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Why It’s Especially Necessary to End NATO Now

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In a previous article I argued “Why It’s Necessary to End NATO”. However, recent events are making clear that the urgency of this need is increasing, instead of decreasing.

In 2011, the U.S. Government started planning a take-over of Ukraine, which, at that time, was a neutral country that has a 1,625-mile border with Russia. At its nearest point to Moscow, that border is only 5 minutes flight-time away from Moscow, via the fastest missiles. Obviously, that’s far too little time for Russia’s Government to be able to evacuate themselves from Moscow and to launch a retaliation against a U.S. blitz-attack. The U.S. goal is to get Ukraine into NATO, so that America can position its missiles there and really achieve “Nuclear Primacy” (which I discussed in that earlier article as being America’s meta-strategy since at least 2006 — safely to destroy Russia, even though that won’t actually be possible).

On February 1st of 2021, Ukraine’s President, Volodmyr Zelenskyy, made undeniably clear his intention to fulfill on Obama’s plan, for Ukraine to become a NATO member. Whether Joe Biden is going to push for that will be the most important decision of his Presidency, because it would be a commitment to World War III. It would, in effect, be a U.S. declaration of war against Russia. Whether the blitz-invasion would come from the U.S. (presumably assisted by missiles placed in Ukraine), or instead from Russia (in order to wipe out those and all other U.S. missiles), would be the only remaining question. Who will try the blitz-attack first? Either way, the world — at least the biosphere that sustains human life — would end.

Zelenskyy said: 

We are grateful for everything, but Ukraine is not just saying in words that it wants to be an equal member of the Alliance, an equal member of NATO, because this is one of the most important security points – the same security that President Biden is speaking about. How should we further state the desire to accede [join], if it is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine – the movement towards the European Union, European integration, as well as accession to NATO? Therefore, I have a very simple question – why is Ukraine still not in NATO? Putting away these phrases that we will all contemplate and communicate, the first simple question from me would be: “Mr. President, why are we not in NATO yet”?

If Ukraine becomes a NATO-member, then Ukraine will have the right to demand that America join its war to grab back the former Donbass region and also the former region of Crimea. The U.S. Government would then be put into the position of having to either fulfill its NATO commitment to the new NATO member (presuming that restoration of both Crimea and Donbass to Ukraine would be accepted as being a part of that commitment to what then would be a fellow-NATO-member) or else become very embarrassed by not doing so. If such a NATO commitment would be fulfilled, the world as it has always been known would end very fast — less than an hour.

The way that WW III would then start is that Ukraine would become more heavily armed by the U.S. and then would invade both Donbass and Crimea, Russia would then attack Ukraine for doing that, and the U.S. would then launch a blitz-attack against Moscow from Ukraine, and, simultaneously launch against all other command-and-control targets in Russia, so that before those have become hit, Russia would already have been decapitated.

The United States Government is fortunately not obliged to allow Ukraine into NATO and has many ways to prevent it from joining NATO. Some of these ways wouldn’t at all embarrass the U.S. Government, and the reason for this is that if any one NATO-member nation refuses to okay Ukraine as becoming a member, then Ukraine won’t become a member, and the scenario that has been described won’t then happen. The U.S. Government has enormous clout with each existing NATO member-nation, because NATO was created by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the “Washington Treaty”) in Washington, DC, on 4 April 1949, at a conference that was chaired by U.S. diplomat Theodore Achiles, who subsequently retired to become a Director of the Atlantic Council, which also is in Washington, and which is the PR arm of NATO. The U.S. Government could easily get at least one NATO-member country to say no to Ukraine’s joining. However, if U.S. President Biden announces that the U.S. endorses NATO-membership for Ukraine, then that’s, in itself, virtually a U.S. declaration of war against Russia, and Russia might not wait for it to be made official before responding to it — blitz-invading the U.S. and its allies.

According to Achilles’s account of the creation of NATO:

The NATO spirit was born in that Working Group. Derick Hoyer-Millar, the British Minister, started it. One day he made a proposal which was obviously nonsense. Several of us told him so in no uncertain terms, and a much better formulation emerged from the discussion. Derick said, and I quote, “Those are my instructions. All right, I’ll tell the foreign office I made my pitch, was shot down and try to get them changed.” He did. From then on we all followed the same system. If our instructions were sound, and agreement could be reached, fine. If not, we worked out something we all, or most of us, considered sound, and whoever had the instructions undertook to get them changed. It always worked, although sometimes it took time. That spirit has continued to this day, I believe, although the size to which NATO has grown makes it far less easy. Two years later we began in London to put the “O” on the NAT by creating the organization. Some of the members of the delegations had been members of the Working Group, some had not. 

Was that the beginning of the end of the world? Perhaps Biden will decide whether it is, or not.

However, if he does decide to do it, then I doubt he’d do the attack prior to getting Ukraine into NATO — if he can do that. On March 10th, The Saker headlined “Is the Ukraine on the brink of war (again)?” and speculated whether Biden will provide now the backing that the Obama-installed stooge-regime there wants. Though the stooge-regime might re-invade Donbass (and maybe even attack Crimea), I doubt that Biden will provide the type of assistance that the U.S.-stooge regime in Kiev would need in order to retake that land (and certainly not Crimea). I would expect that Biden is therefore informing Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy not to try. So, I would expect that, instead, the crucial decision will be whether or not the regime in Washington will decide that it really does want Ukraine to become a member of NATO.

On March 10th, Sweden’s Defense Research Agency issued in two different parts, a 300-page report, “Western Military Capability in Northern Europe 2020,” which concluded that Russia would likely win WW III in Europe, and which analyzed only conventional war and virtually totally ignored even the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons in WW III — the presumption was instead that the meta-strategy “MAD” still would prevent that, and they ignored the U.S. regime’s actual abandonment of “MAD” and switch to “Nuclear Primacy”. They also simply presumed that the U.S. is their ally and non-aggressive and that Russia is their enemy and is aggressive. In other words: it is fantasyland, at least in the Swedish Government. Furthermore: the core strategic question, of whether the loser in a conventional WW III would accept defeat instead of blitz-nuclear-attack the opponent so as to ‘win’ the war, was simply ignored, as if there would be a 100% likelihood that the conventional-war loser would just surrender and not escalate to a blitz nuclear attack against the opposite side in order to ‘win’ and would leave its enormous nuclear stockpile unused. They ignored the fact that NATO, after the Warsaw Pact ended in 1991, is the trip-wire to an all-out nuclear war — the exact opposite of an asset to its participants’ national security. NATO-participation makes all of them inevitably a part of the battlefield, and forces Russia to target them. Sweden’s Defense Research Agency produced there an insanely stupid study, and one which shows that Europeans, at least in Sweden, are being ‘defended’ by a government that is either in the pocket of the U.S., or else is simply idiotic. That study is shockingly stupid; it makes some of the craziest assumptions imaginable — assumptions that are tragically at variance with established facts (facts such as that America is, by far, the world’s most aggressive nation, and perpetrates far more coups, sanctions, and invasions, than does any other nation). At least regarding foreign relations, Sweden’s Government is monstrously disserving its public, and yet Swedes aren’t enraged against it. Are their news-media really that bad, so as for Swedes to tolerate a military alliance with the world’s most aggressive nation?

The only sane path forward for the nations that currently are NATO members (or “Partners” as Sweden is) is to withdraw and to urge other members (and Partners) likewise to withdraw, so that NATO will end — as it should have ended when the Soviet Union’s NATO-mirror organization the Warsaw Pact ended in 1991. End the Cold War, finally. NATO — the American military alliance against Russia — is simply the trip-wire to WW III. End it. Now. Even 30 years after 1991 isn’t, yet, too late to do it. But, maybe, 31 years would  be. That’s why it must be done now, delayed no further. Either NATO will end, or it will end all of us.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Test of Agni Prime Missile and India’s Counterforce Temptations

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South Asia is widely regarded as one of the most hostile regions of the world primarily because of the troubled relations between the two nuclear arch-rivals India and Pakistan. The complex security dynamics have compelled both the countries to maintain nuclear deterrence vis-à-vis each other. India is pursuing an extensive and all-encompassing military modernization at the strategic and operational level. In this regard, India has been involved in the development of advanced missiles as delivery systems and improvement in the existing delivery systems as well. Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent and delivery systems are solely aimed at India; however, India aspires to fight a ‘two-front war’ against Pakistan and China. Therefore, the size and capability of its nuclear deterrent and delivery systems are aimed at countering both threats. However, most of the recent missile delivery systems made by India appear to be more Pakistan-centric. One recent example in this regard is the recently tested nuclear-capable cannisterized ballistic missile Agni Prime, which is insinuated as Pakistan-centric. These developments would likely further provoke an action-reaction spiral and would increase the pace of conflict in South Asia, which ultimately could result in the intensification of the missile arms race.

Just quite recently, on 28th June 2021, India has successfully tested an advanced variant of its Agni missile series, namely Agni Prime or Agni (P). The missile has a range between 1000-2000 kilometers. Agni Prime is a new missile in the Agni missiles series, with improved accuracy and less weight than Agni 1, 2, and 3 missiles. It has been said that the Agni-P weighs 50 % less than the Agni-3 missile. As per the various media reports, this missile would take the place of Agni 1 and 2 and Prithvi missiles, however officially no such information is available. This new missile and whole Agni series is developed as part of the missile modernization program under the Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) integrated guided missile development program. 

Agni-P is a short missile with less weight and ballistic trajectory, the missile has a rocket-propelled, self-guided strategic weapons system capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. Moreover, the missile is cannisterized with the ability to be launched from road and rail. The DRDO claimed that the test flight of the missile was monitored by the telemetry radar stations and its trajectory met all the objectives of the mission successfully with high level of accuracy. Agni-P missile because of its range of 1000 to 2000 km is considered a weapon against Pakistan because within this range it cannot target China. Although, India already has different missiles in its inventory with the same range as the newly developed and tested Agni-P missile, so the question arises what this missile would achieve. 

Since the last few years, it has been deliberated within the international security discourse that India’s force posture is actually more geared towards counterforce options rather than counter-value options. Although, India’s nuclear doctrine after its operationalization in 2003, claims  “massive retaliation” and “nfu” but in reality with developing cannisterized weapons like Agni-P, Agni 5, and testing of hypersonic demonstrative vehicles, India actually is building its capability of “counterforce targeting” or “splendid first strike”. This reflects that India’s nuclear doctrine is just a façade and has no real implication on India’s force modernization.

These developments by India where it is rapidly developing offensive technologies put the regional deterrence equation under stress by increasing ambiguity. In a region like South Asia, where both nuclear rivals are neighbors and distance between both capitals are few thousand kilometers and missile launch from one side would take only a few minutes in reaching its target, ambiguity would increase the fog of war and put other actors, in this case, Pakistan in “use it or lose it” situation, as its nuclear deterrent would be under threat.

In such a situation, where Pakistan maintains that nuclear weapons are its weapons of last resort and to counter threats emerging from India, its nuclear deterrence has to hold the burden of covering all spectrums of threat. It might be left with no choice but to go for the development of a new kind of missile delivery system, probably the cannisterized missile systems as an appropriate response option. However, as Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence is based on principle of “CMD” which allow Pakistan to seek deterrence in a cost-effective manner and also by not indulging in an arms race. Therefore, other than the threat of action-reaction dynamic developments like Agni P by India, would make weapons more accurate and lethal, subsequently conflict would be faster, ambiguous, and with less time to think. In such a scenario, as chances of miscalculation increase, the escalation dynamics would become more complex; thus, further undermining the deterrence stability in South Asia.

India’s counter-force temptations and development of offensive weapons are affecting the deterrence equilibrium in South Asia. The deterrence equation is not getting affected just because India is going ahead with the development of offensive technologies but because of its continuous attempts of negating the presence of mutual vulnerability between both countries. Acknowledgement of existence of mutual vulnerability would strengthen the deterrence equation in the region and help both countries to move forward from the action-reaction spiral and arms race. The notions such as the development of offensive or counterforce technology or exploiting the levels below the nuclear threshold to fight a war would not be fruitful in presence of nuclear weapons. As nuclear weapons are weapons to avert the war and not to fight the war.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems & The Annihilistic Future

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The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly known as drones were introduced as a useful means to military, commercial, civilian and humanitarian activities but yet it ends up in news for none of its original purposes. Drones have rather resulted as a means of mass destruction.

The recent attacks on the technical area of the Jammu Air Force Station highlights the same. This was a first-of-its-kind terror attack on IAF station rather the Indian defence forces that shook the National Investigation Agency to National Security Guard. The initial probe into the attacks directs to involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group based out of Pakistan, in the drone attacks as the aerial distance from the point of attack was just 14 kilometers. The attacks took place via an Electric multi-rotor type drone between 11:30 P.M to 1:30 A.M on 27th June, 2021.

The above incident clearly points out the security issues that lie ahead of India in face to the asymmetrical warfare as a result of drones. The Indian Government after looking at the misuse of drones during the first wave of the pandemic realised that its drone regulations were nowhere sufficient and accountable and hence passed the Unmmaned Aircraft Rules, 2021. These rules imposed stricter requirement for obtaining license and authorisations by remote pilots, operators, manufacturers or importers, training organisations and R&D organisations, thereby placing a significantly high burden on the applicants but at the same time they also permit UAS operations beyond visual sight of line and allowing student remote pilots to operate UAS.

But these rules still don’t have any control on the deadly use of drones because multi-rotor drones are very cheap and readily available and what makes them lethal is their ability to be easily detected, additionally the night time makes it even worse. Their small size grants them weak radar, thermal, and aural signatures, albeit varying based on the materials used in their construction.

The pertinent issue to be understood here is that these rules can never ensure safety and security as they cannot control the purpose for which these drones maybe used. There are certain factors that are to be accounted to actually be receptive to such imminent and dangerous threats. Firstly, significantly increasing urban encroachments  in areas around defence establishments, particularly air bases, has proved to be fatal. If frontline bases like Jammu or be it any other base when surrounded by unbuffered civilization poses two pronged problems, first it acts as high chances of being a vantage point for possible attackers and second, it also hampering the defence mechanism to come to an action. It is not limited to drone concerns but there have been cases of increased bird activity that has once resulted in engine failure of an IAF Jaguar and has caused similar problems all along.

Another important factor is that of intelligence. The Anti-drone systems will take their time to be in place and it is still a distant call to ascertain how effective will these systems be, so in the time being it is pertinent to focus on intelligence which may include sales and transfers of commercial drone, or the hardware that is required to build a basic multi-rotor drone. These are not something extraordinary because it is even in news when Pakistani drones were being used to supply weapons and ammunition to terror networks on Indian soil. Also, the past experience in handling ISIS have shown the weightage of intelligence over defensive nets.

Intelligence is no doubt a crucial factor in anticipation of drone attacks but what cannot be done away with is the defense mechanism. Efficient counter-drone technology is the need of the hour. DRDO has developed such technology that could provide the armed forces with the capability to swiftly detect, intercept and destroy small drones that pose a security threat. It is claimed that solution consists of a radar system that offers 360-degree coverage with detection of micro drones when they are 4km away, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors for detection of micro drones up to 2 km and a radio frequency (RF) detector to detect RF communication up to 3 km and is equipped for both soft kills as well as hard kills.

Hence, the above analysis brings out the need of the application of an international instrument because the technology used in such drone attacks is at an evolving stage and the natural barriers still have an upper hand over be it either flying a pre-programmed path aided by satellite navigation and inertial measurement units (IMUs), or hand controlled to the point of release or impact, both methods have significant limitations as satellite and IMU navigation is prone to errors even when it comes to moderate flight ranges while manual control is subject to the human limitations such as line of sight, visibility as well as technical limitations such as distance estimation of the target, and weak radio links. An example of this could be the Turkish-made Kargu-2 model of killer drone can allegedly autonomously track and kill specific targets on the basis of facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As the AI becomes better and better, these drone attacks become more and more terminal.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic is an eye opener for India as well as the world as none of the countries considered the possibility of bio-defenses or made a heavy investment in it even when there was awareness about lethal effects of genetic engineering. Hence, it should be the priority of the government to invest heavily in research and make the development of defensive technologies a national priority else the result of artificially intelligent killer drones would be much more catastrophic.

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Russia’s National Security Strategy: A Manifesto for a New Era

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The central feature of the new strategy is its focus on Russia itself. The Russian leadership has every reason right now to turn homeward to address the glaring weaknesses, imbalances, and inequalities of the country’s internal situation.

Russia’s new, forty-four-page National Security Strategy signed by President Vladimir Putin on July 2 is a remarkable document. It is much more than an update of the previous paper, adopted in 2015. Back then, relations with the West had already sharply deteriorated as a result of the Ukraine crisis, but were still considered salvageable; much of the liberal phraseology inherited from the 1990s was still in use; and the world still looked more or less unified. The current version of arguably the most important Kremlin strategy statement—covering not only national security issues, but a whole range of others, from the economy to the environment, and values to defense—is a manifesto for a different era: one defined by the increasingly intense confrontation with the United States and its allies; a return to traditional Russian values; and the critical importance for Russia’s future of such issues as technology and climate.

The strategy lays out a view of a world undergoing transformation and turmoil. The hegemony of the West, it concludes, is on the way out, but that is leading to more conflicts, and more serious ones at that. This combination of historical optimism (the imminent end of Western hegemony) and deep concern (as it is losing, the West will fight back with even more ferocity) is vaguely reminiscent of Stalin’s famous dictum of the sharpening of the class struggle along the road to socialism. Economically, Russia faces unfair competition in the form of various restrictions designed to damage it and hold it back; in terms of security, the use of force is a growing threat; in the realm of ethics, Russia’s traditional values and historical legacy are under attack; in domestic politics, Russia has to deal with foreign machinations aimed at provoking long-term instability in the country. This external environment fraught with mounting threats and insecurities is regarded as an epoch, rather than an episode.

Against this sobering background, the central feature of the strategy is its focus on Russia itself: its demographics, its political stability and sovereignty, national accord and harmony, economic development on the basis of new technologies, protection of the environment and adaptation to climate change, and—last but not least—the nation’s spiritual and moral climate. This inward focus is informed by history. Exactly thirty years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed just as its military power was at its peak, and not as a result of a foreign invasion. Having recently regained the country’s great power status and successfully reformed and rearmed its military, the Russian leadership has every reason now to turn homeward to address the glaring weaknesses, imbalances, and inequalities of the country’s internal situation.

The paper outlines a lengthy series of measures for dealing with a host of domestic issues, from rising poverty and continued critical dependence on imported technology to the advent of green energy and the loss of the Soviet-era technological and educational edge. This certainly makes sense. Indeed, the recent Kremlin discovery of climate change as a top-tier issue is a hopeful sign that Russia is overcoming its former denial of the problem, along with inordinately exuberant expectations of the promise of global warming for a predominantly cold country. After all, the Kremlin’s earlier embrace of digitalization has given a major push to the spread of digital services across Russia.

The strategy does not ignore the moral and ethical aspects of national security. It provides a list of traditional Russian values and discusses them at length. It sees these values as being under attack through Westernization, which threatens to rob the Russians of their cultural sovereignty, and through attempts to vilify Russia by rewriting history. In sum, the paper marks an important milestone in Russia’s official abandonment of the liberal phraseology of the 1990s and its replacement with a moral code rooted in the country’s own traditions. Yet here, the strategy misses a key point at the root of Russia’s many economic and social problems: the widespread absence of any values, other than purely materialistic ones, among much of the country’s ruling elite. The paper mentions in passing the need to root out corruption, but the real issue is bigger by an order of magnitude. As each of President Putin’s annual phone-in sessions with the Russian people demonstrates—including the most recent one on June 30—Russia is governed by a class of people who are, for the most part, self-serving, and do not care at all for ordinary people or the country, instead focusing single-mindedly on making themselves rich on the job. Money—or rather Big Money—has become that group’s top value, and the most corrosive element in today’s Russia. Therein lies perhaps the biggest vulnerability of modern Russia.

On foreign policy, the strategy is fairly elliptic, but it gives a hint of what the upcoming Foreign Policy Concept might include. The United States and some of its NATO allies are now officially branded unfriendly states. Relations with the West are de-prioritized and those countries ranked last in terms of closeness, behind former Soviet countries; the strategic partners China and India; non-Western institutions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, and the Russia-India-China trio; and other Asian, Latin American, and African countries. In addition to U.S. military deployments and its system of alliances, U.S.-based internet giants with their virtual monopoly in the information sphere, and the U.S. dollar that dominates global finances are also seen as instruments of containing Russia.

Overall, the 2021 Russian National Security Strategy seeks to adapt the country to a still interconnected world of fragmentation and sharpening divisions, in which the main battle lines are drawn not only—and not even mostly—between countries, but within them. Victories will be won and defeats suffered largely on domestic turf. Accordingly, it is the Home Front that presents the greatest challenges, and it is there that the main thrust of government policies must be directed.

From our partner RIAC

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