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Washington Plays Russian Roulette

I wrote “Bolton’s Blunder” for, a long piece that in effect discussed the risks to (decaying) America by Washington pulling out of the INF Treaty. Referencing the writings of Russian military analysts and historians Andrei Martyanov and The Saker, in addition to Russian engineer and essayist Dmitri Orlov, I developed the thesis that from the perspective of American national security, if that means preserving the lives and property of American citizens—as opposed to nebulous official rhetoric that is undefined—the decision would neither make our nation safer nor give the military a competitive advantage to launch a debilitating strike against Russia. To the contrary, new systems and countermeasures were developed

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I wrote “Bolton’s Blunder” for, a long piece that in effect discussed the risks to (decaying) America by Washington pulling out of the INF Treaty. Referencing the writings of Russian military analysts and historians Andrei Martyanov and The Saker, in addition to Russian engineer and essayist Dmitri Orlov, I developed the thesis that from the perspective of American national security, if that means preserving the lives and property of American citizens—as opposed to nebulous official rhetoric that is undefined—the decision would neither make our nation safer nor give the military a competitive advantage to launch a debilitating strike against Russia. To the contrary, new systems and countermeasures were developed by Russia to assure MAD: Mutual Assured Destruction.

However, since my writing, if anything the situation has become worse, and Martyanov on his blog provided a discussion of an article (in Russian) by geopolitical observer Rostislav Ishenko; a passable Internet translation of the full text is possible. However, the key point Ishenko makes is that Washington’s leaving the INF Treaty, after previously abrogating the ABM treaty, to now be followed by departing the Start II treaty, will create an unstable, volatile environment that increases the likelihood of an escalating scenario that cannot be defused. In layman’s terms, the Russians are upset.

Martyanov’s own translation of a key point made by Ishenko is as follows, with the first two paragraphs from the Internet translation that introduce the principal point made, with the concluding paragraph also software translated:

The Russian president also said that Russia will not be the first to deploy its missiles anywhere until the United States does.

As we can see, the situation has not changed strategically today compared to what it was six months ago. Nevertheless, suddenly and urgently the Security Council [meeting is called], which results in the President’s statement, which unequivocally defines the United States as the culprit of the confrontation, which can develop into a full-scale nuclear conflict.

This means that, firstly, Moscow abandoned attempts to save the INF Treaty or to make [the] US go back to negotiating table. Secondly, Russia is not compromising despite demands from Washington. Thirdly, Russian leadership is ready for raising [the] stakes by the US, but points out the danger of  [a] “who blinks first” game, because if nobody blinks—the result could be [a] full-scale nuclear conflict with [the] possibility of annihilation of, if not humanity, then of civilization. Fourthly, the promise not to deploy new missiles unless US does it, shows that Russia is ready to create new positions for her missiles.

Moreover, since the United States has destroyed the entire international security system, Russia’s transfer of certain types of weapons to its allies, including situational weapons, is not excluded. For example, the renewal of Iranian missile systems, which are holding the Persian Gulf and U.S. allies in the Middle East, with an increase in their range of impact and combat effectiveness will not only dramatically change the balance of power in the region, but will have a critical impact on energy prices. The U.S. will no longer be able to guarantee their stable delivery from the region. The risk of a major regional conflict involving U.S. strategic allies, including nuclear-armed Israel, will increase.

I hope that I am bringing this information to a wider audience because I believe the risks for conflict are real. In fact, I am certain Russia sees itself in a state of war, as I’ve written in the past what I’d call a “war of nerves” and not just a “cold war” with Washington. Consider recent incidents in this report,  “Russian nuclear body says deadly blast was caused by nuclear power project, not powerful new missile” and this article, “Russia Says New Weapon Blew Up in Nuclear Accident Last Week”, in which the American writers all but gloat about recent failures (if some were not acts of sabotage) at Russian military facilities, without recognizing the role of Washington’s aggression in causing Russia to pursue dangerous weaponry as a defensive measure:

The blast was the latest in a series of deadly accidents that have damaged the Russian military’s reputation. Massive explosions earlier last week at a Siberian military depot killed one and injured 13, as well as forcing the evacuation of 16,500 people from their homes. In July, 14 sailors died in a fire aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in an incident on which officials initially refused to comment. A top naval official later said the men gave their lives preventing a “planetary catastrophe.”

Russia: MASSIVE explosions at Siberian ammunition depot caught on camera

Russia Today published  on August 14th a video response to recent hysterical global media reports comparing the above accident to Chernobyl with this video:

Nevertheless, I think Russia considers itself under siege and as The Saker has frequently written, although it has no desire for it, Russia is preparing for a worst case scenario: war. None of these incidents would have happened if Russia hadn’t felt threatened by the hostility and bellicosity of Washington’s conduct but I suspect Washington will be emboldened and consider the Russians incompetent and easy targets. As I’m writing this on August 13th, 2019, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu’s jet was dangerously confronted by a NATO F-18.

Here is a video of the incident:

What if the situation were reversed, and a Russian jet played a game of chicken with a jet carrying either Bolton or Pompeo?

In this video, with English subtitles, Putin discusses in response to a parent’s question about the threat of nuclear war that West evidently has no concept of the dangers.

And this video, entitled “ ‘Today, I Will Remind Them!’ Vladimir Putin Shows Off Arsenal Capable of Obliterating NATO!” was posted on August 12th, 2019:

YouTube makes suggestions to me regarding videos. One that might explain the recent  explosion or the Barents sea incident (but let me be clear this is little more than speculation on my part) was this video by the Russia “booster” Borzzikman, entitled, “Most classified Russian Missiles that are laying at the bottom of the Oceans in standby mode!”

Regarding Russian successes and not failures, current aircraft are limited in their acceleration potential and maneuvarability due to the physiology of their human pilots. This drone, recently displayed on RT and other media, and analyzed by the SouthFront team in the video posted beneath it, will most likely be a successful weapons system.

Russia showcases ‘Hunter’ heavyweight combat drone on its maiden flight.”

The technical specifications of the brand new UAV still remain a secret, although some media reports suggest it boasts a takeoff weight of between 20 and 25 tons and an operational range of 5,000km while being allegedly able to operate at a supersonic speed of 1,400 km/h (870mph).

The SouthFront video description of the below video is “Russia’s Stealthy Strike UAV. Deadlier Than Expected”:

While overall the Russian Armed Forces display remarkable effectiveness and demonstrated a wide range of modern weapons, a number of gaps in Russia’s arsenal are also evident. Arguably the largest one is the absence of attack UAVs of any kind, comparable to either the propeller-driven Predators and Reapers intended for operations in a benign air defense environment, or heavier platforms intended for high-threat environments comparable to the US X-47B UCAS or France’s Neuron. It is therefore no surprise that there was an upsurge in reports of UAVs of various classes under development in Russia, up to and including the S-70 Okhotnik-B, under development by OKB Sukhoi, whose first flight is planned for 2019.

Martyanov wrote on his blog in response to a reader’s question as to why Russia is visibly angry at Washington’s conduct, even if Russia has fielded military hardware that is superior to America’s arsenal that could defend against any such attack, such as hypersonic systems including Avangard:

Because of the dismantling of not only ABM, INF or START, but of the whole REGIME of arms control. This dismantling, in a larger scheme of things, increases risks tremendously one way or another. And then, of course, Russia does her own PR due diligence. It is not a simple problem of whose weapons are better—Russian weapons ARE better, some of them dramatically—but of the whole complex escalation path, not least through US (already in progress) trying to intimidate China. Russia wouldn’t be happy if China and US go at it. So, Russia MUST play and, actually, be an adult in the room. In the end, Russians have an excellent idea who they are dealing with in D.C.

Martyanov recently wrote about the Aviadarts-2019 military competition in Russia, where the hypersonic Kinzhal missile which already is in the field and operational and will be demonstrated at Aviadarts.

The complex will be used during simulation of the tactical episode Aviamix, in which MiG-31Ks carrying Kinzhal, and escorted by MiG-31BMs, will annihilate “enemy’s” air defense systems for provision of the use of ground-attack and close air support aviation. Hm, I wonder why such an unrealistic scenario (wink, wink)–it seems so…so…far fetched. Nah, I am being facetious–the message is clear and it is damn serious. Those who need to know, already received this message. Meanwhile, I can totally imagine (I am one myself) huge swaths of arm chair strategists, analytical and intelligence communities globally salivating waiting for possible (???) shots of Kinzhal doing its Mach=10 thingy. This, I would love to see.

I searched using the terms Aviadarts MIG 31 Kinzhal and found this footage of its demonstration, posted on August tenth of this year (in Russian). Hence despite Trump’s recent arrogant tweet about the nuclear incident, I wouldn’t count the Russians out.

Washington Plays Russian Roulette

The problem is that Washington is intent to make Russia an enemy and Russia is responding accordingly, again to the detriment of America and its people: nuclear war won’t be a disaster movie entertainment.

I don’t think any reader can make a difference by contacting Pompeo, Bolton, or Trump and asking them to reconsider their decisions to withdraw from the INF treaty and START II. But if the thousands who might be reading this piece bombarded the switchboards of Congress, and certainly voiced support for Tulsi Gabbard’s professed position of deescalating a situation that could spiral out of control, we might make a difference. Yet if truth be told, I don’t have faith in Washington’s political class. And the present situation is far more dangerous than the glib legacy media will ever reveal.

Consider the arrogance and sheer hatred demonstrated by Washington’s support of Neo-Nazis who murdered thousands of Russian speakers in Ukraine and recall that Russia herself lost tens of millions to the Nazis in the “Great Patriotic War” that is approaching its seventy-fifth anniversary next year.  The late Robert Parry wrote about the new Neo-Nazis of Ukraine, see this piece published in 2014, “Ukraine’s Inconvenient Neo-Nazis.” Parry wrote, “But Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis are not some urban legend. Their presence is real, as they swagger in their paramilitary garb through the streets of Kiev, displaying Nazi insignias, honoring SS collaborators from World War II, and hoisting racist banners…” Surely if we put ourselves in the Russian’s shoes we would see this is the height of arrogance, disrespect, and cruelty.

For an altogether different perspective on Russia, please consider reading “The Russian Peace Threat” by Ron Ridenour and since I’ve only recently purchased it, will have Andrei Martyanov have the last word in his brief review posted to his blog on the tragedy we face today:

In the end, [the] Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t just happen as a result of the US’ anti-Cuban activity, it was precipitated by the chain of events, which today, bar some important technological difference, repeat themselves almost exactly—the United States thinking that it has the right to deploy its nuclear weapons anywhere without considering opinion of anyone. As the United States abrogating, first, ABM Treaty, then, recently, INF Treaty and now, in the words of national Security Adviser John Bolton, warning that the United States will not extend START, the pattern of recklessness remains unchanged throughout decades. Ridenour’s narrative of the events around Cuba more than 56 years ago gives an excellent insight into this self-replicating mechanism of terror and nuclear war threat.

I cannot remain impartial to Ridenour’s book, large part of which is dedicated to a man I had a privilege to know personally, however fleetingly under existing conditions of strict military regimen, and study under his leadership and command as Superintendent of my Naval Academy in Baku, Vice-Admiral Vasily Alexandrovich Arkhipov. At the time of Cuban Missile Crisis Arkhipov was Captain 2nd Rank, Chief of Staff of 69th Brigade of the Submarines of the Northern Fleet and he was not known to the world at all, unlike it is today, him being credited and not just by Ron Ridenour, with saving the world then, in 1962, through his professionalism and cool head under the extreme of conditions, from nuclear holocaust. Pages dedicated to Arkhipov bore an immense personal significance for me.

Ridenour’s documenting evolution of American Imperialism of 1960s, to its newer, much less competent and thus more dangerous modern-day version, from US unleashing the bloody war in Syria to a blatant Neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine is excellent. It shows a continuity of American exceptionalist views, based, to a large degree on a complete ignorance of Russian history, culture and intentions. As one of the fathers of American “realist” (supposedly “better” than neoconservative) school of thought, Hans Morgenthau stated in 1957:

I would say, and I have said many times before, that if the czars still reigned in Russia, that if Lenin had died of the measles at an early age, that if Stalin had never been heard of, but the power of the Soviet Union were exactly what it is today, the problem of Russia would be for us by and large what it is today. If the Russian armies stood exactly where they stand today, and if Russian technological development were what it is today, we would be by and large confronted with the same problems which confront us today.

For those who might not have time to read an entire book on the topic or lack interest, may I suggest free English language documentaries on Russia available on YouTube, where one can discover the Russian people and not the ugly Western stereotype: likable, individual human beings.

It’s long past time Americans started seeing Russians that way.

St. Petersburg: Russia’s creative heart:

Unknown Russia—Breathtaking St. Petersburg:

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