WASHINGTON — Advanced conventional weapons are emerging as an “equal” to atomic arms in their capacity to ward off aggression, underlining a need for Moscow to bolster its focus on their development, Russian President Vladimir Putin told senior officials in comments released last week.
Putin’s remarks — issued to a Kremlin gathering on the preparation of “long-range high-precision weapons” — might partly refer to conventional “hypersonic” arms under development in Russia as a response to a “prompt global strike” capability sought by the United States. However, the government-released transcript does not specifically identify which weapons he believes are in need of “an added boost” in development efforts by Moscow.
“High-precision weapons are becoming an increasingly important factor in non-nuclear deterrence, and perhaps even one of the most decisive factors,” Putin said in a meeting transcript published last Friday.
“The degree of precision and power of today’s high-precision weapons makes them essentially an alternative to nuclear weapons,” he continued. “In some of their parameters they are quite simply equal to nuclear weapons in their effectiveness.”
A future long-range, rapid-strike capability has been seen by some in the United States as a partial alternative to nuclear weapons for hitting important time-sensitive targets. The capability sought by Washington could allow U.S. forces to conduct a non-nuclear strike against any location in the world in one hour or less.
In July, a deputy Russian defense minister suggested that his nation’s military would not begin to receive hypersonic delivery systems — a possible analogue to the U.S. prompt global strike technology — until 2018 at the earliest.
In Friday’s transcript, though, Putin said his nation had already started supplying its military with the “high-precision weapons” under discussion.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
What We're Following See More »
In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.
"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
Twitter bots, "automated social media accounts that interact with other users," accounted for a large part of the online discussion during the first presidential debate. Bots made up 22 percent of conversation about Hillary Clinton on the social media platform, and a whopping one third of Twitter conversation about Donald Trump.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the nonprofit that published the Panama Papers earlier this year, is being spun off from its parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity. According to a statement, "CPI’s Board of Directors has decided that enabling the ICIJ to chart its own course will help both journalistic teams build on the massive impact they have had as one organization."