Four variants of Putin’s nuclear behavior. Here’s what the experts predict
- Possible solutions to the nuclear crisis include: nuclear normalization, nuclear blackmail, avoiding confrontation and armageddon
- Concerns about the “nuclear normalization” scenario have prompted opinions that negotiations with Russia should be started.
- Rachman recalls that since 1945 the leaders have managed to retreat “from the abyss” many times and remain aware that “a bogus move could take millions of lives or even destroy the planet.”
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The US and its allies are using a mixture of diplomacy and deterrence to prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons, but at the same time considering the global ramifications of using such weapons. “The pressure is enormous,” writes Rachman.
“People will be analyzing over the next decades how we dealt with this crisis,” said a senior representative of the US administration.
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In simple terms, there are four crisis scenarios to consider: nuclear normalization, nuclear blackmail, avoiding confrontation and armageddon, the author enumerates.
Rachman calls “nuclear normalization” a situation where the West would not react to Russia’s use of nuclear weapons for fear of direct involvement of its forces in the conflict, which could lead to a full-scale nuclear war. “Nobody should be convinced that we are able to control the risk of (such) escalation,” warned the US administration representative quoted by FT.
However, if the West did not respond to Russia’s use of the atomic bomb, the taboo in force since 1945 would be broken. This would lead to “nuclear normalization”, i.e. a situation where many countries, such as North Korea and China, might be tempted to use such weapons . Other countries would quickly seek to acquire their own nuclear arsenal to defend themselves. The world would be in turmoil, leading to a collapse of markets and possibly a panic that would induce people to move out of the big cities, Rachman predicts.
Fears related to this scenario have prompted opinions that negotiations with Russia should nevertheless be started. This, however, would lead to a situation in which the Kremlin realized that it could effectively practice “nuclear blackmail”, the author continues. “What would stop Moscow from further nuclear threats, perhaps against Eastern Europe?” – he adds.
The third scenario is “Armageddon,” or a full-scale nuclear war that US President Joe Biden has publicly warned about. According to Rachman, the three worst scenarios are still less likely than the fourth, optimistic, i.e. avoiding a nuclear war.
The author recalls that since 1945 the leaders have managed to step back “from the abyss” many times and remain aware that “a false movement could take millions of lives or even destroy the planet.”
“It should still work. Perhaps,” Rachman concludes.
Date Created: Yesterday, 19:11
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