Can Putin be Dealt with as School-Yard Bullies Once Were? By James Reed

I recall at my high school there was a punk called … can’t remember his name, but he was a pain. One day he decided to pick on a quiet, but athletic guy called … can’t remember his name either, but neither were transgenders. But the Quite Lad got the first punch in, breaking said bully’s nose, a nose he rather liked. End of bully, qua bully; he lost his steam after that.  Retired General and former Director of the CIA, David Petraeus, thinks that something like this might work on Putin if Putin drops nukes. Sure, I imagine that Putin will not retaliate with more nukes, including super-EMP weapons, collapsing the entire Western electric infrastructure, including the internet. He will just sit back in his luxury bunker and watch it all on TV.  But, don’t bet the sheep station on it.

“Retired General and former Director of the CIA David Petraeus says it's his belief that if Russian President Vladimir Putin used nuclear weapons against Ukraine, the United States would quickly intervene to "take out" Russian forces. He emphasized too that Washington would lead the way among a collective NATO response.

The well-known retired Army general issued the prediction of such a major US intervention in that scenario during a Sunday interview on ABC’s "This Week," explaining that the West must take the Kremlin's latest nuclear rhetoric seriously, and that this is what the White House's latest warnings of "catastrophic consequences" for Moscow is all about.

"And what would happen?" show co-anchor Jonathan Karl questioned for former CIA chief. "Well, again, I have deliberately not talked to Jake about this. I mean, just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a NATO, a collective effort, that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea," Petraeus responded.

But that's when Karl brought up the likely scenario of radiation fallout from such a Russian nuclear engagement directly impacting much of Eastern Europe, reaching nearby NATO countries. 

"Yes. And perhaps you can make that case. The other case is that this is so horrific that there has to be a response, it cannot go unanswered. But it doesn’t expand, it doesn’t — it’s not nuclear for nuclear," Petraeus explained. That's when he expressly laid out that Washington has to be ready nuclear escalation if the situation demands: 

"You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way," Petraeus said.

While the former top Army general is of course not speaking from within the administration or in the capacity of an active government official at this point, his perspective certainly generally reflects that of the foreign policy and military establishment. 

Petraeus went on to explain his view that Putin has no qualms about surrounding European countries and Western backers of Ukraine suffering too. "Well, he’s trying to cast this in any way that he can in a way to appear threatening, to be threatening, to try to get Europe to crack. He thinks he can out suffer Europe, if you will," he continued.”




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Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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