Tuesday, February 05, 2019

RIP INF Treaty: Russia’s Victory, America’s Waterloo

On March 1, 2018 the world learned of Russia’s new weapons systems, said to be based on new physical principles. Addressing the Federal Assembly, Putin explained how they came to be: in 2002 the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. At the time, the Russians declared that they will be forced to respond, and were basically told “Do whatever you want.”

And so they did, developing new weapons that no anti-ballistic missile system can ever hope to stop. The new Russian weapons include one that is already on combat duty (Kinzhal), one that is being readied for mass production (Avangard) and several that are currently being tested (Poseidon, Burevestnik, Peresvet, Sarmat). Their characteristics, briefly, are as follows:

• Kinzhal: a hypersonic air-launched cruise missile that flies at Mach 10 (7700 miles per hour) and can destroy both ground installations and ships.

• Avangard: a maneuverable hypersonic payload delivery system for intercontinental ballistic missiles that flies at better than Mach 20 (15300 miles per hour). It has a 740-mile range and can carry a nuclear charge of up to 300 kilotons.

• Poseidon: an autonomous nuclear-powered torpedo with unlimited range that can travel at a 3000-foot depth maintaining a little over 100 knots.

• Burevestnik: a nuclear-powered cruise missile that flies at around 270 miles per hour and can stay in the air for 24 hours, giving it a 6000-mile range.

• Peresvet: a mobile laser complex that can blind drones and satellites, knocking out space and aerial reconnaissance systems.

• Sarmat: a new heavy intercontinental missile that can fly arbitrary suborbital courses (such as over the South Pole) and strike arbitrary points anywhere on the planet. Because it does not follow a predictable ballistic trajectory it is impossible to intercept.

The initial Western reaction to this announcement was an eerie silence. A few people tried to convince anyone who would listen that this was all bluff and computer animation, and that these weapons systems did not really exist. (The animation was of rather low quality, one might add, probably because Russian military types couldn’t possibly imagine that slick graphics, such as what the Americans waste their money on, would make Russia any safer.) But eventually the new weapons systems were demonstrated to work and US intelligence services confirmed their existence.

Forced to react, the Americans, with the EU in tow, tried to cause public relations scandals over some unrelated matter. Such attempts are repeated with some frequency. For instance, after the putsch in the Ukraine caused Crimea to go back to Russia there was the avalanche of hysterical bad press about Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which the Americans had shot down over Ukrainian territory with the help of Ukrainian military.

Similarly, after Putin’s announcement of new weapons systems, there was an eruption of equally breathless hysterics over the alleged “Novichok” poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. A couple of Russian tourists, if you recall, were accused of poisoning Skripal by smearing some toxic gas on the doorknob of his house some time after he left it never to return. Perhaps such antics made some people feel better, but opposing new, breakthrough weapons systems by generating fake news does not an adequate response make.

Say what you will about the Russian response to the US pulling out of the ABM treaty, but it was adequate. It was made necessary by two well-known facts. First, the US is known for dropping nuclear bombs on other countries (Hiroshima, Nagasaki). It did so not in self-defense but just to send a message to the USSR that resistance would be futile (a dumb move if there ever was one). Second, the US is known to have repeatedly planned to destroy the USSR using a nuclear first strike. It was prevented from carrying it out time and again, first by a shortage of nuclear weapons, then by the development of Soviet nuclear weapons, then by the development of Soviet ICBMs.

Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” was an attempt to develop a system that would shoot down enough Soviet ICBMs to make a nuclear first strike on the USSR winnable. This work was terminated when Reagan and Gorbachev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December, 1987. But then when Bush Jr. pulled out of the ABM treaty in 2002 it was off to the races again. Last year Putin declared that Russia has won: the Americans can now rest assured that if they ever attack Russia the result will be their complete, guaranteed annihilation, and the Russians can rest secure in the knowledge that the US will never dare to attack them.

But that was just the prelude. The real victory happened on February 2, 2019. This day will be remembered as the day when the Russian Federation decisively defeated the United States in the battle for Eurasia—from Lisbon to Vladivostok and from Murmansk to Mumbai.

So, what did the Americans want, and what did they get instead? They wanted to renegotiate the INF treaty, revise some of the terms and expand it to include China. Announcing that the US is suspending the INF treaty, Trump said: “I hope we're able to get everybody in a big, beautiful room and do a new treaty that would be much better…” By “everybody” Trump probably meant the US, China and Russia.

Why the sudden need to include China? Because China has an entire arsenal of intermediate-range weapons with a range of 500-5500 (the ones outlawed by the INF treaty) pointed at American military bases throughout the region—in South Korea, Japan and Guam. The INF treaty made it impossible for the US to develop anything that could be deployed at these bases to point back at China.

Perhaps it was Trump’s attempt to practice his New York real-estate mogul’s “art of the deal” among nuclear superpowers, or perhaps it’s because imperial hubris has rotted the brains of just about everyone in the US establishment, but the plan for renegotiating the INF treaty was about as stupid as can be imagined:

1. Accuse Russia of violating the INF treaty based on no evidence. Ignore Russia’s efforts to demonstrate that the accusation is false.

2. Announce pull-out of the INF treaty.

3. Wait a while, then announce that the INF treaty is important and essential. Condescendingly forgive Russia and offer to sign a new treaty, but demand that it include China.

4. Wait while Russia convinces China that it should do so.

5. Sign the new treaty in Trump’s “big, beautiful room.”

So, how did it actually go? Russia instantly announced that it is also pulling out of the INF treaty. Putin ordered foreign minister Lavrov to abstain from all negotiations with the Americans in this matter. He then ordered defense minister Shoigu to build land-based platforms for Russia’s new air and ship-based missile systems—without increasing the defense budget. Putin added that these new land-based systems will only be deployed in response to the deployment of US-made intermediate-range weapons. Oh, and China announced that it is not interested in any such negotiations. Now Trump can have his “big, beautiful room” all to himself.

Why did this happen? Because of the INF treaty, for a long time Russia has had a giant gaping hole in its arsenal, specifically in the 500-5500 km range. It had air-launched X-101/102s, and eventually developed the Kalibr cruise missile, but it had rather few aircraft and ships—enough for defense, but not enough to guarantee that it could reliably destroy all of NATO. As a matter of Russia’s national security, given the permanently belligerent stance of the US, it was necessary for NATO to know that in case of a military conflict with Russia it will be completely annihilated, and that no air defense system will ever help them avoid that fate.

If you look at a map, you will find that having weapons in the 500-5500 km range fixes this problem rather nicely. Draw a circle with a 5500 km radius around the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad; note that it encompasses every single NATO country, North Africa and Middle East. The IMF treaty was not necessarily a good deal for Russia even when it was first signed (remember, Gorbachev, who signed it, was a traitor) but it became a stupendously bad deal as NATO started to expand east. But Russia couldn’t pull out of it without triggering a confrontation, and it needed time to recover and rearm.

Already in 2004 Putin announced that “Russia needs a breakthrough in order to have a new generation of weapons and technology.” At the time, Americans ignored him, thinking that Russia could fall apart at any moment and that they will be able to enjoy Russian oil, gas, nuclear fuel and other strategic commodities for free forever even as the Russians themselves go extinct. They thought that even if Russia tried to resist, it would be enough to bribe some traitors—like Gorbachev or Yeltsin—and all would be well again.

Fast-forward 15 years, and is that what we have? Russia has rebuilt and rearmed. Its export industries provide for a positive trade balance even in absence of oil and gas exports. It is building three major export pipelines at the same time—to Germany, Turkey and China. It is building nuclear generating capacity around the world and owns a lion’s share of the world’s nuclear industry. The US can no longer keep the lights on without Russian nuclear fuel imports. The US has no new weapons systems with which to counter Russia’s rearmament. Yes, it talks about developing some, but all it has at this point are infinite money sinks and lots of PowerPoint presentations. It no longer has the brains to do the work, or the time, or the money.

Part of Putin’s orders upon pulling out of the INF treaty was to build land-based medium-range hypersonic missiles. That’s a new twist: not only will it be impossible to intercept them, but they will reduce NATO’s remaining time to live, should it ever attack Russia, from minutes to seconds. The new Poseidon nuclear-powered torpedo was mentioned too: even if an attack on Russia succeeds, it will be a Pyrrhic one, since subsequent 100-foot nuclear-triggered tsunamis will wipe clean both coasts of the United States for hundreds of miles inland, effectively reducing the entire country to slightly radioactive wasteland.

Not only has the US lost its ability to attack, it has also lost its ability to threaten. Its main means of projecting force around the world is its navy, and Poseidon reduces it to a useless, slow-moving pile of scrap steel. It would take just a handful of Poseidons quietly shadowing each US aircraft carrier group to zero out the strategic value of the US Navy no matter where in the world it is deployed.

Without the shackles of the INF treaty, Russia will be able to fully neutralize the already obsolete and useless NATO and to absorb all of Europe into its security sphere. European politicians are quite malleable and will soon learn to appreciate the fact that good relations with Russia and China are an asset while any dependence on the US, moving forward, is a huge liability. Many of them already understand which way the wind is blowing.

It won’t be a difficult decision for Europe’s leaders to make. On the one pan of the scale there is the prospect of a peaceful and prosperous Greater Eurasia, from Lisbon to Vladivostok and from Murmansk to Mumbai, safe under Russia’s nuclear umbrella and tied together with China’s One Belt One Road.

On the other pan of the scale there is a certain obscure former colony lost in the wilds of North America, imbued with an unshakeable faith in its own exceptionalism even as it grows ever weaker, more internally conflicted and more chaotic, but still dangerous, though mostly to itself, and run by a bloviating buffoon who can’t tell the difference between a nuclear arms treaty and a real estate deal. It needs to be quietly and peacefully relegated to the outskirts of civilization, and then to the margins of history.

Trump should keep his own company in his “big, beautiful room,” and avoid doing anything anything even more tragically stupid, while saner minds quietly negotiate the terms for an honorable capitulation. The only acceptable exit strategy for the US is to quietly and peacefully surrender its positions around the world, withdraw into its own geographic footprint and refrain from meddling in the affairs of Greater Eurasia.


Mike D said...

As a born citizen of these United States I am a patriot. I don't hate my country, although I am often disappointed and infuriated with it. It is "USA, Inc." that I truly despise. (The term I have coined for our fascist government and bankster economy). Indeed the whole world despises it and justifiably so. It is time for it to be humiliated and then neutered and then swept into the dustbin of history for all time. Maybe, just maybe the world can salvage things and move forward. It may be too late though, sadly.

Hopefully the US can then learn how to be a true Republic that is strong, but wise and cooperative with the rest of the world without the rapacious greed and desire to dominate and plunder. Jettison all this "exceptional nation" whose right it is to dominate nonsense. I'm not holding my breath though. The decadence and vapid weakness of the American people as a whole may be too much for a more noble society to ever develop here. I may have to just be consoled with the death of both neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.

I envy Russia for having such a wise leader at this time. A man who I am convinced actually has a genuine love for his people. What a concept!

John said...

"...100-foot nuclear-triggered tsunamis will wipe clean both coasts of the United States for hundreds of miles inland... Is the hyperbole intentional or were you carried away by enthusiasm?

Unknown said...

Dmitrii, what do you think of the recent (January 22, 2019) treaty between France and Germany, where the 2 countries basically agreed on a joint defense system, thus giving Germany use of French nuclear power including the bomb? Is it good for "a peaceful and prosperous Greater Eurasia, from Lisbon to Vladivostok and from Murmansk to Mumbai, safe under Russia’s nuclear umbrella and tied together with China’s One Belt One Road"?

Dmitry Orlov said...

Mike -

I don't think humiliation is called for, just the result. The US can declare that it has won, celebrate victory, bring all the troops home, etc. The population at large is not interested in any of this. They just want the drugs and the booze, free if possible, or at least very cheap.

John -

The Poseidon plan has a long and storied history. Then plan was first hatched by that great peacenik, Andrei Sakharov. "100-foot" is a typo; that should read 100 METERS. It's quite achievable.

Unknown -

That treaty is pretty much a consolation prize for Macron (now that his goose is pretty much cooked) and a retirement prize for Merkel. It is also a signal to the rest of the EU that they don't matter because the strong are getting ready to gang up on the weak. And it is quite irrelevant as far as the bigger picture.

DeVaul said...

Perhaps that has already started. I just saw on the news this morning while flipping the channels to the weather radar, that the US has declared Venezuela a "humanitarian catastrophe". I think we all know what comes next.

The beautiful people (reporters) immediately descended on the place and oddly enough, the background looked eerily like America. There were no slums shown, no refugee camps, no extreme poverty or starving people. In fact, most of the people shown behind the reporters were busy playing with their smart phones. I wonder if their phones are smart enough to inform them that they are about to be bombed back to the Stone Age?

Internationally, this is all we do now. We will attack South America with a vengeance and rampage through the entire continent and perhaps some places in Africa as well since all other regions are now "off limits" thanks to Russia and China. This will create a "humanitarian catastrophe", thus proving that we were right all along. We have been using this circular logic now for 28 years. Two generations of Americans have still not figured it out. In the land of "free speech", that's got to be some kind of record.

It will also create a REAL refugee crisis where millions of South Americans head north to... America, where we will not be able to deny them access since we created the crisis to begin with. They will flood into our country and the official language will become Spanish, and I sometimes wonder if a sort of racist inspired white brain drain will happen whereupon skilled white engineers and scientists, etc. will emigrate to Europe to escape the barbarian throngs, Spanish, living near the "wrong people", and possibly even escaping crushing educational debts by becoming citizens of European countries that will not recognize these debts as binding on their own citizens.

Or we can have a vicious civil war at the heart of the former Empire. Who knows? Whatever happens, for Americans, it will be a completely different world when the dust finally settles. It's sad that it all seems preordained.

John Casey said...

I often wonder about, as you say, "European politicians are quite malleable...Many of them already understand which way the wind is blowing." I suppose Nord 2 is an example, and maybe the new vehicle to trade with Iran is another. But why do they (Germany and France) go along with the provocations you mentioned, MH17 and the ridiculous Skripal operation, now the Venezuela op? Is it all payments to leaders and threats? I know France wants its "mandate" over its former colonies back in Syria, etc. But then they leave their frigate out in the East Med as bait during that last Israeli attempt at getting a regional war going. The US/Israeli so-called leaders are psychopathic monstrosities, yes, but I'm never clear on why toadies like Macron and Merkel play along with them on some ops but resist others (Nord 2, for example). And, just to prove how dense I am, let me ask what it is that Merkel actually wants? When she wakes up in the morning, does she think, what can I do today to further a grotesque, soul-crushing New World Order, or does she have some long-term plan for Germany in a post-US multipolar world?

RB Seymour said...

Well said.

Unknown said...

Seems to me that the real intent of Poseidon is to wipe out the US Navy infrastructure. It would only take 4 to effectively neuter the fleet concentration areas of Norfolk, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and the Puget Sound area, taking out quite a few ships in the process. And to think that the bean counters for the last 60-odd years have been focused on cost-cutting and "removing redundancy" by closing bases and in the process providing fewer, more valuable targets for our adversaries.

@Mike, I don't know if you've read much of the late ArchDruidReport blog by John Michael Greer, but I agree with his view that as the American empire crumbles, the path forward likely involves breaking up the union into four or five regional countries. As for wisdom, that would take a LOT of growing up and wising up culturally and politically speaking, which will require many hard lessons on the world stage I'm afraid.

JPM1963 said...

15 years ago, I made a commute every day through the poorest neighborhoods of Kansas City. A large slum style apartment building greeted me as I approached from the south. For every apartment in the building there was a satellite dish. Next to the apartments, there was a liquor store with 99 cent tall boys and on the other side of that a Burger Kin with 99 cent Whoppers. On the corner, drugs were openly sold.

And that summed up America in 2004. Fast cheap food, fast cheap drugs and fast cheap alcohol and fast cheap entertainment to further numb the rotting minds and bodies.

At that time, my station wasn't far off of these people but I thought differently. I would not spend my spare time watching the 187 choices of crap on TV but would spend it either working or educating myself out of my situation.

I know this isn't every Amerikan but it's way too many of them. Uniformed, undisciplined and nonstrategic. What's tonight's lottery jackpot up to?

Mike D said...

I understand your point Dmitry, but I do want both the result AND humiliation. (Humiliation for the DC, Langley and Wall Street Axis of evil specifically, or USA, Inc.) That's just me. But yes the result is definitely the most important thing.

Oh, did you know that last week during the Polar Vortex's visit to the upper midwest that Rachel Maddow asked, in all seriousness, can you imagine if Russia cut the power grid right now? She strongly inferred that this will probably happen one day. It is both hilarious and infuriating that she has the platform of a major media outlet.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Thanks Dmitry. This is why I support your work. As well as the profound sense of relief that your incisive insights offer - seeing now that there can be a sane, unspectacular climb-down of the Swamp creatures, once the sane realists in Washington, particularly in the Pentagon, begin insisting that it really IS checkmate - as well as that, there's something in the style of your telling that always satisfies some deep aesthetic sense of the value of exceptional writing. This post is a double treat on both heads.

Advice also requested: didn't you suggest that supporters should favour some other funding outfit than Patreon? Why is that? And which alternative is best?

CJones said...

“The population at large is not interested in any of this.” I’m not so sure about that, at least not where I stand, in the land of deplorables. We put the current POTUS there mostly for that reason. Along with draining the swamp. So what the heck, we got nothing more to lose so let’s give it another try, if nothing else it could be entertaining. But as expected, the parasite has crawled into his ear and injected its enzyme that effects the brain is such a way that he now thinks parasites are gooooood. Oh well, life goes on. One positive out of all this, is finally the rest of the world is seeing these parasites are actually pretty messed up and maybe they need to distance themselves from them. When the parasites find fewer and fewer hosts to control, then maybe that’s when they will finally die off, or be easily eradicated.

RogerB said...

"Russia will be able to fully neutralize the already obsolete and useless NATO and to absorb all of Europe into its security sphere."

Absolutely. I could never understand why Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania etc. weren't so keen on that last time round.

Blackdoris said...

Great article Dimitri. I hope the American people see the writing on the wall and vote Tulsi Gabbard into power.Not much chance of that though given the almost total control of the media by the powers that be.

Dmitry Orlov said...

DeVaul -

Don't worry, Venezuela won't get "bombed back to the stone age." It has Russian S-300 air defense systems and other modern armaments, meaning that the US military can't fly or deploy there.

John Casey -

Most Western politicians are simply puppets, with no minds of their own, or at least they act that way. They just read whatever Washington sends them. But there are more and more exceptions. Note how Italy is behaving.

Rhisiart -

Try https://www.subscribestar.com/orlov

RogerB -

I recall Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania etc. being rather happy when the Red Army crushed the Nazis.

Win Kiddle -

Keep repeating "It doesn't matter who is president" until the message sinks in.

jal said...

It never crossed my mind,

"nuclear-triggered tsunamis"

I would be afraid to be living on the Med coast line.

Hao Chen said...

Could you give us your top 5 (or more) reasons why Gorbachev was a traitor?

My donkey said...

Dmitry, do you know whether you've ever published an article whose comments did not contain at least one misspelling of your first name?

The current comments contain two butcherings so far: "Dimitri" and "Dmitrii" (two mistakes in one word might even be considered an accomplishment if it wasn't so common). The one with a double "i" tacked on the end reminded me of a biological patronym such as the specific epithet of Chiloplatys dmitrii, a species of wasp, or Pogochaetia dmitrii, a species of moth.

Are people becoming less respectful? Or more careless, or unobservant, or absentminded, or mentally cramped... or what? Fifty years ago these types of errors were rare; today they're ubiquitous.

Alex said...

Germany & France are joined-up now? That doesn't bode well for the rest of Europe, given both of their proclivities for terrorism & political correctness. How does nobody see Germany as the bad guy? Is it like Batman Returns, where everyone had concluded that the Penguin wasn't a bad guy, even though he looked like it, and he just kept getting away with things because of that? A lack of high leather boots or a trademark salute doesn't mean a complete absence of social traits.

Unknown said...

Dear Dmitry, Based on your writings somehow I have the feeling that the world is heading towards an inflexion point, where the current anglo block will loose its economic hegemony (i.e. dollar collapse).

This is also foreseen by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (and many other reputable people): https://youtu.be/c7GgYAzrLKM

When that happens however, as a solution of last resort the neocons will launch a preemptive nuclear war gainst China and Russia (to put them in their place) with small potency tactical nukes, which in turn may quickly escalate to a full blown nuclear war. What is your opinion on the subject?

Dmitry Orlov said...

The Anglo block has already lost much of its economic, political and military hegemony. These things are all in the past. Some people are just slower than others in noticing that the world has changed.

It can't be entirely ruled out that the Neocons will attack China or Russia in a fit of desperation. However, they are much more likely to shore up their positions by killing a whole bunch of Americans. That's what they've done before. If you think that the Neocons are somehow "your bastards" or "have your back"—what on Earth are you thinking?

Also, thinking that whatever happens "may quickly escalate to a full-blown nuclear war" is linear first-order thinking, which doesn't get much practical use in the world. Why quickly? Why escalate? Why not establish escalation dominance, inflict some long-term political damage and extreme chronic pain, and then de-escalate and patiently wait for effortless victory?

Just to give you an example, if the US attacks Russia, there will be no more Russian nuclear fuel for the US, which means that the entire East Coast of the US goes permanently dark. Wait a few months, and there is no longer a US for Russia to worry about (much). There are other such levers.

Arius said...

Mike D comment is very close to what I feel and many other excellent comments here so I don't need to add anything further.

edmund said...

As a citizen of a former British colony I am now gladder than ever I made a decision to start learning Russian this year.

Unknown said...

Dear Dmitry,

How very true what you say in your above comment "The Anglo block has already lost much of its economic, political and military hegemony. These things are all in the past. Some people are just slower than others in noticing that the world has changed."

Most people still do not realize the true state of affairs. Many people all around the world still believe in the (Anglo) American dream.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Dmitry, trying to switch from Patreon to Subscribestar, and to up my monthly contribution to $10, but getting the (usual) runaround from from the idiot robot programme/algorithm running subs. applications. As with Patreon, no immediately visible way to communicate with some human at Subscribestar, to iron out the glitches. I'll keep trying, but I may just have to stay with Patreon, since they have at least now stopped blocking me from seeing the content for which I'm paying - after a lot of pointless to-ing and fro-ing with some young woman spouting (by email only; no phone number offered) pre-scripted phrases of earnest concern, but not actually fixing anything visibly. Goddamned twopenny-ha'ppeny commercial firms, eh? What are they like! Doncha just luuuurve the 'free' market economy! :)

Arioch, the said...

> there will be no more Russian nuclear fuel for the US, which means that the entire East Coast of the US goes permanently dark

permanently? LOL

that was the thought train when West launched economic war on Russia in 2014

Long was the suffering of Russian economy, and it still hurts, but in no sense it was permanent.

Same way Russia can sanction USA denying them nuclear fuel or space rocket engines or something else. And it will hurt. Short term. But long term USA would either find another supplier or built their own industry for it.

Dmitry Orlov said...

edmund -

Молодец! Учись дальше!

Unknown -

Faith dies last.

Rhisiart -

I am yet to hear a single complaint about SubscribeStar. It's new and still being developed, but unlike Patreon the support team is quite good and responsive.

Arioch -

Read some work by David Korowicz. He explains in detail what length shutdown it would take to make a return to business as usual impossible, and it's a few months without electricity at most.

The Russian economy "still hurts"? It just set a record growth rate.

When it comes to MOX fuel, there are no other suppliers and the US no longer has the technology (and will never develop it). Try to stay informed; don't just make optimistic assumptions, or you'll be the one laughed at.

Arioch, the said...

Edmund - welcome to http://russian.stackexchange.com

Dmitry - sure, there are some continuous production like making steel out of ore, cast iron and debris. Where once solidified, the half-made product can no more be re-malted and removed and the whole factory has to be almost built anew.
However you said that American industry is only a shadow of what it was.
"Business as usual" is degrading of American economic structure, more and more into FIRE+subsidies+pillaging of colonies(which still can be). Does USA really needs "business as usual" or maybe a shock and turn to something else?

MOX fuel in USA? That very fuel, where weapon Plutonium should had been converted into? That project that USA officially failed and quit from? Is there at least a dozen of civic nuclear reactors that bothered to ask NRC for MOX license and that managed to obtain one?

Russia is a major supplier of uranium enrichment process, indeed, but fuel fabrication vendors are different. Westinghouse already moved their AP1000 programme into China. Worst case, they would move their fabrication plants (that are not in Europe) into China too, and that would end the "Russian sanctions".

NPP industry is a large share of power generation, but
1) it is not the only generating industry, for example USA has charcoals and Trump at least by words supports miners. Electricity generation would shrink, but would not stop even with instant loss of all NPPs.
2) NPPs have long campaign terms, one to one and half to two years. And they purchase refueling fuel long before their campaign ends. So even in 100% all-the-Earth blockade of USA it would not be an instant black out, there would be months for USA to react.
3) Since USA industry is shrinking the essential power consumptions should do so too. Well, maybe some wall-mart would receive emergency orders from a municipality to stop flashing their ads in the night. Bad for Wallmart. But not the end of it all for the state-wide economy.
4) since USA now provably lost NPP building capacities and their hubris would not let them accept RosAtom to build next gen of NPPs, it remains questionable if USA would still need nuclear fuel in ten years, when current NPPs would be running of age more and more.

There is nothing so much new, hotheads in Russia call to strip USA from rocket engines and nuclear fuel and outer space transit since 2014. They did not even learn from the Western economic attack of 2014, which effects were strong, but far from "permanent".


Yes, some Russian economy sectors bloom, after they were isolated from competition, but others - less so. For most low hanging example the average person income as translated to foreign currency - that IS part of economy too. But if we would fold the economy into some one figure, then it would be just a question of picking any random of the figures to prove but anything at all.

sykes.1 said...

The House Democrats will almost certainly attempt to reduce military spending so that they can transfer funds to domestic spending. While they will not be able to fully achieve their goals, they will at least freeze the military budgets, and that freeze will make impossible the needed modernization of the American military.

Then there is the possibility of some sort of intervention in Venezuela, which could develop into a mini Viet Nam. Maduro's generals are true believers and loyalists, and they would be prosecuted by a Guaido regime, especially since the recent murders of demonstrators. Guaido will have to fight a civil war to get rid of Maduro.

Seshette said...

Full access is back- no further WArning screens. Russia had no choice but to power up in her own defense. The desperados running the US are quickly reaching a wall they can't climb over. Jim Willie is reporting frighteningly serious global moves to ditch the petrodollar and the whole US banking system is just a circular nightmare wherein the FED gives money to the banks to buy stocks and Treasuries and they, in turn, try to move the useless paper around so as to limit their losses. A Bush 2 legislation arranged for creditors not depositors to be first in line for bank failures so the FDIC insured promise is a lie.

Unfortunately, many people are still enchanted by the demonization of Russia and Trump's reckless business history gives everyone a lot to work with. On some sites he's painted as our next hero, but he has already failed on so many fronts. The lights will go off here, it's just a matter of time.

Do you know Dmitry, if Russia is accepting immigrants from the US?

Arioch, the said...

Regarding previous article on Venezuela, could it be that USA just run out of time to suffocate Venezueka economically, that USA economy is dying yet faster than the American one?

The falling off the table cliff edge you talked with Saker about maybe it is already starting...


John Casey said...

My guess is that Venezuela has far less recoverable oil than the so-called "data" suggests. Maybe 10% of the claimed oil is actually recoverable? I think the Venezuela op has been in the works, obviously at least since Chavez, but I think the situation is altered now, as the oil "narrative" is just that, narrative. The Empire now needs to show it still can -- now that every one of its scorched earth projects in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc have ground to a stalemate -- force Rus and China out. But I think Brazil is the ultimate prize for the Empire, which very, very badly needs a defenseless, resource-rich country to economically plunder in order to keep the Empire's cooked-books from being exposed as being as empty as Ft. Knox. My guess is Bolsonaro is on the menu, and now that he has served his purpose, Brazil will be the next to suffer the "jihadi" treatment, once Venezuela has been fully digested by the snake.

Unknown said...

After Patreon wiped out my subscription twice I gave up trying. The same thing happened to me with JHK's blog. So, I'll try again on Subscribestar as I don't like being a freeloader. I'll add, though, that I am incapable of learning to navigate technology. I was born 40 years too soon.

Marcos said...

Dmitry, long time reader of your articles and much appreciation for your work. This article is simply a blockbuster one, on aim in all points that you covered, congratulations.

Arioch, the said...

Eric Zuesse at Strategic Culture Foundation and aggregators like Russia Insider claims Venecuela oil is so "extra hard crude" that is worse even than USA shale oil and can only be profitable with international barrel price significantly above $100

He also claims the last train for Venezuelan economy to diversify and find other self-sustainability anchors than oil export departed decades ago long before Chavez came to power, he claims there is literally nothing Venezuela gov't could do ever since to prevent agony, only to delay it hoping that Pax American busts first.

He seems kinda too radical, but maybe he is to the point.


Dondarkos said...

" It needs to be quietly and peacefully relegated to the outskirts of civilization ".....When have they joined civilization ?

Matze Saarland said...

Your article is so far the best and most interesting for me in this context. I would be pleased if you would be right, at least partially.

Sami said...

Read some work by David Korowicz. He explains in detail what length shutdown it would take to make a return to business as usual impossible, and it's a few months without electricity at most.