US and Russia in danger of returning to era of nuclear rivalry


#1

This is a very disturbing but thought-provoking article, I encourage it to be read in its entirety, I can only quote sound-bites:

theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/04/us-russia-era-nuclear-rivalry

**A widening rift between Moscow and Washington over cruise missiles and increasingly daring patrols by nuclear-capable Russian submarines threatens to end an era of arms control and bring back a dangerous rivalry between the world’s two dominant nuclear arsenals.

Tensions have been taken to a new level by US threats of retaliatory action for Russian development of a new cruise missile. Washington alleges it violates one of the key arms control treaties of the cold war, and has raised the prospect of redeploying its own cruise missiles in Europe after a 23-year absence.**
On Boxing Day, in one of the more visible signs of the unease, the US military launched the first of two experimental “blimps” over Washington. The system, known as JLENS, is designed to detect incoming cruise missiles. The North American Aerospace Command (Norad) did not specify the nature of the threat, but the deployment comes nine months after the Norad commander, General Charles Jacoby, admitted the Pentagon faced “some significant challenges” in countering cruise missiles, referring in particular to the threat of Russian attack submarines.

Those submarines, which have been making forays across the Atlantic, routinely carry nuclear-capable cruise missiles. In the light of aggressive rhetoric from Moscow and the expiry of treaty-based restrictions, there is uncertainty over whether those missiles are now carrying nuclear warheads.

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and a failing economy, Vladimir Putin is putting increasing emphasis on nuclear weapons as guarantors and symbols of Russian influence. In a speech primarily about the Ukrainian conflict last summer, Putin pointedly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal and declared other countries “should understand it’s best not to mess with us”.

The Russian press has taken up the gung-ho tone. Pravda, the former mouthpiece of the Soviet regime, published an article in November titled “Russian prepares a nuclear surprise for Nato”, which boasted of Russian superiority over the west, particularly in tactical nuclear weapons.

Peter Roberts, who retired from the Royal Navy a year ago after serving as a commanding officer and senior UK liaison officer with the US navy and intelligence services, said the transatlantic forays by Akula-class Russian attack submarines had become a routine event, at least once or twice a year.

“The Russians usually put out a sortie with an Akula or an Akula II around Christmas … It normally stops off Scotland, and then through the Bay of Biscay and out over the Atlantic. It will have nuclear-capable missiles on it,” he said.

Roberts, who is now senior research fellow for sea power and maritime studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said the appearance of a periscope off the western coast of Scotland, which triggered a Nato submarine hunt last month, was a sign of the latest such Russian foray.

He said the Russian attack submarine was most likely heading for the US coast. “They go across to eastern seaboard, usually to watch the carrier battle groups work up [go on exercises].

With both the US and Russia modernising their arsenals and Russia investing increasing importance its nuclear deterrent, Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said we are facing a period of “deepening military competition”.

He added: “It will bring very little added security, but a lot more nervous people on both sides.”


#2

Just what we needed right now… :frowning:


#3

So much for the reset button.

Still want to vote in Hillary Clinton, America? :rolleyes:


#4

“Tactical” nukes in the lingo used to mean bombs that would take out a city block vs. a city, a deep bunker and so on. The Russians do now have more nukes as a whole than the US, and the yields of the Russian bombs are larger then most of ours. [exceeding 1 megaton, whereas most of ours are half that]
Still, we have more then enough to “do the job” if it were called for.

What we have been doing in “modernizing” is really maintenance, and improvement on guidance systems, etc. The Russians are trying to develop new systems.

We defeated the old Soviet Union by outspending them. They went bankrupt due to keeping up with “the Jones.” Putin knows he is not fooling the west, but he is fooling his own constituents. As far as a return to the cold war, it seems inevitable now, really, it has already resumed. The real question is, how long will this one last? My guess for now is, it will last as long as Putin is alive. Let us pray that nothing happens between now, and the time he shuffles off the mortal coil.


#5

Oliver Stone claims that the truth is not being told in the west about Ukraine:
hollywoodreporter.com/news/oliver-stone-ukraine-protests-truth-760755
The US is making a mistake by putting sanctions on Russia.


#6

More people should have paid attention to Pat Buchanan’s excellent 2008 article, Blowback From Bear Baiting.


#7

It would be a useful outcome to an otherwise bad situation for the US to update their nuclear arsenal.


#8

The U.S. nuclear arsenal is becoming quite old and outdated.

As for a new cold war, the point of weapons of deterrence is not to use them. Ironically, the less effective the U.S. deterrent becomes, the less it deters and the more likely war becomes.

Of course, if there were an actual short nuclear exchange, it would kick up enough atmospheric dust to cause global cooling, thereby offsetting global warming.


#9

The ruble collapse makes it unlikely the Russians will be able to continue the hopes of rebuilding the Russian military - at least in the short-term.

The worse danger may be Russia suffering unexpected instability and nuclear material or a nuclear weapon getting into the wrong hands.

But it’s not cheap or easy to afford a strategic nuclear program. It’s been noted the US has had difficulties maintaining functioning nuclear weapons. The US had a problem with triggers for nuclear weapons when the Rocky Flats Plant was shut down in 1989. In 2007 the US could again manufacture a limited amount of triggers (plutonium pits).


#10

That is my understanding too.

Oh, that is the point about deterrence only though. Nuclear war to solve global warming is kind of like swallowing the spider to catch the fly. :smiley:
We all know how that story turns out.


#11

Over 100,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners are in prison in Russia for not paying bribes to assorted inspectors or because parties to business disputes bribe police to arrest them on trumped-up charges. Russia’s private sector has very little security in law for its property rights. Almost everybody dragged before any court is found guilty. The consequences are minimal re-investment, low productivity growth, and owners who seek security by taking out maximum cash and, if able, stashing it abroad.

theamericanconservative.com/articles/libertarians-and-putins-catastrophic-corruption/

We really need to have a cautious approach to this regarding sanctions, we don’t want to hurt the people, that’s always what sanctions do hurt.


#12

It doesn’t appear that Obama cares about them.


#13

CIA admits role in 1953 Iranian coup


#14

Not exactly the Soviet threat of old. A couple of attack subs with tactical nuclear cruise missiles is more of an oversized terrorist threat than a true war-fighting capability. They could potentially wipe out 2-3 east coast cities and expect a response that would obliterate Russia as a nation entirely. No exactly a balance of forces.

Our Trident nuclear subs still EACH have enough ballistic nuclear killing power to eradicate every major Russian city. And IIRC there are two on patrol at any given time. Also unlike the comparatively noisy Akulas, the Tridents are still the most undetectable submarines ever built. And then there are land based silos and stealth bomber based weapons.

The legacy of the Cold War is truly terrifying in scope and power.:eek:


#15

Wow, that is a new one to me. Nuclear war to solve global warming. Sounds kind of like putting someone in a gas chamber to cure their cancer. :smiley:


#16

I honestly figured that this was the case. It is disturbing to say the least but ever since relations with Russia became really sour over Crimea and everything, I figured that we would be back in another Cold War soon.


#17

We might have briefly been out of a Cold War when Yeltsin was in power. But I think we have been in one ever since. Our government just didn’t recognize it. Well, I guess Bush did to some degree. But the fatuous “reset button” gesture demonstrated that the current administration didn’t.


#18

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