21 Mar 2022

Russian Use of Battlefield Weapons of Mass Destruction

Since the early-2000s, an aberrant military doctrine unique to the Russian military has emerged: the use of weapons of mass destruction on a battlefield. The doctrine focuses on tactical-level weapons able to generate massive amounts of firepower to bring about surrender. Weaponized chemical or low-yield nuclear weapons, rather than fall into a special category (or to comply with the fact that one is internationally banned) instead are designed for battlefield use available as an option for warfighting and are justified in terms of an oscillating pair of strategic goals. Chris Flaherty provides a history of the doctrine and its potential impact in Ukraine.

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