JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Nuclear Doctrine: Don’t Mess With Us – But Let’s Talk” – World Politics Review/ Richard Weitz

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

 

“… Why did Russia decide to publish its deterrence policy now? In part, it could be to dispel alleged Western misperceptions about when Russia might use nuclear weapons, specifically the Pentagon’s assessment that Moscow would threaten to use nuclear weapons – or actually do so – to intimidate an adversary into yielding in a major crisis. Previously referred to as ‘escalate to de-escalate,’ U.S. officials currently describe this strategy as ‘escalate to win,’ and have used it to justify developing U.S. low-yield nuclear weapons options to counter it.

The newly published strategy document implies that nuclear weapons deter escalation through their mere existence. … [yet] warns adversaries against a range of actions that Moscow claims would raise the danger of nuclear war by presenting threats …. These include deploying ballistic and cruise missiles, armed drones, missile defenses and even large concentrations of general-purpose forces – like a U.S. Army brigade – near Russian territory. … [T]he wording … amplifies Moscow’s familiar complaints about NATO military activities in Russia’s vicinity, the alliance’s nuclear-sharing doctrine, the U.S. global missile defense architecture, and fears of new U.S. ground-launched missiles being deployed near Russia. …”

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