As the anti-Russian rhetoric increases, the US now is saying that Russia plans to build a giant ‘combat laser system’ to attack US interests:
The United States is warning that recent Russian movements in space signal the country is building a military space force that could employ a “combat laser system” capable of knocking American satellites offline, according to senior administration official.
In remarks before the United Nations Tuesday, Yleem Poblete, the assistant secretary for arms control, verification, and compliance warned that Russia is making unprecedented moves towards militarizing space with offensive weaponry.
“The United States is concerned with what appears as very abnormal behavior by this so-called ‘space apparatus inspector,'” Poblete said. “We do not know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify its mission. Moreover, Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear.”
This amounts to a “troubling development—particularly, when considered in concert with statements by Russia’s Space Troops Commander which highlighted that ‘assimilat[ing] new prototypes of weapons [into] Space Forces’ military units’ is a ‘main task facing the Aerospace Forces Space Troops,'” according to Poblete.
This could constitute a violation of U.N. bans of the militarization of space.
“It is also concerning in light of statements from senior Russian military officials that Russia’s Space Troops have taken delivery of a ‘combat laser system,'” according to Poblete. “Further, Russia claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid-flight to destroy American satellites. To the United States, these developments are yet further proof that Russian military actions do not match their diplomatic rhetoric.”
Poblete went on to warn that “the drafters of the NFP resolution and the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (or PPWT) are developing capabilities that are designed to attack satellites in space—the very thing that they claim to seek to prohibit.”
The Trump administration will not sit idly by as Russia and others attempt to gain the advantage in the militarization of space.
“While the United States would prefer that the space domain remain free of conflict, it will prepare to meet and overcome any challenges that arise,” Poblete said. “As Vice President Pence recently noted, ‘Our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already. And the United States will not shrink from this challenge.'”
The United States will not support various treaties proposed by the Russians to limit space militarization at a time when they are behaving in the opposite manner, Poblete said.
“The draft PPWT and the NFP resolution are not the right mechanisms for achieving these goals,” she said. “They are fundamentally flawed proposals advanced by a country that has routinely violated its international obligations. That is why the United States continues to urge countries not to support the façade of Russia’s Potemkin resolution and instead vote ‘No.'” (source)
Now it is true that national security interests are important, and governments throughout history and around the world are known for creating many plans ranging from the practical to the absurd to pursue their interests and to oppose or undermine those of their enemies or perceived enemies.
But suggesting that the US is “afraid” of Russia putting giant laser beams in space to “attack America”? It just sounds like a plan out of a comedy film:
This is not to say that Russia does not have any “top secret” military plans they are working on. After all, they are a major world power and have been for centuries. They are not fools, and no country that is a major world power does not have, even if it fails, some sort of special project or weapon they are working on.
But the concept of “lasers in space” is utterly ridiculous. In addition, the idea that the USA is “scared” of Russia’s project in this regard adds to the comedy of the report because, objectively speaking, Russia has far more to fear from the USA because the USA holds the unquestioned majority of advantages over Russia.
For a while, we have been following the “Russia in Decline” project of the Jamestown Institute, which posits that Russia is not a nation, but a small state in Moscow/Western Russia trying to hold the rest of Russia together. Much of this is not an untrue statement, for while Russia is the largest and possibly most resource laden nation on Earth, she is also besieged by a terrible number of problems with terminal consequences. Most of her problems are human both in terms of being man-made as well as affecting the people themselves. Russia’s 144 million population is shrinking overall and when one compares the fertility rates, those having children are overwhelmingly persons of Central Asian or Siberian Turkic stock. The Slavic peoples, while they rule the nation, have some of the world’s highest abortion rates, high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, exploding HIV rates, some of the world’s highest divorce rates, and tend to die much earlier than in many places on earth. While Russia is “Orthodox”, most people do not believe in religion at all, as being an “Orthodox Christian” is but a form of national identity politics. She is locked to a series of highly war-like and undesirable neighbors, all of which the USA has been trying to incite to violence in what is following the British plans for anti-Russian policies from the 19th century.
As the Russia in Decline project states:
This project begins with the assumption that Russia is in fact in decline, and that the way Russia declines will likely have consequences that Western policies and strategies will be forced to address. Evidence of decline across most aspects of political, economic, and social life in Russia is now plentiful, and little evidence suggests that overall decline is reversible. (source)
In the mind of the US, Russia’s current state is so difficult that there is little the US actually has to effect in the nation by means of direct projects, but rather to simply accelerate already existing trends of decline. For example, Operation Cyclone, one of the many Gladio sub-programs, was created for the express purpose of causing Russia to enervate Russia of her money, manpower, and national will to further her decline. This and the other programs were effective, and to such an extent that as the Russia in Decline project suggests, projects such as Cyclone are “not necessary” at this point because from a policy making perspective, the decline meant to be started by this and previous projects have achieved their intended goals and have set the nation on a path to decline that only now needs to be perpetuated to its final end, which as we have noted is the breakup of Russia into a series of warring states that can be controlled by outside powers.
Russia knows all of this well, and her response has been to promote as much unity as possible while securing and building up her major points of infrastructure, noting that conflict will happen and controlling it when it becomes out of control. Russia has overall presented herself as a “peacemaker” because she has to if she wants to survive.
Russia is the second most powerful nation on earth, and she is allied to China, the third most powerful army, but this is an alliance in name. Russia is concerned and correctly so about the Chinese attempting to use her over one billion strong population to walk into Siberia and seize it for herself, and so must be close but cannot be too close. Russia’s major enemies, as they have always been, are Germany, Japan, and Turkey. While Russia is historically able to defeat Turkey with comparative ease (albeit never easily), Germany has invaded Russia since the 12th century and on more than a few occasions nearly overtaken Russia, including as recently as the Second World War. While Russia did not begin to acquire Siberia until the 16th century, Japan posed an immediate problem for Russia and has defeated Russia before, such as during the Russo-Japanese war at the turn of the 20th century. Japan marched into Siberia repeatedly and Russia and Japan fought continuously up through World War II over this. The US is a direct ally to all three of these nations.
Russia can fight a war against one, and maybe two of these nations and win. However, she cannot fight all four and win. She knows this, and it is part of the reason why the USA is continually looking for reasons to pull Russia into a fight, because if this happens, it would involve these participants as well as the rest of NATO which includes the French, British, and Italians (ranked #5, 6, and 11 for military strength in the world) and would add to the stress already existing on Russia.
As we have noted, if there is a strategy that Russia was going to employ against the USA or western Europe, it would involve attacking the nation in simple ways that can be attributed to accidents that target the complex network of physical infrastructure that the western world depends on to maintain the current standard of living which her people demand. This could include wildfires, attacking crops with disease, or attacking electrical and plumbing lines. The idea would be to cause chaos within the US so not to prepare for an invasion, but to disturb the people so that the government is forced to redirect resources and time to fixing their own needs and away from Russia, thus removing one source of direct military pressure on her so she can focus on her other attackers, recognizing that while Russia cannot stop conflicts, she can control the quantity and severity of conflicts she must face at a given time.
So, what is more practical as far as a military plan is concerned on a limited budget, few allies, and a giant country with not nearly enough people to either fill or defend it- secret plans for putting giant lasers in space or simple, cost effective, fundamental basics that have worked throughout history? Obviously, the answer is the cheaper one. However, which one incites the American people to embrace a sense of fear and causes them to indulge in the ultimate American fantasy (more so than any kind of pornography), which is fighting a romanticized war against HORDES OF FUNNY SOUNDING FOREIGNERS INVADING AMERICA? It is without question the giant lasers.
Russia is not invading the USA. Indeed, she is having enough issues keeping Russia together, let alone ideas of developing giant killer lasers in space. However, killer lasers make for great propaganda to disturb the emotions of a population and convince them in the name of national pride and defense that the government needs to spend more money on developing weapons.