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Russia’s S-300 play in Syria is creating MASSIVE geopolitical waves

The Kremlin made the decision to supply Damascus with the potent S-300 air-defense system after a Syrian surface-to-air missile battery mistakenly shot down a Russian aircraft during an Israeli raid.

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Russia says it will supply Syria with a version of the S-300 air and missile-defense system, despite objections from Washington and Tel Aviv. The Kremlin made the decision to supply Damascus with the potent air-defense system after a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile battery mistakenly shot down a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces on September 17.

“A modern S-300 air defense missile system will be supplied to the Syrian Armed Forces within two weeks,” Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said on September 24, as reported by the state-owned TASS news agency . “It is capable of intercepting air assault weapons at a distance of more than 250 kilometers and hit simultaneously several air targets.”

Russia’s Decision

The Kremlin has decided to supply the Syrian regime with the potent S-300 because Moscow blames Israel for the downing of its Il-20M despite the fact that it was a Syrian-operated weapon that brought the four-engine turboprop down. The Russians accuse Tel Aviv of using the lumbering ISR plane as cover during an air raid by four Israeli F-16 fighters on a Syrian regime target.

“I will underscore—at the request of the Israeli side, in 2013 we suspended the delivery of S-300 systems that were ready for the dispatch, while the Syrian military had undergone training,” Shoigu said. “Now the situation has changed, and we are not to blame.”

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Shoigu also noted that Moscow would send Syria advanced battle management and combat identifications systems so that Damascus’ forces will be able to ensure that they can properly identify Russian aircraft in the future. “The command posts of Syrian air defense forces and units will be equipped with automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces,” Shoigu said. “This will facilitate centralized control over all forces and resources of the Syrian air defense, monitor the situation in the air, and ensure operative issuance of orders. Most importantly, we will guarantee the identification of all Russian aircrafts by the Syrian air defense systems.”

Indeed, while Russian president Vladimir Putin initially put the blame for the incident on the fog of war, more recently the Kremlin has said that it blames Israel for the loss of its aircraft. “The information presented by the Israeli military on the operation of their aircraft over Syrian territory differs from the conclusions of the Russian Defence Ministry,” the Kremlin said in a statement . “Russia proceeds from the premise that the actions of the Israeli Air Force were the main cause of the tragedy.”

The Kremlin said in a call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it believes that delivering these additional weapons systems to the Syrian regime is the only way to safeguard lives of Russian servicemen operating in Syria. “Vladimir Putin emphasized that Russia’s decisions to bolster the combat capabilities of Syrian air defenses are appropriate at this juncture and primarily intended to thwart any potential threat to the lives of the Russian military service members fulfilling the tasks of combating international terrorism,” the Kremlin said.

Irresponsible Hands

During his conversation with Putin, Netanyahu emphasized the Israeli view “that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests.”

Washington also waded into the issue, with National Security Advisor John Bolton calling the Russian decision to arm Syria with the S-300 a “major mistake” and a “significant escalation.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expects to take the matter up with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Syria to Blame

Israel also reiterated that Syria is to blame for the downing of the Russian Il-20M. “Since the tragic events in the skies over Syria I have spoken twice with President Putin. I expressed to him our deep regret over the loss of the crew of the Russian plane that was brought down by irresponsible Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a tweet . “This morning I convened the Security Cabinet which received a full update on the recent events. The Security Cabinet ministers also share in the deep sorrow of the Russian families and the Russian people.”

However, while Tel Aviv expressed its regret over the loss of the lives of the Russian servicemen, Israel says that it has no option but to push back against Iranian encroachment. Thus, Israel will continue to cooperate with Moscow, but Tel Aviv will not back down from taking action against Iran. “We give full backing to the IDF [Israel Defense Force] in its actions to defend the state,” Netanyahu said . “We will continue to take action to prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria and we will continue the security coordination between the IDF and the Russian military. . . . To this end, I agreed with President Putin that IDF and Russian military working teams would meet soon. We will do what is necessary to defend the security of Israel.”

Strategic Consequences

While the Russians have not said which version of the S-300 it will be giving to Syria, the weapons will like be the relatively modern S-300PMU-2 variant. However, given that it would take several months to train Syrian crews to operate the sophisticated S-300 system, it is a near certainty that Russian crews would initially operate the missiles.

“I think it’s unlikely that the Syrians will be ready to operate this without Russian advisers and support for the immediate future,” Center for Naval Analyses research scientist Michael Kofman told the National Interest . “There’s a degree of ambiguity there that introduces some uncertainty as to who is really operating the system.”

Indeed, given that there is no dispute that it was the Syrian military that downed the Russian Il-20M, it is possible that the Russians do not intend to ever allow Assad regime crews to operate the S-300. Given that fact that Shoigu stated that Moscow would equip Assad regime command posts with “automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces” in order to “facilitate centralized control over all forces and resources of the Syrian air defense,” it is possible that the Kremlin is planning on de facto taking over the management of all Syrian air defenses. Certainly, that would ensure that poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops would not inadvertently attack friendly forces in a panic while under fire.

What’s more, the presence of Russian forces manning Syrian-owned air defenses would complicate Israeli attempts to strike at the Assad regime and Iranian forces operating inside Syria. Israel can ill afford to strike directly at Syrian targets during a raid if that would mean that Moscow’s forces were caught in the crossfire since the Kremlin will not likely let another such incident slide unpunished. As such, the presence of additional Russian forces would constrain Israel’s ability to act inside Syria.

Of course, if Russia does turn the S-300 batteries over to Syrian operators, then there is always the distinct possibility that Israel could attempt to eliminate those weapons. Indeed, Israel has the perfect weapon to do just that—its newly acquired fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. However, in the immediate future, while Syria’s S-300s are operated by Russian forces, Israel will likely be hampered in its ability to strike further targets in Syria.

Via The National Interest

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craig watson
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The F-35 is a piece of junk. Russian war planes are so far advanced over anything built by the USA that Israel is now powerless in the face of Russian armaments, as is the USA.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Yes, it would be quite interesting to see whether Washington would allow such an attempt. If the F-35s were all shot down it would not be a very good advertisement for future sales.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

It might not be a good sales pitch, but it would be funny for most of the World.

Ian
Guest
Ian

If the F-35 was shot down, they could revert back to the age old excuse, pilot error.

Nexus789
Guest
Nexus789

Or a birdstrike

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Have you seen the short article, over on RI? How easy it is for Russia to view the US stealth planes, flying over Syria.

Russian Su-35 Tracked a US F-22 Stealth Fighter Over Syria With Infra-Red Sensors… https://russia-insider.com/en/russian-su-35-tracked-us-f-22-stealth-fighter-over-syria-infra-red-sensors/ri24895

Mike
Guest
Mike

You are smoking so good shit! Even the Russians knows that F35 and 22 are superior to anything Russia has…

7.62x54R
Guest
7.62x54R

It will be great news when an SAA S-300 eliminates an invading Israeli F-16. Several being flamed at once would be even better.

Bob Valdez
Guest
Bob Valdez

I think it is YOU who are smoking something, probably ‘shit’, as you put it.

Normski
Member
Normski

Really?.

Nexus789
Guest
Nexus789

Typical deluded response from the US. The JSF has a single big and very hot engine. Will stick out like dogs nuts to IR sensors

Shahna
Guest
Shahna

MASSIVE? In capital letters?
Far as I c’n see “geopolitical response” has been pretty muted.
NO-ONE mentioned it at Trump’s special UNSC (the one he ducked away from after he told everyone how wonderful he was) – – even May didn’t take the opportunity to remind the world what dastardly bastards the Russian are.

So Bibi had a conniption – but when does he ever not?
Even Bolton forgot all his fire and brimstone and threats of outright murder.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“…during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces on September 17”.

Correction: “…during an Israeli raid on Syrian territory, which destroyed Syrian premises and property”.

The word “regime” is inappropriate, since Mr Assad and his government have been democratically elected with large majorities, and are strongly supported by most Syrian citizens.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

No mention that the Israelis had their “Identification, friend or foe (IFF)”; switched off – which makes this a war.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“Israel says that it has no option but to push back against Iranian encroachment”. On the contrary, Israel has absolutely no right whatsoever to attack anything inside the borders of Syria – or any other country. Who and what the Syrian government welcomes in its country is no business of Israel or anyone else. If Syria chooses to have Iranian soldiers and weapons inside Syria, Israel has no legal right to do anything to stop it. I believe that Israel has US soldiers, technical experts and weapons systems within its borders. Does this give Syria, Iran or any other nation… Read more »

Prometheus
Guest
Prometheus

Talking about encroachment! Who is best at that anyway? Just asked the Gazans and West Bank. Guess that includes Golan Heights too. These psychopaths need to be put to bed.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

The US has more than some “US soldiers, technical experts and weapons systems” on Israeli soil….the US now has a full-blown military base within Israels borders! https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2017/09/18/us-breaks-ground-for-new-permanent-base-in-israel/

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“Certainly, that would ensure that poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops would not inadvertently attack friendly forces in a panic while under fire”.

You mean the way the “poorly trained and motivated” US Navy officers of USS Vincennes shot down the Iranian Airbus in 1988?

And they did not even have the excuse of being under fire.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

The Syrians ordered the S-300 many years ago – 2012 / 2013 to be precise.

“”I will underscore – at the request of the Israeli side, in 2013 we suspended the delivery of S-300 systems that were ready for the dispatch, while the Syrian military had undergone training. Now the situation has changed, and we are not to blame,” the defense minister said.

More:
http://tass.com/defense/1022844

It would be a mistake to assume that they have not already been trained.

Richard Steven Hack
Guest
Richard Steven Hack

As usual, The National Interest plays down the ability of the S-300 systems to deal with the F-35 and other Israeli aircraft. The fact remains that these new systems will be operated by Syrians, not Russians. Shoigu directly stated that the Syrian crews were being trained before when the S-300 deal was previously on. While there may be some updated training going on, what does it matter? There will eventually be Syrian crews running these systems. The Russians are not going to tell the Syrians not to shoot down Israeli aircraft, as is implied by the article. They don’t do… Read more »

Walter Dublanica
Member

Mike& John you are second fiddles to Vlad & Sergei . V&S rule the middle east. M&J are ruled by Israel.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Stopped reading after “Syrian regime”. Why is the Duran publishing this anti Syrian/Russian propaganda? Are you trying to lose your remaining few readers?

Vince Dhimos
Guest

We saw this back in July 2917 when we posted (http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/look-whos-r-e-a-l-l-y-edging-out-the-dollar) “Those who are aware of this effort to settle trades in anything but dollars are mostly focusing on Russia and China as the lead actors in this movement. But despite their size and clout, these two are bit players, who would likely take decades to put a dent in the dollar’s clout. Not so the EU, which plays the lead role, doing the lion’s share of non-dollar international settlements and lending. This is precisely what Putin and Xi want, which is certainly why Putin said at the last Valdai… Read more »

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

A good day for democracy, peace and anti-terrorism. Boohoo Zio/Saudi/Western war criminals!!

TEP
Guest
TEP

It is nothing short of despicable that Majumdar repeatedly refers to Syrian government as Syrian “regime”, or it’s legal forces as “regime forces”. Consequently I will not read any further articles by this author. The Duran really has gone downhill with some of it’s choices of contributors.

Joe King
Guest
Joe King

Why is the Syrian government always called a regime? What about the American Regime?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Ask the 400,000 Syrian citizens that got killed by the regime! Oups, you cant, they are dead!

fred
Guest
fred

note to self don’t feed the troll

Zara Ali
Guest

“…that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests.”
Yet another example of how Zionism breeds a delusional and thoroughly dysfunctional psyche and how it kills the conscience. Each time these psychopaths pass a judgment on others it is strikingly similar to their own true image. Self-deception and self-righteousness reigns… hypocritical piety rules… leaves the common man with even the most basic common sense flabbergasted.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Thanks John Tosh, for the Jimmy Dores link. Well worth viewing. The Professor, the voice of common sense.

Bombshell: Professor Stuns MSNBC Panel On Syria… https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=240&v=_O2TRzA2ezk

Victor
Guest
Victor

Of course the Russians will hand over operations of the S-300s to Syria (whom they have already trained). This is a necessity from the Russian perspective. Why? Because if Russia retains control, this means that if the Israelis attack syrian territory again, the decision to shoot them down will lie squarely with Russia, not the Assad government, which of course means that if Russia shoots them down, it is instantaneous war on a wider scale, whilst if Russia does not shoot them down, then they are betraying the Syrians by allowing the Israelis full access to Syrian targets. No, the… Read more »

ZirconMach20
Guest
ZirconMach20

Syrian crews HAVE ALREADY been trained to handle the S-300s since 2013, and the F-35 would be a fat juicy target for the S-300 considering the much older S-200 ALREADY shot down an Israeli F-35 earlier this year, but which the Israelis claimed was brought down by a bird. Majumdar is either ignorant or is a cheerleader for US junk weaponry.

fred
Guest
fred

i cant find it anymore bet there was a story about how F 22 pilots were complaining that they were painted by russian radar

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

It would be tragic to see one, two, or three of those new F-35’s shot down. That would pretty well put the end to the Israeli/US myth of military invincibility. With Russians operating the S-300’s, and as many as eight S-300’s to be supplied to Syria, according to Southfront.org, the bottom line is that Israel’s days of using fighter aircraft to attack Syria are over. They may still use drones and long-range cruise missiles, however.

Mish
Guest
Mish

“Poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops”? What is Majumdar smoking? At least they are better motivated than the Israel and US proxy faux jihadniks, apparently. In the quoted Russian MoD statement about the suspension of S-300 delivery, doesn’t it say that the Syrian crews had been trained already in 2013, before the delivery was suspended? And it’s far from a cinch that it was Syrian air defenses who shot that plane down. The flight trajectory suggests otherwise. The Il-20 was way far from the Israeli jets when it was shot down. The French fired one or several missiles. Where did… Read more »

stephan williams
Guest
stephan williams

What an embarrassing piece of pro-Israeli, pro US propaganda! Who does the author work for? Mossad or the CIA?

Karl
Guest
Karl

If Israel doesn’t invade Syria’s airspace and kill it’s people they will have nothing to worry about!

Latest

Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Via RT…


Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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