Washington gave the green light for banned missile tests

First effects since the USA withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) came quickly. Washington is planning to test a new ground-launched ballistic missile. In March Pentagon notified the media about its intention to test an intermediate range ballistic missile. The time has come. 

It is expected to conduct a ballistic missile test by the end of the year. The potential range of the tested missile is roughly 3,000-4,000 kilometers.  Now it is clear why the USA exited the INF Treaty.  The agreement between the USA and Soviet Union banned ballistic missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. It is not surprising why the document wasn’t in the best interest with the USA. Currently Washington gave the green light for banned missile tests. 

Though American politicians promised that there is no intention to build nuclear-capable missiles that undermine the INF Treaty limits, in contrast, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that “the Department of Defense will fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia’s actions and as part of the Joint Force’s broader portfolio of conventional strike options.” So, all what was necessary is to find a reason to quit the Treaty and create new intermediate nuclear-capable missiles as American officials dreamed. 

However, there are opponents of such situation. For example, Kingston Reif, of the Arms Control Association said that such pursuit is “militarily unnecessary, would force difficult and contentious conversations with and among allies, and likely would prompt Russia and China to take steps that would increase the threat to the United States and its allies.” “A 3,000- to 4,000-kilometer-range ballistic missile would pose a much more direct threat to the Russian and Chinese homelands,” he added. 

Tom Karako, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies considers that the USA needs a mix of weapons: “The future form of future strike will almost surely include a mix of UAVs, cruise missiles, ballistics and hypersonic glide vehicles. An IRBM for ourselves and our friends may well have a place in that mix.”

But it is still unknown how the test will look like. The previous cruise missile test was conducted in August. A variant of the Tomahawk land-attack weapon was launched from Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (the same launcher used in the Aegis Ashore missile defense system).  This time another version of the Mark 41 will be involved. The USA promises that Aegis Ashore won’t become offensive. But frankly speaking it’s nothing but talk.  Nothing stopped Washington from the Treaty withdrawal, nothing will prevent Pentagon from turning the ballistic missile defense (BMD) elements into offensive. 

In reality, Washington cannot fully guarantee that the US ballistic missile defense as well as planned banned missiles won’t be used for attack…According to the author of the  Australian “Contra Magazin”, 

over the past 70 years Washington invested nothing in defense as nobody attacked the USA. Predominantly, Washington spent money on financing of military campaigns in other countries with the purpose of saving its empire. And that is true.For instance, Korean war, wars and military operations in North Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. However, none of these states invaded the US territory. “Contra Magazin” even says that it will be correct to call the US Department of Defense as the Imperial Department of war and interventions. The same thing happens with the US global ballistic missile defense and previously banned nuclear missile tests. Words are one thing, deeds are quite another. 

(NORWAY NEWS – Written by Valeria Shatskaya from Russia)