Understanding geopolitical maneuvers implies recognition that timing of events globally are not coincidental. The latest example is the failure of the latest Russian rocket launch carry highly advanced satellites to bolster Russia’s own GPS array so that it does not have to rely on US military satellites and infrastructure. This failure of a proven Russian rocket system only days after Russia announced it was ceasing space based cooperation with the USA is not accidental. Instead, this was the latest take down in a growing number of high profile cyber attacks launched by the US and perhaps the first major military strike against Russian in a new era of warfare.
Ominously, the Russia’s cyber capability is advanced and capable of significant attacks on a large scale against targets inside the US unlike countries such as Syria and Iran. One should expect Russia to see the launch failure as a clandestine military attack regardless of whether or not it actually was. Again, perception is reality and Putin cannot afford the public perception that Russia’s vaunted space program is incompetent. In retaliation, Russia will strike back. Whether Russia uses cyber warfare or not is yet to be seen, but Russia will exact a price for the loss. As I have warned, Russia recognizes that Afghanistan is an easy place to exact revenge and bleed the US so the US military should not expect a smooth retreat this year. Further, our military space launches and vulnerable satellites may become logical targets for Russian retaliation so don’t be surprised if months from now our satellites experience failure or a new NGA satellite being launched fails to make it to orbit.
Washington is playing a dangerous game with Russia but fails to recognize the US has far more to lose. Even more disturbing is the fact that the White House has repeatedly been outmaneuvered and beaten by Russia on every foreign policy initiative and appears paralyzed under Obama’s leadership to decisively act. US policy makers have shown no ability to differentiate between the capability threat of countries like Iraq and Iran and those possessed by Russia. The White House appears drunk on hubris and forgets that it cannot bully everyone on the playground. Historically, this hubris has led to strategic miscalculations of massive proportions leading to events like World War I. Even in the best case scenario, the US gets beat geopolitically and another chunk of America’s little remaining influence and prestige is eroded away. As such, expect to see a continued resurgent Russia and a waning US.