Manlio Dinucci / Global Research & Sputnik News – 2018-10-21 18:23:12
US Nuclear Missiles Deployed in Italy . . . against Russia
Manlio Dinucci / Global Research
(October 18, 2018) — The B61-12, the new US nuclear bomb which replaces the B-61 deployed in Italy and other European countries, will begin production in less than a year. Revision of the final project has now been completed and the qualification stage will begin this month at the Pantex Plant in Texas. Production will be authorized to begin in September 2019. Source: PandoraTV
In March 2020, the first unit of production will begin fabricating a series of 500 bombs. As from that time, in other words in about a year and a half, the United States will begin the anti-Russian deployment in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland and probably certain other European countries, of the first nuclear bomb in their arsenal with a precision guidance system.
The B61-12 is designed with penetrating capacity, built to explode underground in order to destroy bunkers housing command centres.
Since Italy and the other countries, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, are offering the USA the bases, the pilots and the aircraft for the deployment of the B61-12, Europe will soon be exposed to a greater risk as the front line of the developing nuclear confrontation with Russia.
An even more dangerous situation appears at the same moment â€“ the return of the Euromissiles, meaning the nuclear missiles which are similar to those deployed in Europe in the 1980’s by the USA, with the official aim of defending against Soviet missiles.
This category of ground-based nuclear missiles of intermediate range (between 500 and 5,500 km) were eliminated with the INF Treaty of 1987. But in 2014, the Obama administration accused Russia of having experimented with a cruise missile (# 9M729) whose category was forbidden by the Treaty.
Moscow denied that the missile violated the INF Treaty and, in turn, accused Washington of having installed in Poland and Romania launch ramps for interceptor missiles (elements of the “shield”), which could be used to launch cruise missiles bearing nuclear warheads.
The accusation aimed by Washington at Moscow, which is not supported by any evidence, enabled the USA to launch a plan aimed at once again deploying in Europe ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The Obama administration had already announced in 2015 that “faced with the violation of the INF Treaty by Russia, the United States are considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe”.
This plan was confirmed by the Trump administration â€“ in fiscal year 2018, Congress authorised the financing of a “programme of research and development for a cruise missile which could be launched from a mobile road base”.
The plan is supported by the European allies of NATO. The recent North-Atlantic Council, at the level of Europe’s Defence Ministers, which was attended for Italy by Elisabetta Trenta (M5S), declared that the “INF Treaty is in danger because of the actions of Russia”, which it accused of deploying “a disturbing missile system which constitutes a serious risk for our security”.
Hence, the necessity that “NATO must maintain nuclear forces which are stable, trust-worthy and efficient” (which explains why the members of the Alliance rejected en bloc the United Nations Treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons).
So the grounds are being laid for a European deployment, on the borders of Russian territory, of ground-based intermediate-range US nuclear missiles. It’s as if Russia were deploying in Mexico nuclear missiles pointed at the United States.
Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto. Translated by Pete Kimberley.
The Art of War: A Recurring Nightmare
Deployment of US Ground-based Intermediate Range
Nuclear Missiles in Europe against Russia
Manlio Dinucci / Global Research
(February 28, 2018) — The plan was announced three years ago, during the Obama administration, when Pentagon officials declared: “In front of Russian aggression, the United States is considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe” (the manifesto, 9 June 2015).
Now, with the Trump administration, the plan is officially confirmed. In the 2018 fiscal year the Congress of the United States authorized the financing of “a program of research and development of a ground-based mobile Cruise missile”. It is a nuclear missile with an intermediate range (between 500 and 5500 km), similar to the 112 Cruise nuclear missiles deployed by the US in Comiso in the 1980s.
They were eliminated, along with the Pershing 2 ballistic missiles deployed by the US in Germany and the Soviet SS-20 deployed in the USSR, by the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF), stipulated in 1987. It prohibits the deployment of ground-based missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 km.
Washington now accuses Moscow of deploying missiles of this category and declares that, “if Russia continues to violate the INF Treaty, the United States will no longer be bound by this treaty” — i.e., the United States will be free to deploy ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe.
However, a decisive fact is ignored: the Russian missiles (assuming their range is intermediate) are deployed in a defensive position in the Russian territory, while the US intermediate-range missiles would be deployed in an offensive position in Europe close to the Russian territory. It is as if Russia deployed nuclear missiles pointed at the United States in Mexico.
As the US / NATO escalation continues, the deployment of such missiles in Europe is increasingly likely.
Meanwhile, in early February, Ukraine tested a ground-based intermediate-range missile, which was certainly produced with US assistance.
The new US nuclear missiles — much more precise and faster than the Cruise missiles of the Eighties — would be deployed in Italy and probably in Eastern countries too, adding to the B61-12 nuclear bombs that US will deploy in Italy and other countries since 2020.
In Italy, the new Cruise missiles would probably again be positioned in Sicily, although not necessarily in Comiso. On the island there are two US installations of primary strategic importance.
The MUOS ground station of Niscemi, one of the four on a world scale (2 in the US, 1 in Australia and 1 in Sicily) of the satellite communications system that connects all US forces, even nuclear, anywhere of the world they are.
JTAGS, a satellite reception and transmission station for the US Â«anti-missile shieldÂ», which is about to become operational in Sigonella. It is one of five worldwide (the others are in the United States, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan). The station, which is transportable, is used not only for anti-missile defense but also for attack operations, launched from forward-deployed bases such as those in Italy.
In the “Nuclear Posture Review 2018â€³ the Pentagon declares: “The United States commit nuclear weapons forward-deployed to Europe, to the defense of NATO. These forces provide an essential political and military link between Europe and North America”.
By linking us to their strategy not only militarily but politically, the United States increasingly transform our country into a forward-deployed base of their nuclear weapons pointed at Russia, therefore into a forward-deployed target at which Russian nuclear weapons are pointed.
Trump Plans to Exit
Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia Next Week
MOSCOW (October 20, 2018) — The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to exit the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty next week.
The treaty, signed in 1987 by the US and the USSR, was one of the key steps in the de-escalation of the Cold War, yet US President Donald Trump plans to tell Russian authorities that the US is planning to terminate the agreement, The New York Times reported Friday.
According to anonymous American officials and foreign diplomats, Trump has decided to pull out of the three-decade-old treaty due to alleged Russian violations of it and because it prevents the US from deploying new weapons to counter China’s evolving intermediate-range arsenal, which Beijing has used to expand its influence in the Pacific.
The White House said that no official decision has yet been made to leave the INF Treaty, but the anonymous sources said that US National Security Adviser John Bolton will inform Russian President Vladimir Putin during a trip to Moscow next week that the Washington will leave the treaty. If the US does exit the INF Treaty, it will be the first major arms control treaty dismantled by Trump.
The US has accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty for the last four years. Former US President Barack Obama decided not to leave the treaty, though he did criticize Russia for deploying tactical nuclear weapons, which the US says Russia has used to intimidate former Soviet states that have grown closer to Western governments.
Bolton recommended Trump withdraw the US from the INF Treaty, The Guardian reported Friday. The Guardian also cites anonymous former US officials who say Bolton is blocking talks on extending the 2010 New START (Strategic Arms Reduction) treaty between the US and Russia, which limited the deployment of strategic nuclear warheads and their delivery systems.
“The US has started to brief allies with the possibility of withdrawal [from the INF Treaty]. But I don’t believe there has been any kind of interagency process in the administration,” said Jon Wolfsthal, a former senior director for non-proliferation and arms control at the US National Security Council (NSC).
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of the American Sciences, said the NSC has decided the US should withdraw from the INF treaty, but added that Trump had not yet made a final decision on the matter, The Guardian reported.
Moscow: US Exit From Nuclear Arms Treaty
With Russia to Be ‘Very Dangerous Step
MOSCOW (October 20, 2018) — On Saturday, US President Donald Trump announced the country’s exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty over alleged Russian violations of the agreement.
If the US continues to withdraw unilaterally from the agreements, then Russia will adopt a range of retaliatory measures, including military ones, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow is alarmed by US “blackmailing attempts” amid Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal from the INF treaty.
Ryabkov said that the US accusations toward Russia regarding the INF treaty seem to be aimed at concealing its own violations of the treaty. He added that the US has no reason to say that Russia is violating the INF treaty, and that all of the accusations were unsubstantiated.
Russia will continue to insist on dialogue with the US on resolving issues with the INF treaty, Ryabkov stressed.
According to him, Moscow condemns Washington’s recent attempts to persuade Russia to make concessions on strategic stability.
Earlier, Donald Trump announced the country’s exit from the INF treaty due to alleged Russian violations of it.
In May, US President Donald Trump issued a memorandum ordering State Secretary Mike Pompeo to propose sanctions on Russia in response to alleged violations of the INF Treaty. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the matter, said that Russia had never violated the INF Treaty, it adheres to its obligations and intends to continue doing so.
Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the 9M729 missiles correspond to Russia’s obligations under the INF Treaty and have not been upgraded and tested for the prohibited range.
Ministry has pointed out that the United States has provided no proof that Russia has in fact violated the treaty by deploying the missiles.
The 1987 INF Treaty prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.
Russia and the US have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty. The administration of former US president Barack Obama, however, decided not to abandon the agreement.
Russia Never Violated INF Treaty,
Firmly Complies With It Says Kremlin
(May 17, 2018) — Russia has never violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, clearly adheres to its obligations and intends to continue to fulfill them, Dmitry Peskov said.
“Russia closely adheres to its obligations which it undertook with this treaty, and intends to continue adhering to these obligations. Therefore, such an instruction, if it really happened, is bewildering,” Peskov told reporters.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, Russia regrets Washington’s “excessive keenness” for sanctions.
The constant threats of sanctions against Russia on the part of the United States are regrettable, Dmitry Peskov said commenting on the US President Donald Trump’s instruction to the State Department to prepare a plan to impose additional restrictions on Moscow because of alleged violations of the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
He stressed that the Russian side has repeatedly stated it does not accept “any accusations that Russia might somehow violate the INF Treaty.”
The INF Treaty was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan on December 8, 1987. The Treaty prohibits the development, deployment and testing of medium-range and shorter-range ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles. The sides also pledged to eliminate all launchers and ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers. The United States and Russia have constantly accused each other of violating the treaty.
On Calls to Blow Up Crimean Bridge
Peskov described the Washington Examiner’s article calling on Kiev to “blow up” Crimean Bridge as insane, adding that the piece should be scrutinized by the law enforcement agencies, including those of the United States.
“It can be assessed as madness. I can even say that it is just an ugly manifestation of low-quality journalism, though close to the calls which should be scrutinized by law enforcement agencies, including those of the United States,” Peskov told reporters.
On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner released an article urging Kiev to “destroy elements of the bridge.” According to the article, Ukraine has means to carry out strikes that would not cause casualties, but “render it at least temporarily unusable.”
Foul Play: US Violates
INF Accord, But Blames Russia For It
(May 19, 2018) — As relations between the US and Russia deteriorate, a key Cold War arms control accord has come under threat of being nixed.
US President Donald Trump has ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to draft new sanctions against Russian officials who Washington believes are violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).
It’ s Congress’ Fault
The memorandum signed by Trump references an annual defense policy bill that lawmakers passed last year. It makes it mandatory for the president to prepare a list of sanctions against senior Russian officials allegedly responsible for breaching the 1987 accord.
Donald Trump is thus seen as distancing himself from this move, putting the blame on Congress.
Russian government officials included on the list could face visa bans, transaction prohibitions and “any other sanctions the President determines to be appropriate” under the $700 billion bill that Trump signed in December 2017.
The bill accuses Russia of deploying a ground-based cruise missile in violation of the 1987 pact that bans testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,417 miles), known as the INF Treaty.
Russia denies violating the treaty and says that the missile in question has a gliding warhead and, therefore, is not categorized as a land-based cruise missile because it has a different speed and flight trajectory.
As for the US missile defense interceptors in Europe, they can be used to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, which Russia sees as a serious violation of the INF treaty.
Meanwhile, the US Congress has authorized the release of $58 million for “countermeasures to violations of the INF accord,” including the development of a new land-based US medium-range ballistic missile.
The State Department, together with the Treasury and Commerce Departments, will now have to draw up a list of purported “violators” and decide how to “punish” them.
What Washington Wants
Washington no longer needs the INF accord but would like to see Russia unravel it instead, Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, a Moscow-based foreign affairs expert, said.
“The US wants to pull out of the agreement now that it has seriously amended its nuclear program to allow a wider use of nuclear weapons. Therefore, the Americans see it as imperative to withdraw from the INF accord while blaming it on Russia,” Ofitserov-Belsky added.
Road to Nowhere
Alexei Arbatov, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Center for Global Security, believes that using sanctions in a situation of mutual claims is the most counterproductive way to go and will only exacerbate existing tensions.
“The Americans believe that new sanctions will force Russia to say it’s sorry. Conversely, it will make Russia toughen its position because Moscow will not agree to a compromise under the pressure of sanctions,” Arbatov added.
He also believes that Russia would only benefit from scrapping the INF accord because the geostrategic situation has changed since Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed it more than 30 years ago. Indeed, the intermediate-range missiles the Americans were deploying in Germany, Britain, Italy and some other countries can now be stationed in Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries, which are closer to Russia’s borders. In this sense, the situation has become more dangerous for Russia than it was in 1987.
“New weapons, such as long-range UAVs and variable-range cruise missiles have come along, so some of the provisions of the INF accord need to be changed. Still, Russia cannot afford withdrawing from it because, with the existing relations with NATO, the US and other countries, this would seriously undermine its security,” Alexei Arbatov concluded.
Putin’s Meeting With US
National Security Adviser Bolton Being Prepared
MOSCOW (October 19, 2018) — Preparations for the possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US National Security Adviser John Bolton during the latter’s trip to Moscow are underway, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday.
“We are indeed waiting for Bolton to visit Moscow, the meetings are being prepared now. Security Council Secretary [Nikolai] Patrushev is his direct partner. The Russian Security Council is also preparing for this dialogue. Other meetings are also planned.
It is not the first time that Bolton will meet Putin’s aide on external politics [Yury] Ushakov. I cannot rule out contacts in the Foreign Ministry, but we are also preparing a possible meeting with President Putin and we hope that this meeting will take place,” Peskov told Russia’s Channel One broadcaster.
Ushakov said on Tuesday that Bolton will visit Moscow on October 22-23 to meet for talks with Patrushev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ushakov himself. The Kremlin aide noted there had been no agreements on the US official’s meeting with Putin yet.
The issue of holding the next meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump has not yet been discussed, said the Kremlin spokesman.
“The issue of holding a bilateral meeting has not been raised neither by Moscow nor by Washington. The meeting is not being prepared. Let us wait for what [US National Security Adviser John] Bolton brings to Trump [from his Russian trip], what he tells Putin. Maybe new input will emerge,” Peskov told Russia’s Channel One broadcaster.
The spokesman noted that both presidents would participate in upcoming international events, including the G20 meeting in Argentina in late November and the centenary of the end of World War I in the same month.
“We have not received any impulses from the United States. Our will to develop the dialogue with the United States runs into a blank wall. Occasional events, such as the visit of Mr. Bolton, cannot fully improve the situation. Still, we do not want to abandon our search for ways to improve dialogue with Washington on the basis of our own interests,” the spokesman pointed out.
After Trump was sworn in in January 2017, the US president has met with Putin several times on the sidelines of various international events. Their first full-fledged meeting was held in July after Putin’s re-election.
Russia has expressed readiness to discuss the possibility of arrangement of the second meeting between the two presidents if Washington is interested in continuing high-level dialogue.
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