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Putin Test Fires ICBM, Expands Nuclear Arsenal

From an unquestioning Reuters:

Russia test-fires ICBM amid tension over Ukraine

March 4, 2014

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said it had successfully test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, with tensions running high over its military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

A U.S. official said the United States had received proper notification from Russia ahead of the test and that the initial notification pre-dated the crisis in Crimea…

Which we suppose could be true. (Would they admit it if it wasn’t true?) But, if it is true, why didn’t our officials warn the media this was scheduled? Especially given the circumstances.

Russia conducts test launches of its ICBMs fairly frequently and often announces the results, a practice seen as intended to remind the West of Moscow’s nuclear might and reassure Russians that President Vladimir Putin will protect them.

But it’s a good thing when Putin does that.

Russia and the United States signed the latest of a series of treaties restricting the numbers of ICBMs in 2010, but Moscow has indicated it will agree further cuts [sic] in the near future and is taking steps to upgrade its nuclear arsenal.

So the Russians are upgrading their nuclear arsenal, while promising to cut it "in the near future."

Putin has emphasized that Russia must maintain a strong nuclear deterrent, in part because of an anti-missile shield the United States is building in Europe which Moscow says could undermine its security…

You mean the European missile defense shield that Obama has already given away?

From the New York Times, March 16, 2013: "U.S. Cancels Part of Missile Defense That Russia Opposed — The United States has effectively canceled the final phase of a Europe-based missile defense system that was fiercely opposed by Russia and cited repeatedly by the Kremlin as a major obstacle to cooperation on nuclear arms reductions and other issues…"

Meanwhile, there is this from the Washington Examiner:

Report: ‘New’ Russian nuclear programs alarm neighbors

By Paul Bedard | MARCH 4, 2014

Russia is expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal, raising questions from surrounding nations about what Moscow and President Vladimir Putin are up to, according to a new report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

In the March/April issue provided to Secrets, the report reveals that the former Soviet capital is working on new missiles, nuclear submarines and bombers capable of carrying heavy nuclear-tipped bombs and missiles.

“Since our last Russian Notebook in early 2013, Russia has taken several important steps in modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces. These include continued development and deployment of new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), construction of ballistic missile submarines, development of a new strategic bomber, and deployment of tactical ballistic and cruise missiles and fighter-bombers,” said the authors…

On the nuclear side, the authors also said that Russia has some 3,500 warheads slated for dismantlement under an international deal, but still intact.

“Russia had a military stockpile of approximately 4,300 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,600 strategic warheads were deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. Another 700 strategic warheads are in storage along with roughly 2,000 nonstrategic warheads. A large number — perhaps 3,500 — of retired but still largely intact warheads await dismantlement,” said the report.

The report also raised a new issue: Russia has not dismantled the nonnuclear weapons it promised to. “Despite Russia’s declaration in 1991 and 1992 that it would eliminate all ground-launched nonstrategic nuclear warheads, it has not done so…

Well, give them time. It’s only been 23 years. Maybe if we cut our nukes even more, we will inspire them to cut theirs.

And then there is this, from the Agence France Presse:

China unveils fresh double-digit military spending boost

By Carol HUANG | March 5, 2014

Beijing (AFP) – China on Wednesday extended its spending spree on the world’s largest armed forces, unveiling a 12.2 percent increase in the defence budget for 2014 and provoking fresh concern in rival Japan.

Beijing has for years been raising spending on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in double-digit steps, reflecting its military ambitions as it asserts its new-found economic might and its claims in a series of territorial disputes with Tokyo and others

This year’s stated increase follows rises of 10.7 percent in 2013, 11.2 percent in 2012 and 12.7 percent in 2011.

Analysts believe China’s actual military spending is significantly higher than publicised, with the Pentagon estimating it at between $135 billion and $215 billion in 2012…

But we have nothing to fear from China, either. They are our friends, just like Russia.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Putin Test Fires ICBM, Expands Nuclear Arsenal”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Meanwhile, no one has ever explained the firefight between Security Forces and ( ..?..) at Minot. The drug ring probe among Missile Launch Officers, the removal of the Missile Commanders .. etc etc etc

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