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Russian General Staff: U.S. Global Missile Defense Is a Global Threat

March 28, 2017 (EIRNS)—Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy chief of the Main Operation Directorate of the Russian General Staff, warned, during a seminar in Geneva, that the U.S. global missile defense system, in combination with ground- and space-based radar and the capacity to launch up to 1,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, greatly increases the danger of nuclear war. This was reported by TASS.

U.S. Aegis guided-missile destroyers and cruisers, equipped with 2,500-km-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, can threaten all of European Russia from the Black and Baltic Seas, Poznikhir said.

"Missile defense ships in the Black and Baltic seas pose a threat to facilities in the European part of Russia, because it is unclear what missiles the Mk-41 launchers carry at a given moment,"

Poznikhir said. Poznikhir included the Mk-41 launchers deployed as part of the NATO anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system in Romania and soon to be deployed in Poland. He said that the assertion that these launchers can’t fire Tomahawk missiles "doesn’t hold water," because the launchers can be rapidly and stealthily loaded with Tomahawks at any time.

Radar systems that are part of the U.S. early warning system, Poznikhir went on, can detect all possible flight trajectories of Russian ballistic missiles towards the United States. This capability is expected to increase with the deployment of a low-Earth-orbit system of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles.

"Therefore, the information and reconnaissance means of the U.S. ABM system at present provide for both detecting the launch of Russian ballistic missiles, tracking them in the flight trajectory, and giving target acquisition to the ABM firepower complexes for intercepting the warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,"

Poznikhir said.

Therefore, Russia is calling on the United States for talks.

"We are calling for an equitable and constructive dialogue on anti-missile issues, aimed at searching for the solutions that take into account the interests of all the parties concerned,"

Poznikhir said. Russia

"is forced to take adequate countermeasures aimed at preventing the existing possible damage to the security of the state as a result of the further build-up of the U.S. ABM capabilities,"

he noted. Poznikhir reported that according to Russian calculations, the number of ABM missiles available to the United States will exceed 1,000 by 2022, and eventually, will exceed the number of warheads in the Russian nuclear arsenal, limited to 1,500 by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Such a number of ABM weapons

"poses a serious threat to the Russian containment potential, especially considering the constant work on modernizing ABM firepower complexes,"

he said.

Poznikhir warned that all of this adds up to a very dangerous threat to international security.

"The deployment of the missile defense systematically ruins the current system of international security. As it builds up missile defense capabilities, the United States hopes to gain strategic advantage by downgrading the deterrence potentials of Russia and China. This may cause serious effects in the field of security,"

he said.

"Firstly, the existence of missile defense systems lowers the threshold of using nuclear weapons, which creates the delusion strategic offensive weapons might be used with impunity under the missile defense umbrella. Secondly, the missile defense upsets the current balance of deterrence forces, thereby jeopardizing the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2010 and the Intermediate Nuclear Force [INF] treaty of 1987. Thirdly, the emerging missile defense system poses a threat to the safety of the international space activity and hinders the conclusion of agreements on the non-deployment of weapons in space,"

Poznikhir said.