August 2016 – EUROPE – For the first time in a quarter-century, the prospect of war—real war, war between the major powers—will be on the agenda of Western leaders when they meet at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, on July 8 and 9. Dominating the agenda in Warsaw (aside, of course, from the “Brexit” vote in the UK) will be discussion of plans to reinforce NATO’s “eastern flank”—the arc of former Soviet partners stretching from the Baltic states to the Black Sea that are now allied with the West but fear military assault by Moscow. Until recently, the prospect of such an attack was given little credence in strategic circles, but now many in NATO believe a major war is possible and that robust defensive measures are required.
In what is likely to be its most significant move, the Warsaw summit is expected to give formal approval to a plan to deploy four multinational battalions along the eastern flank—one each in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Although not deemed sufficient to stop a determined Russian assault, the four battalions would act as a “tripwire,” thrusting soldiers from numerous NATO countries into the line of fire and so ensuring a full-scale, alliance-wide response. This, it is claimed, will deter Russia from undertaking such a move in the first place or ensure its defeat should it be foolhardy enough to start a war.
The United States, of course, is deeply involved in these initiatives. Not only will it supply many of the troops for the four multinational battalions, but it is also taking many steps of its own to bolster NATO’s eastern flank. Spending on the Pentagon’s “European Reassurance Initiative” will quadruple, climbing from $789 million in 2016 to $3.4 billion in 2017. Much of this additional funding will go to the deployment, on a rotating basis, of an additional armored-brigade combat team in northern Europe.
As a further indication of US and NATO determination to prepare for a possible war with Russia, the alliance recently conducted the largest war games in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. Known as Anakonda 2016, the exercise involved some 31,000 troops (about half of them Americans) and thousands of combat vehicles from 24 nations in simulated battle maneuvers across the breadth of Poland. A parallel naval exercise, BALTOPS 16, simulated “high-end maritime war-fighting” in the Baltic Sea, including in waters near Kaliningrad, a heavily defended Russian enclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania. All of this—the aggressive exercises, the NATO buildup, the added US troop deployments—reflects a new and dangerous strategic outlook in Washington. Whereas previously the strategic focus had been on terrorism and counterinsurgency, it has now shifted to conventional warfare among the major powers. –The Nation
U.S. officials continue to play down the nuclear threat imposed from Russia due to the strategic advantage the U.S. sacrificed under the Obama administration.
The chess board is widening and the potential contentious areas where Russia and the U.S. can now, accidentally or intentionally, be drawn into a hostile conflict involving a nuclear exchange are increasing: Syria, Europe, the Baltic States, Iran, and even the continental U.S. The U.S. was outmaneuvered by the Russians in Syria, on Iran, and now U.S. policy under President Obama is reactionary, as both sides posture and escalates the dangerous art of saber-rattling. Hillary Clinton’s policy of Russian containment in Europe differs very little from Obama’s. The slightest miscalculation between these two super-powers could lead to war and could unleash a furious storm of nuclear fireballs thundering across the planet. The situation has become that volatile and dangerous.
New Weapons: Russia is bringing a host of new weapon systems online in 2017, making it the perfect time to strike at the heart of the U.S. or NATO – while America is somewhat strategically off-balance with it nuclear forces. One such weapon is the RT-2PM2 TOPOL M missile.
TOPOL M: Russia’s RT-2PM2 is the fastest nuclear ICBM in the world. Putin said the TOPOL was one such “strike system capable of penetrating any missile defenses” in the world. The missile can travel at speeds of up to 7,320 meters per second (26,400 km/h). The TOPOL-M missile was designed to penetrate an American anti-ballistic missile shield by leveraging high-speed, a relatively small infrared signature during its boost phase, advanced decoys (as many as ten carried on a single missile), maneuvering mid-course capability, and maneuvering independently targeted reentry vehicles, of which it can carry up to six, although they are said to carry just one operationally… All these features come together to make a missile that is probably outside of America’s missile defense capabilities today, and the sheer number of them that exists makes the idea of defending against anything but a limited barrage totally invalid. –Foxtrotalpha
The S-500 is another such weapon. The S-500 is a new generation surface-to-air missile system. It is designed for intercepting and destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as hypersonic cruise missiles and aircraft and for air defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control and jamming aircraft. With a planned range of 600 km (370 mi) for Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) and 400 km (250 mi) for the air defense, the S-500 would be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to 10 ballistic supersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 kilometers per second.
The S500, an impenetrable air-defense system? “Russia’s S-500 anti-missile missiles and anti-aircraft missiles can intercept any existing ICBM, cruise missile, or aircraft. S-500s travel at 15,480 miles an hour; reach an altitude of 115 miles; travel horizontally 2,174 miles; and can intercept up to ten incoming missiles. They simply cannot be stopped by any American anti-missile system. Some on the U.S. side say the S-500 system is being rolled out in a crash program, as an American Intel source told Asia Times. There’s been no Russian confirmation. Officially, Moscow says the system is slated to be rolled out in 2017. End result, now or later: it will seal Russian airspace. It’s easy to draw the necessary conclusions.That makes the Obama administration’s “policy” of promoting war hysteria, coupled with unleashing a sanction, ruble and oil war against Russia, the work of a bunch of sub-zoology specimens. Some adults in the EU have already seen the writing on the (nuclear) wall. NATO’s conventional defenses are a joke. Any military buildup – as is happening now – is also a joke, as it could be demolished by the 5,000 tactical nuclear weapons Moscow would be able to use.” –Russian Insider
Russia rushes the development of the next generation doomsday plane after just one year. On July 27 Voronezh Aircraft Factory finally presented Russia’s Ministry of Defense the new specialized airborne command system also known as the ‘doomsday plane.’ The new third-generation airborne command post is based on a modified Ilyushin Il-96-400 wide-body aircraft. It should be noted that late in 2015 the Russian military has already received a second-generation ‘doomsday plane’ based on an Ilyushin Il-80 aircraft. “This (aircraft) is a full-fledged command post that allows coordinating the actions of ground forces and navy during both conventional and nuclear war,” Korotchenko concluded. –Sputnik
Former NATO Commander: NATO risks a nuclear war with Russia within a year if it does not increase its defense capabilities in the Baltic States, one of the alliance’s most senior retired generals has said. General Sir Richard Shirreff, who served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe between 2011 and 2014, said that an attack on Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia – all NATO members – was a serious possibility and that the West should act now to avert “potential catastrophe.”
General Shirreff said: “The chilling fact is that because Russia hard-wires nuclear thinking and capability to every aspect of their defense capability, this would be a nuclear war.” –Independent
Russian defector warns Congress: In a Congressional hearing in 2000, KGB defector Colonel Stanislav Lunev testified to the presence of small briefcase-sized nuclear devices that have been smuggled into the United States, awaiting a future date when they will be used by KGB agents. Following are excepts of this incredible revelation of Colonel Lunev, as taken from Newsmax, January 25, 2000:
Stanislav Lunev, the highest-ranking Soviet spy ever to defect, warned members of Congress Monday a pre-emptive nuclear strike by Russia on American soil is a real possibility. At a House Committee on Government Reform hearing here, the one-time colonel in Soviet and then Russian Federation military intelligence, gave a chilling presentation of his country’s Cold War plans to defeat the United States. Under federal witness protection, Lunev was escorted into the hearing room with a black bag covering his head. From behind a screen to shield him from the view of the audience, Lunev testified Soviet generals had designed a special plan for the future war against America and its allies… –Tldm
Marina Kalashnikova’s warning to the West– Meet Marina Kalashnikova: a Moscow-based historian, researcher and journalist. Last August she criticized foreign “experts” for suggesting that a conflict with Moscow will not happen because Russia’s elite is too closely associated with the West. According to Kalashnikova, “The West does not care to wake from the dream of its wishful thinking, even when Moscow turns to … reanimating Stalin’s cult of personality [in Putin]… Yet the American president is preparing to surrender that power in a series of arms control agreements that will leave the United States vulnerable to a first strike. Placing this in context, nuclear weapons are ultimate weapons, so that the West’s superiority in conventional weapons is therefore meaningless. Whoever gains strategic nuclear supremacy will rule the world; and the Russian strategic rocket forces are in place, ready to launch, while America’s nuclear forces are rotting from neglect.” –Free Republic, July 17, 2009
Let’s hope cooler heads will prevail and the dangerous “hot war” currently raging between Russia and the U.S. will deescalate. With each approaching year, the world will only grow much dangerous due to nuclear proliferation as these weapons spread to the Third World and possibility into the hands of Islamic terrorists bent on annhilating the West. The fact that nuclear weapons are out there only increases the impetus to use them. Two hundred years after Jane Austen, a restless world intoxicated with the technical prowess of how to destroy itself is still staggering as it walks the fine line between sense and sensibility, between reason and madness, between hope and fear. In 1945, 226,000 people died from the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What lessons have we learned from this? There will be no tomorrow unless we decide there will never be another today, like yesterday. –Alvin Conway