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10 April 2015

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Felix Lafferty

Reshetnikov seems to be a serious player and his institute at roughly the same level of political importance as RAND or STRATFOR—although it is not clear to me to what extent STRATFOR is part of the US 'deep state' and to what extent it is merely a money-making operation for its founder. Therefore Reshetinikov's views warrant serious study and discussion. They seem in the interview to be:

1. There is a largely anonymous US 'deep state' calling the shots up to selecting who becomes President.

2. The 'deep state's' overall strategic goal: 'This is a part of the overall plan of surrounding and pressuring Russia, which is implemented by the hands of the USA with the goal of deposing president Vladimir Putin and breaking the country. A typical layman may, of course, not believe this, but people with access to a large volume of information know this very well.'

3. In the Ukraine the main tactical goal of the US 'deep state' has been to site ABM's on Ukrainian soil to give the US 100% effectiveness in intercepting Russian silo-based and road-based nuclear strike weapons together with a 1st strike capability against Russian land-based nuclear weapons on the other side of the Urals. An implication of this POV is that the US could care less about the welfare of Ukrainians.

4. Secondary tactical goal was to interfere with the Russian Military-Industrial Complex by breaking off its Ukrainian components.

5. The US deep state is also encouraging anti-Russian Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia so as to promote the breakup of Russia on that axis.

Paranoia? Russian propaganda? A serious interpretative model of current events? Would appreciate serious discussion.

confusedponderer

In a sense what got me onto my argument was the petty talk by Obama about Russia merely 'being a regional power'.

Putin iirc joked on that that Russia is 'a regional power in Eurpope, a regional power in the Middle East, a regional power in Asia'.

I think if you listen to some of the invective DC heaps upon their enemies, it betrays something of their views of them, not so much what they are but what they see them as or what they rather want them to be. Maybe to the Obamaites Russia IS, or IS TO BE a regional power?

It was the pettiness got me thinking. In a sense, beyond the malign glee, it betrayed some sore-loserism.

To the US, the Russian seizure of Crimea was major failure and an unexpected event they haven't planned for. They really appear to have thought to be able to take Russia by surprise - as Gideon Rose put it in his gaffe on Colbert, "run away with Ukraine while Putin was distracted in Sochi". They had to double down and egg on the Ukies to suppress the rebellion in the east in order to salvage their gains.

In effect, the US started the tug of war over Ukraine with Russia, and they tore Ukraine to pieces - the Russians clung to it because they wouldn't, couldn't let it go because it was too important to them, in particular Crimea, and the US gragged because they really weanted to have it, now, lest Russia has it.

The US intestet in Ukraine is not Ukraine per se, but rather the damage to Russia that taking over Ukraine, and Crimea, inflicts on Russia. Without the successful US push for regime change in Kiev, Crimea would still be part of Ukraine.

In a sense, the Russians used Syteme D, and while everybody including Russia was covered in poop afterwards, the US did not gain control of Crimea, and neither did they gain control of a functional country. In face of the US actions and pressure, that perhaps was the best possible output Russia could achieve.

Had the US gotten their way and seized both Ukraine and Crimea, Russia would, over night, have become, indeed, a regional power - at the Asian periphery and at the European periphery.

kao_hsien_chih

BM,
The costs are borne by the American taxpayers, and as long as the neocons have the (political) means to pay for their dream projects, somebody will be enabling them while pocketing the money--although, by the same token, those "somebodies" will abandon the neocons as soon as they can't take and spend the American taxpayers' dime. The burden, then, falls on the American taxpayers: do they want to see their dimes being continuously misused to export international revolution, or spent at home on things that could actually be useful to themselves? The rot has to stop at home.

Castellio

Many thanks, David, for your clarity on this issue.

confusedponderer

Yet another other aspect I forgot to include in my post is that the US moves have crushed all russian hopes that Ukraine would enter Putin's Eurasian Union, giving Russia a guaranteed market for its goods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Economic_Union

That is another 'denial move' the US have undertaken.

The US don't care about Ukraine as market - sure there are American opportunists (like, say, Hunter Biden) quick to pounce on opportuinities arising, but they do not make policy, Ukraine as a market is just nice to have - the idea was to destroy a vital Russian market, not to conquer one for America.

It is worth to spell out explicitly: By regime-changing Ukraine, the US denied Russia Ukraine as a quasi-guaranteed market for Russian goods (and in doing so hurt the Russian economy more than sanctions ever could) and the US wanted to but failed to deny Russia the (use of the) warm water port Sevastopol.

Another thing worth to spell out rexplicitly is this: For the US Crimea is nice to have, for Russia it is pereived vital. That explains the lengths to which Russia was willing and is willing to go to protect its - so-perceived, vital - interests.

It is IMO quite notable just how aggressive and harmful the US moves on Ukraine were. They were intended as a sucker punch for Russia, which Putin best he coukd dodged.

In terms of sheer aggressivness the Obamaites go beyond anything the Bushmen ever did.

confusedponderer

"as the world knows"

Ah, an 'Evidenz Appell' almost always indicates BS.

A professor in uni warned us about that, saying, you can almost always count on one thing - whenever someobody starts an argument with something like ...

'Do we not all know ...'
'All the World agrees ...'
'We are all united ...'
'Obviously ...'

... he's usually about to bullshit you, because he tries to feed you something that is very much from universally known, generally agreed upon, indisputed let alone obvious.

He was right. So far I went reasonably well with heeding his advice.

Misanthrope

...'export democracy'

It's nothing to do with democracy. There isn't any real democracy anywhere - not in the places where it's exported to and not in the places where it's exported from. All there is is a parody of democracy in which every N years the population choose which names get to promulgate essentially the same policies. Only the name changes, the policies don't (apart from maybe some inconsequential stuff round the edges).

What this is about is pure unbridled megalomania. A small group of people want to control the whole world, pure and simple.

Misanthrope

Not quite. The costs are borne by anyone throughout the whole world that holds any dollar balances. US deficit spending incurred to pay for 'democracy export' operations (and whatever else) devalues everyone's dollar holdings and so effectively taxes the entire world. Ironically enough the Russians and Chinese (and everyone else) are being taxed to pay for their own subjugation.

William R. Cumming

The real policy conundrum for US leadership is whether to support the nation-state system or GLOBALIZATION! NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET.

William R. Cumming

Respectfully Babak don't think your percentages accurate! Sources?

William R. Cumming

In your opinion does the US have decisive influence anywhere?

David Habakkuk

Felix Lafferty,

'Paranoia? Russian propaganda? A serious interpretative model of current events? Would appreciate serious discussion.'

Indeed, you raise a critical question. In my view, there is not enough evidence to make it possible to make a definite judgement, so it is prudent to keep an open mind.

There is I think plenty of evidence that a very great many people in Moscow are convinced that the United States is seeking a 'first strike' capability, premised upon the hope that an initial preemptive attack could destroy so much of the Russian arsenal that ballistic missile defences could neutralise the remainder.

The significance of this has to be seen in relation to the fact that many in Moscow now quite patently believe that the goal of American policy is – and always was – not simply the 'rollback' of Russian power from Eastern Europe, but the total marginalisation, if not indeed destruction, of Russia.

So 'escalation dominance' at the nuclear level could be expected to make it possible for them finally to complete what is now seen to have been a long-term American, and indeed Western, goal.

Accordingly, in much of what he writes, I do not think that Reshetnikov is producing 'propaganda' at all – it seems to me he is simply expressing views now widespread not simply among the Russian elite but also among the population at large.

Certainly, it is likely that there are elements of 'paranoia' in this, but it is important to distinguish between false beliefs that people genuinely hold, and beliefs they know to be false and only pretend to hold.

Where 'bth' points to a real puzzle is that Reshetnikov's suggestion that cruise missiles could be used to hit 'silo-based and road-mobile ballistic missiles on the ascent trajectory with a 100% probability' does indeed seem to make no sense.

Such a suggestion does not figure in the apocalyptic portrayal of the implications of what they described as a 'fascist and Nazi creeping coup' in the memorandum 'Save Ukraine' put out by the 'Izborsk Club' in February last year, or indeed in the discussion of U.S. nuclear policy they published in January of the previous year.

Although material from the LaRouche intelligence network obviously has to be handled with care, it does have an uncanny knack of homing in on critical questions which mainstream opinion ignores. And its productions provide a mass of information on matters where the conventional response that all that is at issue is Russian 'propaganda' is I think both wrong and plain dangerous.

Two discussion on their 'Executive Intelligence Review' of these 'Izborsk Club' documents merit, in my view, close attention.

(See http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2014/eirv41n08-20140221/32-34_4108.pdf ; http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2013/eirv40n11-20130315/15-19_4011.pdf .)

It is important to remember that when U.S. experts gained access to hitherto secret documents on Soviet strategic thinking following the collapse of communism, and were able to interview key figures, it became clear that conventional western interpretations of this thinking had been simply – and potentially disastrously – wrong.

Some of the time, certainly, the Soviets produced extremely disingenuous disinformation. But on critical matters, it emerged that the truth had lain on the surface – claims that had been dismissed by mainstream Western opinion as propaganda turned out to represent what the Soviets actually thought.

From a summary of the conclusions of a 1995 study prepared by the Pentagon contractor BDM Corporation, declassified in 2009: 'All of the strategic models developed by Soviet military experts had a defensive character and assumed a first strike by NATO.'

If you read the materials painstakingly assembled by the BDM analysts with any care, it is clear that Richard Pipes, Albert Wohlstetter, Paul Nitze, Zbigniew Brzezinski, etc etc, had not the first idea what they were talking about.

(See http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb285/ .)

There is, incidentally, nothing remotely new about the suggestion that cruise missiles could be a key part of a 'first strike' posture – this was certainly a major Soviet concern back in the Eighties.

What is difficult to see is simply how their function could be to destroy ballistic missiles after they had been fired.

It is however not clear to me why, if Reshetnikov is interested in making propaganda, he should include a suggestion so implausible as to call in question other suggestions he makes which are either quite plausible as representations of objective reality, or even if implausible, could very well correspond to what he and many others actually think.

It is a potentially very serious 'Achilles heel' of the West that we are so fanatically convinced our own virtue and innocence that find it difficult to explore how we are seen by others.

Moreover, confronted by alien societies, we instinctively listen to people who are like us and tell us what we want to hear. The normal human propensity to believe in our own rightness has thus become inflated to a point where it is little short of insane.

I have enough in me of an old Tory cynic to find this ludicrous, distasteful, and dangerous. My faith in my own good intentions, let alone those of my fellow countrymen, is strictly limited, and the notion that any prudent policy can be based upon the expectation that anyone else has faith in them seems to me simply silly.

In relation to Reshetnikov, I think the prudent course of action, for the time being, is not to jump to conclusions, but to use his interview as one more piece of evidence on critical questions, whose significance or lack of it may become clearer with time.

Kilo 4/11

"Fuck the EU." - V. Nuland

"I shot 15 prisoners dead. I don't give a fuck." - Pavlov/"Motorola"

Which ones are the evil ones again?

Felix Lafferty

Thank you for your reply, Mr. Habakkuk. I just wanted to clear up what appears to be a misunderstanding on your part of Reshetnikov's argument. What I understand him to be saying is the the US 'deep state' wants TWO things:

1. To site ABM's on the territory of Eastern Ukraine (Donbass). These ABM's would supposedly be 100% effective against land-based Russian missiles sited on the other side of the Urals. Evidently the key is that from their close proximity they would be able to do the intercept very soon after launch, when it's easy.

2. To site cruise missiles on the territory of the Eastern Ukraine (Donbass). These would be different from the ABM's. They would confer a 1st-strike capability against the land-based Russian missiles sited on the other side of the Urals BEFORE launch. The plan would be to do the 1st strike with the cruise missiles and then to mop up any missiles that were missed with the ABM's as soon as those missiles launched. Bth raises the issue of the reasonableness of using cruise missiles for such a first strike but the Russians have supersonic cruise missiles and there seems to be no reason that the Americans couldn't develop the same if they don't have them already.

3. Moreover, my understanding is that surface-to-air missiles can with little or no modification be re-purposed as surface-to-ground missiles so that what appears to be an ABM site could suddenly turn out to be a short-range land-attack missile installation. This would complexify the situation of the two types of missiles.

You didn't discuss the issue of whether there exists a US 'deep state' that is calling the shots. Commentators on this site relatively often raise the question of who is really running the show. Is Obama passively letting the 'girls' club' run with the ball? Is he a puppet of relatively unseen forces? Or is he fully in command and leading the charge? In this regard it should be noted that he has promoted Kagan's views and Kagan is Nuland's husband.

It should be noted that Obama did his Columbia BA in international relations; he did his thesis on nuclear weapons (the thesis is embargoed and so unavailable for review); evidently one of his teachers was Brzezinski. And of course it is Brzezinski who formulated the Russia + Ukraine = World Power; Russia – Ukraine = Regional Power equations; an understanding echoed by Obama in his own public comments.

confusedponderer

I think that is your problem - to you it is a binary conflict in which you have to take sides. You're from Chicago, not Lviv.

As an argument the reference to Motorola in response to IZ's comment doesn't even make sense since you're conflating two separate things:

* The US massively meddled in the events in Ukraine, through Nuland.

* In the resulting civil war mutual war crimes have been comitted by the combattants of both sides. You have pointed to Motorola on one side. I could point to those Ukrainian troops that kept shelling cities.

This is not about picking sides between good (presumably the US/ Ukraine) and evil (presumably Russia) but to understand what's going on. To suggest that this is a binary choice between good and evil is just silly.

This is about a tug of war in which the US tries to bag Ukraine so the Russians shall lose it, while Russia clings to Ukraine because it is very important to them, with both of them tearing the contry apart.

Motorola is a very marginal and very unimportant piece of this puzzle, so let's not get sidtracked over this.

anna-marina

You might be sentimental about the mysterious Motorola and about the opinions and passions of your Ukrainian contacts, but could you enlighten us on what defense interests the US has been pursuing near the Russian borders? Why the Director of the CIA and the best student of Cheney from the State Dept., Mrs. Nuland-Kagan, had descended to Kiev during the coup d'etat? You may also ponder for a sec. about the innocent blood that the Empire of Federal Reserve has produced around the globe in a fight for the hegemony, though this information is hard to find in the "non-manipulated" MainStreamMedia, 90% of which is owned by six corporations. The US government has been financing and supporting, via its European vassals in EU, the conflict in the East Ukraine between Kiev and federalists. This conflict is not about Ukraine and Russia. The conflict is about Monsanto, mega-banks, Burisma, natural resources, and, most important, about squashing the "regional power" (see Wolfowitz Doctrine), even if this bloody process creates a danger of nuclear war. The conflict could be easily stopped by peaceful means if the US were included to do so. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/14/grave-concern-renewed-ukraine-fighting-european-foreign-ministers

confusedponderer

I don't think at all that the conquest of Ukraine for NATO is business driven. It is geo-strategy i.e. policy driven.

What businesses do is to grasp, ruthlessly, business opportunities that result from policy. Well connected business people like, say, Hunter Biden get wind of policy earlier, and if they are risk taking, they will invest early.

But the causality is generally (with exceptions like trade treaties) that in foreign policy policy creates business opportunity, and not that business interest creates policy.

Take Iraq: Haliburton made a shitload of money in Iraq, sometimes fraudulently, but despite having been chaired Dick Cheney previously, they didn't instigate the war. Same for most other contractors. They just profited from policy decided in DC and pounced on the business opportunities it offered. The better a contractor was connected, the better the chance to score a deal.

Think of it in these terms:

A new law is being debated and eventually becomes law, and a poblishing house finds an author, prepares and publishes on time a new commentary on it. They profit from the change in the law, but they didn't instigate the change nor did they write it. They just used a business opportunity.

anna-marina

Well, let's listen to the main players. You are free to comment on the well-articulated policies of the US State Dept. in Kiev. If you insist that Russian government is paranoid in response to these blatant subversive actions in the neighboring state, than you perhaps need to check the meaning of the word paranoia. The bloodshed in East Ukraine is totally the responsibility of Mrs. Clinton (she equated Putin with Hitler, by the way, while being an ardent supporter of the neo-Nazis in Europe).
"... the recording shows how Nuland had hand-picked the current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, for his post over rivals Oleh Tyanybok (leader of the neo-fascist Svoboda Party, who has publically inveighed against the “Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine” and referred to “Muscovites” and Jews as “scum) and Vitali Klitschko, a former boxer and sometimes anti-corruption activist.
In the phone call, Pyatt tells her “I think we’re in play,” meaning everything’s set for a coup. “The Kitschko piece is obviously the complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister…I’m glad you sort of put him on the spot as to where he fits into this scenario.” Pyatt had apparently informed Kitschko that despite some EU backing, he was not a suitable candidate for the U.S. (In the call, Nuland blandly asserts that he needs more time “to do his homework.”)
Nuland wanted to marginalize Klitschko, who in the coup’s aftermath was awarded (as consolation prize) the post of Kiev mayor, She wanted to make sure that the former Minister of the Economy, Yatsenyuk, advocate of severe austerity measures and proponent of NATO membership, succeeded Yanukovich.
The phone call makes clear that Nuland had recruited UN officials to endorse the regime change.
Towards the end of the conversation, Nuland tells Pyatt “OK,” signaling that the two agreed on the general strategy. She then alludes to the welcome complicity of several other assets: Jeff Feltman, Robert Serry, and Ban Ki-moon.
She reports that Jeff Feltman has “now gotten both Serry and Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday.” Meaning: to help facilitate the coup and validate it afterwards.
Who are these people? Geoffrey Feltman, a career U.S. diplomat, was at the time the UN Under Secretary-General of Political Affairs. He is perhaps best known for his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon between 2004 and 2008 when he exercised so much influence that Hizbollah—echoed by other parties—referred to the Fouad Siniora government as the “Feltman government.”
Robert Serry is a Dutch diplomat who served as NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General of Foreign Crisis Management and Operations between 2003 and 2005 and also had been Dutch ambassador to Ukraine. An advocate of Dutch participation in the Iraq War based on lies, he was a reliable U.S. ally.
Ban Ki-moon is of course the UN Secretary-General who, as South Korea’s foreign minister, pressed for the deployment of South Korean troops in that same Iraq war based on lies. We know from Wikileaks that, prompted by the U.S., he urged the UN Security Council to ignore the UN Board of Inquiry’s report on the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2008-2009 to avoid U.S. and Israeli embarrassment. It’s safe to call him a reliable U.S. puppet.
Towards the end of the intercepted phone call Nuland signs off: “So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.”
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/14/ukraine-the-truth/
I apologize for the lengthy response, but the MSM has been doing a fantastic job by keeping the populace in dark re US/Russia conflict in Ukraine.

David Habakkuk

Felix Lafferty,

Thanks for your most interesting response.

However, it is not clear to me that I 'misunderstood' Reshetnikov's argument. The natural interpretation of his remarks is that he did not suggest that the cruise missiles 'would be different from the ABM's.' However, in the context of the interview as a whole, the most obvious reading of what seems like a somewhat incoherent passage does not seem to me to be that he is engaged in 'propaganda'.

A possible interpretation is certainly that what he thinks is what you suggest he thinks, and that he was trying to explain something complex simply, and thereby giving the impression that he is incoherent where he actually has a view which is quite coherent, irrespective of whether it is or is not accurate.

However, this particular argument about the security threats to Russia posed by the possibility of the incorporation of Ukraine in NATO is new to me, and I have followed Russian discussions reasonably closely. So I am very much keeping an open mind on how Reshetnikov's remarks are to be interpreted.

You go on to note that I 'didn't discuss the issue of whether there exists a US ''deep state'' that is calling the shots.'

Actually, the notion of a 'deep state' has now become so widely disseminated that it even appears to be taken seriously by the 'Financial Times'.

(See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/de85486e-802e-11e4-9907-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3XGY7cEXQ .)

You open up a very large question, and it is difficult for me to provide an adequate response briefly.

However, some points in outline may be worth making.

There is an English Jacobean comedy called 'A Mad World, My Masters.' In general, the implications of this title are too terrifying for most of us to contemplate. It is more reassuring to think that there are coherent plans, even if hostile, on which one can get some kind of grip, than to face up to the possibility that confused muddle is the order of the day – and, still worse, that the lunatics may be in charge of the asylum, and be incapable of predicting the most obvious consequences of their actions.

That there is something that might be called a 'deep state' in the United States, and that there is an equivalent in Britain, which acts as 'hewers of wood, and carriers of water' for its American counterpart, seems to me reasonably clear.

In relation to Britain, however, there are two classic fictional portrayals of MI6. One is that of John Le Carré in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy', in which George Smiley is cast as an heroic defender of jeopardised ideals of integrity. The other is that of Graham Greene in 'Our Man In Havana', in which MI6 are portrayed as a bunch of incompetent bumblers, whose only real expertise is in covering their tracks after they have produced one cock-up after another.

All the evidence, I think, suggests that, even if it had some truth at some point in the past, Le Carré's version has no connection at all with contemporary reality, while that of Greene seems even more relevant now than when he wrote the novel, well over half a century ago.

Insofar as one can pin down the notion of an American 'deep state', it seems to me to refer to those sections of the American intelligence and national security communities who are most prone to live in the same kind of cloud-cuckoo-land as their British counterparts.

It also seems clear that – to an extent which I do not think is paralleled in Britain – there remain sections of the American intelligence community that are both intellectually competent and honest.

rjj

Anna-Marina - "The bloodshed in East Ukraine is totally the responsibility of Mrs. Clinton (she equated Putin with Hitler, by the way, while being an ardent supporter of the neo-Nazis in Europe). "

How do you know this is true?

Clinton handed in her resignation right after the November 2012 election and left right after inauguration Feb. 2013. The business in the Ukraine started nine months later. At the time there was a lot of media comment about her leaving so early. I think it is reasonable to at least QUESTION if MAYBE she got the hell out to avoid being involved with what The Fucking Crazies were cooking up in the Ukraine.


While Nuland was in her department she held two jobs:

"... special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and then became State Department spokesperson in summer 2011.[4]
She was [not] nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs ...[until] May 2013 and sworn in to fill that role in September 2013.[5]" [Wikipedia]

I don't know how DC functions but Nuland's special envoy and spokesperson sound more like short-leashed subordinate than shaker/mover fast-track protegee positions. Are they?

As for Putin=Hitler it was propagated via DC Pravda, which, as we all know, we must know how to read. Everything after link is quoted

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/05/hillary-clinton-says-putins-action-are-like-what-hitler-did-back-in-the-30s/

Making her first extensive comments about the crisis in Ukraine, Clinton said at a private fundraiser in California that Putin's campaign to provide Russian passports to those with Russian connections living outside his country's borders is reminiscent of Hitler's protection of ethnic Germans outside Germany, according to a report published overnight.

"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s," Clinton said Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous."

The Press-Telegram appears to have been the only publication present for Clinton's remarks at an otherwise closed-press luncheon fundraiser Tuesday attended by about 250 people to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

Earlier Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported that Clinton spoke extensively about the situation in Ukraine, quoting Harry Saltzgaver, the executive editor of the Gazette newspapers group in Long Beach, who attended the Clinton event as a guest.

"She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries," Saltzgaver told BuzzFeed. "She said, however, that while that makes people nervous, there is no indication that Putin is as irrational as the instigator of World War II."

Saltzgaver later told The Washington Post that he did not intend to "start a firestorm" with his description of Clinton's speech. A Clinton spokesman did not reply to a request to provide a recording or transcript of her remarks or to elaborate on them or offer additional context.


confusedponderer

Felix Lafferty,
I disagree with you on pretty much every point you made:

#1:
You refer to what the US called 'boost phase intercept'.

http://fas.org/spp/starwars/program/bpi.htm

First, everything that promises a 100% effectiveness is exaggerated. Secondly, I don't see that the systems needed for BPI exist in the US arsenal. That would be high altitude long endurance stealth strike drones using long range IR guided air to air missiles. If both exist they are super secret. An attempt at another approach to this, the airborne laser, was cancelled. - i.e. with your "BPI over the Urals" thesis you're arguing that a hypothetical is possible because of another hypothetical. Weak.

The only system the US have that has a successful track record at intercepting missile targets in tests is he Navy's SM3 missile, which has an ***exo***athmospheric kill vehicle as its payload, that means it is aimed at warheads already outside the atmosphere - not at missiles in the boost phase.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3

Here is what NATO/ the US have probably rather have in mind in terms of European Missile Defence:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/russia/231771/PDFs/EPAA%20Technical%20Overview%20ENG.pdf

#2a:
And that is also why I don't buy your/ Reshetnikov's premise on ABM missiles in the Donbass. NATO/US anti missile strategy doesn't neeed the Donbass as a basing area, though basing in the Donbass would make it probably more effective.

#2b:
As for basing cruise missiles in Donbass - the US has since the end of the cold war demobilised their ground launched cruise missiles and ***phyiscally destroyed*** the launchers under INF. So, what weapons are the US supposed to base there?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate-Range_Nuclear_Forces_Treaty
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BGM-109G_Ground_Launched_Cruise_Missile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BGM-109G_Ground_Launched_Cruise_Missile#/media/File:INF_inspection.JPEG

In the event, Russia would react to such a move by targeting the base areas with forward deployed TBM.

#2c:
As for super- or hypersonic cruise missiles, the US are working on that but they are likely going to be not ground but air- and sea, or perhaps missile based. Again, for them to be a threat, the US won't need the Donbass. They could just load the stuff on a B52 or a B2 and fly in their loads of already existing subsonic air launched stealth cruise missiles from Lakenheath, using conventional JASSM (which may well suffice, despite being somewhat short legged) - since the nuclear AGM-129 was destroyed under SORT.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Offensive_Reductions_Treaty
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-129_ACM

#2d:
A likelier scenario, if one believed in a US cruise missile first strike, would be sea based cruise missiles fired from subs and destroyers, perhaps deployed in the black sea. That is already there. The idea to base ABM missiles in Romania is like that, without the vulnerability of a ship in a Russian dominated littoral aerea. And there's, by the way, the catch with the cruise missiles from a destroyer in the black sea scenario right there.

#3:
I disagree that SAM/ABM can be modified into ballistic missiles. I mean, they could, but it would not be worth it since they wouldn't get in terms of usefulness past what ATACMS already offers - in a proven system that bis already in service. It would be far cheaper to just buy more ATACMS.

~*~*~*~

In my own impression the US is pushing has ahead with Russia so aggressively because they apparently think they can already hold back Russian first stike or retaliatory strike with their sea based ABM/CM capability and/or EW/Cyber Attack and/or already mount a decicive disarming first strike/ pre-emptive strike. I have no proof for this. One could call that my "US high on RMA" thesis. It is but a hunch.

Felix Lafferty

@ Confused Ponderer:

I'm struck by the vehemence of your reply. My brief has not been to shill for Reshetnikov but to generate discussion of what he is saying. He seems to be a well-placed serious player whose words should be carefully analyzed. What he is saying is striking and, if true, disturbing.

Concerning Reshetnikov's views on the US 'deep state's' goals in the Ukraine here is the text of the interview:

[Q:] And what does this notorious "world government" need?

[A] – It is easier to say what they don't need: they don't need a federal Ukraine, such a territory will be hard to control. It will be impossible to deploy their military bases, a new ABM echelon there. And there are such plans. From Lugansk and Kharkov tactical cruise missiles can reach behind the Urals, where our main nuclear deterrence forces are located. And they can hit silo-based and road-mobile ballistic missiles on the ascent trajectory with a 100% probability. Currently this area is not reachable by them neither from Poland nor from Turkey nor from the South-East Asia. This is the main goal. So the US will fight for Donbass to the last Ukrainian.

Here I read that in the first instance the goal is to site ABM's in the Ukraine.

Then I read that the US would site tactical cruise missiles in Lugansk and Kharkov and that these tactical cruise missiles would be able to hit the Russian nuclear forces sited behind the Urals. Since ABM's and tactical cruise missiles are two different types of thing, I infer that this is a second set of missiles. The US doesn't have any such land-based tactical cruise missiles? Well then we have to consider why Reshetnikov is saying what he's saying. Now if these tactical cruise missiles were air-launched, then evidently the planes would be based in Lugansk and Kharkov—in Reshetnikov's stated estimation! Nothing here about sea-launched cruise missiles from the Black Sea.

Next in what I take to be a return to the issue of ABM's, Reshetnikov seems to be saying that Ukraine-based US ABM's could do boost-phase intercepts with 100% accuracy. Of course it is possible that Mr. Habakkuk is correct and Reshetnikov is still referring to tactical cruise missiles—and saying something that on the surface appears to be incoherent. However, it seems clear to me from his references to Poland and Turkey that Reshetnikov has returned to the matter of ABM's. Of course I understand the ABM unit to be based in Romania not Turkey, but maybe there's a reason he says Turkey—or maybe he made a mistake.

Reshetnikov is saying that this is the main goal of the US 'deep state' in the Ukraine. This is a very geopolitical/military perspective. If it's true then it certainly gives an interpretation of US intentions in the Ukraine that colors one's evaluation of the situation. If that's the main goal then spending time on economic issues is to waste that time.

Now I added the remark that surface-to-air missiles can evidently be re-purposed as surface-to-ground missiles. It seems to me that this is a factor that might be taken into consideration. I'm not a military man so maybe I have it wrong. But I'm not shilling so saying that my argument is 'specious' is excessive.

@ Anna-Marina

As you can see from the above, for me the issue is to analyze what Reshetnikov is saying and to evaluate it. When I say “Paranoia? Russian propaganda? A serious interpretative model of current events?” I'm not taking the position that Russia is being paranoid. I'm giving some possible analytical evaluations of Reshetnikov's argument so as to generate discussion. I'm trying to get people to discuss what they think about Reshetnikov's argument—on the basis of analysis not emotion. For example bth writes elsewhere on this post that Reshetnikov, Saker and Colonel Cassad are Russian propagandists without providing any detailed analysis. That's not good enough. Where's the evidence?

confusedponderer

Felix Lafferty,
"What he is saying is striking and, if true, disturbing"

The point is that, however striking and disturbing if true - it is still probably untrue. I concede that much: I have not read Reshetnikov's argument in full, yet, and judge by your post. Still, I stand with my argument on the technical aspects:

#4:
"Then I read that the US would site tactical cruise missiles in Lugansk and Kharkov and that these tactical cruise missiles would be able to hit the Russian nuclear forces sited behind the Urals"

The US currently don't have ground launched cruise missiles that could reach beyond the Urals from Lugansk and Kharkov.

#5:
"Reshetnikov seems to be saying that Ukraine-based US ABM's could do boost-phase intercepts with 100% accuracy."

The US currently do not have a BPI system either.

i.e. they could if they had but they don't, they may even want to but they can't.

You start to see my point?

Reshetnikov would be right if what he proposes as the US strategy was possible. On the basis of the available information it is not: What he sais is based on sytems and capabilities the US currently do not possess.

I offer you two possible explanations for what Reshetnikov says (there are probably more):

(a) The US might be right there again, that they scare the Russians with their actions and statements that they start to see American threats where there are none, and in light of visibly threatening American moves, suspect additional hidden ones.

The saying is that even paranoids have real enemies. The US treat Russia like an enemy. That means that while some or even a lot of what the Russians suspect is true, not all of it is.

(b) The other point is that it is unclear to me to whom Reshetnikov is speaking.

If he is talking to a Russian audience, he, as a serious player, may do just the same thing as some of NATO's serious players do when they display their supernatural ability and see ten russians where everybody else sees just one, or see Putin being bent on reconstituting the USSR and gobbling up the baltics. Likeweise, Reshetnikov may just see Americans that are 30 feet tall.

If Reshetnikov was engaging in serious attempt at domestic propaganda what he says would not become correct, but functionally make sense.

Finally, there is always the possibility that I am wrong and that the US indeed do have systems capable of doing what Reshetnikov suggest, like if for instance the SM3 was effective against missiles in their boost phase (imo unlikely, because of the Exo-Atmospheric Projectile), or that the US do have something secret up their sleeve (speculation, and as far as cruise missiles are concerned, a breach of several arms reduction treaties).

William R. Cumming

Syria also. Apparently N. Korea removed from list in 2008. WOW!

William R. Cumming

IMO the US military has undergone technological improvements in last several decades but the skills of its personnel largely degraded.

The ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE should be graded with an F!

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