Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 01, 2018

Russia Shows Off New Weapons - Tells U.S. To "Come Down To Earth"

In his yearly address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation President Putin spoke about the progress his country has made and about future aims of Russian policies. Most of the address was devoted to internal Russian economic and social developments.

The last part of the two hour long speech (video, English simultaneous translation) was a presentation of Russia's new military posture in response to U.S. encroachment on Russia's borders and the global U.S. missile defense system. Putin announced the development and fielding of new types of strategic weapons which together will make the U.S. global missile defense systems useless. The thirty minutes section starts at 1h:18m.

In 2007 Putin spoke at the Munich Security Conference and warned of U.S. attempts to create a unipolar world:

[W]hat is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.

It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.

In 2002 the U.S. unilaterally ended the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. In 2004 the U.S. and NATO included global missile defense into their strategic nuclear forces’ drills. Since then Russia has continuously warned that it will have to respond to such a development.  

When the ABM treaty had come into force it created stability by guaranteeing Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). If one side would fire its nuclear armed intercontinental missiles onto the other side that side would respond by firing its own missiles. Thus both states would be destroyed. MAD guaranteed that neither had any interest in starting such a war in the first place.

With a missile defense shield the balance changes. A first strike becomes possible because the missile shield can defeat the retaliating strike. Since the U.S. terminated the ABM agreement it has constantly built up its missile defense and thus threatens Russia's survival:

“The global US anti-ballistic missile system includes a naval group. These are five cruisers and 30 destroyers, as far as we know, deployed in areas in the immediate vicinity of the territory of Russia,” Putin said in an address to Russian parliamentarians on Thursday.

The president also warned that the range of missiles will only increase, while further deployment is planned in Japan and South Korea.

Additionally the U.S. has shown no interest in renewing the only two strategic weapon control agreements still in force. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) will end in 2019 and the New START Treaty, which limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles, expires by 2021.

Last week the Trump administration published its Nuclear Posture Review which includes several new elements that threaten early escalation into a new nuclear war:

In sum, the United States is building a new generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, will deploy more usable nuclear weapons in “forward” areas, remains committed to possible “first use” of nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear attacks in defense of 30 countries, retains missiles on active alert ready to launch, is skeptical of the possibility of any progress in arms control and is hostile to the global movement to make nuclear weapons illegal.

Noteworthy for its destabilizing effect is the new doctrine of responding to a non-nuclear attack on U.S. early warning, command and control elements with nuclear force.

President Putin responded to these plans with a strong warning and a renewed offer to talk:

"I believe it as my duty to say this: any use of nuclear weapons of any yield - small, medium or whatever - against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences," Putin said to draw loud applause from the audience.

He warned that "nobody should have any doubts on that score." At the same time Putin cautioned against creating new threats to the world, "but on the contrary to come to the negotiating table to give thought to an updated, future system of international security and the civilization’s sustainable development."

The purpose of the new weapons Putin announced is to make the U.S. anti-ballistic missile shield useless and to thereby restore the stable state of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Shown during the speech were short videos demonstrating the new weapons.

Russia has already changed its existing Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles to defeat some ABM features but it can not make them invulnerable.

Now Putin has announced a new intercontinental missile SARMAT with unprecedented reach. Launched from Russia it can reach the continental U.S. from any direction, even flying over the south pole, and thus renders any concentrated missile defense like the one in Alaska useless. The missile is huge, with allegedly 200 ton payload(?) total weight, and its multiple warheads are maneuverable.

The next system introduced is a cruise missile with a nuclear power plant which makes any anti-missile system practically useless. Cold air that enters the missile at the front is superheated by a special nuclear reactor, exits at the rear and gives the missile an enormous thrust. (In the early 1960s the U.S. had a development program for such a nuclear driven Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile (SLAM) but it did not succeed.)

The new weapon described in Putin's speech:

"A low-flying low-visibility cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead and possessing a practically unlimited range, unpredictable flight path and the capability to impregnate practically all interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and future anti-missile and air defense weapons," Putin said.

At the end of 2017 Russia successfully launched the newest nuclear-powered cruise missile at the central proving ground, he went on.

Interestingly there had not been a peep about this system or its test from the U.S. military or any spying services. No other country but Russia has such a system.

Another weapon with a nuclear drive system is the new super fast submarine drone Status 6 or Kanyon. Its development was (intentionally?) leaked in 2015. Its purpose is to destroy aircraft carrier groups and/or whole harbors.

The new torpedo and the new cruise missiles will both carry nuclear warheads.

The fourth system Putin announced is a hypersonic air launched cruise missile named Kinzhal which, he said, has been successfully tested and is already in combat duty in the southern Russian defense sector. The missile is maneuverable and flies at ten times the speed of sound with a range of 2,000 kilometers. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear warheads. U.S. forces in the Middle East should take note of this.

Putin spoke of two other weapon systems which are still in development. One is the maneuverable hypersonic glider "Avangard" which flies beyond the stratosphere at twenty times the speed of sound and comes down onto its targets "like a meteor". Another weapon shown in a short spot is a ground based laser system for air defense. The U.S. and several other countries are currently developing similar weapons.

Putin repeated the point that these weapons are designed to repel the U.S. attempt to act as the unilateral and dominant force against Russia. With the fielding of these weapons U.S. missile defense becomes a useless endeavor:

Putin noted that such unfriendly steps against Russia as deploying the missile defense system, bringing NATO’s infrastructure close to Russia’s borders had become ineffective from a military perspective and unreasonably costly from a financial point of view. "All that ultimately (becomes) just pointless for those who initiate and do that," he concluded.

The "western" media will call Putin's speech and the announcement of new weapons a sign of "Russian aggression" and that he "threatens to start an arms race". But that is not what it was. This was the Russian response to 20 years of U.S. aggression and unilateral arms deployment. It is the response to NATO encroachment on Russia's border and to the attempted destruction of the balance of power that MAD ensured. This is the response that Putin had announced eleven years ago in Munich.

It will take some time for "Washington" to understand what Putin means.

Get real, he says. There is no longer a point in trying to achieve a unipolar world. Missile defense has become useless. It is time to talk and to find new agreements on strategic weapons and other issues. In his words:

"I hope that everything that was said today will bring any potential aggressor down to earth."

The official English translation of the speech is now available.

Posted by b on March 1, 2018 at 19:24 UTC | Permalink

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All these US missile shields surrounding Russia are really aimed at Iran, no honestly! Watch Putin laugh in the face of a reporter who suggested it.

Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 1 2018 19:35 utc | 1

Bluff. These weapons do no exist as genuine functional systems, except the air launched hypersonic missile. But it is not a game changer.

As to the defensiveness of the program, SARMAT is an offensive weapon. Such a huge device is a huge target, and the relative handful would have to be launched first.

The bluff could have been improved if Putin could have promised ASAT for retaliation.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 1 2018 19:40 utc | 2

Putin should also state that the oligarchs driving the US/NATO/Zionist endless warmongering will be specifically targeted. The Rothschilds and Soros' being top of the list, with the rest of the Bilderberg/Davos/etc. crowd in the Russian nukes sights.

Posted by: A P | Mar 1 2018 19:42 utc | 3

@ steven t. jones.

except the air launched hypersonic missile. But it is not a game changer

Obviously you never dealt with naval issues in your life since it is precisely this weapon system which is a real game changer.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 1 2018 19:47 utc | 5

@1 harrylaw @4 Neve

Great links. Thanks.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 1 2018 19:56 utc | 6

What I think Putin is telling/trolling the Americans is:

"You wanna play arms race? Ok, then go bankrupt yorself!"

And no matter how obvious the bait is, the MIC will find it irresistible and do as trolled :D

On a more serious note, this is the strongest warning the Russians have given thus far and I doubt there will be any more warnings before appropriate action is taken as a response to a provocation or a ff.

Posted by: BG | Mar 1 2018 20:05 utc | 7

There is a reason why Putin talked at length about this now and not much at any other time in the past years. I believe that the military junta currently running the US is seriously considering a first strike. I bet also that the Dr Strangeloves will consider Putin's speech to be a bluff. I do think this is the most dangerous moment of the past 73 years

Posted by: JakeS | Mar 1 2018 20:07 utc | 8

"The missile is huge, with allegedly 200 ton payload"?

Payload or total weight? From the speech I took it to be total weight.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 1 2018 20:10 utc | 9


Payload or total weight? From the speech I took it to be total weight.

Correct, total weight. Payload is a different thing.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 1 2018 20:16 utc | 10

Our intelligence community is too busy covering up their wrong doings and trying to blame Trump for everything, they aren't doing their job anymore.

Posted by: bob | Mar 1 2018 20:32 utc | 11

This is NOT to say Russia is a rattlesnake; far from it. But I am reminded that a rattlesnake doesn't rattle to intimidate you--it rattles to warn you that you are encroaching on its territory and to not mess with it. I believe Putin just gave the west a loud, strong, and clear rattle to not keep messing with Russia.

Sane people would respond by opening negotiations in good faith to limit nuclear arms, allow only limited missile defense that could respond to a few stray missiles, and ban all nuclear weapons outside of ones' borders (of course, Russia wouldn't have to move anything since they are not the ones trying to encircle the 'enemy' like the US is but the point is to make it so neither one has this dangerous provocation in place).

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 1 2018 20:43 utc | 12

Well now--Big Lie Empire's confronted and confounded. And as predicted, its Propaganda System's already framing Putin's speech as threatening warmongering. Some say this will spawn an arms race; well, that race began with Putin's first term and has cost a tiny fraction of what the Outlaw US Empire's spent and further waste. Another path is possible; the path Putin proposed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 1 2018 20:44 utc | 13

I hope the suit monkeys on the Potomac will get the message. I doubt the Orange hooked on phonics front goy will fully understand the communication, but the ass kisssing junta surrounding him will get the drift. If thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee...

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 1 2018 20:44 utc | 14

thanks b... it is fascinating either way...

@9jakeS.. i agree.. why we have dr. strangelove posting here at moa @2!

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2018 20:50 utc | 15

"I believe it as my duty to say this: any use of nuclear weapons of any yield - small, medium or whatever - against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences," Putin said to draw loud applause from the audience. He warned that "nobody should have any doubts on that score."

So North Korea and Iran may breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 1 2018 20:54 utc | 16

In view of Mr. Putin's speech, and assuming Voltaire net's assertion that Russian
infantry is afoot in Syria, what would seriously assert the seriousness of Mr. Putin's
words is a movement by Syrian and allied forces towards Al Tanf or the Eastern side
of the Euphrates into US "protected", should I say "sequestered" territories of Syria.

Downing a few US or Coalition Jets over Syria would also give ample warning that
the Bear has been poked enough.

Then the stupid Western Establishment will have to take note of the new rules of
the game. And that, this time it is for real.

Posted by: CarlD | Mar 1 2018 21:00 utc | 17

Now is when China needs to stand up and back Russia before the US gets any idea that they can play one off against the other.

Good for Russia calling BS on the unipolar world. It is way past time.

If we don't end up in nuke hell it is very likely that the US defaulting on its debt will come next. Have the elite sheltered their wealth sufficiently?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 1 2018 21:07 utc | 18

1980's classic Trading Places

The war hawks in my beloved country are the Soviet Politburo clamoring for a larger army, navy, air force to be equipped with the most expensive weaponry. Back in the 80's the Soviet Union had an army of 5M, they it is less than 1M and is purely defensive. We on the other hand have built up our Defense Budget to epic levels and have consultant after consultant telling us that it is at an all time low.

The math doesn't favor the U.S. anymore. As soon as we put out the new stuff, it starts depreciating. Queue up Heritage report on how '50% of our planes don't fly', we need more new stuff. It's a death spiral.

My favorite lie is when they blame it on Social Security. If you eliminated Social Security the payroll tax would disappear but the budget deficit would remain the same.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 1 2018 21:14 utc | 19

@ Christian Chuba who wrote "My favorite lie is when they blame it on Social Security. ...."

I was watching when Reagan and Greenspan worked with the bought Congresscritters to take the Social Security INSURANCE nest egg of Treasuries and force the program to rely on ongoing budget appropriations....while they spirited off the Treasuries to fund Star Wars.......sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 1 2018 21:21 utc | 20


The only way the US defaults on its obligations is if Congress decides to default--a political decision, not a financial one.

Posted by: sleepy | Mar 1 2018 21:27 utc | 21

@6 seems to think this new missile will sharply change naval operations, though how is unclear, as the post is pretty content-free. At a guess, the idea is that carriers will now be white elephants. But they have been for years, except for attacking essentially defenseless nations. I don't think there's any significant increase in the vulnerability.

ASAT would be a real game changer by comparison.

@16 seems to think the US military may be so incompetent as to think they have first strike capability now, and will fall for the bluff, and strike now before they lose it. I don't think the US military has first strike capability now, because I think ABS is not a very effective system, and a good deal of a bluff itself.

I think some of the military knows this, which is why they've had to explain to Trump that actual wars with Russia and China are not really in the cards. They opt for an indirect approach. Russia is to be bled dry in a pointless war for a useless naval base in Syria, while the festering fascist sore Putin let establish itself in Ukraine degenerates until those thugs immolate themselves in fascist psychosis...but inflict real damage on Russia. And China is finally induced into attacking North Korea to finally truly integrate itself into the imperialist system...except it'll be a nightmare for them.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 1 2018 21:29 utc | 22

Putin is a realist about the dangers of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, many US military officers think they can win a nuclear war since they do not understand the potential for nuclear winter:
Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict. Michael J. Mills, Owen B. Toon, Julia Lee-Taylor, Alan Robock

On the other hand, the US government is scared of the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a couple of nuclear weapon detonations. Just think of the social disruptions following a loss of Facebook and Google (sic).

The best deterrence against nuclear war would be to place clearly marked nuclear weapons at all major cities and simply blow the cities up upon the outbreak of nuclear war. Your citizens would die a quick death while the other side would mostly die slowly of cold, starvation and radiation poisoning.

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 1 2018 21:47 utc | 23


@6 seems to think this new missile will sharply change naval operations, though how is unclear

I don't "think", I know so. Should you have been more diligent you, at least, could have visited my Blog which addresses this problem for the last 4 years. My book about precisely these issues is planned for publication in September. Study subject before offering any opinions on it.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 1 2018 21:52 utc | 24


Most readers at MOA are here to learn from "b" and each other. Do you have any literate articles to support your comments?

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 1 2018 21:55 utc | 25

Putin is giving the US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals a warning but I fear the psychopaths and morons in control of the US will just keep marching in the same direction.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Mar 1 2018 21:56 utc | 26

Ha! I love all the pseudo-analysts that crawl out of the woodwork on this blog - I'm looking at you steven t johnson.

Putin will not attack Ukraine to save the Donbass or Lughansk from America's nasty predicament. Russia understands, in a multi-polar world, sovereigns have to learn those lesson themselves. Same with the Kurds - they've gotten their assholes split wide open believing USA!USA!USA! can change their lot, when in fact, respect for tradition and the needs of others is what's required. Nor will China attack NK.

Your fundamental assumptions about what drives Russian and Chinese decision making are not sound and this error leads to false conclusions.

Unlike the US, Russia and China do not get twisted around believing it is their role to end self inflicted suffering.

Posted by: Covergirl | Mar 1 2018 21:57 utc | 27

@2 steven t johnson

The US missile defense system is essentially a bluff, so is Israel's "Iron Dome." Missile defense doesn't really work, except for specific point defense with an unlimited budget. But 'missile defense' breaks MAD and is a provocation that benefits no one but our two and a half military contractors. If this is a bluff for a bluff, so be it, and if it's not, watch out.

Posted by: Pespi | Mar 1 2018 22:21 utc | 28

Adam Garrie provides good analysis: We Are All Koreans Now:

"Because of this, it is high time for the multipolar world to accept North Korea’s necessary nuclear deterrent for the same way that it tacitly accepts Russia’s. In the wider sense, ‘we are all Koreans now’. Half of the world is under threat from the US military and the other half must do what it can to deter such an attack through the time tested doctrine of mutually assured destruction. In either case, should there be such a war, like Koreans, much of the world would be under the threat of annihilation if one side decided to take the apocalyptic step in launching a first strike."

Putin and Russia's engineers have reinstituted MAD; or worse, have developed a first strike capability thanks to Russia's anti-missile systems. Regardless, Outlaw US Empire's recently released nuclear assessment is no longer valid. And as myself and others are alluding, the Evil Empire cannot afford the arms race it hoped to box Russia into--Russia's already won. Furthermore, as we've seen, most US weaponry fails to do what it's touted to do, particularly its anti-missile weaponry.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 1 2018 22:34 utc | 29

nhs you are a real bottom feeder spy still poisoning this site with one liners with links. I've asked you more politely to desist as have half a dozen other commenters.

Between you and USA cheerleader Peter AU, the quality of the commenting on this site is going through the floor. Paveway and Debisdead are rarely to be seen and you two are on every thread poisoning the discussion.

While B's writing and research only improve, the quality of the commenting a year ago and today is not to be compared.

B, one of the main goals of the Pentagon and CIA propaganda outfits is to poison discussion. By lowering the quality of discussion, they render a website less credible. I'm convinced that Moon of Alabama faces the beginning of a full press in this direction. Please add some basic safety standards, like no link shorteners and no throwaway oneliners.

I've supported this site two or three times financially but as long as nhs is allowed to post with tracking link shorteners ( or otherwise, I'm done supporting MoonOfAlabaman unfortunately.

Posted by: Uncoy | Mar 1 2018 22:34 utc | 30

@23 steven t johnson.. sorry, but the usa can take responsibility for ukraine.. now, i know they won't, but that is a byproduct of there interventionist policies we see all around the globe... this 'might makes right' just isn't working out for the usa.. speaking of fascist - that is what neo con central usa sure looks like to me at this point...meanwhile there are many more people on the planet that want to get along in a MULTIPOLAR world... i guess that is a step down from what the folks in the usa are used to... calling others names doesn't change any of that..

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2018 22:42 utc | 31

Uncoy @31--

Talk about trying "to poison discussion." Thanks for enabling "the main goals of the Pentagon and CIA propaganda outfits" via your unworthy comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 1 2018 22:45 utc | 32

Go Putin, my hero.

Posted by: Warren Schaich | Mar 1 2018 22:50 utc | 33

A minor quibble inspired by...
The missile is maneuverable and flies at ten times the speed of sound with a range of 2,000 kilometer. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear warheads. U.S. forces in the Middle East should take note of this.

If a missile weighing more than a ton struck a ship, aircraft or building at 2 miles per second one imagines that the kinetic energy released in the collision would make a 'conventional' warhead superfluous?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 1 2018 23:22 utc | 34

...the quality of the commenting on this site is going through the floor.
While B's writing and research only improve, the quality of the commenting a year ago and today is not to be compared.
Posted by: Uncoy | Mar 1, 2018 5:34:22 PM | 31

Well. Knock me down with a feather!
I've been thinking, and pondering, the opposite.
I usually arrive at new MoA threads when there are already 20 or more comments. Being a fuss pot, I read the pre-existing comments before deciding upon which 'angle' to base my own contribution. For more than a year, I've often noticed that someone has already covered the crux of my preferred 'angle' (or a superior one) making my contribution unnecessary. And I enjoy lurking, on a lively and informative thread, almost as much as commenting.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 1 2018 23:57 utc | 35

Come on, realistically Russia does not need any new weapons. Does anyone really believe Star Wars U.S. missile shield is going to hit shit ? Much less hundreds of incoming ballistic, ain't gonna happen, LOL. If anyone is bluffing it is the U.S., even born again evangelical Armageddon loving Jesus kissing generals are not stupid enough to launch intentionally on Russia. In any sort of exchange and at any time continental U.S. can kiss it's ass goodbye. Yes, Russia also, and also so long planet earth, it's been nice knowing you. Had some fun, diddled around, now we are all dead, but we all had to die at some time anyhow, or so my father told me. I don't like winter much, but I get used to it, work around it, do what has to be done. But there is going to be no liking this nuclear winter.

Posted by: che | Mar 2 2018 0:12 utc | 36

Hoarsewhisperer, your perspective is interesting:

For more than a year, I've often noticed that someone has already covered the crux of my preferred 'angle' (or a superior one) making my contribution unnecessary. And I enjoy lurking, on a lively and informative thread, almost as much as commenting.

Anyone who comments to hear the sound of their own voice is just noise. If one doesn't have something significant to say or some additional level of insight to a particular issue, saying nothing is the best course of action. An intelligent question has its place. It would be a great shame for the comments here become as noisy and vulgar and often inarticulate as ZeroHedge not to mention Russia Insider or RT.

This issue with link shorteners is a very serious one (I'm a full time developer).

1. Link shorteners hide the destination from the potential visitor: you could be sent to a malware site or to a site you just don't want to see. You have no idea.
2. Link shorteners track you by themselves so the link poster knows exactly how many people clicked on each link and in many cases who clicked on that link.

There is no place on a website dedicated to independent thought for cloaked links. The old argument that link shorteners are easy to post if you don't know how to post an HTML link is:

1. outdated - at this point in time some familiarity with basic HTML is like knowing basic punctuation: the syntax is right here above the comment form.
2. inapplicable as nhs at 5 posted the link properly, but instead of showing us the full URL showed us a cloaked link.

I've written fairly politely about this three times in the past to nhs, as have half a dozen other people. It's an incredible lack of respect for the community which nhs shows by continuing to post cloaked links. MoonOfAlabama is a publication which I'm proud to support (and which I've been pleased to promote to senior diplomats and established journalists). As long as cloaked links are allowed, I will have to suspend material support. There's nothing more I can do (or anyone else) as we've made the request more or less politely of nhs a solid ten times.

Posted by: Uncoy | Mar 2 2018 0:29 utc | 37

Putin stating "any" nuclear weapon, even tactical, would be met with instant retaliation should have deflated the loons at the Pentagon.
It's been pretty apparent they have been jockeying for an excuse to use tactical nuclear weapons at some point.
Putin made it infinitely clear, no nukes under any circumstances.
That needed to be said and he did, from a point of strength.
I sense the gloves are coming off...
That said, the cognitive dissonance coming from the CIA, Pentagon, and the White House may render Putin's warning null and void.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 2 2018 0:42 utc | 38

@ JakeS

I am in agreement with your sentiment. While the Syrian War flame is flickering now as it diminishes, it seems that the tension brought upon by Russia showing its parity and now, supremacy, has ratcheted up so much that we are approaching an event that can go two ways: a chaotic explosion or a precise release of pressure. It seems that somebody CAN put Uncle Sambo into a corner, and this is no safe game to play. Putin has the deft approach at playing badminton with Russia's diplomacy: threatening immediate retaliation to save face at one hit, and, on the other side of the net, lobbing up an easy return in the form of cease fires, calm talk, and more nuance. Hegel talked about Napoleon. Heidegger talked up the Furher. But Putin bests them all and the west hates his fucking guts for it. Every smart word that Putin makes we all cheer on, but do we really fathom the trouble we may all be in? I imagine a deranged ex-ladyfriend as the US. And you know what they say about a woman being scorned.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 2 2018 1:28 utc | 39

Does Russia need these weapons?

Yes. They have to totally pop the illusion that the U.S. has or can ever achieve nuclear primacy which is the ability to destroy the other sides nuclear arsenal without retaliation.

Before you guffaw at this, there was a serious paper written on this subject that the U.S. had achieved nuclear primacy in the late 90's and desired to expand the gap in order to bully Russia and China over well, everything.
Here is one miscellaneous point in addition to their evaluation of how the U.S. could have launched a first strike against Russia back then (the Neocons were drooling).

"If the United States’ nuclear modernization were really aimed at rogue states or terrorists, the country’s nuclear force would not need the additional thousand ground-burst warheads it will gain from the w-76 modernization program. The current and future U.S. nuclear force, in other words, seems designed to carry out a preemptive disarming strike against Russia or China."

I must say that this will infuriate the usual suspects in the U.S. and they will most certainly respond by clamoring furiously for a 1980's style arms race, 'we can beat those commies again!'

So who is going to explode first, freebeacon, NR, Jack Keane, McCain, ... ? Wow, no shortage of delusional people in the U.S. The Russians were supposed to lie down and die, they didn't read the script.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 2 2018 1:34 utc | 40

steven t johnson @2:

Are you claiming that Russia doesn't have ASAT capabilities? If so, then you're sorely mistaken. You have ASAT capabilities, if you can launch satellites into orbit. You don't need to hit the satellite to prove your capability (like the US and China), just the flight path crossing the orbit of a satellite is enough.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 2 2018 1:38 utc | 41

The war hawks in my beloved country are the Soviet Politburo clamoring for a larger army, navy, air force to be equipped with the most expensive weaponry. Back in the 80's the Soviet Union had an army of 5M, they it is less than 1M and is purely defensive. We on the other hand have built up our Defense Budget to epic levels and have consultant after consultant telling us that it is at an all time low.

- Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 1, 2018 4:14:46 PM | 20

The USSR had deeper problems than that.

It's not that the Soviet expenditure with the military was a problem. On the opposite: the Soviet were very familiar with the concept of dual industry, them being the masters of WWII. Many industries in the USSR that were officially military were actually civilian: the most colorful example being the airplane industry, which could produce either civilian or military aircraft. Another example: the USSR was the biggest agriculture tractor producer in the world at one point. These tractors were produced in the same industrial plants as the one used to produce battle tanks. So, albeit the USSR registerd up to 17% of GDP spending on the "military" (as some sources claim) -- you have to take it with a grain of salt.

Another problem with this "too much military" theory is the logic behind it. During the 50s and 60s, the USSR was also spending a lot on the military, but it didn't stop it growing 15%-10% yoy. It was only after the mid-70s, when the USSR begun to stagnate (it never had a recession), that the military spending theorists begun to sprout. The question is the same about the ill fate of the welfare state in Western Europe in the end of the 70s: which came first, the egg or the chicken. Putting it in another way: was it the Soviet was spending that caused its long stagnation or was it its long stagnation that made its military spending look big?

Posted by: VK | Mar 2 2018 1:47 utc | 42

@39 V. Arnold - "I sense the gloves are coming off"

Yes but very slowly. Russia consistently confounds my western sense of escalation by slicing all situations into tiny increments, smaller than I would have guessed they could be sliced, but on inspection completely realistic and sane.

And at the end of each gradual path of escalation sits a hammer blow so final that every time it strikes the world has changed, in the blink of an eye. You wake up and Russia's in Syria. You wake up and every map of Crimea needs to be changed. You wake up and it takes the sane perspective of people like b to narrate how the Munich speech warning of consequences spent 11 years in the preparation, and on this day the Kremlin decided the time to announce this had come.

And with the announcement of the fruition of the last warning comes also the next warning, that new systems are in development and they will be developed.


@14 karlof1

I like what you're saying about an arms race. And so let the US try. Let it either do nothing and bluster in its media, or else attempt to catch up and step into the real world to match the forces playing at the table. Either way it achieves nothing of substance.

The US has shown nothing but developmental incompetence for some years now. No amount of forced science on special projects can compensate for the systemic failures of a naval fleet that can't steer straight, a trillion-dollar 5th-gen plane that actually doesn't work to 5th-gen standards, and the clear display of a Military Complex saturated with corruption. The gang that can't shoot straight is incapable of peer warfare. You'd hate to be a village without some nuclear arms to protect you in the next 3-4 years, but otherwise the US is done as a world force, and Putin's speech is the milestone of that.

The US is trapped in its own stupidity.

I'd say, stick a fork in it, but Putin could probably describe the 36 gradations of fork-sticking, and advise me to be patient ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 2 2018 1:58 utc | 43

@ Grieved who wrote:"The US is trapped in its own stupidity."

The stupidity that the US is trapped it is fealty to the God of Mammon. If your first priority is to make profit then making good stuff become secondary and your competitors have you for lunch

Pushing the US into an arms race will be the final nail in its bankruptcy coffin. Are the other nations of the world going to continue to buy Treasuries so we can build weapons to suppress them more?

Pushing the US out of Syria will be the test of Putin's strategy. Will it work? I suspect we will know soon enough.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 2 2018 2:22 utc | 44

karlof1, Hoarsewhisperer

More than likely the same clown as went by the username milomilo back in the aussie ambassador thread.
The username this time round links back to a junk news site.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 2:35 utc | 45

Grieved | Mar 1, 2018 8:58:39 PM | 44
Indeed, Putin seems a man of infinite patience; but calculating and analyzing might be a better descriptive.
And then there is NATO; standing naked in front of the Bear.
When will its citizens (of so many countries) realize they'll be the first recipients of nuclear wrath wrought by a corrupt hegemon and its sycophant vassals (redundant?) following an insane behavior not their own?
Or rather, do they realize they now own that inane behavior?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 2 2018 2:36 utc | 46

Greived 44 "You'd hate to be a village without some nuclear arms to protect you in the next 3-4 years, but otherwise the US is done as a world force"

I have felt for some time that Putin's aim is to see the US empire done and dusted before he retires. 3-4 years looks about right as he will be getting on a bit by the end of the next term.'

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 2:39 utc | 47

America's Beltway wonks admit the USA won't be able to keep up with Russia, bring idea of abolishing nukes altogether. I have to admit that although I view condition of the United States as dire and hopeless, I didn't expect to see first signs of folding so soon.

Posted by: telescope | Mar 2 2018 2:57 utc | 48

@45 psychohistorian

Three sentences, three propositions. Each worthy of great contemplation.

I admire then all but most the third one about Syria. A paragon of coming down to earth. And if I say, "we shall see" I say it with relish rather than uncertainty.


Posted by: Grieved | Mar 2 2018 3:22 utc | 49

@ smoothie
You are right on. The hypersonic Russian cruise missile rules; the US has nothing like it. And we have seen that the evolution of battleship-->carrier-->cruise missile is complete. First planes from carriers out-distanced battleship rounds, now cruise missiles have out-distanced carrier planes (plus speed and maneuver). Bye-bye carrier fleets in peer conflict. At 12 billion each, plus the cost of the escorts and the 5,000 crew (prospects for Davey Jones's locker). Still effective against third world.

Actually they have a small presence anyhow because they are high maintenance. Currently, as usual, only two carriers of the US eleven are deployed as seen here. Two of eleven!!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 2 2018 3:24 utc | 50

I watched (and loved) Putin's address,I was especially taken by the faces of his audience. When he spoke of all the hard work ahead in agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, education, population growth, child and elder programs, you could see their shoulders bow knowing how much work was going to be asked of them. Then when he spoke of the new weaponry, what its capabilities were and invited all to submit possible names, they looked at him with faces filled with relief, admiration and pride. I especially loved the smile, laugh and shake of the head by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu when Putin said and this is not all (the new weapons) we have, just all we are telling you about. They are so lucky to have him and so are well. Long life Putin, long life.

Posted by: frances | Mar 2 2018 3:43 utc | 51

To add to my previous comment about China I just read a new ZH article that talks to that point

China Prepares For New Cold War With Massive Military Buildup

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 2 2018 4:14 utc | 52

What he did not mention is more important namely not what Russia did do with no violation of existing treaties but what they did anticipating expiration of treaties or in violation of existing treaties especially regarding space nuke.

In Fact China, Russia and US all work on space nuclear as well as so called guided hypersonic gravity systems what are man made meteorites , tungsten rods to hit the targets with cosmic speeds.

All additionally with anti satellite systems as well as massive electronic warfare including hacking of airplanes,drones, cruise missiles as well as ICBMs whose latest countermeasures made them, like guided, non ballistic trajectories nuclear heads practically non defeatable .

In fact Putin's speech actually more campaign speech countering the political right on subject of weakness and western appeasement, covered what was well know before, and was a counter point to military strategy of all sides rejecting use of nukes as way to achieve any tactical or strategic advantage.

Nukes are madness serve nobody but threatening human race with anihilation so they submit to their respective rulers who will never used them against one another but only in desperation face global revolution.

Facts are following:

Hitler and Napoleon learned that it is impossible to conquer Russia size of continent of militarily impossible weather with now a network of underground fortifications, tunnels that cannot be nuked.

There is no conquering Russia with measly million soldiers west could at best deploy for their sure deaths. Hence no western strategist plan for that and so the idea of Russia responding to conventional attack with nuke was a propaganda aim to end the conversation about that absurd, no sides really considers, but is used to spread fear.

US may attack Russia with nukes but no strategic goal would be achieved by that while retaliation would have been devastating.

Even conventional attack on Russia is absurd. Poland 50k 5k offensive capability, All Baltic states 10k, Slovakia 5k, Hungary 9k facing what?

Russian allies: Donbas rebels 40k war hardened rebel soldiers would be hard to beat; Belarus 250k highly trained soldiers, fully integrated Air, Space, Ground and electronic warfare with all newest Russian toys, while entire army of 2 millions. Russia 3-5 million military can call at least 10 millions will maintain air and space superiority over their territory , digged in while invaders are exposed.

There is will be no invasion of Russia only intimidation of the elites to submit to US political and economic dictates. Also there is no conquering China as well. Not possible.

The only nuke war can occur when global elite will be losing grip on power and going down in flames in socialist revolution and only to take entire humanity with them to hell.

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 2 2018 4:30 utc | 53

@33 karlof1.. thanks for saying that.. uncoy could say his bit without taking a cheap shot at peter.. that wasn't necessary.. uncoy has a good point regarding nhs.. i am not sure why nhs has been allowed to continue..

@55 kalen.. thanks for your comment.. it is an interesting angle you present which had skipped my thoughts, but i think you are right about the timing of this speech here.. to quote you "In fact Putin's speech (was) actually more (a) campaign speech countering the political right on (the) subject of weakness and western appeasement..." i think that is a good assessment of the timing of this speech.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2018 4:46 utc | 54

The best time to attack Russia, enjoy:
This past September, in one of his regular interviews with the newspaper Parlamentní Listy, retired Czech Major General Hynek Blaško commented on the possibility of a conflict between Russia and NATO with a following anecdote:
“I have seen a popular joke on the Internet about Obama and his generals in the Pentagon debating on the best timing to attack Russia. They couldn’t come to any agreement, so they decided to ask their allies.
The French said: ” We do not know, but certainly not in the winter. This will end badly. ”
The Germans responded: “We do not know, either, but definitely not in a summer. We have already tried.”
Someone in Obama’s war room had a brilliant idea to ask China, on the basis that China is developing and always has new ideas.
The Chinese answered: “The best time for this is right now. Russia is building the Power of Siberia pipeline, the North Stream Pipeline, Vostochny Cosmodrome Spaceport, the MegaProject bridge to Crimea; also Russian is upgrading the Trans-Siberian railroad with a new railway bridge across Lena River and the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline. Russia is also building new sports facilities for the World Cup and athletics, and has in development over 150 production projects in the Arctic … Well, now they really need as many POWs as possible!”

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 2 2018 5:01 utc | 55

lol! thanks v. arnold...

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2018 5:09 utc | 56

From the transcript of Putin's speech - "In late 2017, Russia successfully launched its latest nuclear-powered missile at the Central training ground."

This is simply the first article off the ranks in my search results. Article from late last year
"The French nuclear safety regulator IRSN first detected the radioactive element ruthenium 106 in the air in late September, tracing its origins to the Ural Mountains in the border region between Russia and Kazakhstan. Other European cities like Stockholm, Milan, and Budapest also began picking up radiation traces."

I would guess the faint traces of radiation that were detected was from the testing of the nuke powered cruise missile.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 5:10 utc | 57

from todays usa press propaganda briefing..

"QUESTION: All right. Then what I wanted to ask is about the statements made by President Putin this morning regarding these new weapons that he said had been tested. I’m wondering what your – what the diplomatic reaction to this is from this building.

MS NAUERT: Yeah. Certainly – I mean, I can tell you many of us watched that speech with great interest here from the State Department, and I would imagine across U.S. Government as well. One of the things I want to make clear – and we’ve talked about this type of thing before – that we’re not going to react to every word or idea that world leaders express. It was certainly unfortunate to have watched the video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States. I mean, that’s something that we certainly did not enjoy watching. We don’t regard that as the behavior of a responsible international player. So I just want to make that very clear. It’s – we just don’t consider it to be responsible.

QUESTION: So you are reacting to – you say you’re not going to react to – but you --

MS NAUERT: To every – but --

QUESTION: But you feel compelled in this case to --

MS NAUERT: Feel compelled to say, look, we saw it and we don’t think it’s responsible. We don’t think that kind of imagery, seeing the portrayal in a cheesy video of that kind of attack being conducted on the United States as being a responsible action.

and slightly further down.

QUESTION: So you responded to the broadcast of an animation --

MS NAUERT: Correct.

QUESTION: -- which is, after all, a cartoon, but not to the substance, which is Russian claims of having new weapons systems that could threaten the United States. So can you respond to that?


QUESTION: For example, is it not the case that at least one of these weapon systems has been under development or was under development many decades ago and then went away and --

MS NAUERT: Okay. Let me start with that.


MS NAUERT: That is certainly a concern of ours. President Putin has confirmed what the United States Government has known for a long time, that Russia has denied prior to this: that Russia has been developing destabilizing weapon systems for more than a decade, in direct violation of its treaty obligations.

President Trump understands the threats facing America and our allies in this century and is determined to protect our homeland and preserve peace through strength. U.S. defense capabilities are and will remain second to none. We have a new defense budget that’s over $700 billion. We believe that our military will be stronger than ever. The President’s nuclear posture review addressed some of this. It made it clear that we’re moving forward to modernize our nuclear arsenal and ensure that our capabilities remain unmatched.

QUESTION: Can you read the first sentence again, which I didn’t quite understand?



MS NAUERT: Sorry. What?

QUESTION: Can you read the first sentence again, which I didn’t understand?

MS NAUERT: Sure, certainly. President Putin has confirmed what the United States Government has long known but which Russia has denied previously: Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for more than a decade in direct violation of its treaty obligations.

QUESTION: And which treaties is it violating?

MS NAUERT: Some of these that are not in – that they are not in compliance would be the INF treaties. That’s an area of particular concern to us. Since 2014, they’ve not been in compliance with that. They’ve been developing intermediate-range ground launch cruise missiles in direct violation of the INF treaty.

QUESTION: What are you going to do about that?

MS NAUERT: That is not for me to say what the United States is going to do about that. We continue to have conversations across the various agencies and departments in the U.S. Government.

QUESTION: Is there an indication that those weapons that they showed today are actually operational?

MS NAUERT: That’s not something I’m able to answer. Some of those would be intelligence matters, some of those would come out of the Department of Defense.

QUESTION: But I mean – so – but these weapons – like, you said that confirmed what we’ve long been known that he’s developing, but do you believe that they’ve actually developed them or they’re still in the development process?

MS NAUERT: Some of this is new information that we are seeing today. Some of this is information that we’ve been tracking for some time. Some of this information the United States Government will not be able to publicly provide to you, and that’s part of it today.

Okay. Hi, Rich.

more crazy shit at the link on the top of this thread..

here are a couple of one liners from ms nauert that is pretty clear the level of hostility and animosity the usa press briefings are meant to hold towards russia on all levels.

"MS NAUERT: We are investigating various mechanisms that would hold Russia and the Syrian regime accountable --

QUESTION: What kind of mechanisms?

MS NAUERT: For using chemical weapons on its own people. We have talked about the OPCW and their role in identifying substances that were used."

"MS NAUERT: -- but let me ask reporters to turn that around. Fine to ask about Russia’s role in influencing or trying to influence the 2016 elections, but look at Russia and what it’s doing in killing people in Syria. I would urge you to do that."

and further down.
"MS NAUERT: Well, look, it’s certainly concerning to see your government, to see your country, put together that kind of video that shows the Russian Government attacking the United States. That’s certainly a concern of ours. I don’t think that that’s very constructive, nor is it responsible. I’ll leave it at that. Okay?"

and slighly further down.
" QUESTION: Excuse me. The – as I understand it, and I could be wrong, the video that was played doesn’t actually show the missiles hitting anything. Are you – but I’m just asking. Is it the assessment of the U.S. Government that had the missiles in the video ended up at their presumed target, that presumed – that that target was the United States?

MS NAUERT: Matt, I think it’s certainly looks like that. I’d ask you to go back and take a look at that.


MS NAUERT: It’s pretty clear what their target is, okay?"

you get a better feel for it reading the whole thing down.. see the link if interested..

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2018 5:33 utc | 58

I want to thank V Arnold, Kalen and james for their additions to the smell of fear in the US

Let me repeat one of my earlier comments and correct the spelling...sigh

The stupidity that the US is trapped in is fealty to the God of Mammon. If your first priority is to make profit then making good stuff become secondary and your competitors have you for lunch

The elite think that having the most nukes and the tools of finance guarantee them ongoing control of our world for ever

I guess they may be wrong, but they had a good run for a few centuries.

I see Trump as the current puppet for the elite. I believe that he is "hurt" enough that he would take the world out with him if he can't maintain control and I hope that mindset is not prevalent among the real elite.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 2 2018 5:54 utc | 59

I had a run through the MSM not long back and the propaganda machine churns on regardless, head in the sand and bum in the air.
telescope 49 put up a link to a foreign policy article that has dropped the propaganda and stated things as they are. Be worth watching for worried noises emanating from the pentagon, congress and so forth over the coming weeks that will most likely not be reported on by the MSM propaganda machine.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 7:09 utc | 60

uncoy 38 "Anyone who comments to hear the sound of their own voice is just noise."

You sure are a noisy prick uncoy or milomilo or whatever you want to call yourself. You have contributed absolutely nothing to the topic of this thread.

Did I look into the wrong abyss somewhere in my information highway travels? :)

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 8:18 utc | 61

james 56
uncoy added nhs as a bit of camouflage. nhs is a friendly resident troll like paul. Only newcomers, like I did when first coming to this, site gets cranky at them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 8:26 utc | 62

could it be that the Russians discovered that the western world is run by algorithms and accordingly makes moves designed to use the algorithms against themselves. all these players, mo bin sal, macron, merkel, soros, trump, these are all just faces to disguise an a.i. run system surely?

Posted by: rufus | Mar 2 2018 8:32 utc | 63

Bluff. These weapons do no exist as genuine functional systems ...

Dream big.

Posted by: rcentros | Mar 2 2018 8:47 utc | 64

@55 Kalen

Tungsten rods and cosmic speeds is wishful thinking, it's disinformation, simply because it is impracticable.
How to accelerate a rod weighting a 100 kg + guidance kit up to speeds of 20 km/s? That is about twice escape velocity. The booster system for such a warhead would have to be massive, furthermore, such a warhead's total energy on impact (20 km/s, 100-200 kg) would be in the range of 5 to 15 metric tons of TNT (3.5 GigaJ/t) - not very impressive.
Its only use, at tremendous costs, would be to hitting deeply buried hardened targets, provided the guidance system would be working reliably under such extreme conditions, which I strongly doubt. Now, one might say, why not use gravitational pull for acceleration? Doesn't work either, simply because one would need to deploy thousands of systems to have only a few of these in close range to earth's lower orbit at any given time, never mind proper target aquisition and guidance in the terminal phase.

Posted by: Hmpf | Mar 2 2018 10:10 utc | 65

"The missile is huge, with allegedly 200 ton...."

Sarmat is 100 ton missile with throw weight of about 5 ton, so you can not fit 10 MIRV and decoys on 100 ton mislle. It is rather replacement for UR-100N or SS-19 Stilleto. Most likely the Russian's most terrifying missile 210 ton R-36M2 Veovoda (SS-18 Satan) will stay in arsenal for foreseeable future.

Posted by: Partisan | Mar 2 2018 10:24 utc | 66

You might find this interesting;

It shows a Russian, supersonic, anti-ship missile, taking out a ship with only kinetic energy (no warhead).
Quite impressive actually. It's a bow on shot; even more impressive...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 2 2018 10:29 utc | 67

Partisan | Mar 2, 2018 5:24:11 AM | 66

Oh my; I'll let others deal with this...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 2 2018 10:30 utc | 68

The missile is huge, with allegedly 200 ton...

well, apparently size does matter.

Posted by: john | Mar 2 2018 11:03 utc | 69

psychohistorian says:

Pushing the US into an arms race will be the final nail in its bankruptcy coffin

look dude, sec/def already engulfs a trillion dollars a year...and DOD has recently launched the first ever audit of itself(hahaha) because of revelations of 21 trillion dollars gone missing(hahaha) just in the last 20 years or so...

so, what exactly does, pushing the US into an arms race, mean?

Posted by: john | Mar 2 2018 11:04 utc | 70

When I tried to link to South Front today, I got this message:

"Your connection is not secure

The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

This site uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to specify that Firefox may only connect to it securely. As a result, it is not possible to add an exception for this certificate."

Any of you tech wizards know why this has suddenly happened?

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 2 2018 11:09 utc | 71


Similar problem with IE browser today. Got this message:

There is a problem connecting securely to this website.

The security certificate presented by this website has expired or is not yet valid.

Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 2 2018 11:19 utc | 72


The post on your blog is identical to that on russia insider referenced back to the saker or RI staff.
Which is it smoothie? who are you?

Posted by: m | Mar 2 2018 12:59 utc | 73

Hmpf 65

According to the transcript, the missile comes in at around mach twenty with temps from 1500 to 2000 degrees C. 1500 is around the melting point of steel. 2000 degrees requires dark glass to look at.
Cosmic speed is an apt if not scientifically accurate description.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 2 2018 13:02 utc | 74

Thank you V. Arnold @55 vfor the humor.

I have noticed that Russia has constantly been informed of events before they occur and has taken steps to counter them, protecting their interests and even potential allies, like Turkey. They always seem to be well ahead of planners in the west. It seems they don't leak their SigInt for political gain.

I'm sure CentCom has dusted off the scenarios for a decapitation strike against North Korea and updated strategies for other conflicts, thus alarming Russia, but I suspect that this warning may be directed more at Israel. Bibi is going down for the count and could very well be planning on striking Iran's hardened sites with tactical nukes, cementing his place in the dustbin of history. I would not be surprised to learn that there are ex-Russian moles in the Israeli defense establishment and Putin is well aware of any preparations being made.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Mar 2 2018 13:21 utc | 75

@2 & 22 steven t johnson

Maybe it does not change your game, but it changes his a bit. Various anti-missile defense elements installed or planned in ex-Eastern block countries is what brought us to the present cold war 2, ending hopes from the early 90's.

Now his systems, no matter deployed or still being developed, render those East European elements useless, because, in principle, it can come from anywhere and defeat THAAD. - Of course, the hope is that those weapons will never be used.

As for space, it is for peaceful and double-use purposes, so why to prompt to have a war there?

Posted by: Don Karlos | Mar 2 2018 13:30 utc | 76


nhs is a link dropper, not a commentator, who wants to get clicks on his site. I have blocked him for now.

There is no reasonable way though I can block the use of link shorteners. I personally have the simple rule of never clicking on any such link.

Posted by: b | Mar 2 2018 13:43 utc | 77

Peter, Paul - the lack of distinction in names helps make the comment section a bit of a mess. Distinctive names like Paveway, Horsewhisperer, Karloff1 really help.

Part of this is an issue with the Typepad platform, B cannot force us to login with distinct accounts. There was terrible trouble at and even (I've been at this a long time) with commenters impersonating one another.

You sure are a noisy prick uncoy or milomilo or whatever you want to call yourself. You have contributed absolutely nothing to the topic of this thread.

Well there go the epithets and ad-hominems. In my opinion President Putin has said all that needed to be said and said it well on this theme. B provides some useful context but the comment section on this particular piece does not add a lot of insight. That's the difficult on commenting on Vladimir Vladimirovich's official statements - he is clear, transparent and detailed most of the time. Unlike Clapper, Wolsey, Obama, H. Clinton who are opaque, vague and deceptive. Or Trump who is unpredictable, vague and inconsistent.

Meta-issues are also important. The issue with nhs and URL shorteners is again on this particular (important) topic. It would be nice to solve the issue with URL shorteners once and for all. Here's what should happen: full direct URLs should be posted in proper HTML format. In this case, we would all see where nhs would like to send us and be able to make an informed decision if we would like to visit his links. Or if he's pimping for a particular website of little merit, it would be transparent and we could save ourselves the annoyance.

Proper HTML a href format is important so there's no issue with line length.

Speaking of line length: this CSS code helps enormously with width and readability in the comments.

You can add it in Stylish or B could add it to the site's CSS stylesheet. Added properly to the stylesheet, one wouldn't need the !important flag. There's a bit in there for contrast for those of us who prefer higher contrast to read more quickly at this stage of life.

#content div.comments-body {max-width: 650px !important; width: 650px;}
#content {background: whitesmoke; color: black;}
div.comments-body {font-size: 95%;}
div.comments-body blockquote {
    font-size: 95%;
    text-align: left;}

Meta-issues over and out for now.

Posted by: Uncoy | Mar 2 2018 13:45 utc | 78

Just a small aside, but related. The US stock markets took a 1% plunge yesterday, but interestingly the merchants of death stocks were reduced by about 3.5%. Trolls commenting on this thread may in fact be from that sector. Ouch!

Posted by: Michael | Mar 2 2018 14:23 utc | 79

Putin is manipulating America's pathetically inept and superficial media. Something that he and Donald Trump are both masters at. I see little cause to worry in his speech, it is 90% posturing and 10% actual substance.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 2 2018 14:26 utc | 80

@ Shake 71 and spudski 72

SFs certicficate expired yesday about 6pm est they should have it renewed shortly i would hope

can read some of their current stuff at veterans today for the meantime



Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 2 2018 14:27 utc | 81

My nomination for the best line of the day in the comments:
"I'd say, stick a fork in it, but Putin could probably describe the 36 gradations of fork-sticking, and advise me to be patient ;)"

Posted by: morongobill | Mar 2 2018 14:31 utc | 82

@79 Obviously the Pentagon will need more money to counter Putin's new weapons. Think of it as a buying opportunity. Wall Street has no morals.

Posted by: dh | Mar 2 2018 14:33 utc | 83

@81 oldenyoung

Thanks, much appreciated.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 2 2018 14:43 utc | 84

@74 Peter AU1
'Cosmic speed is an apt if not scientifically accurate description.' True, but cosmic speeds are generally understood as being in the range of 10 - 20 km/s or above for extraterrestrial impactors. First cosmic velocity would be more accurate - you're certainly correct on that one.
However, if it's 'only' Mach 20 (~6.5 km/s) there's the problem with the vehicle's kinetic energy, it'd be about 9 times lower then (compared to a terminal speed of 20 km/s), thus, further diminishing its usefulness as kinetic warhead for volume targets.
Also, in most cases a kinetic tungsten penetrator at such speeds wouldn't do much harm to larger structures, ships etc. simply because it would be punching through the target and exit, leaving small entry and exit holes without transferring a significant amount of its energy into the target structure since there wouldn't be enough time to doing so and target material in its path to interact with - unless of course it would hit critical equipment by chance.

Posted by: Hmpf | Mar 2 2018 15:14 utc | 85

I have been watching different US TV channels, CNNUS, FoxN,
CBS, CNBC,NBC and there is a general apathy to Mr Putin's
message: Listen to us!

They mostly refer to new Russian weapons, assert that it is
nothing new and nobody is better than the US.

This is in contrast to how panicky the US has been when confronted
with Kim Jong Uns capabilities.

Even Trump has failed to tweet his feelings about somebody
claiming to have a bigger button than his.

What is more it is said that the US has reinforced its presence in
Al Tanf with 600 new troops.

So it appears at this point that the US has not taken Russia's warning

There is a saying in Spanish: " there is none more blind than
he who does not want to see."

So those of us who had thought that the US would take note and behave
accordingly are in for a surprise.

Still, we will have to wait and see what will result from Mr. Putin's stern
and generous warning.

Posted by: CarlD | Mar 2 2018 15:29 utc | 86

Naturally, Putin apologists are acting like Russia just won WW2 again. The reality is made of shabbier, machiavellian stuff. What Putin did was a cheap, incompetent stunt. It was mostly animations and those have to be the worst animations ever, right? No doubt Putin got a nice little kickback from the US military industrial complex, right? They have to be loving that ridiculous song and dance by Putin. He probably just made them 100 billion dollars easy. But in some ways the most important audience for hoofer Putin was surely the people of Russia. Putin has tried to play it off, but the western establishment has only sort of let him get away with it: the massacre in the desert will surely destroy him politically. In essence - though on a detail level it was more complicated - Putin sent Russian fighters into battle vs. the US with no aircover and it was a slaughter. The people of Russia seem to have caught wind of this and, while it doesn't seem to have affected his poll standing yet (perhaps because his opponents seem to be total joke), it surely will. So Putin did a little grandstanding to try to burnish his tough guy credentials while distracting the public. It may even work well enough to get him through the election.

Posted by: paul | Mar 2 2018 15:31 utc | 87

As regards who the trolls are - well you know what I think of most of the subhumans who post here. I despise you right back, cretins.

Posted by: paul | Mar 2 2018 15:34 utc | 88

@87 I think you may be onto something. I bet Putin has billions invested in Raytheon.

Posted by: dh | Mar 2 2018 15:40 utc | 89

The nuclear powered, limitlessly ranged cruise missile sounds particularly fun!

Posted by: adamski | Mar 2 2018 15:40 utc | 90

Putin shows off another new weapon. Russia offered Turks and their allies a better protection than NATO.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 2 2018 15:46 utc | 91

Paul, please to not take this personally as I was going to post this anyway ...

Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief

#1. Denial (paul @87)
#2. Anger (paul @88)
#3. Bargaining
#4. Depression

I've read the first salvo of reactions from the MSM. I was surprised at how many are at #1. Putin doesn't bluff yet so many are claiming that this is nothing more then an election year stunt.
#5. Acceptance - (aint gonna happen)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 2 2018 15:49 utc | 92

The ArmsControlWonk Jeffrey Leweis agrees with my above analysis (I disagree with his generally hawkish sentiment)
Putin’s Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Is Bigger Than Trump’s - There’s no point in competing with Russia’s new trove of bizarre doomsday devices.

MIT Prof. Postol also agrees:
Postol: U.S. Policies Driving Putin Nuclear Statements

The analysis is the major U.S./UK (and German) papers is a bad as I predicted. Zero insight into Russia's rather reasonable thinking.

Posted by: b | Mar 2 2018 15:51 utc | 93

"any use of nuclear weapons of any yield - small, medium or whatever - against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences"

I think a safer (for everybody) retaliation against a limited-number "small" or "medium" nuclear attack on Russia would be an EMP attack on Washington, which fries non-hardened electronics. Cooler heads can't prevail if they're dead, and if leadership were to pass over to the military (or a militaristic Continuity of Government organization), that would be ominous.

Posted by: metamars | Mar 2 2018 15:54 utc | 94

I am proud to be among the Untermenschen and yes, I am mostly ethnic slavic.

I have nothing against the Germans or anyone else for that matter. The Ukro-nazis are starting to irritate me a bit. I am hoping that the Ukrainians will eventually tire of their antics.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 2 2018 15:54 utc | 95

@91 Another new weapon! There is no stopping Putin. At this rate he will soon get a seat on the board of Lockheed Martin. He must have a retirement property lined up in Florida.

Posted by: dh | Mar 2 2018 15:56 utc | 96

Why this speech and reveal now? Putin made mention of a number of systems which could have been announced here as they entered service. Putin is obviously warning the US but why now? Are there Russian on boots the ground in Syria that he is protecting? Is he about to close Syrian airspace? Put talks of tactical nukes to rest? Maybe he just had enough and that coincides with the events in Syria and maturity of Russia’s tech but I’m thinking this has something to do with a future Russian move in Syria.

Posted by: Alaric | Mar 2 2018 16:09 utc | 97

The effect on the US of Putin's speech is certainly important, but let's remember there are many other countries in the world which are weary of the prattle of "all options on the table" by "the leader of the free world," with its bullying, financially and otherwise, and these countries have discussions and reactions also, especially about the world becoming more multi-polar which to them may be an important benefit of Putin'e speech.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 2 2018 16:09 utc | 98

@95 As long as the EU carrot keeps being dangled in front of Ukrainians they will comply. Incidentally there is 'profound concern' about Russian troops in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. At least according to some parliamentary speakers.

"The parliamentary speakers from the three countries issued a joint statement saying they were "profoundly concerned about Russian troops" in Moldova, "and Russian occupation and other forms of military intervention" in parts of Georgia and Ukraine.

The statement at the end of a one-day security conference in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, also expressed displeasure at "coordinated foreign support for separatist movements," and social media "operations" to discredit their pro-European governments.

It said the governments should enhance their capability to counter hybrid attacks and called on the European Union and U.S. to support them."

Posted by: dh | Mar 2 2018 16:17 utc | 99

oldenyoung @81

Thanks a lot

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 2 2018 16:20 utc | 100

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