If the world really is on the brink of World War 3, which country would come out on top? An expert said not that long ago that the U.S. would lose to Russia, and with all of Russia’s shows of military strength, it appears as if Moscow thinks they can win too. Even U.S. officials appear to be concerned that Russia has surpassed Washington in nuclear capabilities, according to Forbes contributor James Conca.
Russia versus U.S. in World War 3?
Russia has been aggressively spending money on developing tactical nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin said they aimed to develop a guaranteed deterrent to protect against NATO and the U.S. Moscow apparently thinks that its own tactical nuclear weapons are better than what the U.S. and NATO has.
Russia has 5,000 nuclear weapons of various tactical classes, while the U.S. has only 300 tactical B-61 bombs. Conca points out that the U.S. will be hard-pressed to catch up to Russia in the renewed nuclear arms race, as many of the nuclear missiles built during the Cold War have been destroyed. Also the U.S. created treaties limiting its ability to develop more nuclear weapons.
Conca reports that the START 3 treaty that was put into place recently “was overwhelmingly favorable to Russia.” Moscow has built next-generation long-range cruise missiles and will soon deploy them onto Russian submarines in the Black Sea and Caspian Flotilla ships.
Russian officials revealed that they plan to send some of their long-range bombers over to the Gulf of Mexico “just for practice,” bringing them ominously close to the U.S. coast. Putin has accused the U.S. of fanning tensions that could lead to a new Cold War or possible World War 3, while the U.S. has accused him of the same. Conca believes that the Russians fear being seen as weak, and Russia has shown signs of being willing to use as much force as it takes to get what it wants.
Holes in U.S. nuclear plans
The author calls for U.S. officials to fix the problems that have erupted with the nation’s nuclear weapons program. For example, a B-52 bomber flew six stowaway cruise missiles that had nuclear tips across the country on accident. The crew didn’t even know they had the missiles, and no one even realized that they were missing.
Additionally, there have been numerous reports of low morale and gaps in training for U.S. troops charged with handling the nuclear weapons. U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel did make some comments today that suggest things could be about to change. He wants to increase nuclear funding by 10% each year in the next five years.
The Pentagon agreed to make some changes to the way the nuclear program is funded. However, this may be too little, too late, if Russia decides to strike sooner rather than later.