Russia, the United States and China differently represent ensuring strategic stability in the world

Against the background of financial and economic turmoil that is shaking the Western states and echoing in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the turbulent events in the Greater Middle East almost never attract the attention of the world media to one permanent problem, which is nevertheless a key factor in preventing a hypothetical global catastrophe.

The weekly "Military Industrial Complex" tried to understand the specifics of mutual nuclear deterrence available today, as well as the peculiarities of views on the prospects for reducing strategic offensive arms (START) of the three powers - their main owners - the Russian Federation, the United States and the PRC.

"Big Three"

Undoubtedly, in this area, Moscow, Washington and Beijing have both common interests and (which is quite natural) contradictions. Moreover, considering issues related to the presence of strategic offensive arms, it is impossible to ignore, given the regional peculiarities, and defensive strategic weapons.

Relations between Russia and the United States are conditioned by the classical scheme of mutual nuclear deterrence based on the relative equality of forces and capabilities of the parties. The essence is in the same understanding of the concept of strategic stability. Both the Russian Federation and the United States are capable of delivering a reciprocal nuclear strike and are incapable of disarming. This situation has persisted for several decades and is the basis of all Soviet-American and Russian-American treaties on strategic offensive arms (the last of them was signed in April 2010 of the year).

However, now there are some changes. For example, Americans are reducing the importance of the traditional nuclear component in the balance of power with Russia, with an emphasis on the defensive component (missile defense) and strategic systems in non-nuclear equipment (for example, long-range cruise missiles). Fundamentally new types of weapons are being developed, in particular, hypersonic ones.

The Russian military-political leadership, perhaps for internal use, focuses attention on the significance of the nuclear arsenal of the Russian Federation. It is stated that a number of programs are being implemented. For example, a new liquid heavy ICBM of a silo-based mine is being developed. At the same time, in Russia over the past years, they are increasingly talking about improving protection against high-tech means of attack, in connection with which we should mention the recent creation of the Aerospace Defense Forces, for the maintenance and development of which a quarter of all appropriations provided for the implementation of the State Armaments Program are allocated 2020 of the Year (HPV-2020).

There are a number of fundamental differences in US relations with China. Mutual nuclear deterrence exists. However, it is extremely asymmetrical due to the overwhelming superiority of the United States over the PRC in both strategic offensive and defensive systems.

Russia, the United States and China differently represent ensuring strategic stability in the world

It is worth recalling that 90 percent of the forces and assets of the American missile defense system deployed in the Asia-Pacific region (APR). As for the nuclear component, here too the US priorities are changing. According to a number of experts, currently eight of the Ohio-type 14 SSBNs carrying the Trident II missile on board are in the Pacific Ocean and are holding back a potential Chinese threat, and six more are in the Atlantic. Relatively recently, the situation was reversed. For its part, the PRC adheres to the concept of minimum nuclear deterrence by the United States.

There is no consensus or any generally accepted point of view regarding the Russia-China bond. Officially, Moscow and Beijing are not just partners, but also friends. In evaluating many political events in the world, in the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, Russian and Chinese leaders occupy the same positions. Commodity turnover between the two countries is growing rapidly, and military-technical cooperation continues to develop. In the light of the stated recent reorientation of Russia's foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region, relations with the Middle Kingdom acquire a qualitatively new meaning.

However, tacit deterrence exists. It is likely that some of the Russian nuclear forces are aimed at China, although there is no documentary evidence.

True, the attention of the international expert community was attracted by a fragment of the new RF Military Doctrine published in 2010, which stated that if during a regional war there is a threat to the existence of the Russian state, the Russian Federation will apply nuclear weapon. According to analysts, such a danger to Russia can only be an armed confrontation with China.

In turn, in the Celestial Empire for a long time do not talk about the threat from the North. However, after considering the composition and deployment of the PRC nuclear-missile forces, some conclusions suggest themselves. For example, one can say with certainty: in the Shenyang and Manchurian military districts, the majority of operational-tactical missiles and medium-range missiles are aimed at Russia for the simple reason that they will not reach the Russian Federation from anywhere. China has approximately 50 MBR mine and mobile bases. It is possible that some of them are aimed at the European part of the Russian Federation (it is not known for certain, of course).

The conclusion from the foregoing is as follows: the strategic relations of the three troika of powers do not have a single basis, either politically or in a military-strategic format. China also keeps secret the composition and programs of modernization of its nuclear forces, which in itself already makes any trilateral negotiations impossible.

Differences in Approach

Undoubtedly, the largest role of nuclear weapons as a means of ensuring national security and state sovereignty plays in Russia, which has weaker general-purpose forces compared to the United States and China. In addition, the Russian Federation lags behind the United States in the field of missile defense and strategic non-nuclear weapons.

The United States places less emphasis on improving nuclear weapons because of its geostrategic position, superiority in conventional weapons and a developing missile defense system. On the other hand, superpower status, as well as allied obligations require Americans to pay great attention to the nuclear component. The United States also maintains a significant return potential - nuclear warheads that are in warehouses and that are capable of being deployed in the shortest possible time.

As for the PRC, while experts believe: the Celestial Empire takes for granted its lag in the field of nuclear weapons from the United States and Russia. And this is done demonstratively, while expressing concern about the increasing capabilities of the US missile defense system and US strategic non-nuclear weapons. At the same time, China is quite confident in its general-purpose military forces and is taking comprehensive measures for their full-fledged development.

The nuclear doctrines of these three states deserve special attention. The positions of Russia and the USA are closest here. If we discard the rhetoric and traditional verbal turns, then there are only two differences between the strategies of Moscow and Washington. The first has already been mentioned - the transfer of priority by the Americans to the development of missile defense and strategic non-nuclear weapons. The second is that the United States is the first to use nuclear weapons to protect allies from non-nuclear attack.

Russia does not declare such a step, but, as mentioned earlier, reserves the right to be the first to resort to the use of nuclear weapons for defense in a situation when the very existence of the Russian Federation is at risk. This difference is due to the fact that the geo-strategic position of the United States does not allow the enemy, using only general-purpose forces, to attack the United States, putting the American state on the verge of destruction.

The PRC is the only one of all nine nuclear states that has declared that it will never use nuclear weapons first. The Chinese approach to strategic stability is not based on nuclear parity, although Beijing’s official position on this issue is rather vague. So, China claims that it will maintain nuclear forces at the minimum level required to ensure national security. There is uncertainty not only in the quantitative meaning of this level, but also in the fact that there is no official information about the current state of the nuclear arsenal of the PRC, the prospects for its modernization and development.

In the past, when China’s GDP and military budget were relatively small, this situation was perceived rather calmly. Now, with the release of the economy of the Middle Kingdom to the second position in the world, the attitude began to change.

Of particular concern to the international community are information about the huge long tunnels built in China at a great depth. This infrastructure continues to evolve. It is noteworthy that the work is carried out by units of the Second Artillery - an analogue of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces. According to experts, in these underground spaces can be backup mobile launchers of ICBMs, MRBD, and nuclear warheads. The situation is further complicated by the lack of reliable data on the Chinese nuclear potential. According to various estimates, the PRC has approximately 800 nuclear warheads of all types. And in the tunnels, their number can reach several hundred. Thus, China in its "nuclear policy" goes its own special way.

It seems that in the short term further reduction of nuclear weapons seems unlikely. The main reasons are the closeness of China, as well as the fact that the political leadership of Russia rightly considers it dangerous to further reduce its strategic arsenals. Moreover, any Russian steps in this direction seem illogical due to the deployment of the US missile defense system in Europe.

China, while publicly recognizing its lag in strategic weapons, strongly supports the US-Russian agreements on the reduction of offensive weapons, but categorically refuses to join them. It turns out a real tangle of contradictions and mutual interests. Whether it will be possible to unravel it is a big question.
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  1. bask
    1 November 2012 07: 26
    Russia has only one way out. To build up and once again build up its nuclear triad. The neighbors are too ,,, unreliable., China is sleeping and sees Primorye, at home, USA Siberia. Only nuclear weapons are the guarantor of Russia's security and independence ...
    1. +6
      1 November 2012 09: 49
      There is an old joke about how the Tatar-Mongols, having appeared in Russia, decided to impress, so to speak, verbally. The Tatar khan at a meeting tried to scare the Russian prince, announcing to him: "We are darkness!". To which the prince calmly replied: "And us - the army!».
  2. survivor
    1 November 2012 07: 39
    not only build up, but also improve. what's the use of many, but outdated. better there will be many new good
    and of course, army improvements. the same P-n-d-o-s-ii ​​is far from us, but her mongrel is nearby.
    1. +3
      1 November 2012 12: 43
      It all depends on who divides whom and how. The winner is not the one whose army is stronger, but the one who is more cunning.

      A man comes home, and at home the mother-in-law curls around:
      - Let's feed you dumplings, son-in-law, and pour vodka.
      A man feels a catch, takes a dumpling, throws a cat under the table. The cat ate and fell to the floor.
      The man became brutal, took a bottle of vodka and gave his mother-in-law on the head.
      The cat jumps up and yells:
      - YES !!!
  3. +2
    1 November 2012 07: 43
    The famous tsarist words that Russia has an 2 ally are the army and navy, one acting politician in one of the second-rate countries in South America tried to refute. It seems too early to discard the army and navy
  4. +4
    1 November 2012 08: 21
    Does it make sense to build up nuclear weapons? I think we need to dwell on this, this is enough. Most importantly, there is not enough patriotism, especially among the top right-wingers. The people of our country, at least somehow, will defend their Fatherland, but I doubt whether our elite will do it. If you judge what is happening now, especially in the army (reforms, etc.) there are very strong doubts that they will not give up people!
  5. Lavrik
    1 November 2012 09: 25
    While the USA and the Russian Federation use the principle of sufficiency of mutual destruction to deter each other, the PRC is the principle of causing unacceptable damage. So, the tactical nuclear weapons of China (available in a fairly large number) for Siberia and the Far East are strategic. It is also strategic for US groups in South Korea and Japan. And Americans will never lose not only several tens of thousands of people, but also several thousand.
  6. +1
    1 November 2012 09: 40
    According to a number of experts, eight out of 14 Ohio SSBNs carrying the Trident II missiles are currently in the Pacific Ocean and contain a potential Chinese threat.

    10 nuclear submarines with 24 tridents on board, 4 nuclear submarines with 154 tomahawks, is it not too much for China.
  7. Gorchakov
    1 November 2012 10: 53
    All countries of the world have different ways of ensuring strategic stability in the world ... And this is normal ... It is much worse if this stability is determined by one state acting as a world gendarme ... This is what must be resisted, and by all means and means defend your sovereignty without getting involved in any projects on disarmament, reduction and liquidation of armies and various weapons ... Never react to provocative proposals in this topic, no matter who these proposals come from .... The time has come when it is necessary to strengthen the country's strategic power , placing more emphasis on the national interests and national security of the country without looking back at the cries of liberal economists ... Only in a strong country can there be a stable strong economy. Only a strong country will be able to withstand this global destabilization demonstrated by Russia's strategic partners around the world ... Only in this will strategic friends moderate their aggressive plans in appropriating Russia's national treasures ... And let them do what they want ... BUT IN THEIR TERRITORY .....
  8. 0
    1 November 2012 17: 12
    Stability, of course, will come soon, relatively. It will all end with Russia burying America. Europe (England) will be covered with fragments. After that, Russia will flourish and everyone (who remains) will be drawn to it.
    1. 0
      1 November 2012 17: 52
      Another five years, and Europe itself will stretch without war, the amers are tired of them too ...
  9. 0
    1 November 2012 19: 27
    If, as can be seen from the article, nuclear weapons can reach the European part of the country, then with the DB China one hundred pounds with all its nuclear weapons will strike at it. And after a retaliatory strike, a certain number of troops will come out of the tunnels and calmly move to live in the Far East and Siberia. They will have enough people.
  10. MG42
    1 November 2012 19: 34
    Why build up nuclear potential, after blowing up everything that is already available, you can destroy the entire planet Earth - no one will survive. It is necessary to improve high-precision weapons based on modern technology. And nuclear weapons just need to be updated as old munitions fail.
  11. Islam
    2 November 2012 22: 32
    I think Russia should show a little friendliness to China, and the alliance of China and Russia is a nightmare for the United States (number 1 geopolitical rival for Russia) But China does not like to destroy a creative country and if anything (in case of war) the US lands can be divided between Russia and China and China will not have territorial claims to Russia, maybe the problem of overpopulation is solved - THIS IS MY PURE OPTIMISTIC POSITION IN RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA

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