In Ukraine-Russia war, Putin nuclear threat can't rattle Biden
In Ukraine-Russia war, Biden can't let Putin nuclear threat and Zelenskyy pleas rattle him.
Events unfolding in the Russia-Ukraine war this week represent the most dramatic escalation since the initial invasion in February. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of up to 300,000 reservists to active duty, confirmed that four “elections” will be held to annex occupied Ukraine territory and implied that nuclear weapons are on the table — warning, “this is not a bluff.”
President Joe Biden, in a speech to the United Nations Wednesday, shot back that the West would continue to “stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression,” which he slammed as having “shamelessly violated” the U.N.’s principles. Biden did not reveal what actions, if any, the U.S. might take, but the stakes for America couldn’t be higher: If the U.S. gets too aggressive in its support for Kyiv, we risk expanding the war in ways that could draw us in — and in a worst-case scenario, trigger a nuclear escalation.
If the U.S. gets too aggressive in its support for Kyiv, we risk expanding the war in ways that could draw us in — and in a worst-case scenario, trigger a nuclear escalation.
There is plenty of justification for condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine as inexcusable and violating the U.N.’s provisions, and it’s understandable that the White House and American public are sympathetic to Ukraine. But however much we may not like the war, at this point it represents no threat to American national security. As Russia’s shocking inability to defeat even the far weaker foe on its border demonstrates, Putin’s conventional forces can’t seriously challenge any other NATO country, much less the United States.
Instead, the real risk Biden has to carefully manage right now is the degree to which the United States continues its military support to Ukraine, as too much help could lead Putin to conclude his country may face an existential threat.