On Feb. 14, US Representative Mike Turner (Republican, Ohio) leaked some information that quickly led the public to learn that Russia is in the advanced stages of developing an orbital nuclear weapon. Such a device could be used to create a massive electromagnetic pulse, thereby frying the electronics of the satellites that enable global communications, reconnaissance, navigation, and GPS-guided targeting for US military systems.

Embarrassed by the revelation, President Joe Biden’s administration allies tried to play down the threat, claiming that such weapons would be “a last resort” for Russia, since it would destroy their satellites as well.

Such reassurances are a public disservice. While Russia does indeed have military satellites of its own, they are of much less importance to the Russian military than US satellites are to our US military. Russian military capabilities are based first and foremost on massive firepower and a willingness to sustain heavy losses. Our approach meanwhile is based on precision and technological virtuosity. If, in the opening stages of a large-scale conventional conflict, both sides were to lose all their space assets, Russia would benefit overwhelmingly by the exchange.


So, the fact of the matter is that, rather than being a weapon of last resort, Russia’s orbital nuke is a first strike weapon. That is, it would be a first strike weapon if Russia were not already striking us with something else. And the weapon it is employing is far more dangerous than an orbital nuclear bomb.

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That weapon is Russia’s Trojan Horse.


The first thing people need to understand about Russia is that is that it considers itself at war with the West right now. As Chatham House Russia expert Keir Giles lays out in his incisive book Russia’s War on Everybody: And What it Means to You, within the mental framework of this undeclared war, all relations between Russia and the West must be zero sum. Anything that harms the West helps Russia, without limit to location or scope.


Seeing no fundamental distinction between war and peace, Russia has no reservation restricting it from carrying out acts of war, including cyber warfare, ransomware attacks and many other criminal activities. That also extends to numerous assassinations and acts of terrorism within Western nations, going so far as to blow up an ammunition factory in Czechia in 2014.

It is Russia’s intense efforts to subvert Western political systems, however, that carries the greatest danger. Russian purchases of choice real estate within the UK have given it extensive influence within Britain’s political system, while its funding of Green, Red, and Brown parties on the continent has increased its leverage there.

In other cases, such as Brexit, Russian agitators have been involved on both sides of the issue, with the purpose not being the achievement of any particular outcome, but the creation of maximum discord. Most spectacularly, Giles says that Russia has achieved an incredible coup through the elevation to the presidency of Donald Trump, a person whose actions while in office, bear all the markings of a Kremlin agent of influence.


Giles provides quite a list of Trump actions that favored Moscow – all important, but almost superfluous to mention today. At the time of writing, Trump is openly pressuring House Speaker Mike Johnson (with the help of the Kremlin-influenced Progressive Left) to block desperately needed US arms deliveries to Ukraine. Furthermore, he has stated that, if elected, he will cut off all such aid, thereby facilitating Russian conquest of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin could hardly ask for more.

That said, the Kremlin’s greatest gains have not come from retail corruption of particular Western politicians through bribes and blackmail (aka “kompromat.”) Rather its most powerful weapon has been ideological corruption of entire Western political parties. In this respect, Russia has shown itself to be a far more dangerous adversary to the US than China. This is because, despite its material weakness, Russia is much more adjacent to the West ideologically, and quite adept at putting that proximity to advantage in the war of ideas.

Subversion and promotion of tribalism

Russia has engaged in subversion of the West using “left wing” parties since 1917 and continues to do so today. However, since the fall of communism, the Kremlin, following the ideological war plan laid out by Aleksandr Dugin, has created what amounts to an Alt-right Comintern to subvert the West from the ostensible “Right” as well.


The basic idea is to promote tribalism, through a collection of “Germany First,” “France First,” “America First,” etc., movements, thereby Balkanizing the West while undermining its unifying foundation in rationalism and Enlightenment humanist ideals.

Such Kremlin-sponsored nativist movements in Europe have been greatly strengthened by Putin’s tactic of generating and weaponizing large numbers to refugees. When Putin massacred Aleppo, his real targets were Berlin, Paris, Budapest, and Amsterdam. That effort has shown results. If Russian conquers Ukraine, a much larger slaughter much closer to Europe is on the agenda that threatens to undermine democracies across the continent.

Dugin’s war plan against the Enlightenment (which he calls “liberalism”) is not entirely new. As F. A. Hayek pointed out in his 1944 classic “The Road to Serfdom,” Adolf Hitler’s key political insight was that nationalism and socialism were not contradictory. On the contrary, invoking the tribal instinct is the key to arousing the passion necessary to implement the full collectivist program. Thus, the Nazis called themselves “national socialists.”

Dugin admires Nazism – a lot. But as he observes, the problem with Nazism as an ideological weapon to use against the West is that it has a limited market. Only Nordics can buy into it. But lose that obsession, allow each country to have its own master race, and one can obtain a universal formula for subverting the conscience and rational faculties of the West’s citizenry. That formula is tribal collectivism – aka, national socialism.


It was this formula that Trump used to subvert the Republican Party, using anti-immigration demagoguery as its cutting edge. While it is frequently termed “right wing,” the fact of the matter is that anti-immigration is not an American conservative cause. It is not conservative because it is anti-free enterprise, anti-Judeo-Christian, contrary to America’s founding proposition, and contrary to the tradition that built America. Rather it is tribal-collectivism masquerading as conservatism. Yet the Republican Party chose to bite on that toxic bait, and once ingested, that poison transformed the party from the principal instrument of conservative politics into the demagogue-controlled zombie organization it is today.

It may be noted that, while choosing appropriate immigration policies is a legitimate issue, Trump and his European counterparts have not approached immigration as a policy issue. In fact, levels of illegal immigration were no lower under Trump than under Barack Obama. Rather, for Trump and the Kremlin-sponsored European nativist parties, illegal immigration is an agitational issue, not to be solved, but used to arouse the fears and passions of the masses.


Consequently, they support Russian victory in Ukraine, not despite, but precisely because, it will spark the largest global refugee crisis since World War II.


For the Kremlin, politics is war by other means. Indeed, the millions that Russia’s rulers have invested in corrupting Western political institutions have delivered a far greater return than the billions they have spent on military weaponry.  

Blinded, disoriented and drugged by this campaign, the West has allowed the Putin gang to achieve one victory after another. The first strike has already been struck. More blows will follow and some will be kinetic.

If Trump’s followers in Congress starve Ukraine of arms, Ukraine could fall. In that case, Ukraine’s million-man army will be deleted from the West’s order of battle, Russia will be greatly strengthened both materially and technically; Russian forces will be advanced to the borders of NATO allies Poland and Romania; Kremlin-allied nativist parties in Europe will be empowered; and the key vulnerability along its southwest border that currently prevents Russia from swarming the Baltic States will be eliminated.

The US will be discredited as an ally, leaving Taiwan and many other countries bordering China or Russia little choice but to give in to whatever the world’s new policemen demand of them.

Using orbital nuclear weapons to disable America’s military would just be icing on that cake.

Only the wise can be free. If geostrategic catastrophe is to be avoided, the citizens of all Western nations need to wake up.

Robert Zubrin is an American aerospace engineer. His most recent book, The New World on Mars: What Can We Create on the Red Planet was recently published by Diversion Books.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (3)

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“Rather, for Trump and the Kremlin-sponsored European nativist parties, illegal immigration is an agitational issue, not to be solved, but used to arouse the fears and passions of the masses.”

The Trumpists' willingness to accept the decline of American hegemony is abundantly clear. But Trump voters and Eurosceptic parties are firmly in favour of an end to mass immigration; nothing is further from their minds than the idea that a country is an area where, thanks to open borders, any foreigner can settle at will. Most continental Eurosceptics have no desire to take instructions from a foreign country like the US.

The Ukrainians are currently fulfilling all the West's wishes for change in order to get the weapons they need. But they will predictably move to the Eurosceptic camp later, because they do not want other states or international organisations like the EU telling them how to live and who to allow to immigrate. Western Europeans will only feel threatened by Russia if missiles hit Western Europe, and the Russians know this. The tragedy is that for most people their prosperity is more important than the freedom of states threatened by Russia.

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Where had the strong virtuous USA leaders of past era's gone?

A man showing all the hallmarks of a russian operative (putinrump) has brainwashed a sizeable part of the former Republican Party that russia's system of malign autocratic governance is better than a system of governance by the people for the people. Putinrump defies myriads of USA laws, constantly sows division, demands absolute obedience from his minions, states he wants dictator powers. He openly incites violence against media, electoral and legal system stewards that try apply just USA laws. In his disastrous pas term the self serving republicans allowed him to stack the SCOTUS with MRGA minions that intend to let him get away with all crimes. What does the remaining GOP do now......cower in fear of master putinrump.

Do any moderate republicans disgusted with their own party's cesspool stench still exist? Will they put their nation's best interests above the MRGA party's mandate.

I'm not familiar enough with USA politics to know what other failsafe options exist to sideline its growing MRGA problem. I've been very surprised the the USA remains unable or unwilling to sideline a MRGA house speaker which refuses to even table a proposal that overwhelmingly passed in the Senate.

I guess when a MRGA minority control the majority the USA's political system is already quite aligned with the Kremlin's.

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@John, how fucking dumb can you be? It’s a rhetorical question.

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Russian forces will be advanced to the borders of NATO allies Poland and Romania;????
putler has already two cronies stationed in slowakia and hungary: orban and fico
hungary asked chinaxi to conduct policing duties in hungary
so chinaxi and rasshist have already two big feet in NATO and EU territory
after Ukraine, fico and orban will invite the raashist army into hungary and slowakia and in the meantime it will march into Moldova which is not aligned to NATO or EU