Moscow disappointed by content of new US Nuclear Doctrine

Sunday, 04 Feb, 2018

The US accusations against Moscow set out in the latest Nuclear Posture Review "have nothing do with reality", the ministry said in a statement on Saturday as it expressed its "deep disappointment" with the document.

Fried said that both Russian Federation and China were given advance copies of the NPR to make clear US policy and avoid the "risk of miscalculation".

The Pentagon released its new nuclear weapons strategy on Friday afternoon, announcing that two new types of weapons will be made and effectively reversing the Obama administration's policy to reduce America's nuclear arsenal and de-emphasize nuclear warfare as a defense strategy.

"We, of course, will have to take into account the approach enacted now in Washington and to take the needed measures to secure our own safety", the ministry said.

USA nuclear weapons have made the world safer and more peaceful. Clearly, it is senseless to speak now about whatever details of Russia's response to the American doctrine.

The thought is with the low-yield weapons, other countries with the weapons would not use them for fears of retaliation from the U.S. These low-yield weapons address the capabilities gap perceived by our adversaries.

Victims of the USA atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 say they fear a tragedy will be repeated.

"This country possesses an extremely robust, highly credible nuclear deterrent that is capable of responding to any attack and defending our allies with decisive force", said Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, adding the advanced weapons will "lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons".

However, Russia in recent years has modernized its nuclear force and "even more troubling has been Russia's adoption of military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation for their success", the NPR stated.

Where the new review parts company with its predecessor is in calling for the development of new, less powerful nuclear warheads (known as "low-yield) to put on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and, in the longer term, a new submarine-launched nuclear cruise missile".

The report was the first public mention that Russian Federation is developing a new "intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo".

Rob Soofer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, said the introduction of new capabilities should in fact raise the threshold by making Russian Federation less likely to think it can get away with a limited nuclear attack against the United States or its allies.

A risky disconnect is emerging between the horrific impacts of even the limited use of nuclear weapons and leaders and policymakers who seem intent on threatening nuclear use in an ever-expanding range of scenarios.

The Pentagon's nuclear review concluded that while arms control can advance American interests, "further progress is hard to envision", in light of what the USA considers Russia's aggression in Ukraine and violations of existing arms deals.

Moscow also expressed its concern over the fact that the USA maintains and upgrades its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, deploying them "in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders". The treaty bans testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500km.

Some experts have questioned the expansion. The previous similar document was approved under President Barack Obama in 2010.

The Nuclear Posture Reviewdescribed a "new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo", which could be deployed from beneath a submarine.

In 2015, reports about the existence of the weapon first emerged, when Russian state television showed images of President Vladimir Putin visiting naval commanders in Sochi, with one shot showing an officer looking at what appeared to be plans for a Status-6 torpedo.

However, Shanahan said that the NPR also "clarifies" the long-standing policy to state that "extreme circumstances" could include "significant non-nuclear strategic attacks" that would bring about a USA nuclear response.

The administration's view is that Russian policies and actions are fraught with potential for miscalculation leading to an uncontrolled escalation of conflict in Europe. American deployment of the missile would violate an existing arms-control treaty between Moscow and Washington.