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Making Sense of the “Super Fuse” Scare
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For weeks now I have been getting panicked emails with readers asking me whether the USA had developed a special technology called “super fuses” which would make it possible for the USA to successfully pull-off a (preemptive) disarming first strike against Russia. Super-fuses were also mentioned in combination with an alleged lack by Russia of a functioning space-based infrared early warning system giving the Russians less time to react to a possible US nuclear attack.

While there is a factual basis to all this, the original report already mislead the reader with a shocking title “How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze” and by offering several unsubstantiated conclusions. Furthermore, this original report was further discussed by many observers who simply lack the expertise to understand what the facts mentioned in the report really mean. Then the various sources started quoting each other and eventually this resulted in a completely baseless “super fuse scare”. Let’s try to make some sense of all this.

Understanding nuclear strikes and their targets

To understand what really has taken place I need to first define a couple of crucial terms:

  • Hard-target kill capability: this refers to the capability of a missile to destroy a strongly protected target such as a underground missile silo or a deeply buried command post.
  • Soft-target kill capability: the capability to destroy lightly or unprotected targets.
  • Counterforce strike: this refers to a strike aimed at the enemy’s military capabilities.
  • Countervalue strike: this refers to a strike on non-military assets such as cities.

Since strategic nuclear missile silos and command posts are well protected and deeply buried, only hard-target kill (HTK) capable missiles can execute a counterforce strike. Soft-target kill (STK) capable systems are therefore usually seen as being the ultimate retaliatory capability to hit the enemies cities. The crucial notion here is that HTK capability is not a function of explosive power, but of accuracy. Yes, in theory, a hugely powerful weapon can compensate to some degree for a lack of accuracy, but in reality both the USA and the USSR/Russia have long understood that the real key to HTK is accuracy.

During the Cold War, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were more accurate than submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) simply because targeting from the surface and from a fixed position was much easier than targeting from inside a submerged and moving submarine. The American were the first to successfully deploy a HTK capable SLBM with their Trident D-5. The Russians have only acquired this capability very recently (with their R-29RMU Sineva SLBM).

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just a decade ago only 20% of US SLBMs were HTK capable. Now, with the ‘super-fuse’ 100% of US SLBMs are HTK capable. What these super-fuses do is very accurately measure the optimal altitude at which to detonate thereby partially compensating for a lack of accuracy of a non-HTK capable weapon. To make a long story short, these super-fuses made all US SLBMs HTK capable.

Does that matter?

Yes and no. What that means on paper is that the US has just benefited from a massive increase in the number of US missiles with HTK capability. Thus, the US has now a much larger missile force capable of executing a disarming counterforce strike. In reality, however, things are much more complicated than that.

Understanding counterforce strikes

Executing a disarming counterforce strike against the USSR and, later, Russia has been an old American dream. Remember Reagan’s “Star Wars” program? The idea behind it was simple: to develop the capability to intercept enough incoming Soviet warheads to protect the USA from a retaliatory Soviet counter strike. It would work something like this: destroy, say, 70% of the Soviet ICBM/SLBMs and intercept the remaining 30% before they can reach the USA. This was total nonsense both technologically (the technology did not exist) and strategically (just a few Soviet “leakers” could wipe-out entire US cities, who could take such a risk?). The more recent US deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems in Europe has exactly the same purpose – to protect the USA from a retaliatory counterstrike. Without going into complex technical discussions, let’s just say that this point in time, this system would never protect the USA from anything. But in the future, we could imagine such a scenario

1) The USA and Russia agree to further deep cuts in their nuclear strategic forces thereby dramatically reducing the total number of Russian SLBM/ICBMs.

2) The USA deploys all around Russia anti-ballistic systems which can catch and destroy Russian missiles in the early phase of their flight towards the USA.

3) The USA also deploys a number of systems in space or around the USA to intercept any incoming Russian warhead.

4) The USA having a very large HTK-capable force executes a successful counterforce strike destroying 90% (or so) of the Russian capabilities and then the rest are destroyed during their flight.

This is the dream. It will never work. Here is why:

1) The Russians will not agree to deep cuts in their nuclear strategic forces

2) The Russians already have deployed the capability to destroy the forward deployed US anti-ballistic system in Europe.

3) Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA. New Russian missiles have a dramatically shorter and faster first stage burn period making them much harder to intercept.

4) Russia’s reliance on ballistic missiles will be gradually replaced with strategic (long-range) cruise missiles (more about that later)

5) This scenario mistakenly assumes that the USA will know where the Russian SLBM launching submarines will be when they launch and that they will be able to engage them (more about that later)

6) This scenario completely ignores the Russian road-mobile and rail-mobile ICBMs (more about that later)

Understanding MIRVs

Before explaining points 4, 5 and 6 above, I need to mention another important fact: one missile can carry either one single warhead or several (up to 12 and more). When a missile carries several independently targetable warheads it is called MIRVed as in “multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle”.

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MIRVs are important for several reasons. First, one single missile with 10 warheads can, in theory, destroy 10 different targets. Alternatively, one single missile can carry, say 3-4 real warheads and 6-7 decoys. In practical terms what look like one missile on take-off can turn into 5 real warheads, all targeted at different objectives and another 5 fake decoys designed to make interception that more difficult. MIRVs, however, also present a big problem: they are lucrative targets. If with one of “my” nuclear warheards I can destroy 1 of “your” MIRVed missiles, I lose 1 warhead but you lose 10. This is one of the reasons the USA is moving away from land-based MIRVed ICBMs.

The important consideration here is that Russia has a number of possible options to chose from and how many of her missiles will be MIRVed is impossible to predict. Besides, all US and Russian SLBMs will remain MIRVed for the foreseeable future (de-MIRVing SLBMs make no sense, really, since the entire nuclear missile carrying submarine (or SSBN) is a gigantic MIRVed launching pad by definition).

In contrast to MIRVed missile, single warheads missiles are very bad targets to try to destroy using nuclear weapons: even if “my” missile destroys “yours” we both lost 1 missile each. What is the point? Worse, if I have to use 2 of “mine” to make really sure that “yours” is really destroyed, my strike will result in me using 2 warheads in exchange for only 1 of yours. This makes no sense at all.

Finally, in retaliatory countervalue strikes, MIRVed ICBM/SLBMs are a formidable threat: just one single R-30 Bulava (SS-N-30) SLBM or one single R-36 Voevoda (SS-18) ICBM can destroy ten American cities. Is that a risk worth taking? Say the USA failed to destroy one single Borei-class SSBN – in theory that could mean that this one SSBN could destroy up to 200 American cities (20 SLBMs with 10 MIRVs each). How is that for a risk?

Contrasting the US and Russian nuclear triad

Strategic nuclear weapons can be deployed on land, in the oceans or delivered by aircraft. This is called the “nuclear triad”. I won’t discuss the aircraft based part of the US and Russian triads here, as they don’t significantly impact the overall picture and because they are roughly comparable. The sea and land based systems and their underlying strategies could not be any more different. At sea, the USA has had HTK capabilities for many years now and the US decided to hold the most important part of the US nuclear arsenal in SSBNs. In contrast, the Russians chose to develop road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles. The very first one was the RT-2PM Topol (SS-25) deployed in 1985, followed by the T-2PM2 «Topol-M» (SS-27) deployed in 1997 and the revolutionary RT-24 Yars or Topol’-MR (SS-29) deployed in 2010 (the US considered deployed road-mobile strategic missiles, but never succeeded in developing the technology).

The Russians are also deploying rail-mobile missiles called RT-23 Molodets (SS-24) and are about to deploy a newer version called RS-27 Barguzin (SS-31?). This is what they look like:

Russian road mobile and rail mobile ICBMs
Russian road mobile and rail mobile ICBMs

SSBNs and road and rail mobile missiles all have two things in common: they are mobile and they rely on concealment for survival as neither of them can hope to survive. The SSBN hides in the depths of the ocean, the road-mobile missile launcher drives around the immense Russian expanses and can hide, literally, in any forest. As for the rail-mobile missile train, it hides by being completely indistinguishable from any other train on the huge Russian railroad network (even from up close it is impossible to tell whether what you are seeing is a regular freight train or a missile launching special train). To destroy these systems, accuracy is absolutely not enough: you need to find them and you need to find them before they fire their missiles. And that is, by all accounts, quite impossible.

The Russian Navy likes to keep its SSBNs either under the polar ice-cap or in so-called “bastions” such as the Sea of Okhotsk. While these are not really “no-go” zones for US attack submarines (SSN), they are extremely dangerous areas where the Russian Navy has a huge advantage over the US (if only because the US attack submarine cannot count on the support of surface ships or aircraft). The US Navy has some of the best submarines on the planet and superbly trained crews, but I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.

As for the land-based rail-mobile and road-mobile missiles, they are protected by Russian Air Defenses which are the most advanced on the planet, not the kind of airspace the US would want to send B-53, B-1 or B-2 bombers in. But most importantly, these missiles are completely hidden so even if the USA could somehow destroy them, it would failed to find enough of them to make a first disarming strike a viable option. By the way, the RS-24 has four MIRVs (make that 4 US cities) while the RS-27 will have between 10 and 16 (make that another 10 to 16 US cities vaporized).

Looking at geography and cruise missiles

Finally, let’s take a look at geography and cruise missiles. Two Russian cruise missiles are especially important to us: the Kh-102 and the 3M-14K(?):

KH-102 3M-14K
Range: 5500km 2600km
Launcher: Strategic bomber Aircraft, ship, container
Warhead: Nuclear 450kt Nuclear (unknown)

What is important with these two cruise missiles is that the KH-102 has a huge range and that the KM-14K can be fired from aircraft, ships and even containers. Take a look at this video which shows the capabilities of this missile:

Now consider where the vast majority of US cities are located – right along the East and West coasts of the USA and the fact that the US has no air defenses of any kind protecting them. A Russian strategic bomber could hit any West Coast city from the middle of the Pacific ocean. As for a Russian submarine, it could hit any US city from the middle of the Atlantic. Finally, the Russians could conceal an unknown number of cruise missile in regular looking shipping container (flying a Russian flag or, for that matter, any other flag) and simply sail to the immediate proximity to the US coast and unleash a barrage of nuclear cruise missiles.

How much reaction time would such a barrage give the US government?

Understanding reaction time

It is true that the Soviet and Russian space-based early warning system is in bad shape. But did you know that China never bothered developing such a space based system in the first place? So what is wrong with the Chinese, are they stupid, technologically backward or do they know something we don’t?

GlobalWarheadInventoriesTo answer that question we need to look at the options facing a country under nuclear missile attack. The first option is called “launch on warning”: you see the incoming missiles and you press the “red button” (keys in reality) to launch your own missiles. That is sometimes referred to as “use them or lose them”. The next option is “launch on strike”: you launch all you got as soon as a nuclear strike on your territory is confirmed. And, finally, there is the “retaliation after ride-out“: you absorb whatever your enemy shot at you, then take a decision to strike back. What is obvious is that China has adopted, whether by political choice or due to limitation in space capabilities, either a “launch on strike” or a “retaliation after ride-out” option. This is especially interesting since China possesses relatively few nuclear warheads and even fewer real long range ICBMs .

Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike. That would be a “launch on strike” posture, but it is also possible that Russia has a double-posture: she tries to have the capability to launch on warning, but double-secures herself with an automated “dead hand” “launch on strike” capability.

Take a look at this estimate of worldwide stocks of strategic nuclear warheads: While China is credited with only 260 warheads, Russia still has a whopping 7,000 warheads. And a “dead hand” capability. And yet China feels confident enough to announce a “no first use” policy. How can they say that with no space-based nuclear missile launch detection capability?

Many will say that the Chinese wished they had more nukes and a space-based based nuclear missile launch detection capability, but that their current financial and technological means simply do not allow that. Maybe. But my personal guess is that they realize that even their very minimal force represents a good enough deterrent for any potential aggressor. And they might have a point.

Let me ask you this: how many US generals and politicians would be willing to sacrifice just one major US city in order to disarm China or Russia? Some probably would. But I sure hope that the majority would realize that the risk will always remain huge.

For one thing, modern nuclear warfare has, so far, only been “practiced” only on paper and with computers (and thank God for that!)? So nobody *really* knows for sure how a nuclear war would play itself out. The only thing which is certain is that just the political and economic consequences of it would be catastrophic and totally unpredictable. Furthermore, it remains very unclear how such a war could be stopped short of totally destroying one side. The so-called “de-escalation” is a fascinating concept, but so far nobody has really figured this out. Finally, I am personally convinced that both the USA and Russia have more than enough survivable nuclear weapons to actually decide to ride out a full-scale enemy attack. That is the one big issue which many well-meaning pacifist never understood: it is a good thing that “the USA and Russia have the means to blow-up the world ten times over” simply because even one side succeeded in destroying, say, 95% of the US or Russian nuclear forces, the remaining 5% would be more than enough to wipe-out the attacking side in a devastating countervalue attack. If Russia and the USA each had, say, only 10 nuclear warheads then the temptation to try to take them out would be much higher.

This is scary and even sick, but having a lot of nuclear weapons is safer from a “first-strike stability” point of view than having few. Yes, we do live in a crazy world.

Consider that in times of crisis both the US and Russia would scramble their strategic bombers and keep them in the air, refueling them when needed, for as long as needed to avoid having them destroyed on the ground. So even if the USA destroyed ALL Russian ICBM/SLBMs, there would be quite a few strategic bombers in holding patterns in staging areas which could be given the order to strike. And here we reach one last crucial concept:

Counterforce strikes require a lot of HTK capable warheads. The estimates by both sides are kept secret, of course, but we are talking over 1000 targets on each side at least listed, if not actually targeted. But a countervalue strike would require much less. The US has only 10 cities with over one million people. Russia has only 12. And, remember, in theory one warhead is enough for one city (that is not true, but for all practical purposes it is). Just look what 9/11 did to the USA and imagine of, say, “only” Manhattan had been truly nuked. You can easily imagine the consequences.

Conclusion 1: super-fuses are not really that super at all

The super-fuses scare is so overblown that it is almost an urban legend. The fact is that even if all the US SLBMs are now HTK capable and even if Russia does not have a functional space-based missile launch detection capability (she is working on a new one, by the way), this in no way affects the fundamental fact that there is nothing, nothing at all, that the USA could come up with to prevent Russia from obliterating the USA in a retaliatory strike. The opposite is also true, the Russians have exactly zero hope of nuking the USA and survive the inevitable US retaliation.

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The truth is that as far back as the early 1980s Soviet (Marshal Ogarkov) and US specialists had already come to the conclusion that a nuclear war was unwinnable. In the past 30 years two things have dramatically changed the nature of the game: first, an increasing number of conventional weapons have become comparable in their effects to small nuclear weapons and cruise missiles have become vastly more capable. The trend today is for low-RCS (stealth) long range hypersonic cruise missiles and maneuvering ICBM warheads which will make it even harder to detect and intercept them. Just think about it: if the Russians fired a cruise missile volley from a submarine say, 100km off the US coast, how much reaction time will the US have? Say that these low-RCS missile would begin flying at medium altitude being for all practical purpose invisible to radar, infra-red and even sound, then lower themselves down to 3-5 m over the Atlantic and then accelerate to a Mach 2 or Mach 3 speed. Sure, they will become visible to radars once they crosses the horizon, but the remaining reaction time would be measured in seconds, not minutes. Besides, what kind of weapon system could stop that missile type of anyway? Maybe the kind of defenses around a US aircraft carrier (maybe), but there is simply nothing like that along the US coast.

As for ballistic missile warheads, all the current and foreseeable anti-ballistic systems rely on calculations for a non-maneuvering warhead. Once the warheads begin to make turns and zig-zag, then the computation needed to intercept them become harder by several orders of magnitude. Some Russian missiles, like the R-30 Bulava, can even maneuver during their initial burn stage, making their trajectory even harder to estimate (and the missile itself harder to intercept).

The truth is that for the foreseeable future ABM systems will be much more expensive and difficult to build then ABM-defeating missiles. Also, keep in mind that an ABM missile itself is also far, far more expensive than a warhead. Frankly, I have always suspected that the American obsession with various types of ABM technologies is more about giving cash to the Military Industrial Complex and, at best, developing new technologies useful elsewhere.

Conclusion 2: the nuclear deterrence system remains stable, very stable

At the end of WWII, the Soviet Union’s allies, moved by the traditional western love for Russia, immediately proceeded to plan for a conventional and a nuclear war against the Soviet Union (see Operation Unthinkable and Operation Dropshot). Neither plan was executed, the western leaders were probably rational enough not to want to trigger a full-scale war against the armed forces which had destroyed roughly 80% of the Nazi war machine. What is certain, however, is that both sides fully understood that the presence of nuclear weapons profoundly changed the nature of warfare and that the world would never be the same again: for the first time in history all of mankind faced a truly existential threat. As a direct result of this awareness, immense sums of money were given to some of the brightest people on the planet to tackle the issue of nuclear warfare and deterrence. This huge effort resulted in an amazingly redundant, multi-dimensional and sophisticated system which cannot be subverted by any one technological breakthrough. There is SO much redundancy and security built into the Russian and American strategic nuclear forces that a disarming first strike is all but impossible, even if we make the most unlikely and far-fetched assumptions giving one side all the advantages and the other all the disadvantages. For most people it is very hard to wrap their heads around such a hyper-survivable system, but both the USA and Russia have run hundreds and even thousands of very advanced simulations of nuclear exchanges, spending countless hours and millions of dollars trying to find a weak spot in the other guy’s system, and each time the result was the same: there is always enough to inflict an absolutely cataclysmic retaliatory counter-strike.

Conclusion 3: the real danger to our common future

The real danger to our planet comes not from a sudden technological breakthrough which would make nuclear war safe, but from the demented filled minds of the US Neocons who believe that they can bring Russia to heel in a game of “nuclear chicken”. These Neocons have apparently convinced themselves that making conventional threats against Russia, such as unilaterally imposing no-fly zones over Syria, does not bring us closer to a nuclear confrontation. It does.

The Neocons love to bash the United Nations in general, and the veto power of the Permanent Five (P5) at the UN Security Council, but they apparently forgot the reason why this veto power was created in the first place: to outlaw any action which could trigger a nuclear war. Of course, this assumes that the P5 all care about international law. Now that the USA has clearly become a rogue state whose contempt for international law is total, there is no legal mechanism left to stop the US from committing actions which endanger the future of mankind. This is what is really scary, not “super-fuses”.

What we are facing today is a nuclear rogue state run by demented individuals who, steeped in a culture of racial superiority, total impunity and imperial hubris, are constantly trying to bring us closer to a nuclear war. These people are not constrained by anything, not morals, not international law, not even common sense or basic logic. In truth, we are dealing with a messianic cult every bit as insane as the one of Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler and like all self-worshiping crazies they profoundly believe in their invulnerability.

It is the immense sin of the so-called “Western world” that it let these demented individuals take control with little or no resistance and that now almost the entire western society lack the courage to even admit that it surrendered itself to what I can only call a satanic cult. Alexander Solzhenitsyn prophetic words spoken in 1978 have now fully materialized:

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life (Harvard Speech, 1978)

Five years later, Solzhenitsyn warned us again saying,

To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our hands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing. Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.

We have been warned, but will we heed that warning?

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Nuclear War 
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  1. The problem with civilization is that about two percent of the population creates it and another two percent destroys it.

    And for some strange reason man has a hard time telling them apart.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eckbach
    "We will force this war on Hitler if he wants it or not."
    Winston Churchill 1936
    , @Antiwar7
    It's not fruitful to focus on the people. People can always disagree on the motivations, intentions, and potential of other people.

    Better to focus on the actions. Threatening war is reprehensible. Like threatening rape.
    , @Astuteobservor II
    you can't blame the masses when information is 100% controlled, fake, fabricated.
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    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
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  2. MIRVs are important for several reasons. First, one single missile with 10 warheads can, in theory, destroy 10 different targets. Alternatively, one single missile can carry, say 3-4 real warheads and 6-7 decoys.

    I don’t think that this is necessary.

    The “decoys” do not need to look at all like the nuke-carrying cones. They just need to reflect radar / emit infrared and stay on the same trajectory long enough. A 10 cm combined alufoil / chemlight element should do it. You can carry several hundreds of those.

    I remember an image of a MIRV holder dumping the decoys off a ring around the base, like chaff.

    Wikipedia says:

    “Additionally, some buses (e.g. the British Chevaline system) can release decoys to confuse interception devices and radars, such as aluminized balloons or electronic noisemakers.”

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  3. Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike.

    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.

    Here is Alan Borning’s “Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War” about this:

    https://www-ee.stanford.edu/~hellman/Breakthrough/book/chapters/borning.html

    A longer version of that article appeared in “Communications of the ACM” back when SDI was being talked about as a feasible 1-trillion dollar system. Here is a copy:

    https://s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/doykaqzccc/1987_02_XX_Computer_System_Reliability_and_Nuclear_War.pdf

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.
     
    Not really.

    The system only kicks into action if (1) placed on alert, e.g. during a time of major tensions; (2) a number of specific conditions indicating the USSR/Russia had suffered a devastating first strike that wiped out its military leadership were met.

    It also doesn't launch anything automatically, but merely authorizes individual silo commanders to respond at their own will.

    As such, it can be viewed as a stabilizing factor, because the leadership would be less skittish about having to respond to a potentially false alarm with a nuclear counterstrike because of the fear that they would be unable to do so if they were to be destroyed.

    If there's a potentially more destabilizing system, it is the British SLBM forces, which unlike the Americans, the Russians, and the French, do not have a system of Permissive Action Links. IIRC, they could theoretically be launched so long as just the captain and one other person were on board with the plan.
    , @Newbloomfield
    The Perimetr system is not fully automated, rather there is a set of launch officers who make the final decision on whether or not to launch.

    There are three criteria:
    1. They receive an initial alert from the National Command Authority, based upon the detection/perception of an incoming attack
    2. There must be a complete loss of communication with the National Command Authority on a large number of redundant communication systems (land lines, various radio frequencies, etc etc)
    3. Nuclear detonation detectors (radiological, seismic, optical) must report one or more detonations that correspond to the warning of the attack (there is a timeline to be observed)

    If all the criteria are met, at that point the launch officers would act to launch the emergency communication rockets, which would broadcast launch orders to all surviving Russian nuclear forces, orders which would override all other levels of control. Not a rocket you would want to have launched, as this is actually a doomsday machine for the human race. Far better to dismantle the self-destruct, launch-ready nuclear weapon systems than hope that nuclear deterrence will work perfectly, forever.

    The idea of the Perimter system was that it allowed Soviet/Russian leadership to wait until an attack was confirmed by nuclear detonations, rather than launch an essentially preemptive nuclear "retaliatory" strike based only upon electronic warnings. If the warning of attack was false, the retaliatory strike was actually a first-strike.

    You can read a description of this by Colonel Valery Yarynich (deceased) in his book, Nuclear C3: Command, Control, Cooperation. Coloney Yarynich helped design the systems and oversaw security for communications to it. He fought against an entirely automated system for the reasons you describe. Before he died several years ago, he told me that as far as he knew, the system was still operational.

    , @jimmyriddle
    It reminded me of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmCKJi3CKGE
  4. Suppose it’s true that any full-blown nuclear conflict would destroy the territories of both Russia and the US. Still, I don’t think this somehow guarantees that it could never happen. Rome, the city, fell, but by that time the administration of the Roman empire already moved to Constantinople, and the empire just kept going. Something similar could happen here. The center of power is not necessarily destined to be in any particular geographical location.

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  5. This is a good article.

    Re-China. There’s a chance that they are massively understating their nuclear weapons stocks. This idea was most famously promoted by Philip Karber, but some Russian military analysts (Viktor Eskin) have argued for it as well.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I can see why the Chinese might understate their nuclear weapons stocks - principally that they do not wish to appear to be a threat to a country with a more powerful armoury. Equally I can see why they might greatly exaggefate their nuclear weaponty. What is the line of reasoning that appeals to you?
    , @Wally
    Hey Anatoly, the other authors here do not ban those who disagree with their views.

    You on the other hand try to shield your article's views from scrutiny by banning those that dare to oppose what YOU write.

  6. Saker/Andrei,

    What do you make of this sensational article by Scott Ritter (weapons inspector who rejected that Saddam had WMD) which claims that the Americans have lost the nuclear arms race to the Russians.

    http://www.newsweek.com/us-russia-nuclear-arms-race-over-and-russia-has-won-581704

    “This event, a test of a ballistic missile carrying a payload known as “Object 4202,” fundamentally changed the landscape of arms control, built as it is on the dual pillars of nuclear deterrence and missile defense.

    “Object 4202” was a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, and capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. While the October 26 test used an older RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the launch vehicle, “Object 4202” will ultimately be carried on a newer ICBM, the RS-28.

    The RS-28 is itself a wonder of modern technology, capable of flying in excess of five times the speed of sound, altering its trajectory to confuse anti-missile radars, and delivering 15 independently targetable nuclear warheads (each one 10 times as powerful as the bombs the United States dropped on Japan at the end of World War II) or three “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, which destroy their targets through kinetic energy (i.e., through impact).

    A nuclear warhead-armed RS-28 would take about 30 minutes to reach the United States from a silo in central Russia; its warheads would be capable of destroying an area about the size of Texas.

    Armed with the “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, each of which is capable of destroying an American missile silo, the time would be cut down to 12 minutes or less. The RS-28 ICBM, scheduled to become operational in 2018, assures Russia the ability to annihilate the United States in retaliation for any American first strike, while providing Russia a silo-killing first-strike capability of its own.”

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    “Object 4202” was a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, and capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. While the October 26 test used an older RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the launch vehicle, “Object 4202” will ultimately be carried on a newer ICBM, the RS-28.
     
    I am also Andrei so I apologize if I respond for Saker. United States ran for decade now (in reality longer) Prompt Global Strike program (which US Congress doesn't like), the idea that high hyper-sonic vehicles (gliders) will be able to respond immediately (hence "Prompt") to any "contingency", which would not require nuclear strike, globally. One of the combat rationales for that was presented as scenario in which some terrorists big honchos gather somewhere in one of the Stans and US has only one hour to "respond". Then it launches one of its gliders and within 20 minutes--voila', terrorists congress is annihilated. All this was good on paper but this whole thing had huge political and operational ramifications. Russia's view of hyper sonic weapons, however, is more nuanced and remains still representative of a primarily deterrent function and eventual de-nuclearization (conventionalization) of the conflict, as Yuri Solomonov (Chief Designer of SLBM Bulava) predicted in 2008. Sarmat will be able to launch 4202 and considering its rather outstanding characteristics is, indeed, a new word in ballistic missiles.
  7. @El Dato

    Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike.
     
    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.

    Here is Alan Borning's "Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War" about this:

    https://www-ee.stanford.edu/~hellman/Breakthrough/book/chapters/borning.html

    A longer version of that article appeared in "Communications of the ACM" back when SDI was being talked about as a feasible 1-trillion dollar system. Here is a copy:

    https://s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/doykaqzccc/1987_02_XX_Computer_System_Reliability_and_Nuclear_War.pdf

    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.

    Not really.

    The system only kicks into action if (1) placed on alert, e.g. during a time of major tensions; (2) a number of specific conditions indicating the USSR/Russia had suffered a devastating first strike that wiped out its military leadership were met.

    It also doesn’t launch anything automatically, but merely authorizes individual silo commanders to respond at their own will.

    As such, it can be viewed as a stabilizing factor, because the leadership would be less skittish about having to respond to a potentially false alarm with a nuclear counterstrike because of the fear that they would be unable to do so if they were to be destroyed.

    If there’s a potentially more destabilizing system, it is the British SLBM forces, which unlike the Americans, the Russians, and the French, do not have a system of Permissive Action Links. IIRC, they could theoretically be launched so long as just the captain and one other person were on board with the plan.

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  8. If the “west” nukes Russia, there will be serious, fatal repercussions by some means or other.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    If the “west” nukes Russia, there will be serious, fatal repercussions by some means or other.
     
    United States (and the nominal West) were playing on de-nuclearization of the future conflicts since late 1980s-early 1990s, all based on real and largely perceived (wrongly), US conventional superiority. Part of it was a junk intelligence on Russia, part of it was arrogance. Right now this whole de-nuclearization business is pretty much halted on the Western side while Russia openly states her preference for a strategic conventional containment--what a reversal of roles in 25 years.
  9. @Grahamsno(G64)
    Saker/Andrei,

    What do you make of this sensational article by Scott Ritter (weapons inspector who rejected that Saddam had WMD) which claims that the Americans have lost the nuclear arms race to the Russians.

    http://www.newsweek.com/us-russia-nuclear-arms-race-over-and-russia-has-won-581704

    "This event, a test of a ballistic missile carrying a payload known as “Object 4202,” fundamentally changed the landscape of arms control, built as it is on the dual pillars of nuclear deterrence and missile defense.

    “Object 4202” was a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, and capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. While the October 26 test used an older RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the launch vehicle, “Object 4202” will ultimately be carried on a newer ICBM, the RS-28.

    The RS-28 is itself a wonder of modern technology, capable of flying in excess of five times the speed of sound, altering its trajectory to confuse anti-missile radars, and delivering 15 independently targetable nuclear warheads (each one 10 times as powerful as the bombs the United States dropped on Japan at the end of World War II) or three “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, which destroy their targets through kinetic energy (i.e., through impact).

    A nuclear warhead-armed RS-28 would take about 30 minutes to reach the United States from a silo in central Russia; its warheads would be capable of destroying an area about the size of Texas.

    Armed with the “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, each of which is capable of destroying an American missile silo, the time would be cut down to 12 minutes or less. The RS-28 ICBM, scheduled to become operational in 2018, assures Russia the ability to annihilate the United States in retaliation for any American first strike, while providing Russia a silo-killing first-strike capability of its own."

    “Object 4202” was a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, and capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. While the October 26 test used an older RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the launch vehicle, “Object 4202” will ultimately be carried on a newer ICBM, the RS-28.

    I am also Andrei so I apologize if I respond for Saker. United States ran for decade now (in reality longer) Prompt Global Strike program (which US Congress doesn’t like), the idea that high hyper-sonic vehicles (gliders) will be able to respond immediately (hence “Prompt”) to any “contingency”, which would not require nuclear strike, globally. One of the combat rationales for that was presented as scenario in which some terrorists big honchos gather somewhere in one of the Stans and US has only one hour to “respond”. Then it launches one of its gliders and within 20 minutes–voila’, terrorists congress is annihilated. All this was good on paper but this whole thing had huge political and operational ramifications. Russia’s view of hyper sonic weapons, however, is more nuanced and remains still representative of a primarily deterrent function and eventual de-nuclearization (conventionalization) of the conflict, as Yuri Solomonov (Chief Designer of SLBM Bulava) predicted in 2008. Sarmat will be able to launch 4202 and considering its rather outstanding characteristics is, indeed, a new word in ballistic missiles.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Hypersonic is just a conventional weapon, and Putin wanting it included in nuclear arms talks with the US shows that Russia feels it has not got enough of a nuclear inventory to bargain with.
  10. @exiled off mainstreet
    If the "west" nukes Russia, there will be serious, fatal repercussions by some means or other.

    If the “west” nukes Russia, there will be serious, fatal repercussions by some means or other.

    United States (and the nominal West) were playing on de-nuclearization of the future conflicts since late 1980s-early 1990s, all based on real and largely perceived (wrongly), US conventional superiority. Part of it was a junk intelligence on Russia, part of it was arrogance. Right now this whole de-nuclearization business is pretty much halted on the Western side while Russia openly states her preference for a strategic conventional containment–what a reversal of roles in 25 years.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I understood that the 1991 Iraq Wat had been a (salutary) lesson to the Russian -no longer Soviet - armed forces in US military siuperiority. If so it's a pity the US did not build its relations with Russian generously on that base.
  11. The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM’s, that’s bollocks (those wouldn’t fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical “warning strike” in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don’t know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    “Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA”
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn’t field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don’t seem to understand how ICBM’s work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn’t stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia’s air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn’t be so optimistic. I wouldn’t bet on even the “most advanced on the planet” against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM’s btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2′s and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author’s assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    “I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.”
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN’s constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn’t have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire ™. That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership’s propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    “I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.”
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN’s constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
     
    Sire, don't write about things you have no clue about. I will only answer a single delirium you posted.

    1. Russian SSBNs can launch not from Bastions only (what they are realistically is a whole other matter), but they can launch from bases and from... drum roll--littoral.
    2. Unlike US, Russian Navy deploys a large number of SSKs of project 877 and now 636. New AIP SSKs of Kalina-class (project 677) are in the process of procurement.
    3. No, I underscore, NO American, Russian, British what have you SSN, be it Virginia, Seawolf , Astute, you name it, stand a chance in littoral against any modern SSK with a well trained crew. Do not believe me? Then try to explain why US Navy forbids any exercises of Virginia-class SSNs against allied SSKs? Russian Navy has around 35 of SSKs of all types, US Navy has zero.

    I am not going to explain to you all peculiarities of ASW operations in littoral, especially with updated Il-38 N (Novella) coming on line and newest Russian SSKs being deployed, but I can give you a 100% guarantee that those SLBMs will launch and fly as intended.

    The rest of your post, especially about B-2 is a complete Clanciesque BS.

    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Similarly the current Russophobes in America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either
     
    It's not the Russophobes in the establishment, it's what's known as 'neocons' and 'liberal interventionists', the 'new American century', the 'manifest destiny' on crack, the war party.

    If they aren't total madmen, how would you explain the series of of post-cold-war interventions, including the current escalation in eastern Europe and far east? Can you suggest a way to fit them into a rational strategy?
    , @Intheknow
    I hate to say this but your knowledge of satellites and space based radars is zilch. They can not see thru foliage. FOPEN has some ability as newer tech but radar is all about power and satellites orbit the earth every so many hours no continuous coverage. Continuous coverage requires geosynchronous orbit (a Lagrange point) and at those altitudes radars on a satellite are useless
    , @animalogic
    "America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more."

    I suspect you are essentially correct here.
    Sure, there are some neo-con morons who dream of first strikes etc. However, the deep state, I believe, is playing a longer game in which nuclear weapons figure (beyond their continuing 70 odd year essential military-strategic purpose) as part of a large gamut of hard/soft assaults against the RF. Sanctions, Syria, (so-called) ABM's in Eastern Europe, NATO "build-ups, Ukraine, never ending vicious propaganda are all strands in a rope to strangle the RF into ejecting Putin & replacing him with a Yeltsin clone. To play the King.... So much cheaper to eat your opponent from the inside out. Another "colour revolution" perhaps ? Russia has no lack of globalist neoliberal dogs who (for personal gain) would sell their country out to the US & the West. And why ever not ? Western Elites have been piously betraying their own citizens & countries for decades now (remember people: TINA-TINA-TINA).
    (Unless you actually believe that neoliberalism, off-shoring, bloated parasitical banks, zombie-like adherence to US war crimes around the world & so forth & so on are ACTUALLY for the benefit of the bulk of their citizens...??)
    No, Americans will happily sacrifice 1000's of their own lives & millions of foreign lives, but they would prefer the easy, cheap method .....it's just good business....
    , @The Alarmist

    "Forest canopy doesn’t stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent."
     
    Forest canopy does degrade the effectiveness of radar ... radar scattering camoflauge even more so.

    The US is highly dependent on a number of high-cost and therefore limited availability systems. You yourself note the limited number of B-2's available to hunt down the rail- and road-mobile strategic missile, and further note that they eould be reliant on satellite data ... data from several constellations of satellites that are fairly well known to the Russians, and the Chinese for that matter, and which despite being somewhat hardened can nevertheless be blinded or even taken out entirely (think we are the only ones with ASAT?).

    I would expect our adversary to go immediately to a launch on warning posture that relies heavily on counter-value targeting to make it clear that a first-use policy will be costly. To Saker's point, more than enough warheads will get through. And I would expect them to use strategic and tactical indicators like force movements and systems status changes as trigger points by which they will start taking out forward offensive capabilities, like the ABMs in Europe and Asia, in a bid to head us off at the pass conventionally, when world opinion might lean their way or, more cynically, when US leadership realises losing Chicago and our Poles is less in the national interest than retaliating for a conventional strike on Poland and its Poles. I would also expect a few exoatmospheric EMP bursts over CONUS, not so much to blind or cripple the strategic forces, but to leave the population of the US stewing in their own un-air-conditioed juices without iToys.

    The command structure on both sides have invested heavily in their own survival, but are painfully aware they will be strung-up when they emerge from their hiding places, so maybe the neo-cons are actually hoping enough of the proles will be wiped out that there won't be enough left to overcome the remaining (now militarised) police and troops who will stand between the proles and them.

  12. Let’s not forget “poor little Israel” with its “undocumented” stock of nuclear weapons, built with stolen American technology.
    Israel exists only because of the largesse of the American taxpayers, who are forced to pay taxes to give to Israel, propping up that apartheid government.
    Israel outright refuses to abide by any international agreements regarding nukes and will not agree to inspection of its nuclear “stockpile”.
    There is only one rational explanation for this…Israel cannot account for its nukes, as they are located in major population centers, spread around the world.
    This is in accordance with Israel’s imposition of the “Samson Option” on the rest of the civilized world, a promise to vaporize a European or American city if it is attacked…

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  13. Good article. I have only a couple of observations.

    1. I thought that most warheads designed to destroy hard targets were already ground bursted or actually penetrated the earth to destroy a target with shock waves. So I’m not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.

    2. I wonder how well the launches of SLBMs and ICBMs from operational silos will go. To my knowledge, there has been precisely one launch by the U.S. of an SLBM with a nuclear warhead aboard–way back in the Polaris days. I don’t think that there has ever been a launch from an operational Minuteman silo. I have this feeling that if a launch order were given there would be a very high failure rate, ranging from the missile self-destructing in the silo, to missiles doing nothing, to missiles re-enacting the Challenger disaster, to missiles going wildly off course. Trying to design a disarming first strike under such circumstances strikes me as an exercise in complete, although dangerous, futility.

    3. In light of the demographic changes in the U.s., it ought to consider unilateral nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons should be in the hands of stable ethno-states, not highly unstable ethnically diverse countries that may devolve into civil war.

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    • Agree: utu, Kiza
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    So I’m not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.
     
    Shorn of its INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING SENSATIONALISM, the "Bulletin" story seems to be saying something like this:

    (1) Traditional ICBMs traveled in a "ballistic" manner once the launch burn is complete and were designed to strike within a certain radius of the target, e.g. half a mile. In other words, the missile traveled without active propulsion, and with only limited control.

    (2) Traditional ICBM's approach the target in a gradual descent (think of an airplane landing) but have little ability to fine-tune the final pathway of the missile.

    (3) Traditional fuzes were set to trigger an explosion at a pre-set altitude above ground, e.g. 1000 feet as measured by barometric pressure or radar. If the ICBM overshoots or comes in short of the target, this approach result in a significant loss of effectiveness relative to an explosion at optimum altitude right above the target.

    (4) "Super-fuzes" instead trigger an explosion in a flexible manner, e.g. at the precise moment when the ICBM passes closest to the target.

    (5) High-precision strikes can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the strike against a hardened target. As simple approximation, the impact of an explosion 500 feet from the target is four times greater than an explosion at 1,000 feet.

    , @Sam J.
    They test ICBM SLBM constantly. They remove the warhead but there's no difference between a dummy warhead and a real as far as the missile is concerned. The warheads used to be tested frequently until they decided they didn't need to be. I have no doubt they would work. I certainly bet the Russians and Chinese believe they would work.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-launches-unarmed-minuteman-nuclear-missile-test-north-korea/
    , @Bill Jones
    Based on point 3, the only nuclear powers would be China, Russia, Pakistan, and India.

    The UK and France are not "Stable ethno-states".

    Israel is certainly not "stable"
  14. One obliteration or meltdown of a nuclear plant can create a no-go area that might be the size of a state, or perhaps an entire nation, or perhaps larger. Sure, there are those that minimize the impact of CHernobyl, Hanford and Fukushima, but I personally have no desire to find out what living downwind will entail. The worst bit is that they don’t even require any military action to go bad – poor maintenance, employee negligence or a natural disaster can do it all on its own.

    Unfortunately I don’t think humans do a good job of responding to appeals to rationality. In Washington I think there are quite a few that want thermonuclear rapture, or maybe others who just harbor a desire to ‘see what these puppiez can do – we gotta use them cuz we built ‘em!’

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You're quite right. Nuclear reactors are soft targets. A hit by a nuke and it would be meltdowns for all reactors and a fire in the high level waste cooling ponds. Planet Earth has yet to see even one spent fuel cooling pool catch on fire. It's absolutely scary how many curies of radiation are in a well stocked pond. It makes chernobyl and fukushima look like a walk in the park!
  15. @anonHUN
    The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM's, that's bollocks (those wouldn't fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical "warning strike" in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don't know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    "Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA"
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn't field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don't seem to understand how ICBM's work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn't stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia's air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn't be so optimistic. I wouldn't bet on even the "most advanced on the planet" against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM's btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2's and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author's assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    "I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme."
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN's constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn't have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire (tm). That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership's propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America's deep state aren't total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

    “I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.”
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN’s constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.

    Sire, don’t write about things you have no clue about. I will only answer a single delirium you posted.

    1. Russian SSBNs can launch not from Bastions only (what they are realistically is a whole other matter), but they can launch from bases and from… drum roll–littoral.
    2. Unlike US, Russian Navy deploys a large number of SSKs of project 877 and now 636. New AIP SSKs of Kalina-class (project 677) are in the process of procurement.
    3. No, I underscore, NO American, Russian, British what have you SSN, be it Virginia, Seawolf , Astute, you name it, stand a chance in littoral against any modern SSK with a well trained crew. Do not believe me? Then try to explain why US Navy forbids any exercises of Virginia-class SSNs against allied SSKs? Russian Navy has around 35 of SSKs of all types, US Navy has zero.

    I am not going to explain to you all peculiarities of ASW operations in littoral, especially with updated Il-38 N (Novella) coming on line and newest Russian SSKs being deployed, but I can give you a 100% guarantee that those SLBMs will launch and fly as intended.

    The rest of your post, especially about B-2 is a complete Clanciesque BS.

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    • Replies: @utu
    You sound like a lobbyist from General Dynamics spreading the rumors of the submarine gap.
    , @The Scalpel
    Prepositioning nuclear weapons in the target country is something rarely discussed. Once that is accomplished (which should not be exceptionally difficult) Anti-missile defenses are a moot point. I would be surprised if this is not already the case
  16. MANY THANKS for bringing a little clarity to this crucial field of strategic thinking and planning.

    In recent years, it seems that successive infusions of voodoo “feminist” “liberal” “thought” and wishful thinking within a narrow group of closely connected government careerists has overwhelmed some of the innate caution and institutional intelligence of our military and political apparatus.

    Women and men dedicated to the long-term security of the United States as a constitutional republic are called upon to reassert the power of intelligent, objective analysis, thinking and policy-making to push back the hordes of insane adventurists, groupies and psychopathic profiteers.

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  17. Andrei,

    Could you please elaborate on Russia’s preference for a “strategic conventional containment,” both in terms of the objectives and the means by which they can be accomplished?

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Could you please elaborate on Russia’s preference for a “strategic conventional containment,
     
    I know it is not ethical but instead of me writing a vast and detailed post, essentially repeating myself from earlier time, here are some elaborations on this issue.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/01/why-hysteria.html

    and

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/03/as-was-expected-not-really-news.html

    In essence, this containment means addition of another step to the ladder of possible escalation to nuclear threshold and this is a good thing. It is one thing to obliterate a whole city by 1 megaton munition, and totally another to decapitate military (and political) installations conventionally without dealing much damage to civilians. In the end, let neocons know that there is one-two personal 3M14 or X-101 with their names and addresses in their flight plans.
  18. @anonHUN
    The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM's, that's bollocks (those wouldn't fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical "warning strike" in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don't know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    "Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA"
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn't field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don't seem to understand how ICBM's work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn't stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia's air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn't be so optimistic. I wouldn't bet on even the "most advanced on the planet" against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM's btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2's and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author's assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    "I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme."
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN's constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn't have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire (tm). That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership's propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America's deep state aren't total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

    Similarly the current Russophobes in America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either

    It’s not the Russophobes in the establishment, it’s what’s known as ‘neocons’ and ‘liberal interventionists’, the ‘new American century’, the ‘manifest destiny’ on crack, the war party.

    If they aren’t total madmen, how would you explain the series of of post-cold-war interventions, including the current escalation in eastern Europe and far east? Can you suggest a way to fit them into a rational strategy?

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    • Replies: @anonHUN
    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it's not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a "soft power" that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington's team or at Moscow's? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)
    , @Bart
    It sure isn't rational staying in Afghanistan for 15 years "repeating history" and expecting a different result.
  19. Let them move wherever they like. Makes no difference. A “mere” 100 nuke exchange would result in the end of human life on this planet. Also animals and much of the plant life. Reason: the so-called nuclear winter. The MOTU apparently visit Antarctica a lot. So, they move there to deep under-ice bunkers. So what? When they come out, there is nothing. Is that what they want? To be reduced to a ratlike tunnel/cave existence for ever more? Doesn’t sound like much of a “win” to me, but then I am no deranged cultist as it seems they are.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    In case you're unaware of it, the catastrophic nuclear winter scenarios have been pretty much all shown to be unsupported by evidence.
  20. Aside from Graham and McCain, our two poster-child Strangeloves and a handful of old, bent and stalled out Trotskyists, there is sanity at the core. The brass know full well the Russians play a full court defensive game while we are spread all over the globe trying to act tough. Remove China from the equation as they see Armageddon as bad for business.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

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  21. @Andrei Martyanov

    “I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.”
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN’s constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
     
    Sire, don't write about things you have no clue about. I will only answer a single delirium you posted.

    1. Russian SSBNs can launch not from Bastions only (what they are realistically is a whole other matter), but they can launch from bases and from... drum roll--littoral.
    2. Unlike US, Russian Navy deploys a large number of SSKs of project 877 and now 636. New AIP SSKs of Kalina-class (project 677) are in the process of procurement.
    3. No, I underscore, NO American, Russian, British what have you SSN, be it Virginia, Seawolf , Astute, you name it, stand a chance in littoral against any modern SSK with a well trained crew. Do not believe me? Then try to explain why US Navy forbids any exercises of Virginia-class SSNs against allied SSKs? Russian Navy has around 35 of SSKs of all types, US Navy has zero.

    I am not going to explain to you all peculiarities of ASW operations in littoral, especially with updated Il-38 N (Novella) coming on line and newest Russian SSKs being deployed, but I can give you a 100% guarantee that those SLBMs will launch and fly as intended.

    The rest of your post, especially about B-2 is a complete Clanciesque BS.

    You sound like a lobbyist from General Dynamics spreading the rumors of the submarine gap.

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  22. @ANOSPH
    Andrei,

    Could you please elaborate on Russia's preference for a "strategic conventional containment," both in terms of the objectives and the means by which they can be accomplished?

    Could you please elaborate on Russia’s preference for a “strategic conventional containment,

    I know it is not ethical but instead of me writing a vast and detailed post, essentially repeating myself from earlier time, here are some elaborations on this issue.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/01/why-hysteria.html

    and

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/03/as-was-expected-not-really-news.html

    In essence, this containment means addition of another step to the ladder of possible escalation to nuclear threshold and this is a good thing. It is one thing to obliterate a whole city by 1 megaton munition, and totally another to decapitate military (and political) installations conventionally without dealing much damage to civilians. In the end, let neocons know that there is one-two personal 3M14 or X-101 with their names and addresses in their flight plans.

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  23. @OldGuy28
    Let them move wherever they like. Makes no difference. A "mere" 100 nuke exchange would result in the end of human life on this planet. Also animals and much of the plant life. Reason: the so-called nuclear winter. The MOTU apparently visit Antarctica a lot. So, they move there to deep under-ice bunkers. So what? When they come out, there is nothing. Is that what they want? To be reduced to a ratlike tunnel/cave existence for ever more? Doesn't sound like much of a "win" to me, but then I am no deranged cultist as it seems they are.

    In case you’re unaware of it, the catastrophic nuclear winter scenarios have been pretty much all shown to be unsupported by evidence.

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    • Replies: @aaaa
    Except for when highly capable scientists ran models.
    Why should we believe your appeal to authority?
  24. @Andrei Martyanov

    Could you please elaborate on Russia’s preference for a “strategic conventional containment,
     
    I know it is not ethical but instead of me writing a vast and detailed post, essentially repeating myself from earlier time, here are some elaborations on this issue.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/01/why-hysteria.html

    and

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/03/as-was-expected-not-really-news.html

    In essence, this containment means addition of another step to the ladder of possible escalation to nuclear threshold and this is a good thing. It is one thing to obliterate a whole city by 1 megaton munition, and totally another to decapitate military (and political) installations conventionally without dealing much damage to civilians. In the end, let neocons know that there is one-two personal 3M14 or X-101 with their names and addresses in their flight plans.

    Very informative. Thank you, Andrei.

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  25. @Diversity Heretic
    Good article. I have only a couple of observations.

    1. I thought that most warheads designed to destroy hard targets were already ground bursted or actually penetrated the earth to destroy a target with shock waves. So I'm not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.

    2. I wonder how well the launches of SLBMs and ICBMs from operational silos will go. To my knowledge, there has been precisely one launch by the U.S. of an SLBM with a nuclear warhead aboard--way back in the Polaris days. I don't think that there has ever been a launch from an operational Minuteman silo. I have this feeling that if a launch order were given there would be a very high failure rate, ranging from the missile self-destructing in the silo, to missiles doing nothing, to missiles re-enacting the Challenger disaster, to missiles going wildly off course. Trying to design a disarming first strike under such circumstances strikes me as an exercise in complete, although dangerous, futility.

    3. In light of the demographic changes in the U.s., it ought to consider unilateral nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons should be in the hands of stable ethno-states, not highly unstable ethnically diverse countries that may devolve into civil war.

    So I’m not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.

    Shorn of its INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING SENSATIONALISM, the “Bulletin” story seems to be saying something like this:

    (1) Traditional ICBMs traveled in a “ballistic” manner once the launch burn is complete and were designed to strike within a certain radius of the target, e.g. half a mile. In other words, the missile traveled without active propulsion, and with only limited control.

    (2) Traditional ICBM’s approach the target in a gradual descent (think of an airplane landing) but have little ability to fine-tune the final pathway of the missile.

    (3) Traditional fuzes were set to trigger an explosion at a pre-set altitude above ground, e.g. 1000 feet as measured by barometric pressure or radar. If the ICBM overshoots or comes in short of the target, this approach result in a significant loss of effectiveness relative to an explosion at optimum altitude right above the target.

    (4) “Super-fuzes” instead trigger an explosion in a flexible manner, e.g. at the precise moment when the ICBM passes closest to the target.

    (5) High-precision strikes can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the strike against a hardened target. As simple approximation, the impact of an explosion 500 feet from the target is four times greater than an explosion at 1,000 feet.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    Yes, yours is a valid summary of the super-fusing technology. I would only add that there is an optimum envelope around the target for the nuclear explosion, which is usually in the shape of an inverted cup or a hanging church bell, therefore, strictly speaking it is NOT when the warhead passes the closest to the target.

    This article is of low value and the same applies to the majority of comments. Saker is back to his old game of comparing the spec sheets of weapons on the two sides and "mine is bigger than yours" soliloquies. Unfortunately, I was too busy to engage in the discussion from the beginning and dispute the article and the comments.

    In the briefest, the Russians are playing the scare game whilst the US is moving strategic assets into place for the First Strike. The Russians really have some impressive weapons on the drawing board and at various stages of deployment into their armed forces, but most of the talk here is as if there are hundreds of such weapons already tipping the strategic balance back to even. Therefore, it is US strategic moves versus Russian vaporware and bluster. If you are a Russian patriot, you are supposed to think like this, but I am not Russian and I am not a patriot. The super-fusing technology may have been overblown, but it is another (cheap) technology supporting the First Strike. I really get annoyed by the Russians talking as if they would have time to deploy this and that, or even manufacture this or that and blah, blah. The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day. There is time for nothing except what is already in place and ready. The First Strike gives a huge advantage to the side which perpetrates it. The rest is military mambo-jumbo bull.
  26. […] Source: Making sense of the “super fuse” scare – The Unz Review […]

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  27. Saker,

    Could you provide a link to the above quote?
    “Russia still has a whopping 7,000 warheads. And a “dead hand” capability”

    According to the following source:
    “The Russian Federation officially claims to have 1400 nuclear warheads associated with 473 deployed strategic launchers of various types, although other estimates place that number somewhere between 1500 and 1700 warheads. The Americans, for their part, have 1,585 warheads deployed on 778 launchers.” Russia maintains another 2,000+ tactical nuclear weapons (Iskander, torpedo, aerial, artillery and cruise missile delivery vehicles) to counteract the French and UK nuclear weapons and the 300 or so US tactical nuclear weapons (B61) left in Europe.

    http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1757643-russian-nuclear-weapons-101

    Other sources give the Russian tactical nuclear weapons at approximately 4,000 which would make to total number of readily deployed warheads at about 5,500.

    This information and the estimated total MT yield would allow the calculation of upper atmospheric oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and carbon soot. the global cooling (estimate of reduction in surface temperatures) and the duration could then be better estimated.

    I guess that those who are in the fireball will suffer the least. and the hard core survivors will suffer the most before most die…

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    • Replies: @krollchem
    Here are two other articles that support your nuclears weapon numbers:

    http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Publications/modernization/assuring-destruction-forever-2017.pdf

    FACT SHEETS & BRIEFS (HTTPS://WWW.ARMSCONTROL.ORG/TAXONOMY /TERM/2)
  28. Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike.

    Wait…what? Are you telling me if a bunch of senior Russian officials die from alcohol poisoning the same time a small meteorite lands near their dachas that a system will launch nukes automatically? Against whom? Does it know Space(tm) attacked them? Or heart disease (the ultimate terrorist)? Or will it just assume America-the-Evil is to blame and launch everything at them?

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  29. In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.

    If the arrogant Pentagon starts shooting at the Chinese I think we will learn some things about modern weapons technology. Another thing, their soldiers were big – looked like American football players – huh? Didn’t fit our media’s story, what does?

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.
     
    COTS (commercial off the shelf) "technology" is not a good metric when applied to serious military issues. Serious signal processing and weapon systems require on the several orders of magnitude larger competencies than production of any "smart" phone. Writing code for some quirky app and writing mathematics for combat informational control system (CICS aka Battle Management Systems) are not the same. Production of a world-class submarine or a jet-fighter are enormously complex tasks which require a huge number of enclosed technological cycles. BTW, for all "technology" in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.
  30. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Similarly the current Russophobes in America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either
     
    It's not the Russophobes in the establishment, it's what's known as 'neocons' and 'liberal interventionists', the 'new American century', the 'manifest destiny' on crack, the war party.

    If they aren't total madmen, how would you explain the series of of post-cold-war interventions, including the current escalation in eastern Europe and far east? Can you suggest a way to fit them into a rational strategy?

    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it’s not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a “soft power” that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington’s team or at Moscow’s? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)

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    • Replies: @Logan
    Nansen be confused. Territory the size of Norway x 150 years equals more than 20M square miles. Present Russia = 6.6M square miles. Even the USSR was only 8.7M square miles.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth.
     
    Sure, the USA rules, no question about that. U-S-A, U-S-A.

    This is not what I meant though. The Iraq invasion, the destruction of Libya, the loyalty to Israel. Escalation in the Baltics - these territories are already fully owned, what's the purpose of sending NATO troops in there? Escalation with N.Korea?

    What big-picture strategy might includes all these moves? I mean, the only one I can come up with is to create as much chaos in the empire's periphery as possible and then to try to use it somehow. But if indeed this is the strategy, then the first-strike one isn't far-away...

    , @Valerianus Maximus
    There is nothing "cool" about America. What is called its culture is merely an aggregation of dreck "borrowed" from every other culture, slopped over with a veneer of gloss and CGI glitz, and packaged for resale by Hollywood. American "culture" is devoid of any redeeming spiritual value, being ruthlessly and utterly rooted in the crassest form of materialism and technical novelty, and because of that it corrupts the souls of those who succumb to it. The current digital "world," for example, is the creation of America, and indeed it is almost impossible to think that any other country could have produced such a thing on its own. Not even the Zionists subject themselves to such abominations, even though they gleefully cheer the Americans down that path and otherwise contribute to the effort. To say that other countries are taken in by American culture is merely to say that they are swindled. Satan masquerades as the Angel of Light to effect the ruin of souls, and America is a striking manifestation of evil masquerading as good.
    , @Bro Methylene
    Dude, you are getting crushed here. Better to retreat before they take all your self-respect. The History Channel is not an educational resource.
  31. What these neocons don’t seem to realise is that even if they made a 100% ‘successful’ first strike against Russia and China i.e. with no retaliation, the destruction of the electricity grids in those countries would cause all their nuclear power stations to go into meltdown. There are reportedly 37 nuclear plants in China and 31 in Russia. Imagine 68 Fukushimas, and you don’t need a three-digit IQ to realise that the radiation would almost certainly kill everyone – including the neocons.

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  32. Considering how cautiously they are dealing with a basket case country like north korea that does not have the capability to reach the US, one can only say they would truly crap their pants if they faced an imminent russian strike.

    For that reason we can safely assume a risk adverse US will never risk it.

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  33. […] This article was written for the Unz Review:  […]

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  34. In saying, “…we are dealing with a messianic cult every bit as insane as the one of Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler and like all self-worshiping crazies they profoundly believe in their invulnerability,” you unjustly malign Hitler (about whom we only hear lies, just like everything else), who freed Germany from jooish corruption and control and prevented communism from taking over all of Europe. See “The Greatest Story Never Told” on youtube.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    Nahh. Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler's political career really got going.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.
  35. @anonHUN
    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it's not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a "soft power" that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington's team or at Moscow's? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)

    Nansen be confused. Territory the size of Norway x 150 years equals more than 20M square miles. Present Russia = 6.6M square miles. Even the USSR was only 8.7M square miles.

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  36. @darrell
    In saying, "...we are dealing with a messianic cult every bit as insane as the one of Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler and like all self-worshiping crazies they profoundly believe in their invulnerability," you unjustly malign Hitler (about whom we only hear lies, just like everything else), who freed Germany from jooish corruption and control and prevented communism from taking over all of Europe. See "The Greatest Story Never Told" on youtube.

    Nahh. Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler’s political career really got going.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.

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    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus

    Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler’s political career really got going.
     
    Identify the dramatis personae and place them in a timeline, Logan.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.
     
    So -- FDR and Churchill were bit players in the "enslavement of eastern Europe . . .for forty years?"

    In February 1945, the “Big Three” met at the former Russian czar’s summer palace in the Crimea. Yalta was the most important and by far the most controversial of the wartime meetings. Recognizing the strong position that the Soviet Army possessed on the ground, Churchill and an ailing Roosevelt agreed to a number of compromises with Stalin that allowed Soviet hegemony to remain in Poland and other Eastern European countries, granted territorial concessions to the Soviet Union, and outlined punitive measures against Germany, including an occupation and reparations in principle. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/war-time-conferences
     
    But but but you will retort, If Hitler had not started the war, then Yalta would never had pertained.

    To which history replies:
    -- GIVEN that USA had been attempting to eradicate Bolshevism since at least 1918 -- see When the United States Invaded Russia: Woodrow Wilson's Siberian Disaster
    by Carl J. Richard

    -- AWARE that Teddy Roosevelt and also Franklin D. Roosevelt had long-term friendly relations with Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl; and that Putzi mentored and financed Hitler for years, having brought him to the attention of the Roosevelts. Putzi interactions with Hitler appear almost a hundred times in Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, https://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Ascent-1889-1939-Volker-Ullrich/dp/038535438X
    Prescott Bush and numerous other financiers and merchants -- Jewish and non-Jewish; American, British and German -- supported Hitler: it was a good financial bet.
    Factoring these realities into the historical equation, one might hypothesize that Hitler was an "asset" played by the FDR-Zionist (Brandeis, Frankfurter, Weizmann etc)-Churchill combine.

    -- RECALLING the facts recorded in Jean Edward Smith's biography of FDR
    ( https://books.google.com/books/about/FDR.html?id=Uezmu4jQC_UC )
    that among FDR's very first acts upon taking the presidency in 1933 was going around and behind the State Department and delegating Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to negotiate recognition of Stalin's USSR and negotiating commercial and financial arrangements with Stalin.

    -- Red Pill AWARENESS that NSDAP and Hitler did not want war and knew that Germany was vastly out-gunned by its neighbors -- see Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof 1939: The War That Had Many Fathers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wr55YqcJgQ

    -- NOTICING patterns of British, Zionist and US foreign policy activities;
    i.e.
    -British supported Faisal to destroy the Turks, then betrayed the Arabs;
    -Zionists collaborated with both Germany and the British to acquire "a Jewish homeland in Palestine," then turned on both benefactors once a toehold had been obtained;
    -US supported bin Laden and Mujahaddin to oppose Russians in Afghanistan, then waged war on Afghanistan to eliminate bin Laden;
    -Saddam & Iraq were supported by US to vanquish Iran; then US took him out.
    -In that same war, between Iraq and Iran, Ronen Bergman reports that Israel "sold weapons to both sides, with the primary goal of making money, and the close secondary goal to "let them kill each other," eliminating two of Israel's problems.

    --It's not much of a stretch to speculate that FDR's plan had been to set Stalin to the task of destroying Germany (accomplished), then turning on Stalin to destroy the original Bolshevik enemy. But FDR died prematurely.

  37. @anonHUN
    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it's not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a "soft power" that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington's team or at Moscow's? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)

    Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth.

    Sure, the USA rules, no question about that. U-S-A, U-S-A.

    This is not what I meant though. The Iraq invasion, the destruction of Libya, the loyalty to Israel. Escalation in the Baltics – these territories are already fully owned, what’s the purpose of sending NATO troops in there? Escalation with N.Korea?

    What big-picture strategy might includes all these moves? I mean, the only one I can come up with is to create as much chaos in the empire’s periphery as possible and then to try to use it somehow. But if indeed this is the strategy, then the first-strike one isn’t far-away…

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  38. @Logan
    In case you're unaware of it, the catastrophic nuclear winter scenarios have been pretty much all shown to be unsupported by evidence.

    Except for when highly capable scientists ran models.
    Why should we believe your appeal to authority?

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  39. @El Dato

    Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike.
     
    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.

    Here is Alan Borning's "Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War" about this:

    https://www-ee.stanford.edu/~hellman/Breakthrough/book/chapters/borning.html

    A longer version of that article appeared in "Communications of the ACM" back when SDI was being talked about as a feasible 1-trillion dollar system. Here is a copy:

    https://s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/doykaqzccc/1987_02_XX_Computer_System_Reliability_and_Nuclear_War.pdf

    The Perimetr system is not fully automated, rather there is a set of launch officers who make the final decision on whether or not to launch.

    There are three criteria:
    1. They receive an initial alert from the National Command Authority, based upon the detection/perception of an incoming attack
    2. There must be a complete loss of communication with the National Command Authority on a large number of redundant communication systems (land lines, various radio frequencies, etc etc)
    3. Nuclear detonation detectors (radiological, seismic, optical) must report one or more detonations that correspond to the warning of the attack (there is a timeline to be observed)

    If all the criteria are met, at that point the launch officers would act to launch the emergency communication rockets, which would broadcast launch orders to all surviving Russian nuclear forces, orders which would override all other levels of control. Not a rocket you would want to have launched, as this is actually a doomsday machine for the human race. Far better to dismantle the self-destruct, launch-ready nuclear weapon systems than hope that nuclear deterrence will work perfectly, forever.

    The idea of the Perimter system was that it allowed Soviet/Russian leadership to wait until an attack was confirmed by nuclear detonations, rather than launch an essentially preemptive nuclear “retaliatory” strike based only upon electronic warnings. If the warning of attack was false, the retaliatory strike was actually a first-strike.

    You can read a description of this by Colonel Valery Yarynich (deceased) in his book, Nuclear C3: Command, Control, Cooperation. Coloney Yarynich helped design the systems and oversaw security for communications to it. He fought against an entirely automated system for the reasons you describe. Before he died several years ago, he told me that as far as he knew, the system was still operational.

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  40. @anonHUN
    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it's not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a "soft power" that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington's team or at Moscow's? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)

    There is nothing “cool” about America. What is called its culture is merely an aggregation of dreck “borrowed” from every other culture, slopped over with a veneer of gloss and CGI glitz, and packaged for resale by Hollywood. American “culture” is devoid of any redeeming spiritual value, being ruthlessly and utterly rooted in the crassest form of materialism and technical novelty, and because of that it corrupts the souls of those who succumb to it. The current digital “world,” for example, is the creation of America, and indeed it is almost impossible to think that any other country could have produced such a thing on its own. Not even the Zionists subject themselves to such abominations, even though they gleefully cheer the Americans down that path and otherwise contribute to the effort. To say that other countries are taken in by American culture is merely to say that they are swindled. Satan masquerades as the Angel of Light to effect the ruin of souls, and America is a striking manifestation of evil masquerading as good.

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  41. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Similarly the current Russophobes in America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either
     
    It's not the Russophobes in the establishment, it's what's known as 'neocons' and 'liberal interventionists', the 'new American century', the 'manifest destiny' on crack, the war party.

    If they aren't total madmen, how would you explain the series of of post-cold-war interventions, including the current escalation in eastern Europe and far east? Can you suggest a way to fit them into a rational strategy?

    It sure isn’t rational staying in Afghanistan for 15 years “repeating history” and expecting a different result.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    Afghanistan is "rational" to the extent that it gives the US extra strategic position on the Eurasian landmass. A position (which the British also tried to use) to affect the "great game" against Russia. Afghanistan may also be useful against China & it's "one belt-one road" economic strategy.
    So it's cost a few thousand western lives, & hundreds of billions of dollars etc ? Big deal ! The lives...? Insignificant. The money ? Fiat toilet paper... (Opium epidemic ?" It's always a positive that a nation can exploit it's comparative advantage in a global economy to reach towards economic self sufficiency"....& anyway, a lot of Americans & allies are making a decent buck out of it, so fuck off & grow up)
  42. @anonHUN
    The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM's, that's bollocks (those wouldn't fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical "warning strike" in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don't know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    "Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA"
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn't field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don't seem to understand how ICBM's work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn't stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia's air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn't be so optimistic. I wouldn't bet on even the "most advanced on the planet" against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM's btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2's and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author's assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    "I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme."
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN's constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn't have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire (tm). That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership's propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America's deep state aren't total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

    I hate to say this but your knowledge of satellites and space based radars is zilch. They can not see thru foliage. FOPEN has some ability as newer tech but radar is all about power and satellites orbit the earth every so many hours no continuous coverage. Continuous coverage requires geosynchronous orbit (a Lagrange point) and at those altitudes radars on a satellite are useless

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  43. We should attack them when they hold their ridiculous and typical “I am scared show off farce” military parades communist like to hold.

    Top Brass are all there, and lot of their military and equipment.

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    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    You have certainly come by your posting name honestly. Oops, I'll bet that you don't do irony, do you?
  44. @Drapetomaniac
    The problem with civilization is that about two percent of the population creates it and another two percent destroys it.

    And for some strange reason man has a hard time telling them apart.

    “We will force this war on Hitler if he wants it or not.”
    Winston Churchill 1936

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Source?
    , @Philip Owen
    A powerless outsider at the time and so he continued until well after the war started. The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939. Big but old Navy, old airforce just starting re-equipment and a tiny army. Better heavy tanks than Germany but almost none of them.
  45. @Marvin Sandnes
    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.

    If the arrogant Pentagon starts shooting at the Chinese I think we will learn some things about modern weapons technology. Another thing, their soldiers were big - looked like American football players - huh? Didn't fit our media's story, what does?

    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.

    COTS (commercial off the shelf) “technology” is not a good metric when applied to serious military issues. Serious signal processing and weapon systems require on the several orders of magnitude larger competencies than production of any “smart” phone. Writing code for some quirky app and writing mathematics for combat informational control system (CICS aka Battle Management Systems) are not the same. Production of a world-class submarine or a jet-fighter are enormously complex tasks which require a huge number of enclosed technological cycles. BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    "BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example."...maybe ...not yet. Want to bet against the long term ? Oh, & their mates in Russia can right now....
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.
     
    China can produce a lunar lander and maintain a functioning manned space program, which is more than the USA can say at the moment.
    , @Anonymous
    Aren't jet fighters about as relevant to future combat as battleships?

    Maybe they're just bad value, and china has found a more economical way.
  46. @Andrei Martyanov

    “I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme.”
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN’s constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
     
    Sire, don't write about things you have no clue about. I will only answer a single delirium you posted.

    1. Russian SSBNs can launch not from Bastions only (what they are realistically is a whole other matter), but they can launch from bases and from... drum roll--littoral.
    2. Unlike US, Russian Navy deploys a large number of SSKs of project 877 and now 636. New AIP SSKs of Kalina-class (project 677) are in the process of procurement.
    3. No, I underscore, NO American, Russian, British what have you SSN, be it Virginia, Seawolf , Astute, you name it, stand a chance in littoral against any modern SSK with a well trained crew. Do not believe me? Then try to explain why US Navy forbids any exercises of Virginia-class SSNs against allied SSKs? Russian Navy has around 35 of SSKs of all types, US Navy has zero.

    I am not going to explain to you all peculiarities of ASW operations in littoral, especially with updated Il-38 N (Novella) coming on line and newest Russian SSKs being deployed, but I can give you a 100% guarantee that those SLBMs will launch and fly as intended.

    The rest of your post, especially about B-2 is a complete Clanciesque BS.

    Prepositioning nuclear weapons in the target country is something rarely discussed. Once that is accomplished (which should not be exceptionally difficult) Anti-missile defenses are a moot point. I would be surprised if this is not already the case

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    I too have often thought that this has to be as diabolically asymmetrical as it gets. Shipping containers by the millions come into the US every year. Only a fraction are inspected, and then usually just opened for quick look. National security concerns were voiced when COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Co.) was building its own terminal at Long Beach in the mid 2000s, but Clinton over-ruled Congressional concerns. How difficult would it have been to bring in a few dozen nukes over a decade? Or the components thereof for local re-assembly?
    A lot simpler, and cheaper, I'd wager than designing, building, maintaining and hiding/defending land based ICBMs, not to mention bombers and submarines.
    Where its plausibility stretches is in storing & maintaining 'em for decades in a variety of locations. Maybe as "kits", to be assembled at the last minute? I have no idea, but a 1MT warhead is not a very big thing, smaller than a man, so easily hidden and easily delivered to the target via a normal vehicle like a pickup truck or minivan.

    The problem is deployment.
    It's not much use as a counterforce weapon, as it wouldn't get near a military installation without inspection. It could only be used in a retaliatory countervalue strike. However, this assumes that the US struck first, and if they did, wouldn't the whole country be under full DefCon lockdown immediately on release? All roads would be closed, and all civilian comms likely shut down. That means it would have to be detonated where stored, which is unlikely to be ideal. It also means that remote controlled detonation would have be done via non-civilian comms, or by kamekaze troops. Both pose difficulties.
    I'm sure this scenario has been studied and rejected by better military minds than mine. If not, I guess they're not better after all, and that's scarier than the missiles themselves.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    The possibility adds to the security of us all in so far as an updated MAD standoff is indeed good for peace.
  47. Read More
    • Replies: @Agent76
    FYI Priss Factor, *ALL WARS ARE BANKERS WARS*

    I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

    https://youtu.be/WN0Y3HRiuxo
  48. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

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    • Replies: @Agent76
    A very good and well informed source of international dealings. Keep up the great shares!
  49. @Anatoly Karlin
    This is a good article.

    Re-China. There's a chance that they are massively understating their nuclear weapons stocks. This idea was most famously promoted by Philip Karber, but some Russian military analysts (Viktor Eskin) have argued for it as well.

    I can see why the Chinese might understate their nuclear weapons stocks – principally that they do not wish to appear to be a threat to a country with a more powerful armoury. Equally I can see why they might greatly exaggefate their nuclear weaponty. What is the line of reasoning that appeals to you?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I guess that if they have enough plutonium to build many times more than what they claim to have, then it must certainly be possible, in fact, that is reason enough to think that they have more than what they claim to have. On the other hand, there's no reason to believe the opposite.
  50. @Andrei Martyanov

    If the “west” nukes Russia, there will be serious, fatal repercussions by some means or other.
     
    United States (and the nominal West) were playing on de-nuclearization of the future conflicts since late 1980s-early 1990s, all based on real and largely perceived (wrongly), US conventional superiority. Part of it was a junk intelligence on Russia, part of it was arrogance. Right now this whole de-nuclearization business is pretty much halted on the Western side while Russia openly states her preference for a strategic conventional containment--what a reversal of roles in 25 years.

    I understood that the 1991 Iraq Wat had been a (salutary) lesson to the Russian -no longer Soviet – armed forces in US military siuperiority. If so it’s a pity the US did not build its relations with Russian generously on that base.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    How well is Saudi Arabia doing using Western weapons against the Yemeni rebels using Soviet designed weapons? I think it's misleading to think that wars involving Arabs prove anything regarding the superiority of any weapons.
  51. The best Saker piece I have read unti he started pretending he knows as much about neo-cons and their influence on US policy as he does about atomic war and weapons systems. Whete’s his evidence on the latter? He paints currently influential neocons as virtually insane as they presumably know what The Saker, in the rest of the article, argues so cogently. Anyway I am glad to have affirmed my dismissiveness in commenting on Eric Zuesse’s silly UR piecw in which he got excited about super-fuzes a few days ago.

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  52. @anonHUN
    The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM's, that's bollocks (those wouldn't fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical "warning strike" in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don't know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    "Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA"
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn't field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don't seem to understand how ICBM's work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn't stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia's air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn't be so optimistic. I wouldn't bet on even the "most advanced on the planet" against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM's btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2's and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author's assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    "I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme."
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN's constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn't have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire (tm). That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership's propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America's deep state aren't total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

    “America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.”

    I suspect you are essentially correct here.
    Sure, there are some neo-con morons who dream of first strikes etc. However, the deep state, I believe, is playing a longer game in which nuclear weapons figure (beyond their continuing 70 odd year essential military-strategic purpose) as part of a large gamut of hard/soft assaults against the RF. Sanctions, Syria, (so-called) ABM’s in Eastern Europe, NATO “build-ups, Ukraine, never ending vicious propaganda are all strands in a rope to strangle the RF into ejecting Putin & replacing him with a Yeltsin clone. To play the King…. So much cheaper to eat your opponent from the inside out. Another “colour revolution” perhaps ? Russia has no lack of globalist neoliberal dogs who (for personal gain) would sell their country out to the US & the West. And why ever not ? Western Elites have been piously betraying their own citizens & countries for decades now (remember people: TINA-TINA-TINA).
    (Unless you actually believe that neoliberalism, off-shoring, bloated parasitical banks, zombie-like adherence to US war crimes around the world & so forth & so on are ACTUALLY for the benefit of the bulk of their citizens…??)
    No, Americans will happily sacrifice 1000′s of their own lives & millions of foreign lives, but they would prefer the easy, cheap method …..it’s just good business….

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    "Sanctions, Syria, ..., NATO “build-ups, Ukraine." These particular wounds on Russia are all self inflicted.
  53. @The Scalpel
    Prepositioning nuclear weapons in the target country is something rarely discussed. Once that is accomplished (which should not be exceptionally difficult) Anti-missile defenses are a moot point. I would be surprised if this is not already the case

    I too have often thought that this has to be as diabolically asymmetrical as it gets. Shipping containers by the millions come into the US every year. Only a fraction are inspected, and then usually just opened for quick look. National security concerns were voiced when COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Co.) was building its own terminal at Long Beach in the mid 2000s, but Clinton over-ruled Congressional concerns. How difficult would it have been to bring in a few dozen nukes over a decade? Or the components thereof for local re-assembly?
    A lot simpler, and cheaper, I’d wager than designing, building, maintaining and hiding/defending land based ICBMs, not to mention bombers and submarines.
    Where its plausibility stretches is in storing & maintaining ‘em for decades in a variety of locations. Maybe as “kits”, to be assembled at the last minute? I have no idea, but a 1MT warhead is not a very big thing, smaller than a man, so easily hidden and easily delivered to the target via a normal vehicle like a pickup truck or minivan.

    The problem is deployment.
    It’s not much use as a counterforce weapon, as it wouldn’t get near a military installation without inspection. It could only be used in a retaliatory countervalue strike. However, this assumes that the US struck first, and if they did, wouldn’t the whole country be under full DefCon lockdown immediately on release? All roads would be closed, and all civilian comms likely shut down. That means it would have to be detonated where stored, which is unlikely to be ideal. It also means that remote controlled detonation would have be done via non-civilian comms, or by kamekaze troops. Both pose difficulties.
    I’m sure this scenario has been studied and rejected by better military minds than mine. If not, I guess they’re not better after all, and that’s scarier than the missiles themselves.

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  54. @Bart
    It sure isn't rational staying in Afghanistan for 15 years "repeating history" and expecting a different result.

    Afghanistan is “rational” to the extent that it gives the US extra strategic position on the Eurasian landmass. A position (which the British also tried to use) to affect the “great game” against Russia. Afghanistan may also be useful against China & it’s “one belt-one road” economic strategy.
    So it’s cost a few thousand western lives, & hundreds of billions of dollars etc ? Big deal ! The lives…? Insignificant. The money ? Fiat toilet paper… (Opium epidemic ?” It’s always a positive that a nation can exploit it’s comparative advantage in a global economy to reach towards economic self sufficiency”….& anyway, a lot of Americans & allies are making a decent buck out of it, so fuck off & grow up)

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  55. @Andrei Martyanov

    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.
     
    COTS (commercial off the shelf) "technology" is not a good metric when applied to serious military issues. Serious signal processing and weapon systems require on the several orders of magnitude larger competencies than production of any "smart" phone. Writing code for some quirky app and writing mathematics for combat informational control system (CICS aka Battle Management Systems) are not the same. Production of a world-class submarine or a jet-fighter are enormously complex tasks which require a huge number of enclosed technological cycles. BTW, for all "technology" in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.

    “BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.”…maybe …not yet. Want to bet against the long term ? Oh, & their mates in Russia can right now….

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Want to bet against the long term ?
     
    Define "long term". 15-20 years? I'll bet, 20-35, no. Chinese learn.
  56. Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With USA

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

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  57. @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EihkZVTC_gY

    A very good and well informed source of international dealings. Keep up the great shares!

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  58. @Priss Factor
    Basil Zaharoff the wicked Greek.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-mysterious-mr-zedzed-the-wickedest-man-in-the-world-97435790/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJpG_7qEPOI

    FYI Priss Factor, *ALL WARS ARE BANKERS WARS*

    I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

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  59. The issue is that simple countervalue nuclear deterrence is both already purchased and far too inexpensive for the US MIC to be satisfied providing. On the other hand ABM and the ability to first strike a hardened nuclear force are fiendishly difficult problems that can justify legions of soldiers, engineers, technicians, investors, subcontractors, all getting a sniff of cash. It’s impossible for anyone getting a piece of the action to argue that less is more and that US security is better off with an inexpensive countervalue strategy, leaving it at parity with a far poorer country that by the pre-nuclear logic of war doesn’t “deserve” to be treated with respect.

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  60. @Logan
    Nahh. Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler's political career really got going.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.

    Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler’s political career really got going.

    Identify the dramatis personae and place them in a timeline, Logan.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.

    So — FDR and Churchill were bit players in the “enslavement of eastern Europe . . .for forty years?”

    In February 1945, the “Big Three” met at the former Russian czar’s summer palace in the Crimea. Yalta was the most important and by far the most controversial of the wartime meetings. Recognizing the strong position that the Soviet Army possessed on the ground, Churchill and an ailing Roosevelt agreed to a number of compromises with Stalin that allowed Soviet hegemony to remain in Poland and other Eastern European countries, granted territorial concessions to the Soviet Union, and outlined punitive measures against Germany, including an occupation and reparations in principle. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/war-time-conferences

    But but but you will retort, If Hitler had not started the war, then Yalta would never had pertained.

    To which history replies:
    – GIVEN that USA had been attempting to eradicate Bolshevism since at least 1918 — see When the United States Invaded Russia: Woodrow Wilson’s Siberian Disaster
    by Carl J. Richard

    – AWARE that Teddy Roosevelt and also Franklin D. Roosevelt had long-term friendly relations with Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl; and that Putzi mentored and financed Hitler for years, having brought him to the attention of the Roosevelts. Putzi interactions with Hitler appear almost a hundred times in Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, https://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Ascent-1889-1939-Volker-Ullrich/dp/038535438X
    Prescott Bush and numerous other financiers and merchants — Jewish and non-Jewish; American, British and German — supported Hitler: it was a good financial bet.
    Factoring these realities into the historical equation, one might hypothesize that Hitler was an “asset” played by the FDR-Zionist (Brandeis, Frankfurter, Weizmann etc)-Churchill combine.

    – RECALLING the facts recorded in Jean Edward Smith’s biography of FDR
    ( https://books.google.com/books/about/FDR.html?id=Uezmu4jQC_UC )
    that among FDR’s very first acts upon taking the presidency in 1933 was going around and behind the State Department and delegating Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to negotiate recognition of Stalin’s USSR and negotiating commercial and financial arrangements with Stalin.

    – Red Pill AWARENESS that NSDAP and Hitler did not want war and knew that Germany was vastly out-gunned by its neighbors — see Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof 1939: The War That Had Many Fathers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wr55YqcJgQ

    – NOTICING patterns of British, Zionist and US foreign policy activities;
    i.e.
    -British supported Faisal to destroy the Turks, then betrayed the Arabs;
    -Zionists collaborated with both Germany and the British to acquire “a Jewish homeland in Palestine,” then turned on both benefactors once a toehold had been obtained;
    -US supported bin Laden and Mujahaddin to oppose Russians in Afghanistan, then waged war on Afghanistan to eliminate bin Laden;
    -Saddam & Iraq were supported by US to vanquish Iran; then US took him out.
    -In that same war, between Iraq and Iran, Ronen Bergman reports that Israel “sold weapons to both sides, with the primary goal of making money, and the close secondary goal to “let them kill each other,” eliminating two of Israel’s problems.

    –It’s not much of a stretch to speculate that FDR’s plan had been to set Stalin to the task of destroying Germany (accomplished), then turning on Stalin to destroy the original Bolshevik enemy. But FDR died prematurely.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    "Identify the dramatis personae and place them in a timeline, Logan."

    The main role was played by the Poles, who stopped a Red invasion and threw it back.

    Large Red revolts were also quashed in Germany as a whole, Bavaria, Finland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, with smaller attempts at revolution all over the place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1917%E2%80%9323#Western_Europe

    These revolts started in 1917 and were essentially over by 1923.
  61. @Wizard of Oz
    I can see why the Chinese might understate their nuclear weapons stocks - principally that they do not wish to appear to be a threat to a country with a more powerful armoury. Equally I can see why they might greatly exaggefate their nuclear weaponty. What is the line of reasoning that appeals to you?

    I guess that if they have enough plutonium to build many times more than what they claim to have, then it must certainly be possible, in fact, that is reason enough to think that they have more than what they claim to have. On the other hand, there’s no reason to believe the opposite.

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  62. @The Scalpel
    Prepositioning nuclear weapons in the target country is something rarely discussed. Once that is accomplished (which should not be exceptionally difficult) Anti-missile defenses are a moot point. I would be surprised if this is not already the case

    The possibility adds to the security of us all in so far as an updated MAD standoff is indeed good for peace.

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  63. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @aaaa
    One obliteration or meltdown of a nuclear plant can create a no-go area that might be the size of a state, or perhaps an entire nation, or perhaps larger. Sure, there are those that minimize the impact of CHernobyl, Hanford and Fukushima, but I personally have no desire to find out what living downwind will entail. The worst bit is that they don't even require any military action to go bad - poor maintenance, employee negligence or a natural disaster can do it all on its own.


    Unfortunately I don't think humans do a good job of responding to appeals to rationality. In Washington I think there are quite a few that want thermonuclear rapture, or maybe others who just harbor a desire to 'see what these puppiez can do - we gotta use them cuz we built 'em!'

    You’re quite right. Nuclear reactors are soft targets. A hit by a nuke and it would be meltdowns for all reactors and a fire in the high level waste cooling ponds. Planet Earth has yet to see even one spent fuel cooling pool catch on fire. It’s absolutely scary how many curies of radiation are in a well stocked pond. It makes chernobyl and fukushima look like a walk in the park!

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  64. @Drapetomaniac
    The problem with civilization is that about two percent of the population creates it and another two percent destroys it.

    And for some strange reason man has a hard time telling them apart.

    It’s not fruitful to focus on the people. People can always disagree on the motivations, intentions, and potential of other people.

    Better to focus on the actions. Threatening war is reprehensible. Like threatening rape.

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  65. @Andrei Martyanov

    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.
     
    COTS (commercial off the shelf) "technology" is not a good metric when applied to serious military issues. Serious signal processing and weapon systems require on the several orders of magnitude larger competencies than production of any "smart" phone. Writing code for some quirky app and writing mathematics for combat informational control system (CICS aka Battle Management Systems) are not the same. Production of a world-class submarine or a jet-fighter are enormously complex tasks which require a huge number of enclosed technological cycles. BTW, for all "technology" in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.

    BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.

    China can produce a lunar lander and maintain a functioning manned space program, which is more than the USA can say at the moment.

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  66. @Wizard of Oz
    I understood that the 1991 Iraq Wat had been a (salutary) lesson to the Russian -no longer Soviet - armed forces in US military siuperiority. If so it's a pity the US did not build its relations with Russian generously on that base.

    How well is Saudi Arabia doing using Western weapons against the Yemeni rebels using Soviet designed weapons? I think it’s misleading to think that wars involving Arabs prove anything regarding the superiority of any weapons.

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  67. [Too many typos.]

    I had in mind much more than just weapons. Logistocs, stafg work, communications, GPS – and everything that mpney could buy. But that was 1991. Even in the second Iraq war I heard from an Australian general who worked with and was reated with great respevt by the Americans that American operational planning was very impresdive.

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  68. Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. Russia is in the same position as Nato was, of trying to maintain the credibility of limited nuclear war, but it is all useless. A conventional attacker would simply switch to nuclear weapons, which would progress to an all out exchange on cities.

    Going by the Black Brant scare, Russia is the country most likely to initiate an exchange of nuclear weapons, although they would by mistake. They are technologically backward, scared of the US, and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl). The Black Brant incident, in which that alcoholic Yeltsin had Russia’s nukes under starter’s orders,occurred because the first launch of a nuclear attack would be a high altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon to blind the opponent’s radar with an electromagnetic pulse. there are mayy other things like that we don’t know about, rely on it.

    In 2013 the Obama administration sent Major Genral Michael J. Carey, who was effectively in charge of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force of 450 nuclear missiles. to Russia for a joint security exercise. Carey got drunk and was sacked , but really the idea that the US has any fear of Russia is disproven by the top nuclear commander in the country, privy to ged knows what information and contingency plans, being sent to Moscow where he was potentially prey to any number of possible honey traps or entrapment operations by the Russians on their home ground . (It also shows what a lot of nonsense the Flynn business is).

    Nuclear weapons are just not taken seriously by genuine strategists, they have no military purpose and wars cannot be fought with them. But conventional wars can and will be fought and won under a nuclear Mexican standoff.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl)
     
    Yeah. Even more problematic is their playing balalaikas and wrestling their pet bears all day long...
    , @Sergey Krieger
    "Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. "

    Could you elaborate?
    Russians got vodka and Chinese got Mao Tai. Deadly combination.
  69. @Andrei Martyanov

    “Object 4202” was a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, and capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. While the October 26 test used an older RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the launch vehicle, “Object 4202” will ultimately be carried on a newer ICBM, the RS-28.
     
    I am also Andrei so I apologize if I respond for Saker. United States ran for decade now (in reality longer) Prompt Global Strike program (which US Congress doesn't like), the idea that high hyper-sonic vehicles (gliders) will be able to respond immediately (hence "Prompt") to any "contingency", which would not require nuclear strike, globally. One of the combat rationales for that was presented as scenario in which some terrorists big honchos gather somewhere in one of the Stans and US has only one hour to "respond". Then it launches one of its gliders and within 20 minutes--voila', terrorists congress is annihilated. All this was good on paper but this whole thing had huge political and operational ramifications. Russia's view of hyper sonic weapons, however, is more nuanced and remains still representative of a primarily deterrent function and eventual de-nuclearization (conventionalization) of the conflict, as Yuri Solomonov (Chief Designer of SLBM Bulava) predicted in 2008. Sarmat will be able to launch 4202 and considering its rather outstanding characteristics is, indeed, a new word in ballistic missiles.

    Hypersonic is just a conventional weapon, and Putin wanting it included in nuclear arms talks with the US shows that Russia feels it has not got enough of a nuclear inventory to bargain with.

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  70. @Sean
    Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. Russia is in the same position as Nato was, of trying to maintain the credibility of limited nuclear war, but it is all useless. A conventional attacker would simply switch to nuclear weapons, which would progress to an all out exchange on cities.


    Going by the Black Brant scare, Russia is the country most likely to initiate an exchange of nuclear weapons, although they would by mistake. They are technologically backward, scared of the US, and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl). The Black Brant incident, in which that alcoholic Yeltsin had Russia's nukes under starter's orders,occurred because the first launch of a nuclear attack would be a high altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon to blind the opponent's radar with an electromagnetic pulse. there are mayy other things like that we don't know about, rely on it.

    In 2013 the Obama administration sent Major Genral Michael J. Carey, who was effectively in charge of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force of 450 nuclear missiles. to Russia for a joint security exercise. Carey got drunk and was sacked , but really the idea that the US has any fear of Russia is disproven by the top nuclear commander in the country, privy to ged knows what information and contingency plans, being sent to Moscow where he was potentially prey to any number of possible honey traps or entrapment operations by the Russians on their home ground . (It also shows what a lot of nonsense the Flynn business is).

    Nuclear weapons are just not taken seriously by genuine strategists, they have no military purpose and wars cannot be fought with them. But conventional wars can and will be fought and won under a nuclear Mexican standoff.

    and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl)

    Yeah. Even more problematic is their playing balalaikas and wrestling their pet bears all day long…

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    • LOL: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    Mao, I am apologizing for our previous misunderstanding on my part. This was a good one.
    , @Sean
    Chernoble and the Black Brant incident were not the only ones https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident

    There is a pattern.

  71. @animalogic
    "BTW, for all “technology” in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example."...maybe ...not yet. Want to bet against the long term ? Oh, & their mates in Russia can right now....

    Want to bet against the long term ?

    Define “long term”. 15-20 years? I’ll bet, 20-35, no. Chinese learn.

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  72. @Sean
    Hypersonic is just a conventional weapon, and Putin wanting it included in nuclear arms talks with the US shows that Russia feels it has not got enough of a nuclear inventory to bargain with.

    What!?

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Jan this year

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-vladimir-putin-sergei-lavrov-a7530776.html

    Russia expects to have a dialogue with the Trump administration on nuclear weapons, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.

    Sergei Lavrov said the agenda for such negotiations should also include new hypersonic weapons, a US missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear testing.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Trump said he will consider reviewing US sanctions on Russia if President Vladimir Putin is prepared to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons
     
    Russia has no effective anti ballistic weapons. Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System#Flight_tests_to_date
  73. @Mao Cheng Ji

    and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl)
     
    Yeah. Even more problematic is their playing balalaikas and wrestling their pet bears all day long...

    Mao, I am apologizing for our previous misunderstanding on my part. This was a good one.

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  74. @Sean
    Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. Russia is in the same position as Nato was, of trying to maintain the credibility of limited nuclear war, but it is all useless. A conventional attacker would simply switch to nuclear weapons, which would progress to an all out exchange on cities.


    Going by the Black Brant scare, Russia is the country most likely to initiate an exchange of nuclear weapons, although they would by mistake. They are technologically backward, scared of the US, and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl). The Black Brant incident, in which that alcoholic Yeltsin had Russia's nukes under starter's orders,occurred because the first launch of a nuclear attack would be a high altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon to blind the opponent's radar with an electromagnetic pulse. there are mayy other things like that we don't know about, rely on it.

    In 2013 the Obama administration sent Major Genral Michael J. Carey, who was effectively in charge of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force of 450 nuclear missiles. to Russia for a joint security exercise. Carey got drunk and was sacked , but really the idea that the US has any fear of Russia is disproven by the top nuclear commander in the country, privy to ged knows what information and contingency plans, being sent to Moscow where he was potentially prey to any number of possible honey traps or entrapment operations by the Russians on their home ground . (It also shows what a lot of nonsense the Flynn business is).

    Nuclear weapons are just not taken seriously by genuine strategists, they have no military purpose and wars cannot be fought with them. But conventional wars can and will be fought and won under a nuclear Mexican standoff.

    “Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. ”

    Could you elaborate?
    Russians got vodka and Chinese got Mao Tai. Deadly combination.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Russia has retained a load of clunky so called tactical nuclear weapons, which are widely thought to be to counteract China's numbers in a land war (presumably on the basis preposterous basis that the Chinese would not give up if there army was nuked). China is making it clear that it will not merely retaliate to battlefield nuclear weapons use by Russia, but go up a level.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4152544/China-set-place-nuclear-weapons-border-Russia.html

  75. @Eckbach
    "We will force this war on Hitler if he wants it or not."
    Winston Churchill 1936

    A powerless outsider at the time and so he continued until well after the war started. The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939. Big but old Navy, old airforce just starting re-equipment and a tiny army. Better heavy tanks than Germany but almost none of them.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939.
     
    It's worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39. Mostly light tanks. Even in 1940 they were quite heavily reliant on Czech tanks. And they invaded the Soviet Union with an army that relied mostly on horse-drawn transport. In 1939 re-armament in both Germany and Britain was still far from complete.
  76. @animalogic
    "America’s deep state aren’t total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more."

    I suspect you are essentially correct here.
    Sure, there are some neo-con morons who dream of first strikes etc. However, the deep state, I believe, is playing a longer game in which nuclear weapons figure (beyond their continuing 70 odd year essential military-strategic purpose) as part of a large gamut of hard/soft assaults against the RF. Sanctions, Syria, (so-called) ABM's in Eastern Europe, NATO "build-ups, Ukraine, never ending vicious propaganda are all strands in a rope to strangle the RF into ejecting Putin & replacing him with a Yeltsin clone. To play the King.... So much cheaper to eat your opponent from the inside out. Another "colour revolution" perhaps ? Russia has no lack of globalist neoliberal dogs who (for personal gain) would sell their country out to the US & the West. And why ever not ? Western Elites have been piously betraying their own citizens & countries for decades now (remember people: TINA-TINA-TINA).
    (Unless you actually believe that neoliberalism, off-shoring, bloated parasitical banks, zombie-like adherence to US war crimes around the world & so forth & so on are ACTUALLY for the benefit of the bulk of their citizens...??)
    No, Americans will happily sacrifice 1000's of their own lives & millions of foreign lives, but they would prefer the easy, cheap method .....it's just good business....

    “Sanctions, Syria, …, NATO “build-ups, Ukraine.” These particular wounds on Russia are all self inflicted.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    "Self inflicted" wounds ? I'd like to see some explanation here, because on the face of it such a view appears nonsense. Unless you mean, Russia would have had no "wound" if only she did EXACTLY what the West wants.
  77. So no one on this column saw Dr Strangelove? Or read the book which I did before seeing the film. I am a greybeard?

    No new thoughts here. Just the usual Faker overstatement of Russian capability.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    You have my full permission to add your name to the list of those who underestimated Russian military capability. Well done!
  78. @Philip Owen
    "Sanctions, Syria, ..., NATO “build-ups, Ukraine." These particular wounds on Russia are all self inflicted.

    “Self inflicted” wounds ? I’d like to see some explanation here, because on the face of it such a view appears nonsense. Unless you mean, Russia would have had no “wound” if only she did EXACTLY what the West wants.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war. To justify Crimea a Mediterranean port in Syria was necessary. Staved off defeat for Assad (not a bad thing) but no sign of Assad winning. A base in Morrocco will make Syria irrelevant. So, instead of NATO East of Germany being a political symbol. NATO generals had an excuse to militarize what had been, a missile battery apart, a demilitarized zone. The self harm also includes losing Ukraine for the EEU and to NATO. Yes. Americans of Eastern European descent made lots of noise in Ukraine once Maidan was rolling but the strongest proposal from Nuland was to bring Kerry over to make a speech.

    Russia was the prime mover. They thought Yanukovich was their man bought and paid for. They treated him with contempt. So, hey, he tried unenthusiastic negotiations with the EU to get some leverage. Incompetent nationalist control freaks (nationalist is redundant I know) then tried to show how tough they were. That worked well, didn't it?
  79. @Eagle Eye

    So I’m not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.
     
    Shorn of its INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING SENSATIONALISM, the "Bulletin" story seems to be saying something like this:

    (1) Traditional ICBMs traveled in a "ballistic" manner once the launch burn is complete and were designed to strike within a certain radius of the target, e.g. half a mile. In other words, the missile traveled without active propulsion, and with only limited control.

    (2) Traditional ICBM's approach the target in a gradual descent (think of an airplane landing) but have little ability to fine-tune the final pathway of the missile.

    (3) Traditional fuzes were set to trigger an explosion at a pre-set altitude above ground, e.g. 1000 feet as measured by barometric pressure or radar. If the ICBM overshoots or comes in short of the target, this approach result in a significant loss of effectiveness relative to an explosion at optimum altitude right above the target.

    (4) "Super-fuzes" instead trigger an explosion in a flexible manner, e.g. at the precise moment when the ICBM passes closest to the target.

    (5) High-precision strikes can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the strike against a hardened target. As simple approximation, the impact of an explosion 500 feet from the target is four times greater than an explosion at 1,000 feet.

    Yes, yours is a valid summary of the super-fusing technology. I would only add that there is an optimum envelope around the target for the nuclear explosion, which is usually in the shape of an inverted cup or a hanging church bell, therefore, strictly speaking it is NOT when the warhead passes the closest to the target.

    This article is of low value and the same applies to the majority of comments. Saker is back to his old game of comparing the spec sheets of weapons on the two sides and “mine is bigger than yours” soliloquies. Unfortunately, I was too busy to engage in the discussion from the beginning and dispute the article and the comments.

    In the briefest, the Russians are playing the scare game whilst the US is moving strategic assets into place for the First Strike. The Russians really have some impressive weapons on the drawing board and at various stages of deployment into their armed forces, but most of the talk here is as if there are hundreds of such weapons already tipping the strategic balance back to even. Therefore, it is US strategic moves versus Russian vaporware and bluster. If you are a Russian patriot, you are supposed to think like this, but I am not Russian and I am not a patriot. The super-fusing technology may have been overblown, but it is another (cheap) technology supporting the First Strike. I really get annoyed by the Russians talking as if they would have time to deploy this and that, or even manufacture this or that and blah, blah. The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day. There is time for nothing except what is already in place and ready. The First Strike gives a huge advantage to the side which perpetrates it. The rest is military mambo-jumbo bull.

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    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day.
     
    So, they didn't teach you what Ответно-Встречный Удар (Head On-Response Strike) is and that is what most of Russia's military science was and is built around.
  80. @Philip Owen
    A powerless outsider at the time and so he continued until well after the war started. The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939. Big but old Navy, old airforce just starting re-equipment and a tiny army. Better heavy tanks than Germany but almost none of them.

    The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939.

    It’s worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39. Mostly light tanks. Even in 1940 they were quite heavily reliant on Czech tanks. And they invaded the Soviet Union with an army that relied mostly on horse-drawn transport. In 1939 re-armament in both Germany and Britain was still far from complete.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Yes. The declaration of war was actually made by France, considered by all sides to have the strongest army and air force, except perhaps for the SU.
    , @Thirdeye

    It’s worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39.....
     
    Worth remembering, but boy was there ever an effort in "official" history to make sure we don't!

    IMO Germany was shocked and ill-prepared when negotiations to resolve the Danzig Corridor issue went south in March 1939, largely due to British and French interference. It's open to debate whether their motivation was simply to humiliate Germany by making the negotiations come up empty as a tit-for-tat after getting hornswoggled over Czechoslovakia, or whether they actually wanted to start a war. But on paper they had Germany beat by a substantial margin and they sure blew up an issue between Germany and Poland that was getting close to resolution - finally - after on/off negotiations dating back to the Weimar era.
  81. @Kiza
    Yes, yours is a valid summary of the super-fusing technology. I would only add that there is an optimum envelope around the target for the nuclear explosion, which is usually in the shape of an inverted cup or a hanging church bell, therefore, strictly speaking it is NOT when the warhead passes the closest to the target.

    This article is of low value and the same applies to the majority of comments. Saker is back to his old game of comparing the spec sheets of weapons on the two sides and "mine is bigger than yours" soliloquies. Unfortunately, I was too busy to engage in the discussion from the beginning and dispute the article and the comments.

    In the briefest, the Russians are playing the scare game whilst the US is moving strategic assets into place for the First Strike. The Russians really have some impressive weapons on the drawing board and at various stages of deployment into their armed forces, but most of the talk here is as if there are hundreds of such weapons already tipping the strategic balance back to even. Therefore, it is US strategic moves versus Russian vaporware and bluster. If you are a Russian patriot, you are supposed to think like this, but I am not Russian and I am not a patriot. The super-fusing technology may have been overblown, but it is another (cheap) technology supporting the First Strike. I really get annoyed by the Russians talking as if they would have time to deploy this and that, or even manufacture this or that and blah, blah. The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day. There is time for nothing except what is already in place and ready. The First Strike gives a huge advantage to the side which perpetrates it. The rest is military mambo-jumbo bull.

    The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day.

    So, they didn’t teach you what Ответно-Встречный Удар (Head On-Response Strike) is and that is what most of Russia’s military science was and is built around.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy's aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy "partners" - this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

  82. @El Dato

    Contrast that with the Russians who have recently confirmed that they have long had a “dead hand system” called “Perimetr” which automatically ascertains that a nuclear attack has taken place and then automatically launches a counterstrike.
     
    This kind of shit is very dangerous to have. Never trust a shotgun wired to your head. I hope the designers have done a fecking lot of fault tree analysis.

    Here is Alan Borning's "Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War" about this:

    https://www-ee.stanford.edu/~hellman/Breakthrough/book/chapters/borning.html

    A longer version of that article appeared in "Communications of the ACM" back when SDI was being talked about as a feasible 1-trillion dollar system. Here is a copy:

    https://s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/doykaqzccc/1987_02_XX_Computer_System_Reliability_and_Nuclear_War.pdf
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  83. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Andrei Martyanov

    In 2005 I walked into a phone store in Beijing and was shocked at the sophisticated technology, far surpassed anything in Portland or Seattle. In the Chinese Department Store, drones flying around the huge toy department. A few were not being controlled by an operator, I watched with my jaw hanging.
     
    COTS (commercial off the shelf) "technology" is not a good metric when applied to serious military issues. Serious signal processing and weapon systems require on the several orders of magnitude larger competencies than production of any "smart" phone. Writing code for some quirky app and writing mathematics for combat informational control system (CICS aka Battle Management Systems) are not the same. Production of a world-class submarine or a jet-fighter are enormously complex tasks which require a huge number of enclosed technological cycles. BTW, for all "technology" in Chinese store, China still can not produce wold class SSN, jet fighter or jet-engine, as an example.

    Aren’t jet fighters about as relevant to future combat as battleships?

    Maybe they’re just bad value, and china has found a more economical way.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Aren’t jet fighters about as relevant to future combat as battleships?}

    I am no expert in these matters and not sure about fighters, but my understanding is that strategic bombers have certain advantages over other means of delivering nukes.

    For example, when there is high tension, you send up nuke strategic bombers and have them loiter: you can always call them back, before they launch their nuke cruise missiles or go in for the bomb run. You make your point to the adversary that you are ready to go all the way, without actually going all the way.

    But once you launch an ICBM, you cannot recall them.
    Even 'uncorking' and ICBM for launch to show off is dicey, because it can be legitimately interpreted as prep for a launch: the time lag is so short that neither side can take chances whether it is a warning or an actual launch.
    Not so with a strategic bomber.
  84. @Krollchem
    Saker,

    Could you provide a link to the above quote?
    "Russia still has a whopping 7,000 warheads. And a “dead hand” capability"

    According to the following source:
    “The Russian Federation officially claims to have 1400 nuclear warheads associated with 473 deployed strategic launchers of various types, although other estimates place that number somewhere between 1500 and 1700 warheads. The Americans, for their part, have 1,585 warheads deployed on 778 launchers.” Russia maintains another 2,000+ tactical nuclear weapons (Iskander, torpedo, aerial, artillery and cruise missile delivery vehicles) to counteract the French and UK nuclear weapons and the 300 or so US tactical nuclear weapons (B61) left in Europe.
    http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1757643-russian-nuclear-weapons-101

    Other sources give the Russian tactical nuclear weapons at approximately 4,000 which would make to total number of readily deployed warheads at about 5,500.

    This information and the estimated total MT yield would allow the calculation of upper atmospheric oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and carbon soot. the global cooling (estimate of reduction in surface temperatures) and the duration could then be better estimated.

    I guess that those who are in the fireball will suffer the least. and the hard core survivors will suffer the most before most die...

    Here are two other articles that support your nuclears weapon numbers:

    http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Publications/modernization/assuring-destruction-forever-2017.pdf

    FACT SHEETS & BRIEFS (https://WWW.ARMSCONTROL.ORG/TAXONOMY /TERM/2)

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  85. @Anatoly Karlin
    This is a good article.

    Re-China. There's a chance that they are massively understating their nuclear weapons stocks. This idea was most famously promoted by Philip Karber, but some Russian military analysts (Viktor Eskin) have argued for it as well.

    Hey Anatoly, the other authors here do not ban those who disagree with their views.

    You on the other hand try to shield your article’s views from scrutiny by banning those that dare to oppose what YOU write.

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    • Troll: Kiza
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Wally, I often disagree head on with Anatoly. Politically we are not aligned. He has never hinted at banning me.

    I have no idea what you wrote but it must have been an Ad Hominen or uninformed raving.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Give it a rest, man.
  86. @Anonymous
    Aren't jet fighters about as relevant to future combat as battleships?

    Maybe they're just bad value, and china has found a more economical way.

    {Aren’t jet fighters about as relevant to future combat as battleships?}

    I am no expert in these matters and not sure about fighters, but my understanding is that strategic bombers have certain advantages over other means of delivering nukes.

    For example, when there is high tension, you send up nuke strategic bombers and have them loiter: you can always call them back, before they launch their nuke cruise missiles or go in for the bomb run. You make your point to the adversary that you are ready to go all the way, without actually going all the way.

    But once you launch an ICBM, you cannot recall them.
    Even ‘uncorking’ and ICBM for launch to show off is dicey, because it can be legitimately interpreted as prep for a launch: the time lag is so short that neither side can take chances whether it is a warning or an actual launch.
    Not so with a strategic bomber.

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  87. @Diversity Heretic
    Good article. I have only a couple of observations.

    1. I thought that most warheads designed to destroy hard targets were already ground bursted or actually penetrated the earth to destroy a target with shock waves. So I'm not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.

    2. I wonder how well the launches of SLBMs and ICBMs from operational silos will go. To my knowledge, there has been precisely one launch by the U.S. of an SLBM with a nuclear warhead aboard--way back in the Polaris days. I don't think that there has ever been a launch from an operational Minuteman silo. I have this feeling that if a launch order were given there would be a very high failure rate, ranging from the missile self-destructing in the silo, to missiles doing nothing, to missiles re-enacting the Challenger disaster, to missiles going wildly off course. Trying to design a disarming first strike under such circumstances strikes me as an exercise in complete, although dangerous, futility.

    3. In light of the demographic changes in the U.s., it ought to consider unilateral nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons should be in the hands of stable ethno-states, not highly unstable ethnically diverse countries that may devolve into civil war.

    They test ICBM SLBM constantly. They remove the warhead but there’s no difference between a dummy warhead and a real as far as the missile is concerned. The warheads used to be tested frequently until they decided they didn’t need to be. I have no doubt they would work. I certainly bet the Russians and Chinese believe they would work.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-launches-unarmed-minuteman-nuclear-missile-test-north-korea/

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    I don't think that they test all 24 launch tubes on an Ohio-class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine. Similarly, to my knowledge, there has never been a launch of a Minuteman missile even with a dummy warhead, from an operational silo. And I don't know how you simulate re-entry vehicle and warhead performance in an electromagnetic environment in which nuclear weaspons are detonating (not only offensive, but defensive). Most Minuteman and Trident missiles will launch and perform according to design specifications, but not all. If you really do contemplate a disarming first strike (crazy in my opinion) that failure rate would be critical.
  88. @Drapetomaniac
    The problem with civilization is that about two percent of the population creates it and another two percent destroys it.

    And for some strange reason man has a hard time telling them apart.

    you can’t blame the masses when information is 100% controlled, fake, fabricated.

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  89. @Philip Owen
    So no one on this column saw Dr Strangelove? Or read the book which I did before seeing the film. I am a greybeard?

    No new thoughts here. Just the usual Faker overstatement of Russian capability.

    You have my full permission to add your name to the list of those who underestimated Russian military capability. Well done!

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The Russian invasion of India, 1801; The Crimean War; Various Russian efforts in and near Afghanistan in 19th C (some folks never learn); stuff in the Balkans, Russo-Japanese War. All these were one way or another against Britain who did not overestimate Russian capability.
  90. @Andrei Martyanov

    The First Strike scenario relies on SURPRISE, therefore such war would last only from a couple of hours up to a day.
     
    So, they didn't teach you what Ответно-Встречный Удар (Head On-Response Strike) is and that is what most of Russia's military science was and is built around.

    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy’s aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy “partners” – this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    Read this for the US modus operandi: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/centcom-breaks-free-passage-deal-making-its-allies-bleed-for-it.html#more
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed?
     
    This single phrase of yours pretty much gives all answers. The "most advanced" signal-collector (not EW) ship was commissioned in 1972 (45 y.o.) IIRC and is nothing more than "upgraded" fish trawler. The only "advanced" thing on board of this ship, which most likely originates from the OSNAZ brigade in Donuzlav (been there, done that) is its classified signal collection equipment and signal processing algorithms. Navigational (I underscore that) collisions, that is connected with purely maneuvering issues, with or without radar, happen all the time, such as..well, here it is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_submarine_incidents_since_2000

    All subs ARE equipped with inertial navigation systems, GPS, modern radar, collision avoidance radar systems etc. Yet... Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.


    Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.
     
    She does and Pentagon knows it damn well. MAD was, is and will remain in place for many years to come. So, don't read too much in a routine collision, however, painful for Russia's ageing signal collection fleet.
    , @Avery
    {How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed?}

    If you are talking about the Russian ship that sank in the Bosphorus, is there any doubt NATO/Turks arranged for the collision ? Very easy to do in the narrow confines of the straight.
    , @Philip Owen
    "Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper"

    News. The oil price collapsed in December 2014. The future belongs to the EU (the biggest importer). No war on Russia.
  91. @Kiza
    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy's aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy "partners" - this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

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  92. @SolontoCroesus

    Communism had been stopped in this attempt before Hitler’s political career really got going.
     
    Identify the dramatis personae and place them in a timeline, Logan.

    If anything, his starting and losing a war resulted in eastern Europe being enslaved by Communism for 40 years.
     
    So -- FDR and Churchill were bit players in the "enslavement of eastern Europe . . .for forty years?"

    In February 1945, the “Big Three” met at the former Russian czar’s summer palace in the Crimea. Yalta was the most important and by far the most controversial of the wartime meetings. Recognizing the strong position that the Soviet Army possessed on the ground, Churchill and an ailing Roosevelt agreed to a number of compromises with Stalin that allowed Soviet hegemony to remain in Poland and other Eastern European countries, granted territorial concessions to the Soviet Union, and outlined punitive measures against Germany, including an occupation and reparations in principle. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/war-time-conferences
     
    But but but you will retort, If Hitler had not started the war, then Yalta would never had pertained.

    To which history replies:
    -- GIVEN that USA had been attempting to eradicate Bolshevism since at least 1918 -- see When the United States Invaded Russia: Woodrow Wilson's Siberian Disaster
    by Carl J. Richard

    -- AWARE that Teddy Roosevelt and also Franklin D. Roosevelt had long-term friendly relations with Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl; and that Putzi mentored and financed Hitler for years, having brought him to the attention of the Roosevelts. Putzi interactions with Hitler appear almost a hundred times in Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, https://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Ascent-1889-1939-Volker-Ullrich/dp/038535438X
    Prescott Bush and numerous other financiers and merchants -- Jewish and non-Jewish; American, British and German -- supported Hitler: it was a good financial bet.
    Factoring these realities into the historical equation, one might hypothesize that Hitler was an "asset" played by the FDR-Zionist (Brandeis, Frankfurter, Weizmann etc)-Churchill combine.

    -- RECALLING the facts recorded in Jean Edward Smith's biography of FDR
    ( https://books.google.com/books/about/FDR.html?id=Uezmu4jQC_UC )
    that among FDR's very first acts upon taking the presidency in 1933 was going around and behind the State Department and delegating Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to negotiate recognition of Stalin's USSR and negotiating commercial and financial arrangements with Stalin.

    -- Red Pill AWARENESS that NSDAP and Hitler did not want war and knew that Germany was vastly out-gunned by its neighbors -- see Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof 1939: The War That Had Many Fathers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wr55YqcJgQ

    -- NOTICING patterns of British, Zionist and US foreign policy activities;
    i.e.
    -British supported Faisal to destroy the Turks, then betrayed the Arabs;
    -Zionists collaborated with both Germany and the British to acquire "a Jewish homeland in Palestine," then turned on both benefactors once a toehold had been obtained;
    -US supported bin Laden and Mujahaddin to oppose Russians in Afghanistan, then waged war on Afghanistan to eliminate bin Laden;
    -Saddam & Iraq were supported by US to vanquish Iran; then US took him out.
    -In that same war, between Iraq and Iran, Ronen Bergman reports that Israel "sold weapons to both sides, with the primary goal of making money, and the close secondary goal to "let them kill each other," eliminating two of Israel's problems.

    --It's not much of a stretch to speculate that FDR's plan had been to set Stalin to the task of destroying Germany (accomplished), then turning on Stalin to destroy the original Bolshevik enemy. But FDR died prematurely.

    “Identify the dramatis personae and place them in a timeline, Logan.”

    The main role was played by the Poles, who stopped a Red invasion and threw it back.

    Large Red revolts were also quashed in Germany as a whole, Bavaria, Finland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, with smaller attempts at revolution all over the place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1917%E2%80%9323#Western_Europe

    These revolts started in 1917 and were essentially over by 1923.

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  93. @anonHUN
    The ABM systems in Europe cannot protect the US from Russian ICBM's, that's bollocks (those wouldn't fly over Europe or even within their range, as their obvious flight path would be over the North Pole). They can protect NATO bases from a Russian tactical "warning strike" in a limited war, at least that seems to be their logical purpose. Russia says that these are in fact offensive missiles, camouflaged as ABM missiles. That is their main concern with them publicly. I don't know whether they genuinely believe it, or they just know the former is true (that they could neuter Russian threats to nuke a NATO airfield in retaliation if the US decides to engage Russian forces in Ukraine, for example).
    "Russian warheads and missiles are now maneuverable and can even use any trajectory, including over the South Pole, to reach the USA"
    Not true, a FOBS system could do that, but Russia doesn't field such one as far as I know. A maneuverable reentry vehicle can make turns (even very sharp ones) and thus avoid ABM missiles, but it cannot simply fly around the world in the other direction. You don't seem to understand how ICBM's work.
    You seem to have too much confidence in the road/rail mobile missiles. A Topol launcher in the woods is totally visible to US radar satellites that are monitoring Russia constantly. (Forest canopy doesn't stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.) You also have too much confidence in the unpenetrability of Russia's air defences, even against stealth bombers. I wouldn't be so optimistic. I wouldn't bet on even the "most advanced on the planet" against the B-2, especially considering that they have to defend a huge land area. The B-2 was developed specifically to destroy Russian mobile ICBM's btw. They would get the target data from satellites, fly in undetected and take out them (and possibly other high value targets like command centers). True, after the end of the cold war the US canceled the order of 200 B-2's and the 20 ones they have are a limited force. But the US is now planning to develop the B-21, basically a B-2 follow-on and deploy it in larger numbers. Stealth cruise missiles could also get through easily, like the AGM-139 ACM, it was withdrawn but the US can start producing a similar missile again if it sees it neccessary. Actually the US made a concession to the Russians by withdrawing these. Contrary to the author's assertions the US leadership are not all total nutjobs, and at the time they were willing to deescalate somewhat.
    "I find the notion that US SSNs could find and destroy all Russian SSBNs before the latter can launch unlikely in the extreme."
    It is extreme, but there are a limited number of them on patrol, and the USN has plenty of hunter-killer subs, if they can track the patrolling Russian SSBN's constantly then they totally could take them out at once in a surprise first strike scenario.
    Considering cruise missiles it is obvious that would the US decide on a surprise first strike on Russia then they would target all Russian ships on the seas anywhere, and sink them asap. They wouldn't have much chance at launching at the US in that scenario.
    Also the whole article reeks of the USSR age propaganda against the evil imperialists who are hellbent on destroying the Evil Empire (tm). That is how the demented gerontocratic USSR leadership's propaganda depicted the Reagan administration back then. Actually yes, the Reaganites hated the USSR and wanted it to collapse, but not by a nuclear war preferably. Similarly the current Russophobes in America's deep state aren't total madmen either, they prefer slowly choking the RF instead of launching a nuclear holocaust on them, while some may dream about a such scenario, but those are hate fantasies and no more.

    “Forest canopy doesn’t stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent.”

    Forest canopy does degrade the effectiveness of radar … radar scattering camoflauge even more so.

    The US is highly dependent on a number of high-cost and therefore limited availability systems. You yourself note the limited number of B-2′s available to hunt down the rail- and road-mobile strategic missile, and further note that they eould be reliant on satellite data … data from several constellations of satellites that are fairly well known to the Russians, and the Chinese for that matter, and which despite being somewhat hardened can nevertheless be blinded or even taken out entirely (think we are the only ones with ASAT?).

    I would expect our adversary to go immediately to a launch on warning posture that relies heavily on counter-value targeting to make it clear that a first-use policy will be costly. To Saker’s point, more than enough warheads will get through. And I would expect them to use strategic and tactical indicators like force movements and systems status changes as trigger points by which they will start taking out forward offensive capabilities, like the ABMs in Europe and Asia, in a bid to head us off at the pass conventionally, when world opinion might lean their way or, more cynically, when US leadership realises losing Chicago and our Poles is less in the national interest than retaliating for a conventional strike on Poland and its Poles. I would also expect a few exoatmospheric EMP bursts over CONUS, not so much to blind or cripple the strategic forces, but to leave the population of the US stewing in their own un-air-conditioed juices without iToys.

    The command structure on both sides have invested heavily in their own survival, but are painfully aware they will be strung-up when they emerge from their hiding places, so maybe the neo-cons are actually hoping enough of the proles will be wiped out that there won’t be enough left to overcome the remaining (now militarised) police and troops who will stand between the proles and them.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    If one ever had military training it appears that one is a lost cause. What part of the word "surprise" do you not understand? What if there is no escalation phase, the tension phase and the rest of the military blah, blah? Launch on warning? By warning of who? The already atomized top echelon? Good luck with that?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes. Without early warning satellites and AWACS planes, the S400/S500 would not even see them, let alone be able to shoot them down.

    Even human intelligence that the Russians may have within the US military may not have enough time to warn about the impeding First Strike if it is prepared well.

    It appears that most people here still think in terms of the Cold War 1.0: tensions, escalations etc, but to me it appears that we are already past those. The nuclear missiles could start raining at any moment.

    The best question to ask here is: what would happen if the US did the First Strike tomorrow May 16? What would the Russians be able to reply with?
  94. […] will be ours alone. We have been warned, but will we heed that warning? Read the entire article: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/making-sense-of-the-super-fuse-scare/ The Saker explains why a first strike on Russia and/or China cannot succeed. The problem we face is […]

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  95. @The Alarmist

    "Forest canopy doesn’t stop radar from seeing them. Actually even underground objects are detectable by radar to some extent."
     
    Forest canopy does degrade the effectiveness of radar ... radar scattering camoflauge even more so.

    The US is highly dependent on a number of high-cost and therefore limited availability systems. You yourself note the limited number of B-2's available to hunt down the rail- and road-mobile strategic missile, and further note that they eould be reliant on satellite data ... data from several constellations of satellites that are fairly well known to the Russians, and the Chinese for that matter, and which despite being somewhat hardened can nevertheless be blinded or even taken out entirely (think we are the only ones with ASAT?).

    I would expect our adversary to go immediately to a launch on warning posture that relies heavily on counter-value targeting to make it clear that a first-use policy will be costly. To Saker's point, more than enough warheads will get through. And I would expect them to use strategic and tactical indicators like force movements and systems status changes as trigger points by which they will start taking out forward offensive capabilities, like the ABMs in Europe and Asia, in a bid to head us off at the pass conventionally, when world opinion might lean their way or, more cynically, when US leadership realises losing Chicago and our Poles is less in the national interest than retaliating for a conventional strike on Poland and its Poles. I would also expect a few exoatmospheric EMP bursts over CONUS, not so much to blind or cripple the strategic forces, but to leave the population of the US stewing in their own un-air-conditioed juices without iToys.

    The command structure on both sides have invested heavily in their own survival, but are painfully aware they will be strung-up when they emerge from their hiding places, so maybe the neo-cons are actually hoping enough of the proles will be wiped out that there won't be enough left to overcome the remaining (now militarised) police and troops who will stand between the proles and them.

    If one ever had military training it appears that one is a lost cause. What part of the word “surprise” do you not understand? What if there is no escalation phase, the tension phase and the rest of the military blah, blah? Launch on warning? By warning of who? The already atomized top echelon? Good luck with that?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes. Without early warning satellites and AWACS planes, the S400/S500 would not even see them, let alone be able to shoot them down.

    Even human intelligence that the Russians may have within the US military may not have enough time to warn about the impeding First Strike if it is prepared well.

    It appears that most people here still think in terms of the Cold War 1.0: tensions, escalations etc, but to me it appears that we are already past those. The nuclear missiles could start raining at any moment.

    The best question to ask here is: what would happen if the US did the First Strike tomorrow May 16? What would the Russians be able to reply with?

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I tend to be as skeptical as you are, but think for a second of the 'Black Brant scare' mentioned above. That was freaking 1995 - right in the middle of total, total meltdown of the Russian state, and especially the Russian military. And yet, radars detected the missile, signals got processed, communications worked, the system responded and acted as designed. For 1995, this seems next to incredible. It wouldn't surprise me if the whole affair was western probing of a possibility of the first strike. Today, especially in combination with the 'dead hand system', it's probably in a much better shape.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes.
     
    No it can't. The velocity of any Tomahawk (TLAM) cruise missile is high sub-sonic, slightly lower than of any commercial jet. Distance from Polish border to, say, Bryansk (this is not to count a flight over Belorussia which is integrated into Russia's AD) is around 450 miles--this is 450/550= +-49 minutes. Hardly "within 15 minutes". Distance to Moscow is 630 miles, way more than 1 hour. Russia is completely covered now with Over-The-Horizon radar field allowing also for early warning of ballistic launches.
    , @The Alarmist
    There is little opportunity for pure surprise in this business ... something will always tip our hand. The plume of any unannounced launch will be detected, fast-mover or not, with enough time to start the retaliation. BTW, DC is less than 5 minutes flight from Russian SLBMs.
  96. @Kiza
    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy's aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy "partners" - this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed?

    This single phrase of yours pretty much gives all answers. The “most advanced” signal-collector (not EW) ship was commissioned in 1972 (45 y.o.) IIRC and is nothing more than “upgraded” fish trawler. The only “advanced” thing on board of this ship, which most likely originates from the OSNAZ brigade in Donuzlav (been there, done that) is its classified signal collection equipment and signal processing algorithms. Navigational (I underscore that) collisions, that is connected with purely maneuvering issues, with or without radar, happen all the time, such as..well, here it is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_submarine_incidents_since_2000

    All subs ARE equipped with inertial navigation systems, GPS, modern radar, collision avoidance radar systems etc. Yet… Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.

    Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

    She does and Pentagon knows it damn well. MAD was, is and will remain in place for many years to come. So, don’t read too much in a routine collision, however, painful for Russia’s ageing signal collection fleet.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.}

    Bad example: love-struck captain of the Costa Concordia ignored all navigational charts and warnings and such and brought the ship too close to the shore/reefs to show-off to some woman who lived close by on the shore.

    Not an equipment issue: captain's stupidity.
  97. @Kiza
    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy's aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy "partners" - this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

    {How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed?}

    If you are talking about the Russian ship that sank in the Bosphorus, is there any doubt NATO/Turks arranged for the collision ? Very easy to do in the narrow confines of the straight.

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  98. @Andrei Martyanov

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed?
     
    This single phrase of yours pretty much gives all answers. The "most advanced" signal-collector (not EW) ship was commissioned in 1972 (45 y.o.) IIRC and is nothing more than "upgraded" fish trawler. The only "advanced" thing on board of this ship, which most likely originates from the OSNAZ brigade in Donuzlav (been there, done that) is its classified signal collection equipment and signal processing algorithms. Navigational (I underscore that) collisions, that is connected with purely maneuvering issues, with or without radar, happen all the time, such as..well, here it is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_submarine_incidents_since_2000

    All subs ARE equipped with inertial navigation systems, GPS, modern radar, collision avoidance radar systems etc. Yet... Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.


    Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.
     
    She does and Pentagon knows it damn well. MAD was, is and will remain in place for many years to come. So, don't read too much in a routine collision, however, painful for Russia's ageing signal collection fleet.

    {Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.}

    Bad example: love-struck captain of the Costa Concordia ignored all navigational charts and warnings and such and brought the ship too close to the shore/reefs to show-off to some woman who lived close by on the shore.

    Not an equipment issue: captain’s stupidity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    love-struck captain of the Costa Concordia ignored all navigational charts
     
    In professional lingo it is called navigational collision. (avaria or catastropha). Were CO of USS Greenville or CO of HMS Trafalgar "love-struck"?
  99. @Avery
    {Obviously, collision of the state-of-the-art Costa Concordia, equipped with all gizmos and gadgets, with reef still did happen.}

    Bad example: love-struck captain of the Costa Concordia ignored all navigational charts and warnings and such and brought the ship too close to the shore/reefs to show-off to some woman who lived close by on the shore.

    Not an equipment issue: captain's stupidity.

    love-struck captain of the Costa Concordia ignored all navigational charts

    In professional lingo it is called navigational collision. (avaria or catastropha). Were CO of USS Greenville or CO of HMS Trafalgar “love-struck”?

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  100. @Kiza
    If one ever had military training it appears that one is a lost cause. What part of the word "surprise" do you not understand? What if there is no escalation phase, the tension phase and the rest of the military blah, blah? Launch on warning? By warning of who? The already atomized top echelon? Good luck with that?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes. Without early warning satellites and AWACS planes, the S400/S500 would not even see them, let alone be able to shoot them down.

    Even human intelligence that the Russians may have within the US military may not have enough time to warn about the impeding First Strike if it is prepared well.

    It appears that most people here still think in terms of the Cold War 1.0: tensions, escalations etc, but to me it appears that we are already past those. The nuclear missiles could start raining at any moment.

    The best question to ask here is: what would happen if the US did the First Strike tomorrow May 16? What would the Russians be able to reply with?

    I tend to be as skeptical as you are, but think for a second of the ‘Black Brant scare’ mentioned above. That was freaking 1995 – right in the middle of total, total meltdown of the Russian state, and especially the Russian military. And yet, radars detected the missile, signals got processed, communications worked, the system responded and acted as designed. For 1995, this seems next to incredible. It wouldn’t surprise me if the whole affair was western probing of a possibility of the first strike. Today, especially in combination with the ‘dead hand system’, it’s probably in a much better shape.

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  101. @Kiza
    If one ever had military training it appears that one is a lost cause. What part of the word "surprise" do you not understand? What if there is no escalation phase, the tension phase and the rest of the military blah, blah? Launch on warning? By warning of who? The already atomized top echelon? Good luck with that?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes. Without early warning satellites and AWACS planes, the S400/S500 would not even see them, let alone be able to shoot them down.

    Even human intelligence that the Russians may have within the US military may not have enough time to warn about the impeding First Strike if it is prepared well.

    It appears that most people here still think in terms of the Cold War 1.0: tensions, escalations etc, but to me it appears that we are already past those. The nuclear missiles could start raining at any moment.

    The best question to ask here is: what would happen if the US did the First Strike tomorrow May 16? What would the Russians be able to reply with?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes.

    No it can’t. The velocity of any Tomahawk (TLAM) cruise missile is high sub-sonic, slightly lower than of any commercial jet. Distance from Polish border to, say, Bryansk (this is not to count a flight over Belorussia which is integrated into Russia’s AD) is around 450 miles–this is 450/550= +-49 minutes. Hardly “within 15 minutes”. Distance to Moscow is 630 miles, way more than 1 hour. Russia is completely covered now with Over-The-Horizon radar field allowing also for early warning of ballistic launches.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    You are correct about timing - cruise missiles are much slower than supersonic Iskanders for example. Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland "ABMD" sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles. I was aware that the Russians have completed the OTH radar for missile detection, although I am not convinced they do not need a satellite also. The cruise missiles can be stealth, which reduces the detection range of radar. Radar image cross-checked with IR sensors on a satellite would make for a much more reliable detection. Maybe such satellite is in preparation.

    Perhaps, my main point is that "ABMD" sites in Poland and Romania are extremely dangerous, much more than any other recent move by US or its super-fusing technology. They are the nuclear missile sites at Russia's door step. Perhaps, the Russian response should be new stealthier submarines, at least a few, which you and Saker do mention. But how long before they are fully operational?

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?
  102. @Sam J.
    They test ICBM SLBM constantly. They remove the warhead but there's no difference between a dummy warhead and a real as far as the missile is concerned. The warheads used to be tested frequently until they decided they didn't need to be. I have no doubt they would work. I certainly bet the Russians and Chinese believe they would work.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-launches-unarmed-minuteman-nuclear-missile-test-north-korea/

    I don’t think that they test all 24 launch tubes on an Ohio-class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine. Similarly, to my knowledge, there has never been a launch of a Minuteman missile even with a dummy warhead, from an operational silo. And I don’t know how you simulate re-entry vehicle and warhead performance in an electromagnetic environment in which nuclear weaspons are detonating (not only offensive, but defensive). Most Minuteman and Trident missiles will launch and perform according to design specifications, but not all. If you really do contemplate a disarming first strike (crazy in my opinion) that failure rate would be critical.

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  103. @Kiza
    If one ever had military training it appears that one is a lost cause. What part of the word "surprise" do you not understand? What if there is no escalation phase, the tension phase and the rest of the military blah, blah? Launch on warning? By warning of who? The already atomized top echelon? Good luck with that?

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes. Without early warning satellites and AWACS planes, the S400/S500 would not even see them, let alone be able to shoot them down.

    Even human intelligence that the Russians may have within the US military may not have enough time to warn about the impeding First Strike if it is prepared well.

    It appears that most people here still think in terms of the Cold War 1.0: tensions, escalations etc, but to me it appears that we are already past those. The nuclear missiles could start raining at any moment.

    The best question to ask here is: what would happen if the US did the First Strike tomorrow May 16? What would the Russians be able to reply with?

    There is little opportunity for pure surprise in this business … something will always tip our hand. The plume of any unannounced launch will be detected, fast-mover or not, with enough time to start the retaliation. BTW, DC is less than 5 minutes flight from Russian SLBMs.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    This is why US claims that they are tracking all four to six Russian SLBM submarines (apparently about eight are service ready), ready to destroy them on any indication of launch intention. This is either true or just to pacify the domestics for the exact reason you mention - that they are the death which is five minutes away.
  104. @Andrei Martyanov
    What!?

    Jan this year

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-vladimir-putin-sergei-lavrov-a7530776.html

    Russia expects to have a dialogue with the Trump administration on nuclear weapons, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.

    Sergei Lavrov said the agenda for such negotiations should also include new hypersonic weapons, a US missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear testing.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Trump said he will consider reviewing US sanctions on Russia if President Vladimir Putin is prepared to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons

    Russia has no effective anti ballistic weapons. Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System#Flight_tests_to_date

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Just go somewhere, dude, with this BS of yours. I don't know, find some gastroenterologist or knitting forums and go there. Even basic search in the times of internet gives one the info on

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar. Then again:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-conducts-successful-flight-test-of-anti-satellite-missile/

    Now, even retards can surmise that in the nation which led humanity into space, rocketry would be developed on a very high level.

    http://tass.com/defense/926764

    Just let it go, I know, Americans are proud people (a lot of it having a real merit) but in terms of air-defense not quite there. This, however,

    Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to
     
    1. All ballistic missiles (vehicles) are hyper-sonic by definition;
    2. In terms of hyper-sonic rocketry ranging from anti-shipping missiles to air-to-ground (or any other surface target) US is not even in the same league as Russia--it is a cold hard fact.
    3. Mach=5+ sea skimmers are not interceptable by any modern AD system, least of all by THAAD which is designed for a completely different operations with high flying ballistic targets. Once targets begin maneuvering--the story changes completely.
    4. Saturation thresholds for AEGIS (and SM-3, 6 etc.) by modern ASCMs are more or less known.
    5. US doesn't have modern high supersonic (M=2.5+) forget real hyper-sonic weapon.
    6. Russia DOES have analog of AEGIS, which in reality is a complex of systems tied to a single Battle Management System (AEGIS) but you, of course, meant SPY-1D, F, whatever modifications of a radar.
    7. AEGIS is not a magic wand and, in fact, merely a good system, nothing more, nothing less--it is not going to be effective against serious (multi-direction--"star" variant) salvo of 3M54 or P-800. How many missiles in salvo? Get yourself acquainted with basic (forget augmented) Salvo Equations and play with the numbers.

    Just don't post BS anymore, OK? On the other hand, people of your qualifications may find a good job in US main stream media--they call them "experts" there. I encourage you to apply.
  105. @Sergey Krieger
    "Russia has a huge number of short range (so called battlefield) nukes that can only be for use against the Chinese. "

    Could you elaborate?
    Russians got vodka and Chinese got Mao Tai. Deadly combination.

    Russia has retained a load of clunky so called tactical nuclear weapons, which are widely thought to be to counteract China’s numbers in a land war (presumably on the basis preposterous basis that the Chinese would not give up if there army was nuked). China is making it clear that it will not merely retaliate to battlefield nuclear weapons use by Russia, but go up a level.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4152544/China-set-place-nuclear-weapons-border-Russia.html

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  106. @Mao Cheng Ji

    and have too many heavy drinkers (eg Chernobyl)
     
    Yeah. Even more problematic is their playing balalaikas and wrestling their pet bears all day long...

    Chernoble and the Black Brant incident were not the only ones https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident

    There is a pattern.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I'm aware of false alarms, both on the Soviet side and on the NATO side.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_close_calls

    But what does Chernobyl have to do with any of this, and what pattern are you talking about?
  107. @Sean
    Chernoble and the Black Brant incident were not the only ones https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident

    There is a pattern.

    I’m aware of false alarms, both on the Soviet side and on the NATO side.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_close_calls

    But what does Chernobyl have to do with any of this, and what pattern are you talking about?

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  108. @Sean
    Jan this year

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-vladimir-putin-sergei-lavrov-a7530776.html

    Russia expects to have a dialogue with the Trump administration on nuclear weapons, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.

    Sergei Lavrov said the agenda for such negotiations should also include new hypersonic weapons, a US missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear testing.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Trump said he will consider reviewing US sanctions on Russia if President Vladimir Putin is prepared to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons
     
    Russia has no effective anti ballistic weapons. Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System#Flight_tests_to_date

    Just go somewhere, dude, with this BS of yours. I don’t know, find some gastroenterologist or knitting forums and go there. Even basic search in the times of internet gives one the info on

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar. Then again:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-conducts-successful-flight-test-of-anti-satellite-missile/

    Now, even retards can surmise that in the nation which led humanity into space, rocketry would be developed on a very high level.

    http://tass.com/defense/926764

    Just let it go, I know, Americans are proud people (a lot of it having a real merit) but in terms of air-defense not quite there. This, however,

    Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to

    1. All ballistic missiles (vehicles) are hyper-sonic by definition;
    2. In terms of hyper-sonic rocketry ranging from anti-shipping missiles to air-to-ground (or any other surface target) US is not even in the same league as Russia–it is a cold hard fact.
    3. Mach=5+ sea skimmers are not interceptable by any modern AD system, least of all by THAAD which is designed for a completely different operations with high flying ballistic targets. Once targets begin maneuvering–the story changes completely.
    4. Saturation thresholds for AEGIS (and SM-3, 6 etc.) by modern ASCMs are more or less known.
    5. US doesn’t have modern high supersonic (M=2.5+) forget real hyper-sonic weapon.
    6. Russia DOES have analog of AEGIS, which in reality is a complex of systems tied to a single Battle Management System (AEGIS) but you, of course, meant SPY-1D, F, whatever modifications of a radar.
    7. AEGIS is not a magic wand and, in fact, merely a good system, nothing more, nothing less–it is not going to be effective against serious (multi-direction–”star” variant) salvo of 3M54 or P-800. How many missiles in salvo? Get yourself acquainted with basic (forget augmented) Salvo Equations and play with the numbers.

    Just don’t post BS anymore, OK? On the other hand, people of your qualifications may find a good job in US main stream media–they call them “experts” there. I encourage you to apply.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar.
     
    The US was kidded by the Soviets who set up their so called system right beside the main Moscow highway where the US diplomats could not fail to see it. The US back then gave Russia too much credit for their weapons and productive capacity. In the name of the wee man, they still cannot even build a sports car that any Russian gangster would want to be seen in.

    The term hypersonic in the context of which we speak is a superspeed penetrator.


    Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, which destroy their targets through kinetic energy (i.e., through impact).
     

    Armed with the “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, each of which is capable of destroying an American missile silo, the time would be cut down to 12 minutes or less. The RS-28 ICBM, scheduled to become operational in 2018, assures Russia the ability to annihilate the United States in retaliation for any American first strike, while providing Russia a silo-killing first-strike capability of its own.”
     
    As I said, the Russian leadership are trying to get things that are not carrying nuclear weapons, to be included in any nuclear arms talks. The 4202 hypersonics offer no advantage for silo killing over a nuke armed missile. The only possible advantage would be the ability to destroy US nuclear silos without going nuclear.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified, at least excessive. I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have "hypersonic" non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where's the problem?
  109. @Andrei Martyanov
    Just go somewhere, dude, with this BS of yours. I don't know, find some gastroenterologist or knitting forums and go there. Even basic search in the times of internet gives one the info on

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar. Then again:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-conducts-successful-flight-test-of-anti-satellite-missile/

    Now, even retards can surmise that in the nation which led humanity into space, rocketry would be developed on a very high level.

    http://tass.com/defense/926764

    Just let it go, I know, Americans are proud people (a lot of it having a real merit) but in terms of air-defense not quite there. This, however,

    Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to
     
    1. All ballistic missiles (vehicles) are hyper-sonic by definition;
    2. In terms of hyper-sonic rocketry ranging from anti-shipping missiles to air-to-ground (or any other surface target) US is not even in the same league as Russia--it is a cold hard fact.
    3. Mach=5+ sea skimmers are not interceptable by any modern AD system, least of all by THAAD which is designed for a completely different operations with high flying ballistic targets. Once targets begin maneuvering--the story changes completely.
    4. Saturation thresholds for AEGIS (and SM-3, 6 etc.) by modern ASCMs are more or less known.
    5. US doesn't have modern high supersonic (M=2.5+) forget real hyper-sonic weapon.
    6. Russia DOES have analog of AEGIS, which in reality is a complex of systems tied to a single Battle Management System (AEGIS) but you, of course, meant SPY-1D, F, whatever modifications of a radar.
    7. AEGIS is not a magic wand and, in fact, merely a good system, nothing more, nothing less--it is not going to be effective against serious (multi-direction--"star" variant) salvo of 3M54 or P-800. How many missiles in salvo? Get yourself acquainted with basic (forget augmented) Salvo Equations and play with the numbers.

    Just don't post BS anymore, OK? On the other hand, people of your qualifications may find a good job in US main stream media--they call them "experts" there. I encourage you to apply.

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar.

    The US was kidded by the Soviets who set up their so called system right beside the main Moscow highway where the US diplomats could not fail to see it. The US back then gave Russia too much credit for their weapons and productive capacity. In the name of the wee man, they still cannot even build a sports car that any Russian gangster would want to be seen in.

    The term hypersonic in the context of which we speak is a superspeed penetrator.

    Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, which destroy their targets through kinetic energy (i.e., through impact).

    Armed with the “Object 4202” hypersonic warheads, each of which is capable of destroying an American missile silo, the time would be cut down to 12 minutes or less. The RS-28 ICBM, scheduled to become operational in 2018, assures Russia the ability to annihilate the United States in retaliation for any American first strike, while providing Russia a silo-killing first-strike capability of its own.”

    As I said, the Russian leadership are trying to get things that are not carrying nuclear weapons, to be included in any nuclear arms talks. The 4202 hypersonics offer no advantage for silo killing over a nuke armed missile. The only possible advantage would be the ability to destroy US nuclear silos without going nuclear.

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  110. @animalogic
    "Self inflicted" wounds ? I'd like to see some explanation here, because on the face of it such a view appears nonsense. Unless you mean, Russia would have had no "wound" if only she did EXACTLY what the West wants.

    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war. To justify Crimea a Mediterranean port in Syria was necessary. Staved off defeat for Assad (not a bad thing) but no sign of Assad winning. A base in Morrocco will make Syria irrelevant. So, instead of NATO East of Germany being a political symbol. NATO generals had an excuse to militarize what had been, a missile battery apart, a demilitarized zone. The self harm also includes losing Ukraine for the EEU and to NATO. Yes. Americans of Eastern European descent made lots of noise in Ukraine once Maidan was rolling but the strongest proposal from Nuland was to bring Kerry over to make a speech.

    Russia was the prime mover. They thought Yanukovich was their man bought and paid for. They treated him with contempt. So, hey, he tried unenthusiastic negotiations with the EU to get some leverage. Incompetent nationalist control freaks (nationalist is redundant I know) then tried to show how tough they were. That worked well, didn’t it?

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war.
     
    Calling it 'blockade' is a highly politicized framing. Ukraine was getting close to signing the EU association, and so new, stricter procedures had to be introduced. And this is the first time I hear about this 'blockade' 'triggering the Maidan fiasco'.

    The phrase 'unnecessary seizure of Crimea' is frankly absurd. Whether 'unnecessary' or 'necessary' in any subjective view, reunification of Crimea was a fulfillment of the will of the people, and a very happy event.

    'Proxy invasion of the Donbass'? Or, rather, a coup in Kiev, leading to a popular uprising in southern and eastern regions, brutally suppressed by neo-nazi militants everywhere except Donbas? The latter framing seems much more accurate to me.

    Russia was the prime mover.
     
    But unfortunately it wasn't. If it were, Ukraine would've been a peaceful and prosperous place today.
  111. @dfordoom

    The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939.
     
    It's worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39. Mostly light tanks. Even in 1940 they were quite heavily reliant on Czech tanks. And they invaded the Soviet Union with an army that relied mostly on horse-drawn transport. In 1939 re-armament in both Germany and Britain was still far from complete.

    Yes. The declaration of war was actually made by France, considered by all sides to have the strongest army and air force, except perhaps for the SU.

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  112. @Wally
    Hey Anatoly, the other authors here do not ban those who disagree with their views.

    You on the other hand try to shield your article's views from scrutiny by banning those that dare to oppose what YOU write.

    Wally, I often disagree head on with Anatoly. Politically we are not aligned. He has never hinted at banning me.

    I have no idea what you wrote but it must have been an Ad Hominen or uninformed raving.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Ctrl-F "Jews" or "holocaust" on his profile.

    The guy is a SIF ("Single Issue Fanatic"). It might be tolerable if The Unz Review had a downvote function, but as it is, I don't care to have normal discussions polluted by comment after comment of Holocaust deniers. Especially when he doesn't even bother to be original and just copies the exact same phrasings from thread to thread.
  113. @Kiza
    Look, I am all for self-confidence and anti-defeatism, but you guys are blowing a lot of fog here. I sincerely think that in a classical military conflict, when Russia would have enough time to deploy many of the armaments it has in development, Russia could inflict such serious damage on the West that it would make its forthcoming attack on Russia one of the worst ideas in the rich Western history of bad ideas. But let us be realistic: Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper, Russia does not have a sufficiently strong alliance with China yet and so on. In summary, the West has a window of opportunity which is closing fast.

    How could one of the most advanced Russian EW ships collide with another ship? Why did it not use radar in the fog? Why did it sail without navy escort since it is lightly armed? It appears that the Russians keep getting surprised all the time by the enemy's aggressive actions. This incident reminds me of the SU24 shoot-down, before which even an amateur such as I was saying that it is unbelievable that the Russians are flying missions in Syria without any AWACS support, making themselves turkey shoot targets. There are many, many other examples, such as submarine Kursk etc. Yes, always surprised, but you, Saker and even Karlin are selling us here the theory that the First Nuclear Strike will not surprise you!?

    At least most of the Russian top stopped calling the enemy "partners" - this may have been the Russian style humor, but in the West it always looked purely idiotic.

    Finally, the most likely moment for the First Strike on Russia and China is when Trump suddenly signs a new peace deal with Russia: it is a standard Western practice to attack just after a peace deal is signed, just as for the coup in Ukraine. The next morning Trump is deposed and the First Strike begins. Russia better have everything in place and ready for your Response Strike Ответно-Встречный Удар.

    “Russia is still recovering from an extremely serious political and economic crisis of the 90s, whilst the West is sinking into crisis deeper and deeper”

    News. The oil price collapsed in December 2014. The future belongs to the EU (the biggest importer). No war on Russia.

    Read More
  114. @Andrei Martyanov

    From the ABMD sites in Poland and Romania, US could hit Russian command and control with low flying cruise missiles within 15 minutes.
     
    No it can't. The velocity of any Tomahawk (TLAM) cruise missile is high sub-sonic, slightly lower than of any commercial jet. Distance from Polish border to, say, Bryansk (this is not to count a flight over Belorussia which is integrated into Russia's AD) is around 450 miles--this is 450/550= +-49 minutes. Hardly "within 15 minutes". Distance to Moscow is 630 miles, way more than 1 hour. Russia is completely covered now with Over-The-Horizon radar field allowing also for early warning of ballistic launches.

    You are correct about timing – cruise missiles are much slower than supersonic Iskanders for example. Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland “ABMD” sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles. I was aware that the Russians have completed the OTH radar for missile detection, although I am not convinced they do not need a satellite also. The cruise missiles can be stealth, which reduces the detection range of radar. Radar image cross-checked with IR sensors on a satellite would make for a much more reliable detection. Maybe such satellite is in preparation.

    Perhaps, my main point is that “ABMD” sites in Poland and Romania are extremely dangerous, much more than any other recent move by US or its super-fusing technology. They are the nuclear missile sites at Russia’s door step. Perhaps, the Russian response should be new stealthier submarines, at least a few, which you and Saker do mention. But how long before they are fully operational?

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You sound as though you know what you are talking about here and drawing reasonable conclusions from it. Still we have the last third of The Saker's piece frothing about what he merely imagines or fears or supposes, namely madness in a lot of stiĺl extremely influential neocons and associated generaĺs. I wonder if it is not much more likely that it has proved impossible to be sure of worldwide consensus on the supercession of MAD doctrine so that, at least in Russia and the US, and possibly China, they are constantly updating the means of MAD just to maintain its pacific effectiveness.

    I am left wondering why the UK wants to spend money on nuclear weapons. France perhaps gets additional leverage within the EU and is after all not protected by La Manche in case of conventional warfare launched by Russia (one must guard against 200 year floods...)

    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland “ABMD” sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles.
     
    The facilities in Romania and Poland are well known, therefore the launch will probably be detected. So, no surprise in this scenario. And surprise is the centerpiece of your theory.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles
     
    Initial climb after launch will inevitably be detected by OTH Radar and other early warning systems, including by patrolling A-50U AWACS, plus nobody really knows what Russian optronic satellites are there. TLAMs fly at around 50 meters. Even rough estimate between 30 meters high antenna of S-300 gives a distance of detection of 52 kilometers over largely flat (foresty) spaces of Belarus and Russia. .

    http://members.home.nl/7seas/radcalc.htm

    Reaction time of modern AD complexes is in seconds from the "on-duty" regime. So, there will be plenty of time to react. This, of course, does not address main concern by Russia and it is not THAAD, it is, indeed, the fact of MK-41 launchers being able to fire TLAMs.

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?
     
    It depends. Russian SSBNs and, in general, subs are manned fairly well and mostly by "contractnics". AD (VKS) are mostly officers in the positions which matter. US Navy, however, does have issues with manning its large number of aircraft carriers--a no small task once one considers the size of those crews.
  115. @The Alarmist
    There is little opportunity for pure surprise in this business ... something will always tip our hand. The plume of any unannounced launch will be detected, fast-mover or not, with enough time to start the retaliation. BTW, DC is less than 5 minutes flight from Russian SLBMs.

    This is why US claims that they are tracking all four to six Russian SLBM submarines (apparently about eight are service ready), ready to destroy them on any indication of launch intention. This is either true or just to pacify the domestics for the exact reason you mention – that they are the death which is five minutes away.

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  116. @Andrei Martyanov
    Just go somewhere, dude, with this BS of yours. I don't know, find some gastroenterologist or knitting forums and go there. Even basic search in the times of internet gives one the info on

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system

    Now, understanding that you are a troll, I would suggest you also figure out why United States in 1980s was so desperate to make USSR get rid off Krasnoyarsk radar. Then again:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-conducts-successful-flight-test-of-anti-satellite-missile/

    Now, even retards can surmise that in the nation which led humanity into space, rocketry would be developed on a very high level.

    http://tass.com/defense/926764

    Just let it go, I know, Americans are proud people (a lot of it having a real merit) but in terms of air-defense not quite there. This, however,

    Hypersonics are being promoted in an attempt by Russia to pretend that is has something of equal value to
     
    1. All ballistic missiles (vehicles) are hyper-sonic by definition;
    2. In terms of hyper-sonic rocketry ranging from anti-shipping missiles to air-to-ground (or any other surface target) US is not even in the same league as Russia--it is a cold hard fact.
    3. Mach=5+ sea skimmers are not interceptable by any modern AD system, least of all by THAAD which is designed for a completely different operations with high flying ballistic targets. Once targets begin maneuvering--the story changes completely.
    4. Saturation thresholds for AEGIS (and SM-3, 6 etc.) by modern ASCMs are more or less known.
    5. US doesn't have modern high supersonic (M=2.5+) forget real hyper-sonic weapon.
    6. Russia DOES have analog of AEGIS, which in reality is a complex of systems tied to a single Battle Management System (AEGIS) but you, of course, meant SPY-1D, F, whatever modifications of a radar.
    7. AEGIS is not a magic wand and, in fact, merely a good system, nothing more, nothing less--it is not going to be effective against serious (multi-direction--"star" variant) salvo of 3M54 or P-800. How many missiles in salvo? Get yourself acquainted with basic (forget augmented) Salvo Equations and play with the numbers.

    Just don't post BS anymore, OK? On the other hand, people of your qualifications may find a good job in US main stream media--they call them "experts" there. I encourage you to apply.

    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified, at least excessive. I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have “hypersonic” non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where’s the problem?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified,
     
    I abused him? Read his previous post. I merely gave it a grade--BS.

    I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have “hypersonic” non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where’s the problem?
     
    The only reason Russia wants to include hyper-sonic weapons developed in the framework of US PGS (Prompt Global Strike) is the fact that hyper-sonic weapons of glider type are launched by ICBMs which makes it impossible to distinguish from nuclear strike. This Russian argument was consistently ignored by US side since mid-2000s.
  117. @Kiza
    You are correct about timing - cruise missiles are much slower than supersonic Iskanders for example. Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland "ABMD" sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles. I was aware that the Russians have completed the OTH radar for missile detection, although I am not convinced they do not need a satellite also. The cruise missiles can be stealth, which reduces the detection range of radar. Radar image cross-checked with IR sensors on a satellite would make for a much more reliable detection. Maybe such satellite is in preparation.

    Perhaps, my main point is that "ABMD" sites in Poland and Romania are extremely dangerous, much more than any other recent move by US or its super-fusing technology. They are the nuclear missile sites at Russia's door step. Perhaps, the Russian response should be new stealthier submarines, at least a few, which you and Saker do mention. But how long before they are fully operational?

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?

    You sound as though you know what you are talking about here and drawing reasonable conclusions from it. Still we have the last third of The Saker’s piece frothing about what he merely imagines or fears or supposes, namely madness in a lot of stiĺl extremely influential neocons and associated generaĺs. I wonder if it is not much more likely that it has proved impossible to be sure of worldwide consensus on the supercession of MAD doctrine so that, at least in Russia and the US, and possibly China, they are constantly updating the means of MAD just to maintain its pacific effectiveness.

    I am left wondering why the UK wants to spend money on nuclear weapons. France perhaps gets additional leverage within the EU and is after all not protected by La Manche in case of conventional warfare launched by Russia (one must guard against 200 year floods…)

    Read More
  118. @Kiza
    You are correct about timing - cruise missiles are much slower than supersonic Iskanders for example. Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland "ABMD" sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles. I was aware that the Russians have completed the OTH radar for missile detection, although I am not convinced they do not need a satellite also. The cruise missiles can be stealth, which reduces the detection range of radar. Radar image cross-checked with IR sensors on a satellite would make for a much more reliable detection. Maybe such satellite is in preparation.

    Perhaps, my main point is that "ABMD" sites in Poland and Romania are extremely dangerous, much more than any other recent move by US or its super-fusing technology. They are the nuclear missile sites at Russia's door step. Perhaps, the Russian response should be new stealthier submarines, at least a few, which you and Saker do mention. But how long before they are fully operational?

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?

    Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland “ABMD” sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles.

    The facilities in Romania and Poland are well known, therefore the launch will probably be detected. So, no surprise in this scenario. And surprise is the centerpiece of your theory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza

    The facilities in Romania and Poland are well known, therefore the launch will probably be detected
     
    I have established long ago that you are a troll who shoots his verbose low value comments off without knowledge or thinking.
  119. @anonHUN
    Wanting to expand your sphere of influence is rational as a superpower (Russia has expanded its territory for 150 years continuously with a chunk larger than Norway every year on average, as Nansen remarked once, of course it is mostly because Siberia is freaking big). They saw that Russia is weak and took the opportunity. Also it's not like they had to force themselves on these countries much. Many of these states were sucking up to America and feared a return of the Russkies in the future. America has a "soft power" that cannot be matched by a nation like Russia, that is a fact. Think of the pervasiveness of American music, Hollywood, brands etc. Despite of its faults the USA is the coolest country on Earth. Also it is an empire now, as Cheney said, that creates its own reality. Imagine you are a small country, would you want to be at Washington's team or at Moscow's? (not now, say in 1991 or 2001)

    Dude, you are getting crushed here. Better to retreat before they take all your self-respect. The History Channel is not an educational resource.

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  120. @Philip Owen
    Wally, I often disagree head on with Anatoly. Politically we are not aligned. He has never hinted at banning me.

    I have no idea what you wrote but it must have been an Ad Hominen or uninformed raving.

    Ctrl-F “Jews” or “holocaust” on his profile.

    The guy is a SIF (“Single Issue Fanatic”). It might be tolerable if The Unz Review had a downvote function, but as it is, I don’t care to have normal discussions polluted by comment after comment of Holocaust deniers. Especially when he doesn’t even bother to be original and just copies the exact same phrasings from thread to thread.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous

    Especially when he doesn’t even bother to be original and just copies the exact same phrasings from thread to thread.
     
    which phrasing bothers you, "6 million Jews in gas chambers" or "no name-calling . . .level playing field?"
  121. @Wizard of Oz
    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified, at least excessive. I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have "hypersonic" non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where's the problem?

    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified,

    I abused him? Read his previous post. I merely gave it a grade–BS.

    I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have “hypersonic” non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where’s the problem?

    The only reason Russia wants to include hyper-sonic weapons developed in the framework of US PGS (Prompt Global Strike) is the fact that hyper-sonic weapons of glider type are launched by ICBMs which makes it impossible to distinguish from nuclear strike. This Russian argument was consistently ignored by US side since mid-2000s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Your last par sounds like an answer to the point I understood Sean to be making but I don't think you gave it before, did you?
  122. @Kiza
    You are correct about timing - cruise missiles are much slower than supersonic Iskanders for example. Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland "ABMD" sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles. I was aware that the Russians have completed the OTH radar for missile detection, although I am not convinced they do not need a satellite also. The cruise missiles can be stealth, which reduces the detection range of radar. Radar image cross-checked with IR sensors on a satellite would make for a much more reliable detection. Maybe such satellite is in preparation.

    Perhaps, my main point is that "ABMD" sites in Poland and Romania are extremely dangerous, much more than any other recent move by US or its super-fusing technology. They are the nuclear missile sites at Russia's door step. Perhaps, the Russian response should be new stealthier submarines, at least a few, which you and Saker do mention. But how long before they are fully operational?

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?

    But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles

    Initial climb after launch will inevitably be detected by OTH Radar and other early warning systems, including by patrolling A-50U AWACS, plus nobody really knows what Russian optronic satellites are there. TLAMs fly at around 50 meters. Even rough estimate between 30 meters high antenna of S-300 gives a distance of detection of 52 kilometers over largely flat (foresty) spaces of Belarus and Russia. .

    http://members.home.nl/7seas/radcalc.htm

    Reaction time of modern AD complexes is in seconds from the “on-duty” regime. So, there will be plenty of time to react. This, of course, does not address main concern by Russia and it is not THAAD, it is, indeed, the fact of MK-41 launchers being able to fire TLAMs.

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?

    It depends. Russian SSBNs and, in general, subs are manned fairly well and mostly by “contractnics”. AD (VKS) are mostly officers in the positions which matter. US Navy, however, does have issues with manning its large number of aircraft carriers–a no small task once one considers the size of those crews.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna. Naturally, this is an optimistic detection range, assuming that missile(s) have no radar defeating capabilities (stealth). A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert I doubt that a crew of a modern air defense system could detect and launch in seconds (I worked in military air-defense, both surveillance and tracking and even in the field, for a part of my career).

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the "ABMD" sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).

    Again, we come to the need for a crisis situation to place the military crews on high alert, which may not be the case with a well organised First Strike, at least in its initial phase.

    Thanks for your opinion on the commanders of the Russian SSBNs. I assume that there would be no more than about 30 persons on rotation. I could imagine US intelligence creating all their psychological profiles. But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.

  123. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Ctrl-F "Jews" or "holocaust" on his profile.

    The guy is a SIF ("Single Issue Fanatic"). It might be tolerable if The Unz Review had a downvote function, but as it is, I don't care to have normal discussions polluted by comment after comment of Holocaust deniers. Especially when he doesn't even bother to be original and just copies the exact same phrasings from thread to thread.

    Especially when he doesn’t even bother to be original and just copies the exact same phrasings from thread to thread.

    which phrasing bothers you, “6 million Jews in gas chambers” or “no name-calling . . .level playing field?”

    Read More
  124. Excellent article on a technical subject. The words used to characterize American decision-makers (“demented individuals”) and their philosophy (“racial superiority”, “messianic” and “satanic cults”) are appropriate. A few remarks. A) It seems that a few “demented individuals” do believe that the recently deployed anti-ballistic missile system in Europe protect them from a Russian attack. B) There are US generals and politicians who would be willing to sacrifice just one major US city in order to disarm China or Russia. I side with Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove on this one. C) Over time, won’t Obama’s $1 trillion nuclear modernization program upset the deterrence balance between the United States and Russia? If so, this should prompt Russia to strike first before being forced to beg for mercy or be destroyed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    The "$1 trillion program" is over about 30 years and amounts at most to no more than keeping US capabilities where they are now.
  125. @Andrei Martyanov

    But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles
     
    Initial climb after launch will inevitably be detected by OTH Radar and other early warning systems, including by patrolling A-50U AWACS, plus nobody really knows what Russian optronic satellites are there. TLAMs fly at around 50 meters. Even rough estimate between 30 meters high antenna of S-300 gives a distance of detection of 52 kilometers over largely flat (foresty) spaces of Belarus and Russia. .

    http://members.home.nl/7seas/radcalc.htm

    Reaction time of modern AD complexes is in seconds from the "on-duty" regime. So, there will be plenty of time to react. This, of course, does not address main concern by Russia and it is not THAAD, it is, indeed, the fact of MK-41 launchers being able to fire TLAMs.

    Also, it appears that all navies lack sailors. I remember reading on RT that the US intelligence has been tasked with making psychological profiles of all Russian SLBM submarine commanders. Do you think that this is possible or just new Clancy novel brief?
     
    It depends. Russian SSBNs and, in general, subs are manned fairly well and mostly by "contractnics". AD (VKS) are mostly officers in the positions which matter. US Navy, however, does have issues with manning its large number of aircraft carriers--a no small task once one considers the size of those crews.

    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna. Naturally, this is an optimistic detection range, assuming that missile(s) have no radar defeating capabilities (stealth). A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert I doubt that a crew of a modern air defense system could detect and launch in seconds (I worked in military air-defense, both surveillance and tracking and even in the field, for a part of my career).

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the “ABMD” sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).

    Again, we come to the need for a crisis situation to place the military crews on high alert, which may not be the case with a well organised First Strike, at least in its initial phase.

    Thanks for your opinion on the commanders of the Russian SSBNs. I assume that there would be no more than about 30 persons on rotation. I could imagine US intelligence creating all their psychological profiles. But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna.
     
    I specifically pointed out that both Belarus and western Russia are heavily forested with heights of those forests ranging anywhere between 25 to 30-35 meters (especially with fir trees), so the "approach" altitudes for TLAMs will be closer to 50 than to 15 meters. In the end, European part of Russia across Poland is not a desert. But even those considerations are secondary from the moment of the detection of launch since Air Defense is not just a network of ZRK (Zenitno-Raketnye Complexy) of S300/400 variety. It is a highly integrated network of Surveillance, EC(C)M and other weapon systems ranging from MiG-31s which are specifically designed for countering TLAMs (full look-down shoot-down capability, including against homogeneous background) to Pantsir systems.

    A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert
     
    Air Defense systems, and especially so Russian ones, are by definition "high alert" systems with a significant share of assets, even during a peace time, being constantly on immediate readiness station (dezhurnye sredstva PVO). In other words, it never sleeps, not to mention 24-7 "watch" status of early warning systems. In other words--the space is being monitored constantly, 24-7-365.

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the “ABMD” sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).
     
    I am not sure about precise number of MK-41 cells in both Romania and Poland but I don't think so that the salvo will be overwhelming and it certainly will be met with this very head-on-response strike.

    But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.
     
    Out of those SSBN, SS(G)N and SSK COs (some of them my class-mates) I can guarantee you--those were and are no-nonsense, tough, yet very cultured people. I am sure this is the same case for US Navy's submarine COs.
  126. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Therefore, it would take US nuclear armed cruise missiles about 50-60 minutes to fly from Romania or Poland “ABMD” sites to the closest Russian C3 center, even longer for those further away. But this still does not change the difficulty of detecting the low-flying cruise missiles.
     
    The facilities in Romania and Poland are well known, therefore the launch will probably be detected. So, no surprise in this scenario. And surprise is the centerpiece of your theory.

    The facilities in Romania and Poland are well known, therefore the launch will probably be detected

    I have established long ago that you are a troll who shoots his verbose low value comments off without knowledge or thinking.

    Read More
  127. @BASLE
    Excellent article on a technical subject. The words used to characterize American decision-makers (“demented individuals”) and their philosophy (“racial superiority”, “messianic” and “satanic cults”) are appropriate. A few remarks. A) It seems that a few “demented individuals” do believe that the recently deployed anti-ballistic missile system in Europe protect them from a Russian attack. B) There are US generals and politicians who would be willing to sacrifice just one major US city in order to disarm China or Russia. I side with Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove on this one. C) Over time, won’t Obama’s $1 trillion nuclear modernization program upset the deterrence balance between the United States and Russia? If so, this should prompt Russia to strike first before being forced to beg for mercy or be destroyed.

    The “$1 trillion program” is over about 30 years and amounts at most to no more than keeping US capabilities where they are now.

    Read More
  128. @Kiza
    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna. Naturally, this is an optimistic detection range, assuming that missile(s) have no radar defeating capabilities (stealth). A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert I doubt that a crew of a modern air defense system could detect and launch in seconds (I worked in military air-defense, both surveillance and tracking and even in the field, for a part of my career).

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the "ABMD" sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).

    Again, we come to the need for a crisis situation to place the military crews on high alert, which may not be the case with a well organised First Strike, at least in its initial phase.

    Thanks for your opinion on the commanders of the Russian SSBNs. I assume that there would be no more than about 30 persons on rotation. I could imagine US intelligence creating all their psychological profiles. But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.

    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna.

    I specifically pointed out that both Belarus and western Russia are heavily forested with heights of those forests ranging anywhere between 25 to 30-35 meters (especially with fir trees), so the “approach” altitudes for TLAMs will be closer to 50 than to 15 meters. In the end, European part of Russia across Poland is not a desert. But even those considerations are secondary from the moment of the detection of launch since Air Defense is not just a network of ZRK (Zenitno-Raketnye Complexy) of S300/400 variety. It is a highly integrated network of Surveillance, EC(C)M and other weapon systems ranging from MiG-31s which are specifically designed for countering TLAMs (full look-down shoot-down capability, including against homogeneous background) to Pantsir systems.

    A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert

    Air Defense systems, and especially so Russian ones, are by definition “high alert” systems with a significant share of assets, even during a peace time, being constantly on immediate readiness station (dezhurnye sredstva PVO). In other words, it never sleeps, not to mention 24-7 “watch” status of early warning systems. In other words–the space is being monitored constantly, 24-7-365.

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the “ABMD” sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).

    I am not sure about precise number of MK-41 cells in both Romania and Poland but I don’t think so that the salvo will be overwhelming and it certainly will be met with this very head-on-response strike.

    But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.

    Out of those SSBN, SS(G)N and SSK COs (some of them my class-mates) I can guarantee you–those were and are no-nonsense, tough, yet very cultured people. I am sure this is the same case for US Navy’s submarine COs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Let me finish off this interesting discussion with a few conclusions:
    1) I know more about the Russian early warning system now than I did before
    2) The Russian early warning system appears well thought through and well designed
    3) I am still not convinced that a completely surprising First Strike could not be organised, especially if it is done outside of the context of escalating tensions and crisis
    4) President Putin appears acutely aware of this issue and this is why he has demanded snap drills with both conventional and the nuclear forces
    5) If a surprise First Strike was unlikely to succeed at the beginning of Putin's recovery of Russia, when parts of the Russian military were in chaos, it would be much less likely now and diminishingly likely in the future - the opportunity window for the First Strike is closing again
    6) The whole history of the US-Russia nuclear race has been about US making a move about once every decade, which would open up a relatively promising opportunity window for the First Strike, which Russia would then promptly close; the opportunity window would never be reliable enough to initiate the First Strike (forget about morality) because even with the nuclear advantage the cost of Counter Strike still remained too high
    7) The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising
    8) What is most worrying to me is this general assumption of all people analysing this issue that nuclear decision makers are always rational - that they will NOT destroy the world because they would lose their current comfort - there are just too many crazies in US for my comfort. US is now worse than India and Pakistan, which used to worry me before.
  129. @Andrei Martyanov

    Regarding the S400/S500 antenna and detection range, cruise missiles to my knowledge do not fly at an altitude of 50 m then at 50 feet or 16 meters (even more likely over a flat terrain that you describe). Using your nice calculator, this gives radar detection range of 39 km for a 30 m high antenna.
     
    I specifically pointed out that both Belarus and western Russia are heavily forested with heights of those forests ranging anywhere between 25 to 30-35 meters (especially with fir trees), so the "approach" altitudes for TLAMs will be closer to 50 than to 15 meters. In the end, European part of Russia across Poland is not a desert. But even those considerations are secondary from the moment of the detection of launch since Air Defense is not just a network of ZRK (Zenitno-Raketnye Complexy) of S300/400 variety. It is a highly integrated network of Surveillance, EC(C)M and other weapon systems ranging from MiG-31s which are specifically designed for countering TLAMs (full look-down shoot-down capability, including against homogeneous background) to Pantsir systems.

    A subsonic cruise missile would cover this distance in about two and half minutes. Also, unless already on high alert
     
    Air Defense systems, and especially so Russian ones, are by definition "high alert" systems with a significant share of assets, even during a peace time, being constantly on immediate readiness station (dezhurnye sredstva PVO). In other words, it never sleeps, not to mention 24-7 "watch" status of early warning systems. In other words--the space is being monitored constantly, 24-7-365.

    It is true that it is important how many launchers the “ABMD” sites in Romania and Poland have, because another relevant factor is how many cruise missiles may be launched, because a large barrage could overwhelm the air-defense capability, as shown by an attempted launch of 60 missiles on Syria (one failed to get out of the launcher).
     
    I am not sure about precise number of MK-41 cells in both Romania and Poland but I don't think so that the salvo will be overwhelming and it certainly will be met with this very head-on-response strike.

    But, I have met a few submariners in my life and they looked nothing like maybe liberal metrosexuals with plenty of soft spots. Good luck with trying to psyop those.
     
    Out of those SSBN, SS(G)N and SSK COs (some of them my class-mates) I can guarantee you--those were and are no-nonsense, tough, yet very cultured people. I am sure this is the same case for US Navy's submarine COs.

    Let me finish off this interesting discussion with a few conclusions:
    1) I know more about the Russian early warning system now than I did before
    2) The Russian early warning system appears well thought through and well designed
    3) I am still not convinced that a completely surprising First Strike could not be organised, especially if it is done outside of the context of escalating tensions and crisis
    4) President Putin appears acutely aware of this issue and this is why he has demanded snap drills with both conventional and the nuclear forces
    5) If a surprise First Strike was unlikely to succeed at the beginning of Putin’s recovery of Russia, when parts of the Russian military were in chaos, it would be much less likely now and diminishingly likely in the future – the opportunity window for the First Strike is closing again
    6) The whole history of the US-Russia nuclear race has been about US making a move about once every decade, which would open up a relatively promising opportunity window for the First Strike, which Russia would then promptly close; the opportunity window would never be reliable enough to initiate the First Strike (forget about morality) because even with the nuclear advantage the cost of Counter Strike still remained too high
    7) The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising
    8) What is most worrying to me is this general assumption of all people analysing this issue that nuclear decision makers are always rational – that they will NOT destroy the world because they would lose their current comfort – there are just too many crazies in US for my comfort. US is now worse than India and Pakistan, which used to worry me before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising
     
    Wrong.
  130. @NoseytheDuke
    You have my full permission to add your name to the list of those who underestimated Russian military capability. Well done!

    The Russian invasion of India, 1801; The Crimean War; Various Russian efforts in and near Afghanistan in 19th C (some folks never learn); stuff in the Balkans, Russo-Japanese War. All these were one way or another against Britain who did not overestimate Russian capability.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Saker is clearly referring to Russia's military capabilities in defending against attacks on Russia.
  131. @The Retard
    We should attack them when they hold their ridiculous and typical "I am scared show off farce" military parades communist like to hold.

    Top Brass are all there, and lot of their military and equipment.

    You have certainly come by your posting name honestly. Oops, I’ll bet that you don’t do irony, do you?

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  132. @Andrei Martyanov

    Your abuse of Sean seems unjustified,
     
    I abused him? Read his previous post. I merely gave it a grade--BS.

    I see he has made it very clear that he wss referring to Russia seeking to have “hypersonic” non- nuclear weapons included in the negotiations to limit nuclear weapons. Where’s the problem?
     
    The only reason Russia wants to include hyper-sonic weapons developed in the framework of US PGS (Prompt Global Strike) is the fact that hyper-sonic weapons of glider type are launched by ICBMs which makes it impossible to distinguish from nuclear strike. This Russian argument was consistently ignored by US side since mid-2000s.

    Your last par sounds like an answer to the point I understood Sean to be making but I don’t think you gave it before, did you?

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  133. @Philip Owen
    The Russian invasion of India, 1801; The Crimean War; Various Russian efforts in and near Afghanistan in 19th C (some folks never learn); stuff in the Balkans, Russo-Japanese War. All these were one way or another against Britain who did not overestimate Russian capability.

    Saker is clearly referring to Russia’s military capabilities in defending against attacks on Russia.

    Read More
  134. @Kiza
    Let me finish off this interesting discussion with a few conclusions:
    1) I know more about the Russian early warning system now than I did before
    2) The Russian early warning system appears well thought through and well designed
    3) I am still not convinced that a completely surprising First Strike could not be organised, especially if it is done outside of the context of escalating tensions and crisis
    4) President Putin appears acutely aware of this issue and this is why he has demanded snap drills with both conventional and the nuclear forces
    5) If a surprise First Strike was unlikely to succeed at the beginning of Putin's recovery of Russia, when parts of the Russian military were in chaos, it would be much less likely now and diminishingly likely in the future - the opportunity window for the First Strike is closing again
    6) The whole history of the US-Russia nuclear race has been about US making a move about once every decade, which would open up a relatively promising opportunity window for the First Strike, which Russia would then promptly close; the opportunity window would never be reliable enough to initiate the First Strike (forget about morality) because even with the nuclear advantage the cost of Counter Strike still remained too high
    7) The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising
    8) What is most worrying to me is this general assumption of all people analysing this issue that nuclear decision makers are always rational - that they will NOT destroy the world because they would lose their current comfort - there are just too many crazies in US for my comfort. US is now worse than India and Pakistan, which used to worry me before.

    The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising

    Wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.
  135. @Philip Owen
    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war. To justify Crimea a Mediterranean port in Syria was necessary. Staved off defeat for Assad (not a bad thing) but no sign of Assad winning. A base in Morrocco will make Syria irrelevant. So, instead of NATO East of Germany being a political symbol. NATO generals had an excuse to militarize what had been, a missile battery apart, a demilitarized zone. The self harm also includes losing Ukraine for the EEU and to NATO. Yes. Americans of Eastern European descent made lots of noise in Ukraine once Maidan was rolling but the strongest proposal from Nuland was to bring Kerry over to make a speech.

    Russia was the prime mover. They thought Yanukovich was their man bought and paid for. They treated him with contempt. So, hey, he tried unenthusiastic negotiations with the EU to get some leverage. Incompetent nationalist control freaks (nationalist is redundant I know) then tried to show how tough they were. That worked well, didn't it?

    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war.

    Calling it ‘blockade’ is a highly politicized framing. Ukraine was getting close to signing the EU association, and so new, stricter procedures had to be introduced. And this is the first time I hear about this ‘blockade’ ‘triggering the Maidan fiasco’.

    The phrase ‘unnecessary seizure of Crimea’ is frankly absurd. Whether ‘unnecessary’ or ‘necessary’ in any subjective view, reunification of Crimea was a fulfillment of the will of the people, and a very happy event.

    ‘Proxy invasion of the Donbass’? Or, rather, a coup in Kiev, leading to a popular uprising in southern and eastern regions, brutally suppressed by neo-nazi militants everywhere except Donbas? The latter framing seems much more accurate to me.

    Russia was the prime mover.

    But unfortunately it wasn’t. If it were, Ukraine would’ve been a peaceful and prosperous place today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    "And this is the first time I hear about this ‘blockade’ ‘triggering the Maidan fiasco’."

    This demonstrates your lack of attention until the Russian propaganda machine started spinning.
  136. @Wally
    Hey Anatoly, the other authors here do not ban those who disagree with their views.

    You on the other hand try to shield your article's views from scrutiny by banning those that dare to oppose what YOU write.

    Give it a rest, man.

    Read More
  137. @Andrei Martyanov

    The situation with the Russian military and specifically the early warning system will still depend the most on the state of the Russian economy, and in the short term on the price of oil, which does not look promising
     
    Wrong.

    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.
     
    I am not a provider of guarantees either. I merely present my points of view, some of them, inevitably, will be inaccurate. Having said all that. I believe it is in the monologue of Roy Scheider to Sean Connery (my Alzheimer may fail me--I need to re-watch this film) in Russia House (after Le Carre's book) in which he explains to Barley (played by Sean) that the bargaining between movie's KGB and CIA (MI-6) was based on the fact (the whole premise of the book and a movie) that Soviet Union's military was so decrepit and unreliable that it was a clear danger of American MIC. Hence Americans (in the movie) were keenly interested in maintaining this visibility of USSR being a military superpower for the internal consumption. I believe late Roy uses a phrase to the effect:"can you imagine when none of their missiles fly, or other weapons really work..."

    In 1990, when this movie came out (with wonderful sax playing by Branford Marsalis--that certainly gets into your memory, well that and Michelle Pffeifer) it was viewed with a sense of surprise at the whole premise of this movie, since a lot of this very Soviet technology, as overwhelming empirical evidence showed, still continues to this very day fly, drive, float, shoot and perform just fine. Of course, the whole thing was a fiction written by the guy with humanities background (Le Carre) who spent his time in British intelligence but what was missed then and becomes really remarkable now is that today Le Carre's fictional vision can be completely reversed 180 degrees. This time, though, it is not a fiction--in the times of F-35s, LCS, other expensive military-technological failures (the list is huge) one must not lose the sense of perspective, of scale and proportion since real life is not a Top Gun movie, nor is is Russia House either. Believe me, Russians, while giving their professional due respect to US military, are also well aware of the share of empty bluster and, well, BS in US rhetoric. Military checks and balances are either already there or are being installed as I type this. Believe me, Russians know war, and how to avoid it, better than anyone on this planet--this is not an empty bluster.
  138. @Kiza
    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.

    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.

    I am not a provider of guarantees either. I merely present my points of view, some of them, inevitably, will be inaccurate. Having said all that. I believe it is in the monologue of Roy Scheider to Sean Connery (my Alzheimer may fail me–I need to re-watch this film) in Russia House (after Le Carre’s book) in which he explains to Barley (played by Sean) that the bargaining between movie’s KGB and CIA (MI-6) was based on the fact (the whole premise of the book and a movie) that Soviet Union’s military was so decrepit and unreliable that it was a clear danger of American MIC. Hence Americans (in the movie) were keenly interested in maintaining this visibility of USSR being a military superpower for the internal consumption. I believe late Roy uses a phrase to the effect:”can you imagine when none of their missiles fly, or other weapons really work…”

    In 1990, when this movie came out (with wonderful sax playing by Branford Marsalis–that certainly gets into your memory, well that and Michelle Pffeifer) it was viewed with a sense of surprise at the whole premise of this movie, since a lot of this very Soviet technology, as overwhelming empirical evidence showed, still continues to this very day fly, drive, float, shoot and perform just fine. Of course, the whole thing was a fiction written by the guy with humanities background (Le Carre) who spent his time in British intelligence but what was missed then and becomes really remarkable now is that today Le Carre’s fictional vision can be completely reversed 180 degrees. This time, though, it is not a fiction–in the times of F-35s, LCS, other expensive military-technological failures (the list is huge) one must not lose the sense of perspective, of scale and proportion since real life is not a Top Gun movie, nor is is Russia House either. Believe me, Russians, while giving their professional due respect to US military, are also well aware of the share of empty bluster and, well, BS in US rhetoric. Military checks and balances are either already there or are being installed as I type this. Believe me, Russians know war, and how to avoid it, better than anyone on this planet–this is not an empty bluster.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?
  139. @dfordoom

    The UK was virtually disarmed in 1939.
     
    It's worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39. Mostly light tanks. Even in 1940 they were quite heavily reliant on Czech tanks. And they invaded the Soviet Union with an army that relied mostly on horse-drawn transport. In 1939 re-armament in both Germany and Britain was still far from complete.

    It’s worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39…..

    Worth remembering, but boy was there ever an effort in “official” history to make sure we don’t!

    IMO Germany was shocked and ill-prepared when negotiations to resolve the Danzig Corridor issue went south in March 1939, largely due to British and French interference. It’s open to debate whether their motivation was simply to humiliate Germany by making the negotiations come up empty as a tit-for-tat after getting hornswoggled over Czechoslovakia, or whether they actually wanted to start a war. But on paper they had Germany beat by a substantial margin and they sure blew up an issue between Germany and Poland that was getting close to resolution – finally – after on/off negotiations dating back to the Weimar era.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    IMO Germany was shocked and ill-prepared when negotiations to resolve the Danzig Corridor issue went south in March 1939, largely due to British and French interference.
     
    War was the very last thing Germany wanted in 1939. The German army was horrified at the prospect. Hitler certainly did not want war in 1939.

    The attitude of Britain and France in 1939 was bizarre. It was as if they had learnt absolutely nothing from the follies of 1914. It's a reminder that politicians in liberal democracies never learn any lessons from history and are incapable of conducting a rational and coherent foreign policy.

    But on paper they had Germany beat by a substantial margin
     
    I guess that was the problem. They assumed that their (theoretical) overwhelming military superiority made their insane adventurism in 1939 a safe gamble.
  140. @Thirdeye

    It’s worth remembering how militarily weak Germany was in 1938-39.....
     
    Worth remembering, but boy was there ever an effort in "official" history to make sure we don't!

    IMO Germany was shocked and ill-prepared when negotiations to resolve the Danzig Corridor issue went south in March 1939, largely due to British and French interference. It's open to debate whether their motivation was simply to humiliate Germany by making the negotiations come up empty as a tit-for-tat after getting hornswoggled over Czechoslovakia, or whether they actually wanted to start a war. But on paper they had Germany beat by a substantial margin and they sure blew up an issue between Germany and Poland that was getting close to resolution - finally - after on/off negotiations dating back to the Weimar era.

    IMO Germany was shocked and ill-prepared when negotiations to resolve the Danzig Corridor issue went south in March 1939, largely due to British and French interference.

    War was the very last thing Germany wanted in 1939. The German army was horrified at the prospect. Hitler certainly did not want war in 1939.

    The attitude of Britain and France in 1939 was bizarre. It was as if they had learnt absolutely nothing from the follies of 1914. It’s a reminder that politicians in liberal democracies never learn any lessons from history and are incapable of conducting a rational and coherent foreign policy.

    But on paper they had Germany beat by a substantial margin

    I guess that was the problem. They assumed that their (theoretical) overwhelming military superiority made their insane adventurism in 1939 a safe gamble.

    Read More
  141. @Andrei Martyanov

    Let us hope that you are right, because I wish that I am wrong on this.
     
    I am not a provider of guarantees either. I merely present my points of view, some of them, inevitably, will be inaccurate. Having said all that. I believe it is in the monologue of Roy Scheider to Sean Connery (my Alzheimer may fail me--I need to re-watch this film) in Russia House (after Le Carre's book) in which he explains to Barley (played by Sean) that the bargaining between movie's KGB and CIA (MI-6) was based on the fact (the whole premise of the book and a movie) that Soviet Union's military was so decrepit and unreliable that it was a clear danger of American MIC. Hence Americans (in the movie) were keenly interested in maintaining this visibility of USSR being a military superpower for the internal consumption. I believe late Roy uses a phrase to the effect:"can you imagine when none of their missiles fly, or other weapons really work..."

    In 1990, when this movie came out (with wonderful sax playing by Branford Marsalis--that certainly gets into your memory, well that and Michelle Pffeifer) it was viewed with a sense of surprise at the whole premise of this movie, since a lot of this very Soviet technology, as overwhelming empirical evidence showed, still continues to this very day fly, drive, float, shoot and perform just fine. Of course, the whole thing was a fiction written by the guy with humanities background (Le Carre) who spent his time in British intelligence but what was missed then and becomes really remarkable now is that today Le Carre's fictional vision can be completely reversed 180 degrees. This time, though, it is not a fiction--in the times of F-35s, LCS, other expensive military-technological failures (the list is huge) one must not lose the sense of perspective, of scale and proportion since real life is not a Top Gun movie, nor is is Russia House either. Believe me, Russians, while giving their professional due respect to US military, are also well aware of the share of empty bluster and, well, BS in US rhetoric. Military checks and balances are either already there or are being installed as I type this. Believe me, Russians know war, and how to avoid it, better than anyone on this planet--this is not an empty bluster.

    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?
     
    1. Russian economy is still being held back by mindless liberal policies which originated in 1990s and Russian current economic block is largely "liberal" which is a euphemism for incompetent and, in some parts, anti-Russian. Having said all that,

    2. Russia's economy is growing and this year growth is projected at 2%

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-gdp-grows-0-5-percent-q1-state-134712641.html

    3. Russian REAL sector grows much faster, especially machine-building complex. A role of raw materials (gas and oil) in formation of a budget is significantly less today than it was 5 years ago. Share of a complex finished products, ranging from gasoline and machine oils to complex machines is growing too, and by much.

    All in all, pretty optimistic picture if one considers where Russia was 3 years ago. Even if to consider the fact of West's media blowing Russia's difficulties due to sanctions greatly out of proportion with reality.

    This is in short.
  142. @Mao Cheng Ji

    The initiatives in Ukraine were all on the Russian side. The totally unnecessary customs blockade of August 2013 triggered the Maidan fiasco. Then the unnecessary seizure of Crimea and proxy invasion of the Donbass in a failed provocation of a civil war.
     
    Calling it 'blockade' is a highly politicized framing. Ukraine was getting close to signing the EU association, and so new, stricter procedures had to be introduced. And this is the first time I hear about this 'blockade' 'triggering the Maidan fiasco'.

    The phrase 'unnecessary seizure of Crimea' is frankly absurd. Whether 'unnecessary' or 'necessary' in any subjective view, reunification of Crimea was a fulfillment of the will of the people, and a very happy event.

    'Proxy invasion of the Donbass'? Or, rather, a coup in Kiev, leading to a popular uprising in southern and eastern regions, brutally suppressed by neo-nazi militants everywhere except Donbas? The latter framing seems much more accurate to me.

    Russia was the prime mover.
     
    But unfortunately it wasn't. If it were, Ukraine would've been a peaceful and prosperous place today.

    “And this is the first time I hear about this ‘blockade’ ‘triggering the Maidan fiasco’.”

    This demonstrates your lack of attention until the Russian propaganda machine started spinning.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Ho-ho - attention: drum-roll please! - "the Russian propaganda machine"! Tsk.
  143. @Philip Owen
    "And this is the first time I hear about this ‘blockade’ ‘triggering the Maidan fiasco’."

    This demonstrates your lack of attention until the Russian propaganda machine started spinning.

    Ho-ho – attention: drum-roll please! – “the Russian propaganda machine“! Tsk.

    Read More
  144. @Daniel Chieh
    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?

    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?

    1. Russian economy is still being held back by mindless liberal policies which originated in 1990s and Russian current economic block is largely “liberal” which is a euphemism for incompetent and, in some parts, anti-Russian. Having said all that,

    2. Russia’s economy is growing and this year growth is projected at 2%

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-gdp-grows-0-5-percent-q1-state-134712641.html

    3. Russian REAL sector grows much faster, especially machine-building complex. A role of raw materials (gas and oil) in formation of a budget is significantly less today than it was 5 years ago. Share of a complex finished products, ranging from gasoline and machine oils to complex machines is growing too, and by much.

    All in all, pretty optimistic picture if one considers where Russia was 3 years ago. Even if to consider the fact of West’s media blowing Russia’s difficulties due to sanctions greatly out of proportion with reality.

    This is in short.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Machine building growth is all military based. Import substitution has been a complete failure even in food processing. The growth sector is grain production for export.
  145. […] Making Sense of the “Super Fuse” Scare By The Saker via Paul Craig Roberts 5/11/2017 [Full original column] […]

    Read More
  146. @Andrei Martyanov

    What are your thoughts on the state of the Russian economy?
     
    1. Russian economy is still being held back by mindless liberal policies which originated in 1990s and Russian current economic block is largely "liberal" which is a euphemism for incompetent and, in some parts, anti-Russian. Having said all that,

    2. Russia's economy is growing and this year growth is projected at 2%

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-gdp-grows-0-5-percent-q1-state-134712641.html

    3. Russian REAL sector grows much faster, especially machine-building complex. A role of raw materials (gas and oil) in formation of a budget is significantly less today than it was 5 years ago. Share of a complex finished products, ranging from gasoline and machine oils to complex machines is growing too, and by much.

    All in all, pretty optimistic picture if one considers where Russia was 3 years ago. Even if to consider the fact of West's media blowing Russia's difficulties due to sanctions greatly out of proportion with reality.

    This is in short.

    Machine building growth is all military based. Import substitution has been a complete failure even in food processing. The growth sector is grain production for export.

    Read More
  147. @Diversity Heretic
    Good article. I have only a couple of observations.

    1. I thought that most warheads designed to destroy hard targets were already ground bursted or actually penetrated the earth to destroy a target with shock waves. So I'm not sure why a fuzing capacity that allows an airburst at precisely 352 meters instead of between 200 and 500 meters is a game changer.

    2. I wonder how well the launches of SLBMs and ICBMs from operational silos will go. To my knowledge, there has been precisely one launch by the U.S. of an SLBM with a nuclear warhead aboard--way back in the Polaris days. I don't think that there has ever been a launch from an operational Minuteman silo. I have this feeling that if a launch order were given there would be a very high failure rate, ranging from the missile self-destructing in the silo, to missiles doing nothing, to missiles re-enacting the Challenger disaster, to missiles going wildly off course. Trying to design a disarming first strike under such circumstances strikes me as an exercise in complete, although dangerous, futility.

    3. In light of the demographic changes in the U.s., it ought to consider unilateral nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons should be in the hands of stable ethno-states, not highly unstable ethnically diverse countries that may devolve into civil war.

    Based on point 3, the only nuclear powers would be China, Russia, Pakistan, and India.

    The UK and France are not “Stable ethno-states”.

    Israel is certainly not “stable”

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  148. @abner
    The issue is that simple countervalue nuclear deterrence is both already purchased and far too inexpensive for the US MIC to be satisfied providing. On the other hand ABM and the ability to first strike a hardened nuclear force are fiendishly difficult problems that can justify legions of soldiers, engineers, technicians, investors, subcontractors, all getting a sniff of cash. It's impossible for anyone getting a piece of the action to argue that less is more and that US security is better off with an inexpensive countervalue strategy, leaving it at parity with a far poorer country that by the pre-nuclear logic of war doesn't "deserve" to be treated with respect.

    $20 trillion of debt doesn’t just go nowhere.

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  149. Anybody who believes that the likes of Kagan, Nuland, and Little Willy- hung like a light switch, Krystal aren’t barking mad psychopaths is a moron.

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    Psychopathology is a continuum, and we all sit somewhere on it. It's the "barking mad" end of that continuum that seeks power at all costs, so we shouldn't be surprised that it is the end that most commonly gains it.
    "Power most attracts those who should least be allowed near it." Or something like that...
  150. @Bill Jones
    Anybody who believes that the likes of Kagan, Nuland, and Little Willy- hung like a light switch, Krystal aren't barking mad psychopaths is a moron.

    Psychopathology is a continuum, and we all sit somewhere on it. It’s the “barking mad” end of that continuum that seeks power at all costs, so we shouldn’t be surprised that it is the end that most commonly gains it.
    “Power most attracts those who should least be allowed near it.” Or something like that…

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