Mark Collins – NORAD and Russian Cruise Nukes: “de-escalation”? Part 2

Further to this 2015 post, more on an aspect of Russian nuclear doctrine to which we should be paying considerable attention–and an aspect that emphasizes the centrality of the NORAD mission for the RCAF’s new fighter:

Arms Expert: Russia Quick to Threaten Nuclear Strikes in Regional Conflicts
[and maybe use, see 2015 link above]

The Soviet Union’s old doctrine was: You deter World War III with nuclear weapons. Now Russia’s new doctrine: Threaten to use nuclear weapons against any major power that may try to block Moscow from having its way in a regional conflict, a specialist in Russian nuclear strategy said on Monday [June 27].

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies [full video at original], Nikolai Sokov said, “The targets are military.” A slide he used at the presentation before the Washington, D.C., think-tank, showed the targets could be reached by medium or heavy bombers and include bomber bases in the United States; aircraft carrier battle groups in the Baltic and Pacific; as well as those in the Indian Ocean and Black Sea-Mediterranean.

“Bases are platforms,” said Sokov, who is now affiliated with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He noted Russian exercises in 2003 carried out a simulated nuclear strike against Diego Garcia, and in 2007, against Guam.

What changed in Russian leaders’ minds after the collapse of the Soviet Union was “a perception [that] the United States will go around using force in promoting democracy and human rights.”

Sokov said that Russia began looking to a new strategy out of fear that the United States would intervene in its second war with Chechen separatists, demonstrated by its intervention in Kosovo. In addition to the change in Kremlin strategy, there was a new buildup of its long-range dual-mission forces—bombers capable of carrying nuclear or conventional weapons, as well as its nuclear forces.

Russia made those moves believing that this show of strength would cause the United States to back off from using force close to Moscow’s borders. It was “going back to the Fifties and Sixties flexible response” strategy in addressing crises involving major powers but with limited goals…

Pavel Podvig, director of the Geneva-based Russian nuclear forces project, said, “Strategic forces play a role supporting whatever moves Russia makes,” including Ukraine, Crimea or Georgia. The threat of escalation in a regional conflict is “a deliberate policy of Russian leaders because nobody wants” to engage in nuclear conflict for limited stakes…

Scary, what? Very relevant:

US Worrying Seriously About Russian Cruise Missiles
[note at end threat also from sub-launched cruise missiles]

NORAD Note: Russian Bomber (with cruise missiles) Strikes in Syria

NORAD to Face Escorted Cruise Missile-Carrying Russian Bombers?

USN “Admiral Warns: Russian Subs Waging Cold War-Style ‘Battle of the Atlantic’”–and RCN?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – NORAD and Russian Cruise Nukes: “de-escalation”? Part 2”

  1. Note this:

    “Russia Building New Underground Nuclear Command Posts
    U.S. intelligence detects dozens of hardened bunkers for leaders”

    A knowledgeable friend comments:

    “Bill Gertz is well connected and usually pretty accurate on Russian strategic issues.

    The doctrine is not exactly new but the expansion of secure command and control operationalizes it along with precision global strike capabilities. Limited nuclear strike options suggest air and sea launched cruise missiles (the new Kh101/102 on the bombers and the SSN-30 on the new attack submarines) which means that NORAD cannot stand still.”

    Mark Collins


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