So the radio just announced that the INF is finally officially completely and utterly dead.
Recall, Orange Thunder™ had decided to withdraw from that treaty because Russia "may" have been breaking it.
I'm surprised that something negotiated by St. Reagan would be allowed to die like that.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... rol-to-end
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For theguardian.com, Julian Borger in Washington and Dan Sabbagh in London wrote:The new Russian missile is nuclear capable, but not necessarily nuclear armed. They are presently believed to be organised in four battalions, only one of which is west of the Urals, though they are mobile allowing for rapid redeployment.
Did I miss out on massive rounds of inspections, to "trust but verify" that dual-use technology isn't dually used?
I don't see Russia, or rather Putin, as blameless for this treaty breaking up. And it's not like the US is developing two or three new intermediate-range weapons systems...
For theguardian.com, Julian Borger in Washington and Dan Sabbagh in London wrote:Russia’s refusal to scrap the weapon led Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the INF treaty, and the US is now developing at least three types of medium-range missiles, all of them designed for conventional warheads.
Oh. Okay. Spiffing.
Even President Star Wars didn't fuck around with intermediate range nukes. To give credit where it's due: besides his attempts to massively violate the anti-ABM treaty with his Star Wars program, he did contribute to preventing humankind from nuking itself by negotiating the original treaty with Gorbatchev.
And now, Russia might be breaking it.
Well, fuck Putin for fucking around like that.
How did this new crisis develop again?
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The Unknown Journalist on bbc.com wrote:President Donald Trump announced in February that the US would withdraw from the pact if Russia didn't come into compliance, and set the deadline for 2 August.
Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended his country's own obligations to the treaty shortly afterwards.
Right. Because that's what you do when someone you like doing business with might be endangering the whole world with nuclear weapons that would reduce early-warning times so much, they make war more likely, rather than being a deterrence. You set an ultimatum, and then you don't
mobilize the diplomatic might of yourself and all your allies to make the guy you're so fond of at least allow inspections.
No, you set an ultimatum, and before that ultimatum is even up, you set in motion not one but three weapons projects that violate the treaty.
Fun fact: IIRC, the INF treaty really was biased in favor of the US, since it only dealt with land-based
intermediate range weapons. On which, back in the day, the USSR's defense relied on rather a lot. While the US got to keep her sea-based intermediate range nuclear or dual-use weapons systems (such as submarine launched Tomahawk missiles), which proportionally made up a larger part of the US arsenal than of the Soviet's arsenal. That, at least, is the criticism that stuck in mind when I read up on that treaty in the past.
I failed to see a massive, continuous diplomatic effort to try and get Russia in line on the INF treaty. Such might have failed entirely, Putin isn't exactly a nice guy. I believe his push to develop new nuclear weapons systems might be (at least in part) related to the sanctions that have been imposed since 2012.
But when human civilization is at risk, you at least try
to do everything. You don't already have three
different weapons systems in the works before your own ultimatum expires.
Oh, well. The front-line in a military confrontation against the Soviets
Russians wouldn't be literally in my front yard anymore, at least not initially. Because, as much as the US had promised not to expand NATO to the east, in return for the Soviets not blocking German reunification, that wasn't really a treaty, so fuck it, and now NATO is right on the borders of Russia in some areas.
So if shit kicks off, the first areas made into shiny glass craters with intermediate-range nukes are gonna be the Baltic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia. You know. All those former eastern-bloc, Warsaw Pact countries that negotiators had assured the Soviets would not become part of NATO.
Of course, I live in a massive conurbation, a juicy strategic target even after much of the steel and all of the coal is gone. Well within that 500-5,500 km range of potential intermediate range weapons.
Previously, my worries had been limited to many MIRVs from ICBM/SLBM, or air-launched cruise-missiles. Now I get to worry about weapons that have such a short flight-time, there almost certainly wouldn't even be enough warning for me to climb on a roof and make it quick and painless.
I hate 80s nostalgia.
This isn't Trump's personal achievement, of course, and not even the work of just his predecessors. Neoliberal dirtbags, capital's puppet-politicians here in Europe, totally certain that worrying about Russia was no longer necessary, they contributed just as much.
But Trump made sure that nobody got in Putin's way while driving that final nail in the INF coffin, certainly not himself. When Putin started playing around with dual-use weapons, Trump's administration set at least three dual-use weapons programs in motion before the ultimatum had even expired.
Obviously, NATO would only ever put conventional warheads on those, obviously only the evil, evil Russians must be mistrusted here. The mere idea that the Russians that are not Putin might feel threatened by NATO, how dare anyone suggest that! NATO are the good guys, of course nobody could feel threatened by a military pact that broke its "sincere" promises and expanded ever eastward, with a strategy still built around a showdown with those same Russians! NATO is made of angels, and nobody could possibly worry about NATO, the idea is ridiculous!
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?
I said I have a big stick.