welcome to Foreign policeis SitRep! Nice to be with you today: we almost didn’t make it here on time, because we were stuck on DC’s slower than ever metro.
Alright, here’s what to expect for the day: the fields of Russia hypersonic missiles for his navy, a top Israeli hacking firm is hit by US sanctions, and Capitol Hill is fighting over empty seats in the State Department.
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Hypersonic in Hyperdrive
It seems hypersonic cruise missiles are all the rage these days. Russia is testing them, as are China and even North Korea, and now, not to be outdone, the US Department of Defense is asking for billions of dollars to invest in its own hypersonic missile program.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wasted no time in showing his country’s pace in developing hypersonic missiles. He announcement this week that the so-called Zircon hypersonic cruise missile completes further tests and will be ready for delivery to the Russian Navy by 2022 – a faster-than-expected deployment, if (focus on if) Moscow’s claims on the quality of its hypersonic missiles stand the test.
This is the last turn of the screw in the hypersonic missile race, and it is fueling fears in parts of Washington that America must step up the pace so as not to lose the next round of a new arms race.
What’s all the hypersonic hype? “Ballistic missiles already fly at hypersonic speeds, so what makes these weapons so special? A savvy and nerdy SitRep reader might ask. The main difference is that ballistic missiles follow a pleasant and easy-to-follow path to their target.
But, warn missile defense systems, hypersonic missiles can change course and maneuver en route to their final targets, making them much more difficult to follow. Hypersonic missiles are nothing new, but the rate at which Moscow and Beijing are investing in these programs certainly is. Hypersonic missiles can also travel at speeds five times the speed of sound.
Two other big problems. Keep in mind: First of all, Russia and China would both have plans to install nuclear warheads on their hypersonic missiles, unlike the United States. Second, there is currently no international agreement or treaty dedicated to the limitation or surveillance of hypersonic missiles, which means that in the absence of a new campaign of international arms control diplomacy, we have the perfect recipe for a new three-way arms race.
Putin’s great power game. Russia is working on the development of two potentially nuclear capable hypersonic missiles: the Avangard and the 3M22 Tsirkon (known in the West as Zircon).
From Moscow’s point of view, hypersonic missiles serve two main purposes: First, to restore a sense of balance (or in nuclear policy parlance, “strategic stability”) to the nuclear standoff between the West and the West. Russia, after the United States and its allies invested in missile defense systems to mitigate the threat of good old intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). If Russian ICBMs can’t pass through an array of American missile defenses, then its hypersonic missiles certainly can.
Second, there’s the big token victory here for Putin’s audience at home: what a PR stunt it would be for Putin if his country could deploy new high-end hypersonic missile systems before the United States.
Corn… With Russia, there is always a but. Some Western defense analysts and experts are skeptical as to whether Russia’s new hypersonic missiles are actually effective and performing in tests, as Putin claims.
What is the United States doing? In response, the Pentagon is doing what it does best: asking Congress for more money. During fiscal year 2022, he demand $ 3.8 billion for hypersonic weapon systems and nearly $ 250 million for hypersonic weapon defense.
The Pentagon already has several hypersonic missile development programs underway, but, as a Congressional Research Service report on the matter Remarks, an operational hypersonic missile is not expected to be ready to go until at least 2023.
With Russia’s self-proclaimed 2022 calendar, it’s time for the races.
US President Joe Biden has patted Adm. Christophe Grady, chief of the command of the forces of the fleet of the Navy, to be the next vice-president of the chiefs of joint staff. Pending Senate confirmation, he will replace Air Force General John Hyten in that post, meaning at least a short vacancy is likely in the Army’s No.2 role.
Heather conley has been named the new president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Conley, who was at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, replaces Karen Donfried, whom Biden has chosen to be his principal State Department envoy for Europe.
Still in the space of reflection, Rachel Rizzo joined the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center as a Senior Fellow.
At the State Department, Biden appointed member of the New York State Assembly N. Nick Perry to be the next US Ambassador to Jamaica.
Sean bartlett joined the State Department as Senior Advisor in the Office of Global Public Affairs.
Biden named former Microsoft executive Kurt del bene be information director at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as FedScoop reports.
Amy grappone, former director of communications for Republican Senator Todd Young, joins the McCain Institute for International Leadership as senior director of communications and strategic engagement.
Which should be at the top of your radar, if it isn’t already.
Turn around. United States to put Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group on a U.S. government blacklist on Wednesday, a potential blow to the Biden administration’s ties to Israel, which oversees the firm’s exports.
The NSO group was recently flagged in the Project Pegasus investigation for selling its software to authoritarian governments seeking to spy on journalists, dissidents and other potential opponents of the regime. In a statement, the Commerce Department said the designation was intended to place human rights “at the center of US foreign policy.”
Xi knows what Xi wants. The Pentagon is increasingly concerned about China’s growing nuclear arsenal, Jack writing, according to a report commissioned by Congress released Wednesday. The Defense Ministry estimates that China could have as many as 700 nuclear warheads deliverable by 2027, and up to 1,000 by 2030, or just under a third of the arsenal of warheads. United States.
And following major hypersonic weapons testing this summer, defense officials are increasingly concerned that the build-up is targeting the United States. “They clearly challenge us regionally and their aspiration is to challenge the United States globally,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington on Wednesday. “They want to challenge the so-called liberal rule-based order. … They want to revise it.
Free places. The battle to get confirmation of Biden’s State Department backlog is spreading in the open, as an unusually stormy Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting showed this week, FP’s Robbie and Anna Weber report.
The Democratic-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday gave the green light to 14 nominations for key foreign policy positions in the Biden administration, but most candidates are subject to an unprecedented grip from the senator Republican Ted Cruz regarding objections to Biden’s policy on a Russian gas pipeline project.
“The senator abused the process of this committee in a way that, in my entire life in the Senate, I have never seen either side of the aisle,” said Senator Robert Menendez, Democratic Chairman of the Senate of Canada. foreign relations. Committee, of Cruz.
The craze for cycling. OK, if you’re like some of us at FP, you probably got into cycling during the pandemic, but the prospect of dodging cars on icy winter roads – or hopping onto the Peloton – doesn’t look like not your idea of having a good time. That’s why SitRep recommends curling up with a nice hot chocolate and watching The least expected day, a documentary about the Spanish cycling team Movistar that follows the group through classic races, like the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France, and will make you cycle – and curse – like a real Spaniard.
And if you’re more of the bookish type, Adin Dobkin is Sprint through no man’s land is a fascinating disaster travel tale that follows the routes laid out after the First World War of the 1919 Tour de France, recounting memories of the battles that took place in towns along the way.
Friday November 5: A memorial service for former US Secretary of State Colin Powell will be held at the Washington National Cathedral.
Tuesday, November 9: US Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to Paris for a multi-day trip that will include meetings with world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I cried looking at him. I thought to myself, I study the countries that do that. I don’t live in one.
—Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice describes his reaction on the January 6 assault on Capitol Hill, which she called the “worst day” since the September 11 terrorist attacks, with CBS’s Margaret Brennan at the Aspen Security Forum.
No bone on it. Have you seen an image of a cool Día de los Muertos skull made by drones flying over the Mexico City night sky? It was a fake, according to Snopes fact-checkers, who unearthed the counterfeit by spotting an altered image of Mount Fuji in Japan – which is obviously not in Mexico – in the background.