by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
This week proved that the gravest threat to the human race is still the human race. We appear to be marching closer to doomsday — even if scientists won’t say it yet.On Tuesday, Politico reported that the U.S. and allied intelligence agencies will beef up surveillance of the Kremlin’s nuclear arsenal in response to another round of what have now become routine threats from President Vladimir Putin. As he announced his country’s first war mobilization since World War II with the calling up of 300,000 reservists, Putin made clear that the country’s use of nuclear weapons was a real possibility.
“If Russia feels its territorial integrity is threatened, we will use all defense methods at our disposal, and this is not a bluff,” Putin said, days before the Kremlin sponsored sham elections in Ukrainian territory to pave the way for Russian annexation.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan repeated across three Sunday morning television shows that the U.S. would respond to any use of nuclear weapons with “catastrophic consequences” for the Kremlin.
Without him spelling out the details of the deliberately ambiguous phrase, a U.S. response could range from tougher economic sanctions to tit-for-tat nuclear retaliation, the latter of which risks escalation to a nuclear Armageddon.
Upon completion of the staged referendums in four Ukrainian territories, Putin’s predecessor, who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, issued yet another warning that nuclear weapons might be deployed. …
… Despite the heightened rhetoric from a frustrated Moscow now engaged in a months-long war, the infamous “Doomsday Clock” remains unchanged from January 2020 at 100 seconds to midnight. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which sets the made-up clock, refused to inch the hands closer to global catastrophe in March after the major war broke out between Russia and Ukraine. Putin even began the invasion with a warning that other nations who intervene will “face consequences that you have never seen.”