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A New Nuclear Weapons Doctrine 2008 Part One

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Andrei Kislyakov
Moscow (UPI) Jan 30, 2008
Barely a month into the new year, the Russian military has already attracted a lot of attention. Following a mild verbal skirmish over anti-ballistic missile components after the holidays, Russian and foreign generals have decided to talk in the open.

In a move that mirrors recent discussion amongst Russia's own top brass, NATO's April summit in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, is widely expected to discuss a report on a potential pre-emptive nuclear strike.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, the authors of the report are convinced there is a real risk that terrorists could lay their hands on weapons of mass destruction in the near or immediate future. To counter this, the alliance may consider suppressing the enemy with nuclear weapons.

Though the report is likely to cause controversy among NATO countries, the authors appear to be merely echoing an idea originally broached by Russian Chief of General Staff four-star Gen. Yury Baluyevsky.

Speaking at a meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow on Jan. 19, Baluyevsky declared that force should be used not only in the course of hostilities, but also to demonstrate the readiness of leaders to uphold their national interests. "We are not going to attack anyone," he reassured his audience, "but we want all our partners to realize that Russia will use armed force to defend its own and its allies' sovereignty and territorial integrity. It may resort to a pre-emptive nuclear strike in cases specified by its doctrine." It is strange that many esteemed domestic military experts consider this statement simply a repetition of Russia's old military doctrine, which allowed it to use nuclear weapons first.

Under the 2000 doctrine, Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons not only in retaliation against a nuclear attack, as was previously the case, but in response to "a large-scale conventional aggression in a situation critical for the national security of the Russian Federation and its allies." This certainly broadens the rules of engagement, but still does not envisage a pre-emptive nuclear strike without hostilities.

Baluyevsky's announcement appears to change this, in which case Russia will need a new military doctrine. This is not a new task. In early March last year the U.N. Security Council news service released a statement saying that the U.N. Security Council would revise the 2000 military doctrine to account for new realities. The statement added that the new doctrine would be drafted by the U.N. Security Council in conjunction with interested government bodies and a number of scientific institutions.

Baluyevsky thus made his recent statement at an organization that is quite suitable for the drafting of the new doctrine.

However, if the new doctrine endorses the Russian General Staff's nuclear ideas, Russia will have new armed forces, with all the ensuing consequences.

(Next: The consequences of a new nuclear doctrine)

(Andrei Kislyakov is a political correspondent for RIA Novosti. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com



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Commentary: Talibanization and nukes
Washington (UPI) Jan 30, 2008
One wing of the Taliban movement wants to give its top priority to demoralizing and evicting the United States and its NATO allies from Afghanistan. The other, led by Baitullah Mehsud, the man who allegedly ordered the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, wants to focus on the Talibanization of Pakistan. Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed Taliban leader whose movement was deposed and who has been in hiding since the U.S.-led invasion a month after Sept. 11, 2001, resurfaced -- long enough to fire Mehsud.







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