23:37 GMT +323 March 2018
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    US Admiral Claims Russia's Updated Nuclear Deterrence Doctrine 'Disturbing'

    © Sputnik/ Natalia Seliverstova
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    Russia’s most up-to-date military doctrine stipulating the use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent and potential response to an existential threat raises concerns at the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), STRATCOM Commander Admiral Cecil Haney said on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The 2014 Russian military doctrine accepts the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to an adversary’s conventional attack, if it poses an existential threat to Russia. The doctrine has been interpreted by many experts in the West as an "escalate to de-escalate" policy.

    In December 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia must strengthen its nuclear forces. Maintaining and modernizing the nuclear forces will be a key priority for the Russian military in 2016, according to the Chair of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov.

    "What is disturbing, and I would say destabilizing is… the discussion they [Russian leaders] are having over their plan to escalate in order to de-escalate," Haney said in a speech at the Center for Strategic International Studies.

    Haney explained the US position that "any adversary… that thinks they can escalate out of a general conflict has to think again." Such a strategy, he noted, "will be extremely costly."

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