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25 Apr, 2019 10:41

US ‘not interested in matching new Russian weapons’, but will use nukes if it 'has to'

US ‘not interested in matching new Russian weapons’, but will use nukes if it 'has to'

Despite a defense budget bigger than the next 7 countries combined, the US says Russia is pulling ahead in a new arms race, and the Pentagon has no choice but to rely on its nuclear deterrent. But how sincere are they being?

“It takes two to race,” David Trachtenberg, the US deputy undersecretary of defense, said this week, adding that America is “not interested in matching the Russians system for system.” He also casually noted that “the Russians are developing an incredible amount of new nuclear weapons systems” and generally “are doing a number of things we are simply not doing.”

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Talking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, a leading think tank, Trachtenberg said that Russia has recently launched a “military modernization program” by “completely rescaling and replacing a lot of their nuclear systems both at the strategic level and the non-strategic level.”

Russian weapons developers would be flattered to hear that they are getting so far ahead… but are they?

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After all, the US had not been planning to develop its own mid-range missiles in circumvention of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty for years, and did not even think about spending $2.6 billion to develop its own hypersonic weapons. America is also far from seeking to acquire state-of-the-art technologies in the fields of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence and would never spend billions on that!

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And it certainly never wanted to expand the war-fighting domain further by weaponizing space. Not to mention even more bizarre projects, like space-based ‘death ray’ systems, which the Pentagon has never spoken of.

And the Pentagon never requested $25 billion to modernize the nuclear triad, as well as for sharing nuclear strategy and nuclear deployment capacity with its NATO partners as part of its 2020 budget.

It is certainly not US and Western military jets that are snooping near Russian borders in ever increasing numbers. And all the war games NATO has been holding on Russia’s doorstep are, of course, only aimed at helping Moscow enhance its security.

On only one issue did the Pentagon official not play the lamb.

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The US “has both the will and the means to use its nuclear weapons,” but only so that Washington’s allies “take comfort” in strong US support.

“We continue to engage with allies and partners so they understand our commitment to extend deterrence to them,” Trachtenberg explained.

But all this is merely to stop Russia from knowing just how much stronger it is than NATO.

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“We are trying to take some modest steps in order to lower Russia’s sense of confidence that what they are doing gives them some kind of exploitable advantage that could lead to a miscalculation on their part that we absolutely do not want to see,” he said.

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