I recently received an email update from ThreatJournal.com which chronicled recent comments made from both Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin.
Lets cut to the chase:
Rogozin threatened the nuclear option while in a speech before Russian lawmakers about U.S. plans to deploy the Prompt Global Strike system, which is capable of hitting targets anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than one hour. The system uses a Minuteman missile to loft a hypersonic glide delivery vehicle. Currently available stats (PDF) indicate the system would be capable of delivering a 1000 pound conventional warhead with amazing precision and force.
“One can experiment as long as one wishes by deploying non-nuclear warheads on strategic missile carriers. But one should keep in mind that if there is an attack against us, we will certainly resort to using nuclear weapons in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests.”
Rogozin also reiterated that Russian military doctrine dictates nuclear weapons can be used against those who strike first with conventional arms.
Additionally it is reported President Putin……
…….. in in his State of the Nation speech on Thursday, also issued a veiled threat, saying that conventional weapons systems designed to disarm a country’s nuclear capability could have “extremely negative consequences” for global security and that Russia was closely following the development of so-called “disarming instantaneous global strike” programs, as they could harm the international balance of power.
“The ramping up of high-precision strategic non-nuclear systems by foreign countries, in combination with the buildup of missile defense capabilities, could negate all previously reached agreements in the area of limiting and reducing strategic nuclear weapons, and could lead to the destruction of the so-called strategic balance of powers.”
Readers are reminded that Russia has increasingly relied on nuclear weapons in its military doctrine in order to compensate for a post-Soviet decline in conventional forces. They have repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear weapons against the U.S. and NATO in the past 6 years (See this, and this.).
It is never a good situation to have nuclear threat made against the United States. With our current administration there is likely not to be much of a response beyond placing tail between the legs. In all seriousness – the world continues to be a very dangerous place and I can’t help but get the feeling that Putin is aiming to take Russia to be THE super power in the world. If that is correct that does not bode well for the United States.