Comment by the Information and Press Department on the US Defence Secretary’s remarks on nuclear deterrence

September 29, 2016

We could not help but notice the remarks on nuclear deterrence made by US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter at Minot Air Force Base on September 26, and not only because of their emphatically Russophobic character that, regrettably, has recently become the norm for public statements by representatives of the outgoing administration. We are troubled by his statement that the United States is prepared to use its nuclear capabilities in the event of an armed conflict involving Russia in order to prevent it from using nuclear weapons to repel aggression.

Apparently, he is referring to the provision in Russia’s Military Doctrine that reserves the right to use such weapons if the very existence of the state is threatened as a result of conventional aggression. To be clear, the doctrine addresses aggression against Russia, not Russia attempting to find “a way out of failed conventional aggression” to which Mr Carter is referring. This outrageous distortion of an official Russian document shows that the US Defence Secretary is either relying on an incorrect translation or planning to start a dangerous game.

According to Mr Carter, if Russia is attacked by US allies, the Americans are prepared to support this attack and threaten to use nuclear weapons against us. We would like to hope that Washington understands the meaning of such statements and their potential consequences for international security and stability.

The Pentagon chief’s bellicose rhetoric goes a long way toward explaining the goal of the US policy to modernise its nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles, about which he proudly talked at Minot Air Force Base. By upgrading its strategic triad – ICBMs, SLBMs and bombers, as well as ALCMs and aerial nuclear bombs – the United States seeks to develop highly efficient means of nuclear attack for decades to come. Importantly, in the process the United States will be covered by upgraded missile defence, which was also mentioned by Mr Carter. Thus, the strategy of exerting military pressure on Russia, which in the logic of the Pentagon’s “planners” apparently implies nuclear brinkmanship, will receive an upgraded and even more dangerous military-technical component.

These statements are especially cynical coming from the administration of Barack Obama, the President who declared before the world that the US seeks nuclear disarmament, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize in advance.

Naturally, we will have to take into account the US positions and take the necessary reciprocal measures to ensure our national security.

Source: Foreign Ministry of Russia