The dynamics of WWIII get even more complex. It seems that nuclear subs are fast becoming a non-viable weapon in the face of underwater drone technology, and the
Soviets Russians have revived their railway-based nuclear program. First the underwater drones:
“Small unmanned platforms can carry many types of sensors — active and passive sonar, magnetic anomaly detectors, wake detection LIDAR, thermal sensors, laser-based optical sensors capable of piercing seawater and others. A submarine which can be seen by any one of these will cease to be invisible. A submarine whose location is exposed is highly vulnerable to instant attack. If submarines are easily detectable, they lose all their advantages as strategic weapons platforms,” Hambling says.
. . .
Swarms of underwater gliders and drones are currently capable of monitoring vast areas of the ocean for months at a time detecting submarines and the US, China and Russia are all working on improved technologies to deploy them.
Then there’s the revival of railway-based nuclear weapons, updated to a very high tech age:
The new “nuke train” is similar to a nuclear-capable submarine in its function. The cars are so hard that they can resist an explosion of a nuclear warhead just several hundred meters away. A train can run for a month autonomously and pass up to 1,000 kilometers daily.
. . .
The missiles are brought into firing position within minutes. Their engagement range is 10,000 kilometers and precision is 100 meters around the target. The warheads can maneuver to penetrate any existing missile defense system.
The trains will be protected with a cutting-edge stealth technology, electronic warfare systems and counterterrorism measures.
Five “Barguzin” regiments are expected to enter Russia’s SMF by 2020.
Note that while the underwater drone story is brand new (dated today), the updated railway missile system story has been “out there” for the better part of a year (9 months), and the early reports of it for more than two years (below). Certainly US intelligence has known about it far longer. The earlier reports have already been in the news for more than two years:
So — nuclear subs have effectively lost their stealth (and therefore surprise) capability, and the Russians have made use of their vast land area and extensive railway system (for a second time) to play a giant shell game with extremely accurate, and highly survivable nuclear missile systems. Of course, we’ve forged ahead with our own anti-missile systems. So it might seem logical to assume that there’s been a ramping up of technologies to attack from within, with very small tactical nukes that could be moved in the back of a U-Haul van, poisoning of water systems, biological warfare, etc. With the virtual incoming highway system along the US southern border, and the potential for movement all along the northern border as well, “assets” (both human and equipment/weapons) could be easily dispersed all over for coordinated attacks. Missiles? Subs? Who’ll need ‘em? The scenario in the intentionally-cancelled CBS TV series “Jericho” with land-based mobile nukes going off in key cities around the nation, seems less and less far fetched – regardless of who’s really planting and using them.
Meanwhile, another more than year-old development seems significant: Russia has officially changed their military doctrine to name NATO “as the chief threat to Russian security and claims the right to use nuclear weapons to counter any aggression that ‘threatens the very existence’ of Russia.” It’s no small thing for a large nation to make a significant change to its official military doctrine. The US introduced a game-changer many years ago when it deleted from Air Force Manual 1-1 the prohibition of a nuclear first strike. AFM 1-1 is THE doctrinal “bible” for US use of air power, and does not significantly change without extensive and highest-level coordination. One could expect the same degree of highest-level coordination and scrutiny in Russia.
If Russia is that concerned about NATO (surrogate for the US) now, under an intensely weak US president, how would they react to a Trump or Cruz?! Better stock up on marshmallows and hot dogs!