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A New Nuclear Weapons Doctrine 2008 Part Two

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Andrei Kislyakov
Moscow (UPI) Jan 31, 2008
If the Kremlin's new military doctrine endorses the General Staff's nuclear ideas, Russia will have new armed forces, with all the ensuing consequences.

First, these forces will become strictly offensive because of the very nature of a pre-emptive strike. This will require totally different mobilization plans and a new approach to recruiting for the Russian army and navy. Considering the number and geography of military-political conflicts in which Russia is in some way involved, this will require the deployment of mobilized troops on a territory stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific.

It is not difficult to predict the economic consequences Russia would face in this case. But let's come back to the Russian armed forces. Permanent readiness to resolve tasks militarily -- by offensive operations in an indefinitely vast number of directions -- implies the permanent enhanced combat readiness of all units, without exception. Otherwise the very idea of a pre-emptive strike will not work. For such a policy to be effective, Russia should be ready to deal this strike from a broad diversity of geographical locations on its own territory, neutral air space, and the world's oceans.

If the recent words of four-star Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian General Staff, are heeded, Russia will have to equip all the services of its armed forces with permanently combat-ready nuclear weapons. Nobody can guess who will use them first.

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."

This only concerns tactical, rather than strategic, nuclear weapons. It is clearly impossible to counter terrorist threats in the southeast direction or neutralize U.S. anti-ballistic missile deployment in Europe with intercontinental ballistic missiles or their submarine counterparts, SLBMs.

In other words, Russia will need a very broad range of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Such weapons are designed to destroy battlefield targets, rather than entire cities, and could take the form of medium- and shorter-range missiles launched from air, land or sea, as well as artillery ammunition and nuclear demolition charges.

Considering that Russia has a huge advantage over the United States in tactical warheads, bilateral relations could become quite complicated if the Kremlin starts deploying our weapons on the ground, in the air and at sea.

It would be natural to ask why Russia is choosing the offensive option, and whether there are alternatives to it. But that is a subject for another discussion.

(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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A New Nuclear Weapons Doctrine 2008 Part One
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.







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