World Affairs Brief, April 11, 2014 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com)
THIS WEEK’S ANALYSIS:
Will Putin Invade Eastern Ukraine?
US Keeps Disarming in the Face of Russian Aggression
NSA Exploitation of Internet Security
Nevada Cattle Rancher’s Standoff with the Feds
Bad Cops Keep Getting Judicial Support
Bad Analysis on the Yuan as New Reserve Currency
Preparedness Tip: First Aid
US CONTINUES DISARMING IN THE FACE OF RUSSIAN AGGRESSION
The Defense Department just announced its intent to remove 50 additional Minuteman missiles from their silos at 3 bases. They claim the empty silos will remain in warm status, meaning that they can be reloaded if needed. However, the US isn’t building any more missiles and they will be using up these missiles in tests over time. Their storage locations will be known to the Russians and thus can easily be destroyed if they still exist when war comes.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the fact that our government has finally acknowledged that the Russians violated the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans the testing, production and possession of nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles:
Russia has tested at least three missiles—the R-500 cruise missile, the RS-26 ballistic missile and the Iskander-M semi-ballistic missile—that run afoul of the proscribed range limits.
But, rather than use this as an excuse to stop further US compliance with treaties, the US continues to disarm unilaterally. As I reported earlier in the WAB, “Russia has increased its counted deployed strategic nuclear forces over the past six months, while at the same time America’s stockpile of warheads and launchers has declined.”
As the WSJ further reports, Obama has dismissed Russia as a regional power, and he is maneuvering the US closer to a position of absolute nuclear inferiority to Russia.
Russia has seized Crimea and has 50,000 troops as a potential invasion force on the border with eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin is also abrogating the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Kiev agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal—at the time the third largest in the world—in exchange for guarantees of its territorial integrity from Russia, the U.S. and U.K. That memorandum has now proved to be as much of a scrap of paper to the Kremlin as Belgium’s neutrality was to Berlin in the summer of 1914.
The Kremlin is also violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans the testing, production and possession of nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles. Russia has tested at least three missiles—the R-500 cruise missile, the RS-26 ballistic missile and the Iskander-M semi-ballistic missile—that run afoul of the proscribed range limits.
The Obama Administration has suspected for years that Vladimir Putin was violating the INF Treaty, which supporters hail as the triumph of arms control. The Russians were boasting of their new missile capabilities in open-source literature as far back as 2007. Yet as defense analysts Keith Payne and Mark Schneider noted in these pages in February, “since 2009, the current administration’s unclassified arms-control compliance reports to Congress have been mum on the Russian INF Treaty noncompliance.”
At a minimum, Congress should call on Rose Gottemoeller, confirmed last month as under secretary of state for arms control over strenuous objections from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, to explain what the Administration knew, and what it disclosed, about Moscow’s INF violations when she negotiated New Start. [The US has always refused to publicize or acknowledge Russian treaty violations].
Ms. Gottemoeller has been publicly noncommittal on this point, perhaps because she knew New Start would never have won a two-thirds Senate majority if Russia’s INF cheating had been widely known. The episode reminds us of why people like former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl were right to oppose the ratification of New Start.
Mr. Obama has dismissed Russia as a regional power, but he is maneuvering the U.S. closer to a position of absolute nuclear inferiority to Russia. The imbalance becomes even worse when one counts tactical nuclear weapons, where Russia has a four-to-one numerical advantage over the U.S.
To the surprise of defense analysts, the Pentagon will make the sharpest cuts in the submarine and bomber legs of the nuclear triad, while mostly preserving the silo-based Minuteman ICBMs. This means that the U.S. will maintain a stationary, and vulnerable, nuclear force on the ground while largely dismantling what remains of our second-strike capability at sea and in the air. A crucial part of deterrence is convincing an adversary that you can survive a first strike. It does not help U.S. security to dismantle the most survivable part of the U.S. arsenal.
This is even more pernicious when you factor in PDD-60, the 1997 Presidential Decision Directive directing our missile forces to “not rely on launch on warning” but to prepare to retaliate after absorbing a nuclear first strike. That dumb nuclear doctrine is still in force, and has never been repealed, even by that nominal Republican president, George W. Bush.
That first strike would wipe out all of our silos if they were not allowed to launch on warning—and though our Missileers still believe they are going to get the order to launch on warning, I’m betting that order will never come. Without the command codes from the White House, they can’t launch. By cutting the rest of our strategic nuclear triad, we make sure the impact of that first strike cannot be recovered from. And don’t forget that in 1998 Clinton agreed to keep 50% of our missile subs in port to make sure they were more vulnerable—to assure Russia that we posed no threat to it. The WSJ concludes:
It’s fashionable in the West to dismiss this as “Cold War thinking,” but it appears that Vladimir Putin hasn’t given up on such thinking or he wouldn’t be investing in new nuclear delivery systems.
Cold War or no, recent events are providing daily reminders that the great-power rivalries of previous centuries are far from over. They have also offered the grim lesson that nations that forsake their nuclear deterrent, as Ukraine did, do so at considerable peril. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 the Senate refused to ratify Jimmy Carter’s SALT II Treaty. Any serious response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine should include a formal and public U.S. demarche about Russian cheating on the INF treaty, while promising to withdraw from New Start if the cheating continues.
Nuclear arsenals aside, the timing of Mr. Obama’s nuclear dismantling couldn’t be worse as Mr. Putin contemplates his next moves in Ukraine and sizes up a possible Western response.
(audio/text) Joel Skousen: With a Growing Russian Missile Threat, US is Still Disarming — “Russia says their missiles are for “containment” of the US, but we know they are preparing for a nuclear first strike on America”
Dumitru Duduman: The Russian Invasion of America — “It will start with the world calling for ‘peace, peace.’ Then there will be an internal revolution in America…. The government will be busy with internal problems. Then, from the oceans…” — The rapture will occur AFTER America is destroyed, as God destroys the enemies of Israel!
[ audio ] Henry Gruver’s Three Visions: Russian (and Chinese) Invasion of America — “When Russia opens her gates and lets the masses go, the free world will occupy themselves with transporting, housing and caring for the masses, and will begin to let their weapons down, and will cry ‘peace and safety,’ and that’s when it will happen.”
New Russian Submarines Are So Silent That The U.S. Navy Calls Them “Black Holes” — An earlier model armed with long-range cruise missiles sailed around in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks without being detected in 2012!
All 100+ of my Joel Skousen posts (10 posts per page; latest appear first)