Russians are serious about using nukes, US NATO general warns

2019/03/vladimir-putin-donald-trump-nuclear-war-813968-1552517666.jpg
Read: 510     10:39     14 March 2019    

Russian military planners are serious about using nuclear weapons in limited military conflicts, a top U.S. general warned lawmakers Wednesday.


“I think it's a part of Russian doctrine and their way of warfare, if you will,” General Curtis Scaparrotti, who leads U.S. European Command and serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander on the continent, told the House Armed Services Committee.

His warning aimed to shoot down the suggestion that Russia is developing those weapons merely to alarm the Department of Defense, which is planning to modernize U.S. nuclear forces to account for the new threats. Pentagon officials believe that Russia, which can’t compete with U.S. forces in a sustained conventional conflict, envisions the use of nuclear weapons to achieve swift victories over weaker neighbors before the American military can intervene.

‘Escalate to dominate’ is the way they look at it,” Scaparrotti told lawmakers. “And if you look at the modernization of their weapon systems today, I think that you can see how those in some scale of escalation can be used to do just that. And I think they're actually being developed for that reason.”

His civilian colleague testifying agreed, adding that Chinese military planners have a similar theory of winning conflicts. Both countries aim to force the United States into a difficult dilemma.

“Russia’s and China’s military modernization, combined with the challenges in time and distance we face, provide the opportunity for these actors to pursue rapid, short duration actions — what is commonly called the ‘fait accompli’ scenario,” Kathryn Wheelbarger, the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said in her prepared testimony. “Were such a scenario to transpire, it places the United States in an untenable position of responding in ways that may be viewed as escalating the conflict — a deeply problematic path when confronting nuclear-armed powers.”

Russia is backing up that strategy with “an active stockpile of approximately 2,000” weapons systems capable of delivering “non-strategic” — that is, relatively small-scale — nuclear weapons, Scaparrotti noted in his prepared testimony.

“Russia’s non-strategic nuclear weapons stockpile is of concern because it facilitates Moscow’s mistaken belief that limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield weapons, can provide Russia a coercive advantage in crises and at lower levels of conflict,” he said.

Washington Examiner



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News Line

Russians are serious about using nukes, US NATO general warns

2019/03/vladimir-putin-donald-trump-nuclear-war-813968-1552517666.jpg
Read: 511     10:39     14 March 2019    

Russian military planners are serious about using nuclear weapons in limited military conflicts, a top U.S. general warned lawmakers Wednesday.


“I think it's a part of Russian doctrine and their way of warfare, if you will,” General Curtis Scaparrotti, who leads U.S. European Command and serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander on the continent, told the House Armed Services Committee.

His warning aimed to shoot down the suggestion that Russia is developing those weapons merely to alarm the Department of Defense, which is planning to modernize U.S. nuclear forces to account for the new threats. Pentagon officials believe that Russia, which can’t compete with U.S. forces in a sustained conventional conflict, envisions the use of nuclear weapons to achieve swift victories over weaker neighbors before the American military can intervene.

‘Escalate to dominate’ is the way they look at it,” Scaparrotti told lawmakers. “And if you look at the modernization of their weapon systems today, I think that you can see how those in some scale of escalation can be used to do just that. And I think they're actually being developed for that reason.”

His civilian colleague testifying agreed, adding that Chinese military planners have a similar theory of winning conflicts. Both countries aim to force the United States into a difficult dilemma.

“Russia’s and China’s military modernization, combined with the challenges in time and distance we face, provide the opportunity for these actors to pursue rapid, short duration actions — what is commonly called the ‘fait accompli’ scenario,” Kathryn Wheelbarger, the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said in her prepared testimony. “Were such a scenario to transpire, it places the United States in an untenable position of responding in ways that may be viewed as escalating the conflict — a deeply problematic path when confronting nuclear-armed powers.”

Russia is backing up that strategy with “an active stockpile of approximately 2,000” weapons systems capable of delivering “non-strategic” — that is, relatively small-scale — nuclear weapons, Scaparrotti noted in his prepared testimony.

“Russia’s non-strategic nuclear weapons stockpile is of concern because it facilitates Moscow’s mistaken belief that limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield weapons, can provide Russia a coercive advantage in crises and at lower levels of conflict,” he said.

Washington Examiner



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