Pentagon sees Russia strengthening nuclear arsenal


June, 2008

Russia appears focused on strengthening its nuclear capabilities rather than building up its regular armed forces, which makes maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal increasingly important, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday. The Pentagon chief, speaking to Air Force officers in Virginia, said America's need for nuclear weapons to deter potential enemies from striking would grow in the future. While that is partly due to the risk that nuclear weapons will end up in the hands of anti-American groups or states, such as Iran, it is also related to Russia's plans to build its nuclear capabilities, Gates said. "It seems clear that the Russians are focused as they look to the future more on strengthening their nuclear capabilities," he told reporters after his visit to Langley. "So to the extent that they rely more and more on their nuclear capabilities as opposed to what historically has been a huge Russian conventional military capability, it seems to me that it underscores the importance of our sustaining a valid nuclear deterrent, a modern nuclear deterrent." Moscow has boosted military spending as part of an effort to make Russia more assertive on the world stage after the chaos of the post-Soviet period. It has also tried to reform its military to create a more professional, well-equipped and mobile army. But that reform has been slow, some critics say. The Russian military still suffers from poor morale among low-paid soldiers and generals dissatisfied with the state of the army.

DIFFICULTY OF REFORM

Difficulty reforming those forces, known as conventional forces, has led Russia to determine it may be more efficient to bolster its nuclear weapons capabilities instead, Gates indicated. "Russia is really not investing very much in their conventional forces. It's really clear and for a whole bunch of reasons, demographics and everything else," Gates said. Russia possesses a "triad" of strategic nuclear weapons -- ground-based missiles, submarines and bombers that can reach the United States. Last month Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to funnel cash into the state's nuclear arsenal to ward off threats to national security. "It is obvious that our task in the next few years is to ensure strategic missile forces get all the necessary funds to be ready to withstand existing threats," Medvedev told soldiers and officers a week after taking office. Among the threats, he cited a U.S. missile defense system Washington wants to place in the Czech Republic and Poland. The dispute over that missile shield has raised tensions between Moscow and Washington, often driving the relationship to what has appeared to be a post-Cold War low. Gates is visiting U.S. Air Force bases on Monday and Tuesday after a sweeping shake-up of the force's leadership due to mismanagement of America's nuclear weapons and parts. Securing the U.S. nuclear arsenal is the Air Force's most sensitive mission. But a recent investigation into the mistaken shipment of nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan found an erosion in nuclear standards and systemic problems in nuclear management.

Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/worldN...33989220080610

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back as I really needed the rest.

Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the internal urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

Please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics. Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.