A Nuclear War Against Russia Will Never Happen

German army tanks line up during the course of the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, June 2015. The German military has seen an increase in deployments for exercises in Eastern Europe and on Russia's borders since the start of the Ukrainian crisis in February 2014.Provoked NATO-Russia Conflicts’ Possible but ‘No One Needs Nuclear Apocalypse

13:24 22.08.2017(updated 15:18 22.08.2017) Get short URL
Occasional incidents between Russian and NATO military forces are fairly possible, and some of them may be intentionally provoked, Russian International Affairs Council expert Prokhor Tebin told Sputnik.

“Our relations with the US and NATO will certainly remain tense  and I do not expect any reset like the one we had after the 2008 conflict in Georgia happening any time soon. Limited local-scale military incidents between Russia, the US and NATO, or its individual members, with real fighting and losses,” Tebin said while presenting a report in Euro-Atlantic stability at the recent meeting of the Valdai Discussions Club.

“Moreover, some of these incidents could be intentional,” he added.
Prokhor Tebin highlights the November 2016 incident when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in Syria as an example of such a conflict.

Tebin added that “both sides have a chance to pragmatically resolve such conflicts before they spill over to full-blown war confrontation or a Cold War.”

He proposed closer dialogue between politicians, diplomats, experts and military men on both sides and the need “to outline their priorities and national interests they will not budge on and the “red lines” they’re not willing to let each other cross.
Tebin continuedsaid that “a major war between Russia and the West is “extremely unlikely because no one needs a nuclear apocalypse.”
US and Canada Institute’s deputy director Pavel Zolotarev likewise ruled out the possibility of Russia and the West actually coming to blows.

“Even if we imagine that [the US] goes to war with Russia, it would have to enlist the help of its NATO allies in Europe, which is unrealistic,” Zolotarev said.

He mentioned how reluctantly America’s fellow NATO members in Europe supported Washington’s military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Where was NATO when the US was preparing to invade [Iraq]? The Americans were forced to cobble together the so-called ‘Coalition of the Unwilling’. In Afghanistan Russia acted as a partner, but NATO didn’t,” he added.

Zolotarev believes that aside from the post-Soviet territory, there is really nothing Russia and NATO can’t agree on.

NATO-Russia relations have been complicated over the past few years, as NATO has set a sustainable course for the alliance’s expansion by engaging Eastern European states since 2014.
NATO justified its eastward expansion as a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict.
Moscow has repeatedly and vehemently refuted these allegations.

The European Nuclear Horns Grow (Daniel 7)

The New York Times By MAX FISHER 4 days ago
A technician under the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. In Europe, there is talk of forming a joint nuclear deterrent in the event the Trump administration withdraws American protection. © Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters A technician under the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. In Europe, there is talk of forming a joint nuclear deterrent in the event the Trump administration withdraws American protection.
BERLIN — An idea, once unthinkable, is gaining attention in European policy circles: a European Union nuclear weapons program.
Though no new countries would join the nuclear club under this scheme, it would amount to an unprecedented escalation in Europe’s collective military power and a drastic break with American leadership.
Analysts say that the talk, even if it never translates into action, demonstrates the growing sense in Europe that drastic steps may be necessary to protect the postwar order in the era of a Trump presidency, a resurgent Russia and the possibility of an alignment between the two.
Even proponents, who remain a minority, acknowledge enormous hurdles. But discussion of a so-called “Eurodeterrent” has entered the mainstream — particularly in Germany, a country that would be central to any plan but where antinuclear sentiment is widespread.
Jana Puglierin of the German Council on Foreign Relations said that a handful of senior European officials had “for sure triggered a public debate about this, taking place in newspapers and journals, radio interviews and TV documentaries.”
She added: “That in itself is remarkable. I am indeed very astonished that we discuss this at all.”
A Nuclear ‘Plan B’
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s former prime minister and now the head of its ruling party, provided the highest-level call for a European Union nuclear program in a February interview with a German newspaper.
But the most important support has come from Roderich Kiesewetter, a lawmaker and foreign policy spokesman with Germany’s ruling party, who gave the nuclear option increased credibility by raising it shortly after President Trump’s election.
In an interview in the German Bundestag, Mr. Kiesewetter, a former colonel who served in Afghanistan, calibrated his language carefully, providing just enough detail to demonstrate the option’s seriousness without offering too much and risking an outcry from German voters or encouraging the American withdrawal he is hoping to avoid.
My idea is to build on the existing weapons in Great Britain and France,” he said, but acknowledged that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could preclude its participation.
The United States bases dozens of nuclear warheads in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands as both a quick-reaction force and a symbol of its guarantee to protect the Continent. Mr. Kiesewetter said his plan would provide a replacement or parallel program.
This would require, he said, four ingredients: a French pledge to commit its weapons to a common European defense, German financing to demonstrate the program’s collective nature, a joint command and a plan to place French warheads in other European countries.
The number of warheads in Europe would not increase under this plan, and could even decrease if the United States withdraws.
“It’s not a question of numbers,” Mr. Kiesewetter said. “The reassurance and deterrence comes from the existence of the weapons and their deployability.”
He envisioned a program designed to deter nuclear as well as conventional threats — a clear nod to Russia’s military superiority.
This would require a doctrine, he said, allowing Europe to introduce nuclear weapons to a non-nuclear conflict. He compared it to the Israeli program, which is believed to allow for a nuclear strike against an overwhelming conventional attack.
“These are political weapons. Their use must be unpredictable,” he said. Smaller nuclear powers often maintain vague doctrines to deter more powerful adversaries.
The goal, he said, would be to maintain Europe’s defense, seen as crucial for its internal unity, as well as its international diplomatic standing.
German lawmakers across the political spectrum worry that Mr. Trump could strike a grand bargain with Russia that excludes Europe, a potential first step toward Washington and Moscow dictating Europe’s future. Mr. Kiesewetter believes a European nuclear program would allow Europe to preserve its autonomy.
‘A Political Minefield’
Mostly, Mr. Kiesewetter said he hoped to spur Mr. Trump to end doubts over American security commitments to Europe, rendering unnecessary the nuclear “Plan B.”
For now, Mr. Kiesewetter’s intention is merely to “trigger a debate” over addressing “this silent, gigantic problem.”
Mr. Kiesewetter said he had heard interest from officials in the Polish and Hungarian governments, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and within relevant German ministries, though he would not say which.
But any European nuclear program would face enormous hurdles.
“The public is totally opposed,” Ms. Puglierin said, referring to German antinuclear sentiment, which has at times culminated in nationwide protests against the weapons.
In practical terms, the plan would change the flag on Europe’s nuclear deterrent from that of the United States to that of France. But this would risk making an American exit from Europe more permanent.
Oliver Thränert, a German analyst with the Switzerland-based Center for Security Studies, warned in a white paper that any plan “would not only be expensive, but also a political minefield full of undesirable potential political consequences.”
The biggest challenge may be who controls the French arsenal and where it is based.
The United States currently shares warheads with allies like Germany, whose militaries are equipped to deliver the weapons, granting the program credibility as a Pan-European defense.
But France has shown no willingness to share its weapons, much less put them under a joint European command. If Paris maintains final say over their use, this might cause an adversary to doubt whether France would really initiate a nuclear conflict to protect, say, Estonia.
France and ‘a Special Responsibility’
These sorts of problems are why Bruno Tertrais of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris said, “In other times I would have told you don’t bother, there’s no story here.”
Similar proposals have been floated before, including by the French government, and always rejected as politically risky and strategically unnecessary. But, he said, that calculus appears to have a potential to change with Mr. Trump.
“There’s already a bit more interest in Berlin and in Paris,” Mr. Tertrais said, though he emphasized that this talk would become action only if there were “a serious loss of trust in the U.S. umbrella.”
But a joint European command or funding scheme would most likely be impossible, he warned. The French government would insist on maintaining “the final decision to use nuclear weapons.”
That is also United States policy in Europe, which is why Mr. Tertrais believes a more workable plan would be for France to reproduce American-style practices of basing its warheads abroad, while keeping them under French control.
While most French warheads are lodged on submarines, a few dozen are fitted to air-launched cruise missiles that could be housed in, for example, German airfields. These are smaller, shorter-range tactical weapons — exactly the American capability that Europe most fears losing.
French policy already allows for, though does not require, using nuclear weapons in defense of an ally.
With Britain’s exit from the European Union, “the French might feel they have a special responsibility” as Europe’s sole nuclear power.
Vipin Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies regional nuclear powers, was initially skeptical but came to see such a plan as both technically and politically feasible.
For France, he said, “it extends their frontier,” making it likelier that a nuclear conflict would be fought far from French soil. For Germany and other European states, it would “increase the credibility of the forward deployment against Russian aggression.”
An Insurance Policy
Some observers believe that official shows of support are intended only to pressure Mr. Trump into maintaining the status quo, which Mr. Kiesewetter emphasized is his preferred outcome.
But Mr. Narang said that, regardless of intentions, there is a blurry line between mere signaling and actually pursuing a fallback nuclear option.
Nuclear scholars call this “insurance hedging,” in which a protectee comes to doubt its protector and responds by taking steps toward, but not actually completing, its own nuclear program. This is meant to goad the protector into staying, and to prepare in case it doesn’t.
Japan, for instance, has quietly developed latent capabilities that are sometimes figuratively described as a “screwdriver’s turn” away from a bomb.
Because Europe’s primary challenges are political rather than technical — France already possesses the warheads — sparking public discussion and exploring options makes those challenges more surmountable and the option more real.
“In order for it to be credible there has to be some sort of workable option,” Mr. Narang said.
‘I Never Thought We Would See This Again’
Mr. Kiesewetter hopes the United States will come around. He puts particular faith in Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, whom he met in Afghanistan and Brussels while both were military officers.
But Mr. Mattis has echoed Mr. Trump’s warnings that the United States could lessen its support for Europe, saying in a recent speech in Brussels, “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States.”
If Europeans grew more serious about a nuclear program, Mr. Tertrais said, “you would not necessarily see it.” Negotiations would most likely remain secret for fear of giving Mr. Trump an excuse to withdraw — or of triggering a reaction from Russia.
Mr. Narang said he was reeling from the seriousness of the discussion, the first since a failed and now-forgotten effort in the 1950s for French-German-Italian nuclear cooperation.
“I never thought we would see this again. I never thought there would actually be this concern,” he said. But, he added, “You can see where the debate is surfacing from. There is a logic to it.”

Obama Takes His Last Shot Against Putin

Kremlin: U.S. military in Poland threatens Russia, destabilizes Europe
By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author 
Jan. 12, 2017 at 9:40 AM
MOSCOW, Jan. 12 (UPI) — The Kremlin said the United States’ increased military presence in Poland as part of a larger NATO operation is a threat to Russian security that destabilizes Europe.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War threatens Russia’s “interests and our security,” while Alexei Meshkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said the NATO operation is a “factor destabilizing European security.”
The U.S. troops reached Poland on Monday after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States’ commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.
The U.S. troops will spend about a month training in Poland before moving to Germany and Romania for additional training exercises. The troops will rotate training in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia for the next nine months. The regional training exercises are also designed to test how U.S. forces respond on short notice to a possible conflict with Russia.
The troops from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Poland will spend the next several days organizing vehicles and conducting maintenance checks to prepare equipment for the next nine months of operation.
On Jan. 20, the troops will begin conducting live-fire exercises.
“The soldiers are excited for gunnery,” Capt. Joshua Causie, a member of the U.S. operation, said in a statement. “There is nothing better than being in a tank and shooting big bullets. It’s fun.”

The Unthinkable Is Thinkable (Revelation 15)

Nuclear War Not Unthinkable for Russia

Nikolas K. Gvosdev
The newly-released “Foreign Policy Concept” of the Russian Federation contains some interesting changes and updates. Given that this document reflects the Kremlin’s strategic mindset and how it views international relations, it is important to take what is says seriously.
The fact that the strategy was being prepared in parallel with the U.S. presidential election is perhaps not accidental given two of its most noticeable features. The first is a slight but significant shift in assessing the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons from “unthinkable” to “unlikely.” While the concept does not anticipate a high probability of a nuclear exchange occurring, it does warn that the risk of crises escalating between nuclear-armed states is increasing. The second is a very loud and clear restatement of classic Westphalian principles of how states should interact with each other in the international order: on the basis of absolute “non-interference in one another’s internal affairs.” Should a country not wish to operate from that principle in its relations with Russia, Moscow reserves the right to utilize harsh retaliatory measures to any perceived unfriendly actions.
Perhaps the expectation in the Russian Foreign Ministry was that Hillary Clinton was on track to win the White House. Those two elements, in particular, seemed designed to send a clear warning to Washington that Moscow would brook no interference in its domestic affairs on the basis of any U.S. adjudication of failures in democratic practices or human rights observances. Russia learned from its momentary lapse in 2011, when appeals to the humanitarian principle of the “responsibility to protect” caused Russia to abstain from a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the creation of safe areas for rebellious Libyans. Moscow is determined that this not be repeated in the future, especially if such authority is used not to send forces to patrol refugee camps but to engage in active military operations against the offending government. It also reflects a growing Russian unwillingness to accept Western claims that internal repression by a government seeking to retain its power automatically constitutes a threat to regional peace and stability and justifies international action. Russia thus signals to itself and to other regimes that it stands by the principle that a government has the right to take action to defend itself against threats to its rule — both internal and external — and that it wants to raise the cost of Western-sponsored regime change whenever possible.
The change to the assessment about nuclear war reflects a growing consensus among experts that indeed that risk is growing. But it also fits with a pattern displayed by Russian president Vladimir Putin to warn the United States to back off. After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Putin used the metaphor of the spring to suggest that ongoing, consistent Western pressure on Russia’s frontiers had finally produced a reaction. Even if a nuclear exchange is “unlikely,” the Russians are noting that if relations between Russia and the West continue to spiral downward, it is no longer out of the realm of possibility.
But this document is now released in the context of a Donald Trump transition to the White House. During the campaign, the candidate and many of his surrogates suggested that Hillary Clinton would end up provoking World War III with Russia by miscalculating and pushing the Kremlin too far— perhaps by trying to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria that resulted in the destruction of Russian aircraft, or ending up in a clash over the Baltic States. He also, at times, suggested that U.S. foreign policy ought to move back in the direction of less interventionism and involvement in the affairs of others. Humanitarian intervention does not appear to be high on the foreign policy priorities of the new administration, while finding ways to decrease tensions with other major powers, or at least with Russia, has been proposed.
So it will be interesting to see whether the new U.S. administration picks up on these signals as part of its own review of the U.S.-Russia relationship. Compromising on or scaling back on a number of past bipartisan policy approaches—notably the continued enlargement of NATO—in order to decrease pressure on the “spring” might resonate with the new chief executive. Focusing a relationship on “hard” security matters (starting with preventing nuclear conflict) rather than on Russia’s progress with democratization would revert U.S. policy back to a  pre-1991 standard and reverse the insistence that has guided U.S. policy since that time that how Russia is governed internally is of vital national security interest to the United States.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a contributing editor at the National Interest.

The Increasing Risk of Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

‘Russia is biggest NUKE threat’ Air Force chief warns
The military bigwig said that Russia still poses the biggest threat to the United States – despite President-elect Donald Trump apparently looking to build bridges with the superpower.
Deborah James made the comment at the annual Reagan Defense Forum this weekend.
“We have a number of threats that we’re dealing with, but Russia could be, because of the nuclear aspect, an existential threat to the United States.”
She then referenced a number incidents involving “very dangerous airmanship” by Russian planes.
The warning is bound to increase fears of a global nuclear war following a period of international calm between Russia and the US following Trump’s election.
Her comments were backed up by the head of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, and Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall.
Both added they were alarmed by what they called increasing Russian aggressiveness.
Admiral Richardson said one of the main causes for concern was the growing naval presence of Russia globally.
The US military has previously raised fears of an apocalyptic war with Russia.

Russia Expands The Nuclear Triad

Russia has successfully tested Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) for its revamped Soviet era ‘nuclear trains’ program.
The missile advancement comes as Kremlin deploys nuclear-capable missiles along the Polish border.
Tests on missiles for the Barguzin “railway-based combat rocket system” were carried out at the Plesetsk cosmodrome two weeks ago, the Interfax news agency reports.
“They were fully successful,” the agency reported quoting an unnamed military source, “paving the way for further flight tests.”
The mobile weapons platform, made up of several train carriages designed to conceal the launchers of six Yars or Yars-M thermonuclear ICBMs and their command units, are expected to enter service between 2018 and 2020.
Lieutenant-General Sergai Karakayev, who commands Russia’s strategic missile forces, said the Barguzin would be superior to the Soviet-era Molodets nuclear trains in accuracy and range.
He expects them to be in service until 2040.
The Soviet Union had 12 Molodets trains in total, each of which were equipped with three nuclear missiles. Known by the Nato designation Scalpel, they were disposed of between 2003 and 2005.
Russia’s latest advancement in its nuclear weapons technology comes as a senior MP announced the deployment of nuclear-capable missiles to the Kaliningrad exclave.
Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the exclave, which borders Poland and Lithuania.

Russia Continues to Modernize Its Nukes

Russia Defense Report – Dec. 28, 2015
This analysis originally appeared in December 2015
Recent days and weeks have seen several news items pertaining to the future state of the Russian nuclear triad. The scope of modernization plans suggests the role Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are to play as of Russia’s security foreign policy.
The scale of Russian strategic nuclear modernization is impressive. President Putin recently attended the laying down of Aleksandr III, the seventh Borey-class ballistic missile submarine out of eight planned which carry 16 multi-warhead Bulava SLBMs each. Three of these ships are already in service, the whole series is to become operational by 2020. It was also announced that the first PAK-DA heavy bomber flight is to take place in 2020, with the aircraft becoming operational by 2025. In the interim, Russia’s Long-Range Aviation will receive several squadrons of Tu-160M2 bombers, whose production is expected to resume in the upcoming years. The Sarmat heavy ICBM research and development has been recently declared complete, and the missile will begin launch testing in 2016 or 2017. The missile’s unique capabilities include the ability to strike any target on the planet using multiple possible trajectories, for example, it could be used to strike North America not only by flying over the North Pole, but also using an alternative trajectory over the South Pole which would render US ABM systems irrelevant. The construction of Voronezh-DM over-the-horizon ballistic missile attack early warning radars is continuing. Finally, the Russian General Staff announced the development of a system allowing strategic ballistic missiles to be retargeted following launch, which thus far was impossible to do because once the target selection was completed prior to launch there was no way to alter it once the missile was in flight.
This brief outline of current developments shows that Russia is pursuing a sophisticated strategy of deterrence. The comparatively small and uniform French, Russian, and Chinese nuclear arsenals are capable of deterring only one threat, namely a nuclear attack on their national territory. The variety of capabilities inherent in Russia’s triad means that its national leadership has a range of responses at its disposal and can use its capabilities to deter not only nuclear attacks against its territory but also conventional attacks against its military targets, including outside of Russia’s borders.
Syria is an example of what these capabilities mean for Russia. It is no accident that Putin’s request to raise the strategic nuclear force readiness level to 95% came when he instructed the General Staff to destroy any potential threat to Russian aircraft or ground facilities in Syria. The Russian military presence in Syria is not large enough to guarantee survival against a concerted NATO attack. Fifty aircraft located at a single airbase, even one protected by the S-400, are still vulnerable due to their exposed location and lack of strategic depth. Russian conventional forces could not easily come to Hmeimim’s aid in the event of it being attacked by NATO forces. What makes Hmeimim secure from attack is the credible and flexible deterrence posture.
What makes that deterrence both credible and flexible is the variety and modernity of Russia’s delivery vehicle force which is not limited to having to launch a multi-warhead ICBM or SLBM, and which can penetrate all current or planned defenses. The credibility of Russia’s nuclear deterrent is strengthened by the existence of a powerful conventional deterrent in the form of Kalibr and Kh-101 cruise missiles. The use of these missiles against ISIS targets was likely motivated to dissuade any countries hostile to Russia’s presence in Syria because it demonstrated Russia could use these weapons to retaliate against any attack on Hmeimim. The target state would then have to choose between backing down or escalating, thus risking a nuclear exchange with Russia. If Russia simply had an ICBM and SLBM force, Hmeimim would be a much more tempting target because an ICBM launch would be disproportionate response to the attack. Russia’s strategic force modernization plans indicate that its leadership anticipates Syria-like scenarios in the years to come.

Russia Horn Pushes Closer to Europe Border

While the detente between Russia and US president-elect Donald Trump could not have come at a more tense time, the Kremlin appears to be accelerating its head-on collision course with NATO, and as a highly placed defense official said on Monday, Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments, confirming previous media reports of Russian intentions to once again blanket central Europe with potential nuclear ICBM coverage.
While Russia has previously said it periodically sends Iskanders to Kaliningrad, until now it has always said these were routine drills. Moscow has not linked the moves explicitly with what it says is a NATO military build-up on Russia’s western borders.
However, perhaps sensing that the Kremlin has a supportive voice in the White House, and thus negotiating leverage, Putin has decided to tip his cards diplomatically and alrt the world that Russia will escalate in what it sees a tit-for-tate game theoretical regime.
According to Reuters, after the election of Donald Trump, who has said he wants closer ties with the Kremlin and has questioned the cost of protecting NATO allies, some analysts predict an emboldened Moscow could become more assertive in eastern Europe. With recent military overtures in Syria and now Europe, this appears to be taking place.
Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, said in remarks reported by RIA news agency that Russia was forced to react to the planned U.S. missile shield in eastern Europe.
“As response measures to such threats we will have… to deploy additional forces… This reinforcement includes deployment of S-400 and Iskander systems in Kaliningrad,” the Reuters quoted Ozerov as saying.
Additionally, Vladimir Putin also on Momday was quoted talking about how Russia has to respond to what it perceives as a threat from U.S.-led forces in eastern Europe.
“Why are we reacting to NATO expansion so emotionally? We are concerned by NATO’s decision making,” RIA quoted him as saying in an interview for a documentary that will be broadcast by Russian TV later on Monday.
“What should we do? We have, therefore, to take countermeasures, which means to target with our missile systems the facilities, that, in our opinion, start posing a threat to us,” Putin said.

The German Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Roderich Kiesewetter, foreign policy spokesman for the conservative bloc in parliament, told Reuters that Germany could play an important role in convincing nuclear powers France and Britain to provide security guarantees for all of Europe.
“The U.S. nuclear shield and nuclear security guarantees are imperative for Europe,” he said in an interview. “If the United States no longer wants to provide this guarantee, Europe still needs nuclear protection for deterrent purposes.”
Kiesewetter’s comments reflect grave and growing concerns across Europe about what Trump’s election will mean for the United States’ commitment to NATO and to providing a strategic nuclear deterrent against a potential attack by Russia.
In his campaign speeches, Trump repeatedly called for Europe to do more for its own defence and said Washington might not defend a NATO member that had not shouldered its fair financial share of the costs of the alliance.
He also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin despite his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 and his intervention in Syria, where Russian air strikes have killed many civilians as well as insurgents.
Kiesewetter said he was not reassured by President Barack Obama’s comments on Monday that Trump would maintain core strategic relationships, including with NATO.
“That’s all fine and good, but we have to measure Trump by his actions,” Kiesewetter said. “Europe must start planning for its own security in case the Americans sharply raise the cost of defending the continent, or if they decide to leave completely.”
Kiesewetter said a Franco-British nuclear umbrella for Europe would be costly, but could be financed through a joint European military budget that is due to begin in 2019, along with joint European medical, transportation and reconnaissance commands.
He said he had proposed development of a European nuclear deterrent within security circles before the U.S. election, with little result, but believed the suggestion would be taken more seriously after Trump’s win.
Kiesewetter said Germany should not aim to become a nuclear power itself, so as to discourage any proliferation moves by other European countries.
“We have to plan ahead and cannot let ourselves be surprised,” he said.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and other senior government officials have said it is clear that Trump’s victory means Germany and Europe will have to take on more responsibility for their own defence.
Rainer Arnold, defence spokesman for the Social Democrats in parliament, dismissed Kiesewetter’s suggestion as “off base,” saying Trump’s own U.S. Republican Party would never accept a weakening of NATO and would be sceptical about any plans to boost European nuclear capabilities.

Russia Prepares For War With US

By Tom O’Connor @Shaolintom On 11/07/16 AT 3:40 PM
A senior Polish military official has announced that the nation’s military may seek more naval strike missiles to establish a third coastal squadron along the Baltic Sea, Defense News reported Friday. Poland, a NATO member that shares an approximately 120-mile northern border with Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, has expressed serious concern over increased Russian military activity in its vicinity.
Russia has recently expanded the ballistic capability of its Baltic fleet after NATO announced its biggest military buildup near the international military alliance’s Russian borders since the Cold War. Now Poland has considered its own need for reinforcements by adding a third naval missile strike squadron, utilizing military weaponry from Norwegian defense company Kongsberg, according to Secretary of State Bartosz Kownacki of Poland’s Ministry of Defense. He also noted the shortcomings that would need to be addressed prior to expanding the country’s missile defense system.
“We are considering this, but please note that our current reconnaissance capability is insufficient. This is a significant issue. Such a squadron has a strike range of about 200 [kilometers], but our radars have a range that is considerably shorter,” Kownacki told local daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
“There are several solutions that could be used. We could consider to ensure reconnaissance capabilities with the use of drones, and in the future, also through merging [the naval strike missiles] with the Wisla [medium-range air-and-missile defense] system,” he added.
Kownacki also expressed interest in adding to the country’s submarine fleet. He stated that the ministry of defense was prepared to purchase three submarines for Poland’s navy in 2017 and that the deal would likely be a joint venture with another ally, possibly Norway, Sweden or Germany.
Kaliningrad, Russia’s only Baltic territory, has been a focal point for recent tensions between the country and the West. European countries such as Finland and Estonia have accused Russia of violating their airspace and Russia has defended its heavy military activity in the area by claiming that NATO uses sabre-rattling techniques that threaten Russian defenses. Last month, Russia moved nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad. Since then, the U.S. has urged its NATO allies to name Poland as the destination for one of the alliance’s strategical battle groups.