Russian generals want to “bang” on America first

Geopolitical tensions forced Moscow to update the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons

In the context of the security crisis in the world, Russia decided to define new conditions for the use of nuclear weapons. The initiative was made by members of the Committee on Defense and Security of the Council of the Federation, together with representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff and the Security Council.


According to the senators, it is necessary to clearly define the conditions for a response to the use of hypersonic weapons and other types of strategic non-nuclear weapons by the enemy. For this, a new edition of the “Fundamentals of the Russian Federation Policy in the Field of Nuclear Deterrence” should be prepared.


In addition, the country needs to develop a draft “National Military Strategy,” say politicians and the military.


Overseas experts immediately tied the initiative to the recent performance of Vladimir Putin in Valdai. Then the President of the Russian Federation made it clear that despite the refusal of Russia to deliver a preventive nuclear strike, the aggressor would not remain without retribution.


What specific changes are assumed is not yet clear.


“It can be assumed that the bar may be slightly lower – will Russia use nuclear weapons, perhaps in smaller quantities, in response to a strategic non-nuclear attack on certain vital interests?” Asked the director of the Russian and Eurasian programs of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington Olga Oliker.


So, can Russia stop being shy at last and allow itself a full-fledged preemptive nuclear strike?


Indeed, at present, according to Article 27 of the “Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation”, the use of nuclear weapons is possible either in response to an enemy nuclear strike, or in the event of the threat to the existence of Russia as a result of aggression with the use of conventional weapons.


At the same time, the nuclear doctrine of the likely adversary is that the United States assumes a nuclear strike even in response to a “hacker attack” against America. Since external observers are simply not in a position to fix the hacker attack, this is only a pretext and we are actually talking about the possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike.


  • Permission to use nuclear weapons in the event of a threat to the existence of a state is too general words, – said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine.

– For example, the decapitating strike of the enemy on the points of state and military control with the aim of destroying the combat management system of the Armed Forces and strategic nuclear weapons – is this a threat to the existence of the country? In my opinion, yes. And there are a lot of such criteria.


Therefore, the need for specification. In this we can agree with the members of the Federation Council. And it would be good for this document to be in the public domain, as this in itself would have a deterrent effect.


  • We cannot say that Russia refused to use nuclear weapons first, – continues Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis.

– But it is necessary to clarify the wording. What is meant by a threat to the existence of the state? Relatively speaking, if China seizes the territory for which it claims on the basis of the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689, does it threaten the existence of Russia?


– It is hardly possible. Still, China is our strategic ally. But the attack on board number 1, such a threat may be quite …


– Yes, it is also interesting. All possible threats should be listed.


Military expert Boris Rozhin doubts that the political leadership of Russia will decide to give himself the right to a preventive strike.


– The old military doctrine focused on the situation of the 1990s and 2000s, when Russia pursued a different foreign policy, did not have a direct conflict with NATO, and therefore was strictly defensive. Now, as a result of the development of the Cold War and the general increase in conflict in the world, it is likely that additional corrections are needed in the country’s nuclear doctrine.


Of course, it will remain defensive, but perhaps there will be some reservations related to the US line to break the INF Treaty and START-3, which can also be broken in the near future. The movement of the positional areas of the American missile defense system to the borders of Russia – to Poland, the Czech Republic, the deployment of THAAD air defense systems in South Korea, etc. will be taken into account.


  • Can Russia allow itself to conduct of a preemptive strike in order to stand at the level of the doctrine with the United States?
  • This issue has been discussed in military circles for a long time. Especially in connection with the situation in Syria, where from time to time there is a threat of an attack on our military. Attack on Syria can be equated with an attack on Russia, and the result may be the automatic entry into force of the provisions of the nuclear doctrine. On the one hand, this increases security, on the other, it increases stakes in military conflicts and the risk of nuclear war. But it is already clear that the development of the situation between Russia and the United States will lead to some expansion of the possibilities of using nuclear weapons, which will be a compromise between the military and political leadership.

– It seems that the military, as in the famous film, are not the first to “bang” on the foe … – Yes, the military is simple. They have a plan where everything is spelled out. But politicians always strive to preserve as wide a space for decisions as possible and avoid ultimatum scenarios that in themselves lead to the transfer of all powers to the military when politicians are no longer able to influence the situation. So it was on the eve of the First World War, and during the Caribbean crisis. Therefore, both Russian and American politicians want to reserve the right of the last decision.

And here is an American political scientist, expert at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin believes that it’s time for Russia to change not only military but also foreign policy approaches.

– It’s good to know that since Pearl Harbor the entire American military-political thought is based on a preemptive nuclear strike. The attack of the Japanese then convincingly showed how smaller forces can cause serious damage. There is even an article titled “Nuclear Pearl Harbor” (nuclear Pearl Harbor). They say that the United States must frighten its opponents with a preemptive nuclear strike and thereby increase its security. Given this circumstance, as well as the fact that America is withdrawing from the INF Treaty, it is a question of using low-powered tactical weapons, modernizing a nuclear gun the use of nuclear forces only in response to a nuclear strike, or in case of defeat in a war by conventional weapons, does not correspond to time. Especially against the background of a clear increase in the competition of world powers. Therefore, our nuclear doctrine must be changed. It should have not only a military-political, but also a psychological effect on a potential aggressor. Yes, our foreign policy model should be changed.

– Namely?

– Our foreign policy is such that the rules of the game are imposed on us, and we react. And we must act proactively. To create problems for Americans around the world. Himself to invent them “Skripale”, etc. And then we all try to play with them like gentlemen in chess, and they play poker with us, and even dirty methods.