WASHINGTON, May 29— Defense Department policy-makers, in a new five-year defense plan, have accepted the premise that nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union could be protracted and have drawn up their first strategy for fighting such a war.
In what Pentagon officials term the ”first complete defense guidance of this Administration,” drafted for Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger’s signature, the armed forces are ordered to prepare for nuclear counterattacks against the Soviet Union ”over a protracted period.”
The guidance document, drawn up in the Pentagon and reflecting its views, will form the basis for the Defense Department’s budget requests for the next five fiscal years. The document was also a basic source for a recent strategic study done by the National Security Council, according to Defense Department officials. That study is the foundation of the Administration’s overall strategic position.
Debate on Nuclear War
The nature of nuclear war has been a subject of intense debate among political leaders, defense specialists and military officers. Some assert that there would be only one all-out mutually destructive exchange. Others argue that a nuclear war with many exchanges could be fought over days and weeks.
The outcome of the debate will shape the weapons, communications and strategy for nuclear forces. The civilian and military planners, having decided that protracted war is possible, say that American nuclear forces ”must prevail and be able to force the Soviet Union to seek earliest termination of hostilities on terms favorable to the United States.” The Pentagon considers a ”protracted” war anything beyond a single exchange of nuclear weapons.
Read More at the New York Times.
Russia is building a military research and testing center in the Arctic region, furthering its already strong hold to land claims in the region, at the expense of other world powers. Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev, head of the Military-Scientific Committee of the Russian Armed Forces, said the center will be used to test weapons, tactics, and logistics in the vital territory. Russia has an immense northern region which they are militarizing aggressively.
“On the orders of the president [Vladimir Putin], and in the framework of the development of the Arctic zone, it is planned to establish in 2017 an Arctic research and testing scientific center with branches in Arkhangelsk, Priozersk and St. Petersburg,” Makushev said, reports Business Insider.
The Arctic region is estimated to hold 22% of the world’s minerals and resources. U.S. military commanders admit Russia is far ahead of Western nations in Arctic war fighting capability.
“In the last few years, Russia has activated a new Arctic command, four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports, and 40 icebreakers with 11 more in the making. Moscow also unveiled its second Arctic military base in late April,” reports Business Insider.
Russia has developed multiple different weapons systems to be used in the cold weather, including missile systems, artillery, armored vehicles, etc
Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov
Russia would be forced to use nuclear weapons in any conflict in which U.S. or NATO forces entered eastern Ukraine, a member of Russia’s parliament told an international gathering of government security officials on Sunday.
“On the issue of NATO expansion on our borders, at some point I heard from the Russian military — and I think they are right — If U.S. forces, NATO forces, are, were, in the Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is undefendable militarily in case of conflict without using nuclear weapons in the early stage of the conflict,” Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov told attendees at the GLOBSEC 2017 forum in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Russian military leaders have discussed Moscow’s willingness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict with military leaders in NATO, as part of broader and increasingly contentious conversations about the alliance’s expansion, Nikonov later told Defense One
Nikonov’s threat might sound startling, but it’s in keeping with the current state of Russia’s ever-evolving policy on the use of nuclear weapons. While the Soviet Union maintained a policy against the first use of nukes, Putin’s government turned away from that strict prohibition in 2000 with the signing of a new military doctrine that allows for the limited use of nuclear weapons “in response to large-scale aggression utilizing conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.”
Putin has also shown a growing willingness to invest in nuclear-weapons technology. In March, he vowed to put more money into new intercontinental ballistic missiles, so-called “strategic” nuclear forces, and to prioritize those military investments “above all” other areas.
Read More at DefenseOne.
Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled from the Lossiemouth base in Scotland this morning after Russian planes entered UK airspace.
An Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker was also dispatched from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and was tracked heading north before going into a holding pattern off the Aberdeenshire coast.
They were responding on ‘quick alert’ to two Russian aircraft which had entered British airspace.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: ‘Two Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth this morning as part of the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert in response to two Russian aircraft entering the UK’s airspace.
“Both aircraft have now returned safely to RAF Lossiemouth.”
It comes amid a heightened state of security across the country just days after the worst terror attack on British soil in more than a decade happened in Manchester.
RAF fighters have repeatedly been scrambled to the skies over Britain to ward off incursions from Russian jets, including in February when aircraft were sent to monitor two bombers which passed near UK airspace.
The Tupolev TU-160 Blackjacks were in the UK’s ‘area of interest’ but did not enter British territory, the RAF said at the time.
The nuclear-capable Blackjack, the largest bomber aircraft in the world, were monitored coming from the north east and passed to the west of Ireland.
In January, Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans was deployed to ‘man mark’ the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its battlegroup as the vessels sailed close to UK territorial waters, returning from operations supporting the offensive in Syria.
Read More at the Daily Mail UK.
NATO is set to expand for the first time after eight years by welcoming Montenegro into the alliance. The tiny Balkan nation is attending the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday practically as a member, although the entry process formally will be wrapped in early June. To get there, Montenegro has stood up against Russia, which has sought to maintain strong historic, political and cultural influence in the country it considers a zone of interest. Russia has threatened economic and political retaliation. Montenegro says Moscow was behind a foiled coup attempt in October, which Russia denies.
Read More at ABC News.