The commander of the American forces on the European continent (EUCOM) and the commander-in-chief of the combined forces of NATO in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti, informed the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services that Russia’s military are studying the possibility of using nuclear weapons as a "part of the Russian doctrine and method of warfare", reported the Voice of America.
The Pentagon believes that Russia could use nuclear weapons in limited military conflicts for “quick victories over weaker neighbors” before the U.S. troops can intervene. “Escalation for domination is how they look at it.” Moreover, if you look at the modernization of their weapon systems today, I think you will notice how they could be used precisely for these purposes with a certain escalation. I believe that they are really being developed for this purpose,” said the general.
According to Scaparrotti, Russia has 2,000 weapons systems of non-strategic nuclear weapons, which "support Moscow’s erroneous conviction that the limited first use of nuclear weapons, possibly low-powered weapons, will give Russia a power advantage in crises and at lower levels of conflict."
The Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for the U.S. International Security Affairs, Catherine Wilbarger, supported his position. According to her, the modernization of the armed forces of Russia and China "in combination with the problems we are facing due to time and distance," allow Moscow and Beijing to "use what is commonly called the fait accompli scenario."