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In what one analyst sees as a demonstration of commitment to the United States and NATO, as well as a warning to Russia, France publicly announced Tuesday that its military had recently conducted a nuclear strike exercise.
During an 11-hour sortie involving a Rafale fighter, the French air force test-launched an ASMP or ASMP-A medium-range cruise missile, which can be armed with a nuclear warhead in the range of 100 kilotons.
Tom - Rogan - Security - Expert - Washington
Tom Rogan, a national security expert writing at the Washington Examiner, noted that the timing of the test is as important — or more so — than the actual test itself.
The test “compliments the U.S. decision earlier this week to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty,” following “Russia’s breach of the INF treaty as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s broader effort to degrade NATO deterrent resolve,” he wrote.
ASMP - Medium-range - Battlespaces - Rogan - Test
The ASMP is designed for medium-range battlespaces, Rogan noted, so the French test serves as a direct shot across Russia’s bow, so to speak.
That the French chose to use an air-launch platform to conduct the test is noteworthy: “That choice fits with how U.S., British, and French air forces are advancing their effort to penetrate powerful Russian air defense bubbles in the event of a conflict,” he wrote.
Message - France - Capabilities - Russia - Need
The message is clear: France stands ready to deploy its nuclear capabilities against Russia should the need arise, as in, if Russia should use nuclear weapons in Europe or against France directly.
Some analysts may...
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