The SIOP and the Red SIOP

250pxmk6_titan_ii Her tutors really should tell Sarah about this soon.

Maybe they don’t call it this anymore.  I am getting out of date.  Nevertheless, it still exists.  There was also the "Red SIOP,"  or more formally the "Red Single Integrated Strategic Plan."  (RISOP)  Perhaps the Russians now call this the "Muscovite Tango?"

Once upon a time I was involved with review of this kind of planning.  Back then it was estimated that execution of a complete "laydown" on both sides would result in the first days in 40 million dead in North America and 60 million dead in Eurasia (USSR basically).  These estimates did not include later death from radiation poisoning, starvation, etc.  Ah, yes, and then there would be the end of civilization as we have thought of it.

All that should be considered by the president before asking for "the football."  pl

This entry was posted in The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The SIOP and the Red SIOP

  1. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    But, in her Fundamentalist world, nuclear warfare is part of God’s Plan. Hence, to be welcomed as a step towards the Second Advent and the millennial 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth. etc. etc.
    During the End Times/Last Days the Armageddon scenario comes into play and it includes nuclear war according to such “spiritual leaders” as fellow Pentecostalist John Hagee. According to Hagee and the rest of that ilk, this is all triggered in a scenario in which Russia, China, the “Medo-Persians” and Israel are involved.
    Palin’s mental world is outlined in:
    Long term treatment by a psychiatrist may be more in order.
    Of course, as McCain becomes further debilitated, he could resign. Then Palin, as President, could appoint Dick Cheney as VP because he has “experience” and “knows what to do” and has that “gravitas” thing.

  2. VietnamVet says:

    I had to look up SIOP. You are correct. George W Bush, Neo-Conservatives and Corporate Media have to downplay Mutually Assured Destruction and how easy a hot headed mistake could escalate into a nuclear exchange; especially, with the Republicans running a McCain/Palin ticket. Neither one of them has the character nor the understanding to have their finger on the nuclear button.

  3. J says:

    watch ms. palin as she ‘talks lightly’ about nuclear war.
    such an individual really needs to be schooled in siop and red siop. you and i both know just how serious siop/red siop is and its ramifications. poor ms. palin i fear if she really understood siop/red siop would be quaking in her high heels and very possibly require the need to wear a depends for a day or two until she stops quaking.
    ms. palin has never served in uniform, she has never been sooo fortunate to see death up close and personal (and i hope she never has to). while her young son (god bless him) is being shipped off to iraq, we all can rest assured that he will be ‘taken care of’ by the brass in centcom/baghdad as ms. palin is now a high probable #2 seater in the white house. the centcom/baghdad brass as well as the pentagon brass will both do everything in their powers to make sure that ms. palin’s son (god bless him) is kept safe during his tour.
    ms. palin’s handlers also need to school her in bio-weapons as well as nuclear toys, as the russians during the heyday of the soviet union were quite adept in the bio-weapons sphere.
    have a good weekend, and remember — siop never sleeps.
    looking glass anyone?

  4. Arun says:

    Not the correct thread for this, but Galveston and Houston could use our prayers.

  5. Castellio says:

    Another link to her fundamentalist background is captured at:
    What is going on in the US? Is anybody awake out there?

  6. Patrick Lang says:

    Not at all. You still don’t seem to get the differece between prediction and desire. pl

  7. zanzibar says:

    MJ, et al
    Because of the predilection of many who come here to SST and mistake Pat’s analysis as advocacy, he was categorical in the earlier thread that it was pure analysis – looking at the facts and coming to a conclusion. Its not an outcome that Pat has endorsed.
    You may agree or disagree with his analysis but don’t make it into a debate if its his desired outcome.
    Just like the past several presidential elections when it came down to the election half the country disagreed with the outcome. We’ll have the same divide this time. But…IMO, its important to consider what are the possibilities if Pat is proven correct with the election result.
    My own feeling is that if the McCain/Palin ticket wins it will destroy what ever confidence the Democratic party had and they will not provide any meaningful political opposition since there will always be enough of them to vote with the Republicans to pass whatever legislation the real Jacobin neocon puppet masters want. I also believe the new administration will combine the Cheney/Nixon views on the use of power. And a lot of that power will be used against domestic political opposition and even personal vendettas. Troopergate and McCarthyism will seem like walks in the park. Additionally, Cheney’s legacy of the unitary executive and the surveillance state will come into full play and become unchallenged as they get a super-majority on the Supreme Court.
    The rest of the world will not get it as they do not understand our politics. They will be condescending towards the American people and shake their heads in bewilderment at how we could elect the same party that brought 8 years of chaos and the destruction of the American economy and military. Russia and China our closest competitors for hegemony will make their own decisions and act to strengthen their interests as the gale force winds of the global recession flatten many long standing edifices. We can only hope (and pray) that there will not be a miscalculation that results in massive human tragedy.

  8. kao-hsien-chih says:

    One thing that bugs me is that it’s not just Ms. Palin that lacks an understanding of what MAD implies. I doubt a great many of American people do either. Without an appreciation of the dangers of nuclear weapons, people will not be asking such circumspection from their would-be leaders either.
    We speak as if the McCain-Palin ticket is the only one that fails to appreciate the dangers…but does Obama-Biden team understand it? I personally think the Col. is overestimating the Republicans’ chances…but I also don’t think we’ll be much better off with a Dem. win either.

  9. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Castellio, All,
    Good post, Engdahl presents a useful overview.
    For those interested in more analysis see Sarah Posner, “God’s Profits. Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Votes” (PoliPoint Press, 2008) and Chris Hedges “American Fascists. The Christian Right and the War on America” (Free Press, 2006).

  10. Pan says:

    I don’t think a President or VP needs to understand the intricacies of the SIOP in order to do their job. The details only matter to those in the military whose job is to build and update the targeting list folder and deconflict the various scenarios and OPLANs. The President and VP needs to understand what nuclear warfare entails and where the enemy will probably target their weapons. They also need to understand the law of unintended consequences as it especially applies to nuclear warfare, and the concepts of escalation control and de-escalation.

  11. Paul says:

    Bob Woodward did us a favor in his recent description of George Bush: he who leads from the “gut” and not from the head. Bush’s eight years were about wars and extremists. McCain/Palin promise the same.
    Palin is a Bush clone by 10 clicks to the right. She does not dither with the language as did Bush but she is certain as to several life and death issues.
    She is a member of an extreme religious sect making her a foot soldier in Joel’s Army. Those beliefs prompted her to utter – very directly and without a lot of thought – the sentiment that we might have to attack Russia. In her world, such an attack would hasten the Rapture as the story goes. She’s hot to trot for Armageddon!
    The SIOP is a cookbook for the baking or par-boiling half of humanity. General/President Eisenhower was said to be frightened when he first saw it.
    Understanding SIOP and its meaning is not something that can be brifed on Power Point. One needs a fairly extensive background in science, military matters and foreign affairs.
    Ms Palin, the hockey mom and small town mayor has not been in the right places to study and learn about things like SIOP. She is not yet ready to stand behind the old man with the itchy trigger finger. Her gut feel and certitude make her dangerous. On the other hand, Obama similarly lacks worldly experience but as a senator he has been exposed to these things and he has shown to possess a thinking mind and even-handed demeanor.
    Thank you for bringing up SIOP. Hey, maybe that’s what’s in McCain’s mind as a way to “win”: drop a “nukular” bomb on ’em.

  12. There are very few who really understand the fundamental decisions reflected in the SIOP, this includes the senior flag ranks, including delegations of authority. Hopefully the war reserve code cards are never broken.

  13. Cieran says:

    I’d like to second kao-hsien-chih’s assertion about the lack of understanding found in the American people about the nature of their nuclear arsenal. Our citizens seem to think that nuclear weapons are just bigger versions of conventional munitions, and hence they have not grasped the true meaning of the middle initial in the acronym “WMD”.
    But what truly astonishes me is how so-called “Christian” candidates like Palin can discuss war with Russia (or Iran, or wherever) with such a cavalier attitude. No one who dares to call themselves “pro-life” can honestly consider killing hundreds of millions of living human beings. That’s not warfare, nor foreign policy: it’s mass murder on a scale that has not yet been seen in human history. It is evil incarnate.
    There’s absolutely nothing “Christian” about those supporters of the GOP who desire to use military force early and often, when said force could likely lead to nuclear war. And that’s a fundamentally important understanding that needs to be driven home in this election.

  14. jamzo says:

    bush’s restatement of the “bush doctrine” coinciedes with charlie gibson’s question to sarah palin
    earlier this week bush informed the country that he had “authorized” us military “raids” into pakistan from afghanistan without agreement from the pakistan government
    of course bush made this public after bhutto’s husband zardari became president of pakistan
    the press took little notice of bush’s revelation
    and then this subplot is part of the pakistan story
    U.N. Envoy’s Ties to Pakistani Are Questioned
    Published: August 26, 2008
    Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to the United Nations, is facing angry questions from other senior Bush administration officials over what they describe as unauthorized contacts with Asif Ali Zardari, a contender to succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan.
    Mr. Khalilzad had spoken by telephone with Mr. Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, several times a week for the past month until he was confronted about the unauthorized contacts, a senior United States official said. Other officials said Mr. Khalilzad had planned to meet with Mr. Zardari privately next Tuesday while on vacation in Dubai, in a session that was canceled only after Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, learned from Mr. Zardari himself that the ambassador was providing ”advice and help.”
    ”Can I ask what sort of ‘advice and help’ you are providing?” Mr. Boucher wrote in an angry e-mail message to Mr. Khalilzad. ”What sort of channel is this? Governmental, private, personnel?” Copies of the message were sent to others at the highest levels of the State Department; the message was provided to The New York Times by an administration official who had received a copy.
    Officially, the United States has remained neutral in the contest to succeed Mr. Musharraf, and there is concern within the State Department that the discussions between Mr. Khalilzad and Mr. Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister, could leave the impression that the United States is taking sides in Pakistan’s already chaotic internal politics.

  15. John Howley says:

    This WaPo article does not mention SIOP although perhaps the Task Force report does….
    Unified Nuclear Command Urged
    By Ann Scott Tyson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, September 13, 2008; A08
    Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates yesterday called on the Air Force to establish clear and unified control over the nation’s nuclear arsenal, after a new report by a Pentagon task force concluded that the service had neglected its stewardship of such weapons for more than a decade.
    “Today no senior leader in the Air Force ‘owns’ the nuclear mission,” concluded the eight-member task force, appointed by Gates and chaired by former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger. “The current organization is not properly structured.”

  16. Jon T. says:

    I just read the Engdahl article on Dominionism and my only response is that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged for holding his truth and some of his friends begged him to let go of it.

  17. Patrick Lang says:

    I added some old numbers on effects of the SIOPS. I reckon the president needs to know a lot about this subject. It is the most basic context for presidential decision about whether or not to “fight Russia.” pl

  18. xerxes says:

    Here is something that may help you sleep at night. Look at Palin as being nothing more than a sock puppet for the rich in America. After all who in their right mind would vote for a party that aims only to make the richer and made no attempt to hide its intentions to the contrary? As for her religious beliefs are they no different from Reagan’s and we survived eight years of him (see Gore Vidal’s essay on Ronnie’s views on Armageddon). The most interesting phenomena in this election is why the “evangelicals” will still bother to turn out and vote Republican. Even after twenty years worth of Bushes and Reagan, they still have not got a ban on abortion let alone a re-introduction of school prayer. When will they ever wake up and see that they are being taken advantage of? But did not Bush I refer to them once as the “extra chromosome brigade”?

  19. stanley Henning says:

    By focusing on the surge, McCain is showing himself to be a real amateur on the world stage. In the first place, the “preemptive” attack on Iraq in combination with many other factors (economic related) which should have been considered, but clearly were not, has placed us in a perilous situation when considering, Russia, China, Iran, and even North Korea, let alone the real and immediate objective in Afghanistan. The surge has likely merely caused Muqtada al-Sadr to adjust his strategy and, in spite of all our expenditures in lives and funds, the chances of Iraq continuing in a state of civil war and ultimately siding with Iran are all too possible. We really need leadership with a strategic perspective to manage not only our interests, but our very survival, in this world. It is not enough that we had been number one until recently. Without true strategic vision we have already essentially lost the number one position despite our incredible destructive military technology. The key is LEADERSHIP that understands when to act and WHEN NOT TO do stupid, self-destructive things.

  20. Pan says:

    Perhaps Obama should just recommend McCain and Palin take JFK’s advice and read “The Guns of August.”
    “…This combination of combustible elements poses the greatest threat to global stability since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, history’s only nuclear superpower confrontation. The Cuba crisis, although immensely dangerous, was comparatively simple: It came down to two leaders and no war. In 13 days of brilliant diplomacy, John F. Kennedy induced Nikita Khrushchev to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba.
    Kennedy was deeply influenced by Barbara Tuchman’s classic, “The Guns of August,” which recounted how a seemingly isolated event 92 summers ago — an assassination in Sarajevo by a Serb terrorist — set off a chain reaction that led in just a few weeks to World War I. There are vast differences between that August and this one. But Tuchman ended her book with a sentence that resonates in this summer of crisis: ‘The nations were caught in a trap, a trap made during the first thirty days out of battles that failed to be decisive, a trap from which there was, and has been, no exit.'”

  21. Allen Thomson says:

    Way back in the late ’80s, one of the annexes to an NIE 11-3/8 had a map showing the estimated RISOP laydown on CONUS: lots of red circles.
    I keep hoping that will be released, but in the meantime FEMA’s essentially equal take on the matter is available at .

  22. Sir,
    Would you suppose the Russian boomers getting ready for missile firing exercises from positions in the Bering Sea, off Alaska, have anything at all to do with Redneck Diana’s bloviating about “perhaps so” going to war with Russia? Naahhh…gotta be a coincidence.
    Link to story:,23599,24339330-38200,00.html

  23. Farmer Don says:

    Just in from Harvest, so a little slow in reading Col. Lang’s prediction of Rep. Victory.
    The United States will soon find out it can no longer be run on auto-pilot.
    It’s economy who’s main engines of growth were housing construction, financial services, and military spending all fueled by debit is coming to an end.
    This does not necessarily mean that everything is going to go hell in a hand basket. But it will require good governance to steer the great resources of the USA to it’s next economy. What that economy is no one knows for sure now, but my guess would be more domestic energy infrastructure, less military spending, less/more? free trade, new banking regulations, etc. etc. I think also the US will be forced into more realistic relations with other countries.
    Hey, throw in to the mix what what this post is about; nuclear destruction of the planet!
    The next President may well have the most challenging job since FDR.
    At this transition point, a President who is not REALITY BASED will cause great damage to the USA and the world in general.
    Maybe keep one non reality based program. The US Ethanol program is making this Canadian farmer some spending cash!!!

  24. Curious says:

    Why wait until the war when you can guesstimate the panic now…

  25. jonst says:

    Those (not you MJ)just generic “those”; but those who do not understand “…the difference between prediction and desire”, and there are many of them, do not understand what has happened the last 7 years in the nation.
    However, MJ, I do want to respond to something you wrote…and I am not being sarcastic, I am, whether right or wrong, deadly serious; is it POSSIBLE to be too “shallow” to run for President, today, in America?

  26. JohnS says:

    Hopefully she won’t use “the football” to rain destruction down upon “the haters.”

  27. David Habakkuk says:

    To see the scale of the danger, it is necessary to look back at the evolution of the role of the ‘Red SIOP’ first in Soviet then in Russian strategic planning. When the first edition of the study ‘Military Strategy’ published under the name of Marshall Sokolovsky was published in 1962, it made no bones about the centrality of preparation for all-out nuclear war in Soviet strategic planning. A central planning assumption was that war with the West would inevitably be nuclear — and the optimal strategy was judged to be strategic nuclear pre-emption, which entailed a strong emphasis on the need to gain the advantages of surprise.
    As they began to digest the implications of the replacement by NATO of ‘massive retaliation’ by ‘flexible response’, which had happened the year before ‘Military Strategy’ was published, Soviet strategists began to contemplate the possibility that it might be possible to avoid escalation to all out nuclear conflict. The change was already beginning to be apparent in the 1963 edition of Sokolovsky, and was very much more apparent in the 1968 edition. (On this, see Appendix A, ‘Identifying the December 1966 Decision’, in Michael MccGwire’s 1987 study Brookings study Military Objectives in Soviet Foreign Policy.)
    Some time before Richard Pipes published his famous 1977 Commentary article entitled ‘Why the Soviet Union Believes It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War’ the Soviets had come to think not only that it might be possible to keep a war conventional — but that it was impossible to ‘win’ a nuclear war in any remotely meaningful sense.
    Responding to Pipes in his 1978 paper ‘Mutual Deterrence and Strategic Arms Limitation in Soviet Policy’, Raymond Garthoff identified a shift from 1969 onwards from pre-emption to launch on warning in Soviet textual writings. Subsequently, he established that a secret directive had been issued in the name of the Central Committee, some time in 1973-4, instructing that military plans should be made on the basis that the Soviet Union would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. (On this and other evidence about the Soviet shift to ‘no first use’, see Chapter 3 of Garthoff’s 1990 study ‘Deterrence and the Revolution in Soviet Military Thinking’, entitled ‘Prevention of Nuclear War in Soviet Policy.’)
    By the time this study was written, an enterprising graduate student called Kent D. Lee had, with Garthoff’s encouragement, obtained the declassification of the entire back file of the confidential General Staff journal Military Thought, as well as other previously classified materials. What emerged was — to quote Garthoff’s 1990 study — there was ‘no strategic doctrine for waging intercontinental nuclear war in the available military strategic literature, open or closed.’
    In grasping what happened after 1985, one needs to go back to the origins of Soviet strategic thinking in the immediate post-revolutionary period — a subject on which invaluable contributions have been made by two scholars associated with the U.S. Army, Jacob Kipp and Bruce Menning (both currently I think working at Fort Leavenworth.) For relatively brief and eminently readable discussions by these two, see their contributions to the 2005 volume Historical Perspectives of the Operational Art, published by the Army’s Center of Military History, and available at
    After 1917, the general staff of the old Imperial Russian Army split. Most joined the Whites, but a minority, which included some very able figures, threw in their lot with the Bolsheviks and taught them to fight — enabling, for example, the political commissar Mikhail Frunze to become the general who defeated Wrangel. The result was a curious mixture which survived right through to the end of the Soviet period, in which very highly rigorous technical military analysis, heavily indebted to the Prussian General Staff tradition, was combined with a highly simplistic ideological framework.
    Back in 1989, when making programmes on the so-called Gorbachev ‘new thinking’ for BBC Radio, a colleague and I interviewed the military specialist most closely associated with the ‘new thinkers’, General-Mayor Valentin Larionov, then about to retire from his professorship at the General Staff Academy. One of the first things he told us was that, to understand the ‘new thinking’, one had to go back to the realisation by Soviet strategists in the Seventies that it was not possible to win a nuclear war. He also talked a great deal about a theorist of the Twenties called Aleksandr Svechin, who he told us had been ‘repressed’ under Stalin.
    Unfortunately, I was then unfamiliar with Jacob Kipp’s work. Subsequently however I came across the translation of Svechin’s 1927 study Strategy, published in 1992 with introduction material by Kipp and Larionov. The editor was the same Kent D. Lee who had secured the declassification of the Military Thought archive. From Lee I learnt that Larionov ‘comes to us already distinguished as perhaps the most outstanding Soviet military intellectual of the post-war period’ — in particular one of the ‘fundamental forces’ behind the Sokolovsky ‘Military Thought’ study. So the ‘peacenik’ general we had interviewed that day in Moscow had earlier been one of the foremost Soviet nuclear strategists.
    From Kipp’s introduction, I learned about the fundamental argument between Svechin and Tukhachevski. The former stressed two fundamental (if not infrequently ignored) strands in Clausewitz — the strength of the defence and the importance of the subordination of military strategy to political strategy. His strategy was the military corollary of the New Economic Policy, with its emphasis on the maintenance of the alliance between the workers and the peasantry. By contrast, Tukhachevski was one of those who saw motorisation and mechanisation both as defining the threat to the Soviet Union and as recreating the possibility of the kind of rapid and decisive victories achieved by Napoleon or the elder Moltke.
    The conclusion Tukhachevsky drew, as Kipp brings out, was that there was a need for the ”’complete militarization” of the national economy to provide the new instruments of mechanized warfare.’ This proposal was turned down by Stalin in 1927. In 1930, however he changed tack — and the result was forced industrialisation, collectivisation, and the terror, to which not only Svechin but Tukhachevsky fell victim.
    What I also only only dim saw then were the multifarious implications of the total collapse of the credibility of the simplistic ideological framework in which Soviet thinking had developed — a collapse which was actually visible at the time. Among other things, the coherence of Svechin’s strategic concept had depended upon the premise that the Soviet Union had no reason to fear attack from developed industrial states. It was when following the onset of the depression in 1929 that Stalin abandoned Bukharin’s theses on the stabilisation of capitalism that Tukhachevsky’s conceptions triumphed decisively.
    In the late Eighties and early Nineties, Russians were grappling with the fundamental question of how far the security problems of the Soviet Union were self-inflicted. Involved was both the question of how enmity to it was product of communism — and also a range of specific questions about Stalin’s external policies: in particular, how far they were responsible for the triumph of Hitler, the unleashing of the Second World War, and the Cold War.
    Some people I think were in two minds. I vividly remember Larionov, repudiating arguments put forward by Brzezinski in his 1986 study Game Plan, remarking drily — ‘Brzezinski — our friend — a Pole.’ But I also learned, from an interview done for the 1999 PBS programme ‘Race for the Superbomb’, that in 1945 — only eighteen, although he had been wounded at the Battle of Kursk — Larionov had been present at the famous meeting between Russian and American troops on the Elbe. And he clearly blamed the disappointment of the high hopes of that time on Stalin.
    This was I think a very common response among disillusioned communists at the time. How far the disillusion is now on the other foot comes out in a recent article on the implications of the Georgian War by one of the erstwhile civilian ‘new thinkers’, Sergei Karaganov. He writes:
    ‘At one time, during the Communist times of the weakening and decay of the USSR, members of the dissident intelligentsia and simply intellectuals were asking the strictly speculative question: what if the country throws off the stranglehold of Communist ideology and the socialist economy and becomes capitalist and free? Most believed that a free and capitalist world would welcome us with open arms. A minority of these unrestrained romantics said that a strong capitalist and economically more effective and free Russia would cause no less opposition than the Soviet Union.
    ‘It appears that the latter came out the “winners” in the argument.
    ‘The basis of the cold war was more geopolitics than ideology.’
    Like General Mahmut Akhmetovich Gareev, the evolution of whose views I discussed in a comment on earlier thread, Karaganov has come — with great reluctance — to accept that Russia must rely on Western-style notions of ‘nuclear deterrence’. He writes:
    ‘We have a stronger but still relatively weak army. It must be made stronger and made elite, so that it always works as it did in Ossetia. It is perfectly obvious that in the event another ”cold war” begins — it will be necessary to raise the flexibility and political feasibility of nuclear forces. I am saying this with bitterness. I so much wanted to move the nuclear club onto the sidelines of history for good.’
    It is worth noting here that Larionov and other Soviet strategic thinkers had — like the leading Western expert on nuclear command and control, Bruce Blair, and also MccGwire and Garthoff, come to be deeply concerned about the risks of accidental nuclear war. (See Chapter Four of Garthoff’s 1990 study, entitled ‘Gorbachev’s New Thinking.’) Rightly in my view, these people were deeply dubious about the long-term stability of MAD relationships in situations of acute political and military tension.
    That the upcoming confrontation may be more, not less, dangerous than the Cold War is the argument of a recent research note by Vlad Sobell of the London-based Daiwa Institute of Research, entitled ‘Washington blunders into an unwinnable campaign against Russia.’ It also provides a thought-provoking — if not necessarily accurate — assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides.
    When I see Sarah Palin announcing that it may be necessary to fight a Russia which is now actively planning for nuclear first-use, in order to enable Georgia to incorporate against their will populations which are only part of the country because of arbitrary decisions by Joseph Stalin, words simply fail me. Perhaps somewhere down in hell, that old Georgian mafioso is splitting his sides laughing.

  28. Old Bogus says:

    I think most citizens think the risk of nukular exchange is over since the Cold War ended.
    [sarcasm on] Who would dare challenge the world’s ONLY superpower with nuclear arms? Only degenerate terrorists and rogue nations. No one else has anything to fear since we NEVER attack other nations for no reason. [sarcasm off]

  29. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    David Habakkuk,
    1. Thank you for the helpful analysis on our neighbor Russia. The Sobell piece you point out is realistic.
    Aside from the international context, Russia, and SIOPS, there is also the matter of another neighbor…Mexico
    The new US confrontation with Russia takes place within the emerging multipolar context Washington cannot seem to grasp not to mention plan and prepare for.
    It is possible the US will be the odd man out as Russia-China-Japan and, logically, the EU begin to go their own way owing to the disintegration of the US into an increasingly dysfunctional, yet threatening, former superpower.
    2. For several years some in the US academic community have been discussing the theme of “soft balancing” (diplomatic, economic) by powers who tighten their relations and reject the US bid for global hegemony in a “unipolar” world. Such balancing could take the form of “hard” (military) balancing down the road. Some academics also raises issues about increasing military conflict during a period of “transition” in the international system.
    3. Is the United States much weaker — economically, socially, etc. — than is generally admitted despite some talk about “imperial overstretch”?
    Here is an interesting piece on organized crime in Mexico. Central American gangs already pose a substantial criminal threat today in the US.
    Does anyone think that the situation in our neighbor Mexico does NOT directly affect internal security in the US?
    “Gruesome gangland-style murders and targeted assassinations of law-enforcement officers have claimed headlines in what Mexicans now refer to as war.”
    “The chilling reality of Mexico is the mounting evidence that organized crime has become the de facto power in parts of the country, and local authorities can no longer protect citizens and impart justice.”

Comments are closed.