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Avangard graphic, RU-RTR Russian Television. Photo supplied
Moscow

Fear of MAD has restored US-Russia parity

An array of new nukes was announced in March this year by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has called for a return to strategic parity between the US and Soviet Union to counter World War III hawks.

Published: December 31, 2018, 5:32 am

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    “The fear of mutually assured destruction has always restrained and forced military powers to respect each other,” he said at the time. “Our efforts in the development of new weapons will preserve this parity,” he said.

    Last week, the Russian defense ministry announced the final successful test of the Avangard hypersonic glider. The weapon will be deployed in 2019, President Putin said.

    A hypersonic glider extends the range of a missile, while potentially increasing accuracy. Because prolonged controlled flight generally requires special protection from heat and shock produced at hypersonic speeds, other nations have struggled with the technology.

    The Avangard system is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Celsius typically encountered at ultra-high speeds.

    According to Business Insider, “perhaps more than any other country, Russia has the nuclear capability to end the world” with about 7 000 nuclear weapons.“ The first missile regiment armed with Avangard-tipped Yars missiles will be deployed in 2019.

    This month, Putin told the Russian Cabinet: “The test [of the Avangard] was finished just now in a complete success. All its specifications were confirmed.” Avangard is one of five new Russian high-performance nuclear weapon systems developed in response to the US anti-ballistic missile advances.

    In Syria, the transfer of Russian weapons to the Syrian Arab Army, particularly the S-300 missiles and radars coordinated by the automated command and control system Polyana D4M1, certainly changed the balance of forces in the region.

    After two S-300 rocket missiles were deployed in Deir Ezzor, in eastern Syria, the intensity of the US-led coalition flights decreased by 80 percent over the area, says Valentin Vasilescu. “Since 18 September 2018, the Israeli Air Force has not carried out any more raids in Syria’s airspace,” he added.

    The presence of Russian technology resulted in the US military presence becoming counter-productive, as US aviation could no longer continue without the risk of losing aircraft.

    Trump has become aware of US’s vulnerability in conducting permanent wars. His recent tweet that the $717 billion US defense budget is “obscene”, is a reminder of that.

    Neocons have built their power on the widespread false belief that the United States is the sole superpower, to maintain global order. The post-9/11 Global War on Terror in fact served as the driving force for US foreign and national security policy for almost two decades.

    By withdrawing from Syria, the US tacitly admitted that after straight eight years of fighting and tens of thousands of Islamist mercenaries sacrificed, the dream of destroying Syria’s state structures has failed.

    Russia successively refused to reveal the security codes for the missiles delivered to Syria to both the US and Israel. Moscow has thus declined the sharing of control of Syria which it had accepted during the first Geneva Conference in 2012, because Washington had violated the deal only a few weeks later.

    According to Vasilescu, a delegation from the Israeli army, led by General Major Aharon Haliva, Head of IDF Operations, rushed to Moscow to convince Major General Vasily Trushin, the Joint Chief of Operations of the Russian Army to give Israel the codes – in vain. Relations between the two countries had soured after the destruction of the Russian IL-20 airplane during by an Israeli F-16.

    Because the US presence in Syria is illegal in terms of International Law, Syria is able to legitimately act in self-defence against coalition attacks.

    On December 25, an Israeli air attack on Syrian military installations was repelled. The Israeli jets attacked from Lebanese air space, hiding behind two commercial airliners which were on their way from the Gulf to Europe.

    By doing so, Syrian air defense could not directly attack the Israeli jets, but most of the Israeli bombs were destroyed by the Syrian short-range air defenses, the SAA reported.

    It appears that any further attacks on Syria will be futile and will only lead to firm retaliation.

    Last week, the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus, while Bahrain will follow soon. Kuwait announced that it will reopen its embassy in January. Oman never closed its embassy in Damascus.

    Flights to Damascus from Arab countries have been restored, and a direct connection to Tunisia was revived. In January Gulf-Air, the official airline carrier for Bahrain, will again offer flights from Damascus.

    Of the Gulf countries only Qatar, allied with Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have yet to restore relations with Syria.

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