Democrats and NeoCons are rushing toward nuclear war with Russia, and even President Biden seems resigned to that possibility. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the nuclear clock ticked closer to midnight. The federal government is so concerned they have purchased $290 million in drugs to combat radiation sickness. New York city has run public service ads for what to do in the event of a nuclear war. And former and current military leaders talk openly about winning such a war. They seem to believe that a nuclear exchange would be limited to the Ukraine, therefore acceptable. What they do not know is the mind of Putin and his generals.
From the first days of the war, it was clear that on paper, Russia should easily have beaten the Ukrainian army, but Western intervention has evened the odds. Russians have lost territory over the past few months due to their own military weaknesses in combination with NATO weapons deliveries. The US has supplied Ukraine with tens of billions in aid, irrespective of the disposition of those arms and money. Reports have been that much of the equipment is not reaching frontline units, rather sold.
During Russia-Ukraine negotiations for a ceasefire in March 2022, where Russian’s main demand was permanent Ukrainian neutrality, failed when Western nations pushed for a military victory for Ukraine, along with regime change in Russia. As a result, the war continued, and thousands more were killed, wounded or made homeless.
Now, more than seven months later, Western intervention has convinced the Ukrainians and NATO nations that the war is winnable. Media and the political class continue to fan the flames of war. Worse, they provide an endless parade of former generals to explain how Putin’s threat to use tactical nuclear weapons, while possible, would only lead to a NATO response that would destroy the Russian army. Foreign affairs experts explain to us how Putin is a desperate, isolated madman who needs to be removed. How can they not see that cornering the proverbial wounded animal is not a good idea. This is the same madman whose army we threaten to destroy should he use tactical nuclear weapons, without mentioning that might possibly result in his use of thermonuclear weapons on the US and Western Europe. They forget that Saddam Hussein expected the Gulf War to be limited to Kuwait, only to find the US strategy was to eliminate “centers of gravity”. It is a core principle of US military strategy.
Gen. Sergey Surovikin has now been named the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine. Surovikin is a veteran of brutal wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and most recently Syria, where he earned the nickname “General Armageddon”, for his indiscriminate destruction of Aleppo. In Syria, Surovikin bombed civilian targets, using everything from conventional to chemical weapons. It is clear with his appointment that Putin is willing to do anything to avoid defeat, including tactical nuclear weapons. In his first week as commander, Suroviken authorized the launching of missile and drone attacks on Kiev. It seems Western leaders did not contemplate his actions based on months of reporting an imminent Ukrainian victory.
Western leaders have forgotten the shocking information we gathered in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. For five decades, NATO operated under the assumption that neither side in a European war would resort to first use of nuclear weapons. The treasure trove of documents we obtained after the collapse indicated that not only were the use of nuclear weapons possible, but they were integral to Soviet war plans to defeat the airpower advantage NATO had over the Warsaw Pact. Their day one plans were to strike our airfields with chemical and nuclear weapons to disable our air forces, and deny the use of those bases by reinforcements.
If the generation now leading the Russian Federation, both politically and militarily, were trained in a system that used nuclear and chemical weapons as just one tool in their arsenal, it is also reasonable to assume the war in Ukraine could result in a tactical nuclear war, then escalate to nuclear Armageddon. Western leaders possess two of the most dangerous attributes -- naïveté and overconfidence. The American political leadership was 'selected' not for their experience, but their gender pronoun and ethnicity. Our military leadership has been promoted despite military failures in Afghanistan and Iraq for similar qualities as their civilian counterparts. We stand on the precipice of a nuclear war, with ideologs at the helm. Only time will tell, but our best hope may lie with the man they have declared a madman, and his willingness to exercise restraint.
A USAFA grad, Brent flew F-15 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. After completing his service, Brent immigrated to Israel, where he was drafted into IAF active service.