Thursday, August 1, 2019

START Misidentification.

Daniel Larison misidentifies motive, or, rather, doesn't go deep enough. He writes on Bolton's (of course his, Trump is merely a useful idiot in this) success in sabotaging START. 
Larison continues: 
Bolton is against the treaty because it constrains and reduces the U.S. arsenal. He is against arms control as such. He talks about more ambitious, comprehensive agreements as a way to cover up the fact that he doesn’t want arms control treaties to exist. This is not a case of making the perfect the enemy of the good. It is feigning interest in “something” better to conceal a desire for destruction.
And still fails to provide the main cause for Bolton's aversion to "reduction of the US arsenal". Yes, we know that Bolton is a chicken-hawk, and we all know his (some) personal qualities which are cowardice and being a beta-male, trying desperately to act out his deep rooted complexes of inferiority. We also know that Bolton is in the pockets of Israeli lobby and Military-Industrial Complex. It is all fine and dandy, but this description can easily be applied to very many (majority, really) people in US political "elites". The main reason for Bolton acting like this is the fact that he believes, as only incompetent people can in lieu of knowledge and sound judgement, in US still being capable to fight and win a war with Russia. This IS both motive and rationale for Bolton's aggressiveness--he really doesn't have a clue about what he is trying to push through. Him being a cuck is an ornament to his, otherwise, full ignorance of serious military-technological issues which drive arms control and evolution of weapons. 

Indeed, Bolton is a lawyer by education and, thus, an ignoramus. He, certainly, as many in US government humanities-"educated" operatives, believes that the United States still can outproduce Russia in intercontinental ballistic missiles category, thus, in Bolton's view "winning" an arms race. Maybe even "bankrupting" Russia in the process. That is the thinking of an amateur--the number of times the United States can obliterate Russia (now, I believe it is either 6 or 7) over doesn't change the balance of power. Sure, the United States may go from capability to annihilate Russia 7 times over to being able annihilating her 12 times--this changes absolutely nothing in a dyadic (US-Russia) relation, because it is enough to "kill" the nation only once. After that, game changes. If Russia can obliterate the United States 5 times over, as opposed to US' ability to do so 7 or 12 times, something doesn't add up, in this case, in Bolton's desire to bury START--he is not THAT stupid not to understand this simple fact that cut-off for any strategic nuclear weapons is not 7, not 5 but just 1 time--it is enough to kill the nation once with nuclear weapons. But Bolton still needs this opening for increases in US strategic arsenal. Or maybe he IS that stupid?

Before answering this question we need to answer the other one: are 3M22 Zircon or Kinzhal "strategic" weapons? Technically--no. But realistically--yes. Project 885 Yasen-class SSGN armed with 16-20 nuclear (or even conventionally) armed 3M22 Zircons and "parked" somewhere within the several million square miles area near both US Coasts can deal damage to the United States approaching that by the launch of several SLBMs of Bulava-class by Borei-class SSBN. We live today in the age of a strategic ambiguity which came with real revolution in military affairs and Russia decidedly pulling ahead of the United States in cutting edge stand-off hypersonic precision weapons, both in conventional and nuclear variants. This is not to speak of anti-missile defense systems Russia already deploys. How far back is the United States in this race? I don't know, but I would suggest a generation of weapon systems. Can (I am not saying that he is) Bolton theoretically be aware of this situation, granted that he treats Pentagon as his own fiefdom? I assume some "news", as well (not optimistic) as the time frame for the United States catching up with Russia in this arms race, may have reached Bolton. In this case, demolishing START is an obverse side to admitting the loss in this arms race and trying to impress Russia with sheer number of US intercontinental (and medium-range, of course, with INF being demolished too) missiles--because there is NO quality there. 

Russians do not particularly care about how many times over they will be annihilated by the U.S. strategic arsenal--7 or 107--Russians (those who have a professional military background) already know where they are with the next generation of weapon systems, as well as are aware of the increasing technological gap between Russia and the US in systems which really matter for actual war fighting, not just nuclear deterrence. And it is here, in the field of actual combat, where the unprecedented historically shift in military balance happened in the last few years. Or was it that unprecedented? Well, it is just the matter of personal opinion, or is it? No, I am being facetious. Numbers do not lie, that is when professionals handle them. The United States desperately needs some "response" to Russia and in attempts to find it it will inevitably further destroy its reputation, as well as will admit to the fact, by destroying yet another arms limitation treaty, that it has no viable answer to own strategic conventional (and nuclear) vulnerability and lost arms race of which I am writing for years now. So, Bolton may have faith in whatever he wants, including in the American military mythology, but the times when both countries had to, using Khrushchev's lingo, produce ballistic missiles "as sausages"  are long gone and new counter-force capabilities are evolving really fast thus making any quantitative changes in ballistic missiles not as important as qualitative ones, including bringing on board competent and realistic American military and political leaders, not the types as Bolton, Pompeo and, in the end, possibly Trump himself.      

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