Sept. 27, 2023 (EIRNS)—Russia is being left with fewer and fewer options for avoiding direct conflict with NATO. “It appears that Russia is increasingly left with no choice but to engage in direct conflict with NATO on the ground,” Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian President and current Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, warned in a posting on his Telegram channel yesterday, reported TASS. “NATO has evolved into an openly fascist alliance, resembling Hitler’s Axis, albeit on a larger scale. We are prepared, although the outcome may come at a much higher cost to humanity than in 1945….”
He cited the following developments to preface his warning:
- Canadian animals, led by Prime Minister Trudeau, fraternize with Nazis within their Parliament.
- Deliveries of Abrams tanks from NATO arsenals are taking place.
- There are promises of supplying longer-range missiles, such as the Army Tactical Missile System, to the authorities in Kiev.
Is the U.S. Preparing To Move Long-Range Missiles into Europe?
Sept. 27, 2023 (EIRNS)—When the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty died in 2019, Moscow promised that it would not place missiles facing NATO that had previously been banned under the treaty, unless NATO placed such weapons in Europe facing Russia. The TASS press review of yesterday cites the daily Kommersant as reporting that a U.S. ground launcher capable of firing SM-6 missiles was brought to the Danish island of Bornholm for a U.S.-Danish joint exercise that ended on Sept. 25. Not mentioned in the TASS review is that the launcher at issue, called the Mid-Range Capability battery that is being developed for the U.S. Army using U.S. Navy missiles, will also be capable of firing the Tomahawk cruise missile. The SM-6, which is normally a U.S. Navy surface-to-air missile but can be used in a land attack mode, has an advertised range of 240 km, too short to even reach Kaliningrad from Bornholm, but the Tomahawk can easily reach Moscow, some 1,400 km to the east.
The implications of the Bornholm deployment should be clear. The joint U.S.-Danish exercise using this launcher “may raise the question of the so-called moratorium on the deployment of similar Russian weapons systems to the region,” Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations, told Kommersant. “I believe that at this stage, formal inquiries will be sent via diplomatic channels, but its seems appropriate to strengthen Russia’s position by an open or ‘leaked’ move to test the weapons that Russia announced following the United States’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty, including the land-based version of the Kalibr cruise missile and an intermediate-range hypersonic missile,” he added.
Stefanovich remarks that there are no reports of the 9M729 missile being used in Ukraine. The 9M729, part of the Iskander system, served as the pretext for the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty. “Meanwhile, reports have surfaced in the media, citing anonymous sources, which concerned the land-based version of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile and a weapon called Zmeyevik, which fits the description of a ground-based intermediate-range hypersonic missile system exactly,” Stefanovich noted.
Another expert, Mikhail Barabanov, scientific editor of the Export Vooruzheny (or Arms Exports) magazine, stressed that the U.S. has “a huge arsenal of naval missiles that can be described as being of ‘intermediate- and short-range’” which are being quickly adapted for ground launchers and that this is being done. He called this one of the “consequences” of the death of the INF Treaty.
Also not mentioned is the nuclear potential. In 2018, Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review mandated the development of a new nuclear-armed Tomahawk cruise missile, called the Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-Nuclear. The Biden Administration has been trying to kill it since it took office but the House version of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes $196 million to keep the program going. If this new nuclear Tomahawk missile is eventually built, it could also potentially arm the U.S. Army ground launcher.
A Sept. 15 U.S. Navy press release reported that U.S.-Danish would be practicing advanced convoy protection drills using the SM-6 launcher. The exercise began on Sept. 18 and ended on Sept. 25. Though not mentioned in the press release, the presumption would normally be that the SM-6 launcher has been—or is planned to be—withdrawn following the conclusion of the exercise. The Russians have said previously, however, that NATO is using such maneuvers to practice actual strikes against Russia.