are:
    1. Do not trust agreement with US.
    I get that.
    2. Keep MAD capability if you want to be treated as a sovereign state.
    I get that too.
    3. The Soviet system collapsed because of Gorbachov and his team.
    Sounds simplistic. Sounds as everything was fine just some incompetent/traitorous people mssed all that up. Hence, no need for any reforms etc. Good.
    4. Getting, again, in arms race with US is a right thing to do.
    Sounds…….interesting.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  26. WHAT says:
    @Beckow

    Literally all it ever posts is neocohenite screeds about le ebil Putin. Don`t even bother.

  27. ANOSPH says:

    Bravo, Andrei! Yet another excellent, myth-debunking piece. Is there any chance you’re planning to translate it into Russian? I’d like my wife to read it but she’s just learning English and this article would present a challenge for her.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  28. @Mark Eugenikos

    How can doctor heal you if you do not tell him where it hurts.

  29. Aedib says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The physical removal of Putin may lead to a more hardliner replacement like for example Bortnikov. Very risky move for the Anglosionist axis.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  30. @ANOSPH

    Thank you for your kind words. As per Russian version–I didn’t even think about it yet. But at least you may try Google Translate, granted you will break the article in several smaller parts–it is readable. Not the best Russian but it gets the point across.

  31. @Anon

    Please do not be naive. Russian are aware how many silos US have. And how many new they built.
    Also they know what US has in the oceans. Russians will never be caught with pants down like it happened in WW ll. The MAD is not only on paper Russians take care that it is reality.
    Those few little rockets in Romania and Poland is nothing but provocation, but still Russians made compensation moves. Although Putin did laugh when he was told that those rockets are protection
    from Iran’s missiles, still he would not laugh if it would be serious matter.

  32. @Brabantian

    I’ve been to Hanford, Savannah River, into Minuteman silos, Russian hardened facilities and an SS 25 base.

    There is one hell of a lot of money being spent on these “fakes”.

  33. @Michael Kenny

    Putin violated the Helsinki Final Act. (Your quote)
    No he did not!!!!!!!!
    He said this: F you and F your Helsinki crap.
    I do advise you to learn the diplomatic language.

    • Replies: @yeah
  34. @Andrei Martyanov

    “what he said to Raisa and Shevardnadze when facing a crowd of adulating people in one of the Italy’s major cities during one of his visits in late 1980s: “That is why it is all worth it”. ”

    Well, looks like his gamble paid off. He is peddling pizzas now to adulating TV viewers.
    So it was all worth to him. Not sure about the rest of Soviet people. Sheer idiocy of what happened is such that it looks like many still cannot put their finger as to what caused all of this. Either he was bought and recruited long before he became General Secretary, while my opinion is that he was mere fool. I notice that many fools who do not look like fools at first but intelligent people use their so called intelligence to basically do very stupid things. Beneath they are fools however hence the hubris. I would put neocons in same category as Gorbachev hence outcomes are similar.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov, Kiza
  35. Erebus says:

    That is why the United States is so desperate for any measure to free itself from any arms limitation obligations thinking it still has a chance—it doesn’t.

    I’m wondering whether a better case can’t be made for the opposite. NATO’s ability to bring treaty compliant missile complexes up to Russia’s border gives it an advantage through several stages of escalation before getting to Armageddon. Depending on how the INF Treaty defines “sea-launch”, a case can be made that Russia would want that treaty gone even more than the US, and has perhaps even manoeuvred the US into a position where it’s the party to break it publicly.

    The INF Treaty forbids ground launched cruise missiles of medium (500-5000km) range, but there’s minimal/no technical difference between land and sea launched cruise missiles per se. The difference lies in the launch platform. With Russia’s “shipping container” launcher having been developed (if not yet deployed), it’s obvious that at least one model in the Kalibr (or some other) series is as much at home on the sea as on land. A quick search didn’t reveal how the Treaty defines “sea-launched”, but one assumes it means from international waters. If so, under the INF, Kalibrs launched from container barges plying the (EG) Pregolya River would violate the treaty just as much as any launched from a truck stop outside Moscow.

    Container based launch platforms multiply possible launch locations and decoys beyond counting, neutralizing NATO’s escalatory advantage and in fact handing it back to the Russians. Their very low cost compared to sea/air launch platforms means wide scale deployment is viable. NATO could counter with TLAM launchers, but afaik they aren’t even mobile, never mind disguised, and in any case the Tomahawk has an abysmal combat record. Digging into past reports, Shayrat was typical of Tomahawk salvoes – <50% success.
    Anyway, this is/would be a strategic game changer.

    However many treaties NATO/US has broken, Russia doesn't want to be seen in the same light. Inducing the Americans to break the INF puts Russia free and clear to deploy at will. With that, MAD rules again. No matter how many Aegis-on-Shore systems NATO installs in Romania, Poland, etc, Europe faces widespread destruction long before MAD kicks in. IOW, by abrogating the INF treaty, the US all but guarantees NATO's irrelevance and dissolution.

    If NATO/US is agitating to dump the INF Treaty, then they either have some secret technological wonder they're itching to field, or they're even more corrupt/stupid than I can imagine. Though I'm shaking my head in wonder, my bet lies on the latter.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  36. with ABM and similar systems deployed in EU, only a stupid russian would think the INF treaty is still in place.

  37. Erebus says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Your comment #18 is a demonstration of true stealth. Having almost no point of contact with reality leaves nothing for your interlocutor’s targeting radar to lock onto.

    Sell your magic formula to Lockheed Martin. I hear the F35 needs it bad.

  38. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    Do you understand that 4) follows automatically from 1) and 2)? I would say it is unavoidable, not ‘interesting’.

    Regarding 3), the Soviet system had to change because it reached its built-in potential, probably by late 60′s or early 70′s. (It delivered the basic social infrastructure of life for most people, and they wanted more – look into the Maslow hierarchy of needs to understand how that works.)

    There was no point to it any more. Why they kept it going for another 20 years beats me, probably old men’s fears and ambitions. Gorbachev turned out to be the wrong man to do it; too naive, impressionable and a bit of a conformist. It was just bad luck that he was in charge. The change (what you call ‘collapse’) could had been handled much better. I think everyone agrees to that.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  39. yeah says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Don’t waste time arguing with a troll. He is a die-hard neocon, not very bright at that, and every point of his induces a head shake. Just press the down arrow key and move on.

  40. Kiza says:
    @WHAT

    Yes, you are correct, they controlled it alright, but they lost control, and that was my point. The loss of control over Russia is the single biggest f-up that the Zionists have done in the whole history of all Jewery (the real and the pretend). Think about ME wars they initiated as deliberate chaos, then they have not stuffed up too many times before. Losing the biggest country on the planet, now that is a staff up.

    Also, I did not say that Putin came right after Gorbachev, then that he pooped out soon after. As to Yeltsin, to me he is a typical Slavic suffering figure, definitely not an imbecile as Gorbachev. We need to appreciate that it was Yeltsin’s wife and daughter which were running Russia during Yeltsin’s drunken “rule”. The wife and daughter were Zionist and apparently were well connected into the global Zionist network which was ruling and pillaging Russia at the time with their help. To rule in his name, the mother-daughter team was feeding Yeltsin an endless supply of vodka. The rumor has it that during one of his sober episodes, Yeltsin deliberately appointed Putin as his successor as a revenge against those who have abused him (and Yeltsin would not be the first man who turned to booze to escape a horrible wife, would he?). This rumor would explain why Putin is so partial regarding Yeltsin: a wrong man at a wrong time, but trying to do right.

    In summary, it was Gorbachev who caused the suffering of the Russian people not Yeltsin. Yeltsin was just a logical product of the post-Gorbachev chaos.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  41. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    Do you understand that 4) follows automatically from 1) and 2)? I would say it is unavoidable, not ‘interesting’.

    Can’t disagree.
    But,the last time it didn’t work well.
    Why would it work better this time?

    Regarding 3), the Soviet system had to change because it reached its built-in potential, probably by late 60′s or early 70′s. (It delivered the basic social infrastructure of life for most people, and they wanted more – look into the Maslow hierarchy of needs to understand how that works.)

    There was no point to it any more. Why they kept it going for another 20 years beats me, probably old men’s fears and ambitions. Gorbachev turned out to be the wrong man to do it; too naive, impressionable and a bit of a conformist. It was just bad luck that he was in charge. The change (what you call ‘collapse’) could had been handled much better. I think everyone agrees to that.

    Actually….agree.
    Imagine that.

    I still believe that focusing on arms race and not on improving Russian society could prove a mistake.
    Actually as similar mistake done in ’80s.

    As I wrote about before, instead of high tech weaponry focus should be on consumer goods, infrastructure and such in Russia.

    Now, I do know that Russia does need good weapons, no doubt about that.
    But not so sure it needs to compete with US.
    Nuclear deterrent should be quite enough.

    Now…arms race against EU/China and the rest of neighbors would make sense.
    I could envisage a heavy conventional clash against those.
    Against US……..not quite, IMHO.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Anon
    , @Anon
    , @pogohere
  42. Kiza says:
    @Aedib

    I think that you may be missing the point big time – a hardliner may be even more desirable than another imbecile as Gorbachev. With Gorbachev, the Western Military Industrial Security budgets started getting cut down. Because Putin is so nightmarishly moderate, they have been desperately lying to their own population, painting Putin as a thug, a killer, a new Hitler etc etc. Imagine the savings in energy and effort if the Russian leader was really a hardliner! Therefore, you cannot scare the West with a possibility of a hardliner in Russia, you can scare them only with another smart-moderate such as Putin.

    As one example, just look at what Putin did in response to the IOC ban of the Russian Olympians. The IOC and its remote controllers were desperate for a rough reaction from Russia or at least a boycott. Instead – “Eat that you Westerners!” (meaning Zionist masters and their Western goyim servants). Instead of talking about the Russian reaction blown up by them into an over-reaction, the World is talking now how shitty IOC is. By serving its masters, the IOC has irreparably damaged itself.

    In essence, Putin always does the opposite to what the provoking Western TPTB hope for, there are hundreds of examples. This is why Putin is such a nightmare in every respect, including the strategic one that Andrei talks about here. Cool and measured master of Zen always, but boiling inside (observe Putin’s hands during Oliver Stone interviews). The country is prospering whilst the man is suffering. This is why the West can never find someone as selfless and committed to his nation as Putin is to Russia. The Western “leaders” are scumbags looking for domination, profit, and good life (and to be always told what to do by the masters in the shadows).

    • Replies: @Aedib
  43. Kiza says:
    @Kiza

    Sorry for a few bad spelling mistakes, my tablet appears to be under Apple/CIA control (LOL).

  44. Avery says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    { Which brings a question of how a man of such caliber could get elected and managed to stay as long as he did.}

    Well, Gorbachev was not really elected: he was selected by his fellow Communist Party sycophants. But the more important question is, were Gorbachev’s predecessors any better?

    [Leonid Brezhnev New Year's Address (1979)]

    How could a superpower allow a man bordering on senility to be its leader?
    This is the fundamental weakness that Russian people have not solved since the time of the Tsars.
    Hat tip to Chinese Communists who have solved it: I am not privy to the details, but apparently some kind of super- committee runs things, and a standard-issue colorless bureaucrat is selected to be titular President for a period, and then another nameless figure takes over.

    I can’t imagine either the Chinese or any Western major power allowing one man to do what Gorbachev did.

    Putin is a great Russian patriot and a very smart leader.
    But what comes after?
    What if another Yeltsin or Gorbachev is elected by the Russian electorate?
    Where is the Russia’s system of checks and balances?

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  45. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    I like consumer goods economy and good infrastructure a lot more than an arms race (applies to US equally as to Russia). But as we agreed above the arms race is at this point unavoidable. I don’t think it is good for anybody. But we are there.

    I think the last Cold War arms race wasn’t that bad – there was never an actual war. Maybe we will get lucky this time too, maybe not.

    What worries me is a total breakdown in a civilised exchange of views. And the ‘collusion’ hysteria in US media. I recall Putin saying that Russia will ‘never again fight on its own territory and take casualties’. If you believe that, then a potential nuclear escalation could happen very quickly. Unlike last Cold War, there are dozens of touch points on Russia’ border where Nato is present and – much worse – where some local leaders are itching to ‘fight the Russkies‘.

    If there is a catastrophic event – and if we are around to analyse it afterwards – the unnecessary aggressive actions by the West on Russia’s borders, the media hysteria, and the local nationalist politics will be listed among the causes.

    We might be living in a short era that will be described in future histories in a Chapter called ‘Causes’. (And now I am off to iron my ‘Che’ shirt, gonna party tonight…).

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Aedib
  46. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    Agree.

    Especially with

    What worries me is a total breakdown in a civilised exchange of views.

    And with “hysteria”.

    Something is wrong.
    Agreeing I mean.

    I have to go and dust off my Cold War memorabilia.

  47. Aedib says:
    @Kiza

    I mostly agree with tour assessment. When a talk about a hardliner I don’t mean a Zhirinovsky-like hardliner. I mean a cool blood FSB hardliner continuing Putin’s master lines. He performed extremely well in face of the Anglo-Zionist axis but sooner or later he will be gone. Finding a right replacement after newt year presidential contest is a “must”.
    I am thinking in someone like Sergei Ivanov or Bortnikov.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  48. Aedib says:
    @Beckow

    But as we agreed above the arms race is at this point unavoidable. I don’t think it is good for anybody. But we are there.

    I think a new arms race like the Cold War 1.0 is unlikely. Putin clearly claimed Russia will not be trapped in such a race again. We should expect more “asymmetrical reactions” or an “asymmetrical weapons race”. For example INF was circumvented by these lovely small Buyan class corvettes. Think in something like this or something “symmetrical” like a dozen ground based X-101 in Chukotka targeting the whole Alaska and the west US coast as a consequence of ground based Tomahawks in Poland.

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  49. @Aedib

    The physical removal of Putin may lead to a more hardliner replacement like for example Bortnikov. Very risky move for the Anglosionist axis.

    It may have, also, as a possible effect, a much faster and harder transition to a multi-polar world and, most likely, will create a huge turmoil in Europe. It also will marginalize the United States with a new realignment. Ramifications are colossal.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  50. @Erebus

    Digging into past reports, Shayrat was typical of Tomahawk salvoes – <50% success.

    An emerging info now does suggest a high probability of GPS “substitution” signal (new, false grid) around Shayrat . If that is true (and all circumstantial evidence suggests so) –we are already in a new paradigm. As an example.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2143499-ships-fooled-in-gps-spoofing-attack-suggest-russian-cyberweapon/

    In other words, implications are immense, there is certainly a very pronounced flavor of utter desperation on the part of US top military and national security brass, not to speak of some rah-rah resources going to “ludicrous speed”(c) in praising US military capabilities, which are simply not there.

    Per this:

    long before MAD kicks in.

    We all still live under the umbrella of MAD but the main change was taking place namely in conventional weaponry which redefined the impact. Even in 1980s in military circles (in USSR) it was a rather common knowledge that coming High Precision Stand-Off conventional weapons can have an operational and even strategic impact equaling that of a nuclear weapon.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @Sergey Krieger
    , @Erebus
  51. Aedib says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Andrei, is feasible the deployment of land-based X-101 in Chukotka as a “symmetrical” answer to the hypothetical deployment of ground based Tomahawks in Poland? From there you can target even San Francisco.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  52. @Avery

    You have the point however almost every nation at one point of history has someone similar to gorbachov. Chinese had Wan Mang for example. Before health issues Leonie Iliich was very competent leader and even in coma he was still head and shoulders above Gorbachov. I agree that Russia needs system of checks and balances to avoid one man doing much harm. Selection process should be geared towards picking one capable and deserving. I stress, selecting not election. Mob is gullible which was amply demonstrated in 80′s by Soviet people. They did elect Yeltsin twice, didn’t they? Russia plainly has no place for another mistake of similar proportions.

  53. @Andrei Martyanov

    The best part USA wasted resources, world trust and time and plainly time is working against USA. The key is to have USA safely pinned down and preocuppied with as many things as possible while entropy takes care of the rest making usa not a threat anymore. Military capabilities tend to vanish very quickly when the system that feeds than disintegrates.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  54. @Aedib

    Andrei, is feasible the deployment of land-based X-101 in Chukotka as a “symmetrical” answer

    No, because X-101 is an air-launched missile and requires initial launch speed which is provided by the carrier aircraft (bombers–TU-160 and TU-95). Having said all that, nothing prevents bombers from launching X-101 (or, God forbids, X-102) precisely from near polar areas. But then, there is another issue–it is Russian Navy. Currently 4 Project 949A (Oscar II) SSGNs of Pacific Fleet are being already upgraded or are planned to with 3M14.

    https://thediplomat.com/2017/06/russias-pacific-fleet-to-upgrade-4-subs-with-supersonic-cruise-missiles/

    So, there will always be a salvo. This is not mention other submarines capable of launching 3M14 or whatever comes after it (upgrades). The important thing here, however, is the fact that the United States simply has no viable Air-defense system. Yes, you may expect an increase of missile-carrying submarines’ patrols near US shores on both oceans, the same as continued evolution of a long-range aviation and weapons it carries.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  55. @Andrei Martyanov

    well, europe just signed PESCO. they are already trying to deal with it. the moment it works, is the moment usa looses control over them. also allows EU to defend it self from any external threats.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  56. @Sergey Krieger

    The best part USA wasted resources, world trust and time and plainly time is working against USA.

    It is very true–like a reputation, geopolitical weight is very different to build and is very easy to squander. The way the United States did it since 2003 is nothing short of jaw dropping. This also tells quite a bit about American power “elites”, not very bright to put it mildly, even when one considers a very serious factor of neoconservatism, which is woefully detrimental to the real American interests. But then again, if not Christian Zionism being so wide spread in the US, the path could have been different.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  57. @Aedib

    Sergei Ivanov

    Ivanov is a closet liberal and is also known to be too friendly with Mr. Daniels and other foreign agents of influence, some of them single malt, others of a sour mash nature. Not a chance for him. Shoigu? Possible but how probable–I don’t know. Most likely some guy from the “wings” of Kremlin.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  58. @Andrei Martyanov

    Correction:

    weight is very different to build and is very easy to squander.

    Must read difficult.

  59. @Astuteobservor II

    “allows EU to defend it self from any external threats”

    And what would those be? Global Warming? Egypt? Martians?

    The United States doesn’t have any control over these countries so it can’t lose it. The United States barely has control over itself.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  60. Aedib says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    AFAIK Ivanov is a near-Putin cadre, but ideologically and in career. What about Bortnikov? He seems a little more hardliner.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  61. Aedib says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Currently 4 Project 949A (Oscar II) SSGNs of Pacific Fleet are being already upgraded or are planned to with 3M14.

    Supersonic anti-ship 3M14 or subsonic SLCM 3M14?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  62. @Aedib

    What about Bortnikov?

    I don’t know. Only Putin knows and even that is in question.

  63. @Aedib

    Supersonic anti-ship 3M14 or subsonic SLCM 3M14?

    Both. But supersonic ASCM is 3M54. Those are unified weapons systems. Each Oscar will be able to carry 72 of those missiles in modified containers for 24 Granit missiles. Generally–anything of a Kalibr family.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  64. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @peterAUS

    “I still believe that focusing on arms race and not on improving Russian society could prove a mistake.”
    — Keep believing.
    Meanwhile, ‘BOOK PRESENTATION: DOES THE UNITED STATES HAVE A FUTURE? by Gilbert Doctorow. Ph.D. http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2017/12/09/speech-to-the-national-press-club-washington-d-c-7-december-1161794.html
    “Let me be specific about how the US attempts to contain and control Russia over the past 25 years have backfired:
    Objective One: Cripple the Russian economy by reducing its single biggest source of export revenues: gas and oil sales to Europe. … The second dimension of this economic warfare has been sanctions, which the US first imposed in 2012, under the guise of punishing Russian violations of human rights –the Magnitsky Act – and which were vastly expanded in 2014 up to present to punish Russia for alleged violations of international law and of the post-Cold War world order by its annexation of Crimea and intervention in the Ukrainian civil war, in Donbass.
    Objective Two: Isolate Russia and cast it as a pariah state, without friends or allies. Expel Russia from major international gatherings, like the G8. … A subset of the “isolate Russia” campaign is to cut off Russian access to military technology.
    What have we gotten for these efforts?
    First, the political effect of the economic warfare, especially of the sanctions, has been to rally the Russian population around the President and in defense of the nation… All of this has driven the approval ratings of Putin from about 65% three years ago to over 80% for months on end this year.
    Secondly, these attacks have only strengthened the resilience and self-sufficiency of the Russian economy. …
    Thirdly, the Russians came up with other pipelines and other partners to ensure their dominant position as provider of imported gas to the EU …”

  65. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @peterAUS

    An answer for the clueless peterAUS:
    From Colonel Lang, a highly competent military man and true patriot of the US –

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/russian-federation-sitrep-14-december-2017.html#tpe-action-posted-6a00d8341c72e153ef01b7c93d0638970b

    “Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets).” He has been merciless in his criticism of the ziocon idiots who have been destroying his beloved US: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/about.html

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  66. MarkinLA says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Putin in Crimea followed the script written by Bill Clinton for Kosovo in Serbia. Bill decided that it met “international law” standards for a place to declare it’s independence if the local government voted for it and there was a popular referendum. The Crimeans also added the desire to be annexed by Russia in their referendum.

    What’s good for the Kosovo is good for the Crimea.

  67. SumDood says:

    Scott Ritter?

    Scott “Arrested 3 times for soliciting underage girls” Ritter?

    Scott “Convicted and jailed for soliciting minors” Ritter?

    From Wikipedia:

    “Ritter was arrested again in November 2009[49] over communications with a police decoy he met on an Internet chat site. Police said that he exposed himself via a web camera after the officer said she was a 15-year-old girl; Ritter said he was not made aware of the ostensible age of his correspondent until after the act. The next month, Ritter waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bail. Charges included “unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, possessing instruments of crime, criminal attempt and criminal solicitation”.[50] Ritter rejected a plea bargain, testified in his trial and was found guilty of all but the criminal attempt count in a Monroe County, Pennsylvania courtroom on April 14, 2011.[3][51] In October 2011 he received a sentence of one and a half to five and a half years in prison.[51] He was paroled in September 2014.[52]“

    Ritter is compromised, and parroting whatever he is told to say by his controller.

    • Replies: @Issac
    , @Anon
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  68. Issac says:
    @SumDood

    No, no, no comrade. He is Anglosaxonist American. All these think same way. Read story about big bombs, have many of these. Russia Strong! America Stupid!

  69. @Johnny Rico

    holy shit, there is someone here who believes there is no geopolitics.

  70. Mr. Martyanov,

    This is O.T., but you will see its purpose in a moment. Didn’t have a ready way to drop this on you, but this fresh thread should serve the purpose.

    JJ

    Ah, glad that I encountered a comment from you here at UR, as I have run across something potentially of interest to you as a student of naval affairs. I am the clerk of government documents at a law school library, and today I found a new issuance in a freshly arrived box of govdocs from the U.S. Naval War College Press dealing with war gaming activities at the juncture when naval forces were shifting their focus from Japan to the USSR. Details on the book in question: Author, Hal M. Friedman; Title, Blue versus Purple – The U.S. Naval War College, the Soviet Union, and the New Enemy in the Pacific, 1946; Identifiers and Call Numbers LCCN 2017007795, ISBN 9781935352310, LCC V420 .F748 2016, SUDOC D 208.210:24, LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017007795.

    Specialist stuff, but if anybody might be interested, it would likely be you. Friedman has also authored two previous books (part of the three volume set): Digesting History: The U.S. Naval War College, the Lessons of World War Two, and Future Naval Warfare, 1945-1947; Blue versus Orange: The U.S. Naval War College, Japan, and the Old Enemy in the Pacific, 1945-1946. Don’t have the level of detail on these that I scooped from the volume just arrived, but you could find them. If you wish, you might try using WorldCat (https://www.worldcat.org/ ] to locate libraries which have them in their holdings; if close enough for a visit, fine, otherwise the information obtained may enable you to place an interlibrary loan request.

    First saw you posting as SmoothieX12 over at Sic Semper Tyrannis, one of my daily go-to sites, only later finding your blog, which I also periodically visit. You do good work.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  71. @Anon

    Anon,

    Although your first link appeared at Sic Semper Tyrannis, it was actually authored by the Canadian, Patrick Armstrong, and is the latest installment of his ongoing series of Russian Federation Sitreps. Not to say that Col. Lang may not be in substantial agreement with Mr. Armstrong’s points, but there is a difference. It is well worth reading this edition from the RF Sitrep series.

  72. @Aedib

    Aedib,

    Geez, I dunno; some may think that having San Francisco getting nuked really wouldn’t chap our asses too badly.

  73. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @SumDood

    “Arrested 3 times for soliciting underage girls…”
    The usual borgists’ method to smear the undesirables, whether the undesirable is Assange or Ritter. How is your Lolita Express doing, SumDood? There were some big names involved in relation to the underage girls who were actually raped under the supervision of an American financier Epstein. Tons of evidence… the Orgy Island was wired through and through. http://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971
    Neither Dershowiz nor Bill Clinton has been arrested. Why? –For being the good friends of Israel and loyalists to Borg? The underage girls on Lolita Express and Orgy Island were not a police decoy — there were children as young as 12 who were used as sex slaves by the wealthy and powerful men none of whom has been arrested (apart from the main procurer Epstein). Don’t you protest too much with your oh-so-prudish quotation from Wikipedia?
    And who is this mysterious “controller?” — perhaps you tried to insinuate Putin? Of course, who else could be so abusive towards our impoverished Pentagon and our innocent democracy…

  74. @SumDood

    As regrettable (and inexcusable) Ritter’s behavior was (albeit I have some doubts in veracity of charges, considering Ritter’s stance on Iraq War), I merely mentioned his piece on a merit of an argument. This is not to mention the argument (a good one) being published in The American Conservative–hardly a source known for promoting sex with underage girls. Evidently TAC shares my POV, by consistently publishing him.

  75. @JerseyJeffersonian

    Thank you very much for pointing out this interesting material. I, certainly, will be interested to see how this whole emerging Cold War ordeal was viewed in late 1940s.

  76. Aedib says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Then, they will have a great flexibility; even more if is possible to change “the mix” to tune it for specific missions. Granit-class will be, therefore, a fantastic offensive platform.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  77. @Aedib

    they will have a great flexibility

    That’s the idea. Kalibr is a family of missiles and allows great flexibility in honing each mission for a specific objective.

    • Replies: @Y.L.
  78. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    An emerging info now does suggest a high probability of GPS “substitution” signal (new, false grid) around Shayrat .

    That may be, but one would expect a “false grid” to affect all missiles. From what we can tell, at least 14 Tomahawks made direct hits on plausible targets, with a total of ~23 hitting within the Tomahawk’s claimed 10m CEP (namely, within the expected 30m distribution pattern). See graphic below:Not knowing the salvo timing or the flight plans, we can only speculate about what re-directed 36 Tomahawks to destinations well outside the Tomahawk’s CEP distribution pattern. >60% of a salvo isn’t a statistical outlier, ergo: there must be a macro-scale cause. If a “false grid” was applied, it may be that there were delays/errors committed in its deployment, or that the technology cannot be applied uniformly, or that the successful TLAMs were guided to their targets by other means. I’m sure both US & Russian specialists are studying the matter closely.

    Even in 1980s in military circles (in USSR) it was a rather common knowledge that coming High Precision Stand-Off conventional weapons can have an operational and even strategic impact equalling that of a nuclear weapon.

    My main point was that if it wasn’t obvious then (with Soviet buffer states still intact), it is surely obvious now that the INF Treaty adversely affects Russia’s security and enhances the West’s, as well as all of the other countries along Russia’s borders.

    Only the US and Russia are signatories, so everybody else has free rein to deploy long range land-based cruise missiles, including China, S. Korea and Japan, but also any of the Central Asian countries the West is trying to elbow their way into. Think of what Afghanistan may have become had US patronage of Karzai’s government succeeded. Russia can counter only with sea and air launches. Both Russian and Western analysts have pointed this out.

    On the European front, Russia’s security looks better. The Baltic fleet and its ability to hit distant targets from Russian airspace are powerful deterents. Its defence lacks only the ability to deploy on land to guarantee security. As it is Russia can’t hit much with <500km range missiles. Meanwhile NATO can hit targets up to 500km inside Russian territory. Targeting Warsaw from Kaliningrad is not a deterrence, NATO would defend Europe to the last Pole. Hitting Brussels, Paris or London is a more serious matter.

    That Western negotiators saw the treaty's strategic implications more clearly than Gorbachev et al 3 decades ago is a historically anomalous error that Russia needs to correct. Standing on legal principle in the face of that threat seems foolish, frankly.

    To sum up, I don't get the idea that the US wants to break the INF. From my admittedly amateur standpoint, I rather think they're terrified of Russia breaking it as it suddenly gains immense advantage to which NATO has no counter. Fixed installation Aegis Ashore platforms loaded with Tomahawks don't pose a fraction of the threat that the Kalibr family poses using cheap containerized platforms that could be literally anywhere, and somewhere else tomorrow.

    I also note the silence from Europe on this matter. They're in the crosshairs of any Russian INF-violating missiles, yet no leader has made an official comment (afaik). All the noise comes from the US. Is there a tacit acceptance in Europe that Russia can't allow Gorbachev's strategic blunder to continue to affect its security? It seems so, and it may be a contributing factor to the stresses we see in the NATO alliance, and even in the EU itself. The obvious implication of Russia abrogating the INF is that diplomacy and good relations with Russia become Europe's best defence, while NATO can contribute only to its destruction. I think that's what the US is worried about, and why it's making the noises it's making.

  79. pogohere says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    Re: “But not so sure it needs to compete with US.”

    It seems Putin agrees about avoiding an unnecessary arms race:

    Putin Tells a Joke About a Boy who Swaps his Father’s Navy Dagger for a Watch

    1:14 min

  80. Aedib says:

    What about the RS-26, the “ICBM” with spirit of IRBM? Some news about it?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  81. attonn says:

    I still can’t forget Gorbachev advertising Louis Vuitton bags in some glamour mag, right when NATO was in a full expansion mode. What a POS.

  82. @Aedib

    What about the RS-26, the “ICBM” with spirit of IRBM? Some news about it?

    I don’t follow it that closely but Russia’s present nuclear deterrent is more than enough to ensure security.

  83. Y.L. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Hey, Andrei, it’s hard to post on your blog. I hate disgusting Disqus.

    Here’s your latest which parallels what you posted here:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/10/more-iskanders-and-s-500-i-guess-for.html

    You commented:

    Another matter, that due to really low intelligence level of people like Bolton they think that they can repeat Cold War 1.0 or even some sort of purely European war with the US staying safe and later capitalizing on the situation. Well, Trump is real estate developer and a TV entertainment industry personality, Bolton is a lawyer who knows very little about real war and modern war machinery. Bar Exams, to the best of my knowledge, do not involve Salvo models, Chaos Theory or Operational Research, let alone physics and math (highly classified) of modern cutting edge weapon systems’ design. So, there you go–good ol’ boys stuck in Holy Reagan times. Indeed, they create their own “reality” as Karl Rove once said.

    So, is Russia’s best course to continue to build “800 pound gorilla” supersonic and hypersonic systems as defensive measures to America/NATO deploying more land based systems? Less worries about having fewer ships than the vast American navy but missiles that will make the bases and ships ineffective?

    How does Avangard fit it? Does Vasilescu know what he’s talking about?

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article203566.html

    My take away from you is your conclusion:

    A New Russian State Defense Order emphasizes further development and procurement of SMART, high precision stand-off weapons, including ones using new physical principles. Meanwhile the stockpile of Russian cruise missiles is growing and also growing are capabilities in anti-missile defenses, with the S-500 slated to go into operation by 2020, as one of many systems already in place capable to dramatically reduce effectiveness of any salvo by any means at Russia proper, while simultaneously providing a devastating response. Gorbachev never even bothered to learn what real capabilities his military had and what the real balance sheet was—we all know the result. Putin and his circle know their capabilities extremely well, they also know that the United Sates cannot be trusted. That is why there will be no repeat of the Cold War 1.0 with or without INF Treaty. There will be no American “gun aimed at the Russia’s temple”, in fact, the opposite scenario is being written. That is why the United States is so desperate for any measure to free itself from any arms limitation obligations thinking it still has a chance—it doesn’t.

    I know you hate videos but Southfront had a 25 minute one on how Russian can’t afford an aircraft carrier. Now, I have no military background but from reading you I think they don’t need one; all they need is a way to get their systems such as Kinzhal, Kalibr, etc. to counteract naval and land based forces seeking to attack Russia. Russia is not an empire; its plan is entirely defensive.

    Thanks.

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