WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is weighing a range of aggressive responses to Russia’s alleged violation of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, including deploying land-based missiles in Europe that could pre-emptively destroy the Russian weapons.
This “counterforce” option is among possibilities the administration is considering as it reviews its entire policy toward Russia in light of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea and other actions the US deems confrontational in Europe and beyond.
The options go so far as one — it was implied but not stated explicitly — that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.
It is unclear whether Russia has actually deployed the suspect missile or whether Washington would make any military move if the Russians stopped short of deployment. For now, administration officials say they prefer to continue trying to talk Moscow into treaty compliance.
In public, administration officials have used obscure terms like “counterforce” and “countervailing strike capabilities” to describe two of its military response options, apparently hoping to buy time for diplomacy.
The Pentagon declined to make a senior defense policy official available to discuss the issue. A spokesman, Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, said, “All the options under consideration are designed to ensure that Russia gains no significant military advantage from their violation.”
Full article: US may deploy missiles in Europe to counter Russia (The Times of Israel)