Seriously. D. Trump has announced the Space Force. He’s recognized the high frontier as critical to survival in the Nuclear Age and recognized that we are no longer in a binary détente, but entering a ‘Brave New World’ of multipolar instability.
He, for the moment, he has N. Korea realizing it is a Very Bad Idea to lob rockets over Japan at the USA. “Glow in the dark, or rich beyond the dreams of avarice?” seems to have reached Kim Jong Cupcake… Then with Iran he’s realized the end game of the “treaty” was just a win for the “long game” and nukes in Iran. But one man can’t stop it all with getting in the grill of Stupids.
We’re also realizing that having treaties that bind the USA and USSR don’t do much when the USSR is history, Russia is a pale replacement, and the real problem will be China and Radical Islam. So Trump has been dumping stupid treaties right and left.
Here I’m going to cause some palpitations among those who think me All Trump All The Time:
Russia is not a spectator on the modern stage. It is still the largest nuclear arsenal after the USA. Russian science and engineering is every bit as good as ours (once free of “political oversight”) and the Russian people are very competent. They also have a very long history of fighting off invasions of various sorts from all sides. “You are not paranoid if they ARE out to get you!” and for most of the history of Russia they have had to fight off all sorts of folks “out to get them”. (In particular, Germany twice rather recently, but also China a time or two, and further back Rome and The Empire…)
So it is vitally important to understand the Russian point of view. In short: ~’The West is crazy town full of unpredictable idiots and the East is evil full of ambition and guile’ as my summary of their situation. I also ought to add: ‘And to the south are mobs of zealots desiring nothing more than our subjugation’ as Russia has had to deal with the Muslim Hoard longer than we have.
I admire Russia and the Russians. Just to get that out of the way. I just wish I could master their language. I can decode bits of it, but highly inflected languages continue to elude me. I’m still trying though. The language is “highly conservative” (that is a linguistics term NOT connected to politics – it means the language changes very slowly compared to non-inflected languages like English) and reflects an older time than English. Further, Russian has one past tense. To say “Germany invaded Russia” is the same be it in W.W.II or yesterday. About the only complexity it includes is “aspect”. Is the action ongoing or only a one off? See:
for more detail on that aspect of how Russians think… Let’s just say that “do something twice it becomes ongoing”…
We forget what was done a decade ago (how many millennial snowflakes know what the ABM treaty was, or even that it existed? I “won” a debate about it in High School a good 48 years ago…) while to a Russian, being invaded by Germany in W.W.II is as recent as yesterday, linguistically and culturally.
Sidebar on French:
French has more past tenses than you can figure out how to use. IIRC, it was something like 7 of them There is one used only in literature “the simple past”. If you want to talk about the past and put things in fine grain order, with some actions ongoing and others static, with “over and done” and “started in the past and still happening” and more marked; use French. If, however, you wish to just say “It happened (and is over)” or “It happened and continued” use Russian… Keep that in mind if you ‘cross’ a Russian. Do it twice, you are forever marked as “and it continued”… (continues…)
Russia knows its history.
Along with that being surrounded comes a strong sense of Deep History and strong sense of betrayal (as they have been betrayed so often). That betrayal is of the “and continues” sort.
With that as background, consider these statements (has embedded ads so don’t think it is over when it goes to a commercial):
11 minutes. A Russian points out America only does what benefits itself.
He makes some excellent points. No “agreement” with the USA is stable for longer than the term of the current President. This is both a good thing, in that we can exit mistakes rapidly, and a bad thing, in that nobody can really trust us. I have no answer as to which is better or how to “fix” it. I’d not want, for example, Obama to be able to obligate us to a “Paris Agreement” for eternity. At the same time, having Russia know our “agreement” to not make anti-missile defense systems lasts only as long as we are “winning” it also not beneficial. (More on that below).
Then there is the whole point about hyper-sonic missiles (in which, IMHO, Russia leads) making everyone much much closer, seconds to single digit minutes where before we had many minutes to low hours of warning; that’s not making us safer. “We” have a treaty forbidding missiles and bombs in space… but that is good for what, 2 more years, or maybe gone tomorrow? The Russian POV matters here. Of what use is that agreement if, in a few months, our President can just announce “We are out of that treaty, our nuclear space force is now on orbit. Don’t worry, we are the good guys. Sleep peacefully knowing USA Nuclear Forces are only 60 miles over your head and can nuke your ‘oppressors’ with no more than a 1 minute warning”… “BTW I leave office in 2 years, good luck with the next guy”…
Now I understand that POV. I also understand that with the world changing from bi-polar to multi-polar and with China as the big future threat and Iran / Islam right behind it: Having a good missile defense system AND intermediate and short range weapons available to use against those NON-SIGNATORIES will matter ever more. Still, someone needs to slap Tump up side the head about how to make nice with Russia.
Personally, I’d love to see Trump make Putin his “best buddy” and both of us agree it is other folks that are the problem, not either of us. Given current events (not the least of which is the “show trial” of Mueller and the ‘Russia Probe’) that isn’t going to happen.
So we must deal with what is in front of us. How’s that going to work out, eh?
My admiration for Putin rises with each video I see of him. He is on top of the international changes, he knows about all the treaties and their changes, heck, he knows what is in the USA Budget (something I would bet hard money not 1/4 of our congress critters who voted for it know…).
He “gets it” that there are other parties ( Iran, Israel, China, North Korea, …) who have now changed global dynamics about nuclear missiles. He also remembers where the most historical threats to Russia have come from – Europe (Germany).
Then he quite rationally states what would be the most reasonable reactions by Russia.
OMG I wish we had even ONE politician on the national stage who had that grasp of issues. He must really have despised Bill Clinton, Obama, and OMG Hillary would be seen as a horror show joke… (For those who have not read “A Clockwork Orange” the phrase “horror show” is a close analog of the Russian word for “very good”… it’s an interesting bi-lingual pun to call Hillary a “horror show joke”…)
Seven minutes. Note the point at the 4 minute mark where the USA is installing anti-ballistic missiles in Romania… At 5 1/4 minutes is the point that let me ‘win’ the debate on ABM systems – swamping with volume and MIRVs. I agree with Putin on the risks (the 6.5 or so point) and on the point that China is the new big risk:
What to do, what to do. It would be best, in my opinion, for Trump to become ‘besties’ with Putin. They are both leaders who are Nationalists who want the best for their own peoples and they both realize the threat of Soros and the Globalists. I’m not expecting it to happen. The EU is playing them both against the middle (or at least against their idea of the midddle…)
What is very clear is that there’s a new “thing” happening in space:
Hit the link to see an Aegis ship shoot down “something” on orbit.
So we have destroyer scale ability to blow up things in space, and that’s OK…
Which brings me to the point of the title. Look at the video in the link. We blow up an object in space. That will put millions of of bits of crap into every possible orbit.
The stuff sent “backwards” will lose enough velocity to de-orbit. The stuff sent “up” and “down” will have eccentric orbits that dip into the atmosphere and eventually drag will bring them down. A problem for “a while”, then ending. Then there is the 1/4 that got more velocity and are now in higher but more or less circular orbits. That “stuff” will last for generations.
One or two such “tests” and we can live with losing an occasional satellite or two as “crap” hits it and causes “unknown failure”. What happens when 20 or 200 of such explosions happen in LEO and all of the important orbits are filled with shrapnel?
We become a surface bound species for a generation or 10 as the “crap” slowly, oh so slowly, loses enough velocity to de-orbit.
Until such time as we have some ability to remove that kind of small crap from orbit, the use of explosive and impact devices on orbit is incredibly dumb. Yes, I appreciate the value of preventing missiles from destroying a “City near me”; but we are dancing with the devil here. We could very easily lock ourselves out of space for 1000 years in the name of ‘protection’.
I wish someone would ponder that, just a bit…