tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 362 Al Jazeera December 29, 2019 2:32pm-3:01pm +03
absent homes were set on fire of traders refused to pay the un's warning against an escalation of fighting following years of unrest between muslim and christian militias voters in guinea bissau are heading to the polls to choose their next president 2 former prime ministers are competing to replace president jose maria of us who was eliminated in the 1st round last month he zoned to respect the result following fighting during election campaigning. hot and dry weather that sealed unprecedented bushfires in australia is forecast to return residence in the state of victoria and a threat to our being want to get out now organizers of sydney's famous fireworks display on new year's eve say that it will go ahead but not if catastrophic conditions are again declared those are the headlines more news in half an hour during the next with inside story to stay with us.
it can fly a 27 times the speed of sound. is the world leader in hypersonic weapons so how will it affect the global arms race story. hello and welcome to the program i'm dead. russia says its new hypersonic weapon is a technological breakthrough on the scale of sputnik the 1st satellite launched by the soviet union in 1967 president vladimir putin can easily bypass missile defense
systems on its way to a target through sharp maneuvers and that's worrying the u.s. that's also having to contend with china's development of hypersonic arms beijing displayed the dongfeng 17 at a military parade in october and the u.s. defense secretary has said developing the technology is a priority well president putin says moscow is no longer playing catch up. it isn't what i do but if we want to be victorious our equipment must be pieces of the equipment of other countries it's not a game of cheese we can put up with a dribble our equipment must be the beast we can strive for the age we're striving for that a key developments here is so let's have a closer look at russia's new weapon while the oven guard is launched on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile but unlike a regular missile warhead it can swerve sar plea making it much harder to intercept president putin says the average guard can withstand temperatures of up to 2000 degrees celcius and can carry a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons the guard can travel
a $27.00 times the speed of sound analysts estimate that for china's new system it's around 5 times. let's bring in our guests pavel felgenhauer is a defense and military analyst he's joining us now from moscow tariq roaf is a nuclear arms control specialist he's joining us from vienna we have with us paul schulz he's the former director proliferation an arms control at the british ministry of defense and he's joining us from london thanks very much for being with us on inside story welcome to all of you gentlemen pavel over in moscow so put in had announced this missile back in 2018 but how significant is this deployment today. well it's run us with a lot of hype as a great great achievement that. there's a lot of kind of p.r. going out to the russian public that this puts russian number one in the world and
you clear armaments though of course it's not a new missile per se it's a very old misao actually the missiles with which these vanguard's are deployed are about 30 years old they were built in the soviet times known in the west as s.s. 19 and in russia as were store. but this is an old misao with the 8 if warhead reentry vehicle and and the yes this is innovative that's it's an important achievement though right now it's more i would say technical achievement that doesn't really out there the balance between america and russia nuclear weapons we're going to talk about the balance of power in just a moment but just for clarity sake pavel russia saying that it's been put into service what are we to read into those comments does it mean that it's actually operational right now or is it still in an advanced phase
a field testing. apparently there were test i mean these things were tested in soviet times the development began also 30 years ago or even 40 now they reach deployment stage and several silo based missiles have be they replaced the original classical. reentry vehicles with this one of course that means that the u.s. and the s.s. 19 can carry a basically have the 6 separate warheads when they put enough on guard on that that's only one so actually decreases the number of warheads that's why they're deploying just a handful to several because right now they're not really. militarily needed that much because america does not have a comprehensive missile defense so there is nothing to break through much ordinary crash warheads can also reach the united states or americans reach russia so that
the balance is based on that all right so this is for the future basically tarik wrote the key word here is hypersonic how significant is this deployment in your opinion well it's significant in the sense that we are now starting to see the new arms race particularly in delivery systems hypersonic weapons as was mentioned can be at least 5 times the speed of sound the speed of sound is 350 meters per 2nd roughly so these new delivery systems particularly since they are maneuverable and there are 2 types there is the vanguard which is i personify boost light vehicle but they can also be hypersonic powered cruise missiles or powered delivery systems so these are designed basically by russia to counter the united states would draw in 2002 from the antiballistic missile treaty which was a seminal cold war treaty banning nationwide missile defenses and then the u.s.
has now recently abandoned the intermediate range forces treaty and europe as well plus in 2003 the u.s. came up with this concept of a conventional prompt global strike which was aimed at delivering a warhead anywhere in the world within 60 minutes of a decision being given so the russians in a sense are reacting to a number of these developments on the whole and now with the approval of a space force by a president from penn funding for it given in the u.s. defense budget we are also now moving the arms competition into space which would be a very dangerous development again this is something i want to ask you about in a moment but let's just stick with this hypersonic missile for a moment tarik and some are saying. that it's not so much the speed of the hypersonic weapon alone that counts but rather it's the glide vehicles trajectory which quote surface along the edge of the atmosphere and that then could make it impossible to defend against so how much of
a challenge is this for existing systems it would be a significant challenge for existing systems the u.s. technical right up is that these hypersonic booster vehicles are $10.00 to $20.00 times less visible to existing u.s. early warning radars than a traditional reentry vehicle from a ballistic missile and as you mention with very low trajectory and also maneuverability it would make it very difficult to defend against not that could be point defense but in order to defend all important targets in the united states it would be impossible at the current moment paul salton london what's your reaction to this deployment well that squall if i the the headlines 1st of all we don't know these things are really going to work is this an engineering challenge and the russian military technology sector is innovative but it has a number of records of failures of of systems underperforming or just blowing up so
we don't know how well these will work secondly it's. strategically at the moment rather unimportant. as i said at the moment in this case that that could change because the americans are not trying to defend key points against. a peer competitor russian attack that defense systems are rudimentary they don't always or mostly work and they're aimed at small adversaries like north korea or possibly china though there's ambiguity on that so the fact that the american the russians are the plowing things which in this generation could move in and hit targets and couldn't be defended against is not actually strategically a very big deal as mattis the last american defense secretary said the last one he was able to give it. a degenerate affective overview of these
things said last year this this doesn't really change anything in the strategic equation and then i think is is true for the moment what i've put out what i also think is we should see this is a signal this is russia given the frantic way that putin is hyping this up it's a way of warning america that there is a potentially fostex salaries arms race in prospect unless america does some deal to extend and maybe modify. the the new start treaty which russia wants and it's not a top player that america does there are american opinion makers who who insist no we don't want to be bound by a treaty because we are more technologically competent and anyway the russians cheat and i think that was a terrible roughs last point about america abandoning the i.n.f. treaty disguises something quite interesting and politically important because the americans left the treaty only because they spent 7 years pointing out the russians
were cheating on it and that that fact is very well inscribed in the minds of the american congress and the a d. in state people so there is a huge problem of credibility believability in arms control solutions which would have to be overcome if if the start treaty is going to be extended so i think all eyes are on the next president and and trying to effect the the opinion of future of the immediately present following american administration so they want to not control an agreement or not ok stand by for a 2nd let's just explain what the start treaty is to russia's announcement comes at a time as are saying when there's only one arms control treaties still standing between moscow and washington the new start treaty is due to expire in february 2021 and it limits both nation's strategic nuclear forces it also facilitates inspections on exchanges of information now if that treaty is allowed to expire for
the 1st time since the 1970 s. there will be no constraints on u.s. and russian nuclear forces and the trump administration has long criticized the agreement saying it doesn't limit new nuclear weapons systems planned by russia and the u.s. also wants china that's not bound by any agreement to limit its arms to be part of a future treaty it's hard profe. to what extent do you think that russia is using this. sort of deployments to try and pressure the u.s. to open talks and renew that start treaty do you do you see it that way. i think there is some credibility to that that you originally the russian said that time was running out to extend the new start treaty because they claim that the united states is not fully fully living up to its obligations and it would take a year's negotiations but within the last few weeks moscow has said that they are willing to extend the new start treaty immediately and without any conditions so there is some desperation i think on the russian side and to follow up on what paul
chill t. said i think the russians are quite concerned about the american technological prowess should they decide to develop new types of weapons and just on the i.n.f. treaty it was the 9 m. $7.00 to $9.00 cruise missile that the americans believe russia made which is in violation of the i n f e d but in return the russians also have concerns about u.s. compliance with the i.n.f. treaty and many observers were not satisfied with the way in which the u.s. handled the russian issue of noncompliance with this particular cruise missile so on the hold again to echo what paul said the atmosphere between moscow and washington is deteriorating steadily and soon we will be facing a world without any nuclear arms control between the 2 largest possessors of nuclear weapons the next year will be the 50th anniversary of this very important nuclear nonproliferation treaty where the nuclear weapon states undertaken an
obligation to reduce their nuclear weapons and this bodes very badly for this review conference of the nonproliferation treaty next year pavel how do you see it playing out when it comes to the renewal or not the of the start treaty. well the new start has that option to extend it for 5 years once and that extension does not require ratification in the american senate but that means it can be only extended it cannot be renegotiated or modified because a modified treaty would require ratification in the american senate and that right now is not possible i don't think any treaty that president trump signs that president putin will get the 2 thirds majority in the american senate no matter what's in that treaty so there can be only an extension without any kind of
modification there's still a possibility that may happen but there's also a possibility that it won't and we will be of course in the free for all and that's rather bad because there's a real arms race coming up and if this avenue guard system does not really a serious way out of the balance of deterrence between moscow and washington new weapons are going are coming up that may very much destabilize the strategic situation like medium range a very precise american whip missiles that are also hyperspeed that may be deployed in europe or in asia and which are going to be not only very accurate maybe you have the capability to hit moving targets and this is no mean that the russian command centers and russian silo massai and mobile missiles could be under attack
in several minutes and maybe no time to fire that means everyone's going to be on the ready to shoot at any price any moment and that's going to be very very dangerous a poll of sorts a. for clarity can you confirm whether right now there are any international agreements on when or how hypersonic missiles are actually use and if there aren't any. isn't that a danger going forward there aren't any because it's too near a technology and the international mood between russia and america and instantly china has not made it possible to begin serious negotiations on how you would handle this new technology and it would need to be put in the context of other changes like artificial intelligence space space space assets and how they
might report costs on a strategic exchange so this is. it's a huge draw for of technical and diplomatic and political problems that need to be . looked at together so i'm not partisan not at all not a because the politics are all right so why you're saying it's just that there's a lot of political will and that's why policy hasn't kept up with the pace of a techno law there's also a little girl there's a great deal of. there's a great deal of distrust and willingness to even to talk about things with the famous. example you will get in. washington is that it's impossible to find out from the russians how many theists and nuclear systems they've got in europe and eurasia so is it a 1000 is it 2000 is it 5 if they want even if there is not willingness with one strategic got to talk about existing invent truths and capabilities it's very difficult then to begin a conversation which looks at absolutely new territories where it would be.
important perhaps essential to know how far research has advanced to reveal that is going to be militarily risky it's going to be politically costly because one country may be accused of naivety so the the increase the return to great power competition which one sees since the end of the post cold war on email is inhibiting the sort of intellectual and technical effort that would be needed to come up with new strategic arms controls solutions that politics rivalry are getting in the way well the head of the air force acquisitions paula stick with you for just a moment he recently said that this is the u.s. head of air force acquisitions that china and russia i made hypersonic weapons a national priority and we didn't and even the pentagon in an earlier review argue that the u.s. margin of superiority is now quote profoundly diminished why do you think the u.s. is lacking behind because it's not but it hasn't needed to be
a game changing. priority for america they haven't enough other capabilities and they believe that overall strategic strategic balances are stable they have a need to find fun to look for some way of getting getting a one sided 1st mover advantage. now that maybe changing it from what i see they're putting a lot more resources into this and they have. options for use against china conceivably against russia so what watch watch the screens you will see the whole a story and in the next 2 or 3 years about a lot of america catching up in this inlet with truth which has always been a risk i think that the russians will was great about starting while human you get within russia let's not start an arms race with the americans because once they go in they may win it and that may not be starting to happen it's our crew what's your point of view on what the us will do how will they play on this russian deployment and and president putin said that this puts russia head of other nations and now
they're playing catch up as he writes. well in the us now they are looking at investing in hypersonic technologies and there are small amounts of money that have been approved in the defense budget but the more risky thing is that both the russians and the americans are now talking about actual use of nuclear weapons particularly low yield nuclear weapons and the latest u.s. nuclear policy guidance which came out in may the u.s. talks about the use of low use nuclear weapons to restore strategic stability and the russians are talking about the use of nuclear weapons to end it conventional conflict in europe which is going on favorably for them so this is very dangerous and at the moment there is really hesitation in washington even to renew the reagan gorbachev agreement that a nuclear war cannot be won and therefore must never be fought as there are some circles in the u.s. defense establishment that argue that
a small use of nuclear weapons can in fact be carried out without collateral or humanitarian damage by sinking an aircraft carrier at sea or so on so not only there not only that that knowledge eased but the rhetoric on both sides but also china is increasingly and we shouldn't also forgetting to want to get married i know what are china's ambitions in tests when it comes to the space tarik china conducted a anti satellite weapon test a few years ago which was roundly criticized internationally because they're spread a lot of space debris the chinese feel that there are still list the smallest among the big powers that is the russians on the americans and that with u.s. missile defense and the. continued investments their arsenal is becoming one rouble to a u.s. disarming strike and so that's what they believe whether it's true or not is another matter and therefore they are investing not only in that conventional forces but also in modernizing and increasing the number of the nuclear forces and
despite the amity between moscow and washington. the russians are very concerned that china may have more nuclear weapons that is generally believed and also president has been openly calling for enough to be trilateral discussions on negotiations involving china russia and the united states' rights pavol do you envision some sort of trilateral treaty going on or happening in the near future between the u.s. russia and china. that seems right now not very likely because the chinese practices. say that they don't want to take part in any such talks and even the west so sign up to an e.u. treaty that is going to limit their capabilities or their. next their plans and russia will not be pressing china to enter such negotiations so that seems to be there then that means there can be talk about i mean the chinese are not even
telling even russians who are now if not allies the very close partners how many weapons they have a they're not giving any numbers at all if russia is not giving the number of tactical month strategic weapons the poor boy chinese are not telling have route any kind of weapons they have so that to begin with you have to have to know more west's sure how much they have to begin to talk and and bargain and then also under the intruders novel happening what about other countries pakistan india japan. are we looking at a multi arms party race some point in the horizon it's a possible golf course japan does not have nuclear weapons but pakistan india israel apparently we do and again they're not telling how much they have target painted right not that much tariq you were mentioning a moment ago concerns about these weapons becoming actually operational but there's
also as we know concern about proliferation for you what's more worrying. well proliferation is happening unfortunately russia us collaborating with india and developing this brahma stew which is supposed to be a supersonic and eventually a hypersonic cruise missile japan has also been working on this but given the recent conflict between backs down and in the air india and pakistan and february. there is a lot of rhetoric coming out of both capitals about a possible nuclear war so south a shia can be a flashpoint on the other hand both the pakistanis and the indians keep their weapons not an assembled form and not on the ready to launch status but should hypersonics enter the equation in south asia there will be a lot of pressure to put their weapons on launch on warning and also to. give command and control in the field to 2 nuclear weapons which would also be very
destabilizing poll so say for you what's could potentially be the most destabilizing factor going forward in the longer term i think it's the why the spreading of these new technologies which are not going to then they're not going to rely only on russian or american technology the indians will get. hypersonic crew cruise missiles other countries will get them as well. so that that's that spread multiplied by artificial intelligence. increasing the speed with which some of these technical developments happening and then significance when they do happen that i think is the bigger global problem and we don't yet have an answer to how we could even begin talking about that or who would be involved in that conversation all right so on that note i have to leave it there thank you very much it's all my guests for joining us pavel felgenhauer tariq rough and paul thanks very much thank you for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com for further discussion you can go to our
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al jazeera is swear every. i'm come all sons of maria here in doha with the headlines on al-jazeera a prisoner swap. is underway in eastern ukraine between government forces and progress separatists it is the 2nd major release in 3 months and follows ukraine and russia agreeing to ease tensions between them 5 years now since russian troops and next the crimea peninsula more on this from moscow with alexandra good fraud this prisoner swap is just just and one step in the very long process that was before it and they're still longer that is going to come because what is