Get PJ Media on your Apple

The Rosett Report

From Russia, With Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

November 1st, 2013 - 10:42 pm

It’s a sign of just how fast the balance of world power is shifting, that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin oversaw a huge exercise of Russia’s nuclear forces this Wednesday, involving — as the AP reported – “multiple test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a formidable demonstration of Russia’s resurgent military power.” This follows the entry of Russian warships into the Mediterranean, concurrent with the Russia-brokered deal to relieve Syria’s Assad regime of its chemical weapons, at the cost of relieving the U.S. of any real influence in what might come next. That followed the biggest war games launched by the Russian military in more than two decades, involving, as the AP also reported, “160,000 troops, about 5,000 tanks, more than 100 aircraft and dozens of navy ships.”

This week’s nuclear attack drill was eye-catching not only for its size and scope, but for how relatively little attention Russia’s nuclear exercise drew in an America currently focused on the chaos of canceled health insurance policies, soaring premiums and a dysfunctional HealthCare.gov web site. The Russian drill was no small event. As defense expert Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports, the drill “included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).” More specifically, the land-based missiles included a silo-based SS-18, a missile with “a range of up to 10,000 miles and up to 10 warheads, or multiple, independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs),” and an SS-25, or Topol missile, test-launched from the Russian base of Plesetsk, “capable of launching up to four MIRVs” with “a range of up to 6,200 miles.”

Russian forces also test-fired short-range missiles, and, as Gertz further reports, Russian air defense forces “also fired S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile interceptors at incoming ballistic missiles targets. … The strategic missile exercise highlights Moscow’s large-scale nuclear forces buildup under Putin.”  (You can sample more of Gertz’s well-informed reporting on Russia’s missile development in his June 25 article, “Treaty Cheating.”)

This is a staggering contrast with the scene I witnessed 18 years ago, while working as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in newly post-Soviet Russia. In 1995, I visited the Plesetsk space base and missile range — located about 500 miles north of Moscow, and site of this week’s SS-25 test launch. Back then, Russia was on the ropes, and trying out a lot of projects to convert Cold War military equipment into anything that might turn a profit. I went to watch a rocket launch, but it was an SS-25 that the Russians were trying to adapt to carry civilian-use satellites into space.

It was a display both impressive and pathetic. The Russians had struck a deal with an Israeli technical institute, to use an adapted SS-25 to put an Israeli prototype communications satellite into orbit, for the use of amateur radio buffs. Members of the press were invited — Israeli, Russian, and Moscow-based foreign reporters. It turned into a rolling fiasco. The Israeli reporters, arriving from Tel Aviv, were held up by Russian customs officers, who tried to confiscate their satellite phones. The chartered plane to take reporters from Moscow to Plesetsk was late taking off — in those days, it sometimes took a while at Russian airports to hunt down fuel. When we got to Plesetsk, with little time left before the launch, there was an altercation between some of the reporters, who wanted a closeup shot of the missile ready for launch, and a Russian military officer, who wanted them to go no closer than the safely distant viewing area. I still remember him screaming at one of the press liaisons, “No! They cannot go there! I am about to launch a ballistic missile!”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Patton wanted to march on Moscow in 1945, when we had the momentum, they had suffered tremendous damage from the Nazis and were vulnerable. He was refused, and the USSR clawed it's way back to superpower status. Reagan outspent and out produced them and famously said "Tear down this wall" which happened, and yet again, we did not take advantage. The Romania people ousted its dictatorship under Ceausescu and was ripe for alliance with the US, we did not help them. Obama came on the scene and immediately severed our front line battle defenses with the former eastern bloc nations and caused them to distrust us. Soviet communism has been the many headed hydra that keeps coming back to life because the US has lost it's will to win. Russian has always been about winning at any cost.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Who wouldn't be worried with the USA constantly beating the War Drums ?????
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is just the titular and unfortunately the most visible part of our National problem which is actually our changing voting demographic.

This change is, wittingly or unwittingly, based upon the influx of young ill-educated or un-educated millions of illegals from Central and South America through Mexico, and of course including the Mexicans themselves.

These are of course joining our already potent underclass of the ill-educated and the un-educated young who're subsisting on U.S. Taxpayers' re-distributed means.

So, we've got the makings of a permanent numerical voting majority of eager seekers of the benefits eagerly proffered by the Democrat party in this obvious vote buying campaign.

Now.....what's all this got to do with our Russian/Iranian/Chinese Problem? It ensures the circular continuity of the likes of our current disastrous "administration".....indefinitely.

The Republicans are going the way of the 19th Cent. Whigs.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Looking to turn my frown upside down. Maybe the site's blustering brahmins can do better than explain how it's darkest before the dawn place/when the going get's tough blah blah/we will fight them on the landing grounds stuff/nil desperandum thing whatever, etc. etc. But the expectation, sadly, is loud silence.

IMO, Roosevelt was dead wrong: the worst thing we have to fear is... GOP leadership itself. Meanwhile, bad and really pitiful grandpas nod-off again and the word that comes to mind is TOAST. It is necessary remind the mediocrities behind the curtain that the twin purposes of the state are 1/ to conduct foreign policy, and 2/ to provide for common security. What have Boehner and his petunias done for you lately?

Ms. Rosett is on target yet again.
As for the U.S. is prepared to do its part... well, we all know now what that means.
Do we have any allies left to lose? Would you trust today's US?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
How is it the GOP that is at fault when the Donkeys are in charge of 2/3 of the government?

Or is it always the GOP's fault that Obama screws allies and cozies up to enemies?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wiggle all you want. We've heard it a zillion times and it won't wash.
The lesser-of-two-evils argument will get you and your kind into the WH because we're too stupid to notice the old farts'n'troughers track record? Dream on.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Russia is making it's move, they know we have a cartoon for a president and a crew of clowns for staff, certainly the worst bunch in our nations history. No counter moves, no strategic alliances, hell, no coherent foreign policy. Except some cozy moves towards are sworn enemies, the jihadists. You can't say Obama is wasting all his time. Apart from the golf course & wrecking America.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reagan ended the evil Soviet Union, now Obama is resurrecting it.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't you know that this ia destabilizing! This is aggressive! This is threatening! This is a neo-Cold War! What happened to our Reset!

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists would be fully justified to harrumph and make a public show of resetting their Doomsday Clock!

What? It happened in Russia?

Never mind.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
FYI, the US has several strategic nuclear command and control exercises every year. I have played in about a half a dozen. If you have strategic forces, you exercise the command and control of those strategic forces. Russia had never stopped doing nuclear CPXs. There is nothing to this story other than it got noticed.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Command and control exercises, as well as tactical maneuvers, war games, etc., are an ongoing practice for the military. The question is what is the overarching polices and posture of the Administration in charge. Therein lies the problem. Weak, drifting leadership, if we can even call it that, is what we have at present.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Gertz quotes a Russian spokesman as saying, according to Russian news agencies, “All launches took place as expected. All of the practice targets were hit.”"

It is unclear to me if these "test launches" were of actual missiles being launched or where these "test launches" simply exercising the C2 process for launching a missile.

If these were actual launches one would think that the author would have confirmed that with NORAD, rather than quoting Russian "news agencies".

If the "test launches" were just practicing the missile launch C2, then this entire article is BS.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
One has to think the military flexing was primarily aimed at the Chicoms, as in STAY OUT OF SIBERIA. Elsewhere, it’s: any crack or crevasse we can get into and not be squeezed back out of right away because we have this in our back pockets, SEE. It’s not likely it was aimed at Israel either because, as was just pointed out, Russians are opportunists to the hilt. And while Obama might have gotten a lot of the US military out of Europe this doesn’t make Europeans pushovers because of it. And, as far Mother Russia is concerned, military flogging boosts flagging diplomatic testosterone; it’s a time honored tradition. Getting back to the Bamster: it is indeed “mission accomplished.”
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patton wanted to march on Moscow in 1945, when we had the momentum, they had suffered tremendous damage from the Nazis and were vulnerable. He was refused, and the USSR clawed it's way back to superpower status. Reagan outspent and out produced them and famously said "Tear down this wall" which happened, and yet again, we did not take advantage. The Romania people ousted its dictatorship under Ceausescu and was ripe for alliance with the US, we did not help them. Obama came on the scene and immediately severed our front line battle defenses with the former eastern bloc nations and caused them to distrust us. Soviet communism has been the many headed hydra that keeps coming back to life because the US has lost it's will to win. Russian has always been about winning at any cost.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Russkies would have beaten the sheeet out of us in a land war.......
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry ran out of edits.
Russia has always played the long game while the US plays for the next election cycle.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All