By Robert Bunning
Russia’s recent missile launch is upsetting to the current status quo. It shows Vladimir’s willingness to push aside treaty’s signed with the United States and prepare the Russian federation for an intermediate range conflict. The resumption of deployment of IRBM’s, a field of missile not deployed for almost thirty years (1988) shows Russia moving towards a lower cost nuclear capable delivery platform. This should be a startling development for any NATO commander or anyone within 1000km of the Russian sphere of influence. The real danger of these delivery systems is that the current planned missile defense system may not be capable of intercepting the warheads before targets are reached. Poland and other close nations should be especially weary because these systems due to their similarities cruise missiles making target prioritization and interception much more difficult for ground commanders.
This is continuing a doctrine shift under the Putin government, showing disregard for existing laws and willingly field testing banned weapon systems. Local field commanders will have to act quickly to prioritize incoming targets and Russian commanders may try and launch salvo’s that will overwhelm countermeasures. The combination of large Multiple launch platforms with nuclear capable projectiles makes the likely hood of a swarm attack more severe.
Given the increased threat of these systems and the likelihood that other Cold War era limitation Treaties will be ignored the world is now facing the potential for a new arms race. Reminiscent of the interwar period between World War One and World War Two when the Washington naval treaty was pushed aside and Japan pushed forward with the Yamato class battleship in violation of treaties but the League of Nations was unable to effectively limit their deployment. The continuing discussion involving the lifting of Russian sanctions is therefore quite precarious, for it will result In an emboldened Russian state and likely lead to continuing deployment of banned military hardware.