Yesterday’s post noted that the number of Russians fearing nuclear war had more than doubled in the last two years, from 8% to 17%. Adding to the risk that the Ukrainian crisis could escalate to nuclear threats, the top story in today’s New York Times is headlined “U.S. Considers Supplying Arms to Kiev Forces.”
The article notes that, previously, we had refrained from supplying arms to Kiev out of fear that “might tempt President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to raise the stakes,” but now “the failure of economic sanctions” is causing many in the Obama administration to question that policy.
The article never explains why our original fears are trumped by the failure of economic sanctions, but that is typical of the sloppy thinking which has produced chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. It’s high time we started thinking things through more carefully, especially since Putin’s “raising the stakes” in Ukraine could well involve nuclear threats. Let’s make sure that Putin’s warning that “Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,” does not become a reality.
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