Written by Eric Zuesse
What follows after this opening article by Russia’s RT will place it into historical context:
28 April 2022 01:03
British FM Liz Truss says a ‘Global NATO’ needs to arm Taiwan, like Ukraine.
The world order created after the Second World War and the Cold War isn’t working anymore, so the West needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss argued, in a major foreign policy speech on Wednesday. Truss also urged the US-led bloc to send more “heavy weapons, tanks” and airplanes to Ukraine, and said China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules.”
“My vision is a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant. Where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships,” Truss said in a speech at a Mansion House banquet in London.
Dubbing this arrangement “the Network of Liberty,” Truss argued it was necessary because the economic and security structures developed after 1945 – such as the UN Security Council – “have been bent out of shape so far, they have enabled rather than contained aggression.”
“Geopolitics is back,” she announced.
The collective West and its allies need to supply Kiev with “heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production,” Truss said, because the objective is to “push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine” and rebuild the country along the lines of a new Marshall Plan.
“The war in Ukraine is our war – it is everyone’s war because Ukraine’s victory is a strategic imperative for all of us.”
Beyond that, NATO must ensure that “the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom,” and uphold the “sacrosanct” open-door policy [of NATO], Truss said.
READ MORE: UK support for attacks on Russian soil triggers response
Her ambitions went beyond Europe, though, as Truss denounced the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security.”
“In the modern world we need both. We need a global NATO,” she said. “And we must ensure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves.”
Pointing to London’s unprecedented effort to embargo Russia, Truss insisted that “economic access is no longer a given. It has to be earned,” and that countries who wish to earn it “must play by the rules. And that includes China.”
The UK has sent a large quantity of weapons systems to Ukraine over the past several months, including NLAW anti-tank missiles and Stormer armored vehicles. British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told Thames Radio on Wednesday it would be “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to use UK-supplied weapons to strike into Russian territory, to which the Russian military warned that any such attack would be met with a proper response.
READ MORE: Australia doesn’t rule out arming Taiwan against China
Truss traveled to Russia in early February to threaten Moscow not to invade Ukraine, but ended up being widely mocked after multiple gaffes concerning geography. She first mistook the Baltic for the Black Sea in a BBC interview, then reportedly fell for a trick question from her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and insisted London would “never recognize Russia’s sovereignty” over Rostov and Voronezh – Russian regions she mistook for the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Winston Churchill was an intense imperialist: he believed, exactly as did the founder of modern British imperialism, Cecil Rhodes, starting in 1877, that the larger the percentage of this planet’s surface that is controlled by the English “race,” the better. The only difference between Rhodesist imperialism and prior British imperialism is that Rhodes’s plan was based upon the geostrategic belief that the only way in which Britain could continue its empire and expand it would be by retaking the United States via subversion (as he planned), in which the leaders of America would be deceived to believe that, in the U.S.-and-UK “Special Relationship” which Rhodes had in mind, Britain would be following America’s lead, when actually those American leaders would be following Britain’s lead and not be aware of that subterranean UK supremacy. (Rhodes championed subversive aristocratic rule. Subversion is basic to his plan.) Churchill himself was a Rhodesist and he was also very close with Rhodes’s business partner and political successor, Abe Bailey. The 1911 book Cecil Rhodes: His Private Life, says of Rhodes (p.256), “He was very much entertained by Mr. Churchill’s ready wit and clever conversation, and he listened intently to his views on the political questions of the day. He admired his intellectual powers, which, in conjunction with his dash and ‘go,’ he said must inevitably bring him to front.” (That prophetic opinion was published in 1911!) Churchill wrote this letter to Rhodes on 12 July 1900.
Here is how the Rhodesist view was stated, originally, in the 1877, first, version of Rhodes’s will (as it became published in 1920): “To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, … the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, … and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.” Rhodes’s admiring commentator there says, in introducing that (on page 62):
The bequests of Cecil Rhodes are likely to have a more momentous effect upon nations than any other will. When a young man he went to South Africa. Through great industry and keen perception of golden opportunities, he amassed a fortune of many millions out of the Kimberley mines. As with Warren Hastings and Lord Clive, the extension and grandeur of the British Empire became an obsession with him. He was the greatest of all imperialists. He therefore determined to devote his vast fortune to continue his imperialistic influence to remote generations. Few men by their energy and intelligence have succeeded in writing their names across a great continent as Rhodes did in Rhodesia. On September 19, 1877, at the age of 22 years, he wrote his first will which evidences his world-dominating ambition for his native land.
Here is how the seed for everything was stated by Rhodes in the 1877, first version, of his will (as it became published in 1920): “To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.” His final (1899) version was far more tactful, but expressed the same intent: “Whereas I consider that the education of young Colonists at one of the Universities in the United Kingdom is of great advantage to them for giving breadth to their views for their instruction in life and manners and for instilling into their minds the advantage to the Colonies as well as to the United Kingdom of the retention of the unity of the Empire.” (Note: Americans, etc., are still only “colonists.” Only Brits are colonizers.) As Rhodes’s close friend and confidant, W.T. Stead, wrote of the man, “Mr. Rhodes’s last Will and Testament reveals him to the world as the first distinguished British statesman whose Imperialism was that of Race and not that of Empire.” Rhodes’s will stated that “No Student shall be qualified or disqualified for election to a Scholarship on account of his race or religious opinions.” Rhodes would welcome a Black into the Empire’s future leadership, but only one who would be chosen by the rest of the Rhodesist aristocracy. He wanted the most competent people to be leading, and to be imposing the rule of, his all-encompassing British Empire. Rhodes’s often-declared racism was one of loyalty instead of genetics. To be part of the British “race” in his view, was to be loyal and subservient to the British Crown.
This (in stark contrast against FDR’s intention for the United Nations) was to be a dictatorial, not democratic, world government, ruled by the British aristocracy and its ‘allied’ (or vassal) aristocracies.
Though the idea of “the Special Relationship” was invented by Rhodes, he didn’t use that phrase for it. Only WW II made possible for U.S.-UK relations, which had historically consisted more of hostility and war against each other than friendship or alliance, to be widely viewed as being instead blood-brothers. Then, on 5 March 1946, the Rhodesist Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Fulton Missouri, which proclaimed proudly
what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred Systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future. …
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.
He could announce that “Special Relationship” publicly only because (as had already been evidenced by phenomena such as the massive importation of Nazis into the U.S. to assist in the Cold War) the U.S. Government (President Truman) had already decided, on 25 July 1945, that either the Soviet Union would conquer America, or else America would conquer the Soviet Union. In other words: that announcement by Churchill on 5 March 1946 was nothing more than the public unveiling of the Cold War that had already been secretly in existence for 218 days.
They are now going in for the kill — to establish the UK/U.S. all-inclusive global dictatorship replacing the neutered form of the U.N. that Truman had produced aborting the global democracy of nations hat FDR had envisioned. The aim, of course, is to replace the U.N.’s international laws, by, instead, the Rhodesists’ “rules-based international order” (what Truss referred to simply by her phrase “must play by the rules”) in which the UK/U.S. dictatorship makes those “rules.”
From here on out, it’s to be a race to the finish-line, between, on the one hand, the UK/U.S. alliance dictating to each and every nation and being the global aggressors that Rhodes had intended, and determining “the rules” that would be imposed upon every nation, versus the Russia/China alliance defending the sovereign right of every nation to be the sole determinant of its own laws and of its internal policies — defending themselves against Rhodes’s imperialists, and seeking, instead, to achieve the type of United Nations that FDR had intended to be produced immediately after WW II.
Another article, which contains more of the relevant history:
Much has been written and speculated over an emerging strategic alliance between Russia and China, which I gave the name ‘the Dragonbear’ in the geopolitics of the 21st century. Interpretations of the context of deepening bilateral relations range from very skeptic to very optimistic prognoses for the future. But what does the Dragonbear really aim to achieve in global affairs? First and foremost, it is about counterbalancing arising centrifugal forces in all fields — from economy, finance and trade, to diplomacy and political links, to military, defense and strategic alliances. But it also has a lot to do with the countries’ overlapping understanding that the world is in a system transformation, whose results are unpredictable and whose implications might be very dangerous for them.
Let us start with geopolitics. Even when only a few understand how to apply geopolitics, it still delivers quite plausible explanations when it comes to power and interests constellations between the big players in global affairs. In geopolitics, size, location and particular geographic areas as well as an access to scarce natural resources and significant trade routes, but also global economic shares and demographics do really matter. All these characteristics and factors shape a country’s geostrategy based on the complex constellation between them.
As I outlined in my recent piece on the emerging system’s bipolarity, the current system of international relations is moving towards a new equilibrium of two system poles. The only superpower — the USA — builds its transatlantic bloc centered on the Transatlantic community, NATO partners and the strategic links with the Gulf countries, but also with Israel, Japan and partners from South East Asia and Latin America. Furthermore, Washington is keen to preserve and expand the institutional heritage from the Cold War — from the IMF/WB to NATO to TTIP/TPP.
Concurrently, the emergence of China as a second system pole has already started shaping Beijing’s long-term geostrategy. Consequently, Russia is about to become the new free rider of the system of the IR in the 21st century, which basically means that both countries will switch roles. The Dragonbear alliance is imminent due to mutual strategic interests, common strategic objectives as well as shared risks and threats perceptions. Based on a very strong political will, it will evolve with unprecedented speed in various key fields such as energy, defence, military, trade, economy, and infrastructure, but also cooperation in regional and international organisations and structures.
As The Guardian posted recently, Russia and China are both members of significant international organizations, in which they can shape global affairs by coordinating actions and strategies. More importantly, China’s grand strategy basically aims to create alternatives to each single institution, organisation or structure of the so-called developed world in the long run, and Russia plays a central role too. The two figures below point to the network of regional and international organisations where the institutional cooperation of the Dragonbear takes place.
Obviously, the Dragonbear connection is especially strong in emerging organisations and institutions such as BRICS, SCO, NDB, AIIB, just to name a few. Last but not least, the cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) within the framework of the new Silk Roads initiatives called One Belt, One Road (OBOR) has strategic character. Both countries have signed an agreement on integrating the EAEU and OBOR and thus consolidate the Eurasian landmass in the long term.
China and Russia being part of all five of these organisations. (Courtesy of Guardian)
In a nutshell, the following geopolitical arguments point to an imminent Dragonbear alliance:
- Territory: China and Russia have settled their longstanding territorial disputes and have demarcated their common border. Thus, no territorial claims or border disputes would damage the bilateral relations. Although both countries are involved in territorial conflicts with third countries, they do not seek to interfere or mutually influence their positions or approaches (for instance, Russia’s role in the frozen conflicts and China’s role in the South China Sea are not colliding).
- Energy: Russia has already overtaken Saudi Arabia as top oil supplier to China and will also expand its gas supplying role in China, whose emerging markets and economy are and will remain hungry for energy. Several ambitious gas projects worth billions of USD are currently in the making and will certainly affect Russia’s future orientation towards Asian energy markets. Gazprom has just agreed with the Chinese to build a third gas pipeline to China.
- Strategic triangular formats: Russia plays a role as a connecting element in the India-Russia-China as well as in the Iran-Russia-China triangle. Both have huge potential for development despite existing problems. Interesting triangles could arise from possible geopolitical constellations regarding Turkey-Russia-China or Germany-Russia-China.
- Trade routes: For China, Eurasia plays a central role in its Silk Roads geostrategy called One Belt One Road (OBOR). Thus, Russia is again the key element in China’s Eurasian strategy after signing an agreement on integrating the EAEU and OBOR with the aim of consolidating the Eurasian landmass in the long term. The maritime routes are equally of great importance. The Arctic will be one of the places, where Russia will seek to boost trade links with China through the North Sea Route, which shortens the distance between Japan and Murmansk by 56% compared to the Suez Canal respectively by 46% between Shanghai and Murmansk, and between Vancouver and Murmansk by 44% compared to the Panama Canal. The NSR is equally important for Russia as a trade route bridging Europe with China. The same routes to Rotterdam mark a shortening of the distance respectively by 34%, 22% and 23%.
- Finance: Russia and China aim to reduce the dollar’s dominance through currency swaps and other bilateral and multilateral steps. For instance, Russia seeks to eliminate the use of the dollar and the euro in the trade between CIS countries as well as within the Eurasian Economic Union. China, on its part, introduced the first pilot two currency program in a Chinese city. Both countries also signed a currency swap agreement worth almost 24 billion USD two years ago. Further measures towards promoting the national currencies are to be found at the level of operation of the BRICS bank.
- Defense and military: China has interest in a defense cooperation with Russia due to Russia’s possible transfer of advanced technologies and sophisticated weapons. As Shoigu stressed in Beijing, the military cooperation is a basis for the strategic bilateral ties. Joint military exercises have become a substantial part of it with the aim of facilitating better interoperability between the armed forces. So far, Russia and China have conducted joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Japan. The mutual defense cooperation also evolves within the SCO, whose role as an emerging regional organisation is growing after India and Pakistan (Iran probably soon too) have joined it.
- Miscellaneous: Other fields such as productivity, infrastructure, aeronautical and space technologies, as well as the development in the Far East will also be on the Dragonbear agenda. Both countries have very similar industrial prioritiessuch as ‘nuclear energy, space exploration, new information technologies, environmental protection, energy saving, production of high technology medicines and medical equipment, and some other.’
China’s parallel structures (Source: Merics Berlin)
While the 20th century was named the American century due to the rise of the US as a global power, the 21st century will be definitely named the Asian century due to the imminent rise of China as a global power. Not only can China become a second system pole but it will also start challenging the existent structures of the world order by creating new alternative ones. While the Transatlantic community will seek to preserve the institutional heritage and the geopolitical as well as geoeconomic dominance inherited from the Cold War, China will clearly aim to promote alternative structures and processes in support of its geostrategy. It is obvious that the outcome of these contradicting strategies cannot be a win-win situation.
Eventually, a new bloc confrontation between the US and China might evolve in a much more interdependent and globalised world than the one during the Cold War, which might unleash centrifugal forces of bipolarity, encompassing the whole spectrum of interactions in the international relations. Consequently, all major regional actors, including Russia, will be confronted with an either/or choice.
As a result, China is preparing for the system transformation on all fronts — from finance, trade and economy to new strategic alliances to military build up and an increased defense spending. Russia, on its part, will not have the economic potential to play a key role with regard to global economy and trade. However, Moscow will still remain one of the major powers in terms of nuclear and conventional weapons as well as in space and military technologies. Hence, Russia will play a role in global affairs but it will shape them through forcing the Eurasian regional integration at any price and forming strategic alliances. As a result, Moscow is about to become the new free rider of the system of international relations relying increasingly on mutual trust, common strategic interests and goals, and the geopolitical rationale, which has created and will keep the Dragonbear alive in the next decades.
To sum it up in Putin’s words: “Russian-Chinese ties have now probably reached a peak in their entire history”. Despite current economic, financial and trade setbacks and the negative global and regional trends, it is noteworthy that they might delay but will not terminate the process of consolidating the Chinese-Russian strategic alliance. To conclude with Flroian Vidal’s relevant reference to my new geopolitical term: “It is highly symbolic, but strongly significant so beware of the Dragonbear!”
28 February 2022. Russia and Ukraine represent nearly a quarter of global wheat and corn exports in the face of already tight inventories, with diesel farming input costs set to rally and with potential for disruptions to global fertilizer exports given Russia’s significant market share.
Shifting to gold, the bank writes that the outlook for the precious metal price is harder to call in the short-term, but still bullish medium-term.
Veritas Vincit [30 December 2021]
p2. A coordinated strike involving the strategic forces of Russia and China would be required to effectively minimise the number of US-NATO-allied bloc missiles that would need to intercepted by ABM systems of Russia and China. The broad targeting of US-NATO-allied military architecture (including in Australia that is increasingly hosting US military forces and nuclear-capable aviation, with reports verifying moves to acquire allied nuclear device delivery potential [US Virginia-class or UK Astute-class submarines, already having procured Mk-41 VLS being compatible with Mk-14 Mod 2 cruise missile launch canisters], Australia also being integrated into US operational plans including nuclear warfare exercises [such as Global Thunder]) would logically be required.
The prevention of war (and in particular nuclear war) remains a priority however if these situations potentially (arguably in time probably) occur, those who have prepared will be better placed than those unprepared.
Note: Despite various theories (worst case or best case scenarios), a post-nuclear warfare environment will only be determined after such an event.
- “Even a full-scale thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the US is patently survivable. The theory of ‘nuclear winter’, at least in its wilder variants (drops of many tens of degrees), has been long discredited [no source indicated for that dubious assertion, but only this footnote’s sketchy — and equally undocumented — ‘argument’ for it]. The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 was approximately equal in megatonnage to that of all the world’s current nuclear arsenals, and yet it merely led to a single “year without a summer” that did not even produce any major famines in a pre-industrial world. Fallout radiation levels decay rapidly, and it will be safe to emerge from shelters almost everywhere after just two weeks. Most rural areas and many small towns would be almost unaffected, at least directly…… There will be a modest global cooling, and a collapse of the global economy. Many Third World countries may indeed slip into famine due to the breakdown of global trade.” (Let’s War-Game What a Real Russia / China / US Escalation Might Look Like, Anatoly Karlin, Russia Insider, 17/04/2018)
It is well recognised by many analysts the US-NATO build-up of military architecture relates to preparations for ‘large-scale military conflicts’ (against Russia and China). The potential for such conflicts to escalate to a nuclear war event is self-evident (minimal times from detection to response, requiring worst-case assumptions [missile warfare being a key component of military conflict]). If such direct kinetic stages of conflict (the hybrid warfare domain being active) were to occur, these situations would conform to world war scenarios. A world war in a nuclear era has a logical outcome. In this context it would be advisable for Russia and China to similarly seek the attainment of nuclear primacy (a key objective of the US-NATO bloc [efforts to overcome mutually assured destruction through fast first-strike potential with multi-layered multi-phase retaliatory missile interception capabilities]).
More commentary from me:
In fact: all of this U.S. imperialism has been enormously profitable for America’s billionaires, and especially for the ones who have been investing the most heavily in ‘defense’ industries. This has been most clearly and most blatantly so after the ‘ideological’ ‘justification’ for the Truman-and-Eisenhower start, in 1945, of the Cold War, finally ended in 1991. Beginning at around 1990 — the very same period when G.H.W. Bush started secretly instructing America’s ‘allies’ that the Cold War would continue on the U.S. side even after the Soviet Uinion would break up and end its communism, and end its side of the Cold War — the “Cumulative Returns, Indexed to 1951,” for the total stock “Market” vs. for “Industrials” vs. for “Defense,” which three segments had previously moved in tandem with each other, sharply diverged after 1990, so that “Defense” has since been soaring, it’s rising much faster than the other two sectors, both of which other two sectors (“Market and “Industrials”) continued after 1990 rising in tandem with each other. That — 1990 — was the time when market valuations on America’s armaments producers suddenly took off and left the rest of the economy ever-increasingly behind. It’s all shown right there in that chart. This means that the decision by George Herbert Walker Bush to go for blood, instead of to serve the needs of the American people, has been vastly profitable for America’s aristocracy. Interesting, too, is that the period after 1990 has been when the U.S. Government became increasingly involved in invading the Middle East. The arms-markets there were growing by leaps and bounds. However, after 2020, the U.S.-and-allied regimes seem to be refocusing again on “great power competition” (including sanctions and other operations to promote “regime change” against any governments that don’t cooperate with the U.S. regime’s efforts against what it declares to be ‘America’s enemies’). They now openly equate economic “competition” against such targets as being something that is legitimate to be dealt with by even military means. They openly presume that the military ought to serve their billionaires and no longer “national” (meaning public) defense. They openly presume that imperialism is right, and that it’s okay for nations to fight each other in order to further enrich their respective aristocracies. Here is how it is taught at the U.S. Army War College, where one recommendation is (see p. 48):
U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals. … It allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unacceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.
Here was how U.S. President Barack Obama instructed graduating cadets on this at the West Point Military Academy:
The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.
All other nations are “dispensable.” America’s military is an extension of international economic competition so that America’s billionaires will continue to rule the world in the future, as they do now. “Rising middle classes compete with us” and are consequently America’s enemies in the “dispensable” countries (everywhere in which vassalage to America’s billionaires — being “America’s allies” — is rejected), so that “it will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.” So he told America’s future generals, regarding those who live (as the Army report put it) “in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unacceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.” America’s military are the global gendarmes not of Hitler’s nazi regime in WW II, but of America’s nazi regime in the lead-up to WW III.
Feb. 15, 2022 | By John A. Tirpak
The high cost of hypersonic missiles will likely drive the Air Force to build only small inventories of them, relying more heavily on other types of munitions such as lower-speed cruise missiles, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said Feb. 15.
“Hypersonics are not going to be cheap anytime soon,” Kendall said on a streaming broadcast with the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “So I think we’re more likely to have relatively small inventories of [hypersonic missiles] than large ones, but that still remains to be seen, and hopefully, we can drive down the cost to where they’re more attractive.”
Kendall’s comments came the same day the Pentagon released an assessment of competition within the defense industrial base, raising an alarm that too much hypersonic expertise is being consolidated among too few companies, potentially leading to slow or little innovation and high costs.
Existing hypersonic projects such as the boost-glide AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) and the air-breathing Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) will “continue … in one form or another,” Kendall said, and he’s unwilling to “pre-judge” their success.
“I think there’s room for both” boost-glide and air-breathing hypersonic cruise missiles “in our inventory,” Kendall asserted. However, air-delivered hypersonic weapons are at a disadvantage, he said, because “the idea of getting there fast is sort of countered by the fact that you have to fly the airplane there before you launch the missile. So you lose some of that advantage” versus forward-based ground- or sea-launched missiles. He said he doesn’t begrudge the Army pursuing hypersonics for long-range strike because the Air Force is happy to have help in knocking out air defense systems and redundancy gives an enemy more dilemmas.
But, “the specific applications are going to have to be based on cost effectiveness and a number of other factors.”
Kendall reiterated previous comments that the U.S. and China, which is pursuing hypersonic missile technology aggressively, have different weapons needs based on their strategy. China aims to keep U.S. forces at a long distance, while the U.S. needs hypersonics mainly as a deterrent, Kendall said. The U.S. needs to be able to hit a multitude of moving targets, and “earlier versions of hypersonics tend to be [optimized more for] fixed targets.”
He said it “isn’t obvious that just because China’s doing hypersonics,” the U.S. should pursue them the same way. “And the quantities that we need might be different, certainly, than the quantities they would need.”
Kendall wonders whether “you could do the job with cruise missiles at less cost, [but] just as effectively?” Hypersonic missiles are useful “but they’re not the only way” to hit the time-sensitive targets the Air Force needs to strike.
“You could penetrate defenses with stealth and countermeasures, and so on, with a combination of tactics,” Kendall said. “So we need to look across the spectrum and make smart decisions about the munitions we buy.”
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall speaks with retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula during a virtual Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event on Feb. 15, 2022.
Asked if his publicly stated “disappointment” with the performance of the ARRW, which despite multiple attempts, has not yet made a complete free flight, means he might cancel it and shift resources to HACM, Kendall was noncommittal.
The ARRW “has had some test problems,” he acknowledged. “That’s not unusual in a development program.” The Air Force is still investigating the most recent test failure, and he hopes “that we’re learning from that experience.” But the service will have to “make some decisions about that weapon system, … like everything else,” depending on the results of the investigation.
Consolidation among defense suppliers is also a factor in moving the technology forward, according to the Pentagon study released Feb. 15.
On the heels of Lockheed Martin abandoning its bid to merge with Aerojet Rocketdyne after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal, the Pentagon warned that “vertical integration” is harming competition in the hypersonics field.
“Many primes, first-tier subcontractors, and first-tier material suppliers are positioning themselves to acquire lower-tiered hypersonic contractors and material suppliers,” the report said, not specifically discussing the Aerojet Rocketdyne deal.
“This vertical integration will likely lead to reduced competition and may eliminate it altogether,” it said.
Further consolidation “will effectively prevent any other company from entering the market, thereby leading to reduced or limited competition, and capacity issues for the future,” the Pentagon said. That, in turn, would lead to sole-source contracting, which the Pentagon said would slow innovation and raise prices.
More commentary from me:
On the other hand, an editorial at Strategic Culture Foundation in Russia, on 26 April 2022, headlined “What Could Be the Real Reason Behind Russia’s Operation in Ukraine” and alleges that “In November 2021, the US Army officially recommissioned the 56th Artillery Command, based in Mainz-Kastel, Germany. It will be equipped with the Dark Eagle hypersonic weapon, capable of accelerating to more than five times the speed of sound. When deployed, these weapons will be able to hit Moscow in about 20 minutes. Shortly after this announcement, Russia demanded security guarantees from the West. After these demands were rejected, Moscow launched its special military operation in Ukraine.” No links or other means of evidence was provided. However, America’s Defense News had bannered on 7 October 2021, “‘Dark Eagle’ has landed: US Army finishes equipping first unit with hypersonic capability — minus the missiles”, and reported that though “the domestic private sector had never built a hypersonic weapon,” Lockheed Martin was proceeding faster than the deadlines to do it. SCF’s article pointed out that launching such a weapon from its control-base in Mainz Germany would annihilate Moscow in only “21:30 min,” but failed to say how fast it would hit if launched instead remotely from Sumy Ukraine or another near-to-Moscow location in Ukraine. I estimate that it would be within approximately 5 minutes. This would probably be what the U.S. regime has been requiring in order to launch their hoped-for blitz sudden nuclear surprise attack (“Nuclear Primacy”) so as to be able to use their nuclear weapons no longer only in order to prevent a WW III (“M.A.D.” or “Mutually Assured Destruction”) but instead to ‘win’ a nuclear war, by blitz-annihilating Russia’s retaliatory capabilities before those could even be launched.
Summarizing and quoting the U.S. Army War College and U.S. Department of Defense study-team’s 29 June 2017 145-page report, At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World (quoted from earlier in this article), the great independent investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed headlined on 14 July 2017, “Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing'”, and he quoted from some of the study’s key passages, such as its insistence upon continuation of “the favorable U.S.-dominated status quo” and its advocacy for increased spending on the Pentagon, and for expansion also of America’s intelligence agencies, especially so as to fight against, and crush, both domestic and foreign elements of (in the report’s own words, on its page 93) “counter-U.S. resistance” (meaning opposition to expansion of the U.S. Government’s control over the entire world, including the U.S.).
A good example of that UK/U.S.-regime censoring-out “counter-U.S. resistance” is this.
Obviously, U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media hide these realities from the public, and U.S.-and-allied scholars also do. Consequently, the present news-report will likely be rejected by approximately 99% of the 300 international-affairs newsmedia to which it is being submitted.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Biden To Discuss Potential Use Of Nuclear Weapons In Russian-Ukrainian Conflict
- “Russia Would Really Hate That”: British Defence Secretary Discussing Ukrainian Nuclear Program On Hoax Call (Video)
- AUKUS To Bolster Combat Capabilities Of Nuclear Submarine Fleet To Challenge China