North America // Analysis

26 july 2013

Russia and the USA at the Crossroads: Obama's Initiatives and Moscow's Reaction

Victor Yesin PhD in Military Science, retired Colonel General, RIAC expert
Pavel Zolotarev PhD in Technical Sciences, retired Major General, RIAC expert
Valentin Kuznetsov Retired Vice-admiral, RIAC expert
Sergey Rogov Scientific Director of the RAS Institute of US and Canada, RAS Full Member
Photo:
kremlin.ru

On the 17th of June this year, a meeting of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin was held at the G8 Summit. The two Presidents signed several important arrangements aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Russia and the U.S. that lived though a complicated period in 2012. In essence, it became possible to elaborate a new agenda after the exhausted “reset”.

Decisions were made regarding further institutionalization of relations between Moscow and Washington in the framework of the Presidential Commission established in 2009. The interaction of the two powers should not be allowed to be reduced to the "personal chemistry" of the two Presidents, as it had been quite often the case in the past.

For instance, the issues of trade and investments will now be supervised by the U.S. Vice-President and the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. This can give an important impetus to the development of bilateral trade and investments, which are not consistent with the potential of the two countries. The economic relations must become the foundation for stable relations of the two countries in the 21st century and help overcome excessive militarization and ideologization of the U.S.-Russia relations.

The issues of "strategic stability, international security and common threats to our countries" will be considered in the 2х2 format, i.e. by the ministers of foreign affairs and defense. The four ministers should probably discuss not only such problems as Syria (and Iran), but also strategic military topics, including missile defense, nuclear and conventional precision weapons as well as other issues. Moreover, the Presidents instructed their Security Councils to maintain a regular dialogue.

On 14 June 2013, an agreement was signed in Washington on reforming the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (Nunn–Lugar Program). Now the U.S. side will not provide funding for elimination of decommissioned Russian missiles. The budget of the Russian Federation can allocate necessary funds. However, cooperation will continue in other areas.

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama decided to hold a new Summit on 3-4 September this year in Moscow. Of course, it would be naive to expect that within the remaining time it will be possible to prepare legal agreements on missile defense or nuclear arms. However, it seems to be realistic to agree on the format and principles of new official talks.

Should the talks begin?

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama decided to hold a new Summit on 3-4 September this year in Moscow. Of course, it would be naive to expect that within the remaining time it will be possible to prepare legal agreements on missile defense or nuclear arms. However, it seems to be realistic to agree on the format and principles of new official talks.

The Obama Administration believes that its decision to cancel the 4th Euro MD stage and discontinue the development of SM-3 Block 2B interceptor should remove Russia's concerns regarding the American missile defense. Nevertheless, Moscow claims that these steps, albeit made in the right direction, are not sufficient. The situation is aggravated by the attempts of the Republicans in the U.S. Congress to push through the deployment of the 3d site of the strategic BMD on the U.S. east coast.

If the Republicans win the 2016 Presidential elections, then even in this case in early 2020s the Americans will not have such a strategic missile defense that would repel our retaliation strike, let alone the retaliatory counter-strike. The current state of the U.S. missile defense clearly does not correspond to hysterical assumptions that the U.S. could within the matter of a few hours neutralize 90% of the Russian nuclear potential.

Do the American initiatives meet Russia's interests? Nuclear reductions can be both of advantage or disadvantage for us. Actually, the strategic stability is not necessarily enhanced with the reduction of nuclear arms.

Unfortunately, it must be recognized that the Obama Administration seized the initiative in the disarmament area. The uncompromised rhetoric on the Russian side will create a false impression in the world that Russia is preventing the elimination of the nuclear threat and termination of the arms race.

Moscow is linking these issues with missile defense, conventional strategic arms and the need to engage other nuclear powers in the process of arms reduction. It should be recalled that when under Reagan all talks were suspended and after Reagan-Gorbachev meetings in Geneva negotiations were resumed, they were conducted in the three "baskets" – strategic nuclear arms, short- and intermediate- range missiles and outer space. Although they had an extensive agenda, the negotiations dealt with specific issues instead of mixing them up in one “basket”. As a result, two new treaties -- START-I and INF were signed, and the ABM Treaty was preserved.

So far, there has been no impression that Obama's proposal on further nuclear arms reduction was analyzed by Russia in all its aspects. The time has come to launch our own initiatives. We say that the American proposals are insufficient, but where are Russia's specific proposals?

Six baskets

Photo: bishkekinfo.kg

We believe that Russia might put forward a package proposal to begin negotiations on the entire set of strategic military stability issues. Such negotiations can go in parallel on different tracks and at different speed.

1. Primarily, the irreversible nuclear arms reductions should be agreed upon in order to eliminate the U.S. advantage in its breakout potential.

As is known, the new START Treaty has established for the sides the ceilings of 1550 "deployed" nuclear warheads and 700 "deployed" ICBMs and SLBMs launchers, as well as heavy bombers. Meanwhile, the total number of "deployed" and "non-deployed" ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers cannot exceed 800 units. According to the counting rules, established under the Treaty, one warhead is attributed to each heavy bomber.

According to official data as of 1 March 2003, the U.S. had 1654 "deployed" nuclear warheads and 792 "deployed" ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers. Russia, in its turn, is currently at the level significantly below the thresholds of the new START Treaty– 1480 "deployed" nuclear warheads and 492 "deployed" ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers.

According to the SIPRI estimates, the United States (taking account of potential upload of heavy bombers against the rules of attribution as envisaged in the new START Treaty) possesses 2150 deployed warheads, and Russia – approximately 1800 [1]. In 2010 the Obama Administration announced that the U.S. nuclear arsenal consisted of 5113 "active" warheads. According to U.S. experts Robert Norris and Hans Kristensen, by the year 2013 this number decreased to 4650 [2]. This is due in particular to the decommissioning of about 320 nuclear SLCMs TLAM-N, and deactivation of their warheads during that year.

In total the U.S. possesses 449 "deployed" ICBM launchers and 108 " non-deployed" ICBM launchers (57 Minuteman-3 and 51 Peacekeeper), and 232 "deployed" SLBM launchers and 104 "non-deployed" SLBM launchers. 8-9 American strategic submarines are permanently deployed at sea. 4-5 SSBMs are on combat patrol within the range of assigned targets. Moreover, the United States has 111 "deployed" and 24 "non-deployed" heavy bombers [3].

According to official data as of 1 March 2003, the U.S. had 1654 "deployed" nuclear warheads and 792 "deployed" ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers. Russia, in its turn, is currently at the level significantly below the thresholds of the new START Treaty– 1480 "deployed" nuclear warheads and 492 "deployed" ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers.

The Report on Nuclear Weapons Employment Strategy says that "the United States has maintained a stockpile of additional non-deployed nuclear warheads as a hedge against the possibility of a change in the international landscape that would alter the U.S. calculus about the necessary composition of its deployed nuclear forces" [4]. This can be interpreted as a possible response, on the one hand, to an accelerated modernization of China's nuclear arms, and on the other hand – to a potential withdrawal of Russia from the new START Treaty.

The recent partially unclassified paper of the U.S. Department of Defense states that: "The U.S. nuclear force structure has been designed to account for any possible adjustments in the Russian strategic force configurations that may be implemented as a response to the New START Treaty. This includes Russian deployment of additional strategic warheads, which, even if significantly above the New START Treaty limits, would have little to no effect on the U.S. assured second-strike capabilities that underwrite our strategic deterrence posture. The Russian Federation, therefore, would not be able to achieve a militarily significant advantage by any plausible expansion of its strategic nuclear forces, even in a cheating or breakout scenario under the New START Treaty, primarily because of the inherent survivability of the planned U.S. strategic force structure, particularly the OHIO-class ballistic missile submarines, a number of which are at sea at any given time. The United States also would be capable of uploading additional warheads on all three legs of its strategic triad in response to a Russian breakout scenario" [5].

Thus, the United States has a tremendous breakout potential, since the reductions under the new START Treaty are being carried out mainly by downloading the warheads from ICBMs and SLBMs. We estimate that this potential amounts to at least 2500 nuclear warheads. It means that the U.S. 1550 warheads limited by the new START Treaty may turn into 4000 within 6-12 months.

Russia is in a different situation. Moscow does not publish any official data. According to the U.S. data, the Russian strategic nuclear forces include 326 "deployed" ICBMs armed with 1050 warheads, 10 "deployed" strategic submarines with 160 SLBMs (up to 624 warheads) and approximately 80 "deployed" heavy bombers [6]. No more than 1-2 submarines are at sea on combat patrol. This compels Russia to keep a significant part of ICBMs on a combat alert duty.

It should be noted in particular, that as the heavy ICBMs are decommissioned the breakout potential of the Russian SNF will decrease and will be significantly below the U.S. potential. The throw weight of the new Topol-M and Yars ICBMs is not that heavy. This is a very significant element, because the Republicans may come to power in the U.S. and withdraw from the new START Treaty, as they did with the ABM Treaty. Then the U.S. will have a significant, at least two-fold, advantage over Russia in strategic nuclear arms.

We believe that it would be necessary to suggest reducing also the number of deployed strategic means of delivery (e.g. from 700 to 500, as in Russia). If the number of the U.S. strategic launchers and heavy bombers is reduced to 500 units, the U.S. breakout potential will decrease by one third or even by half.

1.1. The format of potential arrangement

The political situation in the United States and in particular the balance of forces in the Senate actually excludes the possibility that a new legally binding treaty on strategic offensive or defensive arms will be signed in the coming years. Therefore, if Moscow and Washington reach agreements, they would hardly be recorded in the form of a treaty. Other solutions, however, are possible.

For example, when the START-I Treaty was signed in 1991, the USSR and the U.S. exchanged the political declarations, whereby they took an obligation to exchange the 5-year plans of nuclear SLCMs deployment and not to deploy more than 880 nuclear SLCMs for the duration of that Treaty. Let us recall that in 2012 the United States totally decommissioned their nuclear SLCMs, while Russia maintained a limited number of these systems.

Such arrangements do not provide for a verification regime, but verification was not envisaged either in the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) signed by Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush in 2002.

The reduction of strategic nuclear forces of the U.S. and Russia (e.g. to 1000 warheads and 500 delivery vehicles) on the basis of exchanged political declarations may be verified by the verification mechanisms provided for by the new START Treaty up to its expiry in 2021, and in case of its prolongation – up to 2026.

1.2. Tactical nuclear weapons

There is a lot of discussion both in the U.S. and in Europe that Russia has a big advantage in this area. The Americans have 500 tactical nuclear warheads (200 out of them – in Europe). Russia, according to expert assessments, has about 2000. But there are important nuances here. Russia has three categories of non-strategic nuclear warheads: for ABM and air defense systems, naval nuclear weapons and, finally, air bombs and short-range missiles. The U.S. has only air bombs. The question is why should we count the ABM and air defense warheads since they cannot be fired at Europe or other countries? The naval weapons are a special case: the U.S. has never agreed to limitations of naval weapons, and finally, if we are talking about the nuclear balance in Europe between Russia and NATO, then it should be taken into account that three nuclear states are members of NATO. Therefore, the British and French potential should be accounted for, but Paris and London are not willing to agree to nuclear reductions. Russia also has the Asian territory where it needs to have nuclear deterrence as well.

Why should not these issues be discussed in public? It could be proposed to launch negotiations on NATO’s and Russia’s nuclear arms in Europe, which do not fall under the START Treaty limitations, i.e. the U.S. tactical nuclear arms, as well as the British and French nuclear arms. Let NATO "squirm" and explain itself if Britain and France refuse to negotiate.

1.3. INF Treaty

In the United States, the debate has been stirred up that Russia is preparing to withdraw from that Treaty in connection with its testing of the Rubezh rocket system, which is an ICBM, but of a shorter range (accordingly, it can strike targets in the European theater). In principle, the flight trajectory can be also reduced in American ICBMs and SLBMs. It appears that the withdrawal from the INF Treaty would aggravate the situation – in this case not only the ABM but also the U.S. medium-range missiles would be deployed in Poland, Romania and even in the Baltic states, which can reach Moscow from Germany within 5-6 minutes instead of 10-15 minutes flight-time of Pershing-2 ballistic medium-range missiles.

2. Missile defense

Photo: mostlymissiledefense.com

After its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002, the George W. Bush Administration started in 2004 the deployment of GBI strategic interceptors in Alaska and later – in California. However, to a significant extent this step was gambling. Most of 16 GBI system tests failed, even though they were conducted following a simplified pattern (the launch time and trajectory of the target were known in advance; no counter-measures were taken; and only one test carried out at night ended in failure). Later, the decision was made to equip this system with a new interception stage (CE-2). Nevertheless, after the test of the upgraded system failed in 2008, the GBI testing was suspended for 5 years. Finally, on the 5th of July 24, 2013, the GBI testing was resumed with the modernized CE-1 interception system (cost of testing – $218 million), which ended in total failure.

The 30 strategic GBI anti-missiles in possession of the United States (20 are equipped with CE-1 interception stage, and 10 – with CE-2 interception stage) have a very low performance rate. Despite the unsuccessful testing the Obama Administration intends to increase the number of these anti-missiles to 44 units by the year 2017 buying two interceptors of that type each year [7]. The cost of one GBI anti-missile is approximately $70 million.

The Aegis shorter-range sea-based BMD system deployed on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and DDG-51 guided missile destroyers enjoy wide political support in Washington.

As the Director of the Missile Defense Agency Admiral Syring stated at the Senate hearings, in 2013 the U.S. has only 27 ships equipped with the Aegis system and in 2014 there will be 29 such ships. By 2018, 41 U.S. cruisers and destroyers will be equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system, and the number of SM-3 interceptors of various types will reach 328 units – 8 anti-missiles per one ship on average [8].

The 30 strategic GBI anti-missiles in possession of the United States (20 are equipped with CE-1 interception stage, and 10 – with CE-2 interception stage) have a very low performance rate. Despite the unsuccessful testing the Obama Administration intends to increase the number of these anti-missiles to 44 units by the year 2017 buying two interceptors of that type each year. The cost of one GBI anti-missile is approximately $70 million.

Currently, the U.S. navy has in service three types of "Standard Missile" anti-missiles – 72 SM-2 Block 4, 90 SM-3 Block 1/1A and 18 SM-3 Block 1B units [9].

The Raytheon Company, which manufactures the "Standard Missile" generic interceptors, plans to produce 431 SM-3 Block 1A and SM-3 Block 1B missiles. 36 out of them are to be supplied to Japan [10].

In 2015 it is intended to begin the deployment of 24 ground SM-3 interceptors in Romania, and in 2018 – the same number in Poland. However, due to the cancelling by the Obama Administration of SM-3 Block 2B program, the U.S. might deploy in Eastern Europe the SM-3 Block 1B interceptors, and SM-3 Block 2А interceptors – in 2018 [11].

As to the land-based tactical and shorter-range interceptors Patriot PAC-3 и THAAD, their total number does not exceed 1000 units. The Pentagon, as of now, has acquired 50 THAAD interceptors so as to deploy 2 battalions armed with these missiles. In 2014 the number of THAAD interceptors will grow to 98 [12]. In 2013 it is planned to acquire 36 THAAD anti-missiles and 84 Patriot PAC-3 anti-missiles [13]. By the end of this decade, their number might grow up to 1.5 thousand [14]. Nevertheless, these systems cannot intercept the ICBMs and do not substantially affect the strategic military balance.

Within 5 years the United States might have no more than 50 strategic interceptors (44 GBI and 6 SM-3 Block 2A). This is twice as less than was allowed by the 1974 Protocol to the ABM Treaty. Let us recall that 68 strategic interceptors are currently deployed around Moscow.

The Russian S-300, S-400 and S-500 and the U.S. Patriot PAC-3, THAAD, SM-3 Block 1A, 1B and 2A missile air-defense systems will not substantially affect the strategic military balance between Russia and the United States.

There are no prospects for signing a new ABM Treaty. However, due to the cancellation of the 4th Euro-BMD stage and abandoned plans to develop SM-3 Block 2B, the United States will have no more than 100 strategic interceptor missiles till the expiry of the START Treaty.

Photo: www.snariad.ru

In order to ensure predictability of the situation, to begin with, Moscow and Washington could agree on establishing a BMD cooperation center. This center could carry out a set of transparency measures: to hold technical briefings on performance characteristics of the existing and future BMD systems, and to submit annual reports on BMD systems. Besides, it would be possible to conduct joint BMD exercises such as computer simulation, table-top exercises, joint training involving Russian and U.S. BMD systems in the exercises, gathering and exchanging data obtained from radars and early warning satellites as well as sending information to command and control centers of Russia and the U.S.

These arrangements could be recorded in an "Executive Agreement" (such a format was used together with the signing of the 1972 SALT Treaty).

3. High precision conventional weapons

The signing of any agreements with the U.S. on banning the high-precision conventional weapons seems quite unlikely. However, it could be proposed to the American side to limit the number of deployed long-range high-precision systems such as "Prompt Global Strike"; to annually exchange plans for deployment of these systems (with the designation of their location); to confidentially notify one another prior to the use of these systems against the third countries.

It would also be appropriate to begin multilateral negotiations on the new all-European conventional arms control regime instead of CFE. The precision strike assets could also be covered along with tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters.

These arrangements can be recorded in the form of political declarations.

It would also be appropriate to begin multilateral negotiations on the new all-European conventional arms control regime instead of CFE. The precision strike assets could also be covered along with tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters.

Moreover, it can be proposed to the U.S. to start consultations on the new confidence-building measures in the naval area. In particular, the issue could be raised on the need to provide information on prior notification of each other in case of the entry of surface ships or submarines in the water areas offshore the territory of the other party. This would allow us to reduce the threat for the strategic forces of Russia in the event of U.S. naval deployment of ships equipped with cruise missiles and SM-3 interceptors.

4. Cyber security

Photo: digit.ru

In the area of cyber security it is deemed appropriate to discuss with the U.S. the possibility of inviting other countries to join the Russian-American agreement on countering the cyber threats. This June Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama reached an unprecedented understanding on combating the cyber threats "to create a mechanism for information sharing in order to better protect critical information systems" [15]. This mechanism, when necessary, will engage the hotline that has been used by Moscow and Washington to prevent a nuclear conflict since 1963.

It would also be useful to establish a permanent bilateral or multilateral cyber security threat reduction center.

5. Space weapons

At present, Russia and China are calling for elaboration of a treaty to ban the deployment of any weapons in outer space, and the European Union – for adopting a code of conduct in outer space. It seems appropriate to support the Code. Since the U.S. makes no haste to join the Code, this will put Washington in a complicated situation. It is necessary to bring our positions closer on the basis of a compromise: to adopt the Code of Conduct in Outer Space at the first stage (using the MTCR as a precedent) indicating that at the second stage (in the framework of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva) talks will begin on drafting a treaty to ban deployment of any weapons in outer space.

Moreover, it could be proposed to the U.S. side to come up with a joint statement at the Moscow Summit that Russia and the U.S. do not intend to deploy any attack systems in outer space and to propose other countries including China to join this commitment.

6. Other nuclear powers

Photo: eurasian-defence.ru

The direct multilateral talks on the limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons in the Nuclear Five format are unachievable in the foreseeable future, since the initial positions of the countries differ significantly. It should also be borne in mind that according to SIPRI Russia and the U.S. account for 16.2 thousand out of total 17.3 thousand nuclear warheads existing in the world [16]. It means that the share of France (300 nuclear warheads), UK (225), China (250), India (110), Pakistan (120), Israel (80) and North Korea (about 10 nuclear warheads) altogether is less than 7% of the aggregate nuclear arsenal on this planet.

However, it seems possible to propose that a joint statement of the two Presidents should be adopted at the Moscow Summit calling on other nuclear powers to engage in negotiations on confidence-building measures. Russia and the U.S. should provide some data that they have exchanged on a bilateral basis to other nuclear powers and to propose to them to present in their turn some information similar to the set of data exchanged between Russia and the U.S. in the framework of the START Treaty.

The existing Permanent 5 format should be used (four meetings have already been held in its framework). It seems achievable in this framework that UK, France and China make political commitments not to build up their nuclear potential contingent on the continuation by the U.S. and Russia of their nuclear arsenals reduction process.

"Window of opportunities"

The new agenda in the Russia-US relations has been set but has not started to be implemented yet. Therefore, the meeting of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama this September will play a key role. If the two presidents agree to begin negotiations on economic and strategic military issues, this will help make further progress.

The new agenda in the Russia-US relations has been set but has not started to be implemented yet. Therefore, the meeting of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama this September will play a key role. If the two presidents agree to begin negotiations on economic and strategic military issues, this will help make further progress.

As President V. Putin stated on 17 July this year, Russia has "its own national tasks regarding also the development of Russian-American relations". The leaders of the two countries are willing to launch a dialogue and agree on a new agenda. However, to make it come true a lot of effort will be required.

Diplomacy is the art of possible. The time factor cannot be disregarded either. In eighteen months, the midterm elections will be held in the US after which Obama will turn into a "lame duck" since the country will start preparation for the 2016 presidential electoral campaign. "The window of opportunities" is not that big and serious negotiations should be started now so as to be completed next year. Later on the domestic political situation in the US would prevent any agreements to be achieved.

The realistic analysis of national security interests and expert assessment of BMD technical capabilities today and in a foreseeable future and rethinking of a nuclear deterrence and strategic stability criteria in the 21 century should replace the emotional propagandistic declarations. It is necessary to use the open "window of opportunities" and carefully think through the Russian position at the forthcoming negotiations. The time has come not only to react to the US proposals but advance Russia's own initiatives.

Thus, the success or failure of the Russian-American dialogue in the nearest future may determine the character of relations between the two countries for many years. Will these relations be sustainable and stable or will we be pushed back to the "cold peace" and a new arms race?

1. SIPRI Yearbook 2012, p.284.

2. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. March/April 2013.

3. New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms. Fact Sheet. Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. July 1, 2013.

4. Report on Nuclear Weapons Employment Strategy Of the United States. Department of Defense. June 2013, р.6.

5. Report on the Strategic Nuclear Forces of the Russian Federation. Department of Defense. May 2012, pp. 6-7.

6. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. May/June 2013.

7. Unclassified Statement of Vice Admiral James Syring, Director, Missile Defense Agency, before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. July 17, 2013.

8. Ronald O’Rourke. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. CRS. July 2, 2013, p. 8.

9. Ibidem, p. 8.

10. National Defense Magazine. July 5, 2013.

11. Unclassified Statement of Vice Admiral James Syring, Director, Missile Defense Agency, before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. July 17, 2013.

12. Ronald O’Rourke. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. CRS. July 2, 2013, p. 8.

13. FY 2014 Program Acquisition Costs by Weapons System, pp.4-2, 4-5.

14. Ten years without the ABM Treaty. The Problem of missile defense in the Russia-US relations: scientific report. M., 2012, p. 20-21.

15. Joint Statement by the Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation on a New Field of Cooperation in Confidence Building. 17 June 2013.

16. SIPRI Yearbook 2012, p.284.

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Victor Yesin, Pavel Zolotarev, Valentin Kuznetsov, Sergey Rogov, “Russia and the USA at the Crossroads: Obama's Initiatives and Moscow's Reaction,” Russian International Affairs Council, 26 July 2013, http://russiancouncil.ru/en/inner/?id_4=2157

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Comments:


Date: 27 july 2013

Author: Eric Ehrmann

From the "pundit" or popular media perspective the average American knows little about Russia-America strategic relationship and public diplomacy and NGOs do not help create a basis for cooperation and understanding.

For example the recent proposal of a ban on Russian vodka imported into the United States as retalliation for Russian people having the right to make personal choices about lifestyle issues.

Apart from that, this article does take on the tone one once saw during the days of the American "big four"-- Edward Teller, Herman Kahn, General Curtis LeMay and Admiral Hyman Rickover. And their obsession with nuclear politics as a driver of the defense driven economy. And to that the non-agile thinking of Pentagon bosses James Schlesinger and sometimes Harold Brown.

The mainstream media content delivery model does not take seriously the questions of "cold peace" and a new arms race that the writers posit here. Then too, there are new technologies, nanosattelites, magnetic wave technology, weather modification. Secret weapons are effective because they are secret, which has always been the case.


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