Putin: Listen to Russia Now by Willy B


Rusian President Vladimir Putin delivered his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly, yesterday, and while his lengthy remarks covered the gamut of policy issues in Russia, it was his remarks on nuclear policy and weapons that garnered headlines around the world.

"I believe it as my duty to say this: any use of nuclear weapons of any yield – small, medium or whatever – against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences," Putin said to draw loud applause from the audience. He warned that "nobody should have any doubts on that score." At the same time Putin cautioned against creating new threats to the world, "but on the contrary to come to the negotiating table to give thought to an updated, future system of international security and the civilization’s sustainable development."

Though the new weapons that Putin described were not a response to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, released last month, he directly attack aspects of that document. "Some of the provisions of the updated US nuclear strategy review, which reduces the threshold for using nuclear weapons, trigger tremendous concern. One can try to calm down anyone behind the scenes as one chooses, but we read what has been written. It is written in such a way that it can be used in response to a conventional weapon strike or even in response to a cyberthreat," Putin noted. He stated that in its military doctrine, Russia "reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies or in the event of aggression with the use of conventional weapons, when the very existence of the state is jeopardized."

Then Putin went on to describe a number of new systems that Russia has had under development, systems, with one exception, that have not been previously officially described. He stressed, however, that these new systems were a response to the 2002 U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the ABM treaty of 1972 and the subsequent deployment of U.S. missile defense systems both inside and outside of the U.S. he said that all of Russia's suggestions on joint work have been rejected by the US, explaining that Moscow has tried to convince Washington not to violate the anti-missile defense treaty, but all this has been in vain. According to Putin, the US military build-up will eventually render Russia's nuclear arsenal pointless unless Moscow acts, specifying that all agreements under the New Start Treaty are gradually being undermined and devalued.

Putin explained that Russia has started the development of weapons that do not use ballistic flight paths, "which means that the missile defense systems are useless in struggle against them." In late 2017, he said, Russia successfully tested a completely new type of armament "unmatched in the world" — a nuclear-powered missile, with virtually unlimited range that can, therefore, attack from any direction. He also announced that the beginning of the active phase of testing of the RS-28 Sarmat heavy, liquid fueld ICBM, saying that it would be invulnerable to interception as its capabilities allow it to bypass any missile defense. In addition, Moscow has developed underwater drones capable of operating at enormous depths and intercontinenal distances, as well as creating hypersonic weapons.

"No one listened to Russia before we created new armament systems, so listen to Russia now," Putin said (emphasis added), saying that the country is one step ahead of other states.

The response from the Pentagon, so far, has been to say that these weapons are not a threat and that US missile defense is not aimed at Russia. "We're not surprised by the statement [by Putin], and the American people should rest assured that we're fully prepared" to defend against attack, Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, said at a briefing, yesterday afternoon. "We're prepared to defend this nation no matter what" Putin might add to his arsenal of nuclear weapons."

"They know very well that it's not about them. Our missile defense has never been about them," White went on, referring to US nuclear deterrence policy. "We need to ensure we have a credible nuclear deterrent, and we are confident that we are prepared to do — and we are prepared to defend this nation no matter what."

While the Pentagon dismisses these new weapons, and even questions their viability, some experts are more serious. "I'm still kind of in shock," Edward Geist, a researcher specializing in Russia at the Rand Corp, told NPR in reference to the nuclear powered cruise missile. "My guess is they're not bluffing, that they've flight-tested this thing. But that's incredible."

Experts consulted by The National Interest's Dave Majumdar, including Russian nuclear expert Pavel Podvig and Micheal Kofman of the Center for Naval Analysis have little doubt that the systems described by Putin are viable.  "They apparently tested all that Putin showed, so it is all feasible," Podvig said "Whether these things would make sense is another matter. I don't think any of these are really necessary if we are talking about countering missile defense." Kofman agreed that all of the systems are feasible and real. "Most of this is reality, it's just a question of near or distant reality," Kofman said.







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96 Responses to Putin: Listen to Russia Now by Willy B

  1. Willy B says:

    This is one aspect of U.S. strategic policy making that’s hardly ever admitted by the policymakers. U.S. decisions have strategic consequences that other powers will respond to. This is what the Russians have been trying to tell us for years and this is what we’ve been refusing to hear. Perhaps this can be attributed to the “sole super power” mentality that dates back to Dick Cheney’s 1992 draft defense planning guidance in which he stated then, that it would be US policy not to tolerate any challenges to our status as the world’s only superpower.

  2. JohnsonR says:

    This situation should be regarded as the fruit of policy decisions and strategic choices made by the globally dominant US regime and elites (and indeed perhaps to some extent voters) after and since the collapse of their Soviet rival.
    They could have chosen to live in a world of cooperation with Russia, respect for national sovereignty, and compliance with the UN Charter they themselves had had a hand in drawing up, but instead chose a world of interventionist “democracy promotion”, the Kosovo war, NATO expansion, and confrontation, because they thought Russia was down and out for good and all that was needed was to apply the final boot.

  3. RC says:

    “They know very well that it’s not about them. Our missile defense has never been about them,” says the Pentagon’s Dana White.
    So the US has spent a borrowed fortune deploying missiles across former Warsaw Pact countries since 2001 to achieve exactly what?

  4. This sounds like our project Pluto from the very early 60s. It was a plan to construct a nuclear ramjet powered cruise missile. The ramjet was tested, but our government wisely decided to drop the program because it was far too provocative. Back then, generals and politicians believed MAD was a way to prevent war and that they all believed the other side also believed all out war was a terribly bad idea. The ABM treaty reinforced that idea.
    The Reagan administration started talking about surviving a nuclear war with enough shovels and doors. I remember how hard they fought the release of the anti-war movie “The Day After.” Bush W’s pulling out of the ABM treaty was a huge mistake. The bipartisan pushing of NATO’s boundaries to the east was just as big a mistake. A part of Putin’s recent statement was for internal consumption. Let’s hope another part of that message was to point out that war will destroy us all so we best all come to our senses and work to reduce the chances of tripping foolishly into a suicidal war.

  5. J says:

    What needs to be addressed, a subject neither the Pentagon nor the White House is broaching — nuclear attack SURVIVAL.
    Russia, since D.C. decided to IMO go and get stupid regarding the ABM Treaty, Russia has been in addition to upgrading their cache of weapons response to an attack, have been working on their ability to protect their citizens, and assure their citizenry’s ‘survival’ in the event of a Nuclear Attack.
    On the opposite side of the pond, D.C. meanwhile has been sitting on its hands doing nothing to ensure National Nuclear Survival, other than ‘stay inside’. WTF??? Stay inside? When I read Ready.gov’s BS, I scratched my head in befuddlement and anger. This type of response by Ready.gov shows that D.C. could care less about the nation’s citizens, meanwhile they have the nuclear survival bunkers and underground nuclear shielded facilities for the ‘big boyz’ survival, but NOTHING, NADA, ZIP facilities for the rest of the nation’s citizenry.
    Russia’s upgrading of their nuclear deliverable cache now includes the abilities to wipe from the face of the earth both our East and West Coasts in a nuclear flash, literally.
    So if and when the fur flies, the score when its the close of the first exchange, Russian citizen survival 1, U.S. citizen survival — big goose egg aka 0.
    Guess I’ll need to bend over and kiss my arse in that event if and when it comes! And a new pair of Foster Grant’s won’t even help.

  6. different clue says:

    willy b,
    ( reply to comment 2 ),
    “We” have not been refusing to hear these concerns from Russia. Some of “we” have refused to hear, and others of “we” have been hearing it for a while.
    Enough of “us” had enough of the “we” who refuse to hear that “us” voted for Trump by just enough to get Trump elected. Unfortunately, the “we” who refuse to hear also still have a grip on foreign and defense policy, and on the making and hyping of MSM narratives. And as those “we” never get tired of telling us, they “won” the “popular vote”, which gives them all the right and power they need to maintain and extend their antirussianitic racist antirussianite beliefs and policies.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Willy B
    One of the things we refused to notice during the Cold War was that Soviet equipment developments generally were attempts to match and mirror ours. pl

  8. Jony Kanuck says:

    Willy B,
    Thanks getting this out quickly!
    My Russian friends watched Putin’s speech last night, instead of a movie. My quick & dirty summary is to use chess: The USA thought it had Russia in check but then Putin said checkmate. The first two weapon systems seem to be about to go into service; the Sarmat missile can come up the south pole thus evading anti missile, the air launched cruise missile is a ‘sure’ kill for any US ship within 1000k of Russia. The rational thing to do would be to sit down at a table with Russia & negotiate nuclear weapons away.
    Can any US President do that?

  9. Willy B says:

    Yes, absolutely true. The Soviets didn’t explode their first atom bomb until 1949 and prior to that resisted efforts that would have resulted in the US being the only possessor of the bomb. They also didn’t reach parity with the US on ICBMs until sometime in the 1970’s. There WAS a missile gap in the 1960-61, but it was the other way, in favor of the U.S.

  10. Alaric says:

    Any thoughts on the timing of this speech? Why now?

  11. David E. Solomon says:

    Willy B,
    Good luck expecting a ration response from us.
    Personally, I think neither the Trump camp nor the Clinton camp are rational. God help the world!

  12. HawkOfMay says:

    Geist goes on to say a couple more things about the Russian missile in the linked NPR article if folks didn’t take the time to read it.

    “There are a bunch of different ways to do it, and frankly, they’re all terrible,” Geist says.
    He suspects that the Russian design would involve what’s known as a “fast reactor,” which is more efficient, but also less safe, than most nuclear reactors. If the missile crashed or the reactor failed, it would trigger a major incident.
    “It’s just crazy they field-tested this thing,”….”They’re willing to go full Strangelove on us,”

  13. Anna says:

    “Dick Cheney’s 1992 draft defense planning…” – by a draft dodger who, with the passage of time, has transfigured into a major war criminal. The same Cheney that is now trying to make oily gesheft on the disputed territories of the Golan Heights (https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21677597-geologists-israel-think-they-have-found-oilin-very-tricky-territory-black-gold).
    Putin speech sounds as a warning to the dangerously armed and very aggressive but mentally/morally underdeveloped deciders that have missed (intentionally) the chance to establish a viable system of global defense against powerful warmongers and natural disasters.
    Let’s see how the ziocon “stink-tanks” are going to interpret the warning.

  14. Charles says:

    Trump could have. A major reason for this hilarious “Russia Changed the Election” fooforrah is exactly to prevent negotiations.

  15. Charles says:

    Because it was time for him to give his state of the Federation message.

  16. SmoothieX12 says:

    Let’s see how the ziocon “stink-tanks” are going to interpret the warning.
    I will repeat (again) a simple thesis–in general the US and its current political elites know next to zero about USSR/Russia and her military. In fact, it would have been better that they knew next to zero or complete zero about that–that would at least have necessitated some degree of caution. What they “know” however is a complete non-stop propaganda caricature which they themselves helped to create and, in the end, bought themselves. Per specific weapons–it is an interesting question, Kinzhal alone rewrites naval warfare completely and I am being very cautious in using this term “completely”. It is a revolution in both military in general and, naval in particular, affair with gigantic strategic ramifications.

  17. SmoothieX12 says:

    Any thoughts on the timing of this speech? Why now?
    Good podium of address to Federal Assembly plus some warning signs of which we may not know, granted that what is happening in Washington can not be described as rational. Plus, at some point it was supposed to be announced anyway since some of the systems are already deployed and fully operational.

  18. Walrus says:

    Let me tell you what the survival plan is; 1. Immediate Martial Law. 2. Survivors will be dragooned into work details to bury the dead. 3. The injured will be triaged and those contaminated beyond recovery will receive a merciful bullet behind the ear.
    At least that was the British plan.

  19. Walrus says:

    From what I have seen of it, Russian Aerospace engineering is superior to ours. They tend to go back to first principles and produce simple and elegant solutions to problems. We, instead, complexify and add additional computers. Anyone who has looked at an Antonov cargo aircraft or a Sukhoi will know what I mean.
    I therefore think it would be suicidal to discount Putin’s claims, but that is what the Borg is going to do.

  20. b says:

    @TTG – I believe the nuclear engine that drives the new Russian cruise missile is totally different from the Pluto one.
    For one – Pluto never flew it was only ground tested. It was incredibly dirty as the reactor was unshielded. Any overflight would have “roasted the chickens in the barn yard” – literally. It was also very large and heavy while the Russian version fits into a normal cruise missile body (Putin said so).
    The Russians say they have flown the thing and the U.S. intelligence now leaks that one has crashed. But we have seen no appropriate release of radioactivity. (At the end of last year some European stations sniffed a tiny bit of Ruthenium but that’s it.)
    Whatever the Russian’s have it is NOT a Pluto like thing.

  21. Fellow Traveler says:

    Trump needs to go big and take the high ground – start developing nuclear rockets. We’re not going to get anywhere with old chemical rockets and Greenpeace in Space.

  22. Peter AU says:

    TTG, the faint radioactive cloud detected late last year was most likely was the result of the test?
    “The French nuclear safety regulator IRSN first detected the radioactive element ruthenium 106 in the air in late September, tracing its origins to the Ural Mountains in the border region between Russia and Kazakhstan. Other European cities like Stockholm, Milan, and Budapest also began picking up radiation traces.”

  23. Valissa says:

    OMG Anna, thanks so much for the laugh… “stink tanks” indeed! I feel like I should already know that pithy descriptor 😉
    I could not get into the Economist article but found this one that looks to be on the same topic.
    Israel Preps for Syrian War with Golan’s Oil and Water in its Sights https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-preps-for-syrian-war-with-golans-oil-and-water-in-its-sights/237566/
    Though the abundant fresh water in the Golan Heights is of crucial importance to Israel, the Golan’s value grew sharply following the discovery of a major oil reserve in the area, estimated to contain “billions of barrels” of crude oil that could turn Israel – which currently imports the vast majority of its fuel – into a net oil exporter. Yet, because the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as being under occupation and not an official part of Israel, the commercial extraction and export of this vast oil reserve cannot go forward — until this status changes. As a result, only exploratory wells have been drilled, mostly by a division of Genie Energy Co., a U.S.-based oil company connected to well-known figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild, and Dick Cheney.
    Ahh… Darth Cheney strikes again… the plot thickens. A trio of oligarchs we all love to hate. Who needs soap operas when you have geopolitics.

  24. Flavius says:

    Americans whom we should expect would know better, including our political class, unfortunately have an Hollywood understanding of the 20th c’s wars. It is a safe bet that that includes our current and last 3 Presidents and it is a sure bet that they know squat all about Russia or Russian history.
    Hubris. It can nevertheless be said for Trump that he intuitively recognized that correct relations with Russia was a desirable thing and that demonizing Putin like he was some kind of third world despot serving in office until we had time to get around to him was insane. In fact this simple recognition got many people to vote for him, including myself.
    So what did Trump inherit from the previous 16 years? 16 years of mismanaged policy capped off on the eve he assumed the Presidency with the Obama/Intel Community pissing like a bunch of amateurs into the face of the Russian Diplomatic establishment, for the most specious of reasons, which weren’t presented to the Russians in a professional manner, the whole undertaking completely unprecedented even during the Cold War.
    Meanwhile, back among the Beltway regulars: the Republicans fall all over themselves to demonstrate how much they hate the Russians by imposing sanctions, etc, partially out of ignorance and partially to keep the Pentagon and its suppliers happy and in
    long robes; and the contemptible and craven Democrats fall all over in hate of the Russians because they prefer anything, including Cold War, to facing the fact that they lost their sure thing election to Trump because they ran a dreadful government grifter as their candidate.
    Should it come as a surprise that Putin and his Administration would suspect that Russia is being encircled and would react by developing the weaponry to foreclose on Russia being progressively isolated, ignored, and perhaps even to have to fight another war on its own land mass? Can it be said that Putin is imprudent trusting Russia to its own devices rather than trusting Russia to American good will?
    Only inside the Beltway would it come as a surprise. Incredible hubris.

  25. Razumov says:

    We once had a design for a Nuclear Powered Cruise missile of our own:
    The “Crowbar”
    “a locomotive-size missile that would travel at near-treetop level at three times the speed of sound, tossing out hydrogen bombs as it roared overhead. Pluto’s designers calculated that its shock wave alone might kill people on the ground. Then there was the problem of fallout. In addition to gamma and neutron radiation from the unshielded reactor, Pluto’s nuclear ramjet would spew fission fragments out in its exhaust as it flew by.”

  26. bluetonga says:

    While displaying new innovative weaponry as a possible game changer within the framework of future geopolitics and negotiations, Putin remained quite moderate in his tone, insisting on the need for more conciliatory relationships between nations, especially between Russia and the USA/West (hence : Listen to us now). If every new weapon disclosed during his speech is for real, and they probably are since Russian diplomacy usually shuns hollow threats, they will be emulated by other advanced nations and the world will technically become even much more insecure than it is now.
    For all the mediatic smearing of his reputation, Putin has acted so far as a reasonable man and a responsible head of state. But who knows what might happen when he will be gone. And what about other world leaders. Will they show the same restraint and consciousness while managing the powder keg?

  27. Bandolero says:

    I remember that in 2011 in talks with my Russian friends there was a sense of incredible weakness when they explained why Medvedev gave the US the green light to bomb Libya in the UN security council. When we saw Hillary Clinton laughing after destroying Libya and claiming “We came, we saw, he died” the general mood was pure outrage. Shortly after that Hillary Clinton demanded from Russia to agree to a UN security council resolution to bomb Syria.
    Iran was willing to set up a challenge to US-led regime change in Syria, and asked Russia just for one thing: don’t legitimize that US crime in the UN security council. Might shall not make right. The mood of my Russian friends was still terrible weakness, but with a slight change where Russia went with Iran: we don’t want to put that also on our conscience. Russia can’t do much if the US will make a Libya out of Syria, but we will never agree that this is right. After Russia’s vetos on bombaing Syria Hillary Clinton threatened Russia – and China – and publicly called the whole world to punish them for their UN security council votes.
    I think that threat, being seriously punished for just voicing an opinion, and voting accordingly, pushed it over the brink for my Russian friends. That feeled not like a difference in opinions, but like an upcoming brutal and totalitarian global dictatorship. And I think it was not only my Russian friends feeling that way. Something had to be done about it. Early in 2012, Russia, than led by prime minister Putin, who was set to become President again, came up with a 23 trillion ruble (a bit more than 600 bln USD) plan to modernize the Russian forces. Back then, Putin explained the case to the Russian people and to the world. I’ll never forget what seems to me to be a key quote from this:
    “We see ever new regional and local wars breaking out. We see new areas of instability and deliberately managed chaos. There also are attempts to provoke such conflicts even close to Russia’s and its allies’ borders. The basic principles of international law are being degraded and eroded, especially in terms of international security.
    Under these circumstances, Russia cannot rely on diplomatic and economic methods alone to resolve conflicts. Our country faces the task of sufficiently developing its military potential as part of a deterrence strategy. This is an indispensable condition for Russia to feel secure and for our partners to listen to our country’s arguments.”
    You may read the full argument in English here:
    Well, now Putin has served his term, is up for re-election, and so I think it should not be a big surprise, that now he lays down what the Russian government did with that enormous amount of money to modernize the forces, that almost equals a year of the Pentagon’s budget.
    Will Russia’s “partners” listen now? To me it looks like that even some people in the WaPo are now starting to listen:
    But, of course, that may be a fata morgana, and Russia and China need to advance a bit more before there will be reality in the desire to listen to them.

  28. Anna says:

    Perhaps it is the institutionalized theft (see the mysteriously missing trillions of dollars) as well as proliferation of opportunism (see the incompetent on the important posts), which have been smothering the potential superiority of American airspace engineering. Compare Bush the lesser & Cheney with the current Russian leadership. Painful.

  29. Anna says:

    You mean, the next round of wasting both money and resources on even more murderous weaponry? Perhaps you missed the part of the speech where the development of the new weaponry by RF was explained as a response to “going big and taking high ground” by the great warriors Bush the lesser & Cheney (the U. S. withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile, 2002) and Obama (the U.S. decisive participation in the coup d’etat in Ukraine, 2014) and other amazing deeds approved by the MIC mega profiteers.
    To ensure their profits, the war profiteers need an enemy: https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/19/why-nato-has-not-permitted-russia-to-join/

  30. The Porkchop Express says:

    I’m curious if you (or anyone) has any theories on this. Almost everything that has happened, written about, or advocated for with respect the US FP all points directly to your notion that, “…hardly ever admitted by the policymakers. U.S. decisions have strategic consequences that other powers will respond to.”
    Is it plain, old-fashioned hubris? Human frailty? Projection? Something more sinister? I would think and hope there would be sober, analytic minds explaining why doing X would be wrong or misguided, or that when enemies/adversaries/competitive powers say something they are not just bluffing and/or lying?

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    These items that you have raised span NATO alliance system.
    Canada, UK, Spain, Portugal, France can, individually or collectively leave NATO. But they won’t; everone knows that the Cossacks are ready to sack Lisbon given a chance.

  32. catherine says:

    “They know very well that it’s not about them. Our missile defense has never been about them,” says the Pentagon’s Dana White.
    So who s it about

  33. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Like the Tsar of All Russians with the Emperor, the President of the Russian Federation waited to see if accomodation with the Captaine General of West was possible. This announcement means that the Russian leaderd have concluded that accomodatiin with West is not possible in the medium to long term; they have committed their country to an indefinite arms race.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Russians have now helped midwive the Shia Crescent as their Cordone Sanitaire. One implication is that the war in Yemen will contine until the country is broken into a Shia part, allied to Russia, and another one for whomsoever wants it. Likely we will see the same fracturing and alignment in Afghanistan.

  35. Green Zone Café says:

    “Missile defense” is pork and corporate welfare for defense contractors. It’s bipartisan – the other day I saw a report about Raytheon PAC hosting Rep. Adam Schiff (D) for fundraiser at a Beyonce concert.
    This is decadence – billions get shoveled out the door to build missile sites in Romania and Poland that provide little-to-no defense.

  36. integer says:

    Adding: Note how propaganda is embedded into the above press release via Genie Energy’s mischaracterization of the Golan Heights as Northern Israel.

  37. SmoothieX12 says:

    and mirror ours
    I have to politely disagree.

  38. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    (reply to comment 35),
    If they are afraid to leave NATO separately, they could all leave NATO together at the same time. They would have safety in numbers. They could then reconstitute a mutual defense treaty among their EUropean selves alone and only. They could set it up maybe without Canada, and certainly without America and without Turkey, if they wanted to. They could call it NEATO, for North East Atlantic Treaty Organization. NEATO. And that would keep the Cossacks from sacking and pillaging Lisbon.
    But they are not even willing to even do even that.

  39. Seamus Padraig says:

    The ‘official’ reason given by the Bushies for the abrogation of the ABM Treaty back in 2002, was to be able put ABMs in Poland in order to counter–get this!–Iran.

  40. Seamus Padraig says:

    “They tend to go back to first principles and produce simple and elegant solutions to problems.”
    Reminds me of an old story. I don’t if it’s true, but it somehow seems very plausible.
    Back in the 60s, during the so-called ‘space race,’ NASA spent some ridiculous sum of money–maybe tens of thousands of dollars–trying to design a ball-point pen that would work in the depressurized environment of outer space. The Russians, meanwhile, just told their cosmonauts to use pencils!

  41. Adrestia says:

    “I believe it as my duty to say this: any use of nuclear weapons of any yield – small, medium or whatever – against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences,”

    IMO this also is a warning to Israel not to use (tactical) nuclear weapons against Iran (and possibly Syria/Lebanon although that seems very inprobable). The IDF/AF is not capable of inflicting damage with conventional weapons. They simply have not enough aerial refueling tankers to do this (even when they get overflight permission from SA).
    IMO the Israeli and US political and military leadership is increasingly becoming irrational (the same applies to EU leadership) and detached from reality (especially with their populations). The management style increasingly becoming mainstream is ignoring all externalities (‘out of scope so ignore it’) and extrapolation while we are living in complex systems where everything is connected (economy, climate, population etc) and these affect each other in unimagined ways.
    IMO the Russians (and Chinese) are very aware of this and are preparing for a post-Western world after the implosion and are trying to avoid escalation and explosion.

  42. Banger says:

    First, there is no unified rational foreing or military policy and hasn’t been for some time. At the end of the day, it’s about money and the racket that is the “defense” budget. You have to know Washington to fully grasp the horror of the situation–it’s about careerism and conatracts at the end of the day. The neocon project to unify the country through aggressive military policies has failed–it has not brought the country together as they had hoped. People support “our” military because they have no idea and want to have no idea what is actually going on. As long as the marks continue to favor the corrupt and bloated Pentagon system the racket will continue. The more chaos, misery and disorder the better for the gangsters who run Washington.

  43. Pinwheel says:

    Pretty obvious to me that this is coming on the eve of our all-out attack on North Korea. Putin is well aware of the advanced level of our planning and staging for a preemptive strike and also the complete lack of any diplomatic efforts to circumvent what will be a very large and destructive war on the Korean Pennisula. He wants to send a clear message, before America is consumed by war fever and paranoia, that Russia is not a sitting duck and can respond in kind.

  44. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    David, you forgot to mention Bush 43 and Bush 44 Obama.

  45. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Anna @ 15, Your comment reminds me of the late former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir’s remark that the Jews managed to wander around in the desert for forty years and finally stop at the one place in the Middle East that has no oil.

  46. jld says:

    It was about a million dollars, and it was not about depressurized environment (the capsules are fully pressurized of course) but about the lack of gravity which prevents ink to flow to the ball point.

  47. Dr. Puck says:

    If there is a city-killing exchange, I would not envy the survivors, but, also, I’ll be dead.
    I suppose the grim aftermath will be faced down by survivalists, but almost all elements of the human system in the targeted areas will be obliterated. A full on exchange involving thousands of warheads could imperil all of humanity.

  48. Fred says:

    “Hillary Clinton threatened Russia – and China – and publicly called the whole world to punish them for their UN security council votes…….
    I think that threat, being seriously punished for just voicing an opinion, and voting accordingly, pushed it over the brink for my Russian friends. That feeled not like a difference in opinions, but like an upcoming brutal and totalitarian global dictatorship.”
    The same ideology is behind the orchestrated Children’s Crusade/Propaganda efforts here in the US that are currently erasing the criminal and the incompetent from history, and blaming the usual suspects. Because they know Americans who do not agree with their opinion and vote accrodngly, need to be threatened.
    The faces of the campaign are being used, or rather sponsored, by Debbie “I rigged the DNC primary” Wasserman-Schultz, the American Federation of Teachers, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, and Michael Bloombergs anti-gun groups:
    “On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.”
    The news might highlight Delta having had only 13 people use thier ‘nra discount’ and the State of Georgia revoking a $40 million tax credit but it won’t have a single story about young true believers in HR surfing social media accounts to verify the narrative and ensure no application from an identifiable NRA member gets forwarded to the next step in the hiring process. Then there is the dox-fire cycle for the sin of being a relative of someone with bad thought: https://tinyurl.com/ycplnhky

  49. Dr. Puck says:

    “beyond recovery” is nuts if you consider what that could possibly mean as a medical evaluation.

  50. Imagine says:

    It is critical to understand that even a limited nuclear exchange will bring on a nuclear winter that will probably destroy all human life on the planet. Even three years of The Year Without A Summer would probably do it, and that’s assuming that a serious nuclear winter does not depress the phytoplankton layer in the ocean, destroying the Earth’s oxygen-generating lungs and wiping out the food chain.
    A “limited nuclear war” is like “only a little bit pregnant”.
    Perhaps someone who knows more can elucidate the fine-level details of mass self-genocide by nuclear winter?

  51. Imagine says:

    I recommend replacing all nukes with thermobarics as a first step. Sort of “moderate genocide”. All of the boom, with none of the dirty fallout. This should be done unilaterally and immediately, followed up by worldwide enforcement through the U.N. and the NPT.

  52. Imagine says:

    Cooperation is exponentially more profitable than competition.

  53. Sid_finster says:

    I suspect that Fellow Traveller’s post was intended as irony. But with a certain class of neocon itsi hard to tell.

  54. J says:

    Russia has stockpiled ‘stuff’ for their citizenry who would go underground (hollow earth theory). Russia has/is/are moving large/humongous food stuffs to other strategic locations on the globe to ensure they can feed their citizenry after the nut-klar exchange is over and the radioactive clouds have settled. Meanwhile back in the good ol USA, our big boyz have food and ‘stuff’ stockpiled for ‘their survival’ for years, and the rest of U.S. is hung out to dry. In any dictionary definition regarding the big boyz behavior — equals TREASON of the highest order.
    The big boyz have multiple government contracts (its called corporate welfare on the public dime) with the largest BIGgest big box corporations (I’ll leave that one for you to figure out), ensuring the big boyz have what they need to survive, again while the rest of us (spelled U.S.) are left to squirm and die.

  55. Murali Penumarth says:

    Anna “ziocon “stink-tanks”” are already at full throat about the meaningless threats from Putin. They tout that Putin’s are no match to our inpenettrable missile defenses. What they conveniently forget is that this defense is at best 99.9% sucessfull (actuality is around 50% may be) even that 0.1% will equal say roughly 6 megaton bombs falling on the continental US. Now consider this during Chris Christie fiasco of closing the Washington Bridge the back up of traffic is horrendous, mind you that is without any life threatening disaster at hand. How these “ziocon “stink-tanks”” will address that situation is way beyond imagination given how they dealt with a disaster like Katrina that was fore-cast at that time. What boggles my mind is the deafening silence of the clergy, peace movement etc. When will they wake up from their deep slumber?

  56. Imagine says:

    “One Bomb Away” (M. Doerken) discusses facts surrounding usage of nuclear weapons.
    Particularly interesting are the paragraphs on “Psychology of the Arms Race”
    * Encouraging fear and paranoia of the “other” (xenophobia, foreign enemies, unpredictable threats, global instability, rogues)
    * Scaring military workers about losing their jobs and becoming unemployed
    * Creating a false sense of pride in our military might and leadership
    * Convincing ourselves that an overseas “foreign presence” is vital to our national security and economic interests
    * Using the concept of America as a “role model” for powerful military intervention…
    * Inundating the media with images of violence protecting us against a “bad guy” and encouraging us to embrace violence as expedient, if not good
    * Accusing those who disagree with these ideas of being “soft” (and no one wants to be called “soft”).
    We should ask ourselves, and our leaders, how much of the drive to amass arms, especially nuclear ones, has to do with reasonable defense–if that term can even be applied to the stockpiling of nuclear weapons–and how much has to do with this kind of psychological propaganda and manipulation.

    and “Image of the Enemy”: “Creating a bad guy or opponent or villain can help sustain our own self-importance and credibility. We create an enemy against whom we can define ourselves, evaluate our goodness, and assure ourselves of the rightness of our own position and cause…”
    It is practically impossible to change the psychology of someone else. The only person or nation whom we have direct control over is ourselves. But we are at cause for at least half of the arms race. Sustainable change comes from within. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

  57. outthere says:

    Rob Dannenberg, former chief of the CIA’s Central Eurasia Division:
    “We need to recognize Putin is the arch enemy of the West. We need to recognize there is no negotiating with him. . . Russia’s behavior will not change until the regime is changed. That should be our focus and strategy.”

  58. Dr. Puck says:

    Is the supply chain the most robust part of the borg?
    Throwing money at the problem of US military might not being scary enough happens these days in the context of how successfully the US has brought its recent wars to successful conclusions. The Taliban and their sort in Afghanistan have stalemated the U.S. for almost 17 years in America’s longest war.
    (Wouldn’t a savvy geopolitical opponent wonder if the Taliban’s asymmetrical approach might scale up?)
    POTUS has referred to nuclear weapons in politically incorrect and psychologically suggestive ways, as if to suggest their utility, or doing an experiment about their utility. Authoritarian Russia serves as a ripe source for projection as against the ‘been there, seen that’ disengagement evoked by the endless war against jihadis.
    Also, as far as the storyline, one difference nowadays is that we’re not hearing of any embedded reporters, (so, ‘parade.’)

  59. ritzl says:

    I think a further compounding factor in the inability to listen to, or even “hear”, Russia over the past few decades is the fact that there is no perceived effect/affect of US perpetual war on pols, policy makers, or the general public. Perpetual war, with its vast destruction of OTHERS, is without domestic consequence. I think this leads to a sense that offensive/aggressive actions, even those in the area of nuclear weapons use, will similarly never have domestic consequences.
    Back in the 70s and 80s, policy makers probably still remembered hiding under their desks as school kids during nuclear attack drills. It was real, signaled REAL potential consequences, and imo had real influence — real calming influence/rational effect on policy. Not so now.
    [Unwarranted] Invulnerability seems to be the policy supposition now. It’s a mindset unique to the last 20 years imho, and is incredibly dangerous, for everyone.

  60. kooshy says:

    So your solution is to escalate to the edge, instead of sitting on the table? yep that’s the exceptionals american way raising the ante and hoping he other side can’t cover and will fold, regardless if he has a better hand or not, isn’t that a bluff by itself? Not every game played is poker, one must first look what game is on the table, if the game being played is chess there is no bluff.

  61. Dr. Puck says:

    Let’s do the napkin math with food. Say a nation wants to protect 100% of its population by storing away for each person some number of days of foods. The big number given a one year supply for 100% of the population delivered over one year would require a doubling of all current food provision capacities based in adding to the stockpile every day at the rate of one day’s ration per person. You’d be shopping for and transporting today and tomorrow’s provisions, today!
    Of course the meals would achieve the bare minimum nutritional value, so the enormous number in the above example could be whittled down. Hmmm, but it would be vastly inefficient to stockpile food for everybody after a city-killing exchange, so the number can be greatly reduced by just providing rations to post-apocalypse survivors who live (way!) outside the likely urban primary targets. Well, neoliberals would try to curate survivorship.
    Then you would need to distribute evacuation materials among the select population. (You won’t have any means to promptly notify them during an actual nuclear exchange.) The problem with that is you can’t annunciate in advance which populations you wish to save. It seems untenable to assume as much.
    In the USA such a program would have to be sold on the basis of saving 100% of the population, say, for one year–two years would be better given the obliteration of the supply chains and the crippling of the global economy–and this requires, if you assume that you’re stockpiling one day of food supply every day, a doubling of the daily capacity.
    For sure, a moneymaker. (POTUS will have this thought someday; it’s so plain.) If you turn to supplies of fuels for heating/cooling shelter and fueling minimal post-war transport, and add-in other essentials for 10%, 50%, 100% of the population, the immediate potential for fabulous profits is sockeroo!
    Luckily, nobody in DC cares about deficits anymore during the current borrow and buy frenzy. At $10 per day food cost per person, this means you’d have to appropriate $3.5 billion for every million persons. You would need to appropriate a lot of public money if you wanted to stockpile a year’s worth of the bare minimums for some population numbering in the millions.
    (For the purpose of pricing the entire minimal on-demand support system, the per capita requirement would have to be much much higher.)
    Alas, I doubt these kinds of distortions might be summonable in our kind of society. The sales pitch eludes me. Russia has a built-in advantage–if what you say is the case.
    (Also, It seems to me such a distorting increase in Russian demand would be notable and noticeable, but. . .tunnels, and, spreadsheet hacks.)
    Still, protecting multi-million person populations by stockpiling stuff runs into really simple questions about the demand-supply scale of such a project. And, this is in the context of current national scales and capacities of suppliers and supply chains. Nevertheless, . . .lots of money to be made!

  62. Dr. Puck says:

    My guess is there won’t be any war fever after a POTUS with 50% approval authorizes a war crime against an asian country half way round the world–that on the day after would flatten the too-big-to-fail financial system and take the economy with it. (Buy metals!) imo
    A tactical nuclear strike against Iran or North Korea is obviously in uncharted territory. I agree with Trump, it’s better to have the parade first. It seems to me the POTUS should seriously consider the structural requirements for domestic public order on the day of the strike and on the days after–simply for the sake of managing a critical variable.

  63. kooshy says:

    A common and interesting point of all these new military systems introduced was they all are unmanned system, that shows the direction of new warfare. Looks like Carrier task force, and expensive piloted fighters are things of past and are becoming obsolete.

  64. kooshy says:

    Would have you ? if the American taxpayers were providing you with free security umbrella? Free military security and unlimited access to American markets and financial system for just keeping hostile to whom American political class dislike. Sounds like a good free lunch for just saying ‘I feel your pain” why not.

  65. SmoothieX12 says:

    A common and interesting point of all these new military systems introduced was they all are unmanned system
    No, a common point of all those systems is them being genuinely hyper-sonic and highly maneuverable, which makes them NON-interceptible for any current or future anti-missile systems. Ramifications are colossal. As per piloted aviation–don’t bury it yet.

  66. J says:

    Remember the continuity of government heated exchanges in the Congress back in the day when Colonel Ollie North refused to talk about it to the Congress? The big boyz have been serious about making sure they have their stuff and food in storage order. You’re talking about from the 80’s, non-stop. Meanwhile on the other side of the pond, Moscow had been watching such happenings since the 80’s doing similar out of their public eye. Now enter 2018, and nutcases in NATO egging on the Bear, which most of the nutcases in question have been in spats with the Russians for centuries. Those times and those spats did not have nut-klar caches and nut-klar responses to perceived aggressiveness. NATO lily pads right up next to the Russian borders have not helped things. Russia sees a ‘real’, not just a perceived threat to their national survival.
    Putin grew up on the streets of Leningrad, and he learned that if one’s know’s they are going to be in a fight, might as well go in slugging right off the bat.
    Putin has been giving warnings after warnings about stopping the damn march to nuclear war, only to fall on deaf ears in D.C..
    If we the U.S. do manage to neutralize the Russian heads, then their ‘Dead hand’ will take over, which is their automated control over ALL of their nuclear deliverable cache.
    Remember the movie Wargames where the computer took complete control? That was just a movie, ‘Dead hand’ is a real Russian nuclear response control system.

  67. J says:

    Under the Russian Периметр (Dead Hand) system, it’s GRAU index equals Infinity.
    Every time I think about it, sends chills up my spine.

  68. You’re being ironic of course. I doubt the Russians would want to put Cossacks in Lisbon, or even Warsaw. They seem to have quite enough to do keeping their own country going. Why would they want to be saddled with providing life support to down and out European countries?
    I doubt also that the Russians would be too worried if the Latvians or the Poles tried a re-run of the Great Patriotic War. I’m not even sure they’d notice. The only real reason the Russians would have for coming our way would be if they wanted to protect Russians living in the near abroad or if they were threatened by weapons systems based near them. Otherwise they’d prefer to sell us stuff and let us sort out our own problems.
    You are certainly being ironic when you suggest a “NEATO”. There is no framework or substance for a solely European defensive alliance. What have we got?
    UK defence forces are without doubt the best in Europe. By far. Unfortunately UK politicians have worked out that the best way of dealing with the Looming Russian Threat is to reduce manpower levels and get ever further away from the claimed “full spectrum” capability.
    One can only hope the UK politicians don’t get even more worked up about the Looming Russian Threat or we really will end up with that one man and a rifle patrolling the Channel in a rowing boat.
    The French are said to have some useful armed forces too. They’d like to form the basis of a European defence force – is that for European defence or is it in the hope that Germany will take over subsidising pursuit of French interests in the ME and North Africa?
    There isn’t much else of any consequence around – or rather, many useful capabilities in the various European countries but nothing that amounts to much without the American matrix to set them in.
    That’s aside from potential internal problems in Europe. Judging from what happened in NI even low level civil conflict can absorb army manpower alarmingly. Can we say with certainty that there’ll be none of that in Europe in the future?
    For now presumably none of this matters. The Americans still provide the spine of European defence and as far as one can gather much of the rest of it. The Eastern Europeans and we can join in the Russia baiting enthusiastically and NATO can protect us from any consequences.
    But that’s as things are. I don’t think we should be considering telling the American to go away. Rather, we should be worrying about what happens if the Americans pull out and the Russians have been provoked to action.
    Seriously, what the Europeans, including us, should be doing is this. Our politicians and media should stop rubbishing the American President at every conceivable opportunity. They should be acting forcefully as a counterweight to the war party in the US. They should try every means short of kidnapping to get the American President and Putin together. They should be insisting on detente at every possible opportunity. As one of our less successful Prime Ministers used to say, there is no alternative.

  69. Jason L says:

    It was actually a mechanical pencil they wasted money trying to develop, the fisher space pen was developed by a private company. Pencil shavings and zero G dont mix, the russians used grease pencils, but then they also bought pens from fishe.

  70. JW says:

    Putin’s speech was aimed at the invited guests at Trump’s Florida golf course, however lesser ears may, upon hearing it, think of ways to exploit it to advantage.
    Its unlikely that the West (ie., the US) would initiate any strategic or tactical strike against Russia or allies, the honor of being first out the door with that would be Iran or DPRK with a undeclared tac nuke over, on, or under international waters very near respectively Israel or ROK.
    Hey, not ours ! Maybe one of your subs blew up ?
    Maybe a errant and essentially harmless tactical nuke 100Km inside Syria upwind from Tel Aviv ? Remember that Iran wants to destroy Israel and will fight to the last Syrian and last Lebanese to do it. Again, who’s nuke ? Maybe Assad was trying to build something ?
    Purpose ? Create a refugee flood to reduce the target country’s population below military and economically sustainable levels, and it might just work. It might become all the more attractive if Iran or DPRK perceive Putin’s statement to mean that they can now run under the Russian guns for protection.

  71. Babak Makkinejad says:

    With a non existent weapon?
    No sir, that honor would belong to Israel, which would be her last act as well.

  72. Thomas says:

    With a non existent weapon?
    No sir, that honor would belong to Israel, which would be her last act as well.”
    And that is the problem, a psychologically fragile society that sees heroism in the national mythos of Masada could decide to try and take everyone down to the abyss with them this time around.

  73. Kooshy says:

    “Create a refugee flood to reduce the target country’s population below military and economically sustainable levels,”
    Yes exactly, that is the reason for over 100000 missiles in Lebanon, from what I understand the Medium range missiles from Iran will come right after .

  74. Kooshy says:

    Long ago, Iran’ planers came to conclusion, to make Tel Aviv look like today’ Aleppo there is no need for illegal nuclear weapons, massive conventional attack will do the job. That is the real reason we haven’t seen a war.

  75. JW says:

    Yes, and the Iranians know it, hence the very low probability of direct attack on Israel by anyone’s offensive strategic forces. However an oblique attack, as I described, on the invincibility myth within Israel’s mass psychology, has far lower risk. Putin’s statement is intended for US ears, however an unintended consequence is that it implants bad ideas in others.

  76. JW says:

    Iran would be utterly foolish not to develop or participate in a nuke weapons program.

  77. Thomas says:

    “Putin’s statement is intended for US ears…”
    No it was also a message to Israel when he stated he would defend any allies attacked. Israel’s delirious dream for an Iranian purim fest is over.
    “Iran would be utterly foolish not to develop or participate in a nuke weapons program.”
    See comment above, they have received their nuclear protection umbrella. Their resources need to be and, mostly likely will be placed on civilian nuclear power for the economic benefit of their society.
    As Kooshy states in post 79, the need for nuclear weapons are diminished when you can achieve devastating effects with new era conventional arms.
    “Remember that Iran wants to destroy Israel and will fight to the last Syrian and last Lebanese to do it.”
    This is not true.

  78. On the contrary, Iran has stated many times that they do not want and will not develop nukes precisely because they recognize that they are so far behind everyone else that it would be foolish to risk preemptive (or preventive) attack to develop them, and that they recognize that they have no “use case” for nukes.
    Not to mention that they view such weapons as “Un-Islamic” based on statements and fatwas from both Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei.
    They have no nuclear threats around them except possibly Pakistan under radical Islamic leadership and Pakistan is solely interested in deterring India. Iran is far behind Israel in nukes, let alone the US, and knows it and has repeatedly said so.
    According to the DIA estimate which did not make it into the 2007 NIE on Iran, Iran only had a “feasibility study” on nukes back when they were afraid Saddam Hussein had a nuke program. Once the US invaded Iraq, Iran stopped even that feasibility program, recognizing that it was no longer needed.
    Nukes are only valuable if you can build them before being attacked, build a delivery system, and build enough of them to be a credible existential threat. Iran knows this and won’t bother.
    North Korea has been a bit more foolish, which is one reason they’re under threat from the US. Whether NK has enough nukes to be a credible threat is unlikely at this point.

  79. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In the ripeness of time, the cherished dream of so many foreigners as well as Iranians will come to pass; the Theocratic Platonic Republic will be replaced by another one which, in order to compensate for its non-religious character, will forthwith quit NPT and build and field nuclear weapons.
    Then all those who denigrated Ayatollah Khamenei or the Bad Bad Bad Mullahs will come to rue the day that they wished for the demise of the Islamic Republic.
    Perhaps that is what is needed – an international system of countries run on the basis of Rationalistic Management and armed with Nuclear Weapons – to give impetus for mass migration from Earth.
    After all, such splendid examples of secular governments such as USSR, Romania, the Third Reich, the Empire of Japan, the Democratic Kapmuchea and many many others surely have only blazed a trail that others – in their secular godlessness – must of necessity follow.
    What Diocleteans want, Diocleteans get, but it will never make them happy – since the hole inside them cannot be filled.

  80. Babak Makkinejad says:

    See my answer to Richard Steven Hack below.

  81. JW says:

    Re your comment #78, if there are indeed 100k ‘missiles’ of various calibre in Lebanon, then eventually someone will start firing them thus giving the ME roulette wheel another mighty spin.

  82. JW says:

    Yes, perhaps when this current rolling Middle Eastern disaster finally runs out of foreign encouragement, a new generation of Arab leaders will as a response, revive pan-Arabism. With the Persians first on the menu. The Iranians are smart people, and I’m sure this outcome plus the value of a nuclear deterrent has been studiously wargamed.

  83. JW says:

    Re your comment #82. Netanyahu and Putin have known each other for years, and by now will have an established mature relationship that could handle any issue without the need for megaphone diplomacy. Putin’s speech was just that, and the only possible audience for his promises of hypersonic Putinism would be the various warlike American tribes, most of whom he has no relationship or rapport with whatsoever.
    ‘Remember that Iran wants to destroy Israel and will fight to the last Syrian and last Lebanese to do it.’
    The Iranian military leadership are the ones who survived the Iran-Iraq war; most of their classmates are under the sand. They will have little thought of expending Iranian main forces in pursuit of what has become their raison d’être if others are available.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am sure every one in Iran is shaking in their proverbial boots at the prospect of Arab Unity.

  85. JW says:

    Those who spent some time fighting a single Arab state in the 80’s may at least, from experience, have some cause for concern, especially since Pan-Arabists would not refuse Western help for that project.

  86. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran was fighting Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, UK, USSR, Holland, Sweden, and the Vatican.
    Pan Arabism is dead, if you had paid attention. And what would West obtain by helping Arabs against Iran, but an embittered nuclear armed state that is targeting European capitals, thus deepening theur security problems?

  87. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And the United States, I forgot to mention.
    Nevertheless, Iraq did not win. And then West destroyed her, just as she did Libya and attempted to do so in Syria which Iran thwarted.

  88. Thomas says:

    “Netanyahu and Putin have known each other for years, and by now will have an established mature relationship that could handle any issue without the need for megaphone diplomacy.”
    Keep your dream alive.
    “The Iranian military leadership are the ones who survived the Iran-Iraq war; most of their classmates are under the sand. They will have little thought of expending Iranian main forces in pursuit of what has become their raison d’être if others are available.
    There is only one entity in the region that fits that description. An helpful hint, it ain’t Iran.

  89. JW says:

    Have we heard Netanyahu and Putin talking loudly at each other ? No, and Putin’s speech is not an example of it.
    I don’t follow your last paragraph. Lets keep this in the context of the ‘threat’ of nuke weapons; Iran would have little relative regard for the welfare of it’s proxies, and the Syrian and Lebanese populations are well aware that they stand between Israel and Iran.

  90. JW says:

    Yes, Iran in it’s initially post-revolution debilitated state was fighting everyone, but in an attrition war that eventually burned out. To it’s credit, Iran survived but would be unwilling to repeat the experience and on that basis I suggest it has or will develop a nuclear deterrence capability as a strategic defence component.
    Neither Pan Arabism or European Nationalism are dead, merely awaiting reanimation in reaction to perceived disempowerment which is now occurring by the ship load.
    Why would the West .. your question ? Mine – what ME State has sufficient influence over the US to almost oblige it to pursue Iran to the grave and beyond ? This returns us to Iranian strategic defence and to paraphrase Willy B above; ‘listen to Russia as well as to your charming friend who lives by the seaside’.
    As well as offering this advice to the US, Putin has the advantage of good communications with both Israel and Iran and perhaps will use that to offer both the advice to STFU and STFD.

  91. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Well why hasn’t that Middle Eastern state with sufficient influence over US failed to destroy Iran?
    Yes, Iranians are all shaking in their boots reading your lines.

  92. JW says:

    Why ? Israel relies on proxies limited by their patience or abilities, however Israel’s passion will remain undimmed.
    I appreciate your pro-Iranian point of view however Iran’s concern is real and is measured by their efforts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They would also be aware that they cannot rely upon Russia.

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Putin was in Iran and told Ayatollah Khameneie: “I will not betray you.”
    “Israel’s Passion”? Pray tell me what that is?

  94. Casey says:

    A writer over at The Saker said it represents the end of the Carrier Battle Group being used against anything other than third-world countries.

  95. JW says:

    I suggest that Putin would have also said ‘I won’t let you push Israel into a nuclear response against yourselves or anyone else’. They would have spoken a lot in the hour the meeting was reported as lasting.
    Israel’s passion ? The aggressive pursuit of survival would be high on the list, after all having a depth of 50km will probably do that to your psychology.
    Lets not turn this into a battle of sentences, instead keep within the context of the original post above. Essentially, I suggest that Putin’s making of nuclear threats makes others feel that they can do likewise, but this will no doubt be balanced by a large serve of Russian diplomacy with those others.

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