Everything Is Fine (Everything Is Not Fine)

Amanda Macias at CNBC: Putin Says Russia Will Deploy Hypersonic Missiles in 'Coming Months,' Surpassing U.S. and China.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow will deploy hypersonic weapons in the "coming months," a significant step that would enable the Kremlin to surpass the U.S. and China.

A hypersonic weapon can travel at least five times the speed of sound, or about one mile per second. What's more, the U.S. is currently unable to defend against this breed of threat.

Putin, who was speaking at a forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, added that Moscow's hypersonic weapons program was ahead of its competitors.

The latest revelations come less than eight months after Putin touted his nation's growing hypersonic arsenal as "invincible" during a state of the nation address. The weapons included a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and a new hypersonic missile.

"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development: You have failed to contain Russia," Putin said during the address in March.
Great. That all sounds fucking terrific.

Whether it's real or whether it's bluster, it hardly matters — because Russia already has thousands of nukes capable of blowing the Earth to smithereens, so whether they have even more is secondary to the fact that Putin is brazenly provoking a renewed Cold War. Which is decidedly warmer these days.

When I was a kid growing up in Northwest Indiana in the 1980s, the threat of nuclear war stalked us like a relentless specter. I routinely heard the adults around me talking about "the bomb" being dropped. They would give a mirthless laugh and say things like at least we'll be first to go because we lived at the feet of steel giants. The Communists would take out the steel mills first, and we'd go with them.

It is a pointed cruelty to force people, especially children, to live under the threat of a nuclear holocaust. To be sure, the threat of war pales in comparison to actual warfare, which traumatizes and orphans and starves and injures and kills children every day — but the threat is not benign, either.

I can't relate to the sort of person who wants to impose sustained fear, terror, on other people, and I am very angry that here we are again, on the brink, with nary an effective diplomat in sight.

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