by Sergio Romano
Ambitious, selfish and unscrupulous Putin: he finds it difficult to bend. His case in the hands of the Russians: it will be solved when his compatriots rise up. As for nuclear tactics, anyone using them would unleash an unstoppable spiral of destruction
After the exchange of words with Vladimir Putin on the use of nuclear power in the last crisis, the topic has become topical again. For a long time it seemed impossible for an authoritative and responsible politician to think about the use of nuclear weapons. Almost everyone seemed to know that this would entail no less devastating reprisals and an uncontrollable sequence of events.
Today the situation seems to have changed for at least two reasons.
The first reason is Putin himself. While an ordinary politician in a parliamentary democracy can suffer defeat in subsequent elections and return to the stage, Putin does not act by the rules of an open society. While a parliamentarian has no interest in destroying the political system to which he belongs and which allows him to try again to seize power, Putin is too ambitious, selfish and ruthless to believe in the rules of change; and personally believed that failure would render his claims and person less credible. So it seems difficult, at least at this moment, that he wants to bow to the norms of parliamentary democracy. The Putin case is ultimately in the hands of the Russians and will only be resolved if his compatriots express their dissent by standing up to their current President.
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Americans and Europeans can encourage and support their own revolt, but they cannot take military initiatives that would probably serve Putin to present himself to his compatriots as a victim of enemy powers and protectors of the fatherland.
The second factor threatening world peace is the part of the speech where Putin talked about tactical nuclear weapons. They are weapons not aimed at the complete destruction of a city or country.
They are built to hit a specific target: a dam, an airport, a railway junction, a specific area of strategic importance, or a ship loaded with weapons and basic necessities for a combat body. They are not used to deliver a final and fatal blow to the enemy. They are used to paralyze him, to intimidate him, to deprive him of what he needs most in that moment.
The country that chooses to do so hopes above all to force the enemy power to seek agreement or to demand a ceasefire. But this could also be the beginning of a process that is not expected to end until those with strategic nuclear weapons are likely to use them.
There is therefore no real distinction between tactical and strategic weapons.
We are now in a world where any war, if fought between countries with nuclear knowledge and experience, could become entirely nuclear.
October 2, 2022 (change October 2, 2022 | 08:07)
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