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Subject: The Russian Nuclear Threat
Dan Masterson    3/8/2001 6:20:51 AM
As reported here Russians have moved tactical nuclear warheads into the Kaliningrad enclave an area outside of Russia. Also, rumors abound that the Russians have sold enriched uranium to the Iraqi's or are funneling other nuclear technologies to Iraq and other nations. What is the real threat? What should the U.S. and other countried be doing to protect themselfs? Let us hear from you.
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Dwane    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   3/8/2001 1:49:19 PM
We could help the Russians do what they are desperate to accomplish, trade cash for arms. We could just buy fissionable material at some ungodly (reasonably ungodly) amount and scoop it up and outbid the Iraqis and North Koreans. I don't think that the russians are selling to the NKs and Iraqi's out of socialist solidarity. I would think, in a related manner, that the Russians would be interested in a limited NMD for themselves also. If you can prove that a limited NMD would not be destabilizing. I don't think the Chinese would agree though.
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Slade    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   3/8/2001 5:48:25 PM
We've lived with the Russians, and before them the Soviets, having nukes and cheating on treaties for 50 years. The real problem is how much are they selling to anyone with cash, eg. Iraq, Iran, etc. The risk in buying fissionables is it may create more of a market for them than their already is. Production also has to be stopped. As for NMD the Russians have an ABM system defending Moscow and it's been there since the 60's. We abandonded Safeguard about the time the ABM treaty was signed. They'd probably do NMD themselves if they could afford it. And have offered to sell a system to the Europeans. The reason the Russians and to a lesser extent the French and Germans don't want the US with a NMD system are more political. Even if it didn't work real well it would add to US prestege. Along with exacerbating European fears that the US would not risk getting nuked to retaliate for a nuke landing in Europe.
Quote    Reply    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   3/9/2001 9:22:12 PM
Critics of NMD who warn that building such a system would be destabalizing don't have much of case. The Russians can't afford a new arms race with the US. The Chinese will expand their nuclear forces regardless of deployment of such a system. And lastly, the system envisioned could only engage a very limited number of incoming missiles. Even with Russian cutbacks and what the Chinese will ultimatly deploy we couldn't stop them all. NMD is designed to stop a limited number of missiles. Say what N. Korea, Iraq, or Iran might be able to deploy or to stop an accidental launch. Are we really willing to place US foriegn policy in jeopardy of blackmail because we were unwilling to risk a major US city to the threat of nuclear destruction. What do we do if there is an accidental launch by a major power. Sorry New York there was nothing we could do for you? NMD is necassary and the sooner the better
Quote    Reply    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   3/9/2001 11:23:01 PM
Why give taxpayer money to other nations? How in the world could any thinking person conclude that such aid is to promote freedom? Foreign aid invariably ends up supporting tyranny. Since freedom produces wealth in almost direct proportion to the amount of freedom, what better incentive could there be? For those who say that foreign aid is relatively small, I would add that the real money comes from huge loans that are rarely paid back and never in real value. The most logical conclusion is that foreign aid is to help tyrants continue their regime.
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Mike Moscoe    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   3/16/2001 7:42:33 PM
Is there really a Russian Nuclear Threat? Aviation Week just did a rundown on the Russian Air Force. 2,000 planes, half of which couldn't fly with a rubber band. Maybe 500 of which would make up a decent Air Force. Pilots getting 10 Hours of flight time a YEAR! Of course, those are tactical, but if the bomber fleet is parked and rusting, who's to say the ICBM fleet is in any better shape. I've only seen this reported once. It was in the Naval Institute about 10 years ago, but the author, Freedman, I suspect, had information from those who examined some of the nuclear devices, torpedos, missiles, that had been recovered from Soviet sub sinkings. Per this source, the soviets had a major problem with purifying their fissionable material. One of the reasons for the Chernoble type of plant was to make new bomb material to replace warheads that had, over the length of 5 or so years, actually decayed into non critical masses. This would also explain the tendency of the soviets to replace their ICBM's every 5 or so years with a new class. Please note, they haven't been able to do that in the last ten years. Of course, I'm not volunteering to be a target, but I can't help but wonder if a russian bird ever tired to fly, if it would get off the ground, and if it did, would it fizzle on landing? Just some thoughts. The Russians at best are a regional power. If they continue to try to fake it as a major power, they risk crashing and burning entirely. If the Russians had five to seven years, they just might be able to patch together two or three wings of tactical aviation. Right now, other than a few Frogfoots, they're in sad sad shape. Mike Moscoe
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Ty    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   8/20/2001 1:04:41 PM
United States has commited all the wrong politcal moves when it comes to Russia in the last few years;instead of putting Russia on the defensive by allowing Eastern European countries to join NATO,the US should have embraced Russia and allowed it to join Nato,close ties with each others military and close economical ties would have made them a good Allie-surely better than any other Arab nation or China;but I fear the US has gone to far in hitting Russia polictically to mend fences; too bad Russia would have made a good Allie and friend!!!
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Themba    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   8/21/2001 2:02:41 AM
At first, I didn’t know exactly how to respond to your well meaning yet in my opinion misguided assessment, without coming off as a professor lecturing a student for failing to read his homework, then I decided to just go for it. First the US has extended every courtesy, including leaving Russian admission into NATO as a long-term possibility. Furthermore, it is doubtful that Russia could meet the military standards required for entry anytime soon. They have announced their intention of shifting their reliance from their collapsing conventional to nuclear weapons for their defense. The irony present in this is, that Russia consistently claims to be unable to afford to dismantle their weapons as required under the Biological Weapons conventions, Chemical Weapons convention, START 1, and 2, without US assistance which has totaled over 2.5 billion in the last 5 years. Still, they have more then enough to continue their development of both ICBM’s and SLBM’s in greater variety and amounts then even the US did in the 1980’s, not to mention their conventional developments including the T-90 with its Sthora-1 defense system. Furthermore, on the issue of Russia, they consistently violate nearly every agreement that they make. Weather it is the ABM treaty, that they have made such a big deal about, or the Biological Weapons program that they claim to have dismantled in the 1980’s. In the words of Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, who was first Deputy Chief of the civilian arm of the Soviet bio weapons program, and defected to the US in 92 and said in 1998 “In Russia was formed a mentality: If you have the opportunity to cheat, do it.” Anyone who seriously studies Russia will come to the same conclusion, they, the government of Russia, will cheat and they lie, and the Russian people must sit in amazement when we believe what their government says. All that would have resulted from a closer relationship would be throwing more good money after a bad investment. Don’t get me wrong some of the US programs to prevent the proliferation of WMD and ballistic missile technology are great in theory. However, in reality they are selling technology to Iran, Syria and anyone else with cash on hand, with no regard to how those nations act. On, the Russian economy, you must be joking, why should the US encourage investment in a nation with no concept of contract law, and where corruption is second only to drinking vodka as a national pastime. Why go into a country with one of the fastest shrinking economies over the last decade, and where there is no protection for your business interests, other than that which you have to pay to criminal organizations while becoming a criminal yourself to not have every ounce of profit taken by corrupt tax officials. Who by the way are paid a percentage of what they can collect. Not to mention the governments slow drift towards fascism, including the seizure of private property, suppression of the press, and a war bordering on ethnic cleansing in Chechnya. The saddest irony in all of this is that until Kosovo no one seemed to have informed the Russians that not only had they lost the Cold War, but also they were no longer a super power. In fact, other then their nuclear arsenal they are deserving of being labeled a 3rd world nation. Yeah with an ally like Russia on our side who needs enemas? (Not a misspelling by the way)
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Malrait    RE:The Russian Nuclear Threat   8/21/2001 12:04:53 PM
What about the USA's "respect" for the ABM treaty? Malrait
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pfd    RE:Russia: In Praise Of A Rotten Potential Ally   12/9/2001 2:49:51 AM
I think if the term ally was changed to friend you will find in Russia a perfect one. They know us better than most and share or have shared most of our problems in the last century. Historical points are useful but don't give us 20/20 hindsight into the future....they have changed. Instantaneous global communication/media have made incredible changes in states like china and the ex-USSR. The next generation of Russians may be very rich, free, smart and European. In any case I would trust any Russian over the French-
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