10:28 GMT +321 February 2017
    Russia deploys S-400 air defence missile system in Syria

    You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
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    Pepe Escobar

    Nobody needs to read Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s 1997 opus to know US foreign policy revolves around one single overarching theme: prevent – by all means necessary – the emergence of a power, or powers, capable of constraining Washington’s unilateral swagger, not only in Eurasia but across the world.

    The Pentagon carries the same message embedded in newspeak: the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.

    Syria is leading all these assumptions to collapse like a house of cards. So no wonder in a Beltway under no visible chain of command – the Obama administration barely qualifies as lame duck – angst is the norm.

    The Pentagon is now engaged in a Vietnam-style escalation of boots on the ground across “Syraq”. 50 commandos are already in northern Syria “advising” the YPG Syrian Kurds as well as a few “moderate” Sunnis. Translation: telling them what Washington wants them to do. The official White House spin is that these commandos “support local forces” (Obama’s words) in cutting off supply lines leading to the fake “Caliphate” capital, Raqqa.

    Another 200 Special Forces sent to Iraq will soon follow, allegedly to “engage in direct combat” against the leadership of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, which is now ensconced in Mosul.

    These developments, billed as “efforts” to “partially re-engage in Iraq and Syria” are leading US Think Tankland to pen hilarious reports in search of “the perfect balance between wide-scale invasion and complete disengagement” – when everyone knows Washington will never disengage from the Middle East’s strategic oil wealth.

    All these American boots on the ground in theory should be coordinating, soon, with a new, spectacularly surrealist 34-country “Islamic” coalition (Iran was not invited), set up to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh by no less than the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadism: Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.     

    Syria is now Coalition Central. There are at least four; the “4+1” (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah), which is actually fighting Daesh; the US-led coalition, a sort of mini NATO-GCC combo, but with the GCC doing nothing; the Russia-France direct military collaboration; and the new Saudi-led “Islamic” charade. They are pitted against an astonishing number of Salafi-jhadi coalitions and alliances of convenience that last from a few months to a few hours.

    And then there’s Turkey, which under Sultan Erdogan plays a vicious double game.  

    Sarajevo All Over Again?

    “Tense” does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a privileged spectator; as long as the tension lasts, prospects of Eurasia integration are hampered.

    Russian intel has certainly played all possible scenarios involving a  NATO Turkish army on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as the possibility of Ankara closing the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for the Russian “Syria Express”. Erdogan may not be foolish enough to offer Russia yet another casus belli. But Moscow is taking no chances.

    Russia has placed ships and submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles in case Turkey under the cover of NATO decides to strike out against the Russian position. President Putin has been clear; Russia will use nuclear weapons if necessary if conventional forces are threatened.

    If Ankara opts for a suicide mission of knocking out yet another Su-24, or Su-34, Russia will simply clear the airspace all across the border via the S-400s. If Ankara under the cover of NATO responds by launching the Turkish Army on Russian positions, Russia will use nuclear missiles, drawing NATO into war not only in Syria but potentially also in Europe. And this would include using nuclear missiles to keep Russian strategic use of the Bosphorus open.

    That’s how we can draw a parallel of Syria today as the equivalent of Sarajevo 1914.

    Since mid-2014 the Pentagon has run all manner of war games – as  many as 16 times, under different scenarios – pitting NATO against Russia. All scenarios were favorable to NATO. All simulations yielded the same victor: Russia.

    And that’s why Erdogan’s erratic behavior actually terrifies quite a few real players from Washington to Brussels.  

    Let Me Take You on a Missile Cruise

    The Pentagon is very much aware of the tremendous heavy metal Russia may unleash if provoked to the limit by someone like Erdogan. Let's roll out an abridged list. 

    Russia can use the mighty SS-18 – which NATO codenames “Satan”; each “Satan” carries 10 warheads, with a yield of 750 to 1000 kilotons each, enough to destroy an area the size of New York state.

    The Topol M ICBM is the world's fastest missile at 21 Mach (16,000 miles an hour); against it, there’s no defense. Launched from Moscow, it hits New York City in 18 minutes, and L.A. in 22.8 minutes.

    Russian submarines – as well as Chinese submarines – are able to launch offshore the US, striking coastal targets within a minute. Chinese submarines have surfaced next to US aircraft carriers undetected, and Russian submarines can do the same.

    The S-500 anti-missile system is capable of sealing Russia off from ICBMs and cruise missiles. (Moscow will only admit on the record that the S-500s will be rolled out in 2016; but the fact the S-400s will soon be delivered to China implies the S-500s may be already   operational.)

    The S-500 makes the Patriot missile look like a V-2 from WWII.

    Here, a former adviser to the US Chief of Naval Operations essentially goes on the record saying the whole US missile defense apparatus is worthless.

    Russia has a supersonic bomber fleet of Tupolev Tu-160s; they can take off from airbases deep in the heart of Russia, fly over the North Pole, launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from safe distances over the Atlantic, and return home to watch the whole thing on TV.

    Russia can cripple virtually every forward NATO base with tactical – or battlefield – small-yield nuclear weapons. It’s not by accident that Russia over the past few months tested NATO response times in multiple occasions.

    The Iskander missile travels at seven times the speed of sound with a range of 400 km. It’s deadly to airfields, logistics points and other stationary infrastructure along a broad war theatre, for instance in southern Turkey.

    NATO would need to knock out all these Iskanders. But then they would need to face the S-400s – or, worse, S-500s — which Russia can layer in defense zones in nearly every conceivable theater of war. Positioning the S-400s in Kaliningrad, for instance, would cripple all NATO air operations deep inside Europe.

    And presiding over military decisions, Russia privileges the use of Reflexive Control (RC). This is a tactic that aims to convey selected information to the enemy that forces him into making self-defeating decisions; a sort of virus influencing and controlling his decision-making process. Russia uses RC tactically, strategically and geopolitically. A young Vladimir Putin learned all there is to know about RC at the 401st KGB School and further on in his career as a KGB/FSB officer.

    All right, Erdogan and NATO; do you still wanna go to war?

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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    • Сomment
    • If a war broke out it would be brutal for everyone and would represent a failure of not just diplomacy but humanity. Nuclear war must never happen. The ETs won't allow it anyway :-)
    • ariavd
      Sounds like a lynch mob here, but me to know it must be the end of city and the blue blood.
      nobody want to destroy the world, but the nwo have to be learnt a lesson .look at iceland, they jailed the bankers .no hurry ,this will drag on,and time is on russias side, I am waiting for an accident at one of natos rocket shields,to fuse by accident,and hit them in the ass.
      But now the show is on ,the saudis dont know vhat to do ,and not the isil and the turks. Better they start walking the same patch ewrybody elce in the region, At last they have a big party in the city of London,End of game
    • vvj3080
      With Turkey and Saudi Barbaria wiped out there will be permanent peace.
    • avatar
      Escobar writes his usual wise commentary and treats the issue with the gravitas it deserves. But he makes a couple of absurd allusions in light of the basic premise that's once a single nuclear weapon is used, they'll all be used. He writes, “The S-500 anti-missile system is capable of sealing Russia off from ICBMs and cruise missiles.” Despite any propaganda we're fed in the United States at any rate by the government and arms manufacturers of successful tests, they're ginned. An anti-missile system has never worked and never will, and has correctly been likened to shooting a bullet out of its trajectory with another. He also writes, “Russia [jets can] fly over the North Pole, launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from safe distances over the Atlantic, and return home to watch the whole thing on TV," neglecting to observe there will be no home or TV to go home to. I consistently look for Escobar's byline at Counterpunch, but this piece is anomalous in crossing over from factual commentary to fear-mongering. As a US citizen I blame predominantly my own country for as close as the world is to nuclear war, engendered by its military adventurism that has made a wreck of every far-flung former paradise from Diego Garcia to the shambles that remains of the Middle East. Still, the possibility of nuclear war terrifies me. But for factual rather than fear-mongering reasons. Having leveled that critique of Escobar let me hasten to add better that than the non-existent coverage of every important issue that goes uncovered by the Western mainstream press.
    • Ann
      Many of us wouldn't miss "Commiefornia" and they're going to dry up and blow away anyhow, but if Russia nukes them they should go farther south, like San Diego. That way WE don't get hit up here in Oregon... :)
    • Ann in reply toIvan Buckeye(Show commentHide comment)
      Buckeye American, Why wouldn't the US burn a proxy against Russia? The cowards use proxies for everything else. What gets me is the proxies are so stupid they don't see they're being used.
    • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
      Do-as-the- Romans-do, Our government has been infiltrated by nazis, muslim brotherhood and israelis. We now have VERY FEW real Americans in high places. Half of them are gay and/or minorities.

      They usurped our government while the American people watched dancing with the stars and Sunday night football. We, The People rarely ever look up from our iphones. Those if us who see what is going on, are powerless to do anything about it. We could use some help here.
    • Ann in reply to(Show commentHide comment)
      ( ? ), Interesting that you put no name to your ridiculous remark. I wouldn't either.
    • Ann in reply toDrain the swamp(Show commentHide comment)
      WW3 is here, No, Washington hasn't "deferred" anything. THEY HAVE TO DESTROY SYRIA FOR THEIR NWO PLAN TO WORK. They are just hoping to catch Russia by surprise. They haven't changed a thing but their tactics. Wait and see.
    • Ann in reply tovvj3080(Show commentHide comment)
      vvj3080, Not as long as the west is ran by warmongering neocons.
    • Ann in reply topotshot(Show commentHide comment)
      potshot, I don't see it as "fearmongering". It looks to me like Pepe is trying to get through to the flag-waving minions that no, the US can't destroy the world and walk away unscathed. There will be CONSEQUENCES for their actions that will affect EVERYONE, including Americans. You see, stupid Americans think that this country can win anything. That no other country can touch us.

      I think Pepe is trying to break that propaganda-induced "exceptionalism" trance.
    • avatar
      I am OK with nuclear annihilation. But only on the condition that each and every single American is vaporized. There must be no survivors. And that every square inch of that evil piece of real estate is left glowing for the next 100,000 years. Anything less than that, would be the "real" disaster. Otherwise, I'll be happy in heaven knowing that the most perfidious evil ever known to mankind was burnt to a crisp. Even if it means the whole world, including myself, disappeared along with them. No problem. Bring it on.
    • Mark Gewiss
      See Escobar's many insightful articles at www.counterpunch.org as well. He is one of the few political writers I read right now who manages to get to the heart of the matter every time he writes.
    • avatar
      Let the Turks try.
    • Mother Gorillain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, the iphone is the best brainwashing device they could come up with world-wide, not only does it kill real conversations, it even prevents you from realising what is going on around you.
      You are also right in what you say about politicians, that not only applies to the US, technocrats chosen for their politically correct gender affiliation and ethnic/regional background, e.g. Frau Merkel, a woman, a feminist, from East Germany, but not from the successor party of the old Communists, but CDU, inviting in the refugees to cut down the social system and involving Germany in all the NATO wars, and there are even more extreme cases in CDU, SPD, Greens...
    • avatar
      Gabriel8387in reply todearing19992(Show commentHide comment)
      dearing19992,Only a complete moron would assume we are all evil.
    • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
      Dotto , You give me hope, thanks.
    • Blackie in reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      Beautifully put. It is clear you would not turn your back on Obama.
    • Ann in reply toBlackie (Show commentHide comment)
      Pisotto, What? I don't remember commenting here about love for oblunder. I would not turn my back on him because I don't trust him - I think he should be hanged for treason and crimes against humanity, not necessarily in that order.
    • Blackie in reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      We are on the same side .I share your view.
      As I said the US is now Fag and cuntry.
      It is all that NWO crap of do the opposite, like if a country has no desease give it desease, if Women are safe make it unsafe(like Sweeden) if a country is rich , desroy it and go to war etc.
      If you enjoy flying, they make sure to strip search and x-ray plus touch up, so you do not even go to the Airport, etc. It is crazy!
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