Changes in nuclear part of Russian military doctrine unnecessary - analyst

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MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - A revised military doctrine, which will soon be submitted to the Russian president, must keep provisions on the use of nuclear weapons intact, a Russian military expert said on Wednesday.

The head of Russia's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper earlier on Wednesday that the revised military doctrine would stipulate for preemptive nuclear strikes against potential aggressors and the use of nuclear weapons not only in large-scale conventional wars but also in regional and local conflicts.

"I believe that the military doctrine adopted in 2000 is outdated and contains a number of drawbacks, but I would certainly not change the wording of the provision on the use of nuclear weapons," Alexander Sharavin, the head of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, said in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio.

The current military doctrine outlines the role of the Russian military in ensuring the defense of the country and, if necessary, preparing for and waging war, although it stresses that Russia carries out strictly defensive policies.

According to Sharavin, who in the past led a group on the development of Russia's military doctrine at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said that the current document stipulates the use of nuclear weapons only in large-scale wars when an aggressor has an overwhelming superiority over Russia in the number and power of weaponry.

"I think that the provision contained in the 2000 document is sufficiently comprehensive and should not be expanded because nuclear weapons are a political tool and an element of the strategic deterrent. If we announce that we will use these weapons in a local conflict, we will downplay its role," Sharavin said.

In addition, the revised document should outline a mechanism for making adjustments in the military doctrine in response to changes in the political and military situation, the expert said.

The new Russian national security strategy contains such a mechanism, while the 2000 military doctrine does not, Sharavin said.

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