12 August 2019   Leave a comment

As the US continues to exert pressure on Iran, one can assume that Iran is trying to find allies, or, at the least, sympathetic friends to maintain its economy. It is also pretty safe to assume that it has been successful, given that the price of oil has not risen dramatically, even as the US tries to cut off exports of oil from Iran and Venezuela. The suspicion is that both China and Russia are moving closer to Iran (and perhaps India as well), and are conducting economic and strategic relations surreptitiously. US policy seems to be isolating the US quite effectively, and the long-term consequences of the shift will likely be significant.

We know that Russia has been developing new weapons to counteract the US effort to build an effective anti-missile system. The US systems are far from operational, but Russia is taking no chances that its nuclear arsenal could be made obsolete by new technologies. The two ways to defeat an anti-missile system is to make nuclear missiles so fast that an anti-missile system could not respond in time and/or to develop missiles that can travel close to the ground for extended periods of time, allowing missile trajectories that cannot be effectively tracked. The Russians (and the Chinese) are developing hypersonic missiles to accomplish the first tactic and there have been some successes in this area. The second tactic requires missiles that use an energy source other than chemical fuels. The most obvious fuel source is an very small nuclear reactor fitted onto a cruise missile, but the technological hurdles for building such reactors are formidable.

The Russians are reporting that a nuclear accident occurred near their testing site in the Arctic, in a closed town named Sarov. At least five people, all scientists, were killed in the accident and higher levels of radioactivity were reported. It appears as if a new cruise missile was being tested. In talking about the Russian test, US President Trump also revealed that the US is working on a similar missile, apparently breaching a highly classified secret. Both states are working on a weapon that neither side needs for any strategic purpose.

Posted August 12, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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