Arming Kyiv With New Advanced Heavy Weapons Is Putin’s Line In the Sand

[SEE: Putin: ‘Russia Will Not Allow Ukraine to Defeat Rebels]

Russia warns US against supplying ‘lethal defensive aid’ to Ukraine

Russia-Today

Members of the "Donbass" self-defence battalion attend a ceremony to swear the oath to be officially included into the reserve battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine near Kiev June 23, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Members of the “Donbass” self-defence battalion attend a ceremony to swear the oath to be officially included into the reserve battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine near Kiev June 23, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Moscow has warned Washington a potential policy shift from supplying Kiev with “non-lethal aid” to “defensive lethal weapons”, mulled as US Vice President visits Ukraine, would be a direct violation of all international agreements.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that reports of possible deliveries of American “defensive weapons” to Ukraine would be viewed by Russia as a “very serious signal.”

“We heard repeated confirmations from the [US] administration, that it only supplies non-lethal aid to Ukraine. If there is a change of this policy, then we are talking about a serious destabilizing factor which could seriously affect the balance of power in the region,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevichcautioned.

Ukrainian army soldiers with an artillery field gun maneuver on the coastline near the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on October 21, 2014. (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

Ukrainian army soldiers with an artillery field gun maneuver on the coastline near the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on October 21, 2014. (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

His remarks follow US deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken Wednesday’s statement at a hearing before the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, in which he said that Biden may offer the provision of “lethal defensive weapons” as he visits Ukraine. Lethal assistance “remains on the table. It’s something that we’re looking at,” Blinken said.

“We paid attention not only to such statements, but also to the trip of representatives of Ukrainian volunteer battalions to Washington, who tried to muster support of the US administration,” Lukashevich said.

The Ministry made it clear that such a move by Washington would violate a number of agreements.

“This is a very serious signal for several reasons. First of all, this is a direct violation of agreements, including the ones achieved in partnership with the United States. I mean the Geneva Declaration from 17 April,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

US Vice President Joe Biden (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

US Vice President Joe Biden (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko requested lethal aid from the US during a visit to Washington in September.

READ MORE: Obama declines to give Ukraine ‘lethal aid’ despite Poroshenko’s plea

The American Vice President who has arrived in Kiev late Thursday has not yet made any official announcement, but Reuters’ sources point to the possibility that US might increase a “non-lethal” aid package to Kiev instead of opting to supply arms.

Under the non-lethal aid package, the US could deliver to Ukraine first Humvee vehicles and radars but as officials pointed out such deliveries would unlikely alter the conflict. Previous non-lethal aid to Ukraine announced in September included military equipment such as counter-mortar detection units, body armor, binoculars and other gear worth $53 million.

At the same time the US diplomatic branch announced that it will continue to send advisers to Kiev and has allocated funds to Ukraine to battle what both the US and Ukraine see as a threat from Russia.

Medical volunteers unpack individual first aid kits similar to those used by NATO during a ceremony where they were donated by Kiev's Mayor Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev October 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Medical volunteers unpack individual first aid kits similar to those used by NATO during a ceremony where they were donated by Kiev’s Mayor Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev October 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

“The United States, as you’re no doubt aware, is providing about $116 million in security assistance to help Ukraine in this effort,”State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Thursday. “This assistance also includes advising and training, and the United States will continue to send advisory teams to Kiev to help improve Ukraine’s combat medical care and to identify areas for additional security assistance.”

Rathke also said that lethal assistance to Ukraine is not yet “off the table.”

“Our position on lethal aid hasn’t changed. Nothing is off the table, and we continue to believe there’s no military solution. But we, in light of Russia’s actions, as the nominee mentioned yesterday in his testimony, this is – as he indicated, this is something that we should be looking at,” Rathke said.

For now all will be decided Friday when Biden is expected to hold talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Petro Poroshenko. Following the talks, Biden and Poroshenko will make a joint press statement.

Hamas–the CIA/Mossad Model for Islamist Radicalization

[SEE:  The Gaza Bombshell]

Hamas and IS and beyond

al-ahram

 

http://rosemheather.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/hamasflag_sm1.jpg

Some people dismiss claims that outside powers have manipulated the Arab political landscape, creating division and new movements, but the record suggests there may be merit to the allegations, writes Galal Nassar

As they marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, Palestinians were torn by discord, aggravated by Israeli measures aimed at voiding the Palestinian cause of its substance, such as expanding settlement construction, confiscating Palestinian property, Judaicising Jerusalem and, most recently, recurrent acts defiling Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The spike in tensions accompanies an outburst of angry and sustained recriminations between Fatah and Hamas, the two major factions of the Palestinian resistance, in the aftermath of bomb attacks that targeted the homes of Fatah officials in Gaza.

The worsening polarisation hampers the measures intended to enable the Palestinian Authority to reassert its control over Gaza (which may well have been the purpose of the attacks) after years of Hamas control. This, in turn, jeopardises the creation of a national unity government, reconstruction of Gaza, implementation of the Cairo Agreement, and a return to the provisions of the Gaza Crossings Agreement, the lifting of the blockade and resumption of negotiations with the Israeli occupation.

Hamas, since it was founded, has always played a curious role in the Palestinian resistance. This is in view of its birth as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (it is a member of the International Muslim Brotherhood, as stipulated in Article 2 of its charter), its conflicting affiliations, its ideological and organisational frame of reference, and its ulterior motives and aims.

Yet, however we might judge that movement, this does not diminish the Palestinian resistance, the struggle and sacrifices that the Palestinian people have endured over the decades, or the place that their cause has in the hearts and minds of every Arab.

In November 1994 I had an exclusive interview with Richard Hrair Dekmejian, political science professor at the University of Southern California and author of Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab world. A Syrian of Armenian origin, he acquired US nationality at a young age.

The interview appeared in Al-Ahram Weekly and was translated into Arabic by the late Saadeddin Wahba and published in his weekly column in Al-Ahram daily. Dekmejian, who had served as a political advisor to President Ronald Reagan, discussed the part Washington played in supporting and funding the idea of creating the Hamas movement in Gaza.

Why would Washington work to create an Islamic, fundamentalist entity to fight its ally, Israel, I asked?

He said that Washington and Tel Aviv wanted to pull the rug out from beneath Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Most of the members of these two organisations hailed from the political left and sometimes used a lexicon that did not connect with the general Palestinian public.

The Reagan administration believed that by setting up or supporting the creation of an Islamist movement that used religious rhetoric and language that resonated with large segments of the Palestinian street, it could create a schism and erode the popularity of the PLO and Fatah. The division could be exploited in any negotiating process and manipulate Palestinian and Arab emotions towards the realisation of certain ends.

Washington acted on this advice. The CIA, setting into motion the customary devices it uses in its covert operations, channelled $3 million through an intermediary to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his aides, although of course Yassin was unaware of the provenance of the funds. (Neither Yassin, who was alive when the Dekmejian interview appeared in Al-Ahram, or any other Hamas leader ever denied or commented on the claims.)

Since that time, Hamas and its decisions have been subject to the pressures and conditions of its sources of funding and political support. These have been manipulated in such a way as to keep the movement in a permanent state of political and ideological collision with Fatah and the PLO and, subsequently, the Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Fatah officials.

Israel and Washington have constantly used that clash to cause negotiations to breakdown, to weaken Palestinian ranks and to facilitate the processes of settlement expansion, land confiscation and the Judaicisation of the occupied territories.

In addition to the these links, Hamas is organisationally linked to the International Muslim Brotherhood, which is also one of the movement’s most important sources of funding. Hamas is thus bound to Muslim Brotherhood policies and agendas, which do not necessarily mesh with the aims and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s actions and decisions are informed by its particular calculations of power balances and what best promotes its own interests, rather than by what is best for the Palestinian cause. The conflicting pull of Hamas’s affiliations was manifested in Hamas’s attitudes toward recent events in Egypt and the effect of these on Egyptian-brokered inter-Palestinian reconciliation, for example.

That the behaviour of Hamas is controlled from abroad because its leaders are subject to pressures from their (US, Qatari, Turkish) sources of funding, support and protection has rendered people in Gaza — and Palestinians in general — pawns to interests that often have no relationship to the interests of the resistance against a brutal occupying power.

This has led to actions that have often been counterproductive to the needs of the Palestinian cause and the welfare of the people who suffer under occupation and are struggling to win their freedom.

Hamas is no different from the other paramilitary movements that use religion and claim a monopoly on the truth in the name of Islam, and that have come to dominate the stage in the Arab nation and, in the process, hijacked, destroyed and distorted the humanitarian and democratic calling of the Arab Spring.

The scheme to establish and support Hamas is echoed in the creation of Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS), Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, some Salafist fronts, Hizbullah, the Houthis and other such groups and movements. The model for this may well have been the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, fostered by the British embassy in Cairo as an instrument to drive a wedge into the Egyptian nationalist movement and to beat back other political forces.

With regard to Washington’s role in the creation and promotion of militant Islamist movements and other Islamist movements that have been thirsting for political power, I would like to call the reader’s attention to the testimony of some retired US intelligence officials cited in The Atlantic Monthly following 11 September 2001.

According to that testimony, the CIA and other US intelligence agencies at the time failed to detect the threat because they had lost the initiative after many of their agents were withdrawn from the field.

The agencies had built up a structure for collecting intelligence, assessing positions and controlling events from afar using “moles” who had been planted many years before among those movements. They grew their beards, prayed and thoroughly blended into the environment of those groups.

The former intelligence officials added that the agencies at the time had stopped creating new organisations that they could control from afar in order to promote US interests in the Middle East. But after disaster struck at the World Trade Centre, officials recommended reviving these “pre-emptive” policies.

I have little doubt that attempts to undermine the spirit and goals of the Arab Spring, the drives to promote the empowerment of the so-called “political Islamic current” and its political, intellectual and journalistic advocates and pundits, and the emergence of new regional roles for Hamas, IS and their sisters are manifestations of the faithful implementation of those former intelligence officials’ recommendations.

I wonder to what extent the Arab political and intellectual elites are aware of that game and its players. The evidence is that in order to formulate counterstrategies and measures to rescue our region from its tragic plights, and perhaps worse to come, we need to summon at least a modicum of conspiracy theorising in our analyses, and to drop the sarcasm while doing so, as the situation does not permit it.

REFORMING AMERICA’S EMERGENCY LAW REGIME

TOWARD COMPREHENSIVE REFORM OF AMERICA’S EMERGENCY LAW REGIME

Toward Comprehensive Reform of Americas Emergency Law Regime –download

university of mich law journal

 

Additional Files

MJLR_46-2_suppl_national_emergency_powers.pdf (67 kB)
Compendium of Emergency Powers Statutes

 

Patrick A. Thronson*

ABSTRACT
Unbenownst to most Americans, the United States is presently under thirty presidentially declared states of emergency. They confer vast powers on the Executive
Branch, including the ability to financially incapacitate any person or organization in the United States, seize control of the nation’s communications infrastructure, mobilize military forces, expand the permissible size of the military without
congressional authorization, and extend tours of duty without consent from service personnel. Declared states of emergency may also activate Presidential Emergency Action Documents and other continuity-of-government procedures, which confer powers on the President-such as the unilateral suspension of habeas corpus-that appear fundamentally opposed to the American constitutional order. Although the National Emergencies Act, by its plain language, requires Congress to vote every six months on whether a declared national emergency should continue, Congress has done so only once in the nearly forty-year history of the Act.  This Note and an accompanying online compendium attempt, for the first time since the 1970s, to reach a reasonably complete assessment of the scope and legal effects of the thirty national emergencies now in effect in the United States. The Note also proposes specific statutory reforms to rein in the unchecked growth of these emergencies and political reforms to subject the vast executive powers granted by the
U.S. emergency law regime to the democratic process.

“[The Founders] knew what emergencies were, knew the pressures they engender for authoritative action, knew, too, how they afford a ready pretext for usurpation. We may also suspect that they suspected that emergency powers would tend to kindle emergencies.”
Justice Robert Jackson, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer’

 

“A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States,” President George W. Bush proclaimed on September
14, 2001.2 “I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001.” 3 Over a decade later, with Osama bin Laden dead and the infrastructure of al Qaeda “taken apart,”4 this same emergency, and the vast powers it bestows, is still with us-along with twenty-nine other national emergencies that grant the President greatly enhanced powers to regulate the nation’s economic, military, and foreign affairs. 5 Although Congress has been required by statute, for nearly forty years, to vote every six months on whether a national emergency should continue, it has done so only once. 6
The current proliferation of national emergencies is exactly what the National Emergencies Act (NEA) was enacted to prevent. 7 The NEA has failed entirely in this regard. The story of its failure is a story of how the United States Congress achieved a moment of clarity about the vast emergency powers it had been delegating to the President for decades and the quantity and scope of unchecked emergency powers then in effect.8 It is a story of how Congress, with substantial support and cooperation from the Executive Branch,9 constructed a framework intended to comprehensively regulate and limit future declarations of national emergency.’0 And it is a story of how Congress, enabled by the judiciary, subsequently rendered its own work superfluous by consigning the NEA’s safeguards against the abuse of emergency powers to a state of disuse and irrelevance. ” I–READ HERE

 

11. See Bruce Ackerman, TheEmergency Constitution, 113 YALE L.J. 1029, 1080 (2004). The NEA specifies that “[n]ot later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.” 50 U.S.C. § 1622(b) (2006). Congress has never complied with the plain language of this section, however, as no such vote has ever occurred. Ackerman, supra, at 1080 (quoting Jules Lobel, Emergency Power and the Decline of Liberalism, 98 YALE LJ. 1385, 1417 (1989)). Furthermore, “despite the mandatory force of the word ‘shall,’ courts have found ‘no legal remedy for a congressional failure to comply with the statute.’ ” Id.
Courts and commentators have claimed that a present-day Congress may not bind a future one. See, e.g., U.S. v. Winstar Corp., 518 U.S. 839, 872 (1996) (“‘Acts of parliament derogatory from the power of subsequent parliaments bind not…. [T]he legislature, being in truth the sovereign power . .. acknowledges no superior upon earth, which the prior legislature must have been, if it’s [sic] ordinances could bind the present parliament.’ “) (quoting Blackstone) (alteration in original). Although this principle, of course, supports the proposition that a Congress may undo a law passed by a prior Congress, it does not mean that Congress is exempt from the operation of duly enacted, effective laws, such as 50 U.S.C. § 1622(b). Numerous Congresses have passed laws imposing obligations on Congress that would make little sense if they were not treated as legal obligations by future Congresses. See, e.g.C,o ngressional Accountability Act of 1995,

If Obama Pushes Putin Into WWIII, Then We Will Lose

Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO

pravda

Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO. 53936.jpeg

On September 1, 2014 the US State Department published a report, in which it was stated that for first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia reached parity with the US in the field of strategic nuclear weapons. Thus, Washington admitted that Moscow regained the status that the Soviet Union had obtained by mid-70’s of the XX century and then lost.

According to the report from the State Department, Russia has 528 carriers of strategic nuclear weapons that carry 1,643 warheads. The United States has 794 vehicles and 1,652 nuclear warheads.

It just so happens that today, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces (SNF) are even more advanced in comparison with those of the US, as they ensure parity on warheads with a significantly smaller number of carriers of strategic nuclear weapons. This gap between Russia and the United States may only grow in the future, given the fact that Russian defense officials promised to rearm Russia’s SNF with new generation missiles.

The progress was made possible thanks to the treaty on the limitation of nuclear weapons, also known as START-3. The treaty was signed by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama on 8 April 2010 in Prague (came into force on 5 February 2011). In accordance with the document, nuclear warheads of the parties are to be reduced to 1,550 by 2021. The number of carriers (intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers) is supposed to be cut to 700 units.

It was the first strategic agreement, after the treacherous policy of democrats, in which Russia managed to win significant advantages. In the treaty, the Americans, for the first time in history, undertook to reduce their strategic nuclear potential, while Russia won an opportunity to increase it. Furthermore, the new treaty removed important limitations that existed in the previous START 1 and START 2 treaties. It goes about the size of areas for the deployment of mobile ICBMs, the number of multi charge ICBMs, and the possibility to build railway-based ICBMs. Russia did not make any concessions.

Having written off Moscow as a serious geopolitical rival, flying on the wings of inaccessible military and technological superiority, Washington drove itself into a trap, from which it does not see a way out even in a medium-term perspective.

Recently, a lot has been said about so-called “sixth-generation wars” and high-precision long-range weapons that should ensure victory over enemy without coming into direct contact with its armed forces. This concept is highly questionable (The US failed to achieve victory in such a way both in Iraq and Afghanistan). Yet, this is the point, where Russia enters the parity line as well. The proof is long-range cruise missiles of a new generation that will soon be deployed on submarines of the Black Sea Fleet and missile ships of the Caspian Flotilla.

In today’s Russia, many find this hard to believe. This is a common belief for many of those, who still enthusiastically remain in captivity of the myths about the absolute “weakness” of Russia and the absolute “superiority” of the West. The myth was made up in the 90’s under the influence of Boris Yeltsin and his betrayal of Russian national interests. One has to admit that during that time, the myth was real, if one may say so.

Times have changed. One can easily understand the new state of affairs.

For example, let’s consider the potential of conventional weapons of Russia and the West in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). In this area, it is generally believed that NATO is a lot stronger than Russia. Yet, a first encounter with reality smashes this misbelief into pieces.

As is known, the main striking force, the core of combat power of the ground forces is tanks. By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Armed Forces had about 20,000 tanks in the ETO.

The Americans, in turn, deployed 6,000 heavy Abrams tanks on the territory of the allied group. Despite this, the combined potential of NATO forces in Europe was still significantly inferior to the Soviet potential. To compensate this imbalance, NATO strategists were forced to resort to tactical nuclear weapons (TNW).

In the first half of the 1950s, NATO conducted a research about what kind of forces the bloc should have to show reliable resistance to large-scale ground offensive of superior forces of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. The calculations showed then that one required at least 96 full-fledged divisions for the purpose. Yet, the cost of armament for one of such divisions exceeded $1 billion. Plus, one required two or three more billion to maintain such a large group of troops and build appropriate infrastructure. This burden was clearly beyond the power of the economy of the West.

The solution was found in a move to deploy a group of US tactical nuclear weapons on the continent, and that was done soon. By early 1970s, the US arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons counted about 7,000 units of ammunition. The highest achievement in the area was the creation of weapons of selective action – neutron warheads (for guns of 203-mm and 155-mm caliber, and for Lance missiles) with a capacity from 1 to 10 kilotons. The warheads were seen as the key in combating land forces personnel, particularly Soviet tank crews.

Given the nuclear factor, to reflect “Soviet aggression,” NATO required to deploy only 30, rather than 96 divisions, and so they were deployed.

How do things work in this area now? In early 2013, the Americans withdrew the last group of heavy Abrams tanks from Europe. In NATO countries, over the last 20 years, one new tank would replace 10-15 old, yet still capable, tanks. At the same time, Russia was not decommissioning its tanks.

As a result, today Russia is the absolute leader in this regard. In mid-2014, the balance of the Defense Ministry had as many as 18,177 tanks (T-90 – 400 pcs., T-72B – 7,144 pcs., T-80 – 4,744 pcs, T-64 – 4,000 pcs, T-62 – 689 pcs, and T-55 – 1200 pcs.).

Of course, only a few thousand tanks are deployed in permanent readiness units, and most of them remain at storage bases. Yet, NATO has the same picture. Therefore, the decisive superiority of Russian tanks has not gone anywhere since the times of the USSR.

Here is another surprise. As for tactical nuclear weapons, the superiority of modern-day Russia over NATO is even stronger.

The Americans are well aware of this. They were convinced before that Russia would never rise again. Now it’s too late.

To date, NATO countries have only 260 tactical nuclear weapons in the ETO. The United States has 200 bombs with a total capacity of 18 megatons. They are located on six air bases in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. France has 60 more atomic bombs. That is pretty much it. Russia, according to conservative estimates, has 5,000 pieces of different classes of TNW – from Iskander warheads to torpedo, aerial and artillery warheads! The US has 300 tactical B-61 bombs on its own territory, but this does not change the situation against the backdrop of such imbalance. The US is unable to improve it either, as it has destroyed the “Cold War legacy” – tactical nuclear missiles, land-based missiles and nuclear warheads of sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles.


Top 5 Russian arms NATO is afraid of

How can Russia – the country that lost the Cold War – be ahead of NATO in terms of military power? One should look into the history of the problem to try to understand.

It is believed that by the beginning of 1991, the USSR had about 20-22,000 units of tactical nuclear weapons. They are nuclear warheads of air bombs, warheads for tactical missiles “Luna”, “Tochka”, “Oka”, nuclear warheads of antisubmarine weapons of the fleet, special warheads of air defense system missiles, nuclear mines and nuclear artillery shells of the Ground Forces.

This impressive arsenal was the result of forty years of an intensive arms race. Noteworthy, it was not the “totalitarian” USSR that started the arms race, but the liberal and democratic USA, which began developing and testing various types of tactical nuclear weapons in the early 1950s. The first example of a warhead of this class was the warhead for a 280-mm gun with the capacity of 15 kilotons. The warhead was tested in May 1953. Afterwards, nuclear warheads would be produced smaller in size, thus leading to the creation of warheads for self-propelled howitzers of 203-mm and 155-mm caliber that had a capacity from one to ten kilotons. Until recently, they were remaining in the arsenal of US troops in Europe.

Afterwards, the US Armed Forces received the following tactical missiles outfitted with nuclear warheads: Redstone (range 370 km), Corporal (125 kilometers), Sergeant (140 kilometers), Lance (130 kilometers) and several others. In the middle of the 1960s, the USA finalized the development of tactical missiles Pershing-1 (740 kilometers).

In turn, the Soviet military and political leadership decided that the equipment of American forces in Europe with TNW was creating a fundamentally new balance of forces. The USSR took decisive steps to create and deploy multiple types of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons. Already in the early 1960s, tactical missiles T-5, T-7, “Luna” were passed into service. Later, the non-strategic nuclear arsenal was expanded with medium-range missiles RSD-10, P-12, P-14 medium-range bombers Tu-22 and Tu-16, as well as tactical missiles OTR-22, OTR-23 and  tactical ones – P-17, “Tochka”, nuclear artillery of 152 mm, 203 mm and 240 mm caliber, tactical aviation aircraft Su-17, Su-24, MiG-21, MiG-23.

Noteworthy, the Soviet leadership had repeatedly offered Western leaders to start negotiations on the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons. Yet, NATO would persistently reject all Soviet proposals on this subject. The situation changed considerably only when the Union started shattering as a result of Gorbachev’s “perestroika”. It was the time, when Washington decided to take advantage of the moment to weaken and disarm its main geopolitical rival.

In September 1991, US President George H. Bush launched an initiative on the reduction and even elimination of certain types of tactical nuclear weapons. Gorbachev, in turn, also announced plans to radically reduce similar weapons in the USSR. Subsequently, the plans received development in the statement from Russian President Boris Yeltsin “On Russia’s policy in the field of arms limitation and reduction” from January 29, 1992. The statement pointed out that Russia stopped producing nuclear artillery shells and warheads for land-based missiles and undertook to destroy a stockpile of such weapons. Russia promised to remove tactical nuclear weapons from surface ships, attack submarines and eliminate one-third of those weapons. A half of warheads for anti-aircraft missiles and aircraft munitions was to be destroyed too.

After such reductions, the arsenals of tactical nuclear weapons of Russia and the United States were to keep 2,500-3,000 tactical nuclear warheads.

However, it turned out otherwise. The illusion of world supremacy played a cruel joke on Washington.

American strategists wrote off the “democratic” Russia after the collapse of the USSR. At the same time, during the Gulf War, US high-precision weapons successfully completed several large-scale combat tasks that had been previously planned for TNW. This prompted Washington to putting all stakes on a technological breakthrough. This led to the creation of “smart” weapons that were  becoming more and more expensive. The USA was gradually cutting the production of such weapons, and NATO’s high-tech arms proved to be completely inadequate for conducting large-scale combat actions with an enemy that would be at least approximately equal to the West from the point of view of its technological level.

Meanwhile in Russia, experts were quick to agree that against the backdrop of the post-Soviet geostrategic situation, reducing and eliminating tactical nuclear weapons was unacceptable. After all, it is tactical nuclear weapons that serve as a universal equalizer of forces, depriving NATO of its military advantage. In these circumstances, Russia simply borrowed NATO’s thesis of the need to compensate enemy superiority in conventional weapons by deploying tactical nuclear arsenal on the European Theater of Operations.

The situation had been developing according to the above-mentioned scenario for over two decades. The West, having discarded Russia, had been cutting its tanks and destroying tactical nuclear weapons. Russia, feeling its own weakness, kept all tanks and tactical nuclear weapons.

As a result, Russia overcome the inertia of collapse and started reviving its power, while the West, being lulled by sweet day-dreams of the liberal “end of history,” castrated its armed forces to the point, when they could be good for leading colonial wars with weak and technically backward enemies. The balance of forces in Europe has thus changed in Russia’s favor.

When the Americans realized that, it was too late. In December 2010, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, sounded the alarm. The Russians had more tactical nuclear systems than the USA, she said.  According to her, the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons was to be the next step.

In 2010, the Europeans, in the face of foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden, insolently demanded Russia should single-handedly establish two nuclear-free zones – the Kaliningrad region (enclave) and the Kola Peninsula – the territories of priority deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons. The regions serve as the main bases for the Baltic and Northern Fleets. In case of the Northern Fleet, the region is a base for most of Russian SNF.

Since then, the Americans have repeatedly offered Russia to follow the flawed way of solving the “problem of tactical nuclear weapons.” They stubbornly insist on reaching an agreement to eliminate disparities on stocks of tactical nuclear weapons. They even tried to stipulate a condition for the effect of the START-3 Treaty. Thus, in accordance with Senator Lemieux’s amendment (Amendment 4/S.AMDN.4908), the START-3 was to come into force after the Russian side agreed to start negotiations on the so-called liquidation of imbalance of tactical nuclear weapons in Russia and the US.

On February 3, 2011, Barack Obama wrote in a letter to several key senators saying that the United States was going to start negotiations with Russia to address disparity between tactical nuclear weapons of the Russian Federation and the United States to reduce the number of tactical nuclear warheads in a verifiable way.  Alas, in 2012, Putin returned to the Kremlin, and the hopes of the West to deceive Russia though unilateral disarmament failed.


Russia won’t cut nuclear arsenal