IPC Meeting: Why Attacking Russia’s Radar Systems Is Insane

The International Peace Coalition marked its first anniversary, or 52nd consecutive online weekly meeting, on May 31, which focused on the war in Ukraine, due to the extreme danger represented by the three attacks on early warning radar installations in Russia, launched by Ukrainian forces but with the support of NATO member states. These installations are unrelated to the war in Ukraine as such, but integral to the strategic defense systems of Russia, in other words, they are key to the potential decision to deploy nuclear weapons (cf. above and SAS 22/24).

After an initial presentation by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, co-founder of the IPC, there was a panel discussion by military, scientific and diplomatic experts, including nuclear weapons expert Dr. Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Col.(ret.) Prof. Dr. Wilfried Schreiber, Senior Research Fellow at the WeltTrends Institute for International Politics in Potsdam, Germany; Lt. Col. (ret.) Ralph Bosshard of the Swiss Armed Forces, consultant on military-strategic affairs; Col. Richard H. Black (ret.), former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon and former Virginia state senator; and former U.S. Ambassador Chas Freeman, diplomat and scholar.

Dr. Postol led off the panel by explaining the function of Russia’s early warning radar system, that is designed to detect an approaching nuclear strike. If the United States were to lose one of its own land-based early warning radars, he stressed, it would still be able to look down from space using its system of satellites, but Russians do not fully have this capability yet. Satellites can detect a missile launch immediately, whereas radar “fans” don’t detect the missiles until they reach a certain altitude. Thus, disabling one of these “fans” reduces by crucial minutes the amount of time Russia has in which to decide how to react, i.e., whether to launch a nuclear counterstrike.

During the discussion, Prof. Postol shocked many participants by stressing how ignorant many leaders in the U.S. are of the dangers. “It has been my experience, with people in the White House, that they do not know about these details. They are almost completely focused on politics, and they typically have limited technical training. There’s a real problem between the intelligence community, and communicating with people at the highest levels in the White House. Every time there’s a change of administration or people change their jobs, anything that someone might have actually learned in their office gets lost. I’m quite sure this is the situation in Europe as well. So, you should not assume that these supposedly wise and well-informed people actually know anything about this. This is an extremely important point that I emphasize with the strongest concern.”

The IPC meeting can be viewed here.

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