American blogger on why there will not be a new arms race.
The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). The end of this and other treaties that excluded or limited the deployment of nuclear systems is seen by some as the start of a new arms race.
The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty today is a serious blow to nuclear arms control and global security. We are blindly going to a new arms race.
The former defense minister is wrong. There will be no race, because Russia (and China) will not participate in it. In other words, they have already won.
To understand why this is so, we need to look at the history of nuclear treaties and their demise.
In 1976, the Soviet Union began deploying SS-20 medium-range nuclear missiles (RSD-10 Pioneer) in Europe. Western Europeans, especially Germany, feared that these missiles would separate the United States from Western Europe. The Soviet Union could tell the United States that it would not use its intercontinental nuclear missiles against the mainland United States until the United States launched its intercontinental missiles across the Soviet Union. He could then use the SS-20 to attack NATO in Europe, while the United States would refrain from a nuclear counter-offensive against the Soviet Union. Europe would become a nuclear battlefield, and the United States and the Soviet Union would remain untouched.
The author was one of the first inspectors of the INF Treaty in the USSR in 1988.
German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called on the United States to deploy medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe to force the Soviets to destroy the SS-20. In 1979, NATO made a double decision. It will deploy Pershing II missiles manufactured in the USA in Europe, and at the same time will propose to the Soviet Union a treaty banning all such medium-range short-range weapons. The attempt was successful.
The 1987 Mid-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF, INF Treaty) between the United States and the Soviet Union (later Russia) banned all ground ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and missile launchers of the two countries with a range of 500 to 5500 kilometers (310 -3,420 miles ) All SS-20 and Pershing II missiles were removed and destroyed. Nuclear war in Europe has become less likely.
Another successful treaty was the 1972 Missile Defense Treaty. Both sides were prohibited from deploying more than one missile defense system. This was necessary because the side, which believed that it had an operational missile defense system, could deliver a massive first strike on the other side, destroy most of its forces and protect itself from the subsequent weakened retaliatory strike. In order to prevent a nuclear war, it would be more profitable for both parties to ban the missile defense as a whole and rely on mutually guaranteed destruction.
In June 2002, US President George W. Bush (son), under the influence of John Bolton, withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which led to its termination. The United States deployed a missile defense system in Alaska and California, but during testing the systems proved to be unreliable.
At that time, the United States stated that missile defense was needed to protect against nuclear missiles in North Korea and Iran, it was always obvious. what is this nonsense. At that time, North Korea did not have missiles capable of reaching the United States, and Iran does not have nuclear weapons, and it limits the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometers.
Russia took this step by the United States as an attempt to achieve the opportunity to deliver the first blow to its territory. It immediately began developing a new system that would make the US missile defense meaningless.
The United States also insisted that NATO deploy missile defense systems in Europe. Iran was again called the main danger. There were plans to deploy the Patriot and THAAD missile defense systems in Poland and Romania. This did not immediately endanger Russia. But in 2009, President Obama canceled the deployment and proposed a more diabolical plan. The AEGIS system, used on many US warships, will be converted to a ground version and supposedly deployed as a missile defense system.
«We will not be drawn into a senseless arms race draining our economy, we will not do this in any case,» – President Putin said.
As Patrick Armstrong explains well: “Putin and Co. realized that Russia does not have a world-historical goal, and its armed forces are intended only for Russia. They understand what this means for the Russian Armed Forces.
The Russian armed forces do not have to match the American; they just need to be able to check them out.
And they don’t have to checkmate everywhere – only in their own country. The US Air Force may run amok anywhere, but not in the airspace of Russia; The US Navy can go anywhere, but not into Russian waters. This is a much simpler job, and it is much cheaper than what Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev did. This is much easier to achieve; it is easier to plan and execute. The exceptional interventionist must plan everything; nationalist is one thing. ”
The agreement on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles between the Russian Federation and the USA provided only the security of Europe.
Russia already has all the weapons necessary for self-defense. U.S. military operations depend on satellite communications, air superiority, and missiles. But Russian air defense and electronic warfare systems are of first-class. They have demonstrated in Syria that their capabilities are superior to any US system.
When the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty, Russia began to develop new weapons. In 2018, it was ready, and Russia demonstrated those weapons systems that would defeat any missile defense system. The United States can no longer get the ability to deliver the first blow to Russia, no matter how many missile defense and nuclear weapons systems it deployes. There is no protection against hypersonic systems, nuclear torpedoes or cruise missiles with a nuclear engine with unlimited range.
If the United States wants to start a new arms race against Russia or China, they will be the only ones to run. They will have to run fast to catch up.
Unlike the United States, neither Russia nor China are trying to achieve global hegemony. They only need to protect their territory. The US threat to them made them allies. If China needs additional defense capabilities, Russia will be glad to provide them. A US nuclear attack on any of them, whether from Europe, Japan or the United States itself, will be answered with a nuclear strike on the mainland of the United States. Since the United States does not have the opportunity to protect itself from the new Russian systems, this will be a deterrent.
About the Author: Billmon is the pseudonym of an American blogger who posts his comments on a wide range of political and economic issues on his blog “Moon of Alabama”.