Moscow accused Trump of lack of professionalism

Moscow accused Trump of lack of professionalism

March 05, 2017

by Mikhail Moshkin

translated by Eugenia

Source:

Donald Trump, having believed the rumors about the Russian deployment of cruise missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF Treaty), promised to touch upon revision of the previous agreements in the upcoming talks with Putin. His intention “to make America great” in nuclear weapons could start another round of the arms race. Anyway, only four years are left until the Strategic Arms Treaty-III (START-III) expires, which is exactly the period of “the turbulent Trump presidency”.

Russia is vehemently against any possibility of denunciation of START-III, which has been in effect since 2011. This was stated to RIA “Novosti” (News) by the head of the Defense and Security Committee of the Federation Council Viktor Ozerov.

That was the Senator’s comment on the statements made recently by Donald Trump. The US President said that he was unhappy with START-III. The same news reports suggest that Trump also wants to discuss with Putin the issue of another treaty – the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF Treaty). According to Reuters, Trump intends to discuss alleged violations of that treaty by Russia.

In his interview with Reuters, Trump alleged that Russia deployed cruise missiles in violation of INF Treaty. Thus, the US president believed the rumors spread last week by the US media and Senator John McCain. The assertion that “ a combat-ready unit of cruise missiles” has been deployed turned out to groundless, as the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously pointed out to Washington.

The same Reuters earlier reported, citing leaks from the White House: Trump believes that START-III was ‘signed to benefit Russia” and was “one of several bad deals of the Obama administration”.

Let us remind the reader that START-III, which was signed by Barak Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 and came into force in 2011, includes cutting strategic missiles to 700, with no more than 1550 nuclear warheads. The treaty is in effect until 2021. The INF Treaty was signed in 1998 and does not have the expiration date. That Treaty contains an obligation not to manufacture, test, or deploy land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate (1,000 to 5,500 kilometers) and short (500 to 1,000 kilometers) range.

“Exactly for the period of the turbulent Trump presidency”

As Ozerov stressed, START-III is “the cornerstone of the world security”. The treaty was negotiated in a way to ensure that neither side is the loser, and that is why Russia will insist on its prolongation.

In addition, said the Senator, the denunciation of the Treaty would create a bad precedent for other countries trying to acquire nukes. “If the US ignores START-III, it would open the floodgates for North Korea and several other countries” – warned Ozerov.

The outrageous Trump’s statements are uncalled for, said Ozerov’s deputy Franz Klintzevich. “Looks like the most pessimistic predictions are coming true. I don’t think that Donald Trump has any special knowledge of the strategic offensive weapons. This means that someone, possibly Herbert McMaster, a recently appointed President’s National Security Advisor, managed to express to Trump his viewpoint regarding this very complex issue in the Russian-American relations, and, apparently, convinced him”, – as Klintzevich is cited at the United Russia portal.

“This looks weird. It creates an impression that Trump still remains a hostage to his pre-election rhetoric making shocking statements, which are entirely inappropriate in his current position”, – said the Senator. He stressed that START-III is a very complex matter, and “making hasty conclusions in this area is, at the very least, unprofessional”.

In his turn, the Head of another Federation Council Committee, on International Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said that START-III does not have a mechanism of automatic renewal. Thus, he explained, it is necessary to start the Russian-American consultations regarding its future fate as soon as possible. “Not much time is left (until 2021 – publisher’s note). Less than four years, exactly the period of the already turbulent Trump presidency” – said Kosachev.

Stable tendency

Kosachev reminded that START-III is based on the absolute parity of the Russian and US nuclear forces, and its objective is to preclude a “nuclear superiority” of either side. The Trump’s election motto “Make America great again”, if it implies superiority in the nuclear area, would return the world to the worst times of the arms race of 1950-60s, when each side tried to assure its national security by achieving military superiority over the adversary”, – cautioned the Senator.

The Americans started the revision of the treaties concluded between the USSR and the USA long before Trump. As the Associate Professor of the Department of Politology and Sociology at the Plekhanov Economic University Alexander Perenjiev commented to “Glance” (“Vzglyad”, the name of the portal – translator’s note), “the US have already done one, to put it mildly, bad thing, by denouncing in 2001-2002 the 1992 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty)”. Let us remind that this happened under George Bush the Junior.

As far as START is concerned, it was Barak Obama who took a hand in undermining it. As the Russian Defense Ministry explained, the deployment of the the American launch systems MK-41 and the anti-missile complexes Aegis Ashore in the Eastern Europe was a violation. This launch and anti-missile systems are already deployed in Romania and are planned to be deployed in Poland, and, again, that decision was made before Trump.

Preparing for the deal

“If Trump intends to denounce START-III, which clearly sets the rules of the nuclear parity, it would seriously undermine nuclear security” says Perenjiev. The experts believe that a new arms race would force Moscow to quickly increase its nuclear arsenal, modernize nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

As noted a former Joint Chief of Staffs four-star General Yury Baluevsky, Russia would respond if the US starts increasing its nuclear forces. “We will seek an asymmetric answer, including in the nuclear area”, – RT cites Baluevsky. The General said that Russia will have as many nukes as needed for the guaranteed containment.

On the other hand, the fact that Trump criticized START-III does not necessarily mean that the revision of that treaty will become the reality. “It is unknown how real are the Trump’s intentions – the thing looks like an information game”, – notes Perenjiev.

He says that it is reasonable to believe that Trump”s statement is the beginning of the bargaining to renegotiate START-III on conditions more favorable to the US. “Trump, being a businessman, looks at treaties as bargains, and, before concluding a beneficial bargain, creates its “informational cover”, – says Perenjiev.

It is cheaper to agree on a new treaty

A former Head of the 4th Research Institute of the Defense Ministry (researches ways to develop the Russian strategic arms and air and space forces) one-star General Vladimir Dvorkin believes that the US are unlikely to denounce START-III. In his interview to Interfax news agency, he expressed hope that Trump “will be brought to his senses”. “Both Republicans and Democrats approved of START-III at the time, and they are unlikely to back its denouncement. Trump can say anything, but he will not be able to do it”, – predicts Dvorkin.

According to him, it would make more sense not to renew START-III, but to agree upon START-IV and cut down warheads and delivery missiles to 1,000 and 500, respectively. The expert explains: “The current treaty allows us to have 700 delivery systems, whereas we have only 508”. If we conclude SAT-IV, Russia won’t need to increase anything, so – “it is cheap and beneficial for us”. According to all existing treaties, the US have to cut their weapons down, whereas on our side everything happens naturally – we are behind in replacing our aging weapons”.

Is Haifa Nuclear Bomb has become True? هل باتت نظرية قنبلة حيفا النووية أمرا واقعا؟

 

 

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Summing Up Russia’s Real Nuclear Fears

Summing Up Russia’s Real Nuclear Fears

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 31.12.2016

Summing Up Russia’s Real Nuclear Fears

Jonathan Marshall is author of many recent articles on arms issues, including “How World War III Could Start,” “NATO’s ProvocativeAnti-Russian Moves,” “Escalations in a New Cold War,” “Ticking Closer to Midnight,” and “Turkey’s Nukes: A Sum of All Fears.”

The conflicts between Washington and Moscow keep on growing: Ukraine and Syria, rival war games, “hybrid” wars and “cyber-wars.” Talk of a new Cold War doesn’t do justice to the stakes.

“My bottom line is that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War,” declares former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry.

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953

If a new Trump administration wants to peacefully reset relations with Russia, there’s no better way to start than by canceling the deployment of costly new ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. One such system went live in Romania this May; another is slated to go live in Poland in 2018. Few U.S. actions have riled President Putin as much as this threat to erode Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

Only last month, at a meeting in Sochi with Russian military leaders to discuss advanced new weapons technology, Putin vowed, “We will continue to do all we need to ensure the strategic balance of forces. We view any attempts to change or dismantle it, as extremely dangerous. Our task is to effectively neutralize any military threats to Russia’s security, including those posed by the newly-deployed strategic missile defense systems.”

Putin accused unnamed countries — obviously led by the United States — of “nullifying” international agreements on missile defense “in an effort to gain unilateral advantages.”

Moscow has reacted to this perceived threat with more than mere words. It is developing new and deadlier nuclear missiles, including the SS-30, to counter U.S. defenses. It has rebuffed new arms control negotiations. And it has provocatively stationed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to “target… the facilities that… start posing a threat to us,” as Putin put it last month.

If a new arms race is underway, it’s not for lack of warning. The Russians have voiced their concerns about missile defenses for years and years, without any serious acknowledgment from Washington. From their vantage point, the apparent bad faith of successive U.S. administrations, Democratic as well as Republican, is a flashing red light to which they had to respond.

Russia’s Nightmare

From the earliest days of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense (“Star Wars”) Initiative to make ballistic missiles “impotent and obsolete,” an alarmed Moscow has viewed U.S. efforts to build a missile shield as a long-term threat to their nuclear deterrent.

President Reagan meets with Vice President George H.W. Bush on Feb. 9, 1981. (Photo credit: Reagan Presidential Library.)

In 2002, President Bush one-upped Reagan and unilaterally canceled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. He did so after Russia’s foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, publicly pleaded with Washington not to terminate this landmark arms control agreement.

Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine, Ivanov warned that such a move would set back recent progress in Russian-U.S. relations and destroy “30 years of efforts by the world community” to reduce the danger of nuclear war. Russia would be forced, against its desire for international cooperation, to build up its own forces in response. The arms race would be back in full force — leaving the United States less secure, not more.

But with Russia still reeling from the neoliberal “shock therapy” that it suffered through during the 1990s, the neoconservatives (then in charge of U.S foreign policy) were confident of winning such an arms race. In 2002, President Bush adopted a National Security Strategy that explicitly called for U.S military superiority over every other power. To that end, he called on the Pentagon to develop a ground-based missile defense system within two years.

Since then, that program has lined the pockets of major U.S. military contractors without achieving any notable successes. Critics – including the U.S. General Accountability Office, National Academy of Sciences and Union of Concerned Scientists – have blasted the program for failing more than half of its operational tests. Today, after the expenditure of more than $40 billion, it enjoys bipartisan support mainly as a jobs program.

Russia fears, however, that it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. perfects its missile shield technology enough to erode the deterrent capabilities of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.

Promoting U.S. Nuclear Primacy

That specter was highlighted in 2006 when two U.S. strategic arms experts declared in the pages of the establishment-oriented Foreign Affairs that the age of nuclear deterrence “is nearing an end. Today, for the first time in almost 50 years, the United States stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy. It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike. . . . Unless they reverse course rapidly, Russia’s vulnerability will only increase over time.”

President George W. Bush in the Oval Office, Oct. 7, 2008. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

The authors, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press, added, “Washington’s pursuit of nuclear primacy helps explain its missile defense strategy.” Missile defense, they pointed out, is not the same as population defense. No conceivable defense could truly protect American cities against an all-out attack by Russia, or even China. Rather, a leaky shield “would be valuable primarily in an offensive context, not a defensive one — as an adjunct to a U.S. first-strike capability, not as a standalone shield.”

“If the United States launched a nuclear attack against Russia (or China),” they explained, “the targeted country would be left with a tiny surviving arsenal — if any at all. At that point, even a relatively modest or inefficient missile-defense system might well be enough to protect against any retaliatory strikes, because the devastated enemy would have so few warheads and decoys left.”

As if to make that scenario a reality, the Bush administration soon announced plans to install an anti-missile base in Poland and a radar control center in the Czech Republic — ostensibly to counter a nuclear threat from Iran. No matter that Iran had neither nuclear weapons nor long-range ballistic missiles — or that Washington had rebuffed Russia’s offer to cooperate on building missile defenses closer to Iran. No, Moscow was supposed to believe President Bush’s assurance that “Russia is not the enemy.”

Republican hawks in Congress didn’t get the message. Said Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, “This is not just about missile defense; this is about demonstrating to Russia that America is still a nation of resolve… and we’re not going to let Russian expansionism intimidate everyone.”

Yet when Russian officials reacted with alarm, and warned of the potential for a “new Cold War,” American news accounts accused them of being “bellicose.”

Obama Blows Up the Reset Button

Taking office in 2009, President Obama promised a new era of nuclear sanity. Again, the Russians pleaded for an end to the missile defense program in Eastern Europe. Privately, they expressed a new and genuine concern — that a future U.S. administration could secretly fit interceptor rockets with nuclear warheads and use them to “decapitate” Russia’s top leadership with “virtually no warning time.” Russia’s response: retaliate at the first sign of an incoming strike, without hesitating to check if it’s a false alarm.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama and his team didn’t heed the warnings. Instead, they snubbed Putin — and the entire Russian leadership — by marching ahead with the missile shield deployment in Eastern Europe, still insulting Moscow’s intelligence with the pretense that it was a defense against Iran.

Obama’s “reset button” was the first casualty of his nuclear policy. In 2011, a despairing President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would have no choice but to respond exactly as Putin has done, by upgrading the offensive capabilities of Russian nuclear missiles and deploying Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. Still to come may be a Russian withdrawal from the New START treaty, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed as her greatest accomplishment in the field of arms control.

President Obama never intended to expand his limited missile defense program into an existential threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent, but he opened that door. Exactly as Moscow has long feared, hawks in Congress now are chomping at the bit to spend what it takes to build an all-out missile defense system, which former Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned would be “enormously destabilizing not to mention unbelievably expensive.”

One 2003 study pegged the possible cost of a full defensive shield covering the United States at more than $1 trillion. But that’s a small price compared to what could happen if a jittery Russian military command, armed to the teeth with nuclear missiles set on hair-trigger alert to counter a successful U.S. first strike, receives a false warning of just such an attack. Such a scenario has happened more than once.

One of these days such a mistake may prompt an all-out Russian nuclear launch — and then, not even a full missile defense will spare the United States, and much of the world, from devastation.

consortiumnews.com

Chemical weapons factory for terrorists discovered in east-Aleppo

RSFP

Sputnik journalists report about a chemical weapons factory discovered in the Eastern part of Aleppo. ~ Recent search operations in eastern Aleppo have confirmed that chemical weapons were indeed used during the conflict – but by terrorists, not government forces. ~ A source in the Syrian military confirmed that this type of ordnance was used by the terrorists against the Syrian army; one such attack occurred in the southwestern area of the city in the vicinity of the al-Assad Military Academy.

Analyses indicate that chemicals used by the terrorists were made in the U.S. while the bombs were manufactured on site. Furthermore, the mark UN 3082 is clearly visible on the chemical canisters discovered at the terrorist factory. 

Canisters found at a terrorist chemical weapons factory in Aleppo Earlier this year Samer Abbas, spokesman for the Syrian National Authority monitoring the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, contacted the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and presented documented proof of terrorists using sulfur mustard ordnance against civilians in Syria. OCPW declared that a special committee to confirm the veracity of these documents needs to be created, but so far have apparently refrained from pursuing this line of inquiry for reasons unknown. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Ministry experts collected evidence of terrorists using chemical weapons in Marana Um Hosh village located to the south of Aleppo.

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Saudi Warplanes Intensify Strikes on Yemen, Drop Cluster Bombs

Local Editor

Saudi fighter jets intensified their airstrikes against Yemeni provinces, using more internationally-banned arms in their latest raids.

Saudi Warplanes Intensify Strikes on Yemen, Drop Cluster Bombs


According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, Saudi Arabia dropped cluster bombs on Harad district in Hajjah Province on Monday.

Cluster bombs, which can contain hundreds of bomblets, pose risks to civilians both during and after attacks. Unexploded bomblets can claim lives long after a conflict is over.

Multiple rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have on various occasions reported the use of cluster bombs by Riyadh in Yemen.

Saudi fighter jets also launched two airstrikes against residential areas in Amran Province and another two on Dhahir district in the province of Sa’ada on Monday.

The kingdom’s warplanes further pounded a residential building in Asilan district in Shabwah Province.

Three other air raids hit the Madfoun area and Asrat valley in Nihm district, northwest of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

There were no immediate reports of possible casualties.

In Nihm, the Yemeni troops killed 15 Saudi-backed mercenaries in an attack on the militants’ positions on Monday, a day after tens of the mercenaries, including five commanders, were killed during clashes with Yemen’s forces there.

In another retaliatory attack, Yemeni army snipers killed a Saudi solider in Tal’a military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Najran on Monday.

The Yemeni forces also fired a volley of Katyusha rockets at Qarn military base in Jizan Province in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

Saudi army’s position in Hamraa hill in the same province was also targeted by Yemeni artillery attacks.

Meanwhile, a fire erupted at a Saudi military base in Jizan’s Muthalath al-Rokhba after the Yemeni troops fired artillery shells at the site.

Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against Yemen in late March, 2015 in a bid to restore power to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The campaign claimed the lives of more than 11,400 people, according to figures compiled by the Yemeni non-governmental monitoring group Legal Center for Rights and Development.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

26-12-2016 | 13:02

Saudi-led Coalition Bombs Yemeni Provinces as 15 Militiamen Killed in Nahem

December 26, 2016

Yemen map

Saudi-led coalition warplanes threw on Monday cluster bombs on Hared directorate in Hajja province, and launched two strikes over Amran and two others over Al-Malaheet in Saada.

However, Yemeni army and the Popular Committees fired three barrages of rockets at the Al-Qaren Saudi military post and at a number of Saudi army gatherings in Jizan.

The national military troops also managed to snipe a Saudi soldier stationed in the Al-Talaa post in Najran.

Security sources told Al-Massira TV that Saudi-led coalition struck Al-Razwa town, as 15 aggression gunmen were killed and a military bulldozer was neutralized in Nahem province.

In Shabwa, Saudi-US aggression war jets targeted a civic residence in Asilan directorate.

In Taiz, Yemeni army and the Committees destroyed a whole team of the invading forces in Al-Johmalya and targeted their assembly points, as army tanks bombed the fortification of the aggression forces’ militiamen in Salah.

Moreover, 3 militiamen of the Saudi-US aggression were killed in a number of operation by the Yemeni military in Kalaba directorate.

Saudi Arabia – supported by the US and GCC member states – launched a wide-ranging war on neighboring Yemen in March 2015.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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Iran Planning to Resume Nuclear Activity

December 2, 2016

Iran flag

Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) is to mull a three-urgency plan which mandates Iranian government to resume nuclear activities.

The move is made in reaction to the US Senate approval of a legislation which extends the Iran Sanction Act (ISA) for another ten years.

Member of Majlis Presiding Body Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said the US Senate approval of a legislation which extends the ISA for another ten years is in violation of the JCPOA and international law.

Ranjbarzadeh told IRNA, ‘The three-urgency plan on resumption of nuclear activities has been compiled on emergency to counter the US move.’

He said the plan consists an article and five notes in line with the two- and three-urgency plans to counter the Senate approval.
He added that the two- or three-urgency nature of the plan will be decided by Iranian lawmakers, aiming to confront the approval by the US Senate and House of Representatives.

The parliamentarian said the two-urgency plans will be finalized within 72 hours and turn into a law.

He said the reason the plan is three-urgency in nature is the emergency condition arising as a result, justifying taking the course which would let adoption of fundamental and principled measures in reaction to the damage thus far inflicted on Iran and in proportion to explicit action of Americans, especially the approval of the Senate.

Ranjbarzadeh said per Article 160 of Parliament (Majlis), the two-urgency plans are taken on the necessity to avoid damage. This is while damage has been inflicted and “we wish to present the vital plan in three-urgency form to repel the absolute damage inflicted on the country.”

He noted that from the leadership point of view, the two-urgency plan had been brought to the information of the arrogance.

“We will go our own way so as not to lose time and we will embark on action. The US president has taken the course of confrontation; we will also take our own way and the three-urgency plan is more suitable than the two-urgency plan so as to confront Americans’ plan more speedily.”

“Now too the land of our nuclear and knowledgeable scientists has been invaded and they have taken away considerable portion of what we had already gained; they wish to deprive us of all our nuclear achievements,” said Ranjbarzadeh.

He concluded,

“The ones who have acted in violation of the international regulations and have defied them are the US and the Congress of the country and we are going to condition the plan on rapid launching of our action and taking comprehensive and complete measures in connection with resumption of the nuclear activities. We constantly and round-the-clock inform the world through the (Iranian) diplomatic organ and the media that the US was the initiator of the illegal act and we have no option but reciprocating. Our ways are reciprocation and defensive in nature and are not aimed at intruding into the scientific and ethical borders.”

Source: IRNA

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