Tag Archive | "Iran Deal"

Iran Deal Abandoned, INF Next. US Steadily Dismantling Arms Control

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By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation 

The US has just pulled out of the Iran deal. The INF Treaty is next. The campaign to render defunct yet another major arms-control agreement is already gaining momentum. On May 10, the House Armed Services Committee endorsed a measure authorizing President Donald Trump to decide the fate of the INF Treaty with Russia. This addition to a draft defense bill states that the agreement is no longer binding. The bill includes funds for developing a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM), which, if tested, will violate the treaty terms.

The US has accused Russia of noncompliance but has never publicly provided any evidence to back up its claim. The alleged violations are used to justify the hawks’ newest favorite thing — lowyield nuclear munitions installed on SLBMs and sea-based long-range cruise missiles. And this isn’t just an empty wish or fantasy but an actual recommendation from the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. Actually, the idea to abandon the treaty is not new; that’s something that’s been floated for some time, pushing that landmark agreement toward the brink of oblivion.

The plan for a nuclear-tipped cruise missile is another example of how the US is chipping away at the arms-control regime — the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNI). These initiatives are not agreements, but rather commitments that have done much to deter the potential threat of sea-based tactical nuclear weapons, including intermediate-range cruise missiles. The initiatives have been more efficient and more important than any of the agreements that have been approved or ratified by parliaments. Once they have been unraveled, the genie will be out of the bottle, triggering an unprecedented arms race.

It won’t exactly make the US safer if Russia puts nuclear warheads on its technologically advanced Kalibr naval missiles. So why provoke it? The PNIs have been a success story, a good example of what can be achieved if both sides want it. But no, Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, “strongly agrees” that the Pentagon should procure the above-mentioned weapons, including the sea-based cruise missile.

A low-yield warhead on an SLBM may not be strategic but since there is no way to know, any launch would probably trigger a response from the entire Russian nuclear arsenal, sending them hurtling toward US shores. Such a warhead would be a very destabilizing weapon, especially given the overall superiority of US and NATO conventional forces. There is no reasonable explanation why the US would need non-strategic munitions installed on strategic delivery vehicles, when it has air-based tactical nuclear weapons already in its Air Force inventory? It has “mothers” and “fathers” of all bombs, bunker busters, and other conventional weapons that are able to work wonders, so why should it use a nuclear weapon, low-yield or high-yield, when the same missions can be carried out without any nukes at all?

Another angle worth mentioning here is that the desire for low-yield weapons reflects the US readiness to use nukes against non-nuclear adversaries. Just imagine how irresistibly tempting it might be to strike Iran’s key infrastructure sites with low-yield munitions! And what if N. Korea becomes a problem again?

According to Gen. Robert Brown, commander of the US Army Pacific, the American military needs ground-based missiles with a range of over 500 km, the range prohibited by the bilateral agreement. “I know there’s the INF Treaty … but we need to push beyond that,” he says. “The INF Treaty today unfairly puts the United States at a disadvantage and places our forces at risk because China is not a signatory,” claims Admiral Phil Davidson, the incoming commander of Pacific Command. “Deploying conventionally-armed ground-launched intermediate-range missiles may be key to reasserting US military superiority in East Asia,” emphasizes Eric Sayers, a CSIS expert.

The Army is working on long-range artillery rockets that can exceed the 500 km range. This weapon could be easily stationed in Europe. There would be no way to know whether or not it is nuclear or the extent of its operational range. If a projectile does not fall into the category of intermediate missiles, it is not covered by any treaty, but the effect is the same as if a medium-range missile were fired.

Actually, the INF Treaty is being violated right now in broad daylight. There is no need to declassify any hush-hush information to prove it. The Aegis Ashore Mk-41 launchers, which have already been installed in Romania and are soon to be deployed in Poland (2020), are also being used by the Navy to fire intermediate-range weapons as well as air-to-surface interceptors. This is an undeniable fact. The discussions that have been held under the auspices of the INF Treaty’s Special Verification Commission have not led anywhere.

If the INF Treaty is no longer binding, Russia would be free to deploy intermediate-range missiles to compensate for the West’s superiority in other weapons. The Iskander-M launchers can be used for firing intermediate-range missiles. This will include targets in Europe, although the US will be out of their range. This could lead to another rift among the allies at a time when that relationship is at a nadir because of trade wars and the rift over the Iran deal.

Finally, the unraveling of the INF Treaty will greatly complicate if not eliminate, any prospects, for the New START. And without the latter, there will be no agreement to curb the arms race at all. Arms control will be dead. We’ll be back to where we were in the late 1950s-early 60s. And if a spark should kindle a fire, we’ll all find ourselves back in the Stone Age.

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Why Cry? It’s Great News that Trump Pulled Out of the Iran Deal!


The fear and fury that have gripped the Alt-Media Community since Trump’s announcement yesterday that he was pulling out of the Iran deal are totally misplaced and triggered by a lack of understanding over what the most likely consequences of this move will be.

Confusion, Nothing But Confusion

From a cursory glance at social media, it looks like the entire Alt-Media Community is suffering from severe bouts of fear and fury in equal measure after Trump’s predicted announcement that he’ll be pulling the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal, with people truly terrified about what will come next. Some, utterly shocked by the disappointment that this move brings, have expressed themselves in insincere and slightly snarky ways by pretending to feel sorry for the US’ international reputation while nevertheless consoling one another with wishful thinking about how the deal that many of them lauded nearly three years ago apparently wasn’t even all that much in Iran’s interests.

Others, however, are more nuanced, having warned from the beginning that this would happen because of an old scenario plan by the Brookings Institute that called for a deal to be offered to Iran and then broken in order to manufacture widespread public consent for a forthcoming war against the Islamic Republic. That analysis has its merits in principle, but it exaggerates the influence that the masses have over the US and other Western “deep states” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) and is therefore impractical. While the manipulation of public opinion is important, it isn’t the ultimate determinant over whether a war goes ahead or not.

The Cold, Hard Truth

In any case, the US and its allies are already in a state of Hybrid War against Iran that has gone largely unnoticed by most observers because it oscillates between Color Revolution and Unconventional Warfare pressure like was originally observed by the author in his July 2016 analysis about “The US-Saudi Plan To Prompt An Iranian Pullback From Syria”. That piece was published a full year after he correctly predicted immediately after the nuclear deal was signed that a forthcoming Republican President would scrap it in his Sputnik article about “How The Next US President Could Spoil The Iran Deal For Everyone”, which in hindsight has proven prescient in arguing why Trump doesn’t believe that the agreement works in America’s interests.

Accordingly, that’s why the author celebrated Trump’s victory and declared that “Iranians Should Be Thankful For Trump” because at least he’s sincere enough to let them know that the US was never really their “friend”. It was thought that this revelation would give a boost to the “principalist/conservative” faction of the Iranian “deep state” that’s continuously vying with their “reformist/moderate” rivals for influence, but it ultimately didn’t matter during last year’s elections. Now that Trump withdrew from the deal, though, it might make all the difference when it comes to Iran’s grand strategy since it’s clear that the US and its regional allies are pulling out all the stops to prevent Iran from entrenching its Resistance influence west of its borders.

From Bad News To Good News

On the surface, that realization coupled with the recognition of the low-intensity Hybrid War being waged against the Islamic Republic sound like bad news to the casual observer, as do the consequences of more American sanctions against the country and any foreign company accused (without evidence) of supposedly aiding its nuclear (energy) program. Any dreams of a “détente” between the US and Iran as envisioned by the Obama-era “deep state” are now irreversibly shattered, but that in and of itself could be seen as a positive development for both sides, especially the Iranian one because it opens up a wealth of new strategic opportunities.

Here are the most important reasons why the US’ withdrawal from the Iranian deal should be celebrated and not scorned:

Iran No Longer Has Any Illusions About American Sincerity Or Weakness:

The Alt-Media dogma that America was behaving sincerely towards Iran and acting from a position of weakness is totally discredited because it’s now clear that the US was insincere about its intentions the entire time and that it felt powerful enough to unilaterally withdraw from the deal in spite of the rest of the rest of the world’s condemnation (except “Israel” and the Gulf States).

The Rest Of The World Still Respects The Deal:

Although American companies such as Boeing will lose out on billions of dollars’ worth of deals (which they could simply make up through future military contracts, some of which might be paid by the billions in seized Iranian funds that the US still holds), this just means that others can take their place, though provided that they have the courage to resist the US’ expected sanctions threats against them.

Iran Is More Reliant On Russia Than Ever:

On one hand, Russia represents an irreplaceable “pressure valve” for Iran through their new free trade agreement which will provide unparalleled relief during these challenging times, but on the other, any forthcoming “New Détente” between the US and Russia could see Moscow “managing” Tehran as the “good cop” of this “duo” (like during the mid-2000s pre-New Cold War era) and “encouraging” various “compromises”.

The Islamic Republic Will Reorient Its Strategic Focus Eastward:

Faced with increasing pressure along its western flank (possibly due in part to Russia “convincing” Syria to seek the “phased withdrawal” of the IRGC and Hezbollah as part of Moscow’s “balancing” strategy), Iran will have no choice but to reconceptualize its role in Eurasia by pivoting eastward towards Pakistan and Central Asia as it seeks to reorient its grand strategy.

The Golden Ring Might Finally Be Created:

The five multipolar Great Powers of Eurasia – Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey – could deepen their comprehensive integrational connectivity as a result of Tehran’s eastern pivot and Beijing’s New Silk Roads in order to “circle the wagons” out of collective self-interest and thus lay the tangible foundation for building the fabled “Golden Ring” of supercontinental stability.

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