EXCLUSIVE: Are We Already in the Middle of a Second Cuban Missile Crisis?

A Russian Naval Task Force will be visiting Cuba this month.  During the Cold War, Russian long-range bombers and naval vessels routinely visited Cuba, but since those times, the visits have been few.

The naval task force is rather modest, a frigate (a small-er ocean-going surface warship), a nuclear submarine, a tanker, and a large tug.  Cuban officials said the ships are not armed with nuclear weapons.

The frigate and submarine combined can carry up to 80 Zircon hypersonic missiles between them, which at the Zircon’s maximum known range of 620 miles could hit a U.S. target in less than eight minutes.  They could simultaneously devastate the two major U.S. Navy East Coast bases of Norfolk and Mayport with no notice.

The Russian Force is being trivialized by the Biden Team.  The Russian Naval Force was, “notable but not concerning” according to two, Biden Officials.  The officials also said that the deployment was possibly a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin who stated that Moscow may take “asymmetrical steps” elsewhere in the world in response to President Biden’s decision to allow Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike inside Russia.

Concurrent to the Russian deployment to Cuba, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be conducting the largest naval exercise ever in the Baltics, right off the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Forgotten over the Russian naval task force is last year’s announcement that China was opening a spy base in Cuba and establishing an enduring military training presence.  When China has established overseas bases like Djibouti in Africa, they have placed missiles to protect their facilities.

“Low confidence” the Intelligence Community is even tracking this issue

The agreement from the Cuban Missile Crisis was that Russia would remove offensive missile in Cuba in return for an American promise not to invade Cuba.  China was not part of this agreement and times have changed.

The meaning of the term “offensive” has become a bit blurred when discussing missiles.  Chinese S-300/S-400 missiles may already be in Cuba to protect their spy base and military training presence.

The challenge with the S-300/S-400 missiles is that although titled as air defense missiles, they are capable of being used as surface-to-surface missiles like the old American Nike Missile System a capability not well known, even by American forces.  A disturbing bonus feature of the S-400 is that it is nuclear capable in the Russian version, which is the same version the Chinese have.

The American Intelligence Community (IC), despite their immense capabilities, do not have the resources to collect AND analyze all information from all sources on all topics.  Intelligence Community Directive 204 establishes the priority of collection and analysis – and establishes a cut line of what will be analyzed and actioned.  If a topic is below the cut line – that means intelligence may be collected, but no one is analyzing and actioning what is collected.  Using an Intelligence Community expression, I have “low confidence” that the IC has placed Chinese presence in Cuba above the cut line.  I also have “low confidence” that the average IC analyst understands that the Chinese S-400 is capable of striking ground (and air) targets up to Orlando and may be nuclear capable like its Russian counterpart.

Chinese and Russian Spies and Military running roughshod over the Monroe Doctrine

The Biden Team seems un-interested in countering Chinese and Russian adventurism in the Americas.  Department of Homeland Security Mayorkas has been to the migrant camps in Panama and done nothing about the Chinese Special Operators proliferating the Southern Border invasion.  General Laura Richardson of Southern Command in Miami has been clear about the Chinese threat but has been ignored and under-resourced.

Russia and China both support the aggression of Venezuela against next door Guyana, especially the prized offshore oil fields off Guyana.  The Russian Naval Force and the possible Chinese missile presence in Cuba could be a powerful covering force to any Venezuelan move on Guyana.

The Biden Team has assured media that six U.S. Navy ships are shadowing the Russian Naval Task force including three Arleigh Burke Destroyers.  This means these are six ships from the stressed and undersized U.S. Navy that have been pulled from other missions to cover this pop-up contingency.

None of this would be or will be happening under President Trump

Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor, is the singular person under President Biden making these complex national security decisions that have possible grave consequences.

His only real-life experience was running the “Russia Russia Russia” election interference operation for Hillary Clinton.  The Biden Team has been dismissive of Chinese influence operations in the Americas, ignored General Richardson’s clear statements of concern, and seems un-interested in asserting the Monroe Doctrine.  But Jake Sullivan has no problem with green-lighting Ukraine’s use of American missiles to strike into Russia.

It is of low likelihood that the IC is paying attention to the Chinese presence in Cuba and if they did possibly notice the placement of S-300/400 missiles in Cuba, likely deemed them defensive even though these missiles can barrage ground targets in Florida up to Orlando.

The fact that the Russian S-400 system is nuclear capable, and that China is not a signatory to any nuclear weapons treaty (other than the Space Treaty) is likely not known by the typical IC analyst busy spying on the Trump campaign.  Blinken promised to bring the adults into the room, he was right – they will there with #47 in January.

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COL (Ret) John Mills has significantly shaped U.S. national security policy over four decades, serving in roles from the Cold War through the era of Great Power Competition. His career includes multiple combat tours, senior civilian positions at the Department of Defense, and strategic duties with the National Security Council in two administrations. Additionally, he is associated with the Center for Security Policy, Committee on Present Danger China, and Spectrum Consulting Group, and is an adjunct professor and founder of the National Election Integrity Association.

You can email John Mills here, and read more of John Mills's articles here.

 

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