When Vladimir V. Putin announced on Sunday that he was putting his nuclear forces in “a special state of emergency” – a state of high alert that reminded us of some of the most dangerous times of the Cold War – President Biden and his aides had a choice.
They can mimic the movement and place American troops in Deacon 3 – known to moviegoers as the time when the Air Force detonated bombs, and nuclear silos and submarines were put into heavy-duty. Although the president did not pay much attention to it, he sent a delegation to present Mr. Putin as another threat, threatening Armageddon with a war he started without resentment.
In the meantime, at least, Mr. Biden has chosen to descend. The US ambassador to the United Nations reminded the Security Council on Sunday afternoon that Russia was “not under threat” and criticized Mr. Biden said, ‘White House has made it clear that the American awareness situation has not changed’.
But for many of the officials, who spoke Sunday in a state of anonymity, it was a potent reminder of how quickly the Ukrainian crisis could escalate into a significant power struggle – and how it could happen, as Mr. Putin explores how far he can go and threatens using a super weapon to get there.
And his explosion redefined the question, addressing the American intelligence community, about the state of mind of the Russian leader, a man previously described as pragmatic, calculating, and cunning. Former director of the intelligence service, James R. Clapper Jr., has publicly stated today what some officials have been saying in private since the Russian leader began accusing Ukraine of genocide and claiming to produce nuclear weapons.
The explosion of Mr. Putin reminded many nuclear experts of one of Mr. Trump on Twitter, in which he commented: ‘North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has just said that ‘The Nuclear Button is always on his desk. Please let him know that I also have a Nuclear Button, but it is much bigger and stronger than his own, and my Button is working!”
Mr. Trump later insisted that the threat was calculated and that he had brought Mr. Kim to the negotiating table for a series of three high-level meetings between the two leaders. But negotiations broke down, and Mr. Nuclear stock by many undisclosed standards, Kim is now much older than before Mr. Trump has issued a threat.
“Nations that are armed with nuclear weapons cannot fight a nuclear war because they can risk annihilation, but they can and do not threaten,” he said. Kroenig on Sunday. “They are playing nuclear games, to increase the risk of war in the hope that one side will back down and say, ‘Geez, this is not good for peace and serenity for the respective nation.’
Mr. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists said these threats could be insignificant unless compared to the evidence that nuclear weapons are being removed from storage and prepared for operation.
“Unless we see that kind of thing,” said Mr. Kristensen, “it’s a statement – it’s crazy madness.”