JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns It Will See Any Incoming Missile as Nuclear” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned …. in … official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) … [a warning] directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. [I]n June [Russia published its] … nuclear deterrent policy … envisag[ing] … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NPT dismantlement to increase number of nuclear threshold states – Russian General Staff” – Interfax

File Photo of U.S.-Russian Senior Military Meeting, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Dominique A. Pineiro

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – The U.S. policy aimed at withdrawing from the agreements limiting nuclear weapons may have negative implications for the entire world, representatives of the Russian General Staff said in an article published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday. “The future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a big […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bill to Boost Aid for Ukraine Military” – Reuters

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… [S]enators [from both parties] introduced legislation to back Ukraine with $300 million of annual military financing …. The bill also authorizes up to $4 million to train Ukrainian military officers, requires a [DOD] … and State Department report on the requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces and a plan to supply security assistance and requires the appointment of a special […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Hold Talks on Space Security” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“Two space powers are at odds over goals, with U.S. seeking voluntary norms, Russia aiming for a treaty” “The U.S. and Russia … [are holding] their first space-security talks since 2013 … [addressing] how to guard against the increasing militarization of space. [The] Trump administration … hoped … the [Vienna] meeting … would lead to … voluntary norms … and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. must respond forcefully to Russia and the Taliban. Here’s how.” – Washington Post/ John W. Nicholson

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“… Russia’s alliance with the Taliban, while calibrated in the past, is designed to undermine the success of the U.S.-led peace process and to erode the will of the United States, NATO and the Afghan people. Our leaders have a moral responsibility to protect our service members who are fighting for an enduring peace in Afghanistan, to honor the sacrifices […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “White House fills top Russia job previously occupied by two impeachment witnesses” – CNN/ Zachary Cohen, Vivian Salama, Kylie Atwood

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The White House [reportedly] has tapped Ryan Tully to be the top official on Europe and Russia at the National Security Council … the fifth person to occupy that job in … three and a half years …. Tully currently serves … as [NSC] senior adviser for arms control and deputy senior director for … [its] directorate on [WMD] …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Colin Powell suggests media had ‘hysterical’ reaction to Russian bounty reports” – New York Post/ Sam Dorman

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… Colin Powell indicated … that media figures overreacted to a recent report that Russian officials placed bounties on … U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. ‘What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting,’ Powell [said] … ‘It got kind […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Realism in the Arctic” – The National Interest/ Kenneth Yalowitz, Ross A. Virginia

Arctic Map

“The United States and Russia have disagreements on many issues, including the organization of the international system. No ‘reset’ in relations is in sight but there is a need to put a floor in the relationship and work on possible areas for cooperation. The Arctic can be one.” “… The Arctic is [Russia’s] highest priority strategic national interest …. Arctic […]

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AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Denies Allegations It Paid Militants To Kill U.S. Troops As ‘Nonsense'” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… The Russian Foreign Ministry said the initial … New York Times [story] demonstrated the ‘low intellectual abilities of U.S. intelligence propagandists.’ … Putin[] spokesman[] Dmitry Peskov[] called subsequent reports ‘hoaxes’ … damag[ing] the reputation of the media that publish them.  Russian officials spend a lot of time refuting allegations of malfeasance, from the poisoning of a former Russian spy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin Views the Iranian Role in Syria: Insights from Bolton’s Memoir” – Mark N. Katz

Syria Map

“[According to Bolton’s new book] … Putin … told Bolton to convey … to Trump [that –] … Moscow did not need Iranian forces … in Syria… [and gained] no advantage [from it] …. Iran’s policy agenda … regard[ing] … Lebanon and the Shi’a were not [Russia’s] … [and] Iranian policy was causing problems …. Russia [wanted] … an Iranian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why we need a little skepticism, and more evidence, on Russian bounties” – The Hill/ David B. Rivkin, Jr., George S. Beebe

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… [1][H]ow credible are the sources? … not very. … militants and criminals captured and interrogated by Afghanistan’s government. … Captured militants frequently tell … interrogators things they hope … [bring] lenient treatment. Others relate … little more than hearsay. … [2][W]hat other information might support or disconfirm the allegations? …. [I]f the Times report of large financial transfers … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Kremlin’s View of U.S.’s War in Afghanistan Has Shifted” – Wall Street Journal/ Alan Cullison

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Deteriorating U.S.-Russian ties adversely affect a once-shared goal, leading to a U.S. intelligence assessment of bounties paid to Taliban.” “For years … the U.S. and Russia shared a goal of deposing the Taliban government and hunting down its remnants …. [T]hat … crumbled … amid mutual suspicion and U.S. plans to leave Afghanistan with the Taliban undefeated. Today… [there is] […]

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What Does Russia Want In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

… Trump tweeted that the intelligence reports were not deemed credible and the Kremlin and the Taliban have rejected reports alleging that officers of the GRU – Russia’s foreign military intelligence — either paid or offered money for killing American soldiers […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Intelligence officials cast doubt on Times’ Russia-Taliban bounty scheme: report” – New York Post/ Ebony Bowden

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Intelligence officials say a news report about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan does not match ‘verifiable’ Taliban activity and was never presented to … Trump because it was not deemed credible. The National Security Agency reviewed the claims contained in the New York Times report but found it did ‘not match well established and verifiable […]

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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 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pentagon announces $250 million in security assistance to Ukraine” – CNN/ Ryan Browne

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… ‘[DOD] announced … plans for $250 million in Fiscal Year 2020 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds for additional training, equipment, and advisory efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression,’ the Pentagon said in a statement …. the ‘funds — $125 million of which was conditional on Ukraine’s progress on defense reforms — […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s new nuclear policy could be a path to arms control treaties” – Defense News/ Sarah Bidgood

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

… the U.S. and Russia have traditionally been able to work together to mitigate mutual threats even when their bilateral relationship is in crisis […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A brazen foray into the Barents yields predictable Cold War-type friction” – Responsible Statecraft/ Lyle J. Goldstein

File Photo of U.S. Naval Ships in Joint Exercises with UK in Barents Sea, adapted from defense.gov image with photo credit to U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Nichols

” … [M]ilitary escalations in the High North need more attention … [not] the [U.S.] media focus … on … Russian trolls, social media influence peddlers, spies, and various ‘useful idiots.’ … [W]hen the New York Times … seemingly … tr[ied] to investigate what might actually be going on under the … waters of the Barents and off the Norwegian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Nuclear Deterrent Policy Allows Nuclear Strikes Against Non-Nuclear Threats” – AP

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… Putin … endorsed Russia’s nuclear deterrent policy which allows him to use atomic weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting … critical government and military infrastructure. … including a non-nuclear attack as a possible trigger for Russian nuclear retaliation … The new expanded wording reflects Russian concerns about the development of prospective weapons that could give Washington the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NATO holds first post-Cold War exercise in Barents Sea – Russian Defense Ministry” – Interfax

NATO Meeting File Photo

NATO has stepped up military activity in the Arctic and has begun practicing intercepting Russian ballistic missiles in this area, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operative Directorate Sergei Rudskoi said […]

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U.S.-Russia Deconflicting 75 Years Ago: Flares and Friendly Fire at the Elbe

File Photo of American Soldier Meeting Soviet Soldiers in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

… 75 years ago, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River in Germany at the end of the European phase of World War II. The anniversary prompted current leaders of the U.S. and Russia to transcend … frosty relations … and issue a rare joint declaration ….

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Is Testing US Military for Weaknesses Amid Pandemic, General Says” – Military.com/ Gina Harkins

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

“Russia is testing whether the U.S. military has developed any weaknesses during the novel coronavirus crisis, a top general said, noting three run-ins with that country’s planes over a two-month period. ‘We just want to make it very clear to them … there are no vulnerabilities as a result of COVID-19,’ Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. should revive Lend-Lease to contain Russia” – Atlantic Council/ Stephen Blank

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Moscow’s hybrid war against the Western world continues unabated. … There are many advantages to a modern-day revival of the Lend-Lease concept. Firstly, it materially strengthens Ukraine by demonstrating growing U.S. support …. Secondly, this plan would help increase allied security and capabilities in threatened areas such as Romania in the Black Sea region and Poland in the north. […]

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Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among U.S. Troops

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Jeff Seldin – WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2019) Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NSA Forms Cybersecurity Directorate Under More Assertive U.S. Effort; Anne Neuberger, tapped as head, warns against ‘not engaging in the fight'” – Wall Street Journal/ Dustin Volz

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“[NSA] will create a cybersecurity directorate later this year as part of a wider effort to more closely align the agency’s offensive and defensive operations, U.S. officials said. Anne Neuberger has been tapped to lead the new directorate, slated to become operational Oct. 1. The creation of the directorate and selection of … Neuberger coincide with a broader fusion of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin and Trump’s Ominous Nostalgia for the Second World War” –  The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

“… Victory Day is undoubtedly Russia’s most important, most grandly celebrated, and most political holiday. … not observed … immediately following the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated twenty-seven million people; it became a holiday a generation later … gain[ing] in prominence as the U.S.S.R. unleashed less righteous battles abroad …. After the Soviet Union […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. rolls ‘100K tons of international diplomacy’ into the Med. Will Russia get the message?” – Defense News/ Matthew Bodner

File Photo of Poritions of U.S. Navy Carrier Groups Lincoln and Stennis in Mediterranean, adapted from defense.gov image relating to defense.gov video

“…. ‘Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean as this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy,’ Huntsman said …. ‘Diplomatic communication and dialogue, coupled with the strong defenses these ships provide, demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United states, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world.’ …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Presses Case for Greater Control Over Its Internet” – AP

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“… Kremlin spokesman [Peskov] said … reports that the U.S. military carried out a cyberattack in Russia ahead of the U.S. midterm elections proves that the country needs to create its own, self-controlled segment of the internet. Russia’s parliament this month passed the first reading of a bill that proposes all internet traffic be routed through servers in Russia. Opponents […]

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Do Trump’s Afghanistan Claims Mirror Moscow’s Rhetoric?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – January 11, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/do-trumps-afghanistan-claims-mirror-moscows-rhetoric) Earlier this month, President Donald Trump offered his take on Soviet Russia’s experiences in Afghanistan as he argued in favor of a huge U.S. troop withdrawal and a larger contribution by Moscow to stabilize the war-racked country. The U.S. president put forward two basic propositions: that the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Outlines Broader Missile-Defense Strategy; Plan’s vision includes space-based sensors to detect hostile or accidental launches” – Wall Street Journal/ Gordon Lubold, Courtney McBride

Mssile Defense Control Room

“… Trump called … for … expanded and more sophisticated missile-defense … and said America’s allies must share in future costs …. The missile-defense plan, put forth by … Trump … at the Pentagon, is laid out in a review ordered early in the Trump administration and issued Thursday, the first such review in nine years. … call[ing] for new, […]

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NEWSLINK: “American Charged in Russia Also Holds British, Canadian and Irish Citizenship” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“A former U.S. Marine arrested on espionage charges in Russia was removed from the military for trying to steal more than $10,000 in government cash while deployed at a base in Iraq, according to details of Defense Department court records released Friday. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Think tank: NATO must prepare to counter a rapid Russia invasion in Europe” – Military Times/ Stephen Losey

NATO Meeting file photo

“Russia is positioned to quickly defeat forward-deployed U.S. and NATO forces and grab land before reinforcements could arrive, according to a new paper from the Atlantic Council …. In the Dec. 13 paper, ‘Permanent Deterrence: Enhancements to the U.S. Military Presence in North Central Europe,’ former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove and former Deputy […]

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Russia Rises To Second In Global Arms Sales, With U.S. Still At No. 1

File Photo of T-72 Tanks in Bulgaria, adapted from image at defense.gov, with photo credit to Cpl. Immanuel Johnson

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dec. 10, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) The United States remains the global leader in arms sales, while Russia has surpassed Britain to take the No. 2 spot as it attempts to modernize its military, a leading research group says. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Cold War Arms Treaty Is Unraveling. But the Problem Is Much Bigger.” – New York Times/David E. Sanger, William J. Broad

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… The United States and Russia no longer have a monopoly on the missiles that … Reagan and … Gorbachev agreed in 1987 to ban with the … I.N.F.[] agreement. … China relies on similar missiles for 95 percent of its ground-based fleet, and Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Taiwan are among the 10 states with similar, fast-growing […]

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Any U.S.-Russia Military Clash ‘Highly Likely’ to Escalate into Nuclear War, Arbatov Says

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 4, 2018) Aleksey Arbatov, a foreign policy specialist at the Institute of World Economics and International affairs, says that “any armed clash between Russia and the US with a high degree of probability will escalate into nuclear war,” a warning reflecting an all too real possibility but also one intended to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. military might ‘struggle to win, or perhaps lose’ war with China or Russia, report says” – CBS

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

“Absent renewed investment … and … strategic realignment of its … capabilities, the U.S. military could lose the next state-versus-state war it fights, according to … the National Defense Strategy Commission. ‘America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt’ … ‘It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Russian envoy warns U.S. on missile deployment after treaty exit; Stationing new weapons in Europe could spark ‘dramatic events’, says Vladimir Chizhov” – Financial Times/ Michael Peel

EU Map

“…. Trump’s decision last month to pull out of the [INF Treaty] [reportedly came] because Russia has allegedly long breached it – an accusation Moscow denies. U.S. officials have been visiting European capitals to discuss next steps … rul[ing] out the deployment of new nuclear weapons on the continent and [saying] there were no plans to add any conventional missiles […]

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With Russia and the U.S., Nuclear Risks Never Go Out of Vogue

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Jon B. Wolfsthal – November 8, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/russia-and-us-nuclear-risks-never-go-out-vogue) Jon B. Wolfsthal is the director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and a former senior director on the National Security Council. This week marks an important nuclear milestone of the Cold War: Thirty-five years ago, the United States almost accidentally provoked the Soviet Union into starting […]

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NATO’s Trident Juncture Exercise as a Deterrence Signal to Russia

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Dmitry Gorenburg – November 1, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/natos-trident-juncture-exercise-deterrence-signal-russia) Dmitry Gorenburg is a senior research scientist in the strategic studies division of CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization based in Virginia. He is also an associate of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the editor of Problems of Post-Communism. This week, NATO […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Pentagon Has Prepared a Cyberattack Against Russia; U.S. military hackers have been given the go-ahead to gain access to Russian cybersystems as part of potential retaliation for any meddling in America’s elections.” – Center for Public Integrity/ Zachary Fryer-Biggs/ The Daily Beast

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“The U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon have quietly agreed on the outlines of an offensive cyberattack … if Russia electronically interferes with the 2018 midterm election [according to unnamed officials] …. U.S. military hackers have been given the go-ahead to gain access to Russian cybersystems … needed to let the plan unfold quickly …. one of the first major […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, the victim? Opposite NATO’s eastern flank, it’s an expansionist West causing anxiety” – Defense News/Matthew Bodner

NATO Meeting file photo

“… NATO has long been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite foreign boogeyman and, as far as political footballs go, this one has been easy and fruitful to kick around at home. … NATO troops and hardware are being forward deployed to former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe; in June, the alliance unveiled a new initiative – dubbed the ‘Four 30s’ […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. may rearm some strategic delivery vehicles reequipped under New START with up to 2,000 nuclear warheads – Ryabkov” – Interfax

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – The United States could potentially rearm some of its strategic delivery vehicles reequipped under the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (New START) with up to 2,000 nuclear warheads, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “One of the major issues we are continuing to discuss with the Americans, including within the framework of the Bilateral Consultative […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “More U.S. Marines to train in Norway, closer to Russia” – Reuters

Map of Norway and Region, with Norway Highlighted, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“The United States will more than double the number of Marines stationed in Norway [from 330 to 700] … the Norwegian defence ministry said …. [That and] and moving some of them closer to the border with Russia … triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans ‘clearly unfriendly.’ … Oslo, increasingly concerned about Russia since the [2014] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Gorky Park, with nuclear worries” – The Hill/Matthew Bunn

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… U.S. nuclear weapons are aimed at military targets, from nuclear missile silos to military bases and production facilities. But many of those targets are located not far from cities, and the terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons does not discriminate. … Today, both Russia and the United States are modernizing their nuclear forces to keep these threats robust for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “This is not a hoax, and things are not okay” – Washington Post/Joe Scarborough

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“… Imagine that U.S. military leaders spent most of 1941 warning President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Democratic Party of a coming Pearl Harbor attack. Then imagine history’s harsh judgment against FDR’s party had it ignored those concerns, voted against efforts to fortify the Pacific fleet and plotted the firing of generals who were working to expose the looming Japanese […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Roads Could Win or Lose a War With Russia; Amid cries to increase NATO defense spending, many see investments in heavy vehicles and good roads as ways to deter Russia” – Popular Mechanics

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

“As Russia rises in Eastern Europe, the best deterrence against Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical ambitions may not be more tanks and missiles, but new roads that can carry heavy civilian transport vehicles. That could solve NATO’s big problem, which is the inability to get vehicles and supplies where they’re needed fast. Roads Win Wars: The strategic challenge for NATO is easy […]

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Big Weapons, Big Meeting: Could Trump, Putin Agree On New Arms Control Deal?

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – July 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/big-weapons-big-meeting-could-trump-putin-agree-on-new-arms-control-deal-/29365115.html) Just before departing Washington to travel to the NATO summit in Brussels, a meeting with Britain’s prime minister in England, and an upcoming meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, U.S. President Donald Trump made […]

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