Subject: Russia is creeping up on you
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Monday, January 8, 2001
By J.R. Nyquist
A decade ago Andrei Navrozov warned that the liberalization of the Soviet Union was sponsored by the KGB. He also noted that the KGB was not the tooth fairy. The Russian press, he said, was purposely allowed to concentrate on the "internal failures" of the Russian economy, which had been in a state of collapse since 1917, "just as the Soviet strategic infrastructure has prospered since 1917."
Navrozov also wrote about the "transfer of science and technology" from
the West to Russia. He said that this transfer would be intensified "in
the coming days of the pan-Eurasian NEP when totalitarianism puts on a
capitalist face. ..." He said that this process would make Russia's
superiority "irreversible" as "the lines separating Eastern and Western Europe will finally become as meaningless as constitutional guarantees ... in a world of naked and irrefutable force."
Those who mocked Navrozov as a "conspiracy theorist" now have some apologies to make. Navrozov was clearly prescient while his critics were blind and stupid. In the 1920s Lenin and his followers fooled with a return to capitalism, then called NEP (New Economic Policy). The NEP men of the 1990s, like the NEP men of Lenin's 1920s capitalist adventure, were fattened under the bright sunshine of glasnost and perestroika. Now they are coming under arrest. Tycoons like Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky have served their purpose, just as the NEP men of the 1920s served theirs. The music of Stalin's anthem has returned, as many of us knew it would. Yes, it has new words that mention God, but who is to say these new words will be sung by the soldiers and sailors of Russia's new war machine? The old words are what most come to mind. The new words, with the old music, may never take root.
And perhaps that is the intention.
The pale optimists of the West are yet afraid to face the truth. It
is a truth that writers like Navrozov tried to warn them of a decade ago.
But fools will never accept fair warning in advance. And besides, too many
well-foddered, famous wise ones built their punditry on illusory good news.
First there was Gorbachev's perestroika. Then there was the collapse of communism and the "peace dividend." The markets went up and up, the capitalists rubbed their hands in glee as the U.S. military got Bill Clinton as commander-in-chief. Our strategists without strategic sense, gloating over their unexpected and unearned Cold War victory, removed our tactical nuclear weapons from America's ground forces. At the same time, they gave billions to Russia, allowing supercomputers and other technology to flow eastward.
But now the Kremlin's liberal farce is nearing its logical end. As any child can see, a KGB officer is president of Russia, the Duma has moved to block future privatizations while businesses in private hands are reverting to state control.
As for human rights in Russia, public order is yet maintained by Bolshevik methods. Torture is the main investigative tool of the Russian police; the courts are ineffective, the security services are all powerful. People have freedom of speech in Russia, but even this is ultimately equivocal. Journalists keep dying under strange circumstances in that unfortunate country. And who knows how many will be arrested in a future crackdown?
While Americans have been shopping under a regime of market hedonism, Russia has been preparing its population and armed forces for a future conflict, laying the foundations for a modernized war machine and a new alliance bloc. In addition, Russia has been carefully deploying its forces, violating treaty commitments in the process.
In recent days the Washington Times, Reuters and the Associated Press
have reported that Russia has secretly moved tactical nuclear weapons into
Kaliningrad, a base complex located on the Baltic Sea (outside of Russia
itself). This movement took place over the last six months, in direct
violation of understandings and agreements that effectively ended the Cold War in the early 1990s.
The danger in Russia's move should be obvious. The United States Army destroyed its tactical nuclear weapons in the 1990s. The U.S. Navy has also done away with its tactical nuclear warheads. But the Russians did not follow suit. Claiming poverty, they stashed between 15,000 and 30,000 tactical nuclear weapons in storage, and now they are retrieving what has been stored. On the American side, there is nothing in storage to respond with.
It now appears the strategy of Soviet collapse was very simple. The Soviet empire was isassembled with rapid reassembly in mind. Now that the reassembly has begun, the West is stunned and cannot effectively counter a whole series of Russian moves.
According to Pentagon officials, the Russian transfer of nukes to Kaliningrad was detected in June, 2000. The Clinton administration has therefore known about this for months (and has done nothing). On Thursday the U.S. State Department said it would soon raise the Kaliningrad issue with the Russians. But as Bill Gertz of the Washington Times pointed out, the State Department spokesman's remarks "are a sign the administration has not raised the matter with Moscow during arms control talks in the past six months. ..."
Some readers will be shocked, but they shouldn't be. This has been the pattern of the Clinton administration from Day One. It was also evident, to some degree, in the previous Bush administration. We have passed through a decade of strategic errors and blunders.
Predictably, if there isn't a new consciousness in this country, and a new resolve to address emerging strategic imbalances, we're going to be in serious trouble. The delusions of the past decade will not defend the United States in the next. Russia has now acquired definite military advantages.
Consider Russia's newfound superiority in military technology, long masked by stories of a defunct and undersupplied military. Last Wednesday Russia's press offered further details regarding the Kremlin's new stealth technology (which allows military aircraft to escape radar detection). According to Itar-Tass, the new stealth capability relies on a plasma field which surrounds combat aircraft and absorbs electromagnetic waves.
The West has largely ignored reports of new and advanced Russian weapons.
This column has already discussed Russia's new fuel air grenade, which
can give a single Russian soldier the firepower of a howitzer. In terms
of air weapons, the United States Air Force has delayed purchasing the
F-22, but the supposedly underfunded Russian Air Force has tested its new
SU-35UB with its super-cruise and stealth capabilities. We should also
mention the Dec.
26 deployment of a third regiment of mobile ICBMs in Russia. These are widely acknowledged as the world's most sophisticated nuclear missiles.
But not to worry. We are told that Russia is a poor country. It is therefore
not a threat. The Russians, after all, have no money to attack us with.
They cannot bombard us effectively with 10-dollar bills. They cannot overcome
our nonexistent missile defenses with fives and ones. As everyone knows,
it doesn't matter how many nuclear weapons you have. It only matters how
malls and shops you have, especially if they're filled with communist Chinese trinkets.
On the other hand, what if Russia's financial debt -- Russia's lack of money -- is itself an opportunity for bombardment?
On Thursday it was reported that Russia defaulted on its debt of $48
billion (owed to the Paris Club of sovereign creditors). This default was
announced even though Russia's economy is booming -- even though Russia's
international currency reserves are at record high levels. Previous Russian
defaults were due to financial problems in Russia. This present default has no financial explanation.
Perhaps there is a strategic explanation.
Another Russian move that should cause us to worry has to do with the Russian Navy. On Dec. 28 Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov announced he was going to mount a massive naval deployment in 2001. "It is time for our ships to move away from the pier," he said. Without offering any explanation, Kuroyedov said that Russia would soon deploy surface ships to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
Andrei Navrozov, whom I quoted at the beginning of this column, blamed
the Western press for failing to understand where Russia was going with
glasnost and perestroika. He said that our best Western experts, our vaunted
Sovietologists, did not understand the ABCs of totalitarianism. He
suspected Western pundits were shallow. He thought they would succumb to the Russian
deception strategy of the 1990s. In Navrozov's 1991 essay, "The Coming Order," he asked if it was reasonable to expect Western journalists to "replicate the deceptions ... of the unfree Soviet press when the simulacrum of capitalism and 'democracy' becomes a pan-Eurasian reality?"
We know the answer today. The Western press was fooled by Russia's KGB-led democracy and its false-front capitalism. The shallowness of our media and academia in this regard is now undeniable. The crisis we are entering was not caused by neglect or inattention. It resulted from willful self-deception and psychological weakness. There is something wrong with our intellectual and political leaders. There is also something wrong with the way they discuss strategic issues.
Now is a good time for second thoughts. The delusions of the last decade must be set aside. Russia is mounting a new challenge, bringing new weapons into play. What else has to happen for this to be understood?
J.R. Nyquist is a WorldNetDaily contributing editor and a renowned expert on America's fatal illusion of an international balance of power; diplomatic and Cold War history; the survivability of a thermonuclear world war; and is the author of "Origins of the Fourth World War."
Each month Nyquist provides an exclusive in-depth report in WorldNetDaily's
monthly magazine, WorldNet. Readers may subscribe to WorldNet through WND's
Since the end of the cold war, the U.S. has decreased the capabilities
of our armed forces
based on the belief that significant threats to our national security no longer existed. Now as
America stands less ready, an old foe poses a new threat.
Iran is a major military force in the region and is at the center of
an emerging realignment of
powers in the Middle East. It has stated that if it felt it was threatened, it would close the Gulf to
shipping, cutting off the flow of oil to the world. Iran maintains a small but growing number of
modern and extremely quiet Russian-made Kilo-class diesel submarines, a fleet of naval
vessels including mine-layers and has installed anti-ship missiles at strategic points at the Straits
of Hormuz. These resources give it the inherent ability to make good on its threat.
"Despite international efforts to curtail the flow of critical technologies and equipment, Tehran continues to seek fissile material and technology for weapons development and has set of an elaborate system of military and civilian organizations to support its effort." --Central Intelligence Agency, unclassified report to Congress, August 2000
The greatest threat from Iran, however, may come from its continued
development of ballistic
missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Iran's missile program appears to be accelerating and
increasing in complexity. Iran tested its Shahab 3 missile for the first time in 1998. This weapon is a
derivative of the North Korean No Dong with Russian improvements and has a range of up to
In July 2000, the commanding general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards
Corps, Maj. Gen.
Rahim Safari announced that the Corps was forming five new ballistic missile units to be
equipped with the Shahab 3, and that launching pads have been constructed, indicating that
deployment of the weapon is imminent. He stated at the time, "Thanks to these ballistic
missiles, Iran's defensive capabilities have been considerably increased. … Iran is now among the
region's military powers."
Only a few weeks later, Iran successfully tested the Shahab 3 for a
second time. Iran is also
developing longer-range missiles including the Shahab 4, a derivative of the Soviet-era SS-4 with
a range of 2,000 kilometers. Another follow-on, the Shahab 5, is believed to be of an
intercontinental range, with a range of 5,500 kilometers and the ability to strike parts of the
"We're worried about more than just this missile,
we're worried about longer-range missiles that they apparently have on
their drawing books right now; that would be the Shahab 4 and Shahab
5 missile. And the Shahab 5 could have an ntercontinental range and that,
of course, would be worrisome. … There isn't any conceivable reason why
Iran needs a missile of intercontinental
range if it's worried about regional security issues." --Kenneth Bacon, assistant U.S. secretary of defense for public affairs
The development of these missiles has given Iran a strategic edge over
all of its Middle Eastern
neighbors. Nuclear technologies from Russia, missile parts from North Korea and chemical
agents and technologies from both Russia and China have allowed Iran's work on destruction to
continue virtually unhindered by Western resolve to block proliferation.
"Any time you have success in a particular
missile system, that gives you confidence to move forward with more tests
with greater capability, and so, it has a way of growing almost
exponentially. Once you get some of the fundamentals down, then the new technology that comes in makes it that much easier. You don't have to keep going at the same pace. So, I think there's obviously a potential to accelerate development with each successful test." --William Cohen, U.S.
secretary of defense
"The Iranians are making an effort not only to produce missiles, but also to achieve conventional capabilities. This combination constitutes a threat to Israel and to all the countries within a 1,200-km radius of Tehran." --Shaul Mofaz, chief of staff for the Israel Defense Force
In addition to the advances in their nuclear technologies, Iran has
one of the most active
chemical warfare programs in the region. The most dangerous advancement is the development
of nerve agent VX and especially Novichok agent, which is said to be five times more lethal
than VX. Moreover, Iran has adopted a number of biological agents modeled after former Soviet
biological weapons programs, such as Marburg, smallpox, plague and tularemia.
"By merely possessing these weapons or by threatening
to use them, Iran could also use them to gain leverage over neighboring
states. Even if the radicals lose influence in Teheran, there is no reason
to believe that the Islamic Republic will constrain development of NBC
biological, chemical] weapons." --A study by Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies
A report by the CIA forecasts an Iranian launch of an intercontinental
ballistic missile by 2005. The
missile will be a three-stage rocket based on North Korea's Taepo Dong missile. Robert
Walpole, the CIA's national intelligence officer recently told a congressional subcommittee that
"most believe that Iran could develop and test a three-stage TD-2-type ICBM during this period,
possibly with North Korean assistance; it would be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon-sized
payload to the United States." Walpole further stated that Iran would be "capable of delivering a
nuclear weapon-sized payload to the United States. A few believe such a test is unlikely until
Furthermore, Iran has received an enormous amount of aid from Russian
companies in the
construction of a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power reactor at Bushehr. Russia signed a contract with
Iran in September 1998, which has the completion of the reactor scheduled for 2003. With an
operational reactor, Iran can utilize the facility to mass-produce weapons of mass destruction and
further their developmental capabilities.
Iran represents a clear and present danger to the national security
interests of the United States
and directly threatens the balance of power in the Middle East. Iran has continued to move forward
with its weapons-development programs and continues to support anti-U.S. terrorist organizations.
For more information on the Blanchard Economic
Research Unit, visit economicresearch.net.
EUROPEAN UNION QUESTIONS
KREMLIN ABOUT NUCLEAR ARMS IN A
The International Herald Tribune reports: “Kaliningrad, the detached region of Russia on the Baltic sea that was a flashpoint before and during World War II, was back in the news as a strategic pawn Thursday, with the European Union concerned about reports that Moscow has deployed tactical-sized nuclear weapons in the region. The EU's three top foreign policy officials flew to Moscow for talks about the future of the enclave, which is separated from Russia and will be
surrounded by the European Union once Poland and Lithuania become members, possibly within less than three years.
The question of nuclear weapons in the enclave would be of major concern as well to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Poland already is a NATO member. Senior Swedish officials said the EU also was concerned about Kaliningrad's reputation as a center for organized crime, smuggling and trafficking; its abysmal environmental record, and its exceptionally high rates of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. There was little prospect that Moscow would relinquish control of the region, which houses one of its main naval bases. But Kaliningrad has long suffered from its geographical isolation from the rest of Russia, and its status as a closed Soviet military area. That isolation could increase once Poland starts imposing new frontier controls as a condition of its EU membership..."
( From: http://www.jvim.com/)
IRAN TO HOLD MILITARY
UPI reports: “Russia and Iran are slated to hold military talks in Moscow soon to discuss security issues and closer military ties between the two countries, a senior Russian military official said
Saturday...The official agenda will also include talks on regional security, the Middle East peace process and the situation in war-torn Afghanistan. Ivashov heads the Russian Defense Ministry's Department for International Military Cooperation. He added that one of the main objectives of the talks would be to define the scope of cooperation that Moscow and Tehran plan to embark upon in the near future. "Military and military-technical cooperation between Russia and Iran is directed at providing regional security and is not directed against third parties," said Ivashov. "Russia's actions are governed only by that sole principle." Ivashov said that the two countries' positions on a
number of issues often coincided and should be regarded as a firm foundation for developing further bilateral ties. Ivashov stressed that Russia and Iran shared common interests in the
Caspian region and both opposed NATO's drive toward the Caucasus region. The Russian general slammed U.S. accusations that Russia was violating treaties prohibiting proliferation of nuclear arms, adding that Russia's deliveries of anti-tank jet-propelled shells to Iran were not illegal. "That's just an attempt to take away from Russia arms sales contracts and to infringe upon our rights in the arms market," said Ivashov..."
RUSSIA FIRES MISSILES FROM AIR,
Reuters reports: “Russia test-fired nuclear-capable strategic missiles from air, land and sea on Friday, a signal likely to resound across the Atlantic amid an arms dispute with the new
U.S. administration. Russia periodically tests missiles, but the near simultaneous launches from a launch pad, submarine and bomber were a comparatively rare demonstration of all three
branches of Russia's ‘nuclear triad.’
Russian Defense analyst Pavel Felgengauer said
such an exercise required too much advance planning to be a direct
response to the latest angry words in the East-West missile defense feud.
But it served as a reminder that Russia is keeping its rockets in shape.
The navy and land-based Strategic Rocket Forces announced
their launches within minutes of each other, one of a Topol rocket, the
other of a ballistic missile fired from a submarine of the Northern Fleet.
Two hours later, the air force said a TU-95 bomber had also fired a strategic missile.
Nuclear-capable Russian bombers had just two
days earlier performed unannounced exercises near Norway and Japan, forcing
those countries' air forces to scramble to respond. Japan said Russian
warplanes entered its air space, which Moscow denied. Felgengauer said
the missile launches and the earlier air tests were probably part of a
single strategic exercise designed to simulate nuclear war."
IRAN EQUIPS PATROL BOATS WITH
The Middle East Newsline reports: “Iran has deployed missiles on its naval attack boats that patrol the Gulf. Officials said this is part of two major projects being pursued by the Islamic republic
over the last month. The other project is the launching of production of the new military transport plane, Iran-140. The plane is being built with support from the Ukraine.
Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said the fast patrol boats will deploy indigenous missiles. The minister said the project stems from an increased military budget and a priority set by the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei. "Domestic production of the equipment required by the armed forces, based on the Imam's self-reliant spirit, became an institutional fact in the armed forces," Shamkhani said.
In all, officials said, Iran is engaged in
110 military and defense projects. These include the production of a tank,
tank carrier, armored personnel carrier and anti-tank launchers. Brig.
Mohammed Ashtiani, deputy ground forces commander, said the military also plans to establish a helicopter pilot training center.”
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