Russia Reportedly Deploys New Cruise Missile

Russia has reportedly deployed a new cruise missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Russia in December deployed one of two battalions of the SSC-X-8 missile. “But the ‘X’ has been removed from intelligence reports, indicating that American intelligence officials consider the missile to be operational and no longer a system in development,” according to the Times. The other unit is still at Russia’s test site at Kapustin Yar, the Times reported. The missile was tested in 2014, prompting the Obama Administration and Congress to urge Russia not to violate the 1987 treaty, which bans ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers. “There’s little reason for the US to continue abiding by a treaty whose only other party continues to violate it blatantly,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “Two battalions of cruise missiles don’t just magically appear overnight. And if the last administration showed us anything, it’s that ignoring these kinds of provocations simply means they will proliferate … I take this news as evidence that the US should build up its nuclear forces in Europe.”