Feanor, there are over 19,000 thread on this board.
Do me a favor and stay out of the treads that are started by RickUSN please?
So my question is this Rick: Do you think Russia can manage it? I guess with the carriers question it partly depends on what kind of carriers, but in general do you think the Russian Navy is up to speed on the logistics and engineering of bringing a large fleet of new vessels online?
Feanor, there are over 19,000 thread on this board.
Do me a favor and stay out of the treads that are started by RickUSN please?
Look at the buys of warships from China and India. Did you notice each new purchase of ships goes to a new shipyard everytime? The reason is because the profits are being folded into modernizing shipyards. The government doesn't actually profit from naval military sales, all they are doing is sustaining their workforce and industrial base as best they can with foreign orders.
The same is true for submarines.
The Russian Navy is guaranteed over 6 billion a year in shipbuilding until 2015. All of the political majors are behind the plan. The reason for the 'guarantee' is to insure stability in the industry until 2015, a lesson no doubt learned by watching the American shipbuilding industry roller coaster.
The Project 22350 only costs around 350 million per. They expect to have 4 completed by 2015 and will have at least 4 more under construction at that time, potentially more.
But there is a major roadblock.
The Government is about to take over the shipbuilding industry to rebuild it. It is a major topic of discussion within Russia. Some want the shipbuilding industry to retool for commercial ships, but that may not happen, as the frontrunner has stated he prefers to retool for military construction.
The gamble is this. Russia can sustain 6 billion until 2015, but the plan for carriers would apparently cost more after 2015, somewhere around a sustained 8 billion a year. The Russian expectation is that after 2015 Russians economy will be in full growth by then, but I think there are legitimate questions whether that is indeed possible.
There is one wild card here. Russia enjoys one thing that most of the other major players at the top do not. Russia has an abundance of required resources, from metals to energy Russia's resource situation is more stable than say China, India, the US, or Europe. That is not a small thing.
When you think about where Russia was 10 years ago in relation to the rest of the world, and where they are today for the next 10 years going forward, there are a lot of reasons the Russians can be optimistic, but that doesn't mean they still don't have some major hurdles to clear first.
As Ive said before Russia has the capability and the ability to become a world acknowledged Super Power anytime it wants.
IT still has the nations like Canada, Norway, US, UK? and Japan subsidising its Navy. Building ships for export at a huge profit to India, China and others.
Heres just the latest:
RIA Novosti - World - Japan to finance dismantling of three Russian nuclear submarines
Japan to finance dismantling of three Russian nuclear submarines
11:45 | 03/ 08/ 2007
VLADIVOSTOK, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - Japan will finance the scrapping of three Russian nuclear submarines decommissioned from the Pacific Fleet under a joint project with Russia, a senior Japanese diplomat said Friday.
The three Victor class vessels will be dismantled under the Star of Hope program for the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines in Russia's Far East, which was adopted in 2003 during a visit by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Russia.
"A contract signed at the Zvezda military shipyard August 2...stipulates complete dismantling of three Victor III class nuclear submarines by the end of 2008," Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Sekiguchi Masakazu told a news conference in Vladivostok.
A Japanese delegation arrived in the Primorye Territory in Russia's Far East August 1 to monitor the implementation of the Star of Hope project, which is fully financed by Japan.
"As far as I know, Russia has pledged to scrap all nuclear submarines decommissioned from the Pacific Fleet by the end of 2010, and Japan is willing to provide assistance to this project," the Japanese diplomat said.
According to some reports, there are about 30 decommissioned nuclear submarines moored at various ports in the Russian Far East.
During the dismantlement process, spent nuclear fuel is removed from the submarine's reactors and sent to storage, the hull is cut into three sections, and the bow and stern sections are removed and destroyed. The reactor section is sealed and transferred to storage.
Masakazu said one of the Russian submarines had already been dismantled and talks on scrapping a Charlie I class nuclear submarine, located at a base on the Kamchatka Peninsula, were currently underway.
The worry now days is about China but the real "threat" is Russia always has been and always will be.
The only hope for the US and Europe is war between Russia and China.
SK, Taiwan and Japan have no real hope at all.
All this "war on terrorism" fixation has become a dangerous distraction.
The war in Iraq was a boondoggle from the beginning.
But both of the above served to halt the unilateral disarmament of the US of course the ongoing struggles may restart that process anew after the 2008 elections.
And then we will see Russia dominate the world in a very short time.
They have already laid claim to the Caspian Sea nations(including Iran), ALL of Europe(including the UK or threaten to wipe Britain off the face of the earth) and lately laid claim to the North Pole from the center of the Earth to the Center of the Universe.
Make no mistake Russia is holding a Royal Flush but they play with the consumate poker face.
This is why the UK leadership clings desperately to alliance with the US even though the position is a political albatross , why the Eastern European nations deperately plead for admittance to NATO, why Canada is suddely pouring BILLIONS of dollars into its Navy and why the new French President is incredibly Pro-US although taht position is likely to make his tenure quite short.
I know this may sound bleak but its the future.
Thats why Ive stated before I love vodka, chain-smokong and am making sure my daughter is fluent in Russian.
Im an American Im nothing if not hard working, unpretentious, long-suffering, iconoclastic, flexible, adaptable, pragmatic, realistic, forward-looking/thinking, logical, historically savvy and sensible.
Too many people underestimate Americans as individuals and their capacity to accomadate, accept, embrace and even initiate change, they only focus on the misleading and many times false sterotypes of the United States.
Im prepared for the future "new world order" where the US will be lucky to be a minor player.
Any nation hoping alliance with the US will secure the status quo and their future does not understand the history of the US.
All one has to do is look at the history of the so-called traditions of the US to see how greatly they have evolved and changed over the decades.
NFL Football on Christmas Eve on Christmas Day whod have ever thought??????
I grew up in Wisconsin where in my youth the vast majority of the population was involved with small family dairy farming. In a very short time the word "family" has almost been eliminated and small is virtually nonexistent.
Yet the vast majority of Wisconsinites have incorporated the values of that way of live into new enterprises so much so that the pain of dairy farmings massive decline have caused hardly a ripple except in certain minor and specific constituencies.
Sorry to be so long but sometimes perspective has to be given to help explain views on a specific area such as.:
"So my question is this Rick: Do you think Russia can manage it? "
Absolutely without question or reservation.
Ive never in my life underestimated or ridiculed Russias people, equipment or its industry.
Nor do I fear them and respect those who respect me.
When I was in submarines oh so long ago finding and tracking Russian submarnes was a difficult and dangerous effort.
Not nearly as simple and easy as many portray it and would have us believe.
I lived it, did it and I know not because Im a genious but from simple, everyday experience.
It was time consuming, demanded meticulous and scrupulous focus of effort, attention to detail, skillfull use of equipment and being able to correlate tiny pieces of seemingly irrelevant and unrelated data into a coherent, tangible fact that could be explained to and understood by ANYONE and then appropriate action reccommended from the analysis to appropriate command leadership and weapon operators.
In other words it was short on romance and long on excrutiatingly exhausting brain -work.
The reward? There was none. Except the self-reward to ourselves knowing that we did this, often against all odds.
We took particular satisfaction when finding a Russian(USSR) submarine when Naval Intelligence assured us that there were no said submarines anywhere near us.
The best "intelligence report" like the best "weather report" is looking out the window and employing your own faculties and experience for judgement of the situation.
One thing I learned was always, always trust your own instincts and experience.
If it faintly even: looks like a horse, smells like a horse, sounds like a horse, walks like a horse, feels like a horse, acts like a horse and/or eats like a horse...its probably a horse.
Only the good lord knows how many submarines have passed close by each other with neither understanding or knowing the other was there much less being able to do tracking and analysis.
We kept detailed logs. charts, graphs and recordings mostly done manually that we turned over to those who placed great value on them.
Now having said that doesnt mean that it isnt vastly more difficult now just that it wasnt nearly as easy long ago as some say.
That was a really long answer to what really only needs a very short answer.
Of course, national disasters have occasionally been catalysts for the rise of dictators like Hitler and Napoleon, with subsequent military build ups and conquests. Russia certainly has the natural resources for a military build up, but do they have the human resources? I don't know. What do you think?
I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.
I have to stand by my analysis. I know its not mainsteam or popular.
Any Russian problems, if in fact there are any, are overblown IMHO.
But if demographics really are a concern,and yes Ive read about that issue awhile ago, then they have to strike soon. Or get the rest of the world to capitulate without firing a shot. And that may not be all that far fetched.
I believe all of their current actions point to just such a course.
It just amazes me that the nations I mentioned have financed their nuclear waste disposal while they continue to moderniize and buildup their military while threatening any dissenting nations with being targeted with nuclear weapons.
Its unbelievable and irrational appeasment at its base core and does not bode well for the future.
The UK has become a prime target of Russia since the USSR dissolution and the only way to understand it is to go back in history.
The unreasonable and against all odds failure of Britain to surrender to Hitlers Nazi Germany is embedded deep in the Russian psyche.
Along with the fact that this declining, tiny island nation was humongus pain in the ass for Russia/USSR during the Cold War again this is embedded deep in the Russian psyche.
I dont know how much the typical/average Brit(if there is such a thing) understand this but it appears much of their leadership does.
And while many down play Russian capabilities. No one has any consistent reliable and accurate information. Not even Russian citizens themselves.
For cripes sake even the simplest inquires for information that is readilly available with a "click of a mouse" on western capabilities is met with stony stares and deafening silence on Russias ships, aircraft, weapons and other comparable capabilities.
Same with China but they are for the moment not near the threat Russia is.
And while many downplay the North Pole foray I again reiterate this took a vast amount of planning, leadership, funding, training and other resources to consumate.
Its much, much, much more than a photo op or a mere token gesture.
This was a major operation that took much cooperation accross the spectrum of Russias capabilities and abilities.
The mere fact that the rest of the world made little "noise" about it much less anything more concrete is alarming.
Not because nothing was done but because of the fact that the rest of the world in particular the US was too impotent to even consider responding in any effective manner.
The real reasons for this no doubt are highly classified but the Artic Ocean has been the USN submarine forces playground. To make no appearance... publically in any event...why?
Were they kept at bay?
The whole situation and how its played out is not logical and breaks all recent historical precedent when judged by outwards appearances and admissions.
Unless a new Cold War really is underway and secrecy is again KING?
Do I need draw a picture of the uncertainty and perilous nature this scenario presents?
Any miscalculation by the parties involved would be catastrophic.
Although for me no less so than what my "instincts" and "gut feeling" have been warning me for at least a dozen years now.
Bits and pieces, bits and pieces and suddenly the vague,undefined,uncorrelated and unsettling data coalesse into something of menacing substance, unmerciful and deadly in its nature.
And this time Im not talking about a lone wolf hunting attack submarine!!! But an entire nation poised to explode in unparralled violence of a malevolent nature not seen in history.
Am I scared or want to scare anybody? No.
Future events are never written in stone because there are far too many variables and unforseen events that may intervene.
But I advise caution and wariness.
Geez my responses are long-winded today.
And no I havent read "America alone".
But I just went and read some of the reviews.
He appears to touch on some of the subjects I mentioned. Although if the reviews are any indication he and I dont agree on alot.
This I certainly agree with. In fact Ive stated this point even more forecfully:
"America is the world's bastion against tyranny; its weakening.."
But all th rest?
"and all the new hatred against its government is the reason its friends are so disturbed," said co-author Jonathan Clarke at a recent Cato Institute event. "Our book is about the institutional failure, the reasons neocons were so successful, and what will happen in the future."
At the moment Im inclined to think not but then I havent read the book either.
1- Russia's petro-dollars can either rebuild the country or rebuild the population (via tax cuts and incentives to promote child rearing) not both. The way it is going now Russia is going to lose Siberia to China at some point.
2- Russia's energy stranglehold on Western Europe is based on oil being below 70 a barrel. Once Oil prices exceed that the energy crisis dissovles and the world suddenly has more oil that it can use in hundreds of years as non-crude sources become profitable.
3- If the cycle of climate change does indeed herald a mini or even full blown ice age Russia is quite frankly F*CKED in big bold letters. Her ports will be icebound and her growing seasons will get so short as to make her once again a net food importer.
4- Rampant achoholism and declining life expectancy.
5- Illegal imigration from the Stans and rising racism.
6- Aging and often failing soviet era infastructure.
7- Impending MDR TB pandemic (Putin is going to regret kicking Soro's NGO's out of Russia) and a high level of HIV infection rates.
8- Technoloy give aways, Russia will sell almsot anyone anythign giving the west birds eye view of cutting edge technology.
These are all major issues Russia has to deal with internally beofre she can even think of world domination. Putin seems to be ignorign these things in his drive to make Russia great again. But these systemic problems ahve to be adressed or Russia will fail in the long run.
I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.
Your points if true again make time of the essence and in fact point to war or capitulation by nations coveted by Russia because of sheer fear of Russias nuclear threats as the only real way to solve any of the points you mention.
And in no way appear refute any of my concerns or outlook.
In fact they only back-up and reinforce my assertions that Russia must act and soon.
And now you are scaring me far more than I ever considered I was scaring myself.
Indeed your take on climate change makes bold moves soon by Russia their only hope for survival and if thats the case why not world domination instead?
As that has always been Russias goal in the first place.!!!!
And I didnt make that up as you well know.
Its a fact proudly, unashamedly, unrepentedly and unpologetically brandished by every Russian site I frequent.
In fact the virulent anti-everything American is not only condoned but encouraged on these sites and they are not fringe sites either.
Those are even worse. And no American remains on them for long. Either through sheer fright or instant banning for the slightest of imagined offenses.
At the minimum the Russians will only accept all of Europe, India, Iran, Iraq and Japan as reparations for the supposed wrongs they feel they have been forced to endure.
Afghanistan and Pakistan they just plan to "nuke" if they cause any trouble.
Why Japan? I dont know. I didnt say they were rational demands not unlike their incredible hatred and/or fear of the UK.
Any way I much more enjoy tracing the history of the post-war navies.
But I just realised that my searching for info on the USSR/Russian Fleets lead me directly to much of the information and attitudes I base my outlook of Russia on.
Thats a bit chilling dont you think?
Why do I get more(have I gotten any) responses about this than my historical perspective on the Royal Navy??????????????????
Holy Mackeral it seems this site is far more interested in politics than navies.
Last edited by rickusn; 05 Aug 07, at 01:25.
Here we go.
Waltzing Matilda posted this over on my China thread:
China's military might | The long march to be a superpower | Economist.com
"But the Americans find it difficult to tell China bluntly to stop doing what others are doing too (including India, which has aircraft-carriers and Russian fighter planes). In May Admiral Timothy Keating, the chief of America's Pacific Command, said China's interest in aircraft-carriers was “understandable”. He even said that if China chose to develop them, America would “help them to the degree that they seek and the degree that we're capable.” But, he noted, “it ain't as easy as it looks.”
A senior Pentagon official later suggested Admiral Keating had been misunderstood. Building a carrier for the Chinese armed forces would be going a bit far. But the two sides are now talking about setting up a military hotline. The Americans want to stay cautiously friendly as the dragon grows stronger. "
Because Russia is more of a threat.
"The Russians have gained deeper insights. Two years ago the PLA staged large-scale exercises with them, the first with a foreign army. Although not advertised as such, these were partly aimed at scaring the Taiwanese. The two countries practised blockades, capturing airfields and amphibious landings. The Russians showed off some of the weaponry they hope to sell to the big-spending Chinese.
Another large joint exercise is due to be held on August 9th-17th in the Urals (a few troops from other members of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a six-nation group including Central Asian states, will also take part). But David Shambaugh of George Washington University says the Russians have not been very impressed by China's skills. After the joint exercise of 2005, Russians muttered about the PLA's lack of “jointness”, its poor communications and the slowness of its tanks. "
You can tell me all about Russian problems and weaknesses.
They either dont exist or they make the case for Russian expansionism ever more closer to reality.
I wish it wasnt so but all the evidence points to the scenarios Ive been describing.
It will be brutal if Im actually right. Hope Im not. Or do I?
But the worst case scenario for the US is an allied Russia/China.
At the very least it means the US will have no alternative but to withdraw from the world stage or be anhilated.
From Super Power to has-been in the blink of an eye.
On the Artic issue:
The North Pole is Ours, Not Russia's - August 4, 2007
The North Pole is Ours, Not Russia's
By Cliff Kincaid | August 4, 2007 Rather than rely on U.S. military might, including Navy and Coast Guard ships, in order to safeguard U.S. rights in the Arctic, the State Department wants to depend on a 21-member U.N. commission dominated by countries who cannot be counted on to defend our interests. Send this page to a friend
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The sensational headlines say, “Russian Arctic Team Reaches North Pole.” But the U.S. was there first―back in the early 1900s. America, not Russia, has a valid claim to the North Pole.
The controversy is not about a block of ice. Because arctic sea ice is melting, opening up new passageways for ships, there is an opportunity to explore for natural resources absolutely vital to the U.S. economy. Exploiting the seabed for oil and gas and other resources could help free us from dependence on foreign nations.
Yet, the U.S. State Department wants to turn the whole matter over to the United Nations.
State Department officials, led by Condoleezza Rice’s top lawyer, John B. Bellinger III, are telling the press that the U.S. should immediately ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to contest Russia’s claim to the seabed under the North Pole. They seem to have forgotten that the U.S. Navy’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, passed under the North Pole on August 3, 1958, and its second Commanding Officer, Commander William R. Anderson, claimed the region “For the world, our country, and the Navy.” He wrote the book, First Under the North Pole, about the secret mission called “Operation Sunshine.” President Eisenhower sent the message, “Congratulations on a magnificent achievement. Well done.”
While the Russians are claiming to have traveled to the Arctic Ocean floor at the North Pole in a submarine and planted their flag on August 2, the Nautilus reached the geographic North Pole almost 50 years ago. A second submarine, the Skate, actually surfaced at the Pole.
Before the Nautilus, of course, two American explorers, Dr. Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary, a U.S. Navy commander, led missions that reportedly reached the Pole in 1908 and 1909. On the Peary mission, it was his aide, Matthew Henson, a black explorer, who planted the American flag in the ice. A website in his honor refers to him as the co-discoverer of the North Pole and a U.S. postage stamp recognized their achievement.
Henson’s important role in this mission was recognized by President Reagan, who granted a petition to move Henson’s remains to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. In 1996, a Navy ship, the USNS Henson, was named for him and he remains a role model for and hero to African-American young people.
At a Matthew Henson Remembrance Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on November 21, 1998, Rear Admiral Jerry Ellis, the Oceanographer of the Navy, described Henson as “the man who stood first at the world’s northernmost point of land, who held the American flag at 86 degrees, 6 minutes north, who suffered the hardships of that frightful march to the North Pole, when dogs were used for food, and sledges burned for fuel.”
So why isn’t the State Department reasserting American sovereignty over the region? It’s because Bellinger, and so many other State Department lawyers, are committed to “international law” and treaties which regulate and restrict what the U.S. can do.
Russians Give Credit to America
There is still a dispute over who got there first, and how close they actually came to the Pole, but Russell W. Gibbons of the Frederick Cook Society notes that Soviet/Russian encyclopedias and authorities give Cook credit for discovering the Pole. The website of the Cook Society features a quotation from Dr. V.S. Koryakin, Polar historian of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying in 1993, “There is no ground to question the validity of Dr. Cook’s assertion that he reached the North Pole.”
So the Russians have conceded that an American was there first!
The current controversy has been prompted by the Russians planting a flag on the ocean floor under the Pole and claiming the area under UNCLOS. The press has been full of sensational stories about how this big show will supposedly enable the Russians to exploit the oil and gas said to lie under the Arctic Ocean and how the United States, which has not ratified UNCLOS, will be left out of the race for the black gold. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Russian moves are part of a plan under UNCLOS to claim the territory.
State Department legal adviser John B. Bellinger III was quoted by USA Today’s Barbara Slavin as saying that the Senate needs to ratify UNCLOS so the U.S. can submit a claim to the arctic seabed up to 600 miles off the coast of Alaska. He noted the U.S. doesn’t have a seat on the U.N. commission that establishes such claims.
The paper neglected to point out that the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which Bellinger is referring to, has 21 members, including Russia and China, and can not be counted on to rule in our favor.
Tom Casey, deputy State Department spokesman, said that the U.S. would have to respond―but only through the U.N. treaty process. He said, “...the Russian Government is pursuing a claim under their right to do so as members of the Law of the Sea Convention. This is something that unfortunately, the United States is not in a position to do because we have yet to ratify that convention and it’s one of the reasons why we are interested and supportive of having that treaty be ratified by the U.S. Senate.”
More Lawyers, Not More Ships
So rather than rely on U.S. military might, including Navy and Coast Guard ships, in order to safeguard U.S. rights in the Arctic, the State Department wants to depend on a 21-member U.N. commission dominated by countries who cannot be counted on to defend our interests.
There used to be a time when U.S. ships were the law OF the sea. But now, because of the decline in Navy ships from 594 under President Reagan to only 276 today, the State Department wants to depend on a U.N. treaty to give us the rights we previously exercised on our own behalf.
This was admitted by Susan Biniaz, an Assistant Legal Adviser in the U.S. Department of State, who told an American Enterprise Institute panel discussion on July 17 that “We don’t have the capacity to be challenging every maritime claim throughout the world solely through the use of naval power. And [we] certainly can’t use the Navy to meet all the economic interests.”
This means the State Department will “challenge” Russia’s claim to the North Pole through UNCLOS.
It would be nice if our State Department lawyers had some knowledge of history and American claims to the region. Unfortunately, our media are similarly ignorant.
My survey of press coverage of this controversy turned up only one story, distributed by the Associated Press, which mentioned the Cook and Peary missions to the Pole back in the early 1900s.
But rather than claim the entire area―based on the Cook, Peary/Henson and Nautilus expeditions―the State Department wants to dicker with the Russians, Chinese and others through a U.N. Commission.
Rather than build more ships, the State Department plans to hire more lawyers to make our case before the foreign judges at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It has 21 judges from such countries as Russia, China, and France.
UNCLOS regulates “military” and “peaceful” activities on the high seas and restricts industrial activity on land that could contribute to pollution in the oceans. It calls the oceans the “common heritage of mankind,” a Marxist concept that takes away the right of nation-states to exploit the resources for their own benefit. It gives countries their own natural resources within 200 miles of their coast and allows them to claim more only if they can prove their continental shelf extends further into the sea. The Russians are insisting there is an underwater ridge that extends from the Siberian shelf below the Pole.
Russian claims in this area are so flimsy that they were rejected before―by the U.N. itself. The proceedings of the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf demonstrate that Russian claims about the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic and Pacific oceans were considered during a series of meetings in 2002 and they were told to make “revised” submissions. That is, the Russian case was weak.
The proceedings also show that the U.S., despite not having ratified the treaty, provided information, along with Canada, Denmark, Japan, and Norway, rebutting the Russian claims. So we already have the “seat at the table” that treaty proponents say we can only get through ratification.
Because of the melting ice, U.S. and other ships can now navigate what is called the Northwest Passage. The U.S. made an arrangement with Canada for these rights and the U.N. did not need to become involved. What’s more, there already exists an Arctic Council of 8 countries, including Russia, which exists to resolve disputes.
It would be tragic if the recent Russian mission, which was clearly a stunt, prompts the Senate to ratify a treaty whose effect would be to diminish and even discredit the work of the courageous American explorers and military personnel who truly discovered the Pole and claimed it for America.
Viewed in the context of history, which the State Department conveniently forgets, UNCLOS is a vehicle for giving away what is rightfully ours.
Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reportedly plans a hearing on the treaty in September. The pact could be sent to the Senate floor for ratification shortly thereafter.
If the U.S. State Department will not speak up for America, who will?
The Congress is waiting to hear from the same people who defeated the so-called “immigration reform” bill.
Nothing less than U.S. sovereignty is at stake.
Rick, have you spent any time reading the opinions of JR Nyquist and his "The Final Phase" theory? To summarize, he believes that the break up of the Soviet Union was planned (based on Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn predictions years before the actual break up) by high ranking officials. Jeff also goes on to discuss the Russian art of deception and how the Russians continue to deceive the West even today. The end game was to provide the west with enough of a warm and fuzzy that they would let their guard down and turn their interests to other targets, while Russia was able to position themselves towards global dominance.
I am not sure how much I buy into it all, and if indeed there was a grand plan, one can never account for all the wrenches thrown into a 20, 30, or 40 year plan. However, it is not inconceivable that the Russians have been working towards such an end goal in secret. Rumors such as those that revolve around Yamantau Mountain and the continued activity there raise many questions. Could Russia be so thick as to sell off their latest military hardward, without really having something that trumps it? Do we believe for a minute that at least some proceeeds from sales have not been at least been allocated towards R&D for new 21st century weapons. Should the wisdom of Sun Tzu really not be applied to the Russians?
I for one would rather overestimate the Russians, based on history, rather than underestimate them.
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