Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

INF Withdrawal Media Update (4)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The INF remains the leading Russia topic in Western media and has restarted the firehose although the effect remains to be seen. A deluge of bluster, bluff and threats from Muscovy, targeting European NATO nations, and replaying the 1980s pre-INF game of using the EU anti-nuke movement as “useful idiot” proxies.

Dr. Shevtsova spells out of the futility of the Russian bluffing game that is leading it to ruin, as it destroyed the Soviets – she aptly observes “The process of reproducing Russian bluffs makes one question the adequacy of those who bluff our way of life. To what extent do bluffers understand what they are doing? Although it does not matter. Not at all important. It is important that the Kremlin blackmail bluff means that this resource is running out. The authorities can no longer foresee the results of their poker. Moreover, the bluff, as we see, destroys the space for Russia’s existence, eliminating road signs for a safe trajectory of the state. Russian Roulette time is coming.” Worth adding that classical Russian Roulette has one loaded chamber, the rest empty, whereas the modern Muscovian interpretation seems to be to load all chambers and hope the rounds are all duds!

Multiple articles on the China aspect of the INF problem, some quite good and worth a careful read. Gady makes a good point – with both Russia and China bristling with IRBMs and GLCMs, how long can the current relationship last?

Two articles on how to reconstitute the capability in the disposed of BGM-109G Gryphon GLCM and MGM-31 Pershing II. Neither are challenging to replace, especially not the GLCM.

Finally, NATO’s response, and miscellaneous op-eds and reports.

‘US would be history if Russia nukes Yellowstone volcano with mega-bombs’ – expert — RT Russia

Russia must develop the capability to destroy the US in a single swift blow if it wants to persuade the Americans to end the nuclear arms race and return to the negotiating table, military expert Konstantin Sivkov said.

Mikhail Khodarenok | US’ ultimate goal is to strip Russia of its nukes — RT Op-ed

The US’ single strategic objective, in terms of Russian nuclear triad, is to strip it of its arsenal. This is what shapes all of the White House’s foreign policy while any talk about nuclear arms reduction is just cover for that.

Putin Warns Of New ‘Arms Race’ If Trump Abandons Nuclear Pacts

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Washington’s withdrawal from a decades-old nuclear treaty could lead to a new “arms race,” and the Kremlin said it would put the U.S. decision befor…

World war 3: President Donald Trump creating nuclear weapon crisis says Russian MP | World | News |

PRESIDENT Trump risks creating “another Cuban Missile Crisis” if he withdraws the US from key nuclear weapons treaties, leading Russian parliamentarian Alexei Pushkov has warned.

Possible US Exit From INF Dangerous Shift for Very Concept of Deterrence – Prof – Sputnik International

Moscow has warned that if Washington moves ahead with plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Russia will be forced to do what it takes to preserve the global strategic balance.

Kremlin: U.S. Intent to Build New Missiles ‘Extremely Dangerous’ | National Review

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that the White House’s plan to build more missiles is “extremely dangerous.”

Putin: Russia Will Target Nations Hosting U.S. Missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that, if the United States deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will have to target the countries hosting them.

Putin: We will attack any country that launches US missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a stern warning to the United States and its European allies on Wednesday — saying Russia would attack any nation that agrees to house and launch intermediate-range missiles for the US.

Putin Warns Europe of ‘Counterstrike’ Risk if U.S. Deploys Missiles – The New York Times

The Russian president issued the warning after President Trump said the U.S. planned to pull out of a nuclear treaty banning some types of missiles.

Russia will target European countries if they host U.S. nuclear missiles – Putin | Reuters

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would be forced to target any European countries that agreed to host U.S. nuclear missiles following Washington’s withdrawal from a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty.

Putin Threatens to Target European Nations if They Deploy U.S. Intermediate-Range Missiles

The Russian leader warned that Moscow’s response would be “very fast and effective” if such weapons were deployed throughout Europe.

Putin: Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, allies blame Russia for violating a Cold War-era missile treaty; adds he doesnt expect them to deploy more nuclear warheads in Europe in response.

Putin Pokes Fun at Official US Seal During Bolton Meeting

Russian President Vladimir Putin poked fun at the official seal of the United States while hosting President Trump’s national security adviser Tuesday, saying he wondered if the American eagle had… World News Summaries. | Newser

INF treaty: Russia ‘will respond’ to new US missiles in Europe – BBC News

Russia will respond “in kind” if new US nuclear missiles are placed in Europe, President Putin says.

INF: Vladimir Putin threatens to mirror US deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe | News | DW | 24.10.2018

Putin has said Russia would mirror the US if it pulled out of the INF treaty and deployed restricted nuclear missiles in Europe. He also warned of a new “arms race” if Washington did not renew another key agreement.

Stephen F. Cohen | The Abolition of Nuclear Abolitionism? | The Nation

President Trump’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty nullifies a historic precedent.

Nuclear escalation must be resisted | Letter | World news | The Guardian

Letter: The intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty (INF) must not be torn up, says Kate Hudson, CND general secretary

‘There was an outpouring of respect for us then, but not today’ A Soviet diplomat who helped negotiate the INF Treaty recalls how it came together in 1987 and what U.S. withdrawal means today — Meduza

Donald Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in December 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The agreement heralded an end to the Cold War’s arms race and dramatically reduced the threat of nuclear armageddon. To learn how the deal came together more than 30 years ago, Meduza special correspondent Evgeny Berg spoke to Viktor Mizin, a weapons expert and former Soviet diplomat who helped draft the treaty. Mizin shared his thoughts about the peace negotiations and the dangers of “fanatical militarism.”

RSD-10 Pionyer / SS-20 SABER IRBM



MGM-31 Pershing II IRBM / MaRV

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Bluffing, ‘Russia’s National Industry,’ No Longer Working but Leading to Disaster, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, October 24 – Bluffing, Liliya Shevtsova says, has become “Russia’s national industry,” a product of the fact that the country doesn’t have the resources to live as it thinks it is entitled and therefore “has to play poker and give the impression that we have more powerful cards in our hands than we do in fact.” That is true domestically, the Russian political analyst says, where the government says there is economic growth despite the fact that “everyone lives worse.” It is true in foreign affairs where the foreign minister and Moscow commentators say Russia is increasing its influence despite sanctions and isolation ( And it is true of Vladimir Putin who routinely gives “a master class in bluffing” by insisting that Russia can act with confidence because it has surpassed its “partners and competitors” in weaponry even though the arms that he points to exist not in fact but only in the form of video games, Shevtsova continues. The Kremlin leader, to be sure, she says, “understanding that his accustomed song may cease to be convincing shifts from bluff to blackmail,” threatening to go to war unless the West does what he wants. And until recently, this combination worked, leading the liberal democracies to backdown in the face of Putin’s bombast and threats. But this strategy isn’t working anymore, Shevtsova argues. The West has had enough, it is organizing, and it is isolating Russia as if it had “leprosy.” As a result, “instead of creating a Non-West and becoming its leading force, Russia is creating a New West in which there is no place for Russia” (emphasis in the original). “In fact,” she says, “Western society is consolidating around the idea that ‘Russia is the enemy.’” Among those in the West who have made Russophobia the basis of a career is John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, who has just been in Moscow to explain to Putin why America is dispensing with the treaty that guaranteed mutual restraint on Russia and the West. According to Shevtsova, “the most humiliating aspect of this for the Kremlin is that America intends to throw into the trash obligations which are the obligation of our parity with America and consequently are a symbol of our power” not because the US is concerned about our violations but because it needs “a free hand” to deal with China. In short, “America is destroying the bipolarity with Russia because it needs such freedom of action for the formation of another bipolarity, with China! And in this dance, Russia is no longer a partner in the dance.” “Of course,” Shevtsova says, “in order to regain America’s attention, we can take part in an arms race.” But given that the West spends almost 20 times what Russia can afford, doing so will lead to “state suicide” as the events of 1991 showed. And no amount of bluffing can change that fundamental reality. It isn’t even important if those doing the bluffing understand that fact. What matters, the Russian analyst says is that its use of threats in place of bluffing shows that the latter resource has been exhausted, and “the powers that be already cannot foresee the results of the poker game” they had hoped to play and win. More than that, Shevtsova concludes, “bluffing as we see is destroying the space for the existence of Russia by liquidating the road signs for the secure trajectory of the state.” The game has changed: it is no longer poker: instead, it is Russian roulette.

John Bolton dismisses Chinese complaints about leaving arms treaty with Russia

President Trump’s top national security adviser dismissed Chinese criticism after the U.S. said it would exit a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia, following Tuesday meetings in Moscow. President Trump’s top national security adviser dismissed Chinese criticism after the U.S. said it would exit a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia, following Tuesday meetings in Moscow. White House national security adviser John Bolton announced a plan to terminate the treaty that bars the United States and Russia from deploying ground-based, intermediate-range nuclear weapons. The decision has drawn criticism internationally and mixed reviews in Congress. But while Bolton engaged most of those complaints substantively, he had a glib reply to a Chinese call for the United States to continue abiding by the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which China has not joined. “China has issued a a statement that says it wants the United States to stay in the INF Treaty,” Bolton told reporters in Moscow. “And if I were living in Beijing, I’d probably think the same thing, but I’m not.” Trump’s decision to exit the deal drew repeated criticism from Chinese officials, who told reporters that “unilaterally withdrawing from the treaty will cause many negative effects.” But Bolton noted that China has refused to join the treaty. “That’s something that we thought of as far back as 2004 and some efforts were made to see if it might be possible to extend the treaty then; they all failed,” he said. China rejected any responsibility for U.S. departure from the INF, while making clear that their own ballistic missile stockpiles won’t be constrained by such pacts. “Shifting blame to others does not make any sense,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. “China pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature and firmly safeguards its legitimate national and security interests. We will by no means accept any form of blackmail. I once again urge the U.S. to refrain from going against the trend of the times and think twice before taking any action on this issue.”

Franz-Stefan Gady | INF Withdrawal: Bolton’s Tool to Shatter China-Russia Military Ties? | The Diplomat

U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty could heat up the Russia-China border. With the recent announcement by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton that the United States is considering terminating Ronald Reagan’s landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, much analysis has focused on the impact of that decision on U.S.-Russia and U.S.-China relations. Relatively little, however, has been said about how the INF treaty termination could impact Russia-China ties, especially in the military sphere. Indeed, there is reason to assume that one of John Bolton’s strategic calculi in his push for a unilateral U.S. treaty withdrawal is its possible detrimental impact on burgeoning China-Russia military relations. The rationale here is simple: Despite a recent uptick in military cooperation between the two countries as, for example, seen during the Vostok (Eastern) 2018 military exercise this September, Beijing and Moscow continue to eye one another with suspicion when it comes to the deployment of military assets in proximity to the Sino-Russian border. This mistrust in particular could potentially be amplified if one side were to suddenly deploy longer-range precision-strike capabilities near the border—a move that the Russian military has reportedly time and again been contemplating to offset Chinese growing military strength in the region. Indeed, Russia has repeatedly threatened to dump the INF treaty unless China is included in its provision given the latter’s large arsenal of conventional and nuclear-tipped land-based intermediate range cruise and ballistic missiles. Moscow feels at a distinct military disadvantage vis-à-vis Beijing in the Far East as a result of the arms control agreement given that intermediate-range systems make up about 95 percent of China’s missile force.

Abraham Ait | US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia | The Diplomat

Growing Chinese and Korean missile capabilities are forcing Washington’s hand with regard to the INF withdrawal.

Pulling out of nuclear arms pact adds to US options to ‘erode Chinese advantage’ | South China Morning Post

Withdrawing from cold war-era treaty with Russia would mean US could deploy intermediate ground-based missile systems in AsiaIt could have a significant effect on the military balance between China and the US, especially in the event of a conflict

What Asia thinks (but won’t say) about Trump ditching nuclear treaty with Russia | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

US president&rsquo;s intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty with Russia dents perceptions of American reliability. It also raises the prospect of an arms race in China&rsquo;s backyard

Pentagon INF Report Hits Hill; Putin Threatens NATO Members « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

The long-awaited Pentagon report, which outlines the weapons systems capable of being modified for fielding in a post-INF world, has hit Capitol Hill.

Killing the INF Treaty Could Spur New Generation of Missiles

Doing away with the treaty opens the door for new missiles with ranges in the thousands of miles.

Stoltenberg Says NATO Doesn’t Want New Arms Race While Siding With Trump on INF – Sputnik International

Moscow has warned that a US withdrawal from the landmark agreement on ground-based intermediate-range nuclear weapons would prompt Russia to do what’s necessary to preserve strategic stability; Washington’s European allies have voiced concerns about the impact a US withdrawal from the INF Treaty would have on European security.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg backs President Trump, says Russia of violating INF nuclear arms treaty – CBS News

Head of transatlantic security alliance says he doesn't expect nuclear buildup in Europe, despite rising U.S.-Russia tension

NATO chief sees new U.S. missile deployments in Europe as unlikely | Reuters

NATO’s top official on Wednesday blamed Russia for breaching a landmark nuclear arms pact that Washington is talking about quitting, but said he did not believe the Russian threat would lead to new deployments of U.S. missiles in Europe.

European NATO allies muted on nuclear treaty′s demise | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 24.10.2018

NATO declines to push for a diplomatic solution over dissolution, blaming Russian violations for the US move. Could a new summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin offer a last chance to save the INF?

John Bolton, Vladimir Putin spar on nuclear treaty fate – Washington Times

Many in Europe fear the death of the INF treaty would revive painful battles over whether and where to deploy mid-range nuclear weapons on their territory while exposing them to Russian tactical missiles.

John Bolton holds talks in Moscow over fate of nuclear arms pact – The Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged in some dark humor: Does the U.S. eagle now carry only arrows and no olive branch?

John Bolton is living his best life – POLITICO

As his power and influence grow, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser is helping to tear up international agreements he’s railed against for years.

In Moscow, John Bolton shows how to deal with Russian aggression

Visiting Moscow this week, John Bolton offered a textbook lesson in how to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive gamesmanship.

Trump Is Right About the INF – Foreign Policy

To be worth keeping, a treaty that bans nuclear missiles needs to include all nuclear powers.

Nuke madness: Are Putin and Trump ready to tear up historic nuclear arms agreement? |

Egged on by John Bolton, Trump and Putin may remove all limits on nuclear missiles. Seriously, what could go wrong?

Withdrawal from Russia nuclear treaty is right move for America | TheHill

Critics of this move must understand that it is a necessary step for maintaining peace and stability.

Would INF Withdrawal Recreate a Nuclear Hair-Trigger World? – Foreign Policy

Junk enough arms control treaties, and the Cold War balance of terror will reign once again—this time with China in the mix.

Interview With Richard Burt: The Dangers of Withdrawing from the INF Treaty | The National Interest

“We’re potentially just a short distance from a major mistake.”

Joachim Rønneberg, Operation Gunnerside and their lessons for new nuclear arms race –

Against the background of the talks about the new nuclear arms race and the possible World War III, we recall the story of a fighter of the Norwegian Resistance Movement, who managed to thwart Hitler’s nuclear program in 1943 and prevent the victory of Nazi Germany in World War II.