NEWSWATCH: “Why Putin Is Obsessed with America’s Missile Defense” – The National Interest/Eric Gomez

Mssile Defense Control Room

“In a speech before Russia’s Federal Assembly … Putin unveiled several new nuclear-weapons systems. … less than a month after the release of the Trump … Nuclear Posture Review … [naming] Russia as a primary strategic competitor of the United States and call[ing] for new low-yield nuclear weapons to counteract Russia’s alleged (and highly disputed) ‘escalate to deescalate’ strategy. The timing of the NPR and Putin’s speech gives the impression that the new Russian capabilities are a reaction to American nuclear policy. Instead, Putin stated that the new nuclear weapons were meant to counter U.S. missile defenses …. * * * the United States has long been Russia’s primary nuclear rival and the technical capabilities that Moscow has chosen to spend a great deal of time, money, and effort to develop are laser-focused on defeating missile defense. Russian perceptions of wh

at missile defense signals about long-term U.S. intentions seem to weigh much more heavily on its nuclear strategy than technical reality. ….”

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