The reinforced support of the United States and Western allies for Ukraine, confirmed on Tuesday in Ramstein, Germany, rekindles the risk of nuclear escalation, brandished on February 27 by Vladimir Putin and reiterated on Monday by his Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov.
Little throwback. On March 11, 2022, circumspect about the response to display in the face of the invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden affirms it… He wants to avoid a “direct confrontation between NATO and Russia”: it would cause “World War III “. Seven weeks later?
25th Apr, 2022. Pentagon boss, his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, US Foreign Minister, frame President Volodymyr Zelensky for a historic photo in Kyiv. “We want to see Russia weakened to such a degree that it can no longer do the same kind of things as the invasion of Ukraine,” says the first, after believing that the Ukrainians could win the war, s’ they received the necessary arms and support.
More than banderillas, the one-upmanship of a red rag waved under Moscow’s nose. That same Monday, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov said: “The inadmissibility of nuclear war is our position of principle. […] I don’t want to artificially feed this risk. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we shouldn’t underestimate it.”
The USA enters the dance
Reaction this Tuesday? Washington drove the point home. The United States is ready to “move heaven and earth” so that Ukraine wins against Russia, reaffirmed Lloyd Austin, receiving at the American base in Ramstein, Germany, 40 allied countries to accelerate deliveries of armament in kyiv. “In any conflict, there is the military dimension, on the ground, and the psychological dimension, the informational war to influence the adversary. Until now, the rhetoric of escalation was used by Putin. What is new, it is that the Americans are now entering the dance verbally, confirming a new dimension of their commitment”, analyzes General Jean-Claude Allard, researcher associated with Iris. Until the atomic risk? “We are not there yet,” he said. Nevertheless, “if the military commitment were to increase further on the part of the Americans, we could approach the nuclear threshold, as Vladimir Putin had already mentioned, by putting it on the table as of February 27”, he continues. .
On January 3, the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom jointly declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. The very definition of this strategic deterrent weapon. Its possible use as a tactical weapon on a battlefield, now? “The Americans reintroduced it into their doctrine in 2008 and the Russians followed in “mirror” in 2010″, recalls General Allard.
The nuclear weapon, Admiral Alain Coldefy had it under his responsibility on board the aircraft carrier Clémenceau which he commanded. “Lloyd Austin’s statements are typical of the American approach. They hesitate. Then they go and when they go they want the vanquished to be crushed in order to be punished: their position now vis-à-vis a Russia which they see themselves in difficulty militarily”, he explains “very worried”.
Because “the risk is higher than a month ago” as for the use of nuclear weapons, “the temptation being great on both sides”, measures the former deputy chief of staff of the armies. Where would the red line be then? “The red line, it is never in our interest to define it”, he replies, the power of the sword of Damocles having to remain the unknown of his fall for the opposing party.