Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 03, 2019

Why The End Of The INF Treaty Will Not Start A New Arms Race

Yesterday the U.S. left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. The end of this and other treaties that eliminated or restricted the deployment of nuclear systems is seen by some as the beginning of a news arms race:

William J. Perry - @SecDef19 - 7:37 PM · Aug 2, 2019

The U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty today deals a great blow to nuclear arms control and global security, we are sleepwalking into a new arms race.

The former Secretary of Defense is wrong. The race will not happen because Russia (and China) won't run. Or said differently, they already won.

To understand why that is the case we have to look at the history of the nuclear treaties and their demise.

In 1976 the Soviet Union started to deploy nuclear armed SS-20 (RSD-10 Pioneer) intermediate range missiles in Europe. The west-Europeans, especially Germany, feared that these missiles would decouple the U.S. from western Europe. The Soviet Union might tell the U.S. that it would not use its intercontinental nuclear missiles against the U.S. mainland as long as the U.S. would not fire its intercontinental missiles into the Soviet Union. It could then use the SS-20 to attack NATO in Europe while the U.S. would refrain from nuclear counter strikes on the Soviet Union. Europe would become a nuclear battle field while the U.S. and the Soviet Union would be left untouched.

The German chancellor Helmut Schmidt urged the U.S. to station nuclear armed intermediate range missiles in western Europe to press the Soviets to eliminate the SS-20. In 1979 NATO made the double track decision. It would deploy U.S. made Pershing II missiles in Europe and at the same time offer the Soviet Union a treaty to ban all such intermediate range weapons. The effort was successful.

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (later Russia) banned all of the two countries' land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310-3,420 mi). All SS-20 and Pershing II missiles were withdrawn and destroyed. A nuclear war in Europe became less likely.

Another successful treaty was the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. It prohibited both sides from deploying more than one ABM system. It was necessary because the side that thought it had a working anti-ballistic missile defense could launch a massive first strike on the other side, destroy most of its forces, and defend itself against the smaller retaliation strike that would follow. Both sides were better off with prohibiting ABM in general and to rely on Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) for the prevention of a nuclear war.

In June 2002 U.S. President George W. Bush, under the influence of one John Bolton, withdrew from the ABM treaty which led to its termination. The U.S. deployed ABM system in Alaska and California but during tests the systems proved to be unreliable.

The U.S. claimed at that time that ABM was needed to defend against nuclear missiles from North Korea and Iran. That was always obvious nonsense. At that time North Korea had no missile that could reach the United States and Iran has no nukes and limits the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometer.

Russia saw the U.S. step as an attempt to achieve a first strike capability against it. It immediately started the development of new system that would make the U.S. anti-missile defense irrelevant.

The U.S. also pressed NATO to deploy ABM systems in Europe. Iran was again cited as the main danger. Plans were developed to deploy Patriot and THAAD anti-missile system in Poland and Romania. These did not immediately endanger Russia. But in 2009 President Obama canceled the deployment and came up with a more devilish plan. The AEGIS system used on many U.S. war ships would be converted into a land based version and deployed in an alleged ABM role. AEGIS consist of radar, a battle management system and canister missiles launchers. The big issue is that these canisters can contain very different types of missiles. While the Standard Missile-2 or 3 can be launched from those canisters in an ABM role, the very same canisters can also hold nuclear armed cruise missile with a range of 2,400 kilometer.

Russia had no means to detect which type of missiles the U.S. would deploy on these sites. It had to assume that nuclear intermediate range nuclear missiles will be in those canisters. In 2016 the U.S. activated the first of these AEGIS ashore systems in Romania. It was that step that broke the INF treaty.

That Obama had earlier signed a nuclear agreement with Iran that made sure that Iran would never build nukes made it obvious that Russia is the one and only target of those system:

During a visit to Greece intended to repair ties with the EU, Vladimir Putin said that Russia has “no choice” but to target Romania, which has recently opened a NATO missile defense base, and Poland, which plans to do so within two years.

“If yesterday people simply did not know what it means to be in the crosshairs in those areas of Romania, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security. And it will be the same with Poland,” Putin said during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Friday.
...
“At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know,” said Putin, who is in Greece for a two-day tour.

Russia urged the U.S. to negotiate about the issue but the U.S. rejected that. A year after the U.S. deployed its system in Romania it alleged that Russia itself was in breach of the INF treaty. It claimed that Russia deployed the 9M729 missile, an extended range version of a previous missile, with a range that exceeds the limits of the INF treaty. Russia says that the missile is just a technical upgrade of an older one and has a maximum range below 500 kilometers. The U.S. never provided evidence for its claim.

In January 2019 the U.S. rejected a Russian offer to inspect the new Russian missile and started to pull out of the INF treaty. It gave a six month notice on February 2 and yesterday the INF treaty terminated.

Neither the New York Times obituary of the treaty nor the CNN write-up mention the ABM system in Romania and Poland that were the first to breach of the treaty. Both repeat the unproven claim that Russia deployed new intermediate range systems as fact.

The Europeans in NATO are not happy about the treaty's end:

The official demise of a landmark arms control pact between the US and Russia is a "bad day" for stability in Europe, the military alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN Friday, hours after the US withdrew from the pact.

Speaking to CNN's Hala Gorani, the Norwegian politician called the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Moscow a "serious setback."

"I'm part of a political generation that was shaped during the 1980s, where we all were concerned for the risk of nuclear war and where we were actually able to reach the INF treaty that didn't only reduce the missiles but banned all intermediate range missiles and weapons," he said.

Stoltenberg went on to blame Russia without mentioning the fake U.S. "ABM" sites in Romania and Poland.

It was John Bolton who was behind the demise of the ABM treaty and it was John Bolton who convinced Trump to terminate the INF treaty. With Bolton in the lead the New Start treaty, which limits intercontinental systems but ends in 2021, will likely not be renewed. Soon the whole system of treaties that limited U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons and delivery means will be gone.

Why is the U.S. so eager to end all these? It is known John Bolton hates anything that restricts the U.S., but there is also a larger strategy behind it. The U.S. believes that it defeated the Soviet Union by creating an arms race that the Soviets lost. It hopes that it can do the same with a recalcitrant Russia. But that calculation is wrong. President Putin has long said that Russia will not fall for it:

Moscow will not engage in an exhausting arms race, and the country’s military spending will gradually decrease as Russia does not seek a role as the “world gendarme,” President Vladimir Putin said.

Moscow is not seeking to get involved in a “pointless” new arms race, and will stick to “smart decisions” to strengthen its defensive capabilities, Putin said on Friday during an annual extended meeting of the Defense Ministry board.

As Patrick Armstrong explains well:

Putin & Co have learned: Russia has no World-Historical purpose and its military is just for Russia. They understand what this means for Russia's Armed Forces:

Moscow doesn't have to match the US military; it just has to checkmate it.

And it doesn't have to checkmate it everywhere, only at home. The US Air Force can rampage anywhere but not in Russia's airspace; the US Navy can go anywhere but not in Russia's waters. It's a much simpler job and it costs much less than what Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev were attempting; it's much easier to achieve; it's easier to plan and carry out. The exceptionalist/interventionist has to plan for Everything; the nationalist for One Thing.

Russia already has all the weapons it needs to defend itself. U.S. warfare depends on satellite communication, air superiority and missiles. But Russia's air defense and electronic warfare systems are first class. They demonstrated in Syria that their capabilities exceed any U.S. systems.

When the U.S. left the ABM treaty Russia started to develop new weapons. In 2018 it was ready and demonstrated weapon systems that defeat any ABM system. The U.S. can not longer achieve first strike capability against Russia no matter how many ABM systems and nukes it deploys. There is no defense against hypersonic systems, nuclear torpedoes or nuclear powered cruise missiles with unlimited reach.

If the U.S. wants to start a new arms race with Russia or China it will be the only one to run. It will have to run fast to catch up.

Unlike the U.S. neither Russia nor China try to achieve world wide hegemony. They only have the need to defend their realm. The U.S. threat against both of them made them allies. If China needs more defense capabilities Russia will be happy to provide these. A U.S. nuclear attack against either of them, from Europe, Japan or the U.S. itself, will be responded to with a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland. As the U.S. has no ability to defend itself from the new Russian systems it will continue to be deterred.

Posted by b on August 3, 2019 at 18:55 UTC | Permalink

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One has to wonder what kind of treaty would replace the Pentagon's continuing public announcements that it will stage a first strike on Russia aa soon as it thinks it could win. Such announcements have driven the Russians to abandon any other motivation than to assure the absolute maximum destruction of the American homeland they are capable of producing. Anyone who launches an attack against a opponent who has a hypersonic nuclear arsenal such as the Russian have demonstrated deserves to be exterminated in the retaliatory strike.

Posted by: Vonu | Aug 3 2019 19:13 utc | 1

Very informative. Thanks b.

But I am not as optimistic as you are. US is in a provocation mode on all fronts. It has started a campaign of “we can fuck with anybody with impunity” and they will force the other superpowers into a confrontation somewhere.

I posted this in the open thread but it is relevant here as well.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/03/citadels-america-elites-fractured-and-at-odds-with-each-other/

The ballistic missile discrepancy between Russia and the US is a gap that will be filled. It is just matter of time. And then, Russia will be forced to come up with something deadlier and more superior. That is the nature of arms race.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 19:47 utc | 2


Looks like the START nuclear agreement is gone too. It won't be extended, per Bolton.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/new-start-is-on-the-chopping-block/

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2019 19:50 utc | 3

Thanks MoA for showing what a boondoggle our military spending is.

The US war machine is profitable. Oversize yearly increases to the military budget and this issue of updating our nuclear arsenal at $1.7 trillion plus that get little press that is brought up by presidential candidate Mike Gravel. Of course when asking for Universal Health care, college education and other direct benefits to the people the elite always chime in how are we going to pay for that.

“I’ve seen reports from The Intercept, for example, that the Pentagon has more money than they know what to do with. But maybe they do know what to do with it?”

“Well they sure do; they sure do. Let me give you an example. Right now, this started under Obama. We in Congress have authorized $1.7 trillion to refurbish our nuclear arsenal. Now, of course if you know the cost overruns the records of Congress, what you know of the Pentagon, is you know we’re talking $3+ trillion to refurbish our nuclear arsenal.”

https://merionwest.com/2019/05/31/interview-mike-gravels-priorities-in-running-for-president/

Posted by: Stever | Aug 3 2019 19:51 utc | 4

"The ballistic missile discrepancy between Russia and the US is a gap that will be filled. It is just matter of time. And then, Russia will be forced to come up with something deadlier and more superior. That is the nature of arms race."

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 19:47 utc | 3

According to Andrei Martyanov, the US already lost the arms race. Russia can destroy the US 5 times. Therefore does it matter if the US can destroy Russia 10 times? No.

The key point is that there is no current or prospective defense against hypersonic weapons, especially submarine launched, swarms of nuclear powered criuse missiles with unlimited range, or against underwater nuclear drones.

There will be no defense for at least 50 years. So Russia can now calmly decrease its defense budget as it has everything it needs.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2019 19:56 utc | 5

For the USA it's all about money and power. I believe the deep state, which runs Washington, DC, desires power, it is the driving force. After all they can print all the money they need. Here's something to chew on. Does the 'deep state' have a back door access to the Federal Reserve Inc., and all CBs? It certainly explains how they can control the drug trade, and all major corporations, politicians, judiciary etc.

Posted by: joetv | Aug 3 2019 19:57 utc | 6

6
What makes you think the Russians won't continue their research and haven't already gotten
the next generation after this one lined up.
Russian research scientists have always been leading edge,they always fell down on development before.
They have demonstrated that they seem to have conquered that shortfall.

Posted by: Winston2 | Aug 3 2019 20:04 utc | 7

Posted by: Winston2 | Aug 3 2019 20:04 utc | 8

I did not said that they won't, but they won't bankrupt themselves in doing so.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2019 20:09 utc | 8

The leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are filled with hubris. The on-going WW3 will inevitably go nuclear, the only question is when. I give it 5 years at the latest.

Posted by: JasonT | Aug 3 2019 20:16 utc | 9

It is most definitely beyond my imagination, why one mentally ill person can have so much power and is given absolute free reign in matters that affect all of mankind.

John Bolton et al belong into mental healthcare as much as Dr. Strangelove did. It says everything one needs to know about a society that harbors and protects these criminal psychopaths.

In one aspect I totally concur with Bernhard on this topic and have stated it elsewhere:

As someone who lived through the false flag 'incoming ballistic missile alert' in Hawai'i, I witnessed how people felt about being in the cross hairs of another nuclear capable Nation.

This time, it will be 'The Day After' for all of the US mainland. Everybody should know that. If the American population ignores the warning signs - like the fake missile alert - the real missiles will come without alert. That's what hypersonic missiles do.

Therefore, the internal destruction and dissolution of the US society will continue. Thanks to psychopaths like Bolton, Pompeo, Wolfowitz and cohorts.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Aug 3 2019 20:16 utc | 10

There is one simple reason that Russia has already sustainably won the new arms race that the Ziocons have initiated against Russia. The Russian MIC works for the defence of Russia, the Ziocon MIC works primarily for the enrichment of the Chosen. It is impossible to both rule the World and line up your own pockets with taxpayers’ moneys. Thus in US tactics won over strategy, a hobby won over the day job in the offence called “defence”.

This is a deep systemic issue which is impossible to change under the present ownership of US. Thus the Russian new Wunderwaffe are just a symptom of the sustainable systemic advantage.

Posted by: Kiza | Aug 3 2019 20:20 utc | 11

This is the best explanation of the whole situation available on the internet. Bravo b!

The only thing I would like to add is the schedule of these new Russian strategic weapons entering service. Nuclear-armed hypersonic glide vehicle Avangard (launched in space on top of an ICBM) will enter service by the end of this year. However, the nuclear-armed nuclear-powered intercontinental torpedo Poseidon is still in late development, and will take a few years to enter service. And the nuclear-armed nuclear-powered cruise missile Burevestnik is in what looks like early-to-middle development, and may take many years to enter service. It’s one thing to build a nuclear thermal rocket or a nuclear ramjet on the ground (both the U.S. and the Soviet Union did that), it’s another thing to achieve a stable nuclear ramjet flight. This will take time. So the immediate factors are Avangard and Poseidon.

Posted by: S | Aug 3 2019 20:24 utc | 12

@Passer by 6

“there will be no Defence for at least 50 years.”

Do you truly believe that? It is just matter of time, and certainly not 50 years, before US get their hands on similar technology either through R&D, spies or Russian Jewish proxies planted everywhere. Remember the Rosenbergs, although in reverse? There will always be someone in both sides that thinks balance of power is a must. Plus, You are assuming that US military researchers are defeated and they are just going to pack up and go home.

Taking Martyanov’s opinion with a grain of salt, I wish I could arrive at the same conclusion as you for a safer world but that’s rather naive.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 20:27 utc | 13

Posted by: S | Aug 3 2019 20:24 utc | 13

Not a good enough explanation actually.

US exiting the INF is more about China than about Russia, and there, it will give them advantage until China can match Russia's nuclear and missile capabilities.

This happened due to the realisation that the US will soon be unable to win a conventional conflict with China.

The US will soon deploy its new intermediate range conventional missiles in the Pacific Region.

https://southfront.org/us-military-to-soon-deploy-mid-range-missiles-in-asia/

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 20:27 utc | 14

Do you truly believe that? It is just matter of time, and certainly not 50 years, before US get their hands on similar technology either through R&D, spies or Russian Jewish proxies planted everywhere.

Dear Uncle Jon, read what i wrote again. It does not matter if the US steals or creates simllar technology, because this will simply lead to the US being able to destroy Russia 10 times instead of 5 times. MAD remais assured, because there is no defense against the combination of submarine launched hypersonic missies (Zircon), HGVs, high speed underwater nuclear drones, and unlimited range crusie missiles, and there won't be defense for at least 50 years, the way i or Martyanov see it.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2019 20:39 utc | 14

The new arms race is in 'space': outer space, cyber space, and mind space (broader area than simple propaganda, it includes things like cultural colonization). These represent the ultimate 'high ground'.

The next war (excepting in the middle east or socialist countries in the Americas that are in USA "back yard") will probably be a cyber- or outer-space war.

Can the world find a way to collaborate instead of compete in these spaces? Today it looks unlikely.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 20:41 utc | 15

"...[the US] will continue to be deterred."

I am not so certain of that. The delusion in America I often write about is the real thing. I am not exaggerating it. Further, I tend to write about this collective mental illness the US suffers from in somewhat dry and understated terms when it actually deserves a "Holy shit we're all gonna die!!" level of panic.

Most foreigners looking in at America see it through the lens of corporate mass media and their impressions are colored by holdovers from the country's glory days of Apollo and Dr. Martin Luther King and President Kennedy and so on. Most Americans, attempting their best effort at simulating introspection, also see themselves through the lens of corporate mass media, and what Americans see are superheroes and bulletproof soldiers. Most Americans very literally think that the $trillions that the US military cannot account for wasn't lost to corruption and graft, but have instead been thriftily used to develop scifi ultra weapons that can defeat any attack on American soil.

This is a direct consequence of American exceptionalism, which impacts the issue in a number of ways. Viewing the matter from this exceptional perspective, Americans figure that Russian atomic weapons and their missiles are crap compared with what America has, and most probably will just fizzle or crash when the Russians try to launch them. They are all probably rusty and full of birds nests and cobwebs in any case. Any of Russia's missile that do get off the ground will probably hit the wrong side of the planet too, because they are just Russian crap. Of the Russian missiles that do reach America, most of their warheads won't explode because either they are too old, they are crappy Russian designed, or the bombs are too intimidated by America's awesomeness to explode and mar the shine, so those bombs will just commit suicide by diving into the ocean. The few Russian warheads that continue? Well, that's when America breaks out its super-secret giant frickin` laser beams and zaps them out of the sky!

[Americans reading this thread be like "Damn this Gruff guy, talking about our secret laser beams!"]

What's worse is that most Americans firmly believe that Russia won't retaliate for a nuclear attack by America on Moscow. "We're just going to 'bloody their nose' a little. Hit them with a little tiny baby tactical nuke. Something trivial, like kill a couple hundred thousand in Moscow or something minor like that. The Russians would never resort to all-out war over something inconsequential like that!"

And yes, Americans are so ill in the head that they really do believe that murdering a few hundred thousand is trivial and isn't something that others should get upset over.

America is spending a $trillion on developing tactical nukes because they fully intend to use them. Tactical atomic weapons are not a deterrent. The only reason to develop them is because it is easier to rationalize using them.

If the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and America's poodles in Europe think they are dealing with rational people, they are in for far more unpleasant surprises than what Trump has sprung on them so far.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 3 2019 20:41 utc | 16

@nottheonly1 11

Bolton et al are only foot soldiers and enforcers. For the capos, you have to look elsewhere.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 20:43 utc | 17

17
It wasn't wealth that tricked down from the top but the psychopathy sure did.

Posted by: Winston2 | Aug 3 2019 20:53 utc | 18

Thanks b, hopefully an alliance between China and Russia can blunt the empire's drive for total hegemony.

Let's all hope so..

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 20:58 utc | 19

@ 19; Man, that's the bottom line truth...

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 20:59 utc | 20

The threat of nuclear war is a cudgel to beat the masses of each respective superstate and to keep them obedient to the aims of that superstate. Fear mongering and paranoia are excellent tools of mass mental control and is what keeps the worldwide military industry alive and swimming in profits.

All out nuclear war would bring the whole house of cards crashing down economically and to say nothing of the actual natural resources rendered useless through fallout or no population to speak of to rule over.

As much as Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are supposedly at war, they cooperate at much higher levels. Go learn about all the technology transfers that occurred between the US and Russia even at the height of the "Cold War" Or all the technology transfers to China in the 1980's. The world is like a wobbly 3 legged stool.

Posted by: O | Aug 3 2019 21:27 utc | 21

Follow the Benjamin's baby. There is a lot of money to be made by first scaring the hell out of their own (US) population and their client states and then providing them with the means to protect themselves. Doesn't matter if the stuff works, the racketeering and shakedowns will continue. The US will build and deploy them to Asia and Europe and then get to buy ABM systems. It's a win win for those that really matter.

Posted by: Tom | Aug 3 2019 21:36 utc | 22

It seems part and parcel of the mania gripping the dollar backed side of the world.
It's race to see if we blow up the world, or implode first.
My money is on the markets imploding first. While there is an awful lot of bluster in the foreign policy, even if the sticks used to beat up the weak are all too real, the not too distant implosion of the currency is inevitable. Throw in a serious earthquake in California and America is going to be looking seriously inward. Hard to seriously blame earthquakes on Russia. Though some will try blaming a stock market crash on them.
Having survived the collapse of the USSR and being sanctioned, Russia is probably best situated to survive the collapse of the global system. It's also a part of the world probably to be least affected by rising temperatures.

Posted by: John Merryman | Aug 3 2019 21:55 utc | 23

@Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 20:43 utc | 18

Bolton et al are only foot soldiers and enforcers. For the capos, you have to look elsewhere.

Yes, of course. I am aware of that. But in the light of the recent 'Demo-erratic Party' establishments priorities, it has become obvious that they are fine with these decrepit people. The fake Russia story was a big thing - the foot soldiers and enforcers on their way to inconceivable mayhem - not only 'not so much', but 'not at all'. That is the real scary shit. There is no more political power to stem the tide of those who install these puppets. If there ever was.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Aug 3 2019 21:58 utc | 24

@ Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 20:41 utc | 16

Can the world find a way to collaborate instead of compete in these spaces? Today it looks unlikely.

Indeed. Competition creates winners and losers. Collaboration creates only winners. I have often wondered where mankind could be right now without having wasted all the precious resources for competition and oneupmanship.

Imagine:

"Okay kids, we got the dates for our next field trip. We will be leaving the Pacific Space Center for the Moon on the first week of August. Tell your parents they need to sign the consent form and return it before the end of June..."

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Aug 3 2019 22:12 utc | 25

It is time for an MRI treaty. Only luck has spared Earth the WW3 of a thousand nuclear explosions, etc. [The etc. is to spare reader depression.]

By use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other modern tech, the brain lesions and tumors that account for much madness can be used to effectively quarantine from .gov the StrangeloveBoltonMcCain-types, as is done already done with other, known victims of overwhelming, biological hazards.

There was no MRI/CatScan tech to keep Woodrow Wilson off the ballot. Maybe we would be spared our Fed Reserve System and Personal Income Tax insults.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 3 2019 22:14 utc | 26

Posted by: Tom | Aug 3 2019 21:36 utc | 22

LOL and so true. Amerika builds weapons for profit and Russia builds weapon for the citizens.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 3 2019 22:34 utc | 27

While I fully agree with your analysis, I'm terrified about the little stuff you left out.

US is clearly trying to achieve first strike capabilities. Medium range missiles surely give the illusion of having such abilities. If you cut your flight time to less than 10 mins, down from 20+ you get from an ICBM, you certainly give your opponent less time to react successfully. Combine this with the ability to simply drop an (already deployed) nuke from space to target in less than a couple of minutes (do you really think "space force" will not include nukes?), you can create an illusion in Washington circles that they are able to pull a successful first strike through.

I'm terrified of this scenario. First cause there are crazies in D.C. that might try to do it and most importantly because it will force both Russia and China operate with hair trigger defense. If your enemy has the ability to "first strike" you in a few minutes, the more likely is that you will strike back as soon as you can, even if you cannot confirm if what you see is an actual attack or not.

Posted by: Erlindur | Aug 3 2019 22:38 utc | 28

@15, intermediate range vs China

I think that is exactly correct. Larger and more efficient Chinese industry, and larger population = eventually larger conventional forces. US has maybe 15-20 years before China reaches parity in conventional forces. Possibly half that if Chinese leadership felt particularly threatened.

This is a big headache for US defense planners.

Meanwhile, Bolton and his mates are just crazy. They're trying to provoke conflicts. Sponsors are crazy too, but that's the middle east for you.

Posted by: Pxb | Aug 3 2019 23:39 utc | 29

It is a mistake to concentrate on the European theatre when discussing the rationale behind the USA's withdrawal from the INF treaty.

This isn't about Europe.
It isn't even really about Russia.
It is about China.

The INF Treaty prevents the USA from surrounding China with land-based IRBMs.

Ship-based missiles, yes.
Carrier-based air-to-land missiles, yes.
But not shore-based missiles.

Not such a big deal *except* that China is free to build as many IRBM as it likes.

That's the core objection from the Exceptional Nation: it will grudgingly accept mutual-prohibitions, but it is beyond maddening to watch Someone Else do something that it is prevented from doing.

That's all this is about: American bruised pride.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 4 2019 0:05 utc | 30

so as long as we are still viewing current happenings through the lens of yesteryears polite discurs and diplomacy we are not going to adjust to the diplomacy of todays mobster governments. D. Trump is a hostage taker. And so far he is collecting his ransoms without ever letting go of the hostage - which is this planet and people. We are already in a weapons race, and chances are that the trumpster in order to show everyone how serious and unscrupulous he is will use some of his toys on some country, after all you have to offer bread and circus to those that have elevated you. Nothing this man has done over the last years was without malice, without indent, without clear planning and strategies, they are living teir alternative reality and facts and you can just shove your history books and watch them burn. there is a new reality, better get used to it.

We are at the year 3 of the new order. Enjoy the ride.

Posted by: Sabine | Aug 4 2019 0:27 utc | 31

By use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other modern tech, the brain lesions and tumors that account for much madness can be used to effectively quarantine from .gov the StrangeloveBoltonMcCain-types, ...

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 3 2019 22:14 utc | 26

The reality is more sobering than that. Humans are social creatures and apart from atypical solitaire types that may be overrepresented among commenters here, they form their norms of "common sense" from their milieu. Within the reality of that milieu, what you think is crazy is the common sense. University level education on foreign affairs, modern history etc. is quite polarized between alumni of CIA, military, State Department etc. who fully share beliefs of their milieu and leftist (less frequently, libertarian) folks who never joined their milieu or got disenchanted with it (like those who run Consortium News). Students can believe one set or the other, there is little ground in between, and guess who goes to CIA, military, State Department and politics in general? Add assorted think tanks etc. We have a wide milieu with that runs institutiona, university courses, seminars for political newbies etc., provide expert explanations and useful leaks to journalists who, more often than not, just not know any better (they are hired for docility). Peculiarity of a person like Bolton is a combative personality and choleric temperament, but cultured, mild manner folks can do very much the same kind of thing, with nary a brain lesion.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 4 2019 0:59 utc | 32

Dear Passer by:

“...the way i or Martyanov see it.”

Glad you cleared that up.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 4 2019 1:00 utc | 33

@ nottheonly1 24

I am with you. The political parties are two faces of the same coin as the old cliche goes. But ever so true.

We are in trouble and us voting won’t help, at least not at grand theater level.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 4 2019 1:07 utc | 34

I just finished watching 'The Day After'. A few things were most peculiar - watching it in 2019:

In the movie someone is repeatedly stating that "...Hiroshima was peanuts...". The movie also as brilliantly as frighteningly depicted the mindset of the American population at the time of the Pershing II deployment. The real frightening aspect though is the fact that it appears to be sort of a time machine - because it is obvious that not a whole lot has happened in the mindset of the American people since this movie. It should be mandatory to watch in all schools.

Last but not least I like to recite the epilogue of the film, which is also my opinion:

"The catastrophic events you have just witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe then the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States.
It is hoped that the images of this film will inspire the nations of this earth, their peoples and leaders, to find the means to avert the fateful day."

The movie is now 36 years old and has not lost an iota of its message. It could be argued - in the face of the recent unilateral breaking of several treaties by the US regime - that the American people and the world at that, are much closer to the scenario depicted in the film, than 36 years ago. Much closer. And the Doomsday Clock is actually tardy. It is definitely only a few more seconds to Midnight.

Maybe this is the equivalent for the mushroom growing out of the head of a certain ant species in the jungle - when it overwhelms the supporting capacity of the rain forest, endangering all life in the forest.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Aug 4 2019 1:20 utc | 35

By use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other modern tech, the brain lesions and tumors that account for much madness can be used to effectively quarantine from .gov the StrangeloveBoltonMcCain-types, ...

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 3 2019 22:14 utc | 26

I read Piotr Berman's response but let me give you mine.

There is technology out there to identify folks that are really mentally hurt. It is called neurofeedback and more specifically the QEEG (Quantitative EEG) protocol will give you a brain map showing "likely problem areas". It is not perfect and does not have a long enough history to work out all the "exceptions" to its findings but its use of a normative database is very telling of abnormal rhythmic patterns.

A positive aspect of this and other neuromodulation therapies is that they can remediate the problems found. I am a worst case user of these technologies in the successful pursuit of my healing path

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 1:24 utc | 36

[Americans reading this thread be like "Damn this Gruff guy, talking about our secret laser beams!"]

What's worse is that most Americans firmly believe that Russia won't retaliate for a nuclear attack by America on Moscow. "We're just going to 'bloody their nose' a little. Hit them with a little tiny baby tactical nuke. Something trivial, like kill a couple hundred thousand in Moscow or something minor like that. The Russians would never resort to all-out war over something inconsequential like that!"

And yes, Americans are so ill in the head that they really do believe that murdering a few hundred thousand is trivial and isn't something that others should get upset over.
********

Mr. Gruff, most of the time I really appreciate what you write, as you inform me of things I need to know. I'm an American. And what you write above really doesn't pass muster. I don't know anyone that feels the way you depict Americans, and while I wasn't born an American I have lived here more years than in my native land, and to put my age bluntly, I am long, long in the tooth. And I have never met an American who thinks as you suppose most Americans do.

But then, I don't usually socialize with the rich and powerful. In fact, I never do. The closest thing I came to that was when as a Kelly girl in DC during the Kennedy years, one of their lawyers actually patted me on the head.

We Amerians are better people than you make us out to be. Most ordinary citizens, whatever their nationality generally are.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 4 2019 1:26 utc | 37

Jackrabbit @ 16

True, the war is also being fought in empty space. The empty space between the ears of most people. The empty space is maintained by the cell phone they stare at all day.

If the Polish leaders and the crazies in the US place these types of missiles in Poland then it is over. Might as well cash it in for the planet for a while.

Posted by: dltravers | Aug 4 2019 1:47 utc | 38

Abolishing treaties, sanctions, tariffs, empty chest beating....all the acts of a frightened and impotent nation. Countries that are strong and secure in their abilities don't behave that way. So which nuclear weapon loving Asian nation will be begging to be made a target for hosting the dying Empire's missiles??

Posted by: Indrid Cold | Aug 4 2019 1:47 utc | 39

Dear Juliania.
It is not that americans are that self sufficient and all powerful.
It s the Military security complex, the infinite nbr. of war linked enterprises scattered over all states there, the self righteous arrogant media tone deriving therefrom... and the absolute ignorance of 99% mericans on whatever are foreign capabilities and geographic realities that produces this megalomania.
And last not least, a corrupt 700 billion budget run by thousands of ''revolving door" babies can simply be dismantled by a 70 billion rusky one. and how about a ruskian plus chinese defense budgets put together, with a fraction of the US prevailing corrupted MIC?

Posted by: augusto | Aug 4 2019 1:56 utc | 40

William Gruff @ 17

This is a direct consequence of American exceptionalism, which impacts the issue in a number of ways. Viewing the matter from this exceptional perspective, Americans figure that Russian atomic weapons and their missiles are crap compared with what America has, and most probably will just fizzle or crash when the Russians try to launch them.

You are over analyzing us in some respects and under analyzing us in others. Those views would hold for the few in the National Security State. The average US citizen has not a clue what is going and really does not care. The focus is on whatever cable news spews out, the next great video game, twitter, and how to fill their bellies and satisfy their sexual urges.

The sports and the entertainment industry are their major concerns. They are experts in those fields. If they placed one tenth of a percent of interest on global affairs things would be very different.

When Trump lined up the fleet against North Korea to back them down they got scared for a bit but that is about it. When the moment arises they will show fear. Before that forget-about-it.


Posted by: dltravers | Aug 4 2019 2:01 utc | 41

j @ 37 said; "We Amerians are better people than you make us out to be. Most ordinary citizens, whatever their nationality generally are."

Except for the fact that most Americans have been brain-washed for decades with the mantra of "individualism uber-alles". The well-being of society takes a back seat to hedonism, by pursuing individual pleasure over the needs of the many. It makes for a very sick and selfish country. Most Americans are totally indifferent to the terrorism and mayhem, we, as a nation, cause around the globe, by our belief that we, as Americans, are exceptional, and can do as we please.

Too many of us have succumbed to the BS peddled to us daily.

Time to wake up!!

Posted by: ben | Aug 4 2019 2:06 utc | 42

The ending of the INF treaty will not create a new arms race but it will also not stop the existing one.

The existing arms race has forced Russia and China to develop defensive tools/measures for their countries that surpasses the current capabilities of Empire.

The reason we are all still alive is because of those capabilities by Russia and China that have been communicated to Empire enough to know (at least the Generals) that a nuclear attack is a death wish.

Empire is bloviating and bullying all over the place and showing pictures of Trump walking around with a baseball bat like he is some movie Mafia don because that is all failing empire has left.......bullying and bloviating by TV type personalities.

And more and more countries have stopped listening to the trolls of empire and are following the leadership of China and Russia that have better human futures to offer their people as well as the rest of the world.

The reason that China and Russia have better weapons is because they don't have to provide a profit to do so.....anyone believe that the financialization of Boeing had NO impact on the MIC related products they produce?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 2:18 utc | 43

@41
Maybe if we kill 2-3 million again, a la 50-53, they will mind us better?

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 4 2019 2:22 utc | 44

The threat of nuclear war is a cudgel to beat the masses of each respective superstate and to keep them obedient to the aims of that superstate. Fear and paranoia are tools of mass mind control and what keeps the worldwide military and weapons industry swimming in profits.

All out nuclear war would bring the whole house of cards crashing down economically and to say nothing of the actual natural resources rendered useless through fallout or no population to speak of to rule over.

As much as Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are supposedly at war, they cooperate at much higher levels. Go learn about all the technology transfers that occurred between the US and Russia even at the height of the "Cold War" Or all the technology transfers to China in the 1980's. The world is like a wobbly 3 legged stool.

Posted by: O | Aug 4 2019 2:48 utc | 45

I still don't know how exiting the INF is going to change the fact that the US military is run by a bunch of grossly overpaid, inefficient and incompetent cowards who only finds courage when it comes to bullying the defenseless.

Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 4 2019 2:48 utc | 46

Excellent analysis b. However, assuming the US will one day be able to develop anti-hypersonic weapons then, by default, this results in a need for Russia to develop new weapons technology. But I get the point - for now Russia has no need to develop anything new, and the US may take a very long time to catch up.

Posted by: TEP | Aug 4 2019 2:55 utc | 47

@41
Funny I was just thinking. If the Russian/Chinese kill a few million exceptionals maybe the rest will mind them a bit better. Grow up.

Posted by: Ike | Aug 4 2019 3:01 utc | 48

O @ 45 said;" The threat of nuclear war is a cudgel to beat the masses of each respective superstate and to keep them obedient to the aims of that superstate. Fear and paranoia are tools of mass mind control and what keeps the worldwide military and weapons industry swimming in profits."

Yep, worth repeating over and over.....

Posted by: ben | Aug 4 2019 3:07 utc | 49

Just as a friendly reminder for those who forgot or don't know about it, you might want to read the information from the "Perimeter System/Dead Hand".

Posted by: Bob | Aug 4 2019 3:43 utc | 50

@16 "What's worse is that most Americans firmly believe that Russia won't retaliate for a nuclear attack by America on Moscow."

I keep finding your observations conflict with the realty I live in.

We the dwindling dregs of the US middle class know, either instinctively or intellectually, that we're being dragged down a terminally dangerous road these days with no real domestic opposition to stop it. The people over which you've tossed the above blanket statement are relying on the cooler heads of other nations not to give in to our bully government while it stalks around like it owns the planet.

If there is an actual mass belief, should the US use nuclear weapons for the third time in history, it is that we the citizenry would pay the drastic costs of nuclear retaliation, while our "leadership" cower in their fancy bunkers. We'll die, just like the citizenry of any other nation experiencing corruption at it's head, but meantime, we still have to work and pay the bills. Perhaps it is this which appears to you as a casual dismissal of any nuclear worries.

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Aug 4 2019 4:03 utc | 51

@17 my post was directed.

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Aug 4 2019 4:06 utc | 52

https://www.georgemjames.com/store/p3/American_Military_Might_-_Debunked.html

I must say I am glad that people are realizing that the US & NATO are in no way as powerful or good as the Merchants of Death are claiming. Debunked them in this book, almost 700 pages, no one listened. Perhaps when the coming war ends with a broken America (not my wish, really not), the arrogance will end. GMJ

Posted by: GMJ | Aug 4 2019 4:27 utc | 53

Any state not primarily developing missile technology is also by definition not spending their defence dollar in the wisest manner, notwithstanding other disruptive technologies which may have the same dollar-capability ratio. F35 planes and aircraft carriers that don't work well aren't really leaving big holes in anyones ability to defend themselves, and as many have pointed out, are doing exactly as they were designed to do - funnel large amounts of money from taxpayers to already rich people. In fact they may even be somewhat of a windfall in terms of the chances for peace, with one or two well known middle eastern countries unable to cause as much trouble as they'd sometimes like to.

The fact that Russia and China have managed to develop measures to defend themselves and also enough offensive capability discourage any first attack, for a comparitively low price, bodes well for the futures of the citizens of those countries, as they can then concentrate on the more important aspects of running civilization.

Posted by: tspoon | Aug 4 2019 4:28 utc | 54

@juliania 37
I wish I had such a positive outlook of US dumbed-downed masses as you do. But it is really the Idiocracy of Russiagate combined with what dltravers says below your comment. Case to point, when the Cretin in Chief recently used Twitter to hint at using nu-killer weapons against Iran by hinting their use against Afghanistan, Scott Ritter wrote an article in the AmConMag about it. Neither the article, nor the commenters mentioned that if US hit Iran with nu-killer weapons (Bush junior) Russia would or should do anything. No matter how darkly funny William Gruff’s description here is, it is not actually far from this discussion and the AmConMag is written and read by those not totally remote from the decision making.

If US hits Iran with a few kilotons, just as the commenters and William Gruff were suggesting, how about Russia hit Tijuana in Mexico with a few kilotons under this or that or some other pretext (like, they gave us an ugly look, they stopped using Roubles ...). Why would US get upset about this, it is none of US business what Russia does to Mexico, right? This equivalence actually never occurred to any of those AmConMag debaters and such stupidity is profoundly scary.

As US becomes militarily weak, in relative terms, so it will become more likely to use tactical nuclear weapons again to demonstrate its capacity and willingness to third parties, just as with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It will not hit Russia or China, then some chosen hopefully sparsely populated and weak resister, such as Afghanistan or another Stan. Actually, there were hints that US already used a very small tactical nuke in Afghanistan when supposedly hunting for bin Laden. We, US, were once the most powerful, but now we are the craziest on the planet Russia and China, do you really want to pick up a fight with the planet’s greatest madman, the sick man of the West?

Posted by: Kiza | Aug 4 2019 4:44 utc | 55

"The Europeans in NATO are not happy about the treaty's end" -- which their own defense ministers unanimously voted for in the NATO meeting. Don't take Europeans at their word: they lie, and I'm not talking about the small stuff.

Both me and the Dark Throne have drawn the opposite lesson from the Syrian war compared to what b writes here. Yes, Russian weapons work well enough -- in part because they're often simpler. But the Syrian adventure has been a huge negative for Russian deterrence: all the warnings about "grave consequences" from Maj. Gen. Konashenkov c.s. have turned out to be bluffs, leading to painful climbdowns when the bluff is called. In part, this just exposed the cold fact that Russia cares about Syria, but only a little, not enough to take any meaningful risk--inside Russia or at its borders, it'd be a different story. But beyond this, Russian threats carry little bite as long as Russian elites park their wealth and families in NATO capitals. And the Dark Throne knows this very well; Washington may be psychopathic, but it's not always as "stupid" as claimed.

Even if b were right about all his claims, then the RF/CN strategy of restrained, territorial defense will mean: we can't defend our allies. Again, the world is taking notice, and not only in Syria. Venezuela has pretty modern Russian air defenses (the competence of the crews is another story), but the Armies of Mordor violate their airspace at will because nobody has the nerve to kill a bunch of them. In this climate, American confidence is building that they can get away with just about anything.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Aug 4 2019 5:09 utc | 56

@ Kiza who wrote
"
.....Russia and China, do you really want to pick up a fight with the planet’s greatest madman, the sick man of the West?
"
I believe that China and Russia have said quite clearly to the faux madman of the West that using another nuke is grounds for MAD extinction of all humans.

These faux madmen stand between the rest of the world and saving what is left of our planet. It is no longer worth saving if the madmen continue to hold power and so the gauntlet has been thrown down and we get bully and bloviating posturing in response.

I agree with China and Russia that living under a bully cult is no way for humanity to continue to operate and doing so just eliminates our chance to remediate the excesses of empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 5:11 utc | 57

uncle john #3

there is no arms race. the dying empire has been outflanked by smarter and much older cultures. there is no catch up because the east is in the ascendancy. unless the us body politic has a death wish (quite possible) there will be a transition to a new set of global rules. the 5 eyes and most of europe will not fare well in the new structure unless they sharply come to their senses. it's a physical thing that has been playing out for centuries.

Posted by: m | Aug 4 2019 5:12 utc | 58

The establishment press is shocked ... SHOCKED! to find that there's a new Cold War

But have no fear, because Alastair Crooke is on the case. Breathlessly exclaiming that "something is up", he quotes ft columnist Luce:

The speed with which US political leaders of all stripes have united behind the idea of a ‘new cold war’ is something that takes my breath away. Eighteen months ago the phrase was dismissed as fringe scaremongering. Today it is consensus.

Crooke illustrates this Cold War mentality with a description of Jefferies remarks at the recent Aspen Conference:
“Hammering Russia” (he insisted repeatedly), will continue until President Putin understands there is no military solution in Syria (he said with heightened verbal emphasis). Russia falsely assumes that Assad has ‘won’ war: “He hasn’t”, Jeffrey said. And the US is committed to demonstrating this fundamental ‘truth’.

Therefore, the US plans to ‘up the pressure’; will escalate the cost to Russia, until a political transition is in place, with a new Syria emerging as a “normal nation”. The US will ‘leverage’ the costs on Russia across the board: Through military pressure – ensuring a lack of military progress in Idlib; through Israelis operating freely across Syria’s airspace; through ‘US partners’ (i.e. the Kurds) consolidating in NE Syria; through economic costs (“our success” in stopping reconstruction aid to Syria); through extensive US sanctions on Syria (integrated with those on Iran) – “these sanctions are succeeding”; and thirdly, by diplomatic pressure: i.e. “hammering Russia” in the UN.

And then summarizes:

... the picture seems to be one in which US bellicosity is somehow consolidating as an élite consensus ...

But this is where Crooke (predictably) goes off the rails as he returns to his elites are divided mantra, claiming that despite their disparate aims, various elite groupings find a belligerent stand to be useful to achieve their goals. He further goes on to explain that peace-loving Trump may be susceptible to this malevolent elite consensus. Oh my!

I've often taken issue with the notion that US elites are divided. IMO those who put forth this theory confuse and conflate the many issues involved. For one thing, elite power varies greatly by subject area, for example: neocons and MIC have vastly greater power in military-related foreign policy than financial, healthcare or agricultural 'elites'. "Divided elites" pretends that there a change in policy is more possible than it is.

Crooke also continues to credit Trump as anti-war and to push the propaganda meme that he's an independent actor that is pressured or influenced to do things that he doesn't want to. As I've written so many times before, it's inconceivable that the Deep State allows someone that is not a well-vetted team player to assume the office of President. Trump is not a dictator or a puppet - he's a team player who will receive yuuge gratuities for his teamwork after he leaves office - just like the Presidents that came before him.

Perhaps in another 18 months, Crooke will breathlessly relate new revelations that will, like the "new Cold War", bring his thinking more into line with reality. We can only hope.

In The Citadels of America’s Elites: Fractured and At Odds with Each Other

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2019 5:15 utc | 59

Uncle Jon@3

All it takes is one high altitude nuclear weapon detonation at say 400km height to result in about 80% death rate among US citizens. This may be why Trump is trying to be friends with Kim.

Besides, energy equals GDP and America is running out of hydrocarbon energy which will ultimately result in the implosion of society. Keeping Americans distracted helps to reduce internal conflicts in the short run.

Posted by: Krollchem | Aug 4 2019 6:21 utc | 60

juliania @37

We Amerians are better people than you make us out to be. Most ordinary citizens, whatever their nationality generally are.

If this is true why are the people in power such psychopaths?

Either TPTB reflect the people or they don't.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 4 2019 7:39 utc | 61

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Aug 4 2019 5:09 utc | 58

"In this climate, American confidence is building that they can get away with just about anything."

--Well...the entire 20th century says so, don't it?

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 4 2019 8:06 utc | 62

These kinds of analysis always miss out the real danger of nukes. Not political, not military. The danger is in accidents, engineering failure, and false launch warnings. There have been so many near nuclear weapons accidents in the USA since the 1950's, it's astonishing how lucky we've been. But sooner or later, luck runs out.

Posted by: Terran | Aug 4 2019 8:11 utc | 63

Capatilists have created a runaway violent monster !
Invading other country’s oppressing there own public, creating weapons of mass distruction and distroying democracy by distroying any viable political opposition !
That to me sounds like a definition of fascism, if it walks like a duck sounds and looks like a duck ‘ it’s a duck ‘
We don’t like it but we have to face it, and quick !
The psychopaths running the show do what they do becouse their under no constraint, their ‘lawless’
They have curupted our ‘defence’ curupted our ‘ law inforcement ‘ and replaced both with oppression !
The only remedy is obvious.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 4 2019 8:19 utc | 64

OT but a mighty interesting trove
https://www.coreysdigs.com/the-file-drawer/

Agree absoutely with Teran #65. It is a miracle that false triggering or malfunction hasn't done us in already. There is no hiding place: thanks Tulsi. Just keep saying that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 4 2019 9:03 utc | 65

@35 nottheonly1

I recommend watching Threads as well.

Posted by: TJ | Aug 4 2019 9:10 utc | 66

@psychohistorian #36

A positive aspect of this and other neuromodulation therapies is that they can remediate the problems found. I am a worst case user of these technologies in the successful pursuit of my healing path

I suppose that wont fix my brainstem short circuit that indirectly causes sleep deprivation. What works best for me is to take some time off the keyboard and enjoy the outdoors, watching wildlife.
I enjoy reading your comments and you dont seem defective in any way, quite the opposite. Perhaps experiencing certain difficulties in life is what stimulates intelligent people to go full red-pill and become MoA barflies. You won't see mee becoming a barfly though, my limited brain function prohibits that. I'll just be lurking in the background, listening to and forgetting whatever you guys talk about. Wish you the best of luck in whatever you are healing from.

Posted by: Joost | Aug 4 2019 10:19 utc | 67

"But Muh Trump is trying to improve relations with Russia! He is better than Obama. He wants to dismantle the Empire.."

Wake the f up!

US slaps new sanctions on Russia

US President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK in March 2018.

US banks are now banned from providing loans to Russia, and Washington will also be opposing any loan extension to Moscow by international institutions.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49210340

The US started a new Cold War with the aim of subjugating the world. Any independent nation is a target. Pretexts will be found to crack down on such nations. Everything else in noise.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2019 5:15 utc | 62

Crooke also continues to credit Trump as anti-war and to push the propaganda meme that he's an independent actor that is pressured or influenced to do things that he doesn't want to.

Exactly.
Yes, in my assessment he is pretty aggressive President, foreign policy wise. And the more the time goes, the more aggressive he becomes.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 4 2019 10:50 utc | 68

@TJ: Yes, Threads is the best of them all. Someone should produce a remake with smartphones, YouTube, Tinder, Putin, and a soundtrack by BTS, The Weeknd & Billie Eilish to make it more accessible to modern audiences.

Posted by: S | Aug 4 2019 10:56 utc | 69

The argument for reliance on MAD for the guaranteeing of no nuclear war is fallacious, and should not be accepted. The lack of trust and disregard of all laws is the fundamental malaise of modern international culture. The chances of unintentional nuclear war are too great in the long run to offer real security - only carefully crafted and monitored agreements can deliver real safety in this area.

To think otherwise is like saying that we will all be safe when everyone is armed to the teeth. This wild west fantasy is disproved in the reality of actual human experience. Peace is not assured by relying on the worst aspects of human nature.

Posted by: mike k | Aug 4 2019 11:30 utc | 70

@psychohistorian 59 and William Gruff
You two make the best comments in a toughest competition of excellent commenters here at b's best Zine/Blog. I read a lot online by only here I usually read all comments, your is particular.

Regarding the faux madmen of the West, it brings to mind the Khrushchev's shoe hitting the pulpit at UN whilst giving a speech. Combined with his lowly peasantry background he must have appeared to the "elite" like some Soviet version of a Napoleon. His behavior must have sent shivers down their spines. That was an unsurpassed faux madman ever, who achieved the removal of US Jupiters from Turkey.

But I also agree with Ma Laoshi @58, that all Russian red lines have turned out to be bluffs leading to painful climbdowns when the bluff was called by Turkey for US and by Israel for Israel. Unlike many here, I do not expect anything better from Russia and China. As said, as long as the Russian and the Chinese elites park their wealth and families in US and NATO capitals, there will be a lot of cocky posturing on all sides and some poor souls from non-elite will pay with their heads, but nothing will change. The non-elite has always and always will be paying with its taxes and its lives, particularly with lives of their children, for all the posturing and game playing by the self-appointed "elites". As the communists used to say, the non-elites in adversarial countries have more in common than they have with elites in their own countries (aka class struggle). A question to those who admire Russia and China because their middle-class is growing, whilst in the West it is disappearing. Do you think that this is not going to be reversed very soon, when the elite in those countries also realizes that corrupting every institution of the country is the best way to maintain relative wealth and improve control. In Russia and China they now control the 90%, then they will 99%, then 99.9%, then 99.99% and so on, until there are only a few rats on top of the sinking stinking pile of the society (the best description of the West)? But this still does not exclude a nuclear war, because psychopathy runs in humanity in parallel with the cooperative corrupting "elite".

Posted by: Kiza | Aug 4 2019 11:44 utc | 71

juliania @38 said: "I don't know anyone that feels the way you depict Americans."

Sadly, you are wrong. You may not know anyone who would say out loud what I wrote, but guaranteed most everyone you know thinks that way even if they claim otherwise. I know this as a fact for a number of reasons, but one simple and obvious source of evidence is to observe what movies and television shows and video games and other entertainment Americans enjoy.

It is difficult to see the form of the forest when you are surrounded by trees, or worse, when you are one of the trees yourself, but I believe that with effort some people can see through the stories and narrative smoke screens they reassure each other with to perceive themselves as they truly are. Some years practicing different disciplines of meditation can achieve that and presumably some hallucinogenic drugs can separate the mind's "monitor" sufficiently from the rest of the brain's noise for it to dispassionately observe that noise without the ego getting in the way. If that last were the case I suspect few recreational drug users would really understand what they were seeing anyway as it is the last thing that someone trying to escape from reality would want to see.

But you should have recognized the phrase "...bloody their nose..." at least as it isn't so long ago that it was bandied around quite a bit. What do you think it means when your fellow Americans jokingly chat about "bloodying North Korea's nose"? Literally giving Kim Jong Un a bloody nose? Even if that were so, what kind of people casually talk about violently assaulting someone else to get their way? Answer: Sick psychopaths like I described above are that kind of people.

You killed a million Iraqis, but when Americans discuss the "cost of war" they almost universally breeze right over that issue and instead dwell on the few thousand Americans killed and the $trillions spent. You cannot claim that you have not heard these conversations as even Tulsi Gabbard, the best anti-war candidate in a while, discusses the downside of war in those terms. She takes that approach and just briefly touches on America's victims because she knows few Americans care even slightly about the million dead Iraqis.

Finally, your sentence "We Amerians are better people than you make us out to be" is dripping with the American exceptionalism that is the root of the problem in the first place. You are not "better people." Murderers are always worse examples of humanity than are their victims.

I get that this is a difficult reality for Americans to face. Going from believing themselves the most perfect people in the world and the nearest to their god to acknowledging that they may very well be the precise opposite is tough. All except for the very few emotionally hardiest individuals will more tightly cling to delusion rather than face that reality, and it is that self-reinforcing nature of the delusions at the core of American exceptionalism that have made it such a virulent mental illness in the US.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 12:09 utc | 72

@ 60 Jackrabbit
Agree about the no split in the elites, but disagree that neocons and MIC have more influence on foreign policy than financial elites. Neocons, Wall Street and MIC are all parts of the same machine the gears of which are increasingly jamming.

Crooke writes: “One such orientation insists on a renewal of the Cold War to sustain and renew that supersized military-security complex, which accounts for more than half of America’s GDP.”

As I have stated many times before this is complete garbage. As contributions to US GDP FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) accounts for 21%, Health 18%, Tech 10%, Retail, nondurable manufacturing and construction 6% each. That’s 67% just there. Then there are all the public sector jobs such as teaching, and agriculture, and other services not included in FIRE.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 4 2019 12:14 utc | 73

Well of course Russian patriots and Russophiles will say Russia is ahead in the arms race...and their American friendly counterparts will make the same claim for the U.S. side. It's all a tribalist theater of the theoretical. Let us hope it stays that way for a long long time to come because these claims can only be tested during a United States versus Russia nuclear war. The Pentagon boasting about developing first strike capability that can destroy all of Russia's nukes in their silos and launchers is just cheap propaganda. It is simply not possible to 100% accurately gauge an opponents capability beforehand so any strike is going to be a gamble that will yield unexpected surprises. Which means an apocalyptic doomsday nuclear war is probably not going to happen unless someone fucks up by mistaking geese for incoming ISBMs or something like that.

OTOH last week when Trump repeatedly said he "could have killed 10 million Afghans" and ended the Afghanistan war, the media didn't dogpile him or even blink for that matter. The truth is mainstream America is okay with pretty much unlimited carnage as long as Americans aren't dying in large numbers. Even snowflake SJWs who go into cardiac arrest when someone mistrannies a gender don't care how many brown and black people are killed in the global south. When Bolton recently gave a speech at Oxford there were no outraged SJW mobs screaming at him for being a racist because words kill but bombs harm nobody (or something).

Anyway, my point is that even tho an all out nuke war is unlikely, I have no doubt whatsoever that the U.S. military would deploy so-called tactical nukes if it meant keeping the empire limping along for a little bit longer. And I am certain the American public will go along with it. Things are still good in the world right now from America's perspective. Wait until a real crisis hits and the U.S.A starts feeling the heat. The empire will not go down quietly and it will fight hard to keep its alpha dog status. We ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by: ArmsRaceRealist | Aug 4 2019 12:23 utc | 74

Summer Diaz @52 says: "We the dwindling dregs of the US middle class know, either instinctively or intellectually, that we're being dragged down a terminally dangerous road these days with no real domestic opposition to stop it." but then tries to argue "If there is an actual mass belief, should the US use nuclear weapons for the third time in history, it is that we the citizenry would pay the drastic costs of nuclear retaliation."

You are contradicting yourself, unless you think Americans are all suicidal? Americans know the course they are on is terminal, but they are going along with it anyway?

I suppose I can accept that is the case for some Americans, but I doubt that represents the majority. In any case, the end result is the same.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 12:34 utc | 75

I first heard the hilarious meme casting doubt on the likelihood of a new arms race on ABC.net.au's now defunct Matter Of Fact c/a program on March 7, 2018 hosted by Stan Grant.

The pundits participating in the forum were gathered to discuss NK's Nukes which were topical at that time. You can't have a conversation about NK Nukes without mentioning AmeriKKKa so Stan bit the bullet and asked pundit Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian Military Analyst, if Putin's announcement of a new suite of super-weapons last week, in response to AmeriKKKa's Nuclear Posture Review, marked the beginning of a New Arms Race?

"Well, no" says Pavel. "Putin's announcement means that the Arms Race is over and AmeriKKKa lost. And the Russian Generals discussing the situation after Putin's announcement were agreed that the AmeriKKKans are too dumb to realise what just happened."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 4 2019 12:51 utc | 76

As a younger child in a large farm family, I learned at an early age that I was supposed to shut up and listen, because everyone else was bigger and louder. So having grown up with a vital nature in the background and all this yammering by human egos in the foreground, I've spent my life studying the dynamics of how this reductio ad absurdum of biological pretension invariably ends. Testosterone has its functions, but they are not limitless.
The objective then becomes to both sense what might be birthing, as this shell cracks open, as well as the dynamics driving this cycle.
Which goes to various of the points I usually yammer about. Such as how the need for public debt to store private wealth drives/is the fuel in the tank, for so much of this foreign policy belligerence.
Since the shell has a way to go, before it does break, I'm just reminding anyone interested in the underlaying process about the thermal currents driving this process, including the particular egos riding the tops of it.
Remember a spiritual absolute would be that essence of sentience driving all of life, not some ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which our particular species has fallen.
Those playing the one dimensional chess of only moving forward, never to the back or sides, will reach the edge of the table, but convincing the herd not to follow, does seem futile, but that is also part of the process. Some are seed. The rest are fertilizer.

Posted by: John Merryman | Aug 4 2019 12:57 utc | 77

@ TJ | Aug 4 2019 9:10 utc | 67

Hello TJ! Yes, 'Threads' is a very well made film - coming over more like a documentary, than 'The Day After'. I just had someone telling me on WSWS that "...Threads is much better."

But the two movies are actually hard to compare. What matters in the end is the fact that both cultures are wiped out. With TDA portraying the deep sitting American delusion about "...just cleaning up and going on to be one Nation under God..." Threads does not allow for this delusion. It clearly shows that a nuclear conflagration spells the end of everything the British were holding dear. In graphic detail. So graphic, that there might be a large number of people not suited to watch it.

I will repeat and reiterate that the 'ballistic missile alert' I lived through in Hawai'i gave a deep insight into the minds of the Americans that were present. What was depicted so disturbingly well - the woman looking at the mushroom cloud, emptying her bladder - was also happening in Hawai'i. One could say that the population of the Big Island is different than the one in Honolulu. On the Big Island, many folks just don't believe anything their government tell them any more. Lots of disenfranchised/disillusioned veterans that went through their own nightmares. They refused to believe the alert. How much of that rejection was pragmatism - I don't know.
Personally, I had different reasons not to believe the story. It became clear that it was a fake when I saw cops stopping cars and was stopped by one - being told to go back home, because the "crazy guy" had just launched a number of missiles. That happened BEFORE the alert appeared on our phones. I told the stooge that I will go instead to do what I wanted to do: "Thanks, but I am going to have breakfast now."
I saw how those cops all took notes of license plates of the cars that refused to heed their 'recommendations'.

Moments after the alert went out, there was a lot of hysteria going on. People really lost it. Very much like in TDA. It was a deep insight into the mind set of the people. I was never able to have a discussion with any of the hysteric folks. I truly hope that they recovered, although a recent study revealed that scores have received PTSD and are still suffering from it.

Many commenters here hypothesize about what will happen, or that nothing will happen - with the US regime breaking all treaties. The real problem though, that I wrote about before, is also mentioned above: the real danger of nuclear conflagration might not so much be a willful and intentional use of nuclear weapons against an 'adversary', but a glitch, an error, a technical defect the likes of the Boeing 737MAX. A flawed design by corporations who are solely interested in maximum profits.

And considering that, the Doomsday clock has already arrived at Midnight. Maybe the mentioning of TDA, Threads and When the Wind Blows can bring people to watch these important movies, or to watch them again. It certainly appears that both the US and the UK populations are well advised to do so.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Aug 4 2019 13:01 utc | 78

Wiliam Gruff @76: "Americans know the course they are on is terminal, but they are going along with it anyway?"

I was born and raised here, in NY & LA, lived here all my life, since WWII, know our history too. We've tried many times to throw these assholes out, it's not that easy. We've come close a couple times, but nobody had the balls to take all their money away so they couldn't make trouble with it again.

We've been in a reactionary phase the last 40+ years, and things have really gone to hell here, the political class is a lot dumber than they were 40 years ago, and much more greedy

You let people start "accumulating wealth" and before you know it they have gone nuts with ego and entitlement again, it's like a law. I've watched it happen with a couple of my children.

I remember the first time I made a lot of money and had "investments" and stuff, it's like a sickness, like an obsession, how are you doing today? And you get to be one of the upper class, you have superior social status, people defer to you, don't want to piss you off. You have cash. It's heady stuff if you are into that sort of thing. It just kind of annoys me, although I confess I can see the attraction. I'm an introvert, I don't want any minions, or to curate my social presence etc.

The USSR collapsed from within, so will Uncle Sugar. It's the best way. War sucks. We're almost there.

Further, all of us are terminal, the question is whether you get your natural term or something intervenes to make it shorter. Either way, it's going to be short, terminal, soon enough.

========

OT: Tulsi seems to have aroused the ire of Elliot Higgins:

Tulsi Gabbard’s Reports on Chemical Attacks in Syria – A Self-Contradictory Error Filled Mess

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 4 2019 13:13 utc | 79

@76 Mr. Gruff, As an American citizen, I use the word "exceptional" only when discussing the mountain of problems this country is facing.

We've seen 3 presidential elections with the same tacit overtone of "Vote for the Least Objectionable" brought by gerrymandering, campaign finance, and Dibolt voting machines. US free elections are all but gone.

Yes, we could discuss why a subset of Americans voted for Trump, but he is one man. His cabinet, his administration, his Supreme Court picks are not elected. We didn't pick Barr, Bolton, Pompeno, or Trump's family. We fought to get Congress away from Trump in 2016, managed to change the House, and what did our efforts bring us? Nothing. Pelosi has the gavel, wrapped it in very soft cloth, and hid it in a box labeled "Off the Table". So much for two parties, so much for voting. But we haven't given up.

Other nations have gone through crazy leaders who have inspired insanity down in the streets, and that is where the US is at this point in time. Police violence and mass shootings, media lies, finances at local and state levels, massive federal debt, etc...our problems are not just Trump. Yet, American citizens work every single day to fix problems at street level, while trying not to think about all the rest needing action. Our government is putting children in cages, for pete's sake. For us citizens, that kinda takes the focus off foreign policy when domestic policy must take precedence.

The outside view of US empire is justified, I don't argue that point, but try to stop with the blanket terms that US citizens don't care, that we're all dumbed down, that we all think we're exceptional. That's just another piece of easy propaganda, carefully propped up by media and fools. What we really are is a nation in crisis, we're a people living under corruption, and the tools we're allowed for changing our situation are no longer democratic.

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Aug 4 2019 14:02 utc | 80

I don't want to interrupt the discussions too much, I'll only leave this here.

No "New Cold War":
1. None of three largest powers are anything like the three largest powers during the Cold War although two them have the same name: the US is a failed criminal state while the RF and China have learnt lessons and improved tremendously. Essentially all three are entirely different nations and societies.

2. The RF and China sometimes give the impression of doing more to slow down the fall of the US than anything else, not sure if that is good or bad, inspired or deranged. I would have to gnaw on a boulder to be as patient and measured as them :D

3. Europe has been busy destroying itself since before the actual Cold War ended and are very "successful" at it with a huge drop in genuine quality of life for most normal people. Maybe more in western than eastern parts, maybe not. Ukraine are the abysmal front-runners with nothing much left. Core human rights and income suffer from seemingly unending corruption and lawlessness or plain idiocy from north to south. The exceptions might be tiny Iceland (now but not before), the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and partially Hungary and Finland? Maybe not.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 4 2019 14:30 utc | 81

"Why is the U.S. so eager to end all these? It is known John Bolton hates anything that restricts the U.S., but there is also a larger strategy behind it. The U.S. believes that it defeated the Soviet Union by creating an arms race that the Soviets lost. It hopes that it can do the same with a recalcitrant Russia. But that calculation is wrong."

I think its the wrong way round this time. The Russians and Chinese seem to keep pressing US hot buttons that force the US to spend yet more on defence. Looks like they have learnt the lesson.

Posted by: JohninMK | Aug 4 2019 14:38 utc | 82

To see the folly of Alastair Crooke's viewpoint, consider that his latest - which I reviewed @60 - is something of a rehash of what he wrote in September 2016: New Cold War Spins Out of Control

Both warn of elites that seek to overcome the President's peaceful intent.

Why doesn't Crooke reference his earlier article and take MSM to task for not seeing the development of a Cold War in 2016 (as Crooke had)? IMO this is because the establishment desperately wants to avoid people's making a connection between a new 'Cold War' and Russiagate.

But for anyone paying attention, the connection is impossible to avoid. As I've written many times: Russiagate was fundamentally a set up to initiate a new McCarthyism. The set up for Russiagate appears to have been a CIA project outsourced to MI6 and planning for it likely came after Kissinger called for MAGA in a 2014 WSJ Op-Ed (Trump was the MAGA candidate) to meet the challenge from Russia and China.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2019 14:55 utc | 83

Sunny Runny Burger @82

"New Cold War" refers to the militarism, arms race, global tensions, and propaganda that characterize a Cold War.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2019 14:58 utc | 84

@ Summer Diaz | Aug 4 2019 14:02 utc | 81

Of all the things amiss in the public sphere, has anyone considered that an incumbency rate of 95% might be the problem? When only 5% need 'training' to fill public office every election, it costs next to nothing for wealth to provide the funds. Maybe with something above 35% new members, that arithmetic changes dramatically and it no longer is so easy to buy a Congress or state legislature and the hold of wealth can be seriously loosened. Just a thought.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 4 2019 15:38 utc | 85

Great summary! I still find myself decrying that Helmut Schmidt was brought down by the SPD over his (fruitful) attempt to save Europe from nuclear winter, bringing Helmut Kohl onto us for 16 god damn years..

One addition: While Russia is cerntainly in the crosshairs of Bolton etc., both sides (Russia and US) acknowledged, that they know it is really about China in the first place.
The US wants a new treaty, but one that ALSO includes China. While China sees no reason to limit its growth..

I guess we will have to get as close to nuclear winter between the US and china before we would even see the beginning of negotiations between US and China on such a new treaty.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Aug 4 2019 16:48 utc | 86

WWIII - 2021

Posted by: Fred B | Aug 4 2019 17:01 utc | 87

@Vonu (1) No nation deserves to be exterminated on account of the stupidity and/or insanity of its leaders. Moreover, the destruction you seem to long for will not be limited to the U.S. and Russia; the nuclear winter that will follow an all-out nuclear war will result in the extermination of most human life on earth, not to mention the lives of countless other species. So please put aside your childish tough-guy talk, and hope instead for a restoration of sanity and the renegotiation of robust, durable nuclear arms treaties in the future.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 4 2019 18:09 utc | 88

Stupid, really. Putin will give the US enough rope to hang itself. I suspect the US will effectively self destruct after binging on the abuse of the US dollar and we won't have any friends left (except, of course, for Britain) after mistreating everybody.

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 4 2019 18:39 utc | 89

@Jeff (90) In my post (89), I was referring to stupid U.S. leaders and pointing out that the entire population of the U.S. do not deserve to be exterminated on account of their stupidity. You have to go back and read Vonu's post (1) to get the full context.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 4 2019 18:59 utc | 90

ArmsRaceRealist @75 said: "Wait until a real crisis hits and the U.S.A starts feeling the heat."

That crisis is hitting as we speak, but in slow motion:
Putin’s Pledge to Ditch the Dollar Is Slowly Becoming a Reality

Sure, Russia's portion of the world's total international commerce is pretty small. Even when we throw in Venezuela and Iran the sum is still not very huge. That said, Russia is showing that a de-dollarized world is possible without nations (other than the US) suffering from the transition.

There may not be a mad rush (yet) for other countries to dump the dollar, but when the derivatives crisis resumes (as it eventually must) and the US prints another $trillion to bail out private finance again, every nation will have to carefully weigh whether they can afford to buy those dollars off the arbitrage markets to preserve the dollar's value or cut their losses and follow Russia's proven example.

Now the big question is if the US will nuke countries for dumping dollars. I suspect it is a possibility.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 20:01 utc | 91

@ William Gruff who wrote
"
Now the big question is if the US will nuke countries for dumping dollars. I suspect it is a possibility.
"

I continue to posit that we are in WWIII that has private finance as the existential issue that the China axis is tilting against.

The West is going to go along with returning to a money/specie that has value backing or kill us all because they refuse to give up the control they have now with fiat money.

The moment China and other countries put forth a money that is value backed the West is dead because the money of the West is worthless to the point of reflecting only debt. Who would take it in exchange for anything when you can have specie with intrinsic value?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 20:13 utc | 92

All wars are engineered even the next one.
The Great Decoupling: How the West is Engineering its Own Downfall

"The growing naval and aerial threat of the Chinese military has US technology to thank, not only by direct military transfer (as a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whistleblower demonstrated the Clinton administration did in the 1990s) but by indirect (and illegal) transfers via Israel. And just last month, a congressional investigation uncovered evidence that the US government was planning to give Russia high level military technology for use in training their troops as part of the FY2015 budget, even as they were talking about tough sanctions and dire consequences for Russia’s annexation of Crimea...

It seems that as we enter the world of the “new cold war” there is western backing behind every aspect of this new rivalry. And sure enough, the much-ballyhooed Cold War 2.0 is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. China’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote on Crimea’s annexation last month was a significant turning point in and of itself. Given China’s unease over its own territorial issues (Tibet, Xinjiang), the fact that they didn’t vote for the resolution condemning a nation’s right to unilaterally secede from a country speaks volumes about China and Russia’s increasing cooperation in geopolitical matters.

The inescapable conclusion is that the NATO powers have helped to create their own enemy. They have helped to arm and fund that enemy, and then poked and prodded him into reaction. We would do well to remember the true genesis of this conflict the next time we are told about the “New Cold War.”
https://www.corbettreport.com/the-great-decoupling-how-the-west-is-engineering-its-own-downfall/

Posted by: O | Aug 4 2019 20:58 utc | 93

Jackrabbit: yes I get that but the US tries to roll out some Cold War 2.0 based on or at least referencing the original but it doesn't compare because nothing is the same.

There's no clear philosophical system vs system situation vying for the world, instead there's predominantly one nation trying to interfere, sometimes a few sidekicks join in or do their own thing. No almost frozen stalemate with an abundance of genuine proxy wars along ideological lines but instead a handful of different sets of hyper-regressive cave-dwellers out of a bad horror movie, no iron curtains except for Israel slowly jailing itself in, and no widespread societal fears of and opposition to near-instant extinction (climate change has that covered, not enough room for more propaganda on a similar topic).

Instead everything is much more "hot": direct and frenetic bordering on hyperactive but with an abundance of hot air. US-led wars and coalitions against those who are small enough and don't submit.

The US runs around like a hysterical naked madman with scissors, everyone shies away and it can be deadly serious but at the same time it's all without any hint of gravitas; it's just the same madman time and time again and it has already gotten too old.

The US doesn't seem able to inspire an actual proxy war but has US troops inside Syria. There isn't an arms race according to 2 out of 3 world powers —apply salt to that to your own taste. Global tensions or at least warfare is mostly down except for US meddling. The propaganda is almost at the level of wet jokes where even their own professionals come across as embarrassed and noncommittal (Skripal affair) and it doesn't appear to have all that much traction except for most people agreeing with anything just to get along.

There is militarism without a doubt but US can't fill their military recruitment quotas.

The other day Cambodia officially ripped into the US and told them to fuck off or more precisely "go back to where you came from if you don't like it here" (deliberately parroting Trump). Cambodia :D

Any attention is all about nukes and other nasty surprises. The US doesn't have the credibility to talk about a "New Cold War".

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 4 2019 21:01 utc | 94

O @94 claimed: "China’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote on Crimea’s annexation last month..."

That means much less than you are attributing to it. Unlike Americans, the Chinese still remember that there used to be a country called Yugoslavia, and that it was a much better place to live than all of the little fragments of the place that remain today. Literally every time I have been in China and the discussion turns to geopolitics with someone that I had recently met, one of the first issues that is raised is America's bombing of China's embassy there in 1999. You probably don't remember much of it because "American exceptionalism" ("Derp! It was just a few smart bombs! What's the big deal?"), but every Chinese person does remember it. As a consequence "unilateral secession" is considered a very complex issue that needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis rather than trying to make some blanket assertion about it.

Also the Chinese fully understand that the vote was just western hypocrisy in action so it wasn't worth wasting time on.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 22:02 utc | 95

O @94 claimed: "The inescapable conclusion is that the NATO powers have helped to create their own enemy."

You're not one of those idiot fools who thinks the Russians only were able to develop atomic weapons because they stole tech from the US, are you? Or one of those clowns who tries to say that China's J-20 is just a copy of the F-22, are you?

No? Then realize that the Chinese (and Russians) have exceeded the US (and Israel... same thing) in a number of military technologies. I suppose they are stealing that from America's future! How clever they are!

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 22:10 utc | 96

psychohistorian @93 said: "I continue to posit that we are in WWIII that has private finance as the existential issue that the China axis is tilting against."

Agreed, but they are clearly trying to do it as gently and gradually as possible to minimize damage to other countries, including the US. If the Chinese wanted to take down the US private finance system tomorrow they could, but its sudden demise would cause immense suffering in many countries in the world. Unlike Americans the Chinese actually care about stuff like that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 22:18 utc | 97

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 22:10 utc | 97
1.Your overgeneralizing of Americans is quite tiresome.
2. The article is about technology transfers so nothing about stealing.

Posted by: O | Aug 4 2019 22:20 utc | 98

O @99

You are correct. You Americans are all unique, like snowflakes, in your five different corporate logo t-shirts and with your two different corporate manufactured narratives about what reality is.

As for "technology transfers", the Chinese and Russians must be transferring technology from America's future.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 23:07 utc | 99

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2019 23:07 utc | 100
Lol is that your attempt to insult me? Well in any case since you think "technology transfers" are not part of the equation of global affairs and a historical fact here are few articles to get you started. I tend to not really care on educating bloviating buffoons such as yourself but here you go.

U.S. Technology Transfer to the Soviet Union: A Dilemma
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a107313.pdf

Western Technology in the Soviet Union - Princeton University
https://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk3/1979/7918/791812.PDF

During the course of the three meetings, four closely related issues were identified as the principal focus of concern with respect to dual-use technology: export administration, defense conversion, "brain drain," and the need to sustain Russian science and technology development through additional funding and joint activities.
https://www.nap.edu/read/2270/chapter/3#6

Forced Tech Transfers Are on the Rise in China, European Firms Say
https://www.wsj.com/articles/forced-tech-transfers-are-on-the-rise-in-china-european-firms-say-11558344240

Technology Transfer to China - Princeton University
https://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk2/1987/8729/8729.PDF

Posted by: O | Aug 4 2019 23:37 utc | 100

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