Top US military intelligence official says Russian military poses an 'existential threat' to the US
April 29, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier looks on during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)
The top US military intelligence official said during a congressional hearing on Thursday that the Russian military is an "existential threat" to the United States.
(CNN)The top US military intelligence official said during a congressional hearing on Thursday that the Russian military is an "existential threat" to the United States.
Berrier said the country's military is being used to maintain influence over states "along its periphery, compete with US global primacy and compel adversaries who challenge Russia's vital national interests. "
Berrier's comments come as tensions between Russia and the US remain high.
Russia has not yet responded officially to the United States' offer of a summit, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday.
Russia appeared to be pulling back from a possible confrontation with the West last week as Russian state media reported that troops were returning to their bases after taking part in exercises near the border with Ukraine and in Crimea.
Berrier emphasized that the Russian military's power comes from its investment into and development of nuclear weapons as well as its "conventional force largely postured for defensive and regional operations. "
When questioned by Sen. Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican, about Russia's nuclear warhead development, Berrier confirmed Defense Intelligence Agency assessments from 2018 that stated Russia is updating its nuclear warhead production complex and is producing "hundreds of nuclear warheads each year," saying those assessments are still valid.