Since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, President Putin has put Russian nuclear forces on high alert and issued warnings to other nations that if they interfere with the Russian invasion they risk “consequences such as they have never seen in their history.” The Russians also elevated the nuclear risk by saying that Russia has a “right” to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict in response to conventional weapon threats or an “existential threat” to Russia.
What makes Russia’s threat especially dangerous is that it has been made in the context of ongoing warfare. Even if this threat were meant solely to intimidate, the fog of war sharply increases the chances of nuclear war through inadvertent escalation, miscalculation or accident.
It is therefore imperative that the U.S. and NATO de-escalate NOW to prevent the war in…
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