Russia's 'Saber-Rattling' Confirms Need to Upgrade US Nuclear Forces - DoD
Russian nuclear threats had backfired, but they underlined the need for the United States to push ahead with its nuclear modernization program, US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russian officials have pointed out that the United States and NATO have been systematically breaking the promises they made at the end of the Cold War and continue to expand the influence of the Alliance and place heavy weapons and military forces along Russia's borders.
Such actions, they say, are provoicative and are destabilizing the region.
Moreover, Russian officials have also claimed deploying US defense systems in Eastern Europe violate the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms control treaty.
"Senior Russian officials continue to make irresponsible statements regarding Russia's nuclear forces, and we assess that they are doing it to intimidate our allies and us," Work told the HASC at a hearing on Thursday. "Moscow's nuclear saber-rattling raises questions about Russia's commitment to strategic arms control."
However, Work claimed the alleged Russian threats had backfired, and caused NATO alliance members to draw closer together in reaction to them.
"These [Russian threats] have failed. If anything, they have strengthened the NATO alliance solidarity."
Work cited what he called irresponsible threatening language by Russian senior officials a further need to push ahead as quickly as possible with US nuclear force modernization.
"While we seek a world without nuclear weapons, we face the hard reality that Russia and China are rapidly modernizing their already-capable nuclear arsenals."
Russia was continuing with extensive nuclear force modernization as well, for similar reasons, the Pentagon official said.
"Russia is going through this exact same experience now."
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