Pentagon: Ahead Of Its Own Yelp

NOTE: the title is based on an old Soviet puzzle, where a man kicks a pig with such force that it flies “ahead of the sound of its own yelping”.

The image shows the “Iskander M” tactical nuclear complex deployed in the Kaliningrad region. This is just one of the “surprises” for our NATO and American “partners”, who are eager to limit Russia in its ability to subdue any adversary.

Today we will talk about the START-3 Treaty, which expires on February 5th 2021. And at the same time about why its automatic extension for five years is already unprofitable for Russia and unacceptable for America.

The main reason for this, oddly enough, is again the Chinese. Today, according to various estimates, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is armed with up to 200 nuclear warheads – for example, in the US, there are about 3,800 of them, which are on combat duty and in reserve. 200 warheads are very small, according to the US, but even a quarter of them, breaking through the screen of missile defence, can cause damage that for the Americans is unacceptable – and in the next decade, the Chinese plan to double their number.

The main problem of the Americans today is that they are catastrophically lagging behind in nuclear weapons technologies, electronic warfare, and air defence/missile defence systems. This is the effect of three decades of unconditional hegemony, during which the US lost its engineering school and competencies – today in America they prefer to modify the old “Trident” complexes, but not to create new nuclear weapons.

But the most painful topic for Washington now is not even this – the START-3 Treaty provided for parity between Russia and the US, leaving out the Chinese. If we assume that America’s actions contribute to the maximum rapprochement between Russia and China, then we can no longer talk about any parity – in the event of a real war, a missile attack on America will begin immediately from the two countries.

But a retaliatory strike may not take place. Now this seems almost unthinkable, but American military experts are seriously concerned about the appearance of two anti-missile systems: the S-500 and the A-235 “Nudol”. The characteristics of the first “product” are still unknown from the word “completely” (although it has already gone into production), but there is some information about the second – in particular, the speed of interceptor missiles can reach 7 kilometres per second.

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At such intercept speeds, a nuclear warhead on the A-235 is not necessary, because the kinetic energy of a simple metal block is so monstrous that it can scatter anything from an enemy thermonuclear warhead to US satellites in near space.

In other words, the A-235 is almost 100% guaranteed to intercept a retaliatory strike – while the Americans do not know the range or other main characteristics of this complex. At the same time, the A-235 is only part of a deep-echeloned system, which includes over-the-horizon radars, a satellite grouping of the Aerospace Forces with unknown capabilities, S-400 and S-500 complexes, Kinzhal complexes on upgraded MiG-31 high-altitude interceptors (a “gift” for US satellites, and not only), and on the near approaches – “Pantsir-S2”, “Buk-M3”, and “Tor-M2” complexes.

It is clear that the A-235 is just getting ready for delivery to the troops, but even in its current form, the Russian missile defence system already poses a serious threat to a pre-emptive or retaliatory strike. As for Russia’s new nuclear weapons, they are now a real headache for the Pentagon, since the Americans are not able to intercept the new Avangard complexes on Sarmat carriers in principle – and all of this in addition to the already “traditional” “Topol-M” and other “surprises”.

Yes, the Americans also have promising developments and dull, facile optimism is completely inappropriate here – but the main “hole” of America is that it is a completely different private model of the military-industrial complex, and the liberal economy does not allow to concentrate resources in any strategic direction. It is much more profitable for a private owner to cut the budget and show the state client graphics and beautiful presentations than to debug even a finished “product” – a striking example of this is the situation with the long-suffering and extremely expensive F-35.

The result is a somewhat paradoxical picture: Russia has been developing and commissioning weapons based on new physical principles for at least 12 years, and China, which is “focused”, is rapidly increasing its weapons, starting with the fleet and ending with nuclear missiles.

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And against this background, the START-3 Treaty is coming to an end. Yes, it could be extended, but by the end of the timeframe of the Treaty, a third real force has appeared in the world, which is simply impossible to ignore – but to all calls to “sit down and talk”, the Chinese make impenetrable faces and declare that “China will not use nuclear weapons first”.

The remarks by Robert Soofer, deputy assistant secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy are part of a larger push by the Trump administration to talk tough on China, while trying at the same time to get Beijing to participate in three-way talks with Russia on arms control.

On Tuesday, just a day before Soofer’s remarks during a virtual Mitchell Institute event in Washington, a new Pentagon report lamented the ‘ambiguity,’ in Chinese statements about its commitment to no first use. ‘China’s lack of transparency regarding the scope and scale of its nuclear modernization program, however, raises questions regarding its future intent as it fields larger, more capable nuclear forces,’ the report said.”

We can see online what “tough negotiations” with the Chinese lead to – despite all Trump’s intentions to make the “damned communists” keel, the trade deficit in the US’ trade with China continues to only increase. It just so happens that today Americans are not able to produce most of the goods. At least because all the main production facilities were transferred by this “efficient private business” to Southeast Asia, and private companies are not in a hurry to return the factories back to the excellent American jurisdiction and tax system.

“‘Now we’re waiting to see if Russia has the political will now to come and talk to us about it,’ Soofer said, noting he’s been involved in the early discussions in Vienna.”

Yeah, they’re in a hurry. They run and stumble. Especially after the Kremlin clearly saw how easily and effortlessly America withdraws from any agreements that it considers to be unprofitable for itself. For example, from the INF Treaty or the Open Skies Treaty.

Here it should be noted that Russia also benefited from exiting the INF Treaty – why limit ourselves to the silly range of our “Iskander” of 500 kilometres? Russia is now much more interested in controlling all of Europe, including Britain – and replacing short-range missiles in Crimea and the Kaliningrad enclave with medium-range missiles is a matter of one or two years. After that, you can simply forget about a serious European bridgehead – no one has yet learned to intercept “Iskander M” hypersonic missiles. And it is unlikely anyone will learn how to do it in the coming decades.

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Today, Washington has a very limited arsenal for “influencing” opponents – sanctions, pressure in trade negotiations, financial, personal, and sectoral restrictions, and a ban on technology supplies. Yes, this would have been indisputable ten years ago, but today it no longer works. Russia is not going to ask the Chinese to join the new START Treaty, because it is not profitable for us or Beijing.

In addition, the Kremlin is actively cooperating with Beijing on an early warning system for a missile strike – and as soon as the Chinese have this system working, Washington’s capabilities will sharply narrow.

And, in the end, what difference does it make whether the number of warheads is limited to 1550, as in START-3, or exceeds this figure by several hundred – today’s arsenal is able to stop any life on the planet.

But the most important thing that makes the Pentagon and Trump nervous is the loss of a strategic advantage. America is showing political weakness, which is absolutely unacceptable for a hegemon – allies insert sticks, and opponents stupidly do not pay attention to sanctions. And not only do they not pay attention, but they also have the audacity to directly interfere in political processes inside America – we cannot but believe the most democratic media on the planet, can we?

Every month of internal political crisis brings the US closer to a natural outcome – and even if the collapse of the entire dollar pyramid does not happen now, the world is already morally ready for such an end to hegemony.

After all, what is worse than gold – a transferable ruble, or a crypto-yuan?

Oleg Adolfovich

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