Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons in Europe to stop any NATO expansion, according to an ex-CIA bureau chief.
Robert Dannenberg, who was once Chief of the Central Eurasia region for the Central Intelligence Agency, said that “nuclear weapons are not off the table” in Europe during an interview with Goldman Sachs researchers, which the bank published today as a note to investors.
Dannenberg is now head of the office of global security at Goldman Sachs. He made the admission when he was asked what he was on the Kremlin’s current military agenda.
Here’s the most shocking part of his response.
Putin’s articulation of nuclear weapons doctrine is quite different from anything we have heard in recent history. He signed a revision of Russia’s nuclear doctrine last December that allows for the use of theatre tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and just announced a decision to expand Russia’s nuclear arsenal. I participated in a forum with a number of very senior retired Russian military intelligence officers where they told us that nuclear weapons are not off the table and that their message was directly sanctioned by Putin.
In the rest of the interview Dannenberg said that “we are in an extraordinarily dangerous time right now,” citing the fact that United States and NATO military operations are now now operating near to their Russian counterparts in eastern Europe, and that “many of the channels of rapid military and intelligence communications that were carefully constructed during hte Cold War have been dismantled.”
He went on to explain further the Kremlin’s attitude to the use of nuclear weapons:
Their view is, nuclear weapons are undesirable, but we are perfectly willing to use them if necessary to prevent further encroachment of NATO. You can imagine the impact that kind of statement has in Washington and London.
Last month Putin announced that Russia would add more than 40 extra intercontinental ballistic missiles to its military forces.
He’s also previously said that the government was prepared for nuclear confrontation over its annexation of Crimea.
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