Tag Archives: S-400 anti-aircraft system

Has the S-400 System Made Trump a President of Peace? by Tim Kirby

Many times political strategies have been dictated by the weapons of war. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.com:

The historical legacy of these four unusual years of Trump’s reign over America can and will be debated endlessly, but he does have one inarguable achievement that no other recent U.S. President has – he didn’t start any new wars. Trump certainly made lots of cartoonish threats at nations like North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and China during his time in office, but ultimately he never pulled the trigger. Furthermore, the military situations he did inherit more or less sat stagnant with no “surges” or escalation. On the surface it looks as though Trump kept his anti-war promises by talking like a warhawk, yet ultimately doing nothing. Conscious inaction in this case may have been a powerful form of direct action to keep the U.S. out of some new quagmire with uncertain victory conditions. We should also not forget the President upon taking the Oval Office immediately raised the annual budget for the Armed Forces. This could have been a form of bribery to keep the Military Industrial Complex fed on dry food so it wouldn’t go out hunting for fresh meat. That was probably the “cost” for four years of nonintervention. However, there may be an alternative view as to why the Trump era was so unusually gun shy.

If we go back to 2017 there was one moment when Donald Trump truly “became President of the United States” according to Fareed Zakaria. On April 7th, to Mainstream Media delight, Trump greenlit the launch of 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at various targets in Syria. This was a rare act of true blunt aggression by Trump, but what was even more unusual was that there was no follow up strike, there was not step two on a roadmap, there was just nothing. After this strike there was no follow up of any relevance. The only thing American forces in Syria seem to have accomplished is playing chicken with the Russians out of boredom.

Image: This unassuming weapon could be an international game changer.

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“Like Watching A Car Crash In Slow Motion”: Turkey Balks At US Sanction Threat, Warns It May Evict US Forces From Military Bases, by Tyler Durden

Tensions continue to mount between Turkey, on the one hand, and the US and NATO on the other (Turkey is part of NATO). From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Despite mounting political and diplomatic pressure by the US and its NATO allies, Turkey has again balked at US attempts of intimidation and dug into its refusal to abandon a new Russian missile defense, saying it won’t bow to the threat of crippling US sanctions or trade the S-400s for an American system.

“They said they would not sell Patriots unless we get rid of the S-400s. It is out of question for us to accept such a precondition,” said Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, late on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting, quoted by Bloomberg.

Parts of Russian S-400 defense system unloaded from a Russian plane at Murted Airport near Ankara in August; Photo: Turkish Defense Ministry

“An irrational anti-Turkish sentiment has prevailed in the Congress and it is not good for Turkish-American relations,” Kalin added, noting that Congress “should know that such language of threat would push Turkey exactly toward places that they don’t want it turn to.” Namely, right into the hands of Vladimir Putin, who is on even better terms with Erdogan than Trump, despite Turkey taking down a Russian fighter jet over its territory several years back.

Shifting Alliances: Is Turkey Now “Officially” an Ally of Russia? Acquires Russia’s S-400. Exit from NATO Imminent? by Professor Michel Chossudovsky

Turkey is moving closer to Russia. Does that mean Turkey has moved away from the US? From Michel Chossudovsky at globalresearch.ca:

Turkey is taking delivery of Russia’s S 400 missile defence system. What this signifies is that Turkey and Russia are now “officially” allies. The first shipment of the S-400 landed in Ankara on July 12, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Defense. (see image below)

Two more shipments are due, with the third delivery of “over 120 anti-aircraft missiles of various types… [scheduled] tentatively at the end of the summer, by sea.” 

Reports confirm that the “Turkish S-400 operators will travel to Russia for training in July and August. About 20 Turkish servicemen underwent training at a Russian training center in May and June, …”(CNN, July 12, 2019)

How will the US respond?

In all likelihood, Erdogan’s presidency will be the object of an attempted regime change, not to mention ongoing financial reprisals directed against the Turkish Lira as well as economic sanctions.

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Turkey Disobeys The US, by Eric S. Margolis

One thing really drives the Trump administration nuts: when our vassals forego our weapons systems and buy from Russia or China. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

Turkey has just called Donald Trump’s bluff by going ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.  The outrage in Washington is volcanic.  Trump is vowing to rain fire and brimstone sanctions down on the disobedient Turks.

The S-400 is Russia’s premier anti-air missile.  It is believed highly effective against all forms of aircraft – including stealth planes – cruise missiles, medium range ballistic missiles, drones, and some other types of missiles.  It offers the choice of a self-directing version with its own radar seeker, or a less expensive, ‘semi-active’ version that is guided by its launch-battery radar.

What makes this AA missile (SS-21 in NATO terminology) particularly deadly is its remarkable 400 km range.  The S-400 is said by Russia to be able to unmask stealth aircraft.  I’ve been told by Soviet security officials as far back as 1990 that their radars could detect US stealth aircraft.

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Pentagon Admits Russian Air Defenses “Changing U.S. Calculus” Abroad, by Tyler Durden

Russian anti-aircraft missile systems are better than the US’s, and there use threatens US air superiority. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As the West has for the past two years distracted itself and obsessed over claimed Russian election meddling and those sinister online “disinformation campaigns,” the Kremlin has been busy establishing air superiority in places US aircraft could at one time operate with impunity.

According to a new lengthy report in the Wall Street Journal Russia’s S-400 antiaircraft missile system, which much of the western public has recently begun to hear about in the context of Syria, is now “changing the calculus of the U.S. and its allies in potential hot spots” as Russia is erecting a “new Iron Curtain” in the form of a series of effective and far reaching anti-air defenses stretching from the Arctic to the Middle East.

For starters, the S-400 system’s stealth-detecting radar system is able to cast a broad net around the Eastern Mediterranean from its Russian base positioning in Syria, and is further linked up to “a ring of air defenses” that stretches “North from Syria, along the borders of Eastern Europe and rounding the Arctic Circle to the east,” according to the report.

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India Calls Trump’s Bluff, Will Pay For Russian S-400s In Rubles, by Tyler Durden

India is showing its independence from US dictates. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After facing down US threats of possible economic sanctions should it follow through with its plans to purchase nearly $5.4 billion in Russian S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems, India has successfully called the US’s bluff.  After India stood its ground and insisted on moving ahead with the arms deal, the White House said it would consider giving India a waiver on the deal, according to RT.

For anybody who has followed our coverage of the growing mutiny against the dominant dollar-based trade paradigm – a rebellion that’s being led by Russia and China – the US’s reasons for granting the concession should be self-evident. After the US threatened to block the deal via SWIFT, the supposedly “politically independent” system for international payments over which the US Treasury exercises de facto veto power via economic sanctions, Russia and India found a viable workaround: Carry out the transaction in rubles and rupees.

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India Defies US, Signs $5.4BN Arms Deal With Russia Amid Promises Of Closer Ties, by Tyler Durden

India drifts closer to the Russian-Chinese alliance. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In what amounts to Russia’s latest act of defiance against the US and its Western allies, and a sign that India is slowly moving away from the US sphere of influence, New Delhi has signed a $5.4 billion deal for the delivery of five S-400 weapons systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, RT reported. The deal risks provoking more sanctions against Russia from the US. The arms deal was finalized at a summit involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

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India Defies Washington, Will Acquire Russian S-400 Missile Shield, by Tyler Durden

India is moving toward the Chinese-Russian sponsored Eurasian axis. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Washington’s so-called allies continue to gravitate towards the Russian sphere of influence, and specifically the Russian S-400 Triumph advanced anti-aircraft weapon system.

First it was Turkey, which openly defied Trump’s threats that the US would sanction Ankara if it completes the purchase of the anti-aircraft missiles, saying the acquisition of the missile defense system is “a done deal and Turkey will not turn back from its decision.”

Now India is also moving towards acquiring five or more S-400 from Russia despite the threat of US retaliation. The Defense Acquisitions Council (DAC), chaired by minister Nirmala Sitharaman, last week approved the “minor deviations” in the $5.7 billion deal to purchase S-400s for final government approval, to the finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s office sources told the Times of India.

The DAC discussed the S-400 deal just one day after Washington on Wednesday canceled a “two-plus-two” discussion involving foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and defense minister Sitharaman and Washington officials Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis, which was scheduled for July 6.

The Times of India noted that in October 2015, India had planned to procure the S-400s – which can detect, track and destroy supersonic bombers, drones, fifth-generation fighters, spy planes, and supersonic missiles at a range of up to 400km and altitude of 30km – in what many Indian officials have praised as a game-changing military acquisition.

The world’s leading Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems are Patriot Advanced Capability-3, THAAD, S-400 Triumph and S-500. India has big ambitions for regional dominance and has been attempting to develop a domestic BMD system over the last several decades.

And while Washington officials briefed India on the use of Patriot system, it seems that the country is more interesting in purchasing Russian made BMDs instead.  The New York Times reported in April that the Indian/Russian deal serves as a blow to the United States’ ”struggling Patriot missile defense system.”

“India wasn’t very impressed with the Patriot compared with the S-400, which wins hands-down in capability, in its availability, service availability. It’s a more efficient system,” it cited Rahul Bedi of Jane’s Information Group as saying.

To continue reading: India Defies Washington, Will Acquire Russian S-400 Missile Shield