Russian Spy Ship in Cuba; Expanding Military Presence Worldwide?

A Russian warship reportedly docked in Havana Harbor, Cuba, yesterday with no official explanation as to why.

As Yahoo News reports:

A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.

The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship’s visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.

The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.

The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

Russian warships visit Cuba somewhat frequently. This is not new. However, as the article said, the visits are never made in a clandestine manner. That aspect of this is new. Also, it is an intelligence vessel; a spy ship. That thickens the plot slightly.

In recent days, the Russian Defense Minister has voiced intent to open Russian military bases in a number of foreign countries outside of the former-Soviet Union.

As RIA Novosti reports:

Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.

The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

Post-Soviet Russia closed a large naval base in Vietnam and a radar base in Cuba in 2002 due to financial constraints.

However, Russia has started reviving its navy and strategic aviation since mid-2000s, seeing them as a tool to project the Russian image abroad and to protect its national interests around the globe.

This will elicit a great deal of upset reactions from Republican and Democrat Neoconservatives. There will be a great push for renewed military spending to counter this. It will probably not succeed.

I will find the negative reactions vaguely humorous. It’s not as if our government doesn’t already do this to Russia. NATO has missiles aimed at Moscow all over Europe (they are supposedly aimed at Iran. Poppycock.) America has military bases throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Russia is basically surrounded by our military presence. Is it so unbelievable to our Neocon politicians that Russia would desire a similar deterrent?

It is true that the only possibility of total war lies with Russia. By “total war”, I mean World War II-style full mobilization and control of production by the US government. War with Russia is the only feasible scenario for this. War with China would not lead to total war. The Chinese economy can be summed up as “The World’s Largest Bubble”. Their economy would collapse from the shock of total war, especially since their entire production structure revolves around exporting goods to the USA. The only reasonable “total war” scenario is in war with Russia.

Russia is an enormous bureaucracy. Conditions have improved slightly since the collapse of the USSR, due to the influence of legalized capitalism and free-trade. However, there is no free-market tradition in Russia. In Imperial Russia, the system was statist and bureaucratic. In the USSR, the system was absolutely statist and bureaucratic. In the new Russia, the system is still overwhelmingly statist and overtly bureaucratic. The Russian Government seemingly cannot wrap it’s head around this “free market” stuff. Insofar as economic conditions have improved in Russia, it is due to capitalism. Insofar as the economy still suffers, it is because of the inherent bureaucratic mentality in Russia.

War with Russia would be a bad situation. That goes without saying whenever the possibility of a nuclear strike is concerned. However, the Russian Government would not be able to sustain the conflict. The Russian Federation is the world’s largest banana republic. They export gold, oil, and natural gas. That’s about it. Russia does not produce any major tech products. It does not produce any major products of any kind. Nobody wants to hold Russian Rubles. Nobody outside of the Russian sphere wants to invest in Russian stock markets. The Russian Government is fully mercantilist, and they rely on exporting natural resources to stay afloat. In the event of total war with the USA, I doubt that the Russian government would be able to continue exporting enough natural resources to keep their economy robust enough to weather an extended conflict.

In terms of sheer technological prowess and firepower, the US military is the clear favorite. When it comes to blowing up foreign armies, the US military is on top. The US military cannot win 4th generation warfare, like we see in Afghanistan. 4th generation warfare is won through cheap weapons, unconventional guerilla tactics, the iron will to resist, and the willingness to wait as long as it takes. The US military is incapable of overcoming non-state enemies who possess the aforementioned traits. Whenever conventional state warfare is concerned, though, the US military is unstoppable. Beating down foreign governments and smashing their societies into bits is our specialty, like as seen during and after the War in Iraq.

Conclusion:  The amount of real influence that the Russian Government can project through an expanded military presence is minimal. They are well aware of what I talked about earlier, and will shy away from conflict. The public should not allow Neocon politicians to delve us int0 a massively-wasteful and dangerous military-influence competition with Russia just to please idealized notions of American supremacy.

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