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Utopia Talk / Politics / INF treaty violations
jergul
large member
Sat Feb 02 07:21:44
In short: The treaty bans deployment of nuclear capable missiles with a range of up to 5000 km.

It is ultimately a good faith agreement because it allows for many ways to bypass the treaty

Deployment of dual purpose launchers that can use nuclear missiles (US and Russia)

The use of non-missile technology to achieve similar capability (US and Russia).

The use of non-ground based platforms from which to launch missiles (US and Russia).

The uses of test missiles that have forbidden missile profiles (US and Russia).

Also, this is ultimately an agreement between Russia and the US. It does not include China.

Bolton termed it "a cold war relic". This type of sentiment is likely what is driving the treaty suspension.

To me, the treaty is quite valuable as it does block mass deployment of inherently dangerous weapon types. It might also contribute to limiting misguided ideas of limiting nuclear wars to Europe West of the Urals.

I am sad to see it go.
Paramount
Member
Sat Feb 02 08:29:11
”Also, this is ultimately an agreement between Russia and the US. It does not include China.”


That is why the US withdraws from the treaty. The US feels that they are being constrained by it while China is not being constrained or bound by such treaty.

Russia and China should probably team up now.
Sam Adams
Member
Sat Feb 02 11:32:44
Meh. China has developed these and europe can take a hand in their own self interest and help negotiate a new one.
jergul
large member
Tue Feb 05 02:12:29
You want Russia and Europe negotiate a deal on nuclear missile limitations in Europe east of the Urals?

=============

I am frankly most concerned about launch sites that can use both nuclear missiles and anti ballistic missiles.

(Russia can potentially have those too. And will if the deal falls through).

It makes any attack on such air defence systems an attack on 2nd strike capability.

I would move the doomsday clock forward for that reason alone.
Seb
Member
Tue Feb 05 06:58:09
You appear to be aluding to the Russian prosition on AEGIS ashore.

The mk 41 VLS used in aegis ashore is a modified variant that does not include the right hardware and software needed to launch a TLAM and hasn't been tested for such do arguably doesn't breach INF.


The US no longer has nuclear tipped TLAM and has retired the warhead, though that of course isn't the central issue legally.

jergul
large member
Tue Feb 05 08:03:29
I am alluding to the fact that dual use missile frames are both fully logical and completely insane.

I thought I was quite clear in expecting both the US and Russia to proceed on developing and deploying such things.

It essentially doubles down on why the INF was signed in the first place. Smaller nuclear missiles are extremely agile and unpredictable. Co deployment with conventional missiles can have the effect of conventional attacks degrading 2nd strike capability unintentionally.

And we all know how dangerous it is to degrade second strike capability. It forces the target to adopt a use it or lose it mentality.

The only thing stopping it is a piece of paper.
jergul
large member
Tue Feb 05 18:48:04
I do get the attraction though.

S-400 40N6E Warhead 315 kg

Easily within nuclear warhead size.

Russian forces in Syria would have been a lot more secure if protected by nuclear ambiguity from the moment they deployed the first s-400 batteries.

Many things are possible, but attacking nuclear missile launch sites is not one of them.
Seb
Member
Wed Feb 06 12:39:00
The way you worded it (Russia can have these too) and reference to air defence sites confused me.

It sounded like you were accepting the Russian argument that AEGIS ashore means the US HAS this capability, and Russia could have it too.

jergul
large member
Wed Feb 06 12:54:48
Seb
You accept the argument that certain unverified and perhaps easily bypassed hardware and software modifications are sufficient to be in compliance with the INF?

It is a very pragmatic perspective certainly.

My point is really that the INF is, has always been, and will always be full of holes.

It did however have a good faith element that kept both sides from developing and deploying equivalent technologies on a mass scale.

Leaving the treaty lets everyone dual purpose the crap out of everything.

The Russians announced yesterday that they are going to develop a land based kalibr system.

Oh yay.
jergul
large member
Wed Feb 06 13:02:20
Both the US and Russia have been whining about all kinds of things for more than a decade. I listed them in the first thread.

Trump's instinct to renegotiate deals is simply not a good one in the case of the INF.

The treaty got rid of a lot of missiles and was good at curtailing mass deployment of equivalent technologies.

It had high value. I personally do not see a way to return to the treaty once it is gone.

Surely you have to agree on this analysis?
The Children
Member
Wed Feb 06 14:58:25
the usa is a egotistical bastard country that does not deserve world power status as it shows here.

so what if china is not a treaty member. boohoo i am usa, i so jealous. butbutbut why china not member. hoohoohoo go cry a frikkin river.

Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 04:56:21
Jergul:

But what TEL couldn't be jury rigged to launch a naval missile?

The treaty refers to testing as the threshold activity.

Not least because no sane country would use an untested launch system with a live, armed nuclear payload.

If the version of mk 41 VLS used in AEGIS ashore can be shown to be sufficiently different, then arguably it would be compliant.

I'm pretty sure there are modifications that could be made to further make it unsuitable for TLAM (or future cruise missiles given TLAM is so unimpressive in the modern era).

However, given Russia started citing this only half a decade (it didn't exist before) after the US complaints, it looks a bit of a post facto justification.

I'm not sure there were any good options on INF: the Russians have made clear they aren't going to abide by it, it's a bilateral treaty.

So either you end up with a situation where Russia has a nuclear umbrella offer conventional forces and NATO doesn't, which in light of Russian adventures in Ukraine and Georgia is an untennable position for NATO given the Baltics, an ongoing disadvantage in the Pacific and Asia theatre, and those signing treaties with the US knowing they can break them.

True, withdrawing allows Russia to go full nuts. But the flip side is that they will now need to think now carefully on conventional escalation. Which is a consolation.
Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 04:58:21
Jergul:

But what TEL couldn't be jury rigged to launch a naval missile?

The treaty refers to testing as the threshold activity.

Not least because no sane country would use an untested launch system with a live, armed nuclear payload.

If the version of mk 41 VLS used in AEGIS ashore can be shown to be sufficiently different, then arguably it would be compliant.

I'm pretty sure there are modifications that could be made to further make it unsuitable for TLAM (or future cruise missiles given TLAM is so unimpressive in the modern era).

However, given Russia started citing this only half a decade (it didn't exist before) after the US complaints, it looks a bit of a post facto justification.

I'm not sure there were any good options on INF: the Russians have made clear they aren't going to abide by it, it's a bilateral treaty.

So either you end up with a situation where Russia has a nuclear umbrella offer conventional forces and NATO doesn't, which in light of Russian adventures in Ukraine and Georgia is an untennable position for NATO given the Baltics, an ongoing disadvantage in the Pacific and Asia theatre, and those signing treaties with the US knowing they can break them.

True, withdrawing allows Russia to go full nuts. But the flip side is that they will now need to think now carefully on conventional escalation. Which is a consolation.
jergul
large member
Thu Feb 07 06:20:50
Seb
The treaty was not, is not, and would never be binary compliant-noncompliant.

It limits the deployment of shorter range nuclear missiles (500-5k km) in Continental Europe (East of the Urals).

It never threatened any nuclear triage umbrella and never will.

Following Trump's instinct to renegotiate everything simply removes a limitation and will give redundancy nuclear capability suited most of all for mistakes and miscalculations.

Surely you see that the withdrawal is fuelled entirely by the president's art of the deal mentality?
Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 07:09:18
Ummm, there's no limitation to West of the Eurals. The treaty text is quite clear on this.

Article V
1. Each Party shall eliminate all its shorter-range missiles and launchers of such missiles, and all support equipment of the categories listed in the Memorandum of Understanding associated with such missiles and launchers, so that no later than 18 months after entry into force of this Treaty and thereafter no such missiles, launchers or support equipment shall be possessed by either Party.

I'm not sure what your reference to the Triad is?

The point has always been that the IRBM and ground launched cruise missiles have the following effects:

1. Have sufficient range that when used conventionally against conventional targets, there's no clarity on whether they are strategic or tactical nuclear armed and there's insufficient time to assess, therefore must in all cases be assumed nuclear.

2. Therefore create strong incentives to immediately preempt.

3. Can be placed in theatre but out of range of other non-Intermediate forces, this inviting use of tactical nuclear weapons pre-emptively.

4. Cannot easily be distinguished on launch from trajectory to not be aimed at strategic targets, so create use it or lose it scenarios.

The net effect is highly destabilising.

Arguably, subsonic cruise missiles may no longer create this scenario due to advances in radar and anti missile systems. However it would require great restraint for Russia right down to local commanders to accept nuclear armed cruise missile forces being attached in any conflict under the mistaken perceptions they were conventional.


I don't agree this is fuelled by Trump. The US first raised concerns as far back as 2009 in Obamas first term, and the US has been pursuing Russia for a resolution for three presidential terms. During Obamas second term, the DoD argued for withdrawal on the basis the Russians were in material breach and clearly had no intention of addressing US concerns.

The only benefit to retaining the treaty is to encourage Russia not to violate further, but if they've already upset the strategic balance by forcing NATO planners to consider any forces with those missiles as nuclear strike in their Baltic defence plans, and Russia has developed an entire military strategy and doctrine around infiltration and escalation of countries with Russian minorities, and conventional involvement in those, I don't really see that the marginal danger of further Russian INFs is that significant. From a NATO perspective,it's just there, and persisting in indulging Russia's cake-ism seems rather Naive.

OTOH, withdrawal doesn't seem to achieve much either (which is why Obama rejected DoD advice), at least as long as Europe remains opposed to INFs.

A renegotiation would be sensible, and you can't renegotiate from the position of being in the treaty with Russian breaches though.

But frankly I think this is less Trump wanting to renegotiate, but rather not wanting to look weak, and accepting DoD advice which is probably that if Russia isn't interested in coming back into compliance with it, INF is dead, and the US should accept instead plan for a world where it is dead, including developing its own capability which has utility in the Pacific which is more important from their perspective than Europe, which this admin couldn't give a fuck about and needs to sort out it's own defence anyway.
jergul
large member
Thu Feb 07 07:19:27
Seb
You live in a very binary world.

1. Yah, you are right on its global reach.

2. I mentioned triad because you suggested Nato did not have a nuclear umbrella.

Raising compliance issues is a far step from withdrawing from the treaty.

You should be able to draw the distinction between scores of missiles and thousands of missiles.

You seriously think there is a deal in existence signed by a predecessor that Trump would not be inclined to renegotiate?
jergul
large member
Thu Feb 07 07:29:15
Hell, he would probably want to renegotiate the surrenders of Germany and Japan if certain talking heads suggested it.
Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 09:28:23
Jergul:

Ah, I see - what I meant by the umbrella is that by breaking the very clear divide between strategic and conventional forces, Russia by having this INF busting capability (tested nuclear GLCM) puts NATO in the position of having to assume theae could be nuclear forces in the event of a war after they would also be a significant conventional capability.

This asymmetry loses the significant part of the intended benefits of INF treaty.

The compliance issues have been raised with Russia informally and formally for over a decade now.

Obama formally raised the issue in 2014 and it's never repeatedly started in the compliance reports to Congress ever since.
The DoD has considered this a major problem for some time, and the US has been attempting to get Russia to reconsider.

In that context, some five years later threatening to withdraw unless Russia comes back into compliance looks to me far more like a final measured escalation in the context of Russian refusal to engage on the issue, rather than an out of the blue "let's renegotiate for the hell of it" Trump move.

The fact Trump likes these situations doesn't seem causal to me. The issue has been bubbling for a decade.

I don't see this as a black and white issue, not as a matter of scale.

Even a handful of missiles can create a very unbalanced set of rules of engagement with knock on consequences.

In the end, I doubt you will see the US develop and deploy intermediate range weapons into Europe, much less nuclear ones.

It's Russia that will do that, and they won't be doing it "in response" to Trump walking away from a treaty Russia has been in beach of and refused to engage over for a decade. They'll be doing it because it suits them to be able to threaten Europe militarily. And I think that's where Europe should address it's concerns.
jergul
large member
Thu Feb 07 11:16:05
Seb
Stoltenberg just reached out with a suggestion that Russia work with the US to bring other countries under the agreement.

Which to me the the crux of the issue. The driving force for leaving is not marginal compliance concerns that both the US and Russia have legitimate grounds to hold, but rather that other nations are free to develop their own arsenals.

This would be the reason for why the DoD and Stavka are pushing to retire the treaty.

Alternately expand it to include other countries.

Its not about Europe btw. Russia has had that covered throughout the INF history (the treaty was never about removing capability, it was about removing redundant capability).

In one word: China.
Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 14:44:53
Jergul:

It's a big issue (but also again, not Trump as the fundamental cause or even trigger).

However, I think the US can live with a treaty prohibition on INF that doesn't apply to China (the threatre doesn't really lend itself to land based forces for the US though it would have marginal utility, though the asymmetry in type will always ranckle some even if the need is minimal), for them the principle issue is Europe and nukes.

For Russia, I've always thought the idea that Chinese IRBMs are an issue somewhat silly, but I suppose they probably do still worry about an invasion of Siberia, despite the fact China simply doesn't need to do that now (they can just buy what they need and Russia will willingly sell it if not the title deeds).




Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 14:48:21
Basically, if Russia wasn't so instantaneous instant on its dualv use cruise missiles and warheads, I find it very doubtful that the US would be contemplating INF changes.

IRBMs and GLCMs help China in the Pacific and South China Sea, but possessing those wouldn't help the US. They have a navy and air force that have cruise missiles in spades and very little land.

Seb
Member
Thu Feb 07 14:48:52
Ugh, crazy autocorrect there. The word was insistent.
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