by Perry Diaz
Vladimir Putin warned there would be “lightning-fast” retaliation “if someone intends to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside, and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us.”
He also said, “We have all the tools [nuclear weapons] for this, things no one else can boast of having now. And we will not boast, we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know that.”
Does that seem like a mad man talking? Does he know that once he uses nuclear weapons, it would trigger World War III?
Well, for over a month now, the U.S. and her allies have been sending weapons to Ukraine to be used by the Ukrainian armed forces in fighting the Russian aggressors.
For one thing, the U.S. had been sending all kinds of weapons – Javelins, Stingers, howitzers, and “kamikaze” switchblades – to Ukraine to fight Russian invaders.
With more than $4 billion in security assistance already pledged with a focus on heavy artillery, President Joe Biden unveiled a massive new aid package that includes $20.4 billion in military and security aid to Ukraine.
He said the U.S. has the capacity to send Ukraine aid “for a long time.” Biden also sent more than 100,00 troops to NATO member countries in Europe ready to act should Russia invade NATO territory.
“Putin is banking on us losing interest,” Biden said, adding that the Russian president believes “Western unity will crack… and once again we’re going to prove him wrong.”
Indeed, NATO has never been more united. And with the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, it would expand NATO territory by at least 50%.
Massive aid package
The new aid package, which includes humanitarian and economic aid at a total cost of $33 billion, would include additional artillery, armored vehicles, and advanced air defense systems. The array of weapons includes:
(1) 1,400 surface-to-air stingers; (2) 5,500 anti-tank Javelin missiles; (3) 14,000 other anti-armor systems; (4) 700 Switchblade drones, known as “kamikaze drones”; (5) 90 155mm Howitzers and 183,000 155mm artillery rounds; (6) 16 Mi-17 helicopters; (7) Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees); (8) 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers; (9) 7,000 small arms; (10) Over 50 million rounds of ammunition; (11) 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, which was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements; (12) Laser-guided rocket systems; (13) Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems, a drone that provides intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance; (14) Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, called “drone boats” because they operate on the water without a crew; (15) M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions; and (16) C-4 explosives and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing.
In announcing the huge weapons package, Biden insisted the U.S. was not “attacking Russia.”
“It’s not cheap, but doing nothing was more costly,” he said. “We are helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” he insisted.
He said that the military support has so far amounted to 10-anti-tank weapons for every Russian tank deployed to Ukraine.
Warnings from Russia
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Western military support for Ukraine threatens “the security of the continent.”
However, Biden is undeterred by vague threats about the possible use of nuclear weapons, and a warning from Putin that there could be retaliatory strikes against countries that intervene in Ukraine, of which Biden shrugged off, saying they “show the desperation Russia is feeling about their abject failure to do what they set out to do.”
In addressing concerns over a nuclear confrontation, Biden said, “No one should be making idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons.”
While at the same time, Biden signed into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which would allow the U.S. to provide Ukraine directly with defense weapons to protect it from Russian invasion.
But with the military setbacks the Russians have faced so far, Putin might resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons. The question is: What if Russia was pushed to a corner with no way out but to use nuclear weapons? Would Putin use it?
Mutually assured destruction
According to Margarita Simonyan, one of Putin’s chief propagandists, Putin “is more likely to push the nuclear button than lose the war in Ukraine.”
He’ll never admit defeat.
“Either we lose in Ukraine, or the Third World War starts. I think World War Three is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader,” Simonyan said. “The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events.”
And in an apparent attempt to rationalize the rhetoric, Simonyan added: “We’re all going to die one day.”
While it is presumed that Putin is crazy and evil, it goes without saying that he’s smart to know that a nuclear war would end in MAD – mutually assured destruction, when the planet Earth will become radioactive for the next 1,000 years. No life will survive, not even Putin.
Biden would be forced to launch the Trident ballistic missiles from the Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines deployed in the Baltic Sea, which is less than 700 miles from Moscow.
It will take less than two minutes to reach and blow-up Moscow to smithereens. Moscow would be unable to launch a second-strike missile attack against the U.S. It takes at least 15 minutes to launch land-based nuclear ballistic missiles from Russia and another 20 minutes to reach Washington DC.
At which time, Biden would already have transmitted the launch code in his “nuclear football” briefcase, which would have given the order to launch the nuclear ballistic missiles aimed at Russia.
At the end of the day, I fervently hope that there is a tiny bit of sanity in Putin’s mind so he can intelligently rationalize that the world’s existence cannot be put in jeopardy at the whim of one man.
PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.
by Perry Diaz