Saturday, October 11, 2008
Does Russian missile test threaten Hawaii?
by Larry Geller
(hat tip to palolo lolo for sending the link to this article)
MURMANSK, Russia (Reuters) - Russia test-launched a strategic missile to the equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean for the first time on Saturday, at a time when Moscow's growing assertiveness is fuelling tension with the West.
President Dmitry Medvedev, who watched the launch from the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, has said problems caused by global financial turmoil would not hurt Russian plans to revive its armed forces, a symbol for Moscow's resurgence.
Russia's newest missile, the Sineva, was launched by the nuclear-powered submarine Tula from an underwater position in the Arctic Barents Sea, and hit an unspecified area near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, a navy spokesman said. [Reuters, Russia test-fires ballistic missile to mid-Pacific, 10/11/2008]
I haven’t found a map which might indicate where this missile landed. Since it was launched by a sub, and since it can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, this test is something to be taken quite seriously.
Russia is also playing the cold war game of crowding the USA within its sphere of influence by holding war games in the Caribbean with Venezuela:
A Russian flotilla is currently heading to the Caribbean Sea for joint exercises with Venezuela - the largest such Russian deployment to the Western Hemisphere since the Cold War. [The Canadian Press, 10/10/2008]
Hawaii as a natural target
Should Hawaii be concerned? I suggest it should. Pearl Harbor is still a juicy strategic target, made more attractive by the new Navy Exchange. With more than 275,000 square feet of shopping and restaurants, the NEX accommodates up to several tens of thousands of people each day.
Hawaii is home also to the US Army, Pacific Command:
U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC) commands most Army forces in the Asia-Pacific region with the exception of Korea. The command can trace its lineage to 1910 and has continually evolved to meet mission requirements.
USARPAC is headquartered on Fort Shafter, Hawaii, with more than 5,000 Soldiers, civilians, contractors, and military families living and working on the 589-acre post. If USARPAC were a business, it would rank as one of the state's largest employers with more than 25,000 full-time Soldiers and civilians employed throughout the Pacific and 9,000 more in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
Russia isn’t supposed to attack the USA any day soon. Of course, the stock market wasn’t supposed to crash any day soon.
Hawaii might think about what more it can do to help keep world peace. There could be a Sineva missile with our name on it ready to go.
With our leaders and one presidential candidate still humming the “Bomb, bomb Iran” tune, how can we be sure that Putin doesn’t have a tune of his own, set to a slack key guitar melody?
At the same time the Russians are openly challenging the Monroe Doctrine by sending multiple Russian Naval vessels into the Caribbean. See: http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/russia_caribbean_presence/2008/09/23/133577.html
Stability-2008 is intended to force US and the west to consider Russia as a force to reckon with and be respected.I think Russia like other countries has permanent interests not permanent friends.
That's an interesting way to look at it. I'll admit to having been stuck in the "friends" thinking. What you say seems so obvious now that you've said it.