The Pentagon Inspector General’s Office has released an annual report on the “most serious challenges” facing the U.S. Defense Department in the fiscal year 2020, which began on October 1.
Most of the document is devoted to organizational issues, including the material support of military personnel and their relatives, the provision of health services. It also addresses issues of financial management, logistics, the system of contracts and tenders and more pressing security issues, such as strengthening missile defense and nuclear deterrence capabilities.
However, the most important topic that even outstripped the fight against global terrorism was the opposition to Russia, China, Iran and the DPRK. It is indicative that, as arguments "proving" that Moscow poses a "threat" to Washington, the document cites the corresponding statements by American military leaders.
“On March 14, 2019, while testifying before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, stated that Russia uses“ information and cyberspace operations as well as military operations using unconventional methods combined with by exerting economic and political pressure to advance their interests and reduce confidence in NATO, ”the report says.
According to experts, a similar report of the Pentagon bureaucratic office is a direct reflection of the new US national security strategy.
“In the national security strategy that Trump approved in December 2017, these countries are already mentioned as the main“ threat ”, respectively, they occupy the first place in the annual report of the inspector general. The Pentagon Inspector General's Office is a purely bureaucratic institution that must comply with policy obligations. Such decisions are made at the level of the president, leaders of the congress, the minister of defense and the army, ”Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Center for Military-Political Studies of the ISK RAS, explained in a conversation with RT.
The authors of the report believe that Moscow relies heavily on strategic nuclear forces to achieve its goals in the areas of regional and international influence.
“To achieve its goals, Russia relies on strategic arms systems as one of the key elements of its national security strategy, and also carries out selective modernization of conventional armed forces,” the document says.
- American ballistic missile Minuteman
- © Nicole Neri
Against this background, it is worth noting that the Russian doctrine of the use of strategic forces is exclusively defensive in nature, while the United States in 2018 adopted a new nuclear doctrine in which Washington reserves the right to deliver a preventive nuclear strike.
So, at the end of April, First Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Viktor Poznihir, said that the United States had developed the concept of "pre-launch interception", which provides for the destruction of intercontinental ballistic missiles while they are still in the launchers.
According to him, such a preemptive strike against the objects of Russia, China and any other country is not ruled out.
In addition, in May 2019, the assistant to the deputy head of the Pentagon for political affairs, David Trachtenberg, confirmed that the United States would not be the first to commit to non-use of nuclear weapons.
Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences, political scientist Sergei Sudakov, in a conversation with RT, recalled that the United States continues to adhere to a single general line with regard to Russia since the days of the USSR.
“Today, Russia is the only country in the nuclear club that can completely destroy the United States, since it has enough nuclear weapons and its means of delivery. Nothing has changed since the Cold War, Russia stands in the same priority “enemy borders” that the USSR was in, ”the expert noted.
"The challenge of American missile defense"
The report also expresses some concern about the acquisition by Russia of new capabilities in terms of high-precision hypersonic missile weapons - in particular, the Vanguard missile.
“In December 2018, Russia tested the Avangard intercontinental hypersonic missile. Guided warheads such as Vanguard are a challenge to the American missile defense because they are maneuvering delivery vehicles, the planning speed of which often exceeds 5 Machs. Such an unprecedented speed at altitudes below the flight of a ballistic missile makes it extremely difficult to intercept, since an approaching warhead can only be detected at the final stage of the flight, ”the document states.
- U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier
- © US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class ZA Landers
The other day, Vladimir Putin said that Russia intends to further build up its defense potential and put on alert the systems of hypersonic, laser and other weapons that other countries currently do not have. At the same time, the head of state emphasized that for the Russian side this is “no reason to threaten anyone.”
“On the contrary, we are ready to do everything in our power to push the disarmament process, taking into account our latest weapons systems, whose task is solely to guarantee security, taking into account the growing threats for us,” Putin said.
According to Sergei Sudakov, the American side is very concerned about the progress that Russia has made in the field of precision weapons.
“America understands perfectly well that Russian weapons today are of higher quality, and that the vector of weapons development that she has chosen is more correct. The United States at some point began to invest in a fifth-generation fighter, which spent billions of dollars on, while Russia went the other way, which turned out to be strategically more correct and less costly, respectively, it has an advantage in this area, ”noted expert.
Vladimir Batyuk also agrees with this assessment, also noting the Pentagon’s concern over the loss of advantage in this direction.
“This report reproduces the relevant attitudes of Pentagon governing bodies. This has been repeatedly mentioned in the review of missile defense policy and nuclear doctrine, ”the expert recalled.
"Classics of international relations"
The report of the Pentagon Inspector General’s office also states that, in addition to modernizing strategic and conventional forces, Russia conducts extensive activities related to the so-called “gray zone” of the spread of influence.
“There are cyber operations, civilian disinformation campaigns on social networks, and the use of puppet mercenaries in order to achieve their goals while keeping overall defense spending under control,” the document says.
Vladimir Batyuk believes that in this section of the report the Pentagon simply projects the mechanisms to Russia that the American side has resorted to for many years.
“America has lost its monopoly on this kind of action. It seemed to the United States that they would always have advantages in cyberspace and in the field of information operations. What is happening today worries Washington and their allies, respectively, this is reflected in these documents, ”says Batyuk.
In turn, Sergei Sudakov noted that the United States has always behaved in this way in the international arena.
"The classic of modern international relations, imposed by the United States, is when the thief himself shouts:" Hold the thief. " Now Washington wants to produce the effect of an inverted pyramid and pass off its actions for the policies of other countries, which it calls its opponents, ”the expert concluded.