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Retired Russian colonel Viktor Baranetz wrote an entertaining article for Komsomolskaya Pravda: “Trump-Pump-Pump And Our Big Bang“. Baranetz seemed to have two main points, one thought-provoking and one off the wall nutty sounding.

“The U.S. is the permanent ‘world champion’ in the size of its military budget – almost $600 billion, which is 10 times more than Russias. Even if we add together the military budgets of the top ten countries in the world, they would not reach the American budget! Now it turns out that even that is not enough for Donald Trump. He intends to increase defense expenditure by $54 billion. This money would be enough to maintain five Polish armies. Or 10 Ukrainian ones.

“The American public is already grumbling at Trump, who prefers guns to butter. But cunning Trump understands what his trump card is: He is ‘buying’ the support of the army, as well as of military industry corporations. Former Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army Yuri Baluyevsky is certain that ‘the idea to increase defense expenditure was presented to Trump by the U.S. military, who argue a lot about the power of the Russian army, realizing this is an opportunity to get new money.’ But how will Moscow react to the growing military budget of the U.S.? Baluyevsky answers: ‘Russia will not compete with the U.S. in defense expenditure. We are in a different weight class. For us, the main question is how to ensure Russia’s defense at a lower cost. I am sure that we have already found asymmetrical responses. I don’t see a big problem here.’

“What are these mysterious ‘asymmetrical responses’ that our politicians and generals speak about so often? Maybe it’s a myth or a pretty turn of phrase? No! Our asymmetrical response is nuclear warheads that can modify their course and height so that no computer can calculate their trajectory. Or, for example, the Americans are deploying their tanks, airplanes and special forces battalions along the Russian border. And we are quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command)[…]

“Oh, it seems I’ve said too much. I should hold my tongue.

Point 1:

The U.S. spends a ridiculous sum on “defense”. He’s 100% correct here in all his statements. He merely confirmed those poll study results – the U.S., the most powerful nation, militarily, spends ten times as much as the second nation, Russia. If Trump gets the extra $54 Billion, then it will be nearly 11 times as much.

Not that it is defense-oriented. The military budget largely serves three purposes: money, money, and more money for the MIC; a jobs program, and; foreign intervention. It’s offense, not defense. The U.S. military was also the world’s largest in 2001 when they couldn’t even defend their own headquarters.

Defense spending is to Republicans what education spending is to Democrats. More spent after a certain point just means spending more. Ah, well, it’s just money.

Point 2:

The mole missiles. Either Brother Barabetz was be facetious or else he must have just come from the bar. While designing missiles that burrow into the seafloor and wait for “the command” must be technically possible, I suppose that, and implanting (seeding) them, would be exorbitantly expensive. Too much so for $60 Billion per year.

And I can’t see them being that effective if they were real. Essentially they would amount to underground nuclear explosions. Powerful, yes, but not nearly as powerful as a conventional in-air detonation. And they could likely only be deployed against non-military targets. I assume we could detect the seeding construction near one of our sub bases, for example.

They already have a similar but better system available – on their subs.

The “moles” seem as plausible as that 50s or 60s sci-fi movie wherein the Chinese dug an invasion tunnel to America through the center of the Earth.

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It is possible the man was talking about something real and using the ridiculous as a cover. When you’re outspent and out-gunned, asymmetrical warfare is an option. Something like the self-correcting trajectory is possible and plausible.

I also noticed the man talked about defending Russia. It’s cheaper to defend that to attack.

Anyway, maybe he had a triple at lunch and felt pretty good. Maybe he’s off the reservation. Maybe he’s on to something. Dunno. You?

 

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