Thursday, February 13, 2020

I Wonder Why.

Nah, not really. The United States today imposed sanctions (a favorite pastime after baseball in the United States) on a number of foreign companies, among which three are Russia's. 
Among them, one company, certainly, stands out. It is NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), which is a legendary producer of some of the most advanced space systems and...drum roll, drum rolling, still rolling... Soviet/Russian most remarkable anti-shipping missiles such as P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck), P-800 Onyx and, of course, 3M22 Zircon. Of course sanctions themselves are nothing more than an attempt "to do something" because, obviously, they in no way affect such a monster as NPOM and, in fact, point #3 is down right hilarious:
3. No United States Government sales to these foreign persons of any item on the United States Munitions List are permitted, and all sales to these persons of any defense articles, defense services, or design and construction services under the Arms Export Control Act are terminated. 
This reminds me of an old Russian saying that one, to spite others, goes out in winter storm and makes sure his ears get frostbitten. That surely shows them, right? I am sure NPOM just sleeps and dreams of American "munition item" to be sold to them to accelerate NPOM's development of supersonic and hyper-sonic cruise missiles. Oh, wait, the United States doesn't have any. So, never mind. I think there are many people in US Military-Industrial Complex and Intelligence structures who would love to learn what Russians are doing with their dramatically superior cruise missile programs. The question which must be asked here is this: why now? Let us try to answer it. 

No, the answer is not in the fact that alleged Russian stooge Donald Trump still fights the remnants of Obama-Clinton operatives within Department of State who do their utmost to sabotage Russian-American relations. This is not the case at all. First, DJT is no Russia's fan and, in fact, he is one of the most anti-Russian presidents in history. Nor, even if that wouldn't have been the case, anything would change because the United States simply CAN NOT behave otherwise for a number of internal reasons. But, but...what's coming soon up in DJT's President's International Schedule, ah, here it is: 
Hm, but how this visit is related to  sanctions on NPOM? Very directly. Joint Venture between NPOM and India' DRDO is known to the world as Brahmos. It is the ONLY organization in the world outside Russia which produces the most potent and deadly anti-shipping and land-attack missile based on outstanding design of P-800 Onyx. It is a very-long range (800 kilometers) Mach=3 missile, which also is getting ready to go not only up to Mach=5, but full hyper-sonic by the year 2025 and, what is most interesting, this missile is getting ready for EXPORT (In Russian)! Now you can understand this clause in this sanctions declaration:
Scientific Production Association Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM)(Russia) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;  
It is not about proliferation, it never was--it is an implicit admission of inability to compete with much better weapons Russia produces, especially in the nation (India) which was a recipient of this technology for decades and not only is expecting the start of the deliveries of S-400 AD complex soon, for which India payed $5 billion, but also has Brahmos missile as a mainstay of India's Navy. Now imagine the effect of even basic version of Brahmos going on sale for foreign parties. What if Mach=5 version goes on sale? I am not talking about full hyper-sonic variants, which, for now will remain only in Russia and India, once Brahmos JV finishes its development. This is the MAIN reason why NPOM ended up in this US Department of State list. 

As I say non-stop, ad nauseam--emergence of hyper-sonic long range anti-shipping missiles wrecks havoc with American naval strategy. It overthrows (well, it sort of did already) all traditional views and thinking modalities about modern war. At the center of it are those damn Russkies and their hi-tech corporations, such as NPOM, which produce the advanced military technology which changes global geopolitical landscape. It also changed geoeconomic one, once one considers that the United States increasingly is losing competitiveness to Russia in military technology. As one Russian (former naval officer) political observer noted--yes, Virginia-class SSNs are good submarines, yes, they are "fourth" generation, but their problem is that they carry obsolete weapons. Indeed, how should US Navy's excellent subs impress an enemy when the only things they carry are obsolete TLAMs and venerable subsonic AGM-84 Harpoons or possibly same subsonic LRASMs--an easy prey for any competent adversary with modern air-defense. But if even 30 years ago the United States could claim some leadership in enablers (from Combat Management Systems, to Sensors, to EW), this leadership is largely gone by now. And here we are--the need to stop competition by any means, including applying crude and always failing pressure--Trump's favorite and the only MO--on the so called American "partners", will only underscore an increased insecurity of the self-proclaimed hegemon, who failed time after time to demonstrate a viability of own doctrinal, strategic and technological views on modern warfare. And yes, do not forget shareholders, how can we forget them--it is for them that the US military-industrial complex exists.  
Yes, in related news:
The Philippines Army has zeroed in on purchase of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to be equipped on its first ever land-based missile system battery following extensive trials and the only thing that remains is finance aspect of the deal. “As far as the Philippines Army is concerned, the consensus on the BrahMos system is a done deal. Now, it’s all about the price negotiations and we hope the deal will be finalised next year,” a source familiar with the negotiations was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times on Monday.
Also in related news:
Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump dismissed concerns Wednesday about the Philippines canceling a major military accord, saying the decision would save Americans money. The 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) created a legal framework for the presence of US troops in the Philippines and for organizing joint military exercises. Manila announced its decision Tuesday -- a move the US embassy in the Philippines called a "serious step" -- touching off a six-month countdown to the end of the deal.
Make your own conclusions.

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