Thursday, November 18, 2021

Patrick Armstrong On Governance. And Other News.

I am on record for years that the United States is an ungovernable entity which tries desperately to maintain a decorum of  a functional state. Functional, let alone claiming to be "democratic", states do not have Russiagates being a dominant political factor for years and having an effect of a a cancerous metastasis on the political system as a whole. The United States is not governable in any sense and that is why upcoming virtual meeting between Putin and Biden will have the same agenda which existed since who knows when: NATO, 404 etc (in Russian). You also know that I am on record since the inception of this blog that any treaty or deal agreed upon with the US is not worth the paper it is written on. I am not the only one who thinks like that or in this direction.

Patrick Armstrong left an acerbic comment on his web-site today commenting to Sputnik on Patrushev-Sullivan phone call:  

Answer to question from Sputnik on significance of Sullivan-Patrushev phonecall

None of these questions can be answered until we have an idea who’s in charge in Washington. For example: are Russian troops massing at the Ukraine border — the State Dept says they are, the Pentagon says they aren’t. Is Taiwan part of China or isn’t it? Are they trying to have predictable and stable relations with Russia or are they provoking Russia by arming Ukraine and sending ships and aircraft near Russia? Are they trying to return to the JCPOA, or destroy it for all time? 

The US behaves itself today completely like a schizophrenic (that is, by medical definition) and that is the problem. It is one thing when some EU pipsqueak gets the folie de grandeur bout, totally another when a nuclear superpower begins to behave erratically. So, it doesn't matter what Putin and Biden will decide, on the American side any positive development will be sabotaged and we all know by who. Well, that's Putin's cross to bear to communicate with American POTUSes who since the Clinton tenure in 1990s parade a variety of moral and social anomalies to the world and are incapable to form anything even remotely reminiscent of a common sense policy. 

In related news today, Admiral Gorshkov frigate launched today yet another 3M22 Zircon, it did what it is supposed to do and struck surface target in the White Sea scoring a direct hit (in Russian). The missile will start to arrive to a surface fleet early 2022 and will be deployed on the ships with 3C14 VLS which can accommodate 3M22. For submarines, they will receive already modernized 3M22M, which, most likely, will have longer range and higher speed. 

Sadly, but understandably, Russian MOD cuts off the sound part after (you can clearly hear it) the end of work by booster motor and you can hear only for a second or two a start of the march engine and fading sound of missile itself. It fades ridiculously fast, which means it is already hyper-sonic by the time the sound cuts off. 

Also, Paul Robinson asks the question if: Can a space war be stopped? He laments: 

Most notably, Russia's deployment of hypersonic glide missiles has made the tens of billions of dollars invested by Washington in ballistic missile defence worthless. Even if the Americans could develop some space-based defence system against these missiles, the cost would be gargantuan, and by the time the system could be deployed, new technologies would already have produced counter-measures. The idea that America needs to weaponize space in order to defend itself against nuclear attack doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The Russian anti-satellite test may be seen as an effort to try to force the United States to recognize its vulnerability and so bring it to the negotiating table. This may not work. The gargantuan sums of money mentioned above mean that there are powerful institutional interests in the United States who will resist any such effort. This is highly regrettable. Nobody but generals and arms manufacturers will benefit from an arms race in space. The sooner everyone recognizes this the better.

My answer to this question is very simple: NO, it cannot be stopped. Especially because of the US facing what already is towering in the background as Zevs, whose first mission is planned for 2030. While it is purely scientific mission, military applications for such a system are clear. The United States will, indeed, either throw gargantuan sums of money for PR or will die trying. So, until either of two events happens we will have a steady militarization of space and Russia shooting down a satellite couple of days ago did send shivers down the spines of many in Pentagon. Recall, hailed by many, American shoot down of defunct satellite in 2008. It was intercepted at 247 kilometers. Russia took down Tselina D (Kosmos 1408) from 645 kilometers. That's the difference, which also demonstrated the capability to shoot higher, much higher--precisely where most US recon networks are. So, for now we have to live with the fact that space will continue to be militarized and space-based weapons are coming. Sad, but it is what it is.

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