When America was still the undisputed world’s superpower this probably would not have happened.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin flexed his oratorical threat muscles while speaking before the Russian State Duma on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Rogozin said that Russia would use its nuclear weapons against the United States to retaliate against any strike against Russia, even if the U.S. strike is one using only conventional weapons.
Rogozin said that Russian military doctrine makes clear that his country can and will use nuclear weapons “in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests,” and that Russia’s enemies need to be aware of that doctrine.
“We have never diminished the importance of nuclear weapons – the weapon of requital – as the great balancer of chances,” Rogozin said, according to RT, the Russian-based media network.
Rogozin, 50, was speaking to the Duma, the lower house of the Russian legislature, about the development of a Russian response to the American Conventional Prompt Global Strike (PGS) strategy.
The PGS strategy is being developed by the American defense industry, the goal of which is for the U.S. to be able to deliver a precise strike, using conventional weapons, anywhere in the world within an hour.
While the U.S. has not yet completed work on a specific PGS system, Rogozin made it clear that the Russians are focused and determined to be prepared for any American system that becomes operational.
The weapons race is not only back on, it is out in the open.
And this time it appears that Russia may be drawing Iran in under its military wing, as Rogozin’s comments came just after the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was in Iran for a series of high-level meetings.
Rogozin’s nuclear threats demonstrate an increasing hostility towards the United States as Moscow draws closer to Iran, the Washington Free Beacon quoted Russian experts as theorizing.
“The timing of Rogozin’s comment is certainly striking,” said Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy.
“Lavrov just returned from a trip to Iran, which reaffirmed its friendship with Russia,” Borshchevskaya said. “Rogozin in this context comes across not only as stepping up anti-Western rhetoric but as a warning about a strike against Iran, Russia’s ally.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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