Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking during his state-of-the-nation address Wednesday, warned that Russia will aim new hypersonic missiles at the US should it deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe.
Russia and its predecessor USSR have aimed weapons, including nuclear weapons—ICBMs, SLBMS, nuclear-armed bombers—at the US since they first acquired the weapons. Does anyone really believe Putin doesn’t already have nuclear weapons aimed at the US today? Is anyone interested in some beachfront property north of Santa Fe?
No, Putin’s threat just puts a premium on our deploying anti-missile systems at home, in Europe, around Asia, and in orbit as well as on developing heavily upgraded such systems and then deploying them, too. Putin’s threat also puts a premium on developing upgraded offensive systems, including nuclear, and deploying them at home, in Europe, around Asia, and in orbit.
This is an arms race that Russia can no more afford to sustain technologically or fiscally than could the USSR a prior arms race. It’s an arms race we should strongly encourage and actively pursue.