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Russia Releases New Rules For Using Nuclear Weapons In War

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Russia Releases New Rules For Using Nuclear Weapons In War

Click to see the full-size image. Source: statista.com

Russia has revised its rules for resorting to nuclear weapons in the event of war as part of its military doctrines and rules of engagement, widening the scope of its available strategies as it struggles to get the United States to return to international agreements and treaties limiting the development, deployment and use of nuclear weapons.

The document, recently approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, outlines four scenarios in which Moscow would order the use of nuclear weapons. Two of the scenarios are new and involve potential instances of nuclear first-use, something Russia had previously categorically rejected.

The established protocols permit use when an enemy uses nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction on Russia or its allies, and in situations when conventional weapons “threaten the very existence of the country.”

The two new provisions include cases in which the government receives “reliable information” that a ballistic missile attack is imminent or if enemies damage the nation’s critical and military facilities to the degree that the ability to retaliate with nuclear weapons is disrupted.

The document states that containing and deterring aggressions against Russia is “among the highest national priorities.” Ultimately, Moscow’s nuclear weapons policy is described as being “defensive in nature” and designed to safeguard the country’s sovereignty against potential adversaries.

The United States has remained ambiguous about the tenets of its own thresholds for using nuclear weapons. The latest Nuclear Posture Review, published in 2018, stated the country considers using nuclear weapons “only in extreme cases when it is forced to defend the U.S. or its allies or partners.” Unlike Russia, however, for many years the US has refused to rule out the first use of nuclear weapons in a conflict, and has even threatened to use them against countries which do not have nuclear weapons and have no way of striking US territory. How many times have we heard warmongering US politicians bleating ferociously, “All options are on the table!!!”

However, a hastily retracted document disclosed last year by the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated a more potentially broader application for such weapons of mass destruction. “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” one passage said. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

The White House recently announced its decision to exit the Open Skies Treaty that allows for the mutual passage of spy planes over U.S. and Russian territory, and in August last year also exited the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banning land-launched missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,420 miles, and has since tested such weapons.

President Donald Trump also appears set to allow a historic treaty limiting and allowing information-sharing mechanisms of the U.S. and Russia’s arsenals expire. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) limits Russian and U.S. deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers to 700 each. Deployed warheads on either side may not exceed 1,550 and deployed and non-deployed launchers were capped at 800.

The deal, signed in 2010 as the successor to the original START, expires next February and Washington has so far rebuffed Moscow’s call to renew the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the latest and last remaining non-proliferation agreement between two nations once locked in a nuclear-fueled arms race. The pact mandates the U.S. and Russia maintain limits, mutual verification and inspection regimes and, perhaps most importantly, channels of communication regarding their nuclear stockpiles and its expiration could lead the pair to once again enter into a dangerous cycle of amassing new, more powerful weapons of war.

The first START was signed in 1991 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev. It was later followed by the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) in 2003 and New START in 2011. All these agreements are designed to restrict the number of warheads and launchers both Washington and Moscow can possess.

As of their last exchange last September, the U.S. possesses 668 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers and Russia has 513 such deployed platforms out of a limit of 700.

The introduction of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) means that each nuclear-capable missile may carry a number of warheads. As a result, New START also restricts the number of deployed warheads to 1,550, with the U.S. currently deploying 1,376 and Russia deploying 1,426. Finally, the U.S. meets the cap of deployed and non-deployed launchers of ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers exactly at 800, while Russia maintains 757.

Instead, the White House has sought a new agreement involving new, more advanced weapons platforms including highly-maneuverable, hypersonic missiles, as well as other countries, in particular China, which has declined to subject its much smaller arsenal to such restrictions.

The State Department reiterated this offer for a trilateral arms arrangement on the 50th anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian rejected it. Beijing, which has significantly less nuclear warheads than Moscow and Washington, seeks multilateral cooperation, but not limitation.

“China has repeatedly reiterated that it has no intention of participating in the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations with the U.S. and Russia. This position is very clear,” Zhao said Friday. “The pressing issue on nuclear disarmament at the moment is for the United States to respond to Russia’s call to extend the New START Treaty, and further downsize its huge nuclear arsenal. This will create conditions for other nuclear weapon states to join multilateral disarmament talks.”

Russia has also criticized the Trump administration’s pursuit and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads, arguing it may raise the prospects of a nuclear conflict. At the same time, however, the United States estimates its top foe has up to 2,000 such warheads.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Friday criticized the efforts to revamp the U.S. nuclear warhead arsenal. Among the weapons being developed and deployed is the W76-2, a nuclear warhead with lower yields that could make them a more readily-available option in the event of a conflict.

“We note that Washington is not just modernizing its nuclear forces, but is striving to give them new capabilities, which significantly expands the likelihood of their use…

Of particular concern in this regard are U.S. actions to increase the range of low-power assets in its nuclear arsenal, including the development and deployment of such munitions for strategic carriers. This clearly leads to lowering the ‘threshold’ for the use of nuclear weapons.”

The U.S. and Russia have long accused one another of developing tactical nuclear devices, perhaps less destructive than their larger counterparts but still extremely more powerful than even the most earth-shattering conventional munitions. The US’ accusations in this respect have been used to justify the acknowledged development and deployment of such weapon systems, rather than seeking to negotiate a verification regime to investigate their respective allegations and concerns.

Maria Zakharova told reporters in this respect:

“One gets the impression that in Washington they have decided to purposefully consider nuclear conflict as a viable political option and create the corresponding potential for this.”

Instead of blaming Russia and China for the US’ unilateral treaty violations: “A much more effective way to ensure national security is to continue the policy of arms control and establish peaceful interaction with other states, to which we again call on the United States.”


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Assad must stay

Russia probably wouldnt be revising its policy if US wasn’t so insane and hellbent, they have really lost their brains to think they can win a nuclear war

S Melanson

Reagan initiated negotiations in 1982 but was no longer President when the Start 1 Treaty Was signed July 31 of 1991. George H.W. Bush signed it.

The pace of dismantling of the system of arms control treaties is breathtaking. These treaties involved painful protracted negotiations over a period of decades – the mutual deep mistrust a major obstacle to overcome.

These treaties may be easily swept away, but also swept away will be the trust that had been built up over decades. Bringing back what was lost will like before take decades if not longer. There is the saying that a good reputation can take years to develop and yet can be lost in a day.

Why is the US going this direction? Any guesses?

Jens Holm

Biden must be next. USA partly will come back to what is was before Trump.

Its not easy to regain destructions and things has changed since rhen too and will.

As written before. USA needs a Sanders for reforms, but they will get a mild version of Hillary being a little more pacifistic and with a little more common sense.

Well, sometimes I see Boden as a kind of senile too. Has he energy for it. Can he employ good people for the many needed things.

I amsure Biden, if elected, has to fokus on a lot of internal solutions.

Ivan Freely

Don’t be so sure. I find it difficult to believe the Electoral College would select a candidate that’s clearly mentally unfit to be POTUS.

Jens Holm

Haha. Im not from over there, but they did elect Trump and I do remember Nixon in black and white.

Danes has had very unfit leaders too, but we are still here :)


I for one have no problem believing it. They chose Trump, didn’t they?
They do what they are told to do.

Jens Holm

Trump was a reaction to the establishment. Now we see the surprice as it is.

Biden is a part of the establishment too. So we and they are back,where reforms are needed very much.

I doubt he can do big needed things. To me he is more like a good number rwo, which sometimes can be much better then a bad number one.

I think he listen. People which listen sometimes can accomplich thing better then most think – And sometimes hardly nothing.

John Wallace

Biden is just as corrupt as others. Laughing on TV about telling the Ukraine President to get the investigation into his sons corrupt Ukraine dealings scrapped or he would block millions of dollars of aid.. Bought and paid for so will do as he is TOLD and he has dementia so often thinks Hilary is is wife. What a joke. So a choice between a joke or a clown for POTUS. The world is F….ked .. Have a look at Lance Chambers answer to a moron on quora.
https://www.quora.com/Huawei-has-been-forced-to-corner-by-Trump-and-now-they-are-withdrawing-all-57-factories-out-of-the-USA-Is-this-good-for-America ..
. The video of May driving on the Chines motorways is worth the effort alone

Jens Holm

Just an evil comment of many from Ypu about USA. If all was true, they had collapsed many years ago.

John Wallace

Nothing evil about FACTS Jens. Just because YOU have not seen all or any of what I said does not mean that it didn’t happen. What that means is you are ignorant of the facts and need too educate yourself BEFORE making your outlandish bullshit claims. Everything I have said has been recorded as it happened so go and check it out yourself you dumb fuckwit. Go fuck yourself you dumb arsehole. Get a brain and get the facts before you talk out of your arsehole. Have a nice day idiot.

Ivan Freely

The simple answer is desperation to maintain Empire, and paranoia on the consequences of failing to do so. The ruling elites of the US realized that they’re behind the 8-ball. They know that their past actions was terrible and believe their victims would be looking for retribution. They also see their adversaries are quickly leaping ahead much quicker than they thought especially China.

To make matters worse, the US ruling elites are divided among themselves, hence the lashing out at everyone. The various factions need to accomplish their own agenda before time runs out.

High debt, failed economy, and a very large pissed off armed citizenry means political and social instability that could potentially rip the country apart. The implosion of the US is going to be spectacular when compared to the Soviet Union.


The US is in terminal and self inflicted decline as in all past empires.In my opinion, only a US civil war that decimates and degrades the crazies on both sides+ Israel, can create an environment where the good and sane people of the US can take control.
The existing ‘ idiotology ‘ of the US can only lead to WW3, that the US will lose, and by extension, Israel will lose her cash cow and enforcer.

Jens Holm

We all should have at least one. If we thibk we dont behave well, its easy to selfdeonate Ourselves.

Start with Iran, but keep away from Teheran Airport.

Tommy Jensen

What is it you dont like about Iran? Everybody should be snitches and cowards like Danes?

Jens Holm

Iran has given Danish treachers and specialists asked for by the Bagdad Governes Ballistics as we are with USA agaist Iran.

And Iran: Normally they are like nothing or none to me because they are theior own, but I can never axccept a religios state and its priorities such as Iran.

And the ususal hostile phrase abot being cowards. We dont care because we already know who we are in plusses and also minus. Its a local phrase among several others and also used by hardheads in several other coutries.

Its probatly the same here about pigs. About 6 nillons opf the world has it as a cleaner making almost everything to usefull stuff.

When You write bad things about pigs, we smile and say You probatly smell worse then them and are less bright too.

So much from peple like You are internal constructed crap excuses for doing absoluyly nothing Yourself. No wonder You are like that. Allah made Your woemen as clay and therefore You also are like mud and sun dryed brick in Your minds.

So now You know its not only about Iran but about the poeple which choose to learn nothing.


Russia should specifically spell out that it will launch first strike on USNato if it has reliable info that USNato has developed low yield nuke or new WMD and intend to use them. Also it will provide sufficient nuke for retaliation to non nuclear nations like Iran, Syria, Cuba, NK, Venezuela..if they are threatened/ attacked by US nuke.

That will nullify all US attempt and kill its ambition to use low yield intermediate missiles for military nomination over nations like Iran it can’t win decisively in conventional war.

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