Reagan's long behests: US demand peace from Russia through position of strength

Author : Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili

Source : 112 Ukraine

The United States made it clear that further aggressive policy of Russia would lead to an arms race and economic exhaustion of the Russian economy
12:55, 1 March 2017

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US Republican senators Tom Cotton, Ron Johnson, and Marco Rubio proposed a bill S.430, to provide for compliance enforcement regarding Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and for other purposes. According to the senators, the bill provides financing of "active defense" including the development of intermediate (1000-5500 km) and short range (500-1000 km) mobile basing system, search for additional resources for the development of anti-ballistic-missile defense. The bill provides for the transfer of forbidden treaty allies of intermediate and short-range.

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Senator Tom Cotton is convinced that if Russia continues to develop and deploy medium and small range missiles, the US will respond with strengthening its nuclear forces in Europe. The bill aims to curb Russian aggression. Shortly after the appearance of information on the initiative of Senators Donald Trump reiterated his commitment to the arms race, increase of America's nuclear arsenal; he stressed that the Treaty on Strategic Arms Reduction 2010 (START-3) is unfavorable US. START-3, signed by former US President Barack Obama and then-Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, is to reduce nuclear warheads to 1,550 units, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), ballistic missile submarines, and heavy bombers to 700 units for 10 years, with the right of extension for 5 years.

Testament of Reagan is always topical

The position of the Senate and the White House resembles the approach of former President Ronald Reagan (1981-89): "Peace through strength" against the Soviet Union. Republican Ronald Reagan came to power against the backdrop of tensions between the US and the Soviet Union on nuclear safety. During the 70's, US and USSR developed short-range and intermediate-range missiles that have a number of advantages over the so-called "nuclear triad" (ICBMs, SLBMs, heavy bombers). This missiles can be used for nuclear strikes with the use of laser, infrared, and television guidance. Using these missiles questioned the concept of "mutual destruction", whereby nuclear states do not risk applying their missiles.

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In 1977, in order to achieve full and unconditional superiority over NATO countries in terms of the arm race, the Soviet Union has placed the western border missile medium-range RSD-10 "Pioneer". The administration of President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, did not step back. In parallel to the USSR, in the 70's began to expand its sphere of influence in the world, started intervention in Afghanistan, supported the Communists in the civil war in Angola and supported the Socialists military coup in Grenada. It seemed that the initiative of the "cold war" came into the hands of the Soviet Union.

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First, US President Ronald Reagan was trying to negotiate with General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Instead, in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles RSD-10 "Pioneer" from the western borders, the United States pledged to abandon accommodation of the similar weapons (SSR "Pershing-2") in the European NATO countries. Since coming to power Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov in 1983, the former head of the KGB, whom the media compared with Vladimir Putin, the talks have stalled. Ronald Reagan was able to force the Soviet Union to agree on peace by intensifying arms race. US placed the medium-range missiles on the territory of the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The White House announced the semi-fantastic long program "Strategic Defense Initiative" (SDI), which included elements of the output into orbit. In this option, SDI would destroy Soviet missiles from space. United States stepped up military aid to the Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet intervention, in 1983 during the military operation displaced Kremlin regime of Maurice Bishop in Grenada.


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With the fall in oil prices, planned Soviet economy went into decline. Agonizing USSR could no longer compete with the US in pursuit of weapons. General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed the agreement on the elimination of intermediate and short-range, according to which the US and the Soviet Union eliminated their INF till 1991.

Modern realities

Today the United States has an effective argument to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. Russia has fully demonstrated its inability to conduct constructive dialogue. Aggression in Ukraine. Military intervention in Syria. Hacker attacks against the US. Support of Eurosceptic parties in the Member States. Russia initiated the first elimination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In 2011, RS-24 "Jars" (based on the vehicle) mobile missile complex was tested; its flight range of its missiles which (2000-6000 ths. km) goes beyond the limits stipulated by the contract. On the background of the policy of "resetting" relations with Russia, the administration of ex-President Barack Obama did not pay enough attention to a breach on the part of the Kremlin's nuclear safety. Since then, the Russian military plans to start mass deployment of the RS-24 "Yars" as a replacement to mobile missile systems RT-2PM "Topol" (72 pcs.) until 2021.

Last year, Russia has placed tactical systems "Iskander-M" in the Kaliningrad region. Flight range of the missiles fired from "Iskander-M" launchers is 500 km. It is the minimum flight range of the short-range missiles. Modification of "Iskander-K" can be equipped with cruise missiles P-500 with flight range of 2 thousand km, which corresponds to medium-range missiles. According to the CEO of the Russian Corporation "Rostec" Sergei Chemezov, "Iskander" is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Baltic States, the Nordic countries, Poland and Germany are under the sight of Russian missiles.

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The US nuclear arsenal does not have similar mobile missile systems. Since 1970, the lion's share of the US nuclear arsenal belongs to silo-based ICBM "Minuteman". Even China, India, and Pakistan have in their arsenal short-range and intermediate-range missiles. US-Russian agreement on the limitation of nuclear weapons did not become global. If Russia is investing in the development of modern nuclear weapons and place its missiles at the western borders, the United States has every reason to give a proportionate response.

Bill S.430 is an attempt to make it clear for the Kremlin from the position of strength that aggressive policy in Europe and the former Soviet Union will lead to economic depletion of Russia. The US armed forces are already deployed in Europe in the framework of the operation "Atlantic determination." It is necessary to supplement them with the presence of nuclear warheads aimed at the Kremlin. White House seeks to compel Russia to the world of the threat of a new arms race. Conditions are quite suitable for this purpose. The Russian economy is experiencing difficult times in terms of the economic sanctions of the West and volatile oil prices.

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There are enough money for the arms race

According to the expert of the Kyiv Center for Political and Conflict Studies Denys Kiryukhin, United States will carry out upgrading and modernization of its armed forces until 2025-30, in response to the "growth" of military budgets of the leading countries of the world. Now in the United States carried out the search for financial resources for the implementation of this initiative. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump is going to increase defense spending by reducing funding for some government agencies, such as the US Federal Agency for Environmental Protection, as well as UN agencies (40%).

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A separate point is reduction of NATO funding, which is a huge hole in the US budget. US contributions account for 22% of NATO budget. The United States is the main donor of the alliance. According to NATO information, in 2017 a civil organization's budget amounted to 234.4 million euros, the military – to 1.29 billion euros. These costs are not entirely justified. Practice of the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq shows that for Pentagon would be much easier to bet on American forces in conjunction with the British allies, rather than to rely on NATO coalition forces. Western Europe has the high threshold of anti-war sentiment.

Death of European soldiers became a pretext for anti-government demonstrations. During the 2000s, a significant number of European allies withdrew their troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. European countries are interested in NATO membership, because they can save the expense of the United States on military expenditures.

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The US is interested in increasing investment in the development of military aircraft and naval forces. For example, the stormtroopers Park A-10 Thunderbolt II ( "Warthog"), which since 70-ies the United States used in many military operations, fire support for ground forces from the air, is already worn out. United States plans to increase the number of armed forces. Russia spares no funds for military development. "UralVagonZavod," whose interests lobbied the Kremlin, has developed "Terminator" and "Terminator 2", new infantry fighting vehicles support. The Russians have made progress in the development of small-arms ammunition, artillery systems of salvo fire. United States expects to modernize its arsenal by saving on contributions to the budget of NATO and other organizations to create an effective counterbalance to Russia. The aggressive Russian policy meets the interests of US enterprises of the military-industrial complex, which will be able to receive new orders.

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