U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review is intended to give the U.S. leverage over Russia in a dispute over a 1987 arms treaty, the AP reports.
Key point: The U.S. has claimed that Russia violated the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty when it deployed a ground-based cruise missile banned by the treaty in 2016. Russia denies the allegation. The proposed missile would “keep our negotiators negotiating from a position of strength…I don’t think the Russians would be willing to give up something to gain nothing from us.”
And from the other side: The Russian Foreign Ministry questioned on Monday whether the U.S. is in compliance with the 2010 New START Treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads and ICBMs and bombers the U.S. and Russia can each deploy, per the AP. Both countries reported they were in compliance.