Saturday, March 28, 2009

Russian Survey

Strategy page has a number of interesting points in a Russia post that deserve expansion all on their own.

One, and this is not shocking:

Further investigation has revealed that the Cyber War attacks on Estonia and Georgia (which temporarily shut down Internet access in those countries), while carried out by nationalistic Russian hackers, was done at the instigation of Russian government officials (who got in touch with leaders of Russian hacker groups and requested the attacks).

Right now nobody really seems to think this type of attack crosses a threshold of war. We really need to fight back with like tools and be prepared to hit their hacking infrastructure with real weapons when we can, should shooting break out.

Two, and this is disturbing:

The Russian Navy announced its intention to resume the use of nuclear warheads for some of its anti-ship missiles (those launched via torpedo tubes by submarines). This would enable these missiles to destroy a group of warships, and to avoid defensive weapons (like Phalanx and SeaRAM). The U.S. and Russia withdrew their tactical nuclear weapons from their navies at the end of the Cold War.

Great. Russian tactical nukes at sea in their rusting ships run by paranoid regime loyalist officers and crewed by ill-trained men. That certainly doesn't have disaster written all over it. Our carrier battle groups and expeditionary strike groups are the only targets for these nukes, of course. Way to hit that "reset" button, Vladimir.

And three:

Canada and Russia are engaged in a growing dispute over who controls certain Arctic waters, and natural resources that may be present on the seabed beneath. Russia says it is going to set up a special military force to patrol Arctic waters it believes it "owns". Precisely who controls Arctic waters has never been spelled out by international treaty, and the Russians have expressed a determination to define what they own, by themselves, and see who will do what to oppose these claims.

As I've written, we need a Polar Command. And Canada may need to shift the focus of their military to Arctic operations rather than helping us in Afghanistan.