The U.S. State Department has indicated that it is willing to impose economic sanctions on any country which acquires the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system, as part of its growing campaign to limit the proliferation of Russian arms and put pressure on the country’s economy by specifically targeting its defence sector. State Department’s spokeswomen Heather Nauert stated that Washington firmly opposed acquisition of the weapons platform by U.S. allies around the world, a number of which have shown considerable interest in the S-400 despite considerable Western pressure due to its unique capacities and Western producers’ inability to manufacture an air defence system with comparable capabilities. A number of longstanding U.S. defence partners including Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and NATO member Turkey have all shown considerable interest in the system – a serious embarrassment to Western manufacturers given claims to undisputed superiority over Russian made weapons technologies. Non aligned states India and Vietnam have also shown interest in the weapons platform, alongside a number of longstanding Russian defence clients including China, Belarus, Algeria and Iran. Indeed, even South Korea has sought out S-400 technologies indirectly following its failed attempt to acquire the S-300 due to U.S. pressure. The new Korean M-SAM system will rely heavily on S-400 technologies provided by Russia.
Proliferation of the S-400 seriously threatens the interests of the Western Bloc for a number of reasons, hence the considerable pressure and the singling out of this weapons system in particular. With the Western Bloc having since the 1940s relied overwhelmingly heavily on aerial assets to project power across the world, from military campaigns against Vietnam, China and North Korea to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the S-400’s potential to deny event their most advanced stealth aircraft such as the U.S. F-22 Raptor and B-2 Spirit the ability to operate offensively threatens to seriously undermine Western power projection capabilities which have long been a key tool of European and American foreign policy. General Joseph Votel, speaking before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, attested to this, noting that the S-400’s potential proliferation to Middle Eastern states threatened the U.S. military’s ability to dominate the region’s airspace – to which Western militaries have had nea
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