Russia Planning To Nuke First?

Here’s some happy news from Moscow:

Russia is weighing changes to its military doctrine that would allow for a “preventive” nuclear strike against its enemies — even those armed only with conventional weapons. The news comes just as American diplomats are trying to get Russia to cut down its nuclear stockpile, and put the squeeze on Iran’s suspect nuclear program.

In an interview published today in Izvestia, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Kremlin’s security council, said the new doctrine offers “different options to allow the use of nuclear weapons, depending on a certain situation and intentions of a would-be enemy. In critical national security situations, one should also not exclude a preventive nuclear strike against the aggressor.”

What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”

To anyone who knows the dismal state of Russia’s conventional military forces, this should come as no surprise. Russia’s military is poorly equipped and structured, and quite ineffective given its size, so their only option to get the respect they think they deserve is to literally “go nuclear” on their neighbors.

So, Mr. President, how’s that “reset button” working?