(John Ransom, Headline USA) Russian strongman Vladimir Putin flexed his nuclear muscles yesterday in testing a new intercontinental ballistic missile, a test that’s widely considered a warning to the United States.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, however, said that Russia had notified the US of the test so the Pentagon wasn’t caught off guard, according to The Hill.
Putin had promised that this latest generation of intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, is impervious to US missile defenses.
“This really unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and make those, who in the heat of frantic aggressive rhetoric try to threaten our country, think twice,” Putin said, according to ABC News.
The missile test comes amid the backdrop of the US continuing to train Ukrainian soldiers and supply them with weapons to challenge Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the state-owned Roscosmos, which manufactures the weapon, called the test a “present” for NATO, according to the Associated Press.
Kremlin watchers, however, are warning that the Biden administration is “gambling” that Putin is just offering “empty threats,” rather than taking the Russian man with nukes seriously.
“In word and deed, President Biden’s administration is shrugging off fresh Russian warnings against providing Ukrainian forces with more advanced arms and new training, in what appears to be a calculated risk Moscow won’t escalate the war it expanded two months ago,” said the Washington Post’s daily defense update.
What’s troubling is that the Biden administration just a few months ago underestimated the amount of fight Ukraine forces could put up, telling the world that Russia would win in a lightning war, said Olivier Knox and Caroline Anders in the Post.
Coming on the heels of the administration’s failure to properly estimate how quickly the Taliban would take over Afghanistan after the US troops exited the country, it should give people with a normal bit of humility pause where nuclear weapons are concerned.
Perhaps the problem is that the Biden administration spent their first year trying to turn the military into a progressive “woke” organization, rather than concentrating on war fighting.
“There are two types of senior military leaders,” warned Jed Jabbin, the national security and foreign affairs columnist for the Washington Times, a year ago.
“One always seeks ways to maximize the lethality and readiness of the forces under his command,” he said. “The other is so sunken in the political swamp that those concepts are nearly forgotten.”
Unfortunately today, the US is stuck with the second type.