After President Biden's ultra-alarmist nuclear "Armageddon" statements related to the war in Ukraine given at a fundraiser in New York City Thursday night, naturally the first question to arise was whether his assessment is based in any clear evidence or observed heightened nuclear posture coming out of Russia. US intelligence has answered...
On Friday CNN cited multiple unnamed US intelligence officials to say "The US still has seen no evidence that Putin is moving toward using Russia’s nuclear capability, nor is there any intelligence showing he’s decided to do so."
Instead, CNN notes, Biden's comments merely reflected "heightened concern" inside the administration that Russia's Vladimir Putin could soon resort to nukes if his forces continue being rolled back by Ukraine's counteroffensive in the east and south.
The fresh report further underscores, "Biden’s blunt assessment caught several senior US officials by surprise, largely due to that lack of any new intelligence to drive them and the grim language Biden deployed."
This strongly suggests the American public could be getting prepped for yet another major escalation and intervention against a foreign power based on an exaggerated and false WMD assessment, or what the intelligence community calls "threat inflation".
Biden had asserted the threat of nuclear "Armageddon" is at its highest level since the Cuban missile crisis. "He is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological and chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming," Biden said in the prior evening remarks, according to Bloomberg. "I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use tactical nuclear weapons and not end up with Armageddon."
And yet the White House is still defending Biden's fearmongering statements, even after intel officials indicated there's been no new intelligence to back up his words, per the CNN report:
One senior administration official said Biden was speaking "frankly" in his remarks at a Democratic fundraiser in New York, reflecting heightened concern based on Putin’s recent nuclear threats.
Time Magazine places Zelensky in the top slot of its list of "favorites to win the Nobel Peace Prize" as he calls for a full-blown act of war from a 30-country alliance against a nuclear superpower https://t.co/d2iaGg5Bdd https://t.co/j6cNdS72Kf— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) October 6, 2022
This begs the question: was he speaking "frankly" as opposed to "truly"? Does "frankly" also imply speaking with no evidence underlying the claims? The stakes couldn't be higher at this very dangerous point in the Russia-Ukraine war.
CNN follows by quoting top Biden admin officials as follows, which appears intended to "reassure" the American public, perhaps so as to prevent increased panic...
And the morning after Biden’s comments, administration officials said the US’s nuclear stance has not changed.
"Our posture hasn’t changed," one official said of the US preparations. "If there was some new piece of alarming information, it obviously would."
walking back "clarifying" statements are coming out of the US administration, according to the latest from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:
"We have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor do we have indications they are preparing to use them, but Putin can de-escalate this at any time and there is no reason to escalate."
All of this goes back to Putin's Sept. 21 'partial mobilization' speech wherein nuclear weapons were never directly named, but instead many have suggested he was more likely talking about Russia's advanced hypersonics arsenal:
I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.
The immediate accusations of nuclear saber-rattling coming from the West in the wake of those words by Putin prompted deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dimitry Medvedev, to seek to clarify the precise conditions under which nuclear arms could be used based on the country's official doctrine:
"Let's imagine that Russia is forced to use the most fearsome weapon against the Ukrainian regime which had committed a large-scale act of aggression that is dangerous for the very existence of our state," Medvedev said in a post on Telegram.
Medvedev's remarks quoted the exact terminology of one of the conditions of Russia's nuclear strike doctrine: "aggression against the Russian Federation with conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened".
..."I have to remind you again - for those deaf ears who hear only themselves. Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary," Medvedev said, adding that it would do so "in predetermined cases" and in strict compliance with state policy.
Meanwhile, some world leaders are voicing concern over irresponsible rhetoric which only serves to heighten the climate of tit-for-tat of threats now being issued...
(Reuters) - French President @EmmanuelMacron said "we must speak with prudence", as he responded to earlier comments by @POTUS warning of the risk of nuclear "Armageddon" in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.— Phil Stewart (@phildstewart) October 7, 2022
"We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters"
Meanwhile, a retired top US military commander has charged Biden with needless fearmongering, saying the statements came "without any evidence of diplomacy or statesmanship being shown in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine," according to the words of retired US Air Force Brigadier General Blaine Holt, also a former deputy military representative to NATO.
"Where's the diplomacy?" Holt questioned to Newsmax on Friday.. "Where are the statesmanship and the standing up in front of the American people and describing the danger to them without fearmongering?"