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Russia and China Prepare For War: Part 5
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Russia's Recent Military Build-up

Christopher Ruddy, March 15, 1999

How grave a threat to the West is Russia's military today? The perception in much of the West is that Russian conventional and strategic forces are in complete disarray, on the verge of breakdown or worse, like the civilian economy. Fears of a military meltdown in Russia have successfully been exploited by the Russians as a subtle form of blackmail. Either the US and the West hand over billions in aid, or else.

The truth is that Russia's military-industrial complex did not collapse as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union -- nor was its arsenal of strategic weapons dismantled.

In May of 1997, Reuters reported, citing French intelligence estimates, Russia maintains a stockpile of 18,000 to 20,000 tactical nuclear weapons -- that's in addition to approximately 8,000 big, strategic nuclear weapons. Other estimates put the total number of nuclear weapons at between 30,000 and 50,000.

That's the largest nuclear arsenal that Russia has ever had, equaling or exceeding what they possessed at the height of the Cold War.

Russia has also been modernizing its strategic weapons. Air Force General Eugene Habiger, commander of the US Strategic Command in Nebraska, told the Washington Times last year that Russia and China have been engaging in a massive weapons modernization program.

Habiger told the Times that "Russia has begun producing its new SS-27 strategic missile (the Topol-M) and is building new submarines armed with multiple-warhead missiles and new bomber-launched cruise missiles.

Habiger continued, noting that "Russia is the only power with the capacity to destroy the United States. "The anomaly that we're faced with is that the Cold War ended, and did the loser really lose?" he said. "Did you see a demobilization? Did you see all those nuclear weapons come down in Russia? No."

The Air Force's National Intelligence Center concluded in a recent report to Congress that even with the economic and social problems of Russia, that she "probably will retain the largest force of land-based strategic missiles in the world."

This is nothing new. Since the communists took over in 1917, Russia has had two economies: A military economy, which has consumed the country's top scientists, engineers and workers, and up to 70% of the country's wealth -- and its poor cousin, the civilian economy, which received the dregs. [Western media reports almost always focus on the civilian side of Russia's economy and ignore her military-industrial complex.]

Russia also continues to field a huge conventional army, with 100 combat divisions compared to 10 fielded by the US. Russia also has some 100,000 airborne troops ready at a moment's notice for action. America would be hard pressed to field even 100,000 regular soldiers.

RUSSIA: WORLD CLASS ARMS MAKER

Russia's economic minister announced in December of 1998 that Russia plans to increase arms exports by some twenty percent in 1999, and Russia will remain in the top four of the world's major arms exporting nations. (Arms exports from combined CIS states makes Russia second in world export.) As the Associated Press noted, Russia's arms industry is "one of the few sectors where Russian industry continues to operate efficiently."

No doubt, because few countries would buy from them if the Russians couldn't deliver quality products on-time. This should be an ominous sign for those who believe Russia is in such "disarray" that they cannot remain a threat to the West. The military-industrial complex not only operates in Russia today, it operates well.

RUSSIA EMPHASIZES "SUPERWEAPONS" According to the Russian Reform Monitor:

"During the past year, Russia has been deploying the ICBM Topol-M (SS-27), a missile that is both mobile (making it harder for us to hit) and orbital (goes into orbit) before hitting its target"
[Note: The US has no strategic weapons that are either orbital or mobile.]

Further, according to the Reform Monitor, this past September Russia had its 58th test launch of the missile, a sign the Monitor said demonstrated that the missile was well into serial production. In late December of 1998, the Monitor's belief was confirmed when Russia publicly admitted to officially deploying ten Topol-M SS-27 missiles. [Please note that the common thread of Russia's military activities is its investment in developing, building and deploying strategic superweapons. News sources like CNN won't report on many of these Russian accomplishments. This does not alter the fact the Russians are engaged in a build-up of such superweapons -- the very same weapons Dr. Teller warned about.]

In addition, according to excepts from the Monitor, during the past two years Russia has:

commissioned a new aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

commissioned the largest ballistic missile cruiser in the history of the world called Peter the Great. According to Pravda the ship has an unsurpassed "missile and artillery system and radar optical target tracking system."

begun construction of the fifth generation Borei class of ballistic missile submarines, beginning with the Yuri Dolgoruki, which has an ultramodern hull.

built a new submarine-based ballistic missile.

continued production of the Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine.

begun construction of the new Severodvinsk class of nuclear attack submarines.

refitted all Typhoon ballistic missile submarines to launch an upgrade of the SS-N-24/6 ballistic missile.

introduced a new generation of nuclear warheads.

modernized its Bear and Backfire strategic bombers, with the ability to carry updated cruise missiles.

developed a new stealth bomber.

begun development of a new strategic bomber.

continued development of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

In 1997, Russia's Parliament allocated some $12.8 billion for new weapons development. Pravda (Russia's leading newspaper) cited a General Staff official who says that new weapons systems include directed-energy weapons, new "smart" weapons, deep penetration munitions, and electronic warfare technologies. Funding also went for the Topol-M, new tactical nuclear weapons, miniaturized nuclear weapons and seven new ballistic missile submarines.

Previous Russian spending has paid off. In February of 1996, the Times of London reported that Britain's Royal Navy was concerned about "Russian nuclear hunter-killer submarines" stalking British Trident submarines operating off Britain's coasts.

The British Navy described these submarines as "larger, quieter and more deadly than anything Western navies can put to sea."

The Times also disclosed that Russia had deployed a new "Akula-class" submarine that carries SS-21 nuclear missiles aimed at American targets. The head of US Naval Intelligence, Admiral Mike Cramer, said the new submarine "has demonstrated a capability that has never been demonstrated before to us ..."

Both British and US military experts have been astounded by new Russian, super-silent technology that allows their new submarines to avoid American sensors and early warning systems. Gone are the days of the big, noisy Russian subs.

If Russia is "falling apart," how have they been able to do all of this? How will America know if Russia subs move close to the US if our detectors are useless against this new Russian technology?

RUSSIA'S DEADLY CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS

Nyquist states that in a war with the United States, Russia will heavily utilize their extensive biological and chemical weapons -- particularly during the initial strikes. These are comparatively cheap weapons of mass destruction, with a low "cost per kill." Because America has a large population dispersed over a wide area, biological and chemical weapons are an effective means of mass extermination.

Lunev concurs with much of what Nyquist says. In his book, Through the Eyes of the Enemy, he details how Russian GRU agents have been sent to the US to scout out the best way to employ such weapons.

Russia has the ability to produce enormous quantities of deadly biological and chemical weapons quickly. The International Herald Tribune of December 29, 1998, describes one such factory:

"Six stories high and two football fields long, the central factory [Stepnogorsk] is filled with 10 giant fermentation vats, each meant to brew 5,000 gallons of anthrax microbes -- enough to kill every man, woman and child in America many times over.

"Stepnogorsk's former director, who defected to the United States in 1992, says the plant was to produce up to 300 tons of final ëproductí in a 200-day period if the order came to mobilize for war."

The Stepnogorsk human death factory has been closed. But there is no way to tell how many other factories continue to operate or how many tons of deadly poisons the Russians have stockpiled. For example, in February 1997, the Washington Times reported that a secret military intelligence document reported that Russia had developed a nerve gas called A-232. The report stated that Russia has the ability to mass produce the agent "within weeks."

In March of this year, the New York Times carried an article by Ken Alibek, a chief deputy in Biopreparat, the military's biological weapons division. Alibek says Russia continues to develop new biological weapons, from anthrax to various plague strains. Alibek criticized US aid to Russia which does not allow full-scale inspection of the sites where these weapons are being developed.

Alibek's claims were substantiated in September of 1998 when the Defense Intelligence Agency reported to Congress that "key components of the former Soviet biological warfare program remain largely intact and may support a possible future mobilization capability for the production of biological agents and delivery systems."

America continues to play the fool. A December 28, 1998 report in the New York Times says that in 1972, after signing an international treaty banning such weapons, Russia "almost immediately, Soviet defectors say, ... secretly redoubled it germ research and production."

Christopher Story, editor of Soviet Analyst, recounts that in the late 1980's Margaret Thatcher confronted Soviet Premier Gorbachev over intelligence reports that the USSR had extensive biological and chemical weapons programs. Story said that Gorbachev promised to abolish such programs. Significant evidence shows such programs were not abolished.

Again, in 1992, President Yeltsin said he was abolishing all chemical and biological weapons programs. Rather than opening up the laboratories involved in such weapon-making, Yeltsin proceeded to "closeî such installations and cities where weapons of mass destruction were being built so that visits by foreigners would be prohibited.

Alibek told the New York Times in December of 1998 that "Russia ... will never entirely abandon a program in which it had military superiority, no matter how many treaties it signs or cooperative programs it joins."

"I say, Guys, don't be so gullible. They're lying to you," Alibek told the Times.

Why does "democratic" Russia close its cities from foreign visits, just as it did during the Soviet days? Why are "our friends," the Russians, continuing to develop these monstrous weapons of mass murder in blatant defiance of its international treaties with the US and other countries -- and who do they plan to use them on? And why, oh, why does our government turn a blind eye to these Russian activities?


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