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Scott Ritter: Anyone Who Doesn't Get How Serious New START Suspension is 'Doesn’t Appreciate Life'

© Sputnik / Yevgeniy Odinokov / Go to the mediabankTigr-M armoured vehicle followed by Yars ICBM launchers as Strategic Rocket Troops vehicles enter Red Square
Tigr-M armoured vehicle followed by Yars ICBM launchers as Strategic Rocket Troops vehicles enter Red Square - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.02.2023
Leaving aside the “theater of the absurd” and “bluster” of Joe Biden’s rhetoric during his trips to Ukraine and Poland this week, the consequences of the US effort to strategically weaken and destroy Russia are far more serious than anyone in Washington seems to realize, ex-UN weapons inspector and retired US Marine major Scott Ritter fears.
“There’s nothing covert about this. It was theater. Theater of the absurd,” Ritter said of Biden’s visit to Kiev on Monday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking to Sputnik’s Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon on The Critical Hour radio show.
“So absurd that while Biden was there, Zelensky arranged to have air raid sirens sound to make it look as if Biden was under attack….Then Biden goes to Poland, where he issues a speech. I was in the middle of a webinar earlier, so I don’t know the totality of the speech. I saw the beginning of it, but it just seems to be a regurgitation of more of the same - ‘unity against Russia, support for Ukraine’, etc., etc. Bluster, bluster, bluster,” Ritter added.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the US, citing Washington’s efforts to “inflict a strategic defeat” on Russia and help Ukraine launch drone attacks against Russia’s strategic deterrent while “absurdly” calling for more nuclear inspections.
“Meanwhile, the consequences of the American-led effort to attack Russia, to weaken Russia, to destroy Russia, to be honest, are playing out. Putin's suspending Russian participation in the last remaining arms control treaty between our two nations. And anybody who doesn't understand how serious this is probably doesn't appreciate life. Without arms control agreements, there will be a nuclear arms race at a time when technology far outpaces that of the last arms race, which was the unfettered arms race in the late 1960s or early 1970s,” Ritter said.
Ritter knows a thing or two about arms control, serving as an inspector implementing the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty – a late Cold War agreement which eliminated an entire class of US and Soviet ground-based nuclear missile systems in the 500-5,500 km range. Today, he fears, radical advances in technology make effective arms control all the more crucial to saving the world from nuclear Armageddon.
“Today, we're talking about missiles with greater speed, greater accuracy, hypersonic maneuvering warheads that can't be shot down by missile defense. So, so deadly, so accurate, so fast that any error, any mistake, any miscalculation has to be assumed that it's going to have dire consequences. So you must respond. In the past, we dodged a bullet because we had time enough for people to say [to the other side] ‘this launch of American missiles against Russia was, in fact, not a launch. It was a mistake.’ Today, if they detect a launch, they have to respond because they don't have time. They don't have the luxury of time to say, wait a minute, let's just wait to get more data. With this treaty going away, an arms race will occur and there will be nothing that is capable of putting that genie back in the bottle. And this could be fatal, probably will be fatal to everybody here. So we need to pray that the United States gets over its Ukraine fixation and gets into how do we stop the world from dying in a nuclear holocaust to which we will be singularly responsible for initiating,” Ritter urged.
A deactivated Titan II nuclear ICMB - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2023
What's New START Treaty and Why Did Russia Suspend It?
President Putin and other Russian officials have addressed the lack of response time issue repeatedly in recent years, going back to when Washington decided to deploy Tomahawk-capable anti-missile defense systems in Poland and Romania, and threatened to incorporate Ukraine into NATO and station nuclear-capable missiles there. “I have already said – they’ll put missile systems in Ukraine, 4-5 minutes’ flight time to Moscow. Where can we move? They have simply driven us into such a state that we have to tell them: stop,” Putin said in December 2021, after Moscow handed Washington and NATO a pair of comprehensive security proposals meant to dramatically reduce tensions between Russia and the Western bloc. The West rejected the draft treaties in January 2022, reiterating that NATO’s eastward expansion was nonnegotiable. A month later, escalated attacks on the Donbass by Kiev sparked a Russian military operation in Ukraine.
“The problem is the concept of meaningful arms control was developed during the time of the Cold War, when the United States actually respected and feared its opponent, the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States no longer respected or feared Russia. And we used arms control as a means of furthering our strategic advantage,” Ritter explained. “And then when we found arms control treaties to be inconvenient, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, we withdrew from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which I played a major role in. We withdrew from Open Skies, and now we're cheating on the last remaining treaty, New START. We're not allowing Russian inspectors to come and inspect us while demanding that we go inspect Russia. And so the Russians have suspended this. This is all a power play by the United States to further what we believe to be our strategic advantage over Russia.”
The crew of the Russian Aerospace Forces MiG-31 have conducted simulated firing of their Kinzhal hypersonic aeroballistic missile with a small radar signature and high maneuverability. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2023
NATO 'Carrier Killer' and 'Killjoy': What is Russia's Hypersonic Kinzhal Missile?
Today, the former weapons inspector warned, "Russia is no longer a defeated, compliant state. The Russians have nuclear superiority over us today. Their missiles are better than anything we have. We don't have a missile defense system worthy of the name. And so if there was a nuclear conflict, we would be annihilated. Now the good chance is we would annihilate them, too. Which brings us back to the situation that we existed in the 1960s, where we suddenly realized that this concept of mutually assured destruction wasn't a bad concept because it sort of put the brakes on nuclear conflict. Unfortunately, we have people today in Washington, D.C., that believe in American nuclear superiority or American nuclear supremacy, and they don't believe in arms control. And we need to replace them. We need to get rid of them. We need to bring in people who recognize that arms control is the only way to save the human race.”
Listen to more of Ritter’s conversation with Leon and Nixon here.
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