Monday, June 19, 2017

How Sad is Russia's Nuclear Deterrent Force?


Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that elements of a U.S. anti-missile system in Alaska and South Korea were a challenge to Russia and that Moscow had no choice but to build up its own forces in response.

We have a thin missile defense force and Russia has a massive offensive nuclear force.

If America's missile defenses are a challenge to Russia, should we question whether Russia really has an effective missile force in reality as opposed to on paper?

The only way America's missile defenses are a challenge is if Russia's nuclear missile force is a Potemkin Deterrent with few missiles in working order.

Much of Russia's conventional military is a wreck, with only pockets of excellence backed by a narrow slice of adequate. Should I assume that Russia's nuclear force is any different despite the importance of getting that part right to make up for the weakness of the conventional military (especially compared to the long land borders of Russia)?

Or is it possible that Russia, which is in the midst of a policy of appeasement to China obscured by provoking tensions with NATO that is no threat, needs a convenient--if flimsy--excuse to build up forces in the Far East that otherwise would look uncomfortably anti-Chinese.

So what is going on?