While Obama was in Hiroshima in a historic trip as the first standing president of the only nation to have ever used a nuclear weapon during wartime, and warning about the dangers of nuclear power without offering an apology to Japan, Russian president Putin was in Greece seeking to resume where he left off one year ago, ahead of the turbulent Greece "referendum" and capital controls, following which the Greek people have turned increasingly against remaining in the Eurogroup, a shift Putin certainly hopes to capitalize on.
But it wasn't the latest Greek pivot toward Russia that was the highlight of Putin's trip: it was his latest warning that the Russian response to the most recent NATO provocation in Europe will be significant.
Recall that on May 12, in a dramatic development for the global nuclear balance of power, the United States launched its European missile defense system dubbed Aegis Ashore at a remote airbase in the town of Deveselu, Romania, almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite repeated Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe.
As we noted at the time, the US move was a clear defection from the carefully established Game Theory equilibrium in the aftermath of the nuclear arms race, one which explicitly removed a Russian "first strike threat", thereby pressuring Russia to implement further nuclear offensive and defensive measures: "the precarious nuclear balance of power in Europe has suddenly shifted, and quite dramatically: despite U.S. assurances, the Kremlin says the missile shield's real aim is to neutralize Moscow's nuclear arsenal long enough for the United States to make a first strike on Russia in the event of war."
And sure enough, making it very clear that this biggest yet provocation by the US and NATO is not forgotten, during a joint press conference with Tsipras in Greece, Putin warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.
Putin, cited by Reuters, issued his starkest warning yet over the missile shield, saying that Moscow had stated repeatedly that it would have to take retaliatory steps but that Washington and its allies had ignored the warnings.
"If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security," Putin told a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. "It will be the same case with Poland," he said.
Putin did not specify what actions Russia would take, but he insisted that it was not making the first step, only responding to moves by Washington. "We won't take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us."
"We have the capability to respond. The whole world saw what our medium-range sea-based missiles are capable of [in Syria]. But we violate no agreements. And our ground-based Iskander missiles have also proven themselves as superb,” continued Putin.
Further undermining the Pentagon's provocative narrative, the Russian president said the argument that the project was needed to defend against Iran made no sense because an international deal had been reached to curb Tehran's nuclear program. The missiles that will form the shield can easily reach Russian cities, he said.
"How can that not create a threat for us?" Putin asked.
He voiced frustration that Russia's complaints about the missile shield had not been heeded. "We've been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond... Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us."
And since nobody will negotiate with Russia, the Kremlin will have to take offensive measures into its own hands: we already know what the first one will be. Recall what then-president Dmitiry Medvedev said in November 2008: "Russia will deploy Iskander missile systems in its enclave in Kaliningrad to neutralize, if necessary, the anti-ballistic missile system in Europe."
I have recently posted a piece in which I tried to debunk a few popular myths about modern warfare. Judging by many comments which I received in response to this post, I have to say that the myths in question are still alive and well and that I clearly failed to convince many readers. What I propose to do today, is to look at what Russia is really doing in response to the growing threat from the West. But first, I have to set the context or, more accurately, re-set the context in which Russia is operating. Let’s begin by looking at the AngloZionist policies towards Russia.
First on this list is, obviously, the conquest by NATO of all of Eastern Europe. I speak of conquest because that is exactly what it is, but a conquest achieved according to the rules of 21st century warfare which I define as “80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military”. Yes, I know, the good folks of Eastern Europe were just dreaming of being subjugated by the US/NATO/EU/etc – but so what? Anyone who has read Sun Tzu will immediately recognize that this deep desire to be ‘incorporated’ into the AngloZionist “Borg” is nothing else but the result of a crushed self-identity, a deep-seated inferiority complex and, thus, a surrender which did not even have to be induced by military means.
Second is the now total colonization of Western Europe into the Empire. While NATO moved to the East, the US also took much deeper control of Western Europe which is now administered for the Empire by what the former Mayor of London once called the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” – faceless bureaucrats à la François Hollande or Angela Merkel.
Third, the Empire has given its total support to semi-demonic creatures ranging from al-Khattab to Nadezhda Savchenko. The West’s policy is crystal clear and simple to the extreme: if it is anti-Russian we back it. This policy is best exemplified with a Putin and Russia demonization campaign which is, in my opinion, far worse and much more hysterical than anything during the Cold War.
Fourth, the West has made a number of highly disturbing military moves including the deployment of the first elements of an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe, the dispatching of various forms of rapid reaction forces, the deployment of a few armored units, etc. NATO now has forward deployed command posts which can be used to support the engagement of a rapid reaction force.
US/NATO moves might well be just the first steps of a much larger effort which, given enough time, might begin presenting a very real danger for Russia.
The Russians are most dismayed at the re-colonization of western Europe. Long gone are the days when people like Charles de Gaulle, Helmut Schmidt or François Mitterrand, were in charge of Europe’s future. For all their very real faults, these men were at least real patriots and not just US colonial administrators. The ‘loss’ of Western Europe is far more concerning for the Russians than the fact that ex-Soviet colonies in Eastern Europe are now under US colonial administration. Why?
Look at this from the Russian point of view.
The Russians all see that the US power is on the decline and that the dollar will, sooner or later, gradually or suddenly, lose its role as the main reserve and exchange currency on the planet (this process has already begun). Simply put – unless the US finds a way to dramatically change the current international dynamic the AngloZionist Empire will collapse. The Russians believe that what the Americans are doing is, at best, to use tensions with Russia to revive a dormant Cold War v2 and, at worst, to actually start a real shooting war in Europe.
So a declining Empire with a vital need for a major crisis, a spineless Western Europe unable to stand up for its own interest, a subservient Eastern Europe just begging to turn into a massive battlefield between East and West, and a messianic, rabidly russophobic rhetoric as the background for an increase in military deployments on the Russian border. Is anybody really surprised that the Russians are taking all this very, very serious even if right now the military threat is basically non-existent?
First, the Russians want to make darn sure that the Americans do not give in to the illusion that a full-scale war in Europe would be like WWII which saw the US homeland only suffer a few, tiny, almost symbolic, attacks by the enemy. Since a full scale war in Europe would threaten the very existence of the Russian state and nation, the Russians are now taking measures to make darn sure that, should that happen, the US would pay an immense price for such an attack.
Second, the Russians are now evidently assuming that a conventional threat from the West might materialize in the foreseeable future. They are therefore taking the measures needed to counter that conventional threat.
Third, since the USA appears to be dead set into deploying an anti-ballistic missile system not only in Europe, but also in the Far East, the Russians are taking the measures to both defeat and bypass this system.
The Russian reaction
The re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army
Make no mistake, this will be a very large force, exactly the kind of force needed so smash through an attacking enemy forces (by the way, the 1TGA was present at the Kursk battle). I am pretty sure that by the time the 1TGA is fully organized it will become the most powerful armored formation anywhere between the Atlantic and the Urals (especially in qualitative terms). If the current tensions continue or even worsen, the Russians could even augment the 1TGA to a type of 21stcentury “Shock Army” with increased mobility and specializing in breaking deep into the enemy’s defenses.
The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system
It is extremely accurate, it has advanced anti-ABM capabilities, it flies at hypersonic speeds and is practically undetectable on the ground (see here for more details). This will be the missile tasked with destroying all the units and equipment the US and NATO have forward-deployed in Eastern Europe and, if needed, clear the way for the 1TGA.
The deployment of the Sarmat ICBM
The SS-18, the most powerful ICBM ever developed, was scary enough. The RS-28 “Sarmat” (SS-X-30 by NATO classification) brings the terror to a totally new level.
The Sarmat is nothing short of amazing. It will be capable of carrying 10-15 MIRVed warheads which will be delivered in a so-called “depressed” (suborbital) trajectory and which will remain maneuverable at hypersonic speeds. The missile will not have to use the typical trajectory over the North Pole but will be capable of reaching any target anywhere on the planet from any trajectory. All these elements combined will make the Sarmat itself and its warheads completely impossible to intercept.
The Sarmat will also be capable of delivering conventional Iu-71 hypersonic warheads capable of a “kinetic strike” which could be used to strike a fortified enemy target in a non-nuclear conflict. This will be made possible by the amazing accuracy of the Sarmat’s warheads which, courtesy of a recent Russian leak, we now know have a CEP of 10 meters (see screen capture)
The Sarmat’s silos will be protected by a unique “active protection measures” which will include 100 guns capable of firing a “metallic cloud” of forty thousand 30mm “bullets” to an altitude of up to 6km. The Russians are also planning to protect the Sarmat with their new S-500 air defense systems. Finally, the Sarmat’s preparation to start time will be under 60 seconds thanks a a highly automated launch system. What this all means is that the Sarmat missile will be invulnerable in its silo, during it’s flight and on re-entry in the lower parts of the atmosphere.
The deployment of the Status-6 strategic torpedo
The Status-6 system can be used to target aircraft carrier battle groups, US navy bases (especially SSBN bases) and, in its most frighting configuration, it can be used to deliver high-radioactivity cobalt bombs capable of laying waste to huge expanses of land. The Status-6 delivery system would be a new version of the T-15 torpedo which would be 24m long, 1,5m wide weigh 40 tons and capable of delivering a 100 megaton warhead which would make it twice as powerful as the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated, the Soviet Czar-bomb (57 megatons). Hiroshima was only 15 kilotons.
Keep in mind that most of the USA’s cities and industrial centers are all along the coastline which makes them extremely vulnerable to torpedo based attacks (be it Sakharov’s proposed “Tsunami bomb” or the Status-6 system). And, just as in the case of the Iskander-M or the Sarmat ICBM, the depth and speed of the Status-6 torpedo would make it basically invulnerable to incerception.
The reality is that the notion that the US could trigger a war against Russia (or China for that matter) and not suffer the consequences on the US mainland is absolutely ridiculous. And yet, when I hear all the crazy talk by western politicians and generals I get the impression that they are forgetting about this undeniable fact. Frankly, even the current threats against Russia have a ‘half-backed’ feel to them: a battalion here, another one there, a few missiles here, a few more there. It is like the rulers of the Empire don’t realize that it is a very, very bad idea to constantly poke a bear when all you are carrying with you is a pocket-knife. Sometimes the reaction of western politicians remind me of the thugs who try to rob a gas station with a plastic or empty gun and who are absolutely stunned with they get gunned down by the owner or the cops. This kind of thuggery is nothing more than a form of “suicide by cop” which never ends well for the one trying to get away with it.
NATO plans large-scale war games involving 10,000 troops in Poland in June, just ahead of a major NATO summit meeting in Warsaw. There, President Obama will meet with heads of all NATO member states, and Russian aggression is expected to be a major topic. NATO says it wants to keep talking with Russia, and it has reconvened a NATO-Russia council that stopped meeting after the Crimea annexation. But NATO no longer speaks of a "strategic partnership" with Russia, but rather uses Cold War–era rhetoric about keeping lines of communication open. Russian officials, meanwhile, are taking a belligerent and pessimistic tone. The world "has slid into a new Cold War," said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia now outstrips China as America's biggest cyberthreat. "Russian cyber actors are developing means to remotely access industrial control systems used to manage critical infrastructures," National Intelligence Director James Clapper said. Hackers with ties to the Kremlin have already penetrated computer systems at the Polish stock exchange, a French TV station, The New York Times, NATO, and even the White House and the Pentagon. Much of the hacking is for harassment and espionage, but at times it also presents a physical threat. In 2014, Russian hackers took over a computer that controlled the blast furnace at a German steel mill, inserting malware that caused the machine to melt down. Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine have taken out part of the power grid and interrupted military communications. In Syria, Russian jamming systems interfere with NATO spy satellites. "Russia certainly has been more active than any other country in terms of combining cyberattacks, or cyberoperations, with [military] operations," said security expert Jeffrey Carr. "China has never done anything like that."
But the general's underlying political message -- clearly articulated in the book's preface -- is that the hollowing out of defense capabilities across the West and its reluctance and inability to stand up to Russia is making war ever more likely.