The U.S. Has No Defense Against A Russian Nuclear Attack. Really.

I write about national security, especially its business dimensions.

The Obama Administration is proposing that the United States spend about a billion dollars per week in the fiscal year beginning October 1 to defend Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations against various threats they face. That’s how much money is in the Pentagon’s request for “overseas contingency operations.”

So guess how much money the administration is seeking to defend America’s homeland against an attack from Russia using nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Russia has about 1,600 missile warheads capable of reaching U.S. territory, and if even a small fraction were launched, they could wipe out our electric grid, our financial networks, and quite possibly the whole U.S. economy.

The answer is that the administration is proposing to spend nothing. Even though we know that most of those Russian warheads are pointed at America. Even though we know relations with Russia are deteriorating. Even though we know that Vladimir Putin’s subordinates have repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear consequences if it seeks to block expansionist moves along the Russian periphery such as last year’s invasion of Ukraine.

The mushroom cloud from a 21-kiloton blast over Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. Strategic warheads in the current Russian arsenal typically have over 20 times the yield of the Nagasaki bomb. (Retrieved from Wikimedia)

The mushroom cloud from a 21-kiloton blast over Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. Strategic warheads in the current Russian arsenal typically have over 20 times the yield of the Nagasaki bomb. (Retrieved from Wikimedia)
The mushroom cloud from a 21-kiloton blast over Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. Strategic warheads in the current Russian arsenal typically have over 20 times the yield of the Nagasaki bomb. (Retrieved from Wikimedia)
Just this week, Putin stated in a documentary commemorating Moscow’s annexation of Crimea that he had considered putting the nuclear arsenal on alert to dissuade the West from pushing back, observing that he was ready for “the worst possible turn of events.” It isn’t so clear what a heightened state of alert would mean, since Russian military officials insist that even in peacetime, most of the country’s missiles are ready to launch within minutes.

But this commentary isn’t about Russian military intentions. It is about the utter absence of U.S. active defenses for repulsing the sole man-made threat capable of wiping out American civilization for the foreseeable future. Imagine every person you know dead, injured, or lacking shelter and sustenance. Not at some dim point in the future, but by this time tomorrow. Russia has that power, because America has no defenses against long-range ballistic missiles.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  Great nations have always defended themselves against the most pressing threats to their survival.  So when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, in the process demonstrating the ability to build long-range rockets, U.S. policymakers immediately began efforts to construct defenses against a missile attack.  But Russia kept adding to its arsenal until by the 1970s it had 40,000 nuclear warheads of all types and sizes.  By that time, Washington had given up on defenses and was just trying to slow the arms race.

In order to get Moscow to stop increasing its arsenal, the U.S. agreed to an Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972.  In effect, it traded away the right to defend its homeland in return for stabilizing the arms race.  But stabilization in this case meant the two countries would have an assured ability to wipe each other out.  The thinking was that if each side knew launching a nuclear attack would result in devastating (“unacceptable”) retaliation, then neither would ever commit nuclear aggression against the other.

The nicest thing that can be said about this approach to security is that it opened the way to reductions in nuclear arsenals on both sides.  The arms reductions have been substantial, but in a way they don’t matter: Russia still has an assured capacity to obliterate America’s society and economy.  That isn’t going to change, because Moscow doesn’t trust Washington and nuclear weapons are its sole remaining claim to superpower status.

A few U.S. leaders, most notably Ronald Reagan, understood what a bad bargain this was.  They saw that a security system based on “mutual assured destruction” would be unable to cope with enemies who were irrational, or accident prone, or unable to secure their arsenal against a breakdown in the chain of command.  They also understood that miscommunication and misjudgments are common in confrontations such as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Even rational leaders can make mistakes when arsenals are poised to launch on a hair trigger.

However, Reagan’s efforts to develop ballistic missile defenses of the homeland were derailed by the end of the Cold War, because many observers assumed the waning of superpower rivalries would diminish the danger of nuclear conflict.  Missile defense lost its urgency until the end of the Clinton years, when the prospect of a nuclear-armed North Korea reignited interest.  George W. Bush withdrew the U.S. from the treaty banning homeland missile defenses, but his concern too was mainly with North Korea (and to a lesser extent Iran) – Russia was not a focus of his administration’s modest missile defense efforts.

The Obama Administration has followed the lead of past Democratic administrations in viewing homeland missile defense as (1) too hard, (2) too expensive, and (3) too destabilizing.  Until Russia unexpectedly invaded Ukraine, Obama’s security team preferred to focus on further reductions in nuclear arsenals and maintaining a minimal defensive shield on the West Coast oriented to North Korea.  To the extent it thought at all about the possibility of Russian nuclear aggression, its solution was a survivable retaliatory capability — in other words, offensively-based deterrence.

That deterrent — a “triad” of land-based and sea-based missiles plus bombers — is arguably the most important feature of the U.S. military posture for the simple reason that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the most important threat.  However, on the day deterrence fails, America’s highly capable strategic force will be little comfort because it can’t do anything to intercept incoming warheads.  All it can do is lay waste to Russia.

The minimal defensive system the Obama Administration has sustained against North Korea’s fledgling nuclear threat, called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, can potentially intercept warheads attacking from any direction, but more than a dozen Russian warheads would overwhelm it.  So here we sit, able to detect a Russian launch almost immediately and retaliate with devastating force, but powerless to defend our homeland and loved ones from nuclear aggression.


Russian Airliner Takedown Over Sinai: Was It The MOSSAD, the CIA, ISIS Or All Three?


Either a bomb was placed on the plane or it was shot down by ‘ISIS’

The black boxes have not even been recovered yet and already the conspiracy theories are emerging from every quarter regarding the obvious act of terrorism which took down the Russian passenger jet.  Each of the conspiracy theories do have one common denominator … or, more accurately, 3 co-conspirators —ISIS, Israel and The USA.

Everything about this aerial takedown smacks of a highly coordinated missile attack or planted bomb plot.  All of the circumstantial and anecdotal evidence points directly to one or the other.  Even though ISIS has since claimed responsibility for a missile attack, that may be cover for a much more complex Zio-ISIS-American black operation.

Of course, both Israel and the USA do possess advanced electronic warfare weaponry that can take an airliner out of the sky with the push of a button.  Those directed energy weapons utilize EMP technology and can be fired from American space-based weapons which are situated on strategically located satellites.  This same type of technologically advanced weaponry can also be discharged from specially equipped battleships and ground-based facilities.

The following excerpt from one of the sites pointing to a conspiracy makes some very good points.  Particularly in light of the MOSSAD motto — “By way of deception, thou shalt do war” — this blackop has all the typical trademarks of the MOSSAD brand of terrorism.  As always, this naked act of terrorism against Russia was likely perpetrated by the MOSSAD with the blessing of the CIA, as well as ISIS playing the willing dupe.

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(Click on the above screenshot from  to enlarge)



The intensifying Russian-Egyptian collaboration looms VERY large over the Mideast Geopolictical Chessboard for the Zio-Anglo-American Axis.

There’s a critical point here.  Both the USA and Israel would prefer that the whole world believe this was an ISIS act of terrorism.  In this way both nations can attack Russian assets at will — throughout the Mideast region and beyond — and then simply use their MSM to point to the fake perpetrator ISIS.  As a quite willing patsy, ISIS will take credit for destroying anything even remotely associated with Russia at this point of their daily annihilation throughout the Levant.

However, all of the technical and logistical requirements of this Sinai false flag operation realistically incriminates both the CIA and MOSSAD, as usual.  Only in this way can the Western powers send a serious message to Putin’s Russia that they will take advantage of Russian exposure both in the Middle East and throughout the entire world.   The Russian Federation already has its work cut out protecting its own borders from ISIS infiltration.

However, the singlest biggest question about this airliner takedown is: Who exactly were those 224 people on board.  If they were, in fact, Russian intelligence agents and technicial elites, there will be hell to pay.  

The Millennium Report  


People at St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport wait for news after a plane with 224 people on board crashes in Sinai during a flight to Russia (AFP Photo/Olga Maltseva)

IS claims downing in Sinai of Russian plane carrying 224

By Samer Al-Atrush with Maria Antonova in Moscow

Cairo (AFP) – A Russian charter plane carrying 224 people crashed in a mountainous part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula Saturday, killing all on board, Egyptian officials said.

The Islamic State group affiliate in Egypt claimed that it downed the plane, without saying how, but there has been no official word on the cause of the crash.

The plane with 214 Russian and three Ukranian passengers, and seven crew, had taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the south Sinai bound for Saint Petersburg. It lost contact with air traffic control 23 minutes later.

Egyptian security and medical officials said there were no survivors, and that the bodies of the passengers and debris were spread out over an area of five square kilometres (two square miles).

The Russian embassy in Cairo said: “Unfortunately, all passengers of Kogalymavia flight 9268 Sharm el-Sheikh-Saint Petersburg have died. We issue condolences to family and friends.”

The wreckage was found roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the North Sinai town of El-Arish, Egyptian officials said.

The IS affiliate, which is waging a deadly insurgency in the Sinai, claimed that “the soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane” there.

It said this was in revenge for Russian air strikes against militants in Syria, where IS controls territories that straddle Iraq.

Three military experts said IS in Sinai does not have surface-to-air missiles capable of hitting a plane at high altitude.

But they could not exclude the possibility of a bomb on board or a surface-to-air missile strike if the plane had descended for an emergency landing.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow’s emergency ministry to dispatch rescue teams to Egypt.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande said they had sent their condolences to Moscow.

The Russian emergency ministry published a list of names of the passengers, ranging in age from a 10-month-old girl to a 77-year-old woman.

A senior Egyptian aviation official said the plane was a charter flight operated by a Russian firm, and was flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet when communication was lost.

At Saint Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, anxious family members awaited news of their loved ones.

“I am meeting my parents,” said 25-year-old woman, Ella Smirnova, seemingly in shock. “I spoke to them last on the phone when they were already on the plane, and then I heard the news.”

“I will keep hoping until the end that they are alive, but perhaps I will never see them again.”

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot told him in their last communication that he was having trouble with the radio system.

Russian aviation official Sergei Izvolsky told Interfax news agency that the Airbus 321 operated by Russian carrier Kogalymavia had departed Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am (0351 GMT).

He said the plane did not make contact as expected with air traffic controllers in Cyprus.

– Communication lost –

“Communication was lost today with the Airbus 321 of Kogalymavia which was carrying out flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg,” Izvolsky told Russian television networks.

“The plane departed Sharm el-Sheikh with 217 passengers and seven crew members. At 7:14 Moscow time the crew was scheduled to make contact with… Larnaca (Cyprus). However, this did not happen and the plane disappeared from the radar screens.”

Kogalymavia, which operates under the name Metrojet, says it has two A320 planes and seven A321s, and that it transported 779,626 passengers in the first nine months of 2015, according to the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia.

Russia has a dismal air safety record, with charter operators often under pressure to book to capacity on ageing jets in a bid to cut costs.

Kogalymavia is a small regional carrier that flies mostly international charter services.

No representative of the airline could be found at the airport in Saint Petersburg and nobody at the company was answering the phones.

Russia’s regional airlines are notorious, and the crash is likely to raise renewed concerns about the safety of air travel in a country where experts have sounded the alarm over the ageing fleet of passenger jets.

The last major airliner crash in Egypt happened in 2004, when a Flash Airlines Boeing 737 plunged into the Red Sea after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh.

The 148 people on board, most of whom were French, were killed.

Millions of tourists, many of them Russian, visit the resort, one of Egypt’s major attractions for holidaymakers looking for pristine beaches and scuba diving.

It and other resorts dotting the Red Sea coast are heavily secured by the military and police, as an Islamist militant insurgency rages in the north of the peninsula, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Militants in the north who pledged allegiance to the jihadist Islamic State group have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.



Was Russian plane shot down by Isis in Egypt? Conspiracy theories arise after aircraft crashes in Sinai

By Mugdha Variyar

International Business Times

Beijing airport


After confirmation from Egypt that a Russian passenger plane had crashed in Sinai on Saturday, speculations and conspiracy theories were rife whether the plane had been shot down while it flew over the Isis stronghold of Sinai.

The Russian airline Kogalymavia flight was on its way to Russia after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea and had 224 people, including 17 children, on board when it crashed near Nekhel in the north of Sinai.

Isis has carried out increasing attacks in Sinai on Egypt’s security forces and civilians, and has established the group’s presence in the region over recent months.

Speculations on Twitter and other social media pointed at a possible Isis reprisal following Russian airstrikes against Islamic state targets in Syria over the past month.

Russia’s RIA news agency has reported that the plane developed technical problems and the pilot had sought to make an emergency landing in Cairo.

Egyptian security sources have said that there was no indication that the plane was shot down.

Terrorism researcher Charlie Winter said on his Twitter account that it was unlikely that Isis weapons had the ability or range to down a plane flying at 31,000 feet as the Russian aircraft was.

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But that has not stopped netizens from speculating about the plane crash, as evident by these Twitter posts –

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Only external force could have broken apart crashed Russian airliner – owner

People arrange candles to make a cross to commemorate 224 victims of a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt, on the stairs of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, November 1, 2015. © Maxim Shemetov
The Russian passenger jet that crashed in Sinai, Egypt, must have been damaged by a force in flight and couldn’t have just broken apart, the airline of the ill-fated Airbus A321 said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has urged an end to speculation until the investigation is complete.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on Russian passenger jet crash over Sinai

“It would be wrong to articulate any preliminary guesses or voice statements that are not based on anything,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian president, on Monday. “Let the investigators produce at least some results first.”

The crew of Kolavia Flight 7K9268 was apparently disabled before the aircraft started its rapid descent and crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, Viktor Yung, deputy director of the airline told the media on Monday.

“As the catastrophic incident started to develop, the crew members were rendered completely incapable. This explains why they didn’t attempt to contact air traffic and report the incident happening on board,” he said.

The airline doesn’t believe human error could have been the cause of the disaster either, citing the experience of its captain and other crewmembers.

“We are certain that neither technical malfunction nor pilot error” can be blamed for the disaster, Aleksandr Smirnov, who supervises the company’s fleet, said.

The company believes that serious structural damage by an external force may have caused the crash.

“The only possible explanation is a mechanical force acting on the aircraft,” Smirnov said. “There is no combination of system failures that could have broken the plane apart in the air.”

The company gave assurances that the crashed Airbus had passed all necessary tests, including a check for metal fatigue in 2014, an inspection that must be done every six years.

The airline Kogalymavia, which uses the brand name Metrojet, owns the Airbus A321 that crashed in Egypt just 20 minutes after it took off Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport. All 224 people on board died in the disaster, making it the deadliest incident of this kind in Russian aviation history.

Investigators said they were looking into all possible causes of the crash, including human error, technical failure and foul play.

The situation is expected to become clearer after the data is recovered from the plane’s flight recorders. They were recovered from the crash site and are “in good condition” Vladimir Puchkov, the head of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry told the media on Monday, after inspecting the devices. Egypt is to decide where the analysis of the records will be conducted, since according to international rules it is responsible for investigating the crash.

A militant group associated with Islamic State claimed to have shot down the Russian plane. But this claim was deemed unreliable, since the shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles they may have in their possession have too short a range to take down a plane flying at a high altitude.

“Now, different media report… that a Russian passenger airliner on a flight from Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg has been allegedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile fired by terrorists. This information cannot be regarded as reliable,” said Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail has also expressed doubt about the claim.

“Experts have affirmed that technically planes at this altitude cannot be shot down, and the black box will be the one that will reveal the reasons for the crash,” Mr Ismail was quoted by state news agency MENA as saying.