Belarus to Update Military Doctrine, Possibly Permit Nuclear Weapons Use

Belarus to Update Military Doctrine, Possibly Permit Nuclear Weapons Use
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The Facts

  • Belarusian Pres. Aleksandr Lukashenko summoned a meeting of his country's Security Council on Tuesday. It was held to discuss the adoption of two key strategic documents — one on national security and the other on military doctrine.

  • According to a government account of the meeting, Lukashenko said that changes were necessitated by a transformation of the risks, challenges, and threats to Belarus's national security. Lukashenko did not explicitly outline any changes that permitted the country's nuclear weapons use but did point to threats of using the weapons made in the course of the Israel-Hamas conflict as an example of why updates were needed.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Belarus's military doctrine was years out of date, highlighted most apparently by the recent conflict in the Middle East. Belarus is a peaceful country and does not threaten anyone. Nonetheless, it will not accept any interference in its political affairs, nor any forms of aggression towards its territory — including from the Western "rules-based order." The recent changes simply reflect that modern reality.

Pro-establishment narrative

Belarus, Russia's closest ally, has just sent alarm bells ringing throughout the halls of Western governments. This is a reckless move and is a clear provocation to NATO, particularly to neighbors Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania in the eastern flank. The West must respond accordingly to these developments.

Metaculus Prediction

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