Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia

Macron Isolare la Russia fu un errore. Ce li viene a dire adesso….

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-30.

Macron Merkel Parigi

«Pushing Russia from Europe is a profound strategic error»

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Mr Macron è uomo poliedrico.

Resta difficile capire cosa realmente voglia.

Se cambiare idea è segno di buon senso, ed anche di onestà, farlo troppe volte di seguito sembrerebbe non conquistarsi le simpatie.

Il tentativo di isolare la Russia non ha esitato in altro che a spingerla sempre più nel blocco eurasiatico aumentandone i rapporti con la Cina.

Ma, volenti o nolenti, la Russia è una superpotenza mondiale, con la quale alla fine ci si deve pur sempre sedere a tavolino, parlarsi e cercare accordi duraturi.

Da questo punto di vista la scelta delle sanzioni è stata un grosso essere strategico.

Ma, forse, la motivazione etica e morale ha costituito l’elemento più irritante, difficile da essere dimenticato.


EU Observer. 2019-08-30. Macron: isolating Russia would be profound error

“Pushing Russia from Europe is a profound strategic error,” president Emmanuel Macron told French diplomats on Tuesday following the G7 summit, The Moscow Times reports. Macron also said that “the European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don’t pacify and clarify our relations with Russia.” However, he added that it is not “in our interest to be weak vis-a-vis Russia, to forget our disagreements.”

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Problemi militari, Stati Uniti

Turkia. In arrivo la seconda consegna di S-400.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-28.

Dardanelli 001

«The S-400 is a massive upgrade to the S-300, its predecessor which was recently sent to Syria.

Because of its capabilities, several countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India and Qatar have said they are willing to buy the S-400.

Almost every government that announced it was planning to buy the system was threatened with some kind of diplomatic retaliation from the US, NATO or adversaries.

The reason for this blowback, according to several experts Al Jazeera interviewed, is not only because the S-400 is technologically advanced, it also poses a potential risk for long-standing alliances. ….

The S-400 is among the most advanced air defence systems available, on par with the best the West has to offer, …. Its radars and other sensors, as well as its missiles, cover an extensive area – the radar has a range of at least 600km for surveillance, and its missiles have ranges of up to 400km, ….

It’s precise and it manages to track a very large number of potential targets, including stealth targets. ….

It’s intended to be a one-size-fits-all missile system. It can be configured with long-range, semi long-range, medium-range and even short-range weapons systems, depending on how the individual user wishes to configure the S-400 ….

Turkey, a NATO member ….

The US Department of State has said Chinese purchases of SU-35 aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missiles breached the CAATSA, only weeks after it said India might be subject to sanctions if it continues with purchasing the system. 

However, India decided earlier this week to buy the weapons system.

“India places top priority on ties with Russia. In today’s fast-changing world, our relationship assumes heightened importance,” India Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russia President Vladimir Putin after they signed the $5bn deal.» [Fonte]

* * *

Non si può prendere a calci nei denti la gente e poi sperare che venga anche a ringraziare.

I rapporti tra stati dovrebbero essere paritetici: nessuno ha il diritto di fare la morale agli altri.

Mr Xi e Mr Putin questo lo sanno più che bene.


Aljazeera. 2019-08-26. Turkey to receive second batch of S-400 missile system this week

Ankara has gone ahead with its purchase of the Russian defence system despite threats of US sanctions.

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Turkey will receive the second batch of the Russian S-400 missile system on Tuesday, Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar has said.

Ankara received its first supply of S-400 missiles in July, despite a warning by the United States about possible sanctions. The acquisition of the highly-advanced air defence system has led to a standoff between Turkey and its NATO allies, especially the US.

Deliveries of the system are set to continue until April 2020.

The modular S-400 is seen as one of the most advanced missile systems in the world, capable of tracking several targets simultaneously and ready to be fired within minutes. 

The US has repeatedly said that the Russian system is incompatible with NATO systems and is a threat to the hi-tech F-35 fighter jets, which Turkey is also planning to buy.

Washington has said Turkey will not be allowed to participate in the F-35 programme because of the Turkey-Russia deal.

The US has strongly urged Turkey to pull back from the deal – the first such move between a NATO member and Russia – warning Ankara that it will face economic sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if it goes ahead with the purchase, reportedly costing more than $2bn.

So far, however, Ankara has refused to give in to US pressure, insisting that choosing which defence equipment to buy is a matter of national sovereignty.

Sanctions would mark a new low in the already tense relations between Turkey and the US.

Last year, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey over the detention of an American pastor, triggering a Turkish currency crisis. The sanctions were later lifted upon the pastor’s release. 

The deal with Russia has also raised concerns in Western circles that Turkey is drifting closer to Moscow’s sphere of influence.

According to analysts, these purchases form more than just a military threat to the US.

They are about countering Russia’s involvement in global conflicts, but also about maintaining long-standing US diplomatic relations and preventing Russia from receiving hard currency for its equipment, the analysts told Al Jazeera last year.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici, Russia, Unione Europea

Russia. Nel 2019 scadono gli accordi al transito di gas attraverso l’Ukraina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-03-29.

TurkStream

Sempre che non siano in corso delle trattative riservate, cosa possibile quanto verosimile, l’Unione Europea sembrerebbe non aver ancora pensato a come comportarsi quando a fine 2019 scadranno gli accordi tra Russia ed Ukraina, in base ai  quali il gas russo transita sul territorio ukraino per giungere ai consumatori europei.

Per quanto possa sembrare essere ragionevole che alla fine si arrivi ad un rinnovo dei permessi, ciò non è assolutamente detto che accada. A quanto sembrerebbe, il problema sarebbe sicuramente di prezzo del pedaggio, ma molto di più sarebbe politico.

L’Europa dipende mani e piedi dalle forniture russe di gas, sia per il riscaldamento ed uso domestico, sia per alimentare molte delle esistenti centrali elettriche.

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Lascia quindi alquanto perplessi la notizia per cui l’Ungheria avrebbe preso l’iniziativa e contrattato direttamente le forniture con la Russia.

«Russia will supply gas to Hungary in 2020, regardless of agreements on gas transit between Moscow and Kiev»

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«Today, the CEO of Gazprom and I have concluded an agreement that Gazprom will ensure gas supplies to Hungary, regardless of whether a transit agreement is concluded between Russia and Ukraine,” RBC quoted  Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó»

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«A situation might arise when Russia will no longer supply gas to the European continent via Ukraine»

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«We have to prepare for this scenario, because we must always take into account the worst scenario when planning the security of the country’s energy supply»

* * * * * * *

Il problema è di non poco conto ed anche di ben difficile soluzione. Poi, magari, in colloqui riservati, le parti potrebbero anche dimostrasi una volta tanto ragionevoli.

Che tra Russia ed Ukraina non corra buon sangue non dovrebbe essere cosa ignota: l’Unione Europea parteggerebbe ufficialmente per l’Ukraina, ma nel contempo ha bisogno del gas russo per sopravvivere.

La Russia sta proseguendo i lavori per il Nord Stream 2 con grande risentimento americano, e nel contempo sta proseguendo i lavori sullo TurkStream, tra le urenti ambasce dell’Unione Europea. Ambedue le soluzioni bypassano l’Ukraina.

* * *

Turk Stream. Bulgaria approva il progetto.

Un’occhiata sia pur superficiale al tracciato del TurkStream in avanzata fase di posa mette chiaramente in luce come il tracciato passi dalla Turkia alla Bulgaria e, quindi, attraverso la Serbia, arrivi direttamente in Ungheria.


The Moskow Times. 2019-03-24. Russia Agrees To Ensure Gas Supplies to Hungary, Bypassing Ukraine

Russia will supply gas to Hungary in 2020, regardless of agreements on gas transit between Moscow and Kiev, the RBC news website reported on Friday.  

The transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine expires at the end of this year and a new agreement has not yet been negotiated.

“Today, the CEO of Gazprom and I have concluded an agreement that Gazprom will ensure gas supplies to Hungary, regardless of whether a transit agreement is concluded between Russia and Ukraine,” RBC quoted  Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó as saying after negotiations with Gazprom head Alexei Miller.

“A situation might arise when Russia will no longer supply gas to the European continent via Ukraine. We have to prepare for this scenario, because we must always take into account the worst scenario when planning the security of the country’s energy supply,” RBC quoted Szijjártó as saying.

State-run Gazprom is building two pipelines — Nord Stream 2 and the European leg of TurkStream — in the face of opposition from the European Union and the United States.

Both will carry Russian gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine. The Nord Stream 2 link under the Baltic Sea is jointly funded by Gazprom and five regional energy companies. The planned TurkStream leg from Turkey to the EU is set to receive financing from a 50-50 joint venture between Gazprom and its Turkish partner.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Ideologia liberal

Financial Times. L’Occidente ha perso la voglia di vivere.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-03-16.

Cervello Liberal Denocratico

Cerchiamo di ragionare.

Tramonto non dell’Occidente ma della dottrina illuminista.


Al mondo ci sono circa 7.53 miliardi di esseri umani. Di questi 325.7 milioni vivono negli Stati Uniti e 503.7 milioni nell’Unione Europea. Con 829.4 milioni di abitanti l’Occidente rende ragione dell’11.01% della popolazione mondiale.

Tenendo conto che i liberal socialisti sono grosso modo la metà degli Elettori occidentali, essi rendono conto di poco più del 5% della popolazione mondiale.

Ciò nonostante, i liberal socialisti ritengono di essere i depositari della Verità e che tutti gli altri dovrebbero adattarsi a condividere la loro Weltanschauung.

Solo che gli altri invece non ne vogliono proprio sapere.

Loro, nella loro neolingua politicamente corretta, li definiscono “illiberali“.

Il Financial Times ha fatto l’argomento oggetto di un simpatico articolo, che riproponiamo nella chiosa di Gog e Magog.

* * * * * * *

«Secondo Gideon Rachman, sul Financial Times di ieri, se il XIX secolo ha reso popolare l’idea dello ‘Stato-nazione’, il 21mo secolo potrebbe essere, invece, il secolo della ‘civiltà-Stato’»

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«Una civiltà-Stato è un paese che pretende di rappresentare non solo un territorio storico o una particolare lingua o gruppo etnico, ma una civiltà ben distinta. È un’idea che sta guadagnando terreno in stati differenti fra loro come la Cina, l’India, la Russia, la Turchia e, persino, gli Stati Uniti»

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«La nozione di civiltà-Stato ha risvolti decisamente illiberali»

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«Implica che i tentativi di definire dei diritti umani universali o degli standard democratici comuni sono sbagliati, poiché ogni civiltà ha bisogno di istituzioni politiche che riflettano la propria specifica cultura»

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«Una delle ragioni per cui l’idea di una civiltà-Stato ha buone probabilità di diventare diffusa è l’ascesa della Cina»

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«la Cina moderna ha avuto successo proprio perché ha voltato le spalle alle idee politiche occidentali — per perseguire, invece, un modello radicato nella propria cultura confuciana e nelle tradizioni meritocratiche incentrate sul superamento di ferrei esami.»

*

«Come la Cina, l’India ha una popolazione di oltre 1 miliardo di persone»

*

«idea che l’India sia più di una semplice nazione — e sia, invece, una civiltà a sé»

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«i padri fondatori dell’India moderna, come Jawaharlal Nehru, abbiano sbagliato nell’abbracciare idee occidentali, come il socialismo scientifico, ritenendole universalmente applicabili»

*

«L’idea di uno Stato-civiltà sta guadagnando terreno anche in Russia. Alcuni degli ideologi vicini a Vladimir Putin hanno fatto propria l’idea che la Russia rappresenti una civiltà eurasiatica distinta, che non avrebbe mai dovuto cercare di integrarsi con l’Occidente»

*

«In un sistema globale plasmato dall’Occidente, non sorprende che alcuni intellettuali di paesi come la Cina, l’India o la Russia vogliano sottolineare la peculiarità della propria civiltà. La cosa più sorprendente è però che anche pensatori di destra negli Stati Uniti stanno ripudiando l’idea di “valori universali”»

*

«la questione fondamentale del nostro tempo è se l’Occidente voglia ancora vivere»

* * * * * * * *

La frase chiave di tutta la costruzione sembrerebbe essere questa:

«la Cina moderna ha avuto successo proprio perché ha voltato le spalle alle idee politiche occidentali».

È una mezza verità.

La Cina ha voltato le spalle all’ideologia liberal socialista, non all’Occidente.

I liberal dovranno bene un bel giorno prendere atto che loro non personificano l’Occidente e non possono pontificare a nome suo. In fondo tutto si risolve in una semplice domanda: “chi mai si credono di essere'”.

Quanto sia sciabecca questa pretesa lo lasciamo giudicare alle opere.

Nel 2008 l’eurozona aveva un pil di 14,113 miliardi Usd, ma a fine 2017 aveva registrato un pil di 12,589 miliardi Usd; la Cina, nello stesso arco temporale, era passata da un pil di 4,804 miliardi Usd ad un valore di 12,237 miliardi Usd.

Si è perfettamente consci che una Weltanschauung non potrebbe essere giudicata sulla base dei risultati economici che produce, ma alla fine delle fini codesta débâcle è la risultante di una mentalità, di un atteggiamento mentale, ed i dati numerici sono incontrovertibili come macigni.


Gog e Magog. 2019-03-05. Il FT inorridito: Cina, India, Russia e l’ascesa delle “civiltà-Stato”. Una idea illiberale che piace a destra.

Secondo Gideon Rachman, sul Financial Times di ieri, se il XIX secolo ha reso popolare l’idea dello ‘Stato-nazione’, il 21mo secolo potrebbe essere, invece, il secolo della ‘civiltà-Stato’.

“Una civiltà-Stato è un paese che pretende di rappresentare non solo un territorio storico o una particolare lingua o gruppo etnico, ma una civiltà ben distinta. È un’idea che sta guadagnando terreno in stati differenti fra loro come la Cina, l’India, la Russia, la Turchia e, persino, gli Stati Uniti.

La nozione di civiltà-Stato ha risvolti decisamente illiberali. Implica che i tentativi di definire dei diritti umani universali o degli standard democratici comuni sono sbagliati, poiché ogni civiltà ha bisogno di istituzioni politiche che riflettano la propria specifica cultura. Inoltre l’idea di una civiltà-Stato tende a escludere: le minoranze e i migranti potrebbero non esservi mai inclusi, perché non fanno parte del nucleo centrale della civiltà.

Una delle ragioni per cui l’idea di una civiltà-Stato ha buone probabilità di diventare diffusa è l’ascesa della Cina. Nei discorsi rivolti al pubblico straniero, il presidente Xi Jinping ama sottolineare come la storia e la civiltà cinesi siano uniche. Questa idea è stata portata avanti da intellettuali filogovernativi, come Zhang Weiwei dell’università di Fudan. In un libro che ha avuto molta influenza (“L’onda cinese: l’ascesa di una civiltà-Stato”), Zhang sostiene che la Cina moderna ha avuto successo proprio perché ha voltato le spalle alle idee politiche occidentali — per perseguire, invece, un modello radicato nella propria cultura confuciana e nelle tradizioni meritocratiche incentrate sul superamento di ferrei esami.

Zhang ha in realtà adattato un’idea elaborata per la prima volta da Martin Jacques, uno scrittore occidentale, in un libro di successo (“Quando la Cina governa il mondo”). “La storia della Cina come stato nazionale”, sostiene Jacques, “risale a soli 120–150 anni fa: la sua storia come civiltà risale invece a migliaia di anni fa”. Egli ritiene che il carattere distinto della civiltà cinese porti a norme sociali e politiche molto diverse da quelle prevalenti in Occidente, compresa “l’idea che lo Stato dovrebbe basarsi su relazioni familiari e su una visione molto diversa del rapporto tra individuo e società, con quest’ultima considerata molto più importante del primo”.

Come la Cina, l’India ha una popolazione di oltre 1 miliardo di persone. I teorici del partito al potere (Bharatiya Janata) sono molto attratti dall’idea che l’India sia più di una semplice nazione — e sia, invece, una civiltà a sé. Per il BJ, l’unica caratteristica distintiva della civiltà indiana è la religione indù — una nozione che relega implicitamente i musulmani indiani a un secondo livello di cittadinanza.

Jayant Sinha, ministro del governo di Narendra Modi, sostiene che i padri fondatori dell’India moderna, come Jawaharlal Nehru, abbiano sbagliato nell’abbracciare idee occidentali, come il socialismo scientifico, ritenendole universalmente applicabili. Invece, essi avrebbero dovuto basare il sistema di governo postcoloniale dell’India sulla unicità della propria cultura. Da ex consulente McKinsey con un MBA di Harvard, il signor Sinha potrebbe sembrare l’archetipo del portatore di valori “globalisti”. Ma quando l’ho incontrato a Delhi l’anno scorso, stava predicando il particolarismo culturale, sostenendo che “a nostro avviso, il nostro retaggio culturale precede lo Stato…Le persone avvertono che le loro tradizioni sono minacciate. Abbiamo una visione del mondo basata sulla fede che entra in collisione con una visione razionale-scientifica”.

L’idea di uno Stato-civiltà sta guadagnando terreno anche in Russia. Alcuni degli ideologi vicini a Vladimir Putin hanno fatto propria l’idea che la Russia rappresenti una civiltà eurasiatica distinta, che non avrebbe mai dovuto cercare di integrarsi con l’Occidente. In un recente articolo [11 febbraio 2019, una traduzione italiana qui] Vladislav Surkov, uno stretto consigliere del presidente russo, ha sostenuto che “i ripetuti e infruttuosi sforzi” del suo paese per entrare a far parte della civiltà occidentale “sono finalmente finiti”. La Russia dovrebbe invece riconciliarsi con la propria identità di “civiltà che ha assorbito sia l’est che l’ovest” con una “mentalità ibrida, un territorio intercontinentale e una storia bipolare. Carismatica, di talento, bella e solitaria. Proprio come dovrebbe essere un mezzosangue”.

In un sistema globale plasmato dall’Occidente, non sorprende che alcuni intellettuali di paesi come la Cina, l’India o la Russia vogliano sottolineare la peculiarità della propria civiltà. La cosa più sorprendente è però che anche pensatori di destra negli Stati Uniti stanno ripudiando l’idea di “valori universali” — a favore dell’enfasi sulla natura peculiare, e presumibilmente in pericolo della civiltà occidentale.

Steve Bannon, che è stato brevemente lo stratega capo della Casa Bianca con Trump, ha ripetutamente sostenuto che la immigrazione di massa e il declino dei valori cristiani tradizionali stanno minando la civiltà occidentale. Nel tentativo di arrestare questo declino, Bannon sta fondando in Italia una “Accademia per l’Occidente giudeo-cristiano”, destinata a formare una nuova generazione di leader.

L’argomentazione bannonita secondo cui l’immigrazione di massa sta minando i valori tradizionali americani è al centro della visione ideologica di Donald Trump. In un discorso pronunciato a Varsavia nel 2017, il presidente Usa ha dichiarato che “la questione fondamentale del nostro tempo è se l’Occidente voglia ancora vivere”, prima di rassicurare il suo pubblico con un “la nostra civiltà trionferà”.

Stranamente, l’adozione da parte di Trump di questa visione “di civiltà” del mondo potrebbe in realtà essere un sintomo del declino dell’Occidente. I suoi predecessori proclamarono con fiducia che i valori americani erano “universali” e destinati a trionfare in tutto il mondo. Ed è stata la forza globale delle idee occidentali che ha fatto dello Stato nazionale la norma internazionale dell’organizzazione politica. L’ascesa di potenze asiatiche come la Cina e l’India può creare nuovi modelli: il prossimo passo, la “Civiltà-Stato”.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Problemi militari, Russia

Russia. Proibito ai militari l’uso del telefonino.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-02-23.

Gufo_019__

Nell’immaginario collettivo il lavoro di intelligence è spesso raffigurato nei termini delle missioni di James Bond.

Nulla di più differente.

La corretta lettura dei media e le intercettazioni telefoniche sono una fonte incredibile di informazioni.

Di norma, anche le password più gelosamente custodite viaggiano poi con stupefacente facilità su media e conversazioni. Cosa questa che facilita in modo sostanziale il lavoro dello spionaggio elettronico.

L’imbecillità umana rasenta sempre l’incredibile: gli esseri umani son ben più fessi di quanto vogliano ammettere.

Un esempio?

Fitness app Strava lights up staff at military bases

«Security concerns have been raised after a fitness tracking firm showed the exercise routes of military personnel in bases around the world.

Online fitness tracker Strava has published a “heatmap” showing the paths its users log as they run or cycle.

It appears to show the structure of foreign military bases in countries including Syria and Afghanistan as soldiers move around them.

The US military was examining the heatmap, a spokesman said.

How does Strava work?

San Francisco-based Strava provides an app that uses a mobile phone’s GPS to track a subscriber’s exercise activity.

It uses the collected data, as well as that from fitness devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone, to enable people to check their own performances and compare them with others.

It says it has 27 million users around the world.»

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Lo spionaggio avverso può così facilmente seguire persona per persona, militare per militare.

Poi, il clou è quando i soldati usano i loro telefonici quando siano in azione.

È una vera manna dal cielo per gli avversari, che non sono poi così sprovvidi come si vorrebbe fa credere.

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«Russia’s parliament has voted to ban soldiers from using smartphones while on duty, after their social media use raised issues of national security»

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«The bill forbids military personnel from using a phone with the ability to take pictures, record videos and access the internet»

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«Soldiers also cannot write about the military or talk to journalists»

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«More than 400 of 450 lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, backed the law on Tuesday »

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«Phones with basic calling and messaging facilities could still be used, but tablets and laptops would also subject to the new ban»

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«Soldiers’ social media data has allowed open-source journalism sites like Bellingcat to expose secret military activity by Russian forces, sometimes in real time»

* * * * * * *

A parere di molti, le comunicazioni smartphone di soldati russi intercettate dagli occidentali altro non erano che controinformazioni artatamente propalate dai servizi segreti russi.


Bbc. 2019-02-20. Russia bans smartphones for soldiers over social media fears

Russia’s parliament has voted to ban soldiers from using smartphones while on duty, after their social media use raised issues of national security.

The bill forbids military personnel from using a phone with the ability to take pictures, record videos and access the internet.

Soldiers also cannot write about the military or talk to journalists.

More than 400 of 450 lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, backed the law on Tuesday.

Phones with basic calling and messaging facilities could still be used, but tablets and laptops would also subject to the new ban.

Soldiers’ social media data has allowed open-source journalism sites like Bellingcat to expose secret military activity by Russian forces, sometimes in real time.

The bill must now be considered by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

Why is there a ban?

Russian officials said the move was necessary to protect military information from foreign intelligence services.

In recent years, social media posts by servicemen have revealed Russia’s military presence in eastern Ukraine and Syria, sometimes contradicting the government’s official claim of not having troops there.

Since 2017, Russian soldiers have been warned against sharing any information online, including selfies.

Russia is not the first country to take steps to introduce stricter digital practices for military personnel following security issues.

US military security concerns were raised when a fitness tracking firm showed the exercise routes of military personnel in bases around the world – including in Syria and Afghanistan during conflict time.

US soldiers are still allowed to use social media, but must follow guidelines.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Militare, Medio Oriente

Siria e Medio Oriente. Una guerra che fa comodo a tutti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-24.

Medio Oriente 001

«It is the US mid-term elections which will decide whether the war continues in Syria or move on to another battle field.»

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Inutile nascondersi dietro un dito ed essere troppo ipocriti: le guerre in Medio Oriente stanno facendo un gran comodo a tutti. Il problema non è se proseguirle o meno: è dove spostarle, nel caso che quel teatro geopolitico non fosse più a lungo idoneo. In questo mondo ipocrita, quelli che più gridano invocando la pace sono poi quelli che fomentano ogni sorta di conflitti: gli costruiscono artatamente, li finanziano e provvedono di mezzi, impedendo però che la loro parte abbia la vittoria, che farebbe terminare i conflitti.

«The current situation – extending from the Russian response to the destruction of its Ilyuchin-20 to the US mid-term elections on 6 November – is uncertain»

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«All the protagonists of the war in Syria are waiting to see whether the White House will be able to pursue its policy of breaking away from the current international order, or if Congress will become the opposition and immediately trigger the process for the destitution of President Trump»

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«The affair of the destruction of the Ilyuchin-20 on 17 September 2018 handed Russia the occasion to terminate this extended war and come to an agreement with the White House to stand against other aggressors. This is a rerun, on a smaller scale, of the Russian / US reaction to the Suez crisis of 1956.»

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«Moscow has not only given the Syrian Arab Army anti-aircraft missiles (S-300’s), but has also deployed an entire integrated surveillance system. As soon as this system is operational, and Syrian officers have been trained to use it, which will take three months at the most, it will be impossible for Western armies to over-fly the country without permission from Damascus»

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Né si pensi che le nazioni siano unite: governi contro parlamenti, industriali contro i governi, finanza quanto mai spigliata nel posizionarsi e tra lucro dagli eventi bellici.

«Consequently, whether they admit it or not, they hope they will all be killed in Syria»

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«Tel-Aviv, Paris and Ankara still hope that President Trump will lose the elections of 6 November and will be fired. They are therefore awaiting the results of this fateful election before they decide.»

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«If it happens that Donald Trump should win the mid-term elections in Congress, another question will arise. If the Western powers give up on the battle in Syria, where will they go to continue their endless war? This is indeed a reality on which all experts agree – the Western ruling class has become so swamped in bad blood and hubris that it is unable to accept the idea of being geared back behind the new Asian powers.»

* * *

È quella che SS Papa Franceco definì essere la ‘terza guerra mondiale’, combattuta per il momento ancora a livello locoregionale e con armi convenzionali, ma che in un amen potrebbe deflagrare.


Oriental Review. 2018-10-15. International Relations: The Calm Before The Storm?

The current situation – extending from the Russian response to the destruction of its Ilyuchin-20 to the US mid-term elections on 6 November – is uncertain. All the protagonists of the war in Syria are waiting to see whether the White House will be able to pursue its policy of breaking away from the current international order, or if Congress will become the opposition and immediately trigger the process for the destitution of President Trump.

The origins of the war

It has become clear that the initial project by the United States, the United Kingdom, Israël, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not be realised. The same goes for France and Turkey, two powers that entered the war against Syria somewhat later.

What we need to remember is not the way in which we were informed about the start of the events, but what we have discovered about them since. The demonstrations in Deraa were presented as a « spontaneous revolt » against « dictatorial repression », but we now know that they had been in preparation for a long time.

We also need to free ourselves of the illusion that all the members of a Coalition, united in order to achieve the same goal, share the same strategy. Whatever the influence of one or the other, each State conserves its own history, its own interests and its own war objectives.

The United States pursued the strategy of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, which was the destruction of the State structures in the Greater Middle East. For this they relied upon the United Kingdom, which implemented Tony Blair’s strategy aimed at placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power throughout the region. And also on Israël, which rebooted the strategy of Oded Yinon and David Wurmser for regional domination. The necessary weapons were stored in advance by Saudi Arabia in the Omar mosque. Qatar stepped in by inventing the story about the children whose nails were torn out.

At that time, Saudi Arabia was not seeking to impose a new form of politics on Syria, nor even to overthrow its government. Riyadh’s intention was exclusively to prevent a non-Sunni from becoming President. By some strange historical evolution, the Wahhabites, who, two centuries ago, considered both Sunnis and Chiites as heretics and called for their extermination if they failed to repent, are today presenting themselves as the defenders of the Sunnis and the killers of the Chiites.

As for the tiny emirate of Qatar, it was exacting its revenge after the interruption of its gas pipeline in Syria.

France, which should have taken part in the conspiracy by virtue of the Lancaster House agreements, was sidelined because of its unexpected initiatives in Libya. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, attempted to push France into rejoining the conspirators, but the ambassador in Damascus, Eric Chevallier, who could see the distortion of facts on the ground, resisted as far as humanly possible.

When France was once again admitted to the group conspiracy, it continued its 1915 objective of the colonisation of Syria, pursuing the Sykes-Picot-Sazonov agreements. Just as the French mandate over Syria was considered to be transitory compared with the lasting colonisation of Algeria, it is considered, in the 21st century, as secondary to control of the Sahel. Besides which, while attempting to realise its old engagement, Paris pushed for the creation of a national home for the Kurds, on the model used by the British in 1917 for the Jews in Palestine. In order to do so, it allied itself with Turkey which, in the name of Atatürk’s « national oath », invaded the North of Syria in order to create a State to which the Turkish Kurds could be expelled.

While the war objectives of these first four aggressors are mutually compatible, those of the latter two are not compatible with the others.

Besides which, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey are three old colonial powers. All three are now trying to impose their power over the same throne. The war against Syria has thus reactivated their old rivalries.

The Daesh episode within the war against Syria and Iraq

At the end of 2013, the Pentagon revised its plans within the framework of the Cebrowski strategy. It modified its initial plans, as revealed by Ralph Peters, and substituted the plan by Robin Wright for the creation of a « Sunnistan » straddling Syria and Iraq.

However, in September 2015, the deployment of the Russian army in Syria, as an obstacle to the creation of « Sunnistan » by Daesh, ruined the projects of the six principal partners in the war.

The three years of war that followed had other objectives – on the one hand, to create a new state straddling Iraq and Syria within the framework of the Cebrowski strategy, and, on the other, to use Daesh to cut the Silk Road that Xi Jinping’s China were seeking to reactivate – thus maintaining continental domination over the « Western » part.

The Syrian / Russian victory and the reversal of the United States

The affair of the destruction of the Ilyuchin-20 on 17 September 2018 handed Russia the occasion to terminate this extended war and come to an agreement with the White House to stand against other aggressors. This is a rerun, on a smaller scale, of the Russian / US reaction to the Suez crisis of 1956.

Moscow has not only given the Syrian Arab Army anti-aircraft missiles (S-300’s), but has also deployed an entire integrated surveillance system. As soon as this system is operational, and Syrian officers have been trained to use it, which will take three months at the most, it will be impossible for Western armies to over-fly the country without permission from Damascus.

President Trump announced in advance that he intends to withdraw US troops from Syria. He went back on this decision under pressure from the Pentagon, then agreed with his general officers to maintain pressure on Damascus as long as the United States were excluded from the peace negotiations in Sotchi. The deployment of the Russian armies – for which the White House had probably given its agreement – provided President Trump with the occasion of forcing the Pentagon to back off. It would have to withdraw its troops, but it could maintain the presence of its mercenaries (as it happens, these would be the Kurds and Arabs from the Democratic Forces).

The Syrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Walid el-Mouallem, speaking before the General Assembly of the UNO, demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the foreign forces of occupation, US, French and Turkish.

If the United States leave, then the French and Turkish troops will be unable to stay. The Israëlis would no longer be able to overfly and bomb the country. The British have already left.

However, Tel-Aviv, Paris and Ankara still hope that President Trump will lose the elections of 6 November and will be fired. They are therefore awaiting the results of this fateful election before they decide.

If it happens that Donald Trump should win the mid-term elections in Congress, another question will arise. If the Western powers give up on the battle in Syria, where will they go to continue their endless war? This is indeed a reality on which all experts agree – the Western ruling class has become so swamped in bad blood and hubris that it is unable to accept the idea of being geared back behind the new Asian powers.

Wisdom would dictate that once the war is lost, the aggressors should withdraw. But the intellectual disposition of the West prevents them from doing so. The war here will cease only when they find a new bone to gnaw on.

Only the United Kingdom has given its response any thought. It is clear by now that although London maintains its diplomatic pressure on Syria via the Small Group, its attention is already focused on the revival of the « Grand Game » which saw the Crown confront the Tsar throughout all of the 19th century. After having invented the Skripal affair, and on the model of the « Zinoviev Letter », London has just ’caught’ the Russian Exterior Intelligence Services red-handed in their attempt to discover what is being plotted against them by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC).

This geopolitical doctrine is independent of the events which serve as its pretext. The « Grand Game » was the strategy of the British Empire. Its resumption by the current United Kingdom is the consequence of Brexit and the policy of « Global Britain ». Just as in the 19th century, this anti-Russian configuration will lead in time to an exacerbated rivalry between London and Paris. On the contrary, should Theresa May fail, along with the questions concerning Brexit and the maintenance of the United Kingdom in the European Union, all these projections will be cancelled.

If France is now studying the possibility of leaving the Middle East in order to concentrate on the Sahel, the position of the United States is a lot more problematic. Since 9/11, the Pentagon has enjoyed a certain autonomy. The ten combat Commanders of the armed forces no longer receive orders from the president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, but only from the Secretary of Defense.

With time, they have become the veritable « viceroys » of the « American Empire » – a function which they do not wish to see reduced by President Trump. Some of them, like the Commander for South America (SouthCom), intend to continue with the Cebrowski strategy, despite the admonitions of the White House.

So there remains much uncertainty. The only positive step taken concerns Daesh – for three years, the Western powers pretended to be fighting this terrorist organisation, while at the same time supplying them with weapons. Today, Donald Trump has ordered the cessation of this experience of an explicitly terrorist state, the Caliphate, and the Syrian and Russian armies have pushed the jihadists back. The Westerners have no desire to see their friends, the « moderate rebels », now qualified as « terrorists », turn up in their countries en masse. Consequently, whether they admit it or not, they hope they will all be killed in Syria.

It is the US mid-term elections which will decide whether the war continues in Syria or move on to another battle field.

Pubblicato in: Scienza & Tecnica

San Pietroburgo. Quasi completata la Lakhta Center’s tower. La più alta di Europa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-09.

2018-08-08__Grattacielo__001

Ci siamo già occupati dei grattacieli elicoidali.

Grattacieli Elicoidali. La frontiera delle nuove strutture.

«Sono certamente il frutto del gusto estetico dell’architetto, ma in realtà rispondono a ben precise esigenze: ridurre in modo significativo la pressione esercitata dal vento sulla struttura, pressione utilizzata peraltro come spinta verso l’alto, ossia l’effetto von Karman.

Il risultato è sconcertante: il grattacielo può essere costruito con altezza maggiore utilizzando strutture meno pesante: è decisamente più stabile sulle fondamenta antisismiche e resiste anche meglio a grandi escursioni termiche.»

Questi grattacieli sono diventati possibili grazie agli studi che hanno portato alla definizione della teoria di von Kármán.

In pratica, il grattacielo è parzialmente sostenuto dai vortici di aria ed è anche molto resistente agli sbalzi termini.

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«The tallest building in Europe is nearly complete. Rising above a new waterfront complex in St. Petersburg»

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«the Lakhta Center’s tower stands at 462 meters (1,516 feet) tall, making it the city’s first “supertall” building (one measuring 300 meters or above)»

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«The structure is now the northernmost skyscraper in the world»

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«Its soaring height is offset by a lower mixed-use building with a 260-meter-long (853-foot-long) facade. Residential and commercial space will be installed up to a height of 360 meters (1,181 feet), above which an observation deck and restaurant will offer breathtaking views over the Gulf of Finland»

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«The Lakhta Center takes the title of Europe’s tallest building from Moscow’s Federation Tower, completed in 2017, which stands at 374 meters (1,227 feet)»

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«Gazprom had long eyed St. Petersburg as a location for its new headquarters, first launching a project to build a tower in the city center in 2006»

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«The building’s foundations were driven 82 meters (269 feet) into the ground»

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«Winds near the top of the tower can blow at speeds of up to 85 mph, so the structure has been stabilized by 15 perimeter columns that redistribute weight away from its core.»

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Sicuramente questa nuova costruzione è prestigiosa.

Tuttavia ci farebbe piacere ricordarla più per la raffinatezza delle scelta tecniche che per la sola immagine estetica.


Bbc. 2018-08-06. Europe’s tallest skyscraper nears completion

The tallest building in Europe is nearly complete. Rising above a new waterfront complex in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Lakhta Center’s tower stands at 462 meters (1,516 feet) tall, making it the city’s first “supertall” building (one measuring 300 meters or above).

The structure is now the northernmost skyscraper in the world, according to its developers.

The 87-story tower twists a full 90 degrees from its foundation to its top, like a winding needle. This makes it one of the world’s tallest examples of a “twisted” skyscraper design.

Its soaring height is offset by a lower mixed-use building with a 260-meter-long (853-foot-long) facade. Residential and commercial space will be installed up to a height of 360 meters (1,181 feet), above which an observation deck and restaurant will offer breathtaking views over the Gulf of Finland.

Like a flame.

The Lakhta Center takes the title of Europe’s tallest building from Moscow’s Federation Tower, completed in 2017, which stands at 374 meters (1,227 feet). Moscow is also home to five of the next six entries in the list, interrupted only by London’s Shard, which was briefly the continent’s tallest in 2012, at 310 meters (1,016 feet) tall.

Lakhta Center broke ground in 2012 and will serve as the headquarters of Russian gas giant Gazprom, which is carrying out the construction through a subsidiary. The firm is set to move in by the end of 2019.

According to Philip Nikandrov, one of the architects involved with the project, the exterior of the building will be completed by the end of this summer, although the interior fitting will continue into 2019.

Drone images show the main tower’s impressive silhouette, which was designed to symbolize a flame — a distinctive feature of Gazprom’s logo.

Gazprom had long eyed St. Petersburg as a location for its new headquarters, first launching a project to build a tower in the city center in 2006. The complex, first known as Gazprom City and then Oktha Center, experienced local pushback from residents who believed it would ruin the city’s historic heart, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990.

After years of debate, which saw St. Petersburg’s skyline appear on the World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites, Gazprom eventually set its sights on Lakhta, an area about 5 miles northwest of the city center.

“The HQ will occupy around one third of the total area,” said Nikandrov in an email interview, “with another third reserved for public facilities which will include a multi-purpose hall, retail space, medical and fitness centers, and a science museum with (a) planetarium.”

Green features.

The building’s foundations were driven 82 meters (269 feet) into the ground, resulting in a Guinness world record in 2015 for the “largest continuous concrete pour” (a record beaten by a Dubai construction site two years later).

Winds near the top of the tower can blow at speeds of up to 85 mph, so the structure has been stabilized by 15 perimeter columns that redistribute weight away from its core.

The facade is made from 16,500 individual glass panes fitted with automatic shutters and valves designed to reduce heat loss. Developers also claim to have installed a number of other environmentally friendly measures, including a water reuse and purification system.

“Along its perimeter, the complex is surrounded by open public spaces: three public piazzas, an open 2,000-seat amphitheater, water features and a landscaped pedestrian embankment,” said Nikandrov.

The Lakhta Center now ranks as the 13th tallest building in the world.

Nota tecnica.

«Una scia vorticosa di von Kármán è una configurazione di scia caratterizzata dal distacco alternato di vortici che si verifica in alcuni corpi tozzi (corpi che presentano un distacco marcato dello strato limite).

Le scie vorticose possono essere osservate solo all’interno di un dato intervallo di numeri di Reynolds (Re). Il campo di variabilità di Re è influenzato da forma e dimensioni del corpo che causa il fenomeno, ovvero della viscosità cinematica del fluido. Il fenomeno prende nome dal fluidodinamico e ingegnere Theodore von Kármán.

In condizioni idonee per il numero di Reynolds si ha la formazione di due schiere di vortici una opposta all’altra. Quest’ultima porta il centro del vortice di una schiera ad essere corrispondente al punto medio tra due vortici della schiera opposta.

Come conseguenza della formazione di un vortice si ha una modificazione della distribuzione delle pressioni attorno al corpo. Conseguentemente, una formazione alternata di vortici genera forze variabili periodicamente e quindi una vibrazione del corpo. Qualora la frequenza di formazione dei vortici si avvicini alla frequenza naturale di vibrazione del corpo si ha il fenomeno della risonanza del medesimo. Esempi di fenomeni di questo tipo: vibrazione dei cavi telefonici; vibrazione più intensa dell’antenna dell’autoradio a date velocità; fluttuazione delle finestre avvolgibili (veneziane) quando il vento le attraversa; vibrazione dei tiranti dei ponti strallati.

In un primo momento si era pensato che il distacco dei vortici avesse provocato il crollo del ponte sul fiume Tacoma, mentre la causa del cedimento è stato un fenomeno aeroelastico noto come flutter.

Questo tipo di fenomeno deve essere preso in considerazione in fase di progettazione di strutture quali periscopi per sottomarini oppure per ciminiere industriali. Un metodo per evitarlo è inserire degli elementi di disturbo del flusso. Se questo è cilindrico, l’impiego di pinne di lunghezza maggiore del diametro consente di evitare la formazione delle scie vorticose. Poiché nel caso di edifici o antenne il vento può avere direzione qualsiasi, si impiegano elementi a profilo elicoidale simili a filetti. Questi vengono montati nella sommità delle strutture, generando un flusso asimmetrico tridimensionale che riduce la formazione alternata di vortici.»

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Europea, Russia, Unione Europea

Putin in Austria. Tempi che mutano.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-06-05.

Austria. Vienna. 001

Al momento di scrivere l’articolo, l’unico giornale italiano che riporta della visita di Mr Putin in Austria sarebbe il Sole 24 Ore

«Non è nostro obiettivo dividere niente o nessuno in Europa: al contrario, vogliamo vedere un’Europa unita e prospera, perché l’Unione Europea è il nostro principale partner commerciale ed economico. Più problemi ha, più rischi e incertezze abbiamo anche noi ….»

ci rendiamo perfettamente conto che per ciascun Paese dell’Unione Europea, preso singolarmente, è abbastanza complicato parlarne. Ma tutto quanto avviene in questo ambito non ci impedisce di sviluppare le nostre relazioni con l’Austria»

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Ampio invece il risalto dato dalla stampa estera, che riportiamo nei titoli e negli incipit.

Putin pushes for end to ‘harmful’ sanctions during Austria visit [The Guardia]

«Notionally scheduled to commemorate 50 years since Austria became the first western European country to sign a natural gas deal with the Soviet Union, the visit also offered the Russian and Austrian leaders opportunities to advance their respective geopolitical agendas, with a youthful Kurz, 32, pushing his credentials as a bridge builder between east and west.»

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Putin denies trying to divide Europe ahead of visit to Austria where he is accused of funding far-Right [The Telegraph]

«President Vladimir Putin on Monday downplayed suggestions Russia was seeking to disrupt the European Union’s cohesion, saying it was in his country’s interests for the bloc to remain “united and prosperous”.

“We have an interest in an EU that’s united and prosperous, since the EU is our most important commercial and economic partner,” Putin told Austria’s ORF television a day before an official visit to Vienna.»

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Putin says he wants to build bridges with Europe. Others see a wedge [Cnn]

«Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Austria on Tuesday, and he says he wants to build bridges to Europe.

Some fear he seeks to drive a wedge in it.

The official reason for the trip, Putin’s first foreign visit since he won a landslide re-election in March, is for talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen. Trade and economic cooperation are at the top of the agenda: Putin is slated to attend a meeting with Russian and Austrian business representatives to discuss investment opportunities and economic cooperation.

But the Kremlin leader is looking for an opening to a Europe that is witnessing a rise of right-wing, populist governments, with a clear aim of easing sanctions and ending Russia’s political isolation.

Austria is an interesting case in point. Late last year, a new coalition government took power in Vienna that includes the far-right Freedom Party as a junior partner.

Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria’s vice chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party, is an opponent of sanctions, which were imposed by the European Union and the US over Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

In a recent interview with the newspaper Oesterreich, Strache made his position clear.

“It is high time to put an end to these exasperating sanctions and normalize political and economic relations with Russia,” he said.

The Austrian government has also done another major favor for Putin. It opted not to join over 20 other countries in expelling Russian diplomats over the March 4 nerve agent attack against Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, in Salisbury, England.

That’s raised questions in Austria about the real agenda for Putin’s visit.»

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Austria welcomes Putin but rebuffs his call for sanctions to be lifte

«Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Austria on Tuesday in his first trip to the West since being re-elected to the Kremlin and was rebuffed when he called for European Union sanctions to be lifted.

Austria, where a coalition of conservatives and the pro-Putin far right is in power, has a history of neutrality and relatively warm ties with Moscow.

It came in for criticism from its allies for being among the minority of EU member countries that did not expel any Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. ….

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose conservatives control EU policy, repeated that Vienna would not break ranks with the rest of the bloc, which says the situation in eastern Ukraine must improve before sanctions can be lifted.

His Austrian trip is a rare and symbolic foray to the West for a man often at odds with Western governments over issues such as Syria and Ukraine. His last bilateral trip to Western Europe was to Finland last July.

Austria, which takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency in July, says it wants to act as a “bridge-builder” between east and west.

It has forged friendly ties with nationalist leaders like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.»

Dalla lettura della stampa ci si formerebbe l’opinione che

«That’s raised questions in Austria about the real agenda for Putin’s visit.»

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Militare, Russia, Stati Uniti

Russia. Nuovo arsenale atomico. – The Diplomat.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-03-30.

2018-03-28__Russia_Armamenti atomici 001

«Con l’espressione “Stati con armi nucleari” si indicano quelle nazioni che hanno costruito, hanno testato e sono attualmente in possesso di armi nucleari di qualunque tipo; in termini colloquiali, spesso ci si riferisce a questi Stati con l’espressione “club nucleare”. In base ai termini del Trattato di non proliferazione nucleare (TNP), entrato in vigore il 5 marzo 1970, sono considerate ufficialmente “Stati con armi nucleari” (nuclear weapons states o NWS) quelle nazioni che hanno assemblato e testato ordigni nucleari prima del 1º gennaio 1967: Stati Uniti d’America, Russia (succeduta all’Unione Sovietica), Regno Unito, Francia e Cina, ovvero i cinque membri permanenti del Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite.

Oltre a queste, altre quattro nazioni, non aderenti al TNP, hanno sviluppato e sono in possesso di armamenti nucleari: India, Pakistan, Corea del Nord (aderente al TNP nel 1985 ma ritiratasi da esso nel 2001) ed Israele (sebbene il governo israeliano non abbia mai confermato ufficialmente di possedere un arsenale nucleare); lo status di queste nazioni circa gli armamenti nucleari non è formalmente riconosciuto dagli organismi internazionali, ma è contemplato nelle pianificazioni strategiche dei principali Stati nucleari. Il Sudafrica allestì un arsenale nucleare tra la metà degli anni settanta e la fine degli anni ottanta ma scelse spontaneamente di smantellarlo nel 1991; i neo indipendenti Stati di Bielorussia, Kazakistan ed Ucraina si ritrovarono a gestire armi nucleari ex sovietiche dopo la dissoluzione dell’URSS, smantellandole o restituendole alla Russia entro il 1997.» [Fonte]

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Le armi atomiche sono un deterrente tale da mantenere le forze in equilibrio, anche se labile. Diciamo che da un punto di vista di Realpolitik interessano sicuramente il numero delle testate, ma soprattutto che le possibili potenze concorrenti abbiano potenzialità ragionevolmente eguali.

Sicuramente negli ultimi lustri sono stati progettati e costruiti sistemi di arma in grado di neutralizzare i missili di potenziali assalitori, ma quanto poi essi siano funzionali sul campo di battaglia è tutto da vedere, anche se si spera che mai lo si debba constatare.

Parlando a spanne, la quantità di armamenti attualmente in linea è tale da poter distruggere completamente il mondo e la vita su di esso.

Negli ultimi tempi la dottrina atomica ha virato dalle bombe di elevata potenza a quelle di potenza molto più limitata, si direbbero quasi di uso tattico, anche se il termine è improprio, pur rendendo l’idea.

A quanto sembrerebbe di capire, ma il condizionale è d’obbligo, Stati Uniti e Russia hanno sviluppato missili vettori ipersonici. Questi vettori sarebbero molto più difficilmente intercettabili.


The Diplomat. 2018-03-22. Russian Nukes: Facts vs. Fiction

2018 has already became a huge year for nuclear weapons-related developments all over the world, with a new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review published, the Russian and U.S. achievement of New START Central Limits, and the Doomsday Clock moved 30 seconds closer to midnight. Last but not least, Russian President Vladimir Putin rather unexpectedly showcased a number of new nuclear delivery vehicles during his annual (although postponed) Address to the Federal Assembly.

Russia remains a key figure for both worldwide nuclear arsenals as well as strategic stability, so it is important to understand the existing and future capabilities of Strategic Rocket Forces and their sea- and air-based companions.

Land

Regarding the land-based leg of Russian nuclear triad, the important part is rather evolutionary: deliveries of new Yars (SS-27 Mod 2) intercontinental-range ballistic missiles or ICBMs (as well as yet to be specified Yars-S) in road-mobile and silo-based variants have led to the complete rearmament of up to three missile divisions, with rearmament ongoing for three. The development of the Barguzin rail-mobile ICBM project has been finished, but deployment was canceled, which back in the day seemed a good sign, as this system was obviously excessive.

Another future system, the Sarmat (SS-X-29) heavy liquid-fuel ICBM faced a number of problems, but eventually reached the ejection test stage, which was deemed successful. This missile is said to be more powerful than the renowned Satan (SS-18). However, using it as delivery vehicle for multiple (10+) warheads looks like an unnecessary capability given the existing New START limits (700 deployed launchers and 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads).

Now we come to the “gliding cruise bloc” Avangard, a hypersonic glider previously known as “Project 4202” or “Yu-71.” This type of payload, said to enter serial production, is capable of precise hits on any target, avoiding any existing or future missile defenses. The mating of Avangard and Sarmat (probably up to five gliders per missile, but likely less) seems the most appropriate way to use those new toys.

There were six ICBM test launches over 2017, related both to life extension and new payload types. As usual, the number was lower than previously announced; the same dynamics will probably remain in 2018.

Overall, Strategic Rocket Forces (RVSN) commander Sergei Karakayev remains committed to the 400 ICBMs at his disposal, but this number obviously includes nondeployed missiles, as otherwise there’s no chance for Russia to get under New START limits. It’s important to note that, given the rapid decline of the provisional “warheads-per-vehicle” coefficient over the last year, there’s a chance that “un-deployment” for existing heavy ICBMs (the SS-18 and SS-19) had already taken place.

Coming back to Putin’s nuclear weapons extravaganza, there’s one more system possibly related to the ground leg, the nuclear-powered cruise missile (possibly 9M730, but no one knows for sure) with unlimited range. Its current status, research, and deployment schedules are yet to be disclosed (or not), but it is worth noting, that “examples” given during the address were the sea-launched Tomahawk and air-launched Kh-101. However, the launcher used during the test shown in the relevant video resembles several types of self-propelled launchers for tactical surface-to-surface and anti-ship missiles combined.

Sea

The sea leg of the nuclear triad launched several SS-N-23A Sinevas and a single SS-N-32 Bulava in 2017. The latter fact raises some concern, as we are yet to witness the possibility of salvo fires with this missile system. The Tula (Delta-IV class) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) returned from repairs to the Northern Fleet, while Bryansk of the same type (praised for a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile launch during strategic exercises by the fleet commander), left in turn for Zvezdochka to undergo work to repair, modernize, and restore its combat readiness.

Judging from the official photos, two Borei and 3 Delta-III SSBNs are ready for combat duty in the Pacific Ocean. The first 955A (Borei-A), Prince Vladimir, took to the water in 2017 as well. The original Borei class used the hulls from the Soviet reserve, so this ship is the first of entirely new construction. It’s worth noting that over the past year there were a number of confirmations regarding plans to develop an even more advanced underwater cruiser, Borei-B, within the framework of the State Armaments Program-2027 (GPV-2027).

There were a number of disclosures and an eventual statement by Putin on new unmanned underwater “drones,” namely Status-6 (or Kanyon) and Klavesin-2P (Harpsichord). It is rather strange that those two systems appeared in the same video and now are waiting for “public” designations together as well, because they obviously have different purposes. The main task of Klavesin-2P is believed to be expanding situational awareness for submarines, while Status-6 is an “intercontinental nuclear-tipped torpedo,” capable of destroying coastal infrastructure and (at least as shown in the video rendering) surface ship strike groups. It is yet to be understood how such a system, supposedly carrying a multimegaton nuclear warhead, should be factored into existing and future arms control agreements. Status-6 is a strategic system, so it seems appropriate to include this beast into some future START-type treaty, but one must keep in mind that long-range nuclear-tipped submarine-launched cruise missiles, which are still in service in the Russian Navy (and possibly will see a return for the U.S. Navy as well), are not covered by existing treaties, while having strategic implications.

Air

The most important “material” event for the Russia Air Force’s Strategic Aviation over the last year happened in 2018: first “new” Tu-160 (“Blackjack”) Heavy Bomber took its maiden flight. Of course one must remember that it was built using anunfinished body and it is yet to be understood which types (Tu-160M/160M1/160M2) will be produced and when, but this is an important milestone nevertheless. A contract for 10 planes was signed. A proper “future bomber,” PAK DA is yet to be disclosed; the only specification we may be sure about is that it will be based on a “flying wing” scheme. There’s word that some level of unification regarding avionics and weapons will be achieved for new Blackjacks and the PAK DA.

As for today, the main capability increase for the air leg of Russia’s nuclear triad is being achieved by the modernization of existing Tu-160 and Tu-95MS (Bear-H) aircraft, so they can use Kh-101 cruise missiles. This long-range stealthy cruise missile (Kh-102 for nuclear-tipped variant) will remain the main armament for new heavy bombers as well.

Heavy bombers remain an important signalling tool. Blackjacks and Bears routinely visit faraway airspace and airdromes, serving as a reminder of Russian strategic capabilities. Also, they are the only part of the triad (Luckily) that has seen real action: there were at least 66 air-launched cruise missiles launched at Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

During Vladimir Putin’s address, the air-based hypersonic weapons system “Kinzhal” (“Dagger”) was demonstrated, and even said to have entered test service in the Southern Federal (sic) District of Russia. The easiest way to describe this system is an Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) solid-fuel aeroballistic missile (probably a 9M723 derivative) mated to MiG-31 (Foxhound) interceptor. The system is capable of hitting ground and sea-surface targets, avoiding missile defenses, and serves as a good example how existing technological marvels may produce synergy. It is yet to be determined if the stated 2,000 kilometer range means the missile only or the system as a whole. Kinzhal does not fall under New START definitions for strategic air leg, as Foxhound is hardly a heavy bomber, and the missile is obviously not cruise-type, but this is an important topic for discussion among experts and policymakers.

Stability or Escalation?

Russia remains fully capable of destroying the United States, and, most importantly, U.S. Strategic Command capabilities are roughly the same. This balance remains a pillar of global peace, even under the currently strained relations between the great powers. Discussions on limited nuclear use will likely remain unrelated to reality; any nuclear use will lead to full-scale retaliation.

What is important is how other nuclear-weapons states may be factored into the equation. Russia has until recently insisted that any further reductions can’t be achieved on a bilateral basis, while “third parties” have speculated that they can’t “join the game” while Russian and U.S. arsenals are bigger by such a great margin. Another issue in the strategic arms debate is U.S. Missile Defense, an overhyped problem for both the domestic audience and some military experts in Russia. Showing a great number of new “penetrating” nuclear delivery vehicles must be seen not as “saber-rattling” but as a therapy for the audience both within Russia and abroad.

However, an unusual statement was made by Vladimir Putin during his interview for NBC, which may show a way to overcome both problems. He said that Russia is ready to continue the dialogue on existing and new strategic arms control treaties, and added that, given new weapons’ missile defense penetration capabilities, “We no longer consider the reduction of ballistic missiles and warheads to be highly critical.” He indicated that new strategic weapons also will be included in the grand total.

Such an attitude is yet to see implementation in detailed strategic stability talks (it’s possible that this may have been a subject of the recently postponed meeting), but the parties seem ready for discussion. Future reductions may open the way for third parties to join the process – initially by agreeing to some level of transparency and confidence-building measures.

Military planners in every country think about waging and winning nuclear war, but testing their calculations remains superfluous.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Russia, Unione Europea

Austria. Non espellerà diplomatici russi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-03-29.

2018-03-29__Austria. Non espellerà diplomatici russi.__001

Con il Cancelliere Kurz ed il nuovo governo che escluse la socialdemocrazia, l’Austria ha subito una appariscente mutazione. Le linee guida politiche ed economiche che erano tipiche dell’Austria sono state abbandonate e lentamente stanno emergendo quelle nuove. Non che il Cancelliere fosse stato poco chiaro nell’enunciare i propri programmi, ma erano in molti a dubitare che avrebbe poi potuto mantenere ciò che erano state le promesse elettorali.

Si direbbe quasi che il Cancelliere Kurz stia sviluppando un piano politico strategico che stia precorrendo i tempi: presto o tardi anche il resto dell’Europa potrebbe allinearsi al suo modo di intendere la situazione attuale e su come operare.

Di sicuro, il Cancelliere Kurz ha visioni politiche molto differenti da quelle delle attuali cancellerie e della dirigenza dell’Unione Europea.

Intanto l’Austria si è visibilmente emancipata dalla tutela tedesca. Fenomeno questo iniziato anni or sono, ma ora chiaramente visibile. I recenti summit dei capi di stato e di governo dell’Unione Europea sono più che eloquenti. In questo Herr Kurz ha ampiamente precorso i tempi avendo previsto il crollo dei socialisti francesi, poi l’esito delle elezione politiche tedesche ed infine di quelle italiane. Il Cancelliere Kurz considera, non a torto, molti attuali governi come dei walking dead: sembrerebbe aver compreso appieno la portata della devoluzione dell’idealismo liberal e socialista. È segno di acume politico il precorrere i tempi, senza voler strafare. È molto verosimile che le sue posizioni attuali saranno in un futuro non troppo lontano fatte proprie dagli altri stati membri dell’Unione Europea.

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Molto significativo il titolo di fondo dell’Ahram Online:

‘Neutral’ Austria won’t expel Russian diplomats

«Austria is a member of the European Union but is officially neutral and is not part of the NATO military alliance»

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«Austria said Monday that it would not follow a number of other EU countries in expelling Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, stressing its neutrality.»

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«”We stand behind the decision to recall the EU ambassador, but we will not take any national measures,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said in a joint statement.»

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«”Indeed, we want to keep the channels of communication to Russia open,” they added. “Austria is a neutral country and sees itself as a bridge-builder between East and West.”»

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La reazione dei paesi dell’Unione Europea era prevedibile.

«Austria is drawing criticism from parts of the European Union for saying it couldn’t expel Russian diplomats on account of its neutrality»

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«Austria, which has gotten most of its natural gas from Russia for 50 years, has a history of trying to moderate the EU’s approach to Moscow»

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Herr Kurz ha anche un retaggio storico di non poca importanza.

«In declining to take further measures, his government cited Austria’s neutrality, which the country adopted as a condition for ending its post-World War II occupation by the U.S., the Soviet Union, the U.K. and France in 1955»

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La Realpolitik è arte solo per persone di grande intelligenza e cultura: sia come parte agente sia anche come spettatori. Nessuno però si stupirebbe se la minuscola Austria acquisisse nel tempo una statura politica molto maggiore di quanto ci si potrebbe aspettare da una nazione oggettivamente piccola.

Potrebbero tornare alla mente i tempi di Josef Klaus prima e di Bruno Kreisky dopo.


Bloomberg. 2013-03-28. Austria Draws Scorn for Sitting Out Russian Diplomat Expulsions

– Government includes nationalists friendly with Putin’s party

– Sweden’s Bildt questions if Austria is ‘part of the West’

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Austria is drawing criticism from parts of the European Union for saying it couldn’t expel Russian diplomats on account of its neutrality.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government, which includes nationalists that cooperate with Vladimir Putin’s party, declined to join the tough international response to a nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in England. Austria is a “builder of bridges between East and West” and wants to “keep channels open” to Moscow, it said.

That position is “hardly compatible with EU membership” and there’s “a big difference between being part of the West and being a bridge between the West and the East,” former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Tuesday on Twitter.

Artis Pabriks, a former Latvian foreign minister who’s a member of the European Parliament, called Austria’s decision a “bad joke.” He asked: “Which other EU policies/decisions Kurz does not apply to Austria?”

Kurz, whose People’s Party is part of the same political family as the parties of Bildt and Pabriks, said Monday that Austria backs the EU’s decision to pull its ambassador to Russia.

In declining to take further measures, his government cited Austria’s neutrality, which the country adopted as a condition for ending its post-World War II occupation by the U.S., the Soviet Union, the U.K. and France in 1955.

United Russia

Austria, which has gotten most of its natural gas from Russia for 50 years, has a history of trying to moderate the EU’s approach to Moscow. Social Democrat Werner Faymann was one of the more skeptical EU leaders when initial sanctions were imposed on Russia in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea.

Kurz’s coalition partner, the Freedom Party, led by Vice Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache, signed a “working agreement” with Putin’s United Russia party in Moscow in 2016, saying it would like to roll back the sanctions.


Ahram Online. 2013-03-28. ‘Neutral’ Austria won’t expel Russian diplomats

Austria said Monday that it would not follow a number of other EU countries in expelling Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, stressing its neutrality.

“We stand behind the decision to recall the EU ambassador, but we will not take any national measures,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said in a joint statement.

“Indeed, we want to keep the channels of communication to Russia open,” they added. “Austria is a neutral country and sees itself as a bridge-builder between East and West.”

Fourteen European Union countries are to expel a total of 30 Russian diplomats in a coordinated international response to Moscow over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury, according to an AFP tally.

Germany, France and Poland led the way with four expulsions each and EU President Donald Tusk warned that more diplomats could be thrown out in the coming days.

Austria is a member of the European Union but is officially neutral and is not part of the NATO military alliance.

The right-wing Kurz visited Russia in late February and his coalition partners, the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), have a “cooperation pact” with President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

Slovakia, while condemning the Skripal poisoning, also said it was not throwing out Russian diplomats at present but will summon the Russian ambassador “without delay”.

“The development of the situation, as well as Russia’s response to the calls addressed to it by the EU countries — including Slovakia — will influence the next steps that we are prepared to consider in this case,” the Slovakian foreign ministry said.