Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

NATO Chief Says Nuclear Buildup Unlikely despite US Threats

NATO Chief Says Nuclear Buildup Unlikely  despite US Threats

BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that he does not expect a nuclear buildup in Europe even as tensions rise over U.S. threats to pull out of a Cold War-era missile agreement amid allegations that Russia is violating the pact.
The United States insists that Russia’s 9M729 missile system contravenes the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and NATO allies agree that is probably the case. The pact between Moscow and Washington bans an entire class of weapons — all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range from 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles).
Experts say the Russian system would operate at lower altitudes, making it tough to bring down. It could also reach targets across Europe and even the U.S. west coast if stationed in Siberia. Despite concerns about its capabilities, Stoltenberg said he does not “foresee that allies will deploy more nuclear weapons in Europe as a response to the new Russian missile.” But he added that the 29 nations in the world’s biggest military alliance are now assessing “the implications of the new Russian missile for our security.”
“We don’t want a new Cold War. We don’t want a new arms race,” he said at a news conference announcing the start of NATO’s biggest military exercises since that era of tensions ended in 1991.
The Trident Juncture maneuvers in Norway — which shares a border with Russia — will involve around 50,000 personnel, 65 ships, 250 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles. The hypothetical scenario involves restoring Norway’s sovereignty after an attack by a “fictitious aggressor.” (AP)