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The Past, The Present And The Future of US-Russian Relations

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi & Dr. Laszlo KemenyFrontiers of Freedom

Nobody can ever wholly escape the mixture of positive and negative influences of his or her times and country. Neither are politicians across the globe exempt from the deeply ingrained ethical, cultural, and intellectual foibles and prejudices of their respective societies. Accordingly, trust among political leaders of all ages and places has always been either non-existent or of short supply. This dearth of trust, fundamentally rooted in a mutual failure to comprehend the other nation’s mentality, has characterized the over two centuries old history of US-Russia relations too. Avoiding the temptation of expanding on this history, suffice it to state that as Russian domestic and foreign policies could not be understood by the pragmatic, result oriented American mind, so has been the emotional mindset of the Russians mostly incapable to objectively judge the domestic and foreign policies of the United States of America.

The “Cold War” ended with several agreements between the two states. At the Malta summit in December 1989, then President George H. W. Bush assured Mikhail Gorbachev that the United States of America will not take advantage of the unfolding events in Central and Eastern Europe. The same assurance was echoed by then Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of the Federal Republic of Germany on January 31, 1990, in the Bavarian town of Tutzing. Less than a month later, Continue reading


U.S. Sanctions Russian Intelligence Services

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

The Trump administration on Thursday imposed economic sanctions on 19 Russians and two Russian intelligence agencies for their role in the 2016 election meddling and costly cyber attacks and penetrations.

The Russian spy agencies included the Federal Security Service and the GRU military intelligence service, along with six GRU officers.

No FSB officers were named in the Treasury Department list of sanctioned Russians, although 13 Russians indicted last month in a separate action, were named.

The Russians are linked to the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg operation that used social media to interfere with the presidential election.

Government officials did not say whether the Internet Research Agency was a front organization for the Russian government.

Officials also revealed that Russian cyber actors conducted reconnaissance into industrial control systems related to the U.S. electrical grid in a bid to obtain sensitive information that could be used in future attacks aimed at shutting down power networks. Continue reading


Putin Unveils Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missiles, Drone Submarines for Attacking U.S.

By Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in language suggesting the start of a new Cold War, revealed Russia is building nuclear-powered cruise missiles, drone submarines, and other strategic arms designed to attack the United States.

During an annual address, the Russian leader boasted the new cruise missile was tested in December and utilizes small nuclear reactor technology recently developed by Russian weapons designers.

Videos shown during the speech showed a model of the new missile and other high-tech arms, including one that simulated a Russian nuclear strike on the United States. Continue reading


Unilateral Disarmament is Dangerous — in Both a National Security Context and as Economic Policy

By George LandrithTownhall

The news is replete of reports of Russia developing new missile systems, escalating a war in Ukraine, selling missile technology to Iran, and intercepting US jets in provocative ways. In this perilous environment, it is easy to see the folly and danger of dealing with these serious risks by unilaterally disarming. The behavior of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and organizations like ISIS make it obvious that unilateral disarmament only invites more bad behavior and puts America at risk.

This important lesson applies to the economic world as well. International trade is an important economic engine for American jobs and American prosperity. But most nations heavily subsidize their own industries to make their products cheaper and more appealing in the international marketplace. That harms American jobs and stifles American prosperity. In this environment, economic unilateral disarmament makes no sense.

Yet, that is precisely what some assert we should do when they argue we should abolish the Export-Import Bank. Continue reading


Intelligence Report Warns of Growing Missile Threats

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

The United States faces a growing threat of ballistic and cruise missiles from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, according to a military intelligence report.

“Ballistic and cruise missiles present a significant threat to U.S. and allied forces overseas, and to the United States and its territories,” states the latest report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in Ohio.

The report warns that both China and Russia are expanding their force of strategic nuclear missiles with new multi-warhead weapons.

North Korea now has three intercontinental-range missiles and is moving ahead with a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Continue reading


Iran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in Syria

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran and Russia are moving closer together in their military alliance, working to boost ties and coordination in Syria and elsewhere in the region following the U.S. decision to launch a military strike in Syria, according to regional reports and experts.

Iran’s defense minister is slated to visit Moscow at the end of the month to discuss increased military ties, a move that is meant to deter U.S. action in the region and show a sign of increased force, according to regional experts who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Tehran-Moscow axis has been growing since the landmark Iran nuclear deal, with Russia making good on a series of weapons deliveries, including the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system. The two countries have been signing an additional number of military deals in recent months and that cooperation is likely to increase in light of the Trump administration’s decision to launch strikes against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is being backed by both Russia and Iran. Continue reading


U.S. Adversaries Closing Gap With American Aircraft Capabilities

by Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon

U.S. adversaries are rapidly catching up to America’s fifth generation fighter aircraft capabilities—a risk that has exacerbated given ongoing cyber vulnerabilities in the F-35 fighter jet program, according to an Air Force major general.

Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris Jr., the vice commander of Air Combat Command at the Langley, Va., base, said Thursday that while the United States maintains an advantage in the stealth and weapons capacities inherent in fifth generation fighter aircraft models, adversaries are “quickly closing the gap.”

“We are trying to maximize our ability to procure fifth generation airplanes and go from a 100 percent fourth generation fleet to a significant mix of fifth generation [planes] so that we have the opportunity to operate in these hostile environments against these threats that are catching us faster than we thought they would,” Harris testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Continue reading


Russian Jets Buzzed U.S. Destroyer

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

Four Russian military aircraft conducted low passes against a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea last week, the first such military provocation since the new Trump administration took office.

The incident took place Feb. 10 and involved the USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, fending off low flights by what the commander of the ship regarded as potentially dangerous flybys.

“There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the European Command. “They were assessed by the commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional.”

The first buzzing involved two Russian Su-24 jet fighters followed by a single Su-24 and, in a third incident, an IL-38 transport aircraft. Continue reading


Army’s Ground Combat Systems Risk Being Surpassed by Russia, China

by Morgan Chalfant • Daily Caller

The U.S. Army’s ground combat systems risk being surpassed by those being developed by foreign countries such as Russia and China, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The Army is currently using main battle tanks, tracked infantry fighting vehicles, tracked self-propelled artillery, and multiple launch rocket systems developed during the Soviet era. Billion-dollar plans to modernize the force’s ground combat systems have been cancelled over the last decade.

Meanwhile, potential adversaries have prioritized funding new weapons systems and technologies for their forces, raising concerns among American experts about the shrinking capability gap between the United States and other nations. Continue reading


Spiteful Obama Lashes Out at Netanyahu and Putin (and Trump) But Hits America Too

by Dimitri K. Simes and Paul J. Saunders • National Interest

One need not admire Benjamin Netanyahu or Vladimir Putin or, for that matter, approve of Israeli or Russian conduct, to see Barack Obama’s recent efforts to punish the two states for what they really are. Indeed, Mr. Obama’s efforts seem directed more at his successor than at any serious U.S. foreign policy objective. The outgoing president’s efforts to tie President-Elect Donald Trump’s hands in both domestic and foreign policy appear particularly un-presidential after his petulant complaints that America should have only one president at a time—a rule he apparently sees as applying in only one direction as he defiantly disregards the deference typically shown to an incoming commander-in-chief.

On Israel, Mr. Obama had to know that America’s abstention in voting on a United Nations Security Council Resolution critical of Israel would neither change Israeli settlement policy nor undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political standing in his country. Continue reading


Air Force: Hypersonic Missiles From China, Russia Pose Growing Danger to U.S.

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.

“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.

“These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.” Continue reading


Maintaining American High Tech Defense Superiority Must Remain Job One

America’s warfighters are the best and most effective on the planet. But if we hope to maintain that advantage we have to continue to give them the best tools and the best information. Our access to space is critical if we hope to provide our warfighters with the best information, positioning, coordination and integration available.

By George LandrithTownhall

America’s warfighters are the best and most effective on the planet. But if we hope to maintain that advantage we have to continue to give them the best tools and the best information. Our access to space is critical if we hope to provide our warfighters with the best information, positioning, coordination and integration available.

After the Cold War ended in the early 1990s, there was significant concern within the U.S. Government that scientists and engineers of the former Soviet Union would sell critical technologies, particularly ballistic missile and weapons technologies, to U.S. adversaries and rogue groups. Given its low cost and outstanding performance, the RD-180 rocket engine was at the top of that list. The U.S. made the decision to buy these engines instead of making investments in developing new advanced rocket engines of our own and today we lack the high performance capability the Russian engines provide. Thanks to Congressional pressure and funding, we are well down the road towards a new American made engine to replace the RD-180 and this problem will be solved by the next presidential election. But in the meantime, we have to put in place some stop gap measures to ensure we don’t see our access to space compromised or see our high tech superiority slip. Continue reading


Does the United States Need Nuclear Weapons?

by Peter Huessy

US-nuclear-missileDoes the United States need nuclear weapons? What role do they play? And if they are valuable, how much should we spend supporting such a nuclear deterrent? In addition, what level of nuclear weapons should we aim to achieve to maintain stability and deterrence? And finally, does the type of nuclear deterrent maintained by the United States bear a relationship to whether nuclear weapons proliferate in the world, especially in Iran and North Korea?

The Center for Strategic and International Studies held a day long conversation on these questions on May 5th. Joe Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund laid out a four part narrative that the US was (1) maintaining a vastly bloated nuclear deterrent, (2) unnecessary for our security, (3) unaffordable, and (4) in need of at least an immediate unilateral one-third reduction in American nuclear forces to jump start efforts to get to zero nuclear weapons world-wide. Continue reading


The ABC’s of Nuclear Deterrence: Lessons for the Second Nuclear Age

by Peter Huessy and Franklin Miller

For the past 25 years, arms control has been a key driving force behind how many Americans view our relationship with Russia. In that period the two countries have agreed to the START I, Moscow, and New Start nuclear weapons agreements that has successfully reduced the strategic warhead arsenals on both sides by over 90%.

But relations between Moscow and Washington are not good and since the 2010 New Start agreement, the Russians have flatly rejected discussions of further reductions in nuclear weapons. The Russians have also stopped cooperation under the Nunn-Lugar agreement, named after two US Senators that put together a program to safeguard and eliminate nuclear material and warheads in the former Soviet Union subsequent to the end of the Cold War. Other agreements between the two countries have also been put on ice by Russian President Putin’s government.

At a seminar on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2016, two distinguished experts—Steve Blank of the American Foreign Policy Council and Mark Schneider of the National Institute of Public Policy—spoke about the need to refocus our relationship with Russia away from arms control and more towards managing an increasingly troublesome and dangerous relationship. A key part of that strategy must be the full modernization of our nuclear deterrent, they both emphasized. Continue reading


Putin Tells Defense Chiefs to Strengthen Russian Nuclear Forces

by Stepan Kravchenko     •     Bloomberg

putin russiaPresident Vladimir Putin ordered defense chiefs to strengthen Russia’s strategic nuclear forces amid rising tensions with the U.S. over the global balance of power.

New weapons should go to “all parts” of the nuclear triad of air, sea, and land forces, Putin told a Defense Ministry meeting in Moscow on Friday. Action must also be taken “to improve the effectiveness of missile-attack warning systems and aerospace defense.”

Russia’s military will have five new nuclear regiments equipped with modern missile complexes next year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the same meeting. More than 95 percent of the country’s nuclear forces are at a permanent state of readiness, he said. Continue reading


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