The corporate media barely covered it but Russian President Putin’s recent speech was a wakeup call to our neocon-foreign-policy elite.
To understand the geo-political ramifications of this speech, I would recommend the excellent article entitled “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems” by Andrei Martyanov who offers a superb analysis of what these new weapons mean.
Martyanov writes that, “Vladimir Putin’s March 1st, 2018 address to Russia’s Federal Assembly was not about Russia’s upcoming presidential elections, as many in the election-obsessed West suggest. Putin’s speech was about coercing America’s elites into, if not peace, at least into some form of sanity, given that they are currently completely detached from the geopolitical, military and economic realities of a newly emerging world.”
This warning by Putin occurred against the backdrop of the non-stop Russia-gate hysteria raging in the US. The majority of Americans believe that Russia is the perpetrator of hostilities against the United States, mainly because the neocons and their corporate media handmaidens have promulgated the spurious claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.
In my opinion, Russia-gate has been used by our neocon-foreign-policy elite precisely to manufacture public support for escalations against Russia to secure strategic regions and ultimately hobble the emerging Russia-China partnership. The elephant in the room is the American empire and the desperate attempts by the neocon foreign-policy-elite to maintain this empire as American economic and military strength ebbs.
A large part of why Russia-gate has gained such traction is that our corporate media fails to provide history or context. The end result is that most US citizens remain oblivious in our United States of Amnesia.
For instance, few people know that the US, under President George W. Bush, withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002. And recently, the US changed its nuclear posture from MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), to a policy of first use of nuclear weapons even in the event of a computer hacking attack.
But, guess what?
The Russians are aware. Just like they know that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO expanded eastward and now surrounds Russia with hostile NATO members. After promising Russian President Gorbachev that NATO would never “expand one inch to the east”, the US-led military alliance added 13 new countries to its membership. NATO forces now routinely conduct military exercises just miles from the Russian border while anti-ballistic missile systems surround Russia on all sides.
How could the Russians not take these measure as hostile? In fact, Putin was very clear: “You didn’t listen to us then, you will listen to us now”. After that he proceeded with what can only be described as a military-technological bitch-slap, the strategic ramifications of which are historic in nature. In fact, they are a game changer.
Here are the new weapons that Putin unveiled in his historic speech:
–The deployment of the RS-28 Sarmat ICBM with hypersonic maneuverable reentry vehicles
–The deployment of conventionally armed very long-range cruise missiles
–The deployment of a nuclear powered cruise missile with a basically unlimited range
–The deployment of a nuclear powered unmanned submersible with intercontinental range, very high speed, silent propulsion and capable of moving a great depths
–The deployment of the Mach 10 hypersonic missile Kinzhal with a 2000 kilometer range
–The deployment of a new strategic missile Avangard capable of Mach 20 velocities
The weapons systems that Putin announced demonstrate that our neocon-foreign-policy elite have been lying to us. According to these leading-lights, Russia is a basket case, whose economy is on life support, “a gas station masquerading as a country”. The new Russian weapons also demolishes another myth–that the US has better weapons because of our superior technology.
For those of us who’ve been paying attention, the myth of American technological superiority has been apparent for some time.
This brings us to the other elephant in the room–the military/industrial/complex (MIC).
57 years after Eisenhower’s famous speech it’s beyond obvious that the US military/industrial/complex is concerned with profit not defense. If the weapons systems don’t work as advertised–oh well. With cost/plus contracts there’s simply more money to be made upgrading said weapons system. At this point it’s probably safe to assume that rather than a bug, it’s a feature of the vaunted US weapons procurement system—delays and astronomical costs of US weapons, which, despite constantly being declared the “best in the world” are no such thing, especially for the prices charged.
Now, with Putin’s Sputnik moment, it’s apparent that Russian weapons rival or are superior to those made in the USA. For example, since WWII, US naval warfare doctrine has emphasized aircraft carriers as the primary means of power projection. For the MIC this carrier centric navy has been a stunningly profitable business operation. However, as Martyanov makes abundantly clear, one of the weapons that Putin revealed has the potential to re-write the rules of naval warfare for a fraction of the cost.
“While Western punditry was discussing all those exotic and, no doubt, stunning weapon systems designed for the delivery of nuclear weapons to any point on the globe with very high precision, many true professionals were gasping for the air when the Dagger (Kinzhal) was unveiled. This is a complete game changer geopolitically, strategically, operationally, tactically and psychologically. It was known for some time now that Russian Navy was already deploying a revolutionary M=8 capable 3M22 Zircon anti-shipping missile. As impressive and virtually uninterceptable by any air defenses the Zircon is, the Kinzhal is simply shocking in its capabilities. This, most likely based on the famed Iskander airframe, M=10+ capable, highly maneuverable, aero-ballistic missile with a range of 2000 kilometers, carried by MiG-31BMs, just rewrote the book on naval warfare. It made large surface fleets and combatants obsolete. More specifically, no modern or perspective air-defense system deployed today by any NATO fleet can intercept even a single missile with such characteristics. A salvo of 5-6 such missiles guarantees the destruction of any Carrier Battle Group or any other surface group, for that matter–all this without use of nuclear munitions.”
Unfortunately, I’m not sure our neocon-foreign-policy elite are capable of heeding Russia’s warning. For whatever reason, whether hubris, lack of military experience, or zero accountability within the Beltway bubble (where being pro-war is always a career enhancer), when one of their hare-brained schemes fails the neocons simply double-down.
They seem to be following the script. In the wake of Rex Tillerson’s firing and Mike Pompeo’s ascendance at the State Department, UN representative Nikki Haley has now specifically threatened Syria and Russia with attack if the Syrian government does not halt its offensive in East Gouta and the Yarmouk camp.
The Russians were quick with a response.
This could get really interesting.