Foreign experts against the Russian system "Perimeter"
In the event of a disarming and decapitating nuclear missile strike from a potential enemy, the "Perimeter" command and control complex has been created in our country. In a critical situation, he must take control of strategic nuclear forces and carry out a retaliatory strike. The existence and operation of such a system is causing concern in some foreign circles - and they propose to take the "Perimeter" out of service.
In different contexts
The first information about the Perimeter system appeared soon after the collapse of the USSR. Subsequently, in different sources, new details of an unclear degree of reliability appeared. Officials mostly refrained from commenting, although it was mentioned that the control complex really exists and is on alert.
Abroad, information about the "Perimeter" caused an ambiguous reaction. Recognizing the originality of the approach and the importance of such a system for the defense of the USSR / Russia, foreign experts pointed out some inherent risks. In particular, the very principle of automatic control of strategic nuclear forces without involving a person or with a limited role was criticized. It was assumed that such a system did not meet safety requirements, and any error in the electronics could lead to a full-scale nuclear war.
In recent years, foreign military science has again begun to pay attention to the "Perimeter" and other Russian developments, and now in a new context and taking into account current trends. The Russian control complex is once again recognized as potentially dangerous - and sometimes they even suggest using all available means to seek its decommissioning.
One of the topical topics of recent years abroad is “new disruptive technologies” (NDT) and their impact on the appearance and capabilities of armies. In particular, their potential in the field of strategic forces is being studied, incl. ability and risks of errors and unleashing war in automatic mode.
As the weekly Zvezda writes in its article "New Destructive Technologies": Another US Ploy "from October 18, not so long ago a webinar took place in Europe, during which a number of Russian developments were linked to the NDT - and for this reason it was proposed to limit or reduce. In addition, the article mentions another foreign publication that criticizes Perimeter.
It should be noted that Zvezda does not name a specific event and does not provide a link to a critical article. In addition, officials of NATO countries and the organization as a whole do not raise the topic of the "Perimeter" and do not demand to ban it. However, even without this, the situation is quite clear. A likely adversary is wary of Russian defense capabilities, and special controls are also becoming a cause for concern.
Claims and suggestions
Despite the past time and the emergence of new ideas and concepts, the claims to the Russian "Perimeter" remain the same. The system is accused of insufficient human participation and excessive automation, which supposedly can lead to irreparable consequences.
For such a problem, a simple, albeit questionable, solution is proposed. Potentially dangerous "Perimeter" must be removed from duty or even banned. In this case, the leading role in the management of the Russian strategic nuclear forces will be assigned not to automation, but to people - like other nuclear powers. It is assumed that such a change in the control loops will increase responsibility and reliability, as well as eliminate risks.
However, such proposals so far exist only in the form of the most general ideas and statements. No specific measures or methods of their implementation are provided. In addition, such ideas are still only being discussed in some circles and have not yet received the support of officials in responsible positions.
It should be noted that the future fate of the "Perimeter" and other systems for nuclear and conventional forces will be determined by the Russian command on the basis of existing plans and needs. In this case, the opinion of foreign experts is irrelevant. "Perimeter" may be included in any international agreement of a limiting nature, but Russia will not sign it on such terms. It will not be possible to convince her to do this. Moreover, practice has already shown that attempts at military or political pressure will also be useless.
Reasons for criticism
Obviously, in the current situation, it is not the proposals to ban the "Perimeter" that are of particular interest, but the reasons for their appearance. Such information can shed light on more important processes, opinions and plans taking place in the foreign expert community and in the areas of military leadership.
The main complaint about Perimeter, related to the minimal role of a person, is quite understandable and even justified. From the point of view of foreign military and specialists who are familiar with the management of strategic nuclear forces in their countries, such an approach is unusual and specific - which in itself causes concern. However, this opinion is debatable.
Another explanation can be found, connected not with the technical features of the "Perimeter", but with the goals and objectives of this system. It must guarantee a retaliatory strike against a potential enemy and inflicting unacceptable damage on him, despite any possible losses of strategic nuclear forces from his actions. Accordingly, the first strike will not give the enemy the expected advantages - it will only partially disarm and at the same time will not be able to decapitate the Russian nuclear forces.
Thus, the Perimeter system solves the tasks of managing strategic nuclear forces and ensures their high stability, which makes it one of the key components of strategic deterrence. It is noteworthy that the task of containment is accomplished by the very fact of the existence and operation of the system. The threat of a guaranteed retaliatory strike can bring any aggressor to life.
It is not hard to guess who and why needed to propose and promote the idea of abandoning Perimeter. It is obvious that in NATO and in individual countries there are certain groups of officials and experts who are directly interested in weakening the Russian strategic nuclear forces. Perhaps all this is done with the aim of gaining advantages for their nuclear forces in the event of a full-scale conflict.
Methods of confrontation
Thus, a rather interesting, but not very pleasant situation is developing around the Perimeter automatic control system of the Strategic Nuclear Forces. A critical element of Russian defense is not only attracting attention, but criticism. Moreover, abroad they no longer hesitate to talk about the danger of this system and the need to remove it from service. However, so far such conversations have not reached the official level and are not receiving support from officials.
Time will tell how the situation will develop. Conversations about the need to disarm or even ban the Perimeter system may remain at the level of discussions and publications - or move to a higher level. However, it is clear that Russia will not heed the recommendations of foreign experts and officials, especially those that threaten its security.
- Ryabov Kirill
- Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
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