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Theodore Postol Decries ‘Frightening and Dangerous’ New Attack on Russian Early Warning Radar

Well-known nuclear weapons expert Dr. Theodore Postol assesses the great danger of the first, and now a second attack on Russia’s early-warning radars, first at Armavir and then at Omsk. His message has charts, not included here, of Russia's potentially reduced time available to decide whether to react to a nuclear threat. He warns:

"Unlike the United States, the Russians do not have space-based satellite warning systems that can see ballistic missile attacks globally. This means that the radar coverage lost by the attacks on these radars greatly reduces the warning time against attacks on Moscow from the Mediterranean and Indian oceans. The Russians have a radar operating in Moscow that can see arriving warheads but they would only begin to see the warheads above the horizon at very short times before impacts."

My estimates (based on real analysis) is that the radar early warning times have been reduced from about 15 to 16 minutes to about 10 to 11, or possibly even as short as 8 minutes.

"This amount of warning time might quite possibly eliminate the possibility of any deliberation-time on the part of Russian leaders if they were confronted with a decision of whether or not to launch Russian strategic nuclear forces in response to a nuclear attack on Moscow.

"Russian political leadership in Moscow would have almost no time to assess the situation if they believed a possible attack from the south was underway.

"The extreme time-pressure on Russian leadership could thereby significantly increase the possibilities of a catastrophic nuclear accident.

"[My extensive experience indicates] to me it is entirely possible that Blinken and his team are not aware of the dangers associated with these reckless Ukrainian actions. In particular, it is quite possible that they have no idea of the extremely important limitations of Russia’s space-based infrared early warning systems."