Given the state of the world today, how is it even possible to think about a Russian nuclear attack on the US? Why would Russia want to attack the US?
What I want to show is that the Russian leadership (Putin) is quite capable of launching a nuclear attack against America and absorbing the resulting counter-attack. We need to get into the mind of Putin and find out what he is like. If he is capable of such an attack, then why, and when, would he do it?
Very briefly, Putin hates America. In effect he has told us this many times. Next we will learn that Putin thinks Stalin wasn’t all that bad. Now that should make you take notice.
How likely is Russia to initiate a nuclear war? Did you know it almost did in the last Russia-Georgia war? If the West had supported Georgia militarily, then Russia was ready to launch a nuclear attack. So you get a sense that the Russian leadership has already crossed the line mentally. It is already prepared to start a nuclear war and absorb the resulting losses in order to achieve its goals. Let’s just say the resulting losses in Russia are a necessary evil to eliminate the United States.
Russia’s military is falling apart fast, so it has to rely heavily on its nuclear forces. The problem is that much of its nuclear forces are starting to age and must be decommissioned in the not too distant future. This presents Russia with a problem: How much longer can it fend off the United States? Over the next 10 to 20 years will Russia become vulnerable to an American first strike?
Russia itself is starting to fall apart. The conditions that existed before the fall of the Soviet Union exist today. There is a danger of another Russian collapse. With Russia on its back, Putin may feel that a nuclear strike on America at this time would produce optimal results. If Russia waits then the outcome could be much worse as its condition deteriorates.
The concept of a Russian nuclear attack on America should not shock you. But what would trigger it? I explained how the Russia-Georgia war almost triggered it. So a direct conflict between Russia and an American backed ally could trigger it. Another option is a conflict between an ally of Russia and an ally of America. For example, a nuclear war between Israel and Syria. This is actually the best case scenario for Russia, because it would leave the Americans completely off-guard.
Putin’s Attitude Toward America
One reason that Putin may have for attacking the US is an intense hatred of the US. At the Munich security conference in 2007, Putin accused the US of the following:
1. Seeking world domination
2. Undermining the UN and other international institutions
3. Dominating world energy resources
4. Destabilizing the Middle East (Iraq)
5. Forcing a new nuclear arms race by locating missile defense systems in Europe
Warming quickly to his task after only the briefest of greetings, President Putin accused the US of establishing, or trying to establish, a “uni-polar” world.
“What is a uni-polar world? No matter how we beautify this term, it means one single centre of power, one single centre of force and one single master,” he said.
‘Formula for disaster’
President Putin continued in a similar vein for some time.
“The United States has overstepped its borders in all spheres – economic, political and humanitarian, and has imposed itself on other states,” he said.
It was a formula that, he said, had led to disaster: “Local and regional wars did not get fewer, the number of people who died did not get less but increased. We see no kind of restraint – a hyper-inflated use of force.”
The US has gone “from one conflict to another without achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them”, Mr Putin said.
Putin Calls U.S. `Frightening Monster,’ Urges French Solidarity
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin compared the U.S. to a “frightening monster” and urged France to distance itself from its American ally.
“How can one be such a shining example of democracy at home and a frightening monster abroad?” Putin said in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde transmitted live to journalists in Paris yesterday.
Putin, speaking the day after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said the U.S. was creating “new Berlin Walls” in Europe by pushing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to expand into ex-Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine.
US a ‘parasite’ on world economy, says Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday accused the United States of acting as a “parasite” on the world economy by accumulating massive debts that threaten the global financial system.
OK, Putin hates America, but that doesn’t mean he would risk the destruction of his own people when America retaliates. Well, maybe that’s just a necessary evil. What does Putin believe? Does he have it in him to kill millions of people?
Getting into the Mind of Putin
What kind of a person is Putin?
Rise to Power in Russia – Putin’s Reichstag Fire
The Reichstag fire in Germany was the beginning of a plan to seize political power, and the beginning of Nazi fascism. Apparently, Putin learned a lesson from this episode in history. The articles below examine whether Putin executed his own Reichstag fire with staged bombings.
Back to the future… Russia, a totalitarian regime picking off its dissidents one by one
But there is considerable evidence these bombs were not planted by Chechens at all. On the day of the apartment explosions, in a town called Ryazan 100 miles south of Moscow, a local engineer spotted another huge bomb, and three suspicious men nearby. They were quickly arrested by the police and revealed to be FSB agents. They claimed that, while the country was under attack, they were planting real bombs in yet another apartment block as part of a “training exercise”. A slew of highly respected journalists, from my colleague Patrick Cockburn to Channel Four’s Despatches team, have suggested that the bombings were Putin’s Reichstag fire.
The Bear Is Back
All true. Yet this story has its dark side. Mr. Putin came to power following a mysterious chain of devastating bombings in Russia that were instantly blamed on Chechen “terrorists” and that sparked the second Chechen war. But there was a hitch: One of the bombs was discovered before it could blow to pieces an apartment building in the provincial city of Ryazan, and it turned out that it had been planted by agents of Mr. Putin’s own Federal Security Service. The FSB later claimed that the whole thing had been an “exercise” and that the bomb consisted of sacks of sugar. But to anyone who probes the sequence of events in Ryazan it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Mr. Putin came to power by setting his own version of the Reichstag fire.
Moscow bombers jailed as doubts rise
Two men were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for bombing Russian apartment blocks in a terrorist campaign that Kremlin critics claim was mounted by the KGB’s successors to justify invading Chechnya.
Yusuf Krymshamkhalov and Adam Dekkushev, both from Russian areas close to Chechnya, were convicted of taking part in the blowing up of blocks of flats in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999 that left 246 people dead.
The case is one of the murkiest in post-Communist Russia and politically explosive as Vladimir Putin was head of both the FSB – the renamed KGB – and the influential Security Council at the time.
The Reichstag fire
The Reichstag fire was a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. At 21:15 on the night of February 27, 1933, a Berlin fire station received an alarm call that the Reichstag building, the assembly location of the German Parliament, was ablaze. The fire started in the Session Chamber, and by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was in flames. Inside the building, the police quickly found a shirtless Marinus van der Lubbe. Van der Lubbe was a Dutch insurrectionist council communist and unemployed bricklayer who had recently arrived in Germany, ostensibly to carry out his political activities. The fire was used as evidence that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were arrested. Then-chancellor Adolf Hitler urged President Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree in order to counter the “ruthless confrontation of the KPD”.
Meanwhile, investigation of the Reichstag Fire continued, with the Nazis eager to uncover Comintern complicity. In early March 1933, three men were arrested who were to play pivotal roles during the Leipzig Trial, known also as “Reichstag Fire Trial,” namely three Bulgarians: Georgi Dimitrov, Vasil Tanev and Blagoi Popov. The Bulgarians were known to the Prussian police as senior Comintern operatives, but the police had no idea how senior they were: Dimitrov was head of all Comintern operations in Western Europe.
Now that we are in 2011, it appears that Putin’s plan has worked.
In the articles below, I look at how Putin views Stalin.
How Putin is inspired by history
As for the [Stalin ]purges, which killed millions, they are dismissed as a necessary evil. Mr Putin, himself, recently said they weren’t as bad as atrocities perpetrated by other nations [the US.]
It seems far fetched, though, to compare him [Putin] to Ivan the Terrible, who murdered hundreds of thousands of his countrymen in a decade-long reign of terror. But not to Russia’s most controversial novelist, Vladimir Sorokin.
“Russia is like a block of ice floating back into the 16th century,” he said on the phone from Germany where he is currently on a book tour.
“Again we are living under a centralised government like in the time of Ivan the Terrible. This power vertical, which Putin keeps talking about, is a completely medieval model for Russia. There is no accountability, no transparency.”
What is Putin’s opinion of him [Stalin]?
Most people agree that Stalin’s name, and the Stalin period, has undergone a renaissance during Vladimir Putin’s eight years in charge. Putin has never come out and heaped praise on the Soviet leader, but has made several remarks suggesting that Stalinism wasn’t all that bad. In a discussion with history teachers, he said that the Great Terror of 1937 was a “scary page” in Russian history, but suggested that the American bombings of Hiroshima and Vietnam were far worse. “We should never allow others to make us feel guilty,” he said. Putin has also been instrumental in a rehabilitation of the Soviet past in general. “Yelstin wanted to break all links with the Soviet period, whereas Putin moved to re-establish continuity with the Soviet past,” says Boris Dubin, an expert at the Levada Centre think tank in Moscow.
Russia ‘Shouldn’t Feel Guilty’ Over Stalin-Era Purge
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the world against trying to make Russia feel guilty about the Great Purge, one of Soviet history’s most painful episodes.
On the orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, military officers, and party officials were imprisoned and executed in 1936-37 throughout the Soviet Union.
“Other countries have done even more terrible things,” Putin said in televised remarks. “At least we’ve never used nuclear weapons against civilians, never poured chemicals on thousands of kilometers, or dropped seven times as many bombs as were used in [World War II] on a small country, as it was done in Vietnam, for instance.”
So Stalin wasn’t all that bad, and besides, the American monster was much worse. Putin can convince himself that Stalin’s purges were a necessary evil, and perhaps not that bad when compared to other countries. So if killing millions of his own countrymen is not that bad, imagine what he could do to the countrymen of another country?
But Putin isn’t actually Stalin, right? Well, look at what Gorbachev has to say about Putin:
20 years after Russia kissed Communism goodbye, Mikhail Gorbachev has called out Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as more “Stalin” than savior.
Pause for a moment and really think about what is going on. Putin has positioned himself to gain the power of Stalin. And Putin feels that Stalin wasn’t all that bad. This is absolutely terrifying. A monster has gained control of Russia.
How does the Russian leadership feel about the use of nuclear weapons? Take a look at what happened during the Russia-Georgia war.
2008 Russia-Georgia War: Military help for Georgia is a ‘declaration of war’, says Moscow
Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a “declaration of war” by Russia.
The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin’s envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.
So the Russian leadership threatened nuclear war on the West should it provide military assistance to Georgia. But reality is even worse than that. Russia reserves the right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike should it or its allies feel threatened. So if Russia suddenly decided that it didn’t like America’s behavior, then that would be enough for a nuclear strike out of the blue. Certainly the behavior of America’s allies (NATO, Israel, Japan, South Korea …) much be taken into account too.
Russia reserves pre-emptive nuclear strike right
In 2009 Russia announced that it reserves the right to use a preemptive nuclear strike if it feels its security is threatened. A couple of years earlier it announced that it reserved the right to use nuclear weapons in a preemptive nuclear strike to protect itself and its allies. But which countries are Russia’s allies? One such ally is Syria. This is the same Syria that is preparing for war with Israel, along with Hezbollah and Hamas. What would Russia do if Israel destroys Syria?
Russia in a new review of its policy on use of nuclear weapons will reserve the right to undertake a pre-emptive strike if it feels its security is endangered, a senior Kremlin official told a Russian newspaper.
America has been working hard to reset relations with Russia, so where is the threat to Russia? Well, once Obama leaves office who knows how the next president is going to act. The Russian leadership believes that the US is slowly positioning itself to defeat Russia at a later date.
Retired generals predict US-Russia war
Interviewed by Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia’s biggest circulation newspaper, the four senior generals – who now direct influential military think tanks – said the United States had hatched a secret plan to seize the country’s vast energy resources by force.
“The US is both laying the ground and preparing its military potential for a war with Russia,” said Gen Leonid Ivashov, a former joint chief of staff.
“Anti-Russian sentiment is being fostered in the public opinion. The US is desperate to implement its century-old dream of world hegemony and the elimination of Russia as its principal obstacle to the full control of Eurasia.”
Russia challenges west with nuclear overhaul
“This is very significant. Right now the present Russian leadership believes that a war with Nato is very much possible,” Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defence analyst, told the Guardian. “This is the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that the Russian military is actually preparing for an all-out nuclear war with America.”
He added: “I believe we [the Russians] are sending the west a serious message. The message is treat us with respect, and if you don’t go into our backyard we won’t go into yours. Russia wants to divide the world into spheres of influence. If not, we will prepare for nuclear war.”
Felgenhauer said Russia’s military was old but still effective. “Our military is backward in its development. But we still have a sizeable nuclear potential. It can kill a hell of a lot of people,” he said.
The Russian leadership is also backing up their ideology with underground bunkers. While countries in the West are decommissioning many of their underground bunkers, Russia is busy building more. In a report by Russia Today, the Russian government is hurrying to complete 5,000 underground nuclear bunkers in Moscow by 2012.
Countries that are doing well don’t particularly want to start wars. It’s the countries in trouble that you need to be worried about. And Russia is a country in trouble.
Ex-Yeltsin aide says Russia risks collapse
“My main anxiety 20 years on is the threat of the Russian Federation falling apart,” Burbulis, a top Yeltsin aide until late 1992, told Reuters in an interview marking the failed coup’s 20th anniversary.
“The threat is huge if this regime cannot transform itself. The threat, ultimately, is the disintegration of Russia.”
Can Russia Survive Through 2020?
Strategy 2020 — the question of where Russia will be in 2020 — hangs in the air. There are a variety of scenarios being offered by leading economists, political scientists and other analysts, but one thing is clear: There will be no miracles in the next nine years. The prospects for a country mired in archaic institutions, an oil- and gas-dependent economy, systemic corruption, unprotected property rights, corrupt courts, fraudulent elections and an apathetic population can only be dim at best.
Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong
Which is why today’s Russia appears once again to be inching toward another perestroika moment. Although the market reforms of the 1990s and today’s oil prices have combined to produce historically unprecedented prosperity for millions, the brazen corruption of the ruling elite, new-style censorship, and open disdain for public opinion have spawned alienation and cynicism that are beginning to reach (if not indeed surpass) the level of the early 1980s.
One needs only to spend a few days in Moscow talking to the intelligentsia or, better yet, to take a quick look at the blogs on LiveJournal (Zhivoy Zhurnal), Russia’s most popular Internet platform, or at the sites of the top independent and opposition groups to see that the motto of the 1980s — “We cannot live like this any longer!” — is becoming an article of faith again. …
Russia has a couple of key challenges, besides falling apart, that may explain why it might want to go war with America. First, Russia is going to increasingly fall behind America from a military standpoint.
Russia’s military is in such bad shape that it will be forced to rely on tactical nuclear weapons for even small conflicts.
The pillars of Russian society—the schools and the military—are crumbling
A recently published WikiLeaks cable signed by U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder revealed that NATO officers who observed the two major 2009 Russian military exercises came back less than impressed. According to the cable (and as many former Russian military personnel and other specialists have attested), the exercises “demonstrated that Russia has limited capability for joint operations with air forces, continues to rely on aging and obsolete equipment, lacks all-weather capability and strategic transportation means, .??.??. has an officer corps lacking flexibility, and has a manpower shortage.”
The alarming corollary to the erosion of Russia’s conventional military capability was also quite clear: an increasing willingness to use short-range, tactical nuclear weapons regardless of how small the conflict in question might be. The point at which the Russian military hits the “nuclear tripwire” in battle would be the moment when its creaking supply lines and logistics system can no longer support sustained combat operations. If present trends continue, you might be able to measure that period with an egg timer.
Russia Generals: By 2015 NATO can neutralize Russian ICBMs and SLBMs
On May 20, Russia’s top generals made what Time magazine called “a startling admission of weakness.” In their opinion, by 2015 the NATO missile defense system would neutralize both Russia’s ICBMs and its submarine-based ballistic missiles. That could be devastating for Russia because, as defense analyst Ruslan Pukhov points out, for “relatively little expense, Russia’s nuclear forces support the country’s status as a great power, provide a military deterrent to other major powers and enable it to maintain moderately sized conventional forces.
But Pukhov also demonstrates that the generals are wrong about the 2015 date — or were just making noises as part of the bargaining process. Russia’s nuclear arsenal will not be significantly stymied by the system NATO wants to put in place. But once in place, that system could provide an excellent base for a more elaborate system that could indeed neutralize Russia as a nuclear power. Since Russia has no leverage over the United States and NATO, its only choice would be to upgrade its own heavy, ground-based multistage missiles. In other words, Russia and the United States, without in the least meaning to, may be backing into a new arms race.
Russia’s military problems: Russia Military in Decline
“The revival of Russia’s military might under Putin is merely a myth,” Stanislav Belkovsky, who head the Institute for National Strategy, said at a presentation of the report. “The Russian armed forces have degraded completely under Putin.”
If the current trends continue, the report warns, Russia’s nuclear arsenals would shrink from about 680 intercontinental ballistic missiles now to between 100 and 200 missiles over the next 10 years.
Second, Russia is in demographic decline:
The future does not look bright for Russia. Certainly the future must look scary to Putin and the other Russian leaders. Perhaps it’s not a bad time for war after all.
In essence, Russia might start a war with America for the same reasons that World War I started and Japan attacked America: Fear of the future. World War I started because Germany was fearful of military developments in Russia and France. Japan attacked America at Pearl Harbor because it was fearful that America would disrupt its plans in Asia. Russia today is also fearful of its future.
When might an attack take place?
Unfortunately, an attack might take place much sooner than you think. A major war involving Israel could act as a trigger mechanism. Although there is good reason to believe that an Israeli war could happen before the end of September, 2011, it is likely that Russia would not immediately respond. It takes time to prepare for war, so expect a lag of several months. This lag would also catch America completely off-guard, because an attack would come as a thief in the night.
Six Reasons for an Israeli War Before the End of September, 2011
Reasons for an Israeli war before the end of September, 2011:
1. Syria needs to deflect public anger from the current regime.
2. Palestinians need sympathy at the UN to drive home a new Palestinian state in September.
3. Hezbollah needs to deflect world attention from these indictments.
4. Hezbollah wants to stop Israel from stealing its oil. Hezbollah says that Israel is playing with fire “by violating Lebanon’s maritime border and oil rights.”
5. Parliamentary elections in Egypt are scheduled for September. An Israeli-Hamas war could possibly give the Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood an advantage.
6. Israel is planning to attack Iran before the UN vote on a Palestinian state. Iran is clearly positioning itself to threaten Israel directly with nuclear weapons in the future.