Russia’s development of a new cruise missile calls for a U. S. buildup of nuclear weapons in Europe, according to one of President Trump’s top congressional allies. I’ve said before we need to set firm boundaries for Russia’s behavior — and enforce…
Russia’s development of a new cruise missile calls for a U. S. buildup of nuclear weapons in Europe, according to one of President Trump ‘s top congressional allies.
“I’ve said before we need to set firm boundaries for Russia’s behavior — and enforce them to the hilt,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Wednesday. “I take this news as evidence that the U. S. should build up its nuclear forces in Europe. ”
Russia has built two battalions of a cruise missile that is illegal under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was ratified in 1987, despite calls from the Obama administration to drop the program. The weapons system could be used to strike NATO allies and other American partners, such as Japan.
The new cruise missile launcher is designed to look like a missile launcher approved under current arms control laws, making it harder for NATO forces to monitor.
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A military buildup such as the one Cotton suggested would alarm the Russians, who criticized the idea when it surfaced in American media. “If the Americans indeed deploy their ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe, in this case we will face the necessity of retaliating. And we have such an opportunity,” Colonel General Viktor Zavarzin, a member of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, said in June, 2015.
But Russia’s violation of the treaty has American leaders looking for military responses.
“There’s little reason for the U. S. to continue abiding by a treaty whose only other party continues to violate it blatantly,” Cotton said. “Two battalions of cruise missiles don’t just magically appear overnight. And if the last administration showed us anything, it’s that ignoring these kinds of provocations simply means they will proliferate. ”
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