Russian Officials Slam Pentagon Over Drill Simulating Nuclear Attack On Russia

The Pentagon staged a ‘mini-exercise’ in which it responded to Russia after it dropped a low-yield nuke on a European NATO member.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper played himself in the drill at the US Strategic Command HQ in Nebraska on Thursday.

The drill featured the scenario of the United States nuking Russia in response to its own nuclear strike against a ‘NATO ally’.

Sputnik news reports: The drill followed a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing in which a senior Pentagon official said that the US needed a plan to be able to “fight and win” wars in a nuclear-contaminated environment.

Russian lawmakers have reacted to the Pentagon’s fantastical scenario
involving Russia’s alleged plans to use low-yield nukes on the
battlefield, calling the exercise outrageous and offering various ways
that Moscow can respond.

Senator Sergei Tsekov called the drills’ organizers “sick people,”
telling a Russian business news outlet that he was “very surprised,
frankly, that they’re doing this, and talking about it openly. On the
other hand, given the current situation and the current actions [by the
US administration], why should we be surprised?” he added.

On Friday, a Pentagon official told reporters
that Secretary of Defence Mark Esper had taken part in a drill to
prepare for how the US would react to a limited Russian nuclear attack
in Europe, saying the drill included “go[ing] through the conversation
that you would have with the secretary of defence and then with the
president ultimately to decide how to respond.”

Intimidation Tactics

Alexander Sherin, the deputy head of the Duma’s defence committee, suggested the US drill had two main goals.

“The first is to get people accustomed
to such an incredible scenario for resolving a conflict as a nuclear
exchange between Russia and the NATO bloc. The second goal is to try to
intimidate Europe’s population to justify the continued presence of
American bases in European countries ‘as guarantors of security and
defenders’ in the event of Russian nuclear attack,” Sherin explained, speaking to Russia’s NSN radio station.

He pointed out, however, that according to Russia’s military
doctrine, Moscow reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in the
event that conventional or other aggression puts the integrity of the
state itself in danger. The lawmaker further stressed that it would be
absurd for Russia to attack European countries with nuclear weapons
because the fallout would affect Russia itself. Sherin believes that the
main reason the US can so nonchalantly talk about the use of nuclear
weapons in the first place is because unlike Europe, their country has
never been subjected to a serious military strike in modern history.

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