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By Associated Press, Published: November 17 MOSCOW — Russia is facing a heightened risk of being drawn into conflicts at its borders that have the potential of turning nuclear, the nation’s top military officer said Thursday. Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, cautioned over NATO’s expansion eastward and warned that the risks for Russia to be pulled into local conflicts have “risen sharply.” Makarov added, according to Russian news agencies, that “under certain conditions local and regional conflicts may develop into a full-scale war involving nuclear weapons.” A steady decline in Russia’s conventional forces has prompted the Kremlin to rely increasingly on its nuclear deterrent. The nation’s military doctrine says it may use nuclear weapons to counter a nuclear attack on Russia or an ally, or a large-scale conventional attack that threatens Russia’s existence. Russia sees NATO’s expansion to include former Soviet republics and ex-members of the Soviet bloc in eastern and central Europe as a key threat to Russia’s security.
Originally posted by Flavian
I would actually say that although this is probably some sabre rattling, it is entirely plausible and possible. The success of the START treaties and reduction of nuclear stockpiles have mainly been in the field of large and medium scale nuclear weapons - city killers. Short range nuclear tactical weapons (used for things like attacking armoured divisions or infantry battalions) have actually been improved whilst START has been ongoing.
In other words, TPTB in their wisdom have decided that:
big nukes = bad
little nukes = good
In my mind, all nukes are