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Closer to nuclear war – as USA tests ICBM intercept

US’ successful ICBM intercept test brings us closer to a nuclear war and proves Moscow’s concerns were well grounded, 17 Nov 20, Rt.com, Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

The US has long dismissed Russian concerns over the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system on European soil. This week’s test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor against an ICBM has proven Russian concerns correct.

On Tuesday, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced it conducted a test of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System-equipped Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS John Finn, against what was termed a “threat-representative Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target” using a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor. The test object was launched from Kwajalein Atoll, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, toward an area of the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii. According to the MDA, the SM-3 Block IIA missile successfully intercepted its target.

The successful test is but the latest in a series intended to prepare the SM-3 Block IIA missile and its associated systems–the Aegis Baseline-9 Weapons System and Command and Control Battle Management Communications (C2BMC) network–for operational duty as America’s frontline missile defense capability……..


Russia has long held
 that the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems in Europe represented a major alteration of the strategic balance of power, insofar as it empowered a potential US/NATO nuclear first strike scenario, in which US nuclear-armed missiles would be launched against Russian strategic nuclear forces in an effort to preemptively destroy them. Europe would then avoid the certainty of mutually assured destruction by hiding behind the US missile defense shield, which in theory would be capable of shooting down the handful of Russian missiles that might survive such an attack.  ………..

The combination of low-yield nuclear weapons on board US submarines lurking off Russia’s coast with US destroyers equipped to shoot down Russian ICBMs is the stuff of any Russian nuclear planner’s worst nightmare. Russia will most likely be compelled to reexamine its alert posture to account for the increased possibility that the US may seek to launch a preemptive decapitation attack using low-yield nuclear weapons.

This means that Russia will be compelled to react quickly to any detection event suggestive of such a strike, reducing the time for leaders to consider the possibility of error before giving the order to launch. In short, while the US may claim that the SM-3 Block IIA is a defensive weapon that creates stability in regional and global security, the exact opposite is the case–the SM-3 Block IIA increases the chance for inadvertent nuclear war between the US and Russia. This is never a good outcome. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/507015-icbm-intercept-aegis-russia/

November 29, 2020 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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