Archive for the ‘Soviet’ Category

Russia’s Military Build-Up, Dropping Out Of Treaties, Could Be Too Costly

December 25, 2008

Losing more than is gained has been a consequence of arms build-ups by Russia in the past.  Some say the Soviet Union failed because the arms industry bankrupted other potential economic sectors.  Now the old Soviet war material is old and needs to be replaced.  But Russia can ill afford to rebuild what it wants, when it wants, despite the economic slow-down in the U.S., said Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Arbatov….

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MOSCOW.  Dec 25 (Interfax):  Moscow’s potential withdrawal from the Russian-U.S.  Treaty  on  Intermediate  and  Shorter  Range  Missiles in response  to  the  potential  deployment  of  U.S.  anti-missile defense elements  in Europe will not benefit Russia, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Arbatov said at the presentation of a book entitled   “Nuclear   Proliferation:  New  Technologies,  Arms  and Treaties” in the Moscow Carnegie Center.
    
He warned about the economic consequences of this move.
    
“The  budget is limited. If we pull out of the INF treaty and start making medium  and  shorter range missiles, we will have to cut expenses in other   spheres,  probably  strategic  weapons  or  housing  for  the military,”  Arbatov  said, adding that he didn’t know which items of the defense  budget  could  possible  be  sequestered  without  detriment to
national security.
    
“We will lose more than we will gain,” Arbatov said.
    
This  is  not  just  about  the budget but also about security, the scientist remarked.
    
“Quite  obviously,  there are circles in the West, NATO, Europe and the United  States, which would welcome this scenario because this would untie their hands,” he said.

Tu-95 Bear D.jpg
This old Soviet-era Bear bomber is old, takes a lot of money to keep flying and has minimal strategic value in today’s world, experts say.
    
In Arbatov’s opinion, this move would mean that NATO member-states, especially  European  allies,  would  unite  in  the face of a potential Russian missile threat.
    
In  addition,  the  United  States  might  retaliate  for  Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty by redeploying their medium and shorter range missiles in Europe.
    
“It  will  have  an  excuse  for  returning Pershings, ground-based cruise missiles,  and  perhaps the latest, more sophisticated systems to Europe,” he said.
    
These  missiles  might  reappear  not in Germany, Italy or Britain, where they  were  deployed  in  the  1980s,  but  for  example in Baltic countries, Poland or “maybe even in Georgia”, Arbatov said.

Related:
Russia’s new sea-based ballistic missile fails

Russia Accelerates Nuclear Re-Arming

Russia Angry, Critical of U.S. On Arms Control

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile site in Russia in October. Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States, a top Russian general was quoted as saying.(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

December 19, 2008

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States a kind of Slavic chess tournament opened in the Kremlin to defeat the new American president.  Whether it is because he is Black or for whatever reason (and we might not know the Russian reason exactly for some time) Russian President Dmitry Medvev and his predecessor, mentor and Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin, began to pressure, cajole and coerce Mr. Obama.

The chess pieces include the U.S. missile defense plan for Europe, which includes ten or so interceptor missiles and a radar site, both in Poland and the Czech Republic.  Russia wants to checkmate these and get them off the European (and Kremlin) chessboard.

Putin and Medvev have as kings nuclear weapons of their own.  The day after Obama’s election, in an opening move, Medvedev offered to really provide a geographic move of short range nuclear-tipped Iskander missiles closer to Eastern Europe.

The U.S. yawned.

Medvedev backed off this idea largely due to world-wide condemnation at his dangerous bluster.

Today Russia says it will stop developing “some” strategic nuclear weapons if the U.S. halts it European missile shield plan.

This seems to us at Peace and Freedom to be a play by Russia to guarantee future Russian superpower status.  Eastern European (and former Soviet) nations like the Czech Republic and Georgia are gravitating toward the West and NATO, and Russia cannot accept their loss.  That’s why Russia invaded Georgia and South Ossetia last summer….

Related:
Russians Say Medvedev, Obama to Meet “Soon After Jan 20 Inauguration”

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Vladimir Putin is a world-class chess master at getting what he wants.  The former KGB man now  seems poised to return to the presidency of Russia for another term in a few years and he seems to have convinced many, by deception, that missile defenses in Europe are a threat to Russia.

What Putin wants is control of Russia — and a Russia of long term dominance on the world stage.

Conceived way back during the Ronald Reagan presidency and often derisively called “Star Wars” or the missile shield, U.S. missile defense is no threat to Russia or anyone else.  Like a defensive basketball or football player, missile defense is designed and used to block destructive attacking missiles from reaching their goals.

Russia has manipulated the world media for almost two decades to create the illusion that missile defense is some threat to Russians.  In fact, no missile defense missile has the capability of harming Russia or Russians: the “kill mechanism” of a missile defense interceptor is the kinetic energy or crashing into the attacking missile.  The missile defense missile has no warhead — unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry 10 or so nuclear warheads, each capable of annihilating millions of people and entire cities.

The U.S. missile defense effort for Europe has been a long and painstaking discussion going back two decades.  Along with thousands of others, I participated myself in these discussions, forums and conferences, in the early 1990s, on two levels: first as co-chairman of a NATO study (one of several) to determine the efficacy and implications of a European missile defense to stop missiles like those being developed by Iran targeted on Europe; and then on U.S. government missions to Moscow to show with credible evidence that a U.S. missile defense was no threat to Russia — or anybody.

By the middle 1990s, the Russians seemed to agree that U.S. missile defenses, even in Europe, were no threat to Russia or Russians.

In 2002, the United States, after years of notification to Russia and discussions with Russia, withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty which had been made with the Soviet Union.  This action was necessary to permit testing of U.S. missile defenses — which had targets and interceptors that could have posed an international legal discussion vis-a-vis the treaty.

Then an interesting thing happened.  Vladimir Putin in Russia decided that he wanted a resurgent Russia with renewed superpower status, like that enjoyed during the Cold War Soviet era.  As Russia developed its oil reserves, exports gave him the financial clout he needed despite an aging and creaky military machine.  But an expert at media and public manipulation, Putin went to work to achieve his goals and to stifle U.S. objectives on many fronts.

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in parliament May 8, 2008. Putin brought Medvedev from the post of Charman of Gazprom, Russia’s oil giant, to become his chief of staff and later preident.  Now Medvedev has proposed a longer term for Russia’s president and it is no secret that Putin wants to come back as President of Russia.  Photo: Sergei Chirikov AFP/Getty Images

The suave, handsome and articulate Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev are also quick to reveal clumsy bluster and intimidation — which is what the recent threat to move Iskander missiles closer to Poland seems to have been.

Russia also attacked neighbors in Georgia and South Ossetia — quickly turning ignored intimidation into acts of war.

Russia continues a very aggressive trade relationship with Iran, which continues to develop more capable ballistic missiles, nuclear technology (with Russian help) and sends verbal assaults at least weekly at Israel and the U.S. (”Israel should be wiped from the map,” said Iran’s President Ahmadinejad).

Efforts to slow or stop Iran’s nuclear development in the United Nations are routinely thwarted by Russia and China.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Now a global media tired of George W. Bush and enamored by Barack Obama has absolutely no time for the truth of the missile defense situation.  This weekend Agence France-Presse (AFP) wrote a photograph caption on a picture of French President Sarkozy and Russian President Medvedev which read, “Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields.” (see below)

The fact is that U.S. missile defense threatens nobody — with missiles incabale of landing on Russian targets and without warheads.  The U.S. has even offered Russia the opportunity to place Russian inspectors at U.S. missile defense sites, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to ensure no sneaky bad guys alter these defensive systems for attack.  The difficulty of converting a missile defense system for attack is, well, like secretly and quickly rerouting the Space Shuttle from a mission to the International Space Station and then attempting a manned landing on Mars.  Russia knows this is a crazy notion — but many in the media and others have swallowed this brainless Russian borscht.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, before the Europe-Russia finance reform summit in Nice southern France. Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields Friday and called for talks on Europe’s future security. (AFP/Valery Hache)
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NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called the Russian remarks on moving missiles in Europe unsolicited, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Russia has also said that a missile defense system in Europe will “negate” its thousands of nuclear armed missiles.  But the European missile defense system is only intended to have 10 interceptors — which would be easily and quickly overwhelmed by a Russian attack.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Threating people in Europe with nuclear destruction is a gossly over the top Russian act of instigation and intimidation — and it makes no sense in the post-Cold War world.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ribert Gates said the threat from Russia, made just after the U.S. election of President-elect Barack Obama, was “hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.”

“Quite frankly I’m not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad, after all the only real emerging threat on Russia’s periphery is in Iran and I don’t think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad,” Gates added. “Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me.”
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Medevev and supposedly Putin have now backed away from their threat to move Iskander missiles but they have created an incredible fog of lies in the air — which many in the international media and elsewhere have swollowed.

U.S. missile defense, and the European effort with Poland and the Czech Republic, is no threat to Russia or anybody else.  It is a system to bat down incoming nuclear warheads from long-range missiles, like those Iran continues to test.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Russia to deploy new missile systems ‘by 2020’

December 17, 2008

Russia’s armed forces will be equipped with new nuclear-capable missiles by 2020 that can overcome defensive measures like the controversial US missile shield, a top military official said on Wednesday.

The comments by the overall commander of Russia’s missile forces indicate Russia is planning a far-reaching refurbishment of its intercontinental missile arsenal where Soviet-era warhorses still play an important role.

“By 2015-2020 the Russian strategic rocket forces will have new complete missile systems with improved combat characteristics,” General Nikolai Solovtsov told reporters at a briefing in the Moscow region.

“They will be capable of carrying out any tasks, including in conditions where an enemy uses anti-missile defence measures,” Solovtsov said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

By Stuart Williams
AFP

Russian officials have expressed fury at the US plan to install missile defence facilities in Central Europe, despite US assurances that the system is not directed against Russia.

Washington plans to put an anti-missile radar facility in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, both ex-Eastern bloc countries which are now NATO members.

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have urged US president-elect Barack Obama to drop the system, which was devised by the outgoing administration of George W. Bush.

A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is ... 
A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is driven across Red Square in a Victory Day Parade in Moscow, May 2008. Russia’s armed forces will be equipped with new nuclear-capable missiles by 2020 that can overcome defensive measures like the controversial US missile shield, a top military official said on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Yuri Kadobnov)

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday he expected the Obama administration to “constructively cooperate with us” on arms control issues, the Interfax news agency reported.

However despite the expressions of optimism from Moscow, Obama has yet to give any details about his intentions.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081217/wl_afp/russia
militarymissileus_081217151516

Russia Warns U.S., West: Stay Out of Former Soviet Union

December 10, 2008

Russia’s foreign minister warned the West on Wednesday against meddling in its backyard, saying the U.S. and European countries must not advance their interests in the former Soviet Union at Russia’s expense.

Sergey Lavrov told a group of foreign business leaders that Russia has no monopoly on relations with neighboring former Soviet republics, and said Moscow understands that the United States and European Union have legitimate interests in the region.

By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer

But, he said, the U.S. and EU must forge relations with former Soviet republics “through legal, understandable and transparent methods,” Lavrov said. “Behind-the-scenes meddling only creates a crisis situation. One must respect the people of these nations and give them the right to choose their own fate.”

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a ...
Lavrov

Already long-deteriorating ties between Moscow and the West were badly damaged by Russia’s August war with Georgia, a small ex-Soviet republic that has enjoyed strong U.S. backing and is seeking NATO membership.

Lavrov gave no examples of alleged meddling. But the U.S. and Europe have been courting ex-Soviet republics as they vie with Russia for access to Central Asian and Caspian Sea energy resources and seek ties with nations close to sources of concern such as Iran and Afghanistan.

Also, Russian leaders have suggested the U.S. encouraged Georgia to launch an offensive that sparked the five-day war, and say Washington has pressed to bring Ukraine closer to NATO despite significant opposition among its people.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081210/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_us_2