Following on the heels of last Sunday’s assessment of the re-opening of the Russian intelligence station in Lourdes, Cuba, a retired Russian General has stated that Russia intends to place intermediate range nuclear weapons on the island, according to UK Daily Star.

Retired Russian lieutenant-general Evgeny Buzhinskiy said several landmark nuclear disarmament treaties between Moscow and Washington are on the “verge of collapsing”.

“It’s a way to war, I’m sure about that,” he told Daily Star Online. “For us, it will be an existential threat.

Further noted in the article is the Jamestown Foundation’s assessment regarding the significance of the re-opening of the base, stating:

“If the Kremlin leader should decide to establish additional bases in Cuba, as some Russian commentators are now suggesting, that would be a different matter altogether – particularly if he succeeds in this goal.”

Those bases already exist, or at least are additions to the existing military infrastructure. In my assessment, the outpost is not merely a signals intelligence station as has been reported. While that has been one of its functions, the presence of a 3200 meter runway with paved roads leading into the adjacent complexes means one thing- heavy equipment or large-scale troop movements are to be supported. To put the size of the airfield in perspective, Jose Marti International Airport in nearby Havana has a runway of 4,000 meters. Both airfields are capable of supporting any size aircraft needed.

The Weapon May Be Fielded

The uncovered development of the Novator 9m729 (alternate name: SSC-8) has been at the heart of recent rhetoric between the US and Russia regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The treaty specifies intermediate range weapons capable of carrying nuclear warheads to not have a range greater than 500km. The Obama Administration had direct knowledge of the treaty violation as early as 29 July 2014 according to Globalsecurity.org.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on 29 July 2014 accused Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. “The United States has determined, according to an intelligence analysis, that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF),” he stated at a press briefing in Washington.

According to the USAF National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s report in 2017, the weapon has a range of 2500km, well in excess of the treaty specifications. The report also indicated that the missile is an advancement of the 3M-54 Kalibr, a missile currently in use by the Russian Navy.

The Russian Missile Battalion organization includes four launching platforms with six missiles per launcher. This organization means that the weapons could rapidly be brought to bear in a theater of operations.  Being a relatively small missile at 6-8m in length, moving a battery into an area is relatively simple- much more so with a large runway and prepared base. Keeping a short range strategic base supplied is made even easier considering China’s control of the Panama Canal.

“The Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan”

Strategically speaking, the development of this missile and the apparent intention to place them in Cuba points to a much larger scale plan. Learning from the mistakes of the past and taking into account the recent statements of President Trump in regard to military action in Venezuela, and most recently his administration’s intent to declare them a state sponsor of terror, it may be likely the weapons are already present in the region. A short airlift north and they’ll be up and running outside Havana. But their capability to capitalize on the threat is much higher now than it was in 1962, with the Chinese partnering with the Russians, both having built rapport with several of the Caribbean nations through economic and infrastructure aid. The supply line for sustained operations now exists unlike it did in the past, meaning they’re not going away without force and they’ve built that logistics path for future operations.

The Sino-Russian alliance is seeking to remove the US from its position of influence in the world- a position the Left in the US is more than willing to abdicate. The positioning of these weapons in Cuba will further serve to complicate an already volatile situation brewing in South America. It is one that very well could spill over onto our shores.

What are you doing to be ready? The training schedule for the spring is filling up now, and the dates for the summer are being finalized. Take advantage of the time you have.

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