President Biden has said that if there were any nuclear strikes from Russia the United States would “respond forcefully.” However, there is currently a divide between the administration and his military advisers regarding the use of American nuclear weapons as well as in the discussion on the most effective ways to stop Vladimir Putin from considering an attack.
According to one civilian working at the Omaha, Nebraska-based Strategic command, currently, nuclear weapons are the closest to being used that they have been in 50 years. They also noted that they did not believe the most effective communication tools were used to deter Putin.
While Joe Biden thinks that even non-nuclear threats could deter Vladimir Putin, the military does not share those views.
The nuclear planner and two other senior officers in an interview with Newsweek said that President Biden favored non-nuclear threats even if Russia were to strike first. However, the officials did agree with the view that nuclear weapon use should not be advocated in a preemptive strike. According to the officials, the most effective way of deterring Putin from using nuclear weapons would be for the United States to hold nuclear talks with him.
The senior intelligence said that this is uncharted territory and threats even if just to respond could be taken as a suggestion of nuclear war.
Vladimir Putin said that Russia would only use nuclear weapons if Russia was directly attacked by others. Other Russian officials have also said that Moscow’s official nuclear deterrence strategy which was first unveiled in June 2020 was still standing.
The senior intelligence officer maintained that they thought deterrence was the option, they were just uncertain on whether their message was “getting through”.