wPolityce.pl (Poland): the US is developing an Arsenal of nuclear deterrence. Moscow has lost one of the tools of pressure on Europe

Official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova a few days ago, spoke at a special press conference with criticism of the report appeared on the website of the US state Department. This document outlines the strategic importance of nuclear warheads of low power, which started to equip the submarines (we are talking about warheads W76-2 with a capacity of 5-6 kilotons).

Washington should remember that, according to Russian military doctrine, any attack using ballistic missiles would be perceived by Russia as an attack using nuclear weapons and will serve as the basis for a full-scale retaliatory strike, said Zakharov. At the same time, it added that Moscow was not guided by the principle of “escalation for the sake of de-escalation”, so the U.S. steps aimed at blocking this kind of action have no meaning.

This topic deserves attention because it deals with the key from the point of view of Polish security solutions of the Pentagon. Unequal reaction of the Russian foreign Ministry suggests that we are dealing with a very important decision, which is, surprisingly, not in Poland caused a resonance. Russian officials are striving in all situations to tell the truth, so as statements Zakharova and earlier statements by Deputy foreign Minister Ryabkov or Putin himself should not be taken at face value.

This report is a Supplement

Assistant Secretary of state for international security and arms control Christopher Ford (Christopher Ford) in the introduction to the report wrote that this text develops the theses, which appeared in “nuclear posture Review” from 2018. The document defines under what conditions and in what situations the United States may decide to use nuclear weapons for their own protection or that of its allies. It said that Washington does not exclude the possibility that in “extreme circumstances” to give a nuclear response to non-nuclear strategic strike of considerable strength. As, however, notes Ford, no previous administration has not been able to articulate what it specifically means, that is, to determine precisely when such a reaction would be appropriate, on what action a potential enemy of the US could retaliate with a nuclear strike.

A separate topic has remained a technical possibility, which the United States did not possess or possessed on a limited scale due to the unilateral decision to disarm the Obama administration (it was the refusal to use missiles “Tomahawk” on submarines) that made this kind of statement is empty. What situation say us strategists? According to them, in military strategy as the Russian Federation and China, contains provisions that allow with high probability to assume that both countries can use to guide them in their military actions (in particular in the framework of local military conflicts) by a strategy of “escalation for the sake of de-escalation”. Russian experts often call this method a controlled chain of escalation. What in General terms is it?

Imagine that Russia came into conflict with one or more members of NATO. The report’s authors do not write about it directly, but, in fact, refers to two scenarios: the attack of Russia on Poland and the Baltic States or clash in the black sea region. If in the course of a conventional conflict, the Russians decide to use tactical nuclear missiles (in this area they are much superior to the Americans) and will strike one or two targets in Europe, what are the possibilities for the reaction will remain in the United States? Until now they could rely on the doctrine of “massive retaliation”, at the risk of unleashing a global nuclear conflict.

Such a scenario seems unlikely, because since the days of President Eisenhower nobody in the United States is not considering it seriously. In turn to give an answer that is adequate in strength to beat opponents, the Americans would be difficult because they until recently had no warheads low power or their means of delivery. They would have to use strategic missiles or strategic bombers, risking the fact that Moscow considers the reaction of a full-scale attack and will give her adequate answer, and that will result in nuclear war.

If you only have this option for Washington would be difficult to make a decision on responding to the Russian or Chinese nuclear attack limited power, because it threatened to turn into a global conflict. As the authors write, “nuclear deterrence only makes sense when the United States and its allies have the opportunity to achieve their goals in the case that it will fail.” In other words, we do not want war, but if it breaks out, we will need appropriate circumstances tools.

In the course of some local conflict in Russia might be tempted to release a few missiles with nuclear warheads, if she knew that the only course of action that might apply to NATO, is associated with the risk of global nuclear confrontation. The lack of technical possibilities to respond to such a blow by blow as limited scope as suggested by the American experts, only inclines the Russians and Chinese to accept this logic.

Of course, no one has guarantees that Moscow will not accept a limited American response to the Russian attack in the wrong way, but in the end still conflict breaks out. However, as the authors of the report, the main goal of U.S. strategy is to deprive the opponents of confidence in the potential effectiveness of their nuclear strike limited scale. Unequal reaction of Russian diplomacy leads to the conclusion that the decision to deploy submarines nuclear warheads of low power had the effect, which counted on Americans. This means that Moscow has lost one of the instruments of military pressure on Europe.