S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Monday, February 16, 2004

"MOSCOW A huge Russian military exercise that will involve numerous launches of ballistic missiles and flights of strategic bombers is not aimed against the United States but reflects Moscow's concerns about U.S. plans to develop new types of nuclear weapons, a top general said Tuesday.

The exercise, which has been under way since late January at the headquarters level, will involve launches of an unspecified number of sea-and ground-based ballistic missiles and take Russian strategic bombers to the air, said Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces.

Baluyevsky dismissed media reports that the exercise would closely resemble Soviet-era simulations of an all-out nuclear war with the United States, saying that it was not directed against any specific country.

"The enemy is imaginary," Baluyevsky said at a news conference. "There is no hint whatsoever that the enemy is the United States, or any other country. The United States holds a similar exercise each year and no one is making a fuss about it.""

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