Infographics "RG": Anton Perepletchikov / Leonid Kuleshov / Alexander Chistov / Mikhail Shipov, Russian weapons
December 25, 2020 in an interview with RIA "News»Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry V.I. Ermakov made a statement that the Russian Federation voluntarily extended the scope of the START-3 Treaty to the newest Russian missile system equipped with the Avangard hypersonic guided warhead.
“This was done in a spirit of goodwill, despite a number of legal issues arising, including with respect to the unconstructive US approaches to control over such systems. These issues have yet to be resolved. In general, we are open to discussing this issue in multilateral formats, ”
- added Ermakov.
The issue of extending START-3 has long become one of the priority areas of work of the Russian foreign policy department. The importance and necessity of its preservation is constantly spoken about. However, is such a need really so obvious? And, more importantly, does this treaty really meet the national interests of the Russian Federation?
Abstracting from the moral connotation of judgments inherent in arms control specialists, we will try to analyze the relevance of this Treaty (and the inclusion of the latest weapons in its operation) from a military-political point of view.
Speaking about disarmament treaties, one should ask the question: "Are they not causing damage to national security?"
So, for example, according to the INF Treaty, our country has lost the unique PGRK "Pioneer" (RSD-10; SS-20 mod.1 Saber), OTR-23 (9K714; SS-23 Spider), in everyday life "Oka", MRBM R- 12 (8K63; SS-4 Sandal), MRBM R-14 (8K65; SS-5 Skean), operational-strategic missile complex RK-55 "Relief" with a long-range land-based cruise missile.
The Soviet Union had a quantitative advantage (910 medium-range missiles against 689 American ones; in the field of short-range missiles, the USSR also had an advantage).
Starting from, to put it mildly, not quite adequate (if not to put it bluntly - openly treacherous) ideas of the then head of the Soviet Union about the international political situation, we eliminated 2 times more missiles (1836 versus 859) and 3 times more missile launchers ( 851 versus 283). As the lieutenant general of the reserve, Cand. military. Evgeny Buzhinsky:
"The eliminated Soviet missiles could carry 4 times more nuclear warheads than the American ones (3154: 846)."
The only missiles that the Americans have eliminated more than we have been land-based cruise missiles. However, according to the Deputy Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Konstantin Makienko,
"For the United States, this was not of fundamental importance, since they possessed a large group of sea-launched (Tomahawk) and air-based (ALCM-B) cruise missiles, which was planned to be brought to 1990 units by the mid-7000s."
At the same time, Soviet weapons were eliminated simply by barbaric methods (along with combat control equipment, cable networks, etc.). The Americans then showed much more ingenuity and, for example, did not destroy the W85 nuclear warhead from their MGM-31C Pershing-2.
We should also recall the situation with the Krasnoyarsk radar station (Yeniseisk-15).
In accordance with the 1972 ABM Treaty, each side had the right to deploy missile attack warning system (EWS) radar stations along the periphery of its national territory with antennas oriented outward. Proceeding from this, the deployment of a radar station in the Krasnoyarsk region really contradicted the agreement (such a decision was dictated by economic considerations). However, the Americans also violated the treaty by deploying their early warning systems in Greenland and Great Britain.
Gorbachev and Shevardnadze responded to objections from the United States in their "best" traditions - they made unilateral concessions.
"In search of the easiest solution, Gorbachev and Shevardnadze again simply sacrificed the Krasnoyarsk radar station, promising to dismantle it and not conditionalizing this on similar actions by the United States with respect to their radar stations in Greenland and Great Britain."
The situation with the START I Treaty was no better for us. We have again reduced more carriers (1 versus 1202) and warheads (435 versus 3898). As noted by TASS military observer Viktor Litovkin:
"Russia had to halve the number of the most powerful and heaviest in the world" Voevoda "R-36MUTTH / R-36M2 missiles or" Satan ", as they were called in the West (Satan SS-18)."
Gorbachev and Shevardnadze left the political stage (unfortunately, they also removed the Soviet Union from it). However, the pro-Western course of concessions has not gone anywhere.
In 1993, the START II Treaty was signed. According to this agreement, we lost our BZHRK. As military expert Mikhail Khodarenok emphasizes:
“By 1991, the Strategic Missile Forces of the USSR Armed Forces deployed three missile divisions armed with BZHRKs with RT-23UTTKh ICBMs: the 10th Guards Missile Division in the Kostroma Region; 52nd missile division stationed in ZATO Zvezdny (Perm Territory), 36th missile division in ZATO Kedrovy (Krasnoyarsk Territory). By 2007, all BZHRKs were dismantled and destroyed, with the exception of two transferred to museums. "
It would seem that these are the affairs of bygone days. Since then, Russia has systematically restored its status in the international arena, strengthened its armed forces and embarked on a direct course towards an independent foreign policy.
Yet in the refrain of the Cold War and Yeltsin's pliability, we have heard a striking continuity in the approach to arms control. Having created weapons that give an asymmetric response to the American missile defense system and provide Russia with a strategic advantage (which is noticeable in image No. 1), we are actually ready to volunteer again
"Put him under the knife."
Based on considerations of the primacy of national security, it can be summed up that the disarmament treaties did not in any way strengthen our national security.
Moreover, according to the latest theories, nuclear superiority instead of nuclear deterrence is much more important. Excellence allows leaders to take more risks during crises. If a nuclear exchange begins, says, in particular, one of the well-known modern researchers M. Krönig, then leaders who can escalate the situation further and faster than their opponents will be able to limit the damage.
Regarding the START-3 Treaty, it should be said that, given the geopolitical realities of our time (which will be discussed below), it seems to be only a rudiment of a bygone Belle Epoque (beautiful era) bipolar confrontation.
As supporters of the preservation of the arms control regime and, in particular, the preservation of START III, argue:
"From the current treaty, they have not only restrictions on the build-up of Russian strategic arms, but also, which is no less important, unprecedented transparency and predictability in relation to what is happening in Russia's strategic forces."
The benefits of transparency in matters of strategic importance for Russia are far from obvious. To obtain information about the strategic forces of a potential enemy, it is much more logical to use other mechanisms.
Preservation of the dialogue platform seems to be of value in itself.
Unfortunately, given the rather deplorable state of the Russian economy, the only issue that can seriously be the subject of bilateral Russian-American negotiations is the issue of arms control. However, looking at the extreme confrontation of the current stage of relations between Russia and the United States, concessions in the material sphere (including promising Russian weapons in the Treaty Framework) in order to preserve the abstract
"Spaces for dialogue"
As E. Ya. Metaphorically repeated many times. Satanovsky:
“What can you agree with your killer about? About where, when and how will he kill you? "
Moreover, from the point of view of economic pragmatism, the likely increase in cash infusions into the military-industrial complex (contrary to the liberal illusions of the Ministry of Finance and similar structures that believe in the "Washington consensus"), on the contrary, will have a positive impact on the Russian economy.
Without going too far into this topic (which deserves a separate large study), it is worth saying that:
1. В stories examples of development precisely at the expense of the military-industrial complex are not uncommon (Prussia of Friedrich Wilhelm I, partly the Russian Empire, the USSR, Japan in the 1930s, etc.).
2. A technological breakthrough should be expected, first of all, from the defense sector.
The explanation of this phenomenon is the fact that the military-industrial complex belongs to the sphere high politics (high politics), in other words, falls under securitization. Thus, being a priority area of public policy, an area that initially has a starting advantage receives more resources, which will accelerate the process of technological progress.
3. Militarization increases the military potential required to defend "real sovereignty" and achieve those goals that directly relate to the sphere of Russia's national interests.
International political situation
The picture, I think, will be incomplete if, together with the military-strategic costs of the arms reduction policy, one does not briefly analyze the current geopolitical context of START III. And it seems that the current situation in international relations (with a focus on Russia-NATO relations) does not at all favor pacifist sentiments in foreign policy.
With the decay of bipolarity and the transition from
to the current state of polarity, the following situation arises.
Distributed power, taking into account the preservation of great powers, will certainly generate a process of concentration of power resources. So, the current state of affairs is characterized by the following features:
1. The emergence of disputed territories (a kind of "gray zones"), where a conflict can break out. A number of geopolitically painful points have already arisen, which may become the site of active opposition from Russia and NATO. A.A. Kokoshin describes this situation as follows:
"The presence of many de jure sovereign states, which at the same time have insufficient resources to ensure their sovereignty in practice, creates a temptation for larger states (blocs, for example, the European Union) to take advantage of such a position - in accordance with the formulas of absolute sovereignty."
This is the kind of rivalry that we can observe at the moment.
True, the absolute preponderance in the sphere of influence remains with NATO. Russia has more than once expressed concern about the deployment of the components of the strategic infrastructure of the North Atlantic Alliance and, in particular, the United States, in close proximity to its borders, which undoubtedly poses a colossal threat to Russia's national interests and security.
A.V. Fenenko identifies a number of geopolitical points that are potential arenas for conflicts of interest.
“There are several pain points: Transnistria, the Baltic Sea”.
Do not forget the so-called new Europe - the former members of the Department of Internal Affairs.
Of course, we cannot ignore the region that is most sensitive for us - the post-Soviet space. We see the aggravation of contradictions and the activation of a number of players in the region.
2. Increased militarization of these territories (sometimes bypassing international legal treaties).
3. The general background is the erosion of the established Yalta-Potsdam world order. Speaking about the practical refraction of such, at first glance, a purely theoretical problem, as the erosion of the world order, it is worth concentrating on the institutional foundations of the current state of the world system. The UN is the supporting structure of the Yalta-Potsdam world order.
Let us note only the main parameters, according to which the universal Organization is no longer an adequate tool for resolving problems. So, there is no way to resist the escalation of violence (Kosovo, Iraq). The impossibility of making important effective decisions at the UN Security Council level due to the cardinal difference in approaches (USA, Russia). International agreements often do not correspond to the tactical interests of countries (arms control).
Apart from the UN, other international organizations are also losing their relevance. A striking example is the OSCE (destruction of the CFE Treaty).
Thus, a number of specific threats to the national security of the Russian Federation can be identified. These include:
First. The likely deployment of ground-based ballistic and cruise missile systems by NATO (the United States, in particular) in close proximity to the Russian borders.
It is already possible to observe the projection of this thesis in reality. We are talking about the deployment of multipurpose MK-41 launchers at American anti-missile targets in Romania (and later in Poland). The peculiarity of these installations is that from them it is possible to launch not only interceptor missiles, but also universal medium-range missiles - "Tomahawk". In turn, "Tomahawks" by their technical characteristics can be equipped with nuclear charges.
“The Tomahawk missile family includes a number of variants carrying different warheads. "Tomahawk" UGM-109A (Block II TLAM-A) carries a nuclear warhead W80 ".
A significant reduction in flight time, taking into account the capabilities of cruise missiles, poses a direct threat to the security of the Russian Federation.
"Additional deployment in the European zone of modern air and sea-based strike systems, including nuclear-armed SLCMs."
The third. Enhancing the effectiveness of the potential (in cooperation with allies in the North Atlantic Alliance) of NSNW deployed on the territory of European countries for the purposes of
"Joint nuclear missions".
This contradicts the NPT, primarily in view of the fact that within the framework of these measures, it is planned to work out tasks for the delivery of nuclear weapons aviation non-nuclear NATO member states. De facto, this can be classified as proliferation of nuclear weapons.
All this combination of military and geopolitical factors allows us to come to the conclusion that In the current circumstances, the extension of START III and an attempt to resume dialogue (which is de facto a dialogue for the sake of dialogue) seems counterproductive.
In conclusion, I would like to say that if our commitment to preserving sovereignty and strengthening our positions in the international arena is not empty rhetoric, then decisions in the spirit of voluntary concessions (which is the inclusion of Vanguards in the START network) seems to be obvious political short-sightedness.
New types of weapons should become an effective tool for ensuring the country's national interests.
And in this regard, the extension of START-3 should certainly not be an end in itself. And new types of weapons are certainly not a bargaining chip in dubious diplomatic "poker" with a deliberately unprofitable result. Moreover, as political reality shows, there are sitting at the opposite end of the table
We can, of course, assume that we, in advance agreeing to the restrictions on hypersonic arms, we want to preemptively put normative red flags for our opponents by the time they will have (and, unfortunately, there is no doubt about this) such systems.
If so, then we suggest looking back at the many years of fruitless attempts by Russian diplomacy to invite the United States to agree on the "rules of the game" in the field of, for example, information security.