Russia Warns It Will View All Incoming Missiles as Nuclear

Policy is a response to US interest in long-range conventional missiles

Russia’s official military newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda, quoted top Russian military officials, saying they would consider all conventional ballistic missile fire as nuclear missiles in the future, and respond like a nuclear attack.

This is hugely important, because it makes all ballistic missiles, irrespective of payload, effectively non-usable, since Russia has an enormous arsenal of nuclear arms with which to retaliate. In this regard, a conventional first-strike couldn’t possibly be worth it.

Russia argues that they can’t determine the warhead on a ballistic missile as a way to explain the new policy. Almost certainly a factor would be that the US has been developing long-range non-nuclear missiles in the future.

Since Russia already had taken the position of possible retaliation to conventional attack with nuclear arms, this might have always been a potential Russian response to a missile strike. Formalizing it may be designed to warn against such specific attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.