While Western mass-media sewer (and circus) continues its miasma-generating cycle non-stop, so much so that people who have some decency left can not take this anymore, such as William Arkin of NBC, what really matters and people who really matter remain beyond the focus of this swamp. Too bad, because when Yuri Solomonov speaks, all those Western and many, allegedly Russian, military "experts" better listen. The Chief Designer of strategic ballistic missiles of Topol and Bulava fame, Solomonov spoke recently to Russia's Argumenti Nedeli (Arguments of the Week) weekly, including on video. It is a long interview (in Russian) and Solomonov speaks on a variety of issues, including creation of Russia's brand-new heavy rocket which will take Russia to the Moon and beyond and, of course, he speaks about strategic stability and about, in particular, US ABM technology. Here is one of his opinions:
– Несколько слов по поводу противоракетной системы США, которая должна быть размещена в Северной Европе и на Аляске, чтобы перехватывать наши межконтинентальные ракеты с ядерными боевыми блоками. Скажите, нам этого стоит так бояться?– Нет, бояться этого не надо. Всё, что связано с существующей противоракетной обороной, давно уже перестало быть тем, что относится к категории военно-технических средств, и «переросло» в военно-политическую область. То есть на самом деле и в общих словах эффективность этих средств ПРО чрезвычайно низка. Другое дело, что когда мы говорим о средствах противоракетной обороны, расположенных на Европейском континенте, это угроза совсем другого типа. Эти средства противоракетной обороны могут быть переоборудованы в средства нападения. И это действительно стоит учитывать.
Q. Several words about US anti-missile system which will be deployed in Northern Europe and Alaska, in order to intercept our intercontinental missiles with nuclear warheads. Please tell, should we be worried?
A. No, don't worry about that. Everything what is related to existing anti-missile defense long ago stopped being a military-technological matter and migrated into military-political field. In reality and in general words the effectiveness of these ABM means is extremely low. Another matter, when we talk about means of anti-missile defense deployed in European continent, this is the threat of a totally different type. These means of anti-missile defense could be reconfigured into strike means and that must be taken under consideration.
Solomonov articulated here, again, Russia's worry about Aegis Ashore installations in Romania and Poland and possibility of those armed with TLAMs (It will happen one way or another, Solomonov thinks otherwise--we'll see, will be glad to be wrong). But Russia's worry is not just TLAMs whose launch will be detected and facilities will be obliterated within minutes, it is also not far fetched to state that most of those TLAMs will be intercepted by VKS. Russians worry about people in US, and there are plenty of those around, with "experiences" in law, journalism, political "science" and "economics", who still believe that there is a chance of "defeating" Russia by some strike of TLAMs while being able to sit out the shitstorm which will engulf Europe after that. Yes, I kid you not--there are people like that in the top echelons of US government and they do have a say in formulation of what passes in US for foreign "policy", that is a combination of bizarre ideas and delusions which are totally foreign to any competent policy--that is what defines it as US foreign policy.
The other level of this delusion is precisely what Solomonov defines as a military-political, that is unrelated to technology, matter--some kind of pressure or spoiling instrument which should alter Russia's "behavior". This is where we also observe a very severe case of delusion since it is akin to trying to influence a guy carrying loaded Mossberg 12-gauge shot gun with Daisy bi-bi gun. "Influencing", in general, works in dyadic relations only when one side can make the other side hurt in order to condition its responses, that is to say influence its behavior (Pavlovian responses that is)--the United States long ago lost this ability, after March 1st 2018 (in reality, much earlier) this ability was completely reversed, with Russia having more options for response and thus being very flexible. Solomonov merely elaborates on what is already clear for a long time to anyone with even rudimentary understanding of the process of calculation of required force and about response-head-on (otventno-vstrechnyi) strike.
In a clown show by Al-Jazeera with such "experts" as Pavel Falgnehauer, Richard Weitz of Hudson Institute went as far as stating that latest news on Avangard "do not fundamentally change" the calculus of Russian-American nuclear deterrence, since both sides still retain the ability to mutually "overwhelm" each-other defenses.
Well, this statement, indeed, could have been made only by an "expert" with degrees in political "science" and "economics" not by professional. Weitz is no professional, he is an agenda-pusher from RAND-induced "think-tank" and has no expertise in modern warfare, Solomonov, however, does. In fact, he is the guy with a world-class top level technological education and military service, you may have guessed it already, in Strategic Missile Troops. Solomonov thinks, when one considers well-known inability of US missile defense to stop even single primitive North Korean missile, and is explicit in defining new military paradigm.
В этом смысле ядерный потенциал Соединённых Штатов как был мощным, так и остаётся. Другое дело, что, приняв на вооружение несколько модифицированную систему по сравнению с той, что была в Советском Союзе, мы создали новое поколение наземных и морских стратегических ядерных сил, которые минимизировали затраты на их создание благодаря унификации. За последние 10–15 лет мы ушли далеко. С точки зрения тактико-технических характеристик и характеристик, которые вытекают из условий боевого применения, по сравнению с западными аналогами. Это то, чем мы сегодня обладаем по сравнению с американскими аналогами – с точки зрения инвариантности к меняющимся внешним условиям. Ну, например, это появление более совершенных систем ракетной обороны. Например, нанесение ответного удара в более жестоких условиях упреждающего удара, живучести, сохранение средств боевого управления и связи в критических ситуациях неожиданной агрессии и т.д., всё это создало наше преимущество. Действительно, имеет место опережение американцев минимум на 10–15 лет. Это не значит, что они этого не сделают. Если займутся, лет через 10–15 смогут сделать то же самое.- Кто дышит нам в спину? Нам и американцам. Я имею в виду членов ядерного клуба.– Никто. С точки зрения возможности нашего стратегического ядерного потенциала мы далеко впереди. Это не хвальба. Это объективно.
A. (In this sense) the American nuclear potential was and remains strong. Another matter that, by accepting a somewhat modernized system, when compared to the Soviet one, we created a new generation of land-based and naval strategic nuclear forces, which minimized our expenses due to their unification. In the last 10-15 years we moved very far, from the point of view of tactical-technical characteristics and characteristics which are defined by the conditions of combat use, when compared to Western analogues. This is what we have compared to American analogues--from the point of view of invariance to new, changing external conditions. For example, such as the appearance of more advanced anti-missile defense systems. As an example, a response strike under much more difficult conditions of a preventive strike, survivability, retention of the means of control and communications in critical situations of unexpected aggression etc., all that is our advantage. Indeed, we lead Americans by 10-15 years. This doesn't mean that they will not be able to do the same. If they put their minds to it they can do the same.
Q. Who is breathing down our necks? I mean us and Americans, I mean members of the nuclear club?
A. Nobody. From the point of view of our nuclear potential we are far ahead. This is not bravado, it is objective.
So, I would suggest Mr. Weitz to read attentively and take in what Solomonov said a week ago and try to understand a simple military truism which today is as valid as it ever was--those who can control escalation, control the war and they create conditions for victory. It is especially true for nuclear age--here it comes--because Russia can conduct strategic strikes at US proper both in nuclear and conventional way and that opens the whole other strategic (and political, and philosophical) can of worms altogether. Continuous deployment of hyper-sonic weapons by Russia today, be that 3M22 Zircon, Kinzhal, Avangard and whatever comes next after them, together with other stand-off weapons, allows Russia to defeat any combination of threats WITHOUT resorting to nuclear weapons. I cannot convey enough a significance of this paradigm shift in warfare, nor can I foresee all ramifications of this, I just know that they are gigantic. But then again, the US either rethinks and cleanses her whole "expertise" field, especially in relation to Russia and warfare, or she will continue to believe in validity of her, mostly wrong, assessments of the outside world and will either stumble into disastrous conflict or will completely fade away as great power.
P.S. I will comment later on China's military role in all this--I have some piece on that--I may try first to run it by Ron Unz.
P.P.S. Recall Frank Herbert's Dune and convention on the use of the atomics--if used without authorization by Landsraad, any house would be completely destroyed. In related news, any Bulava SLBM is capable of carrying several hyper-sonic highly maneuverable blocks capable to provide conventional strikes.