In what is probably causing military eyes to once again eye the Kremlin, Russian president Vladimir Putin has declared he is developing a new arsenal of nuclear technology which will be “capable of penetrating missile defense” systems. The Associated Press has the full story in Russia Developing New Nuclear Missile, however I want to highlight the more interesting points:
“We are not only conducting research and successful tests on state-of-the-art nuclear missile systems, but I am convinced that these systems will appear in the near future,” Putin said. “Moreover, they will be systems, weapons that not a single other nuclear power has, or will have, in the near future.”
Christopher Langton, head of defense analysis at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, said it appeared to be the first time that Russian officials had spoken publicly about a new deterrent, though he has no idea what the system might be.
“He said it was, firstly, unique and, secondly, capable of defeating any space-based defense system, which is clearly putting the spotlight on the anti-missile of the United States,” Langton said. [emphasis added]
News reports have said Russia is believed to be developing a next-generation heavy missile that could carry up to 10 nuclear warheads weighing a total of 4.4 tons, compared with the Topol-M’s 1.32-ton combat payload.
Clearly, the Russian military has analyzed the U.S. missile defense system and found a significant weakness in that it targets a single-payload ICBM. This new missile technology looks as though it will adopt the multi-payload approach that analysts have said would be effective in defeating the MDS (Missile Defense Shield) that President Bush has been so eager to adopt.
Interestingly, Washington is trying to dismiss this with, but I suspect this has a few hackles raised on the Hill. This seems to be a clear signal from Moscow that they are at least hedging their bets on the U.S. strategy of world reshaping.
As a side note, it’s funny that super-powers can be so self-righteous with their nuclear programs, but heaven forbid anyone who’s not already in the game think about nuclear programs. To boil it down to it’s most essential hypocrisy, the nuclear states have a motto: Do as we say, not as we do.
Think about it: if Iran announced a MDS penetrating nuclear system tomorrow (not that I enjoy anyone announcing this), you can bet we’d use it as a pretext for disarmament and quite possibly invasion; Because self-determination does not mean realistic self-defense if you don’t already own nukes. Russia, China or India announcing it? No big deal. And that’s just plain hypocritical.
UPDATE: Awesome timing, there is news out that Iran is developing it’s own nuclear weapons program. The source of the news is the National Council for Resistance in Iran, or NCRI. Judging from the validity of information we got from the Iraqi National Congress, or INC, I’m trying to figure out how the fuck to say Ahmed Chalabi in Pashto, I think it may come in handy. God knows I can bet we’ll be paying a good price to the NCRI for every “informant” that emerges in coming weeks.
Am I cynical about this? Fuck yeah.