Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still Valid

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Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still Valid

Written by Federico Pieraccini; Originally appeared at Strategic Culture Foundation

The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

Hillary Clinton in the last presidential debate repeatedly called for the establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria. The concept, reiterated several times, clashes with the revelation contained in her private emails admitting that the implementation of a NFZ would entail the increased deaths of Syrian civilians.

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still ValidIn a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Philip Breedlove (image right) was asked what kind of effort would be required for the US armed forces to impose a NFZ over Syrian skies. With obvious embarrassment, the General was forced to admit that such a request would involve hitting Russian and Syrian aircraft and vehicles, opening the door to a direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington, a decision the General was simply not willing to take. The military leadership has always shown a readiness to implement the military option; so this time they must have sniffed the danger of a direct conflict with Moscow.

The Kremlin has publicly admitted to deploying in Syria the S-400 (image below) and S-300V4 advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems respectively. The presence of the defense complex was intentionally announced as a factor of deterrence and is a logical strategy. The message to Washington is clear: any unidentified object in Syrian skies will be shot down.

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still Valid

The United States bases much of its military strength on the constant need to project power, making its opponents believe that it possesses capabilities that others do not hold. Therefore it is very unlikely» that the Pentagon would want to reveal to the world the worth of their stealth systems and their «legendary« American cruise missiles when faced with the S-300V4 or S-400. The Kosovo War serves to remind of the F-117 that was shot down by Soviet systems (S-125) dating from the 1960s.

Hillary Clinton’s threats against Moscow were not the only ones. The present policy makers in Washington continue to make aggressive statements demonstrating their total loss of touch with reality. In recent weeks, hysterical reactions were recorded by the Pentagon, the State Department, top military generals, and even representatives of American diplomacy. To emphasize the unhappiness prevalent in some Washington circles, several articles appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times calling for the imposition of a US no-fly zone in Syria, ignoring the consequences highlighted by Dunford. There are two hypotheses under consideration: hitting the Syrian army air bases with cruise missiles, or the use of stealth planes to bomb Damascus’s A2/AD installations.

Behind Washington’s frantic reactions and vehement protests is the probability of military defeat. The US does not have any ability to prevent the liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Russian Federation. In the last fifteen days, the SAA and Russia have achieved significant progress, and it is this that has led to an escalation of tensions. Some of the most significant episodes reflecting this over the last few days include: jets of the international coalition hitting the SAA, causing 90 deaths; US government officials threatening Russia with the downing of her planes and the bombings of her cities, resulting in Russian civilian deaths; and the blaming of Moscow for an attack on a humanitarian convoy.

The climax seemed to have been reached at the United Nations where the US representatives prevented a Russian resolution condemning the terrorist attacks on the Russian embassy in Damascus. It is interesting to note that fifteen years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Washington finds itself defending Al Nusra Front (AKA Al Qaeda) in an official United Nations meeting; something to ponder. But apparently there is no limit to provocations, and a few days after this incredible denouement, the Pentagon was keen to point out that the possibility of a preventive nuclear strike against Russia is still valid.

It therefore seems almost simplistic to emphasize that because of the success of the SAA, Washington, Ankara, Riyadh, Doha and Tel Aviv are showing unprecedented signs of weakness and nervousness. Their commitment to overthrowing the legitimate government of Assad has failed. The combined action of the Syrian and Russian ground, air and sea forces pushed Washington and the corporate media to move from words of condemnation to increasingly open threats.

Last month the situation against the terrorists quickly changed in the north of Syria thanks to the Syrian Arab Army and its allies supported by the West. In Aleppo, the SAA continues to work every day with great success toward the city’s liberation. Neighborhoods and large areas are back under government control. The relentless advances of the troops loyal to Assad are altering the course of the war in Syria in favor of Damascus, eliminating the US attempts to remove the legitimate Syrian government. A victory in Aleppo would mean the near certainty of defeat for the terrorists in the remaining areas of the country. The closing of the border with Turkey would cut the supply lines, with consequences and repercussions throughout Syria.

What would still remain open are a few crossing areas in the south of the country near the border with Jordan that have always been a supply source for terrorists. However, it would be very difficult for this supply line alone to sustain the conflict or adequately replace the one closed north of Aleppo. Especially in the north through Turkey, and to the west through the uncontrolled border with Iraq, the terrorists receive continuous supplies. The liberation of Mosul by the Iraqi army, Aleppo by the SAA, and Der Al-Zur in the near future, will pave the way for the strategic recapture of Raqqa, the last bastion of Daesh, thereby defeating even the Plan B to partition the country.

With the failure of the northern front, the terrorists will be faced with the probable prospect of the complete collapse of their operations nationwide. Some will continue to fight, but most will throw away their weapons knowing that they have lost the war. Once this is achieved, the liberation of the rest of Syria should be a matter of a few months. It should be remembered that the recapture of Aleppo would guarantee a crushing defeat for the regional sponsors of international terrorism (Qatar and Saudi Arabia).

Still, it is not only the advance of Aleppo that is cause for concern for enemies of Syria. Obama and his administration are now irrelevant, also because of one of the most controversial presidential elections in recent history. The uncertain future of Washington’s foreign policy has prompted partners such as Riyadh, Doha, Ankara and Tel Aviv not to hesitate in further adding fuel to the Syrian conflagration, worried about any future inactivity from Washington and eager to advance their own military solution to the conflict.

In the case of Ankara, the invasion of Iraq and Syria is a serious danger that risks plunging the region into further chaos and destruction, with the Iraqi prime minister not hesitating to label the Turkish move reckless and warning of the conflict expanding into a regional conflict. Saudi Arabia’s problems are even greater, as it does not have the ability, in terms of men and means, to intervene directly in Syria because of its disastrous involvement in the war in Yemen. The speed with which confidence in Riyadh is crumbling is unprecedented. Her large currency reserves are dwindling, and it seems it is because tens of billions of dollars have been squandering in financing the military action against Yemen. Another example of independent military action concerns Israel.

Four years into the Syrian conflict, Israel continues its secret war against Hezbollah and Iranian troops, who are engaged in areas bordering Israel in fighting al-Nusra Front and Daesh. For Tel Aviv, there are still two options desirable to the Syrian crisis, both in line with their strategy, namely, the continuation of chaos and disorder, or a balkanization of Syria. In both cases, the objective is to expand Israel’s sphere of influence far beyond the Golan Heights, which were occupied illegally years ago.

The unsuccessful attempts of Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia to change events in Syria have highlighted the growing strategic misunderstandings between the United States and regional partners, misunderstandings that often oblige Ankara, Riyadh and Tel Aviv to turn to the Russian Federation for confidential dialogue, since Moscow is the only player able to adjust the delicate Middle East equilibrium.

In the near future, it remains evident to Moscow and Damascus that some risks still exist, despite a well-considered overall strategy. The acceleration in the liberation of Aleppo also has an ancillary purpose that aims to minimize maneuverability for the next American administration. In a certain way, it is a race against time: Aleppo must be liberated in order to chart the way towards the end of the conflict before the next US president comes into office in January 2017. It is yet to be seen whether Clinton or Trump plan to go beyond Obama’s empty threats, but understandably Damascus and Moscow have no intention of being caught off guard, especially with a probable Clinton presidency.

After years of negotiations with the schizophrenic diplomacy of the US, Moscow and Damascus have decided to protect themselves against any sudden decisions that may come from the American «deep state». Deploying the most advanced systems existing in air defense, Moscow has called Washington’s bluff as no one has done in years. The red line for Moscow was crossed by the tragic events of September 17 in Der al-zur. The creation by the Russians of a no-fly zone over Syrian skies has been repeatedly suggested. But incredibly, in the hours immediately after the cowardly attack against Syrian troops, the US Department of Defense and the State Department proposed the creation of a no-fly-zone that would serve to ground Russian and Syrian planes. It was a brazen and provocative proposal for Damascus and Moscow if there ever was one.

Sensing the danger in these words, Moscow acted immediately, deploying cutting-edge systems to protect Syrians skies with equipment that can shoot down cruise missiles, stealth aircraft, and even ballistic missiles (S-300 and S-400). To make sure Washington fully understood the message, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reiterated what was already publicly announced, namely that any unidentified object would be shot down immediately, as there would not be any sufficient time for Russian operators to verify the original launch, trajectory and final target of any objects detected. It is a clear warning to the US and its long-standing strategy that requires the use of large amounts of cruise missiles to destroy anti-aircraft systems in order to pave the way for a no-fly zone as was seen in Libya.

The Russian MoD has even specified that American fifth-generation stealth aircraft could be easily targeted, alluding to a radius of operation of the S-200 systems, S-300 and S-400 (and all variants) that would surprise many international observers. This statement also seems to indirectly confirm another theory that remains pure speculation, which is that during the September 17 attack by the US on the SAA in Der Al-Zur seem, some jets from the international coalition were targeted by Russian or Syrian air-defense systems (perhaps S-200s or S-400s), forcing the airplanes to retreat before facing the prospect of being shot down.

Whatever the intentions that are hidden behind Washington’s hysterical threats, Moscow has suggested several asymmetrical scenarios in response to a direct attack on its personnel in Syria. In addition to the S-300 and S-400 systems, the MoD has openly declared its knowledge of the exact locations of US special forces in Syria, a clear reference to the Syrian and Russian ability to strike US soldiers operating alongside terrorists or moderate rebels.

All of Major-General Igor Konashenkov’s recent press conferences have clearly shown new systems deployed in Syria for air defense, a more than intentional advertisement. Aside from deterrence continuing to be one preferred instrument adopted by Moscow, the unusually strong, direct and unambiguous words of the Russian MoD easily show how the patience of Moscow and Damascus has been exhausted, especially following the recent sequence of events as well as repeated threats.

In such a scenario, the US can only rely on one weapon: complaints, threats and hysterical crying amplified by the mainstream media, generals and the official spokespeople of dozens of agencies in Washington. Nothing that can actually stop the liberating action of the SAA and its allies.

The United States has no alternatives available to prevent an outcome to the conflict that is undesirable for it.

Whichever route it chooses, there is no way to change the events in Syria. Even American generals had to admit that a no-fly zone in Syria is out of the question. It is easy for US State Department spokesperson Admiral Kirby to launch empty threats, but it is more difficult for the military to act on these threats while avoiding a nuclear apocalypse. Whatever the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections, the war in Syria for the United States and its regional partners is irretrievably lost, and the hysteria and provocations of recent weeks is symptomatic of the frustration and nervousness that has not been common for Americans in recent years.

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  • Ted

    Yawn,,, and double Yawn!

  • Here is the full in-depth intelligence on the approach the USA is taking to topple Russia. Please see video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbmpwE4K3E4

  • Istvan G

    Yes a correct analysis of the middle east situation,,,,

  • Veritas Vincit

    “if data on Russia-NATO power balance at the Western direction is analyzed, as well as military activity build-up rate at our borders, scale of combat equipment deployment, if the grade of Russia’s demonization is estimated, one can say that preparation to a real war is taking place. As such acts are usually undertaken at the forefront of a war….. the US is preparing for a nuclear conflict……” [Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, President of the International Centre of Geopolitical Analysis]

    Pentagon analysts have studied (as revealed through various reports) whether a limited nuclear ‘deterrent’ strike is a viable option against the Russian Federation and/or China in certain circumstances (or whether the resort to an overwhelming conventional and/or nuclear first strike would be required in such situations).

    The risks involved in undertaking a limited ‘deterrent’ strike (of a robust response/overwhelming retaliatory strike) means that an overwhelming first strike would be the likely option adopted by the U.S./NATO bloc. It is reasonable to assume Russian analysts would have come to the same conclusion. Allowing the opponent the opportunity to retaliate through an overwhelming strike invites a far worse outcome (those who employ a first strike will be in a significantly better position than those adopting a retaliatory response). As such an overwhelming first strike would be logically required in such situations.

    Although the Russian Federation does not have a symmetrical U.S pre-emptive strike doctrine, it does however have adequate policies and capabilities to address U.S./NATO first strike plans. Furthermore, if the Russian Federation were to detect a large scale missile launch (with the U.S. having developed various operational plans including for the employment of multi-platform decapitating mass cruise missile strikes), conventional or nuclear payloads would be irrelevant to the form of predetermined counter-strike. Due to the short travel times a decisive response would be necessary and would be employed.

    Every effort is being made to avoid such a scenario but this outcome remains possible (and recognising the direction of various developments such as U.S./NATO military exercises simulating offensive operations against Crimea, the intensifying situation in Syria, escalating U.S./NATO backed military operations against ethnic Russians in E Ukraine, the mobilisation of military forces associated with the potential implementation of the AirSea Battle plan against China, U.S./allied preparations to pre-emptively strike the nuclear weapons facilities of N Korea and to achieve another regime change through OP 5015 with military exercises simulating such operations, ongoing regime change operations with resultant low intensity conflicts gradually globally expanding, increasingly probable).

    Conflict resolution through diplomatic initiatives (where possible) and efforts at de-escalation (also where possible) are clearly priorities for the Russian Federation however the actions of others (as occurring) may require undesired but necessary responses.

    If direct military conflict is imposed (a possible result of gross miscalculation or a consequence of authorised/unauthorised actions of allies and/or proxies, etc.), it will be necessary to limit threats to Russian military forces. If full scale military conflict occurs as a result of escalation (despite efforts to prevent this outcome) leading towards a total war event, it will important to be able to neutralise the retaliatory capabilities of adversaries and to end the conflict to in the shortest possible time frame.

    Note: Significantly, if total war/a nuclear war event were to at some point occur, it does not necessarily translate to human extinction (theories of a post nuclear war event remain just that). It would however eclipse all previous wars (and would feature famine, disease, radiation sickness, lawlessness, etc.). The Russian Federation and its allies will no doubt endeavour to prevent this outcome however they are correct to prepare for this unwanted but potential scenario.

    It is also self evident that when considering a nuclear war scenario, moral considerations regarding the employment of overwhelming strike capabilities will be largely irrelevant (such a situation would translate to destroy or be destroyed). Moral considerations will relate to ensuring the best survivable outcome for domestic populations.

    • Veritas Vincit

      p2. Additional related information:

      “In September, the German pro-government think tank “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik” (SWP) published a study on the implications of US policy towards Russia and European security. The 28-page document is aimed at a professional audience….. American policy towards Russia, as described by the SWP study, focuses primarily on preparation for a nuclear war….. If the results of the study are to be taken seriously, then the risk for the present generation dying in a violent atomic storm is alarmingly high….. The flight times of ballistic missiles between the two countries run to “11 minutes for sea-based and 30 minutes for land-based missiles”. The risk that a political crisis could “accidentally” result in a nuclear exchange due to these short reaction times is thus extremely high. This risk is further elevated by the ruthlessness with which the US and its NATO allies are escalating the conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe and Syria, and by the advanced planning for a nuclear war…..

      ……The study comprehensively shows how “the strengthening of conventional deterrence” by NATO—i.e., the stationing of troops on the Russian border, the plans for bringing in reinforcements, etc.—sets in motion an arms dynamic that inevitably leads to nuclear escalation. “The new policy of deterrence in Europe will hardly, as is sometimes assumed or hoped, be restricted to the conventional level”…… compliance with the guarantee of security for the Baltic states [Article 5 of the NATO charter] would almost automatically lead to a nuclear escalation. “The bottom line is that all the ingredients are present in the eastern Baltic area for an East-West conflict escalating to nuclear weapons use,” the article concludes….. The danger of nuclear annihilation will not deter them from this course, just as the foreseeable catastrophe did not stop them in 1914 and in 1939 from plunging humanity into the inferno of the First and the Second World War. (German think tank warns of growing nuclear war danger, WSWS, 15 October 2016)

      – “The Syrian “proxy” conflict between the US and Russia will escalate beyond the Middle East, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus believes….. “If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war,” Kurtulmus said and added that the world is “on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war.” (Turkish Deputy PM: Russia & US to Engage in ‘Global War’, Unless ‘Proxy’ Syrian Conflict Resolved, Southfront, 13/10/2016)

      Also worth viewing:
      Anonymous – The TRUTH about WW3
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHMe0NfUXNg

      Anonymous – Message to the Citizens of the World V
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ChEI5VslDM

      Note: In the event of military conflict between opposing blocs, it is worth noting that allied nations will be integrated into and will augment bloc operations. It will be necessary for the Russian Federation and its allies to quietly adjust policies accordingly (including of strategic forces).