Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, the editor of a publication that examines military capabilities broke down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent speech on expanding his country’s reach with nuclear weapons, and then painted a frightening portrait of a new Cold War that could heat up quickly with President Trump in the Oval Office.
Speaking with host Alex Witt, Defense One executive editor Kevin Baron was asked about Putin’s recent presentation that showed Russian missiles raining down on Florida.
“Vladimir Putin made a presentation, touting his country’s weapons capability, saying they’re able to evade U.S. defenses,” Witt began. “One animation showed warheads raining down on Florida. When you look at this animation, where does the truth lie in this? Is Putin able to evade U.S. defenses? Could he be able to send missiles to Florida?”
“One thing that’s drawn attention is he shows missiles coming over the United States not over the North Pole, but over the South Pole,” Baron explained. “Nuclear experts tell us America’s missile defenses are aimed to the north, up in Alaska and only a few in California. So if he gets this new technology and rolls it out, these are longer range missiles and they’re able to steer themselves in flight, which makes them not just ballistic, but cruise missiles.”
“It all adds up to Putin saying if we’re going to go there, we’re going to go there, he’s coming out guns a’blazing,” he continued.
Asked if Putin is bluffing, Baron said there was more to be concerned about.
“He’s saying that these are things that the Russians are developing, including an underwater drone that can be launched from a submarine carrying an under-sea nuclear weapon, he responded before getting to the meat of the matter. “The point why this is so important is, we haven’t heard this kind of thing, really, since the Cold War. This is the opposite of reduction, it’s the opposite of a new start and any kind of arms control.”
“And Putin says it’s his response to Trump,” he warned. “Trump, in the campaign, said if he wants an arms race, let there be an arms.”
“The United States and Russia have each about 1500 to 1800 warheads, hundreds of ways to deliver those warheads by submarines, bombers and missiles,” he added. “This goes beyond current restrictions and, according to Putin, he’s just trying to defend their interests. These are always considered defensive deterrents from the Americans from pushing him back. and the other way around.”
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