China and Russia are now competing against each other in an unofficial arms race to establish nuclear dominance following Russia’s exit from the New START treaty, leaving the US lagging behind in a new state of nuclear instability , say the experts.
“What makes this so dangerous is that Xi and Putin are collaborating in new ways to threaten US alliance architectures, trading systems, and safe and secure commerce, which have allowed Americans to be safe, prosperous and free for decades,” Rebeccah said. Heinrichs, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and an expert on strategic deterrence, told Fox News Digital.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that the country would suspend participation in the nuclear deal with the United States, one day after President Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine. Chinese and Russian diplomats have been meeting since the treaty announcement was made to reaffirm the two countries’ ties.
“Russia and China are strategic partners in the short term as they are joining forces to challenge the United States, in order to dissuade us from interdicting their respective plans to establish dominance in their respective perceived spheres of influence in Eurasia,” the former official intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital. “In the long run, Moscow and Beijing are strategic opponents, so they have modernized their nuclear arsenals and doctrines.”
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Biden called Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty move “a big mistake,” with reports now emerging that Russia may be planning to deploy new nuclear systems. Putin also announced shortly after that the country withdrew from the New START Treaty that will strengthen Russia’s nuclear forces and that its military is ready to deploy a new ICBM system with hypersonic missiles and new nuclear submarines.
“There should be an arms race because the Chinese are rapidly increasing the number of their nuclear warheads,” China expert Gordon Chang told Fox News Digital. “The Biden administration does not want to increase the size of our arsenal. But unfortunately, we are in a position right now where it is extremely dangerous for us because the two sides, Russia and China, are forming a partnership and we are increasing the their ability to strike us with nuclear weapons, so we must respond.”
Koffler says Russia is currently the world’s leading nuclear threat, “having the world’s largest nuclear stockpile, surpassing the United States, if tactical nuclear weapons are counted.” Chang said that while China will not disclose the size of its arsenal, he does not believe the United States is currently in a position to “discourage the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine”.
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“The US security apparatus, especially under the leadership of Obama and Biden, has pursued a naive policy of denuclearization, the so-called Global Zero,” Koffler said.
Koffler said those policies have, if anything, allowed Russia to dissuade the United States from directly intervening in the war against Ukraine for fear Putin authorizes a nuclear strike on the Ukrainian battlefield.
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Heinrichs is now suggesting that the United States invest in producing “large numbers of conventional weapons and defenses” as the country enters a new era of nuclear instability and both Russia and China continue to push back on transparency measures.
“We have surrendered key systems and manufacturing capabilities since the Cold War and now must move with a sense of urgency to regain our ability to produce and deploy the weapons needed to deter both of these countries,” Heinrichs said. “To get back to a stable environment where both of these countries are interested in diplomacy and treaties, agreements, we should show them that they won’t prevail by threatening us with nuclear weapons. It won’t be worth it for them.”
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Caitlin McFall and Chris Pandolfo of Fox News contributed to this report.