The best way to fight Putin’s nuclear threats
Vladimir Putin has again threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russia and its people. In his remarks on Friday, he extended that nuclear deterrent to the 15% of Ukrainian territory that Russia annexed after mock referendums that ended on Wednesday. This even includes some lands already liberated by the Ukrainian army. Mr. Putin’s threats constitute an offensive use of nuclear weapons, imperial expansion through nuclear threats. It must be stopped, but how?
It is tempting for the United States to play a leading role. These are not the ramblings of a weakened dictator; Mr. Putin has an idea of how to use nuclear weapons to achieve his goal. The Biden administration’s response to these serious threats has been swift. National Security Advisor JakeSullivan said on Sunday that the United States would « respond decisively » to a Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine, with « catastrophic consequences for Russia. »