Biden Has Opened Door to Russian Nuke Strikers

Russia’s nuclear doctrine is called “escalate to deescalate” or, more appropriately, “escalate to win,” which means threatening or using nukes early in a conventional conflict.

Even if Putin is now bluffing — most analysts think he is — he is getting what he wants with threats. Biden, for instance, has been cautious and even timid in providing military assistance to a beleaguered Ukraine. Putin has obviously noticed, which is the reason he has been making more such threats.

Why, then, doesn’t the United States have what it needs at this crucial moment: nuclear-tipped cruise missiles like Putin’s? The arms-control community, arguing that such low-yield weapons would make nuclear war more likely, persuaded American presidents not to build them. President Trump authorized their development, but Biden cancelled the program.

Unfortunately, arms-control advocates got it backwards. As evident from today’s developments, America lacking low-yield nuclear warheads on cruise missiles is making nuclear war more likely, not less.

“The United States will need to reduce its nuclear arsenal to encourage Russia to do the same,” wrote Tom Collina and Angela Kellett on the 21st of this month on the Defense One site.

Entice Russia into disarmament? Been there. Tried that. Failed miserably.

Is it possible to work with Putin at this time?

Even if we can put aside the morality of talking to a genocidal mass murderer — we cannot — it is reckless to believe Putin might actually honor arms-control agreements when he has continually violated them with impunity.

Moreover, it is bad enough to argue for disarmament in peacetime, but it is the height of folly to do so during war — and when China and North Korea are making first-strike nuclear threats of their own.

America’s arms-control advocates have always been naïve. Now, they are delusional.

The use of nuclear weapons is fast becoming likely. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nukes — presumably against Ukraine but perhaps others as well — was made at the time he announced a military mobilization, Russia’s first since World War II. Pictured: Mobile intercontinental ballistic missile launchers on parade in Moscow, Russia, on June 24, 2020. (Photo by Sergey Pyatakov – Host Photo Agency via Getty Images )

“If Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on the 25th of this month, referring to threats to use nuclear weapons. “The United States will respond decisively.”

Sullivan was responding to, among other things, a warning Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered in a televised address on September 21. “I want like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have,” the Russian leader said. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us.”

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