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The US claims Russia has been secretly testing low-yield nukes to strengthen its arsenal
U.S. intelligence agencies suspect that Russia has been secretly conducting low-yield nuclear weapons tests in violation of an international treaty prohibiting this type of testing.
"The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the 'zero-yield' standard," Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley wrote in his prepared remarks for a talk at the Hudson Institute Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported, adding that the other intelligence agencies have arrived at similar conclusions as DIA.
Russia is suspected to have conducted a number of very low-yield nuclear tests at its Novaya Zemlya testing facility in the Arctic. U.S. officials declined to tell The WSJ what explosive yields may have been involved in the tests, which would be considered violations of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The U.S. halted nuclear testing in 1992 after 1,030 nuclear detonations. Russia followed suit after 715 explosions, ratifying the treaty in 2000. The Russians were hesitant to agree to U.S. "zero-yield" demands, but they did agree eventually. There have long been concerns in the US that the understanding of the treaty's requirements in Russia may be different from Washington's perceptions.
"Our understanding of nuclear weapon development leads us to believe Russia's testing activities would help it improve its nuclear weapon capabilities," Ashley assessed.
In his planned remarks, Ashley also suggested that China, another signee to the test ban treaty, may also be engaging in actions "inconsistent" with this international agreement. China, like Russia, insists it is adhering to the treaty's requirements.
Accusations that Russia might again be cheating on an international accord come just a few months after the U.S. decided to walk away from a Cold War-era arms control agreement over allegations that Russia had been quietly developing weapons in violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The Trump administration has repeatedly stressed that it does not want to hold itself to standards that rival powers are not.
"Countries must be held accountable when they break the rules," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in response to Russia's alleged violations of the INF Treaty. "Russia has jeopardized the United States' security interests. We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it."
In the aftermath of the collapse of the 1987 INF Treaty, tensions between Washington and Moscow skyrocketed. The latest accusations risk escalating an already tense situation. As is, both the U.S. and Russia have already begun developing new weapons systems to challenge the other.
Read more from Business Insider:
- Trump is ripping up the INF Treaty, ending a key Cold War nuclear arms pact with Russia
- U.S pressure may be pushing Iran toward a new kind of military response — 'massive retaliation'
- China's next move in the trade war could cripple US F-35 stealth fighter production
- Venezuelan defectors are arming themselves and say they're 'ready for battle' to get rid of Nicolas Maduro
- Dashcam video shows the moment an Air Force pilot ejected before his F-16 crashed into a warehouse
WATCH NEXT: Russia Launches A Space Oddity
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
A Navy installation blasted 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at high volume for 3 days straight, scaring the crap out of its neighbors
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
Key witness says Eddie Gallagher stabbed wounded ISIS fighter in the neck but does not remember specifics
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
Navy SEAL under investigation for allegedly manipulating (and hitting on) the widow of the Green Beret he helped kill
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.