Calling for Arms Talks with Russia, is the U.S. Raising a White Flag?

Raising a white flag is an internationally recognized sign of truce and request for negotiation, which may be what the U.S. is doing in its official response to Putin’s announcements on nuclear parity with the United States, Gilbert Doctorow explains.

By Gilbert Doctorow

Vladimir Putin’s presentation of Russia’s new weapons systems during his address to the Federal Assembly on March 1 seems to have finally elicited the desired response from its target audience in Washington, D.C. In that presentation, Putin spoke about strategic weapons systems employing cutting-edge technology that, he claimed, is more than a decade ahead of U.S. and other competition.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump – Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty

He scored a direct hit in the Pentagon, where senior generals were left dumbfounded. But, as is normally the case, when these gentlemen need time to collect their wits, we heard first only denial: that the Russians were bluffing, that they really have nothing ready, that these are only projects, and that the U.S. already has all of the same, but is holding it back in reserve.

Of course, not everyone among the U.S. political elite bought into this stop-gap response.

On March 8, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) wrote an open letter to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to send a delegation to open arms control talks with the Russians “as soon as possible.”

This was an improbable demarche that even their supporters in the progressive camp, let alone mainstream Democrats, found hard to believe. Feinstein and Sanders have been vocal critics of Russia and were actively promoting the Trump-Russia collusion fairy tale in recent months. They were among those who had hissed at the pictures of Jeff Sessions, not yet Attorney General, shaking hands and smiling with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.  Now they were calling for revival of arms control talks with… the Russians.

This was a story that died before publication everywhere except in Russia, where it had been a featured news item within hours of the letter’s release. The American and world public knew nothing about it, although the letter was there for the reading on the home pages of the Senate websites of the respective co-authors. The American and world public know nothing about that letter today, nearly two weeks after its release, apart from readers of Consortium who were properly informed at the time.

In the meantime, the U.S. propaganda machine moved into high gear, producing diversionary issues to draw the attention of the U.S. public away from what had been the subject of Putin’s speech of March 1.

And so we have been getting saturation news coverage of the “Skripal nerve gas attack,” of the alleged cyber attack on the US energy grid and water systems. Both are pure “Russians did it” stories. And we read about the repositioning of U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean to within cruise-missile range of Damascus for a possible punitive blow in response to a chemical attack on civilians by Assad’s regime that still has not happened, all with intent to humiliate Assad’s backers, the Russians.

Now, at last, after the denial and the diversion, the truth begins to emerge. The President of the United States himself is the bearer of a message that, given American hubris, amounts to the raising of a white flag.

We find the following on page one of the New York Times describing Trump’s remarks about his phone call to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his electoral victory: “We had a very good call,” the Times quotes Trump as saying. “We will probably be meeting in the not-too distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”

The Financial Times has this to say on page one: “Donald Trump said he wanted to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss an arms race that was ‘getting out of control’ and other issues over which the countries remain at loggersheads. ‘Being in an arms race is not a great thing,’ the US president said on Tuesday, adding that he would probably meet his Russian counterpart in the ‘not too distant future’.”

In other words, the re-instatement of Russian strategic parity with the United States appears to be making itself felt (see Ray McGovern article). But of course, one has to be an expert in reading between the lines to parse from Trump’s statement the depth of concern about new Russian military potential.

It is a safe assumption that now arms talks with the Russians will begin soon. But the American public should be forewarned that the scope of the discussions will surely be much greater than that of the so-called reset under Barack Obama, which played to an American, not a Russian wish list of cutting warheads. This broader agenda will have to take in Russian concerns about the U.S. global anti-missile system. Should there be agreement, the change in approach to arms control will not from U.S. charity, but out of U.S. fear.

Did Donald Trump raise the white flag and call for negotiations on a whim?  Did he consult with his military advisers?

It is scarcely credible that this president came to the conclusion about the need to halt the arms race on his own or that he dared raise such an inflammatory subject without having the firm backing of Pentagon specialists who evaluated rationally and expertly where we now stand in in strategic security with the Russians. No one will say this, but it is inescapable.

To put the present situation in an historical context: in the past year or two, the United States and Russia have reached a level of confrontation that approaches that of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That crisis was resolved by mutual retreats on positioning of nuclear capable missiles near the borders of the other side. The mutuality of the solution was not announced to the American public until decades later, when the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey was made public.

This time, the mutuality of major concessions will necessarily be part of the presentation of any solution reached to the global community. Vladimir Putin will not go the way of Nikita Khrushchev, who paid for his “concession” to the Americans by a palace coup at home.

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, Does the United States Have a Future? was published in October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide.

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85 comments for “Calling for Arms Talks with Russia, is the U.S. Raising a White Flag?

  1. lizzie dw
    March 24, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    #1. talk is cheap #2. the USA speaks with forked tongue. #3. my advice to the Russians: don’t sign anything.

  2. Bill Goldman
    March 24, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Putin’s address was a classic example of how to deal with a bully, in this case he US. The Russian media has not been hiding their progress. Putin isn’t bluffing. The US hasn’t made comparable advances. It is too focused on procurement advantages for the arms manufacturers; a perfect example that war to the US “is a racket”. The Trump war team sent their military messenger scurrying to cool off the Russians. Trouble is that Putin and Lavrov won’t be conned. They are smart and professional and won’t cave.

  3. Skip Scott
    March 24, 2018 at 8:13 am

    “It is scarcely credible that this president came to the conclusion about the need to halt the arms race on his own or that he dared raise such an inflammatory subject without having the firm backing of Pentagon specialists who evaluated rationally and expertly where we now stand in in strategic security with the Russians. No one will say this, but it is inescapable.”

    I would argue this statement. President Trump is notorious for speaking “off the cuff”, and pissing off his “subordinates” to no end. I find it very credible that he would make such a statement without the ok of the Pentagon. Time for another “trip to the woodshed.”

  4. Zachary Smith
    March 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    We’ve occupied the oil fields in the NE of the country.

    Syria, like most other nations, has a little oil, A recent table I found ranked that country as #59, and an older one published before the chaos which listed the top 25 nations didn’t include Syria on the list.

    IMO the occupation of those oil fields is more to deny it to the Syrians than anything else.

    When I was growing up it would have been impossible to imagine the US turning into what it is now.

  5. Mild-ly - Facetious
    March 23, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Trump has unleashed two vicious War Dogs in the persons of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. The undefined “Deep State” has taken center stage with the emergence of these two ferociously harsh men. The looming war on North Korea and/or Iran, along with Trumps’ declaration of Trade War with China are suggestions that Mr. Trump has an ambition that leans toward World Domination…? Combine his threats of war with his determined Bromance with Putin and the idea emerges that Trump wants Mr. Putin on his side — as a kind of Jr. Partner or, “sidekick” or simply a confederate who won’t oppose him.

    Is Trump the megalomaniac many people claimed he is?

    Stay Tuned.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/hawk-flies-back-white-house-shake-world-order/

    http://www.atimes.com/article/pompeos-rise-ups-odds-middle-east-war/

  6. Jonathan
    March 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    The US needs the MX missile 2 . The first MX was better than the SS-18 . The second one will be better than that RS 28,

    In fact the US ought to arms race the Russians until the Russian economy breaks again,

  7. Maxim
    March 23, 2018 at 8:00 am

    The object is one world government. Another 911 is on it’s way. It worked once, it will work again. Maybe this time we’ll get marshal law.

  8. Quang
    March 22, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Seems doubtful the generals will let Trump talk to Putin. Also most of the public are ignorant about the senators letter, Putin’s Mar 1 speech, the Nuclear Posture review and the seriously dangerous situation the neocons have put us in. Press is to busy focusing on Mueller, sex scandals, school shootings, weather and other items of distraction. Maybe Trump has a backdoor as JFK had with Kruschev. Let’s pray for that.

  9. March 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    The only palace coup that we are experiencing is The White House. The whole Trump regime is and has been filled with the NEO-CONS. All war hawks. More war and destruction. They just don’t get it. All the distractions we have been seeing from the false flag incident in Salisbery to the military build-up in the med , Israel and Jordan. One would have to be on some real heavy meds to not realize that the masters of the universe are on one hell of a collision course. The latest economic data coming from all major multi-national corporations show that their actual productivity gains do not match their stock value. Further more it shows the likes of Deutsch Bank and most majour European Banks are in the red. Hence to my conclusion war is a racket and war is good for bussiness so they will push and push while all these western oligarchs keep moving to New -Zealand. Has any one seen the latest land and house prices in New -Zealand?

  10. Rob
    March 22, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Firstly, the phrase “raising the white flag” is generally taken in the U.S. to be a sign of surrender, not a request for a truce. If arms negotiations are framed as a surrender, many in America will oppose them on general principles.

    Secondly, though I hope that negotiations will be fruitful and will lead to a rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, I worry that the U.S. no longer has the diplomatic expertise to do the job right. All the experts have either left government service or were fired.

  11. Jeff
    March 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I’d like to think that sanity will return to international affairs but … I doubt it. The US has the imperial march running on infinite loop in government offices. Our biggest problem is that the government is largely being run by the military and militaries don’t understand peace. In WWII the allies had to essentially capture the entire German government and most of their commanding generals before Germany surrendered. Japan was even worse. After two atomic bombs, the Japanese military was still unwilling to concede and had a plan to kidnap the Emperor so that he couldn’t surrender. Fortunately, other Japanese with a few more brains thwarted that idea.

    Back to the present…. Not only has the 4 senator’s letter not been published in the MSM but also neither has the discovery of tons of chemical weapons held by the US backed rebel scum in Syria. It was reported in the Russian media. The one thing I haven’t seen is reports of Russia turning those stockpiles over to OPCW for testing and/or destruction. In other news, facebook has allowed as how Cambridge Analytica has like a million facebook profiles that CA has boasted they analyzed and provided good info to the Trump campaign to influence the election. When is the US going to sanction the UK? That’s meddling if I ever saw it. And the US is planning to sanction Russia over Skripal’s poisoning even though he was a British subject and in Britain. That doesn’t sound too much like we’ve gotten much of a clue….

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Good comment Jeff. Just one point; we don’t really know, and may never know if Skripal was actually poisoned. The whole thing is likely a complete false flag fabrication. Where is the proof? The “victims” (one of whom is a British agent) are hidden away from any independent examination. That the Russians would have done this is extremely improbable, but British intel had every motive to stage it.

      • Jeff
        March 22, 2018 at 8:22 pm

        Exactly. Everything about Litvinenko was buttoned up and classified. Russia never got a chance to have an independent review of anything. The same is happening in Skripal’s case. This is precisely the reason for the 6th amendment. To be able to confront your accusers and compel testimony. It is fairly obvious to me that “the west” (read mostly the old colonial powers including the US) are just trying to railroad Russia

  12. March 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Well said and certainly in line with my best interpration of “the truth,” based on more sources than I can recall. Thank you, Gilbert!

  13. Zachary Smith
    March 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    But, as is normally the case, when these gentlemen need time to collect their wits, we heard first only denial: that the Russians were bluffing, that they really have nothing ready, that these are only projects, and that the U.S. already has all of the same, but is holding it back in reserve.

    On March 2 of this year the Neocon York Times published an article titled “Putin Flaunted Five Powerful Weapons. Are They a Threat?” The third sentence states “Mr. Putin could be bluffing.”

    Nuclear Cruise Missile
    But analysts were skeptical. …. But, he added, “The question is, is this true?” …. But American officials said they believed it is not yet operational, despite Mr. Putin’s claims, and that it had crashed during testing in the Arctic.

    Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
    In theory, this missile could loft many nuclear warheads or decoys meant to outwit antimissile systems. …. The Sarmat has not been deployed, ….

    A 2013 article in Slate has this to say about article readership: “When people land on a story, they very rarely make it all the way down the page. A lot of people don’t even make it halfway. The Neocon Times packs the “doubts” into the very beginning of their piece.

    Poster “Jay” may be a real guy somewhere, but he could also be an invented personality working to sow similar doubts and/or assurances.

    However, it’s quite clear that it was replaced by a plane (piloted still) that can sustain a speed of Mach 6-7–yes flying very high. I’m sure the new plane can also carry nuclear weapons. But more importantly, it means that the USA mastered so called hypersonic flight decades ago. Certainly implying that RAM jet cruise missiles which the USA was publicly testing in the 1960s were perfected, and any public failures in recent years are a distraction. At least in the USA, saner minds control these planes and understand that use of such for delivering hydrogen bombs to a target would be a one time event. Yes, the Russians most certainly know the US has such a plane.

    Not to worry! The US of A has had this hypersonic stuff for decades! The very Exceptional and extremely Sane minds in control of our wonderful land are trustworthy and basically good guys. Quite unlike the evil Commies.

    There is a tidbit of news regarding the hypersonic warheads.

    “How Russia’s Avangard Hypersonic Weapon Will Launch”
    Reused SS-19 boosters

    Russia will apparently use surplus UR-100UTTKh — NATO: SS-19 Stiletto — and the RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles as the launch vehicle for its Avangard hypersonic boost-glide weapon.

    The new weapons will initially be deployed onboard UR-100UTTKn missiles that were returned from Ukraine after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Once the Sarmat is ready for operations, the Avangard will be deployed on that 200-ton missile also.

    Brand new ICBMs which have been sitting unused in a warehouse. This story may be part of a big lie and bluff, but that’s not how I’d bet my money.

  14. Michael Kenny
    March 22, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Clearly, the election didn’t work out as Putin’s American supporters hoped. I would take this article as a diversion away from Putin’s failure to rally more than half the Russian electorate to his side, much less, indeed, if you allow for rigging. Mr Doctorow’s attempt to present this as an American capitulation helps neither Trump nor Putin and looks very like a panic reaction to Putin’s now weakened status. Since the letter referred to is signed by three Democrats and an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, all of whom are hostile to Putin, it can hardly be construed as favourable either to Putin or Trump. The letter beautifully wrongfoots both of them. If Putin fails to deliver something meaningful, including in regard to the reasons why there’s an arms race in the first place (Ukraine, the suspicion that Putin is trying to re-establish the Soviet Union, if not the whole Soviet “empire” in Eastern Europe), he will reveal himself as an intransigent leader who responds only the use of military force. If Trump gives away anything meaningful without getting equally meaningful concessions from Putin, he will confirm the suspicions underlying Russiagate. And for Trump and the Republicans, Trump must “deliver” before the midterms to avoid being branded as the “treason president”. In other words, heads, the four senators win, tails, Trump and Putin lose!

  15. Abe
    March 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Israel is in the process of plunging America into a war with Iran that could destroy what’s left of the Middle East and ignite a third world war, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson warned in Washington.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXOSJU80A00

    At the annual “Israel Lobby & American Policy” conference on March 2nd, 2018 at the National Press Club, sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, Wilkerson explained that Israel is headed toward “a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become.”

    One of the principal antagonists begging for a war with Iran that Wilkerson identified was none other than Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Russian-born Defense Minister. Wilkerson stated:

    “Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of the Jerusalem Post. The title is, ‘The New War with Iran.’ It is clear that he’s [at] the forefront of promoting this war.

    “And nowhere does my concern about such a war focus more acutely at the moment than Syria. As [the] president of France Emmanuel Macron described it recently, ‘The current rhetoric of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel is pushing the region toward conflict with Iran.’”

    Why is there a danger that the U.S. will be dragged into this war, and why does Israel need America’s help? As Wilkerson explains:

    “I believe the answer is fairly clear once you push aside the cobwebs that surround it. The legitimacy of great power is what I call it. And that is precisely what Netanyahu and Lieberman desire.

    “It’s also what Riyadh desires, especially with the new boy king Mohammed bin Salman, now an erstwhile ally of Israel.

    “In short, the IDF could defend Israel but it could not attack Iran. Not successfully, anyway. And were it to do so, it would be damned internationally and thus isolated even more than it already is today, perhaps devastatingly so.”

    Last year, a top Israeli general tasked with writing his country’s defense policy admitted that Israel cannot take on Iran’s military alone if the day should come that the regional powers face off in a direct military confrontation, saying they would need to rely on the U.S. for assistance,

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Israel’s deep state is the real mad dog of world affairs. It is the tail wagging the lumbering dog of America. I had a friend like that once – he almost got me killed in a fight that he picked. I had to drop him. Good thing I did, he died soon after being beaten to death in a street fight.

    • Abe
      March 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      US Defense “Establishment” reactions to Putin’s announcement are revealing.

      Consider the rhetoric of former Georgetown University professor Anthony H. Cordesman, analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

      Cordesman was predictably dismissive of what he called the “toy factor” aspects of Russian defense forces:

      “The key question is whether they represent any real change in the nuclear balance, Russian and U.S. ability to pose an existential threat to the other state, and mutual assured destruction. If they do not, they are more technological status symbols or ‘toys’ than real threats, although the proliferation of such weapons might allow smaller nuclear powers like Iran and North Korea to defeat today’s missile and air defense systems and technologies.”

      https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/180308_Russia_Nuclear_Cordesman_0.pdf

      Cordesman obviously did not find it necessary to refer to US and NATO military forces as “toys”.

  16. Jay
    March 22, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The USA, and other parties, have very similar weapons too.

    And Russia of course knows this.

    Now, no not every Pentagon general is party to this knowledge, nor can the use of such weapons be readily ordered up.

    All Russia has done is admit that it too has weapons that have been generally known to exist for the last 40 years. However, except for right-wing nuts in the USA, no one has proposed ever using nuclear weapons in that time.

    Today in 2018, Russia and most other parties controlling such weapons understand that they really can’t be used more than once or twice.

    To those who say “but this is radical new….,and nothing like this was around in the 1970s”:

    The piloted SR-71 (spy plane) went into service in the early 1960s, it was most certainly designed to carry nuclear weapons. (Meaning the cancelled X-B70 was not the only Mach 3 bomber the USA had). Its service life ended in the early 1990s, with the excuse that satellites can spy better. However, it’s quite clear that it was replaced by a plane (piloted still) that can sustain a speed of Mach 6-7–yes flying very high. I’m sure the new plane can also carry nuclear weapons. But more importantly, it means that the USA mastered so called hypersonic flight decades ago. Certainly implying that RAM jet cruise missiles which the USA was publicly testing in the 1960s were perfected, and any public failures in recent years are a distraction. At least in the USA, saner minds control these planes and understand that use of such for delivering hydrogen bombs to a target would be a one time event. Yes, the Russians most certainly know the US has such a plane.

    Meaning this whole “but the Russians can deliver nuclear weapons very quickly to a target” is almost entirely a distraction.

    • March 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

      “However, except for right-wing nuts in the USA, no one has proposed ever using nuclear weapons in that time.”

      How I wish that were true. Check it out yourself.

      • Jay
        March 22, 2018 at 11:38 am

        erich:

        I stand by my comment.

      • backwardsevolution
        March 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm

        It’s the left-wing wing nuts who are currently stirring up hatred towards Russia. The Left have turned into the worst kind of neocons.

        • Jay
          March 22, 2018 at 2:08 pm

          backward:

          Not seeing the left in the USA proposing to attack Russian, seeing right-wingers like Hillary Clinton doing so.

    • Brad Owen
      March 22, 2018 at 11:34 am

      The Russians achieved Mach 20 with a “cruise” missile powered by a nuclear engine,whose power-to-weight ratio is phenomenal; more powerful than the nuclear powerplants on submarines. We tried to do something like that in the sixties, but gave up (probably too toxic or something, don’t really know why). We currently buy their rocket engines that they’ve had since the sixties, to power some of our rockets, as their early engines are of superior design and performance (which, BTW, also points out the bogus nature of a revived Cold War…just another money racket). They’ve also had magneto-hydro-dynamic secondary drives on their subs since the seventies or eighties…super quiet. We have nothing like that. Basically, Russia’s science & engineering capabilities are awesome. Their (USSR) collapse was due to over-investment in war-making capabilities (A truly useless investment of science, tech, and engineering talent upon things that cannot be used for anything constructive), and under-investment in infrastructure to enhance agro-industrial production in service to the civilian sector, and its general welfare. They will not repeat that mistake, while we are traveling down that same road the Soviets went down.

      • Zachary Smith
        March 22, 2018 at 3:54 pm

        The Russians achieved Mach 20 with a “cruise” missile powered by a nuclear engine,whose power-to-weight ratio is phenomenal; more powerful than the nuclear powerplants on submarines.

        I don’t believe that’s the situation. The Russians have a hypersonic glide device, and another which has some kind of chemical power. The nuclear cruise missile merely flies almost forever, and I’m fairly sure it is subsonic. Even that would be a remarkable accomplishment, IMO.

        • Jay
          March 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          ZS:

          That’s about right.

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 11:56 am

      It is true that MAD has been an effective deterrent reality for these many years. But some nut cases in the US Establishment wanted to float the idea that we might have first strike capability against Russia now. Putin acted to dispel any such notions, and also more importantly to announce Russia’s red line about the circumstances that would trigger it’s own use of nuclear weapons.

      • Jay
        March 22, 2018 at 2:07 pm

        Brad:

        “The Russians achieved Mach 20 with a “cruise” missile powered by a nuclear engine,whose power-to-weight ratio is phenomenal;”

        So they claim, and I’m sure they realize you can’t really use a nuclear powered rocket. Or can only use it once. So it’s not a real weapon.

        “We currently buy their rocket engines that they’ve had since the sixties, to power some of our rockets,”

        This has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Figure development of the X15 continued in the USA past 1968.

        “They’ve also had magneto-hydro-dynamic secondary drives on their subs since the seventies or eighties…super quiet. ”

        Such drives make plenty of noise and leave a trail off bubbles, the movie the “Hunt for Red October” is NOT based in reality.

        “Basically, Russia’s science & engineering capabilities are awesome.”

        This is true.

        “Their (USSR) collapse was due to over-investment in war-making capabilities (A truly useless investment of science, tech, and engineering talent upon things that cannot be used for anything constructive), and under-investment in infrastructure to enhance agro-industrial production in service to the civilian sector, and its general welfare.”

        This is misleading.

        • Laninya
          March 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm

          …you can’t really use a nuclear powered rocket. Or can only use it once. So it’s not a real weapon.

          Jay,

          Okay, not a weapon. But, in the context of an “assured destruction” retaliatory strike, you wouldn’t be looking to use such a rocket more than just the once.

    • March 27, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      The SR 71 was not a hypersonic aircraft. It only hit somewhat over Mach 3; by definition hypersonic is Mach 5 or faster. One of the new Russian weapons is claimed to hit Mach 20. The U.S. is incapable of matching that anytime soon because we lack knowledge of how to do metallurgy that is necessary to power such a missile.

      @ “… it’s quite clear that it was replaced by a plane (piloted still) that can sustain a speed of Mach 6-7–yes flying very high.”

      Got a link? That clashes with my understanding.

      @ “Meaning this whole “but the Russians can deliver nuclear weapons very quickly to a target” is almost entirely a distraction.”

      Speed is only part of the story there. The new weapons are also claimed to be maneuverable such that they have no trajectory, which is necessary for U.S. ABMs to stop them. And their ability to hit ships with conventional explosives translates into all U.S. aircraft carrier groups suddenly being rendered obsolete except for beating up on third world countries. See h**ps://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/03/it-is-official-and-it-is-over.html

      The combination of very high speed and maneuverability is a game changer in strategic weapons.

  17. Sally Snyder
    March 22, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Here is an article that looks at the latest development in Russia’s self-defence capabilities:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2018/01/seeing-further-russias-developing-over.html

    The new Cold War continues to escalate, enriching one sector of the economy at the risk of our own self-destruction.

  18. ThereisaGod
    March 22, 2018 at 7:40 am

    The USA wants Russia to stop developing its technology until the USA catches up and overtakes it. Like all the broken ceasefires in Syria that the US used to resupply the militants they support. If Russia doesn’t know that the US, the UK and the EU cannot be trusted by now they are fools. But they are obviously not fools. The question is will America kick off WW3 by attacking Russia while it has the advantage in quantity of arms or not?

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 9:13 am

      But Putin has revealed that we do not have superiority in nuclear arms. He also indicated that any conventional arms attack on Russia or it’s allies which threatened to remove Russia from the world scene would be met with nuclear weapons. Thus our supposed superiority in conventional forces is stymied by Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 22, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      All the broken ceasefires – yes, so true. Cannot be trusted – right again. This does provide a good opportunity for Trump and Putin to get together, though.

  19. Dr. Ip
    March 22, 2018 at 7:28 am

    This is a little off-subject, but maybe not as off-subject as one might think. An excellent article about the owners of Cambridge Analytica: http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2018/03/20/scl-a-very-british-coup/

    It shows, I think, the very tight relationship between the two wings of the Anglo-American Establishment and why it doesn’t want any kind of cooperation with Russia. Basically, there’s no money in it for them!

    • Dr. Ip
      March 22, 2018 at 7:30 am

      Add this: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

      Craig Murray has been an excellent voice in the counter-establishment movement, and recently his website also suffered a denial of service attack… hmm, who could that have been by?

    • March 22, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Dr. IP…No, it isn’t off-subject and it’s very much related. Now that the Russian myth has collapsed, the Democrats are focusing their sights on Cambridge Analytica where they should have looked in the first place. Not that Hillary didn’t deserve her loss after The DNC fixed the primary, but there are some very creepy skeletons in Trump’s closet that probably had a decisive influence on his electoral victory. Breitbart’s use of Cambridge Analytica to manipulate voter opinion on Facebook is probably the most disgraceful in terms of tactics
      Thank you for bringing it up. The MSM has now gotten hold of the story…here’s a link from intel’s favorite newspaper…
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/cambridge-analytica-ceos-claim-about-ties-to-trumps-campaign-raises-questions/2018/03/21/81685c6a-2d1f-11e8-8688-e053ba58f1e4_story.htm

      • Laninya
        March 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

        Bob,

        What Cambridge Analytica did for the Trump campaign paled in comparison with the database the Clinton team had been able to download in 2012, in response to which FaceBook changed their access algorithms.

        See: Carol Davidson’s talk where she describes how, in the 2012 election, Democrats “ingested” the whole social network of the US, the entire network! Notice how she says, (I’m paraphrasing): now the Democrats have that; the Republicans don’t, and they never will. https://youtu.be/g0c-OSVQcAA?t=19m2s

        IOW, the Trump campaign simply took what FB’s new access rules allowed it to get, which amounted to access to about 50 million user profiles, and they used that with some creativity and skill to outplay the Clinton team at their own game.

      • Laninya
        March 22, 2018 at 11:05 am

        Bob,

        I’ve posted a response already, but it disappeared…so, if it now shows up twice, please forgive me.

        I wanted to bring your attention to the speech Carol Davidsen gave describing how, in the Obama’12 campaign, the Democrats had been able to suck out the entire FB social grid, the whole thing! and, how the Dems HAVE that database now, and the Republicans DON’T and never will. Because FB closed the barn door after that little pony got out of the paddock. https://youtu.be/g0c-OSVQcAA?t=18m27s

        So, perhaps Bannon’s use of Cambridge Analytica to manipulate voter opinion is really only the tip of the iceberg of the Freedom & Democracy® Express.

        • March 22, 2018 at 4:07 pm

          Laninya,…thanks for the Carol Davidson video. Of course, you’re addressing someone who has a generational bias against Facebook, which I’ve never used since I first tried it out and cancelled immediately after I found out I had a host of “friends” that wanted to sell me something. Both my sons use facebook and from viewing some of their messages I can readily see how it can be used for mind manipulation. The fact that the Trump campaign picked up the slick tech operation from Obama is, however, a moot point for me. Advertisers mine data to target customers and I suppose it was inevitable that it would be used by political campaigns. The distortion of facts, is yet another thing, however, and although this has been done by the msm for generations we now seem to be on a fast track to hell. I believe some framework of rules should be set up with the prospect of opening up social media to all points of view as restrictions might well be tantamount to censorship. I suppose this is where net neutrality becomes a key issue(and how to achieve it). It seems Facebook, Twitter and Google have a particular obligation in this regard as they control so much of the infrastructure on the internet. I wish I had a better idea of how to do this, but hopefully someone will.

      • backwardsevolution
        March 22, 2018 at 12:56 pm

        And Obama used the same Cambridge Analytica back in 2012. What’s changed? Was it the hair color?

        “The MSM has now gotten hold of the story”?

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm
          • March 22, 2018 at 2:41 pm

            Bob V…thanks for the links(I used the Craig Murray link in a new post)

        • Laninya
          March 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm

          backwardsevolution,

          Actually, it’s my understanding that Obama’12 had developed its own ap, with which they “ingested” the entire social network of the US. The whole thing. Hear Carol Davidsen speaking on this @ https://youtu.be/g0c-OSVQcAA?t=18m27s

          According to her, that gave the DNC a database of everyone on the network, data that they now have, and the Republican don’t and never will, as after FB found out what Obama’12 had managed to do they changed the privacy protocols.

          Now I’m reading that the Trump campaign claims they never did make that much use of the Cambridge Analytica data they’d paid for as they found it to be less useful the data the RNC already had.

          It’s my assessment that the Trump campaign were probably more intelligent and creative with how they used the data they had compared to the Clinton team used theirs.

          • backwardsevolution
            March 22, 2018 at 3:51 pm

            Laninya – thanks for the link and your response. I’ll listen to Carol Davidsen.

        • March 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

          b.e…. I’m not defending Obama here…if he used Cambridge Analytica too, then that should come out as well…it is not a question of free speech…if you read Bob V’s link below you will note that Cambridge Analytica is known for manufacturing their own facts and targeting social media not just for political candidates but also for the mic

          • backwardsevolution
            March 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm

            Bob H – “I’m not defending Obama here…if he used Cambridge Analytica too, then that should come out as well.”

            Yes, it should come out, but it won’t, will it, Bob? The omission will be covered up until it is pried from the teeth of the MSM. Then and only then will it be allowed to rear its ugly head, but only after Trump has been vilified for another 18 months and everybody is left with the impression that he did something bad.

            “Not that Hillary didn’t deserve her loss after The DNC fixed the primary, but there are some very creepy skeletons in Trump’s closet that probably had a decisive influence on his electoral victory.”

            And there are some “very creepy actual skeletons” in Hillary’s closet, but it’s like the MSM are wearing blinders where she is concerned: Uranium One, Clinton Foundation. Thank goodness the Inspector General is looking into this, and the intelligence committees are calling for a second special prosecutor. Sorely needed.

            What does it say about a country when half of the citizens refuse to believe that their candidate lost all on her own?

          • March 22, 2018 at 6:13 pm

            b.e…..”there are some “very creepy actual skeletons” in Hillary’s closet”…Yes, I can hear the ghost of Seth Rich crying out for retribution. But I still believe Trump is a snake oil salesman and it’s a pipedream to believe he will somehow bring the mic under control. It seems his de facto Secy. of State is Jared Kushner and Jared takes his cues from Bibi.

  20. Brad Owen
    March 22, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Scarcely credible he came to this conclusion on his own?? I SAW his campaign speeches: We should be friends with Russia and China. NATO is a waste of time and treasure. China’s infrastructure is the envy of the World while ours is crumbling before our eyes, implying we should re-direct our treasure to infrastructure and away from war-making. We should get back to work to make America a great place to live once again (its only a matter of time until he discovers the only way to accomplish the task is the Glass-Steagal/RFC-type redirected credit, TVA/CCC/WPA, New Deal way, and no other way, to cut out the blood-sucking globalist racketeers). This way of thinking would come naturally to a real estate developer (“let’s do business and make deals”). This is Roosevelt-esque, and naturally attractive to the blue-collar “deplorables”. He’s been walloped and played by Deep State operatives ever since the Campaign Trail, forced on the ropes, having to play “rope-a-dope” so far. Putin gave him an un-ignorable, undeniable reason to pursue what he wanted to pursue on the campaign trail…and Putin KNOWS this.

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 11:47 am

      And you think the “real Trump” will now stand up? No way – there is no real Trump but the one I described above. Phony is this guy’s real identity. He is being played by the neocons perfectly, because there is no real Trump, just a phony act. He has become the ideal puppet for their ugly games of world domination.

      • Brad Owen
        March 22, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        You simply underestimate him and have bought into the Establishment-controlled Narrative, in THEIR attempt to strip him of popular support and isolate him for the final move. It won’t work. Other factors are in play, much bigger than the mere man named Trump.

      • Broompilot
        March 24, 2018 at 9:24 pm

        I’m a wishful thinker like Brad. I do believe that Trump has it in him. But every time he hires another rabid Iran hater I lose hope. But If you listened to his entire speech when he signed the tariff’s thing you would have seen a Trump quite different than that portrayed by the retweeting msm. Like the policy or not, you saw a supremely reasonable leader growing quickly in the role. With a little luck he will deal with the neocons in due time (and before it’s too late). He is not likely to forget how they supported Clinton after he announced he wanted good relations with Russia.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Brad Owen – that’s the way I see it too. This is what he campaigned on, and Putin just gave him an opening.

  21. Realist
    March 22, 2018 at 7:04 am

    And yet they say that Washington is girding for a major fight in Syria. We’ve occupied the oil fields in the NE of the country. We’ve given terrorists around Damascus poison gas and marching orders on how to use it. The Russians point out these things and say this time they will fight back. Ukraine has likewise received a gift package of offensive weapons the maniacs there would like to put to the test under the guidance of their American and NATO handlers.

    If I am to believe that Washington is also offering an olive branch to Mr. Putin, I’ll have to force myself into Alice’s Red Queen mode and try to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    • Realist
      March 22, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Un momento, amigos! Trump just hires on John Bolton as his new national security advisor and rational minds think he’s become a peacenik? Like, John Bolton is gonna simulate human behavior AND allow Trump to live? Eso es totalmente loco, as Comrade Fidel used to say!

    • Zachary Smith
      March 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      We’ve occupied the oil fields in the NE of the country.

      Syria, like most other nations, has a little oil, A recent table I found ranked that country as #59, and an older one published before the chaos which listed the top 25 nations didn’t include Syria on the list.

      IMO the occupation of those oil fields is more to deny it to the Syrians than anything else.

      When I was growing up it would have been impossible to imagine the US turning into what it is now.

  22. Babyl-on
    March 22, 2018 at 6:38 am

    There will not be any genuine desire by the Imperial US for arms control. We must always keep in mind US foreign policy is “Global full spectrum domination.” Any arms control or peace with the AngloZionist/Whabbi Empire will come at the point of an Imperial gun.

    There is some quite good news lingering quietly here. Russia is at military parity with the US on under 15% of the budget.

    The Chinese and Russian weapons now make those 100 billion dollar aircraft carrier fleets almost useless. The US is buying two more of these obsolete multi-billion dollar carriers next year – even more good news.

    The AngloZionist/Wahhabi Empire is finally failing, spending itself to death on war and misery like all empires before it. The Empire now is a hollow shell offering its people nothing but Neo-feudal economic stagnation and misery while slaughtering innocent people across the globe with its huge military which is quickly becoming hollow too. The Empire can negotiate and become a part of the new world or they will just blow it up because all they know, all they have ever known is “Global full spectrum domination.” The AngloZionist foreign policy which was adopted on August 6, 1945 and endures as fundamental to Imperial policy today. From that day to this, every single day for over 73 years, the AngloZionist/Wahhabi Empire has slaughtered innocent people.

    There can never be peace under the AngloZionist Empire, once they obtained their goal of total domination they would need to continually create conflict among others and discord to keep anyone from gaining strength to challenge the Imperial Feudal monopoly. Continued control by this vast empire is a guarantee of perpetual war.

    Talk of peace talks is just talk – the goal of domination remains.

    • mike k
      March 22, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Quite true Babyl-on. Those at the top of the pyramid of power know only one imperative: More Power! This is not a rational position on their part: they are in the grip of addiction to power. This is all they know, all they care about: it is for them the ultimate nonnegotiable imperative. They can never be trusted to give up this insane quest for global domination. The only real solution to the world’s problems is their removal from power – nothing else will work.

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2018 at 8:24 am

      Killing the Deep State by Corsi might imply a rise in awareness of deep state and its top rulers to be found following the money changers.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 22, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Bullseye Babyl-on, you pretty much nailed it.

      Odd that President Trump may find himself in a rather familiar place as JFK once found himself in. I’m reading David Talbot’s book ‘Brothers: the Hidden History of the Kennedy Years’ and after reading a few other Kennedy books like James W Douglas ‘JFK and the Unspeakable’ and now after reading Mr Doctorow here, it very well may mean that DJT is experiencing the same pushback that JFK received when attempting to make reductions of nuclear arms race a reality.

      The best way to determine to how bad an American President who maybe seeking peace agreements may have, is to look no further than to the massive Defense Budgets and hefty investments made to the many Security Agencies who receive tons of money, while the MIC pays off every congressional member it can. There in this MIC lobbying is where you will the resistance to peace. I might add the biggest thing Putin announced was to how much the Russian Federation ‘didn’t’ spend in order to achieve this nuclear superiority….this really must be pissing of the ever profitable MIC warmongers to no end.

      So, if Trump is either well guarded, or lucky, then he may see his attempts at waging peace having a chance. On the other hand we Americans should form a human chain around him. Although that is not physically possible for the rest of us peons to do, maybe the best we can do is talk about what bad things happened to so many before who had stood in the way of war.

      What is really needed, and we Americans don’t have, is a honest and responsible MSM outlet. In fact Babyl-on you know all this, but you may agree with me as to this is what is lacking by the dozens. All I can say, is that President Trump should Tweet his self to exhaustion if for no other reasons, but as to shine an abundance of sunshine on to his every move. JFK played both ends from the middle, where Trump should just come out and plainly state he is a peacenik and that’s that. Then Trump should put on the Kevlar body armor, and hope for the best.

      Great comment Babyl-on. Joe

      • Laninya
        March 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

        On the other hand we Americans should form a human chain around him.

        Yes, Joe. Yes! NOW is the time for peace-loving US-Americans to form a protective cordon around their president as he steps toward arms-control talks with the Russian Federation, as well as with the DPRK. I’ve been watching from afar, and I have to say that your guy (your president) has some kind of magical powers — “he can move the ball.” This may be your best chance to get some action on the peace agenda — every day in every way, ya’ll should support *any* attempts he makes to move away from conflict.

        The window of opportunity for real progress to be made will not stay open for long.

        As for understanding why President Trump has come out with this announcement at this time, I highly recommend an essay written by Thierry Meyssan at Voltaire Network titled ‘Four Days to Declare a Cold War’:
        http://www.voltairenet.org/article200232.html
        I don’t know enough to be able to vouch for the accuracy of Meyssan’s narrative, but I find it pretty convincing.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 22, 2018 at 11:05 am

          I always find Thierry Meyssan to be quite provocative, and different, with his analogies, but if you read his pass analogies of our geopolitical world he is often pretty right. So we should take him seriously.

          Actually while reading Meyssan’s account of what has been unraveling then it would appear that Trump the peacemaker is up against some terrifically bad odds.

          Trump better be careful because his dealing against the ever powerful MIC is certainly more than a heavy lift. Also I might add that Trump should keep as much as public out in the public realm for the citizens consumption.

          You don’t have like, or love, Trump to be afraid for his presidency to be ended by this mob of thugs who have proven that they will go to any length to keep their MIC business churning along..just ask a Kennedy, if you don’t believe me. Joe

          • Laninya
            March 22, 2018 at 11:18 am

            Trump the peacemaker is up against some terrifically bad odds.

            Maybe so, but he’s got the courage of a Siberian tiger and if he’s ready to wade into the swamp, true patriots should rise up and march in there with him, shovels in hand.

            I mean, look how quickly he moved on Tillerson and McCabe, if Meyssan’s narrative is correct. Look at where the mighty John Brennan is right now — a glowering talking-head on the MSNBC, reduced to tweeting out threats from the sidelines. (Embarassing!)

            I’m pretty sure DJT understands the nature of the game he has taken on … he’s been watching and stewing and thinking and planning for 30 years. It’s why he has surrounded himself with generals.

            Accentuate the positive, Joe. No risk, no gain.

        • Deniz
          March 22, 2018 at 12:01 pm

          I found Meyssans article, which Laninya referenced, yesterday. i posted it on another foreign policy blog and received comments like mind blowing.

          Meyssan must have direct links with one of the major players intelligence service.

          • Laninya
            March 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm

            Deniz,

            Can you share the link where you posted and received mind-blowing comments? I’d be curious to read some of those.

            I have often puzzled over where Meyssan gets his info. I figure he’s well situated as a Frenchman living in Damascus, which places him smack-dab in the crossroads of history, geography, and political subterfuge. I expect Damascus is laced with links to intelligence services of players major and minor from north, south, east and west.

        • Zachary Smith
          March 22, 2018 at 4:25 pm

          From that link:

          Although it has the fourth largest army in the world, the United Kindom is unable to defy Russia without the support of allies. It therefore has to invent a casus belli to make its partners react and lead them to stand beside it.

          This isn’t remotely true, so a person has to wonder what else was wrong with the piece. The author did a nice job of tying things together in this case, but his past work has often been problematical.

        • Dave P.
          March 22, 2018 at 9:05 pm

          The excerpts of interview of Sophie Shavardnze with Dmitri Peskov were on RT yesterday. The full interview will be aired on Friday. The latest Salisbury incident and Anglo-American worldwide media Domination are discussed.

          The link is:

          https://www.rt.com/news/421974-skripal-peskov-rt-interview/

        • rosemerry
          March 23, 2018 at 4:05 pm

          Thanks for the link- a lot of new information there, but it should be amazing that the use of “Russia is probably responsible”‘ is so easily accepted with no evidence at all by NATO members and others.

      • mike k
        March 22, 2018 at 11:40 am

        Trump is not a peacenik. He is an opportunistic, malleable, impulsive, ignorant, egotist, bully. He is totally untrustworthy by anyone, ever.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm

          Mike probably you are more right than I am, but even the most opportunistic, malleable, impulsive, ignorant, egotist, bully, may have a desire to go down in history, as the leader who prevented WWIII. I don’t know what is coming mike, I’m like the rest of you trying to piece together what we know, and how things may develope along the way. All I can say, is give peace a chance. Joe

      • Ol' Hippy
        March 22, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        Good analysis Joe. I’ve also read several good books on Kennedy including “JFK and the Unspeakable”, “The Devil’s Chessboard” etc. The leaders, the unelected ones are heading the nation into a steady spiral downward towards ultimate collapse or a war which can’t be won. Either way the citizens lose. The debt incurred by an out of control Pentagon and a Congress that green-light’s spending while neglecting maters to help regular folks, decreasing social spending can only end in disaster. And I don’t how we can help wind it down. I’m at a loss and in a bit of despair to boot. Mr Trump has a few decent ideas but is so inconsistent to really be of no help. IOW he’s being handled.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 23, 2018 at 7:55 am

          I’m at the same loss Ol’ Hippy, if you see the way out of this maze please advice. Joe

      • Dave P.
        March 24, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        Yes. Babyl-on sure has nailed it. As he said: the Perpetual War is humanity’s future.

    • Abz
      March 23, 2018 at 2:58 am

      As much as it is true that the fall is in full motion, for there to be a new world order, there must be some sort of consensus on the ideas behind the new order, however, there has not been much talk on the new story from the intellectuals

      • March 27, 2018 at 11:14 am

        Abz, I agree that the fall is in full motion, but disagree that there has not been much talk on the new story from the intellectuals. I suspect that what you’ve missed is driven by the fact that it is not U.S. intellectuals for the most part who are chronicling the new order.

        But we can see broad strokes of it: It is multipolar rather than unipolar. The Chinese gold-backed yuan will displace the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency. The European and Asian markets will be unified under the Chinese One Belt and One Road initiative. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank displaces the International Monetary Fund, etc. BRICS will continue to grow, into an economic power serving the majority of the world population that does not depend on the U.S. dollar.

        From the U.S. end, the response will be largely reactive (and futile) until such time as the U.S. powers that be decide to hop aboard the Chinese-Russian economic juggernaut.

        If you’d like to follow these trends, I suggest setting a Google Alert to follow the writings of Pepe Escobar. He seems to be the only correspondent who closely follows developments in this area writing in English.

    • Thomas
      March 23, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      O.K. So the goal of domination remains…. From whence we may argue.. To where we can ponder…. As if there is a there there. But there isn’t.. So far as I can tell. Just the bleak reality of nuclear winter, crop failure on any sustainable scale, radiation sickness & dispair…. All the talk of winning , just the bluster of the uninformed, ignorant optimists and the victms of serial propaganda & undeserved optimism. The numbers don’t lie.

    • Todd Bridges
      March 25, 2018 at 11:43 pm

      Without denying your many of your essential ideas to say that Russia is on parity militarily with us is rather naive.
      We have stuff.

      • March 27, 2018 at 11:21 am

        @ “Without denying your many of your essential ideas to say that Russia is on parity militarily with us is rather naive.”

        The parity is in strategic (nuclear) weapons. The new weapons announced by President Putin restore Mutually Assured Destruction (“MAD”), which was threatened by U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (“ABM”) Treaty and development of ABMs, with the goal of enabling a U.S. first-strike potential that could counter Russian counterstrikes.

        Any “stuff” the U.S. has in excess of MAD is simply irrelevant in a U.S./Russian nuclear war.

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