Author Topic: Kremlin Voices Concern at U.S. Conventional Missile Plans  (Read 246 times)

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Offline dominique

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Posted 05/11/06 10:25
Kremlin Voices Concern at U.S. Conventional Missile Plans

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, MOSCOW

The Kremlin voiced worry May 11 at reported U.S. plans to mount non-nuclear warheads on intercontinental strategic missiles to strike targets anywhere in the world within minutes with no prior warning and called for talks on subject.

`I think this would be an irresponsible decision,` said Sergei Sobyanin, the newly-appointed head of President Vladimir Putin`s Kremlin administration, in a briefing to a group of foreign reporters.
The use of such a weapon could produce confusion and an unpredictable response from other countries, Sobyanin said.

`This is an extremely dangerous trend,` he said, adding: `There needs to be a dialogue about this.`
Although he did not directly name the United States, Putin on May 10 also raised Russia`s concern over plans to put conventional warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), weapons long at the center of the former U.S.-Soviet Cold War arms race and key disarmament treaties.

`The launch of one such missile may trigger an inadequate response from the nuclear powers, including a full-scale retaliatory strike with the use of strategic nuclear forces,` Putin said in his annual state of the nation address.

A U.S. Defense Department report posted on the Internet states that plans to incorporate conventional weapons capabilities into U.S. strategic nuclear forces have been under investigation since Congress called for a post-Cold War review of the country`s nuclear deterrent forces in 2001.

Western arms experts have cautioned, however, that Russia in particular would have to be provided with some way of distinguishing a conventionally-armed ICBM from a nuclear-tipped ICBM to ensure that any use of such a weapon was not a nuclear strike.

U.S. experts say that conventional ICBMs would give the option of striking a target anywhere on Earth within about 30 minutes and with a large element of surprise, since there is no reliance on easily detectable ships or aircraft.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1767408&C=europe
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Comments:

I'm glad Russia is raising this issue. When it gets down to it, does it really matter whether an ICBM is armed with nuclear or so-called "conventional" warheads?? Destruction is still destruction, even if it's "kinder, gentler" destruction.
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