Why Putin’s Latest Weapons Claims Should Scare Us

Exclusive: Americans should be very concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Russia’s breakthroughs in weapons technology – not necessarily because they pose a threat, but because it will mean vast fortunes spent in the U.S. on an arms race, Jonathan Marshall argues.

By Jonathan Marshall

Be afraid. Be very afraid of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest boast to his Federal Assembly that Russian scientists have come up with “a breakthrough in developing new models of strategic weapons” aimed at the United States.

In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, Russia’s new Sarmat intercontinental missile is shown at an undisclosed location in Russia. (AP)

Don’t be afraid that he has any intention of using them. Don’t even be afraid that most of the weapons he demonstrated through animated simulations are operational.

Be afraid, rather, that armchair Cold Warriors in the United States will shamelessly exploit Putin’s speech to justify billions—no, trillions—of dollars in needless spending on a pointless nuclear arms race.

Achieving their agenda was made easier by media coverage of the speech, which reported that Putin “threatened the West” (New York Times) and “represented an escalated level of martial rhetoric even by his pugnacious standards” (Washington Post).

Putin in fact explicitly and repeatedly emphasized that his claimed new weapons are not offensive, but rather designed to maintain Russia’s nuclear deterrent in the face of growing U.S. anti-missile systems.

Responding to the United States

“Back in 2000, the US announced its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” he explained. “We saw the Soviet-US ABM Treaty signed in 1972 as the cornerstone of the international security system… Together with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the ABM Treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust but also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons.”

“We did our best to dissuade the Americans from withdrawing from the treaty,” he continued. “All in vain. The US pulled out of the treaty in 2002. Even after that we tried to develop constructive dialogue with the Americans. … All our proposals, absolutely all of them, were rejected.”

Putin went on, “Despite our numerous protests and pleas … there are new missile defense systems installed in Alaska and California; as a result of NATO’s expansion to the east, two new missile defense areas were created in Western Europe … The US global missile defense system also includes five cruisers and 30 destroyers, which … have been deployed to regions in close proximity to Russia’s borders.”

Putin overestimates the potential effectiveness of these U.S. missile defense systems, which have never proven reliable. But Russia’s generals, like ours, build their careers on exaggerating risks, and Putin, like most Russians, is easily awed by claims for U.S. technology.

As I wrote here in 2016, “The ABM system currently deployed in Europe is admittedly far too small today to threaten Russia’s nuclear deterrent. In fact, ABM technology is still unreliable, despite America’s investment of more than $100 billion in R&D. Nonetheless, it’s a threat Russia cannot ignore. No U.S. military strategist would sit still for long if Russia began ringing the United States with such systems.”

Dubious Russian Claims

Russia didn’t sit still. In response, Putin said that Russia has developed new missiles capable of evading U.S. missile defenses—by taking new routes (e.g., over the South Pole), traveling underwater, operating at hypersonic speeds, or maneuvering unpredictably.

Some of his grandiose claims seem aimed less at convincing technical experts than at reassuring a domestic audience that Russia is still a great power and need not cower before superior American might.

For example, reports indicate that a nuclear-powered cruise missile, like one he described, crashed in recent tests, and experts say that the complex and expensive concept is inherently “insane.”

Similarly, if you just want to blow up some U.S. ports, it makes no sense to build a new class of nuclear drones capable of traveling thousands of miles underwater, when you could just deploy off-the-shelf nuclear missiles with cheap decoy warheads to foil U.S. defenses.

In an interview with Megyn Kelly on NBC, Putin himself admitted that only one of the weapons he referenced—a large but fairly traditional missile—was combat ready.

“We are not threatening anyone”

For all his boasting, Putin was simply making a point that most arms experts, and even the Pentagon, have long conceded: Russia has the means to defeat U.S. missile defenses, not to prevail in a war.

“We are not threatening anyone, not going to attack anyone or take away anything from anyone with the threat of weapons,” he said.

In case anyone still misjudged his intent, he added, “There is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilization.”

Most of these caveats, of course went unquoted in Western news accounts. Instead, traditionally hostile reporters like Neil MacFarquhar and David Sanger of the New York Times said Putin had “essentially” declared that Russia “had made America’s response obsolete”—slippery language suggesting that U.S. security might be at risk.

In fact, nothing in Putin’s statement even hinted that the U.S. nuclear deterrent, backed up by 4,000 city-busting warheads, was in question.

It takes a lot less than that to deter a nuclear attack. China has just a few hundred warheads, but no one would ever think of messing with it. Indeed, no rational leader—a category that may or may not include President Trump—would even think of launching a nuclear attack on North Korea, with its few dozen primitive warheads.

The assessment of Lt. General James Kowalski, Vice Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, remains true today as it was in 2013: a Russian nuclear attack on the United States is such “a remote possibility” that it is “hardly worth discussing.”

The Militarists Respond

But America’s neo-Cold Warriors instantly seized on Putin’s speech to whip up anti-Russia frenzy and call for even more military spending.

President Obama’s former ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, insisted that President Trump was derelict for not responding forcefully to “Putin’s speech today threatening to attack America in new ways with nuclear weapons.” The lack of push back, he said, was “Amazing. Disappointing. And scary.”

More amazing, disappointing, and scary was the former ambassador’s utter mischaracterization of Putin’s speech. One hopes that his reporting to the State Department was not so casually in error.

And then the was the oft-quoted Adm. James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, who asserted that Putin’s speech “illuminates his ‘go big’ strategy for dealing with the U.S., including an aggressive stance backed up by destabilizing weapons.”

“It should spur us to develop counters to what he is describing,” he declared. “We need to do the research and development, testing, fielding and training to deal with the new battlefield he is describing, with both offensive and defensive capabilities.”

Such language reinforces the Pentagon’s ambitious agenda, outlined in its recent “Nuclear Posture Review,” which calls for creating at least two new kinds of nuclear weapons while pursuing a $1.7 trillion program of “modernizing” America’s nuclear arsenal.

Even more extreme, Rob Dannenberg, former chief of the CIA’s Central Eurasia Division, concluded that “Putin may have stolen a march on us as we have underinvested in strategic weapons for at least the past decade.”

“We need to recognize Putin is the arch enemy of the West,” Dannenberg stated. “We need to recognize there is no negotiating with him. . . Russia’s behavior will not change until the regime is changed. That should be our focus and strategy.”

If anything should keep us up at night worrying about the fate of the world, it’s nuts like Dannenberg, calling for regime change in Russia—not Putin’s cartoon videos about how Russia plans to maintain a stable nuclear deterrent with the United States.

Jonathan Marshall is the author of many articles on nuclear arms and policy, including “Learning to Love — and Use — the Bomb,” “Dreams of ‘Winning’ Nuclear War on Russia,” “Obama’s Unkept Promise on Nuclear War,” “Endangering a Landmark Nuclear Treaty.”

100 comments for “Why Putin’s Latest Weapons Claims Should Scare Us

  1. Bo Modén
    March 8, 2018 at 07:07

    Thank you for honoring the memory of Robert Perry by supporting his site .

  2. eric
    March 5, 2018 at 19:56

    Some people might think that little by little NATO has Russia pushed into a corner and surrounded . But Russia has been preparing for almost 20 years for the same illegal treatment Yugoslavia got , Regime change and dismemberment . Ever since Wesley Clark issued orders for NATO to shoot Russian soldiers . Russia has been preparing to make that a very dangerous proposition .. I believe Russia now has strong alliances . Alliances much stronger than our NATO alliances . After the United States accidently on purpose fired a missile into the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia . Russia and China have been the best of friends . Friends that share military equipment and secrets .With both Russia and China trying as hard as they can they have only been able to spend about 1/3 of what the US does for military expenses . But maybe they have been buying more bang for the buck ? I have the general feeling they are now looking for places to confront NATO at every turn .

  3. Bernia
    March 5, 2018 at 18:39

    Well Reagan claimed to have brought down the Soviet Union by spending them in bankruptcy via the arms race. Now it looks like Putin is employing the same technique but on the US. The guy is very sly.

    • eric
      March 5, 2018 at 20:02

      Good observation , I don’t know much about money But it seems to me when a government starts buying their own government bonds because they can’t sell their bonds We might be getting closer to bankruptcy

  4. DavidKNZ
    March 5, 2018 at 18:15

    Zachary Smith March 3, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    “One of them is a small-scale heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile – a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens, basically an unlimited range,” Putin said. “It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.”

    The American Military have been down this path back in the 1960s
    with Project Orion aka The Flying Crowbar, a Nuclear powered Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile

    It is described in detail at
    (Interesting reading for the technically minded – The other references also check out)

    The nuclear reactor engine passed full power tests as did the materials technology
    needed for the delivery vehicle, but the project was cancelled because:
    1: The consequences of rocket failure – a mini chernobyl in your backyard
    2: It was easy to detect – Loud, Low and Leaving a radioactive wake
    3: It was expensive
    4: “All Going Well”, disposal of the rocket at the end of its job by diving it into the
    deep ocean was not considered a good idea.
    5: They are not invulnerable to jamming – imagine if the control system was overwritten
    in some fashion by a “Return to Sender” “upgrade.”
    [eg Tomahawks have a high wing loading and need constant inflight correction to keep on track
    This MAY explain why, of the 59 Cruise missiles launched at a Syrian airfield less than half reached
    their target and the runway, surely the prime focus remained largely undamaged.]

    So Russia needs to overcome these problems on a much smaller budget that that allocated
    to Project Orion; some of these problems stem from the laws of physics

    So my view – probably some good R&D – maybe even field testing – (strange reports of
    unusual isotopes in the atmosphere round Russia)

    But “Not quite battle ready” AKA Bluff

    • Zachary Smith
      March 5, 2018 at 20:27

      But “Not quite battle ready” AKA Bluff

      Exactly my first thoughts, and maybe still true. I was mighty influenced by reading the Project Pluto wiki about the US attempt to do this.


      Look at the size of that sucker! If it had crashed, the result would be a mini-Chernobyl! But Putin claimed their version could be installed inside the Kh-55, a 7 meter long and 1/2 meter diameter cylinder. After some more thought and adding a few assumptions about current Russian technology, I now believe it could be done. Can’t imagine the thing being used routinely during ordinary times, but as a second strike retaliatory weapon, a swarm of these could be a real game changer. I can even imagine them being recovered with only moderate risk if launched during a crisis situation which ended well.

      5: They are not invulnerable to jamming – imagine if the control system was overwritten in some fashion by a “Return to Sender” “upgrade.”

      If I were building these each missile would have a hard-wired “code book” of the highest quality which would respond if and only if it got a proper message. So I don’t believe “hacking” would be an issue.

      It’s still a nutty weapon, but I’ve got to crayfish a bit regarding my earlier doubts. :)


  5. SteveK9
    March 5, 2018 at 17:47

    I’m not afraid of these new weapon systems, not because they are fake, but I actually believe the purpose is deterrence. I would not assume in any way that Putin is making these things up. Certainly not the RS-28 Sarmat. The fact that is has sub-orbital launch capability was suspected and now confirmed. The air-launched hypersonic missile (Mach 10) was said to be already deployed in the Southern Military District, and I believe it when says it.

    The reactor-powered submersible and cruise missile drones, are believable as well. An unshielded reactor core can be used as a heat source for a jet turbine or submersible drive. Russia is the most technologically advanced country in the world in reactor design (you can google the BN600, BN800, and BREST-300, as examples). So, it is entirely plausible that they have something they are pretty sure will work, if not completed. The hypersonic warheads for the ballistic missile are being worked on by the US, and China as well, and I expect all three countries will develop them.

    As Jonathan says, I don’t believe these new systems are actually necessary for deterrence. A single Russian ballistic missile submarine could devastate the US. These subs spend months under the arctic ice, and can pop out just to launch the missiles (16 missiles, 6 warheads each). There is no stopping them.

    However, we do seem to have some lunatics in our military and political class that think we can plan and carry out a first-strike on Russia (a small minority I hope) and nullify their retaliation. Ringing Russia with ABM systems, as we are doing, was going to bring a response. In fact, Putin told us exactly what he would do in 2007 at the Munich Security Conference. He said that Russia could not match the US in terms of the expense of these ABM systems and certainly he had no option to place them on the Canadian or Mexican borders, so Russia would develop cheap (relatively) effective offensive countermeasures. 11 years later, he is true to his word.

    Jonathan is very right about one thing, we could conceivably spend ourselves into oblivion. Think about what Russia has accomplished with a defense budget ~ 1/10 of the United States (they also cut the defense budget for 2018 … saying that their modernization program was reaching its end).

    Our military is so bloated and wasteful now, that even spending 10X the Russian won’t do the job. How much can we divert to military spending?

    Dwight Eisenhower – April 16, 1953

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

  6. Rick Merlotti
    March 5, 2018 at 13:49

    This is a new Sputnik moment. With merely 1/10th to 1/20th of the spending capacity of the western empire (probably a lot less than that if you add in the dark budget of the MIC and add the UK and EU, Etc.), the Russians have checkmated the utopian dreams of our insane end-of-the-world military planners. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of lunatics!

  7. serpeant
    March 5, 2018 at 11:24

    I am happy that we might be going back to the concept of mutually assured destruction. It seems the world was safer then. Under the old standoff with Russia Iraq would never had happened. Crazed with the idea that the US is the leader of a unipolar world America is rampaging throughout the world.

  8. didi
    March 5, 2018 at 08:35

    The Crimea issue illustrates what any Russian government has to deal with and will respond to. At the end of WW2 the Soviet Union controlled about 3/4th of the shorelines of the Black Sea. Just before the return of the Crimea to Russia that control had been reduced to about 1/4th. About 1/2 of the remainder was NATO (Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania). And then there was the failed attempt to get Georgia on board.
    The recent political developments in Ukraine threatened that the Crimea might become a NATO or NATO-friendly base that is to say a land-based aircraft carrier located at Russia’s immediate border. Putin did not hesitate. The clear message is: “we have national interests too and will act on them”.

  9. March 5, 2018 at 02:53

    If the end result of Putin’s nuclear weapons is the Imperialist States of Amerikastan further stripping it’s schools, hospitals, and infrastructure to push all available resources into unusable weapons, thus destroying it’s own future and bankrupting its own population, that is excellent strategy. The aim should always be the destruction of Amerikastan; its criminal activities means that its continued existence can no longer be tolerated. Since destruction by war, woke possible, will also mean nuclear winter and the end of most vertebrate life, the correct strategy is to let it eat itself alive as it is now doing.

  10. March 4, 2018 at 21:34

    This Russia “threat” coincidentally coincides with the diminishing returns to the banksters oil/military/security complex in regards to their nameless but ubiquitous
    Muslim terrorist threat.

    Time to invent another boogeyman–the old boogeyman will have to do.

    My question is this: how do we know Putin and the Russian oligarchs are not in on the game of milking taxpayers of every spare cent? There are far too many obvious international transgressions and false flag episodes conducted by the US/European/Israeli juggernaut for them not to be making a huge international scene. So why aren’t they calling out our many acts of reprehensible domestic and international terrorism? I suggest there are opulent castles somewhere in the Swiss Alps not too far from Basel where Putin and the Goldman Sachs boys meet and plan out the upcoming charades.

    • March 5, 2018 at 12:01

      Actually the Russians do call it out…every time…nobody listens to them….that frustraction was seen in Putins words on the new missiles….”now you will listen.”



    • eric
      March 5, 2018 at 20:30

      Oh don’t worry Russia is mentioning our false flags and many transgressions . But The US news service is the greatest propaganda machinery that has ever existed on earth . Little RT can not over power it .

  11. Jeff
    March 4, 2018 at 15:19

    Of course, the USG’s propaganda is that nothing we’ve done should terrify anyone else even though we’ve invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Grenada, Panama, and Serbia without provocation. Furthermore, we have every right to be terrified of Russia because they invaded Afghanistan without provocation back in 1977. Personally, I think that Putin is being sly like a fox. He knows that one of the reasons for the collapse of the old SovU was bankruptcy as a result of trying to keep up with the US’s massive arms build up initiated by Reagan and continued under Bush the elder. He also knows that the US’s debt when St. Ronnie took over was $934B but now, after decades of tax cuts, profligate military spending and unpaid for wars, the US debt is $20,000B. I think he’s just going to let us spend ourselves into penury. And he’s going to do it while spending $69B on the military as compared to $611B by the US.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 4, 2018 at 16:59

      Jeff I agree that Putin could be playing the Reagan card whereas now it will be the U.S. who runs up the military spending bill as to allow our whole system to go bust. It’s insane to have a for profit military industrial system, and we are now doing it with our intelligence agencies to boot. Profit will always motivate more security breaches and false flags, and war is the ultimate when it comes to cashing in. Joe

    • eric
      March 5, 2018 at 20:24

      Yet we must live in fear because Russia’s new planes may actually be more deadly than ours and Russian tanks can run circles around ours

  12. March 4, 2018 at 14:51

    Putin is not a threat to the world! Americas ego is the threat to the world!

  13. Quixotic1
    March 4, 2018 at 07:09

    Just to take this out of the realm of the abstract for a moment. Here’s a description of what happened at Hiroshima from Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the United States from the chapter entitled, The Bomb: The Tragedy of a Small Man. Just a small sampling of the fate/horrors that might await us all thanks to the power hungry FOOLS hell-bent on global domination who rule over us. Goddamn the U.S./Deep State/MIC. How DARE them hang this threat over us, our children, the people of the world?

    –The view from the ground was very different and far more harrowing. At the hypocenter, where temperatures reached 5,400 deg. F, the fireball roasted people “to bundles of smoking black char in a fraction of a second as their internal organs boiled away.” Tens of thousands were killed instantly. An estimated 140,000 were dead by the end of the year and 200,000 by 1950.
    …Injured and burned survivors suffered immensely. Hibakusha (bomb-affected persons) described it as walking through Hell. The streets were filled with an endless ghostlike procession of horribly burned, often naked people, whose skin hung off their bones. Desperately seeking help for their wounded bodies, searching for family members, and trying to escape from the encroaching fires, they tripped over dead bodies that had been seared into lumps of charcoal, often frozen in midstep. Hiroshima’s most renowned atomic bomb poet, Sankichi Toge, who died in 1953 at age thirty-seven, wrote a poem titled “August Sixth: that reads in part:

    How could I ever forget that flash of light!
    In an instant thirty thousand people disappeared from the streets;
    The cries of fifty thousand more
    Crushed beneath the darkness…

    Then, skin hanging like rags,
    Hands of breasts;
    Treading on shattered human brains…
    Crowds piled up on the river bank, and on rafts fastened to the shore,
    Turned gradually into corpses under the scorching sun….

    The conflagration shifts…
    Onto heaps of schoolgirls lying like refuse
    So that God alone knew who they were….

    How could I forget that quiet
    Which descended over a city of three hundred thousand?
    The calm
    How could I forget those pleas
    Of a dying wife and child
    Emitted through the whiteness of their eyes,
    Piercing our mind and souls!


    Next time some idiot sociopath neocon politician/talking head threatens nuclear war or surviving nuclear war or whatever
    gibberish they may be spewing at the time…

    Throw THIS in their face.

    • mike k
      March 4, 2018 at 12:14

      Thank you for your sobering comments. I needed that. We all need that awareness of the nightmare we are in bed with.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 4, 2018 at 12:55

      More people should read your post. Joe

  14. Andre
    March 4, 2018 at 03:11

    Why are Americans so afraid? Seriously, they have the largest “defence” in the world and have mainly attacked rather than defended anything. Guns and rifles for sale and still so paranoid about the Russians because of some old propaganda style frenzy. What is about them that they cannot undo this and just admit they are the strongest and have a lot of intelligence (not the secret services) and innovative abilities and yet there is this constant unwillingness to do what Putin asks them to do in all reasonableness: sit together and talk on how to construct a structure that is safe and welcome to all?
    It would be a better world as the energy and intellect can be used for something better than “defence” and having to show who is biggest and better, which only demonstrates a level of immaturity, stuck with the archetype of the Hero instead of the Wise.
    The media are so extreme with their propaganda and inability to write something from a more objective point of view that it makes one wonder: are the people not able to transform this? Can they not overhaul the propaganda machine that works overtime?
    It would make it much more secure and that is missing with all this fight for “more security”. Yes, it gives money to the 0.01% and those in power, but to have that running for decades with only a few people at the top is not helping.
    Now the level of crime we see (DNC, FBI, DOJ, etc. around Russiagate) is obvious and yet the NYT and WaPo and MSM still continue as usual. Is it because there is no powerful enough movement anymore? Has propaganda now won the day?
    Where is the anti-propaganda debate? No more anti-war style movement like at the time of Vietnam, no UN tribunals relating to all the wars and destruction by the USA for decades. To speak with Trump: SAD!
    It would be great to hear of some movements again in the US for the sake of the US, but also for the EU and world generally to hear that debate instead of now only living with falseness from the media to please a few powerful people.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 4, 2018 at 12:53

      Andre I don’t know where it went but if you find it let me know. Great comment. Joe

  15. Anna
    March 3, 2018 at 17:29

    Rob Dannenberg, former chief of the CIA’s Central Eurasia Division: “We need to recognize Putin is the arch enemy of the West… We need to recognize there is no negotiating with him. . . Russia’s behavior will not change until the regime is changed. That should be our focus and strategy.”
    Mr. Rob is apparently ready to continue his promotion of the “democracy on the march” (see Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine…) This senescent weasel has forgotten that it was the most Christian Pres. Bush the lesser who made the US withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And were not they the CIA “people” that have been instrumental in bringing Ukrainian neo-Nazi to power in Kiev a few years ago? — Amazing how much the CIA is fond of Nazis, neo-Nazis, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other “freedom fighters” for the “democracy on the march.”
    It was Dannenberg and like him that have left the US open to Awan affair and to the numerous violations of the US Constitution by the security apparatus. He – and other Brennans and Muellers — love to split money with private contractors and they love the Lobby’s money. Of course Dannenberg et al. do not want to negotiate — what if the negotiations bring peace and mutual understanding? The senior-level brass wants good money and this needs an enemy. Where are the $6 trillion dollars that the Pentagon couldn’t account? The CIA certainly should know in whose pockets/on whose offshore accounts the money are. Should we ask Rob Dannenberg about the money?

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 18:45

      Hiding their obscene amounts of money is one of the most obsessive burying activities of these international pirates. After all, money is POWER – which is their “PRECIOUS” (Lord of the Rings).

      • mike k
        March 3, 2018 at 18:47


  16. March 3, 2018 at 16:15

    I think alot of people are missing what Putin is saying to the US…

    1) Your first-strike platform is now obsolete…MAD is again assured to happen

    2) ABM and missile defensive systems are also obsolete against new nuclear weapons…quit building them and surrounding our country with them…

    The US doesnt need to escalate arms building in missile defense or first strike missions…Mutually Assured Destruction remains in balance…

    I cant believe i live in a country that nuclear first strike plans are the new strategy…who the hell are we? even the nazis couldnt make this threat a reality….



    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 16:50

      All bullies are hiding a core of fear in themselves. The USA is no different. Putin has called our bluff now, but the deep state has no other MO – it will just continue it’s empty threats ad nauseam, hoping there are a few who will still be intimidated by them, and really having no other plan B to replace their paper tiger farce.

      • mike k
        March 3, 2018 at 16:55

        Of course the US will be looking for some small nation to beat up on to vent it’s impotent fury. Maybe Venezuela?

        • March 3, 2018 at 17:17

          I think they might be gonna deal a joker…and help israel take down Lebanon….

          I suspect their first strike plans are still a go for Nkorea and Iran…Nuke em and sit back and see who flinches….monstrous arrogance…



          • mike k
            March 3, 2018 at 18:40

            It’s not out of the question. When people are dangerously insane, it is hard to predict their behavior – they often don’t know themselves what they might do next. Some contemplating this situation pray, some cross their fingers, and some just admit that they don’t know what the madmen at the helm will do……….

  17. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 13:47

    “Washington’s recently composed Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) with the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives on February 6 […] does not fit well with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in which it is agreed by almost every country in the world that the nuclear arms race should be halted and that all possible measures should be taken towards achievement of nuclear disarmament.

    “But Washington’s notions of global nuclear disarmament are curiously ambivalent, as there is unconditional support for Israel’s highly developed nuclear weapons’ capabilities […]

    “Washington now rejects the policies of ‘sole purpose’ (nuclear weapons to be used to deter only nuclear attacks) and ‘no first use’ (nuclear weapons only to be used if another state uses such weapons first). The message to China and Russia is that if the US considers there is a non-nuclear threat to its interests, then there could be a Pentagon nuclear strike. The example set to nuclear-armed nations such as India, Israel and Pakistan is unambiguous, in that the deterrence aspect of nuclear weapons has been superseded by what might be called ‘First Threat’, meaning that the more nuclear weapons that can be deployed by a country, the more assured will be its dominance. In the words of the State Department, ‘the declaratory policy of the United States [is] that we would consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances.’

    “The Pentagon has gone right back to the dark days described by Daniel Ellsberg in his memoir The Doomsday Machine. The Financial Times review summed up the threat of apocalypse by observing that ‘Most terrifying of all, Ellsberg discovered, any US attack, whether prompted by the outbreak of a real war or a malfunctioning system, would follow a stunningly inflexible plan. It would result in the indiscriminate obliteration of not only the Soviet Union but also China.’ And now the inflexibility is the Pentagon’s intention to develop and employ ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons in the utterly mistaken belief that in some weird way an enemy against whom they are directed will refrain from taking maximum retaliatory action. ‘Low yield’ weapons do not contribute to deterrence. They add to the probability of worldwide fire and fury.

    “A nuke is a nuke is a nuke. No country in the world is going to lie back and do nothing when a US bomber drops a ‘low-yield’ weapon. How could it possibly know that the attack is not part of a wider foray? Or that it will not be followed up by, say, a submarine-launched onslaught by mega-nukes directed at its cities? Ellsberg makes the point that nothing should be taken for granted. To make this a fundamental part of nuclear policy is lunacy.”

    Racing Towards a Low-Yield Armageddon
    By Brian Cloughley

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 16:13

      Putin’s speech puts nyet to the idea that Russia would tolerate a low yield nuclear attack on itself, or any of it’s allies. For Russia, a nuclear attack of any size calls for a full response.

  18. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 13:34

    “NATO claims that the missile shield was not built against you but against Iran”.
    Listen to Putin’s response in the documentary film, “Ich, Putin – Ein Portrait”
    (Watch minutes 19:40-22:30)

    in 2011 and 2012, German journalist and documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel became the first Western journalist to accompany the Russian President Vladimir Putin for several months. The German public broadcast consortium ARD aired the documentary in February 2012.

    • March 3, 2018 at 16:42

      Pretty sure Putin knows exactly what type of people he is dealing with in the west…so he has quietly done all he can to keep the west from trapping him into a major war or major escalation…he knows that only plays into the designs of the monstrous enemy that wants to destroy him…

      I am personally very relieved to see that he has reestablished a new MAD balance…

      I watched him outright laugh at a reporter who told him “these missile defense systems are against Iran, no really!” just astounding the difference between Putin and the likes of Trump or Pence or take your pick…

      The US blustering and threatening nuclear first strikes is all about knowing that the US military is a bloated inept and strungout mess…cant even defeat the Taliban in a wide open sand fight…

  19. Zachary Smith
    March 3, 2018 at 13:20

    After reading this piece it’s hard to believe the same author wrote the following a while back:

    With absolutely no fanfare, however, U.S. technology advances have once again called mutual deterrence into question. The secret is a “super-fuse” first implemented by the U.S. Navy in 2009 as part of its “life-extension” program for submarine-based nuclear missiles. By permitting more accurate timing of nuclear blasts, this flexible trigger gives America’s sub-launched missiles three times their former killing power — enough to take out even “hardened” Russian missile silos and command centers with a high probability of success.

    The authors calculate that a mere 272 warheads could wipe out all of Russia’s intercontinental ballistic missiles housed in hardened silos — leaving in reserve more than 600 lethal warheads deployed on U.S. submarines, as well as hundreds more on U.S. land-based missiles.

    Although U.S. war planners would still be challenged to target warheads on Russia’s submarines and mobile land-based missiles, the authors support claims by other scholars that “for the first time in almost 50 years, the United States stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy.” Russia’s vulnerability will likely increase over time, as the Pentagon’s implements its planned trillion-dollar nuclear “modernization” program over the next 30 years.

    From the current essay:

    Similarly, if you just want to blow up some U.S. ports, it makes no sense to build a new class of nuclear drones capable of traveling thousands of miles underwater, when you could just deploy off-the-shelf nuclear missiles with cheap decoy warheads to foil U.S. defenses.

    Cheap decoy warheads aren’t very useful if you’ve got zero to a mere handful of missiles to use them with. In my opinion those drone torpedoes aren’t being built to attack coastal cities, but instead naval targets.

    Regarding the nuclear-powered cruise missiles, they DO appear to be insane. So either they’re some kind of bluff, or Mr. Lewis and I don’t have enough imagination to understand why they were created. And if one of them has crashed. the event must have been somewhere on the ocean, for a nuclear reactor smeared over several square miles of land would bound to have made the evening news.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 13:31

      So? Again, ignoring the main thrust and historic impact of this pivotal speech.

    • kemerd
      March 4, 2018 at 11:08

      you assume those nuclear engine involves some mini nuclear reactor, it does not need to be. A series of small but efficient nuclear explosions can in fact propel the missile with near zero fallout, in theory of course. For such a weapon, which potentially might work with enriched uranium which is not really much radioactive a malfunction is not more dangerous than a conventional missile.

    • March 5, 2018 at 12:08

      Here is a fairly good scientific breakdown on Russias new nuclear missiles…fairly unbiased compared to most of the western reporting ive read…


      One research engineer is pretty confident that Putin has successfully flown the nuke-engined cruise missile or he would not have declared it. Russia is also well ahead on an inter-planetarty, nuke-engined spacecraft…be at Mars in 6 weeks! not 18 months…

      and i am glad that he has re=established the MAD balance



  20. GM
    March 3, 2018 at 13:05

    I think the author is wrong to assume that an underwater drone would be a strategic nuclear weapons platform designed for intercontinental attack for two reasons:

    1. Ship/aircraft/ground/mobile-launched ICBMs already have that part of the nuclear defense or nuclear counter-attack strategy covered nine ways from Sunday.

    2. Drones don’t have very much range as a rule and for this reason they are tactical weapons that require deployment in-theater (even though they can be controlled from anywhere), it seems more likely these supposed nautical drones would be a tactical weapon for defense/offense against aircraft carrier battle groups, missile frigate fleets and/or submarines. State-of-the-art aerial drones have a range of only 200 miles, and the range of similarly controlled underwater craft would be likely be much diminished in comparison, to say the least.

    Assuming Putin is not selling science fiction stories, his drone comment could refer to something related to the next-generation Shkval supercavitating torpedo equipped with remote guidance, not dissimilar to the way aerial drones are controlled. The 2nd Gen Skhval is said to be potentially capable of underwater max speeds of up to 348 mph, up from the earlier model’s 230 mph max speed.
    The 1st gen Shkval is launched at about 50 knots, accelerates to 200 knots to cover distance very rapidly indeed, and then slows to 50 knots again when in striking range of it’s target, the latter being where the purported precision remote-controlled “drone” guidance system would logically kick in to home in on it’s target with precision. But it’s only useful from about 10 mile stand-off position, last I heard.

    Finally, no drone that I am aware of is capable of more than a 500 lb bomb payload, but I suspect that tactical nukes might fit into such a form factor.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 13:29

      Maybe. But just a detail.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 4, 2018 at 02:18

      2. Drones don’t have very much range as a rule and for this reason they are tactical weapons that require deployment in-theater…

      It is my impression that the underwater “drones” are actually small unmanned nuclear submarines. Perhaps the Russians have figured out how to make a nuclear powered ‘Shkval’ super-speed torpedo. The thing might even be dual-power, with a propeller for slow and quiet cruising and a sprint mode using a nuclear rocket engine.

  21. Statists Rus
    March 3, 2018 at 12:39

    “Don’t even be afraid that most of the weapons he demonstrated through animated simulations are operational.” Funny how the animation shows Putin’s missiles targeting Florida. Putin knows Trump won’t say a damn thing about it as he mocks Trump’s impotence to defend even his home turf, Mar a Largo. Congress voted sanctions against Russian for meddling in our elections. Trump refuses to implement sanctions. Putin boasts no one can stop him from bombing anyone, anywhere. Trump Twitter critiques Alec Baldwin career. Go figure. Wouldn’t be surprised if Mueller finds out Trump and Putin have a sweetheart deal to enrich themselves, plundering the wealth of our country, and undermining our democracy and democracies in the free world.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 13:27

      Beware: troll BS.

      • Statists Rus
        March 4, 2018 at 02:04

        Nope. No troll. Just little old me, who happens to disagree with the narrative on this site that Russia didn’t meddle in the election. I used to like you guys.

        • Zachary Smith
          March 4, 2018 at 02:20

          I used to like you guys.

          I predict most of us guys and gals will get over the rejection with only moderate suffering.

        • March 4, 2018 at 08:53

          its OK to be a Mueller apologist…



  22. Michael Kenny
    March 3, 2018 at 12:19

    This is essentially the same message as is being presented by Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern, and my response is essentially the same. More interesting is that the editors present three articles on the same subject on the same day. That looks very like panic. Looks like everyone agrees that defeat is staring Putin in the face!

  23. Lawrence Magnuson
    March 3, 2018 at 11:47

    Jonathan Marshall:
    “In an interview with Megyn Kelly on NBC, Putin himself admitted that only one of the weapons he referenced—a large but fairly traditional missile—was combat ready.”

    Putin in that same interview:
    “Every single weapons system that I have discussed today easily surpasses and avoids a missile defense system,” Putin said. But “some of them still have to be fine-tuned and worked on. Others are already available to the troops and battle-ready.”

    This inaccuracy would seem minor, though not excusable, were it not for the fact that throughout the article in an effort to argue his claim that the real danger is in the escalation of military spending, Marshall several times tries to make the argument that there’s “not much to see here, move along.”

    Part of this involves the characterization of Putin’s rhetorical demeanor (“grandiose,” “for all his boasting,”) That was not the speech I heard and I listened to its (lengthy) entirety. It was direct, factual, plain-spoken, unlike some other braggart’s incendiary rhetoric, here on the western side of the Atlantic. The other part is in further unnecessarily suggesting Putin is blowing smoke, for instance by saying “that a nuclear-powered cruise missile, like one he described, crashed in recent tests. ” (this was by an unnamed “U.S. official,” in response mode, as reported by NBC news on 1 March 2018) Would it not be without question predictable that crashes would occur in testing? That same article quotes Putin from his speech that “the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared.” It’s scary, especially when stated in a plain-spoken way. This is not Rocket Man bullshit.

    But no need to shade the argument to enforce the obviously true thesis about military spending escalation. Blowing smoke or breathing fire? For now, maybe the smarter perspective’s akin to Pascal’s wager about God and heaven. Why not believe at such a small cost? To find out otherwise, to follow Pascal’s argument, will be Hell.

    • glitch
      March 3, 2018 at 12:43

      Very well said. I agree about the language used in this article, and second the advice to watch the speech for yourselves, or at least read the transcript.

    • Gregory Herr
      March 3, 2018 at 13:11

      I agree Lawrence. To characterize Putin as a braggart plays against what is needed–a respectful “hearing” of what the man is communicating.
      Escalated military spending by uncle sam is a long standing fait accompli–no need to shade arguments for that when the public buys into whatever false threats are presented to them. And the extent and degree of Russian capabilities doesn’t much matter as long as it is “enough” to retaliate in kind to an aggression that threatens their existence (and conversely, ours).

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 13:25

      Yes. See my comment above. We don’t know who to trust now, so it is easy to mislead us into exaggerated distrust of Putin, or anything anyone Russian might say.

    • kemerd
      March 4, 2018 at 07:15

      yes, indeed. I also read the full transcript of the speech available at kremlin.ru in english. Putin clearly states that these are either already deployed or soon to be deployed. The tendency of the western analysts or journalists to disregard (at least publicly) what appears to be technological superiority on the Russian side is pathetic. One might argue that Putin was lying as these weapons (nuclear powered missile!, hypersonic missile with 2000km range!) are truly astonishing, but distorting what he said or pretending that they were nothing extraordinary is truly pathetic.

      In fact, if the Russians have these weapons in numbers, combined with their superior air defenses, they can actually “win” a nuclear war against the US, if the use the winning concept of the US experts who wrote about american “nuclear supremacy” more than 10 years ago. And, I am pretty sure (this time with a justified logic) the US military will want funds to develop weapons of similar performance (especially the nuclear powered cruise missile and long range hyper-sonic weapons)

  24. Joe Tedesky
    March 3, 2018 at 11:31

    Besides our American MIC paying Vladimir Putin’s a ‘bird dog fee’ for his upping the nuclear budgets, our masters and mistresses of death should wake up to the Russian leaders real message, and is that now is the time to talk. Instead I won’t be surprised to if SNL will make a big joke out of Putin’s Address to his nation, and make Putin the punchline of the skit. Just say’n.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 13:21

      You’re right Joe. Most of the public has drunk too much MSM koolaid to be able to hear the clarity in Putin’s message. We are being taught to distrust one of the few international players who has really earned the right to be trusted.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 3, 2018 at 15:48

        You are so right mike, that while you and I and others here like us have searched out the real low down on the ever infamous Vladimir Putin, as opposed to our buying into the official narrative lie, is all that remains of a rational thinking America. Meanwhile our MSM and comic relief talk show host make Putin out to be a somekind of deep seated villain or something, as the gullible American public laughs and applaud this demonization of this patient and steady leader. Little does the average American know to who to place blame on for this new Cold War, so most do as they are told, as the average U.S. citizen lives in fear of a Putin inspired Russian invasion….seriously is anybody buying this monstrosity of diplomacy lie? Yeah everyone but us mike. Joe

      • Dave P.
        March 4, 2018 at 05:57

        mike k, Joe – It is too much to expect for most people to have a even a tiny bit knowledge of Russia, most public in U.S. would not be able to tell where Russia is or find it on the map, if it was not that big, as Russia is.

        As I have observed for more than half a century here, even the so called experts here in U.S. have very distorted view of Russia. It is because of their sheer arrogance, this looking down upon Russians as inferior, Asiatic – underdeveloped and backward country as some people have noted in their comments. This very arrogance puts some type of blinders on their eyes, and over their minds, and it prevents them to have realistic accurate view Russia, and its people. And Many of these Russia experts are your Latte Sipping Liberals, the Corporate Democrats, who profess to love Blacks, Hispanics, and the other minorities.

        Growing up during my teen years in 1950’s, though the education curriculum, right after country’s independence, was still British and most of the information came from The West’s view point. However, India being a neutral country, and a very good friend of Soviet Union/Russia, there was this very balanced information about Russia was available in newspapers, speeches of the political leaders. For a long time in U.S., this Establishment’s Fear of Socialism, and Communism, and during the 1950’s McCarthy Era, the information presented in U.S. about Russia, and also I think about Third World Countries has been very distorted. Russian diplomats, and Experts understand the World much better than our experts here. They have to, as they have always been under external threat, as they are now.

        And in these times, all the information presented on TV and Newspapers about Russia is nothing but complete garbage.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 4, 2018 at 11:06

          You Dave reading the comments here, and having private conversations with people, I find it fascinating to how many Americans aren’t all that bad with Russia, or even Putin. You see Dave what I’m trying to point out, is that we Americans look brainwashed on the surface, but if you dig down a bit suddenly your neighbor is understanding of the situation. I might also add that most of your American neighbors don’t trust their own American government, and they are also leery of the MSM. You see Dave our MSM portrays us to ourselves as often being in total what we are not….in other words their polls lie.

          I don’t think the average citizen of anywhere wants to hate anyone, but what’s a citizen to do when everyone around them says that something is bad? We in the West/America are being controlled through our MSM.

          We use to be a society that never locked their front doors. Now we have transformed into a society that avoids eye contact out of fear of strangers. Our youth grow up distrusting authority. The cops are too brutal, the priest is a perv, and the politician is a lying crook, so why should a young male look up to these people? Dial a number for appliance warranty and you speak to a computerized voice, not a real person. If you want to convert young parents into Russophobia nut cakes just flash unflattering pictures of Putin on the screen with a mushroom cloud hovering over the screen shot, and these new proud infant parents become instant Russia haters. This works on old couples if they look at pictures of their grandchildren while watching terrible Vlad on the boob tube. Where other ethnicity are protected from bad stereotype portrayals not so much the Russian. And then the news is filled with everything but what makes sense in your life, and with that so goes another day of the news.

          Yeah Dave we Americans hate Russians and we are very supportive of our government, and I know this because my MSM told me so. As long as we feel we are the odd man out the better for them to convince us all to what we all think….after all they are our masters, and they know what’s best. Ugh!

          What you think Dave? Joe

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 4, 2018 at 13:19

            Dave here is a little something to further our discussion. I’m not sure I agree with everything the article says, but it is in the same direction as I spoke about.


          • Skip Scott
            March 4, 2018 at 15:03

            Hi Joe-

            Good comment and link. I am not at all surprised that the vast majority has bought into “Russia meddled in our election”. They hear it every day, and get zero exposure to any counter-argument. I think most of my friends are reasonably intelligent people, but they are very busy, and get most of their news from their TV set. I have told some of them about “Operation Mockingbird”, but they just don’t buy into the significance of it. I point out past lies like”weapons of mass destruction”, but it seems to have no effect on their inability to question the lies of today.

            It is heartening to me to come to CN and get to “hang out” for a while with people who “get it”.

            Take care Joe, and don’t let the bas**rds get you down.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 4, 2018 at 16:54

            Hey Skip as long as I can find such people as yourself and a lot of others here on this comment board I will at least know that I have found comradeship no matter how bad the establishment labels us types. So thanks Skip. Joe

          • Dave P.
            March 5, 2018 at 03:41


            I am not surprised about these poll results. This 24/7 propaganda training will make one’s dog to vote for whatever issue one wants the dog to do. Polling Americans on Foreign Policy related issues to make wars, on the countries some of which they cannot even locate on the map, let alone have even a bit of knowledge about those countries! Well it is what we have been doing since 9/11, building the public opinion for Wars and more wars. Maybe they should be polling the victims to find out if the victims would like a war on them. All I can say is that watching this for almost two decades now, one cannot blame the German population for going along in World War II.

            This morning there was Fareed Zakaria with our great diplomat, the Russian Expert, Condoleezza Rice on CNN. It was disgusting to watch her. There is something about her way of answering, her language, and her facial expressions, it is sickening to think that she is where she is as Foreign Policy Expert called upon to give opinions. Even a high school student can explain it much better in a dignified diplomatic language. Of course there are reasons for putting such people at the podium to reach certain section of the domestic audience..

            Condi was commenting on Putin’s Speech, Russia and Putin’s meddling in our Democracy, and how this very honest and respectable Robert Mueller is going to find out all about it. Of course , both Fareed and Condi were going after Trump for letting it happen, and some more bashing of him. She had zero power as the head of National Security Team and as Secretary of State under G.W. Bush. Dick Chaney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliott Abrams, and the likes ran the show. She was just put there to serve their purpose to fool the World and some of the population here at home.

            Media and just about most of Ruling Establishment have been after Trump for a year and a half now 24/7 – to get him out of Washington. He must be under lot of stress watching all sides for an ambush – it may come from any direction. It is not good for the country, and very dangerous for the World.

          • Dave P.
            March 5, 2018 at 03:58

            Joe, I did not lock the door of my room during the 1960’s while in school in Ann Arbor. During 1970’s, we were living in a small lake town about forty miles north of Detroit. We rarely locked our door. Very good people; the people who had seen Depression were frugal, lot wiser, and had good handle on life.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 5, 2018 at 09:39

            Dave well said, and it’s always a well informed opinion. Joe

    • Skip Scott
      March 4, 2018 at 08:29

      Hi Joe-

      I was just thinking that the Oscars are tonight, and the latte sippers will be all- a- lather over the evil Putin and the colluding Trumpster. Millions will be tuned in and will completely get sucked into another psy-op, and demand that we DO SOMETHING! God help us all.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 4, 2018 at 11:22

        Skip read what I just wrote to Dave.

        I feel bad for the Oscar viewers, because when I was a kid my Mum and I use to love watching Hollywood’s Golden Era Stars get awards, and it wasn’t at all political as it was just loads of glist and glitter.

        Skip we were a different nation back then. Back then our leaders at least talked to Russians such as Nikita Khrushchev visiting Disneyland and his meeting lovable Walt. Sure we talked the Russians down, but not quite the way we do today. I will present SNL portrayals of Putin as exhibit A. Oh I know that SNL never portrays anyone without making fun of them, but with the Russians if you notice it’s always a little more darker…we’ll maybe that’s me, but I think Skip somewhere inside my message here I’m right on a view levels.

        Skip we Americans have gone from being the saviors of the world to now our becoming the smart Alec’s on this planet who wave our American flag cheering as we bomb people back into the stoneage. We appear to be an ignorant lot who’s children shoot up schools. We Americans are so dumbed down and yet we sit in judgement of what is real news and what is fake while most of our reporting is a lie of omission. Quite honestly Skip who among us isn’t confused by the news?

        Most Americans deep down are good, it’s just this corporate leadership plays with us, and by their doing so we all look like ugly Americans…..hey America there’s another world out there!

        Okay Skip. Joe

  25. john w
    March 3, 2018 at 10:08

    “Americans should be very concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Russia’s breakthroughs in weapon technology – not necessarily because they pose a threat, but because it means that vast fortunes to be spent in the U.S. in an arms race”..That is exactly the point here. Capitalism is all but dead except for wars. And, that every kakistocracy(State) needs an enemy or threat that allows them to be. Putin is just doing his job at rhetoric to fatten wallets and fear monger to achieve such. This was probably planned behind the scenes and is theater. “Putin overestimates the effectiveness….I can discern the accuracy of that which is proven true, but Russia’s generals, like ours build their careers on exaggerating risks, and Putin, like most Russian’s, is easily awed by claims of U.S. technology” and that latter statement to be bs and false. A good article articulating the farce that is the kakistocracy(whether the article author meant it or no) and the theater and propaganda deployed.

  26. mike k
    March 3, 2018 at 08:26

    The US under Trump and his nutso generals is sleepwalking towards fantasies of first strike “victory.” Putin is telling us loud and clear what Russia’s response would be to such an attack. The author of this little essay has left out the most important announcement from Putin:

    “As such, I see it is my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.”

    This statement establishes Russia’s RED LINE against any idea the US war planners may be entertaining of using limited nukes against, say Iran. Any idea that Putin would be passive in response to such provocations is no longer tenable.

    • Tannenhouser
      March 3, 2018 at 10:19

      Ya because barry and his upgraded nuclear arsenal, the continuing encirclement of Russia with ‘shield missiles’, the regime change in Ukraine have anything to do with trump? obama even started the ongoing trade wars on his last day in office. Your libtard hatred of POTUS, while mostly deserved has caused you to become an unhinged chicken little that sqwaks it’s trumps fault my bowels didn’t move right. Trump is a sympton, just as Barry was. Direct your energy properly of be doomed to failure, not that your hatred addled mind will be able to get past your lame ‘trumps fault’ dogma.

    • john w
      March 3, 2018 at 10:29

      Excellently said. Except it may all be just theater. Russia is putting up 5G towers and implementing IoT just like most other countries. They are down with Agenda 21 along with the other 178 countries that signed that UN international agreement over a quarter of a century ago. The oligarchs in Russia may be fighting for as much autonomy as possible, but they are going along with the afore mentioned AI controlled 5G and IoT. This of course, is just my assessment of world events. I believe that Agenda 21 and the rest takes precedence before anything else. Thanks for adding the omitted statement from Putin.

    • Gregory Herr
      March 3, 2018 at 12:35

      I think too, mike, that Putin’s main intent insofar as “messaging” is concerned, is simply to say we effectively can and will defend our nation. It is an appeal to the West to come to its senses and not force Russia to do so. Of course appeals to reason fall on deaf ears, but Putin is obligated to make every attempt.

      • mike k
        March 3, 2018 at 13:17


      • Louise
        March 3, 2018 at 17:45

        True, but he mentioned “our allies”, without naming them. That might mean Syria, Iran or even
        the Eastern part of the Ukraine. Thus, this is not just a warning about an attack on Russia per se.

        • March 5, 2018 at 11:48

          correct…the true meaning of this statement is “you will not use nukes against anyone on a first strike. aggressive and offensive manner”,,,,Time for the Imperium to leave its nukes in the box.
          The rest of the world is tired of your “exceptionalism”!



    • Realist
      March 3, 2018 at 16:06

      “Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies…” To whom, I wonder, does Putin extend his definition of “allies?” Donbass? Probably. China? Perhaps if there’s a treaty. Iran? Perhaps too uncomfortably close to Russia to ignore. Syria? Well, Russia IS in country. Lebanon? Hard to parse from Syria. North Korea? Don’t see him going to the wall on this one, unless China takes action and requests Russia’s involvement.

      I don’t think Washington takes any of these potential red lines seriously. Their bully tactics suggest they think Russia will not shoot back at Americans unless we actually cross their borders. I’ve recently read this attitude comes from “knowing” they’d win any first strike war (forget the fact that the “winners” would mostly be dead too), So, they assume Putin will capitulate to their every demand, albeit after some dramatic rhetoric for domestic consumption. Assured in the vast and wide ranging numerical superiority they possess on paper, they act like bullies convinced their victims will never dare hit back, or that they can squash them like bugs if they even try. Obviously, they feel vindicated by essentially demolishing four or five Islamic countries that tried to fight back, and, I’m sure, their message (whether subliminal or overt) to Putin is that we will do the same to you should you persist in defying us.

      NATO continues to grow, not because all those Europeans love Americans, it’s because they fear us. It’s exactly the same as when the bully picks on a victim in the schoolyard. No one comes to the aid of the victim, they only cheer the bully because they don’t want to be the next victim. Europe gave Hitler the Sudetenland because they didn’t want to fight for someone else’s sovereignty. Today, they are equally complicit in giving Washington Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Ukraine, Georgia… you name the next target. Even pipsqueek countries like Montenegro and Macedonia are willing to step up and salute their adopted new uncle. It’s sickening.

      • Dave P.
        March 4, 2018 at 05:02

        Realist –

        Very astute observations of this whole drama depicting the behavior of The Exceptional Superpower and the willing and unwilling Vassal States of Europe, who are participating in it – and including the victims.

    • Realist
      March 3, 2018 at 16:08

      Oh, great, I won the “moderation” lottery again. No apparent reason, as usual. You’ll just have to wait, or I’ve wasted my time again.

      • March 3, 2018 at 19:19

        DN could use a better blog program…/wink /hint



    • Annie
      March 3, 2018 at 19:17

      Mike k I agree totally and said the same thing. It’s the only logical conclusion there is. Russia is not going to roll over and allow regime change, and be another Yelsin who will do everything that the US asks. If we try to deliver a knock out punch expect total retaliation. We’re the bully in the schoolyard.

  27. Al Pinto
    March 3, 2018 at 08:10

    Quote from the article:

    “We need to recognize Putin is the arch enemy of the West,” Dannenberg stated. “We need to recognize there is no negotiating with him. . . Russia’s behavior will not change until the regime is changed. That should be our focus and strategy.”

    Let me get this straight….

    In the US, current/former CIA employees can openly advocate that the US should focus on regime change in Russia. Based on the CIA’s past history in this regard and its practically unlimited budget for this purpose, it’s not far fetched to say that this is already a well advanced project for the CIA.

    At the same time just the appearance of Russia interfered with last year’s election gets a special investigation, new sanctions, take away the POTUS right to negotiate sanctions, etc. All of that is to provide cover for the democrats loosing the election.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • March 3, 2018 at 10:38

      Yes, the nature of the USA’s government and political institutions like NSA and CIA is pure evil anymore. It is a threat to all life on earth, including mine and those I love, which I strongly resent. This is not a nice country to live in anymore, like it was my first many decades. The collapse into fascism is ongoing for a long time now.

  28. Annie
    March 3, 2018 at 06:04

    Okay, so Russia doesn’t have what it claims to have in terms of it’s ballistic, and anti-ballistic arsenal, then why all the bellicosity spewed by Putin? I’m sure we know whether Putin is lying, or exaggerating his claims, and if he is, I’m sure he’s aware of that. In part his speech may have tried to assuage the fears of the Russian people, but it’s also saying Russia is not going to roll over and allow the US to move forward with regime change without a nuclear fight on their hands. It won’t go softly into the night.

    • Al Pinto
      March 3, 2018 at 07:41

      Maybe Putin’s intent had been two fold…

      One is to show strength to the domestic audience. That’s understandable just before election, since citizens of any nation like to hear just how great their nation is. It’s not a stretch to paraphrase Trump’s election slogan for Putin as “Make Russia great again…”. Should he instead say, that “Comrade, if we continue down on this path, the gringos will annihilate us..”. Of course not….

      The other is that Putin is doing what Putin does best, playing the US like a drum. I’d wager that he predicted the US reaction to the content of his speech will be increased military spending. And he was right, the MSM already calling for increased military spending, with former/current military personnel and politicians calling for the same. More specifically developing more/new nuclear weapons at the price tag of $1.7T and probably less than half of that for increased defensive capabilities. The US cannot afford the current level of military spending, much less the proposed increase. The financial hardship of the US eventually will result in its collapse, like any other empire did before. The difference is that the US will not collapse quietly and will use its nuclear capabilities as a last ditch effort that will result in the last war on the Earth…

      • March 3, 2018 at 10:26

        Our only hope is that the society and culture implodes domestically prior to that last nuclear war courtesy of Washington, DC well before the beltway starts it. Otherwise, I expect Washington DC to incinerate planet earth rather than try to get along with the rest of the planet’s life – human and otherwise. We are seeing the worst nation on earth threaten the entire planet daily now. It has to go now, somehow … asap.

      • Tannenhouser
        March 3, 2018 at 10:29

        I wonder if he (Putin) has stock in Raytheon?

      • Annie
        March 3, 2018 at 12:54

        I don’t really agree that his intent was to provide the US with an excuse to spend more money building up our nuclear arsenal. I know that’s what Mr. Marshall contends, but the opposite could be true as well. Little by little the US has been pushing Russia into a corner, encircling her with anti-ballistic weapons, and using her former satellite countries to do it. I’m sure Europe isn’t thrilled with what he had to say, because surely they would be hardest hit especially if Putin is saying we’re going to fight back, and we’re not adverse to using our nuclear arsenal. Isn’t that what you say to a bully, I’m not going to take this lying down, and if you attack there will be consequences, and nuclear ones at that. Maybe he’s hoping the European countries will begin to exert more pressure on the US to back off.

        • Dave P.
          March 3, 2018 at 13:17

          Annie, Yes. A lot depends on Europe. The whole Western Europe, including Russia will be wiped out in fifteen minutes or less. I hope they, The West Europe, come to their senses. It is a sad state of affairs, that the World has come to this.

        • freedom lover
          March 5, 2018 at 10:46

          Europe depends on Russia for affordable energy resources and other economic commerce. The sanctions have hit NATO Europe much harder than they have hurt Russia and the populations in Eastern Europe as well as in some of western Europe Germany included are not at all happy with the continued bellicose NATO response. Would not be supprised if the EU falls apart before 2020 and NATO along with it. As for the US only if Trump can be followed by another non-establishment outsider that has the intellect, moral courage and level headed leadership to follow through and do what Trump only promised to do during his campaign.

    • March 3, 2018 at 19:51

      “… why all the bellicosity spewed by Putin?” You answered your own question, Annie:

      “Little by little the US has been pushing Russia into a corner, encircling her with anti-ballistic weapons, and using her former satellite countries to do it.” Then there’s the NATO troops on Russia’s border- right where the Germabs invaded them last time, the sanctions and the endless demonisation of Russia in general and Putin in particular.

      And I’ve read on other sites that Russia has indeed done a great deal of work modernising its military in the past decade or so.

      • Annie
        March 4, 2018 at 01:23

        Agreed. I couldn’t believe that one of the news channels said that Russia pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The propaganda is mainstream media is unbelievable.

  29. john wilson
    March 3, 2018 at 05:40

    The statement by the writer that Putin won’t ever use his new weapons is at odds with what Putin actually said. He said his new weapons were there for defense, so obviously, if his country is attacked he will most definitely use them otherwise they have no purpose. As far as military spending by the US goes, it doesn’t need any excuse to spend more money on the already bloated defense (offense) budget. The Russian defense budget is a mere fraction of the size of the US, yet they seem to have produced some formidable weapons and this this is most likely the because the money they spend goes directly on weapons research and not into the pockets of Neocon share holders.

    • padre
      March 3, 2018 at 08:00

      Author was suggesting, that Putin is not going to attack, that doesn’t mean,t hat he is not going to protect himself!In other words, don’t worry, but don’t bully me!

    • geeyp
      March 4, 2018 at 01:17

      Also, I would like to add that Russia was technically first in space. Hell, for the most part, it’s their space station up there now. Their history is value for money, compared to the US throwing, literally, pallets of cash at whatever they choose. Money wasted time and time again and nothing much to show for it.

      • geeyp
        March 4, 2018 at 01:22

        Personally, I was relieved to hear President Putin’s speech. His measured response to any clear threats was darn near perfect, not that I expected anything less from him.

  30. David G
    March 3, 2018 at 04:53

    Very measured, well-reasoned analysis by Jonathan Marshall – including a realistic appraisal of Putin’s claims of technological breakthroughs. Many thanks!

    And there’s really no arguing with the conclusion that Vladimir Vladimirovich’s speech gives the U.S. MIC what it professes to hate, but secretly craves: a “threat” to fuel new heights of military spending.

    The social cost to the U.S. of its government rushing down that wasteful path is regrettable, but it’s a way to get the imperial beast to wear itself down as peacefully as possible.

    Putin the judo expert at work.

    • March 3, 2018 at 10:22

      Good comment. In many ways, Putin’s comments only accelerated the implosion of the USA’s domestic peace into revolutionary war, although still many years away. The gutting of the USA’s social safety net, arms and weapons of mass destruction (AR-15s, AK-47s, etc.) in the hands of 10,000s of citizens, homelessness / starvation / dehydration, increasing anger and hopelessness … It’s inevitable, unless radical political change comes to the government – which is not going to happen.

    • JSG Gandeto
      March 7, 2018 at 12:32

      Agreed! It is really refreshing to read such well-thought-out comments. I wish our government can spend more time and money “fixing” our own home instead of flexing its muscles abroad. A little introspection will not hurt.

  31. Realist
    March 3, 2018 at 04:28

    This incessant American warmongering is pointless. The cautious and conservative Putin has not the slightest intention of provoking a military conflict with the United States which would gain nothing and be only suicidal. Besides, whose country is now ringed on all its borders by hundreds of bases armed with the absolute newest technology, including nuclear missiles? And, whose country is basically limited to shuffling around divisions within its own territory? Yet, the maniacs in Washington rant non-stop for “regime change in Moscow.” Putin is impudent and uppity because he gives speeches bemoaning the never-ending list of screws Washington puts on his country. Give it six more years, fools, and Putin will be out permanently due to term limits. Once you get a hard-line ultranationalist in office to replace him, elected in response to your constant hectoring of the Russian nation, you might get to do the dance of death you so desire. Geez, you fiends just can’t bring it soon enough. Some of us projected collateral damage might prefer to keep on breathing or see our children grow up. Otherwise, all your talk of revamping the military is just wasted effort and all the expenditures on new weapons systems is just wasted money.

    • Eddie
      March 3, 2018 at 12:51

      “…us projected collateral damage….” nice phrasing! I have to admit to a chuckle at that dark humor,,,

    • March 7, 2018 at 17:20

      To me it would seem that the best possible path for theworld would be if no one over the age of 45 should be in any position of power. Just look at the worse war mongers all are in their 60s and 70`s close to their end time and just itching ti take the world with them. As goldman said in the Asia Times ” it is not the end of the world it is just the end of you.” This is what they can`t stand thats why they want us all to go along with them.

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