According to a letter from the Republican leads on three House committees, not enough is being done to deter Russia from utilizing nuclear weapons in its assault on Ukraine – and they urged President Joe Biden to be clearer and more combative in his approaches.
At this point, said U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike Turner (R-OH) of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Mike Rogers (R-AL) of the Armed Services Committee, Russia seems to view the use of nuclear weapons as an acceptable option, going so far as to threaten both the U.S. and Europe with the devastating weapons. They are threats reminiscent of the Cold War when much of the world was pressed between two superpowers.
In such an environment, the Republicans added, vague statements from the President are not enough to deter Russia.
“In our view, every tool of national power should be leveraged to achieve deterrence of Russian nuclear aggression,” the lawmakers wrote. “To this end, we urge you to clarify U.S. policy concerning the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Europe and to clearly communicate such policy to the Russian government. We must reinforce our extended deterrence commitments regarding our nuclear umbrella upon which our European allies have relied for decades. In addition, the U.S. cannot be a passive spectator as Russia uses nuclear intimidation. If Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the U.S. must act.”
Opinion essays and promises of vague consequences are not enough, they argued, posting this alongside examples of the intimidation Russia has undertaken against the U.S. and NATO in recent months. From Russian Defense officials to legislators and President Vladimir Putin, they showcased statements pledging nuclear ashes for the U.S. and those who stand in Russia’s way and threats to wipe out the whole of Europe if Russia is threatened.
The alert level of Russia’s nuclear forces has risen since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, alongside the nuclear bluster.