National Security

Russian TV Telegraphing Nuclear Targets

Russia is once again in the news for what seems like a provocative act. A Russian television station listed potential targets the Russians would hit in the case of a nuclear war. Analysts called this “unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian” rhetoric.

Of particular interest on the list was a key communication tower in Washington State that transmits to the submarines in the Western fleet. With a new potential cold war involving nuclear weapons, a strike at this site would knock out most communication with America’s submarine fleet. These are a critical part of the nuclear triad that gives America the potential for a counterstrike. In turn, the counterstrike would help lead to deterrence against Russian use of nuclear weapons. So the list does raise some eyebrows, but overall I was rather unimpressed.

The analyst included a map that had several bases that no longer exist. Both Fort Ritchie in Maryland and McClellan Air Force Base in California closed about 20 years ago.

This is a good example of the difference between words and reality. There are weapons systems that promise the world, such as the hypersonic missiles in this case, but then are presented by broadcasters that get basic information wrong. If they can’t get a presentation right the chances that weapons systems are employed in combat conditions against countermeasures is even smaller.

America should be aware and away of Russian rhetoric, but they shouldn’t be so concerned with near farcical presentations on state TV.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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